I implore you to appoint professional engineers, professional technologists and professional technicians in appropriate levels of your departments. The National Development Plan and the aspirations for an improved South Africa centre around efficient infrastructure development and its economical operation and maintenance.
Civilution is a call to do things differently. We have an urgent and pressing need to provide services and infrastructure. We have a growing skills and capacity shortage in delivering services and infrastructure. Our current model of project delivery is cumbersome, slow, unpredictable, has too many interfaces and is all too often open to challenge and even corruption.
Stefanutti Stocks has been contracted by Kumba Iron Ore for the construction of a new haul truck and tyre workshop, with all the associated support facilities. The work is being executed on a multi-disciplinary basis at the Sishen Iron Ore Mine for the Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) at Kathu in the Northern Cape.
When rock blasting is required for construction projects, the technique has a critical influence on overall project progress and costs. Lack of understanding of the discipline leads to unfortunate outcomes, either through excessive constraints on the operation, or else the adoption of cheap, inappropriate technology. In general, blasting systems used for mining are inappropriate for tight control of breaking, and for protection of sensitive structures. In addition, the general inability on a construction site to permit frequent or large-scale blasting operations limits productivity and asset utilisation relative to the volume of rock. Further, the tendency to specify "ultra-safe" vibration limits for blasting, results in unnecessarily slow and expensive progress.
As a saturated sample of soil is allowed to air-dry, the soil sample will reach the shrinkage limit condition where the total volume of the soil skeleton no longer shrinks due to drying. Air entry into the soil pores occurs at this shrinkage limit, and the colour of the soil sample changes from a shiny dark colour to a dusty dry appearance. The total volume of the soil sample can be measured at the shrinkage limit by immersion of the dry sample in mercury. The mass of the displaced mercury provides a measure of the total volume of the dry soil sample. However, the use of mercury can be dangerous. This article describes methods for estimating the shrinkage limit which do not use mercury.
The Mount Edgecombe Interchange on the N2 Section 26, Durban, is one of the largest interchange projects in South Africa. The design of this interchange posed additional project management challenges compared to those encountered in smaller projects. This article aims to discuss the way in which these challenges were overcome to achieve the successful completion of the design.
An ambitious project by FibreCo Telecommunications to install approximately 1 000 km of fibre optic infrastructure in 12 months has proved successful due to effective planning and resourcing from the very early stages, as well as an inclusive problem-solving approach by the implementing team.
This short article details a unique solution whereby low fines concrete drainage piles are used to facilitate a predicted one-month consolidation period. In addition, basal reinforcement spanning over pile caps was used to ensure sufficient load capacity at the base of the high tip wall with the piles additionally utilised in shear to ensure localised slope stability.
The Lotus River originates from a stormwater retention pond in the Cape Town Airport Industria area alongside the N2. The river flows south through Gugulethu, Ottery and Grassy Park where it discharges into False Bay via the Zeekoevlei Wetland (an approximate 19 km stretch of river). The canal is an excavated channel which was constructed in the 1950s to accommodate the increased runoff due to post-war development in the Cape Flats, and has for the most part been formalised. Further urbanisation, combined with the reduced availability of land, has resulted in more communities finding they are living in the flood plain. Bergstan has been involved in the upgrades immediately downstream of the N2 to the Edith Stevens Wetland and detention pond, which restricts flow downstream. The primary intention of the recent upgrades was to accommodate a 1:50 year storm event, and to ensure that residents no longer reside within this flood line.
Work on the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme - one of the largest and most exciting projects under construction in South Africa at present - is gaining momentum now that the mining operations have been completed. Excavation of the two 91 m high by 22.4 m diameter underground surge chambers was recently completed.
Ingula, located between Ladysmith and Harrismith in the Little Drakensberg, is a 1 332 MW project for power utility Eskom. The project will increase South Africa's energy generating capacity during peak demand periods. Ingula consists of an upper and lower dam with an elevation difference of approximately 480 m, a powerhouse situated in two large underground caverns excavated in mudrock and housing four 333 MW Francis-type turbines, approximately 6.5 km of connecting tunnels/waterways, 3 km of access tunnels and a number of ventilation shafts.
Droughts and floods are distinct features of the Eastern Cape climate. For some years climatologists have predicted that the Southern and Eastern Cape are likely to experience more frequent floods, while the Western Cape is expected to become dryer. The magnitude and frequency of flooding in parts of the Eastern Cape indeed bear testimony to these changing weather patterns.
The use of terms like project management, construction management and other related terminology has certainly been on the rise in the construction and civil engineering industries in recent years. Post-graduate and crash courses in project management are a dime a dozen and every second person's business card sports a project management title. In an ideal world and ideal industry, this would be a good indication of how engineering projects are being managed. However, experience shows that this project management trend is not yet reflected adequately in actual projects. The Construction Business Owner magazine made reference to the BizMiner industry analysis report in May 2007 which reported that, of the 850 029 contractors that were operating in 2004 in the USA, only 649 602 were still operational in 2006, only two years later. The same article stated that 36.8% of construction businesses close down within one year. The USA's census data for the period 1989-2002 showed that the average failure rate of construction industry associated businesses is almost 2% higher than the average rate for all other industries. The article pinned all of this to poor project and risk management. A KPMG report in New Zealand (2010) stated, after a survey of 100 businesses across various industries, that 70% of them had suffered a complete project failure in the previous 12 months. In 2008 IBM surveyed 1 500 companies and found that only 40% of projects met schedule, budget and quality targets.
The prestigious Fulton Awards are made every two years by the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA), and SAICE's president of that year is traditionally one of the judges (this year Peter Kleynhans had the honour). The 2013 winners were announced recently, and many of our readers will undoubtedly recognise the particular projects that they have been involved in.
In this article an attempt is made to illustrate the civil liability of the design engineer. The point of departure will be to ascertain how civil liability is founded in our law. Jurisprudence currently recognises two fields of liability, namely contractual and/or delictual. In order to highlight this, several actual cases are studied and summarised.
"Concrete floors on the ground account for the majority of problems dealt with by the technical staff at The Concrete Institute," says Managing Director, Bryan Perrie.
According to Perrie the problems encountered can be grouped into three main categories: surface defects, joint defects and structural defects. Within each of these categories different defects can be identified. An analysis of these defects was carried out to determine why they occur, and six primary reasons were identified.
Heavy lifts, by their very nature, are the source of numerous safety risks. The ability to execute a heavy lift in a safe, yet time-sensitive manner is achieved through a combination of procedural excellence, experience, expertise and top quality resources. With 36 years of extensive experience in many varied applications and industries, Johnson Crane Hire has earned its stripes as a heavy lift specialist.
The inspiration of Civilution seems to be occupying that subliminal space in the minds and consciences of our engineers. Have you constructed your own definition and aspirations? Have you considered your role in the revolution?