Some ideas on how to use technology to take South Africa successfully into the next millennium The key to building a great nation is community empowerment. This means that the helplessness of the poor, manifested in the absence of choice, must be replaced by empowering the community to access information and knowledge to make the right choices. To achieve this ideal, education of various types - not only the formal, academic type associated with schools, but adult literacy programmes, skills training and other informal types of education - are required. To provide the relevant education in an affordable and accessible manner, technology must be co-opted as a partner in development.
In the case of a construction project that involves more than one contractor, the quality of insurance for contracts works can be seriously undermined by insuring each facet of the contract separately, says M.I.B. Risk Managers. M.I.B.'s John Politt says there can be gaps in insurance arrangements if one allows each contractor to insure each facet of a contract - such as earthworks, buildings, mechanical works and so on - separately, as each contractor would negotiate his own cover to protect his own risk, leading inevitably to a built-in additional cost to the owner/developer.
A successful conceptual design is the key to a successful structure, and yet there is very little written about the subject. It was therefore of great interest to me to be able to attend the 1996 lASS symposium. The symposium was devoted entirely to the 'Conceptual Design of Structures', a first for an international conference. Its timeliness can be seen in the interest it created. During the week-long symposium 142 papers were presented.
Critical updates on the waste crisis and government's views on waste were presented at the three-day Afriwaste '97 conference held in Kempton Park recently. The aim of the conference was to look at how business and government can comply with the latest local and international regulatory developments through integrated waste management solutions. 'He, or she, who commits acts of unlicensed wastefulness will be called to account by the government,' Prof Kader Asmal, the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, warned his audience in his keynote address entitled :An overview of waste management problems in SA and a perspective on government's proposals on integrated solutions'.
After a development phase within national boundaries, high-speed rail networks are now considering international links, at a cost of over R1 000 billion. Following the example of the Paris-Lyon rail link, the first high-speed train lines tended to be confined within national borders. These first links were built between strategic locations inside the countries that planned and financed them. This was true for the new Rome-Florence line in Italy, which was completed in 1984, for the Mannheim-Stuttgart line in Germany, inaugurated in 1991, and for the Madrid-Seville line in Spain that has operated commercially since 1992 - to name only a few.
An article titled 'Storm warnings' in the November/December 1994 issue of World Watch noted a striking development in the escalating debate over global climate change: the growing concern of the insurance industry. By the time that story was run, many atmospheric scientists had already reached a consensus that increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases would raise the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere. Since then, evidence of human-induced climate change has been confirmed, and several scientific studies found that this warming may al ready be increasing the frequency and severity of storms and other weather disturbances
The paper briefly summarizes the results of loading tests on the floor systems of a reinforced concrete building of normal construction which had been in service for about 10 years. Within the range of working loads the observed deflexions and strains were almost always less than those corresponding to the usual design assumptions. The failing loads exceeded those given by both elastic and plastic theories, but were in closer agreement with the latter.