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South Africa’s Prestigious Top Awards for the Management of Technology, Innovation and People in a Systems Environment.










echnology has been a popular and rapidlygrowing featured theme in DESIGN > magazine during the past few years. Readers, designers, technology innovators, business leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have encouraged us to expand our coverage of technology and innovation topics.

DESIGN > in technology is the result of a publishing partnership between Design Information, the prestigious Technology Top 100 (TT100) awards programme and The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management. The magazine and information platform feature innovations in the technology sector, focusing on the qualifiers of TT100 as its core editorial framework, while also looking at international best practices. It covers the same categories as the TT100 awards and features in-depth articles, interviews and case studies focusing on the role of technology and innovation in enterprises and organisational management I have had the honour of researching the Technology Top 100 Companies during our launch of DESIGN > in technology. One word comes to mind “WOW”. There is a world of entrepreneurial innovators and designers out there who deserve a walk of fame down the N1 Highway. The difference these innovators make to our world is mostly unseen. From open source technology at universities too landmine protection in Africa,

worm technology to defence artillery in Egypt. There are obvious problems that face industry – starting with the misconception that the Technology Top 100 Companies is not an award for technical equipment but rather for the management of technology. There are other issues that should be addressed urgently, such as funding for young innovators. There are a few of these young people with exceptional products that may well go nowhere. Another issue is the provision of advisory services. Innovators need advice from various industries and these services should be provided. It is also most important to share experiences so that innovators can learn from one another. Projects can take many years to come to fruition – people need to know this. They also need to know what is in place when it comes to government support, exposure to markets and network platforms. I am proud to be able to bring information on some of these issues to innovators, decision makers and the public at large through this publication. I am even more proud to have had the honour to sit with some of the innovators and hear the story behind their stories. I see them as entrepreneurial warriors who have taken up a challenge and in most cases, succeeded. < Cameron Bramley > Publisher technology

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here is no doubt that we are now in an era where we simply cannot escape the reality that technology has become the dominant driver in both our personal and business lives. We have come to realise that the very notion of the management of technology has undergone a major transformation. It is in this domain that we now talk about the so called big ‘T’ and small ‘t’ in technology. The former refers to the processes and skills base required to design, develop and manufacture artefacts for the consumer. As such, this is a disciplined process driven by technically competent people who follow a process to ensure that the end product is cost effective, safe, maintainable and meets the needs of the consumer. The new world is all about the small ‘t’ in technology, which is concerned with both the users and the developers of technology. In this small ‘t’ world, the focus is not so much as to how we go about the design and manufacture, but how we can make the technology work for us. In this world we recognise that we are all technologists – every one of us who uses tools to do things better. These tools can range from pencils to sophisticated microprocessors and are certainly not confined to the so called high-tech environment. This is the world of ‘soft’ technology (the hypercompetitor) where accent is placed on being able capitalise on the market through the use of the ‘hard’ technologies which come out of universities and research laboratories. As such, these organisations will time their production to meet market demands. They study the market and gain a huge insight into market trends and behavioural patterns of consumers. They

believe in managing the value chain and spend as much time with their suppliers as they do with their customers. It’s all about moving away from market-led strategies, to strategies which are grounded in technology. In launching DESIGN > in technology we are trying to capture the ‘story behind the story’. We are interested in what these organisations do to ensure ongoing growth, we are even more interested in how they cultivate an environment which is conducive to staff retention, and above all how they are able to encourage an atmosphere in which innovation is placed centre stage of all operations. The bottom line is all about sustainability – a dimension which moves beyond the so-called triple bottom line. A truly sustainable operation is able to balance their business demands with the need to manage not only the internal workings of the operation but also all those external factors which have direct or indirect impact on their operations. Over the past 17 years, the Technology Top 100 programme has provided a wealth of information on global winners who in spite of challenges have been able to land their products, processes and systems into viciously competitive markets. At the end of the day, these are organisations that have come to grips with the management of technology, innovation and people. All of this is conducted in an environment where viewing the organisation as a System is key.

Dr Roy Marcus > Chairman, Technology Top 100 technology


› The future is now > Innovation takes to the streets › DESIGN > in technology › Design, innovation and technology


› Providing business intelligence for the healthcare industry › Technology Pioneers 2009 > Awarding the best


› South African invention gets to the core of Pilates training › Peepoo bag > Simple solution to a pressing problem 136 > CONSTRUCTION

› South African sports stadiums set to impress › Move city, move technology


› Innovative solutions for landmine clearing › Prize-winning design: From dump to delight


› Design ingenuity addresses developing world issues › What is good design?


› The new breed of technology manager does not › Heal the soil > Heal the people > Heal the require a ‘brawn-based’ mindset environment › Creating an African footprint in materials technology › Cryogel polymer technology used to make cosmetic › Redefining the purpose of design and technology eye product › Design and the elastic mind › Bell receives top honours in TT100 66 > CONNECTIVITY

› Social networking online › Leading the charge in the open source revolution › Procurement and advertising platform > Changing the way pharmacies do business

› Gautrain Map online › Applying the 4 Ps in the mobile marketing mix › African inventions site honoured


126 > ENERGY

› Gautrain > African solutions to address unique development challenges › ZOOM Rih > designed to run like the wind

› Do you know what’s going on under your own roof? › Green charcoal to save forests › R1.8-bn sugar fuel plant for KZN





DESIGN, INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY The convergence of verbs and nouns


emantics has been cause for controversy, confusion and conflict since the dawn of mankind. In recent years few topics have raised as much debate in the design field as the popularisation and interchangeable use of the terms ‘design’, ‘technology’ and innovation’ in corporate and governmental domains. It gets even more complex when the concept of ‘management’ of those disciplines is added to the mix. Designers often feel that their professional practice area is marginalised when organisational executives and government legislators discuss the topic, particularly because they often not invited to be part of such discussions. They also – rightfully – become defensive when ‘others’ ‘appropriate’ their skills and knowledge and ‘repackage’ it in a different context or discipline. A fact that designers sometimes forget is that their discipline is, by its nature, dynamic and ever evolving – and has always been. The semantics that defines their activities continuously nurtures the growth, development and innovation of the discipline – and others – because it is so fluid. This is the essence on which DESIGN > in technology aims to focus.

DESIGN > in technology does not abide by traditional definitions; it does not compartmentalise practice disciplines; and it embraces the interchangeable use of

verbs and nouns when it addresses the topics of design and innovation. By doing so, DESIGN > in technology aims to facilitate healthy debate and highlight the benefits of bridging the divides between the disciplines.

DESIGN > in technology takes a bi-partisan stance and celebrates the developments and achievements of all related disciplines. Furthermore, it aims to mainstream cross-disciplinary collaboration between the design, technology and management areas as a means to stimulate innovation for the benefit of all. This first issue of DESIGN > in technology focuses on how women are leading the way in fostering crossdisciplinary collaboration. Featured in this launch edition are local trailblazing science manager, Liesbeth Botha, environmental advocate, Carmen Nottingham and entrepreneur, Kerryne Krause Neufeldt. International contributions come from Kigge Hvid and Paula Antonelli who are both recognised as staunch advocates of the interdisciplinary agenda. The DESIGN > in technology team wishes you an entertaining and insightful read. <

Jacques Lange > Editor

CREDITS PUBLISHER & CEO > Cameron Bramley EDITOR > Jacques Lange CONTRIBUTING EDITOR > Jennie Fourie CONTRIBUTORS > Janine Erasmus, Barbara Jensen, Deirdre Marcus, Roy Marcus, Irin News, Nicky Rehbock, Teryl Schroenn, Sanandan Sudhir, Gavin van Haght & Estelle Warmsley SALES DIRECTOR > Jeff Malan

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT > Michelle Swart ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS > Lana McLachlan CREATIVE DIRECTOR > Jacques Lange LAYOUT & DESIGN > Bluprint Design COVER PHOTOGRAPH > Maximilian Näther PUBLISHED BY > Design Information Tel: +27(0) 82 882 8124 Fax: +27 (0) 86 678 8448

© 2009 Design Information.

DESIGN > in technology is produced by Design Information. All material is strictly copyright, with all rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in part or whole without the express permission of the publisher. No responsibility will be accepted for unsolicited material. The publisher accepts no liability of whatsoever nature arising out of or in connection with the contents of this publication. The publisher does not give any warranty as to the completeness or accuracy of its contents. The views and opinions expressed in DESIGN > in Technology are not necessarily those of the publisher, its endorsers, sponsors or contributors.



ThE new breed of technology manager does not require a ‘brawn-based’ mindset By Deirdre Marcus


he very notion that the word ‘technology’ conjures

as we know it is moving away from one where strategy

up in the minds of people is a world primarily

dictated technology to the new world where technology

dominated by men who are attracted to the so-

now dictates strategy. In this new world, the profile of

called ‘brawn-based’ environment. This traditional

the technology manager is rapidly moving away from

mindset is rapidly being challenged by the reality that

developers who have been somewhat insensitive to

businesses now make money through the judicious

the end user, to one in which the manager, designer,

use of knowledge management, and every effort has

manufacturer and all those elements associated with

been made to remove the ‘brawn’ out of the traditional

the design, production and marketing of new tech-

manufacturing and heavy engineering industries.

nologies need to have a deep appreciation of the impact which the technology that they are developing and

As technology becomes the dominant agent of change

marketing will have on to the consumer.

in every facet of our private and business lives, there is a growing need for a new breed of technology manager.

These realities have dictated the need for an entirely

We are now faced with the harsh reality that the world

different approach to developing a skills base to service



the needs of the so-called technology industry. The definition of technology has shifted from one being dominated by the intricacies of the design of structures and printed circuit boards and the like, to one in which technology is viewed as ‘a way of doing things better’. Here, technology may involve anything from art to high tech laser cutters. In this world we need to appreciate that technology is not only about laptop computers and microprocessors, but more about a philosophical approach which is deeply embedded in the way in which we carry out our day-to-day existence. The nature of the skills base required by industry is also moving away from one in which the total responsibility for the design and implementation technology resided with one individual. At The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management, we now look at two different elements of technology, recognising that there is a small group of highly skilled people whose prime responsibility is the so-called hard ‘T’ in technology. Deirdre Marcus, executive director,

Here the engineer, technologist and technician are

The Da Vinci Institute

the dominant role players. These are the people who

for Technology Management

create the technological backbone for whatever is

and TT100 (Pty) Ltd.

being developed – these are the people who are responsible for the manufacture of the machines, computers, cameras and the like and are also the people who will ensure the installation, implementation and subsequent maintenance of what they have developed.

On the other side of the coin is a whole new world of

The very nature of this new environment requires people

people whose responsibility it is to manage the so-

who do not necessarily have to understand the intricacies

called small ‘t’ in technology. In this world the skills

of the technology itself, but rather need to understand

profile is one in which there is a need for people to have

how the technology can be deployed to the benefit of

a far greater sensitivity for the environment, for the per-

the business, improve the lives of individuals, and

vasive impact which technology is having on our lives

ensure that the needs of the end user are taken into

and above all, for the all important human-technology


interface. This world is dominated by people with a skills set which is predicated on their ability to see

There is no doubt that women have attributes which

the environment from an holistic point of view. These

make them ideally suited to take up leading roles in

people are concerned with the impact that technology

the world of the small ‘t’. Women in general have a far

will have on their employees and their consumers. They

better mindset to cope with the soft issues of the hard

place a lot of emphasis on understanding how to manage

world of technology. They are better placed to engage

the change process which has been brought about by

in systemic thinking, and in many respects their very

these new technologies. They have a solid appreciation

nature is such that they are better able to appreciate

of the business world and more importantly, are able

the downside which technology is having on people’s

to see the big picture recognising that technology


alters reality. The Da Vinci experience in developing this new breed This new breed of technology manager does not require

of technology manager demonstrates that women

a ‘brawn-based’ mindset. It requires people who have an

can now be seen as equal partners in the world of

open mind, are willing to challenge and be challenged

technology. In the classroom, they are able to hold

and who are able to make critical decisions, realising

their own in any debate and bring about a very

that the decision-making process in the business

interesting perspective, and in the workplace these

world has moved away from financial considerations

same women are able to play an active role in the

were the dominant factor, to one in which both the

decision-making process in industries as widespread

financial and other key factors become the platform

as power generation, mining, consumer electronics,

to make sound business decisions.

banking and the like. <



Creating an African footprint in materials technology By Jennie Fourie


r Liesbeth Botha is passionate about materials and material science. She concedes that this is a newly acquired passion, but it sits comfortably with her predilection for fast cars and light aircraft, as well as her deep-rooted attachment to nature and the environment. Since her appointment as the executive director of Materials Science and Manufacturing at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) last year, Botha has applied herself to learn as much as possible about materials science and the technology surrounding the discipline. Botha foresees that South Africa will become a world leader in materials research and the development of fibre-based composites, specially geared towards unique African challenges of poverty alleviation, housing and energy conservation. Botha qualified as an electronics engineer in 1983 and completed her PhD studies at Carnegie Mellon University in the USA where she developed an optical computer utilising holograms and lasers. She spent 13 years at the University of Pretoria as a professor in

electronics and computer engineering before joining Stellenbosch University (SU) as a professor in electrical and electronic engineering and manager: Innovation. In 2005 she became the executive director: Innovation and Commercialisation. In this role her responsibilities included innovation on the campus (and especially technological innovation such as the e-Campus initiative), and innovation to the outside world through the commercialisation of intellectual capital of the SU. She was a director of Unistel Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd, the holding company for SU’s investment in spinout companies; USB-BO (the SU Business School’s company); Venfin, a venture capital company that invests in technology companies; and others. Currently she is chairperson of the South African Intellectual Property (IP) Fund, which invests in very early stage companies based on South African IP; and a member of the Council of the University of Pretoria. She also RIGHT: Dr Liesbeth Botha pictured with some of the semisolid metal processing equipment at the CSIR’s research facility. Photo: University of Pretoria.



A mould of a sample component being prepared in a CSIR laboratory for the casting of titanium. Photo: CSIR.

serves on the research advisory panel of the CSIR’s Meraka Institute and the scientific advisory committee of CHPC (South Africa’s Centre for High Performance Computing). But back to materials: The CSIR’s Materials Science and Manufacturing has several foci, one being a light metals development initiative. Valuable work is being done on titanium at present, developing titaniumbased processes and focussing on titanium powder in particular. South Africa has the world’s second-largest raw titanium deposits but at this stage this metal is mostly exported without beneficiation. Because titanium is a very strong, but light metal, it can be used in aircraft to make them lighter to save fuel. There is a multimillion-

rand market waiting for beneficiated titanium in South Africa and the world. In October last year, Marty Bentrott, Boeing’s senior sales vice-president for Africa and the Middle East told Business Report that this aircraft giant would work towards helping to establish a more sophisticated titanium industry in South Africa, supplying new manufacturing processes and technical skills. This is in line with the company’s policy of creating worldwide partnerships with customers for its aircraft. In addition to benefiting the entire aircraft industry, it would also serve a growing market for titanium to be used in the manufacturing of sports goods and car parts. The CSIR is also looking at aluminium processing at the moment and has joined forces with the Department

Equipment used in nanotechnology research at the CSIR. Photo: CSIR.

of Trade and Industry’s (dti’s) National Cleaner Production Centre hosted at the CSIR. “Aluminium smelters are huge consumers of energy and if we can find better ways to beneficiate this metal, we will be able to make an immense impact on power consumption,” Botha says. The new trend in the automotive industry to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles has resulted in increased use of aluminium and magnesium alloys. Currently liquid metal high-pressure die-casting (HPDC) fulfils the bulk of the automotive industry’s needs, but the ever-increasing demands on quality and weight reduction have driven the development of new processing technologies. The inherent problems associated with liquid metal HPDC have heightened the interest in semi-solid forming processes. The

CSIR developed and patented a rheo-casting process and equipment for semi-solid casting, which is in the commercialisation stage – an automotive component will be manufactured soon. Semi-solid metal (SSM) processing is now considered an established technology to produce high integrity components for the automotive industry in particular. Although it is used extensively in this industry, very little attention has been paid to aerospace applications. SSM processing has the potential to replace certain components in commercial aircraft with the main aim of reducing costs, while maintaining high strength-toweight ratios. This will require developing processes to reliably cast components with consistent properties to meet aerospace needs. Since SSM-forming is a relatively new process, materials properties data technology


The CSIR team working on the nano-encapsulation and delivery of TB drugs. Photo: CSIR.

bases for components produced using this technique is very limited. One of the major challenges is generating a data base of material properties to assist design engineers to design components, as well to assess life expectancy and develop maintenance schedules.

Nanotechnology – the way forward Botha also reports that nanotechnology is high on the CSIR’s and on the national agenda of research priorities. A nanometer (nm) is a unit of measurement equal to a billionth of a meter, tens of thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair. The prefix “nano” comes from the Greek word meaning “dwarf ”.

In nanotechnology small (nano-scale) particles of one material are mixed into other materials to change their characteristics. At the moment the CSIR is working on polymers that can be mixed into other polymers to make them biodegradable, for example. “Research done on applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is particularly exciting,” Botha says. Nanotubes are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. These cylindrical carbon molecules have novel properties that make them potentially useful in many applications in nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science, and they have a variety of potential uses in architectural fields. They exhibit extraordinary strength and unique electrical properties and are efficient conductors of heat.

Fibre samples obtained from the Agave Americana plant. Photo: CSIR.

The CSIR’s National Centre for Nano-structured Materials (NCNSM) is well advanced in researching the treatment of tuberculosis with a nano-drug delivery system. TB is a huge health scourge in South Africa, with the country being among the top ten in the world when it comes to new TB infections annually. The CSIR recently received a US$100 000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support an innovative global health research project into nano-drug delivery for TB patients.

Back to nature “Looking at ways of alleviating poverty through materials research is also high on the Materials Science and Manufacturing’s agenda,” says Botha. South Africa

has a high unemployment rate in rural areas. The Eastern Cape is particularly hard hit unemployment soaring to about 60% in the Great Karoo region alone. The Agave Americana (AA), the only plant of value in the arid Karoo, is currently used for producing an alcoholic beverage, with the bulk of the plant not being utilised. This unexploited resource has become a research focus for the CSIR. The research demonstrates the commercial potential of the AA plant for the production of fructans, inulin fibres, textiles and paper products. A long term programme on AA plant beneficiation was launched by a consortium including national and provincial governmental departments, local authorities, funding agencies, industrial partners and research organisations. Consequently, a comprehensive concept for establishing AA agro-processing complexes in the Great Karoo is being developed. technology


Mohair-producing Angora goats on a farm near Oudtshoorn. Photo: Rodger Bosch,

Cashmere from indigenous goats South Africa has over six million indigenous goats, many of which have two coats of fibre â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a fine down (cashmere) that is finer than 18,5 micron and coarse guard hair. These goats are primarily kept for their meat, milk, skin products and other traditional purposes, as well as for controlling bush encroachment. A programme was launched three years ago aimed at establishing the fine down fibre production and associated value adding potential of these indigenous goats. Cashmere production is ideally suited to subsistence farming and it important for South Africa to use and improve on the fine fibre production potential of indigenous goats and establishing a viable cashmere industry in South Africa. technology

Other research initiatives in natural materials include the development of hemp fibre for a variety of uses, including non-woven textiles that can be used in natural fibrebased composites which have become all the rage in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Global trends in materials science Botha says that the CSIRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research initiatives are aligned with global trends in materials science and technology. Composites are big news at research institutions across the world with nano-particles playing a major role. Green materials are also high on global research agendas. Important work is being done on the biodegradability

Examples of geo-textiles.

of materials, and there is also a strong emphasis on the use of natural materials. Botha says that there should be a holistic approach in this regard. “The plan is not just to generate cool materials, but to create backward integration in the value chain where agriculture can benefit from producing natural materials for high-tech uses.” Geo-textiles are also the new buzz word in materials research. So, for example, are materials used to spread over soil to curb erosion or used in road construction to make roads more durable. Another very exciting trend is the use of materials to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. “When looking at green buildings it is, on the one hand, important to use materials that have good insolating properties

but also to look at materials that are light to make them cheaper to transport. To this end modular building design is a global trend at present,” Botha says. Integrating photovoltaic material in roof panels and window panes to generate electricity for use in the buildings is also a major research trend. There are already test sites for these in Germany and Denmark and the CSIR hopes to become a major player in this field soon. Botha is optimistic that local research will result in alleviating South Africa’s housing crisis. “If we can get this right, we will be able to build tens of thousands of houses that will not only be highly affordable, but will also go a long way to saving our planet – and all this on African soil.” < technology


Redefining the purpose of design and technology By Jacques Lange

“Design to improve life is Denmark’s index to a better world, and we are powered by designers from all over the globe” – Kigge Hvid CEO of INDEX: Design to Improve Life.


uring the mid-20th century the term ‘design’ became synonymous with Denmark and today it is a cornerstone of the country’s cultural and economic brandscape. Among the most famous Danish design icons are Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen, Verner Panton and Nanna Ditzel and companies like Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen, Bang & Olufsen, to name only a few. Their work is characterised by a superior sense of aesthetics, a consistent pursuit of engineering simplicity and functionalism, masterful use of materials, exceptional craftsmanship and timelessness. Coupled with this is a strong sense of inclusiveness. According to Lise Klint, designer and programme director of INDEX: “The design tradition in Denmark was – and still is – highly influenced by the cultural and socio-political context-shift that took place in the period 1920s to 50s when the current welfare-state model was established. The shift focussed on designing ‘good solutions for many’ – a very inclusive form of thinking, which became known to the rest of the world as typical ‘Danish Design’.” Since the mid 90s designers and architects have come to realise that Danish design needed to reinvent itself to remain a market leader in an increasingly competitive global landscape. Three trends emerged: Firstly,

contemporary designers started challenging the Danish design traditions and stepped out of the shadows of their predecessors by incorporating influences from all over the world and thereby expanding their creative scope and markets. Secondly, according to Bo Linnemann, designer and cofounder of Kontrapunkt, they repositioned design as a ‘knowledge-heavy service industry’ by increasing business professionalism, embracing multi-disciplinary collaboration, and developing unique strategic skills and technology competencies that could serve other sectors. This resulted in Denmark becoming a global provider in design innovation consulting (design-thinking) as well as in the area of branding. Thirdly, they questioned the traditional meaning and relevance of Danish design, which was inward-looking, rather than being inclusive outward-looking to contemporary global society with all its complex challenges. They questioned the purpose of their design heritage which relied on the principles of functionality and aesthetics and started focussing on how design could increase quality of life around the world. The result was the establishment

Kigge Hvid CEO of INDEX: Design to Improve Life. technology

24 > THOUGHT LEADER of INDEX: Design to Improve Life, intended to be a global initiative based on sustainability principles spearheaded by Denmark. Kigge Hvid has led the development and growth of INDEX: Design to Improve Life since her appointment as founding CEO in 2002. New concepts – developing them, testing them and implementing them – are the hallmarks of her acclaimed work in leadership roles both in business and organisational settings. In leading the Danish government’s mandate to advance the humanist tenets of Danish design, Hvid is a frequent panellist and theme-setter at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, and is a member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design, among her other diverse activities. The recipient of an honorary doctorate in 2006 by the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Hvid brings to her direction of INDEX: a fluency in the

related languages of designers, business leaders and of social entrepreneurs. This is reflected by her frequent international appearances as one of the main proponents of ‘Design to Improve Life’. Hvid had this to say in an interview with DESIGN > in Technology: DiT > What is the mission of INDEX:? KH > INDEX:’s mission is to ensure more ‘Design to Improve Life’ of a higher quality in the world. Therefore, we inspire, collect, advocate, communicate, evaluate, connect and discuss ‘Design to Improve Life’ globally. During the founding stages of INDEX:, we travelled, talked and listened – to designers, media people, CEOs, heads of design and innovation, to academics and to artists – all over the world.

