Page 1


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



Transportation Moving Tshwane towards zero emissions

Who’s Who in Geotechnical Founding the right approach

Smart Cities

Greater Lanseria Master Plan

ARRB SYSTEMS iPave saves roads authorities billions

IN THE HOT SEAT Bigen has become a partner of choice for African governments seeking bespoke, cost-effective infrastructure development solutions, and has transformed lives and economies in 19 countries.” David Gopane Senior Engineer: Real Estate Directorate, Bigen Group 8 l uVo c l .( iVAT I S S N 0I S2S5N7 01295778 1 9 V7 o m leu m 4 5e N4o6 . N0o9. •0 6 S•e pJtuenme b2e0r 2210 2• 0R 5•5 . 0R05 5( i. n 00 n c l .) VAT )


AMAREX - Dual performance submersible pump Vertical single-stage submersible motor pump for wet installation, with free-flow impeller (F-max), stationary or transportable version. Electrical submersible Motor sizes ranging from 1.1 kW to 10.2 kW. Applications - Pumping station - Waste water treatment (Including sludge treatment and recirculation) - Municipal and industrial waste water transport - Storm water transport KSB Pumps and Valves (Pty) Ltd Tel: +27-11-876-5600 www.ksb.com/ksb-za Your B-BBEE Partner

Fluids handled - Waste water containing long fibre and solid substances - Fluids containing gas - River water - Service water - Grey water


VOLUME 46 NO. 06 JUNE 2021


18 www.infrastructurenews.co.za

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




Moving Tshwane towards zero emissions

Who’s Who in Geotechnical

Regulars Editor’s comment President’s comment Index to advertisers

Corporate Social Investment 3 5 68

Founding the right approach

iPAVe saves billions by redefining live deflection measurement



Smart Cities

Greater Lanseria Master Plan

ARRB SYSTEMS iPave saves roads authorities billions

IN THE HOT SEAT Bigen has become a partner of choice for African governments seeking bespoke, cost-effective infrastructure development solutions, and has transformed lives and economies in 19 countries.” David Gopane Senior Engineer: Real Estate Directorate, Bigen Group 8 l uVo c l .( iVAT I S S N 0I S2S5N7 01295778 1 9 V7 o m leu m 4 5e N4o6 . N0o9. •0 6 S•e pJtuenme b2e0r 2210 2• 0R 5•5 . 0R05 5( i. n 00 n c l .) VAT )

ON THE COVER Traffic speed deflectometer device (TSDD) technology has become the global benchmark for road asset management condition surveys. In South Africa, ARRB Systems leads with its proprietary iPAVe TSDD and onboard processing systems, which is saving billions of rand to the fiscus and promoting a safer road environment. P6

IN THE HOT SEAT Celebrating 50 years of ‘doing good while doing business’, the Bigen Group is renowned for providing cost-effective infrastructure and socio-economic development solutions across Africa. In celebration of Youth Month, IMIESA speaks to upcoming engineering and project management professional, David Gopane, a senior engineer within the Group’s Real Estate Directorate. P12


Unique offering for transport


Hot Seat Five decades of delivery


Industry Insight National siltation programme to preserve SA’s large dams


Africa Round-up Infrastructure news from around the continent


Smart Cities Ramaphosa’s smart city dream becomes ‘reality in the making’

Water & Wastewater Water Wise Buildings Local community upskilled with new plant installation

38 39

City of Tshwane Repositioning for growth Tshwane’s eco champion tackles Hennops River pollution Groundwater: hidden but never forgotten The power to perform in the water reticulation market Transport solutions that empower Moving the City of Tshwane towards zero emissions Shaping the automotive zone

40 41 43 45 47 48 50

Piling at Harbour Arch Founding the right approach Geotechnical partnerships that work Challenges when building on dolomite

51 52 54 56

Exploring new avenues to fight corruption 58 24


Roads & Bridges New material specifications for roadbuilders 29 The smart way to monitor bridge loads 31 Sabita Awards recognise excellence 32 AECI Much Asphalt to pioneer low-carbon asphalt 34




