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



The reality of government’s DDM

Roads & Bridges The quest for paving excellence

Water & Wastewater Reducing municipal water losses

Vehicles & Equipment Machine intelligence and construction

GRP stronger and better with

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


Roads & Bridges


The reality of government’s DDM

The quest for paving excellence

Water & Wastewater Reducing municipal water losses


Vehicles & Equipment Machine intelligence and construction

Regulars GRP stronger and better with


Pumps & Valves

Editor’s comment


President’s comment


Index to advertisers


Flowtite South Africa is a licensee within the global Flowtite network, which is represented on all five continents. Flowtite South Africa is based in Germiston, Gauteng, and manufactures GRP pipes and fittings, with a branch in Cape Town and about 150 staff members. P6

INDUSTRY INSIGHT The reality of government’s DDM When infrastructure plans don’t achieve their objectives, there’s a breakdown in trust between government, business and civil society. Cogta’s District Development Model (DDM) sets out to address this, with the Development Bank of Southern Africa appointed as an implementing partner. But can government’s DDM deliver? P22




Best in Road & Bridge Construction

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Restoration of Ezakheni pump station during lockdown

IMESA Obituary Remembering an industry legend


Cover Story Stronger and better with GRP


Water & Wastewater WC/WDM: Starting with the basics


Hydrozoning landscapes


Level management system ideal for remote areas


Inside SA’s largest MBR plant


Water reuse decentralisation


Infrastructure Funding & Implementation Industry engagement on DDM implementation


The District Development Model Conundrum


Flexibility and innovation


Committed to paving excellence


Quality where it counts


Value engineering creates capacity


Environmental & Geotechnical Labour-based canal construction


Combating flooding


Spanish wall art


Vehicles & Equipment Client satisfaction central to Ctrack support


Machine intelligence


Volvo’s new DMX refines all-terrain trucking


Industry Engagement: CESA Rebuilding with purpose


Cement & Concrete

Pipe Systems

Prepping for non-structural repairs


We need more than promises and rhetoric

Weatherproof glazing


A cube at a time







Tracking water consumption is made easy by Water Wise

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) aims to reduce water demand and increase supply to our growing population and economy to ensure water security by 2030. Currently, our waterstressed country faces economic water scarcity due to issues with the country’s water infrastructure, an ever-increasing demand on a limited supply and other environmental factors.

leaks, which can be easily detected if households monitor their water use by taking regular water meter readings. To assist people with this, Rand Water’s environmental brand, Water Wise, has developed a Water Wise calculator, which serves as a simple tool to estimate household water use and assist people in detecting high water-use activities and even leaks. The calculator, through a question–answer system, generates a water usage chart and an estimated cost (R) of the household’s water bill in a month. This estimated value should not be used to dispute municipal bills, however, as the value generated is based on general South African water use statistics. This calculator aims to assist the end-users to be responsible in ensuring optimal use of the water they receive.

Keeping track of water usage through the Water Footprint Assessment, founded by Arjen Hoekstra, is a step in the right direction that shines light on water use patterns in different aspects of society. With a deeper understanding of water consumption patterns and water balance, water utilities and municipalities can work towards improving their existing water-supply models, as well as addressing water wastage such as non-revenue water, and Achieving this will contribute to the bigger picture excessive use and leakages, in order to reduce of reduced water demand, water losses in large distribution networks. ensuring a sustainable supply of water for South Africa. End-users such as homeowners also encounter

www.randwater.co.za and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60

EDITOR’S COMMENT MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Kirsten Kelly JOURNALIST Nombulelo Manyana HEAD OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister DESIGNER Lizette Jonker CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders CONTRIBUTORS Gundo Maswime, Bryan Perrie, Bhavna Soni, Jan Venter 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 subs@3smedia.co.za PRINTERS Novus Print Montague Gardens ___________________________________________________

Accountability and oversight


trategic infrastructure planning is important, but the acid test is its implementation, which depends on a myriad of factors. Foremost among them are the financial resources available, and the right human capital needed to drive efficient execution. On top of this, built environment stakeholders are pressing government for more practical and immediate plans that translate into tender awards sooner rather than later. The key challenge faced by government is the need to urgently turn around underperforming state institutions that impede service delivery and macroeconomic growth. Eskom is a prime example. The situation is particularly pressing at local government level, where the main infrastructure interface with the construction sector takes place. While the Auditor-General’s role is crucial in presenting the facts, and exposing irregularities, it’s the municipality’s job to correct and prevent them from reoccurring. However, if affected municipalities can’t or won’t, the next stage is inevitably a Section 139 intervention. Here, the provincial executive steps in to identify a turnaround strategy. In more extreme cases, a Section 100 intervention is required where national government needs to act on provincial performance issues. At present, some 40 municipalities are undergoing Section 139 interventions, with the North West province subject to a Section 100 process.

ADVERTISING SALES KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Joanne Lawrie Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 / +27 (0)82 346 5338 Email: joanne@3smedia.co.za ___________________________________________________

PUBLISHER Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 www.3smedia.co.za 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: admin@imesa.org.za Website: www.imesa.org.za BORDER Secretary: Celeste Vosloo Tel: +27 (0)43 705 2433 Email: celestev@buffalocity.gov.za EASTERN CAPE Secretary: Susan Canestra Tel: +27 (0)41 585 4142 ext. 7 Email: imesaec@imesa.org.za KWAZULU-NATAL Secretary: Ingrid Botton Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: imesakzn@imesa.org.za

Why organisations succeed or fail There are always multiple factors at play that cause an organisation to fail, whether it’s a public or private entity. Key ones include dysfunctional and autocratic leadership, a failure to respond to innovation and change, plus poor attention to detail, service and quality. Add financial mismanagement and you have a potential disaster waiting to happen. In contrast, successful entities, public or private, consistently deliver what the market wants. They are headed by visionary leaders who create

NORTHERN PROVINCES Secretary: Ollah Mthembu Tel: +27 (0)82 823 7104 Email: np@imesa.org.za SOUTHERN CAPE KAROO Secretary: Henrietta Olivier Tel: +27 (0)79 390 7536 Email: imesasck@imesa.org.za WESTERN CAPE Secretary: Michelle Ackerman Tel: +27 (0)21 444 7114 Email: imesawc@imesa.org.za FREE STATE & NORTHERN CAPE Secretary: Wilma Van Der Walt Tel: +27 (0)83 457 4362 Email: imesafsnc@imesa.org.za 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. _____________________________________________

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.

Why the District Development Model cannot fail For South Africa’s economy to grow, it is essential that the country’s National Development Plan and allied initiatives are supported and enabled by highperforming municipalities. At present, South Africa has 44 district municipalities and eight metros. Across the board, only a small percentage are firing on all cylinders. Spearheading the change we need to see is the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs’ District Development Model (DDM). The latter is a multipronged approach that essentially equips every municipality to be successful through a new, integrated approach that breaks down silos and communication gaps across local, provincial and national government channels. (A series of articles in this edition drill down into some of the details and industry viewpoints of the DDM to date.) So far, the DMM has been piloted in three municipalities – namely eThekwini, OR Tambo and Waterberg. According to government, the plan is to expand this to a further 23 districts during 2021. For the DDM to work, a major paradigm shift must occur, whereby competent and experienced decisionmakers take accountability for ensuring that targeted infrastructure investments empower communities. That’s one of the key steps in building a capable state that is globally competitive.

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.

@infrastructure4 www.infrastruct


Infrastructure News

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


Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: https://novus.holdings/sustainability/transformation

a dynamic culture that encourages participation, teamwork and excellence. Their recruitment policies are also geared towards attracting and retaining the best of the best, since personnel development is at the heart of the process.




The reality of government’s DDM



Roads & Bridges

The quest for paving


Water & Wastewater

Reducing municipa

l water losses

Vehicles & Equipm Machine intelligen


ce and construct ion

GRP stronger and better with


. 0 0 ( i n c l . VAT ) ary 2021 • R55 No. 02 • Febru 8 Vo l u m e 4 6 ISSN 0257 197

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. IMIESA February 2021





the future


eing a member of IMESA makes you a willing and welcome par ticipant in this endeavour. Backed by IMESA’s training programmes and mentorship initiatives, this empowers us to maintain and grow professional engineering excellence at local government level. This is where we can create a real difference in terms of micro and macro development; however, that depends on executing the right solutions within approved budget allocations. The right decisions can only be made by experts with proven years of applied experience. This is where our pool of IMESA specialists provides an excellent sounding board for public and private sector stakeholders. Where they need input on what works best from a design and technology perspective, we have invaluable input to share on past and current infrastructure projects. This input is especially important for South Africa’s infrastructure-led economic recovery.

Achieving the right outcomes To achieve the right outcomes as engineers, we need to take a stand against key issues that have downstream negative impacts. These include tender irregularities, conflicts of interest, the misuse of resources, technical incompetence, poor quality control, inadequate project and programme management, and failure to understand and/or work within prescribed legislation. As they say, ignorance of the law is not a defence, and deliberately breaking the rules is a clear offence. The start and end point for all municipal projects must be governed by an ethical


IMIESA February 2021

code that all engineers and officials adhere to. This will help to ensure that best practice standards are followed in every case. Essentially, ethics establish the framework for execution. And working within an ethical environment encourages the sharing of information, as well as independent and objective peer review processes. Of course, an overriding factor is an enabling environment at local government level. That’s the key to success, which includes having a coherent and practical policy framework to work with. In South Africa’s case, many feel that municipal legislation is too complex to apply practically. Either way, the crucial issue is to ensure that any red tape that hampers service delivery is removed.

In all we do, our actions define who we are, as well as our underlying value systems. As municipal engineers, we have an added responsibility because our outcomes in terms of infrastructure service delivery are integral to the socio-economic success or failure of the towns and cities in which we operate.

Supply chain gains Alongside and in support of optimal project delivery, IMESA’s mandate is to engage with public sector stakeholders that include Cogta, the Construction Industry Development Board and National Treasury on ways to improve procurement and tender processes. Among the anticipated results after a recent IMESA online workshop are pending changes in legislation that, once passed, will positively improve municipal engineering performance on smaller contracts. The proposal calls for increases of the threshold on the procurement of goods and services by way of formal written quotations. If approved, these limits will be set at R750 000 for metros and R300 000 for local municipalities. While this still needs to be processed into the Municipal Finance Management Act (No. 56 of 2003) and supply chain management procedures, it’s a positive development for engineers on the ground to help them do their jobs more effectively.

Bhavna Soni, president, IMESA


Remembering an


We say farewell to IMESA Exco member Pieter Myburgh, Pr Eng, who passed in January 2021 after a short illness.


Fellow of IMESA, Pieter had a long and proud association with the Institute dating back to 1992 and was highly regarded for his passion and energy. At the time of his death, he was ser ving as IMESA’s Vice-President: Technical, as well as being an active member of the IMESA Southern Cape/Karoo Branch, ser ving on the committee and previously as branch chairperson. Pieter studied at Jim Fouche High School, Bloemfontein, before going on to complete his BEng in Civil Engineering at Stellenbosch University, and thereafter his BEng (Hons) at the University of Pretoria. He worked mainly in traffic and transportation engineering and was Mossel Bay Municipality’s senior manager: Streets and Stormwater, with a staf f compliment of 104 employees. He ser ved on IMESA’s Council for several years before being elected to Exco in 2010, where he held the portfolio of Technical Director: Roads, Transportation and Stormwater, until he was elected Vice President: Technical for the 2018-2020 period. Pieter was re-elected to continue overseeing IMESA projects in this capacity for the 2020-2022 term. Pieter will be sorely missed for his contribution to IMESA, the civil engineering industry, Mossel Bay Municipality and the Southern Cape/Karoo region. In his role as a municipal engineer, he

was acknowledged as a pioneer in the early adoption of technology and asset management systems. A prime example is the fact that Mossel Bay was one of the first municipalities in the region to adopt a wayleave online application and processing system.

Career highlights As a specialist in road transpor tation and traffic management, he was actively involved in the: Pieter Myburgh, Pr Eng, FIMESA

- compilation of roads and stormwater master plans, as well as the modelling of various traffic and stormwater systems - implementation of job creation projects and the training and development of unskilled workers, emerging contractors and students - implementation of a very successful

resealing programme on which around R16 million is spent annually - development and implementation of the municipal pavement management plan, which has been very successful - funding applications and technical reports on major road and stormwater projects – through these initiatives, the municipality received millions in grant funding - introduction of innovative technologies, such as ultra-thin asphalt for streets - the completion of flagship projects that include the upgrading of the Mossel Bay Point area and the Beyer’s Street boardwalk in Kleinbrak. At the time of his passing, his department, among others, was finalising Mossel Bay’s central business district modelling study; the rehabilitation of Long Street, Great Brak; and the construction of the Brandwag pedestrian bridge. An extract from the memorial speech given by Dick Naidoo, director: Infrastructure Services for Mossel Bay Municipality, reads: “Pieter had a hands-on management style, always eager to serve the communities; he would not hesitate to get into his vehicle to personally carry out an inspection in loco at all hours, and to ensure immediate action, setting a wonderful example to his younger colleagues.” Pieter’s legacy is his major contribution to municipal engineering in general, as well as his role in ensuring that Mossel Bay Municipality is served by well-maintained and modern transportation infrastructure.

IMIESA February 2021




with Flowtite SA

Flowtite South Africa is a licensee within the global Flowtite network, which is represented on all five continents. Flowtite South Africa is based in Germiston, Gauteng, and manufactures Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) pipes and fittings, with a branch in Cape Town and about 150 staff members.


he vision is for Flowtite GRP pipes to be a household brand in the piping market within subSaharan Africa for civil, mining, agricultural and industrial applications, and Flowtite South Africa urges the market to Generally Accept and Generally Approve GRP. Flowtite South Africa’s mission is to remain at the cutting edge of technological development in the piping market. Foremost, this entails remaining devoted to high quality standards, excellent customer service, reliability, accountability and transparency in order to offer superior value to customers’ infrastructure requirements. Flowtite South Africa is committed to creating an enduring benefit for the communities and its customers in the areas in which the company operates. Expert experience and fit-for-purpose technologies are essential for rebuilding South Africa’s infrastructure economy. Mr Bantu Mselana, CEO, Flowtite South Africa, says this makes the business case for GRP pipe products even more compelling as a preferred solution in meeting the country’s water and wastewater targets.


CHARACTERISTIC Diameters: Pressure classes: Stiffness: Length:


IMIESA February 2021

ADVANTAGE DN 150 mm to 3 000 mm PN 1-6-10-12-16-25-32 SN 2 500, 5 000, 10 000 12 m standard length

Strong market gains

Invested in local manufacturing

Since the launch of the Flowtite brand in South Africa during 2018, strong gains have been made in a market traditionally dominated by other pipe materials. However, GRP is asserting its dominance in certain key segments and gaining market share over its competitors in the domestic and export markets, ensuring that it is increasing its footprint in the piping sector. Historically, one of the few segments where GRP could not compete was in smaller diameters up to 300 mm and the 2.5 m to 3 m diameter range. All that has changed, with Flowtite now extending its diameter range pipes from DN 150 mm to DN 3 000 mm internal diameter (ID) with its new Vectus range, which is produced with at least 98% local content. The Vectus range uses the bell and spigot joining method, which expands the market range to include uses in the industrial and mining market. This allows Flowtite South Africa to expand its market offerings and opens the doors to additional areas in the civil market to provide pipes for the reticulation segment, which uses the smaller diameter pipes, not only servicing the bulk water and bulk sewer market.