Following the award presentation, the travelling exhibition of the INDEX: Award 2007 finalists was seen by almost a million people in Copenhagen, Gwangju and Melbourne. technology

During these conversations, we strove to understand what a world event for design should focus on and offer if it should be relevant to our interlocutors. Everyone – no matter where or how distinctive their settings – pointed to the human potential of design and to the value of design perception, not only in traditional products but also in the design of services, processes and systems. And that made all the difference, because those conversations established our focus on Design to Improve Life, not only because it was globally relevant but also because in a beautiful way, it could perpetuate the humane and democratic tradition of Danish Design.


The LifeStraw™ can filter out or kill bacteria, parasites and some viruses from almost any water source.

Thereby, INDEX: is in step with the tenets that made Danish design famous in the previous century – humanism, social understanding and democratic thinking, functionalism, craftsmanship and beauty. DiT > What are the key activities of INDEX:? KH > We use four main instruments to execute our work: the largest monetary design award in the world; our presentations of world-touring exhibitions of Design to Improve Life; our Summer Camps for design and business students; and conferences for public and private leaders. We are perhaps best-known for our biennial presentation of the INDEX: Award, the world’s largest award for design. Our 500 000-euro purse is divided evenly among winners in five categories: Body, Home, Work, Play and Community.

The Softwall dynamically partitions spaces into intimate and personal surroundings of any shape and size.

Observatorio Iberoamericano designed a strategy that improves life for 40 million Latin America craftspeople.

But INDEX: Design to Improve Life is busy all year long. We are involved in development and innovation in educational, business and social settings, and in listening, learning, inspiring and matching our main asset – the global network of designers, users, public and private decision-makers and social investors who work with us. That network is buoyed by the tidal shift felt by so many today, amid world-sweeping dialogues about

FairPlay, Apple’s DRM technology. technology


The Mobility for Each One prosthetic is an affordable and highly effective prosthetic for those injured by landmines. It can be made in any conventional workshop using easily found materials and costs as little as US$8 a piece.

The Tongue Sucker is a small plastic chamber with a bright colored bulb-like air reservoir, which allows untrained bystanders at the scene of an accident to free the airways of an unconscious person immediately and effectively.

The high ratio surface of the low-cost 4 l Solar Bottle improves the performance of solar disinfection and its flat shape makes it stackable and facilitates storage. It has one transparent face for UV-A + infrared ray collection and one aluminium color to increase reflections.

The XO laptop is rugged, simple, low-power and made to reach as many school children as possible. The XO is designed to be used in parts of the world where many classes are taught outside, and therefore it is sunlightreadable as well as shock and moisture resistant.

The Tesla Roadster is a 100% electric vehicle with zero emissions and 0-100 km/h acceleration in four seconds. The Roadster is the first electric production vehicle to incorporate a 350+ km range per charge, with a fuel efficiency equivalent of almost 60 km per liter.

Antivirus is a cap that protects against accidental needle infections. The cap is mounted on readily available beverage cans for segregation and isolation of used needles which are secured inside the permanently sealed can, preventing re-use of needles.


climate change, the global water question, the new emphasis on energy, sustainability, resource protection and, above all, the supremacy of life’s quality in a world that can always do better. DiT > Who funds and supports INDEX:?

However, you see more examples of the two industries merging and more design companies under-standing the importance of across-disciplinary approaches. DiT > How can technology innovators interface and collaborate better with designers?

KH > The INDEX organisation was founded by the Danish government as a non-profit organisation under the patronage of HRH The Crown Prince. It is supported by the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, JL-Fondet, the Marketing Denmark Fund, the Capital Region of Denmark, the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), the Danish Industry Foundation, Georg Jensen A/S, Royal Copenhagen A/S, Fritz Hansen A/S, Illums Bolighus, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

KH > An interesting example is the work Paola Antonnelli did at MOMA with the ‘Design and the elastic mind’ exhibition. Though with a slightly different theme – design and science – this very well thought-through programme could very well serve as to inspire a better collaboration between technology and design. [Read more about this exhibition on page 30)

DiT > What is the significance of the name?

KH > Better collaboration normally stem from need. I believe that in the years to come designers will be faced with the challenges of designing huge coherent systemic designs. This is a challenge that cannot be solved by the design profession alone, but calls for real inter-disciplinary approaches, which will be one of the drivers of a better collaboration.

KH > At INDEX: we ask the best and brightest on earth to design to improve life. And they do. The colon means ‘what next’. When you see INDEX: written with what has become its ubiquitous iconic punctuation, you receive a nudge. ‘Fill in the blank’, it says. ‘Imagine what’s coming’, it says. ‘Tell us what you’re going to do to help us get there’, it says. And it says: Design to Improve Life. DiT > What are the key stumbling blocks between the technology and design industries? KH > In general key barriers are often a lack of understanding and knowledge. This also goes for the blocks between the technology and design industries.

DiT > How can designers interface and collaborate better with technology innovators?

DiT > You have participated in many global forums on business and innovation. In a 2007 interview, you were asked ‘How do you see the role of design in innovation for the future?’ KH > My response remains the same. I know for a fact that innovation is mandatory. If companies want to compete on price with the rest of the world in the current economic context, they really have a big problem. The solution is rather innovation. But the biggest challenge is what to innovate – new cups, new chairs? No. I think that we have enough of those consumer commodities that are already very well-designed. Companies should rather look at the huge challenges that face the world today and innovate in areas that technology


The Magno radio is hand-crafted from wood harvested from Indonesian plantations near the designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home.

The Showerminder regulates the time spent in a shower by using familiar traffic signal lights.

The Arivi Paraffin Stove is a safe, efficient anda clean-burning answer to shack fires in low-income communities.

MOR-POWER is a reliable and portable energy source designed specifically for developing communities.

The Childbirth Assistance Outside Hospitals kit provides midwives with basic equipment to oversee safe childbirths.

The Universal Generator, designed to solve power generation problems in the developing world.

The Medilabel Safety SystemŠ is designed to prevent medication errors in hospitals.

Pig 05049 unpacks 185 products derived from a single animal.


impact on the quality of life globally. We need clean water, safe working environments and innovations that address many more of those really big issues. The critical challenges and opportunities for companies today are to decide where to focus their innovation energies. I have participated in World Economic Forums and other such events and I have experienced that many CEOs of the largest companies are really scared by the concept because they have this demand for innovation imposed on them but they do not know what or how to innovate. This is a major problem with the concept of innovation. Everyone is screaming ‘innovation’ at CEOs but ‘what to do’, ‘how to do it’ and ‘what the innovation protocols are’ remain vague ideas. We need to find answers to those questions to know what it takes to be a good CEO who can lead innovation. My advice to these people is to get out, travel a lot, listen, connect and think! DiT > What are the top five issues on which designers and technology innovators should focus to effect global change in the next five years and why? KH > There are many more than five major challenges facing the world today. As a minimum, these issues include climate and energy problems, as well as the eight issues defined by 190 heads of states in the UN Millennium Goals: › End poverty and hunger › Achieve universal primary education › E  nsure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. › Promote gender equality and empower women › Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.

› Reduce child mortality › Reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015. › Improve maternal health › Reduce maternal mortality by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015. Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health. › Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. › Have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV by 2015. › Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it. › Have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases by 2015. › Ensure environmental sustainability › Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources. › Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss. › Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. › By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers. DiT > What are your opinions on the role of women in design and technology, specifically in the African context? KH > As is the case all over the world, it is important to empower the entire human race and not only 50%, as presented for example in the video ‘The Girl Effect’ (See What is specifically important in this context is of course equal access to education. We see good examples of technology


The Pink Project focused attention onto the plight of the Hurricane Katrina survivors from New Orleans.

WATER FOR ALL: Conserve, Value, Enjoy is a water awareness initiative from Singapore.

The ingenious Cabbage Chair is made from paper waste derived from the fashion industry.

The Project Masiluleke HIV Self-Test Kit combines lowcost diagnostic technologies with mobile support services.

The Design Indaba 10x10 Low-Cost Housing Project.

The Lodox速 Statscan速 VE1 is an X-ray system specifically aimed at the needs of emergency medical centers.

The Chulha limits the dangerous health conditions caused by indoor cooking in the developing world.

The Bambulance Project is a bicycle-pulled stretcher made primarily from bamboo.


this all over the world, and in Africa one example is the Women Barefoot Engineers (See http://www.

important tool to solve major problems. Alongside this growing understanding we also see more and better Designs to Improve Life.

The Barefoot College began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. It benefits the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives and it encourages practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications through a learning by doing process of education.

So I do not have any favourites. Every day I’m exposed to new and amazing Designs to Improve Life – and as the rest of the INDEX: team, I feel very privileged to gain insights into the many solutions, the many designs and the many problems the designs are solving.

DiT > What observations and trends have you identified during past five years in the way that INDEX: nominees from Africa approach the concept of Design to Improve Life? KH > African designers have a unique capacity to address a specific context. This means that instead of addressing their own inner desires and needs of aesthetics, Africa designers tend to put huge effort into understanding the context and environment in which the design is supposed to work and design accordingly. DiT > What lessons can the world’s designers learn from African designers? KH > A very important lesson is to be inspired by the African designers’ approach to and understanding of context. Another important lesson is to understand that contemporary design is not always about super high tech, luxury and surface, but about solutions to improve the lives of people. DiT > What are your personal top three INDEX: Award entries since the establishment of the scheme? KH > Since the start of INDEX: we have experienced a movement in the world from understanding design as surface and aesthetics to seeing design as an

DiT > The winners of the 2009 INDEX: Award will be announced on 28 August. What was the standard of entries and how did Africa perform? KH > Of the 720 most innovative designs submitted, the INDEX: international jury has selected a shortlist of 72 finalists that meet the INDEX: criteria to improve life. The selected designs concentrate on a broad array of issues which span water shortages, air pollution, communication, health, environmental sustainability, games, affordable housing, food provision, micro-loans, insect protection and eradication, and many more. Of the 72 finalist entries spanning 18 countries, five were designed in South Africa. These include the Arivi paraffin stove, Design Indaba 10X10 low cost housing project, Lodox Statscan VE1, the Freeplay Fetal Heart Monitor, and the Woolworths Making a Difference Through Design. Several other finalist projects were designed by African designers or were designed to specifically cater for African conditions and circumstances. This year we saw some beautiful thinking behind striking design. We asked the best and brightest on earth to Design to Improve Life. And they did. < All images courtesy of the entrants of INDEX: Design to Improve Life.



Design and the elastic mind > Science and design to construct the day after tomorrow According to World Technology Network, “Paola Antonelli’s goal is to insistently promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged.” By Jacques Lange

Sonumbra is a ‘sonic shade of light’ and an exploration of the role of new textiles in responding to global ecological concerns. Designed by Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl . Image by Bobby Johnston. technology


aola Antonelli is on a mission to introduce and explain how design impacts on and shapes the world. With her exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) she celebrates design’s presence in every part of life. Since she stepped back from practicing architecture in order to focus on writing about design, teaching and being an exhibition curator, the Italian native, Antonelli, has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of design and innovation. Working at MOMA since 1994, she now heads up the museum’s Architecture and Design Department and has masterminded several seminal exhibitions over the past few years such as Humble Masterpieces , which celebrated traditionally unheralded innovation and design icons such as the paperclip; Safe, which highlighted issues concerning personal and social protection; and Workspheres, which took a look at contemporary workplaces.

Design and the elastic mind, her latest endeavour, which ran from May to October 2008, bridged the worlds of science, technology and design and showed how designers synthesise new scientific developments. It looked at how designers interpret innovation revolutions and apply these to new scenarios and environments – ranging from death to birth, the practical to the banal and bizarre – and challenged contemporary thinking on many levels.

Paola Antonelli, Senior curator of the Architecture and Design Department at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Photo by Andrea Ciotti.


34 > THOUGHT LEADER Ever mindful that the majority of visitors to MOMA are initially attracted to visit the museum because of its vast collections of work by artists such as Picasso and Matisse, Antonelli diligently works to ensure that if they do stumble across a design-related exhibition, they will be both entertained and enlightened, and thereby develop and understanding of the critical role that design and designers play in society. In doing so, she subversively introduces design into the so-called ‘sacred domain of high art’ as a means to develop a better understanding of the meaning of design in the social, cultural, economic and technological domains. With the Design and the elastic mind exhibition she ‘lured’ fine art museum visitors into confronting the cutting-edge of design and science and engaged them into an experience of exploration like never before.

And almost nine months after the exhibition had closed in October 2008, it still remains a popular conversation topic on Internet forums and in mainstream media.

Installation view of the exhibition. Image by Brendan Dawes.

Emergent Surface, by Hoberman Associates, dynamically

Antonelli says that “there is a big misunderstanding in many places in the world that designers are [merely] beautifiers. That they make ‘cute chairs’ that cost a lot of money”. She states that “instead, I look at design from all over the world, throughout all disciplines and I try to focus on design that percolates down to the smallest details of our everyday life”. In Antonelli’s world, there are no barriers between design, science and technology. She believes that these disciplines are critically interdependent and that the work of scientists, technologists and designers is interactive in its essence.

responds to movement, weather and light.

New City is a is a complex experiment in visualisation designed by Imaginary Forces, Greg Lynn FORM and Matter Art and Science. technology

“There are many issues that are crucial and there are many technological and scientific responses and issues that are just waiting for designers to come into play. One way for a designer to go is not just designing aesthetically beautiful, but also ethical solutions as a response to the innovations of scientists,” says Antonelli. She believes that “really good designers are like sponges. They are curious and absorb every kind of information that comes their way, and transform it so that it can be used by people like us”. And this was exactly her focus for the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition. Antonelli explains: “The world that I decided to focus on this particular time is the world of science and the world of technology. Technology

always comes into play when design is involved, but science does a little less. But designers are great at taking big revolutions that happen and transforming them so that we can use them.” Antonelli believes that some people have the ability to think with an elastic mind – an ability to stretch conventional thought processes, explore new paradigms and find new applications for innovations, and hence the title of the exhibition. “Some minds are super elastic. Others are a little slower. Some have a few stretch marks, while others are not as elastic.” She believes that “elasticity of mind is something that we really need, we really cherish, and we really need to work on. And this exhibition is about the work of designers that help us to be more elastic, designed by Statemen Design, is a window into what’s interesting online at any moment by four ways of visualisation.

Brad Paley is one of the foremost experts in the communication of great amounts of data, and his renowned tool TextArc is

GROW, designed by Samuel Cabot Cochran, is a beautiful

used to conduct structuralist analyses of text.

hybrid energy-delivery device inspired by ivy plants. technology


The Punchbag handbag made from laser-sintered textiles designed by Janne Kyttänen.

Cartesian Wax, from the Materialecology project by Neri Oxman. Image by Bobby Johnston.

Materials carry information within them about how to behave and proliferate. Rules of Six is an open exploration of selfassembly and modularity across scales.

FEI specialises in nanotechnology equipment, including the scanning electron microscopes that Holthuysen used to take this picture.

in our thinking, and also of designers that really work on this elasticity as an opportunity”.

Design and the elastic mind explored new design applications in the fields of nanophysics; nanotechnology; microbiology; in-vitro meat production; new paradigms in the domain of scale and spatial perception; data, mapping and tagging of the world and the universe; the vast field of information design spanning fields such as protein homology, access to education via new IT technologies; and ‘solitude innovations’.

Antonelli quotes Harvard Professor Peter Galison who said: “What nanotechnology in particular and quantum physics have brought to designers is this renewed interest, this real passion for design. So basically, the idea of being able to build things bottom up, atom by atom, has made them all into ‘thinkerers’.” This term was coined by John Seely Brown and refers to a process of engagement with the world and open, constructive collaboration with colleagues and other specialists. “All of a sudden scientists are seeking designers, just like designers are seeking scientists. It’s a ‘brand-new love affair’ that we’re trying to cultivate at MOMA” says Antonelli.

The fields were grouped under the main themes: Thinkering; People and objects; Design for debate; People and objects; Visualisation; Thought to action; All together Now!; and Super nature. These were supported by a host of sub themes such as Nanofacture, Growth/Aggregation; Tagging; Scenes from a nanotech

The AfterLife Microbial Fuel Cell is charged by gastric acids of a dead loved one and can power a full range of electronic products.

Mushroom Growth Packaging, by Made in Transit, a concept for sustained growth within the supply chain.

Susana Soares’ series of alternative diagnosis tools that

use trained bees to perform health checkups, detect certain cancers and pregnancy based on the breath of a patient.

MyBio, by Elio Caccavale, is a collection of toys that explores the emergence of biological hybrids in biotechnologies, as well as our moral response to these ‘transhuman’ creatures.

world; Harvesting the Internet; Mapping; Extreme

highlights the XO laptop as an ideal example: “The

visualisation; 3D Printing; Processing; Algorithms and

XO – One Laptop per Child – is based on the idea of

a host of others. Binding all of these together are the

collaboration and a mash and networking. The more the

concepts of ‘interactive’ and ‘responsive’ design merrier. The more computers, the stronger the signal, features that expand the relationships between people,

and children work on the interface so that it’s all based

objects and interfaces.

on doing things together, tasks together. So the idea of collective design is something that will become even

Many of the projects included in the exhibition are bigger in the future.” hypothetical or in early prototype stages. However, the point that Antonelli aims to make is that opportunities

Even though the physical exhibition has closed, it lives

arise when designers and scientists collaborate. With

on in the virtual world. The exhibition’s online catalogue

Design and the elastic mind she aims to challenge

(accessible at

conventions and highlight the importance of what she

exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/) and its experimental

terms ‘collective design’ as a means to be ‘mind-

interface reflect the ethos of interaction and responsive

opening’ to new opportunities and possibilities. She

design features. It challenges users to have an ‘elastic technology


The interface of the Design and the elastic mind website intentionally stretches our way of seeing, as well as our ways of learning how to see the world differently. technology

XO – One Laptop Per Child. Image by Fuseproject.

Surround Sound Eyewear designed by Sam Hecht, Kim Colin, Ippei Matsumoto & Gwendolyn Floyd.


Installation v. Image by .

Air_ray consists of a helium-filled ballonet and a beating wing drive allows it to ‘swim’ in the ‘sea of air’. Image by Walter Fogel.

mind’ in the same way as the original exhibition did. It lures the browser into a vast virtual landscape in which it is easy to get lost in time and space. It intentionally stretches our way of seeing, as well as our ways of learning how to see, which endorses the concept behind the exhibition’s title. In the opening paragraphs of the Design and the elastic mind catalogue, Antonelli writes: “History is punctuated by uproariously wrong predictions made


Mercedes-Benz bionic car is inspired by the aerodynamic form of the boxfish. Image by DaimlerChrysler AG.

by savvy individuals blindsided by progress.” She continues: “Revolutions are not easy on us, especially when they occur as rapidly and as frequently as they have in the past 150 years. A few exceptional individuals are already wired for change, and the masses have a tendency to either admire them as visionaries or burn them at the stake as witches and heretics. However, these individuals do not represent the majority. In order to step boldly into the future, the majority needs design.” <




HEAL THE SOIL > HEAL THE PEOPLE > HEAL THE ENVIRONMENT > At first glance it is not obvious what earthworms have to do with design and technology. But when one talks to permaculturist, Carmen Nottingham, it all makes sense. “I’ve always had a love of nature and a deep feeling that solutions to global issues will have to come from us – learning how nature works and copying its systems and patterns. I am passionate about using nature’s methods to clean up the environment and that is where my deep interest in ‘earthworm technology’ arose,” she says.


armen Nottingham’s life and career has taken many interesting twists and turns before she ended up becoming a leading environmental activist and expert of Earthworm Waste Technology. Born in the then Belgian Congo in 1958, Nottingham came to South Africa in 1962. She completed school and a BA (Languages) degree, and worked in the corporate world for two years. Subsequently, she travelled extensively, and has lived in Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi and also in the Caribbean, Bahamas and USA, where she sailed and worked on yachts. Upon her return to South Africa, with the ocean so far away, and having physically witnessed many scenes of environmental destruction, she decided to help heal the soil – which

she calls “our inland sea” – by studying, practicing and promoting permaculture and organic gardening. Since 1992, when she formed Planner Bee Plant Care, her work has included landscaping, garden maintenance, consultation and design, focussing on permaculture and organic principles, as well as the production of Fertilis Earthworm Castings – the Earthworm Buddies Domestic and Commercial Worm Farms for food waste conversion. She also developed the Doggie-Loo and is currently involved in a research project focising on proving effective and safe conversion of abattoir waste, using earthworms. Furthermore, Nottingham is actively involved in several community projects where she advocates permaculture principles thereby

Permaculturist Carmen Nottingham.

empowering and developing communities at grass- constantly. Permaculture taught me how to THINK, and roots level. how to carry out sustainable agriculture and use of the land. I am now able to implement these principles across Nottingham had this to say in an exlusive interview the various aspects of my life and businesses. with DESIGN > in technology: DiT > Has your life in Africa influenced your thinking DiT > Your career has taken a long and winding journey and views of the world and your profession? through many disciplines. How did you end up becoming a permaculturist? CN > I’d like to proudly feel that a lot of positive solutions can and will stem from South Africa. I mean, what CN > I wanted to learn the principles of ecology first other country has 11 official languages? I’ve learnt that hand – care for the earth, and how we can live within the diversity is strength – nature thrives on diversity. environment in a more sustainable manner. In nature there is no waste. Everything is dependent on other Inventions arise and evolution happens when we can things, and life is cycled and re-cycled and renewed say the problem IS the solution. To mention one example, technology


TOP LEFT: Bulk composters. TOP RIGHT: Complete domestic Earthworm Buddies unit. ABOVE: Bags-full of healthy earthworms ready for shipping.

Fertilis earthworm castings is a fertiliser that is made from feeding dairy cow manure to the Eisenia fetida earthworm.

unemployment means that there is a lot of people who are available to grow their own food, farm with earthworms, do recycling, as these are not complicated things – they are basic, important, and sustain life.

DiT > You have physically witnessed many scenes of environmental destruction in Africa and abroad. What were your most upsetting/concerning experiences?

Being born in The Congo – deepest Africa – the lifeblood and the rhythm of nature are in my veins. Having also experienced life on (and in) the oceans sparked my passion and when I returned to SA, I discovered a way to implement this. The plankton in the oceans is equivalent to the micro-organisms in the soil – the ‘sea of the land’.

CN > Over a period of time growing up in SA – but going home for school holidays to Zaire – the forests were disappearing, genocide and war were rife, the mountain gorillas (specifically two families which we visited often in the jungle) were being slaughtered. Later on, over a period of almost a decade living in the Caribbean on yachts and small sailing boats, the impact of the cruise ships and the tourists was like a war waged

on the islands and the seas. The coral reefs were being destroyed, fish were being poisoned and we – who caught and ate the fish – got copper poisoning.