Renewable Energy & Electrification ESMFs support bankability of SADC power projects

Pumps & Valves


Environmental Engineering Gabion systems need geotextiles


Who’s Who in Geotechnical 18

Consulting Engineers Bosch Holdings celebrates 60 years of innovation in engineering

Bridging the chasm between school and life

Unscheduled shutdowns and process efficiency

Cover Story




Cement & Concrete 10th Fulton's Concrete Technology edition unveiled The LC3 paradigm shift Precast pole durability How water influences concrete mix designs

60 60 61 62

Vehicles & Equipment Quality you can trust Kprime offers higher performance Optimised wheel dumpers

INDUSTRY INSIGHT A three-year programme managed by the Water Research Commission and funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation, the National Dam Siltation Management Programme sets out to develop the Siltation Management Strategy. P14

64 67 68

The home of


Infrastructure development, building, maintenance, service delivery

Complete water resource and wastewater management

Promoting integrated resource and waste management

The official magazine of the Water Institute of Southern Africa.

The official magazine of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa.

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

Get your products, services and equipment noticed by infrastructure decision-makers www.3smedia.co.za TO ADVERTISE Hanlie Fintelman +27 (0)82 338 2266 Hanlie.Fintelman@3smedia.co.za

Joanne Lawrie +27 (0)82 346 5338 Joanne.Lawrie@3smedia.co.za TO SUBSCRIBE +27 (0)11 233 2600 subs@3smedia.co.za



MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Kirsten Kelly JOURNALIST Nombulelo Manyana DESIGNER Jaclyn Dollenberg HEAD OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders CONTRIBUTORS Gundo Maswime, Ivan Reutener, John Roxburgh, Bhavna Soni PRODUCTION & CLIENT LIAISON MANAGER Antois-Leigh Nepgen PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jacqueline Modise GROUP SALES MANAGER Chilomia Van Wijk BOOKKEEPER Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS subs@3smedia.co.za PRINTERS Novus Print Montague Gardens ___________________________________________________


fter a period of power stability, there’s a sense that things have returned to normal. Then, out of the blue, comes another spate of load-shedding and we plunge back into crisis mode again. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that energy security features prominently within government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. Every time load-shedding occurs, its costs millions in economic losses and places further pressure on businesses already strained by the series of Covid-19 lockdowns. Government says it’s now fast-tracking the process. Examples include a recent announcement to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW. This will apply for either on- or off-grid supply. Effectively, this means that independent power producer (IPP) projects up to this limit won’t require a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). However, prospective IPPs will still need to register with Nersa, and meet the conformance criteria to obtain a grid connection permit, which makes sense. Hopefully, that will be a smooth process. It’s an exciting development, and the IPP market, as well as mainstream business, eagerly awaits the speedy amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act (No. 4 of 2006), which is said to be imminent. This will signal the green light for the kick-off of these sub-100 MW activities, which could create much needed jobs and skills development for South Africa’s unemployed youth. As an aside, 100 MW would provide enough energy to power some 33 000 homes. Fairly constant energy supply would, of course, depend on the type of generation, such as solar, wind turbine or waste-to-energy.

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 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

Municipal Energy Resilience

WESTERN CAPE Secretary: Michelle Ackerman Tel: +27 (0)21 444 7114 Email: imesawc@imesa.org.za

Within the municipal space, the Western Cape Provincial Government is one of the more proactive early adopters of renewables. This is spearheaded by its three-year Municipal Energy Resilience (MER)

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. _____________________________________________

project, launched towards the end of 2020. Split into three phases, the MER project will progressively move from the identification of suitable candidate municipalities and technologies, to implementation, as well as the development of an overarching energy master plan for the province. As in the Western Cape, for many businesses nationally, the motivation for moving off the grid is chiefly based on power mitigation strategies that prevent costly interruptions to production and services. A popular route is rooftop solar, backed up by diesel generators, for self-contained off-grid power.

