It is a misnomer that engineers are poor communicators. Sure we can do with a little more animation and expression, but I have found that we are obnoxiously clear and concise in both the written and spoken word. We have certainly mastered articulation in cantankerous pessimism - complaining.
At the end of 2006, SAICE released the first ever Infrastructure Report Card (IRC). It examined nine broad categories of public infrastructure, broken down into 21 sub-sectors including everything from water and sanitation to commercial harbours, roads and airports. Grading each sub-sector on a scale from A (excellent) to E (failed), it gave South Africa's infrastructure an overall grade of D+, slightly worse than 'fit for purpose'.
As bags and bulk delivery of Sephaku's cement become available at select South African retailers, many might wonder what to expect from Sephaku Cement. Pieter Fourie, chief executive of the company, says the short answer is that they are "people who deliver".
Stanford Mkhacane was inaugurated as SAICE's new president on 13 February at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, surrounded by warm support from SAICE members, family and friends. This stellar event saw Stanford deliver an inspiring and motivating speech, pinpointing strategies to further forward Civilution. With his vision and contemplative nature Stanford is destined to bring civil engineering to all, particularly to those in the remote and marginalised areas of our country.
It is with great pleasure that I accept the SAICE presidency for 2014, and I pledge my willingness to honour the responsibilities attached to this esteemed position. I have chosen as the topic for my address, Taking civil engineering to the remote and marginalised areas of South Africa and beyond - forward with Civilution, which is motivated by my background and the need to uplift marginalised areas, as well as by the Civilution theme that we are driving at SAICE. One of my uncles, after I told my family of my presidency, asked whether it means that I will be enjoying similar privileges to those enjoyed by President Zuma and other presidents, and I said yes, but to a different scale.
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.
Growing up in Zimbabwe with an obsession for mathematics and physics, Alphose Zingoni, Professor of Structural Engineering and Mechanics in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town, chose to study civil engineering for the opportunity to apply these disciplines, particularly in the form of much needed technological solutions for the people of Africa.
The Joint Structural Division (JSD) is a joint initiative of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) based in London. The Division currently has some 1 731 active members, of whom 322 are IStructE members. There are another 34 IStructE members in the immediately surrounding countries with whom we also correspond.
The public assume that buildings and bridges are safe, and they have confidence in the people who design, build and maintain them. The public are also confident that high standards are set and guarded by vigilant authorities. When there is a collapse the consequences are catastrophic for all concerned, and it is of immense value to identify why failures have occurred and to work towards preventing future failures.
That is the reason why Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS) was established in 2005 in the United Kingdom. In South Africa the CROSS-SA website was created and launched recently. For structural engineering practitioners this is of extreme importance.
ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa) has in recent years published a competency standard which defines the competence required for registration as a professional engineer (see R-02-PE). In terms of this standard, competence must be demonstrated within "complex engineering activities". ECSA's Guide to the Competency Standards for Registration as a Professional Engineer (R-08-PE) suggests that "competence" is "the possession of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform the activities within the professional category to the standards expected in independent employment or practice."
The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 1977 (Act 103 of 1977) is the enabling Act under which the National Building Regulations (NBRs) are made. Section 17 of the Act establishes the framework within which the Minister may make regulations. This framework deals mainly with administrative matters, the protection of property and the general safety, health and convenience of the public in so far as they relate to the erection of buildings, and of users and occupiers of buildings. An expansive interpretation of the Act in the light of the Constitution has enabled regulations relating to environmental sustainability to be made.
During the Eurocode summit held on 8 February 2008, organised by the SAICE Joint Structural Division (JSD) and hosted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on their campus in Tshwane, the benefits for adopting Eurocodes in South Africa were highlighted. The summit was attended by representatives of major stakeholders in the materials, design and construction industries in South Africa.
On the evening of Sunday 2 October 2011 a tornado caused devastation in a section of Duduza, on the East Rand, resulting in major damage to infrastructure and houses. In an attempt to identify structural and building defects to be avoided in the provision of future housing, Fred Crofts in this article reports on the damage observed as a result of nature's wide-scale 'destructive testing'.
BIM can be defined as the creation of cross-disciplinary, coordinated 3D models, incorporating 3D objects that can be presented across synchronised 2D drawings. BIM software is database driven, so objects can be counted and ordered, and they act as placeholders for relationships for any amount of data that we might attach to them.
The power of BIM lies in being able to understand and connect information, so that it can be presented as an intelligent model. BIM has moved us from just representing an object on a page to knowing what sits behind that object. It is a powerful tool that can act as an integrator of several aspects of engineering and architectural design, including building utilisation.
The 32nd Steel Awards event, hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC), was held towards the end of last year. These awards recognise excellence in the use of structural steel, and the 2013 entries were of a particularly high standard. In this article we present the winners and commendations.
Herewith the second chapter of our new series that will comprise nine or ten chapters. This résumé of the development of transport infrastructure in South Africa is not intended to be a comprehensive one, but by airing the subject readers might be encouraged to participate and add additional value to an understanding of this facet of our history. Chapter 1 appeared on page 35 of the January/February 2014 edition.
Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development company providing engineering, management consulting, development financing and advisory services, has enabled a team of South African graduates and learners to help uplift their counterparts in Botswana through the company's presence at the Palapye waterworks pipeline project.
The Civilution Congress 2014 - Engineers in Revolution - is a time to bring back engineering excellence, ethical business practice and sustainable solutions, aligning the private sector with government's aspirations for a better South Africa where engineers must reclaim their role in the government's proposed R3 trillion infrastructure development strategy. We will act in solidarity to charter the direction of our profession and engineer socioeconomic advancement and economic competitiveness.