A REPUTABLE CIVIL engineer (Pr Eng, MSc Eng, MBL, FSAICE), with some 20 years of public and private sector work experience, attends a tender briefing meeting - dignified and portraying the ultimate professional in dress and demeanour. The Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) tender briefing starts half an hour late. The two hour long discussions are shabby. Our consultant stands for the entire duration of the meeting. While RAL scrambled 30 chairs into their atrium, 300 people are in attendance. Some have driven three hours to be there. Among the 300 are engineering professionals and at least one SAICE past president, and shady tenderpreneurs.
A STRATEGIC INVESTMENT in Shishalanga Construction by National Asphalt last year saw the addition of hydro cutting technology to the company's road-surfacing solutions. Sean Pretorius, managing director of National Asphalt, says that this cost-effective and environmentally friendly system for the repair and remediation of flushed bituminous pavements offers a number of significant advantages.
South Africa has been spending considerably less than half of the international benchmark for road construction and maintenance over the past decades. Between 1980 and 2004, the public sector share in gross domestic fixed capital formation in the South African economy declined dramatically, and as a result the maintenance backlog (2014) for national and provincial roads is estimated to be R197 billion.
Severe traffic congestion is experienced on freeways in most major cities of the world, and South Africa is no exception. Congestion has a negative effect on productivity, the running costs of vehicles, the time people spend with their families, as well as on the environment. Besides recurring congestion, which is normally experienced on weekdays during AM and PM traffic peaks, the occurrence of incidents such as crashes and stationary vehicles on freeways add further delays to travel times. The ability to detect, respond and normalise traffic flow on a freeway as efficiently as possible not only saves significant time and road user costs, but can also be the determining factor between life or death for those involved in serious freeway crashes, and the deterrence of further secondary incidents. The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), realising the increasing constraints on the provision of infrastructure to effectively manage its road network and improve road safety, investigated alternatives by focusing on operational issues in response to road users' needs.
The rehabilitation work on the existing pavements has prolonged the life of over 200 km of the Gauteng freeway network, thereby ensuring that the user does not incur constantly and rapidly increasing vehicle maintenance costs.
The Hatch Goba/RHDHV Joint Venture has completed the planning process and preliminary design for a section of the Durban Gauteng Corridor upgrade project, stretching from Paradise Valley, just west of Durban, to Cedara, north of Pietermaritzburg, for client SANRAL. Seen as the most important freight corridor in the country, the project has a design window up to 2047.
The fuel levy, a domestic transport cost component added to the basic fuel price, has long been South Africa's main source of income to fund the construction and maintenance of roads, as well as lend support to public transport. During the 2012/2013 financial year the fuel levy (which was ring-fenced for the provision of road infrastructure from 1935 to 1988) contributed R40.4 billion to the National Revenue Fund administered by National Treasury. Recent comments regarding e-tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) have raised questions and strong opinions about the continuing use of the fuel levy as an income source from road users to fund land transport operations and infrastructure in South Africa.
South Africa's latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory indicates that in 2010 the transport sector contributed a total of 47.4 Mt CO2e in direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or 8.4% of the country's total emissions. Freight transport is thought to account for about half of the emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. It is widely recognised that the shift from road to rail is one of the biggest opportunities for reducing GHG emissions from the freight transport sector. Along with improved and alternative vehicle technologies and fuels, it is included as a mitigation option in government's Mitigation Potential Analysis. The road to- rail shift forms part of the Department of Transport's strategic goal to deliver an efficient and integrated infrastructure network, and will in part be facilitated by government's rail re-capitalisation programme. However, a shift from road to rail is not without its challenges. It is important to also understand the degree to which freight can be shifted to rail. Currently, most mitigation modelling efforts tend to assume a linear (or other simple) transition to a desired future modal split, without much consideration of how this can be achieved. For example, the Mitigation Potential Analysis assumes that a 70:30 rail-to-road split for freight transported along corridors is technically possible by 2050, based on work done in the development of the Western Cape Infrastructure Plan.
The informal public transport industry, dominated by minibus taxis, accounts for a significant proportion of the collective transport market in South Africa. However, in-vehicle speed adaptive technologies are yet to be tested and fully implemented in this industry. According to national road traffic reports of South Africa most severe and fatal crashes are attributed to speeding, a significant number of which involve minibus taxis. A study carried out by the Automobile Association of South Africa recorded an annual total of 70 000 minibus taxi crashes, which indicates that taxis in South Africa account for twice the rate of crashes than all other passenger vehicles. Many of these taxis engage not only in urban trips on weekdays, but also in long-distance trips on weekends. Although the logistics of both types of trips (urban and long-distance) are different, the drivers and vehicles used are the same. Demographics revealed that most drivers engaged in long-distance transport fall within the age range of 31-40, with minibus driving experience being 3-5 years. In addition, these drivers work a minimum of six days per week, and spend 9-12 hours driving every day. In the last decade a series of on-road Average Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems - commonly known as Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) systems - were erected along notorious road sections. The use of ASE systems is growing steadily and gaining popularity in South Africa. Although it has been effective in general, a number of shortcomings are evident, specifically associated with the isolation of transportation modes in the evaluation process. Another countermeasure, not common to the informal public transport sector, is Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), implemented through in-vehicle Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs). These ISA systems can continuously inform and enforce posted speed limits, unlike most on-road countermeasures which are spatially limited. In addition to these compliance enforcement measures, financial gain due to lower speeds could act as a non-invasive and inherent self-correcting incentive. This article explores ASE, ISA and fuel savings in the informal public transport sector in South Africa.
