IMIESA August 2021

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IMESA The official magazine of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa


Bitumen & Asphalt

Thought Leadership

PG binder developments

Mobilising the opportunities for construction

Waste & Recycling Integrated waste management in practice


Industry innovators beyond the imaginable

Roads & Bridges Linking communities and building economies

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Accurate down to the smallest grain. Radar for reliable levels in bulk solids applications From simple to challenging: With radar technology that is highly robust, flexible and economical all at the same time, VEGA is putting things on track to ensure more reliable and efficient production processes involving bulk solids. Due to our decades of experience we understand the requirements of the industry quite well. That’s why VEGAPULS level sensors are able to deliver exact measured values even when conditions get extreme because of dust, noise or buildup. And why they are also ideal for simple applications where efficiency, and economy in particular, are required.


VOLUME 46 NO. 08 AUGUST 2021




IMESA The official magazine of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa


Bitumen & Asphalt

Thought Leadership

Editor’s comment President’s comment Index to adver tisers

3 5 56

PG binder developments

Mobilising the opportunities for construction

Waste & Recycling Integrated waste management in practice


Cover Story Industr y innovators beyond the imaginable

Industry innovators beyond the imaginable


Thought Leadership Roads & Bridges Linking communities and building economies

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ON THE COVER With various technologies at the fingertips of every enterprise, it’s becoming increasingly important to innovate in order to stay ahead of the pack. Fresh ideas and new technologies are birthed when businesses dare to venture beyond what is imaginable. P6

Mobilising the oppor tunities for construction


Infrastructure Planning – Funding & Implementation Reducing South Africa’s infrastructure deficit with more funding 10 Obituar y: Saying farewell to a changemaker 13

Bitumen & Asphalt Implementation of PG binder specification in South Africa World-renowned road safety campaigner to address SA conference How to make a for tune in SA’s near future

14 18 20

Roads & Bridges Lesotho Highlands bridge programme takes shape Small town road upgrades strengthen their economies Closing the gap





31 32 35 37 38

Waste Management & Recycling Environmental clean-ups require collective action IWM projects key to solving SA’s waste crisis

40 42

Cement & Concrete Ways to manage readymix waste streams Extenders can affect concrete curing Novel culver t bridge design for village

45 46 47

Environmental Engineering Gabions are evolving


Facilities Management 21 22 24

Water & Wastewater Pressure control to fight water shor tages in Eastern Cape Pump shafts and flow measurement eXpress booster sets meet the demand

Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis work together Design innovation shapes Mhlabatshane Bulk Water project Water Wise: An environmental brand over two decades old Highs in a year of lows – Umgeni Water delivers on its mandate Digital twins to the rescue

26 28 30

Outsourcing FM in the public sector


Vehicles & Equipment A hydraulic breakthrough for tracked carriers From rock to road

51 52

Power Systems Digital transformation in Africa Meeting local SIS demand


55 56


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EDITOR’S COMMENT MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Kirsten Kelly JOURNALIST Nombulelo Manyana HEAD OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders CONTRIBUTORS Steph Bredenhann, Dominic Collett, Kyle Holmes, Richard Jones, Jamie Louw, Henrico Range, Graham Simpson, Bhavna Soni PRODUCTION & CLIENT LIAISON MANAGER Antois-Leigh Nepgen PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jacqueline Modise GROUP SALES MANAGER Chilomia Van Wijk BOOKKEEPER Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS PRINTERS Novus Print Montague Gardens ___________________________________________________ ADVERTISING SALES KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Joanne Lawrie Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 / +27 (0)82 346 5338 Email: ___________________________________________________

PUBLISHER Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: R600.00 (INCL VAT) ISSN 0257 1978 IMIESA, Inst.MUNIC. ENG. S. AFR. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________________ IMESA CONTACTS HEAD OFFICE: Manager: Ingrid Botton P.O. Box 2190, Westville, 3630 Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: Website: BORDER Secretary: Celeste Vosloo Tel: +27 (0)43 705 2433 Email: EASTERN CAPE Secretary: Susan Canestra Tel: +27 (0)41 585 4142 ext. 7 Email: KWAZULU-NATAL Secretary: Ingrid Botton Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: NORTHERN PROVINCES Secretary: Ollah Mthembu Tel: +27 (0)82 823 7104 Email: SOUTHERN CAPE KAROO Secretary: Henrietta Olivier Tel: +27 (0)79 390 7536 Email: WESTERN CAPE Secretary: Michelle Ackerman Tel: +27 (0)21 444 7114 Email: FREE STATE & NORTHERN CAPE Secretary: Wilma Van Der Walt Tel: +27 (0)83 457 4362 Email: All material herein IMIESA is copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa or the publishers. _____________________________________________ Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. IMIESA is ABC audited and certified.

Forging an equal society


ebuilding and revitalising South Africa’s socio-economic capabilities is a shared objective that requires a new social compact built on trust. The July 2021 unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal underscores this because it was such a self-destructive action. The root causes and the way the crisis was managed are also complex. This viewpoint is supported by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which, although appalled by the events, expressed the view that it provides a unique opportunity to revisit what is expected from a capable state. “The incapacity of the state to communicate and create one source of truth is indicative of a state which lacks the capacity to respond appropriately in a time of crisis,” stated the PSC in a recent statement. To intentionally place a spanner in the works, as evidence suggests in the aftermath of the July riots, resulted in billions in losses for industry, and a ripple effect for society and government. It can never be allowed to happen again.

Career civil servants In future, a key measure of the response will be the way the state invests in developing career civil servants appointed to perform professional tasks, like engineering and finance. Within the context of the National Development Plan 2030, it’s also vital that national, provincial and local government are aligned when it comes to coordinated infrastructure delivery. In the past, sound strategic planning has become bogged down and impeded by opposing political parties, especially at local government level, where the real infrastructure implementation takes place.

Local elections and vaccinations One of the more immediate steps on the road to recovery is the upcoming local government elections. The outcomes will strongly influence future municipal operational models, where there’s a major new emphasis from national government on consequence management and performancebased outcomes. At this stage, the elections are still scheduled for 27 October 2021; however, the Constitutional Court will make the final call on whether it’s safe to proceed during a raging pandemic. If postponed, the plan is to reschedule for Q1 2022. If South Africa had started sooner and on a larger scale with its vaccination programmes, perhaps a potential election postponement would have been a non-issue. As I write this, fewer than 5 million South Africans have received their second vaccine shot. It’s just not good enough and we cannot go into 2022 with such a slow uptake. The immediate priority is for government and industry to make it clear that these vaccines are safe and for the public and private sector to work together to ensure that South Africa achieves herd immunity sooner rather than later. Then the real work of rebuilding the economy can begin in earnest, mobilising the billions in infrastructure investment already committed and in the pipeline.

Alastair To our avid readers, check out what we are talking about on our website, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and have your say.



Infrastructure News

The official magazine of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa


Bitumen & Asphalt

Thought Leadership

PG binder developments

Mobilising the opportunities for construction

Waste & Recycling Integrated waste management in practice


Industry innovators beyond the imaginable

Cover opportunity

In each issue, IMIESA offers advertisers the opportunity to get to the front of the line by placing a company, product or service on the front cover of the journal. Buying this position will afford the advertiser the cover story and maximum exposure. For more information on cover bookings, contact Joanne Lawrie on +27 (0)82 346 5338.

Roads & Bridges Linking communities and building economies

IMIESA August 2021 I S S N 0 2 5 7 1 9 7 8 Vo l u m e 4 6 N o . 0 8 • A u g u s t 2 0 2 1 • R 5 5 . 0 0 ( i n c l . VAT )


Water use in Ornamental landscapes


rnamental landscapes comprise a variety of aspects such as design, aesthetics, and functionality. Attempting to balance these features in a pleasing, well-planned landscape is challenging at best. Added to that the need for the landscape to be sustainable and eco-friendly and you are presented with a difficult task. Dr Leslie Hoy, from Rand Water’s Environmental Management Services department, recognised this problem and set out to refine the way industry experts view landscape design and implementation in light of the need to conserve water in South Africa. His thesis focussed on tweaking landscape components to maximise water-saving in the design. One of the thirty elements considered was hydrozoning - ensuring that water use is applied in correct amounts to the landscape, and only when necessary. The tools developed in his landscape irrigation model for South Africa (LIMSA) can assist the Green Industry in design, planning, and day-to-day operations, saving money and water. Contact Water Wise for more information. and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60



Green interventions for a healthier planet South Africa’s experiences with intermittent load-shedding may make renewable energy especially attractive. Rising fuel prices also make electric cars a far more viable option. However, beyond energy security and cost savings, a far more important motivation for going green is the increasing threat of climate change.


ver the past decades, there’s been heated debate from opposing camps about whether carbon dioxide (CO2) is a serious contributor to global warming. However, the growing body of evidence confirms this. A case in point is the research from US agency NASA, which reveals an alarming escalation in CO2 emissions, and greenhouse gases in general. According to their analysis, CO2 concentrations have increased by 48% over the past 171 years, chiefly driven by human activity and industrialisation. These finding are further supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), of which South Africa is a signator y. A recent UNFCCC report, entitled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, asserts that unless more concer ted action is taken, the goal of limiting global warming targets committed to in terms of the Paris Agreement will not be achieved. In terms of the latter, the objective is to limit global warming to around 1.5°C compared to preindustrial levels. That means cutting back significantly on greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon shift Many countries, including South Africa, have responded with a range of inter ventions. These include a carbon tax on industries using fossil fuels, incentivising them to

switch to more energy-efficient sources, like renewables (e.g. solar and wind). South Africa’s Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019) came into effect from 1 June 2019 and is an evolving process forming part of the countr y’s overall climate change response policy. This includes the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which promises to provide more immediate and longer-term solutions regarding the future energy mix. There are also other independent power producer (IPP) developments in the pipeline. These include the amendment to schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act (No. 4 of 2006). Gazetted in August 2021, this amendment now enables IPPs to operate plants up to 100 MW without requiring a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. The need for consistent, clean power has clearly resulted in a major shift to self-generation and metros like Cape Town, eThekwini and Johannesburg have sent out requests for proposals from the IPP market.

Papers confirmed so far tie in with a common theme that supports environmental stewardship and responsible, engineered responses to climate change. These include water security and water demand management, the maintenance and construction of sustainable infrastructure, geospatial planning, renewable energy, and bankable funding models. The final session before the close on the third day will feature a panel discussion chaired by Professor Wikus van Niekerk. Entitled ‘Can municipalities become independent of Eskom?’, it’s certain to generate some interesting debate.

IMESA 2021 Virtual Conference In the meantime, the IMESA team is forging ahead with preparations for our first annual virtual conference, taking place between 17 and 19 November 2021. The conference is being hosted by IMESA’s Cape Town branch.

Bhavna Soni, president, IMESA

IMIESA August 2021



Industry innovators beyond the imaginable With various technologies at the fingertips of every enterprise, it’s becoming increasingly important to innovate in order to stay ahead of the pack. Fresh ideas and new technologies are birthed when businesses dare to venture beyond what is imaginable.


s market leaders in asphalt and road construction, Shisalanga Construction strives to manufacture groundbreaking technologies. “We have always taken a keen interest in innovation and development. To maintain this standard, we are constantly looking for ways

to improve and give ourselves an edge in the industry,” says Wynand Nortje, technical manager, Shisalanga Construction. Shisalanga’s renowned Cliffdale laboratory is vital to the company’s success as industry innovators. According to Nortje, the SANAS 17025:2017 accredited lab is the only one of its kind in South Africa, as it is directly

A Shisalanga Construction team working on a resurfacing project

linked to production in addition to being a testing facility.

Performance-based approach Wynand and his team have moved away from the volumetric design system and have embraced a new, performancebased approach. Their priority is to manufacture asphalt products with the desired result in mind. To ensure that its mixes have an overall enhanced pavement performance, Shisalanga tests and adjusts its technologies accordingly until a workable solution is reached. Shisalanga’s prototype pothole-patching trailer is able to patch between five and eight tonnes of asphalt a day



The Shisalanga team together with customers during a 2019 Eco Asphalt trial at the Cliffdale plant

Established in 1998, Shisalanga has grown from strength to strength in the roadbuilding industry. The company now not only manufactures and paves hot-mix asphalt but manufactures highquality cold-mix asphalt and alternative, high-performance, environmentally friendly patching solutions. In addition, Shisalanga provides specialist solutions in laying surface and slurry seals, crack sealing, deep and shallow milling, in-situ stabilising, and hydro-cutting surface treatment.

privileged to conduct most of these tests in our very own lab,” explains Nortje. Shisalanga is committed to manufacturing asphalt and bitumen products that adhere to strict technical guidelines and are aligned with industry standards as set out by Manual 35. These Technical Recommendations for Highways (TRH8) govern the testing process and regulate the protocols to be followed.

Shisalanga has become a leader in new innovations, leading the way with products such as steel slag manufactured asphalt – also a first in South Africa. This product is the preferred aggregate used for asphalt manufacture on the busiest highway in South Africa, the N3. Another milestone innovation is the use of recycled plastic in asphalt – not just helping to save the environment but also improving the quality of asphalt with an otherwise waste product.

Testing methodologies are worth the resources, as they keep the company at the cusp of innovation.”

Eco Asphalt Adopting a testing methodology can be expensive – as equipment upgrades are frequently needed and research and development processes tend to incur many costs. Despite these additional costs, testing methodologies are worth the resources, as they keep the company at the cusp of innovation. “Having a fully equipped laboratory is absolutely necessary to embark on any kind of innovation. Without this, companies must outsource every test – a process that is tedious and costly. At Shisalanga, we are

Among the innovations to have come from the Cliffdale lab are Eco Asphalt – a mix that uses a proportion of locally sourced recycled plastic in its bitumen – Shisalanga's own cold-mix formula, and a portable patching trailer using in-situ patching technology and 100% recycled asphalt. “When we see an opportunity arise for a fresh paving solution, we go for it. We endeavour to improve upon what innovations already exist, as well as to introduce new asphalt and bitumen products to the market,” Nortje concludes.

IMIESA August 2021



Mobilising the opportunities for construction Steel, electricity and cement are among the key commodities that drive economies. As South Africa’s largest cement producer, PPC therefore recognises its role as an enabler and technology partner, says Njombo Lekula, managing director, PPC South Africa, emphasising the vital importance of public and private sector collaboration. By Alastair Currie

Njombo Lekula, managing director, PPC South Africa


IMIESA August 2021


he cyclical nature of the construction sector entered new territory with the advent of Covid-19. In South Africa’s case, it deepened an already depressed civils and building market, but the medium- to longer-term outlook is positive. “The South African government has long acknowledged the vital importance of the construction sector and its role in driving an infrastructure-led economic recovery. It’s also a proven and accepted model globally, especially within the context of a postCovid-19 revival, with G7 and G20 countries investing in this area as a catalyst for socio-economic growth,” says Lekula. “As a percentage of South Africa’s GDP, construction is typically pegged at about 4%. However, if you include the influence on the rest of the value chain, the figure is far higher, with a clear opportunity to create employment,” he continues. After the 2010 FIFA World Cup boom period, South African construction lost momentum, leading to a growing infrastructure backlog, compounded by increasing fiscal constraints. The question now frequently raised is, “Where

PPC Slurry, Mahikeng, North West

will the money come from to rebuild and grow the economy?” The only workable response is that growth cannot occur in isolation and moving forward requires intensified and collective investment by the public and private sector to unlock initiatives like the South African government’s Infrastructure Fund. Essentially, it requires teamwork. “One of the starting points is to create the right enabling environment and policy framework, which empowers the private sector to assist government in reaching our common objectives. Within PPC, our proven expertise in engineering, logistics, project and programme management makes us a vital enabler in facilitating positive change and delivering on micro and macro initiatives,” Lekula explains. Within the micro space, PPC is already forging ahead with a series of SMME development programmes that support job creation and skills development within construction and allied industries. “One of the core areas that must be addressed is the widespread issue of underperformance within municipalities, which deters private sector investment and impedes the execution of infrastructure projects,” Lekula points out.

