Author: Liesl Frankson

KZN pours money into provincial road network

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport is set to spend the bulk of its budget on upgrading and maintaining provincial road networks. Tabling the Provincial Budget recently, Finance MEC Belinda Scott allocated the Transport Department R10 billion, R10.4 billion and R11.1 billion budget over the 2018/19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). MEC Scott announced that various projects will be undertaken over the MTEF, including the construction of new gravel roads, new blacktop roads, new cause ways and new pedestrian and vehicle bridges, among others. “The department will continue to mainstream the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) into its work to achieve its target of 58 260 work opportunities in 2018/19. This will be done by increasing its focus on labour intensive construction. In this regard, R200 million worth of projects will be implemented using labour-intensive construction,” MEC Scott said. R3.6b for housing provision The Department of Human Settlements received a R3.6 billion allocation. The department’s main purpose is the provision... Read More

Opinion: Embracing new technologies key to modernisation efforts

By Webb Meko, Business Development Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Black & Veatch While microgrids and other distributed energy resources (DER) may prove to be the answer to lighting up Africa’s rural communities, they are also proving to be critical to the success of Smart City programs and the development of the smart grid of the future. The power grid of the future will be a smart system that can accept electricity supplied from various power producers, store at and then distribute it instantly on demand, while still managing demand. To enable such a system requires advanced data management systems, new technologies that ensure security and reliability of supply, as well as new tools that operate along the value-chain including connected end-user devices in homes and businesses of electricity customers and producer consumers. According to the data found in the Black & Veatch Strategic Directions: Smart Cities Report  some of the primary drivers of grid modernisation initiatives include broader deployment of... Read More

Green Bonds pave the way for sustainable property sector

The first South African issued Green Bonds were listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Friday 9 March 2018. Green Bonds raise money that is specially allocated for funding projects that result in positive environmental and climate benefits. The R1.1 billion Green Bonds, which are available for terms of five, seven and ten years, issued by Growthpoint Properties will be used to fund the green buildings and green initiatives of South Africa’s leading REIT. Benefits of committing to a climate-resilient future The Green Bonds are priced at 139 basis points (1.39%) for the five-year term, at 169 basis points (1.69%) for the seven-year term and at 200 basis points (2.00%) for the 10-year term above three-month JIBAR. The bond auction took place on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, and is believed to be the first public auction in South Africa for a 10-year bond for a real estate company. “The JSE is proud to welcome Growthpoint Properties to the... Read More

Remaining a level 1 B-BBEE Contributor a challenge

While reaching Level 1 Contributor status in the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, is commendable for any organisation remaining can be a challenge. This is the view of UWP Consulting CEO Nonkululeko Sindane who recently praised her team for years of effort that have culminated in doing exactly that. UWP was certified at Level 1 by verification agency Renaissance SA Ratings in November 2017. Sindane says the entire submission process was completed internally. “We took a decision not to outsource as we felt that we would understand the processes better by doing it ourselves. So now we know what we need to do to maintain it.” “Our team responsible for our B-BBEE efforts across the business is on top of its game. It’s not only about scorecard numbers, but about achieving positive results for the benefit of everyone in the company.” UWP will be assessed against the new Amended Construction Sector Codes of Good Practice in November 2018. Sindane... Read More

SAA on track for a turnaround

South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana says the majority of the national carrier’s operations are sound and the airline is on track for a turnaround. According to Jarana the board has developed and approved a clear strategy and five-year plan to turn the airline around and the airline is working closely with the board and the shareholders to ensure it succeeds. “SAA has had many previous turnaround strategies which have not been implemented before. This time it is different: we believe the vision outlined by the board is absolutely correct, and we are committed to ensuring it is put into practice,” he explained. “We need a clean break with the past and a new approach to the future, and that is precisely what we are doing. We are acting with urgency to ensure the viability and sustainability of this crucial national asset,” said Jarana on Tuesday. Qualified audit The CEO pointed out that the Auditor General’s report was the... Read More

Insurance for construction work a must – Expert

While insuring a construction project may be a complex process Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee, says all parties involved must take out adequate insurance for the full lifespan of a project. Putlitz says the concept of insurance is straightforward but the actual selection of appropriate policies for specific contracts is not. “That is why it is important to deal only with a broker experienced in construction industry insurance matters: this type of cover is not a do-it-yourself activity and, if dealt with improperly, all claims will be rejected. The insurance must be carefully considered to include and list all identified risks including the location of the works, the type of structure, the method of construction and where existing structures or other site conditions may be at risk,” he explains. Putlitz says generally five types of insurable risk generally apply to all construction projects: Contract Works Insurance (CWI): This deals with the whole works during the... Read More

No official report of train hijacking yet – RSR

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) on Wednesday said that it had not received any official report of hijacking incidents taking place despite the fact that this is now a growing problem around the country. The RSR said it noted with concern the claims made by the United National Transport Union and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) subsequent response regarding Metrorail train hijackings. “To date, the events in question have not been reported officially by PRASA to the RSR. It is the responsibility of operators to report railway occurrences and incidents to the RSR. The reporting of security incidents to the RSR by the railway operators is provided for in the South African National Standards (SANS 3000-1:2009 Edition 2 under SANS Category 4 – Hijacking of trains),” explained spokesperson Madelein Williams. Last reported hijacking in 2012 According to Williams the last train hijacking was reported to the RSR in January 2012. “Our records show that the driver of... Read More

Court dismisses case against Zille on Environment Commissioner appointment

The Western Cape Government says the appointment of a Commissioner of the Environment is not justified. It says the functions of the position are being performed by existing organs of state.On Monday, the High Court in Cape Town dismissed with costs an urgent application against Premier Helen Zille for failing to appoint an Environment Commissioner. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

Landfills and listeriosis: Disposing of hazardous waste

With the capacity of incineration facilities in South Africa unable to accommodate the 4 000 tonnes of waste potentially infected by the life-threatening Listeriosis bacteria – many people are wondering exactly how this disposal will take place. Johan van den Berg, Managing Director of waste management company Averda South Africa explores the issue. What would waste such as potentially Listeriosis-infected meats usually be classified as and why? Because of its potentially contagious nature, it is classified as Infectious Waste. How is this waste usually disposed of? There are a number of regulations that govern the disposal of infectious waste to ensure it is segregated from general waste streams, stored and sealed in protective containers and safely transported for treatment. This ensures that no one (human or animal) comes into contact with the dangerous substances. Usually untreated infectious waste is prohibited from disposal by landfill. It must first be subject to a treatment method that completely destroys any pathogens – preferably... Read More

DISCUSSION: Renewable energy deals

The big debate regarding energy in South Africa centred on nuclear energy not too long ago. But now we’re talking about wind farms again. Because government is expected to sign project agreements with 27 renewable energy producers in March 2018. To discuss SABC Digital News is joined joined by the CEO of GAIA Infrastructure Capital Limited, Prudence Lebina, which says it shows the commitment required for investor confidence. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

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