The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology recently published its Green Paper on Science and Technology, Preparing for the 21st Century, and the acknowledgement of the important role of science, engineering and technology (SET) by the present government is welcomed. This recognition of SET was long advocated by SAICE under the previous government. The Green Paper recognises that scientists, engineers and technologists have time and again demonstrated their capacity to generate new and better ways of doing things, thereby contributing to higher standards of living, a better quality of life, and economic growth - all of which are in fact associated with the very nature of civil engineering.
A low-maintenance, gravity-system aqueduct provides low-cost security of the Durban water supply. The vulnerability of the Nagle Aqueduct, which joins Nagle Dam and Durban Heights water treatment plant via a series of tunnels and siphons, was illustrated during the 1987 floods. In order to increase the security of the water supply and to utilise Inanda Dam water, Umgeni Water decided to implement the construction of Phase 2 of the Inanda Wiggins Aqueduct. The project was one of the nominations for last year's Durban Branch Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering.
What sort of ethical issues should civil engineers take into account when marketing their services? Bill Brunjes considers the question. There is no inevitable congruence in a civil engineering firm between a professional engineer's material self-interest, the dictates of his conscience, the instructions of his seniors, the objectives of the partners, the interests of the firm's clients and the interests of the community at large. This congruence can, however, be drawn together by the ethics of the individual and the firm, which in turn are based on their value systems. One important area where ethics might be tested is in the execution of a marketing strategy.