Pricing and consumer behaviour Over the longer term, once Eskom rights itself, hopefully there will be a more equitable, affordable and efficient energy mix. Thermal energy will be central to this for the foreseeable future. At present, it’s hard to accept escalating electricity tariffs in the face of constant Eskom power outages. There’s also the pressing issue of consumer non-payment for key municipal services like electricity and water, with the municipal debt burden across the board running into the billions. If anything, price hikes probably tend to exacerbate this behaviour and perhaps blanket prepaid metering is the inevitable consequence. For now, priority number one is to keep the lights burning, because that drives the economy. As we rebound from the Covid-19 fallout, a positive and upward surge in GDP will then provide the taxes needed to reverse the poverty and inequality gap in our society. IPPs and related public-private partnerships also help local government execute its much-needed service delivery mandate.

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.




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


Cover opportunity

Moving Tshwane towardss zero emission

hnical Who’s Who in Geotec Founding the right

Smart Cities

Greater Lanseria Master Plan

Infrastructure News



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.



S SYS TEM ARR BiPave saves roads authorities billion

government s seeking IN THE HOT SEAT of choice for African t solutions, and has become a partner


developmen Bigen has ve infrastructu re countries.” in 19 bespoke, cost-effecti Group and economies Directorate, Bigen transformed lives Gopane Senior Engineer: Real Estate n c l .) VAT ) c l .( iVAT 00 David 1 2• 0R 5•5 . 0R05 5( i. n 6 •e pJtuenme b2e0r 22 0 4 5e N4o6 . N0o9. •0 S m leu m 8 l uVo 2 5 78 1 9 V7 o I S S N 0I S2S5N7 01 9 7

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 June 2021


Joint International Conference with IMESA & IAWEES

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



EVENT: 84TH IMESA Conference in collaboration with IAWEES DATES: 17-19 November 2021 EARLY BIRD RATE

Register & Pay BEFORE 31 August 2021 Member: R4 000 Non-Member: R4 800


Register & Pay AFTER 01 September 2021 Member: R5 200 Non-Member: R6 000

Earn up to 2 CPD points by attending



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





With South Africa now firmly in the grip of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to be even more resourceful in responding to our multifaceted socioeconomic challenges.

Staying interconnected and relevant


his is a time of unprecedented turmoil; however, our combined experiences have also served as a catalyst for positive change. We are now seeing this as communities, professions, government and business come together in a new and encouraging form of solidarity. Our annual on-site IMESA Conference has always served as the ideal platform for this type of engagement. For this reason, we were determined to proceed with the 2021 conference on a virtual platform, having had to cancel the on-site 2020 event. All this is possible, thanks to Industry 4.0 and virtual conferencing technology. This year’s first virtual IMESA Conference is confirmed for 17 to 19 November 2021, with the theme ‘Synergy through Engineering’. This theme is especially relevant within the Covid-19 environment, as the world strives to combat climate change and re-engineer our infrastructure landscape.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Tunisia, the UK and USA. The objective is to share global best practices. Professor Kobus du Plessis, director: Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering at Stellenbosch University, represents South Africa on IAWEES’s international executive body and is a Fellow of IMESA. Based on the local and international papers presented, this is going to be one of our best IMESA Conferences yet, with an exciting and interactive programme. Going the virtual route has its benefits, since there are no time and cost constraints in terms of travel and accommodation. Hopefully, that will enable a strong representation from across South Africa’s 278 municipalities, all of whom play a crucial role in service delivery and socioeconomic enablement.

include reverse migration from cities, and transportation planning. In countries worse affected by the virus, the focus – as in South Africa – is on economic recovery plans, with public infrastructure investment a key driver. That will certainly be a central topic for our 2021 IMESA Conference, as we address the pressing issues of improved service delivery within the local government arena. Delegate conference registration is now open, and there’s an early-bird rate for those who book and pay before 31 August 2021. This year, we look for ward to welcoming you virtually.

