For many, or perhaps even most South Africans, mass transit in its purest forms of "trams+trains+buses+metros+tubes+undergrounds" remains a dream and something that only happens overseas. Where trains or buses are operational in South Africa, it traditionally represents a mode of transport that is often dirty, unreliable, unsafe and therefore not first choice.
Liviero Civils, part of the Liviero Group, which last year celebrated 25 years of active construction in South Africa, has, according to Liviero CEO Richard Saxby, developed a very firm foundation. "Our strategy of 'planned, controlled focus' is producing solid results and we are expanding in a balanced and sustainable way," he says.
The construction of berth 306 at Richards Bay Coal Terminal, involving 11 caissons, has increased the capacity of the terminal from 72 to 82 million tons per annum. Extensive monitoring of the dredging operation was carried out, and it appears that the construction had very little negative effect on the environment.
The Sturrock Dry Dock in the Port of Cape Town, the largest of the two dry docks, is an important facility. Transnet required a detailed condition report on the dock and the compilation of a comprehensive repair programme for the sliding caisson and associated equipment. The gate has been drydocked for some four months now and the assessment is still in progress.
A new optical track deflection measurement device was developed for Transnet Freight Rail (Track Technology) to be used for track research carried out in both field and laboratory investigations. The functioning and calibration of the system are demonstrated and examples are given of measurements taken on the South African rail network. The article discusses the advantages of the system, further developments and the implications for design and analysis.
South African Coal Mine Holdings Limited (SA CMH ) is a new player in the coal mining industry and recently acquired a coal mine near Ermelo. Being new in the industry, SA CMH wanted to construct a rail siding from where they could load their coal into rail wagons to be exported through Richards Bay Harbour. SA CMH approached Arcus GIBB (Pty) Ltd to conduct a feasibility study for their proposed new siding near Ermelo. The feasibility study was completed during the latter half of 2007, followed by detailed design and construction in 2008.
The loss of skills and knowledge of technical professionals experienced by many organisations in South Africa has serious implications for the local and international competitiveness of these organisations. Research has indicated that there are fundamental differences between technical professionals and other staff in organisations, so that they need to be managed in a different way. Retaining talent calls for innovative human-resource practices. This article discusses various management and retention strategies
Veteran railway man, Pieter Louw, delves into the history of railway engineering with this overview of the development of the permanent way, the materials used and the maintenance procedures employed on the South African Railways (SAR).
If a pioneering contractor, in the popular image, was big, bold, blustering and boozy, then George Pauling fitted the bill. He was an enormous man who stood back for nobody, but his reputation as the leading railway contractor in the development of southern Africa during the late 19th century was only partly due to his physical presence. His success was mainly based on shrewdness, common sense and a huge capacity for hard work - and, it may be said, a talent for making friends in the right places.
In present times the prospect of Bus Rapid Transit may be exciting the imagination, but the concept, and the public interest it has created is scarcely something new. In the 1850s there was a flurry of activity in the Cape Colony as tram transport became a definite possibility. The taxis of the time were the "omnibuses" - horse-drawn carriages, usually overcrowded, plying indefinite routes to irregular timetables in cutthroat competition with one another. To be fair, many performed a very useful function, providing a link with the outlying districts over unmade tracks in all kinds of weather. But the local services were less admirable. The Southern Suburbs of Cape Town were ripe for expansion, but the advantages of living in the countryside were offset by wage-earners having to travel daily to town in the uncomfortable, dusty and unreliable "buses".
When interviewed by David Beer, Silvio Ferraris, president of the Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) and vice-president of its Concrete Retaining Blocks (CRB) Division, outlined his reasons why CRB wall failures occur and what can be done to avoid them.
Mapei superplasticiser used in the manufacture of Gautrain sleepers, Antony Offenberg
Bigen Africa appoints new chairman, Betty Mollo
Asphalt reduces carbon footprint, Herman Marais
Demanding concrete specifications for new french rapid rail system, Hannes Engelbrecht
Sustainable engineering solutions in Mauritius, Charles Scott
Another milestone achievement on the list of SAICE international outreach projects took place during the first week of December 2008 in Brasilia, capital of Brazil. This occasion was the workshop of the Committee for Capacity Building (CCB) of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), in conjunction with the World Engineering Conference, to develop a Guidebook for Capacity Development.