Operational strategies To weather the peaks and troughs, some two years ago, PPC revisited its business model and embarked on its Three Mega Plant strategy as the construction industry

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP continued to slump. This strategy entailed remaining responsive to cyclical demand at its two key inland plants, and its Western Cape plant, while “soft mothballing” other areas of production capacity. This enabled PPC to reduce unnecessary overheads, retain personnel, and remain agile and flexible. At peak capacity, the total South African cement market is geared to produce approximately 18 million tonnes per annum. The total demand in 2019 was estimated at around 13 million tonnes, which underscored the tougher trading conditions at the time. The upside though is that, going into 2021, total demand is now sitting at between 14 and 15 million tonnes, indicating an upward trend. This trend was confirmed by PPC’s own experience as it emerged from the first hard lockdowns in 2020 facing an unexpected surge in cement demand from the retail sector, spurred on by lower interest rates and an associated growth in residential housing projects. Thanks to its Three Mega Plant approach, PPC was quickly able to reactivate dormant production units and meet customer requirements. “This retail surge indicates that the opportunities are there and that independent entrepreneurial visions within the informal building market can be channeled far more effectively when linked to key government mandates like low-cost and affordable housing delivery, backed by key producers like PPC,” says Lekula. “We are engaging with the Department of Human Settlements to propose best practice ways to involve communities in addressing the housing backlog. That includes suggestions on the adoption of alternative building technologies,” he expands.

A partnership approach that embraces local To build South Africa, PPC is also engaging with state-owned entities (SOEs) like Eskom and Transnet. PPC is one of Transnet’s major clients and a crucial logistics partner. A prime example is the rail support needed to ship cement from PPC Slurry’s Mahikeng plant to its Gqeberha operation to meet coastal

PPC Hercules, Gauteng

supply requirements. In turn, Eskom is an essential partner in ensuring sustained power at PPC’s operations. “We continuously engage with our SOEs to help resolve stumbling blocks and unlock the economy through various proposals. This includes suggestions to improve operational efficiencies within SOEs and ways government can leverage our expertise to grow new markets,” he explains.

We continuously engage with our SOEs to help resolve stumbling blocks and unlock the economy through various proposals.” The opportunities presented by power station coal ash are a good example. Currently, it’s estimated that South Africa beneficiates around 14%, compared to other major coalfired electricity producers like India, which beneficiates up to 50% of their ash. This product is used as an additive in cement, but there are more applications that can be considered, like paint manufacturing. “Our engagement is an ongoing process, but an encouraging one,” says Lekula. “However, in return and as an industry, we expect government’s full support when it comes to fostering localisation and providing a clearer infrastructure delivery roadmap.”

Cement import issue Together with other private sector stakeholders, via industry association Cement and Concrete South Africa (CCSA), PPC is currently engaging with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) for further clarification on the National Construction Industry Master Plan. The industry, via the CCSA, is also seeking resolution on lowerpriced cement imports. During the 2019 construction industry slump, South Africa’s local cement industry had an excess capacity of some 5 million tonnes. However, despite this, around a million tonnes of cement was still imported from countries like Vietnam and China. The objective of the industry’s DTIC application is not to rule out fair competition, but to ensure that cement imports are priced on a local level that factors in the South African industry’s cost of meeting BBBEE, Mining Charter and carbon tax obligations, and adhering to local quality standards. The hard lockdowns significantly restricted cement imports, which had a positive impact on local producers, who were able to bring idling plants back into operation. This was possible thanks to a dedicated industry strategy to ensure that standby capacity would always be available. The result was that sectors of the construction economy, particularly the SMME home-building market, could rebound faster from the economic fallout of Covid-19. “It’s not what we intend to do, it’s about how we plan and implement. Together, as one nation, we can do and achieve more,” Lekula concludes.

PPC De Hoek, Western Cape

IMIESA August 2021



We all know that infrastructure is a key determinant in the growth of our economy. So, what holds back infrastructure investment? Kirsten Kelly talks to Shaheed Alli from Nedbank CIB about bankable projects and the variety of available financial instruments for infrastructure finance.

Reducing South Africa’s infrastructure deficit with more funding

I Shaheed Alli, principal: Infrastructure Water and Telco Finance Division, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking


IMIESA August 2021

nfrastructure projects can be challenging to structure into a bankable transaction. Some of these projects are meant to be funded purely by government funding. Other infrastructure projects will fall within the public-private partnership (PPP) space. Then there are smaller projects that could fit purely within the private sector. It really is a mixed bag, and there will never be a single finance model that can apply to all projects,” says Shaheed Alli, principal: Infrastructure Water and Telco Finance Division, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking. Alli believes that PPPs are a good model to alleviate pressure on the fiscus. “Infrastructure projects are capital intensive. PPPs allow for the upfront capital to be raised in the private sector and this makes it more affordable for government, as government usually pays a unitar y payment over an extended period of time

– as opposed to raising the capital required up front. This also allows for government to deploy multiple projects. In addition, one of the benefits of a PPP is that the risk of the build itself, as well as the operations side once the build is completed, is transferred to the private sector. Also, jobs are created for the private sector – making a broader contribution to the fiscus.”

Guarantees While a lot can be done to reduce pressure on the fiscus, some projects will always need guarantees. “In my experience, I have never seen a project (yet) call on a government guarantee. There is a benefit to having guarantees in place. One such benefit is that if one looks at a pricing model, pricing with a guarantee will always be better than pricing without such support. This benefit flows into pricing the transaction, which is then passed on to the private sector that is doing the build


for government. The private sector can then offer government better pricing for the build.” In addition to pricing benefits, a guarantee adds certainty to the market. Institutional investors like pension funds and insurance companies prefer long-term debt, but require certainty of debt repayment. Guarantees also help to increase liquidity in the market.

Blended finance While not new, Alli believes that blended finance can assist in bringing more projects to market. Blended finance is a structuring approach that enables organisations with different objectives to invest alongside each other while achieving their own objectives (whether it be financial return, social impact, or a blend of both).

Nedbank believes that by supporting infrastructure projects that can further SDGs, we can get a return for our shareholders while improving the environment and the lives of people.”

“Regulatory processes take a long time and working with multiple government depar tments can be a cumbersome process. There should be a focus on streamlining some of these procedures and making them more efficient. Dealing with these bottlenecks is a balancing act. For example, Treasury approvals cannot be removed – they play a very important role in making sure that, among other things, the procurement process is transparent. Competitive bids, transparency and value for money should always be encouraged,” explains Alli. While PPPs are a good model, it takes a very long time for these projects to come to market, as they have to go through a lengthy approval process. Alli believes that it is very difficult to skip any steps in the regulatory process when it comes to PPPs. “It is a rigorous, time-consuming practice but it works very well. You will be hard pressed to find any allegations of impropriety with PPPs and this is because of the Treasury process. The immediate challenge lies in streamlining the regulatory process, while maintaining its integrity.”

Alli adds that a good example of a programme that accelerates project deliver y is the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). This is a competitive tender process that was designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation in South Africa. As a result, South Africa has achieved more investment via independent power producers in four years than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa has over the past two decades. “REIPPPP has brought large-scale projects to market in a ver y short period of time, with all of the checks and balances in place through a competitive bidding process. Multiple investors look

“An example would be: if only 80% of the project is commercially viable, then 20% of the project would need to be funded by a development finance institution (DFI) or government itself,” explains Alli. Another example is blended finance between DFIs and commercial banks. DFIs typically offer better pricing and longer-term debt. For instance, a commercial bank may offer 10-year tenor, while a DFI would offer a 15-year tenor – and this could be the deal enabler. “There is also the blending of product sets, such as offering a combination of a senior loan, mezzanine loan and even CPI debt. These blended product sets offers a lot of flexibility,” he continues.

Bottlenecks for infrastructure delivery Alli emphasises that funding is not a bottleneck for infrastructure deliver y. “There is a lot of funding available with DFIs and commercial banks. It is about getting these projects to market and making them bankable.

IMIESA August 2021



at these projects and compete against each other. With REIPPPP, government can deliver against its mandate by using the expertise and funding of the private sector,” he says. Infrastructure delivery can be accelerated with partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Risks Each infrastructure project will have a different risk profile. One of the risks around the financing of infrastructure projects is the ability of the developer/ contractor that won the tender to deliver the project. “As a bank, it is in our interest to make sure that these infrastructure projects are developed properly and on time. That is a safeguard for government. If we do not make sure that developers/contractors deliver on a mandate, we do not get paid,” states Alli. Lenders appoint their own technical, legal, financial and insurance advisors on board. When a project is presented to the bank, the deal team – together with the advisors – will interrogate the information and ascertain whether the project is feasible and cost-effective, as well as whether it can be delivered within the given parameters. In order to safeguard against these risks, a developer/contractor will be bound by contractual liquidated damages if a project is delayed or is not delivered. All these measures assist in mitigating risks in projects.

The good news President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the development of an infrastructure investment project pipeline worth R340 billion in network industries such as energy, water, transport and telecommunications in his 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA). “I think that there was an expectation that projects would start to roll out within a few months of the President’s SONA. But, in


IMIESA August 2021

reality, these projects take time to come to market. However, the formation of the Infrastructure Fund is a very positive development,” adds Alli. The Infrastructure Fund is a government funding and ancillary support service for co-financing blended finance programmes and projects. Through the Infrastructure Fund, government will provide support for the co-financing of projects and programmes that blend public and private resources.

I think that there was an expectation that projects would start to roll out within a few months of the President’s SONA. But, in reality, these projects take time to come to market.” Currently, provision has been made for R100 billion over 10 years. The Infrastructure Fund will be used as viability gap funding for large-scale infrastructure investments. The suppor t will take different forms, such as funding deserving infrastructure projects, blended co-funding, capital subsidies, or interest rate subsidies and guarantees. Par ties in the Infrastructure Fund memorandum of agreement include Infrastructure South Africa in the Depar tment of Public Works and Infrastructure, National Treasury,

and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). “This shows government’s commitment to successfully rolling out infrastructure projects. Nedbank has met with the team from the Infrastructure Fund. It is a formidable team comprising experienced people from both the public and private sector,” says Alli. Another positive development is the DBSA’s Project Preparation fund, which supports infrastructure projects through funding the preparation of projects that fall short of the needs of both the public and private sector – as, in many cases, sponsors do not have funding available to prepare projects to the investment stage. Alli adds that there are often delays in simply getting the project to the market. “Generally, there are limited skills in getting projects to bankability – which is understandable, as that may not be a government entity or private business’s core function. Therefore, the DBSA will play a vital role through its Project Preparation Business Unit in assisting to bring projects to the market.” As a ‘green bank’, Nedbank will always take the social and environment impact of a project into consideration and it is passionate about driving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “As a bank, we believe that by supporting infrastructure projects that can further SDGs, we can get a return for our shareholders while improving the environment and the lives of people,” concludes Alli.


Saying farewell to a changemaker A man of many talents and with a passion for engineering, Cyril Gamede will be fondly remembered by the construction industry as a champion for excellence.


t the time of his passing in July 2021, Cyril was the CEO of the Construction Industr y Development Board (CIDB), an organ of state that is playing a major role in transforming the sector. This includes the present roll-out of the CIDB’s Best Practice Project Assessment Scheme, or BUILD programme. BUILD establishes an equitable framework conducive to job creation, skills transfer and the advancement of engineering and allied built environment candidates. An allied thrust is subcontractor development. Matriculating at Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, Durban, Cyril set his sights on a career in engineering and excelled during his tertiary years at the University of Cape Town. He completed his BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1986 and was awarded the Sammy Marks Prize for the best engineering drawing student during his first year. He went on to complete his MSc (Mechanical/Industrial Engineering) in 1988, and subsequently registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in 1991.

Early career Cyril’s early working career began with Lever Brothers in 1988, starting as an assistant maintenance engineer and ultimately packaging manager in 1996. The next major career highlight was as operations director for Umgeni Water (1996 to 2002) and operations director for African Explosives Limited (2002 to 2010). Moving out of the corporate world, Cyril then gained invaluable experience in the consulting engineering sector. Key positions included his role as managing director of K2S Consulting (2010 to 2012), chief executive of Asceng (2012), and managing director of GMD Consulting (2017 to 2019). Prior to joining GMD Consulting, Cyril was chief executive of Umgeni Water (2012 to 2017) and joined the CIDB as its CEO in 2020.

Giving back A good listener and an empathetic leader, Cyril dedicated his life to mentoring and creating opportunities for men and women so they could grow to their full potential. This included volunteering to

Cyril Vuyani Gamede, Pr Eng (12 June 1963 – 1 August 2021)

tutor students while at university and, at one time, teaching mathematics to high school learners in the mid-1990s. In addition to being a director and nonexecutive director of various companies, Cyril was also at one time President of the National Society of Black Engineers, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and President of ECSA. Cyril was also a Captain in the 19 Field Engineer Regiment and enjoyed flying light fixed-wing aircraft in his spare time. This summary of Cyril’s achievements and contributions to the built environment and general society underscores the loss. Cyril was passionate about his role as CEO of the CIDB because he knew it was so integral to shaping a unified recovery of the South African construction sector and the overall economy. His legacy will be remembered.


Implementation of PG binder specification in South Africa The publication of the SATS 3208 technical specification for a performance-grade (PG) binder specification in South Africa coincided with CAPSA 2019. This milestone has its roots in CAPSA ’15, following a master class sponsored by Sabita, whereby John D’Angelo introduced the principles of a performance-based binder specification to a wider audience of practitioners. By Steph Bredenhann*


he purpose of the SATS 3208 was to provide a path towards complete acceptance of the PG specification and a path to a full SANS 4001 specification. The objective is to use SATS 3208 in parallel with the SANS 4001 specifications. As only one specification can be in force at a time, it is necessary to specify which one is applicable on a contract. Since CAPSA, some authorities decided to implement SATS 3208 as the specification on a per-project basis and test according to SANS 4001 simultaneously. In this article, the PG implementation so far will be discussed and pertinent issues that have arisen will be highlighted.

PG specification in a nutshell The purpose of this article is not to describe the PG specification in detail; it is to address implementation aspects that require attention. A summary of the most important points contained in the SATS 3208 specification is shown in Table 1. The PG specification was discussed in detail by Bredenhann et al. in the September 2019 issue of the SAICE Journal 1. A PG specification is a purchase specification that allows for the selection of a binder that can be expected to perform well


IMIESA August 2021

in an asphalt mix or spray seal application. The real test for performance will always be the asphalt mix itself; the mere choice of a binder will not guarantee performance. The PG specification is an improvement on the current penetration-grade specification in that environment, traffic and ageing are considered. Definitions for Tmax and Tmin are given in Table 1 and the question is often raised why the UTI (useful temperature interval) of 80°C must be maintained. Minimum temperatures of -22°C are not experienced in South Africa. The lowest temperature is in the region of -6°C in a remote area where traffic is light at best. The choice of UTI = 80°C was introduced to bring the intermediate temperature, TIT, in line with the temperatures where fatigue is experienced. Researchers had noted that the pavement temperature associated with fatigue was somewhat higher than the MAAT (mean annual air temperature) and +4°C was seen as a reasonable estimate. TIT is calculated as (Tmax + Tmin)/2 + 4°C = 22°C for a PG58-22 binder. Selecting specification criteria to ensure satisfactory resistance to fatigue cracking is a difficult challenge. The larger part of South Africa falls in the PG58 high-temperature zone, including the highly trafficked roads

of southern Gauteng, up the southern coastline from Cape Town to Durban. The 22°C intermediate temperature is, compared to experience in the USA and Europe, a very reasonable temperature for fatigue criteria in this area. The ΔTc ≥ -5°C requirement addresses the fatigue to a certain extent, but no specific criteria are included in SATS 3208. However, it is required that an isotherm at TIT is reported to allow for further analysis and research into fatigue and durability. This is perhaps the research area that is the most important and hopefully the universities will respond. The first step in specifying an appropriate binder is to define the environment and traffic level for the operating region where the binder will be used. The environment is defined by the maximum and minimum pavement temperatures and the traffic level by the equivalent number of 80 kN axles and traffic speed. Test methods in the SATS 3208 specification are performed according to the ASTM standard specification series. An example: traffic load is 40 million E80axles, traffic speed on the design section is 80 km/h in Cape Town, thus the PG grade is PG58V-22 and PG58E-22 on inclines where truck speeds will drop below 80 km/h.


PG BINDER-GRADES PG58-22, PG64-16, PG70-10

TRAFFIC CLASSES S = Standard H = High V = Very high E = Extreme

Tmax for asphalt is based on the 97.5% confidence level of the average seven-day (consecutive) temperature at a depth of 20 mm. Tmin is the minimum surface temperature, but UTI≥80°C (Tmin – Tmax) must be maintained.

Equivalent grades: Penetration vs PG Laboratory tests have shown that PG grades of currently available South African bitumen are as shown in Table 2. It should be noted that equivalent grades may differ between refineries and the designer must establish the PG grade with proper testing according to SATS 3208. The values in Table 1 are only given as a guideline.

