Business, like water, is lazy and cowardly. Both gravitate via paths of least resistance, finding gaps and loopholes, weaknesses and fissures, to achieve their ends. But one to acquire its moksha, and the other to acquire socio-economic benefit - economic nirvana.
SAICE is an eminent organisation and it was a singular honour to serve as president over the past year. What makes SAICE great is its members and the passion and commitment with which they participate in furthering the art of civil engineering. Th is is enhanced by the hard work of the staff who work long hours to keep the wheels turning.
In the Little Drakensberg, just outside Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme (IPSS) is under construction for power utility ESKOM - 116 storeys underground! Under the supervision of Royal HaskoningDHV (formerly SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants in joint venture) construction is progressing on this R30 billion project which will increase South Africa's energy generating capacity during peak demand periods.
At a festive dinner on 11 October SAICE presented the finalists of this year's excellent project entries and announced the winners in the various categories. Individual awards were also made on the evening, much to the delight of the recipients and the audience alike!
The R230 million multi-purpose Kraaifontein Waste Management Facility (KWMF) is the first large-scale 'green-fields' refuse transfer station (1 000 tonnes/day) in South Africa that is integrated with a mechanised materials recovery facility (100 tonnes/day), receiving co-mingled recyclables separated and collected at source. As a fully integrated waste management facility it also encompasses a public drop-off, a greens management facility, offices, a workshop, wash-bays and provision for future 'energy-from-waste' technologies.
A train derailment in September 2010 caused part of the original Brakspruit Bridge between Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa to collapse. Through the application of sound engineering principles, teamwork and sheer determination a temporary structure was designed and built in just five weeks, returning the line to service. During the preliminary design stage for the replacement structure, the option of constructing a new bridge adjacent to the existing one was considered, but discounted due to the scarcity of fill material for the new approach embankments. An innovative new structural system was then designed using established technology that eliminated any further disruption to the train service. The permanent structure was completed safely, and in an environmentally sensitive manner within budget and programme despite challenging circumstances.
Paarl, the largest town within the Drakenstein Municipality area, purchases approximately 95% of its water supply from the City of Cape Town, which is relatively expensive.
An existing water supply scheme included the Nantes and Bethel bulk storage dams on Paarl Mountain, as well as the infrastructure to supplement the natural run-off to the dams with the municipality's allocation of water from the Berg River.
The Mvoti River Pipe Bridge Crossing is an important component of the Umgeni Water North Coast Bulk Water Supply Project. The strategic bulk conveyance system between Ballito and KwaDukuza, comprising large diameter steel pipelines, is necessary to ensure security of supply by meeting the present and projected future water demand requirements in the North Coast area of KwaZulu-Natal.
With Pietermaritzburg being the capital of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, it had become necessary to upgrade the city's airport. The airport had lost popularity over time due to growing dissatisfaction with the level of aircraft comfort, perceptions of unreliability, diversions to Durban and some fears about safety. The ailing airport experienced a 25% decline in passenger numbers from 2006 to 2009.
The upgrade (to the value of R40 million) of this Category 4 airport took place over a three-year period and was funded by the KZN Provincial Treasury. One of the major elements in this project was the rehabilitation of the airport's runway.
The University of the Free State (UFS) needed to enlarge its facilities to cater for the growing number of students, and in particular required new buildings for its Economic and Management Sciences Department. The structural and civil designs were awarded to GIBB and Cas Kempff Raadgewende Ingenieurs as a joint venture. The full project entailed two tower blocks of lecture theatres, consulting rooms and a separate 800-seat auditorium.
The Markgraaff Pedestrian Bridge in Bloemfontein is visible confirmation that steel can be used to create a unique and innovative structure that is functional and aesthetically pleasing, despite a limited budget. Combining technical expertise and creative thinking, the project team constructed a slender steel bridge of individual character, which displays standard sections, and complements its surrounding environment. Positioned at the gateway to the Bloemfontein CBD, the unbraced steel network arches of the 31 m long main span have become a point of proud reference for the client and the community alike.
The Zibambele Poverty Alleviation Programme is run by eThekwini's Roads and Stormwater Maintenance (RSM) Department. Zibambele is a poverty alleviation programme which targets destitute women-headed households, mainly in the rural areas. The purpose of the programme is to provide essential road maintenance and other labour-intensive activities, in return for a monthly payment. Over time the programme has matured into a very significant employer of mainly unskilled and otherwise unemployable labour, reaching into every corner of the municipality.
The City of Cape Town realised that unsatisfactory maintenance conditions prevailed in their housing stock of 43 500 units, which provides accommodation to approximately 340 000 people in the Cape metropolis. The buildings were dilapidated, had structural problems, were poorly maintained, had no security and the communal areas between the flats were not conducive to recreation and social interaction. Overall, the appalling state of the living environments of thousands of people was contributing to serious social ills such as gangsterism, drug usage and the total lack of community pride.
Goba (Pty) Ltd were appointed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) as consulting engineers for Phase 2 of the construction of the KwaMsane community access roads and pedestrian facilities. The roads, which are in the Mtubatuba Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, are situated adjacent to National Route 2 Section 30 near Mtubatuba. The project included the upgrading of three access roads, namely the western collector, the eastern collector and the N2 underpass (which connects the western and eastern collectors) from an existing heavily fatigued gravseal surfaced road to a continuously reinforced concrete (CRC) pavement.