An ECSA official said this to me: "With or without local engineering support, government is steaming ahead with its infrastructure plans. If the local engineering capacity is unable to respond and cooperate with government's plans, then they will seek help elsewhere. Like Cuba."
What is needed among the VAs (voluntary associations) is something to galvanise the minds of our members, something to rally around. We need to build a convincing argument if we want to be taken seriously.
"Building our cement operations from the ground up has taught us more than just the technicalities of constructing a plant. It has entrenched a camaraderie in our people, a certainty that nothing would get in the way of us entering the market," says Pieter Fourie, Chief Executive of Sephaku Cement.
The November 2012 edition of our magazine was the fourth attempt at presenting the formidable network of engineering bodies that SAICE liaises with on behalf of its members. Again the response from our readers was so encouraging that we decided to continue publishing an updated version every year. For this year we have updated the information where necessary, and where possible, and retained the list of all the tertiary institutions in South Africa where civil engineering can be studied (this list seems to be very popular with our readers).
The engineering profession approached government in the 1960s to request legislation to regulate the profession. The result was that the South African Council for Professional Engineers (SACPE) was established in 1969.
The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is a statutory body established in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No 46 of 2000) (EPA). This Act supersedes the Acts of 1990 and 1968 and progressively extended ECSA's scope beyond the original purpose, namely to regulate professional engineers. ECSA and its predecessor have thus regulated engineering practice for more than forty years.
The history of SAICE's international involvement is worth repeating briefly.
The Institution's networking on an international level took off in 1994 during the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) convention in Atlanta when a SAICE delegation was invited to attend the annual ASCE International Round Table. During that visit SAICE's President and Executive Director at the time, Brian Bruce and Dawie Botha respectively, not only had the opportunity to network with engineering institutions from across the world, but for the first time ever they met African colleagues. They returned inspired and eager to start an African Round Table, similar to the ASCE model. From this idea sprung the Africa Engineers Forum (AEF) as it was known until recently (now SAFEO - see page 35). During subsequent years ASCE and SAICE have liaised on various matters and have developed a strong and fruitful relationship that benefits both institutions. Other relationships with other international engineering bodies followed, to the extent that SAICE is today not only contributing meaningfully to the world engineering scene, but receiving international visitors on a regular basis, all to the benefit of SAICE's members. In addition, those first steps into the global engineering village created the platform for a strong African voice and led to SAICE being utilised by a number of organisations and initiatives to roll out internationally funded programmes on behalf of the then AEF, also to the benefit of the South African Development Community (SADC).
The use of composite lining systems, along with overlying and in some cases underlying drainage or leachate collection and/or monitoring systems, is an accepted international practice being legislated in many countries. South Africa has developed standards based on a 1980 philosophy which allowed a range of standards varying from containment to attenuation of pollution. However the substantial change in legislation from the mid-1990s is bringing South Africa in line with international practice.
This article explores barrier durability, and practicality issues of heat effects during construction and service life on performance. Consequently it describes a system which allows for post-construction hydration of clay components and barrier service life performance security, and reports on an evaluation of the system's ability to mitigate degradation, desiccation and diffusion effects of heat on barriers.
Quality control of foundation plays an important role in achieving a reliable deep foundation element. Currently, the most commonly used methods of foundation integrity verification are indirect tests involving acoustic wave propagation, such as the Pulse Echo Method (Pile Integrity Testing or PIT) and Cross-hole Sonic Logging (CSL). More recently, Thermal Integrity Profiling (TIP) has been garnering significant attention from foundation engineering professionals.
This article describes the use of CSL during the construction of the new Tete Bridge over the Zambezi River in Mozambique (Figure 1). CSL identified anomalies in two of the piles tested, PP1A and PP1D. These anomalies were evaluated to determine their depth, size and extent relative to the cross-section of the piles. Core samples were later obtained to confirm the existence of defects, and corrective action was taken.
South Africa's largest sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) and permeable paving project to date was completed in August at a new Cape Town shopping centre, Blue Route Mall. Located in Tokai and spanning some 45 000 m2 of combined parking and drainage area, the development complies with the City's Management of Urban Stormwater Impacts Policy, which aims to reduce the negative impact of impermeable surfaces on aquatic ecosystems.
Plastics SA, the umbrella body representing the local plastics industry (including polymer producers and importers, converters, machine suppliers and recyclers), has just released the plastics recycling figures for the past year (2012).
To conduct a proper arbitration in civil engineering construction there must be a 'dispute' capable of being formulated at the time of its declaration, and an appointment of an arbitrator in terms of the legal nexus between the parties. The arbitrator's appointment is a statutory appointment, he/she must observe certain rules and the award has specific requirements which must be met. This briefly to ensure that the arbitration complies with the Act and that, if the award is taken on review, the award will be upheld by the High Court.
Consulting engineering firms appear to be faced with the same skills shortages as related industries, mining and construction. According to Philip Barnard, Human Resources Executive at leading consulting engineering firm, GIBB, the real challenge lies at mid-level positions.
Mobile crane hire company Johnson Crane Hire has taken delivery of a Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 750-ton mobile hydraulic crane - the biggest mobile hydraulic crane in its fleet and one of only two cranes of this size to be put into operation in South Africa to date.
The Higher Education Qualification Framework (HEQF) of 2007 enables articulation of programmes, as well as inter-transfer of students across programmes and from one Institution to another. This ensures that students can study from different Institutions at different times for the same qualification. Thus, it provides a single national coordinated higher education system. However, just like many other frameworks, concerns have been raised about the number, nature and purposes of the qualification types as set out in the HEQF, and whether they meet the national policy goals and objectives.