Continuous grading The continuous grading of a binder, also

TABLE 2 Equivalent penetration and PG grades

SANS 4001: BT1 10/20 35/50 50/70 700/100

SATS 3208 PG76-10 PG64-16 PG64-16 PG58-22

referred to as the ‘true grade’ of a binder, is the maximum and minimum temperatures where the PG specification requirement is met. The continuous grades are determined according to ASTM D7643 and ASTM

D6816. South African PG requirements to be used are: • Tmax is the temperature where Jnr = 4.5, the requirement for S-class traffic. • T min is the maximum of the temperatures where S (60) = 300 MPa and m (60) = 0.3. A word of warning: software included in the DSR will report a continuous grade based on G*/sin δ = 2.5 (Tmax) and G*sin δ = 4 500 (Tmin). These are old USA specifications that are not included in the South African PG specification.

IMIESA August 2021




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Project specifications and special needs The PG specification requirements as set out in SATS 3208 are general and applicable to all binders, as the specification is intended to be binder blind – i.e. performance requirements to be met are specified and the binder supplier must manufacture a product that will meet those requirements. The straightforward method to incorporate the PG specification into the project specification (PS) is to include a clause that SATS 3208 will be the binder specification applied on the project. As it is still the implementation phase, one should also specify that all tests required by the applicable SANS 4001 specification must be included as compulsory items. Practices such as ‘overspecification’ must be guarded against, but a designer, either based on their own experience or on the preference of the client, may want to specify that a certain modifier must be used – e.g. bitumen rubber. This can be achieved by adding an acronym, CRM (for crumb rubber modified), to the specification – e.g. PG58V-22(CRM). A similar approach can be taken to ensure that a binder is modified with a polymeric modifier – e.g. PG58H-22(PMB). The designer must always endeavour to keep things as simple as possible. In South Africa, we have the A-E1 and A-E2 binder grades. One should not try to go further than just PMB (polymer modified bitumen) for a polymer modified binder. The manufacturer must be allowed to offer a product for the circumstance required and the difference in binder content between an A-E1 and A-E2 is not significant. Statistics show that more than half of the asphalt manufactured in Gauteng is still straight bitumen, unmodified. It was never the intention of implementing the PG standard to create a proliferation of modified binder grades. Neither was it the intention to favour modified binders over a straight bitumen that performed well over many years.

Special clauses in the PS It is known that some polymer-modified binders as well as bitumen rubber (manufactured with neat bitumen from some refineries) do not meet the ΔTc ≥ -5°C requirement. In South Africa, it seems that such binders are still soft enough to have good fatigue performance, so it would be beneficial to retain these binders in the mix. This is where the designer needs some specialist knowledge and to apply themselves. There are more parameters that can be used to assess binder performance, such as

the Glover-Rowe (G-R) parameter. The G-R parameter is calculated as G*(Cos δ)2/Sin δ and it was shown that at G-R = 180 kPa the potential for the onset of cracking is indicated. A possible specification requirement can then be that a relaxation of ΔTc ≥ -7°C is allowed, provided that G-R ≤ 180 kPa. In the MSCR test, more than the Jnr is reported – e.g. the %R (recovery, known from the Jnr report SATS 3208, Table 3). %R is not a requirement in SATS 3208 but can be included in the PS to ensure modification; a %R greater than or equal to 30% is a good choice. A further requisite clause is to specify a 10/20 penetration bitumen (for use in EME). In PG terms, two requirements must be added in the PS: • G*/Sin δ greater than or equal to 4 kPa, measured at temperature Tmax and rotational frequency ω = 10 radians/sec • %R as determined by the MSCR method of less than or equal to 10%. The G*/Sin δ ≥ 4 kPa is determined from laboratory tests and relates to penetration and softening-point values of the bitumen. The designer must confirm this limit with bitumen in their own area. The %R requirement is to ensure that no modifier is present in the bitumen.

Initiative and out-of-the-box thinking are certainly encouraged.

How to handle penetration-grade bitumen in EME A 10/20 penetration-grade bitumen will most likely have a PG76-10 continuous grading, but let us investigate 10/20 to be used in an EME for the above example where a PG58V-22 binder is required. The first reaction would be to specify a PG58V-10 as in the area a Tmin of -10°C is most probably safe. But the TIT will now be 28°C and this is too high to assess fatigue resistance. The design engineer should assess the fatigue-resistant properties of the 10/20 bitumen and the EME mix. EME is used in a base course with a wearing course. If the wearing course is of adequate thickness, the effective maximum temperature in the EME will be lower – reducing strain in the pavement. That will assist with fatigue resistance. The relaxation properties of the bitumen must be assessed. The m(60) will be a good indication. However, with the higher binder content of the EME, fatigue resistance is increased. The message should be clear: do not just accept that PG grades can be adjusted to suit the situation. The consequences of the changes should be considered carefully.

Reference: Bredenhann, Myburgh, Jenkins, O’Connell, Rowe and D’Angelo (2019. ‘Implementation of a performance-grade binder specification in South Africa’. SAICE Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol 61, No 3, pp 20-31. Acknowledgement: Dr Geoffrey Rowe and Dr John D’Angelo, both from the USA, were consulted on some discussion points, thus their kind assistance as friends of South Africa is acknowledged herewith. *Steph Bredenhann is a principal specialist at Naidu Consulting.

IMIESA August 2021



World-renowned road safety campaigner to address SA conference Susanna Zammataro is the director general of the International Road Federation (IRF) in Geneva, Switzerland. She is also a globally recognised expert on road safety and sustainability who is currently leading the IRF in several ambitious projects on the African continent.


he turns her focus to the southern tip of Africa in September 2021, when she will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural conference of the Society for Asphalt Technology (SAT) – SATBinderrr. “Safe and sustainable mobility on Southern African road networks is the key objective for our industry, so having Susanna on the

platform with us will be a great privilege,” says Herman Marais, president, SAT. “Her passion for the human aspect of roads everywhere is inspiring a new generation of industry leaders around the world and will do the same in South Africa,” Marais adds. Zammataro has been named as one of the 40 Most Remarkable Women in Transport by the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile’s High Level Panel on Road Safety, and chairperson of the Safer Roads and Mobility Pillar of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration Group. Since its inception, she has been involved in Sustainable Mobility for All – an initiative led by the World Bank that brings 55 top Susanna Zammataro, director general, International Road Federation


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stakeholders from the transport sector around the table.

LEARN Despite comparatively low motorisation levels, Africa has the world’s highest rate of road traffic fatalities. Susanna’s interest in improving road safety in Africa finds expression through several IRF initiatives. One of these, the LEARN project, is a partnership between the IRF and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety that seeks to enhance the knowledge, skills and actions of road safety professionals and stakeholders through hands-on training. This capacity-building initiative is currently in progress in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. It involves a series of workshops led by Zammataro, together with Patrick Kinyanjui of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, in collaboration with local country coordinators. One of the primary objectives of the LEARN training is to increase awareness of the fundamental role of data in delivering effective solutions. Initiatives targeted at reducing road fatalities need to be supported by up-to-date, precise data to set the right targets as well as to measure and monitor progress and achievements.


Ten Step Plan Recognising the fact that road infrastructure plays a significant role in influencing the likelihood or severity of a crash, the Ten Step Plan for Safer Road Infrastructure aims to unlock the potential of safer roads to save lives and money, and to achieve UN Global Road Safety Performance Targets. The project was recently selected by the United Nations Road Safety Fund Steering Committee to be implemented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with a consortium of partners (iRAP, PIARC and TARA) led by the IRF. In March 2021, Tanzania became the first country in the world to start using the Ten Step Project. This pilot project, led by Zammataro, is designed to build the country’s capacity to improve the safety of road infrastructure. “The sector has proven that it has the tools to design and build safer roads, but

these must be more widely implemented. This is not about telling a government or anyone else what to do. This is about making meaningful decisions that will save millions of lives,” she commented at the launch of the Tanzania project.

Private sector coalitions The Total Foundation and the IRF are partnering to support the formation of private sector road safety coalitions in a number of countries around the world. The objective is to unite private sector funding and initiatives to work together, in collaboration with international institutions, NGOs and local authorities, to improve road safety via hands-on, impact-oriented and scalable activities and funding. A first coalition was launched in March 2021 in Tanzania. Others are being formed in Senegal, Pakistan and Morocco, and will be launched by the end of the year.

Covid-19 impact The IRF and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety recently published a report funded by the UK-Aid HVT, entitled Covid-19 impact on transport and mobility in Africa – A review of policy and practice in seven African countries. The report addresses the Covid-19 measures implemented in Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. It provides insights into transport-related restrictions such as those affecting international travel, public transport, and urban and interurban travel. The research assessed the impact of these measures on individual mobility to locations such as public transport stations, workplaces and residential areas. Detailed case studies were prepared for all seven countries, and key findings and recommendations were presented at a webinar in June 2021.


After an incredibly tough decade, service providers in the asphalt and bitumen industry finally have at least three reasons to celebrate – and one thing to prove. By Henrico Range*


Sanral is finally spending big

For companies involved in roadworks, the recent outpouring of multibillion-rand tenders from both provincial and local municipalities has been astounding. Big players like Raubex probably have visibility for two or even three years of work – something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Businesses that deal in aggregates, asphalt and bitumen stand to benefit immensely, but only if they can leverage their relationships with the few companies big enough to take on these enormous jobs. Now more than ever, this will mean being able to prove that you can manage every aspect of your work, over the short and long term.


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How to make a fortune in SA’s near future

potential. Started just a few months ago, they will be multimillion-rand companies in a few years’ time, when major mines and other large industries start seeing their competition securing reliable energy at a fraction of the cost. A solar energy plant, essentially, is a concrete base with simple equipment on top. Wind farms are also not particularly complicated. The mines and other industries that will soon be investing millions to keep up with their competitors won’t need the most specialised technology – they will need reliable, competitive partners that can secure their investments with managed risk.


Government announces massive public-private partnerships

On 17 August, Pravin Gordhan announced plans to secure R100 billion in infrastructure investment for South Africa’s ports over five years. National Treasury has acknowledged that the new era of huge public-private projects demands effective

implementation and that companies can plan over the long term, confident of a return on investment. To be selected as partners, service providers will increasingly need to be able to prove that they are in control of every aspect affecting their project, even if that work isn’t part of their typical scope.

In summary Making your fortune in this near future of immense government spending and multibillion-rand projects will come down to proving one thing: that, in an increasingly complicated world, you’re the service provider most equipped to get the job done. As Ninety One portfolio manager Andrew Joannou told Fin24 last month, “There are big, well-run and competitive private businesses who have eaten the lunch of some listed players.” The dinner bell has been rung. *Henrico Range, Pr Tech Eng, is a regional manager at Roadlab.

In a future of massive public-private partnerships, multi-billion rand projects and fast-paced renewable energy developments, it’s not enough to be good at what you do. Proving that you’re the best construction, asphalt or bitumen partner for the job means proving that you can deliver the best results, on time, consistently. We understand the dynamics of your project requirements. TM

Rather than specialising in one aspect of your project, we can give you economic and practical recommendations that consider all the elements that impact your service delivery, enabling your timeous success for large and long-term projects. Not only can we conduct all your forensic investigations, material classification, soil, asphalt, bitumen, concrete and chemical testing, but our Transport Technologist can assess layerworks, verify designs and conduct road evaluations using non-destructive techniques.

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Lesotho Highlands bridge programme takes shape Zutari has been awarded a contract by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) for design and site super vision ser vices for the Senqu, Mabunyaneng and Khubelu bridges. They all form a key component of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II.

Natie Wilson, technical director: Transportation Services, Zutari


he main works of Phase II entail the construction of the Polihali Dam, plus allied diversion and transfer tunnels. The impoundment of the Polihali Dam will result in the flooding of existing roads and bridges, such as the Senqu, Mabunyaneng and Khubelu bridges, which are situated on the A1 national route – the main access road between Oxbow and Mokhotlong. Access to Mokhotlong will be lost unless the bridges are reconstructed at higher levels. Senqu Bridge consists of an 825 m long, incrementally launched box girder deck and an extradosed stay-cable portion to allow for a 100 m centre span. This span will be formed by stitching together the two decks, launched from either side of the river and meeting in the centre. The substructure consists of 90 m high piers founded on spread footings.

The Senqu Bridge features an extradosed stay-cable portion with a 100 m centre span

The Senqu Bridge substructure consists of 90 m high piers founded on spread footing

The Mabunyaneng Bridge (120 m) and Khubelu Bridge (270 m) superstructures consist of variable-depth, prefabricated, post-tensioned concrete beams, with cast-in-situ reinforced concrete top slabs. The substructures will consist of reinforced concrete wall-type piers and closed-wall abutments with wing walls. The design of these two bridges was carried out by Leporogo Specialist Engineers.

A virtual process Three-dimensional models of the bridges were created in Revit, and the normal standard tender drawings, as required by the construction industry, were generated from these models. The 3D models were used to better visualise the structure and construction process for the client and prospective tenderers. For this purpose, an interactive model of the bridge was created to visualise the structure in its surroundings before and after dam impoundment. A construction sequencing video was also prepared to demonstrate the intended construction process to the client and potential tenderers. In addition, drones were used to create videos and surveys of the construction site. An innovative virtual tender briefing was carried out in March 2021 for Senqu Bridge, with the tender closing in July 2021. It is

anticipated that ground should be broken in Q2 2022. The duration of construction is estimated at three years for Senqu Bridge and two years for Mabunyaneng Bridge and Khubelu Bridge, respectively.

A history of innovation Zutari’s bridge team has a long history of successful bridge designs, including the Siphofaneni River Bridge, a 375 m incrementally launched box girder bridge in Eswatini (2013), the Olifants River Bridge, a 166 m long bridge with a 93 m arch (also 2013), and the Malibamatso Bridge, a 465 m long incrementally launched posttensioned girder bridge in Lesotho (1988). “LHDA, through its Project Management Unit, has been instrumental in making a success of the project thus far,” says Natie Wilson, technical director: Transportation Services, Zutari. “Although it operates within a highly regulated environment due to the multinational and multidisciplinary nature of the project and overall programme, it has been visionary in the way it has approached the execution of the contract, and in particular its relationship with all stakeholders,” adds Wilson. As part of a joint venture, Zutari is also involved with the Polihali Diversion Tunnels and Polihali Transfer Tunnel projects.

IMIESA August 2021



Small town road upgrades strengthen their economies Situated on the Garden Route, Great Brak River is a bustling coastal town and popular seasonal tourist destination. As with any urban space, the town’s commercial and residential mix has evolved over time, influencing current and future town planning requirements, as well as the need to reconstruct key road networks.


he town falls within the jurisdiction of Mossel Bay Municipality (MBM), which recognised the need for an extensive upgrade of two key routes, along with improved safety for parking and pedestrians. The works entailed the rehabilitation of Long Street and Stasie Road (MR348), and the upgrading of Sandhoogte Road, with design and construction supervision carried out by SMEC South Africa’s George office. “Over the years, the town of Great Brak River developed around the MR348, and the road’s cross section was never formalised,” explains Altus Eitner, a professional engineer in the Streets & Stormwater Department at MBM. “One of the objectives of the MR348 upgrade was to implement a standard cross section and to restore the pavement to Western Cape Provincial Government (WCPG) standards. We also recognised that due to the area’s high water table, constant patching and pothole repairs were proving to be ineffective, and the increasing deterioration of the road required a full rehabilitation,” he continues. Valued at approximately R47 million, works commenced in February 2020 and were completed in March 2021. The MR348 roadworks phase was 80% funded via the WCPG Maintenance and Construction

of Transport Infrastructure Grant, with the remaining 20% financed by MBM. MBM provided the funding for the town’s upgraded sidewalks (totalling some 4 600 m), which included wheelchair access points, upgrading sections of Sandhoogte Road, and the construction of a new traffic circle at the Amy Searle intersection. “An important point to note is that provincial funding models place a key distinction between a rehabilitation and rebuild application submitted by a municipality. The first provides funding for surface repairs (between kerbs). In contrast, a rebuild application covers the bulk of the costs, so it’s essential for municipal engineers to be very specific about their funding requirements,” Eitner explains. As part of the contract, 108 local unskilled labourers were employed via the MBM shakeshake system (effectively a lottery process for the fair selection of qualifying applicants), all of whom were drawn from surrounding residential areas. In total, 86 individuals received stop/go and/or flagman training.