“The launch of Flowtite South Africa underscores our confidence and support in achieving South Africa’s micro- and macroeconomic objectives,” says Mselana. “As an investor, we’ve taken a long-term position and remain committed to playing our part in sustaining the local manufacturing sector – a vital economic enabler – and one that in our case supports infrastructure growth.” Flowtite says the localisation strategy adopted by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition as well as National Treasury, for all designated pipe products, is welcomed. However, the general view from industry is that further regulations should be imposed on imported pipes to promote further investment and growth in the sector and the local manufacturing base. “The Covid-19 lockdowns and border closures definitely tested South Africa’s internal manufacturing capabilities. In other words, it exposed the extent of our reliance on imports,” Mselana explains. “The upside for us is that we’d already upgraded our capacities and capabilities long before Covid-19, so we were able to continue fulfilling a crucial and essential service during 2020.” “Going forward, our strategy is to build additional capacity. This includes a potential

new product line towards the end of 2021 as we identify opportunities in the natural gas market,” he continues. “We will also be focusing on further cross-border opportunities where we’ve already successfully supplied solutions for projects in the SADC region.”

GRP roll-out Since inception, Flowtite South Africa has had a three-pronged approach to its GRP implementation strategy, namely creating awareness, selling the value, and being responsive in terms of customer service. A major success factor is the proven value of Flowtite GRP, based on local and international long-term case studies on life-cycle costing and return on investment. Simply put, once GRP systems are installed, minimal if any maintenance is required over their envisaged life, which can exceed 150 years. “The strength, longevity and life-cycle cost benefits of GRP differentiate it from other products in the bulk water and sewer market, giving GRP an advantage and a superior value proposition when compared to other materials” says Mselana. “GRP has been a mainstay in industry since its initial development in the 1960s and has a long local application history that exceeds 50 years. Over time, though, there has been some loss of institutional memory as well as existing misconceptions about GRP. However, through our concerted marketing efforts and via our sales engineers on the ground nationally, we can confidently say that Flowtite GRP now sits centre stage alongside its other pipe competitors,” Mselana continues. “Times are tougher, and there’s a lot less money available for the maintenance and construction of new infrastructure. This makes life-cycle costing decisions even more important, and that hinges on the selection of the right products and technologies. Local and international Flowtite case studies from around the globe prove that GRP continues to provide a class-leading return on investment. Our focus

at Flowtite South Africa is to combine this with world-class service and competitive pricing,” adds Mselana.

Bridge the infrastructure skills gap Part of the critical challenge facing the water sector in the sub-Saharan region is the depletion of skills, through an ageing workforce, as well as poor skills transfer and employee retention to maintain the infrastructure. This results in a lack of proper maintenance and upkeep of the existing infrastructure. As part of its offering, Flowtite South Africa’s technical teams work together with government departments, municipalities, consulting engineers and contractors to augment the skills gap by offering technical support and training to ensure optimal pipeline installation and maintenance. Then, as part of Flowtite’s contribution to the broader national objectives of job creation and skills development, Flowtite South Africa offers certified training to communities and SMMEs. The latter are either subcontracted or employed by the main contractor or municipality on local infrastructure projects. Through this certified training, they can gain the skills to complete the work and be marketable within the sector going forward, ensuring that they remain sustainable in the marketplace.


DN 1 900 diameter pipe in production

Bell and spigot joining method on the Vectus pipe range


CHARACTERISTIC Corrosion-resistant Lightweight Standard lengths, 12 m Smooth bore Superior hydraulic characteristics

Precision Flowtite REKA coupling

An aerial perspective of Flowtite South Africa’s factory in Germiston, Gauteng

DN 150 to DN 250 diameter additions

Flexible manufacturing process Advanced technology pipe design

ADVANTAGE - Long service life - Low transportation cost - No expensive handling equipment - Fewer joints, reduced installation time - Low friction loss; lower operating costs - Low flow coefficient - Minimal slime build-up - Excellent abrasion resistance - Tight joints designed to eliminate infiltration/exfiltration - Ease of joining reduces installation time - Accommodates slight deflection in-line direction without additional fittings - Custom diameters can be manufactured to provide maximum flow volumes with easy installation for slip-lining projects - Custom lengths can be manufactured - Multiple pressure and stiffness classes to meet the engineer’s design criteria


WC/WDM: Starting with


While reducing municipal water losses is not complicated, there is no single water conser vation and demand management (WC/WDM) inter vention that will always provide the best savings at the least cost. Instead, a dedicated and methodical approach is needed to achieve real and sustainable savings.


outh Africa’s National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP) highlights the fact that the countr y could face a projected 17% water deficit by 2030. Essentially, if demand continues to grow at current levels, the deficit between water supply and demand could be between 2.7 and 3.8 billion m3/annum by the end of the next decade. As South Africa faces increasing water stress, WC/WDM will have a key role to play in ensuring long-term water security. Dr Ronnie McKenzie, former chairman of the IWA Water Loss Specialist Group, notes that many municipalities struggle to reduce the often-high levels of water losses in their reticulation systems. McKenzie has written a guide to the reduction of water losses from municipal water supply systems, which is available freely from the Water Research Commission. Many of the issues discussed below have been summarised from his report*.

Dealing with losses The NW&SMP points out that 35% of municipal water is lost through leakage, resulting in an annual loss of around 1 660 million m³. At the current average unit cost of over R10/m³, this amounts to approximately R17 billion in losses for South African municipalities each year. Given the fact that many municipalities are dealing with billions in lost revenue due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19


IMIESA February 2021

pandemic and subsequent lockdown, addressing water losses presents an opportunity to reduce financial losses. And for municipalities facing drought, such as those in the Eastern Cape, it presents an ideal opportunity to recover much needed water resources. McKenzie notes that municipalities should begin with addressing the basic issues first. “Until the basic issues have been properly addressed, there is relatively little benefit to be gained by introducing some of the more expensive and sophisticated measures.” he notes. However, even addressing the basics requires a budget and real effort from the municipality, often involving the excavation of pipelines and repairs where necessar y.

Where to start According to McKenzie, repairing visible and repor ted leaks (preferably within 24 hours) is one of the most obvious and basic inter ventions that should be implemented as a top priority. “The repair of such leaks needs no financial justification or preliminar y assessment to determine if it is worthwhile. It is the most obvious and cost-effective measure that any municipality can undertake and will always be worthwhile.” However, active leakage control (searching for below-ground, unreported leaks) is not always cost-effective. While it may be worthwhile in an area

known to have high leakage or dolomitic areas where leaks will never surface, visible leaks should be repaired before any leak location activities are undertaken to search for new and unreported leaks. McKenzie also notes that active leakage control need not always involve ver y expensive or sophisticated equipment. In most cases, a well-trained, experienced leak detector with a basic listening rod will be more than sufficient. Throwing big budgets at leak location and repair should be carefully considered, especially in cases where the underlying problem is high water pressure or a network that is no longer viable.

Effective pressure management Pressure management is one of the most important WC/WDM interventions to be considered. This is especially the case in South Africa, where municipal water supply systems are often operated at relatively high pressures. “Leakage is driven by pressure, and while it must be acknowledged that pressure management is not the answer in ever y case, it is often one of the most cost-effective measures to reduce leakage that can be considered,” says McKenzie. Pressure management can take many forms, ranging from the basic


Underground leak running at low pressure (Credit: Ken Brothers)

fixed outlet pressure control to some form of more sophisticated hydraulic or electronic control, which is often referred to as ‘smart control’ or ‘advanced pressure control’. South Africa was one of the first countries in the world to adopt the principles of advanced pressure control initially developed in the UK back in the early 1990s, and several projects have since proved its effectiveness. Notably, aggressive pressure management was integral to Cape Town’s management of the ‘Day Zero’ drought. If the water pressure in a system can be reduced, even for a short period during times of low demand, the water leakage from the system will be reduced. However, McKenzie stresses that in order to reduce leakage through pressure management, it is necessary to reduce the water pressure without compromising the level of service for consumers and fire-fighting. Most systems are designed to provide a certain minimum level of service in the system during the peak demand period.

Repair and replacement As water infrastructure ages, it becomes necessary to repair and replace pipelines. However, pipe

Underground leak running at high pressure (Credit: Ken Brothers)

replacement is often the most expensive water loss reduction intervention and is generally the measure of last resort. McKenzie explains that there are currently two main schools of thought when it comes to pipe replacement in South Africa. One approach that was implemented by eThekwini Municipality was the ‘blanket replacement’ approach, where all pipes of a certain type and/or age were replaced. In this case, all asbestos cement pipes in the network were replaced – a massive undertaking at an estimated cost of over R1 billion. An alternative approach was introduced by the City of Tshwane. Here, certain types and ages of pipes are replaced according to the incidence of burst pipes as recorded and monitored on the metro’s management information system. This approach involves the replacement of pipes as they deteriorate to a level where the occurrence of new leaks becomes so high that the pipes are effectively no longer suitable for use. The selective replacement is more appropriate in cases where budget constraints prevent any form of blanket replacement. Tshwane’s approach requires the collection and analysis of all burst information that is part of a sophisticated GIS/MIS system. According to McKenzie, such information

and statistics on pipe bursts is invaluable when used to determine whether it is time to replace a section of pipe and is one of the factors contributing to the lower than average leakage in Tshwane. He stresses that great care should be taken when considering any large-scale pipe replacement project and recommends some form of pilot project first. Some pipe replacement projects have been undertaken where the leakage has in fact increased after the pipes have been replaced. “Pipe replacement is the most expensive water loss reduction intervention in most cases, and it should be considered as the action of last resort after other options including pressure management and leak repair have been exhausted,” says McKenzie. Theoretically, some level of physical leakage in a system cannot be avoided. However, reducing losses as far as possible is an important exercise – especially in a country like South Africa, where physical leakage is generally high. *Mckenzie, R. Guidelines for Reducing Water Losses in South African Municipalities Report TT 595/14 to the Water Research Commission, ISBN 978-1-4312-0565-3, August 2014)

IMIESA February 2021


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Linked to hydrozoning is the need for South African plant lists that group plants according to hydrozone water use categories. Without an agreedon list that is linked to preset water amounts, the matter of hydrozoning application will vary from designer to designer and will jeopardise the concept.

In the late 1990s, Rand Water launched the Water Wise campaign, which was aimed at increasing the awareness around the need to value water and use it wisely. As part of the campaign, it introduced the concept of grouping plants according to their water requirements.


his idea was initially not well received at all, as most South Africans favour lush, green and well-watered landscapes. There was pushback due to the expense of applying more sustainable solutions and a general lack of understanding and knowledge regarding the different sustainable alternatives and the consequences of their non-implementation. Fortunately, over the years, thinking has changed and there is a greater focus on the design of resilient and sustainable landscapes. Some of these examples include: • water harvesting mechanisms built into beds or car parks • the effective use of swales • reuse of greywater • hydrozoning.

according to their water requirements and to water each group of plants according to their needs, so that the irrigation system is specific to that hydrozone. This presently forms the basis of many landscape designs and ensures that water use is focused and applied in correct amounts. A landscape can have four hydro zones: high, moderate, low, and no water usage. Planting in these types of zones can save 30% to 80% water usage. These zones must each be watered individually and have their own professionally designed and installed irrigation sprinkler types and their own valve (manual or automatic). The concept can be applied regardless of the water source or how much water is available for use in the landscape.

Ornamental landscapes These are landscapes that offer comfort, convenience, or enjoyment and are not natural. When designing a landscape, it is suggested that one uses an amenity landscape water use model. This technology can be used to determine the amount of water that is used in each hydrozone in the landscape. This is based on the unique site and environmental aspects for the hydrozone. There are several such models available internationally and one in South Africa. The South African model incorporates a range of design, site, edaphic, climatic, hydrozone, irrigation and maintenance factors that all contribute to determining the amount of water that should be used in the landscape. It allows for landscape designers and maintenance managers to adapt designs up front as well as in the field to reduce water use. Hydrozoning is indeed a tool that can guide landscapers in leading the way with regard to water conservation and ensuring that ornamental landscapes are more sustainable.

Hydrozoning There is a realisation that landscapes can be sustainable and still have their aesthetic appeal and function. Hydrozoning is defined as grouping each plant variety





IMIESA February 2021



Level management system

ideal for remote areas

While South Africa’s rural areas are popular tourist destinations, with beautiful scenery and wildlife, they are beset with power outages, low cellular network coverage and limited access to water.


ololo Game Reserve, located near Vaalwater, Limpopo, has dealt with a number of these problems with the help of KELLER – a Swiss manufacturer of pressure sensors and transmitters, level sensors, digital gauges, pressure calibrators, level dataloggers and IoT equipment.

Kololo’s water system Water is pumped over a 1 km distance from a 100 m deep well to into eight water storage tanks (5 000 ℓ storage capacity each) that are located at the top of a hill. From there, water is distributed downwards through pipes and hoses to the lodges, restaurant and pool.

Measurement system Due to cyclical drought periods in Limpopo, Vaalwater has suffered historical water shortages. It is, therefore, important to measure water levels in both the well and water storage tanks in order to monitor increased or decreased water volumes and make plans accordingly. KELLER installed a complete level management system in the water storage tanks. The system was only installed into one of the tanks because they are all connected to each other. Thus, the level in one tank is representative of all the tanks. KELLER is one of the few manufacturers of modern measurement technology that also offers its own cloud and IoT (internet of things) technology. The level measurement system comprises: • LoRaWaN (Long Range Wide Area Network) – an energy-saving network communication protocol for wireless applications (in particular IoT). • KOLIBRI Cloud – Measurement data is stored in a database of KOLIBRI Cloud where historical data is available over time, which gives further insight into consumption and leakage.

is designed for comparatively simple data, such as measured values from sensors. LoRaWAN has a range of several kilometres and can also penetrate buildings. This was the perfect solution for the 3 000 ha Kololo Game Reserve, which is too big for wired sensors and has very little cellular coverage but does have internet access. A typical LoRaWAN network consists of: • sensor • LoRa transmitter • LoRa gateway (receiver). In the case of Kololo Game Park, the LoRa gateway is a Laird Sentrius gateway, and the LoRa transmitters are KELLER’s own ADT1 LoRa Modem. A KELLER Series 36XW digital level sensor is connected to this ADT1, measuring pressure (water level) and temperature. The ADT1 retrieves the level from the level sensor and transmits the data, together with barometric pressure and air temperature, to the LoRa gateway. Finally, the LoRa gateway forwards all the data via the internet to KELLER’s KOLIBRI Cloud, where data is stored.

KOLIBRI Cloud Offering a wide variety of options for device configuration, KELLER’s KOLIBRI Cloud displays current measured values and logger recordings

in graph form. Thanks to the search and filter options, saved measurement data can be organised with ease and can also be exported as an image, as an Excel or Word report, or in additional formats. Evaluating historical data gives further insight into consumption (thus water stock) and leakage.

Installation and setup After installation and setup, the system started measuring every hour. The next day, the first measurements were visible with a downward sloping chart. Upon inspection, it was found that there was a 100 ℓ/h difference between the two measurements taken during the night. A leak was the only possible cause. The water storage tanks were inspected and one of the pipe threads was partly pulled out of junction. The system had shown value after a day.

KELLER LoRa scheme. After installation and setup, the system started measuring every hour

LoRaWAN Using a maximum of 50 kbps, this technology IMIESA February 2021



Inside SA’s largest MBR plant

The new MBR lane


ffluent from the Stellenbosch WWTW flows into the Eerste River, which is essential for the Cape Winelands’ agricultural and agritourism communities. In 2011, the WWTW was operating over capacity, dilapidated, struggling to meet effluent compliance, a hazard to the environment and a nuisance to the surrounding community, ultimately placing the livelihood of the communities surrounding the Eerste River at risk. There was a critical need for the WWTW to be upgraded and its capacity extended to cater for flows from the town up until 2035. Stellenbosch Municipality therefore made the strategic and critical decision to upgrade the WWTW with a limited budget at hand. The rapid urban expansion of the town of Stellenbosch also placed additional pressure on the WWTW. The main objectives were to increase capacity, improve the effluent quality and reduce the foul odour. Zutari, as consulting engineer, undertook the planning and design of the treatment works in 2014, as well as site supervision when construction began in 2015.