Earthworm Buddies units for the householder and the restaurant owner, supermarkets, hotels, resorts, and more.

DiT > What sparked you to establish Planner Bee Plant We also produce Doggie-Loos, which work on the same Care in 1992? principles. The Doggie-Loo originated from seeing that we are ‘security-verskrik’ in SA, and hence our obsession CN > I wanted to implement the principles and thinking with the bigger dog. Pets are members of the family, of permaculture in a commercial sense. I employed a and they can have their own earthworm toilet, too. team of unskilled labourers, trained them and set up a garden service and landscaping business which I DiT > You produce Fertilis Earthworm Castings on ran in tandem with Fertilis, basically to the benefit of Ditton’s Farm in Muldersdrift, in Elgin, in KZN and are the workers. I no longer run the garden service business, currently establishing an operation in Botswana. Can I sold it to focus on Fertilis, on growing crops by first you tell us more about these operations? healing the soil and now my latest passion is earthworm waste management. Heal the soil – heal the CN > Expansion needs to be localised (think global – people – heal the environment. act local). In order to make Fertilis available everywhere in a ‘green’ sense, we looked at efficiencies in DiT > What is the background of Fertilis Earthworm local production/consumption versus transporting and distribution. This has a positive effect on costs Castings and what products do you produce? and carbon emissions, as well as utilising manure in CN > In 1990 I attended a permaculture course where situ. A green company needs to be green in every sense Phina Milner gave a talk on Fertilis. She was a pioneer of the word! on healing the soil through application of earthworm castings, and she became my mentor. We worked DiT > According to the literature, permaculture is an together in those early days, mostly trying to awaken approach to designing human settlements and perennial the thinking of the average person about organics, agricultural systems that mimic the relationships recycling, regeneration of the soil, the link between found in the natural ecologies. It originated in the healthy crops and human health, and more. Upon her 1970s and the intent was that, by rapidly training individuals in a core set of design principles, they could passing in 2001, I took over the Fertilis business. design their own environments and build increasingly Fertilis earthworm castings is a fertiliser that is made self-sufficient human settlements – ones that reduce from feeding dairy cow manure to the Eisenia fetida society’s reliance on industrial systems of production earthworm. They ingest the manure, digest it, balance and distribution. How do you interpret the concept of the pH and produce an incredibly rich micro-organism- ‘design’ into your work? filled soil conditioner that makes nutrients available to plants in foodstate form. We produce Fertilis in 5, CN > My interpretation of design stems from asking 15, 30 and 60dm3 bags and in cubic metre-loads, the right questions within the framework of how nature does things. Every human activity is a system in itself and depending on customer needs. the workings of each are linked. We are not separate We also produce earthworm ‘farms’ for domestic and from how nature does things – we are part of and live commercial wet waste conversion to produce earthworm within nature – and the answers are there. soil conditioner. The world is running out of landfill site space and we can’t simply discard things anymore. The design principles that we apply are: care for the Paper, metal, glass, plastic – all are recyclable items. earth, care for the people, and distribution of surplus. About 80% of stuff that goes to landfill are compostable So, we look at the movement of the sun during the – greens and wet waste. Hence the aim behind making seasons and harness its energies in the placement of technology

44 > THOUGHT LEADER our homes, the design of our vegetable gardens, the recycling and use of water, and so on. Design is linked to how each system or activity fits into the whole picture, using the sun, the wind, the slope of the land, the water, and more, and most importantly – how NOT to create waste. Waste is simply a by-product of an activity that is not re-used or re-cycled for another activity. Furthermore, every industrial system is a copy of some or other system in nature, be it the provision of energy, the manufacture of food, clothing, homes, treatment of waste and purification of water, land and air. Permaculture studies nature’s systems to find better industrial solutions and this is now the focus of my consulting work. DiT > How successful is permaculture advocacy? CN > Permaculture had never really been understood in a holistic context from an industrial point of view because it was such a multi-disciplinary approach. Every specialisation has to have an understanding of the whole picture and how it fits into that picture. I believe that permaculture forms the basis for us to change the way we think. Instead of thinking in a straight line and ignoring our connections to the whole and the consequences of our waste byproducts, permaculture teaches us to think in CYCLES, consequences, and regeneration. The advocacy is a slow process but people like me persist with passion and dedication. In 2004, three of us got together and formed the Earthworm Interest Group of South Africa (EIGSA) with the aim of promoting – as individual citizens – ‘all things earthworm-y’. I confess that my thoughts at that time were “at least there are three of us” and I was not alone anymore. We hold regular open days at the farm (three times a year), and through email communication and a simple website, we now have groups in every province, and over 1 000 members. Cool hey? It’s the worm’s turn! Every person who attempts to think in a responsible manner, no matter how small, about our impact on the environment contributes to the implementation of permaculture. Permaculture is not the be-all and end-

all – it’s a way of CHANGING OUR THINKING to ask questions about every activity from start to end, and how to link each activity so that the output (waste) from one becomes an input (resource) to other activities. It is not enough to simply adopt green principles in a mission statement – this is just the first step. Ultimately, we have to practice and implement environmental sustainability in every process, every product, every action in life and work. This will take time, but we have to start somewhere – anywhere: there is no action or process too small – for every action is linked to the greater good (or detriment) of the whole planet. We all are aware of ‘The Butterfly Effect’. I have always said that we need to stop waiting for others (governments, factories, businesses) to come up with solutions. Every individual needs to make a decision within his or her own life, no matter how small. If one million individuals recycled their own kitchen waste, or made their own compost (without waiting for their neighbour to do it first) the overall impact will be enormous. It’s as simple as that. DiT > What is the relationship between permaculture and technology? CN > Permaculture THINKING is totally applicable to technology. Nature is the science of life. Every technology has to have its basis in some form of life – we just need to find those links and connections. My work, among others, harnesses the unique abilities of earthworms to manage waste and the valuable knowledge that people like me have managed to attain is being put into practical application and, thereby, it has become a technology resource. DiT > You offer training and workshops in permaculture and specifically focus on ‘healing the soil, healing the people’. What do these workshops entail? CN > At present, I am working with Dr Ivan Jardine, the founder of the A.I.D.S Army – Armed with Information for our Daughters and Sons.

From this ... to this in five months! The garden at the Ithembelihle Lsen School for disabled children. Teachers at the school say the development of the garden has done wonders for the pupils’ physical and academic development.

One of the projects of the A.I.D.S Army is called MISSION IMPossible (pronounced “I AM possible”). The aim is to promote and implement one million vegetable gardens in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, using earthworms to convert organic waste into compost, to empower people to feed themselves and to inspire the youth and society to adopt healthy lifestyles to engender self respect and positive behaviour change. We have self-funded and started several demo projects in schools, communities and Diepkloof prison, and are raising funds to get ongoing support to train as many people as possible to go into their own communities: 1 000 000 gardens are a LOT of gardens … but not impossible.

the Gauteng Department Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE)? CN > Dr Soni, a state veterinarian at GDACE, approached me in 2005. At that time, he was given the unenviable task of waste management of abattoir contaminants – mainly blood and offal. We ran several mini-pilots. The first pilot was disastrous and resulted in the massdestruction of my poor earthworms in their containers. The second pilot was more successful, and this helped me to think differently and make further amendments in other pilots.

Again, it’s been a challenge to get funders’ minds around this comprehensive approach – the links between soil, people, behaviour change, health and AIDS, nature and recycling, and more.

I attended the Annual State Vet Conference as a speaker in 2007 and learnt that in Gauteng province alone that year, 2 000 tons of abattoir waste PER MONTH was being generated (solid and liquid). We do not have enough incinerators to cope with this and the energy requirements are also exorbitant. Most of this waste lands up either being buried in the ground or thrown into landfill sites. What a waste, not to mention the consequent pollution of the soils and the groundwater!

DiT > Can you expand on the research project aimed at proving the effectiveness and safe conversion of abattoir waste, using earthworms, in conjunction with

So, our research project is all about asking questions, seeing how it’s done in nature, trying it out, and applying what we have learnt. technology


A pilot study aimed at proving the effectiveness and safe conversion of abattoir waste, using earthworms

DiT > You were a qualifier in the 2009 TT100 awards. What advantages has this recognition offered you? CN > I haven’t really thought about it, because although this bio-technology is available, there is still hesitation on the part of big business, mines and government to come together to act upon the National Waste Act that was promulgated in November last year. People are still trying to get their minds around normal recycling… So, I think the TT100 status has provided a basis for credibility for people who want to know what can be done. I believe there IS an organisation out there with the funds and the courage to put this technology into practice on a large scale. I am patient – one of the most important lessons that nature has taught me – and it will happen soon. DiT > In conclusion, while researching this article someone said that Carmen Nottingham is the kind of person who has the vision, knowledge and passion to redesign the world. What would your ideal redesign for the world look like? CN > What a question! I will attempt to do justice to the answer by quoting (I think it was Gandhi) “BE the change you want to see in the world”. technology

I would love to help convert all biological wastes and pollution found in land, water systems and air by the use of natural systems and creatures (such as the earthworms, soil micro-organisms and plants) into the fertile basis of life – healthy soil and clean water. This will help increase the biomass on the planet, which will have an enormous impact on reducing the CO2 emissions, and consequently air pollution. Increased biomass equals increased plants, better quality food, healthy nutrition, and healthier people. We have to start somewhere – no matter how small. I therefore put the challenge out to companies – let’s do something together – now, because tomorrow is too late! I eventually see a world where, in our study of the efficient designs and systems found in nature, we will systematically implement these in our everyday lives. I see people living in villages (not mega-polluting cities) where every member has an important role to play, and where every village is linked across the globe – each one like a healthy cell of planet earth, just as our bodies are made up of individual cells, each performing a vital function in a healthy body – but this is the topic for yet another conversation. <



Cryogel polymer technology used to make cosmetic eye product By Estelle Warmsley


n innovative eye-product developed from

wrinkles and puffiness within five minutes of use.

cryogel polymer technology patented by the

These professional spa and in-home anti-ageing eye

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

skin treatments lock in moisture and are unique in that

(CSIR) has taken the cosmetic world by storm.

they provide an instant cooling sensation without a fridge, and are re-usable.

eyeSlices®, as the product is called, was developed by South African-born entrepreneur Kerryne Krause

After working tirelessly for more than seven years,

Neufeldt, who refers to herself as a “makeshift scientist”,

Kerryne (35) is storming the US$160 billion global

and is manufactured by her development and market-

beauty market with her patented cryogel eye-care

ing company I-Slices Manufacturing.

product. In the process, she’s turning the cosmetics company that she started in her backyard into a

eyeSlices® are easy-to-use eye pads that combine

multi-million dollar enterprise.

the natural essence of nature with bio-innovation to treat common eye concerns. The dermal delivery eye masks

Born in Johannesburg, Kerryne graduated from the

are a global first in cryogel polymer technology.

University of Pretoria with a post-graduate marketing degree at the age of 22. Guided by a personal passion

When applied to the eyes, the soft, transparent gel-like

for health and wellness, and also science and technology,

pads provide a slow-release eye-treatment by releasing

she was always drawn to the cosmetics industry. At

active ingredients into the area around the eyes to

one point, she was excited to find a special Italian mask

reduce the appearance of redness, dark circles,

claiming to treat five major eye symptoms, but was

disappointed when it did not deliver on the claim.

who had worked on it had mostly left the project. So,

After testing a variety of eye-care products, Kerryne

with a product that definitely had the potential to

discovered a gap in the market. Many companies were

help her develop her eye-care product, but with more

beginning to augment their creams and lotions with

questions than answers as to how this was going to

gimmicky eye masks and pads, but none of these

happen, Kerryne took advantage of the opportunity

products actually worked. Kerryne wanted to develop

and negotiated an exclusive license for the technology.

an eye-care product with real technology to back it up.

She saw the opportunity as the chance she had long been waiting for to create the eye-care product she

In 2000, she learned that the South Africa Council for

had always dreamed of.

Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Polymer Technology Division had invented a water-soluble

As the exclusive owner of a licence agreement with

polymer gel that functioned as a dermal delivery system

the CSIR to commercialise and exploit its polymer

– in other words, a gel-like substance that could be

technology for the cosmetic sector, she now became

liquefied and solidified to absorb and emit ingredients

a full-time researcher and scientist and devoted all

to the skin.

her time and energy to realising her dream.

This is when Kerryne, with no formal science training,

In an improvised lab on their property, Kerryne and her

became a ‘makeshift’ scientist. As she explains, she had

husband cooked up polymer, experimenting on hundreds

no option. The product, the polymer gel, had only been

of different freeze/thaw cycles. The manufacturing

partially developed at the CSIR and the scientists

process incorporated multiple freezing, thawing and



heating techniques. After six years, countless side jobs, and R3.3 million (US$426,000) funding from 13 different institutions, Kerryne and her husband finally perfected a scalable method for infusing the liquid active ingredients, and then turning the polymer into a gel of the right consistency. Although the product had been perfected, Kerryne’s problems were not over. She struggled with packaging that was not airtight which meant her products dried out and were limited to a two-month shelf life. After much research into various packaging methods, the food industry provided the answer. Manufacturers in that industry are used to producing airtight, hygienic packaging in all shapes and sizes, she explains. The purchase of an Ulma thermovac forming machine, which is traditionally used in the food packaging and sealing sector, finally solved the problem. This particular machine, which was imported from Spain, had been customised for eyeSclices® and could package and completely seal the product. At last the eyeSclices® were ready to be marketed. eyeSlices®, was launched at the Professional Beauty Exhibition in Johannesburg in early 2006. Within two hours of setting up the booth, the entire stock was sold out. This initial response has translated into wide-scale success for the company. By the end of 2006, the company had stocked the product in over 100 salons and spas in South Africa. And, in the past three years, international demand has been met by supplying distributors in the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Norway, Australia and Dubai. Germany and Finland are the latest new markets.

Entrepreneur, Kerryne Krause Neufeldt in her laboratory.

In response to the question of what her future plans

years – to mention but two: In 2008 she received the

are, Kerryne responded immediately and with great

coveted Passing the Torch award in the awards pro-

enthusiasm: “To build a global brand. We want to take

gramme of the same name in the categories Overall

over the world with our product.”

Winner and Women in Trade. In 2007 she was elected the winner in the Department of Science and Technology’s

According to Kerryne her product is distributed through

annual Technology Top 100 in the category Manage-

beauty salons and spas, but it is also available and

ment of Technology. <

packaged for the retail market where it offers excellent value for money at a truly affordable price. Kerryne has won numerous awards for the development of her innovative eyeSlices® product over the



Bell receives top honours in TT100 For more than 50 years the name Bell has been synonymous with high quality, heavy duty construction equipment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not only in South Africa, but worldwide. What started out as a small enterprise established by Irvine Bell in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa in 1954, culminated in 2009 when Bell Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd won the Department of Science & Technology Ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award for Overall Excellence in the prestigious Top Technology 100 (TT100) scheme.

THE BELL STORY The story of Bell Equipment began when Irvine Bell and his new bride and company co-founder Eunice, settled in Zululand a few years after World War II. Having completed his trade apprenticeship as a fitter and turner on a northern Natal colliery where he had grown up and after serving five years in the Army Corps of Engineers during the war, Irvine Bell applied his engineering skills in building a home-made water boring machine powered by an engine from a Willy’s Jeep. Following two years of sinking water wells for a living, he took up an offer to start a farm machinery repair service on a sugar estate near Empangeni on the North Coast of Natal. The enterprise’s ability to repair even the most extensively damaged or worn machinery soon attracted work from further a field. When the business expanded in 1958, Irvine Bell built a new workshop on his smallholding. Now joined by his brother Robert, brother-in-law Malcolm Campbell (who passed away at the age of 78 at the beginning of April)

and with Eunice keeping the books, the small enterprise, I A Bell and Company, provided a general engineering service along with limited manufacturing of Irvine’s various inventions. Among them a self-loading sugar cane trailer and an overhead transfer crane for local farmers With the family home built alongside the workshops, sons Peter, Gary and Paul grew up amongst the welding sparks and machine shop in a grease filled mechanical parts intensive environment. In the early 1960s Irvine Bell saw a further opportunity to improve the sugar cane harvesting process. While a few rudimentary cane loading machines had appeared on the scene, most were adapted farm tractors and as such lacked manoeuvrability to quickly gather a load of cane. Irvine Bell’s approach was to develop a whole new class of machine. Utilising emerging hydrostatic technology and borrowing hydraulic motors from an old motor grader, his prototype three wheeled loader was granted a patent and named the greatly manoeuvrable self propelled machine. technology


ABOVE: Founder, Irvine Bell with his three sons, left to right, Gary, Paul and Peter.

Able to control each of the large drive wheels independently, the Bell Tri-Wheeler could turn instantly on its own axis. Also the simple control concept was easily assimilated by operators without any previous machinery experience. Choosing to focus on the general engineering side of his business, Irvine Bell licensed the manufacture of his Cane Loader to a Johannesburg based locomotive company that was active in cane transport at the time.

LEFT: Irvine Bell in his workshop. RIGHT: Irvine with the first harvesting head.

The quest to design productive mobile machinery was not lost on his sons. Peter and Gary’s first go-kart, scrounged together during school holidays, could pull a small tip trailer. And with a dozer blade fitted to the front of the cart to spread gravel, the rig was put to work repairing the dirt roads on the smallholding! By the early 1970s the business had again expanded to a new facility in Empangeni’s industrial area.

1970, Peter and Gary Bell.

With the construction of a greenfields port in nearby Richards Bay, the company provided many innovative engineering solutions to the port’s contracting consortium – among them light-weight, high flotation earthmoving dumper trailers that could cope with the soft sand conditions.

Now with the next generation on board in the business, Irvine Bell, together with sons Peter and Gary developed and patented a cane cutting attachment that enabled the tri-wheeler to further mechanise cane harvesting. Irvine Bell was nevertheless wary of his son’s ambition to venture into mass production, warning the boys that within a year they could lose interest after producing the same piece of machinery on a continuous basis. Instead, after a windfall maiden production year which saw 50 units produced, the company was rising to the challenge of successful manufacturing. Applying practical hydrostatic systems experience gained while working on sabbatical with the Vickers distributor, Peter Bell made significant improvements to the triwheeler’s design and in 1975, with the expiry of the manufacturing licence which had seen production being outsourced, Bell itself began production of complete machines. The number of applications grew in which the triwheeler could be used. Fitted with a forklift mast, the rough terrain forklift version was quickly embraced by the country’s brick industry. For the expanding timber industry, a log handling version was configured.

Equipped with a log grab – the Bell Logger – proved to be the ideal tool to gather logs and to load transporters. Observing the deficiencies in the adapted farm tractors used as transporters in the sugar and timber industries, Peter Bell conceptualised a more robust machine. Purpose-built for haul work with a truck-style drivetrain, a steel chassis and tough earthmoving machine for construction, the Bell Rigid Tractor, together with a range of job matched trailers found a ready market in cane and timber haulage which then expanded into earthmoving applications. Now working in the earthmoving industry, Peter Bell saw the opportunity to apply the hauler’s strong simple design philosophy to the front end loader concept. He set about designing a tough ‘Built-for-Africa’ mid-size wheeled loader range that were destined to become market leaders in their class. After a few years of marketing their growing product range through independent distributors, the company recognised the advantage of having its own dedicated outlets to provide customers with factory direct support – and so the Bell Customer Service Centre support network was born. Beginning with a branch in Johannesburg, technology


ABOVE: The Bell Equipment factory located in Richards Bay, South Africa.

Bell Equipment soon had national coverage and within a few years, exports to neighbouring countries put Bell firmly on the map.

AN EYE ON THE GLOBAL MARKET By the early 1980s – with a factory staff of just over 100 – the manufacturing operation had outgrown the Empangeni facility and in 1984 a new custom-built factory located in Richards Bay was commissioned. By this time the tri-wheel loader range had found ready markets abroad and the plant provided product in kit form to final assembly facilities in Mauritius which in turn supplied cane loaders locally and into Africa. A New Zealand assembly facility provided loaders for the Australasian forest industry. In the United States, the company first partnered with a large forestry equipment manufacturer to build American versions of the logger. Later Bell Equipment established its own facilities in the southern timber market to distribute products exported from the Richards Bay plant.

Also during the early 1980s a new configuration of earthmover arrived in the South African market place. These articulated dump trucks imported from Europe were effective and versatile. Bell, nevertheless, saw room for improvement by fine tuning their design to better cope with the harsh operating conditions common in Africa. Launched in 1985, Bell Equipment’s first articulated truck – the 25 ton model – was a resounding success. This led to new models expanding the range. Lighter, faster models extended the artic truck application to a greater number of challenging hauls. By 1989, with the doubling of the Richards Bay plant capacity, the flagship 40 ton capacity articulated dump truck was launched and the worldwide team of employees had grown to 1 650. Today the Bell articulated dump truck range has again expanded, breaking new ground with the mining – focused 50 ton capacity B50D. To compliment its own product range, Bell Equipment has partnered with global equipment manufacturers to provide customers with a comprehensive range of machines in the construction, forestry, mining and agriculture industries. The group has a customer devoted distribution network that is proud of their service record.

The strategic partnership formed with one of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers, the John Deere Company, during 1999 provides the financial strength to realise the goal of being the world’s premium articulated truck supplier and in Africa, the equipment brand of choice. By partnering with customers and suppliers Bell has been able to grow from humble beginnings, where Irvine Bell from his tiny engineering works inspired the search for a better way.

EXPORT AND DESIGN AWARDS Over and above the TT100 award in 2009, the company has been the recipient of various export awards in 1990, 1991 and 1994 including being elected as the overall winner of the State President’s Award for Export Achievement in 1991. In 2001 Bell Equipment won the National Productivity Institute’s Gold Award in the corporate category and the Institute of Marketing Management’s Marketing Organisation of the Year award.

The Company has received numerous prestigious engineering awards including the Shell Design Award in 1987, the SABS Industrial Design Award in 1988, The South African Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Projects and Systems Award in 1991 and 2002 and the Cullinan Design Award in 1992. In 1996 Bell Equipment was the overall Toma (Outstanding Manufacturer of the Year) winner and was also winner of the Basic Metals, Fabricated Metal Products, Machinery & Equipment category for 1996 and 1997. In 1996 and 1997 Bell Equipment was also a category winner of the Top Products Award, convened jointly by the Engineering Association and Engineering Week. In 2002 Bell Equipment received two awards at the Top Technology 100 Awards, the Autodesk Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design Innovation and the Metals, Machinery, Electrical, Capital Equipment and Construction category award. Last year Bell Equipment also won the SAIME (South African Institute of Mechanical Engineering) Projects and Systems Award in the R2 million to R50 million category. <

All images courtesy of Bell Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd. technology


Providing business intelligence for the healthcare industry


nowledge Objects Healthcare, a subsidiary of Bathabile Technologies, was a finalist in Technology Top 100 (TT100) Awards earlier this year. The company specialises in managing healthcare financing risk for contracted clients. Through its products, E-Authorisation™, KnowledgeSource™ and KnowledgePower™, Knowledge Object Healthcare (KOH) has become pioneers in business intelligence and fraud prevention in the medical scheme industry and currently has clients in South Africa, Nigeria, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Australia and Hong Kong. KOH was established in 1996 and has over the years built world-class knowledge-based applications for global, blue-chip organisations. Application developments and engagements include Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Nissan, GE Capital, Lloyds TSB, ABN Amro and Ford Motor Company.