Key construction phases The rehabilitation of Long Street and Stasie Road, measuring 2.56 km in length, entailed: base patching and edge break repairs; crack sealing; the replacement of a damaged culvert; bridge maintenance; new kerbs and channels; stormwater upgrades; and a

40 mm medium A-R2 (bitumen-rubber) asphalt overlay. The asphalt was supplied by AECI Much Asphalt in George and amounted to some 2.6 tonnes. “Approximately 70% of the MR348 is constructed below the 1:50-year flood line, so the original road design was outside the current recommended design standards. SMEC’s pavement rehabilitation design allowed for pavement strengthening in those sections worst affected by water ingress, as well as minor level corrections. Overall, we decided to leave the sub-base undisturbed, based on geotechnical investigations,” says André Delport, professional technician: Roads and Highways, SMEC. Prior to construction, some 40% of the sidewalks within the town were gravelled shoulder sections. In-between maintenance intervals, these became rutted and contributed to ponding. The lack of a hard edge also resulted in edge breaks along the road. Adding kerbs and paving sidewalks in a uniform colour was a definite aesthetic and safety improvement, and contributed to more effective stormwater management. Works on Sandhoogte Road, measuring 380 m in length, entailed an upgrade from a gravel to asphalt surface. This comprised the construction of new layer works, stormwater improvements, and surfacing with a 30 mm medium A-E2 (elastomer modified) asphalt layer. The road is a strategic one as it supports heavy vehicles from surrounding farms and a quarry.

Business rights and traffic accommodation “During the MR348 upgrade, traffic accommodation needed to be carefully managed since this is the only road passing

The new traffic circle at the Amy Searle intersection


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ACKNOWLEDGMENT: The following people are recognised for their contribution to this landmark project: MBM • Pieter Myburgh, Pr Eng • Altus Eitner, Pr Eng • Bertie Stewart A before and after perspective on an upgraded section of Long Street opposite the town’s police station


Councillors • Annatjie Janse van Rensburg • Anton Dellemijn • Cliffie Bayman


HENRA • Bert Dunker • Graham Ivers • Martin Oosthuizen

Mountable kerbs were installed next to the new sidewalks to facilitate existing on-site business parking

SMEC • Andre Delport • Willem Annandale, Pr Eng • Henry Badenhorst WCPG DTPW Office • Cornelius Malgas • Michael Hendrickse • Juan Prodehl

through the town and businesses had to remain operational,” Delport explains. Another key challenge was the need to consider all historic accesses to the road, and each business’s unique requirements. Some of the town’s newer businesses hadn’t applied for business rights – which included parking layout approval from a town planning perspective – so this needed to be resolved. “The parking in and around town was generally informal and not always safe or conducive to traffic flow. Therefore, an emphasis was placed on standardising and maximising the number of parking bays to allow for a more structured and suitable formalisation,” says Eitner. “Verifying each and every erf and building plan to confirm which businesses qualified for street-front parking, as well as single or multiple access, was key in executing the road upgrade. It was also an invaluable lesson when tackling future projects of this nature,” says Delport, adding that mountable kerbs were installed next to the new sidewalks to facilitate existing on-site business parking. Another proactive intervention was the installation of various sleeves within the newly

In total, 193 parking bays were established, while, from a safety and energy efficiency standpoint, the Long Street and Stasie Road route has been illuminated with new 200 W LED streetlights

revamped road cross section. “Getting the fibre-optic installers on board at the planning stage proved to be a very valuable exercise,” adds Eitner. In total, 193 parking bays were established, while – from a safety and energy efficiency standpoint – the Long Street and Stasie Road route has been illuminated with new 200 W LED streetlights. MBM has a mandate to maintain some 450 km of road within its municipal boundary,

which covers an area of approximately 2 000 km2. Currently, MBM’s total annual budget for streets and stormwater is around R33 million, so the Great Brak River project represents one of its largest investments in the past 10 years. MBM’s portion was spread over two financial years. “Working with SMEC, MBM is proud of the exceptional standards achieved at Great Brak River, which will certainly aid in the town’s future growth,” Eitner concludes.

IMIESA August 2021



Closing the gap Developed for deployment by militar y engineers during the Second World War, the modular steel-truss Bailey bridge (commonly known as the Type 100) was a highly successful invention. Through ongoing refinement by modernday manufacturers, this versatile solution for temporar y pedestrian and vehicle crossings is still in use worldwide, including South Africa. By Alastair Currie


ocally, BSE Engineering Group has been spearheading the widespread application of its rendition of the Type 100, delivering on key projects. These include the manufacture and supply of bridge kits for joint Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and Department of Defence and Military Veterans initiatives. One of the most recent is the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme, which was gazetted as a Strategic Integrated Project in July 2020. This national programme serves as a disaster management response, as well as a vital link for communities, particularly schoolchildren, to

reach nearby education facilities without being impeded by rivers and floods. These single-lane bridges are being installed by South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel working alongside communities employed as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Current projects are focused on the KwaZuluNatal (KZN) region, with the KZN Department of Transport having allocated funds for 14 bridge installations across the province.

Entering the market Leveraging off its expertise as a specialist steel fabricator, BSE identified a gap in the market for Type 100 bridges around 2006 – a year in which an especially severe series of floods hit South Africa. “We were also aware that there was a stockpile of Bailey bridge sections sitting in

The bridge is supported on either side by gabion abutments

A completed Type 100 bridge

SANDF storage,” explains Elliot Marcinko, CEO at BSE. A series of discussions subsequently led to BSE being awarded an open tender to refurbish older components and start manufacturing new Type 100 units. At the time, these were mainly for projects in the Eastern Cape region. “We subsequently won further tenders, including the fabrication and supply of all 14 bridges for the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme in KZN,” Marcinko continues, adding that BSE provides on-site training, logistical support, and advice on bridge abutment solutions. The latter are constructed using either gabions and gabion mattresses or reinforced concrete. Gabion systems are preferred because they can mostly be filled with readily available local materials by community-based labour. Speed of construction is a major advantage compared to alterative building systems like cast-in-situ or precast concrete. Type 100 bridges are also arguably more pricecompetitive, when considering time and costs.

Incremental launch Depending on the technical terrain challenges on-site, these modular steel bridges can be installed within a few days or weeks by a small team. All the components bolt together, making assembly and future disassembly straightforward. “Although a complete bridge could be placed on its abutments in one go using a crane, this is not practical given the remote location


IMIESA August 2021


of these sites. So, the preferred method is to incrementally launch the bridge over the river or gulley, generally without the need for scaffolding,” Marcinko explains. “Another plus is that, if a bit of extra length is required, a further extension can be bolted on.”

Research and development

Preparation works in progress Finishing touches

Incremental launch

South Africa

While the Type 100 design has been around in minor modified formats for around 80 years, the steel used to construct them has evolved significantly since the 1940s. New steel derivatives are now stronger, which means that they can support higher live loads over shorter distances. BSE’s single-lane bridges are typically up to 35 m in length and designed to support a 10 t live load. Bridges can also support services, like a pipeline running underneath the structure. “Our R&D team is in the process of developing a new prototype, which we’ve coined the Type 200 bridge,” says Marcinko, adding that the Type 200 design is a joint effort between BSE and the SANDF. “The SANDF’s in-field feedback on practical design improvements is invaluable.” On a Type 100 design, a double-sided panel is required on each side of the bridge. For the Type 200, however, only single panels will be needed on either side. In both cases, the bridge deck is composed of steel sheeting resting on a girder frame. Bridges can be galvanised to optimise the lifespan of the steel. Alternatively, a protective paint coating can be applied. The overall design can also incorporate solar-powered illumination.

Long-term durability To determine the performance of their installations since 2009, BSE recently awarded a bursary to a Wits University PhD student to research the environmental impact and sustainability of its bridges. “From our own observations, our first bridges in the Eastern Cape have stood the test of time well. It’s also heart-warming to see how these structures have enabled socioeconomic development,” Marcinko continues. “When most of these bridges were installed, there was no evidence of local habitation or development. Now the opposite is true, with structures such as hospitals, schools and commercial developments springing up.” This year, BSE was tasked with developing a dedicated pedestrian-type bridge. The company’s R&D team is also working on what will be its most challenging project to date. This entails the design of a Type 200 structure to cross an 80 m gap in St Lucia, KZN. At this stage, the provisional design calls for two support pillars. “While these modular bridges are primarily intended as a temporary measure, many could well become more permanent fixtures. This was underscored during a recent road trip to Malawi in 2015 where we crossed over functional Bailey bridges installed many decades ago,” adds Marcinko. “Across South Africa and Africa, the potential for these bridges runs well into the thousands and we’re proud to be playing our part in delivering a 100% locally designed solution, which connects communities with the mainstream economy,” Marcinko concludes.


Pressure control to fight water shortages in Eastern Cape Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is experiencing a drought, with its largest supply dam, Kouga Dam, dropping to its lowest level since it was commissioned in 1969. Water pressure management is considered as the most effective real loss and water demand management intervention by NMBM.


MBM is a water services authority (WSA) and water services provider (WSP). It encompasses the Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), Kariega (formerly Uitenhage), Despatch and KwaNobuhle areas, and supplies water to Kouga Municipality (its largest water consumer). High water pressure contributes towards an increased number of burst pipes and a greater volume of water lost due to underground leaks. The aim of pressure management

St Georges Strand PRV during construction

Lyle Francis, acting deputy director: Water Demand Management, NMBM

Pieter Joubert, professional engineer at Engineering Advice & Services

is to reduce pressure to an acceptable level and, therefore, actual water losses. Water pressure management also decreases water consumption and increases the asset life. NMBM has appointed two service providers – Re-Solve Consulting and Engineering Advice & Services – to formulate and implement a water pressure management plan. “The NMBM region is divided into supply zones, with plans to install one or more pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) into as many zones as possible. Currently, there are 68 pressure-managed zones within NMBM, which covers approximately 25% of the water network,” explains Lyle Francis, acting deputy director: Water Demand Management, NMBM.


IMIESA August 2021


PRVs Zones within NMBM are divided into gravitysupplied areas (no PRVs) and pressuremanaged areas (with PRVs). The plan is to convert as many gravity-fed areas as possible into pressure management zones. Pieter Joubert, professional engineer at Engineering Advice & Services, explains that implementing pressure management is an intricate exercise. “We cannot use a blanket approach across all zones. Each zone is individually analysed and the PRV installations are designed and sized according to zone characteristics, as well as to ensure adequate water supply to all consumers in that zone. Water meters and remote monitoring loggers are installed at the majority of the zones. We, therefore, know the minimum and peak flow rates, volume of water supplied each day, and consumption patterns of each zone. All of these parameters are affected by the type of consumer in each zone.” Industrial zones, or zones with a large number of businesses, will typically have a fairly ‘flat’ consumption pattern if they operate 24 hours a day, as they are constantly using water. A residential zone will typically have high and low points in consumption throughout a normal day. Due to the topography of NMBM’s supply areas, certain parts of the water reticulation system have high pressure and other parts have lower pressure. A zone with minor to minimal changes in elevation throughout the terrain will most likely have similar pressures throughout the zone and is an ideal area to reduce pressure (especially if supplied from a water source situated much higher than the zone). “We analyse each zone individually according to their high, low and critical points. In most cases, the critical point is either the highest point in the zone, or the point furthest away from the proposed PRV position. A theoretical calculation is completed taking into account the number and type of consumers in each zone, as well as information from the water meters and loggers, before completing a detail design for PRV installations,” says Joubert. During the setting of the PRV, it is important to ensure that the critical point has at least the minimum predetermined water pressure. This pressure is often determined by design guidelines used by engineers, or in consultation with the WSP,” adds Joubert. Local by-laws give NMBM the discretion to reduce water pressure to levels they deem acceptable. This is particularly important

“If a PRV is not maintained, and thus not functioning as required, there will be an increase in leaks, burst pipes and water consumption. Rather have well-maintained old infrastructure than new infrastructure that will not be maintained,” adds Joubert.

Impact of drought on water pressure

Amsterdamhoek PRV – pipework before installation

during a drought, as it provides NMBM with the ability to manage the usage of the water sources more effectively. In Bluewater Bay, Port Elizabeth, NMBM saved over 650 kℓ per day by dropping water pressure and thus reducing leakage flow rates. Most of the PRVs used by NMBM supply a constant downstream pressure, and are mechanically and hydraulically controlled, negating the need for external power.

Maintenance Joubert maintains that whenever new technology or infrastructure is implemented, its maintenance must be considered. “At NMBM, we are using simple PRVs and focusing on getting the basics correct. We are applying PRVs to areas where the most water savings can be achieved, and also take a look at additional areas where PRVs can be utilised to reduce leakage rates and pipe failures, while at the same time prolonging the infrastructure’s operating lifetime.” Technology is available to implement advanced pressure management, whereby WSP Consulting can manage the supply pressure remotely. However, within NMBM, most of the zones have not been fitted with this type of technology as yet.” A dedicated team from the service providers, along with support from NMBM, focuses on the optimal running of PRVs. Similar to any mechanical equipment, parts of the PRVs need to be serviced or replaced from time to time. The performance of the valves is constantly assessed, and minor or major services are performed at regular intervals. This ensures that the PRVs operate as intended and thus reduce the chances of burst pipes and continue to reduce water lost by means of leaks.

In zones where water pressure is governed by the level of a water reservoir, water pressure will reduce as the water level drops within the storage reservoir and starts to drain the water network. “Should no effort be made to reduce water consumption, the ongoing drought will make it increasingly more difficult to keep the reservoirs full. This has already been experienced within NMBM and consumers felt the effects of low to zero water pressure. Unfortunately, once the network is drained due to a disruption in supply, the water network first needs to fill before pressure can build up to a point where all consumers have adequate supply pressure,” says Joubert. “The installation of PRVs is geared towards optimising NMBM’s water distribution system, not removing a consumer’s access to water. We also believe that it will change consumer behaviour. When one opens a tap and a reduced amount of water runs out of it, one will be reminded to use water sparingly. Consumer behaviour is key when dealing with a drought,” concludes Francis.

Fember Street PRV

IMIESA August 2021



Pump shafts and flow measurement VEGA sensors deliver the required measured values despite foam and cramped conditions.


astewater with a high fat content poses a challenge. Although cleaning out and processing this material is not a problem technologically, the process conditions are quite challenging for level sensors. The high fat content in the wastewater creates a lot of foam – this makes the liquid levels in the various basins and pump shafts difficult to detect. Level measurement in wastewater treatment processes must be exact and


IMIESA August 2021

reliable. Level data forms, among other things, the basis for pump controls.

AIZ tourist area Achental, Inntal and Zillertal (AIZ) are Tyrolean valleys on the northern edge of the Alps in Austria and attract over 8.5 million tourists a year. AIZ is home to countless hotels, guest houses and restaurants, as well as small businesses such as alpine dairies and yoghurt producers. The sewage treatment plant treats not only the wastewater produced by the visitors, but also that produced by the 53 000 permanent residents of the 32 local communities. “All in all, we treat 10 million cubic metres of wastewater per year,” explains Josef Brandacher, who is responsible for the measurement technology at AIZ. “The environment is our greatest asset, so it is incumbent upon AIZ to ensure that the collection

and handling of wastewater, as well as its subsequent clarification, is environmentally compatible and economically viable.” The wastewater is collected via canals and directed from the collecting basin to the Strass sewage treatment plant via a 161 km long sewer network and 100 pumping stations distributed throughout the association’s territory.

Total energy consumption of the wastewater treatment plant has dropped noticeably since 2003, despite increasing loads. The specific energy consumption in kWh per inhabitant and year has been reduced from an initial 30 kWh to approximately 20 kWh.