Operating over capacity, the Stellenbosch Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) was putting the surrounding environment and community at risk. Stellenbosch Municipality undertook to upgrade the plant, and the result was the creation of what is currently the largest membrane biological reactor (MBR) WWTW in South Africa.

ensure a high-quality effluent and mitigate odours, while ensuring the upgrade remained within budget. Following various planning and design workshops, a project concept was co-created by Zutari and Stellenbosch Municipality, comprising a fully automated plant embodying modern and reputable processing technologies that would ensure a high-quality effluent, robustness, as well as operational and maintenance efficiency. The design process was structured to enable Stellenbosch Municipality to be an integral part of the blueprint during the planning and design stages. This enabled the municipality to be involved in technology selection, design, operation and maintenance considerations, as

well as the aesthetic layout and appearance of the facility. Membrane technology was selected in order to guarantee a high-quality effluent. The MBR process is an advanced wastewater treatment process that uses ultrafiltration membranes for liquid-solid separation, instead of conventional clarifiers. The design was also developed to maximise the use of existing infrastructure, and to seamlessly integrate the refurbished infrastructure into the new plant, thereby reducing the overall capital cost of the project. The use of MBR technology was beneficial in terms of the small footprint of the bioreactor, particularly considering the spatial constraints of the existing site, and the production of highquality effluent, which surpasses the standards

Designing a world-class plant Zutari investigated various options to increase the capacity and upgrade the processes to


IMIESA February 2021

The existing CAS lane


PROJECT TEAM • Client: Stellenbosch Municipality • Consulting engineer: Zutari • Civil contractor: CSV Construction • Mechanical and electrical contractor: Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa • Architect: Alex Stewart and Partners

Overview of the newly upgraded Stellenbosch WWTW

•L  andscaping architect: Planning Partners •E  nvironmental consultant: Legacy Environmental Management Consulting •H  ealth and safety agent: Safe Working Practice

prescribed in the water-use licence issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The WWTW was designed to cater for a combination of domestic and industrial wastewater, as well as handle the seasonal changes in the influent loading due to the agricultural harvesting season, when organic load increases by 25%. By varying key

process parameters such as sludge age and concentration during the harvesting season, it ensures that effluent quality is compliant and of a high standard. A superior effluent quality also presents immediate opportunities for the reuse of treated effluent, which is in line with the municipality’s water conservation and demand management strategy.

World-class technology The project comprised an upgrade of the plant to a full biological nutrient removal process

that is capable of handling up to 35 Mℓ/day average dry weather flow, as well as ensuring compliance with the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998). This upgrade comprised a new inlet works, a new 27 Mℓ/day MBR lane that can handle a peak flow of 67.5 Mℓ/day, the rejuvenation of the existing plant to an 8 Mℓ/day conventional activated sludge (CAS) plant with ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and new sludge treatment facilities. The plant’s design included other innovative features, such as a sophisticated control system, odour eradication,


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Creating Concrete Possibilities


The new inlet works

The new state-of-the-art administration building surrounded by landscaping

energy-efficient technologies and contextdriven, sustainable design. By minimising pumping through the works and adopting energy efficient technologies, such as a fine bubble diffused aeration system in the MBR lane, which is 15% to 20% more energy efficient than traditional technologies, the plant offers significant energy savings. UV disinfection technology was adopted for the effluent of the CAS lane, which is an environmentally friendly solution over the conventional chlorine disinfection method, and also disrupts and kills a wider spectrum of harmful microorganisms. The plant was designed to be fully automated using a state-of-the-art distributed PLC system, necessary due to the complexity of the works and to ensure that the process control and operating efficiency is optimised. The Scada system controls all main process units to maximise the equipment run time and ensure optimal energy-efficiency on all processes. In addition, the facility was designed in such a manner that it can be easily retrofitted with a direct potable reuse facility and biogasto-energy facility, ensuring that the plant is future ready. The construction process was implemented in two phases, with Phase 1 commissioned in March 2019, comprising the inlet works, MBR lane, administration building, generator building and sludge treatment facilities. Phase 2 comprised the existing CAS lane commissioned in April 2020. The upgrade will cater for flows from the town up until 2035, allowing for further development and economic growth in the area. “This project is a testament to the technical skills in the South African water industry, where municipal authorities, in partnership with consulting engineers and contractors, can provide solutions that are innovative, sustainable, operator-centric and communityfocused,” says Neeren Govender, client director: Water, Zutari. The state-of-the-art infrastructure facility has significantly improved the state of the Eerste River and the quality of water available for users, while placing Stellenbosch at the forefront of wastewater treatment in Africa. Not only is the project ensuring that wastewater is treated to the highest of standards, but it also ensures resilience of the town’s future water supply, while boasting the status of being the largest MBR WWTW in South Africa.

IMIESA February 2021


Joint International Conference with IMESA & IAWEES


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





CATEGORIES • Environment

• Energy

• Water and Sanitation

• Financial, Legal and Regulatory

• Transport, Roads

• Data management

and Stormwater


09 April 2021

marketing@imesa.org.za | tel +27 031 266 3263

Contact Melanie Stemmer for an entry form or download it from the website. CONFERENCE ENDORSED BY

t: +27 (031)266 3263 e: conference@imesa.org.za marketing@imesa.org.za www.imesa.org.za



WATER REUSE DECENTRALISATION Is it the answer to water shortages in South Africa? There is a growing interest in decentralised wastewater treatment systems, especially in South Africa, with its water scarcity and water management issues. With nearly three decades of experience in membrane plants and water treatment equipment, QFS explores the topic.

OUR CURRENT SITUATION: South Africa’s growing water crisis can be attributed to the following reasons:

• Climate change • Illegal water connections • Pipe leaks that account for up to 40% water loss • Neglected maintenance • Postponement of water infrastructure projects • Pollution

Aerial view of the Midmar WTP during the early stages of the contract

WHAT ARE OTHER COUNTRIES DOING TO ADDRESS THEIR WATER CRISES? • Decentralising wastewater treatment sites where water and wastewater treatment is placed at the site of supply or demand or, ideally, both – it’s a flexible, sustainable alternative to large treatment plants that require miles of costly supply and delivery infrastructure • Establishing distributed infrastructure at community or household level • Reducing operator involvement in treatment plants and increasing automation • Lowering chemical dependency • Using proven technologies for domestic wastewater recycling • Keeping potable water closer to users • Containerised water treatment plants for remote areas • Augmenting water supply with non-conventional water sources such as treated wastewater reuse and desalination

IS THE REUSE OF WASTEWATER SAFE? • Reused wastewater projects have been conducted globally • Although water reuse is not widely utilised across South Africa, there are some local success stories that span over 10 years • There is a lot of ongoing research into different wastewater reuse processes and South Africa can benefit from these studies • Indirect wastewater reuse has matured internationally

WASTEWATER REUSE CAN BE THE ANSWER TO SOUTH AFRICA’S WATER WOES • New business/employment opportunities • Forge partnerships within the community • QFS has installed three direct reuse sites that are decentralised from the metro infrastructure • Reuse is a safe and viable augmentation solution even on a small scale • There are many robust, proven solutions for decentralised wastewater treatment plants

Beaufort West Reclamation Plant (2.3 MLD)

De Doorns UF Reuse Plant (1.7 MLD)

IMIESA February 2021


The City of eThekwini forms one of the three pilots in Phase I of the DDM

Industry engagement on DDM implementation The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (Cogta’s) District Development Model (DDM) is defined by the ‘One Plan’ approach – a new way of improving municipal infrastructure performance. But how will the DDM work in practice? By Alastair Currie


he challenges of local government underdeliver y are well documented by the Auditor-General’s repor ts over the past seven years. Despite the recommendations, the situation for the bulk of South Africa’s municipalities continues to worsen, in part due to fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as maladministration. The ability to reverse underperforming municipal performance is further compounded by the loss of skilled personnel in critical areas like engineering services and finance. Then there’s the prevalent culture of nonpayment by consumers and business for key municipal services, like water and electricity. This places further pressure on municipal performance, since these budgeted revenue streams are crucial for the maintenance and upgrading of essential services that are key to regional socio-economic development. However, where there’s a will there’s a way, and Cogta’s DDM is set to be a game changer.


IMIESA February 2021

It’s vital that this model works in practice, since investor confidence and service delivery hinge on a positive outcome. It also influences how funds are released and co-managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as the implementing partner for Cogta and government’s South African Infrastructure Fund roll-out. The DDM strategy is directed at South Africa’s 44 district municipalities and eight metros. In addition to the provision of loans to municipalities, the DBSA plays an expert role in transitioning prefeasibility and feasibility projects to a bankable stage for potential local and international investors in terms of public-private partnerships – a vital element underpinning the success of the Infrastructure Fund and the DDM. Here, government’s commitment to R100 billion in start-up capital is interdependent on a tenfold commitment from private sector investors to meet targeted project outcomes. Prime examples of bankable projects in terms of the Infrastructure Fund are DBSAapproved ‘shovel ready’ initiatives. These include student and social housing, as well as South Africa’s renewable energy and rural electrification programmes.

DDM objectives Cogta defines the DDM as “an operational model for improving cooperative governance aimed at building a capable, ethical developmental state.” To work effectively, the three spheres of government and state entities must work in unison in “an impact-oriented way, and where there is higher performance and accountability for coherent service delivery and development outcomes.” The overriding goal is that service delivery will be “more practical, achievable, implementable, measurable and clearly

aligned to the key priorities of government.” That’s the rationale behind the DDM’s One Plan solution. Community participation is key to the implementation process. This includes the creation of cooperative industries and employment generation opportunities via initiatives like labour-intensive construction programmes and catalytic projects. Through a common set of objectives, the DDM strives to pool private and public sector expertise to balance the equation for every municipality. Essentially, every municipality should have an equal opportunity to grow.

Three pilots in progress Presently, there are three DDM pilot models under way. These are taking place in O.R. Tambo District Municipality (Eastern Cape), Waterberg District Municipality (Limpopo), and the City of eThekwini (KwaZulu-Natal). In terms of economic success, eThekwini leads with a clear margin, while Waterberg benefits from a strong mining and agricultural sector. In contrast, O.R. Tambo is the most economically vulnerable, being ranked among South Africa’s 10 poorest regions. However, O.R. Tambo has huge coastal tourism, ocean economy and agricultural potential, the latter currently only sitting at around 2% of regional GDP.

Industry webinar to assess engagement On 27 January 2021, Cogta and the DBSA co-hosted a webinar entitled ‘What is the government’s District Development Model and is it achievable?’. It was attended by more than 1 300 built environment delegates, all of whom have a vested stake in the successful roll-out of government’s infrastructure programmes as a catalyst for micro and macro growth. The devastating impact of Covid-19


makes this even more of a priority. (The video recording is available for viewing on YouTube.) The delegates’ questions and the panel responses to the webinar are encapsulated in IMIESA’s Industr y Insight thought leadership piece, published alongside this article in the February 2021 edition (see pages 22 and 23). On the webinar panel were Chucheka Mhlongo, head: Local Government Support, DBSA (moderator); Cheune Ramphele, group executive: Infrastructure Deliver y Division, DBSA; Themba Fosi, deputydirector general, Cogta; Dr Tracy Ledger, senior researcher, Public Affairs Research Institute; Professor Louis Scheepers, School of Government: University of the Western Cape; and Xavier Mac Master, head: DDM, DBSA. The following commentary expresses the viewpoints of Ledger and Scheepers. As a starting point, Fosi opened by stating that South Africa’s legislative mandate calls for the three tiers of government to work together to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Within this context, there are three important principles, namely people-centred development that creates functional and liveable environments; spatialisation, with specific reference to deliverables in terms of budgets and projects – urban and rural; and reprivatisation. Each province has a responsibility to unlock the potential through an enabling environment. Across the board, a renewed focus on talent acquisition and human capital development at municipal level is an essential part of the DDM process.

Evidence-based planning For any plan to work, however, evidencebased planning is a prerequisite. Simply put,

One Plan development and implementation process flow

Ledger says the vital work on the ground can only happen if municipalities have the requisite internal implementation capability – the context within which capacity is applied. Implementation must be an integral part of the planning process. She says it’s all about the context and the key questions that must be answered. These include the question, “Do we have what it takes?” and, more importantly, “Do we know what it takes?” That’s the jump off point for verifying internal capabilities that translate into realistic prioritisation models. Accurate information – the evidence – is needed to develop workable and realistic plans. From there, municipalities can decide on what is achievable and communicate this transparently to their communities. Examples would include the implementation of water and sanitation projects and the realistic management of community expectations. Building trust is essential.

Alignment and the will to execute Capacity or its absence remains the enabler or the brakes to much needed, coherent and accelerated infrastructure execution. As Scheepers emphasises, alignment requires joint planning and participation by all relevant stakeholders. Succinctly, he says that the capacity to deliver comes down to two fundamentals, namely the ability to do things, and the will. Historically, the stumbling

blocks have been incoherent planning, budgeting and implementation. Another factor is the constant change of officials within municipalities, which leads to short-term and fragmented approaches. Going forward, Scheepers identifies four key hurdles to municipal performance that need to be addressed and resolved. These comprise South Africa’s currently complex legislative environment; the way local municipalities are currently demarcated; fiscal and financial capacity: the ability to raise the revenue due and utilise it optimally; and the complexities of political and administrative leadership capacity and influence.

A three-pronged approach Scheepers recommends a three-pronged approach that responds, resets and rebounds based on practical experiential learning. Adaptability is key, based on the economic realities of each geographic region within the DDM’s scope. Infrastructure roll-outs should be underpinned by short- and mediumterm action plans, coupled with continuous monitoring and evaluation. Throughout this process, bringing technology onboard is an overriding priority for near real-time project and programme management outcomes. In summary, the collective view is that theory needs to be proven by practice. That’s because, from the outset, the DDM is intended as a practical and workable model that hinges on joint planning and delivery. Ultimately, that’s the goal of the One Plan.

Limpopo’s Waterberg benefits from strong mining, tourism and agricultural sectors

IMIESA February 2021



The reality of government’s DDM When infrastructure plans don’t achieve their objectives, there’s a breakdown in trust between government, business and civil society. The District Development Model (DDM) of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) sets out to address this, with the Development Bank of Southern Africa appointed as an implementing partner. But can Plan, the Spatial Development government’s DDM deliver? Initiative, and the National Spatial By Alastair Currie


ncouraging open debate and inclusive viewpoints is the foundation for excellence in any society or nation. For South Africa’s construction sector, this is especially important given its negative GDP performance in recent years, which has had a corresponding knockon effect in terms of shrinking employment. Government’s response to Covid-19 is an infrastructure-led economy, and South Africa’s world-class built environment sector is more than ready. But is government? On 27 January 2021, Cogta and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) cohosted a webinar entitled ‘What is the government’s District Development Model and is it achievable?’ Government has appointed the DBSA as an implementing partner for the roll-out of the DDM. The webinar panel responses are published in this edition in an article entitled ‘Industry engagement on DDM implementation’. This article is the flip side of the coin, where we report on what the delegates thought within the real world of construction and service delivery. After all, this is not the first government attempt at a transformational infrastructure model. Past examples include Project Consolidate in 2005, the 2009 Local Government Turnaround Strategy, and Back to Basics in 2014. These have all run in parallel with overarching initiatives such as the National Development


IMIESA February 2021

Development Perspective. The two industry experts on the webinar panel were Dr Tracy Ledger, senior researcher, Public Affairs Research Institute; and Professor Louis Scheepers from the School of Government at the University of the Western Cape. Common responses stressed the need for clarity on the when, where and how?