KOH is the leading implementer of medical rule based systems in South Africa and Australia. KOH is the sole licensor of KnowledgePower™ in worldwide healthcare markets. KOH’s client base currently spans 65% of the medical scheme industry in South Africa with comprehensive claims adjudication, preauthorisation and cohesive fraud prevention solutions. The rule sets are multi-disciplinary including dental, optometry, radiology, pathology, hospital, specialist, general practitioner and all the ancillary disciplines prevalent in a modern healthcare system. Knowledge Power™ allows the management of business and clinical rules by end users in an English language type of format without any conventional coding requirement.

Knowledge Objects Pharmaceutical Benefit Management (KOPBM) KOPBM is the sole licensor and distributor of ProPBM™ in Africa and the Middle East, a world-class pharmaceutical benefit management solution from McKesson Inc, the leading supplier of medical industry systems in the world and a Fortune 500 company. ProPBM™ is the leading PBM software in the world today and currently serves major US funders, including Aetna, the Anthem Group and WellPoint of California. ProPBM™ can be configured to meet all specific aspects of managing pharmaceutical claims in a particular market by pharmacists without the need for associated conventional coding. ProPBM™ allows a number of sophisticated, real-time, automated, drug technology


utilisation interventions. These interventions allow healthcare funders to improve healthcare outcomes, reduce administration costs, and substantially reduce drug costs. KOPBM currently provides pharmaceutical benefit management for eight health care funds in

emphasis on aligning the research objectives to the

South Africa and is growing rapidly.

the research process.

TT100 finalist

The entrants to the TT100 programme included over

strategic intent of the organisation. Further, the efficiency of the process is high on the manager’s agenda. Technology Top 100 winners are recognised by the fact that they commit significant resource to

250 companies from both the public and the private The TT100 annual awards programme, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (thedti) and Da Vinci Holdings, identifies true South African role models who through innovation, tenacity and a passionate belief in people have been able to take their organisations to new levels of competitiveness.

sectors representing a wide spectrum of operations

Bathabile Technologies Group was a finalist in two of the six Emerging Enterprise TT100 2008 award categories: Excellence in the Management of Technology and Excellence in the Management of Research.

consistent and clinically appropriate authorisations

in diversified industries.

KOH products KOH’s E-Authorisation™ ensures the automation of real-time through automated clinical rule sets. It offers direct integration into a medical aid scheme’s managed care system, reducing the need for expensive clinical resources

In the Excellence in the Management of Technology category the adjudication process probed deeply into the processes which an organisation deploys in the management of technology. Of key interest are the processes which are deployed to develop, implement and monitor the technology strategy. A winning company devotes attention to the technology life cycle ensuring that they have a healthy mix of emerging, pacing, key and base technologies. Fundamental to the effective management of technology are the tools deployed to maintain and enhance competitive advantage.

KnowledgePower™ stops fraudulent, errant and misappropriate claims prior to payment. It is a holistic fraud and best practice medical claims management tool which is administration and operating platform independent. It covers the full spectrum of medical disciplines. KnowledgeSource™ monitors key reporting indicators in a medical aid scheme including fraud, REF, managed care and fund utilisation. KnowledgeSource™ centralises scheme data allowing for retrospective data analysis

In the Excellence in the Management of Research category, successful organisations place significant


against a multitude of disciplines using a dynamic web portal. <

Knowledge Objects Healthcare

The sharper side of cutting edge technology.

At KOH, we pride ourselves on having a healthy disrespect for the impossible. Over the years this approach has made us a clear leader in developing new technologies that automate complex health and life insurance underwriting and administration processes. We have a wealth of professional insight into the healthcare and insurance markets, and we are 100% focused on technology solutions that help overcome the key challenges facing those markets today.

 Specialist knowledge. Fresh thinking. Smarter technology.

+27 11 257 3900


Technology Pioneers 2009 > Awarding the best of the best For the past ten years the World Economic Forum has awarded pioneers in technology – companies that have a talent for innovation and that are noticed in the global marketplace.


echnology Pioneers are a constituency of the World Economic Forum, with the BT Group, Accel, KPMG and Kudelski Group acting as strategic partners of the Technology Pioneers programme. The publication on award winners, titled Talent for innovation: Getting noticed in a global market, offers an overview of the award scheme, with write-ups on the winning innovations. The information in this article was sourced from this publication. According to André Schneider, managing director and chief operating officer of the World Economic Forum the 2009 awards achieved several milestones. The most significant of these were that there was a 50% increase on entries compared to the previous year, the programme has generated an unprecedented interest

from candidates in emerging economies, whose applications constituted 22% of the total and the award scheme welcomed the first ever Technology Pioneers from Africa, Chile and the People’s Republic of China. Schneider is convinced that the globalisation of science and technology will continue to improve standards of living around the world in the years to come. Matt Bross, CEO of BT innovate and BT Group chief technology officer – one of the award scheme’s strategic partners – says that to be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must be involved in the development of life-changing technology innovation and have the potential for long-term impact on countries, companies and communities on a planetary basis.

What makes a Technology Pioneer in the 21st century? In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s globalised, interconnected world, innovation is the work of teams, often based in particular innovation hotspots, and often collaborating with partners, suppliers and customers both nearby and in other countries. Innovation has become a global activity as it has become easier for ideas and talented people to move from one country to another. This has both quickened the pace of technological development and presented many new opportunities, as creative individuals have become increasingly prized and there has been greater recognition of new sources of

talent, beyond the traditional innovation hotspots of the developed world. A total of 34 companies were selected as Technology Pioneers in 2009. They entered into three categories: Biotechnology and health, energy/environmental technology and information technology. Candidates were nominated by members, constituents and collaborators of the World Economic Forum. Candidates were reviewed by an external selection advisory committee comprising technology experts in a variety of fields, with the World Economic Forum taking the final decision. The Pioneers were chosen on the basis of six selection criteria, being recent innovation based on a significant investment in technology


research and development, potential impact, growth and sustainability, proof of concept (a proven track record), leadership and the company should not be a member of the World Economic Forum.

Other winners in this category: > BrightSource Energy – USA, > Current Group – USA,

Award winners – with specific focus on developing countries In the category Energy/Environmental Technology, the winners were: > C  ows to Kilowatts Partnership – Nigeria, Why the company is a pioneer Construction of the Cows to Kilowatts biogas plant, which will be one of the biggest in Africa, began in 2007. With an estimated life span of 15 years, it is designed to be commercially viable and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the slaughterhouse by more than 22 300 tons of CO2 per year. Not only has Cows to Kilowatts solved a potentially disastrous problem, it has also created opportunities that could be replicated elsewhere in the developing world. > RECYCLA Chile – Chile, Why the company is a pioneer Being the first on a continent to address the issue of electronic waste is pioneering in itself, but RECYCLA’s model also generates profits for shareholders, while addressing a worrying environmental issue in a socially responsible way. RECYCLA’s next step will be to export its business model throughout South America, while helping to ensure that its social responsibility ethos remains at the core.

> GreenPeak Technologies – The Netherlands, > L emnis Lighting – The Netherlands and the USA, > N  ovaTorque – USA, > R  ecycleBank – USA, > S  emiLEDs Corporation – USA and Taiwan, > V  irent Energy Systems – USA, > Z  Power – USA,

I n the category Information Technology, the winners were: > J iGrahak Mobility Solutions – India, Why the company is a pioneer JiGrahak believes that ngpay will do for mobile commerce in India what companies like Amazon did for electronic commerce in the US and Europe in the 1990s. Given that 70 million Indians are already accessing the Internet via mobile, ngpay is creating new commercial opportunities in that country, particularly for rural and working-class people – 70% of the company’s users are outside major metropolitan areas.

> m  Pedigree – Ghana and the USA, www. Why the company is a pioneer

Other winners in this category were: > A  dvanced Track & Trace – France,

Counterfeit drugs are a huge problem in developing countries. The implications for human health include over-dosage, low-dosage—which means the drug’s desired effect is lessened or useless—further illness, poisoning and death. It is vitally important to develop a system that not only prevents and detects counterfeit drugs but also encourages use by being easily accessible, cheap and relatively foolproof. mPedigree’s platform offers such a solution for the real world.

> Brightcove – USA,

> Nivio – Switzerland and India,

> Tideway Systems – UK,

Why the company is a pioneer

> TraceTracker – Norway,

Nivio is the first hosted Windows desktop. As a small start-up, the company was able to create something none of its larger rivals were able to do. This technology provides a new way to access modern computing for the developing world and extends the life of equipment for people who already own computers. And, because it is based on an operating system used by around 90 per cent of the world’s users, Nivio offers broad functionality.

> Ubiquisys – UK,

> Qifang – China,

> B  iomedica diagnostics – Canada,

Why the company is a pioneer Combining technological innovations such as P2P lending, microfinance, Web 2.0 and online bidding with social and educational interests, Qifang may well revolutionise and democratise higher education in China. The company’s name means “bloom”, a reference to a classical Chinese poem: “Bai hua qi fang”— “Let a hundred flowers bloom.”

> Etsy – USA, > Gameforge – Germany, > – USA, > Mojix – USA, > SpinVox – UK,

I n the category Biotechnology / Health, the winners were: > AC Immune – Switzerland, > lnylam Pharmaceuticals – USA,

> Intercell – Austria, > Mobile Healthcare – Japan, > MorhoSys – Germany, > Phase Forward – USA, > Proteus Biomedical – USA, <



Social networking online – taking virtual corporate presence to the next level The pervasive quality and immediacy of online social networking seems to have grabbed the attention of corporate South Africa. So much so that the concept of using digital forums to talk to the market, boost sales, generate leads and advertise services is now considered by many to be a serious element of overall marketing strategy. But does this represent a boon or a Pandora’s Box for companies?


his is the question raised by Teryl Schroenn,

The reality is that more companies are assimilating their

CEO at Accsys, a national supplier of payroll,

profiles and placing them on these websites to secure

human resources (HR), time & attendance

online presence, Schroenn adds. The introduction of

and access control solutions. Schroenn refers to the growth in popularity of initiatives like Facebook and Myspace which offer any end-user free access to and management of his or her own Internet space. “It was simply a matter of time before businesses cottoned on to the strength of online social networking

Twitter and LinkID services has opened up a new dimension to modern corporate communication and networking. “Today the business environment involves engaging existing clients and prospective business partners using online channels. It is a step up from email and the basic fact is that business is being conducted through online social forums,” adds Schroenn.

forums to increase levels of exposure, generate leads

As specialists in the area of HR management, Accsys

and encourage referrals. The nature of the Internet is

continues to monitor the impact of social networking

such that lends itself very well to businesses as an

and its role in corporate governance. The company is

automatic, cost-effective and simple way to advertise

aware of the number of real threats to a business posed

and attract attention,” says Schroenn.

by unregulated engagement with social networking

forums. These range from lower productivity – right through to the deliberate or accidental sharing of sensitive company data. “It is about striving for and attaining higher levels of visibility, of reinforcing competitive advantage by knowing what is being said, when and by whom in the market. But, as with any technology and initiatives that empower individuals and groups, there has to be a degree of responsibility. The onus is on the company to determine policy to regulate access to social networking resources and to better manage the process of what is being communicated. Information remains a business’s most prized asset – to encourage freedom to interact digitally is one thing, to do this with no policies, channels of responsibility or checks in place is simply asking for trouble,” Schroenn continues.

Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys

The situation at present, according to Accsys, is that there are obvious marketing benefits associated with social networking on which businesses can capitalise. However, the success and experience will be influenced significantly by the quality of the product, reliability of the forum, the existence and strength of policies and procedures or checks that are in place, as well as the dexterity with which decision-makers approach the situation. <



Burn FOR free > LEADING THE CHARGE in the Open Source Revolution


n innovative open source software platform

That, in a nutshell, is the Freedom Toaster. These con-

known as the Freedom Toaster has provided

veniently located, robust, self-contained, computer

an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and

kiosks allow anyone to bring along a disk, tap a few

make software available free of charge to the previously

buttons on the touch screen and burn open source


software and operating systems onto a blank CD, DVD or flash drive.

While today the Freedom Toaster is an independent commercial undertaking by Breadbin Interactive, the

No bandwidth costs. No connectivity issues. No

initiative was developed and prototyped with the

expensive technical support departments. Just the

support of the South African funding and development

content you want to distribute, made available in a

organisation Shuttleworth Foundation.

way that’s easy for everyone to access.

So successful was the undertaking that the Freedom

Breadbin Interactive’s Freedom Toaster was one of

Toaster has grown into a highly effective digital content

the top winners at the annual Technology Top 100

distribution initiative that reaches across South Africa

awards ceremony in February 2009 when it received

and is being replicated internationally in countries like

two awards in the Emerging Enterprises category:

Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, India and Canada, to

one for management of technology and the other the

name but a few.

Director-General’s award for overall excellence. The achievement came as no surprise to those who are

Imagine a vending machine that allows you to pick what

familiar with the Toaster and its capabilities.

you want at the touch of a button, then ‘spits’ it out in a format that allows you to slip the product in your pocket

To fully understand what sparked the development of

and carry on with your day. Best of all, whatever you

such an innovative and useful technological tool, one

order is never out of stock, and it’s always free!

needs to look at the environment that created the need.

BACKGROUND While the Internet has been hailed as a great equaliser of developing and developed nations, there are in many countries still great disparities in opportunity to access the Internet. In South Africa, despite its new democratic dispensation, the problem of a technologically divided population is very prevalent and highlights the need for increased technological access and literacy. With technological competency becoming a prerequisite for any sort of skilled labour, it has become a social and economic priority to make technology cheaply and widely available. A restrictive telecommunications environment, high unemployment rate and the low income of large sectors of the population greatly hamper the process. While the main problem associated with computer literacy will always be cost, a substantial portion of the expenditure incurred can be negated by switching to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

The term â&#x20AC;&#x153;open sourceâ&#x20AC;? refers to computer software that has been built by a global community of volunteers who make the source code freely available. Unlike the more widely known proprietary software model, whereby a software product is owned by a single company and users pay license fees to use it, open source gives users a freedom that no proprietary software will ever offer and this includes the freedom to obtain, modify and distribute the software. Open source software embraces the philosophy of sharing. With open source, concepts such as piracy are not a problem. In fact, you are encouraged to share and spread the software as much as you like. The open source license states that you may copy and re-distribute the software even after modifying it. This provides users with a freedom not obtainable from proprietary software and creates tremendous opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs around the world, especially in developing countries. However, in the unique South African context open source software has its own drawbacks as it relies heavily on the Internet. Without a reliable, fast Internet connection, which many people cannot afford, numerous open source applications and operating systems are all but inaccessible. technology


face significant barriers in terms of its distribution due to the high cost of bandwidth in the country. He knew there was little point in offering freely available alternatives to proprietary software, when they cost too much in bandwidth to distribute or download. The Shuttleworth Foundation saw the invitation from the MTN Science Centre as an opportunity to showcase open source software in a public area. “We agreed that we wanted something capable of increasing the public interest in and keenness for open source software,” Hudson recalls. “One of the main ideas was to distribute software while simultaneously having a few computers set-up where people could test drive open source software. But none of these ideas were anything new or different,” he says.

Jason Hudson, founder of the Freedom Toaster project.

DEVELOPMENT OF FREEDOM TOASTER Some five years ago, the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa embarked on a project to address the shortcomings of the open source model in the South African context and to provide an interactive display of open source software at the MTN Science Centre in Cape Town. The project was the start of what was to become the Freedom Toaster. The idea was first conceived by Jason Hudson (previously of the Shutttleworth Foundation and now a Director of Breadbin Interactive) who realised that while open source represents the future of software, South Africans

It was then that he came up with the initial concept behind the Freedom Toaster. “I thought it would be cool to have a vending machine for open source software,” he recalls. “I initially planned to have a conventional vending machine with open source CDs stocked inside it, with predetermined software on them.” This idea turned out not to be very viable in terms of the huge costs involved and Hudson set out to rethink his idea of an open source vending machine. “We then decided to use a regular computer with three CD burning drives inside it,” he explains. “We authored some clever software in the PERL programming language that would allow the computer to burn three CDs concurrently and we placed this computer in the MTN Science Centre.” What happened next illustrates how open source is driven by the community it both originates from and offers benefits to. “Members of the Cape Linux User

Group (CLUG) got hold of the computer and the soft-ware we had written for it,” explains Hudson. “We started seeing discussions on the CLUG’s newsletters about it,” he continues. “They were calling it an ‘open source kiosk’ and there was substantial community interest in what we had created.” This community of Linux and open source enthusiasts then set out to develop the concept into the final product that is the Freedom Toaster we know today. The name Freedom Toaster is derived from the fact that open source software is free and that Linux users refer to burning CDs as ‘toasting’ as opposed to ‘burning’ them which is a Windows term. The Shuttleworth Foundation compensated the community for their efforts and brought in professional designers and computer programmers to take care of the user interface and additional programming required. After three years within the Shuttleworth Foundation, it was decided the best way to make this philanthropic project self-sustainable would be to commercialise it. This consequently led to the formation of Breadbin Interactive in 2006, and a commercially viable model was developed to make the units available to companies, educational institutions and government departments. Co-founder of the original concept, Brett Simpson, also left the Shuttleworth Foundation at this stage to join Hudson in the new venture. The Freedom Toaster’s selection of software is not limited to Linux distributions. Software such as the OpenCD and is available as well. The OpenCd contains

Rendering of a Freedom Toaster kiosk. technology


a wealth of free Windows software such as Firefox and Thunderbird, which serve as free alternatives to Internet Explorer and Outlook. The selection of Windows-compatible software on the Freedom Toaster makes it an invaluable tool for those who have opted to stay with Microsoft Windows, but who require low-cost, functional desktop utilities and applications.

IMPLEMENTATION In South Africa various institutions have adopted the Freedom Toaster and embraced the access which it provides to open source software. One of the first locations where it was installed was at the MTN Science Centre in Cape Town where the intention was to stimulate the interest of the increasingly mobile and technologically savvy young adults and teenagers who frequented the Centre. Branded as a hip and trendy portal into the world of open source, the Freedom Toaster was received with great approval by the youngsters and in just six months in 2004, it was used to burn a total of 1 335 distributions. Although difficult to quantify, the impact on the local community has been undeniable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It only takes one distribution in the right hands to create a lifelong love of open source, one copy of to provide an entire school with a desktop publishing application and one CD with Firefox and Thunderbird to enable a household to connect to the Internet,â&#x20AC;? says the Celebrating Software Freedom Day at the campus of the

pamphlet on The Case of the MTN Science Centre

Department of Science and Technology in Pretoria.

Freedom Toaster.

The University of South Africa (Unisa), one of the world’s largest distance learning institutions, distributes all its course material, across the entire curriculum, to registered students via Toasters placed in its offices around the country. This followed a successful pilot launch of the Toaster in 2007 on the Unisa campus in Pretoria. Because the Toaster is driven by open source coding it was possible to customise it exactly to Unisa’s needs. Another academic institution that has benefited from the implementation of the Freedom Toaster on its premises is the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the Pretoria area. As a result of substantial student open source software and making it accessible to many grants and loans available at the TUT every year, the

who previously may never have had an opportunity to

institution attracts a significant number of students from try it. historically disadvantaged backgrounds who often are seriously lacking in technological literacy skills.


At the TUT the Freedom Toaster doesn’t just benefit the large and varied student base and educators. Besides being available at various institutions, the Regular seminars and training have also provided the Freedom Toaster is also moved around to convenient general public with access to and information on how

locations and events where anyone is welcome to choose

to use the facility.

from the variety of software available and burn their own CDs. Plans and software for the Freedom Toaster

A Freedom Toaster has also been implemented at the

are also freely available, allowing anyone, anywhere,

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

to build their own Freedom Toaster and make open

at its Open Source Centre (OSC). Launched in 2003 by

source software available in their community.

the CSIR and the Department of Science and Technology, the OSC was created to facilitate the adoption of

The development of the Freedom Toaster couldn’t

open source software in both business and government have come at a better time in South Africa. Not only circles and as such was a perfect host for a freedom does it deliver open source software in a dynamic and Toaster. The OSC also works in the education and

empowering way, it has the potential to empower

training sector to facilitate the adoption of open source those with less access to information resources, software as an aid to learning and empowerment and thereby creating more opportunities to change society has proved a valuable ally in increasing awareness of for the better. < technology


Procurement and advertising platform > Changing the way pharmacies do business Pharmacies have experienced hard times in the recent past. In its efforts to make medicine more affordable and accessible to all citizens, the South African government has implemented pricing regulations that have forced many of your small corner pharmacies out of business. The situation has now stabilised, but pharmacies still need all the help they can get to streamline business.

Recent legislation changes in South Africa have also shifted more responsibility onto pharmacists, making them key decision makers in the distribution and recommendation of pharmaceutical products to the public. The SA Pharmacy Council reports that the new legislation has shifted the emphasis from the price of medicine to the rendering of professional services by pharmacists to members of the public.

X/procure® is an innovative electronic procurement and advertising platform that aims to create a friendlier business environment for pharmacies. More than 61% of South African pharmacies have already implemented the electronic procurement system, enabling them to purchase scheduled and over-the-counter pharmaceutical, surgical and front shop requirements directly from wholesalers and distributors. The system also facilitates electronic advertising directly to the pharmacist, allowing advertisers the opportunity to present and promote their products at the time the buying decision is made. The X/procure® Software company became a subsidiary of Primedia Unlimited, the ambient advertising arm of Primedia (Pty) Ltd – a media conglomerate that aims to adapt traditional media businesses to the new electronic economy.

Over a million items The software allows the buyer to search a database of more than one million line items, accurately compare prices, deals and specials, and easily build, send and manage purchase orders. X/procure® adds value to pharmacies by generating savings on cost of sales, improving buying decisions and ensuring better management of the procurement process. The system has been developed with the practicalities of the pharmacy environment in mind, and allows orders to be created quickly and easily. Boasting a wide range of electronic advertising mediums the X/procure® system also facilitates electronic advertising directly to the pharmacist at the technology


time when the buying decision is made. Advertising mediums range from text-based messaging to image banner advertising to intervention adverts and interactive mediums.

What’s in it for the advertiser? X/procure®’s extensive advertising reach can offer the advertiser access to more than 1200 pharmacies country wide. Because the system is typically used for the bulk of a pharmacy’s procurement, it provides an ideal opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturers to advertise, promote and create awareness for their brands.

Electronic advertising The X/procure® software facilitates electronic advertising directly to the pharmacist in more than 1200 pharmacies countrywide at the time when the buying decision is made by means of banners adverts, intervention adverts, watermarks adverts, screensaver adverts, amongst others. During a recent independent research study conducted by Ipsos Markinor, it was found that more than 93% of all X/procure® pharmacy subscribers utilise the system on a daily basis and more than 75% of the time, the pharmacist was the final decision maker on the purchase.

Images courtesy of X/procure®

The study also showed that in excess of 80% of pharmacists preferred ordering their stock electronically through the X/procure® system than through any other method, and the same number felt more positive towards the brands being advertised on the system.

This places an added value onto the X/procure® advertising platform, as its various advertising mediums have the ability to ensure that the advertiser’s brand is not only presented at the forefront of the procurement process, but the brand is highly recognisable at pharmacy level. With advertising mediums ranging from intervention to interactive adverts, X/procure® will not only ensure repetitive brand presentation but also measurability of advertising campaigns.