IFME’s global perspective Joint International Conference As originally planned for 2020, this year’s event is a joint international conference co-organised by IMESA and the International Association for Water, Environment, Energy and Society (IAWEES). The conference is also endorsed by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and is CPD accredited. Founded in 2016, IAWEES is an international non-profit organisation established to promote research and develop processes and technologies. In addition to South Africa, diverse countries represented include

The quest for excellence is never easy, which is why international knowledge sharing is so important. This was underscored during a recent International Federation of Municipal Engineering (IFME) meeting in May 2021. I attended virtually as the South African representative. Evolving urban patterns was a common viewpoint shared by IFME member countries attending. Prime examples include how the growing work-from-home culture is influencing city planning. If remote working becomes a more permanent feature – as many believe it will – this will influence key areas. These

Bhavna Soni, president, IMESA

IMIESA June 2021



iPAVe saves billions by redefining live deflection measurement

The Hawkeye 2000 Series survey vehicle

level surveys.

Traffic speed deflectometer device (TSDD) technology has become the global benchmark for road asset management (RAMS) condition sur veys. In South Africa, ARRB Systems leads with its proprietar y iPAVe TSDD with onboard processing systems, which is saving billions of rand to the fiscus and promoting a safer road environment.


he origins of pavement deflection measurements can be traced back to Francis Hveem (1938) and subsequently the Benkelman beam developed in 1952. This measures surface deflection via the axle load of the test vehicle on an instrumented beam. The practice is still in existence to this day in some countries. The next breakthrough in deflection testing was the introduction of the first falling weight deflectometer (FWD) around 1968 in Denmark. In South Africa, subsequent evolutions of the FWD have been employed since the late 1980s for project and network level assessments. Then, during the late 1990s, the traffic speed deflectometer device (TSDD) was piloted in Denmark. This proved to be a highly viable alternative to the longestablished FWD method of measuring road pavement response to loading. The introduction of the ARRB Systems iPAVe TSDD solution is now gaining increasing traction as the benefits of TSDD technology are becoming better understood by road pavement design engineers and RAMS managers.


IMIESA June 2021

Full mobility In expert hands, FWD surveys provide an accurate view of the structural health of a road. However, it is a discrete test and not comparable to modern-day TSDD renditions, such as the iPAVe, which record deflections and other condition data simultaneously at a far higher resolution, thanks to advanced intelligent onboard systems. The best way to illustrate this is through a side by side comparison.

Stationary concerns During FWD operations, the measurement device attempts to simulate a moving wheel by dropping a short impulse load on to the road surface. The response of the pavement to the load creates a deflection bowl, which is measured by a series of geophones. These are positioned at various distances from the load centre, typically starting at 300 mm and stepping out with the last geophone being at 1 800 mm from the load. The shape of the deflection bowl provides an indication of where a potential problem exists within the pavement structure. However, a key requirement for FWD measurement is that the test vehicle remain stationary while testing, which raises traffic accommodation and serious safety concerns for both persons using the road and the technicians undertaking the measurements. The stop-start nature of the technique also makes it a time-consuming process. For example, tests are usually performed at 50 m to 100 m intervals for project level assessments, and at a 200 m or more spacing for network level surveys. At 300 test points per day, this equates to 15 to 30 lane kilometres at project level and a maximum of 60 lane kilometres for network

In contrast, TSDD systems are highly mobile and efficient. Everything, including the two test personnel, is housed within a special, purpose-built vehicle. This is equipped with high-resolution doppler laser and advanced imaging technology that, together with ARRB Systems’ Hawkeye software, make it possible to accurately capture and subsequently analyse high-definition integrated data sets continuously and seamlessly. Analysis is aided by ARRB Systems’ Hawkeye Insight platform – a web-based viewing and analysis tool that enables the interrogation and evaluation of the collected data in a userfriendly format. “TSDD testing enables us to calculate pavement deflections using measured horizontal travelling velocity and vertical surface displacement velocity. This provides a far more realistic measurement of the visco-elastic pavement response imposed by rolling tyre motion on the road surface. This cannot be achieved with FWD, which creates a purely elastic response. A significantly higher measurement frequency also means that TSDD technologies provide a far more precise road life estimation,” explains Yeshveer Balaram, GM: South Africa, ARRB Systems. He adds that in terms of South Africa’s Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant, up-to-date deflection measurements are a minimum grant compliance requirement. As an early adopter of TSDD, ARRB Systems has led the way with the development of its iPAVe intelligent pavement assessment survey vehicle. This is believed to be the world’s first fully integrated road surface and subsurface condition assessment system, providing integrated functional and structural data recording in one pass at speeds up to 80 km/h. Currently, iPAVe vehicles are operating