Positive poll survey While there’s a great deal of frustration from industry, the upside is that the built environment remains cautiously optimistic; however, many feel their hands are tied by public decisionmakers with limited or no proven field experience in successfully budgeting and implementing infrastructure programmes. This cautious optimism is reflected in the webinar poll survey, where 69% answered ‘Yes’ to the question, ‘Does South Africa have real prospects in achieving the vision of the DDM?’ Some 73% said the DDM was achievable; however, only 41% said ‘Yes’ to the question, ‘Do we have evidence demonstrating the success of localising and spatialising in the context of local government initiatives?’ The last response shows that there’s definite misalignment. But that’s the rationale for this debate in the first place, and the DDM’s introduction: nothing meaningful can be achieved if the private and public sector are not equal stakeholder partners.

What the delegates said Any built environment professional – public

or private – in the 45-year-plus band will have invaluable input since they comprise graduates with 20 or more years’ applied experience post 1994. They also comprise the essential mentorship group that will transition the next generation to professional registration. Mature delegates dominated, which makes their opinions count. Most delegates said they’d experienced a “lack of a development logic” and some questioned whether previous models hadn’t ended up compounding the situation. Examples cited included the over-regulation of local government with complex legislation that few were qualified to understand or implement. For some, this has led to a “strangulation of local government effectiveness”. Others questioned the ‘bigger is better model’, particularly when it comes to the demarcation of municipal boundaries. An overriding question was, ‘How do we get the right people in place?’ This is an obvious one, given the evidence presented by the Auditor-General’s reports on underperforming municipalities over the past decade.

Joint planning Breaking down silos within the three spheres of government is a key policy shift. The emphasis is now on joint planning and execution, as defined by the DDM’s One Plan approach. ‘Will this joint planning philosophy work in practice?’ asked delegates, citing the previous infrastructure development framework models. Added to this were the questions: ‘How do we avoid repeating past mistakes?’ and, ‘Can we stick to the DDM plan?’


THE DBSA AS AN IMPLEMENTING PARTNER Examples of blended finance feasibility programmes in progress Programme > SAFE (Sanitation Appropriate for Education) > Provincial Roads Funding Product > Public Land Value Maximisation > Water & Sanitation PSP Model > S HIP (Student Housing Infrastructure Programme)

Panel viewpoints on delegate questions Many delegates felt the quantum leap could only work if there’s a radical culture change. The questions posed were: ‘What cultural and behavioural changes are required to migrate into the new way of doing things?’ and, ‘Do we have to wait for another set of changes in regulations before DDM implementation?’ The response from Cogta is that government’s DDM provides that quantum shift opportunity to improve the overall ability of the state. This includes the greater adoption of technology in areas like geospatial data management and analysis. Cogta says the DDM is different because it’s instituted in terms of the Constitution and the Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Framework Act (No. 13 of 2005). In terms of the IGR, the Minister of Cogta has the power to regulate the alignment or regulation of plans across the three spheres of government; however, the DDM is not on standby pending regulation changes. Cogta emphasises that any change in regulation will run in parallel with the DDM roll-out and be refined accordingly. Delegates and panelists agreed that we’re in a race against time to consolidate, recover and rebound from the socio-economic crisis exacerbated by Covid-19.

MEASURABLE DESIRED FUTURE IN EACH DISTRICT/METRO - Population - Economy - Space - Environmental resources - Services - Governance

Target market > Public schools > Provincial governments > Metros and intermediate city municipalities (ICMs) > ICMs and under-resourced municipalities > Universities and TVET colleges

How will the DDM break the past negative cycle of underperformance? Cogta says that the DDM should not be viewed as another programme targeted at local government. In response, delegates asked if the joint planning approach was an effective means on its own of addressing implementation capability. Invited to respond, Dr Ledger says the short answer is no. Dr Ledger cites studies in the USA where studies have shown that policies and plans really have a limited impact on what gets done or doesn’t. The crucial deciding factor is the functionality of the state and not the plan itself. The importance of organisational cultures is a major influencing factor in ultimate success or failure. Historically, Dr Ledger says South Africa has focused too much on the plan and only started to look at implementation capabilities when things begin unravelling. Establishing open trust and communication is vital in restoring dysfunctional municipalities and depends on a participative, problem-solving culture. A cooperative relationship.

The fiscal reality Beyond the needed behavioural changes, the practical reality is that the DDM needs fiscal support to work. Part of this will come via

IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE - Transformed economy and conducive business environment - Responsive social safety net - Inclusive, compact spatial pattern and settlements - Environmental resource protection - Sustainable infrastructure network - Universal, reliable, affordable services

As long-term strategic frameworks, the One Plans contain short-, medium- and long-term outcomes, actions and commitments. They will identify immediate basic service delivery issues that can be quickly resolved, as well as critical short-term interventions. (Source: Cogta)

central government and financial institutions, with the balance either directly or indirectly (e.g. via municipal rates and taxes) from regional private sector investors. However, the delegates said the industry needed more assurance that greater steps would be taken to eradicate maladministration, as well as wasteful and fruitless expenditure. Placing competent financial management at local government level is an essential starting point. Adding his thoughts on the ‘Will it work this time?’ debate, Professor Scheepers said government’s DDM presents exciting opportunities. He pointed out that where local government has failed in the past, this was indicative of the state. In explaining what excites him about the DDM, he stated, “We now have a chance to look at government performance holistically.”

Conclusions In the end, it’s all about a meeting of the minds in achieving common goals. Delegates and panelists agreed that re-professionalising the public service is an obvious priority. Government and industry also need to come together to create business plans for municipalities, particularly poorer ones, to unlock their economic potential. With the right people, policies and procedures in place, everyone agrees that government’s DDM provides an excellent opportunity to restart and rebuild municipal economies.



IMIESA February 2021



The District Development Model Conundrum A high-level analysis of the experiences and feedback from the District Development Model’s (DDM’s) three pilot sites yield important lessons that can help make the final DDM outcome a success. By Gundo Maswime*


outh African public infrastructure remains inadequate and poorly located. Historically, infrastructure planning was the forte of engineers who had a budget and a list of priorities. Their priority list would be presented to their political principals who would make slight amendments to the list before it was adopted. This worked well in towns and cities that had engineers and a sizeable budget. But, because this was happening in a segregated country, islands of infrastructure excellence existed amid a sea of squalor and debilitating lack of infrastructure for many. These disparities have continued in many parts of the country despite the increased expenditure in public infrastructure over the past 27 years.


IMIESA February 2021

Optimising the impact of infrastructure expenditure has not been possible in part due to the gaps in planning coordination between the various spheres of government. This is the raison d’être of the DDM of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). Cabinet adopted the DDM on 21 August 2019 with the objective of improving the coherence and impact of government ser vice deliver y across the three spheres of government. The model is being piloted in eThekwini Metro in KwaZuluNatal, Waterberg district in Limpopo and O.R. Tambo district in the Eastern Cape. There are three questions that need to be asked: • Was the model based on an accurate diagnosis of the problem(s)?

Gundo Maswime

• Was the model the most appropriate instrument to solve the problem(s)? • What are the main issues that the pilot sites have taught us?

Was the model based on an accurate diagnosis of the problem(s)? In 2000, the government introduced Integrated Development Planning, embedded in chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act (No. 32 of 2000). This framework attempted to formalise planning by creating and enforcing public participation in municipality-wide planning for each five-year cycle. Five years later, the Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Framework Act (No. 13 of 2005) was promulgated. Because section 40(1) of the Constitution gives each sphere of government autonomy to make final decisions on any matter within their jurisdiction, there was a need to ensure that there was also cooperation and coordination between and within the three spheres of government. This was the key objective of the IGR. The challenges that the DDM aims to solve emanate from two noble aspirations in the Constitution. The first is the aspiration to build a state that values the participation of ordinary citizens in development planning, and the second is the aspiration to ensure that the different arms of state do not bully and manipulate each other. Unfortunately, citizens in many instances ‘took over’ the planning function from planners and engineers. Because the citizens have powers to employ and dismiss politicians, the politicians gravitated towards their wishes more than the professional input of engineers and planners.


In many municipalities, the infrastructure master plan priorities are a wish list for the engineer, while the Integrated Development Plan is the document with the greatest urgency, because it contains the community’s priorities. This, in itself, is not a problem until it becomes evident that the community doesn’t prioritise infrastructure upgrades unless there are service interruptions. This means maintenance becomes reactive and, when disaster strikes, the overlooked engineer is at the centre of the storm. The second noble aspiration of the Constitution is the autonomy of each of the three spheres of government. Bulk services that cross municipal boundaries can be a priority for one municipality and not at all for the other. Even roads are tarred up to one municipal boundary before they become gravel on the other side of the municipal boundary. These two aspirations of the Constitution are the reason why we have a skewed investment in public infrastructure. This has kept public infrastructure poorly located and inadequate. The DDM only addresses the cross-border planning issue and not the spinoff of the power dynamics between engineers and citizens within the municipal boundaries.

Was the model the most appropriate instrument to solve the problem(s)? The mobilisation of the DDM suggests the state concedes that the IGR framework was inadequate to facilitate planning across the three spheres in government. The DDM is not an act of Parliament – it does not carr y the legal weight that the IGR does. None of the pilot sites have municipalities that are run by opposition political par ties. There is a risk that when the full model is rolled out, some

opposition-par ty-led municipalities will refuse to participate. Could regulations or a circular have been enough to close the gaps within the IGR framework that warranted the conception of the model? If this was opted for, the sentiment that the model is being used as a step towards central planning, which will grab the smaller municipalities through a back door, could have been managed.

progress and find ways of removing bottlenecks that are caused by lapses in intergovernmental relations. The second impact is that planning will be widened to the district level, so that neighbouring municipalities will plan crossborder and bulk infrastructure together, coordinate budgets, and time the construction period to optimise the outcome.

District management What are the main issues that the pilots taught us? At national level, planning is handled by the Department of Land Reform, Agriculture and Rural Development, while IGR is Cogta’s responsibility. The DDM is being implemented by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. There are inherent challenges with coordination when no single department is given full responsibility to make it happen. This has been the experience of officials in both provincial and local government pilot sites. The second outcome of the trial sites was the realisation that officials in local government did not want any new structures. The new planning structures envisaged in the founding documents had to be set aside in some of the trial sites. The result of this is that every site has a significantly different approach. The essence, however, is that a technical structure of officials compiles reports and presents to a political structure for consideration and adoption. This will be very tedious when all 44 districts and eight metros begin implementation. The real change in the planning approach the DDM brings is to ensure that all three spheres of government sit in one room to consolidate and adopt their plans. They would then constantly meet to monitor

It is important to note that the word ‘district’ in DDM does not mean the district municipality will provide leadership. The planning function will not necessarily be chaired and coordinated by the district municipality. The fact that the district municipality is not a chair or coordinator of the DDM planning process is a relief to behold for many reasons – one of which must be emphasised. The district municipality typically has less technical capacity than the local municipalities. There is also a very disturbing trend of using the district municipality as a refuge for fallen politicians who would ‘cause trouble if they are left unemployed’. They are habitually appointed in administrative positions in district municipalities where some don’t even report for duty. Among these are managers and assistant managers in very strategic positions. The success of the model will be measured by its ability to holistically improve and link important infrastructure units across local municipalities. It will require a clear definition of roles and the flexibility to change the format to suit the dictates of the regions. *Gundo Maswime is a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and researcher in public infrastructure.

IMIESA February 2021



We need MORE than promises and rhetoric South Africa’s National Water Week campaign takes place between 15 and 22 March, with the aim of educating the public about their responsibility in water conser vation initiatives and raising awareness around the need to protect and conser ve the countr y’s water resources. By Jan Venter


hile SAPPMA (Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association) applauds and supports the idea behind the campaign, its focus and impact should stretch far beyond mere educational purposes. More than ever before, it needs to stimulate authorities into action. South Africa is facing a water catastrophe that has been years in the making. Here are some frightening facts and figures: • The mean average rainfall for our countr y is only 495 mm per year – compared to the equivalent world figure of 860 mm. Roughly 21% of our countr y receives less than 200 mm precipitation per annum. • South Africa has less than 2 000 m3 of water per person per year, compared to 15 000 m3 in the USA. This is exacerbated by a massive and unplanned influx of people from all over Africa, which places severe stress on our resources.


IMIESA February 2021

Dr Anthony Turton, professor in the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State, predicts that South Africa will need 1.6 times the amount of water than will naturally be available by 2030. • More than 50% of South Africa’s wetlands, known as nature’s water filters, have been lost. Of those that remain, 33% are in poor ecological condition. •  According to the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan that was released in 2018, 56% of wastewater plants and 44% of water treatment works are in a poor or critical condition; 11% are completely dysfunctional. Three quarters of the water pumped back into rivers by municipal treatment plants has not been properly treated and contains harmful pathogens. •  Due to pollution, only 47% of our water bodies have good quality water, compared to Zimbabwe, which currently sits at 76%.

Jan Venter, CEO of SAPPMA

•  More than a third (about 35%) of the properly treated water that is finding its way back into distribution systems is lost due to theft or leakage due to poor infrastructure. This amounts to approximately 1 660 million m3 per year. In 2013, Trevor Balzer, in his position as acting director general of the Department of Water Affairs, stated that South Africa would need about R700 billion over the next 10 to 15 years to refurbish the nation’s water infrastructure and improve the supply situation. A year earlier, Edna Molewa, then the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, raised the possibility of attracting funds from foreign investors for the maintenance of the ageing water infrastructure, hinting at the possibility of partial privatisation of some treatment plants. Today, almost a decade later, the government’s National and Sanitation Master Plan states that R33 billion per year for the next 10 years will be required to


achieve water security. Although we have heard many statements and promises made over the past few years, we have unfortunately seen ver y little action.

Electricity and water crises linked Our current electricity crisis is characterised by power cuts or load-shedding, which has become a regular occurrence. As a nation, we have adapted to this situation by way of standby generators, investing in solar panels or simply better planning our activities. Not many people realise, however, that there is a definite interdependence between water and energy. Water is required to generate electricity, while a large portion of electricity is used to pump and distribute water. The cost and availability of electricity at present is therefore a big stumbling block to desalinate sea water, which would anyway only be economically available in coastal areas (estimated at 2 kWh/m3). Interrupted water supply will

be catastrophic and clearly a totally different ball game to interrupted electricity supply.

a non-profit organisation, we work not only for the well-being of the plastic pipe industr y, but also for the welfare of the people of the countr y. Plastic pipes SAPPMA is responsible for ensuring Plastic pipes are dominant in secondar y that the piping systems used in our water distribution and SAPPMA represents countr y’s water distribution are designed, more than 80% of all certified pipes produced and installed in the best possible manner and in accordance with international and national standards. We make sure that plastic pipes have a long-term and leak-free life. The message from SAPPMA during this year's Water Week is therefore an urgent appeal to government to give water and sewage infrastructure the high priority it deser ves. We urge the department to only appoint people with the necessar y engineering skills and experience into Jan Venter, CEO of SAPPMA positions of authority and allow private industr y to form partnerships with our public enterprises, so produced in South Africa. We are therefore that we can secure our water supply for a key role player in water. Since we are future generations.

“The message from SAPPMA during this year's Water Week is therefore an urgent appeal to government to give water and sewage infrastructure the high priority it deserves… so that we can secure our water supply for future generations.”