Many cities in the 'global south' face mounting pressures from rapid urbanisation, population growth and rising income inequality. The successful integration of public transport and land development planning is likely to be central in determining how effectively these cities manage these pressures. Some research - associated with the advent of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems - into how best to integrate public transport and land development planning has been undertaken in Latin America and Asia. While a number of sub-Saharan African cities, particularly in South Africa, have commenced large-scale public transport reform, little research has been undertaken to date on appropriate public transport / land use integration in these contexts. The initial phases of BRT corridor implementation in South African cities have highlighted the importance of supportive urban forms in facilitating public transport services that are not dependent on unsustainable operating subsidies. The City of Cape Town's latest review of its Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan (CITP), for instance, states that "â?¦ the operational requirements to run road-based public transport at the levels of service required by the CITP 2013-2018, in the current urban form of Cape Town, are proving to be financially unsustainable and could lead to significant long-term implications for the future roll-out of road based public transport... Dispersed urban form leads to passenger numbers being low along many routes, resulting in demand best met by small vehicle sizes and longer head ways." (CCT 2014) The City of Johannesburg has come to similar conclusions in its Rea Vaya Phase 1C Sustainability Study (CoJ 2013). Clearly a better understanding of the prerequisite land use conditions for high-quality BRT systems is required, and technology choices should be made with due regard to the prevailing urban form (Del Mistro & Bruun 2012). Population density has been widely accepted by South African city planning authorities as an important land use prerequisite,resulting in the formulation of density targets and densification policies. However, the effects associated with the spatial distribution of this density on the viability of adjacent public transport services has not been investigated.
ITS deployment is rapidly increasing globally, as well as in Africa. Advancements in communications technologies and the widespread use of technology enablers, such as smartphones, are creating new opportunities in ITS and providing impetus to the deployment of ITS projects. Individuals and vehicles are increasingly being equipped with technologies capable of monitoring their movement, leading to increased understanding of the mobility needs of individuals, and resulting in improvements to transport planning.
The autonomous drone-based traffic flow estimation system can effectively be separated into two parts. The first part consists of the computer vision system used to detect and calculate vehicle velocities for calculation of key traffic metrics. The second part involves the design of an autonomous target tracking and landing system for the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
In vehicle monitoring it is imperative to distinguish between accelerating, decelerating and lateral acceleration, since this data can be used to identify and classify driving manoeuvres and events effectively. Accurate coordinate acceleration data is therefore the main concern of this project.
This article is a shortened version of a paper which received a 2015 commendation from SAICE's Transportation Engineering Division for its Best Paper by a Young Professional award. This article is a shortened version of a paper which received a 2015 commendation from SAICE's Transportation Engineering Division for its Best Paper by a Young Professional award.
A SOUTH AFRICAN civil engineer has recently been awarded Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® (PTOE) certification from the Transport Professional Certification Board, an affiliate of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). Revash Dookhi is the first recipient of this prestigious certification in South Africa. Revash is the Chief Civil Engineering the Traffic Engineering Branch of the Road System Management Department of the eThekwini Transport Authority. He holds an MSc in Civil Engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Speaking about this professional recognition, Revash says : "In any country, transportation is a key aspect in fostering economic growth. In South Africa we are faced with specific challenges relating to transport accessibility, affordability and road safety. I consider it not only an honour, but indeed also advantageous to be recognised and registered as a specialist transportation engineer, as this provides added credentials in the application of various transportation principles and standards."
AT THE SAICE Transportation Engineering Division's annual awards event, the chairperson of the Division customarily presents the prestigious Chairman's Award to a nominated individual in recognition of his/her outstanding service to the transportation engineering profession. Nominees are required to be civil engineering professionals, they must be members of SAICE, and have made significant contributions to transportation engineering.
Like all good padmakers Keith Wolhuter, a well-known member of SAICE, started off by working in the field, on road construction. By the end of this period he was in charge of his own unit, and ready for the momentous switch from construction to design.
For more than 30 years Franki Africa (Franki), a renowned geotechnical brand in southern Africa and now part of the Keller group, has successfully provided pipe jacking and other trenchless technologies (augering, thrust boring and large-diameter case boring) to a wide range of clients on the continent.
Advanced thermal imaging cameras are being used as a frontline defence against fires on conveyor belts transporting warm materials or in instances where a risk of fires poses a danger to people or process equipment.