IT IS ENCOURAGING how the Gauteng public, and particularly the civil engineering community, have come together to lament the collapse of the temporary structure at the Grayston interchange that killed two people. It was also pleasing to note the cooperation between the City of Johannesburg, Gautrain, Metrobus, Putco and Uber to help relieve the traffic congestion around the interchange. There is still goodwill in this country - the new South Africa is not fake.
BIGEN AFRICA, a leading infrastructure development group with core capabilities in engineering, management consulting and development finance, was recently named the winner in the Best International Project category of Consulting Engineers South Africa's annual awards for its work on the 360 km North-South Carrier (NSC2) regional water transfer system in Botswana. The Bigen Africa Group also won the top awards in the Business Excellence, and Mentoring Company of the Year categories. The awards celebrate innovation, quality, outstanding workmanship and professionalism in the consulting engineering sector. The focus is on projects which advance infrastructure development both in South Africa and on the continent.
Although the statistics score low when it comes to women in engineering in South Africa, we do in fact have female engineers who are doing exceptional work and who continue to challenge stereotypes. Dr Michele Kruger- a specialist in water and waste-water treatment - is one such phenomenal woman who is fervently passionate about the work she does in the service delivery environment, and the difference she is able to make to people's lives. Her work on various FIDIC, CESA and ECSA committees has also seen her contribute enormously to the development of aspiring and current engineers, and to communicating the importance of good engineering practices.
The Construction of the Virginia Pier and the Rehabilitation of Virginia Beach Project was originally designated as a municipal stormwater culvert extension. Situated on Durban's northern coastline, Virginia Beach was developed under a collective effort to sustainably rehabilitate a prime recreational-use area for the local community. This article outlines how the application of an expanded works approach to enhance a municipal project can greatly develop the infrastructure value to the end-user.
A major concern in the engineering sector has been the age gap between professionally registered engineers and graduate/candidate engineers. This article describes how the eThekwini Municipality's Engineering Unit is tackling this concern, and succeeding. Since 2002, eThekwini's Engineering Unit has been fulfilling a Commitment and Undertaking (C&U) that was signed by the then City Engineer, Keith Barnett. Under this C&U agreement the Engineering Unit has developed a Candidate Engineering Programme that is second to none. Since 2002 various academics and professionals have also added to this programme and moulded it into a winning formula. I myself am a product of this programme (I attained my professional registration in August 2014).
The legislative framework of South Africa requires reasonable measures for preventing and remedying the effects of pollution (National Water Act [NWA], Act 36 of 1998; National Environmental Management Act [NEMA], Act 107 of 1998). The waste standard for pollutant containment is embodied in a suite of regulations and guidelines (Minimum Requirements Second Edition [MR2] 1998; Government Notice 704 [GN704] 1999; National Environmental Management Waste Act [NEMWA] Regulations 2013; NEMA Regulations 2014). However, it is the municipal waste management practice which is the focus of this article, encompassing both solid and liquid waste. It is intended to demonstrate the technical principles of pollution control measures and alternative means of achieving at least the same prescriptive performance as specified in legislation for the socio-economic benefit of municipal managers and communities. The current practice is described here, and some contentious issues are discussed. The article concludes with a recommended basic checklist for municipal managers and/or their engineers on whether the design of facilities conforms to the prescribed standards and generally accepted engineering practice.
Aside from the need to improve the environmental quality of the lake and its precinct, there are fish, birds, otters and other life to consider. Afri-Coast's recommendation of a unique biotechnology, which involved dosing the lake with efficient microbes (a cocktail of positive micro-organisms that out-compete the offensive ones) to quickly clear the odour and turbidity problems, was unanimously accepted.
The Roundhill Landfill Site near Berlin in the Eastern Cape, within the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, has been in operation since February 2006. The site is classified and permitted as a G:L:B+ site, based on the previous landfill classification system, and currently accepts approximately 600 tonnes per day of general waste, and restricted volumes of treated health care risk waste (excluding pathological waste of human origin) from East London, Mdantsane Township and the surrounding areas. In recent years the site has experienced global operational challenges resulting in increased health and safety risks on the site, and an increase in the adverse effects to the surrounding environment. As the operational challenges grew greater, the site progressed to a state of non-compliance with the landfill permit and the prevailing environmental legislation. It was at this stage that Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the permit holder of the site, acknowledged the need for specialist consulting services. Envitech Solutions (Pty) Ltd were appointed by Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, through their applicable procurement processes, to compile a turn-around strategy and an implementation plan, which would be in line with and promote compliance with the landfill permit requirements of the Roundhill Landfill Site, and which would promote compliance with the prevailing environmental legislation. Figures 1-6 detail the site, and illustrate the previous major challenges and the state of non-compliances on the site, as may be experienced typically locally and internationally. In order to meet the objectives of the turn-around strategy (which include a financial forecast, as well as an implementation plan with key deliverables and milestones for the proposed turn-around strategy) a status quo assessment and compliance assessment of the Roundhill Landfill Site was initially conducted. The initial status quo assessment and compliance assessment included, but was not limited to, an assessment of the day to- day operations on the site, the current environmental monitoring, on-site record keeping, existing infrastructure, water management systems, leachate management systems, available plant on site and current staff resources. The objective of the status quo assessment and compliance assessment was to determine the level of compliance with the applicable Roundhill Landfill Site permit issued by the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, and the Minimum Requirements for Waste Disposal by Landfill, Second Edition 1998, applicable to waste management facilities in South Africa.
