Author: Danielle Petterson

The flagship event for road infrastructure

Africa poses unique challenges for the provision and preservation of roads and road transport. To address some of these challenges, the South African Road Federation (SARF) in association with the International Road Federation (IRF) and the World Roads Association (PIARC), is hosting the Regional Conference for Africa in October. The conference, which will be held under the theme Roads to Social and Economic Growth, will be held at the Durban International Convention Centre from 9 to 11 October 2018. “This conference has become the flagship event for road infrastructure in Southern Africa and in 2018 it will be further enhanced by the participation of the IRF and PIARC,” says Saied Solomon, SARF president and chairman of the conference committee. “Africa poses unique challenges for the provision and preservation of roads and road transport to serve an extensive range of needs in terms of economic development and social well-being. Demands range from providing national mobility, primarily for economic reasons, through... Read More

Building social justice and communities

The Independent Development Trust (IDT) is making a major difference through the implementation of strategic projects, which will help shape current and future societies that are integrated, inclusive and equipped with the skills to compete in the local and international arena. The rule of law is the foundation on which all democratic societies are built and, in this area, South Africa is recognised globally as one of the most progressive nations. For this reason, providing community access to legal centres is a priority. In this respect, the IDT has been rolling out a number of new magistrates’ courts that excel in terms of architectural design and provide a lasting statement that underscores government’s commitment to social justice. As of September 2018, two key projects are now ready to perform their roles, namely the Booysens Magistrates’ Court and the Plettenberg Magistrates’ Court, following completion of the planning, design and construction works on behalf of the Department of Justice and Correctional... Read More

Ramaphosa on Chinese investment in Africa

As a signature event of this year’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs opened doors to over 2 000 business representatives from both sides. Their discussions focused on three major areas: Industrial cooperation, trade partnership and infrastructure construction. Source:... Read More

Rational design essential to prevent building fires

The recent spate of high-profile building fires has highlighted the need for rational design of performance-based fire-safety systems. This comes after three firefighters died attempting to extinguish the blaze at the Gauteng Health Department building in the Johannesburg CBD. The day prior to this, a devastating fire ripped through the Hilton Court apartments in Eastleigh, and the Heartfelt Arena in Thaba Tshwane in Pretoria was damaged extensively after a fire broke out. Why rational design? “Rational design takes into account the behaviour of a building during a fire, meaning the structure must be designed accordingly, thereby minimising any potentially devastating impact,” explains Michael van Niekerk, CEO of ASP Fire. A rational design is the performance-based design of fire safety and prevention mechanisms and strategies in a building in order to provide the same or better fire safety levels as prescribed in the National Building Regulations. All buildings in South Africa need to comply with the requirements of the National... Read More

Creative responses to water security

Groundwater extraction and desalination are some of the interventions being implemented by water-scarce regions. The next step is to ensure potable water quality, which requires specialist technologies and expertise, areas where Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) has years of project experience. By securing the contract to provide an emergency desalination plant for the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, QFS addresses the increasing water demands of the metropolitan region. The project involved the supply, installation and commissioning of a fully containerised 2 MLD seawater reverse osmosis and multimedia filtration plant, delivered under a rental contract for a minimum duration of 24 months. Following the City of Cape Town’s need to augment severely restricted potable water supplies, the collaboration of QFS and Osmoflo on this project will help to bring fast relief to the severe water shortages in the area. QFS has been building membrane plants since 1999 and focuses on membrane-based water treatment for seawater desalination, wastewater reuse... Read More

R195m to eradicate pit latrines at schools

Government has raised R195 million to assist in eradicating pit latrines at schools across the country. According to Deputy President David Mabuza, a multi-stakeholder breakfast on sanitation infrastructure for schools has raised R195 million in commitments and pledges as part of the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative, which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August. This collaborative initiative between the public and private sector aimed at eradicating pit latrines at schools across the country. According to Mabuza, the breakfast resulted in R145 million in commitments and a further R50 million in pledges. “This R195 million will go to approximately 4 000 sanitation infrastructure [projects], which are going to be distributed all over the country,” he said. The funds, donated by the private sector, will be administered by the National Education Collaboration Trust which Mabuza says will ensure that the funds are being utilised correctly. The roll-out of sanitation infrastructure will at with the schools without any ablution facilities. According... Read More

Will SA run out of water by 2030?

South Africa could face a 17% water deficit by 2030 unless the country improves its water management. Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General at the Department of Water and Sanitation talks about some of the interventions underway. Source: eNCA... Read More

Cape Town to drop to Level 5 restrictions

Cape Town’s water restrictions will be “conservatively lowered” to Level 5 from 1 October 2018 as dam levels near 70%. The water usage target will be increased from 50 litres to 70 litres per person per day and the daily collective consumption target will increase by 50 million litres to 500 million litres to ensure that water conservation efforts remain in place. This will bring tariff relief of between 26.6% and 70% per kilolitre of water depending on the usage and tariff category. The drop from the current Level 6B restrictions comes after good winter rainfall and water saving efforts by residents, resulting in the Western Cape Water Supply System’s dams reaching a capacity of 68% – a very significant improvement on the situation at the end of the previous winter, when they were at just 38% capacity. According to the City of Cape Town, the relaxation of restrictions is a moderate proposal that is based on a hydrological... Read More

The answer to reuse

One of the most robust, versatile and widely used unit operations in the treatment of wastewater worldwide is dissolved air flotation. With a growing market for wastewater reuse, the demand for these systems is expected to rise accordingly. The importance of dissolved air flotation (DAF) systems in modern water treatment processes cannot be over-emphasised, explains Niel Kruger, process engineer, AquaPlan. Due to their highly efficient and cost-effective removal of suspended solids (SS), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phosphorus in wastewater, DAF systems have now become an intrinsic part of the process of treating wastewater. A well-placed and well-designed DAF system offers unprecedented advantages for both upstream and downstream processes, as part of both the removal of pollutants in the wastewater, as well as the protection of membrane processes downstream of the DAF. AquaPlan has developed a robust, simple, easy-to-operate and versatile range of skid-mounted DAF systems, which encompass the dissolving of air, recirculation of white water, as well as... Read More

DWS battles pollution as Ramaphosa authorises new investigation

The South African Human Rights Commission is conducting an inspection at the Vaal Dam following allegations that approximately 150 ML of raw sewage is flowing into the Rietspruit and Vaal rivers daily. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) reports that it and its stakeholders, namely Rand Water, Gauteng Provincial Government, Sedibeng District Municipality and Emfuleni Local Municipality, are “seized” with finding resolutions to the issues of pollution of the river. According to the DWS, the Vaal River and Dam must be kept as free of pollution as possible as they are critical parts of the Integrated Vaal River System, which is central to the economy of Gauteng, the country, the SADC Region and ultimately the African continent The department has made R20 million available to the Emfuleni Local Municipality and technicians are back on site at the Emfuleni treatment plant attending to issues. However the DWS says it will take some time before the system working optimally. Rand... Read More

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