I am following with great interest the murmurings on the nationalisation of mines, the national land reform program and the drive to force-change policies within the ANC. I have instigated discussions on the matter with several colleagues and friends to test whether the critical issues were generally understood. Most comments I managed to solicit were reticent and guarded; often it centred mainly on the vessel that is making the most noise and the utter disdain for it. Others found it to be of pure entertainment value. Probing further, I found that most people were simply stirred into race concerns rather than addressing the real issue. But, while I hope to cajole our readership to gather insight on the matter, my real intention is to juxtapose South African leadership pre- and post-1994.
For many students at universities of technology, formerly known as technikons, a major part of their course involves finding in-service training positions to enable them to comply with the requirements for completing their P1 and P2. For the lucky few students who have bursaries supplied by engineering firms, the jump into the "world of work" is an easy one. For the other students who do not have bursaries though, time, effort and a proactive mindset are a necessity to secure their training positions.
The word economy is frequently used and frequently abused. Having been exposed to a basic understanding of economics in the 1980s, I have from time to time pondered the question, "What is this thing we call an economy?" This article seeks to answer that question based on my observations over many years. The following headlines seem to me to be the most relevant subject areas in determining the success or failure of an economy, with particular reference to the economy of South Africa at present.
Measuring project success is a key aspect of project management. If a project is delivered on schedule, within budget and satisfying all stakeholders, then it should be getting a bright green light. If a project is delivered late and over budget, with all the stakeholders dissatisfied with the outcome, then clearly it should be getting a flashing red light. However, it is not always as simple as that because there is a grey area between these green or red examples.
Marketing for consultancies is almost 99% relationship-building, and virtually any other resource you try will only work if that is at the root. You are going to need to build your business from your relationships; and if you do not have them, you will need to connect the dots and find a way to be near the people you want to do business with. It is a brave new world in the construction industry that is not going to return to its former self. It is time to stop chasing projects and start building relationships. It is time to differentiate and get back to the roots of how your business was founded. It is time to pay attention to track records - yours and your competitors'. It is time to get smart. This article offers a few suggestions on how to do that.
In November 2008, the SACPCMP (South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions) published and implemented a registration system for Professional Construction Mentors. They have since identified a need to extend and refine the admission requirements to broaden the application of Construction Mentorship, owing to the very few Professional Construction Mentors applying successfully for registration. It was determined that the requirements for a new category of Construction Mentor should be drawn up in order to draw on experienced and skilled people in the industry, who may not be already professionally registered.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) prides itself as being one of the top universities in South Africa and therefore needs to adjust to the ever changing environment and student expectations. To achieve this, the NMMU has over the past four years embarked on a multimillion-rand program for the upgrading of existing infrastructure, and the construction of new infrastructure. Many new and exciting projects were initiated and completed as part of the Capital Infrastructure Program. This has, in many ways, positively impacted on the daily activities on the various NMMU campuses.
Menlyn Maine is located in the Menlyn development node to the east of Pretoria where the developer, Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, bought out 103 residential dwellings for redevelopment. It is a mixed-use precinct development with total development rights exceeding 300 000 m2. This 11,4 ha development, comprising 16 land parcels, include the development of offices, showrooms, shops, restaurants, banks, residential units and an hotel.
Argyle Road outfall is located on Durban's Battery Beach, overlooked by the Blue Waters Hotel and flanked by the Sun Coast Casino and Somtseu Road outfall (Snake Park Pier). The original beach outfall was upgraded to a sea outfall in 1990. The distinctive shotgun culvert stretched 50 m from the original brick outfall to the ocean. Localised beach accretion between Bay of Plenty and Battery Beach, causing blockages at the outlet, necessitated a further extension of Argyle outfall by 60 m. The project commenced in September 2009 and was undertaken by the eThekwiniMunicipality's Coastal, Stormwater and Catchment Management Department with Esor Africa as the contractor.
The upgrading, by Group 5 and Subtech Group, of the export jetty at the Moma Mineral Sands Mine is an unusually challenging marine construction project currently under way in northern Mozambique. Due to its remote location on an open coastline and with restricted access, the work requires careful planning in its design and during construction, with particular attention to construction methodology and temporary works. The work is being undertaken entirely off floating plant, which requires exceptional planning and preparedness, as much of the work can only progress during short weather windows, due to the exposed nature of the site.
The first harbour basin in Cape Town was the Alfred basin, excavated out of the rock behind the shoreline between 1860 and 1870, under the direction of the British engineer Sir John Coode. Excavation of a second basin landwards of the Alfred started in 1877 and the rock was used to create the breakwaters for what was to become the outer Victoria Basin. However, by the time that the excavations were complete, ships had increased in size significantly and the second basin was considered to be too constrained and was therefore not flooded. It became an oil storage tank farm until the start of the Waterfront development, and was then decommissioned and rehabilitated by the oil companies.
The new Consol Nigel N1 factory is rapidly taking shape and nearing completion. The factory is a flagship facility which will produce approximately 400 t of glass bottles per day. Earthworks began on 18 April 2010, and the factory will be in full production by 1 September 2011. With the civil and structural work virtually complete, mechanical and electrical engineers are now working round the clock to complete the installation of the furnace, power supplies, raw material supply systems and other associated works.
The 2011 "Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Design III" class (National Diploma in Civil Engineering at the University of Johannesburg) embarked on a research project to demonstrate the increased strength of similar-sized concrete beams due to the increased cross-sectional area of reinforcing bars. The theoretical bending moment resistance of the beams was compared to the experimentally tested bending moment endured by the beam.
The winners of the 2011 Fulton Awards were announced at a gala event at the Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg on 4 June. These prestigious awards, for excellence in the application of concrete, are made every two years by the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) with the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) as anchor sponsor. Thirty-one major projects competed in the following six categories: Civil Engineering, Building, Concrete in Architecture, Unique Design Aspects, Construction Techniques, and Innovative Technologies. This article summarises the winners per category.
Project managers, engineers, architects, asset managers, town planners, GIS practitioners and everybody else in the construction industry all need reliable and accurate spatial information for decision-making, design, analysis and construction purposes. Traditionally as-built information was acquired by aerial or ground survey methods. In recent years LIDAR established itself as a fast and efficient methodology to acquire three-dimensional data. This article serves as a brief overview of the methodology and to give the reader a general feel for what it is all about and what can be expected.
A system for mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) structures is defined as a complete supplied package that includes design, specifications and all prefabricated construction materials necessary for the complete construction of a soil-reinforced structure. This package may also include technical assistance during the planning and construction phase. Each system can be separated into modules that are self-sufficient to manage and execute.