"I'm not a complicated person; I live my life by simple truths," says Aligasen Naidu, President SAICE for 2010. Honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour are for Ali 'simple truths' in an era where such character traits often are sacrificed on the road to power and profit. "I detest dishonesty in people... it's almost as if you've erected a stone wall in front of me when I realise that you have not been candid with me," he says with earnest conviction. Although reserved by nature Ali expresses himself without hesitation when it comes to matters of principle and other issues close to his heart. This was clear when he spoke to Lorraine Fourie about the highlights marking his professional and personal life.
The lecture was delivered at Cape Town in March 1975 by a past student who studied under Prof Snape during the period 1929 to 1931. It deals with the problems of range or surge action in harbours with particular reference to Table Bay and Los Angeles-Long Beach harbours and covers the use of physical models and the mathematical approach to ascertain oscillating characteristics of harbours. The motion of moored ships in waves is analysed and the source of long period waves which often occur in the ocean during occasions of range action is discussed.
There is a dire need for topographic modification : the present river systems will not be able to absorb the increased precipitation safely, as we saw in the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers in 2000. Obviously, major retention options will be needed to prevent such disasters from happening again. Terracing and reforestation of hillsides as done in Cape Verde are rare here. South Africa needs to recharge its groundwater considerably; it needs to protect its soil from parching and wind erosion. Environmental engineering is of critical importance, but the government is not willing to maintain the academic positions, established earlier with private donations, to provide such knowledge, in spite of the spectacular recent inflow of students to that field of specialisation.