KEEPING UP A GOOD FLOW The smooth, inner bore of plastic pipes minimises friction loss, requires less pumping energy and helps maintain a steady flow – contributing to significant cost savings and environmental benefits. In the case of gravity pipelines, self-cleaning velocities will be achieved at gradients not possible for traditional materials. BENEFITS OF PLASTIC PIPES: • requires less pumping energy • excellent hydraulic properties regardless of age • very cost-effective • environmentally friendly

Plastic pipe systems are manufactured in long lengths and therefore have a much lower joint frequency than traditional systems, thereby drastically reducing friction losses as well as potential leaks.

Invest in good quality plastic pipes bearing the SAPPMA mark of quality for peace of mind. These pipes have been locally produced and manufacturers undergo regular, independent auditing to confirm they meet stringent local and international standards. When the pipes reach their end-of-life as water and sewer systems after 100+ years, it can be recycled and thereby play an important role in contributing to the circular economy. Visit www.sappma.co.za for more information.


Restoration of



esidents within the Ezakheni and Ladysmith areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal can now enjoy an uninterrupted and consistent supply of quality water due to the refurbishment of the pump station at Ezakheni Water Treatment Works (WTW). This is one of three WTWs that bulk water services provider Umgeni Water has been contracted to manage within uThukela District Municipality. Yovesh Danilala, project manager at Umgeni Water, said that when they took over the infrastructure, they found that the pump station had fallen into a state of disrepair: “A month after accepting control of the plant, there was a catastrophic failure at the raw water line where we lost three pumps. Funds were made available to bring the pump station back to its original condition. This meant that we had to

While the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of various water projects last year, the refurbishment of the Ezakheni pump station was completed successfully. By Kirsten Kelly install six vertical 18 HC three-stage pumps plus auxiliaries.”

APE Pumps In 1983, APE Pumps supplied the WTW with six vertical 18 HC two-stage pumps. Being at the forefront of pump innovation within the Southern African market for close to seven decades, APE Pumps conducts manufacturerwarranted repairs and supplies new OEM pumps and valves. The company also offers a turnkey consulting, installation and commissioning service. According to John Montgomery, general manager for APE Pumps, the pump station never used the OEM for

maintenance, repairs or spare parts. Upon inspection, the pump station was found in disarray. “The pumps that we had installed 38 years ago were all exactly the same, but when we inspected the pump station last year, we found that some pumps were vertical, some pumps were submersible, and nothing was the same. This makes servicing the pumps very difficult because the parts are not interchangeable. Furthermore, over the years, non-OEM replicated parts were used. That has serious implications for overall system performance, since it’s rare for replicated parts to exactly fit the original OEM tolerance specifications. The precise tolerances that need to be achieved can be as exact as one thousandth of a millimetre,” explains Montgomery. Umgeni Water contracted APE Pumps to restore the Ezakheni

Umgeni Water contracted APE Pumps to restore the Ezakheni pump station to its original condition.


BEFORE AFTER pump station to its original condition. This included desilting the intake chamber by using divers and specialised equipment, as well as installing and commissioning the two transformers, six variable-speed drives (VSDs) and all the necessary electrical auxiliaries and instrumentation. APE was tasked with the manufacture, transport and commissioning of the pumps, and had to complete all required electrical work, piping and structural work. Lights and cranes were also set up and all base plates were replaced to reduce vibration.

Manifold When ‘pump A’ was installed at the far left of the pump station, the original manifold burst and there was a massive break in one of the pipes. The manifold was placed under the MCC (motor control centre) and all of the electrical equipment was damaged. To prevent this from happening again, APE mechanical and structural engineers decided to extend the platform, place the manifold and pipework outside the pump station, and turn the pumps 180 degrees to face the river and not the building. Danilala adds that the design also aids with friction loss, as the pipework has a smoother curve for the water flow. “The manifold discharges into two pipelines: a 600 and 400 pipeline. A bypass was also installed to ensure that all six pumps can pump water up either pipeline. Three pumps are typically on duty and three are on standby. This makes any future maintenance of the pumps easier, as the water supply will not be affected.” says Danilala. Other than a 12-hour shutdown to replace the existing manifold and turn around the pump suction, water supply was maintained. One pump was installed at a time and tied into

the existing pipeline. At every point during the build, the impact on the volume of water going into the plant had to be considered.

Regular maintenance ensures that pumps are working optimally, there is minimal downtime, and the life of the pump is extended.

New technology


“Pumps installed in 1983 and 2020 are all high quality and specialised, as they have to pump water straight out of the Tugela River. Each pump is capable of achieving a 60 m/h pump head and can pump between 500 m³/h and 750 m³/h per unit using VSD technology. The pumps have cover tubes to protect the shafts, reducing maintenance needs,” explains Montgomery. The major difference between pumps installed in 1983 and pumps installed in 2020 is in improved efficiency. The pump station has moved from using 200 kW/h of power to 120 kW/h. Furthermore, VSDs are used instead of soft starters. This means that the speed of each pump can be adjusted, and the flow of water can be regulated. Pump per formances (flow, pressure, temperature of bearings, vibration, running hours) can be monitored remotely.

“The entire project was completed within six months. The hard lockdown last year did not postpone this project because we manufacture our pumps locally and did not have to wait for international deliveries,” states Montgomery. “During these hard times, APE Pumps staff and suppliers worked tirelessly in order to complete this project on time – supplying the customer and community with exceptional service.” Danilala adds that, due to Covid-19, there were a few additional safety protocols in place and an Umgeni safety officer frequently visited the site to ensure compliance. “We all travelled with the requisite documentation. The only issues we ever experienced were finding food and accommodation after hours.” Today, the Ezakheni pump station extracts 38 Mℓ/day and supplies 32 Mℓ/day of water to its regions. With the upgrade and implementation of six new pump units and the use of VSDs, these pumps are able to produce over 100 Mℓ/day. The restoration of the Ezakheni pump station reflects Umgeni Water’s mission to provide innovative, sustainable, effective and affordable bulk water and sanitation ser vices.

Maintenance contract These readings assist with preventative maintenance. APE has a two-year maintenance contract with Umgeni Water, analysing all readings generated remotely and visiting the Ezakheni site once a month.

New electrical equipment at Ezakheni WTW

IMIESA February 2021



Bennie Greyling Managing Director | AECI Much Asphalt

Flexibility and innovation Quality assurance is a key differentiator in the competitive asphalt and bitumen segments, as is innovation, says Bennie Greyling, managing director, AECI Much Asphalt. Here he responds to questions on market oppor tunities, capabilities and developments. How is AECI Much Asphalt responding to opportunities? BG Obviously, the last 12 months have been very tough, but we have managed to maintain our capacity in terms of people and production. We have 16 static and four mobile asphalt plants in Southern Africa, as well as three binder manufacturing facilities.

Do you have solutions for labourintensive construction? Our hot and cold asphalt products can be used for pothole repair and small-scale surfacing, and we also have modified bitumen products for use in slurry seals, chip seals and crack sealing products.

What is the strategy for the lowvolume roads market? Our range includes products such as Sand Mix and Micro Surfacing, which are designed for low-volume roads, residential streets and walkways. These products can be manufactured using local materials and offer cost-effective alternatives to conventional asphalt roads. We also offer modified bitumen products for use with slurry seals, and excellent dust suppression solutions through our subsidiary, AECI SprayPave.

known and respected in the industry. They attract large numbers of delegates. This is important to ensure the sustainability of asphalt pavements in South Africa. We also provide training in general business and basic financial administration. As part of our adjusted procurement policy, we settle debt with SMMEs earlier than normal business practices to assist them in improving cash flow and strengthening working capital. Our BBBEE Level 1 status attests to our commitment to supporting SMMEs and industry transformation.

Just-in-time (JIT) delivery of your products is key. What sets AECI Much Asphalt apart? Due to the unreliable supply of some key resources, we have invested in our own storage capacity. While this practice goes against the JIT principle, it ensures that our customers’ contracts are ser viced without interruption.

In line with this strategy, AECI SprayPave operates the only multistage bitumen converter on the African continent capable of supplying multiple grades of bitumen in smaller quantities than is financially viable for oil refineries.

Please expand on your current supply projects. Our Cape Town production facilities in Eerste River and Contermanskloof are supplying a rubber modified asphalt to the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. In KwaZulu-Natal, current projects include the P338 between Camperdown and Thornville, supplied from our Pietermaritzburg plant, as well as the Bravo Taxiway project at King Shaka International Airport and various bus rapid transit work packages on the Inanda arterial supplied from Coedmore. Projects supplied from our Inland Region plants include the rehabilitation of the N4 near eMalahleni, the rehabilitation and upgrade of the N3 in Villiers, Free State, and a three-year supply of hot and cold asphalt to the Johannesburg Roads Agency.

What is AECI Much Asphalt’s policy on quality assurance? Our Central Laborator y in Cape Town holds ISO 17025:2017 accreditation and our Gauteng regional laborator y is expected to follow suit later this year. We intend to include the bitumen per formance grade tests, as well as some of the asphalt per formance tests in our already extended scope of accredited tests. All AECI Much Asphalt and AECI SprayPave plants have their own dedicated process control laboratories. These laboratories assure the quality of all products leaving the plants and form part of our commitment to our ISO 9001:2015 quality certification. www.muchasphalt.com A hand-laid hot asphalt workshop in progress at AECI Much Asphalt’s Roodepoort branch. This included input by AECI SprayPave on primes and emulsions

What assistance is provided in terms of SMME contractor development? Our free SMME workshops in the use of hotmix asphalt – covering topics from pothole repair to machine application – are well

IMIESA February 2021



Saied Solomons CEO | Sabita

COMMITTED TO paving excellence Maintaining and expanding South Africa’s paved road network is vital for sustained growth and community well-being. Saied Solomons, CEO, Southern African Bitumen Association (Sabita), expands on opportunities and technical developments. What are your thoughts on industry funding models? SS Given the changes we foresee in the short to medium term, it’s important to introduce a road funding regime that is both equitable and sustainable. This should ideally encompass a usage tariff, which includes distance travelled, mass of vehicle, road space and time of day (to assist with managing congestion). Sabita fully supports the establishment of a transport regulator, which was recently announced. This is a crucial step in setting future road transport usage tariffs, as well as providing clarity


IMIESA February 2021

for potential investors, be it via the fiscus, public-private partnerships or any form of hybrid approach.

Low-volume road projects are a key government focus in 2021. What are Sabita’s recommendations regarding the best technologies and techniques? If appropriate standard low-volume roads are provided and adequately maintained, this will have definite benefits for communities in terms of business and employment, plus access to basic services like health and education. As a proactive response, Sabita developed an in-depth guideline on the appropriate standards for low-volume roads, which has now been updated and incorporated in Sabita Manual 40. Adopting these guidelines could significantly improve the unit costs of upgrading gravel roads in South Africa. Within this context, it’s important to maximise labour-intensive construction methods and create opportunities for SMME development. Consideration should also be given to the: • incorporation of economic models to evaluate the feasibility of upgrading specific roads, taking into account the socio-economic benefits applicable for the affected communities •adoption of applicable design approaches, with the emphasis on the cost-effective utilisation of available (in situ) material • immediate roll-out and implementation of the guidelines on selected roads, which will include the initial training of implementation agencies/ consultants/SMME development.


revision of the relevant SANS test standards and Sabita protocols for asphalt testing.

What events will the Society for Asphalt Technology (SAT) be hosting this year? In its quest to deliver as a learned society, SAT will be hosting monthly seminars on a range of important technical and practical topics. For further details, visit www.socsat.co.za. The highlight will be SAT’s Annual Conference, which takes place on 9 September 2021. Details will be communicated to members well in advance, and on a regular basis.

What are the prospects for roads in 2021? Regarding technical manual updates, what’s new and what’s still to come in 2021? Last year, the following manuals were reviewed and updated: • Manual 2: Bituminous binders for road construction and maintenance: The revised manual covers the background, testing and compliance of the PG (performance grade) specification. • Manual 5: Guidelines for the manufacture and construction of asphalt: The revision document takes into account recent developments in the design of asphalt, as reflected in Sabita Manual 24 and Manual 35, which will impact on the management and execution of the construction of asphalt layers. • Manual 39: Laboratory test protocols: This details the laboratory test methods for bitumen stabilised materials, bitumen PG specification and for advanced testing of asphalt mixes. • Manual 40/TRH3: Design and construction of surfacing seals: A comprehensive guide made up of eight parts that details guidelines and procedures regarding the selection, design and construction of bituminous road surface treatments. • TG1: The use of modified bituminous binders in road construction: This document was updated to reflect the changes in the requisite test methods in the main. The following manuals are due for completion this year: • Manual 37/TMH5: Sampling methods for road construction materials: This has been reviewed by various people within Sanral and others in the industry. Comments received are now being considered and incorporated and it is envisaged that the manual will be published by year end. • TG3: The use of geosynthetics in pavements: The revised manual incorporates the latest design developments associated with geosynthetics. • Manual 26: Guidelines for primes, stone precoating fluids and bond coats: An extensive investigation into bond coats and the latest on precoating fluids will be featured in this update. • Manual 33: Design procedure for high modulus asphalt (EME): The update will focus on the incorporation of the PG specification parameters, sampling and testing frequencies. The scope of this manual will also include heavy-duty asphalt, covering an appropriate range of generic products. • Manual 35/TRH8: Design and use of asphalt in road pavements: This revision will feature updated nomenclature and formulas associated with the calculation of volumetric parameters. This will bring them into line with the nomenclature adopted for the

Last year proved to be extremely challenging for an industry that was already facing a severely depressed market. Despite these challenges, many managed to see the year through with a hope of a better tomorrow. There is an air of expectation for 2021 given the government’s commitment to infrastructure spend as a stimulus. To enable a much speedier economic recovery, it’s essential to find a solution to the lengthy and cumbersome procurement processes that bog down the roll-out of projects. There is thus much to be done during this period. That necessitates a work regime that is compliant with pandemic rules in order to enhance communal health. www.sabita.co.za A WIRTGEN GROUP COMPANY

Unbeatable team. www.wirtgen-group.com/technologies

ROAD AND MINERAL TECHNOLOGIES. With leading technologies from the WIRTGEN GROUP, you can handle all jobs in the road construction cycle optimally and economically: processing, mixing, paving, compacting and www.wirtgen-group.com/southafrica then rehabilitation. WIRTGEN SOUTH AFRICA · 52 Maple Street · Pomona Park 1619 IMIESA· Kempton January 2021 33 T: +27 (0)11 452 1838 · sales.southafrica@wirtgen-group.com


Avi Bhoora Executive: Construction Materials | AfriSam

QUALITY where it counts

Construction works in progress on the N1 during the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project

Providing multifaceted solutions for SMMEs and top-tier contractors, AfriSam’s 2021 roads market expansion strategy has a dual urban and rural focus. IMIESA speaks to Avi Bhoora, executive: Construction Materials, AfriSam, about the significance of quality materials.

The roads market is expected to grow in 2021. How is AfriSam responding to opportunities? AB With the current market for construction materials down to about a third of what it was at the peak of roadbuilding around 2012, the sector is certainly hoping for improvement in 2021. AfriSam is well placed to serve the market on the upswing, with more capacity that can be brought on stream as and when necessary. With the impact of Covid-19, we expect spatial development will move out from the cities, as will road development. In response to these opportunities, our strategy includes gearing up for more rural work, in addition to our traditional focus on urban centres. This means becoming


IMIESA February 2021

more flexible and mobile in our operations, such as converting equipment to a modular format that can be readily moved to and operated from outlying areas. For roadbuilders who are concerned about their carbon footprint, it is important to have a commercial supply of construction material as close to the road project as possible, reducing emissions from trucking. The challenge here, of unlicensed operators of ‘borrow pits’, will always remain.

