Author: Liesl Frankson

Buffalo City pilots smart metering to improve billing process

The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is currently piloting a smart metering project in an effort to improve the City’s billing process. According to the municipality the aim of the initiative is to manage electricity usage in a reliable, safe and cost effective way. The project will see the municipality replacing old meters with smart meters capable of improving the accuracy and efficiency of billing. Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO) Project Manager Zanele Papa says the City is aiming to replace at least 200 industrial and commercial sites as part of the pilot phase within the current financial year following which the program will be rolled out to the masses. “The project is a transversal contact (RT 15/2016) done by BCMM and is supported by the National Treasury for a period of three years. To date, 189 smart electricity meters has been installed and integrating to the BCMM’s billing system,” she highlights. The municipality has set aside approximately R354 960 000... Read More

EThekwini’s Constructor Development Programme bears fruit

The eThekwini Municipality’s Constructor Development Programme is continuing to bear fruit following news that 24 more emerging contractors have successfully completed and graduated from the programme. The initiative, which is a partnership between the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) Construction Incubator and the municipality, aims to assist contractors with technical and business skills, enabling them to sustain the construction sector and create further employment opportunities while contributing to the economy. According to Busi Ndlovu, Economic Development and Planning Committee Whip, the programme has already supported about 269 emerging contractors, who have generated a turnover of R300 million and created 1033 permanent and 89 informal jobs respectively. Ndlovu notes that the municipality is proud of the commitment and determination shown by the contractors. “Beyond being equipped with relevant skills, it has helped them to grow their businesses,” Ndlovi says.   SEDA Construction Incubator Head of Contractor Development, Nonela Mxokozeli adds: “SCI provides support to contractors and this is premised on... Read More

Municipal housing project stalled after government pulls funding

Johannesburg MMC of Housing, Meshack van Wyk says work on the Riverside Housing Project near Diepsloot has stalled because the Gauteng Provincial Government reduced the City’s Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG). According to Van Wyk the Riverside Housing Project is one of many housing developments in Johannesburg that have been halted because of the government’s decision to cut the grant by R180 million. Van Wyk notes that foundational work on the project has already been completed and developers are ready to come on site and continue the construction of the houses. This according to the MMC is a direct contradiction of the claims made by MEC of Human Settlements, Uhuru Moiloa, that the municipality’s money was reduced because contractors had not been appointed or paid. Urgent intervention needed “At the start of this financial year, the City was informed that that our HSDG funding would be in the region of R248 Million on the basis of the City’s Department... Read More

Keeping it clean

In today’s world, water and wastewater treatment works need to be flexible and scalable. IMIESA speaks to NJ Bouwer, executive at NuWater, about the company’s range of modular solutions and its unique ‘water on wheels’ approach, which is specially geared towards rapid deployment and redeployment in a modular and scalable package. Ageing treatment plants and pipeline infrastructure pose a serious health and environmental threat, exacerbated by periodic drought conditions across most parts of South Africa. Skills shortages and funding gaps compound the problem, placing a major strain on operations and maintenance teams. Another significant factor is an unprecedented influx of rural migrants, a number of whom end up in informal settlements around South Africa’s towns and cities. This added demand places further constraints on supply, which then has a knock-on effect for agricultural, commercial and industrial users. Another growing concern is whether treated water and wastewater sources are still meeting local and international process specification standards. “For municipal managers... Read More

Inquiry into KZN structure collapse set to start

A formal inquiry into the collapse of structure under construction at Imperial Logistics in Durban KwaZulu-Natal is set to kick off this week. The collapse, which took place on 28 March 2018, killed four workers and left four injured and prompted the inquiry by the Department of Labour. According to the department, Echo Prestress, a precast roofing company, was carrying out the final installation of the concrete precast roof slab when at approximately 12H30, the precast concrete structure collapsed. The collapse caused structural damages to an adjacent building, as well as a heavy-duty vehicle that was stationary on the public road along the perimeter fence of the facility. Prohibition notice Imperial Logistics has since received a prohibition notice prohibiting any further work from taking place until the circumstances and root cause surrounding the collapse were investigated. The first session of the Section 32 inquiry will be held from 21 January to 1 February at KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association offices,... Read More

