In recent weeks I seem to have lost my compass. In a modern capitalist culture where time is money and passion is the fuel of purpose, the losing of one's compass is a dreadful thing. My rudder works fine, but it is in a submissive, unidirectional position at this stage, evoked by nothing, surrendered to the billowing to take me somewhere - I am not sure where. I used to know. It's depressing.
A concrete solution which includes 12 500 m3 of AfriSam readymix with a high cementitious content will ensure the optimum durability of the civils structures being constructed by Murray & Roberts Infrastructure on an upgrade contract on the strategically vital N4 toll road connecting South Africa with Mozambique.
EnviroServ Uganda (ESU) has established a hazardous waste landfill on a 44 hectare plot of land located in the Nyamasoga village in the Hoima district of Uganda. The site, which was officially inaugurated on 23 April 2015, was strategically chosen to be close to the exploratory oil drilling blocks on Lake Albert, as well as in close proximity of a future proposed oil refinery site. The expected waste stream will initially be stabilised drilling mud cuttings, drilling fluids and other stabilised hazardous waste. The site may in future receive other industrial waste and waste from the proposed oil refinery.
Globally the need for sustainable waste management solutions is increasing and South Africa is no exception, with many of its landfill sites under pressure. In Tshwane, for instance, a number of landfills are under strain and already many have closed or will be closing in the next few years.
Exxaro Matla's high-tech 10 Mℓ/day water treatment plant (WTP) - the Robert Clarke WTP - which is situated 20 km west of Kriel in the Matla mining complex of Mpumalanga, was officially launched recently. The progressive plant was built by South African company Prentec - a leader in water treatment technology - and forms part of Exxaro's group-wide conservation plan which aligns with the South African National Water Resource Strategy.
The concrete construction industry depends on environmentally demanding processes, such as mass consumption of energy and raw materials, and extensive transportation, thereby contributing significantly to global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Globally, Portland cement production emitted 932 million metric tons of CO2 (MtCO2) in 2002, i.e. approximately 7% of all stationary CO2 sources. Typical emission rates between 1995 and 2005 varied from 0.6 to 1.0 kg of CO2 per kg of Portland cement. While alternatives to Portland cement exist, such as blended cements or low CO2-emitting cements, the demand for Portland cement continues to increase. In the production of 1 000 kg of Portland cement, 125 ℓ of fossil fuel and 118 kWh of electricity are consumed.
At the end of 2007, CEF Sustainability (Pty) Ltd, appointed by the Central Energy Fund with complimentary funding from the Norwegian Government, commissioned a study with the aim of evaluating hydroelectric potential around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM), focusing on the extraction of hydro-energy from existing infrastructure. The field investigation and the compilation of a prefeasibility study were conducted by a consortium comprising Energy and Water Resources Engineering (project management and hydropower), NNJ Technologies (electromechanical equipment), AfriCoast Engineers (transformers and transmission) and Sustainable Transactions CC (environmental reporting). From the outset of the investigation the water supply infrastructure components of the Orange-Fish-Sundays Water Transfer Scheme (O-F-S WTS) and several other water supply impoundments, such as the Kouga, Impofu and Churchill dams and the Loerie Balancing Dam, were listed in the Baseline Report of 2008.
The accurate measuring of flow in rivers is essential for optimal utilisation of the surface water resources in South Africa. Long-term hydrological records containing the characteristic parameters of change and variability are required for the effective management and conservation of scarce water resources. The runoff from catchments is measured by using gauging structures in rivers and at dams. In South African rivers, the use of compound gauging weirs is common due to the large variation in flows. This allows for accurate measuring of discharge in a river section at low and high flow rates (Wessels & Rooseboom 2009).
In February 2015 the rumours started doing the rounds that South Africa was faced with an imminent total shutdown of all its generating capacity, which would plunge the country into darkness for two weeks. It was so bad that Bruce Whitfield on Radio 702 was asking every CEO who came on air what provisions they had made to keep their businesses running during this period, without understanding that to keep a business running is more than just a backup generator and a supply of fuel. Not once was it asked, "Do you have sufficient supply of water? Where are you going to dispose of your wastewater (as the sewer system is likely to rapidly block without constant water flows)? How will you secure yourself against the majority of the population who now lack access to the very basic necessity of life, water?" The last question is obviously of immense interest to the water and sanitation sector, as we are the ones responsible for supplying that necessity and, as it must also be remembered, we supply the water to the power stations that is used in the generation of electricity.
The sector is, therefore, very likely to face these questions from concerned politicians. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to help the sector understand the risks it faces so as to ensure water security and that resources are not unnecessarily diverted away from the essential day to day operations.
One hundred years ago South Africa, as part of the British Empire, was at war with Germany. The first objective of the Union Defence Force was to take control of German South-West Africa (GSWA, today Namibia). A part of this offensive was to bridge the gap between the two national railway systems, from Prieska in South Africa to Kalkfontein (today Karasburg) in GSWA. This was a daunting challenge delegated to a newly formed South African Railways (SAR) and was executed successfully under trying conditions. This article (the final in the three part series) describes the construction of the rail link between Upington and Kalkfontein. After bridging the Orange River at Upington (see Part 2), the laying of track through an arid, barren Kalahari encountered similar, equally serious problems as the initial rail section from Prieska to Upington (see Part 1). (Parts 1 and 2 of this series appeared in the March and May 2015 editions of Civil Engineering.)
South Africa is a water-scarce country and it is essential that heavy industries such as mining and wastewater treatment conserve this precious resource. Environmental solutions company I-CAT promotes water efficiency by continuing to develop the latest technology and solutions for its clients.
Safripol is the recognised leader in South Africa in the supply of premium, world-class PE100 high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grades which are used in pressure pipes for water conservation and delivery, waste management, and mining and gas applications. Safripol uses its unique polymerisation technology, polymer expertise, global alliances and application know-how to develop ground-breaking solutions to meet the needs of the growing HDPE pressure pipe market. Safripol adds value to South Africa's water conservation efforts by converting valuable natural resources into high-value petrochemicals and plastics. These in turn are used to create innovative, engineered pipe solutions that are leak-tight and perform long-term, with reduced maintenance costs when compared to more traditional pipe materials such as steel and concrete.
Effective dust suppression has become increasingly important in order to comply with environmental, health and safety legislation. Numerous industries are looking for cost-effective and environmentally safe solutions in order to comply with air quality regulations, and more specifically with the National Dust Regulations of 2013.
The knowledge base software development team pride themselves on developing software which is 'built by engineers for engineers'. But what does this tagline mean and what sort of software tools does a consulting engineer really want?
When I think of David - who sadly passed away in April 2015 - I think of a man who displayed some of the most admired qualities: integrity, honesty, steadfastness, loyalty, decency and modesty (he was even too modest to write a CV which would only have done justice to his work).
The idea came from talking about our futures in our final-year civil engineering design room, and discussing whether or not we should apply for a job. We both decided not to go working, but to rather become entrepreneurs and find a business model around advanced technology and civil engineering.
We were inspired by techno-entrepreneurs like the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk. They applied their technical backgrounds to business, thereby causing a 'disruptive' stir in the respective industries.