Upgrading and maintaining municipal stormwater infrastructure is key to the mitigation of flooding in South Africa's cities and towns. Despite ongoing challenges, such as the availability of the required technical records at local government level, SRK Consulting's extensive work in this field is contributing valuable strategies and innovations to improve service delivery and maintenance of these facilities.
After the first democratic elections in 1994 the South African government committed itself to providing basic services to all citizens. Sanitation was a key focus. The country has since made significant strides - 50% of households did not have access to sanitation in 1994; by 2010 that number was reduced to 21%.
Desalination has become a feasible technology to deliver reliable and high-quality drinking water. However, what is often underestimated in the planning stage of a desalination plant is the need for a constant and secured stream of good quality seawater, especially when considering that a desalination plant's seawater requirement is typically 2.5 times that of the volume of potable water it is producing. As the marine construction work is largely dependent on the sea conditions, the proposed seawater abstraction solution could also have a significant bearing on the overall project programme and risk.
As our rainbow nation celebrates its 21st year of democracy, Nankhoo Engineers dawns in on its 20th anniversary. As a medium-sized civil and structural consulting engineering firm based in Durban, we have gained considerable experience during these years in dealing with the challenges that exist in the municipal engineering arena. In this article I attempt to provide insight into the municipal engineering field from the perspective of a civil engineering consulting firm which has, over nearly two decades, served as a strategic partner to various metropolitan, district and local municipalities. Work undertaken in the local government sphere during this time covered road rehabilitation; design and construction supervision of bus routes, taxi routes and access roads; housing developments, and various other civil-related works.
The Sol Plaatje District is located south of Durban Deep in Roodepoort, on the West Rand of Johannesburg. The Johannesburg Development Agency, as part of its growth initiatives, has been embarking on spatial plans that are centred on transport-oriented expansion and development. Low-cost housing had been established in the district, thus necessitating the need for the upgrading of gravel roads to surfaced roads, and the laying of stormwater drainage. This project required the upgrading of a series of internal gravel roads to surfaced roads (a total length of 2 194 m), and the laying of stormwater pipes within Sol Plaatje Area 4. Knight Piésold was appointed to implement the construction and commissioning of internal roads and stormwater drainage in Areas 3 and 4 of this district. The main objectives of the project therefore were to provide improved and easier access for all residents to their properties in the area, while preventing erosion of the gravel surface. Run-off water was also channelled away from the properties, with the improved roads significantly reducing vehicle maintenance.
The Rural Road Asset Management System (RRAMS) grant has established a graduate recruitment programm eaimed at recruiting suitable candidates to undergo its job graduate development programme in road asset management. The RRAMS programme strives to attract civil engineering S3/S4 candidates, primarily those seeking experiential learning to comply with graduation requirements as part of their academic obligations. The programme is aimed at building road sector management capacity at local government level.
Three million South Africans walk all the way to work, while another 5.4 million use public transport but also walk as part of their trip. Around 63% of learners walk the entire distance to educational institutions. When taking all trip segments into account, over 50% of trips are made up of walking. However, the provision of infrastructure for this important mode of transport is often lacking in urban and rural areas alike.
The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is currently the biggest and busiest container terminal in Africa and handles about 2.7 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) a year. The DCT handles approximately 70% of South Africa's containers and generates 60% of South Africa's revenue (Port of Durban 2014). Increasing the automation level of a terminal with products that automate a single part of the operation or the whole process is recognised as the next step towards improving performance at today's container terminals. The benefits of automation include lower operational costs and improved terminal productivity, capacity, safety and security. Automating an existing straddle carrier terminal is a complex project that requires expertise, careful planning, a capacity for wide-ranging systems integration and the ability to consider numerous factors beyond technical implementation. Besides the actual automated system, there is also extensive change management within the entire organisation of the terminal, as operating an automated terminal requires a thorough change of business processes, as well as different skill sets for the people operating the terminal.
It is tough starting a new company at the best of times, but particularly so when the economy is down. SAICE young ('thirty-something') member Malibongwe Makapela has done just that, and is making a success of it.
On a sunny 20th of August the SAICE Johannesburg Branch treated the SAICE presidential delegation to a pleasant breakfast at the Waterfall Valley Clubhouse in Waterfall City, Midrand, followed by a very interesting site visit and guided tour through the nearby Mall of Africa. This mammoth shopping complex, which is still under construction and is scheduled to open in April next year, is the largest mall ever built in a single phase in South Africa, and has already become a landmark on the local horizon.