The role of generics Generic medicines are produced after the patent on an original medicine expires. Other manufacturers are then entitled to copy the original product using the same active ingredients as contained in the original medicine. Generic medicines are much less expensive than the original medicines because of the costly and extensive research usually required before the latter are manufactured. The South African government has pushed the use generics over the past few years – again to make medicine more affordable to more people.

Pharmacy electronic procurement technology is now regarded as the industry standard. From the minimal implementation requirement to the receipt of confirmed orders, X/procure® Pharmacy remains the simplest yet most powerful e-Procurement software tool available. Implementation of X/procure® Pharmacy is undertaken by qualified support technicians from one of the company’s national centres and is supported by a professionally staffed help-desk, manned 24hours a day, 7 days a week. Boasting the largest connectivity to suppliers (wholesales and distributors), X/procure® Pharmacy currently has over 170 front shop, dispensary and surgical suppliers and affiliates as partners in ensuring ease of pharmacy e-Procurement.

Wholesaler software

With the increasing number of generics introduced into the South African market, manufacturers are forced to look beyond traditional advertising and to incorporate creative and innovative mediums into their marketing mix.

X/procure® Supplier Plus allows the supplier to capture its product catalogue and price list through an easy to use interface. Distribution of the suppliers price file is then possible to all or selected pharmacies using X/procure® Pharmacy.

Not only does X/procure® offer advertisers the required innovation, but through properly understanding their short and long term marketing objectives, X/ procure®’s advertising consulting team will tailor a campaign specific to the advertisers needs.

For the supplier utilising ERP or legacy systems, X/ procure® RTO allows direct interfacing into the supplier’s inventory system, enabling online transaction processing (OLTP) and removing the human element from the ordering process.

Electronic ordering

X/procure® currently has more than forty two suppliers directly connected to its ordering portal, processing in excess of R400 million worth of orders on a monthly basis. <

Representing over 53% market share within the pharmacy environment in South Africa, the X/procure®



Gautrain Map online The use of mapping technology is vital in the planning of the Gautrain rapid rail system and will form an integral part of the transport system after its launch.


lanning the Gautrain through a heavily populated

people directions from their homes to the nearest station.

Gauteng province has been a challenging process

The map is interactive and can be viewed as a map or

requiring careful consideration of current and

as a displayed image that can be zoomed in and out.

future developments and road infrastructure. To assist in the planning of the task, Gautrain utilised

The other interesting option on the Gautrain website is

the services of location-based services company,

the Google Earth tool. Google Earth displays satellite


imagery and the route has been mapped onto imagery taken from Google Earth, allowing people to view the

Magnus Rademeyer, MD of AfriGIS, says the Gautrain

route from different angles.

project used mapping in a number of ways. The total length of the completed network will be 80 kilometres

“Each station has been marked on this map and clicking

with ten stations on the line between Johannesburg,

on a station brings up various options including more

Pretoria and the OR Tambo International Airport. A

information on that station, detailed photographs of

great deal of planning went into the route and assessing

construction progress and an artist’s impression of

how the current infrastructure would be affected.

what the station will look like,” says Rademeyer.

“Firstly maps were used to plan the route of the train.

Barbara Jensen from the Gautrain communication team

Then they were used to identify exactly which properties

says along with the tools on the website, the mapping

and roads would be affected by the line and the various

technology was also used by the Gautrain call centre

stations. The mapping technology was also integrated

agents to assist people who wanted to know how they

into the Gautrain website ( In

would be affected.

addition, AfriGIS used Google Earth to visually display the route on the Gautrain website and additional

“Furthermore, the technology was used in the exten-

information about the stations,” says Rademeyer.

sive planning process around the construction sites, which roads were affected as well as being used in

The online map on the Gautrain website was developed

the planning of alternative routes around stations

by AfriGIS. It allows people to see the route and zoom

while construction is in process,” says Jensen.

in right down to street names and stand numbers. The map includes detail such as stations and affected

“There will be a dedicated fleet of 125 Gautrain buses

properties and also provides a search function to show

fanning out on major routes from each station, taking

Examples of the online maps found on the Gautrain website which were developed by AfriGIS. technology


Examples of the online maps found on the Gautrain website which were developed by AfriGIS. technology

Google Earth tool allows browsers the opportunity to view Gautrain routes from different angles as well as displaying other information of interest.

passengers to and from the Gautrain. These buses will be able to carry more than 100 000 passengers per day in each direction between Johannesburg and Tshwane,” she says. As the Gautrain bus service launches, new routes will be added on a regular basis and existing routes will be updated based on demand. “We’re looking at ways of using mapping technology for bus routes. So for example, the bus routes could possibly be posted on the website and would also be made available at stations and other points so that commuters will know exactly where the buses travel to and which route is best suited to them,” says Jensen. Passengers will not have to wait long for the train which will have 24 sets of four rail cars each travelling on the line – a total of 96 cars on the track. A journey from OR Tambo to Sandton will take 12 minutes or less while the journey between Johannesburg and Tshwane should take 42 minutes. Points of interest will also be used extensively once the Gautrain begins operating to assist people at each

station to decide on the services that may interest them, says Rademeyer. “For example, tourists coming from the OR Tambo International Airport may want to find their hotel in Sandton or find the closest place to do their shopping. Location-based services and mapping will help people to orientate themselves and find what they are looking for.” AfriGIS provides Geographical Information Systems (GIS) solutions to corporates, parastatals and various government institutions departments. Solutions vary from providing data sets of geographical information to software, maps, customised solutions and consulting services. This geographical information is used for a host of purposes including population, proximity and location analysis, address verification, location based services and so on. AfriGIS also specialises in making these services available from mobile phones and developing mobile applications that use geographical information. It has also developed a mobile advertising platform to serve advertising to websites and mobile phone applications. <



Applying the 4 Ps in the mobile marketing mix By Gavin van Haght, account manager at CellSmart Technologies

The growth of mobile technologies creates various opportunities for mobile operators, advertisers and media owners to use new and untapped media channels to reach new customers and to engage and retain existing ones. As more consumers adopt mobile devices into their daily lives, it is becoming increasingly important to integrate such mobile technologies into communication and marketing strategies.

Image: Š Renato Mitra



he growth of mobile technologies creates various opportunities for mobile operators, advertisers and media owners to use new and untapped media channels to reach new customers and to engage and retain existing ones. As more consumers adopt mobile devices into their daily lives, it is becoming increasingly important to integrate such mobile technologies into communication and marketing strategies. Mobile marketing is far more than just a fleeting trend. Combining the reach and frequency of television with the accuracy and personal communication of direct marketing, mobile has become an effective and costefficient means for reaching consumers. The longterm potential benefits of using mobile marketing and the challenges presented to enterprises, publishers, advertisers, service providers and networks are attracting the interest of organisations. These benefits include driving incremental revenue, creating a direct feedback channel, enhancing consumer loyalty and providing a better brand and service experience for consumers. Four key concepts are considered decisive when developing a mobile marketing mix: Personalisation, participation, peer-to-peer and predictive modelling. Personalisation refers to the ability to customise products and services through the use of the Internet. Early examples include Dell on-line and, but the concept is further extended by emerging social media and advanced algorithms. Participation refers to the engagement of customers in determining brand positioning, the direction of product development and even which advertisements to run. This concept lays the foundation for disruptive change through the democratisation of information. Peer-to-peer (P2P) refers to customer networks and communities where advocacy takes place. The historical

problem with marketing is that it is interruptive by nature â&#x20AC;&#x201C; always trying to impose a brand on the customer. This is most apparent in television advertising. The active customer communities will ultimately replace the passive customer bases and brand engagement happens within those conversations. P2P is now being referred as social computing and is likely to be the most disruptive force in the future of marketing. Predictive modelling refers to algorithms that are being successfully applied in marketing problems, which are both a regression as well as a classification problem.

PERSONALISATION Enhancing consumer loyalty and generating more sales Gone are the days of mass marketing where brands were non-specific about their target audience. Now, more than ever, brands are moving towards communication that takes place on a one-on-one basis, and in doing so, are generating higher levels of brand loyalty. Consumers want to feel unique and will, therefore, be willing to focus their attention on communication that meets this need. Mobile offers brands the opportunity to place the communication directly into the palm of the consumer, avoiding the clutter of traditional media and singling out the consumer as the focus of that particular brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention. By integrating mobile marketing into communications strategies, brands can expect longer and more beneficial relationships with their consumers through direct and personal communication, resulting in greater market security and higher revenues, because consumers seek out the brands with whom they feel the closest bond. technology


Mother’s Day promotion for Foschini.

By using targeted mobile marketing brands are able to offer consumers up-to-date notifications about product promotions, discounts, limited editions and special purchasing incentives, while capturing data and rewarding of consumers. Mobile makes the whole process simpler, more customer-focussed, and it costs considerably less that traditional media. Through the use of mobile, brands can ensure that personalised communications are placed in the palms of their target market, bypassing the clutter and making sure that that brands message receives the consumer’s full attention.

Case study Foschini, one of South Africa’s largest retail chains, allowed consumers to customise their own T-shirt designs in a Mother’s Day promotion and offered them a chance of winning a cell phone for their effort. The customised T-shirt element was a massive success, providing Foschini with a large database of consumer designs. From this case study one can see that personalisation is a sure-fire way of generating interest in one’s brand.

PARTICIPATION Brand positioning and consumer research Up to now building a brand has relied on traditional mediums such as television and radio. However, as more brands enter the marketplace, vying for the consumer’s attention, a lot of what brands are trying to tell their consumers is getting lost in the clutter and marketing overload. Today’s consumers want their brands to listen to what they have to say and are no longer willing to except a general shot-in-the-dark approach from brands trying to attract their attention. As marketers, we are merely the brand custodians. The ownership lies with the consumer. Through the use of mobile marketing elements brands can communicate with their consumers on a two-way level, allowing them to accurately state what they feel the brand is and what it should stand for. It is important not only for brands to generate new clients, but also to retain their current clients. In order to do this, brands need to continuously offer added value to their consumers in one way or another. Through


The Make Your Move campaign for Love Life.

the use of mobile marketing, brands are able to collect information about their target consumers, whether it is demographic, psychographic, behavioural, or productrelated, which provides insight into what their consumers perceive as value. As a result marketers are able to more accurately meet the needs of their target consumers, and in doing so, stay ahead of their competitors.

Case study The Make Your Move campaign from Love Life, South Africa’s fourth largest brand is an excellent example of an effective participation strategy that used mobile marketing. The campaign entailed a custom-developed WAP site to create a social network where Love Life’s target consumers would interact with one another and in doing so, provide feedback for the campaign and brand as a whole. The site provided an innovative means for sourcing valuable data on the organisation’s target audience and also allowed them to take ownership of the communication and brand.

PEER-TO-PEER Increasing consumer interaction by introducing viral elements and hype To ensure brand distinction, marketers need to generate opportunities for interaction with their consumers. Traditional media often come up short on this score and can often be viewed as talking at the consumer rather than talking to the consumer. The use of mobile places the communication at the consumer’s fingertips and speaks to them in their own environments. Mobile elements such as WAP encourage consumers to spend long periods of time interacting with the sites that they choose to access and increase their engagement with the brands. In a world of PVRs and page-turning options brands need to harness the power of a medium that not only holds the attention of the consumer, but also encourages return visits. Mobile offers brands the ability to do just that by providing interactive and entertaining elements to a personalised environment of communication. technology


WAP site for the launch of the Mitsubishi Lancer.

In addition, there is no more powerful form of advertising than word-of-mouth. Peer-to-peer interaction can have an extremely positive or negative effect on a brand. Marketers need to provide their consumers with communication that will be talked about in a positive way. Mobile campaigns offer marketers opportunities to incorporate prizes, downloadable content or tell-a-friend options which are highly effective in generating viral aspects and P2P interactivity. These new and exciting ways of interacting with a brand’s target audience ensure that it receives increased share-of-mouth space in social circles, giving such campaigns an extra boost in the cluttered market space. Much along the same lines of viral campaigns, mobile can be used to generate high levels of interest around a particular brand or product. Providing consumers with the option of designing their own sought-after content (as can be seen from the case study below) can generate a great deal of hype around a particular product or brand.

Case study Mitsubishi recently commissioned the design of a WAP site as part of its launch of the new Mitsubishi Lancer. The campaign was designed to entice consumers to test drive the car, and even rewarded consumers for interacting with the brand and ‘pimping out’ the Mitsubishi Lancer on the site by giving away Mitsubishi hampers. Once consumers had designed their own Lancer, they were given the option of sending it on to their friends, creating a chain effect of consumers interacting with the brand.

PREDICTIVE MODELLING Reaching the right people Through the use of database marketing and opt-in services such as Vodacom’s AdMe, marketers are able to reach their specific target markets through personalised and tailored messages. The use of mobile is far more reach-effective than traditional forms of direct response marketing when it comes to communicating to the right consumers, and far more

WAP site for Pongracz.

cost-effective in terms of minimal expense wastage when it comes to distribution. Another big appeal of using mobile to communicate with oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s target audience is its measurability. Very few mediums offer the same degree to which marketers can follow how consumers interact with a particular communication quite like mobile. This is one of the key driving factors as to why the communication industry is experiencing a dramatic upswing in the use of mobile marketing. Marketers are able to view statistics such as the time spent on each page of a WAP site or view the statistics of which product or service attracted the interest. This provides marketers with the ability to pinpoint the needs and wants of their consumers without the drudgery and expense often associated with market research campaigns.

Case study Pongracz is an example of a brand that has successfully used mobile to enhance its predictive modelling strategy. Pongracz developed a WAP site that aimed to generate a database of information in order to communicate better with its consumers. Not only were

consumers rewarded for interacting with the site by being offered a chance to win a trip to the Champagne region of France, but they were also provided information related to the brand, which instilled the feeling that Pongracz is more than just a sparkling wine, but rather a close friend.

CROSS MEDIA INTEGRATION Brands are increasingly noticing the tremendous potential of mobile marketing when it comes to communication and building long-term relationships with consumers. It is often the case that mobile marketing is used in a tactical, once-off manner. This is not because success rates are low â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on the contrary, evidence shows that wellconstructed campaigns have been highly successful. The most successful campaigns, however, involve adding mobile marketing to the marketing mix with the longterm aim of using mobile as a vehicle for ongoing twoway communication with consumers. <

All case study images courtesy of CellSmart Technologies.



African inventions site honoured By Janine Erasmus

AfriGadget, a website that reports on African ingenuity and innovation, has made it onto the list of Time magazine’s 50 best websites for 2008. The site, which is run by a team of volunteers who contribute material from all over the continent, showcases simple yet sustainable inventions that boost living and working conditions in Africa. “Being named as one of the best sites the web has to

earning the entrepreneur about R80 ($10) a day; and

offer is an honour for AfriGadget,” says founder and

a foldaway house for emergency situations invented

editor Erik Hersman, who grew up in Sudan and Kenya.

by South African Rajan Harinarain.

Hersman believes strongly in change brought about through the use of technology, and he and his team report

Other notable stories involve young Malawian William

on what are often the most unlikely inventions across a

Kamkwamba who built a windmill from scratch to

range of Africa-relevant categories such as sanitation,

generate electricity for his home; and the non-profit

food, water, energy, transportation and health.

KickStart organisation which develops and markets new technologies in Africa to allow local entrepreneurs

The site, as Hersman says, is a testament to Africans

to establish profitable new small businesses.

bending the little they have to their will, using creativity to overcome life’s challenges, often forging ahead

One of Kickstart’s most popular products is its award-

without the help of NGOs and other organisations.

winning MoneyMaker pump. Operating much like a gym step machine, the device pumps water to irrigate

Overcoming challenges Stories covered on AfriGadget include the bamboo bike project, an initiative pioneered jointly by professional bicycle designer Craig Calfree and the Earth Institute at Columbia University; an ironworks in Nairobi that uses a bicycle-driven bellows; a project making

lands and enable small-scale African farmers to expand their enterprises. Kickstart has sold a large number of these pumps across Africa, and has been approached by the United Nations to sell globally.

Telling the stories of African ingenuity

biodiesel out of local palm nuts in Sierra Leone; a bicycle fitted with a grinding wheel that becomes a mobile knife-sharpening workshop when put onto its stand, technology

The AfriGadget team comprises Erik Hersman; Kenyan Steve Mugiri who comes from a business management

and technology background but is also a noted music blogger specialising in pre-1985 East African music; Kenyan Juliana Chebet, an AfriGadget founder with an engineering degree; and German Juergen Eichholz, a water and sanitation specialist who grew up in East Africa. The core team relies on a network of writers across Africa for stories, videos and images. Since AfriGadget is formatted as a blog, people are encouraged to write in with their contributions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What makes these stories so engaging, interesting and challenging is the fact that they are about people carrying out economic activities with very little resources to them, that are so challenging that we would typically expect them to be tackled only by organisations,â&#x20AC;? said Mugiri in an interview with the Sietch, a worldwide online community that works for positive change. AfriGadget also runs the Grassroots Reporting Project with a view to building a network of reporters who can go out into the field and find stories. They will be trained and equipped with mobile phones and computers to help them get the stories as they happen. < Source:




South African invention gets to the core of Pilates training Pilates enthusiasts could soon find themselves being challenged to learn some interesting new exercises and skills in studios around the country, using an innovative piece of exercise equipment developed by a South African physiotherapist.

D-sebecs is a new multifunctional apparatus that gives one an opportunity to exercise in a dynamic environment.


he D-SEBECS is an unstable platform that rests

Stability ball training is one method of placing the

on a flat disc-shaped base fitted with multi-

body in an unstable environment, forcing a person to use

directional castors. It acts like a balance board,

the stabiliser muscles to stay balanced in a given position

with any movement on the platform causing the

or through a particular motion. In experiments com-

apparatus to slide and tilt in different directions,

paring the effectiveness of the D-SEBECS with the

depending on the direction of the force. Designed to

stability ball during a shoulder bridging exercise,

improve bio-motor abilities and movement control,

researchers found that the D-SEBECS was a more

the name says it all: the acronym D-SEBECS stands

effective tool to engage the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s core stabilisers.

for Dynamic, Symmetrical Exerciser to improve your Balance, Endurance, Co-ordination and Stability.

When Cape Town-based Pilates instructor James Raaff discovered Eksteenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s invention, he immediately realised

Pretoria-based physiotherapist Ryk Eksteen, who

that the new exercise gadget would hold value for the

works with top athletes, invented the device to meet the

Pilates community, since the training of the core

industry need for a challenging exercise rehabilitation

stability muscles in the lower back and abdomen, trunk,

accessory and strength-training tool. He wrote his

head and neck, and the pelvic and shoulder girdles is

graduate thesis on the D-SEBECS and tested it while

a key focus in Pilates.

providing physiotherapy services to the Blue Bulls rugby team.

Raaff approached Eksteen with the idea of developing a Pilates-based workshop, using the balance board in

Eksteen says the core stabilisers of the body, also referred

combination with exercises that would incorporate the

to as trunk stabilisers, are best trained when moving

principles and techniques that he had been teaching

in an unstable environment. Core stability involves

for many years. Following a partnership agreement,

recruiting the trunk muscles to control the position of

Raaff held the first workshops in Cape Town in May

the lumbar spine during dynamic movements.

and in Centurion in June, which turned out to be a huge success. While the D-SEBECS has a wide range of applications and can be used by many health and technology


fitness professionals, Raaff targeted his initial work-

exercises that could not be performed just by doing

shops at Pilates instructors only, teaching them how

traditional mat work. By using the D-SEBECS, many mat-

to use the product and introducing them to a range of

based exercises can be adapted to create exercises

interesting exercises that challenge the body in

similar to those done on a Reformer, which is a sliding

different ways.

platform used in Pilates exercises.

He says Eksteenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s invention, which has a patent pend-

The D-SEBECS also has cost advantages. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The price

ing, will open up a world of challenging new stability

of providing balance boards for a class of 16 people


would be less than the cost of purchasing one

you are getting the functionality of a Reformer, which

Reformer, which has a price tag of around R40 000

takes up a lot more space.”

and can only accommodate one person at a time,” says Raaff. “The D-SEBECS, which costs under R2 500, is

He is excited to be using a South African invention.

a nice crossover for studio owners or instructors who

“We’re always importing the bands and other

feel that it’s a big decision to buy a Reformer and then

equipment used in Pilates exercises. We now have a

to spend a huge amount of time learning how to do

gadget that was made on our doorstep, which came

all the exercises with it.”

straight out of Ryk Eksteen’s creative thoughts as a student. We don’t often come across a really cool

Another advantage of the D-SEBECS is that after

invention by a South African scientist.”

attending a single five-hour workshop, Pilates instructors will have enough information and exercises

A final bonus is that the product is eco-friendly. “It’s

to be able to teach what they have learnt in their own

made of biodegradable materials and there are no

classes the very next day. Raaff points out that the

mechanical parts. It’s not battery-operated or driven

D-SEBECS also saves studio space: “You stand on a

by any other power source, so there are no carbon

mat and are confined to the space of that mat, but

emissions,” says Raaff.

For more information about D-SEBECS visit or contact or call +27 (0)21 465 2870.



The Peepoo bag > A simple solution to a pressing problem Access to drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right. But unfortunately this is not as straight-forward as it should be. In 2002 the United Nations set the target to halve the number of people without sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation by 2015 as part of the UN Millennium Goals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a seemingly realistic target.


t present 2.6 billion people throughout the world lack access to basic sanitation which means that 40 out of 100 people lack even

the simplest latrine. To halve this number in the next six years will mean that 1.3 billion people will have to be reached. Unfortunately the progress needed to achieve this goal is slow or even negative, due,

The company was founded in 2006 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The research into the Peepoo bag was conducted in cooperation with SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Science and KTH Royal College of Technology. This simple design is scheduled to go into large-scale production in the next few months.

amongst other, to the rapid increase in the number of people living in slums or slum-like conditions. To

Why toilets are important

come even close to reaching the UN Millennium goal, the main approach to the problem has to change. Out-of-the-box thinking is what Peepoople AB applied to develop, produce and distribute the Peepoo bag, a single-use personal toilet that is self-sanitising, biodegradable and which becomes fertiliser after use.

Lack of toilets affects both society and the individual through the contamination of fresh water and ground water. Human faeces contain infectious and often lethal pathogens â&#x20AC;&#x201C; viruses, bacteria, worms and parasites. One child dies every 15 seconds due to contaminated water.

How to use the Peepoo bag. Images Š Peepoople AB.

The most obvious way to a solution is to start at the source. This means preventing disease transmission as

A simple concept

early as possible in the chain through rapid inactivation

The Peepoo bag is a personal single-use toilet that

of pathogens right after defecation. Simply providing

sanitises human excreta shortly after defecation,

latrines in high-density urban areas will not achieve

preventing the faeces from contaminating the

sustainable sanitation.

immediate area and the broader environment. The toilet is a high-technology product for a low-income

In a world where poverty remains a pressing problem

economy and like the original Tetra Pak, it uses the

the people who need sanitation most are often the

minimum amount of material while providing

ones who can least afford it. Therefore, they have no

maximum hygiene.

other choice than to use whatever is available. Increasing choice by introducing an innovative low-

The Peepoo bag is ergonomically designed for easy

cost product can rapidly change demand patterns

and hygienic use. It is simple and extremely cost-

among the poor. Choice is also linked to dignity and

efficient to produce. This means that it is suitable for

status, important concepts behind the decision to

the poorest of the poor and can be used whenever

invest in a toilet.

and wherever it is needed. technology


The Peepoo bag has been field tested in Kibera, Kenya Kenya and Calcutta, India. Images by Camilla Wirseen.