At project level, the cost per test/metre is almost 10 x more for FWD at a 50 m test spacing than the iPAVe at a 5 m test frequency.”


across the world in diverse regions that include Australia, the UK, USA, China, and several European countries. ARRB Systems has two iPAVe vehicles deployed in South Africa and has surveyed more than 76 000 km of the country’s paved road network since 2016. The iPAVe regularly undertakes surveys for provincial, metropolitan and national road authorities and consulting engineers undertaking project level design work. Meanwhile, ARRB Systems’ global teams have collectively surveyed over 750 000 km to date. In the USA, the TSDD technology has surveyed roads in 30 states, with New Mexico being the latest state to award a multiyear routine TSDD testing contract for pavement management and rehabilitation purposes. “ARRB Systems is also a member of the DaRTS (Deflection at Road Traffic Speed) focus group, which is a global forum of TSDD operators and users that meets on a

In South Africa and across the world, there’s been a strong uptake in demand for iPAVe from design engineers and transportation specialists

iPAVE COST BENEFITS The iPAVe is a powerful tool that uses advanced technologies to collect and analyse full-spectrum structural, surface and functional road condition data that is critical for the efficient life-cycle management of road networks, saving billions towards the fiscus by enabling optimal proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance strategies to be identified. Benefits and uses include: • Significant cost saving per test/metre over traditional structural testing methods • The measured data is vigorously analysed and used towards the provision of safer road infrastructure • Collects all pavement surface and structural parameters with high accuracy in one pass • Ability to operate at traffic speeds, improving production, safety and efficiency • Continuous measurements at significantly higher resolution than traditional techniques such as FWD • Provides comprehensive data with which to make better informed decisions for financially and technically appropriate rehabilitation and surfacing treatments • Better QA/QC for road agencies, consultants and contractors promotes accountability

bi-annual basis to share knowledge, discuss projects and give feedback on technological developments. Members include numerous state and federal road authorities in the USA, Europe and Australasia, as well as operators including the Australian Road Research Board, BASt (Germany), TRRL (UK), IBDiM (Poland) and the FHWA (USA),” says Balaram.

Removing the guesswork The high accuracy and resolution of the iPAVe data enables engineers to pinpoint precise locations (down to 1 m) and

areas where the capacity of the pavement structure is of concern. iPAVe provides additional and essential input to network level assessment and evaluation, which is crucial for deterioration modelling and future maintenance budgeting based on accurate determination of the expected serviceable lifespan. This information also influences the selection of optimal maintenance and rehabilitation strategies. “Engineers design roads based on their structure. In many parts of the world, though, road asset managers still maintain roads based on their surface characteristics. However, to reliably determine the remaining life of the pavement, both the structural and functional condition must be factored into the equation. This can only be truly

ARRB Systems’ iPAVe intelligent pavement assessment vehicle is the first and only comprehensive pavement measurement system in the world, providing seamlessly integrated structural and surface condition data at highway speeds




 





   

Tel: +27 (0)11 928 9700 E-mail: JCBsales@bellequipment.com www.bellequipment.com



ARRB Systems’ Hawkeye Insight is a web-based viewing tool that enables the visual assessment of collected data, in a simple, user-friendly format

determined t h r o u g h full-spectrum integrated techniques such as the iPAVe,” says Simon Tetley, director, ARRB Systems. “As technology solutions practitioners, our responsibility is to ensure that road authorities understand the limitations of FWD and the reasons why TSDD is regarded as the global best practice,” he explains. “With conventional methods, project level deflection measurements are typically done at spacings of 50 m and upwards, meaning that there are large gaps in the data. If it is assumed that each deflection point covers

5 m, at a 50 m spacing, a mere 10% of the project will have structural test data with which to undertake an appropriate pavement design – obviously not an ideal situation. Using technologies like iPAVe removes the guesswork, as there are no gaps, resulting in 100% of the project having structural test data,” Tetley continues.

