Is the improvement of infrastructure service delivery dependent on a strategically integrated approach that tackles all components of infrastructure engineering, or is it a determined effort to repair one vital section of the chain, which commands the remaining components into alignment? I believe the second less frenetic option is more appealing.
The SAICE Infrastructure Report Card for South Africa 2011 was officially launched on 5 April at SAICE House in Midrand. This report on the current condition of infrastructure assets is a collective opinion provided by civil engineering professionals at the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) in the manner of "expert witness". In 2006 SAlCE released the first ever Infrastructure Report Card (IRC) on the state of engineering infrastructure in South Africa. The report highlighted "the observations of the professionals responsible for the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of our nation's life-support system". Overall, it gave the nation's infrastructure a D+ grade. The 2011 report is an up-to-date assessment of infrastructure in South Africa. Given the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and the projects that were developed around it, the IRC has arrived at the appropriate time. SAICE is uniquely placed to do the report because its membership is drawn from all sectors of the civil engineering community, i.e. all tiers of government, the private sector designers and constructors, suppliers of equipment and materials, and even suppliers of finance. The Institution views this as its responsibility and duty: to report and engage constructively and without hesitation to the benefit of South African society. Leadership requires that we act not simply as a tool to fulfil society's demands, but also to advise society on the wisdom and sustainability of its requirements so that the prosperity, and indeed survival, of future generations is not further compromised.
The Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme broadly consists of two dams and an interconnecting tunnel network that will eventually generate 1 400 megawatts of hydroelectricity. Bedford Dam is a mass gravity earth/rockfill design with concrete cladding on the upstream side. Bedford is situated on the Free State escarpment and is more than 400 m higher than the Bramhoek Dam situated in KwaZulu-Natal. The bottom dam (Bramhoek) is a mass-gravity rollcrete concrete dam situated in the Bramhoek spruit.
The railway line between the Simonstown and Fish Hoek train stations is protected by sea walls which were constructed almost a century ago. In order to protect the railway line, concrete sleepers were placed in front of these walls during the 1970s. Over the last five years this intervention has been shown to be inadequate and an engineered solution was required over limited critical sections of the line. The November 2009 storms resulted in sections of the sea wall failing after being severely undermined. Passenger train operations were halted on the line in December 2009 due to public safety being compromised. After a design, procurement and stakeholder engagement process the necessary rehabilitation work was undertaken and completed in February 2011. Normal train operations were restored on 21 February 2011, the construction works having been completed within budget and within an acceptable time-frame.
Infrastructure, whether it be for electricity supply, water supply or transport, is any country's most expensive asset without which the country will die economically. We have seen infrastructure deteriorating steadily all over Africa, and so have their economies - the link is undeniable. We are seeing the same happening here in South Africa with power shortages, unexpected power cuts, deteriorating road infrastructure, reports of contaminated water, poor service from the railways. The list goes on.
The multi-billion rand Gautrain rapid rail link has been designed to traverse some 80 km linking the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Sandton. The leg between Pretoria Station and Centurion Station crosses an area known as Snake Valley. This area has never been developed as a residential township due in part to the underlying dolomitic substrate. A number of sinkholes have occurred in this vicinity and in 2006 a sinkhole event led to the temporary closure and realignment of the N14 national highway which runs through the area.
Murray and Roberts Marine (MRM) recently installed a 900 mm diameter HDPE pipeline, equalling the biggest HDPE pipeline ever installed on the South African coastline, as part of the emergency desalination plant at Mossel Bay. MRM was awarded the contract for a 900 mm OD HDPE sea water intake pipe and a 630 mm OD HDPE brine discharge pipe to assist in providing the Mossel Bay Municipality and PetroSA with 15 Mℓ/day of potable water. The sea water intake pipeline totalled 920 m and the brine discharge section 730 m. MRM was tasked with the fabrication and installation of the two pipelines which included the design and construction of all temporary works, installation pipe stress analyses and buoyancy checks
Due to a growing demand for iron ore and the subsequent need to increase export capacity at Saldanha's iron ore facility, Transnet initiated an expansion plan to increase the capacity of the bulk terminal from 28 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 60 mtpa. This was done in three phases, with phase 1a increasing capacity to 36 mtpa, phase 1b to 45 mtpa and phase 1c to 60 mtpa (Figure 1).
The May 2010 edition of Civil Engineering carried an article on the Barbados Screwdock being the oldest surviving shiplift in the world. That article was based on information obtained in Barbados and on a survey of the currently derelict facility. The historical information available was restricted to information from and about the island. Since then further, significant information has come to my attention that needs to be placed on record. It turns out that the screwdock concept and the shiplift system was a uniquely American invention of the early 19th century. Judging by the surviving descriptions and the remnants of the Barbados Screwdock, it was an invention that displayed all the elegant simplicity, practicality and ingenuity of the time and place of its inception.
Nkomati Mine, a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals (Pty) Ltd and Norilsk Nickel Africa (Pty) Ltd, is an open pit and underground base metal and chrome operation located between the city of Nelspruit and the towns of Barberton, Machadodorp, Badplaas and Waterval-Boven in the beautiful Mpumalanga region. The area is well known for its numerous tourist attractions, such as trout fishing and wildlife reserves.
As the saying goes, "experience is what you get, just after the event when you really needed it" - which means that the spectacular journey through life will consist of lots of bumps and bruises, as we explore the outer reaches of our known boundaries and capabilities and discover new ways to test our personal relationship with gravity, frustrating financial realities, confusing relationship dynamics and the general physical and imposed laws governing everything in our known universe, except our mothers-in-law.
Transportation authorities around the world face difficult challenges when it comes to dealing with problems relating to rock fall along routes in hilly and mountainous terrain. Open cast mining operations are faced with similar situations.
The sky is the limit for local rope access company skyriders
The new Liebherr LHM 420 mobile harbour crane
Enviroserv breaks ground with new technology
Apex strip curtains stop cold air in its tracks
Atlas Copco certifies all its oil-free compressor technologies under new ISO 8573-1 2010 standard
The CMA - quality cast in concrete
Terraforce launches a vital service
First Green Star certified building in KZN
Connected to the sea by a narrow estuary, St Lucia lake is a shallow, generally saline water body situated on the sub-tropical east coast of northern Natal. The lake constitutes an internationally renowned nature reserve, rich in freshwater and marine flora and fauna. A popular tourist resort, it has greatappeal to naturalists and scientists.