Herewith the first chapter of a new series comprising nine or ten chapters, which will appear in Civil Engineering over the next few months. This résumé of the development of transport infrastructure in South Africa is not intended to be a comprehensive one, but by airing the subject readers might be encouraged to participate and add additional value to an understanding of this facet of our history.
Rock martins (Hirundo fuligula) are regular summer-breeding visitors to the Braamfontein campus of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The diversity of architectural styles of buildings on the campus offers a range of suitable sites for the nesting needs of birds like the rock martins. The nest is constructed of sand/clay pellets, used as a form of adobe, stuck together to form a 'half-cup' with sides adhering to a vertical wall or rock face. A number of the building façades provide the overhang structure necessary to protect against rain and nest predators.
The Roode Elsberg Dam is a concrete arch dam located near Worcester, in the Western Cape Province. The structure is being monitored by a recently installed dynamic monitoring system. The article describes the dam structure, its dynamic parameters identified with a previous ambient vibration test, installed monitoring equipment and the results achieved during the two weeks of observation.
Most engineers know double twist mesh gabions from their use in rivers and channels as gabions, and Reno mattresses which offer excellent solutions in hydraulic conditions. Many of us have been fortunate to have encountered gabions in road and civil projects where they are also very effective as a simple building block for the construction of mass gravity retaining walls. The simplicity of installation, the advantage of using unskilled labour, and the fact that no mechanised construction equipment is required to construct such walls, have created a perception that such structures, no matter how high or crucial, are non-technical and need no engineering input.
The longest bridge since the independence of Namibia in 1990 is set to be completed by April 2014, connecting the Husab Uranium Mine with the outside world. This new bridge-over-river is located in the Khan River Valley approximately 14 km south of the B2 main road leading to Swakopmund, and about 7 km north of the proposed mine on a route that winds partly through the Welwitchia plains of the Namib Naukluft Park. This 22 km stretch of surfaced road will connect the new mine with the Namibian road network, and, with its unique moon landscapes, promises to be one of the most picturesque routes within Namibia once completed.
Of the order of 40% of construction contracts overrun time and cost budgets, and require the management of change and the administration of Extension of Time (EOT), and Delay and Disruption Claims (DD). The requirements for the management of change and the administration of the progress of the Works are embodied in the standard forms of contract, and generally form the factual matrix of contractual claims.
Claims are a part of everyday life in engineering, building and construction industry contracts. There is often a tendency, however, for a claim to be formulated on a 'global' basis, as opposed to being built up from individual events showing cause and effect in each case. Such claims do not find favour in South African courts. In the July 2012 issue of Civil Engineering (page 48) Dawson Jenner of Binnington Copeland and Associates (BCA) in Johannesburg commented extensively on this topic, comparing the South African and English positions. In this current article, Jeff Whitfield, Claims Group Director at leading world-wide claims consultants Hill International, who recently acquired a controlling interest in BCA, takes the matter further, with a candid discussion on the chances of success with a global claim, as seen from abroad.
Specialist piling and foundations contractor GEOPILE AFRICA is increasingly establishing itself in the geotechnical engineering environment as a reliable, professional and technically skilled partner who gets the job done safely and in the shortest time possible.
The Candidate Academy experienced a bumper year in 2013 with attendance increasing 30% over 2012. Allyson Lawless, SAICE Professional Development and Projects Director, and driver of the Candidate Academy, says: "Companies used the quieter periods experienced in 2013 to invest in developing and training their young graduates. We hope to see the same level of commitment to training, if not more, in 2014." Well over 4 500 delegates have attended Candidate Academy courses since its inception in 2010.
The Young Professionals Forum (YPF) of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is a voluntary group representing the interests of Young Professionals (YPs), i.e. engineering professionals under the age of 35 who are employed by CESA member firms. The YPF was formed in order to uplift the engineering industry and built environment professions, where new ideas could be generated to assist and promote the industry, and also to identify and address possible problems which the industry may be facing.
Notice is hereby given that proposed amendments to the SAICE Constitution were accepted by the SAICE Council at a special meeting held at the Institution's National Office in Midrand on Wednesday 22 January 2014.