What products are offered for cement stabilisation? Road contractors look to AfriSam for solutions to two important aspects of achieving a quality road – modification and stabilisation. When contractors must deal

with lower-quality material on-site – with high clay content and plasticity index – this generally needs to be modified with the use of lime. Higher-quality materials – those ‘bluer’ materials from the underlying rock layers rather than from the overburden – may require additional strengthening through stabilisation. Our Roadstab cement is a popular product in this regard, with its 32.5 classification in terms of SANS 50917-1. Manufactured at our Dudfield and Ulco factories, it is available both in bulk and in bags.

Why are quality aggregates so important for long-term durability? Key to successful roadbuilding is the creation of a sub-base, base and wearing

course that can withstand considerable load pressures from traffic, especially with large trucks causing increased dynamic loading on the road these days. Good aggregates are vital for constructing both a solid foundation and a resilient crust. The final layer must resist wearing from the wheels and provide a safe friction coefficient, especially in wet conditions. It must also withstand ultraviolet and infrared rays so that it ameliorates against deterioration over time. Different types of rock, such as dolerite and quartzite, are crushed to create aggregate and each has its own qualities to contribute. The mix design must carefully match these qualities to the requirements of the application. Among the important tests conducted to ensure road strength and durability are

the California bearing ratio, shrinkage from wet/dry cycles, and the aggregate crushing value. This all goes towards achieving an end result that will resist the ingress of water, which will wash out fines and quickly undermine the road’s integrity.

Does AfriSam have a strategy for the low-volume roads market? Low-volume roads, which are usually undertaken by provincial and municipal authorities, have an important role in our economy. Often located in rural areas where there may not be much vehicular traffic, they give people easier access to markets and facilities. AfriSam’s traditional focus is at the high end of the construction materials market – for instance, the G1 and G2 material for big roads linking cities and towns where

economies of scale promote critical mass. We also have capacity, however, to link up with contractors on a broad range of project types, to set up the necessary facilities to supply material where volumes allow for cost absorption.

How can AfriSam assist in terms of SMME contractor development? AfriSam has been involved for many years in new business development training, providing incubator programmes for people wanting to start small businesses. We also support small contractors through our Technical Department in their use of our products, as well as through our Centre of Product Excellence. This helps SMME contractors with skills, such as calculating their bills of quantities, or determining the


necessary quality of materials they should be using. There are also financial solutions that we offer to smaller businesses to help them deal with their limited liquidity. We also expect the SMMEs to play their part in terms of this collaboration, bringing their initiative, experience, responsibility and basic expertise.

close of business each day, every truck is allocated a schedule for the following day. For our readymix deliveries, we employ technologically advanced planning and tracking systems that ensure trucks arrive on-site within 15 minutes of their scheduled times. This does depend largely on customers’ cooperation to achieve planned cycle times.

Just-in-time delivery is key. What sets AfriSam apart from the competition?

Please expand on current supply projects.

Our experience has shown that just-in-time delivery for customers is crucial to their productivity and optimal usage of plant and equipment. Road contractors want to be able to do their flattening of material – following by mixing and compaction – without having to deal with rehandling material. They often cannot give us much lead time and could request 2 000 to 3 000 tonnes of material a day. Failure by suppliers to deliver quickly can lead to contractors having to pay costly penalties for not meeting deadlines, and also means that expensive equipment on-site can stand idle. To avoid this, we work with a project programme to ensure that we generate enough product in advance and have stock available for when the customer needs it. On the aggregate delivery side, we have a system that plans a day in advance – scheduling loads by capacity of truck. By

Recent road projects in Gauteng include the Watt Street Interchange in Wynberg near Sandton, where we provided almost 9 000 m3 of readymix for concrete works and conducted two large pours of over 550 m3 each. We have also supplied a road-widening project in the Marlboro area. In KwaZulu-Natal, there has been much activity, including a bridge upgrade in the bus rapid transit project at Inanda Road and interchange upgrades in Westville, Richmond Road and Camperdown. We are looking for ward to the release of large road upgrade projects on the N2 and N3 highways, which could total up to R40 billion in value, with an expected nine packages to be released by the road authority. So far, we have been awarded the contract to supply construction material to the road upgrade from Lynnfield Park to Dardanelles, south of Pietermaritzburg.

AfriSam supplied almost 9 000 m3 of readymix concrete to the Watt Street Interchange in Wynberg near Sandton

What is AfriSam’s policy on quality assurance? In terms of our aggregate quarries, there are various elements of AfriSam’s quality assurance and quality control imperative. As part of our quality assurance programme, we annually conduct a battery of tests at various frequencies to confirm the quality of our short-term reserves. We then follow up with process control and final product quality tests to ensure compliance to specification. As a member of the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (ASPASA), all our operations are audited for health, safety, environmental and other processes. Along with this accreditation, we have also won numerous ASPASA awards for our high levels of quality performance. In addition, we are probably the only construction materials supplier with ISO 90012015 accreditation, auditing all our operations every second year, while our management and centralised support functions are audited every year. The SABS is the authentication body that conducts our audits. The laboratory at our Centre of Product Excellence is one of the few that is accredited by the South African National Accreditation System. The final assurance is that we do carry product liability insurance.



Dr Lucas-Jan Ebels Division Head: Transportation | Mariswe

Roads and transpor tation infrastructure are the backbone of socio-economic development. Dr Lucas-Jan Ebels, division head: Transpor tation, Mariswe, expands on creative engineering solutions that improve the lives of the communities they ser ve. The roads market is expected to grow in 2021. How is Mariswe responding to opportunities? LE South Africa has experienced a decline in gross fixed capital formation since 2015, which has significantly impacted the road industry. Many construction and engineering companies – including Mariswe – have felt the brunt of this. While we do foresee increased opportunities in 2021, the key to turning opportunities into projects lies in budgets and resources available to road authorities and relevant government institutions for project implementation. Mariswe is continuing to engage with road authorities as a long-term partner, while also diversifying into new market segments.

How can Mariswe assist in terms of design innovation? Mariswe prides itself on seeking out and nurturing young, talented engineering professionals to deliver reliable and innovative design solutions to the highest standards. Through the years, we have improved our CAD design software by using active model design technologies and building information systems. While road engineering is seemingly a traditional discipline offering decades-old solutions, the advances that have been made are in the detail. For instance, limitations on the use of virgin road building aggregates drive recycling and the application of alternative materials. Good examples are the BSM technologies, warm mix asphalt, and the recycling of concrete and masonry aggregates. Our engineers have extensive knowledge and experience in the design and construction of such innovative technologies.

Value engineering creates capacity home-grown Integrated Construction Unit or ICU contract. From this, Mariswe also developed an ICU Lite methodology – a contractual framework that removes constraints to the participation of emerging enterprises in mainstream and high-profile capital projects. This is achieved through structured management of the risks of both the client and the emerging contractor. It incorporates mandatory structured training of emerging contractors and their staff to prepare them for future challenges outside the sheltered ICU Lite contracting environment. Mariswe has implemented successful road construction projects using ICU Lite in the private sector and we see great potential for it in area-wide maintenance contracts for district and municipal road networks. The ICU Lite methodology would facilitate meaningful participation of small and emerging contractors on road construction projects that would otherwise be inaccessible for them.

What’s the strategy for the low-volume roads market? Low-volume roads make up a significant portion of South Africa’s road network. Because they are generally not flagship or strategic projects, low-volume roads receive lower capital and operational investments than high-volume road infrastructure. However, the lowvolume roads sector receives significant attention from Mariswe – both in South Africa and throughout the continent. Recently, we were involved in the development of a low-volume roads design manual for three West African countries as part the Research for Community Access Partnership. In the past five years, Mariswe has also managed several outputand performance-based road contracts in African countries. This is a design-build-maintain-transfer contracting method promoted by the World Bank that is ideally suited to the maintenance and asset management of low-volume road networks.

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ENVIRONMENTAL & GEOTECHNICAL Cells being filled with 30 MPa grout, followed by a screed and float or brush finish

Labour-based CANAL CONSTRUCTION Labour-intensive construction (LIC) techniques remain a crucial element in job creation as South Africa tackles growing unemployment in rural and urban areas. A classic case study is the 2004 upgrading of the Hereford canal in Groblersdal, Limpopo, using Hyson Cells’ 3D BubbleLock geocells for the primary structure.


uring the upgrading of the Hereford canal, 117 800 m2 of geocells were used to add 29 km to the existing network, bringing the total length to around 44 km. The project was led by main contractor Group Five Civils, which was responsible for the earthworks that formed the canal’s parabolic shape. This

included the establishment of a compacted 200 mm river sand base on which the geotextile was directly placed and anchored, and the daily delivery to site of cement, sand and water for the community-based work teams. In turn, Hyson Cells was appointed as the specialist subcontractor for the installation of Hyson Cells system. Today, the canal remains leak-free and continues to supply water to the surrounding farming community. “On most of our LIC projects, one of our instructors provides on-site training for the contractor and labour on the best ways to rig and fill the cells. A critical component is the sand-cement grout fill material since the

cell construction methodology requires an unconventional cementitious mix design,” explains Sally Hall, director, Hyson Cells. “The end result, though, is a remarkable and consistent 30 MPa strength.”

800 m2 a day For the Hereford upgrade programme, each of the four LIC teams was given an approximately 200 m2 section to complete daily. Cell installation was straightforward, with the main tools required comprising 4 lb hammers and pliers. The Hyson Cells 3D BubbleLock sections, with their unique X&Y rigging, were 75 mm deep and supplied in 200 m² modules measuring 30 m in length. Each team comprised 25 labourers

The employment contract was negotiated and approved by the Groblersdal Department of Labour. Pay was a rate per m² subject to a minimum wage and double-time weekend rate. The rate realised was about 25% above the minimum wage at the time


IMIESA February 2021


Wheelbarrows filled with a specially formulated sand cement grout being poured into the cells

THE 30 MPA MIX RECIPE - Place the predefined measure of water in the wheelbarrow - Add predefined Hyson superplasticiser to achieve the desired slump - Add the predefined measure of cement - Mix in the cement - Add the predefined measure of sand - Then mix to form a sand/cement grout - The slump achieved should be between 120 mm and 150 mm -Cubes tested daily proved to be within 2.5% variance of strength due to volume mixing

of which 10 were allocated the responsibility of rigging the geocell formwork. For the fill component, each team had its own water tank, stockpile of cement and sand, and an allocation of 12 specially zinc-lined wheelbarrows. “To keep things as practical as possible, the mixing and final transportation of the grout all takes place in the wheelbarrows – a practice we still apply today,” Hall continues, adding that each team member was allocated a specific job as either a mixer, wheelbarrow operator or cell installer/finisher. These teams were rotated during the day to prevent fatigue setting in. The design mix is affected by the quality of the local sand. On the Hereford project, this changed constantly as the canal progressed, since sand was being extracted from different sources. To verify quality, routine testing ensured that the slump of 150 mm was optimal. “The cement is mixed with the water first (with Hyson superplasticiser added) and not

last, as is the normal practice. This ensures maximum availability of the cement for the hydration process,” Hall explains.

Self-consolidating The mix has a high slump of typically 150 mm, which makes it flowable and easy to work with, as it is largely self-levelling. A further plus is that self-consolidating concrete (SCC) does not need to be vibrated. “Going into 2021, the South African government has placed renewed emphasis on LIC as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme in addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The advent of Covid-19 has made this even more of a priority,” she adds. “For this reason, we need to embrace innovation, especially where alternative solutions are more cost-effective, create jobs and sustain communities. Our proven wheelbarrow mixer concept and SCC methodology underscore the benefits of that approach,” Hall concludes.


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Combat FLOODING The demand for land for housing and business development in South Africa never slows. And when that land sits along a flood line, an effective and sustainable solution is needed to prevent flood damage.


hen a local municipality at Ikageng in the North West province recently set aside stands for development, it realised the 100-year flood line had to be reduced and preventative measures taken to minimise the possibility of stormwater or flood damage to the marked area. “The project was initiated after it became apparent that some residential stands were set out within the 1:50-year flood line. The formalisation of the trapezoidal channel to contain the 1:100-year flood line meant these stands would be available for development. The construction of the lined channel could


IMIESA February 2021

increase the capacity with a smaller crosssectional area,” explains Dries Joubert, a design engineer on the Ikageng project from FHP Consulting Engineers. Technicrete’s internationally licensed Armorflex 180 was recommended as the best option for the project. The 180 is an open block suitable for stormwater and drainage channels, erosion control, roadside drains, as well as strip and access roads. “We originally thought that a combined concrete and concrete-filled geocells-type lined canal would serve the purpose, but due to poor soil conditions – which required substantial earthworks – Armorflex was

a preferred option and offered a reduced construction period mainly because of the interlocking pattern that offered flexibility, should settlement occur,” adds Joubert.

Installation The channel had a natural alignment, and the Armorflex improved the natural flow characteristics of the channel during flood conditions, hence its gently curved installation, which eliminates the small radius bends that could have created overtopping. Armorflex 180 blocks are tied to adjacent blocks with galvanised wire to form long mats. As and where required, Armorflex can also be

anchored into in situ soil to assist further with the stabilisation of the blocks and mat in general. The Armorflex 180 blocks provide a loose but sophisticated interlocking design, allowing for the surface to remain flexible to movement without the cracking and spalling issues that occur with cast-in-situ concrete when exposed to regular stormwater or flooding incidents. The Armorflex 180 blocks offer a perfect lining for drainage channels. At the aprons of pipe inlets and outlets, Armorflex eliminates pipe undercutting that can lead to severe problems such as surrounding bank failure and hence additional siltation downstream. Joubert adds, “We always try to utilise local labour where possible, and the Armorflex product lends itself to this objective, enabling us to upskill at site and create employment opportunities down the line.”

Site challenges One of the challenges on-site at Ikageng was groundwater seepage. “Due to water seeping from underground at the project site, resulting in a majorly wet and muddy surface, we built a temporary roadway so that Technicrete could deliver the required daily quantity of 1 000 m2 Amorflex blocks,” explains Anton Muller, managing director of Born Free Civils, a contractor at the Ikageng project. In order to beat the summer rainfall, approximately 40 000 m2 of Armorflex was placed in only three months. The channel profile had been prepared previously such that the installation team needed to finalise and smooth out levels, place geofabric and Armorflex, wire up the system, and backfill. This was a mammoth task in scale to achieve in such a short period of time but it invariably proved the versatility of Armorflex.

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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A view of the curves from the side


wall art

wall art

Terraforce wall running along the pedestrian strip at the hospital


Salamanca City Council

Project manager:

Excelentísimo Ayuntamiento de Salamanca

Main contractor:

Ferrovial Construcción


ORBE Tecnicas Y Medioambiente

Terraforce block supplier:

Prensagra Prefabricados


ignificantly, the blocks used are proprietary products invented by Terraforce, a South African manufacturer and international licensor with a growing project base worldwide. One of the most prestigious was the Palm Jumeirah project in Dubai, where Terraforce’s products were used extensively, but it is just one of many examples. “When Terraforce received the final images of the newly completed earth retaining walls at the Salamanca Hospital in mid-2020, we were immediately struck by the technical excellence on display,” says Holger Rust,


IMIESA February 2021

The versatility of concrete retaining block (CRB) wall designs provides endless opportunities for creative reinforced soil structures – a prime example being the systems built for a new access road at the Salamanca Hospital in Spain.

managing director and founder, Terraforce. “Skilled contractors are the key to great Terraforce installations.” The wall systems were designed by Spanish environmental engineering firm ORBE Tecnicas Y Medioambiente using Terraforce’s Maxiwall Pro software. The four Terraforce rockface finish retaining walls cover a surface area of 2 300 m², at points reaching a maximum height of 7.86 m. “The main retaining wall supports the new access road to the hospital. In some sections, special consideration had to be given to the placement of geogrids due to

the presence of a large drainage pipe (2.5 m in diameter) near the visible face of the wall,” explains Miguel Seller, civil engineer at ORBE. “Another unique challenge was the need to adapt the slope of the concrete block wall to meet another vertical wall, which was very complex from a topographical point of view,” he continues, adding that part of the Terraforce wall is set in a floodplain area of the Tormes River.

