Author: Danielle Petterson

Why you should be a registered engineer

South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa and remains rich with promise. Having been admitted to the BRIC group of countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2011, known as BRICS, this confirms South Africa’s trajectory to continued growth as a nation. Although the country currently realises massive infrastructure programmes, the qualification of engineering professionals in the country is still unsatisfactory. According to the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), South Africa only saw 16 129 engineers register in 2012, with most of these engineers operating in the civil, electrical and mechanical fields. Numbers of registered engineers in fields such as industrial and electronics, materials, mineral, electro-mechanical and computer engineering are still very low. ECSA has been in existence for over 40 years, with the main objective of regulating the engineering in South Africa. Registration with ECSA is essential and currently registrations transcend over 40 000. The registration system has been established by law to ensure... Read More

Zuma sets up service delivery task team

President Jacob Zuma has announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Service Delivery Task Team. The purpose of the Inter-Ministerial Service Delivery Task Team is to fast-track service delivery in areas where there are bottlenecks, quickly respond to areas where there are service delivery problems and ensure that general service delivery is improved. Zuma has appointed several inter-ministerial committees (IMCs) as part of establishing the new government system of the fifth democratic administration, in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. The committees are appointed to serve a very specific purpose that is deemed to require the dedicated attention of a certain team of ministers. Their mandate is therefore limited to the matter that they are established to execute. The service delivery task team will be chaired by Pravin Gordhan Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. It will also include the ministers of human settlements, water and sanitation, energy, home affairs, public enterprises, transport, rural development and land reform, basic... Read More

eGovernance the future of service delivery

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele has unveiled plans to introduce eGovernance – a more technological way to deliver services to citizens. Briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications on Tuesday, the minister said it was important for the front line departments like Home Affairs and Transport, among others, to go digital in order to do away with long queues and unnecessary paperwork. “By eGovernance, we are saying we must move beyond the connectivity of certain institutions. The focus has been really on the connectivity of some of the schools. The aim is to try to make sure that key government departm ents, where there is a public interface with the people, are connected in the long term,” he said. The minister pointed out that some of the services that could be improved with going digital include the applications for smart IDs and licence disk renewals. He said there will also be a focus on making sure that there... Read More

Eskom to get mobile substations

Eskom will soon receive the first of three mobile substations ordered by Eskom for deployment within its Mpumalanga Operating Unit. Eskom will utilise the three new units — 40 MVA, 20 MVA and 10 MVA — during fixed type substation refurbishments, maintenance and breakdowns as well as to improve the reliability of the grid network by limiting the duration of power interruptions. The mobile outdoor substation equipment will be mounted and installed on custom engineered trailers that comply with the South African road ordinance legislation in regard to weight and overall equipment dimensions. During transportation, the effects of trailer flex and movement on the integrity of the transformer design were also important considerations that had to be analysed. Zest Energy, a Zest WEG Group company, has been commissioned with delivering the three mobile substations. This represents the first mobile substation reference for Zest Energy in Africa. Coenraad Vrey, managing director of Zest Energy, says, “We’re drawing on WEG’s capabilities... Read More

Numsa strike costing millions daily

Each day Numsa employees are away from work will cost the industry more than R300 million, says the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern African (SEIFSA). Speaking after receiving a memorandum at Metal Industries House from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said the industry was deeply concerned about the damage caused to the economy by the strike. He said the strike will cost the industry more than R300 million a day, equivalent to 0.014% of the country’s daily Gross Domestic Product – something the ailing South African economy cannot afford. Nyatsumba said that this is very concerning given the fact that South Africa’s economy shrunk by 0.6% in the first three months of 2014 and that international ratings agencies have recently downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to just above junk status. “Ours is a very strategic sector with both upstream and downstream impacts on other important industries like... Read More

Little hope for new roads in Eastern Cape

Huge backlogs in road infrastructure still remain a major challenge despite the progress being made, says Eastern Cape MEC for Roads and Public Works Thandiswa Marawu. These backlogs are further compounded by floods that have wreaked havoc in the province in recent years, with devastating effects on the roads network. Delivering her Policy and Budget Speech 2014/15, Marawu said the situation is unlikely to improve in the near future, for the simple reason that it is further exacerbated by the shrinking of the fiscus allocated to the department. “The situation has resulted in the department resorting to focusing primarily on the maintenance of the existing roads network, with very little hope of constructing new roads in the short-term. This has been reflected in our Annual Performance Plans targets over the last couple of years, including the current financial year where the targets for construction are zeros,” she said. The 2014/5 budget allocation for transport infrastructure for the Eastern Cape... Read More

Infrastructure spend must reflect city layout

Statistician General Pali Lehohla says policies and spend on infrastructure must reflect that more people are living on the fringes of metros. “As far as Gauteng is concerned, that is the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, the buildings where people live are at the periphery,” said Lehohla at a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday. He said moving forward with infrastructure programmes, there was a greater need for congruency between the densification policies and the sprawling city. Lehohla was releasing a report into the building statistics of the private sector as reported by local government. The statistics, among other things, provide an outlook on the fundamental aspects of human settlements. When looking at the 2001 census for Gauteng, the road networks in the province and the buildings that have been built, people in Johannesburg are living on the fringes and not in the middle of the city. Lehohla said there was a question of what direction development was taking and... Read More

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