The duty of a local authority to ensure a safe environment for members of the public was recently examined by the Cape Supreme Court. Cape Town Municipality owns a busy public parking area on the banks of the Liesbeeck River canal in Rondebosch. On a wet and drizzly day, Mr Butters, 72 years of age, parked his car facing the canal with the car's nose protruding over the kerbstone. There was no barrier other than the kerbstone between the parking area and the canal. It was dusk and the light was failing.
The new marina basin forms a central focus to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront development in Cape Town and serves to bring the harbour and the city closer together The new marina basin at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront development in Cape Town, winner of the 1996 Cape Town Regional Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering and a nominee for the SAICE National Award last year, was constructed in an area previously known locally as the lower tank farm and, before that, the old quarry. The quarry was first worked in 1860, when rock was removed for construction of the new breakwater.
Engineering research, community empowerment, health education and householders' requirements combined to achieve a sustainable project on the Natal South Coast Umgababa, south of Durban, has a population of 16 000 people living in an informal township spread over 600 ha. An upgrade project funded by the Port Natal-Ebhodwe Joint Services Board, one of the nomination's for last year's SAICE National Award for the Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Project, has provided over 1 600 families with a healthy sanitation system.
The National Science and Technology Policy Green Paper, and the imminent release of the White Paper, will have a profound impact on all the science councils: says Prof Ahmed Bawa, Council Chairperson of the Foundation for Research Development (FRD), in his foreword to the latest FRD annual report. According to Bawa, the FRD has, however, been proactive and has positioned itself well to deal with any challenges the new legislation may present.
A cost-effective method for monitoring unstable slopes - time-domain reflectometry - has the added advantage of being quicker and safer than the use of conventional instruments Using inexpensive coaxial cables rather than inclinometers has cut the cost of monitoring slope movement at seven potential landslide sites in California. The method involved is called time-domain reflectometry (TDR). The principle involved is fairly simple: when a coaxial cable is deformed, its impedance characteristics change. The cost at one site plummeted again when engineers began reading the TDR data by remote telemetry last year. A TDR system had been installed after a slide disrupted traffic during the winter of 1995. The original installation was considered experimental, as the cables were piggy-backed onto the inclinometer casings and piezometers installed in three 91,4 m deep boreholes drilled at the site.
The article considers what ails the civil engineering industry and suggests that the solution lies in supporting the engineers themselves to work to their full capacity. It seems fair to say that civil engineering is an industry in crisis. One has only to peruse the local press to find regular discussions and reports chronicling the continuing downturn in construction activity. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that even a respected SAICE past president was recently moved to lament in this magazine that civil engineering was a 'profession in distress'.
Substantial debate is currently focused on the efficient management of the urban sector, which, owing to its economic significance and its extensive growth capacity, is the most important variable in ensuring a more prosperous South Africa. Central to this debate is the issue of urban densification, increasingly recognised as a prerequisite for the equitable and efficient transformation and development of our cities. This article outlines the need, opportunities and prospects for densification.
Les McCraw highlights key innovations helping the industry respond to clients' demands for 'better, faster, cheaper and safer' projects and calls for a new, more empowering style of leadership as the industry moves into the next century Nearly 60 years ago, in a book entitled The story of engineering, J Gardner Bennett wrote: 'From the days of the first crude levers and baskets, the first rollers and the first wedges, the sum of engineering knowledge has been steadily growing. Many humble workmen have added significant innovations and improvements ... whole nations and peoples have left their imprint on the body of engineering knowledge. It is not the monopoly of anyone culture or any limited society. Engineering knowledge is not the miraculous gift of modern professionals but the accumulated and still accumulating heritage of the ages.'
The Samrand Interchange on the Ben Schoeman Highway (N1) between Pretoria and Johannesburg was recently opened. Integrating the interchange with the existing Ultra City development required an underpass for Samrand Avenue beneath the N1. This had to be constructed without disrupting the traffic on the Ben Schoeman, which carries between 70 000 and 90 000 vehicles daily. The interchange, costing R35,5 million, breaks new ground as the developer, Samrand, has financed the construction . The most significant benefit is for businesses in the area, which will have direct access to their premises.
Termiete wat rondvlieg na reen word dikwels verwar met vlieende miere bloot omdat beide vlerke het. Kenmerkend skud termiete egter gou hulle vlerke af en begin in die grond tonnel om nuwe kolonies te vestig. As jy dus vlieende, mieragtige insekte in jou omgewing gewaar, moet jy dit liefs identifiseer. As dit termiete is, is daar 'n gevestigde kolonie naby - en hulle is op soek na huisvesting vir 'n nuwe kolonie wat uit tot 250 000 hongerige werkers mag bestaan. Jou gebou word dalk hul teiken ...