VEGA sensors This has been achieved by means of reliable and – above all – accurate, measured values. For the level and pressure process variables, the association decided (decades ago) to use sensors from Schiltach-based VEGA. “We have been working together with VEGA since 1989 and some of the pressure transmitters we installed back then still function perfectly,” continues Brandacher. “What we especially appreciate about the company is that, when a problem does occur, we always get help immediately.” Each pumping station is fitted with a sensor to monitor the level – which can be from around 50 cm to 1 m depending on the pumping station – and switch on the pumps according to the set limit value. “The pumps may start up only two or three times a day, but sometimes they start up 50 to 60 times a day,” explains Brandacher. For reasons of explosion protection, the VEGAPULS WL 61 is installed in many of these shafts. This sensor is considered an all-rounder in the water and wastewater sector. The application spectrum of the radar sensor, which is designed specifically for water and wastewater measurement, ranges from level measurement in pump shafts and flow measurement in open flumes to river and lake gauging, or level and discharge measurement at stormwater overflow basins. It has proven its worth above all through its robustness: the measurement is affected neither

by changing medium properties nor by fluctuating process conditions such as temperature and pressure. In addition, the flood-proof IP68 housing ensures continuous, maintenance-free operation. In addition to the VEGAPULS WL 61, AIZ tried out the new compact VEGAPULS C 21/C 22 radar sensors. The sensors are intended for simple, non-contact level measurement where a high protection rating is required. They are particularly suitable for use in water treatment, pumping stations and rainwater overflow basins, as well as for flow measurement in open flumes and river level monitoring. The sensor delivers exact measuring results without effect from the medium, the process or the ambient conditions. It is also maintenance-free and thus ensures high plant availability. The sensors are based on VEGA’s 80 GHz radar technology, with an extremely narrow beam angle, which makes it possible for the instrument to deliver very precise measuring results even in cramped measuring situations, in extremely dirty environments, or in containers with many internal installations.

Pump shafts In Hart, the pump shaft has a cross section of about 3 m x 2.5 m, and a depth of 4 m. In Buch, the shaft is round, with a diameter of 2 m and a depth of 5.5 m. The situation here is particularly difficult because of the low level of impoundment. The pump is effectively in continuous operation, switching on and off up to 100 times a day. This is an ideal application site for the new VEGAPULS C 21/C 22 sensor series because the sensors work reliably even with foam, of which there is plenty in the AIZ network, and with build-up on the shaft walls.


Lowara e-SV pump booster sets with the new fifth-generation Hydrovar are now available with eXpress delivery

Xylem Africa’s market-leading Lowara GHV booster sets are now available to local customers from stock or manufactured in two weeks or less.

eXpress booster sets meet the demand


ince being launched in 2014, Lowara’s GHV boosters – now locally marketed as eXpress boosters – have been in high demand. The booster sets are fully automatic for water supply, water pressure increase, and water transfer in buildings, industrial and allied applications. The Lowara eXpress series operates in conjunction with the Xylem

Hydrovar® pump controller and is capable of delivering up to a 70% saving on energy bills. To reduce delivery times, Xylem South Africa has invested in fabrication and assembly facilities in South Africa, reducing the waiting period of eight weeks by more than 75%. Delivery times are confirmed at the time of order placement. “Xylem's Lowara eXpress boosters are a hit with our customers because they provide excellent value,” says Vinesan Govender, engineering manager: Africa, Xylem. “Xylem Africa can now deliver eXpress boosters to customers in less than two weeks and continue to support installation and maintenance through our vast domestic presence and partner network.” Xylem Africa has localised the assembly of six models within the eXpress booster set series.

The booster that delivers The GHV/eXpress series is equipped with up to four e-SV vertical multistage pumps, each one fitted with a Hydrovar HVL variablefrequency drive, pressure transmitters and a

The GHV/eXpress series is equipped with up to four e-SV vertical multistage pumps, each one fitted with a Hydrovar HVL variable-frequency drive, pressure transmitters and a control panel


IMIESA August 2021

LOWARA EXPRESS BOOSTER FEATURES ● Fully automatic ● Certified for use with potable water ● All pumps are individually variablespeed controlled for best economy and system reliability ● Equipped with 1 to 4 Lowara e-SV multistage pumps and Hydrovar HVL variable-speed controllers ● Easy to install and commission – no advanced programming necessary ● Communicates with BMS systems ● Delivery: up to 640 m³/h ● Head: up to 160 m

control panel – all mounted on a frame for easy installation. This series is easy to program, designed for maximum energy efficiency, and can communicate with a BMS system via Modbus or BACnet. End-users benefit from a host of features, including dry-run protection, low noise, small plant room footprints, no large pressure vessels, soft-start, no hydraulic shock, autochangeover, fault history, protection against under-/overvoltage, and backflow protection through the use of a Cat 5 break tank type A/B air gap. It has a timed-delay fill mode, which ensures the pumping system does not flood the building on start-up during a power failure due to the hydraulic surge.

Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis work together Ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) are essential components of wastewater reuse and desalination applications and were a key part of an emergency bulk water plant for Ndlambe Municipality.


uality Filtration Systems (QFS) recently designed, engineered, manufactured, installed and commissioned the 5 Mℓ/day plant, comprising 3 Mℓ/day wastewater reuse section and a 2 Mℓ/day desalination section. Located next to the Port Alfred wastewater plant, the emergency bulk water plant has created 43 new job opportunities. Both parts of the plant employ a UF process, followed by RO. “The UF provides the best pretreatment to RO, as well as other process water treatment equipment,” says Herman Smit, managing director of QFS. UF targets the suspended solids in the feedwater, resulting in nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU) levels of less than 0.1. In RO terms, UF provides feedwater to the RO at silt density index levels of less than 1. The removal of the suspended solids enables the RO to do the work of dissolved solids removal with

Herman Smit, managing director of QFS

less biofouling and sludge blockage in the spacers. Additionally, UF keeps the RO membranes clean, thus increasing the RO membrane lifespan while also reducing client maintenance and operating costs.

Desalination Desalination is used widely around the world, taking the salt out of water to make it drinkable. Desalination not only eliminates salt from water, but also eliminates potentially hazardous minerals and compounds. Microorganisms are removed by physically getting filtered out by the UF membrane, which has a pore size of 0.04 microns. The infographic below shows how the 2 Mℓ/day desalination plant works.


Design innovation shapes Mhlabatshane Bulk Water project

A novel concept and digital twin for the design of the uMzimkhulu River Abstraction Works for Phase 2 of the Mhlabatshane Bulk Water Supply Scheme paves the way for its construction. By Graham Simpson*, Kyle Holmes** & Richard Jones***


he Mhlabatshane Bulk Water Supply Scheme (BWSS) is owned and operated by Umgeni Water – one of the top suppliers of bulk water to communities in South Africa. The maximum yield of the Mhlabatshane Dam ser ving Phase 1 of the Mhlabatshane BWSS has been reached and Umgeni Water is now implementing Phase 2, where water from the uMzimkhulu River will augment the water from the dam, enabling the capacity of the water treatment works to be increased from 6 Mℓ/day to 12 Mℓ/day. The location of the weir on the uMzimkhulu River was determined by Stellenbosch University for Umgeni Water, following model testing to find the best place to minimise the intake of the high sediment load in the uMzimkhulu River during the summer rainfall season. There


IMIESA August 2021

is not enough run-of-river yield in the winter months and the dam will provide the yield during this period. The location selected is in the middle of a long cur ve in the river, with a high, steep rock face on the east

(left) bank and steep, but flatter ground on the west (right) bank. The rock exposed in the riverbed and left bank is hard but fractured tillite. The abstraction design provides for a grit trap on the left bank, flushed by a radial gate, with two intake slots in the abutment wall to two parallel 25 m long sediment settling channels, each with a submersible pump and sluice gate at the end. The weir is 2.1 m high, which is sufficient to operate the grit trap, but flood levels in the uMzimkhulu River require the abutment walls of the structure to be 15 m high. In the preliminar y design, water from the abstraction works would be pumped up 380 m via a 5.14 km pipeline to the existing water treatment works. With a 95 m head limit on the submersible pumps, a further two pumping stages were required. These would be located along the access road to the abstraction works at the river. The first high-lift pump station would include a second set of settling channels, hydrocyclones and a 500 kℓ holding reser voir. From here, the settled water would be pumped to a second reser voir and high-lift pump station, and then on to the water treatment works. Due to environmental constraints, the raw water pipeline was to follow the proposed access road.

Preliminary design review On review, due to the terrain, the proposed access road grades would be between 25% and 40%, while traversing extremely steep embankments with ground cross slopes above 35%. Alternative routes on the east bank were considered but were too expensive and would have a highly negative impact on the environment. A route on the west bank through uMzimkhulu village was feasible but the travel time and distance from the water treatment works would be excessive. Moving the abstraction works was out of the question. After considering all options, including a funicular and a tunnel, the solution accepted by Umgeni Water was to use an existing track on the east bank down to the river, cross the river with a bridge, construct a new section of road 500 m down the west bank, and cross the river again with a bridge on to the abstraction works’ top deck. The flood profiles at the weir showed the lower bridge could be positioned slightly downstream of the weir, where the 200-year flood would pass safely under the bridge. This route, however, bypassed the first high-lift pump station. At the abstraction works, the top deck was set to 13.6 m above riverbed level for the location of the electrical and mechanical plant, leaving a void of 4 000 m3 under the deck inside the outer flood wall. Instead of filling this space with selected fill, it was reconfigured to incorporate the first high-lift pump station, reservoir, hydrocyclones and settling channels. This had significant benefits in terms of improved structural stability, reduced energy consumption, lower capital costs, a reduced project footprint, and environmental benefits. The sediment removed from the river water will be returned to the river at the point of abstraction and not accumulated in an inaccessible area where its disposal would be problematic. The energy saving stems from the reduction in first-stage pumping head – from 95 m to 15 m – where water usage in the sediment removal process is expected to be as high as 20% of input volumes.

A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE SUCCESS ROCLA is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products. Surpassing 100 years of product excellence. • • • • • • •

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How it works Inside the structure, there are three levels of 4 m high by 2 m wide sedimentation channels with a three-level galler y added on the inside. The upper two levels are confined by the

for our nationwide branches


front flood wall and the shafts to the fine screen filters in the lower channels. The fine screen filters catch particles that could damage the pumps and can be retracted up their respective shafts to the top deck platform for cleaning. The 18 m long upper channels flow from the fine screen shaft wall down to the front flood wall, turn 180 degrees and flow back up again to the other fine screen shaft wall. Sluice gates in the flood wall allow for periodic flushing of the channels. The flow in the top channel discharges into the middle channel over a 3 m high weir before the fine screen shaft. Flow from the middle channel discharges through a chute under the top galler y into the reser voir. The bottom channels and pump wells operate in duty-standby mode and are isolated from each other up to just below top deck level. They will other wise reflect the prevailing upstream water level in the river. Water is pumped via a pipeline in the upper galler y to four 350 mm hydrocyclones located at the head of the top sedimentation box channel. Waste from the hydrocyclones flows back down the upper galler y to discharge to the river. Bypass valves allow for flow from the pumps to bypass the hydrocyclones either into the top channel or directly to the reser voir. The reser voir over flows to the upper galler y.


IMIESA August 2021

The weirs in the top and middle channels ensure a minimum 3 m depth of water in the channels. The water level in the reser voir can drown the channels but this would not decrease their efficiency. With the reser voir at the ‘front’ of the structure, high-lift pump station No. 1 is now contained in a pump room at the ‘back’ of the structure. The three high-lift multistage pumps are located on a platform 5 m above riverbed level and have access to approximately 1.8 Mℓ of water in the reser voir when full. The switchgear, drives and standby generator are located at top deck level. About 3 m of bottom space in the reser voir allows for additional settlement of fine sediment. A scour valve to the lower galler y allows for the reser voir to be flushed out periodically when demand is being supplied from the Mhlabatshane Dam.

The fishway The fishway has been incorporated into the design between the second bridge pier and the weir so that the downstream inlet is in the deep channel of the river. The design is novel in that it provides passage for eels and fish found in the river.

3D modelling and digital twin In the digital twin of the project, the drawings, specifications and quantities are driven by a detailed 3D model based on collaboration between Umgeni Water and the disciplines covering water, structures, transpor t, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, operations and maintenance, and SHEQ. In the design process, many design questions needed to be answered and flaws and potential risks identified as early as possible. From the beginning, conceptual thinking and 3D digital modelling have enabled the design team to address challenges with practical solutions. The design could be presented visually to ever yone as it evolved, thus speeding up the adoption of ideas and the production of detailed designs. Digital design applications are used to detect clashes, prepare accurate drawings, capture quantities, and plan construction sequencing. Digital design can reduce the number of queries from contractors during construction, as well as potential claims, delays and associated unwanted costs. Tender documents can include basic graphic models to help contractors understand the scope of work and therefore price the work more accurately. Viewing software is free online and it is possible to take measurements from a digital model. Regular updates to the digital model through the construction period will capture the completed works as an accurate, ‘as-built’ 3D digital model – a digital twin – of the actual built asset. For the Mhlabatshane Bulk Water Supply Phase 2 project, the digital design approach is enabling the evolving design concepts to be visually displayed in detailed, explorable 3D – making it easy to see what the final product will look like and helping to reach consensus on design issues. *Project Principal – Specialist, Naidu Consulting **Project Engineer – Design Lead, Naidu Consulting ***Project Engineer – Digital Lead, Naidu Consulting


Water Wise An environmental brand over two decades old

Established by Rand Water in 1997, Water Wise provides information, awareness and education to promote the sustainable use of water and other environmental resources.

T 1




here are six Water Wise action pillars that provide the basis for all of the brand’s principles and values: Respect water, respect life: By respecting and protecting water, you are respecting all life on earth. Action: Always consider the effect of what you do on our water and environment. Don’t waste water: By misusing water, unnecessary amounts of potable water are put back into the wastewater treatment system, where it requires cleaning, which costs money. Action: Record how much water you use monthly and actively try to reduce it. Don’t pollute water: Very highly polluted water may be too polluted to be effectively cleaned for consumption. Action: Reduce, reuse and recycle your waste so that it does not threaten our environment or water ecosystems. Pay for your water services: This allows for the sustainable provision of this service. The purification and pumping process of raw water requires machinery, chemicals and labour. Action: Pay your water bill every month.




T ake environmental action: Every South African has a responsibility to take care of our water and environment. Action: Become aware of your water and carbon footprints, and take steps to reduce them. Conserve water and conserve the environment: By conserving water, we are conserving our environment and ensuring the survival of all life on ear th. Action: Suppor t local parks, wetlands, rivers and nature reser ves. This encourages their continued conservation.

Tips and tools A vast selection of educational and exciting information is available in the form of pamphlets, brochures, posters, lesson notes, booklets and downloads. The most efficient way of accessing this information is by visiting Rand Water’s website – – and clicking on the Water Wise logo. This action will reroute you to the Water Wise website, where you will find all you need to know about water in the environment.

Monthly updates By subscribing to the monthly Water Wise newsletter, you will be updated on interesting information on environmental issues, news and snippets, and will receive useful tips, links to related websites, and facts on the South African water situation and around the world. Subscription to the newsletter can be done via the website.

IMIESA August 2021




What are Servitude Encroachments?

How to identify Umgeni Water (UW) Infrastructure?

Dangers of Building on our Servitudes and Vandalising Infrastructure

Types of materials susceptible to vandalism and or theft

Servitude Encroachment is building within servitudes or in close proximity to Umgeni Water pipelines.

• Marker concrete posts in a straight line (white, written UW in black) • Chambers (Yellow Chambers with metal lids) • 15m wide / 100m apart from each other

• Flooding of property in the event of pipe bursts • Drowning as the volume is significantly high • Death and or injury due to pressure • Cannot drain pipes for repairs and service • Water Supply Interruptions • Unplanned and costly repairs which result in high water tariffs to the end consumer. • Reduction of life expectancy of the infrastructure, thus not guaranteeing sustainance of quality service to future generations. • Reduction of safety to communities in general especially children (upon removal of safety devices on pipelines).

• • •

Cables Air valves Chambers

Report all Servitude Encroachments and Infrastructure Vandalism to:




Improving Quality of Life and Enhancing Sustainable Economic Development.



© Umgeni Water 2021

310 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201, Republic of South Africa P.O Box 9, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, Republic of South Africa Tel: +27 (33) 341 1111 / Fax +27 (33) 341 1167 / Toll free: 0800 331 820 Email: / Web:

Think Water, think Umgeni Water.



Spring Grove Dam

Highs in a year of lows – Umgeni Water delivers on its mandate The supply of water and sanitation services across difficult, hilly terrain and vast, rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal is a familiar challenge Umgeni Water has faced for nearly 50 years. But Covid-19 provided entirely new issues that forced the water board to drastically change the way in which it operates.


s a way to protect its employees from the virus, Umgeni Water had its support staff work from home and transported the rest of the workforce fundamental to the provision of water and wastewater services to work and back home via specially arranged vehicles. There was also restricted access to all plants – making sure that only the necessary staff were on-site. During the second wave of Covid-19, key members of the operations team left their families and were put into isolation in various hotel rooms or bed and breakfasts to keep them safe. Umgeni Water also prioritised the implementation of technology that allowed

Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme

for operations to be controlled remotely. Presently, nearly all key infrastructure can be operated remotely, with a margin of safety. Many capex projects have been restarted. There are currently over 25 development projects being implemented, namely pump stations, reservoirs, wastewater treatment works, pipelines, water treatment works, and bulk water supply schemes. Over the past 18 months, Umgeni Water has successfully evolved into an organisation that, for the most part, is running remotely. The water board has continued to fulfil its core mandate by responding timeously to breakdowns and repairing any failures – and meeting all water quantity and quality requirements.

