Gautrain is creating a new and unprecedented legacy in public transport for the people of Gauteng.
Using the best commuter rail technology available in the world today, Gautrain will become the transport mode of choice for the upwardly mobile citizens of Gauteng. Providing an 80 km rapid rail link between three of the province's most vibrant economic metropoles - Ekurhuleni, Pretoria and Johannesburg - the 'Golden Train' will bring jobs to people and people to jobs.
A South African Government commission to investigate "what is needed to bring about a sustainable increase in spending on transport infrastructure" yielded conclusions about relationships between infrastructure provision and sources of investment that have implications beyond the borders of the country.
The Transportation Division of SAICE organised symposia in 2007, 2008 and 2009, linked to the annual South African Transport Conference (SATC ), at which information on the transportation planning, implementation and operation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was presented. The presenters included representatives of central and provincial government, the 2010 host cities, as well as other affected parties such as SARCC (now PRASA ), ACSA , FIFA/LOC, SANRAL and the Bombela Consortium (Gautrain). The purpose of the symposia was mainly to disseminate information and to improve coordination between the role players. Contact was made with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and in both 2007 and 2008, a representative from this Committee opened the symposia. In 2007, a presentation was made to the Portfolio Committee. The 2009 symposium was held on 9 July 2009, i.e. after the completion of the Confederations Cup, and substantial feedback from this event was provided.
Road infrastructure construction costs have spiralled over the past decade and the ability of the road authorities to secure funding for road network expansion has become increasingly difficult. Road authorities either have to prioritise improvement schemes and determine what can be done with the available funds and / or find the means to fund road improvement schemes. The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) currently being implemented by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) falls into the latter category. Transport models were used extensively for making decisions on what should be constructed and the affordability of the options. This article describes the various transportation / traffic model types and their uses. Some of the more important elements in the development and use of a strategic transport model are explained, with reference to the GFIP work.
Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, recently became the first city in Africa to implement a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. Termed a "BRT Lite" because of its more limited scope and design standards compared with full-specification BRTs (such as the touchstone, Bogota's TransMilenio), the Lagos system provides an opportunity for South Africans involved in planning and deploying BRT systems to take note of what has worked (and what has not) in African conditions. Key characteristics of the system are described here.
In June 2009 the City of Tshwane's BRT Project Office hosted a World Bank-led workshop on public transport restructuring. A highlight was the presentations made by colleagues from Nigeria on their experiences with implementing the "BRT Lite" system in Lagos. Listening to the enthusiastic endorsement of the system by the public transport union representatives - the people who turned from operating old, inefficient and poorly regulated minibuses and midibuses to being keen participants in introducing a new concept - it struck me that we in South Africa, busily driving our own BRT schemes, might sit up and take notice of a few things.
With consistent economic and population growth since the 1960s, urban sprawl has taken on massive proportions aided by the attraction of rural people to possible employment opportunities in towns and cities. Expansion of residential areas has been mainly by single-story dwellings which complicates both public transport (rail, bus, taxi, etc) and private transport (motor vehicles, motor bikes, bicycles, walking, etc).
The engineering process of setting speed limits is specialised and considers a wide array of factors, including the number of crashes, existing engineering interventions, types of vehicle, road users, vehicle volumes, modes of transport, road alignment, socio-economic and human factors, as well as the road environment in general. Fieldwick and De Beer (1988) emphasised that an urban speed limit is a necessary and effective road safety tool. Speed limits convey important information to drivers as to what the safe maximum speed is for a certain road considering the prevailing conditions. Roads have prescribed speed limits that fit the individual road's primary function. These limits are determined by considering the quality and type of road, the type and mix of road users and traffic, and the surrounding environment.
A modern new double-storey building welcomed soccer fans arriving at Doornfontein Station en route to Coca Cola Park (previously known as Ellis Park) in Johannesburg during the 2009 Confederations Cup. The Doornfontein railway station was one of the projects identified to be part of South Africa's infrastructure upgrade in time for next year's 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Banning labour brokers could negatively affect sectors such as infrastructure and telecommunications and could harm the economy. In an era of growing global unemployment - a trend which SA is at pains to counter - that would be a disastrous unintended consequence.
Service delivery (or the lack thereof) is currently the talk of town. It seems as if the new government has been taken by surprise by the recent uprisings so soon after the election. Government initially appeared confident that the economic crisis will not impact on government spending. In addition, there was a belief that the effects of the crisis would indeed be somewhat masked through increased government spending on infrastructure in the next two years. Reality, it seems, is turning out differently - we see capital budgets of government departments contracting and we see departments running out of funds barely five months into the new financial year. The service delivery crisis is thus a real crisis, as the means to deal with it is declining, while people are becoming more dependent on public services due to the deteriorating economic situation. It cannot be "business as usual" for government!
WSP develops revolutionary financial model for road upgrades
Upgrading National Route 10 Section 4
Software boosts road design efficiency
Sabita's outstanding achievement award for 2008 acknowledges new protocol for cooperation
Free-standing parking structures newly arrived in South Africa
Ultra-thin friction course proves a viable possibility for safety at South African airport runways
Buitengracht pedestrian bridge 2010
Transnet freight rail selects concrete masts for Sishen Saldanha electrical feeder line
George radar tower gets a lift
Nyeleti celebrates 10 years
Greater capacity within civil engineers' reach
On a very cold and wintry day in Johannesburg, the finals of the SAICE-DFC Centenary Schools Water Competition 2009 were held at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, with the Deputy-Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, officiating. This competition never fails to excite the teams, spectators and everybody involved!
When Graham Ross retired at the age of 69 one might have expected him to relax and enjoy doing nothing. Instead of which we find he earned his PhD at the age of 74, and then at the age of 79 authored The Romance of Cape Mountain Passes to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Institution, and this year, turning 85, he issued the 4th edition of Mountain Passes, Roads and Transportation in the Cape - a Guide to Research.