Geogrids for extra strength To ensure the necessary support, the

At one point, the Terraforce system ties in with a concrete wall section. The Tormes River can be seen in the background

The beautifully curved Terraforce block wall at Salamanca Hospital, Spain

contractor installed Huesker’s Fortrac geogrid system, with nominal tensions between 35 kN and 80 kN. “The natural foundation ground was a slate soil, with 28 degrees of internal friction, 10 kN/m2 of cohesion and 19.95 kN/m3 of specific weight. In the reinforced soil, we used a soil with 30 degrees internal friction and a density of 20 kN/m3, of course without cohesion,” Seller explains. The new road, named Paseo de la Transición Española, adds a length of almost 600 m to the existing road system and provides direct access to the

hospital’s emergency zone. The new route also includes another central roundabout that provides access to the new hospital complex and future parking. Landscaping and a bicycle path are still to be completed. “The addition of coping blocks, steel fencing and the large rock strip lining at the wall’s base further enhance the visual dimension of these artistically rendered retaining wall systems,” adds Rust.

The Terraforce earth retaining wall nearing completion

“In our experience, this is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing Terraforce rockface designs to date and is certain to provide inspiration for future environmentally engineered solutions locally as well as across the globe,” Rust concludes.

Installation of drainage layer and geogrid reinforcing

IMIESA February 2021




CALL FOR ENTRIES To recognise outstanding achievements in municipal infrastructure, we are calling for entries

Planning and design Construction methods

that showcase projects that demonstrate the best of civil engineering as a science and how engineering

Innovation and originality Meeting social and technical challenges

enhances the lives of the local communities, through excellence in:

Contributing to the well-being of communities



ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE IN STRUCTURES & CIVILS E.g. Projects demonstrating engineering science, use of alternate materials, innovative construction processes, etc.


COMMUNITY UPLIFTMENT & JOB CREATION E.g. Projects demonstrating labour-intensive construction, skills development, community awareness/participation, etc.


ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE E.g. Environmental rehabilitation, renewable energy, drought solutions, coastal initiatives for rising sea levels, pollution control, educational/ technical initiatives, etc.


Only projects that have reached practical or substantive completion by 30 June 2020 will be accepted for the Excellence Awards. Adjudicators reserve the right to reallocate entries in the 3 categories. ENTRY FORMS AND AWARD CRITERIA Available for download on the website: www.imesa.org.za


QUESTIONS Contact Debbie Anderson on +27 (0)31 266 3263 or email conference@imesa.org.za


Client satisfaction CENTRAL to Ctrack support


track’s Bureau Service is the full outsourcing of fleet control room activities, backed by highly proficient hindsight, insight and foresight data analytics and reporting. Dedicated fleet controllers meticulously monitor vehicle movements, incidents, alerts and alarms from the 24/7 Central Support Centre and provide real-time support to optimise fleet operations. The company’s highly experienced fleet consultants interrogate and interpret vehicle data to provide the insights and actions needed for future cost reductions and operational improvements. By outsourcing these tasks, clients save on costs and are able to focus on their core business. Bureau agents are skilled in investigating and interpreting alarms or the combination of alarms in order to act swiftly. And they are able to distinguish between primary and secondary alarms for enhanced client safety. Regular training ensures the best possible service and response times. Empowered with knowledge, agents respond appropriately to recovery activations or medical emergencies. Strict security measures are also in place. Ctrack does not give out personal information to anyone and clients' movements and personal information are always secured. Furthermore, Ctrack employees are subject to regular security screening to ensure that client assets and personal safety are never


Because Ctrack’s Central Support Centre is split into smaller departments, clients benefit from the best possible services from its Bureau, Fleet and Technical Support divisions.

compromised. Agents are also subject to daily, weekly and monthly quality checks. The company has mastered the art of reducing risks, through accurate alarm monitoring and quick recovery response, nationally and across borders. There is always direct and continuous feedback between Ctrack agents, recovery teams and the client. The Bureau Service can be adapted to suit the operational needs of each client and is supported by a thorough service level agreement.

Ctrack Fleet Ctrack Fleet includes 24/7/365 fleet monitoring, emergency response and the provision of panic and tamper alarms. Driver behaviour and travel routes are optimised. Further, vehicle immobilisation, stolen vehicle services and bodyguard/vehicle escorting duties are also provided. Ctrack Fleet is designed to ensure continued uptime, client support and assistance while taking full advantage of the Ctrack Fleet Management solution. Ctrack Fleet provides weekly reports indicating vehicles that are active, non-active or due for repairs. Weekly contact is made with the client’s control room to confirm necessary installations, maintenance and repairs. The nearest Ctrack branch is then contacted to ensure bookings are assigned and completed where applicable.

Daily health checks are performed and fleet management software & rich fleet analytics are incorporated in Ctrack Fleet.

Ctrack Technical Support Ctrack Technical Support consists of dedicated staff who are responsible for vehicle and driver setups and the creation of vehicle profiles and business groups. This team creates cost centres, performs unit testing, schedules reports, and sets up and manages message forwarding. In addition, Ctrack Technical Support provides software usernames and passwords, handles technical and software queries, as well as sets up points of interest, geozones, waypoints and no-go areas with appropriate alarms. By utilising the best software available, combined with a fall-back system in case of GPS signal jamming, Ctrack offers total peace of mind. Since rollover and severe G-forces are also monitored, agents are able to determine when an accident occurs before dispatching emergency services, should clients be unable to. And because Ctrack has 24/7/365 access to EVAC24, clients can rest assured that all it takes is a phone call to dispatch the closest ambulance and have their employee taken to the most appropriate hospital for treatment. Ctrack’s Central Support Centre means clients’ most precious assets remain Always Visible!

IMIESA February 2021



Machine intelligence Weighing up the cost versus performance benefits of capital equipment investments is a deciding factor for business success. The upside is that technology is making the machines of today and tomorrow much smarter, says Waylon Kukard, sales manager, Wirtgen South Africa. By Alastair Currie


ithin the Wirtgen Group, a key research and development (R&D) focus is the development of engineered 360-degree solutions, with a core emphasis on automation and interconnected machines that ‘talk to each other’ across the OEM’s diverse product range. In Europe, this is already a reality for the roadbuilding sector, with Wirtgen now establishing the groundwork for implementation in South Africa for the asphalt paving market. “Wirtgen has developed a system where every equipment line is now linked: from the asphalt plant, to the trucks, paver, and the rollers on-site,” Kukard explains. “It all works via real-time intelligent communication, monitoring and reporting. This is one smart solution.” During a typical construction shift, each stage of the asphalt delivery process is shared and experienced by the operations team. For example, the paver operator will receive an alert from the asphalt plant if things are on track or delayed, a notification when the trucks are on their way, and an update if any of these vehicles are going to be late due traffic congestion. The temperatures are constantly recorded and measured

Kleemann won an international safety award for its mobile crusher line, which features a series of lockout key points that prevent the machine accidently starting up during maintenance operations


IMIESA February 2021

from the asphalt plant right through to truck delivery at the paver. The same information is seen by the roller operators on their monitors. The roller operators know exactly what the temperature is and what compaction was achieved. Once the work shift is completed, the contractor can then download a comprehensive report itemising every activity, with an exact breakdown of how all machines performed, and the actual asphalt tonnage delivered.

RoadScan Wirtgen’s intelligent systems are supported by an integrated technology suite that includes RoadScan. “An infrared camera scans a measuring range of 10 m behind the paving screed,” Kukard explains, adding that the scan grid measures 25 cm x 25 cm over the complete width. “The temperatures measured range from 0°C to 250°C, with a tolerance of ±2°C.” The measured values are stored on the paver operator’s console, ready for download when required via remote access. Downloaded data can then be analysed using the RoadScan Analysis app. “Having a precise record will prove invaluable in countering potential issues surrounding pavement performance once the project has been completed,” says Kukard. “Examples would include the verification of cold spots that could lead to segregation. Contractors then

have an opportunity to fix potential defects prior to client handover.” Another R&D development is the presetting of Wirtgen Group machines for a ‘plug and play’ 3D interface with other specialist OEM products, like grade control systems. On a Wirtgen paver, for example, this enables automated control of positioning, direction, movement, depth and width. The operator can then concentrate on optimising the transfer of the asphalt feed from the truck to the paver.

Impactors “South African contractors have traditionally been quite conservative in their equipment choices; however, we’re seeing a positive shift. There’s now a much greater appreciation for how technology helps maintain a competitive edge,” Kukard continues. “A prime example is the uptake on Wirtgen Group’s Kleemann mobile impact crushers.” The first model to debut in South Africa was the Kleemann Mobirex MR 110 Z EVO 2 model, sold to a contractor in 2020 for the processing of thermal coal feedstock. Currently the smallest in the range, larger units comprise the 130 and 150 series, all of which are set up to run autonomously. Key industries for these compactors include the roads sector, where impactors are well suited to processing recycled asphalt, and the general construction and waste management segments, including municipal landfills, for the recycling of building materials. “From a circular economy perspective, impactors are ideal for producing recycled aggregates,” Kukard explains. “Another plus is that you don’t have to separate the material when it comes to concrete recycling.” Once a building or structure has been demolished, the impactor is designed to process the concrete and steel reinforcement debris in one go in the crushing chamber. Then at the end of this

The surface temperature measured by Wirtgen’s RoadScan system can be monitored in real time on the operator’s display console. This enables the paving team to react swiftly to fluctuations in temperature – usually a sign of segregation

process, the machine has a magnetic device on the discharge conveyor that separates the steel from the aggregates being produced. However, these compactors are not designed for processing highly abrasive materials, like quartzite quarry materials, which can wear out the internal workings very quickly.

The Kleemann Mobirex MR 110 Z EVO 2 working in a recycling application

Best reduction ratios Kleemann impactors are designed to take large lump sizes of feed material and reduce them down to a fraction of their original size. For this reason, the crushing process is highly aggressive since these impactors are designed to achieve reduction ratios well beyond the scope of a traditional cone or jaw crusher. On the Kleemann Mobirex MR 110 Z EVO 2, for example, reduction ratios range from 10:1 and 15:1, depending on the feed material. In contrast, jaws and cones typically have a 4:1 reduction ratio. In addition, they are not designed to handle iron material, which would cause mechanical damage. A jaw or cone crusher operates on the compression principle to break the material. A Kleemann impactor, on the other hand, functions by throwing the material against toggle plates within the crushing chamber.

There are normally four impact bars attached to the central rotor; however, two can be removed depending on whether a coarser or finer product is required, which is further refined by the onboard settings. “High production rates are achieved due to this crushing methodology. A 1 m concrete block, for example, can typically be resized into 150 mm particles,” says Kukard. Because the crushing process is aggressive, there is a tendency for the machine to produce a higher percentage of fines compared to other crushing

On the Kleemann Mobirex MR 110 Z EVO 2, reduction ratios range from 10:1 and 15:1, depending on the material feed

processes. This can be countered, though, by slowing down the rotor speed. “Wirtgen’s objective is to produce efficient machines that produce quality products at a lower cost. Whether it’s an impactor or a paver, machine automation is a core part of achieving this, working within an overarching, intelligently managed and controlled operating system,” adds Kukard. “Within the roads and allied markets, it’s the best way to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the exact design specifications thanks to best-in-class technology,” he concludes.


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Volvo’s FMX truck. A 38 t bogie allows for a gross combination weight of up to 150 t



Assembled locally at Volvo Trucks South Africa’s plant in Durban, the new-generation FMX series is designed with a core focus on driver ergonomics, safety and productivity.


irectly aimed at the construction and allied sectors, the new Volvo FMX features the heaviest addition to Volvo’s chassis range – a 38 t bogie that allows for a gross combination weight of up to 150 t. In addition, the front air suspension option has been updated, allowing for front axle loads of up to 10 t, or 20 t for double front axles. For trucks with a steered tag or pusher axle, the steering angles have been increased, resulting in better manoeuvrability and reduced tyre wear. All these improvements add up to greater productivity and cost efficiencies for construction transportation tasks. Another noteworthy feature is the new traction control panel, which helps the driver easily and quickly handle potentially dangerous situations, both on- and off-road. On Volvo FMX models in 4x4, 6x6, 8x6 and 10x6 configuration, this feature automatically engages the front axle at the exact moment it is needed, and disengages it when not. The front drive axle is positioned to give the truck a better approach angle. It’s designed to be strong and streamlined. For added durability, the parallel rod behind the axle beam is integrated, making the sturdy axle casing the lowest point of the vehicle and significantly improving ground clearance when fully loaded.

FMX ENGINE OPTIONS Engines: Diesel engines are available with different emissions standards. The D11A is available in 330 hp/1 650 Nm and 370 hp/1 770 Nm, and the D13A is available in 400 hp/2 000 Nm, 440 hp/2 200 Nm, and 480 hp/2 400 Nm. Euro V variants are locally available on special request. TRANSMISSION FMX: I-Shift and I-Shift with crawler gears, with software packages for different areas of application.

Safety features that help avoid accidents The new Volvo FMX comes with the option of Adaptive Cruise Control, which works at all speeds down to 0 km/h. Further safetyenhancing features include Downhill Cruise Control, which sets a maximum speed to help prevent unwanted acceleration. The electronically controlled brake system, which is a prerequisite for safety features such as forward collision warning with emergency brake, and Electronic Stability Control, is now standard. Volvo Dynamic Steering, with Lane Keeping Assist and Stability Assist, is also available as an option. For particularly rough applications like mining, the

Volvo FMX comes with an optional steel roof hatch with an emergency exit handle that removes the entire hatch. “Whether a fleet is operating on- or off-road, you’ll need a chassis that’s built to handle a lot of action on a daily basis,” says Eric Parry, product manager, Volvo Trucks SA. “With the new FMX, Volvo Trucks will tailor the chassis to support a customer’s success, using components and systems that are guaranteed to work reliably for many years to come,” Parry adds.

IMIESA February 2021




with PURPOSE The 2021 theme for Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) – rebuilding with purpose – explores how engineers can assist in implementing government’s South African Economic Reconstruction and Recover y Plan. Sugan Pillay, president of CESA


he annual CESA Presidential Message highlighted the role of engineers in addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment. Sugan Pillay, president, CESA, touched on the compassion and empathy displayed by South Africans in 2020. “With the Covid-19 crisis, we saw an industry of people that act with more care for others. It is this spirit of ubuntu that CESA wants to promote. Our industry protects lives and livelihoods, and we need to always consider the tangible social and economic outcomes of the work we do.”


IMIESA February 2021

Unpacking the 2021 theme, Pillay added that CESA will continue to mould consulting engineers to ensure they continue to protect lives through quality and safe infrastructure, and protect livelihoods through the creation of economic opportunities for the wider construction value chain.

Covid-19 vaccine Pillay encouraged the industry to be patient and understanding as government resources are diverted to funding the vaccine initiative. “Without doubt, the most pressing requirement is the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine. CESA and its members have the necessary skills and expertise like project and logistics management to assist with this undertaking,” added Pillay.

He noted that municipal budgets set for infrastructure may be diverted and that CESA members should stand ready to assist in infrastructure that might be prioritised, such as hospitals and clinics. “This may also give the country an opportunity to create legacy infrastructure rather than temporary structures and, if carefully planned, resources that are currently being utilised for short-term interventions can rather be used to develop long-term solutions.”