In the reporting period, Umgeni Water has focused on service delivery and largely derived revenue from seven customers: • eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality • iLembe District Municipality • Ugu District Municipality • Harry Gwala District Municipality • uMgungundlovu District Municipality • Msunduzi Local Municipality • uThukela District Municipality (the agreement between uThukela District Municipality and Umgeni Water has ended, with the handover of infrastructure on 30 June 2021) These customers account for 44% of the KwaZulu-Natal area and are home to 72% of the households. From 1 July 2022, Umgeni Water has a 15-year Bulk Supply Agreement contract with King Cetshwayo District Municipality. This includes: • Operation and maintenance of 30 potable water schemes (water treatment plants and package plants) • Operating 155 borehole schemes across the district Infrastructure assets in support of its bulk water services business comprise: • Approximately 1 260 km of pipelines and 67 km of tunnels • 15 impoundments • 20 water treatment works • 11 wastewater treatment works • Despite a 0% tariff increase for 2019/20, Umgeni Water had an 18% increase in profit over the corresponding period in 2019 Some other salient points include: • Umgeni Water received an unqualified audit from the Auditor General • Bulk wastewater treated annually: 32 million m3 • Raw water abstracted from 18 abstraction systems and dams: 506 million m3

IMIESA August 2021



Digital twins to the rescue

South Africa needs an accurate, real-time overview of its infrastructure – a single view of the truth that will help city officials make informed decisions. This is possible with digital twin technology. By Dominic Collett


outh Africa’s water system is in trouble. In the 2020/21 financial year alone, there were over 55 800 pipe bursts and over a third of reser voirs with supply problems. Years of under funding of infrastructure replacement and maintenance have drastically reduced the lifespan of around a quarter of the countr y’s asset base. If there is one lesson that we can take from South Africa’s electricity crisis, it is that we cannot wait until it is too late before we act. And yet, it is nearly too late. By 2025, South Africa is expected to experience water scarcity. By 2030, a water deficit. With the rapid increase in urbanisation and the rising demand on our water infrastructure, we do not have the luxur y of time. We need to begin with what we do have: political will and data.

Dominic Collett, urban development engineer and smart city specialist, Royal HaskoningDHV


IMIESA August 2021

Political will National Treasur y’s Infrastructure Deliver y Management System (IDMS) sets out systematic processes for delivering and maintaining infrastructure in the public sector. It is a thorough document that outlines government’s strategy to enhance socio-economic growth and development through improved infrastructure deliver y and unity in action. The IDMS covers ever ything from project ownership, accountability and consistency to evidence-based decisionmaking and continuous improvement in scalability, capacity and capability. It sets a solid foundation for planning and budget alignment, identification and prioritisation of infrastructure projects, and improved risk management.

Data Municipalities rely heavily on citizens to report water leaks, burst pipes, and supply or pressure issues. There are numerous channels to do this, including call centres, SMS, Twitter, or by emailing the ward councillor.


However, this data is siloed and unstructured. Some of it is inaccurate and unreliable, making it difficult for officials to know which issues to prioritise or the impact that repairing (or, indeed, not repairing) a fault will have on specific communities or institutions. Imagine if officials had a real-time over view of ever y leak in the city? If they knew how much water they are losing, and how many users are affected. They could quickly deploy their teams to the areas that need help the most. And by combining this with South Africa’s well-documented climate and rainfall data, we could start building a digital representation of our water assets to identify patterns, hot spots, and oppor tunities for proactive maintenance. After all, assets are cheaper to maintain than they are to repair, and they are cheaper to repair than they are to replace. This technology exists – officials can start installing sensors each time they repair or maintain infrastructure to begin collecting critical information about the countr y’s water catchment, storage and distribution network. The groundwork described above paves the way for the ultimate prize: creating a digital twin of all assets, including water, energy and transport infrastructure.

Digital twinning A digital twin is a virtual representation of physical assets, like buildings or water pipes. By sharing data between the virtual and physical environments, municipalities, city officials and planners can make the most of our infrastructure, and futureproof it to extend its lifespan. With an accurate and detailed over view of our infrastructure – reflecting the state of each pipe, valve and pump – maintenance teams can work together rather than in siloes. For example, when the Maintenance Leak Repair Unit, the Asset Management Planning Unit, the Implementation of New Projects Unit and

the Financial Budgeting Unit use the same data, they can set collective targets and control points. Once this is done, there can be automated prioritisation. With information at their fingertips, city of ficials can make informed decisions backed by ar tificial intelligence and predictive analytics. They can also remove the risk of human error, while existing issues would be fixed faster. Decision-makers would be able to see, in advance, when specific par ts of the infrastructure will need maintenance. This sor t of preventative maintenance would help officials to solve issues before they arise or become apparent to citizens and industr y. A digital replica would also create an immutable over view of all work done on

A digital twin is a virtual representation of physical assets, like buildings or water pipes. By sharing data between the virtual and physical environments, municipalities, city officials and planners can make the most of our infrastructure, and future-proof it to extend its lifespan our infrastructure, when and by whom. The significance of this is huge – it would give those in charge access to all the information they need to make fact-based decisions. It would also help to build institutional memor y and promote trust and transparency.

The work involved in building a digital twin would also create jobs – not just for computer programmers and data analysts but also for people needed to install sensors and devices. We need people to scan and capture data and analyse the information transmitted by those devices to be able to make decisions about how the asset should be used and maintained. A virtual replica of the city would enable the public and private sectors to work together with citizens to use the data pulsing through the city – from water pipes, traffic lights, roads, businesses, parks and buildings – to make life more sustainable, efficient and liveable for ever yone. If we use the urgency that exists now to get our water infrastructure represented digitally and connected to digital automation and decision-making tools, we will be saving South African cities from a water crisis and laying the foundations to set up world-class digital African cities.

IMIESA August 2021


WASTE MANAGEMENT & RECYCLING Community volunteers at a coastal clean-up

Environmental clean-ups require collective action 2021 marks the 25th year that Plastics SA will be coordinating South Africa’s par ticipation in the International Coastal Clean-Up on 18 September 2021. IMIESA speaks to Douw Steyn, sustainability director at Plastics SA, about the event’s significance and how it ties in with allied initiatives like Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week. What’s changed in the past 25 years since South Africa’s first participation in the International Coastal Clean-Up? DS Twenty-five years ago, the issue of plastics at sea was of little, or no, importance to many, although Plastics SA was already sounding the alarm bells over the increasing amount of plastic and other waste material entering the marine environment. Today, this issue has garnered much more attention – in South Africa and around the world. This has resulted in us seeing much greater support and


IMIESA August 2021

participation in beach clean-ups from communities, corporates, municipalities and national government. Demographically, the make-up of the volunteers has also changed. We now see more regular (monthly and weekly) beach clean-ups taking place around the country. In most cases, these have sprung from the International Coastal Clean-Up, which remains the largest global volunteer effort for ocean health. We’re expecting well over 13 000 volunteers to participate in this year’s event in South Africa alone.

How does this tie in with Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week? The two complement each other because litter and pollution are clearly not just issues for coastal regions. The bulk of the plastic litter that ends up on South Africa’s beaches and in the ocean is transported there by inland river systems. The annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week, running from 13 to 18 September 2021, and National Recycling Day, on 17 September 2021, are vital platforms for raising education and awareness, and for everyone to be part of the solution. We also need to reinforce the message that waste has a value, and that recycling can create much-needed jobs. This annual public awareness week is supported by all the packaging streams in South Africa to work towards removing all visible litter from our country’s

neighbourhoods and streets, rivers, streams, beaches and oceans. Highlights of the 2020 Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week included the launch of Inkwazi Isu (the Fish Eagle Project) by the KZN Marine Waste Network South Coast and the participation of Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in a beach clean-up at Dakota beach, Umbogintwini, where 697 bags were collected with a weight of over 2.4 tonnes.

What happens to the waste collected after each annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week? We’ve seen significant changes and developments take place in this regard over the years. There’s a big need among recyclers for clean, good-quality material that has been collected and separated for recycling. These materials

WASTE MANAGEMENT & RECYCLING are employed in myriad uses and applications – ranging from lightweight cement to household items and even brand name sneakers and clothing that are manufactured from ocean waste. This has a very positive impact on the amount of waste being diverted from landfill. It is important to remember that many coastal areas in South Africa targeted by the International Coastal Clean-Up and Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week are rural areas where collection for recycling is still in its infancy and where effective waste management services by local municipalities are lacking.

How is Plastics SA working with coastal and upstream communities to combat plastic river waste? We work closely with these communities (as well as inland communities in Gauteng who assist with the cleaning up 1 C&R2021_IMIESA_210x148.5mm.pdf

of rivers and streams in the province) by providing support to clean various rivers in the Durban metropole, Gqeberha’s Motherwell and Swartkops waterways, and waterways in Cape Town metro. Plastics SA also supports various organisations nationally with logistical support by making available to them low-key equipment such as refuse bags, gloves, rakes, spades, waders, etc. – as well as boots, piping and nets for water barriers to capture floating debris.

Can you provide examples of current municipal/Plastics SA cooperative ventures? In the Cape Town municipal area, we have started in areas where the greatest concern lies, namely retrieving as much plastic material from rivers and streams before they end up in the ocean. Most of this material is made of 14:28 rigid plastics (e.g. 2021/08/11

Recycling waste is an environmental imperative, and an opportunity to create jobs by sustaining a circular economy

buckets, containers, bottles) and therefore highly recyclable. Unfortunately, due to minimal or no municipal services in the poorer areas, waterways are often treated as conduits to remove all waste material, resulting in water pollution.

What’s the message people should be left with this National Recycling Day? We need to highlight the message that it is socially unacceptable and environmentally irresponsible to litter and dump material

– whether it is flicking your cigarette butts out of your window, throwing a chips packet on the beach, or dumping building rubble in empty areas. The quality of waste management in South Africa is improving, but we need to continue putting pressure on municipalities (especially in rural areas) as well as communities to start seeing waste as a valuable resource that creates employment and one that should be collected and recycled. That’s the only way to build a truly circular economy.


IWM projects key to solving SA’s waste crisis

Accelerating the implementation of integrated waste management (IWM) projects requires a major mindset shift, plus closer public and private sector collaboration. A key consideration is the role these projects play in diverting organic waste from landfill, thereby reducing the release of methane into the environment, says Richard Emery of JG Afrika.

98 MILLION TONNES The amount of waste that finds its way on to landfill sites – only 10% of all waste in South Africa is recycled

2.5 KG OF WASTE PER DAY Individuals in South Africa generate up to 2.5 kg of waste per day, on average


IMIESA August 2021


f we are to meet our commitments as a South African signator y of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels, we should be prioritising the reduction of organic waste that undergoes a degradation process on our landfill sites. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential about 85 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period,” Emer y, executive associate and IWM specialist, explains. Emer y has participated in and led many flagship IWM projects on behalf of JG Afrika, a leading firm of engineers and environmental scientists. Many of these IWM projects have harnessed all of JG Afrika’s competencies. They include civil and structural engineering and design, as well as transport and traffic expertise. This is in addition to geotechnical and wastewater engineering and geohydrology.

Emer y is now par ticipating in a Development Bank of Southern Africa, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Department of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) programme, with support from the Green Climate Fund. It is working to find quicker and greater funding mechanisms for waste diversion projects in South Africa by viewing waste as a resource. Beyond helping to reduce emissions, the recycling and reuse of waste streams would potentially support the development of new industries and jobs (and greeneconomy jobs), as well as ensure the more efficient use of natural resources. This forms part of the circular economy, which is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. Limited municipal funds and the prioritisation of solid waste diversion projects remain the largest constraints in the way of the efficient implementation of landfill diversion projects. Available resources are also being rerouted to what are considered more pressing priorities at present. This is despite the severe waste crisis currently facing the countr y.

Low waste recycling uptake According to Statistics South Africa, only 10% of all waste in South Africa is recycled, with the estimated remaining 98 million tonnes finding its way on to landfill sites. Individuals in South Africa generate up to 2.5 kg of waste per day, on


average (depending on income level). With a population of 57 million, this equates to more than 125 million tonnes of hazardous and general waste that is generated ever y year, of which most of that ends up on municipal landfill sites that are quickly being depleted.

Investing in a new approach to the ‘throw-away’ society “South Africa is fast running out of landfill space. Landfills have become mountains of waste, ser ving as a visual reminder of a throw-away society where we bur y waste material while all we are doing is deferring the problem to others for later years. We cannot continue in this manner and will need to find and implement solutions sooner rather than later,” Emer y says. With available resources to finance a large por tion of the make-up of IWM projects, he says that the private sector is ready to invest. It also has the technical skills and knowledge to successfully deliver and operate these projects. This

is evidenced by the way in which many industries have successfully managed hazardous and specialist waste over the years. These processes all rely heavily upon specialised technical skills. In a collaborative environment, the different skills and operational styles of the private sector will augment those of the public sector, which are mainly geared towards delivering ser vices to citizens.

In an ideal environment, there will also be close collaboration between different industries, as well as the various levels of government, to help find diversion homes for output products. Cases in point are those products from wastewater treatment works and power stations. Enticing the private sector will require projects with suitable and clear time frames. At present, many of these projects

Specialist Waste Management Consultants • • • • • •

Waste Collection Optimisation Waste Transfer Station design General Waste Landfill design Hazardous Waste Landfill design Landfill Rehabilitation Landfill Auditing and Monitoring

Contact Numbers

Telephone:+27 (0)21 982 6570 Fax:+27 (0)21 981 0868

• • • • • •

Landfill Closure Leachate Treatment Regional Waste Studies PPP Involvement in Waste Management Alternative Technologies for Waste Reduction Integrated Waste Management Plans

Physical Address

60 Bracken Street, Protea Heights South Africa, 7560

Postal Address

P.O. Box 931, Brackenfell South Africa, 7561


JG Afrika helped 12 local municipalities identify alternative interventions, select best suited scenarios, and draft business and implementation plans that were both practical and financially viable have been beset by delays and uncertain implementable time frames, mainly due to an inability to finance them or present clear risk sharing.

Appropriate and sustainable solutions, with downstream employment The scale of projects is also another important consideration. Projects with a value of at least R500 million will be able to attract private investors. However, Emery stresses the need for uniquely South African projects that also help to address the country’s unique socioeconomic challenges – among them being high levels of unemployment. “We need appropriate and sustainable solutions that are applicable to their environments and surrounding communities. This means that no two projects will be alike, although they may sometimes serve as a basis for the design of solutions. While we may want to tick as many of the appropriate boxes, we also need to be willing to make decisions and move forward without delaying projects,” Emery says. Meanwhile, South Africa already has an ideal regulatory environment, as well as the political will and intent to engineer innovative solutions to help solve its waste crisis. This is evidenced by the National Waste Management Strategy. It aims to address many of the challenges that the county faces in terms of waste management. Among its goals are: promoting waste minimisation, reuse, recycling, and the recover y of waste; growing the contribution of the waste sector to the green economy; and achieving integrated waste management planning.

IWMPs that build municipal capacity Notably, among its goals is ensuring sound budgeting and financial management for


IMIESA August 2021

waste services by municipalities. Emery welcomes the role national government is playing in facilitating and collaborating in the implementation of Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs). These detail how municipalities intend on preventing, recycling and managing solid waste in ways that most effectively protect human health and the environment. JG Afrika has helped some of the country’s municipalities to formulate and incorporate strategies into their IWMPs to mitigate the release of greenhouse gases. At least one has already taken a solid step forward in terms of implementing some of the projects the firm helped it to develop to divert solid waste from its landfill sites. These plans were undertaken as part of a project JA Afrika managed on behalf of the DFFE. Driven by the German Federal Ministr y for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and implemented by the GIZ, the project is part of the department’s Waste Flagship programme and aligned with its waste management near-term priority Climate Change Flagship Programme. The nearterm priority programme identifies areas for strategic intervention that advance the objectives of the National Climate Change Response Policy and the National Waste Management Strategy. As part of the project, JG Afrika helped 12 local municipalities identify alternative inter ventions, select best suited scenarios, and draft business and implementation plans that were both practical and financially viable. It also drafted the applications for funding for ever ything from the capital requirements through to the approval and commissioning phases of the projects. The firm also provided a full assessment of each project’s contribution towards landfill fees, further motivating their implementation and adding to the overall sustainability of the projects over the long term. Progressing these projects will also require working closely with solid waste management specialists, such as JG Afrika. This expertise will include assisting the municipalities to use the various funding models that were developed and providing

exper tise and guidance to ensure the sustainability of the projects.