Army makes headway with Vaal River rehab

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says it is making headway with the Vaal River rehabilitation project. Members of the SANDF were deployed last year to help clean up the river which is currently polluted by sewage. Communities affected by the pollution include Vereeniging, Sebokeng, Boipatong and Sharpeville. In a statement on Thursday, the SANDF said it had deployed technical teams to restore infrastructure at the polluted Vaal River system caused by raw sewage flowing into the river from pump stations in the Emfuleni Municipality. Other progress cited by the SANDF included the deployment of the SA Army Engineer Formation to the Emfuleni Municipal Area, as well as the drawing of the scope of work, which focuses on the upgrading of sewer treatment works and pump stations. SANDF’s deployment to the project follows an announcement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in October, in which he called on the force to assist in... Read More

Africa’s energy demand continues to increase

Africa’s demand for energy is steadily increasing and solutions to meet this growth have become a major concern among energy sector leaders. The continent’s per capita energy consumption is growing faster than that of any other continent, owed largely to increased infrastructure, investment and political stability. In addition the continent’s ever-growing population and increasing standards of living are putting significant pressure on the demand for affordable energy. Growing communities require additional energy to accommodate their rising numbers, as does a developing economy to support its growth through manufacturing and consumption activities. African Energy Ministers and large energy company CEOs will be discussing and unpacking what the future game changers for the Africa energy sector will be and how to meet the escalating demand for energy at the Africa Energy Indaba taking place on the 19 – 20 February 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The discussions will form part of the Indaba conference and will attract keen interest from parties... Read More

Uptime keeps Tata on top

Vehicle uptime is a key factor in ensuring profitability for any transport operator and it’s that aspect that has helped to shape core strategies for truck brands Tata and Daewoo in South Africa. Len Brand, CEO of Tata Africa Holdings Limited (TAHL), which also promotes vehicles produced by Korean brand Daewoo, notes that sustaining uptime is vital to success and everything the brand does, is aimed at helping its customers to keep their trucks moving. “About 45% of Africa’s truck potential lies in South Africa,” Brand says. “It’s a vitally important market in which reliability, speed and efficiency are crucial to success. Machinery must be seen to work and to keep on working – that’s the essence of profitability.” Increased sales In the Tata and Daewoo brands, Brand believes that recently implemented changes to the dealer, parts and service networks – in conjunction with renewed focus on training initiatives, have contributed to increased sales this year, as well as... Read More

SIU authorised to investigate Umgeni Water

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to look into the affairs of Umgeni Water. The KwaZulu-Natal water utility is the second largest water board in the country, with an annual turnover of more than R2.4 billion and a five-year capital expenditure budget of more than R7 billion. The entity has been plagued by allegations of corruption, including reports of a R220 million security tender that was awarded to a company with political connections among other things. The SIU, according to the Presidency, has been authorised to investigate allegations of unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure and loss incurred by the board or the State as a result of matters including the provision or upgrading of emergency boreholes in uMkhanyakude District Municipality. This is in addition to the repair or refurbishment of Nagle Aqueducts; the replacement of filter slabs, pipelines and nozzles in terms of the Contract Participation Goal Programme of Umgeni, as well as... Read More

Refuse collection disrupted in eThekwini again

The eThekwini Municipality’s waste woes continued this week following yet another announcement of a disruption in the City’s regular refuse collection service. The municipality on Thursday issued a statement notifying residents of Umlazi Township in Durban, that their usual waste collection service had been disrupted by circumstances beyond the City’s control. “The City would like to urge residents of Umlazi Township to keep refuse within their premises. This is due to the disruption of refuse collection sparked by circumstances beyond both the city and the contractor’s control. The city is currently meeting with the contractor to come up with a solution in this regard,” the municipality explained. The City added that as a temporary measure, it had since mobilised its internal resources to collect refuse that was already along the streets. “The municipality will inform all residents as soon as the normal refuse collection resumes.” Intermittent waste collection service The municipality’s refuse collection service has been plagued by numerous... Read More

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