Reflecting on 2020 CESA placed much emphasis in 2020 on strengthening the relationship between government and the private sector. This was showcased by the association’s involvement in the Sustainable Infrastructure Development


Rebuilding with ethics While the current pace of change is too slow and there is a need for speed in the infrastructure development plan, infrastructure roll-out must be done carefully, or it will fuel corruption. “In our efforts to rebuild, let us maintain our focus and purpose on doing so with quality and integrity. If we are to truly save lives and livelihoods, we must operate with an unwavering focus on value, reliability and sustainability,” stated Pillay. In this regard, CESA highlighted: •  the newly mandated management systems for its members based on international standards for quality, integrity, and sustainability. •  the draft Public Procurement Bill where CESA will continue to lobby for a more transparent procurement process with decentralised authority structures to ensure the necessary checks and balances are in place.

2021 opportunities

Symposium South Africa. The strength of this relationship will be instrumental in achieving the regrowth of the economy. Sadly, Pillay remarked that South Africa still faces many of the same challenges as in prior years, with an ongoing demise of public decision-making processes, a lack of checks and balances within procurement systems, a loss of accountability among those tasked with leading change, and government’s slow and laborious efforts to curb corruption. This was reflected in the Auditor-General’s report, with only 7.5% of municipalities receiving a clean audit. There was delayed infrastructure delivery, and those projects that did see progress were hampered by obstructions from the so-called construction mafia. There is ongoing communication between the SAPS and CESA in this regard and members are encouraged to report all incidents of violence and intimidation to the authorities. A positive development in 2020 was the reopening of REI4P (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme), which will provide opportunities for contractors in the medium term and help improve the energy landscape in the longer term.

Pillay encouraged CESA members to focus on various opportunities that could be leveraged in 2021 to strengthen the industry and economy: • SIPs (Strategic Integrated Projects): The identified SIPs will play a great role in economic recovery, if they can break ground. Getting a few selected projects off the ground early will provide reassurance to the public and encourage investment confidence in South Africa. It will be an ‘immune booster’ to our ill economy. • Rethink spatial planning: With the pressing need for development in more rural areas, and the loss of emphasis on metros due to remote work and teleconferencing, there is a real opportunity to decentralise the development focus away from cities. Growing cities bring a host of social and environmental challenges. Instead of people moving to metro areas to access services, we need to take those services to where people live. Agriculture has been one of the better performing sectors in the economy, and if services can

be decentralised to those communities, it will relieve pressure on the metros and cities. Thus, smaller-scale farmers can be supported, food security can be enhanced, and local communities can be gainfully employed in construction and maintenance activities close to where they live. • Maintenance: South Africa’s dismal performance in the recent SAICE Infrastructure Report Card means that it is vital that we undertake comprehensive infrastructure maintenance. It is essential for protecting lives. More emphasis on maintenance efforts can protect livelihoods too, as local communities benefit from such initiatives. • Professionalisation of the public service: Government is looking at improving the skills of public servants and the role of the state in producing skilled professionals. CESA stands ready to support this initiative. • Workforce: The mentoring of young people in the industry is vital. Furthermore, CESA has witnessed great success in industry transformation, and will continue to encourage diversity and inclusion within the consulting engineering profession. “For rebuilding to happen effectively, we need collaboration between all spheres of government. We need coordination between all role players. And we need to partner to build state capacity and ensure the necessar y skills development takes place,” added Pillay.

IMIESA February 2021




non-structural repairs

There are essential steps to follow before and during the repair of relatively minor yet unsightly concrete defects. Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute, outlines what to do – and avoid – when tackling these projects.


epairs to new concrete should be done as soon as possible after the formwork has been removed to reduce differential shrinkage and improve the bond between the original concrete and the repair material. Before doing the repair, all dust and detritus must be removed from the sur face to be treated by, for example, washing vertical and near-vertical sur faces with clean water. For manual repairs, suitable for small areas, feather edging – trying to seamlessly blend the repair material into the existing concrete – should be avoided. The outline of a repair should be cut with a masonry cutting disc or saw to ensure a square edge.


IMIESA February 2021

Bryan Perrie, MD, The Concrete Institute

Good adhesion between the original concrete and the repair material is essential and, to ensure this, the sur face of the original concrete must be strong, rough and clean. Any loose or weak material must be removed with sharp chisels, driven by relatively light hammers. But it is important to remove the unwanted concrete in such a way that the remaining concrete is not badly damaged. Sandblasting, which can remove small volumes of concrete, is an excellent means of achieving a rough sur face free of loosely adhering material.

When to use mechanical fixing In cases where the repair areas are large (say over 0.1 m2), and especially

where persons could be injured by falling fragments, it is strongly recommended not to rely solely on adhesion between repair and background concrete, but to provide mechanical fixing. Such fixing should be done with corrosion-resistant metal devices such as screws or rods, preferably of stainless steel. Fixing devices should be installed after the sur face preparation is complete, but before the sur face is cleaned. To ensure strong adhesion of fresh concrete or mortar to a substrate of hardened concrete, the substrate should have enough suction to absorb the water film at the inter face but should not desiccate the repair material. This limited suction can


be achieved in different ways, depending on the age and density of the concrete. If the concrete is fairly new – say within 48 hours of being placed – simply allowing the sur face to become visibly dr y should suffice. Concrete with low absorptiveness does not require pre-wetting and should be repaired in a dr y state.

Primer slurry The substrate should be primed with a slurr y immediately before the repair material is placed. The primer slurr y should be a mixture of equal volumes of cement and dr y plaster sand with sufficient water to achieve a ‘paint consistence’. Neat cement paste is difficult to mix and is therefore not recommended. Polymer emulsion may be added to the mixing water – one part emulsion to two parts water is usually satisfactor y. Primer slurr y must be applied as a thin coating to the substrate using suitable brushes. Do not allow primer to accumulate in depressions in the sur face or dr y out before applying. Priming must therefore be done immediately ahead of repairing and

is best done over a small area at a time. Polymer emulsion on its own must never be used as a primer.

Rate of absorption Older concrete should be assessed for absorptiveness by wetting the surface: if the water is rapidly absorbed, the rate of absorption would be too high; and if the water is hardly absorbed, the rate is too low. Concrete with high absorptiveness should be saturated for some hours before repairs are carried out. Surface water must then be removed, and the surface allowed to become visibly dry, with repairs undertaken straight away. Remember never to attempt repairs to concrete that has a water sheen. Good compaction is essential in concrete repairs. Semi-dr y mixes must be compacted by heavy tamping and plastic mixes applied with heavy pressure on the trowel or spatula.

Aesthetics Where appearance is important, repairs should be finished to match the texture of the surrounding concrete using tools such

as wood floats, steel trowels, sponges, wire and nylon brushes. If colour matching is essential, it should be noted that repairs tend to be darker than the original concrete when dried out. So, white Portland cement may be substituted for about a third of the grey material if such a colour match is required. The optimum substitution ratio should be determined by test: carr y out a repair in an unimportant area and assess colour once the repair material has hardened and dried. Repairs must be moist cured for at least seven days. Plastic sheeting, fixed along the edges to the concrete with pressuresensitive tape, is effective to trap moisture and ensure adequate curing. Good-quality, membrane-forming curing compounds may also be used but remember that dr ying of the concrete repairs may be retarded if these curing compounds are not removed from the sur face. After completion of the curing period, polymer-modified repairs must be allowed to dry out completely before being subjected to wet conditions. This allows the emulsion to coalesce and become water-resistant.

For more information, visit www.theconcreteinstitute.org.za or email info@theconcreteinstitute.org.za

Fixing minor defects: to ensure strong adhesion of fresh concrete or mortar to a substrate of hardened concrete, the substrate should have enough suction to absorb the water film at the interface but should not desiccate the repair material

IMIESA February 2021




AECOM siphokuhle.dlamini@aecom.com AFI Consult banie@afri-infra.com lunga@alakeconsulting.com Alake Consulting Engineers AQUADAM (Pty) Ltd sales@aquadam.co.za ARRB Systems info@arrbsystemssa.com Asla Construction (Pty) Ltd johanv@asla.co.za Aveng Manufacturing Infraset werner.booyens@infraset.com Bigen Africa Group Holdings otto.scharfetter@bigenafrica.com BMK Group brian@bmkgroup.co.za Bosch Munitech info@boschmunitech.co.za mail@boschprojects.co.za Bosch Projects (Pty) Ltd BVI Consulting Engineers marketing@bviho.co.za Civilconsult Consulting Engineers mail@civilconsult.co.za Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa secretary@corrosioninstitute.org.za Development Bank of SA divb@dbsa.org.za Dlamindlovu Consulting Engineers & Project Managers info@dlami-ndlovu.co.za DPI Plastics Farhana@dpiplastics.co.za EFG Engineers eric@efgeng.co.za Elster Kent Metering Mark.Shamley@Honeywell.com ERWAT mail@erwat.co.za GIBB marketing@gibb.co.za GIGSA secretary@gigsa.org GLS Consulting nicky@gls.co.za Gorman Rupp Cordeiro@gormanrupp.co.za Gudunkomo Investments & Consulting info@gudunkomo.co.za Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd info@hatch.co.za Herrenknecht schiewe.helene@herrenknecht.de Huber Technology cs@hubersa.com info@edams.co.za Hydro-comp Enterprises I@Consulting info@iaconsulting.co.za Infrachamps Consulting info@infrachamps.co.za INGEROP mravjee@ingerop.co.za Integrity Environment info@integrityafrica.co.za IQHINA Consulting Engineers & Project Managers info@iqhina.co.za iX engineers (Pty) Ltd hans.k@ixengineers.co.za JBFE Consulting (Pty) Ltd issie@jbfe.co.za JG Afrika DennyC@jgafrika.com KABE Consulting Engineers info@kabe.co.za Kago Consulting Engineers kagocon@kago.co.za Kantey & Templer (K&T) Consulting Engineers ccherry@ct.kanteys.co.za Kitso Botlhale Consulting Engineers info@kitsobce.co.za general@lwt.co.za Lektratek Water Makhaotse Narasimulu & Associates mmakhaotse@mna-sa.co.za Malani Padayachee & Associates (Pty) Ltd admin@mpa.co.za Maragela Consulting Engineers admin@maragelaconsulting.co.za Mariswe (Pty) Ltd neshniec@mariswe.com Martin & East gbyron@martin-east.co.za M & C Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd info@mcconsulting.co.za Mhiduve adminpotch@mhiduve.co.za Mogoba Maphuthi & Associates (Pty) Ltd admin@mmaholdings.co.za Much Asphalt bennie.greyling@muchasphalt.com Mvubu Consulting & Project Managers miranda@mvubu.net NAKO ILISO lyn.adams@nakogroup.com Nyeleti Consulting merasmus@nyeleti.co.za Odour Engineering Systems mathewc@oes.co.za amarunga@prociv.co.za Prociv Consulting & Projects Management Rainbow Reservoirs quin@rainbowres.com maura@re-solve.co.za Re-Solve Consulting (Pty) Ltd Ribicon Consulting Group (Pty) Ltd info@ribicon.co.za francisg@rhdv.com Royal HaskoningDHV info@sabita.co.za SABITA mberry@safripol.com SAFRIPOL info@salga.org.za SALGA SAPPMA admin@sappma.co.za / willem@sappma.co.za SARF administrator@sarf.org.za.co.za SBS Water Systems mava@sbstanks.co.za Sembcorp Siza Water info-sizawater@sembcorp.com Sigodi Marah Martin Management Support lansanam@sigodimarah.co.za garths@sivest.co.za SiVEST SA Sizabantu Piping Systems (Pty) Ltd gregl@sizabantupipingsystems.com SKYV Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd kamesh@skyv.co.za capetown@smec.com SMEC gen@sobek.co.za Sobek Engineering director@sasst.org.za Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology jomar@srk.co.za SRK Consulting Star Of Life Emergency Trading CC admin@staroflife.co.za Syntell julia@syntell.co.za TECROVEER (Pty) Ltd info@tecroveer.co.za TPA Consulting roger@tpa.co.za V3 Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd info@v3consulting.co.za Vetasi south-africa@vetasi.com VIP Consulting Engineers esme@vipconsulting.co.za VNA info@vnac.co.za VUKA Africa Consulting Engineers info@vukaafrica.co.za Water Institute of Southern Africa wisa@wisa.org.za Wam Technology CC support@wamsys.co.za Wilo South Africa marketingsa@wilo.co.za WRP ronniem@wrp.co.za WSP Group Africa ansia.meyer@wsp.com Zutari Rashree.Maharaj@Zutari.com





ituated within close proximity to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the 117 On Strand Street building recently underwent further development with the addition of new apartments and offices. The building houses a commercial gym, three floors of premium-grade office space, two floors of retail stores, and 117 apartments. Sika’s products were used throughout for the structural glazing component to ensure a sustainable solution. Working in unison with Compass Glass and Mazor Engineering, Group 5 Construction was the primary contractor. The insulated glass units were bonded to each other in the Compass Glass factory using Sika’s Sikasil IG-25. Thereafter, the insulated glass panelling was bonded to the powder-coated metal frame using Sikasil SG-500 and Sika Aktivator-205 in Mazor’s factory. Sikasil IG-25 is ideal as a secondary edge seal for insulating glass in structural glazing applications. It is used in combination with Sikasil SG-500, which is a two-component structural glazing silicone. During on-site installation, the glazing was finished off with a final seal using Sikahyflex-305 AP. This is a one-component, neutral, moisturecuring weather sealant designed for durability under severe conditions. It has excellent resistance to water and is UV stable. Successfully completed in November 2019, 117 On Strand Street’s meticulous glazing finish continues to withstand the elements while providing panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Table Mountain, and the Cape Town central business district.

During on-site installation, the glazing was finished off with a final seal using Sikahyflex-305 AP


Construction has preserved and protected the outer heritage walls of the existing structure, which date back about 100 years



Variable ground conditions at a mixed-use development in Cape Town demanded some innovative solutions from contractor GVK-Siya Zama Construction and readymix specialist AfriSam.

t the Old Cape Quarter project in De Waterkant, four floors of luxury apartments are being added to retail and office space. This meant substantial strengthening of the foundations and columns to accommodate the increased load. According to Garth Robb, contracts director at GVK-Siya Zama Construction, this was not a straightforward process, with insufficient space in the basement areas for normal class 3 formwork. “We made extensive use of biscuit columns, where we added reinforcing around the old existing columns and core-drilled at an angle from above – adding grout to beef up the column sizes,” he says. “We core-drilled through the base to transfer the load on to the piling, with a number of columns and bases needing to be demolished and reconstructed.” A key complication was that concrete could only be poured manually into the biscuit columns by wheelbarrow, through 60 mm core holes from the slab above. Each column took up to an hour to pour, with admixtures accelerating the hardening rate of this highly fluid 60 MPa concrete.

“There was no option but for concrete to be delivered in smaller volumes, otherwise the concrete would harden in the trucks before it could be used,” Robb explains. “AfriSam worked closely with us to find a solution, which was to deliver just 1 m3 of readymix at a time.”

Logistics and teamwork Readymix trucks usually carry 6-8 m3, so carrying just a fraction of this had severe implications for efficiency. However, the situation demanded flexibility from both partners, says Melanie Ross, territory manager, AfriSam, and the needs of the customer had to come first. “Also, the pours could only start in the afternoon, and often continued beyond the 18:00 deadline agreed on between the contractor and the authorities,” says Ross. “So extended permissions were obtained, and the AfriSam-contracted drivers agreed to put in the extra time until pours were completed.” AfriSam supplied over 9 700 m3 of readymix to the Old Cape Quarter project, and about

About 10 different concrete mixes were employed during the project to suit various applications

10 different concrete mixes for different applications. These came from the company’s Woodstock plant, about 8 km from site and its Peninsula Quarry plant at Durbanville.



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IMIESA February 2021

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IMIESA February 2021