The Peepoo weighs only 9 grams and consists of the bag and a sheet of thin green gauze. Image Š Ecosan.

After use, the Peepoo bag offers value as a fertiliser, which enables collecting and disposal systems to arise, informally or formally.

water. The only water needed is for washing oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands after use. This means that the traditional link between water and sanitation has been cut.

Self-sanitising to save the environment Thanks to its self-sanitising function, a discarded Peepoo bag does not contaminate the environment, even if no waste management services are available. The Peepoo bag is a slim, elongated bag with a gauze inner and has been designed to be used once â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sitting, squatting or standing. Bags are odour-free for at least 24 hours after use and can be stored in the immediate environment. It is also one of the few sanitation solutions requiring no

The inside of the Peepoo bag is coated with a thin film of urea, a non-hazardous chemical that is found, among others, in toothpaste or body lotion. Urea is the most common fertiliser in the world. When the urea comes into contact with faeces or urine, an enzymatic breakdown into ammonia and carbonate takes place, driven by enzymes which naturally occur in faeces. As the urea is broken down, the pH value of the material increases and hygienisation begins. Diseaseproducing pathogens which may be found in faeces are rendered inactivate within two to four weeks, depending on the surrounding temperature. And when the bags degrade in the soil the ammonia acts as a harmless fertiliser taken up by the plants.

The used bags are collected on a daily basis and placed into a hole and covered with soil. They will be left there until the bags biodegrade at which point the waste and bag particles will become fertiliser. Image by Ashley Wheaton.

A Peepoo bag six months after it has been buried in the ground. Image Š Ecosan.

Bio-degradable plastic


The bag is made of a high-performance degradable bio-plastic which meets EU standard EN13432. This means the plastic not only disintegrates, but also that the molecules are broken down into carbon dioxide, water and bio-mass. The plastic is produced with 45% renewable materials. Peepoople AB intends, within the near future, to find a solution which is 100% renewable.

Peepoo bags have been field-tested in Kibera â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest informal settlement around Nairobi, Kenya. The sample included 30 people in different age groups who used the Peepoo bag every day for two weeks. The objective was to get feedback regarding the overall use and acceptability of the Peepoo bag. The general findings showed that the participants were positive towards the use bag with a slight difference in the acceptance between male and female participants. The women were more positive and thought that it worked equally well for children. Subsequently, field test were also conducted in Calcutta, India.

Fertiliser after use When all pathogens have been inactivated, the faeces turn into a high-value fertiliser with considerable market value. Since fertilisers are expensive and scarce in less developed countries, informal economic systems may develop around the collection and distribution of used Peepoo bags.

Once accepted and implemented, this innovative little bag may change the outlook for reaching the Millennium Goal for sanitation by 2015. < technology

K• A combination grader, tractor, static roller, ripper, water tanker and fire tender. K• Fully hydraulic with fast response controls. K• Standard 3600 wide blade can be extended up to 5 000, greatly reducing no. of passes in road maintenance - a dramatic fuel saving. K• Angles, tilts, lifts up and down and side shifts 600mm to LH and RH off the tractors hydraulic system. K• All mechanical and consumable parts freely available. K• Made in South Africa for African conditions. K• Winner of the Design Excellence Award sponsored by the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) •K• Winner of the SMART Award sponsored by the South African Institute of Civil Engineers, South African Road Agency and SANLAM.

TERRA GRADERS (Pty) Ltd 3 Spekvreter Street Birchacres Ext 7 Kempton Park Gauteng, South Africa Tel: +27 (0) 11 393-2092 Tel: +27 (0) 11 393-3705 Fax: +27 (0) 11 976-4508 Email:


Rugged. Reliable. The hallmark of quality.



Local company provides solutions for landmine clearing The South African company Demco (Pty) Ltd is a specialist in landmine clearing and detonating equipment and provides the means and expertise to address the contamination by landmines in areas throughout the world.


n all, 76 countries and territories worldwide are

kill or injure civilians, including children, soldiers, peace-

affected by landmines and/or explosive remnants

keepers, and aid workers.

of war. While there is no credible estimate of the

number of landmines in the ground in these areas,

Anti-vehicle mines, also called antitank mines, are

the impact can be measured in several ways.

designed to destroy or disable vehicles. They contain more explosives than antipersonnel mines and often

One way would be to add up the area of land that is

require more pressure or weight on top of them to

unusable or unsafe due to contamination, while another


would be to gather data on the number of people killed or injured by landmines. Whatever the answer, it is

Made of plastic, metal or other materials, mines contain

clear that landmines have a devastating effect and

explosives and some contain pieces of shrapnel. A

should be removed at all costs.

landmine blast can be fatal or cause injuries such as blindness, burns, damaged limbs, and shrapnel wounds.


Stepping on a blast antipersonnel mine will invariably

Because there are so many types of landmines, a

usually resulting in amputation. Fragmentation mines

focussed and specialist approach is required to provide

project hundreds of metal fragments, which cause the


victim to suffer deep wounds. Bounding fragmentation

cause foot and leg injuries, and secondary infections

mines spring up approximately one meter and then Antipersonnel landmines are explosive devices

explode, firing metal fragments within a large radius.

designed to injure or kill people. They can lie dormant for years and even decades under, on or near the ground

In terms of the Mine Ban Treaty of 1997, the use of

until a person or animal triggers their detonating

antipersonnel mines which are victim-activated are

mechanism. They can be activated by direct pressure

banned, while the use of some mines operated by

from above, by pressure put on a wire or filament

remote control is allowed. Anti-vehicle mines are also

attached to a pull switch, by a radio signal or other remote

not banned under the treaty.

firing method, or even simply by the proximity of a person within a predetermined distance. Because no one


controls the detonation of such landmines, they are known as victim-activated weapons. Since mines are

Logistics to get landmine clearing projects up and run-

not aimed at a specific target they indiscriminately

ning are both costly and time consuming. In cognisance



of this, Demco advocates, and indeed practises, a holistic approach to the clearing operation, particularly as landmine clearing is generally the forerunner to other development and aid projects involving education, health, agriculture and tourism. Demcoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comprehensive range of mechanical landmine clearing equipment enables the rehabilitation of roads and sites, bush clearing, as well as ploughing, planting, dam building and site levelling for buildings. In this way role players in the various projects can

coordinate their efforts, thus reducing time and costs in delivering successful aid projects. Demco also designs and manufactures rugged and reliable towed road graders for easy and cost effectively maintenance of access roads after rehabilitation. These basic graders are ideal as self help aid to communities as they do not require highly skilled mechanic technicians, expensive stock piles of fuel and spare parts.

Road building and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced with the tractor-drawn TerraGrader. It incorporates a water tank, fire fighting equipment, scarifier static roller, foam filled tyres and hydraulically operated blade.


service facilities available worldwide thus eliminating

Demco boasts a comprehensive range of mechanical landmine clearing equipment and has nine different landmine detonating systems that can be fitted to core construction equipment machines, such as

machines and systems. A further advantage is that

excavators, dozers, TLBs and loaders.

are also available for fitting to TLBs as core machines.

costly down time often experienced with custom built excavators have a good resale value and are easily disposed of once contracts are completed, unlike highly priced custom-built machines. Flailing systems Flailing machine systems are available in sizes varying

Flailing systems

from one to four metres in width.

Demco flailing systems are available for a wide range

Single detonating disc system

of core machines, with excavators being considered the ideal machine. The systems can be fitted on

Demcoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s single detonating disc system allows for cost

machines ranging from mini excavators to units of 45

effective static detonation of mines fitted to a wide

tons and more to allow for the rapid detonation of all

range of excavators, TLBs and other prime movers.

mines, including tank mines.

Detonating discs and arms are inexpensive and

Blasts take place a long distance from the operator/ machine (up to 15 meters) reducing danger and damage. Demco flailing systems fitted to excavators and working in a 180 degree arc can safely clear flat, open areas, hills, canals and other inaccessible sites.

individually replaced when damaged. They are ideal when environmental concerns are a problem, as they do not destroy root structures of vegetation, scatter mines or fragments of mines, or remove top soil like the flail system does. The discs and arms act independently on the central shaft, follow the

By working in a 180 degree arc, access to machines

contours of the ground and ride with the blast when

on both sides for repairs, is safe. Cost effective

they detonate a mine. Heavier discs can be fitted for

ground preparation is unsurpassed and with a

heavily infested tank mine areas. The system relies

working methodology of four passes over the same

on static weight for detonation.

area in the arch every one to two minutes, high production figures are easily achieved. Excavators allow

Double detonating disc explosion projection

for rapid or slow cycle times. With slow speeds a hole can be dug with the flailing system.

Designed for rapid road and runway clearance, or continuous checking of surfaces, this system is

Excavators such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Leighber, Fiat,

available for propelling with wheeled or tracked

Kobelco and other renowned makes, have spares and

excavators, bulldozers, TLBs and other prime movers.



The discs are offset allowing for total coverage of the surface and for delayed detonating mines. The discs are inexpensive and easy to remove and replace when damaged. Discs and arms act independently as they follow the contours of the ground.

Mowers and stump removers Luigi Quaroni, MD of Demco, and Johan Wessels checking an attachment for use on clearing both small anti-personnel and the powerful anti-tank mines.

Demco is able to supply and fit a range of robust and reliable mowers and stump removers. If mowers are not available to suit larger machines, Demco has clients to develop the product required.

Bush croppers and ripper rakes Designed to allow for rapid loosening of hard ground, rubble and vegetation, bush croppers and ripper rakes are easily fitted to excavators, with standard or extended booms and dipper arms. Within minutes A Komatsu PC300-3 armour plated excavator with a flailing system and screen.

they allow for inspection of all suspect sites that are hazardous and inaccessible.

Filter buckets These buckets allow for the filtering of beaches, swamps, river banks and other locations that could have landmine densities that cannot safely be checked manually or mechanically because of soft underfoot conditions.

A Bell 315SG complete with armour plating protection ready for mine clearing work.

Magnetic debris removal system

Basic or customised, ruggedness and functionality are key components of this product. The trailers are suitable

This system allows for rapid removal of ferrous metals

to be used as field clinics, workshops, offices, stores

that interfere with quality-assurance checks.

and accommodation. Demco also undertakes new designs or conversions.

Rotovator The rotovator is hydraulically operated and rapidly

Dual purpose products

loosens hard ground. The disks have replaceable

Demcoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landmine clearing equipment is dual purpose

cutting teeth which are inexpensive.

in that it can also be used for infrastructural

Armour plating

development simply by removing the landmineclearing attachments. As pressure on wealthy countries to alleviate poverty in developing countries

Demco has access to armour plating from respected

is increasing and aid has to be rapidly and efficiently

suppliers and is able to armour plate to the highest

implemented, it has become imperative to ensure the

standards all types of machines, from excavators to

accessibility and safety of these locations.

transport vehicles. The company has access to test ranges and testing techniques formulated by world

Lack of access to proposed development sites is one

renowned experts. All customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; criteria can be

of the most critical obstacles that aid organisations


contend with. A poor road network hampers the delivery and operation of the whole relief package,

Concept design

apart from escalating the costs unnecessarily.

Demco is able to work with clients to develop their

Demco is not only able to provide a wide range of

own unique ideas and systems in a cost effective

demining attachments and undertake demining


contracts, but can also manage donor depots with skilled management and technical personnel in order

Support trailers

to facilitate efficient running of the aid schemes. Demcoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services include administration, maintenance,

Demco designs and supplies a wide range of support

repair of equipment and the training of operators and

trailers for difficult and remote operational areas.

support staff. <



Prize-winning design >

From dump to delight


ot many moons ago la Vall de’n Joan (the

was closed in 2006. In some places the rubbish was

Valley of Joan) in the Parc del Garraf National

up to 100 meters deep.

Park within the municipal borders of Begues

and Gavà, south-west of Barcelona, Spain, was an

Batlle & Roig Architects from Spain was the lead

eyesore of note. Today it is a 150 hectare green

architectural firm responsible for the design – both as

terraced agricultural landscape worthy of one of the

architects and landscape architects. Joan Roig of

world’s most prestigious design awards.

Batlle & Roig Architects told CNN: “The idea was to create a system of hills and banks in a way that would

The site – used as a rubbish dump for most of

avoid erosion from water and to give the rubbish

Barcelona’s and other cities in the metropolitan area’s

dump back to nature with a natural design.”

urban waste since 1974 – was transformed through an landscape restoration project that was a winner in

The category judges described the scheme as “a

the World Architecture Festival 2008, taking top

perfect example of bringing dead nature back to life

honours in the Energy, Waste & Recycling category.

by converting rubbish into a beautiful piece of

For more than 30 years in excess of 20 million tons of

landscape architecture...using few and humble

rubbish was spread around the valley before the site

means”. Martin Keiding, one of the judges told CNN: technology


“It’s a very beautiful and simple design. It is landscape

But a stark reminder of the site’s former use has been

architecture that is inspiring. It is a very good example

retained with some of the rubbish remaining above

that everyone could look at and say: ‘We could do the

ground. Housed in large steel cages which flank the

same.’ This competition is about pointing out good entrance to the site, Roig says they serve as a permanent examples that could inspire architects.”

reminder to visitors of the site’s previous life.

The restoration project that was started in 2000 defines

Matthew Knight of CNN International reported that it

a pattern of topographic configuration with terraces,

is a striking redrawing of a previously scarred and

side slopes, a drainage system of internal fluids

polluted landscape and that sustainability, rather

(separated of the external drainage net), a biogas than a cosmetic makeover, was key to the project. extraction net, pathways and plantation by phases.

There is an underground drainage system on site which filters contaminated waste fluids. Part of this recycled

The project’s aim was for Parc del Garraf to absorb water is then used to irrigate the park. “The whole the dump by using the local forest tissue and project is very sustainable,” Roig said. The dump also supporting the establishment of primary ecosystems. uses the bio-gas that is emitted to provide electricity. Through time local species (such as bardissa, brolla or mediterranian màquia) and trees from the area will

As reported by CNN, Batlle and Roig’s winning design

transform the area even further.

was one of eight short-listed projects in the Energy,

Waste & Recycling category, which was notable for Keiding, himself a trained architect, believes that the variety of entries.

Energy, Waste & Recycling was the most important category at the inaugural World Architecture Festival.

They ranged from state-of-the-art, hi-tech plans such “We are facing big problems, so it is a great as the Digital Beijing designed by Studio Pei Zhu and opportunity for architects to work seriously with this Urbanus, right down to low-cost, primitive ventures

problem on many different levels.

like the Community Cooker devised by Kenyan company, Planning Systems Services.

“I think flashy executive buildings are interesting in one sense but they are not interesting if they are

The communal cooker is turning rubbish into fuel to not dealing seriously with this matter. In my opinion feed residents of one of Africa’s biggest slums, Kibera, you can throw them out. We have to be far more on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. The project was

serious about integrating aspects of sustainability

highly commended by the judges.

into architecture.” <

“Sustainability is a very important issue and so are All images courtesy of Batlle & Roig Architects and the the questions about rubbish, especially in third world municipal government of the City of Barcelona. countries,” Keiding said. “The community cooker is a way of introducing a solution directly into the society.” technology



“As the first-ever rapid rail system for Africa and one of the biggest infrastructure projects in South Africa, Gautrain has become a symbol of pride, prosperity and progress for the continent.” Jack van Merwe, CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency.


n a country where existing public transport is in dire

airport link between OR Tambo International Airport

need of upgrading and traffic congestion is affecting

and Sandton, the business heartbeat of the South Africa.

economic mobility and growth, Gautrain will bring

Stations will be serviced by dedicated bus feeder and

much-needed world-class technology to South Africa

distributor routes.

and assist in providing transport solutions. The first phase, linking OR Tambo International Airport and

Rolling stock comprises 96 Bombardier’s Electrostar

Sandton, will be operational in 2010 with the balance

rail cars that will be operated initially in four-car train sets

of the system due to open in 2011.

with a capacity to carry more than 100 000 passengers per day.

Travelling at 160 kilometres hour, Gautrain will link ten stations over an eighty kilometre and three

In an environment where public transport is often seen

metropolitan areas. Three of these stations will be

as an unreliable option, Gautrain has developed inno-

located underground, the deepest nearly 11 stories

vative solutions in order to attract sceptical car users.

below street level. The system will include an express

In addition, the province of Gauteng has experienced

Train on the test track at the depot in Midrand.



Aerial view of the construction of Johannesburg Park Station.



an economic and population boom which necessitated

(compared with typically 1.5% on the lines Electrostar

a rethink on integrated transport infrastructure and

cars currently operate in the UK), a relatively harsh

spatial development. Simulta-neously, social and

operational environment and potentially high passenger

environmental threats such as inner city decay, a high

loads, the Electrostar rail cars will feature enhanced

rate of unemployment, urban sprawl and carbon emis-

propulsion with motorisation of 75% of all axles.

sions caused by private cars are all concerns which Gautrain’s strategic objectives have to address.

Customisation of the Electrostar vehicles will also meet the requirements of airport passengers

“We recognised the unique challenges that our region

travelling on the dedicated 15-minute link between

faces. Gautrain will become a benchmark for how to

OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton. The two

implement the best in global technology today while

forward rail cars will feature fewer but wider and

devising innovative local solutions that are customised

more luxurious seats, as well as special areas for

for Africa and her people,” says Van Der Merwe.

luggage storage near the doors.

Local assembly to transfer skills

Commitment to socio-economic development

Although manufactured in the United Kingdom, 81 out of the 96 Electrostar rail cars are being assembled

Investing in sustainable economic growth, Gautrain

in South Africa. To familiarise themselves with the

project partners have committed to socio-economic

production processes, South Africans first attended

development targets as set out in a concession

training at Bombardier Transportation’s facility in

agreement. Job creation and skills training for local

Derby in the UK. A mirror production line was then

people include:

installed in South Africa and the first fully assembled cars from this line have already been delivered to the

› Broad-based black economic empowerment to overcome the apartheid legacy


Rolling stock customisation Train sets are distinctly branded in Gautrain’s golden colours. The outside shape of the Electrostar driver cab has been customised to improve its aesthetics

› Development of small, medium and micro enterprise › Sustainable development of underprivileged communities › Employing historically disadvantaged individuals

resulting in an ultra-modern vehicle shape. Customised to meet local conditions including gradients of 4%


› Employing women

Artist’s impression of Sandton Station.

Artist’s impression of Rosebank Station.

Artist’s impression of Sandton Station at night.

OR Tambo International Airport Station.

Artist’s impression of Marlboro Station.



› Employing people with disabilities

While the property market has slowed down in the rest of the country, properties along Gautrain’s route

› Women and historically disadvantaged individuals in management positions

Commitment to environmental sustainability Environmental considerations have been at the forefront of all aspects of the project development, including

are experiencing a boom in both development and pricing. Once Gautrain is running, it is possible that property prices will escalate further around Gautrain stations as commuters seek to find housing that is conveniently close to stations.

Corporate governance

the design and construction phases. Extensive public

Several bodies are in place to oversee the implementation

participation exercises had a substantial influence on

of good business practice, transparency and account-

the ultimate route location. An interesting aspect was

ability to all Gautrain’s stakeholders.

‘search and rescue’ exercises conducted within the demarcated rail reserve before the commencement of construction to relocate indigenous fauna and flora.

Gautrain is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.

Independent monitoring and verification of environmental processes and interventions has been given

The Gauteng Provincial Government is the public partner

high priority at all stages of project development.

and the primary promoter of Gautrain. A key roleplayer is the National Department of Transport who has

Transport and land use integration

taken responsibility for 50% of the contract price.

Gautrain works closely with other public transport

which Gautrain obtained the necessary treasury

bodies to ensure that public transport facilities,

authorisations in order to conclude the procurement

services and operations are integrated. This will allow

phase. Gautrain’s private partner is the Bombela

for future effective transfer from one transport mode

Concession Company. The concessionaire is made up

to the other.

of four specialist sponsors as well as two investor

Another important role-player is the Department of Finance and its Public-Private Partnership Unit through

companies. They are the two construction companies, Integrated with future land use strategies of local

Murray & Roberts, and Bouygues, the rolling stock

authorities, Gautrain is considered a catalyst for a

and other electrical and mechanical equipment

higher density mixed land use urban development

suppliers, Bombardier, and the Black Empowerment

and will also play and important part to lure residents

Partner, SPG. Bombela has a 20-year concession

and businesses back to rejuvenated inner cities.

agreement with the Gauteng Province for construction


Artist’s impression of Johannesburg Park Station.

Artist’s impression of Hatfield station at night.

Artist’s impression of Midrand Station.

Artist’s impression of Centurion Station.



Aerial view of Viaduct 15 towards OR Tambo International Airport Station.



(54 months) and operating and maintenance (15

sionaire with its contracted socio-economic obligations

years). The public and private partners have signed a

during the design, construction and commissioning

concession agreement which commits the parties to

of the project.

achieving the Gautrain project objectives.

Gautrain Management Agency (GMA).

Dispute Resolution Board (DRB) The body is jointly appointed by the Gauteng Province

The GMA assists the Gauteng Provincial Government

and Bombela for the development phase of Gautrain.

while overseeing the concession agreement and the achievement of project objectives. The following independent bodies play an important role:

Gautrain’s impact on socioeconomic development Although construction is still underway, Gautrain has

Independent Certifier Financial advances made by the Gauteng Provincial Government for the delivery of the Gautrain system are only paid against the completion of specific verifiable milestones. Milestones are certified on a

already made a significant impact on the welfare of South Africans. With regards to job creation, the following has already been achieved: › 11 700 direct jobs › 63 200 direct, indirect and induced jobs

monthly basis by the Independent Certifier and consolidated into a monthly payment certificate.

› Companies benefited include:

Independent Environmental Control Person (IECP)

› 260 Black Empowerment Entities (R1 900 million)

An IECP monitors and reports on compliance with the

› 90 New Black Empowerment Entities (R800 million)

approved Environmental Management Plan, as well as any other environmental statutory obligations pertaining to environmental performance during construction and subsequent operation of the project.

Independent Socio-Economic Monitor (ISEM)

› 230 small, medium and micro enterprises (R600 million) In 2008, Gautrain was named the Best Global Project to Sign at the tenth annual Public Private Finance Awards evening held on 29 April in London. <

The purpose of the ISEM is to perform an independent verifying role to validate compliance by the Conces-


All images courtesy of Gautrain.

Reinforced steel for the castellated perimeter walls of the cut and cover section towards the northern shaft.

Tunnel from Rosebank Station at emergency shaft 5.

Dismantling the tunnel boring machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exposed cutter head at Rosebank Station.

Train on the test track at the depot in Midrand.

Local technicians assembling Gautrain rail cars at the Nigel workshop.

Installation of technical equipment at OR Tambo International Airport Station.



