The National Black Panel (NBP) was originally established by the Department of Transport to measure the attitudes of black commuters with regard to transport issues and to monitor their response to change. The research project on which this paper is based analysed the results of two panel surveys carried out in March and August 1988. Eleven major urban areas within South Africa were chosen to be represented on the NBP. The aim of the research was to understand black travel and to analyse changes in travel patterns between surveys in order to identify trends.
Methods of measuring the vertical movement of points below ground are briefly reviewed, whereafter the application of one particular method is closely examined. The use of a mercury manometer, where only one leg of the mercury column is visible, is shown to be viable in South African temperature conditions and an improved method of determining the level of a buried settlement measuring cell, using a mercury column as a switch, is descriptionbed.
A contract dealing with large-scale repairs to a concrete tower block is descriptionbed. This arose from widespread corrosion of the reinforcement, and some 4 500 separate spalls were eventually identified. Data is provided on the cost, size, frequency and distribution of repairs and ways are considered of dealing with large fluctuations in costs that can occur in contracts of this type.