Cape Town MRF project Certainly, an award-winning project recently undertaken by JG Afrika and the City of Cape Town serves as another sound example of the innovation that can be achieved when companies and government collaborate. JG Afrika devised a novel way of reusing a landfill site for the development of a new state-of-the-art materials recovery facility (MRF). The MRF is the first to be located on an existing, operational landfill site and it incorporates construction over the waste into its design. A major challenge was engineering the building platform, as well as supporting the foundation loads of the structures over a waste body. A large stockpile of builder’s rubble was processed into an engineered fill product to use in the layer and bulk earthworks, as well as the capping of the existing landfill embankments. This approach provided significant savings in transporting the material to a different site and in the procurement of material from traditional commercial sources for use in the earthworks – even after considering the cost of overseeing the quality of material that was produced from the stockpile by the contractor. An innovative gas vent system was also designed to ensure that landfill gas does not build up and pose a risk to the facility and its operations. Based on the current design, the MRF alone has the potential to create up to 400 permanent jobs. These will be complemented by waste delivery and pickup jobs downstream. Notably, these jobs are all intended for workers such as waste salvagers, sorters and delivery drivers. This provides access to the available positions for the entire labour market. The MRF’s informal waste sorting area is also expected to stimulate the informal waste economy. “JG Afrika was able to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to this unique and interesting engineering challenge,” Emer y concludes.


Ways to manage readymix waste streams The management of waste poses various challenges for the readymix industr y and with it a need for sound environmental stewardship. In response, AfriSam has developed a range of innovative solutions that reinforce its commitment to People, Planet and Per formance.


he sector’s sustainability issues include greywater, concrete spillage and soil contamination; however, one of the biggest environmental headaches for producers is dealing with returned concrete from customer sites, says Russell Wearne, national operations manager: Readymix at AfriSam. “If we have a quarry site nearby, we are often able to recycle a considerable proportion of concrete that is returned from a site,” he says. “It is dumped in a designated, controlled area of the quarry to harden, and is then crushed and added into our G5 material – subject to the agreement of the customer.” With the correct planning, AfriSam has also been able to cast blocks and bricks from wet returned readymix before it sets. These have been used extensively on its quarry operations for road markers and other purposes. Where

At AfriSam’s readymix operations, greywater is carefully channelled into settling pits. From there, it can be used for various plant activities to conserve water

AfriSam has pioneered the use of covers on the discharge chutes of its readymix trucks to avoid minor concrete spillages

planning allows, the readymix has even contributed to community projects, going into classroom floors of needy schools, among other applications.

Slurry residue Another potential environmental impact is the slurry residue that remains in a readymix truck after the product has been offloaded. This has to be rinsed out on a daily basis to prevent material hardening on the inside of the drum. “The resulting greywater is carefully channelled into settling pits, from where we can use it in a number of plant activities to conserve water use,” says Wearne. “On certain sites, the residue ‘slush’ is agitated in a pond, monitored, sampled and reused in the batching plant to mix with the cement, aggregate and sand.”

Covers that reduce spillage AfriSam has also pioneered the use of covers on the discharge chutes of its readymix trucks, to avoid minor spillages of concrete on-site, as well as en route to or from the batching plant. “In the unlikely event of any spillage, each plant has a clean-up crew that will respond quickly with the necessary equipment,” he says. This capacity is also valuable as the country’s environmental regulations tighten up generally on the impact of construction activities. A closer focus on possible soil contamination on sites, for instance, means that suppliers must support the contractor’s environmental compliance efforts. “A truck that leaks oil is a source of soil contamination, so we pay special attention to ensuring this kind of pollution does not occur. If it does, we are in a position to respond timeously and mitigate the impact,” Wearne concludes.


The effect of cement extenders is a key consideration when curing concrete to achieve optimum results. Br yan Perrie, CEO of Cement & Concrete SA (CCSA), expands on technical points to note.

Bryan Perrie, CEO, Cement & Concrete SA

Extenders can affect concrete curing


he use of fillers, as well as pozzolanic and hydraulic cement extenders, is now commonplace in South Africa, with cements containing materials such as: - fly ash, derived from the combustion of pulverised coal in thermal power plants - g round granulated blast-furnace slag

(GGBS), a secondar y product from the iron manufacturing process - condensed silica fume (CSF), a by-product of the smelting process, used to produce silicon metal and ferro-silicon alloys - f inely ground, but not chemically processed, limestone. “The use of these secondar y materials has become popular – in fact,

encouraged – because of environmental and economic benefits. However, when added to concrete made with Portland cement, these materials can affect the physical and chemical properties of the cement paste phase and consequently respond differently to curing conditions,” Perrie states. He says when the extenders are included in the cement at the cement factor y, the per formance of the cement can be adjusted and is therefore different to cases where extenders are added at a readymix plant or on-site. “Dealing with the effect of extenders and fillers briefly and generally, fly ash and condensed silica fume – when mixed with cement and water – react with the calcium hydroxide released when cement hydrates in water. A pozzolanic reaction follows, which produces a low-density calcium-silicate-hydrate gel that enhances the binding action of the cement phase in the concrete,” he explains.

Strength and durability More importantly, however, the hydrates produced in the pozzolanic reaction are deposited in the spaces between the gel formed around the cement particles, thereby reducing the size and the degree of interconnection of the pores. This improves the strength and durability characteristics of the concrete. Perrie says that, in addition to the pozzolanic reaction of fly ash in concrete, fly ash’s particle shape and size aid

Concrete curing


IMIESA August 2021


The use of these secondary materials has become popular – in fact, encouraged – because of environmental and economic benefits.” the compaction and density of the resulting concrete with positive effects on placeability, bleeding and long-term strength. Good-quality fly ash also has a fine filler effect in stimulating the hydration of the cement up to 28 days – an important consideration for concretes in which large proportions of the cement are replaced by a cement extender. On the other hand, GGBS is a latent hydraulic material that will hydrate in the same way as cement when mixed with water. So, if GGBS is added to a concrete mix together with the cement, the presence of calcium hydroxide and other alkalis accelerates the hydration of the GGBS, although the rate of hydration of the GGBS is considerably slower than that of the cement. It is thought that GGBS also participates in a pozzolanic reaction, although to a considerably lesser extent than fly ash and CSF. The extent of its involvement in the reaction appears to depend on the composition of the GGBS. “Since the major contribution of GGBS to the binding effect of the cement phase is through hydration, GGBS concretes are sensitive to inadequate curing at early ages because of this slow rate of hydration. With normal replacement of about 50%, particular care should be taken in curing the concrete during the early period after casting,” he advises.

Density and impermeability CSF, because of its fine particle size, can fill the spaces between cement particles, which results in an increase in the density of the cement paste phase. This boosts the impermeability and durability of the concrete. As far as curing is concerned, at normal replacement levels – where about 7% of the cement is replaced by CSF – the resulting concrete may be treated in the same way as Portland cement concrete. However, if the replacement is based on achieving equivalent strength, one part of CSF can be used to replace between three and five parts of Portland cement, depending on the strength level. In this case, CSF concrete is considerably more sensitive to initial curing and care should be taken to avoid sur face dr ying. “When mixed with Portland cement and water, finely ground limestone is chemically virtually inert, although there may be some minor reactions. But, depending on its fineness, limestone may act as ‘fine filler’ in fresh paste. The effect of limestone on the properties of concrete or mortar depends on the specific limestone, whether a grinding aid is used in production, and the fineness of the limestone,” adds Perrie. “In general, extended cements are more sensitive to poor, late or inadequate protection and curing, and require more effective curing, over longer periods, to ensure optimal per formance of the concrete,” Perrie concludes.

Novel culvert bridge design for village


utlying rural areas are often confronted with major inconveniences when the rainy season or severe storms come around. Roads become flooded, bridges are submerged under water or completely washed away, cutting off communities from food supplies and essential ser vices. Ga-Diboye Village, near Kuruman in the Northern Cape, is such a location. Rocla recently supplied rectangular portal (RP) culverts and bases, and the link slabs to ensure that stormwater is effectively dispersed without cutting off the Ga-Diboye Village community from its school and shops. “The Ga-Diboye Village project required RP culverts measuring 3 600 mm x 3 000 mm, with RP bases of 3 600 mm. Rocla is the only company that manufactures RP culverts of this size and we manufactured 32 for this particular project,” explains Dillon Carter, sales consultant, Rocla.

Unique configuration “The installation is unique, and a first in terms of bridge design in South Africa in that four rows of eight culverts in length were installed in a culvert-link-culvert-link formation,” he continues. Bolts and anchor grout were required to secure the slabs to the culverts and were supplied by Rocla and Technicrete’s Mining Division. (Rocla and Technicrete form part of ISG.) A crane hired by South 32 Mine, the project investor, was employed to offload the culverts on-site. “An integral part of this culvert project were the 3 600 mm link slabs that we supplied, which were crucial to the formation of the culverts for this particular application. The style of the formation was not dissimilar to a truck and trailer concept,” says Carter. Rocla’s precast concrete RP culverts are normally supplied in 1.22 m lengths and in 50S, 75S and 100S strength classes – but custom-made designs can be manufactured, as was the case for the Ga-Diboye Village project.

IMIESA August 2021



Gabions are evolving As environmentally engineered structures, gabions come in many forms, making them a highly flexible solution for projects ranging from retaining walls to river erosion countermeasures. However, there’s also a growing demand for their application in building projects, and as an architectural element, says Louis Cheyne, managing director, Gabion Baskets. By Alastair Currie


ecently celebrating its 15th anniversary, Gabion Baskets has gained extensive experience as a specialist manufacturer of gabion systems. Traditionally, these entail the fabrication of flexible double-twisted, hexagonal mesh products. Alongside this has been a steady

diversification into welded mesh systems designed for non-structural applications. Prime examples include building cladding and perimeter walling. “Our strength as a business has been forged by the close relationships developed over the years with consulting engineers and contractors specialising in the multifaceted


field of environmental engineering,” says Cheyne. “Many are now pushing the boundaries of conventional design to execute amazing projects.” In addition to providing design and product recommendations, Gabion Baskets provides on-site installation training for contractors and their subcontractors. “There’s an increasing demand for this, especially when providing support for new SMME subcontractors, plus community training forming part of Expanded Public Works Programmes,” Cheyne continues, adding that part of this support includes assisting SMMEs to correctly price jobs when drawing up a bill of quantities.

Secunda river wall A recent example of close collaboration and teamwork is on a complex river stabilisation project bordering a new housing development currently under construction in Secunda, Mpumalanga. The main contractor is Roos & Rosslee Construction. The contractor approached Gabion Baskets for input in March 2021. In response, Using square welded mesh, Gabion Baskets’ installation team recently constructed a simple wall layout that adds a key aesthetic element for a suburban home. The design includes a flowerbed section and access steps

SECUNDA RIVER WALL Secunda river wall elevation


IMIESA August 2021



Anchoring welded mesh gabion panels that will form part of a wall cladding system

Gabion Baskets completed a detailed site assessment, design proposal and costings. The approximate length of the wall is 300 m. “We suggested using a river wall on rock solution, as there was bedrock at the river base,” Cheyne explains. The proposal was to establish a concrete base to level out the foundation for the gabions to rest on. Thereafter, construction would start with a 1 m high river retaining wall, moving up to 3 m in height, at 0.5 m stepped intervals every 20 m. PVC-coated, double-twisted hexagonal Class A galvanised wire was also recommended for the fabrication of the gabion baskets. “PVC coating, with an indicative design life of 60 years, is the preferred route for any river installation, especially for submerged sections that will be subject to potential corrosion and scouring,” says Cheyne. Gabion Baskets provided on-site training for a week to ensure that the contractor’s installation team was proficient in the lacing, bracing, and packing of the correct quality and sized rock within the gabions.

Building and architecture Experienced design engineers and contractors understand the key difference between flexible hexagonal and square The initial river section prior to gabion wall construction

welded mesh. The former is designed to flex, particularly in a riverine environment. As the name implies, though, welded mesh is rigid. However, both are now being used for applications outside pure engineering. Examples in terms of flexible mesh include landscaping and boundary walls. “However, it’s important to emphasise that welded mesh is purpose designed for building and architectural applications, where its flat form is ideal for design elements like cladding,” Cheyne points out. As part of its research and development programme, Gabion Baskets continues to experiment with welded mesh materials as it explores new market opportunities. This recently included a residential project in Gauteng, where Gabion Baskets’ team designed and built a low walling system that includes steps and flowerbeds. This relatively low-cost project was completed over a weekend and adds significant aesthetic appeal. Gabion Baskets sees huge scope for this type of design, whether for affordable or luxury housing. It’s also a per fect oppor tunity for SMME landscapers to enter the market, as well as an employment generator for communities employed on human settlements projects when suppor ted by formal training programmes. The wall nearing completion in late July 2021

Filling welded mesh gabion panels. Rock selection and colour can vary depending on the architectural design, while non-rock fill materials can also be used. The panel type specified has a 50 mm x 50 mm aperture, with 3.00 mm Class A galvanised steel wire selected

Alongside residential, another major growth market for welded mesh is in the architectural cladding space. Recent projects where Gabion Baskets has supplied its product include retail and commercial developments. As with any cladding system, factoring in the height and weight is key, as is adequately anchoring the welded mesh rock-filled panels. In addition to external cladding, welded mesh walls are also proving very popular for internal layouts, further extending their versatility.

New Cape Town facility Forming part of its expansion strategy, Gabion Baskets recently opened a new factory in Elsies River, Cape Town, to service the Western Cape region. In addition to its Johannesburg factory, Gabion Baskets also has a KwaZulu-Natal facility, based in Pinetown. Across South Africa and Southern Africa, the market is further serviced by appointed distributors. “One of our first customer engagements at the Elsies River factory was an order from a local wine farmer, who also sent one of their construction teams for an in-depth training programme,” adds Cheyne. “Based on our experience to date, this is a further example of the growing interest from inside and outside the construction industry about how gabions can add value, in terms of both form and function,” Cheyne concludes.

IMIESA August 2021



Outsourcing FM in the public sector Addressing the growing challenge of unemployment in South Africa requires flexible responses. One area with potential is the public sector facilities management (FM) space, where outsourcing non-essential services can help clients drive down building management costs and create more jobs. By Jamie Louw


he job market in South Africa can be classified into two economies: the Real Economy and the Parasite Economy. In the Real Economy, employers pay their workers a living wage. These jobs provide the income, benefits and security necessary to participate robustly in the economy. They also drive production and demand, as well as create tax revenues that support government’s developmental agenda. On the other side of the spectrum, however, lies the Parasite Economy, where employers fail to pay their workers a living wage. Non-standard hiring practices, such as casualisation and labour broking, fall under this classification; these practices are prevalent in both the private and public sectors. In contrast, outsourcing differs dramatically from any form of labour broking because it creates fixed-term and permanent employment. Employees are entitled to the full benefits of employment and are afforded protection under the Labour Relations Act (No. 66 of 1995).

Jamie Louw, financial director, FM Solutions

Outsourcing is a legal form of contracting in the public sector, and in fact serves as an essential cog underpinning the government’s ability to render services to all stakeholders in South African society. The following are some of the key benefits: - Risk management and failure reduction through accountability systems: Through effectively managing risk, the appointed FM service provider ensures that key assets are appropriately maintained, measured and managed. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure is reduced in the process. Accountability systems are also created, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined. - Value creation and compliance focused: By outsourcing maintenance services to specialists in the private sector, government quickly gains access to competent and skilled service providers in non-core areas. Using FM specialists also ensures compliance with laws and regulations through the maintenance of appropriate records and standards. - People and talent management, skills transfer: Through on-the-job training and

training initiatives, the appointed service provider develops proper succession plans, which allow for skills transfer and the upward mobility of staff. For government, dignified, meaningful and permanent work opportunities are created, which reduce unemployment and increase access into the economy for citizens. - Process integration and improved decisionmaking: When FM processes are integrated through outsourcing, it empowers government to make more timely, well-attuned and appropriate decisions in respect of the portfolios and facilities it operates. - Development of sustainable, trusting relationships: As objectives are met and efficiencies improve, a more sustainable, trusting relationship is formed between the outsourced service provider and the government department. This allows for a more united approach to FM outsourcing and helps eliminate misguided perceptions. With all the above in mind, the core objective is to adopt a mutually beneficial, reciprocal approach that positively impacts all stakeholders.