ZOOM Rih > designed to run like the wind German industrial designer, Maximilian Näther, recently launched his spectacular design of the concept racing motorbike, ZOOM Rih Designed for small series production, Rih is a 1 000ccm motorbike targeted at the special needs of hobby racers. Racetrack motorcycles for hobby riders are mostly mass produced bikes which have to be altered and converted at great cost and effort. The Rih closes the gap with a bike adjusted and produced specifically for hobby-racing. Despite being a competitive sport-bike with no compromise on demands for performance, weight, aerodynamics and chassis, Rih enthuses with new ideas and concepts. The design is based on the likeness of a motorbike and a living organism, more specifically a racehorse. Examples are the ‘breathing’ of air, the absorption of energy, the conversion to power and the skeletal structure of the frame, or the skin-like fairing. The owner’s reference to his or her machine is often emotionally akin to that of the owners of precious animals such as thoroughbred racehorses. Näther intentionally drew on this as a design reference. The Rih concept is complex and Näther introduces new concepts and innovations in almost every component. The heart of the motorbike is the new V4-engine by Aprilia, whose ignition timing reminds of the dark sound of the MotoGP machines.

Entirely new is the air system with its lung-like membranes on the fuel tank. These shape the top of the airbox and make the intake process lucid. When one accelerates in idle running, the motor abruptly sucks in lots of air, resulting in low pressure in the airbox, made visible by the flexible membranes yielding to the inside â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the motorbike breathes. This function helps the driver to better understand the activities in the motorbike and is advantageous in troubleshooting. The ergonomically shaped tank unit provides the rider with a feeling of riding his bike like a mount. Accordingly, the tank seat unit reminds one of the back of a horse. The small elevation towards the filler neck imitates the shape of a spine and the voluminous form of the tank appears muscular. Some of the other special features include the frame and swing-arm which are not like common tube frames, designed with two-dimensional tube structures. The Rihâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organic shape incorporates traverse-shaped three-dimensional tube structures, which makes the chassis stronger, more rigid and direct. The swinging lines seem like muscle strands and sinews. The footpeg unit can be rotated and is mounted on the swing-arm pivot to make it ergonomically customisable. The footpeg itself is easily adjustable in length via three notches.



The fairing is made of carbon fibre, which is commonly used in racing sports vehicles. The front leaning of the fairing seems aggressive and feisty and the big opening towards the cooling unit reminds of a wide hungry mouth. To protect the bike in case of a crash to the low side, crash pads are placed on both sides on which the bike can slide to a halt. The windshield is seated on ‘nostril-shaped’ RAM airs and forms the whole front part. It appears fixed but it is easily removable. In its centre is a rhombic section behind which a camera for onboard video recording is hidden. The shape of the windshield and the blazelike safety screen of the camera again bring a horse’s face to mind. The windshield is directly bolted to the dashboard. A full digital element provides a simple and clear cockpit and allows the rider to record and analyse diverse data. Even the design of the tyres was not forgotten. A logo with thermochrome pigments is baked into their centre

Maximilian Näther, designer of the Rih.

which changes its colour according to the temperature. Thus one can observe when the tyres reach the appropriate temperature frame, which is vitally important for the driver. Näther developed the concept for the Zoom Rih as part of his graduate thesis at the University of Applied Sciences Coburg, Germany. When asked about the origins of the motorbike’s name, Näther explains: “Zoom is the brand name and has its roots in comic speech. The word ‘Zoom’ is often used when a fast vehicle is driving past.” He says that ‘Rih’ came from the work of Karl May, a bestselling 19th century German writer. “May wrote about the fictitious adventures of his alter ego, Kara Ben Nemsi, while travelling through throughout the Ottoman Empire. Without ever leaving the saddle of his fabulous black horse Rih, Kara Ben Nemsi singlehandedly fights off droves of thieves and crooks left and right.” ‘Rih’ is the Arabic word for air or wind. “When Kara Ben Nemsi lays his hands between the horse’s ears and calls “Rih”, the black stallion activates his last strengths and runs even faster,” says Näther. Karl May was coincidentally born in HohensteinErnstthal, where the Sachsenring is held, the annual German Grand Prix of the royal league of motorbike sports, the MotoPG. According to Wheels 24, pricing for the Zoom Rih has not yet been confirmed and production will depend on securing the appropriate sponsorship for building and testing prototypes, but rumours suggest it will set you back around R325 000. < All images courtesy of ZOOM design agency.


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ENERGY > 127

Do you know what’s going on under your own roof?


ost people are blissfully unaware of the

old baby, was tragically killed when a burst geyser

amount of energy their households consume.

spilled boiling hot water over her while asleep. The

Having hot water on tap is something we

council knew of the faulty thermostat responsible for

just take for granted. We don’t question how it happens

the malfunction and did nothing about it.

and very few of us stop to consider the costs of such a luxury.

One would expect that with geysers being as expensive, dangerous and unreliable as they are that someone

Rolling blackouts and load-shedding experienced by

would be giving the public the right kind of advice.

South Africans last year has, at long last, got people

Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact, the complete

thinking about ways to save electricity. Did you know

opposite is true.

that a geyser is responsible for 66% of the average household’s electricity consumption? But there are

The electricity company, in conjunction with the public

other hidden costs as well.

broadcaster, actually tell people to turn their geysers off to save electricity. The result is that the public pays

The insurance industry pays out over R400 million a

more each month to reheat the water from scratch

year in geyser-related claims and the question should

every day.

be asked if there are ways to make geysers safer. A very sad story in November 2006 brought the world’s

What they should be telling people is to set their

attention to this problem. Rhianna Hardie, a ten month

thermostats lower. Most geysers are set at 70 degrees


128 > ENERGY

Celsius. That’s hot enough to burn you so badly that you may die. But it makes no sense for the electricity company to tell you to set your geyser to run at 52 degrees, as that would save you 30% on your bill. Why on earth would they tell you about something that will save you money? A group of South African entrepreneurs have come up with an answer to the energy problem related to geysers. The Water Angel’s CEO, Hennie Stander, explains the implications. “Think about it, here’s a product that saves lives, saves electricity and water, the implications are huge. For instance, the insurance industry alone can save over R400 million a year. Households can save up to 30% a month on electricity. And when electricity costs go up, that kind of saving makes a lot of sense. But over and above that, people will no longer have to worry about their geysers bursting, leaking and causing damage to property.” The product features highly sensitive and patented water detection membranes. Should they detect even the smallest amount of water; the main controlling unit will be activated. It will then simultaneously shut down the water and electricity supply to the geyser and an alarm will sound. A water temperature sensor is also fitted to the device to detect overheating. The homeowner will be able to monitor up to as many as eight geysers from an easy to use touch screen unit. A GSM system will enable management and control of the geyser from a mobile phone. “It has been five years of intense groundwork, and with the teething problems out of the way, it looks like we’re all in for safer, more cost-effective living,” says Stander. <


130 > ENERGY

Green charcoal to save forests By Irin News


ith Senegal’s trees disappearing, finding

According to the country’s Department of Water and

viable alternatives is a must. At least half

Forestry, 40 000 hectares of forest are cut every year

the country’s 13 million people rely on

for fuel and other commercial uses.

wood and charcoal for household fuel, and 40% use petrol products like butane gas, according to the

Deforestation is said to exacerbate soil erosion –

Ministry of Energy.

already a considerable problem in parts of Senegal. The country is part of the Sahel, a region where erratic

“You need to cut down 5kg of wood to produce only

rainfall, land degradation and desertification are

1kg of charcoal,” says Ibrahima Niang, an alternative

constant setbacks for a population largely dependent

household energies specialist at the Senegalese

on agriculture and livestock.

energy ministry. “Less than 30 years ago, charcoal consumed in Dakar came from 70km away, from the

The green charcoal is produced by compressing

Thiès region. Now you have to go 400km from Dakar

agricultural waste, such as the invasive typha weed,

to find forests,” says Niang.

into briquettes and then mechanically carbonising

An environmental NGO in northern Senegal is about to go to market with green charcoal – a household fuel produced from agricultural waste materials to replace wood and charcoal in cooking stoves.

them. The product has the look and feel of traditional charcoal and burns in the same way. “The technology is efficient, effective and economical because we can produce a substitute for charcoal at half the price,” says Guy Reinaud, director of Pro Natura International, the French NGO that has partnered with the Senegalese government on the green charcoal initiative. The project is based in RossBethio, a town 300km north of Dakar in the SaintLouis region. Environmental firms and governments have long been working to transform plants and natural waste materials into energy, such as water lilies in the Philippines.

Tough sell or consumer demand? Despite the apparent advantages, marketing the green charcoal in Senegal is a challenge, according to Mireille Ehemba, a specialist in alternative household fuels at the Programme for the Promotion of Rural Electrification and the Sustainable Supply of Domestic Fuels (Peracod), a joint Senegalese and German renewable energy initiative and another partner in the green charcoal project. “We have not been able to penetrate the charcoal market in urban areas. People are very attached to charcoal,” says Ehemba. “Much more [education] is needed,


132 > ENERGY

The green charcoal is made from agricultural waste such as the invasive typha weed.

including cooking demonstrations that explain how this new fuel works, if we want people to make the switch.” “Not only buyers need to be convinced. Identifying distribution networks and responding to the needs of charcoal vendors are also major challenges,” says Ehemba. For 1kg of green charcoal, a vendor makes a profit of five US cents (about nine South African cents), whereas conventional charcoal brings in almost 20 cents (R1.80) per kilogram. “We must talk to producers to get them to increase the scale of their operations in order to increase the profit for vendors, if this is to work,” says Ehemba.

On the other hand, Senegalese consumers may be tempted to switch to the new product because it is the cheapest fuel. One kilogram of green charcoal sells for just 20 cents (R1.80), whereas traditional charcoal currently costs three times that. A 6kg bottle of butane gas costs about $5 (R45.50). Fatou Camara from Ross-Bethio has tested the new fuel when cooking for her family of ten. “I can use 1kg of green charcoal and that will cook the dinner. It is cheaper than normal charcoal.” Camara says she used to use butane gas for cooking, but recurrent gas shortages pushed her to switch to green charcoal. In the past, butane gas was heavily subsidised and promoted by the government as an alternative to

charcoal. But such measures are no longer sustainable, according to the energy ministry’s Niang. The government plans to phase out butane subsidies in July. Peracod’s Ehemba is concerned the move will put more pressure on Senegal’s forests as poorer households return to traditional fuels like charcoal. “It is now very important that we propose alternatives like improved stoves and bio-charcoal so that people have affordable ways to cook cleanly,” she said. ProNatura and the Senegalese government plan to turn the project into a profit-making venture called Green Charcoal Senegal that will produce up to 800 tons of the green fuel a year for sale in the Saint-Louis

region. ProNatura will soon start a project in Mali, transforming cotton stems into green charcoal, and plans similar projects in Niger, Madagascar, China, India and Brazil. “It has global potential in terms of its adaptability to different local environments, and it uses local waste materials,” says Reinaud. Adds the energy ministry’s Niang: “It is not possible to completely replace charcoal. But even if we can replace 10% or 15% that is good. It will preserve the forests.” <



134 > ENERGY

R1.8-bn sugar fuel plant for KZN By Nicky Rehbock


rivate investors have injected R1.8-billion (US$200 000) into building a new sugar-processing facility in the rural area of Makhathini, in the far north of KwaZulu-Natal province, Engineering News reports. The project, which is a joint initiative by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), local municipalities and sugar growers, aims to produce ethanol and other sugar by-products from raw sugarcane. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an alternative fuel that can be blended with petrol to produce fuel with a higher octane rating and lower harmful emissions. It is produced by fermenting materials that contain starch or sugar. The dti’s director for agroprocessing Imamaleng Mothebe said “the biggest advantage of the project is that it would justify investment in much needed critical infrastructure within one of the least developed regions of the country. Once completed, the improved infrastructure in the area should generate more investments in areas other than just sugar. The role of the dti is to facilitate investment into Makhathini.” “The investment into the project is 100% private-sector funded through development financing institutions, as well as some members of the sugar industry and other private investors,” she added.

Mothebe revealed that state-owned power utility Eskom, which generates 95% of the electricity used in South Africa, was one of the stakeholders in the Makhathini project. “There is work done between Eskom, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Central Energy Fund around issues of cogeneration and ethanol.” The dti’s director-general Tshediso Matona said the project would play an important role in aiding rural development. “For South Africa, it is important that an appropriate policy environment be created that would establish real markets for renewable energy products,” he said. “This will not only improve our overall carbon footprint, but will unlock substantial further investments in the sugar sector.” South African Sugar Association chairperson Martin Mohale said the markets for sugarcane-based renewable energy will create major opportunities for the South African sugar industry. The Makhathini sugar-processing facility will be commissioned in 2011 and is estimated to create 1 800 direct jobs.

South African sugar industry The South African sugar sector comprises approximately 38 200 registered sugarcane growers farming predominantly in KwaZulu-Natal, with some operations in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. The industry produces an estimated average of 2.3million tons of sugar per season. About 60% of this sugar is marketed in the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The remainder is exported to markets elsewhere in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Based on revenue generated through sugar sales in the Sacu region, as well as world market exports, the South African sugar industry is responsible for generating an estimated average income of R7-billion ($700 000) a year. <

Source: Banner image by Hannelie Coetzee.



South African sports stadiums set to impress By Jennie Fourie

With the Confederations Cup out of the way, South Africa will be adding the finishing touches to an impressive number of sports stadiums that will collectively seat 570 000 people to showcase the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town: aerial view of progress Photo by Mo Rush.

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban: progress of outer face and membrane covering. Top photo by Felicity Hayward, bottom photo by Mo Rush.


he most important event on the world’s football calendar will be staged on the African continent for the fist time and creative architects, engineers and construction companies have ensured that the ten sports stadiums in South Africa will be up to the challenge. The latest news reports state that all ten stadiums will have been completed by the end of 2009. Five of the football stadiums were renovated for 2010. These include Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg and the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. New stadiums that have been completed or are still under construction include the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane, the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Cape Town’s Green Point stadium and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Training venues Stadiums in townships are being upgraded, some as training venues. These include Orlando Stadium, which has been completed ahead of schedule, and Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. Then there are the Rand, Cecil Payne, Rabie Ridge and Ruimsig stadiums in Johannesburg and the HM Pitje, Super and Giant stadiums in Pretoria. Cape Town will boast upgrades to the Sesa Ramabodu Stadium in Rocklands, while the Princess Magogo, King Zwelithini and Sugar Ray Xulu stadiums have been upgraded in Durban and like wise, the Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg.

The ten stadiums – a bird’s eye view Green Point Stadium – Cape Town The Green Point Stadium in Cape Town will be transformed into a completely new 70 000-seater stadium that is all-weather, multi-purpose, environmentally sustainable, modern and technologically advanced.

Most outstanding feature Cape Town weather in winter is dodgy, to say the least, and the roof of the stadium is ultimately important. Birdair, Inc., the world’s leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures was awarded contracts for the Green Point Stadium, as well as three others. The stadium is being constructed on six levels and should be completed by September 2009. In addition to constructing the roof, Birdair is also erecting 1,600 metric tonnes of perimeter compression ring steel on the facility. Green Point Stadium’s abstract, linear design and flat roof shape will emulate the surrounding Cape Town landscape, complementing the mountainous terrain rather than detracting from it. A unique combination of steel, cables, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mesh and glass will form the structure’s sleek tensile roof, an essential aesthetic and functional component of the athletic facility. Shaped like a large undulating bicycle wheel, the roof will feature 340,000 square feet of translucent technology

138 > CONSTRUCTION PVC mesh liner, creating a veil-like effect intended to parallel the surrounding mountains’ misty atmosphere. To offset the PVC mesh liner, 365,000 square feet of glass will be installed, acting as a ballast to hold down the entire light-weight roof structure during the 70 to 80 km/h winds that frequently sweep through the Cape Town area. The glass will additionally serve as a sound dampener to keep noise levels down. Studies indicate that the glass roof will better contain the noise inside the stadium while reducing the overall noise level by six decibels, as compared to the previous Green Point Stadium, which was demolished in 2007.

Most outstanding feature The stadium has a steel arch 105 m above the middle of the pitch, and by using a cable car spectators will enjoy a stunning view of the Indian Ocean. The catering capacity is set to comprise of 70 000 spectator seats. There are plans and allocations to increase the capacity of the stadium to 84 000 seats in the future to further accommodate major events such as Olympics.

Ellis Park – Johannesburg

Moses Mabhida Stadium – Durban

Ellis Park, a major football venue in South Africa, has been ear-marked as a semi-final venue for the 2010 event. The stadium has undergone major renovations like new upper tiers behind each goal, adding an extra 10 000 seats and bringing the seating capacity to the required 70 000.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban is another world class multi-purpose stadium set to make history in the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Furthermore, the greater Ellis Park precinct will receive a multi-million rand upgrade over the next five years – a move expected to sell the area as a place

Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg: aerial view.

Soccer City, Johannesburg: architect’s rendering and progress. Top photo © Media Club South Africa, bottom photo by African Biohazard.

Along with Green Point Stadium, Birdair also served as the roofing sub-contractor for the Port Elizabeth and Durban stadiums.

that is ready to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup and, hopefully, the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The R2-billion

facade of the stadium in typical African colours. The

upgrade is also expected to attract investment.

aesthetical solution to the facade by enveloping it in

idea was to create a calabash-like technical and fibreC glassfibre concrete. Rieder Smart Elements

Soccer City – Johannesburg

produced 30000 square meters of fibreC elements

Soccer City (also know as the FNB Stadium) is earmarked to host both the opening and final matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Built in 1987, Soccer City has played host to some of the most memorable matches in South Africa’s soccer history.

Metallbau developed more than 100 000 specially

forming the facade of the stadium and Valenta designed steel elements for the sub-construction. The outer skin of the arena spans 43 000 square meters in total. The impressive outer shell is divided in a roof section consisting of transparent polycarbonate elements and the facade section

Soccer City has been enlarged from its previous seating capacity of 80 000 to 94 700. Some significant changes were made, including extending the upper tier around

based on fibreC glassfibre concrete. In total more

the stadium and adding an encircling roof.

thickness of only 13 millimetres resist all weather

than 2100 modules with each 16 fibreC panels were prefabricated in the field factory. The elements with a conditions. The energy consumption of fibreC is

Most outstanding feature

significantly lower compared to alternative facade products and the production of fibreC has 40% less

Austrian companies Rieder Smart Elements and Valenta Metallbau were tasked to realise the outstanding

global warming potential than fibre cement panels or

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. Top photo by Mo Rush, bottom photo © South African the Good News.

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein. Photo © Media Club South Africa.

aluminium sheets.



Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – Port Elizabeth Free State Stadium – Bloemfontein The R1.5 billion stadium has up to 43 000 permanent seats and an additional 5 000 temporary seats for the World Cup. It has employed state-of the-art technology and modern stadium design, with a ‘sunflower’ roof that wraps around the stadium, without covering the full extent of the stands. After the World Cup the stadium will be used for events besides soccer, such as conferences and training, so that the venue can still be financially viable.

For the 2010 World Cup, a second tier has been added to the main grandstand of the Free State Stadium, increasing the seating capacity to 40,000. This stadium was successfully test-driven during the Confederations Cup and has been ear-marked for first- and second-round matches for the 2010 World Cup.

Most outstanding feature

Construction of the new Mbombela Stadium on open land seven kilometres north of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga was expected to be completed by June 2009. The Mbombela Stadium has been designed to ensure it enjoys a prosperous life beyond the tournament as an adaptable, relevant multi-sport, entertainment and exhibition venue.

The roof – which appears to be levitating over the base of the stadium – posed a particular challenge. It has a structural steel frame covered with aluminium cladding and with a PTFE- fabric spanning between the girders. It was designed by GMP Architects to provide maximum protection from wind and rain to the spectators on the upper concourse and upper tier in particular.

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit: aerial view of progress Photo © Tadpolefarm.

Mbombela Stadium – Nelspruit

The stadium has been proposed as for both the first and second round matches with a capacity of just over

Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane: aerial view of progress and architect rendering. Top photo © Tadpolefarm, bottom photo © Media Club South Africa.

40,000. Its signature feature is the 18 roof supports that resemble giraffes.

Peter Mokaba Stadium – Polokwane The Peter Mokaba Stadium is situated in Polokwane and currently serves as a football stadium and as an international athletics venue. The roof over the existing west stand of the stadium was removed and replaced by a roof that covers the entire western stand of the new stadium. An additional 20 rows of seating were built around the entire stadium to increase capacity to 40 000. In addition to the structural work, the Peter Mokaba Stadium was provided with first rate equipment, including an electronic scoreboard in the northern stand, new floodlights, sound system and a fire detection and protection system.

Royal Bafokeng Stadium – Rustenburg Only minor renovations were required to bring the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in line with the FIFA

requirements for a stadium able to host first and second round matches for the FIFA World Cup in 2010. The seating capacity was increased to just over 40 000 and proved a popular venue in the Confederations Cup.

Loftus Versveld Stadium – Pretoria / Tshwane Best know as a legendary rugby stadium, Loftus Versfeld, South Africa’s most established stadium built in 1906, is a home ground for Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns. To qualify for selection as a first and second round venue the floodlights, sound system and scoreboard at Loftus Versfeld were upgraded and designated media areas were constructed in the lower level of the west stand. Since 1977 Loftus Versfeld has undergone many renovations and its four major stands have been completely rebuilt. <

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria. Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg. Photos by Mo Rush.




Many inner cities throughout the world have become wastelands, as economic or social hubs close down and move somewhere else. This was the subject for a group of designers who brought their collective skills to the table to come up with ideas that could solve this problem.


he 2009 Interdesign, titled ‘City Move’ was hosted by the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID) and took place in Gällivare, Lapland, Sweden. A total of 38 participants from 17 different countries explored the answer to the following questions: ›

How can a city be relocated?

How can people be involved in the process?

What has design got to do with it?

What is Interdesign? Interdesign, a project of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers (ICSID), was initiated to give mid-career designers from different countries and cultures an opportunity to work together with local experts and designers for an intensive two-week period, exploring design issues of national, regional and global importance.

Interdesign workshops provide the opportunity for cooperative problem-solving and have as its ultimate goal the creation of innovative and appropriate solutions intended for implementation. The emphasis is on understanding of local cultures and actively engaging local communities in helping to find meaningful, realistic answers. In the process, the skills and expertise of the world’s most experienced designers and other specialists are channeled into cooperative problem-solving. The solutions reached are not only applicable locally, but can be applied in different regions throughout the world. The first Interdesign was held in 1971 in Minsk, USSR on the production and distribution of bread and the design of urban squares. Since then, 43 Interdesigns have been presented in several countries in the world on economical, social and ecological related topics.

Pre-event planning A pre-study group was formed prior to the workshop to carry out in depth research and collect opinions

Panoramic view of Gellivare. Photo © Gellivare Municipality

from the local community in the municipality of Gällivare, including perceptions and views from those affected by the current situation. Six students from Sweden spent August 2008 forming the ‘concept studio’. The results of this research were published in an ideas book, a publication that was shared with the local community and later provided to the Interdesign participants in preparation for the event in March 2009.

The brief A brief was presented at the opening of the workshop which included information from the political leaders from the municipality of Gällivare. The town of Malmberget is a part of Gällivare municipality and for nearly 40 years it has been involved in a drawnout and, at times, painful moving process as a result of the expansion of the mining industry. The current community is suffering as the gradual deterioration into a slum has negatively affected quality of life.

the 1970s the population has fallen by more than half and today Malmberget has about 6 000 residents. Many have chosen to move to apartments in the town of Gällivare. Others have chosen to even move their house to a new location that is, for the most part, away from areas affected by the mine. Both alternatives involve a more or less voluntary move event thought they are still unwanted changes. Unfortunately, the situation is such that many have chosen to move to another town. The uncertainty of the mine’s future direction creates insecurity among residents, a situation that risks conflicts on many levels. The vision is that Malmberget and Gällivare prior to, during and after the move will be safe, attractive communities with a high quality of life.

