ISO 6707-2 defines conditions of contract as "terms that collectively describe the rights and obligations of contracting parties and the agreed procedures for the administration of their contract; or document containing conditions of contract".
A standard form of contract, or standard contract, is a contract between two parties that is published by an authoritative industry body with fixed terms and conditions which are deemed to be agreed and are not subject to further negotiation or amendment.
Dr Martin Barnes, the originator of the NEC Engineering and Construction Contract, in his Smeaton Lecture (1999), pointed out that virtually no civil engineering was carried out in the UK after the Romans left until the seventeenth century; the two notable major works being the Exeter Ship Canal (1567) and the drainage of the Fens. This all changed between the 1760s and the 1850s. John Smeaton, who is often regarded as the founder of civil engineering and whose largest project was the Forth and Clyde Canal linking the East side of Scotland to the West, developed his approach to managing works.
The export jetty at Kenmare's Mineral Sands Mine in Moma, northern Mozambique, required upgrading. The jetty is used to load mineral products onto a transhipment barge, which transports the product to bulk carriers anchored in deeper waters. This facility therefore forms an essential part of the mine's operations, and the upgrading works had to be performed without limiting on-going export operations.
All the time we learn more about how climate change will affect our physical environment. The first UN African meeting on climate change in October 2011 in Addis Ababa was a wake-up call for many participants about the considerable impacts they would have to face in their respective countries. At the University of the Witwatersrand we subsequently received a number of queries about how South Africa is going about addressing this issue, and whether the University would be able to offer advice on how to plan effectively.
Water services in South Africa are in a crisis, despite the government spending billions of Rands on the improvement of water services in the country. Regrettably, the government and the communities are not receiving value for the money spent. As was experienced recently in some areas of South Africa (Delmas, Mpumalanga, Durban area), drinking water became a source of infectious diseases, such as diarrhoea and cholera.
The inadequacies of our drinking water supply systems create very serious problems which require urgent attention by the authorities and the water professional industry. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the reasons is that most of the municipalities do not enter into a proper and effective contract with their consulting engineers, which results in the appointment of unskilled consultants. Another reason is the lack of adequately knowledgeable and competent water purification specialists among consulting engineers. Yet another very important reason is the lack of a good standard for drinking water quality (DWQ).
Road maintenance remains a challenge with increasing usage as businesses and communities expand over time. This article focuses on the maintenance of gravel roads, which are often neglected in terms of fund availability, as they are viewed as low priority roads within a given road network. In the South African context each province is mandated to maintain its road network, thereby ensuring safe conditions for all users.
The question of copyright arises in almost every design, drawing or document prepared by the design professional in the execution of a consulting assignment for his or her client, and it is not always made clear who owns the copyright in the created work - the design professional or the client. Over the past 20 years there has been a significant shift to the 'design and build' approach, where the construction contractor undertakes the design and the construction of the project, for operation by the owner / employer. Again it is not always clear who owns the copyright. When the question is asked the response is invariably that, having paid for the design, the ownership of the copyright vests in the client in the case of the design professional, or the employer in the 'design and build' contract. This is not correct. Ownership of copyright in most countries is governed by legislation. In South Africa this is the Copyright Act of 1978. The implications of the Act for design professionals and construction contractors are explained in this article.
Plato said that knowledge was justified true belief - in other words, in order to 'know', one simply has to believe that something is real and be able to justify it with sufficient conviction for it to be so.
Former City Engineer of Cape Town, Johannes Gerhardus (Jan) Brand, has passed away in Sydney.
He was born in Mossel Bay on the Ides of March (15 March) in 1925. Educated at the dual-medium (English and Afrikaans) Point High School in the town, he obtained a first class Senior Certificate, and won a scholarship to study at the University of Cape Town, graduating with a BSc (civil engineering) in 1946.