A hydraulic breakthrough for tracked carriers Hytec South Africa and Bosch Rexroth Germany joined forces to develop a hydraulic solution for Bell Equipment, which was designed to minimise ground compaction for the original equipment manufacturer’s tracked carrier range. This was combined with local and international field tests to deliver an optimal result.


ell Equipment needed to ensure that its new TC 7 and TC 11 tracked carriers could perform optimally in soft underfoot conditions without negatively impacting the ground. The machines also had to be able to operate in environmentally sensitive areas where ground compaction is unacceptable. Bosch Rexroth Germany assisted with the required system calculations and made useful recommendations regarding component selections of the hydrostatic drive system, including the prototype tandem drive pumps, motors and planetary reduction drives. In turn, Hytec ensured that the hydraulic drive component installation by Bell Equipment engineers was in accordance with Rexroth specifications. Prior to prototype completion, extensive durability and performance tests (simulating normal operating procedures) were conducted at Bell Equipment’s Richards Bay factory. As the request for this specified equipment

Bell Equipment’s range of tracked carriers performs optimally in soft underfoot conditions without negatively impacting the ground. They also operate well in environmentally sensitive areas where ground compaction is unacceptable

Hytec South Africa and Bosch Rexroth Germany developed a hydraulic solution for Bell Equipment that minimises ground compaction on their tracked carriers

originated in the USA, extensive testing was also carried out on customer sites on American soil. Bosch Rexroth products and components used in the TC range include: tandem closedloop pumps for oil flow and drive pressure; variable displacement piston motors to drive the tracks; and planetary reduction drives. These drives, when placed between the piston motor and track, multiply the delivered torque. “Fine-tuning and optimisation were done by Bell Equipment engineers, in collaboration with Bosch Rexroth Germany’s engineers,” explains Berndt Wichmann, regional technical manager: KwaZulu-Natal, Hytec South Africa. “This teamwork helped to achieve optimal vehicle control and performance. “Feedback from the intensive US test programme was encouraging,” adds Ryan Lombard, product designer for Bell Equipment. “It surpassed our expectations, with all features designed into the machine having proved themselves in the various applications.”

Niche demand Demand for this type of vehicle in the construction and mining industries stems from Bell Equipment’s American customers requiring a niche solution for soft underfoot conditions. This initiated extensive market research and, after a stringent design process, the development of the TC7 and TC 11 series. Each unit meets the needs for short-haul tasks in mining, construction, oil and gas, and the pipe-laying industries for work in soft underfoot conditions. “We are now an official production partner to the Bell TC range, offering continuous support to machine production and the aftermarket, as well as technical and future product development support,” says Wichmann. Hytec and Bosch Rexroth have previous experience with Bell Equipment in supplying componentry and helping develop hydraulic systems for a range of machinery used in mining, construction, agriculture and allied industries.

IMIESA August 2021


VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT Based in Tennessee, USA, Astec Industries is a renowned OEM delivering niche solutions for construction, mining and general industry. The local operation is spearheaded by Astec Africa Middle East (AME) following the recent incorporation of Osborn Engineered Products SA. IMIESA speaks to Astec management, with a specific focus on the roads sector.

From rock to road


roducts that will be familiar to local customers include Breaker Technology (BTI), KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, Peterson, Roadtec, and Telsmith, which now form part of the OneASTEC business model. This follows a rebranding exercise where all new machines produced will be identified by a new Astec logo that represents the company’s purpose, ‘Built to Connect’. Currently, Astec manufactures more than 100 products for its global customer base, with factories based in regions that include North America, South America, South Africa and India. “We made the decision to unify to make it easier for our dealers and customers to do business with us. By coming together as one organisation, we can offer greater customer service and drive innovation,” explains Barry Ruffalo, president and CEO of Astec. “The rebrand enables us to build our strength together under one common name and purpose. We can better leverage our growth as one Astec team, rather than individual brands.”

Comments Johan Goosen, regional managing director: AME, Astec (previously managing director of Osborn Engineered Products SA), “This is an exciting new era for our organisation, and our team at Osborn is proud to be part of it, and to be able to offer the resulting benefits to our customers.” Osborn will go to market as Astec with a new logo, colour palette and website.

Two primary business segments Astec solutions are delivered via two primar y business segments, namely Infrastructure Solutions and Material Solutions. Infrastructure Solutions includes roadbuilding, asphalt and concrete plants, thermal and storage solutions, while Material Solutions includes aggregate and other material processing solutions, such as mobile crushing and screening.

“Since key Astec products have been sold in South Africa for a number of years, we already have a well-established customer base,” explains Calvin Fennell, regional sales director: AME, Infrastructure Solutions. “The key difference is that customers will now be able to engage with one OEM interface for sales and after-market services. “Our roll-out into Africa and the Middle East is a carefully planned strategy over the next two to five years, which will be supported by asphalt plants and machines purposedesigned for regional requirements,” Fennell explains. Examples include the development of single-axle and double-trailer mobile plants, which are expected to reach customers in 2022/23, as well as Astec’s BG series of asphalt batch plants. Astec is gaining ground locally with its relocatable/stationary asphalt plants. These include its Astec Six Pack portable asphalt plant. The standard setup comes with the drum mixer, cold feed, scalping screen (with inclined conveyor), baghouse, surge bin, drag conveyor and control house. Other key plants supplied in South Africa to date include the Astec Voyager 120 (120 tph) counterflow plant, designed to handle up to 30% RAP (or reclaimed asphalt pavement), and the Astec Double Barrel® dryer/drum mixer for up to 50% RAP. Production setup capabilities range from 181 tph to 544 tph. As an aside, Astec was one of the pioneers in designing and manufacturing plants with

The Astec SB-3000 Shuttle Buggy®


a RAP capability to meet the development requirements of the USA’s interstate highway system. This led to Astec’s development and patenting of its Double Barrel® technology. “Another interesting offering is Astec’s tank farm line for bulk bitumen storage. There’s increasing demand from industry for these types of installations to weather cyclical bitumen supply constraints experienced locally,” says Fennell.

Astec’s RX-600 EX (2.0 m) half-laneclass cold planer meets mainstream milling requirements

Road trains Within the roadbuilding sector, Astec has a complete solution for all asphalt pavement requirements. Technologies in the mix range from milling, road reclamation and soil stabilisation, to recycled asphalt pavement construction, and cold-mix asphalt applications. “The Carlson paver range has traditionally been Astec’s compact line, while Roadtec products have been a dominant force in the major roads and highways markets of North America,” explains Philip Saunders, regional sales manager, Infrastructure Solutions. “The OneASTEC approach now combines Astec’s research and development programmes on future model

Astec’s Double Barrel® dryer/drum mixer

developments destined for the AME region. Watch this space. “Astec’s strategy will be to progressively introduce new lines that complement existing products that have historically sold well in the region. A case in point is the material transfer vehicle (MTV) segment, where our MTVs are Sanral approved,” Saunders continues. “New product offerings include the MTV-1105 (tracked transfer vehicle) and the SB-3000 Shuttle Buggy®, which has replaced our tried and tested SB-2500.” “We’ve also identified a need for 1.0 m to 2.0 m width milling machines and are excited about meeting the growing demand for cold-in-place recycling, alongside our soil stabilisers and road reclaimers,” says Saunders. The Astec SX-6 EX will be the main stabiliser/reclaimer model sold locally,

with the RX-600 EX (2.0 m) half-lane-class cold planer meeting mainstream milling requirements. The latter will be joined by the newly developed and lighter RX-505 EX (2.0 m) half-lane-class cold planer. “Within the Infrastructure Solutions business line, customers will inter face with Astec industry specialists who have in-depth experience and expertise within their specific segments. This will enable road contractors and asphalt producers to get the best value from their Astec investments,” adds Fennell. “This in turn will be supported by an integrated parts and service network in AME. “Since its formation in 1972, Astec’s core competencies have always been founded on best-in-class products for every niche industry it serves, and we are committed to delivering on this promise,” Fennell concludes.

IMIESA August 2021




AECOM AFI Consult Alake Consulting Engineers ARRB Systems Asla Construction (Pty) Ltd BMK Group Bosch Munitech Bosch Projects (Pty) Ltd BVI Consulting Engineers CCG / Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa Dlamindlovu Consulting Engineers & Project Managers EFG Engineers Elster Kent Metering EMS Solutions ERWAT GIBB GIGSA GLS Consulting Gorman Rupp Gudunkomo Investments & Consulting Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd Herrenknecht Huber Technology Hydro-comp Enterprises Infrachamps Consulting INFRATEC IQHINA Consulting Engineers & Project Managers iX engineers (Pty) Ltd JBFE Consulting (Pty) Ltd JG Afrika KABE Consulting Engineers Kago Consulting Engineers Kantey & Templer (K&T) Consulting Engineers Kitso Botlhale Consulting Engineers Lektratek Water Makhaotse Narasimulu & Associates Malani Padayachee & Associates (Pty) Ltd Maragela Consulting Engineers Mariswe (Pty) Ltd Martin & East M & C Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd Mhiduve Much Asphalt Mvubu Consulting & Project Managers NAKO ILISO Nyeleti Consulting Odour Engineering Systems Prociv Consulting & Projects Management Rainbow Reservoirs Re-Solve Consulting (Pty) Ltd Ribicon Consulting Group (Pty) Ltd Royal HaskoningDHV SABITA SAFRIPOL SAGI SALGA SAPPMA / SARF SBS Water Systems Sembcorp Siza Water SiVEST SA Sizabantu Piping Systems (Pty) Ltd SKYV Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd SMEC Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology SRK Consulting Star Of Life Emergency Trading CC Syntell TECROVEER (Pty) Ltd TPA Consulting V3 Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd VIP Consulting Engineers VNA Water Institute of Southern Africa Wam Technology CC Wilo South Africa WRCON WRP WSP Group Africa Zutari



transformation in AFRICA


s in the rest of the world, Africa is shifting to the cloud, led by the roll-out of data centre facilities to support today’s digitally driven operating environment. However, the investment required to achieve a sustainable transition requires private and public sector participation to create an enabling environment. “Data centres require the highest level of precision when it comes to their design. Aspects such as fire protection, building design, power and cooling systems, security, facility management systems, and sustainability are all critical in this regard,” says Peter Hodgkinson, managing director of WSP Building Ser vices, Africa. Hodgkinson says energy security is a crucial consideration. “Given the purpose of a data centre, being able to offer nearly 100% uptime is not only a key market differentiator, but increasingly a non-negotiable in this digital age. However, most markets across Africa experience some level of unstable power supply at best. This is also compounded by pressure to rethink resource reliance in line with sustainability practices. And the data centre environment is no different,” he explains.

Mastering energy demand Typically, data centres are power hungr y. However, to meet uptime conditions and manage customer expectations, power management solutions – including resilient and backup power infrastructure, or self-powering solutions to offset reliance on grid power – are an essential business requirement. Additionally, with the global shift towards net zero, more emphasis is being placed on architects and consulting engineers to continue to come up with alternative and operationally cost-efficient designs. These are aimed at reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, and improving the overall operational efficiencies of new data centre projects. “A data centre that is built around these core principles is not only modern in today’s context, but future-proof by design. And, like smart property developers, data centre owners have begun to realise that building for sustainability not only makes good operational business sense, but it also aligns with responsible corporate citizenship and meeting environmental, social and governance practices,” he adds. “These are significant value-adds to the end-user, which also contributes to the marketability of the data centre – what benefits the end-user also benefits the data centre owner,” concludes Hodgkinson.

IMIESA August 2021



Meeting local SIS demand


ctom’s MV Switchgear Division is establishing new markets in Southern Africa following the conclusion of its value-added reseller and channel partner agreement with Gelpag Advanced Technology. Based in Germany, Gelpag is an international designer and manufacturer of solid insulated switchgear (SIS). The first order secured was for an eightpanel 6.6 kV 1 250 A board from Gelpag’s MSS range of MV switchgear. This was ordered by Germiston-based APE Pumps to replace an ageing board at Umgeni Water’s Verulam pump station, situated on KwaZuluNatal’s North Coast. The new board was installed and commissioned in May 2021. “Unlike air-insulated switchgear (AIS) and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), SIS uses neither air nor gas for the primar y insulation. It comprises a fully screened epoxy resin dielectric, which makes the switchgear per formance completely independent from environmental pollution, humidity and altitude,” explains Rhett Kelly, technology development specialist: MV Switchgear.

sought after, as it requires significantly less maintenance than AIS. And while GIS also requires minimal maintenance, it does use SF6 gas, which is being discouraged worldwide due to its adverse environmental impact if released into the atmosphere. The MSS range of switchgear is available up to 40 kA and has a footprint that is

approximately 30% smaller than AIS. It offers panel widths of 500 mm for up to 1 250 A units and 700 mm for up to 2 500 A units. “The MSS range is one of the first of its kind in the world to achieve a 2 500 A rating using solid dielectric insulation without forced cooling,” adds Kelly.

Gelpag MSS SIS pole with three-position disconnector and circuit breaker

Far less maintenance SIS technology is becoming increasingly



Bell Equipment Group Services

IBC & 54


Plastics SA

Rand Water


IMIESA August 2021

43 41

Quality Filtration Systems



29 & 31 4 & 35 20



Shisalanga SMEC South Africa

OFC & 6


Umgeni Water VEGA Controls SA




Xylem Water Solutions South Africa


Joint International Conference with IMESA & IAWEES

(Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa & International Association of Water, Environment, Energy and Society)



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Articles inside

Editor’s comment article cover image
Editor’s comment
pages 5-6
President’s comment article cover image
President’s comment
page 7
Industry innovators beyond the imaginable article cover image
Industry innovators beyond the imaginable
pages 8-9
Mobilising the opportunities for construction article cover image
Mobilising the opportunities for construction
pages 10-11
Reducing South Africa’s infrastructure deficit with more funding article cover image
Reducing South Africa’s infrastructure deficit with more funding
pages 12-14
Obituary: Saying farewell to a changemaker article cover image
Obituary: Saying farewell to a changemaker
page 15
Implementation of PG binder specification in South Africa article cover image
Implementation of PG binder specification in South Africa
pages 16-19
World-renowned road safety campaigner to address SA conference article cover image
World-renowned road safety campaigner to address SA conference
pages 20-21
Lesotho Highlands bridge programme takes shape article cover image
Lesotho Highlands bridge programme takes shape
page 23
Small town road upgrades strengthen their economies article cover image
Small town road upgrades strengthen their economies
pages 24-25
Closing the gap article cover image
Closing the gap
pages 26-27
Pressure control to fight water shortages in Eastern Cape article cover image
Pressure control to fight water shortages in Eastern Cape
pages 28-29
Pump shafts and flow measurement article cover image
Pump shafts and flow measurement
pages 30-31
eXpress booster sets meet the demand article cover image
eXpress booster sets meet the demand
page 32
Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis work together article cover image
Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis work together
page 33
Design innovation shapes Mhlabatshane Bulk Water project article cover image
Design innovation shapes Mhlabatshane Bulk Water project
pages 34-36
Water Wise: An environmental brand over two decades old article cover image
Water Wise: An environmental brand over two decades old
pages 37-38
Digital twins to the rescue article cover image
Digital twins to the rescue
pages 40-41
Environmental clean-ups require collective action article cover image
Environmental clean-ups require collective action
pages 42-43
IWM projects key to solving SA’s waste crisis article cover image
IWM projects key to solving SA’s waste crisis
pages 44-46
Ways to manage readymix waste streams article cover image
Ways to manage readymix waste streams
page 47
Extenders can affect concrete curing article cover image
Extenders can affect concrete curing
page 48
Novel culvert bridge design for village article cover image
Novel culvert bridge design for village
page 49
Gabions are evolving article cover image
Gabions are evolving
pages 50-51
Outsourcing FM in the public sector article cover image
Outsourcing FM in the public sector
page 52
A hydraulic breakthrough for tracked carriers article cover image
A hydraulic breakthrough for tracked carriers
page 53
From rock to road article cover image
From rock to road
pages 54-56
Digital transformation in Africa article cover image
Digital transformation in Africa
page 57