In September last year, Government published a White Paper on national transport policy, which provides a basis for transport to play a more strategic role in social development and economic growth. Philip Clarke asked Nazir Alii, CEng, MICE, Chief Director: Roads, to talk about various issues of interest to civil engineers.
A group has been started by concerned individuals within the construction industry aimed at meeting the challenges of employment being faced by the industry. The employment challenge in South Africa is huge (30 to 40 per cent of the employable labour force is not formally employed) and still growing! The phenomenon of 'jobless growth' is not going to fade away. The construction industry has a small but critical contribution to make.
If a project is to meet the needs of the local community, it is essential that the community be involved in the design and implementation of the project In the past local and provincial authorities embarked on infrastructural programmes according to their own priorities and availability of funds. In the new South Africa, this has changed. A new dimension has been added to infrastructural projects. It is now a prerequisite that community participation should occur from the initiation of any infrastructural project right through to final completion. Amendments to established implementation procedures, tender documentation and even construction processes should incorporate this new approach.
With a public works programme intended to provide employment, studies are being undertaken to ensure that the programme is successful when implemented. In addition to its normal line function responsibilities, the Department of Public Works has been entrusted with the responsibility of facilitating the implementation of the National Public Works Programme at all levels of government.
Rubble masonry concrete dams offer the opportunity to increase the labour component of a project without a reduction in quality or design. Since the initiation of the civil engineering industry's recent focus on labour-intensive, or employment-creative, construction, economic viability and cost-effectiveness have proved elusive. As a concept, the replacement of machines with person-power in civil construction has, by and large, not proved completely successful in the South African context, even though many different approaches have been tried.
The need for practical guidelines on the labour-intensive construction of macadam layers was identified by Tosas Limited, following the development of composite macadam by Messrs Potgieter, Hattingh & Raspl Inc. The Civil Engineering Department of the University of Pretoria recently completed a comprehensive research programme that focused on the engineering properties and related performance of macadam layers placed by labour-intensive means.
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Co (TMACC), formed by a number of famous South African entrepreneurs in the mid-1920s, commenced public transportation to the top of Table Mountain on 4 October 1929. Exactly 68 years later, the upgraded cableway will be officially opened on 4 October 1997.