“We want people to want to move to the new settings without feeling they are forced to. We want a community that is attractive, that has a range of services and that offers opportunities that make people want to move here. We want to integrate current residents with newcomers into the community. This process will lead to Increasingly, residents of Malmberget are forced to a new community – characterised by thoughtful use move from their apartments and homes to other of nature’s resources and long-term sustainability. areas. It is difficult to say how long this process will continue. It is clear, however, that increasing numbers Now we need your help in creating a community of residents will be affected in the coming years. Since where people want to live and want to move to, and technology


The pit in Malmberget. Photo © LKAB. which serves as a model for the rest of the world” states municipal officials.

Research In order to give the workshop participants a strong introduction to the situation, a broad programme of seminars from experts were included in the programme. The Interdesign participants also experienced a journey underground to a mine below sea level at the LKAB mine. This allowed them to experience the vastness of the problem itself and a visit to the neighbouring Aitik open pit mine. Ongoing research visits were also coordinated, bringing the participants to local areas affected by the situation, including houses which have already been moved or are in the processed of being moved.

Participants The participants’ backgrounds included: industrial design, city planning, design critical practice and theory, design and building, graphic design, architecture, housing and urbanisation, urban design and community and environmental design, research, design management, landscape architecture, built environment project management, civil engineering, media, urban design, sustainable architecture, ecology, mechanical engineering, concept design, development and ecodesign, urban project management, interior design, concept design, art, curation and a local physician.

Processes addressed With an understanding that ‘City Move’ was a broad concept with many layers, some groups looked at a

The sports arena in Malmberget was converted into a design studio for the run of the Interdesign. Photo by Anna Bellander. project management process, timescale and how to establish solutions to the vast problem. Participants looked at how to move the people within the community, rather than simply shifting solid structures. Communication methods were analysed between key people involved with the capacity to make change for the better.

secure places to re-locate the community, encouraging new businesses and self-sustainability in addition to the mining industry.

Possible variations and formations of actual housing structures were also researched and designed, including further potential uses of the materials mined in the local region.

Architectural drawings and models were created to show a meeting place for social activity, including a new city centre identity and public places where historical landmarks meet new modern structures. Groups worked on highlighting the historical places of interest and attractions in order to improve the identity and appeal of the area to visitors and new residents as well as the connection of leisure and recreation through nature and environmental improvements were presented. Groups also looked at cultural events to increase visitors and as well as retaining or increase population.

Groups also identified new locations, which they perceived as worthy, attractive and more structurally

In the end, many of the workshop groups provided various options and possible solutions from which

Various sustainable elements were outlined in order to secure the future of the municipality. The groups took into account gender balance, education, identity and engagement for sustainability and vitality.



Moving a house from Malmberget to Mellanområdet. Poto by Mats Lundgren/Gellivare Municipality. the local people can decide the best way forward.

Overall the workshops were a great success and the

Likewise, groups identified that long-term results and

pre-planning, organisation and delivery from the host

deadlines were needed.

organisation, SVID, was outstanding.

Outcomes and results

Through these workshops and presentations, the

Over the two-week period, the six groups of students,

possible solutions. Workshop results were firmly

academics, professors, consultants and experienced

based on the real experiences of local people living

professionals from ‘co-design’ and multi-faceted

in the situation.

groups identified broad visions, processes and

fields and skill sets collaborated to address this local problem with global significance, to bring a better

The final presentations were printed and presented

quality of life for all of those affected. Participants

in an exhibition open to the public. One group

invested personal and professional experience into

presented an artistic-scientific project, which showed

the workshop, tackling results and processes, and

a visionary idea as part of the workshop. The object

leaving a positive legacy behind after their short two-

reflects sunlight to areas left shaded. School pupils

week time in the local community.

were involved in building and launching the project

Midnight sun in Gellivare. Photo Š Gellivare Municipality. during the workshop. This project was one stage of

workshop findings. The international collaborations

the workshop group called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Feel free: Organiseâ&#x20AC;? who

and experiences also brought unique and new insight

engaged in capturing imaginations and infusing

to the Interdesign problem.

events to open up perceptions and introduce different experiences.

All of the results and documentation from the workshop will become a part of the City Move Innovation

As a result of the final workshop presentations, the

Centre, showing how the process could be used in

initiative gained the support of the local mining

Sweden but also be adapted and implemented in

company, LKAB. Likewise an action group was

similar areas around the world. This knowledge bank

initiated by local community members in order to

will provide information for city planners and

ensure the longevity of the initiative once the work-

designers in order to stimulate cooperation between

shop was complete.

different stakeholders. <

The Interdesign participants were adamant to include the experiences shared by the local community, and many of these personal insights were reflected in the

Images courtesy of the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation and the Gellivare Municipality. technology


Design ingenuity addresses developing world issues Dual economies, like South Africa, offer challenging environments for product developers. Language and cultural diversity often means that assumptions about product acceptance imported from developed economies fail to gain acceptance. Devices that are contextually sensitive and perhaps over-engineered seldom stand up to the rugged African environment in which they need to work.


he wind-up radio that caught the world’s imagination a decade ago established …XYZ Design’s reputation as innovative solution providers to emerging market challenges. Among the main products developed by the firm are bicycle assembly kits allowing owners to custombuild a robust cycle that suits different needs and an electronic device that delivers greater accuracy to sociological and market research questionnaires.

technology was a challenge. Apart from usual ergonomic constraints required of handheld devices, subconscious user interactions should ideally not influence the quality of data collated. The completed design aimed to tone down technical complexity and encourage user/ device partnering whereby the device acted as a kind of confidante”.

Research tool

Prototypes of the Qbee – developed by the Qbee Survey Consortium – were used by the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) and the University of Cape Town in a foetal alcohol syndrome survey conducted in De Aar last year.

The Qbee is an electronic hand-held device that sociological and market researchers can use to accurately gauge the attitudes and feelings of people – irrespective of language and cultural norms. The device can be used on illiterate people.

While the research findings await publication the researchers’ reaction to the efficacy of the Qbee in gathering quality data was extremely positive, says Chris Meintjies who is the consortium’s project manager for the development and market acceptance of the tool.

Byron Qually, XYZ design director, notes that “obtaining sensitive information from respondents using unfamiliar

“For the first time researchers conducting an attitudinal survey believed they were getting accurate responses



150 > DESIGN FOR DEVELOPMENT to personally sensitive questions from both illiterate He adds that the Qbee supports attitudinal survey people and people with a low education.” best practice requirements as its built-in motoric resistance enables its respondents to give graded The recorded questions – moulded into the appropriate answers to questions, including the measurement of local dialect of Afrikaans – were relayed through ear- attitudes and perceptions of people. phones so the respondents could use the Qbee in private without the presence of an interviewer. A brief “Researching social issues has always been a challenge recorded tutorial, which taught the respondents how for researchers because it’s not easy to accurately put the device worked, was followed by the survey questions. feelings into words. The De Aar trial enabled researchers The respondents recorded their response to the to gather more accurate responses than is currently research questions by pushing a tensioned toggle possible using the commonly used Likert Scale of button to the appropriate point on the scale. multiple answers. With the latter the quality of the responses was always questionable in the case of Meintjies says that from the researchers preliminary illiterate respondents.” results, the responses captured by the device were more accurate than those gathered through other market What excites Meintjies about QBee’s potential is the research devices, primarily because the respondents impact it will have on research among the world’s one were more honest in their responses. There was no billion illiterate adults, as well as among children. personal contact with an interviewer whom they might fear would be judgmental or could not be trusted with “South Africans grappling with African challenges have sensitive information. pooled their ideas, experiences and skills to innovate The Qbee is an electronic hand-held device that sociological and market researchers can use to accurately gauge the attitudes and feelings of people.

an electronic device that has universal application across nations, cultures, languages and educational levels. For the first time there is a tool that breaks down the barriers that challenge academics’ accurate understanding of attitudes, feelings and behaviour. It is a custom-designed and built research tool. “Other electronic devices – such as Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones – that have been adapted for research purposes do not go far enough because many of the respondents are not comfortable with the technology that is commonplace in literate, technologically advanced societies.” The Qbee was born of the frustrations lifelong researcher Dr De Wet Schutte of UniSearch Research Consultants experienced while doing research HIV/AIDS and other socially stigmatised diseases among illiterate and low educated people in various African countries. He developed the Schutte Scale,now commonly used in South Africa, of which the tensioned slider manually registers responses in a face-to-face interview with a researcher. But he believed that it was possible to develop a ‘friendly electronic version’ that could make a ‘faceless face-to-face’ interview possible and in doing so, enhance the access to sensitive data from respondents. The consortium – comprising Dr Schutte, market researcher Chris Meintjies of Five Senses, learning materials developer James Thomas of Just Think, and Grant Broomhall and Michael Walton of Far South Networks – pooled talents to research and develop the new-age market research device.

successful field trial. The respondents felt comfortable using it and it was robust enough to preserve the integrity of the data despite the rugged environment. The result was the exciting blending of high-tech first world electronics with third world needs,” says Meintjies. The Qbee consortium is awaiting the final academic evaluation of the device from the FAAR/CPUT researchers before finalising its design and taking it into commercial production late next year. It is likely to sell for US$300 per device. As a multi-function interactive motoric survey and assessment hardware device it can be used for a wide range of data capturing including surveys, attitudinal assessments, multiple-choice tests and exams and census data. It stores questionnaires in onboard memory. These questions are then transferred to a respondent via an audio stream that can be delivered via a speaker or audio headset enabling respondents to listen to the questions in private and then, using the motoric resistance device (a tensioned toggle button), record their answers or “expressions of feeling”.

Cycle diversity The North West Department of Transport first planted the seed for non-motorised modes of transport among the design community in 2005 when it requested the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Design Institute to develop specifications for tender documents for the building of donkey carts.

The ideas and preliminary designs were taken to …XYZ Design to design and develop into a device that is comfortable and straight-forward to use, while being robust and made of material acceptable to users.

This prompted a two-week Interdesign 2005 workshop that brought to the North West Province 60 designers from across the world to examine non-motorised rural transport solutions. …XYZ Design’s Roelf Mulder led the bicycle and tricycle workshop at this event.

“Without …XYZ Design’s involvement in the development it is unlikely that Qbee would have had such a

Following this event the ...XYZ Design was commissioned by SABS to develop its modular bicycle idea. technology


The modular bicycle.

The design criteria were that the bicycle should be easily built, maintained and repaired in an isolated rural environment; components should be uncomplicated and there should be no gears. In mid-2008 the modular bicycle, along with other prototypes evolved from Interdesign 2005, underwent field trials in North West Province. ...XYZ Design’s bicycle attracted a lot of attention and comment from local communities. The modular bicycle can be assembled in a variety of ways depending on the user’s needs. It could be a conventional two-wheeler, a tricycle, a tandem or two bicycles side-by-side with a materials-carrying platform bolted between them. The permutations are varied and numerous.

...XYZ Design’s bicycle was designed to be symmetrical, irrespective of its final assembly and height. It can be built for both male and female cyclists. As gears were left out of the design – in support of the uncomplicated maintenance requirements – the bicycle is suited only to flat terrain. Rugged rural conditions where access to suppliers is limited and skills are basic were uppermost in the designers’ minds. The bicycles can be assembled without the need for specialised equipment and, if need be, can be repaired with scrap metal, wood, fence wire or whatever materials are at hand. “The bicycles must continue to be useable if factorymade components are unavailable. We see these bicycles being used to carry water containers, building materials, patients to clinics and goods to market.

People’s livelihoods will depend on them so they cannot remain idle because a component is unavailable. They must continue to be robust machines, even with makeshift repairs,” Mulder says. “The idea lends itself to a franchise operation geared towards rural entrepreneurial development. A franchisee could open a shop stocked with the bicycle’s components and assemble them to order. If this person has basic welding skills, he could repair the bicycles as well.” The central building block of the bicycle is the back wheel frame including the saddle and the front headset which includes the front-wheel fork and handlebar. The chain and braking mechanism are the components that cannot be left to local ingenuity and will be supplied by the manufacturer.

“We have put a lot of thought into designing this bicycle, but it lends itself to further ingenuity by the users as they adapt it to their conditions and needs. This is why it is modular, made from metal and held together with roofing bolts or pieces of wire,” says Mulder. …XYZ Design believes that African product developers are coming up with innovative solutions to universal problems because resources are at a premium. “We understand the robust environments in which our clients’ products will be used and the comparatively little money they have available to buy them. “This challenges our imagination. We get tremendous satisfaction knowing that the creative ideas we develop into worthwhile and useful products are

Many of the materials suggested by the design are re-cycled. For example, the rear mud guard is an old bicycle tyre turned inside out.

increasingly finding acceptance in global markets.” <

The materials-carrying platform can be bolted to the modular bucycle.



What is good design? By Sanandan Sudhir

Companies that integrate design more strategically within their organisations experience greater demand for their goods and services. This was one of the findings of a recent study conducted by the Centre for Design Innovation amongst more than 400 businesses in Ireland. Linking design to technology and innovation makes economic sense. But what is considered as good design?

Good design is inclusive: It is inclusive of all the aspects surrounding the product, starting from the overall experience of owning the product (branding, packaging, surprise elements, and more), the actual functioning (usability, look and feel, texture, colour) and then the end of life (disposal, recycling, secondary usage). It is inclusive of the synergy of the people involved, who come together to enrich the inspiring idea, thought, direction, concept, prototype, story – ensuring that it turns out to be a winner in the market place. It is also inclusive of the consumer and adapts itself to the ever-changing needs and contexts – as the world is moving towards a global culture – accommodating individual preferences.

Good design is based on systems thinking: A systems approach keeping both the short and long term strategies in mind is becoming vital for good design in any field. A holistic understanding of how the system flows helps define how various design elements come together to provide a product or a service. This understanding helps in establishing scope for incremental iterations or new innovations. Humans expect perfection and the corresponding context can be extremely demanding on a product’s ability to be customised. Corporates struggle to define

how much to add (from the product wish list) to a new product iteration for enough differentiation. Very innovative integrations with a lot of new features can take a lot of time, and short term strategies that are more profitable (with not enough differentiation) can lead to losing the edge in the long term. A balanced approach to this is the outcome of good systems understanding. Good design is not over-ambitious and while understanding systems constraints, looks at the larger picture, leaving enough scope for customisation and growth in the future.

Good design is attractive: What is beautiful is soothing to the eye and brings a smile to the face. When many attractive things are around, we are relaxed and happy -this helps us live longer. So being surrounded by beauty becomes a survival instinct. Though form does follow function, it becomes a very important function in itself for longevity. All that we design should look good. We have no choice there. But what is attractive to some is not attractive to many others. Good design is a marriage of elements that have universal appeal (sunset ambiance is liked by all) with a customisable local flavour (my kind of wallpaper, design and print my own t-shirt). Furthermore, there is another question that intrigues all: The form and function relationship. Well, I guess as we mature towards a more technologically stable paradigm in terms of assurances of functional reliability



in products (because of very concrete and mature verification and validation processes) form as function is becoming increasingly significant.

Good design is just a step ahead: Design evolution is a step-by-step incremental process. The timely launch of the next version, or any new innovation is critical to the success of the product or service. Good design is in sync with trends (formal, technological and social) and natural boredom cycles. We have seen many commendable designs that have failed in the market place (Real Value Vacuumizer, KFC’s India Launch and more). Real Value Vacuumizer failed in early 90s because if was ahead of its time. It was a clunky, expensive contraption that sat on that piece of high-valued real estate – the housewife’s crowded kitchen counter, and helped her “keep namkeens fresh”. Perhaps today (more than 15 years later) a redesigned version of the same product that suits the current context could be a great success. Another important factor is that people get bored and change is natural. After 30 to 40 uses a shirt is boring, in six to eight months you are fed-up with your cell phone, in two years or less the laptop becomes too slow, around four years is a good time to change your car and so on. These trends are different for different people in different societies and are dependent on affordability (when instalments are paid) and natural cycles (months, seasons, years). Understanding these, in a cultural context, and planning the products and their launches are critical for good design.

Good design goes back to nature: Design helps us live a long and quality life and to do everything we for while we are alive. This means design has to be as intuitive to all our senses as possible. Good design reciprocates to natural instinctive behaviour, as well as the human urge to excel. Humans perceive everything through the five senses (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory and olfactory). We learn from nature what is good for us. The colour of an apple attracts us, texture feels nice, it smells sweet and the appetising taste prompts us to eat it. Multiple senses act together to facilitate the whole experience. In this way, the body is tuned to our natural needs and how we interact with the environment. Good design simulates a similar experience. It becomes an extension of our body and resonates with our natural, intuitive, semantic and semiotic understanding – allowing us to excel and innovate iteratively.

Hence, the cost of the product has no relation to the energy spent producing it. The cost is only a measure of how much human effort has gone into transforming the materials from their crude form to a usable product, and other logistics involved. In the process of this transformation – from the naturally available materials to the final product form – the damage is enormous and amounts to global environmental crisis, the rapid growth of economic activity and human population, depletion of natural resources, damage to ecosystems and loss of biodiversity and more. Good design is energy-efficient (it uses manufacturing processes and create products that require less energy), produces more efficient products (increased life of products), and is sensitive to the environmental impact (recycling, reuse, renew-ability).

Good design is innovative: Good design is sensitive to sustainability issues: Almost nothing is self-sustainable. No solar cell or windmill can produce the amount of energy in its lifetime that was consumed in creating it. Good design aims towards sustainability and optimised energy usage in all scenarios. The energy that is consumed to create an object is enormous – far more than we think. Imagine that you have to create something as simple as a paper clip or a spring. The process involves collecting petroleum, coal and iron from natural reserves, creating machinery to refine or extract usable metal, bringing a variety of resources together to produce the paper clip or spring (electricity, heavy machinery, electronics, plastics, metals, paints, paper packaging, automobiles for transportation and more).

Lastly, innovation is key to all things man-made. Design in the absence of innovation is not capable of adequate differentiation. Good design will always amaze or amuse people, and the success of an organisation would be defined by the innovation quotient of the organisation as a whole or of its individuals. Good design caters for the human need of faster, better and more.

About the Author Sanandan Sudhir is Vice President Design, IDEA (Innovative Design Engineering Animation Pvt Ltd). The company is based in Ahmedabad, India and San Francisco, USA. <


158 > TT100



he Technology Top 100 programme is focused on identifying the true South African role models who through innovation, tenacity and a passionate belief in people, have been able to take their organisations to new levels of competitiveness. The programme seeks to identify role models who are either users or developers of technology.

technology, have raised South Africa’s profile in the international arena.

The entrants of the TT100 programme include a wide spectrum of operations in diversified industries. They exemplify the reality that irrespective of what business they are in, they cannot escape the fact that technology will alter their world.

› Management of Innovation: DebTech.

This awards programme recognises these organisations as sustainable, high-performance operations.

Winners › Management of Technology: X/Procure Software (Pty) Ltd.

› Management of People: ID Control Solutions cc. › Management of Systems: Hazleton Pumps (SA) (Pty) Ltd and South African Post Office. › Management of Research: Sasol Limited and South African Medical Research Council.

2008 Established Enterprises The Technology Top 100 Established Enterprise category for companies in business more than three years, honours South Africa’s true role models in the field of technology. These are the organisations which, through innovation and their management of

› Management of TIP: Altech Management Services and Sasol Limited. › Overall Excellence Minister’s Award: Bell Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd.


160 > TT100


(Pty) Ltd, Intelligent Inspection Systems Pty Ltd and Media Works.

› M  anagement of Technology: Altech Management Services, Bell Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd and


DebTech.  anagement of Innovation: Bell Equipment Co SA › M (Pty) Ltd, ID Control Solutions cc, Sasol Limited and South African Medical Research Council.  anagement of People: Altech Management › M Services, Bell Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd, South African Medical Research Council and Veripath (Pty) Ltd.  anagement of Systems: Bell Equipment Co SA › M (Pty) Ltd, Demco (Pty) Ltd, ID Control Solutions cc and South African Medical Research Council.  anagement of Research: Altech UEC Pty Ltd, Bell › M Equipment Co SA (Pty) Ltd and ID Control Solutions.

› ABB South Africa, Accsys (Pty) Ltd, AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Air Systems cc, Attix5 Africa Holdings, CAE r/a Cape Advanced Engineering Pty Ltd, Cura Software Solutions, Du Pont Telecom (Pty) Ltd, Ergoform Office furniture Manufacturing, EyeOn MultImedia, Grove Group, Khanya Technology in Education Project, LeadTrain (Pty) Ltd, Netstar Altech, nFold (Pty) Ltd, Ngena DesignSpace (Pty) Ltd, Parsec (Pty) Ltd, Planner Bee Plant Care cc, Quirk eMarketing Pty (Ltd), Rapid Mobile (Pty) Ltd, Shield Technologies cc, SMS Cellular Services (Pty) Ltd, Spescom DataVoice Pty Ltd, Strive Software International (Pty) Ltd and The Virtual Works.

› Management of TIP: South African Post Office.

2008 Emerging Enterprises

Commendation Awards

In recognising a need to identify and acknowledge newly

› A  dvanced Technologies & Engineering Co (Pty) Ltd, ARC-LBD: Animal Production Institute, Cerdak

category was instituted for those companies which have

formed technology companies, an Emerging Enterprises been in business for less than three years.


› Management of People: Altis Biologics Pty Ltd.

› Management of Technology: Breadbin Interactive.

› Management of Systems: Flexi Manufacturing.

› M  anagement of Innovation: CUPL – Rapid Liquid Dispensing cc.

› Management of Research: Bathabile Technologies

› Management of People: Flexi Manufacturing. › M  anagement of Systems: Resource Ballast Technologies (Pty)Ltd.

(Pty) Ltd, Breadbin Interactive cc, Flexi Manufacturing and Water Angel Operations (Pty) Ltd.

Commendation Awards › CypheRix

› M  anagement of Research: Resource Ballast Technologies (Pty)Ltd.


Overall Excellence, DG’s Award

› ALCAT South Africa, Billminder, CellSmart Tech-

› B  readbin Interactive cc and Resource Ballast Technologies (Pty)Ltd.

Finalists › M  anagement of Technology: Bathabile Technologies (Pty) Ltd, Resource Ballast Technologies (Pty)Ltd and Water Angel Operations (Pty) Ltd.

nologies cc, D-sebecs, d6 (registered as Parsons Technology Pty Ltd), Design Information, Forge Media Investments Limited, Fraxion (Pty) Ltd, Great Guide (Pty) Ltd, Kwantam Digital Pty (Ltd), LucidView (Pty) Ltd, MFI Data & Networking Solutions cc, Nexion SA Pty Ltd, Richard Turner & Associates cc, Strategic Productivity (Pty) Ltd, Technetium (Pty) Ltd, Telspace Systems cc, Timetunnel Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Trimega Diagnostics Pty, Yeigo, Zslic

› M  anagement of Innovation: Breadbin Interactive, Flexi Manufacturing and Resource Ballast Technologies (Pty)Ltd.

Technologies (Pty) Ltd. <






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