Financial implications Getting a pavement design wrong because assumptions have to be made regarding the structural integrity of the pavement between test points has huge financial implications for road authorities and road users. For example, the problem might only be skin deep – i.e. a poor road surface condition is not necessarily an indication of overall

iPAVe doppler laser beam measurements determine the pavement deflection bowl readings, which are seamlessly integrated with other pavement characteristics such as Cracking, IRI, Rutting, Texture and more

• Pavement surface condition, including: o Cracking o Roughness (IRI) o Texture (MPD and SMTD) o Rutting • Continuous pavement deflection • Geometry (slope, crossfall, gradients) • Spatial location (GLONASS GPS) • Asset inventory imaging

pavement failure, negating the need for an over-engineered and overpriced remedial intervention. Conversely, under-design will lead to premature failure with resulting excess vehicle operating costs for road users, and additional needless expenditure incurred on road authorities and the national fiscus. “In addition to better accuracy, iPAVe is also more cost-competitive. It has been calculated that, for project level, the cost per test/metre is almost 10 x more for FWD at a 50 m test spacing than the iPAVe at a 5 m test frequency. This does not include establishment and disbursement costs or the added benefit of synchronised riding quality, rut depth and road texture measurements provided by the iPAVe,” Tetley explains. “iPAVe is the perfect all-rounder when it comes to the rapid and efficient surveying of road networks and individual design projects at operating speeds of between 20 km/h and 80 km/h. This means that an iPAVe truck can potentially collect around 90 000 km of continuous data in a year or approximately 350 km a day, subject to road configuration and traffic congestion. If the TSDD data were to be processed at 10 m intervals, it would take an FWD 117 years to provide the same information,” Tetley concludes.


IMIESA June 2021



Unique offering for transport

With a healthy balance sheet, global experience in structuring publicprivate partnerships (PPPs), as well as expertise in the operations and maintenance of transport infrastructure, Egis Operation South Africa is well positioned to help transform the local industry.


art of an international group in the mobility services and transport projects sectors, Egis Operation South Africa was incorporated in 2020. According to Laurent Bouchacourt, CEO of Egis Operation South Africa, while the South African subsidiary is new, the Egis Group has been present in Africa for over 30 years. “Egis Operation South Africa builds on our African experience and this will prove invaluable for our local operational rollout,” he explains.

PPPs In Africa, Egis Group investments include


IMIESA June 2021

the Abidjan Airport in Ivory Coast. In Congo-Brazzaville, Egis currently operates 550 km of the 2 000 km highway, which is being incrementally rolled out, and it has invested in three of the country’s airports (Brazzaville Airport, Pointe Noire Airport and Ollombo Airport). “The Egis Group is recognised as a worldclass developer of PPPs in the transport sector. Its experience in the financial and contractual structuring of complex projects within international environments has generated a large network of relationships with numerous institutional and private investors worldwide,” Bouchacourt explains.

Laurent Bouchacourt, CEO of Egis Operation South Africa

“The private sector is in the best position to ensure the integrity of infrastructure and its funding. Government should provide a strong regulatory framework where companies compete against each other to provide the best possible and cost-effective service,” he continues.

Operations and maintenance By taking a life-cycle approach to transport solutions and asset management, Egis Operation South Africa can help achieve lower operational costs, longer usable life of assets, improved user experience, and greater levels of safety, interoperability and integration of transport networks. “Our international operations and maintenance experience, together with South African capabilities and knowledge of the local market, will create a unique offering to the transport sector – both in greenfield and

TRANSPORTATION brownfield projects,” says Bouchacourt. With the belief that additional capital expenditure or completely new systems are not always necessary to improve public transport, Bouchacourt explains that better asset management could extend the life of transport infrastructure and improve the experience of customers using it. “A lot more can be done with existing infrastructure, and we believe that our Operations and Maintenance Division will grow in size exponentially,” he explains.

Customer-centric approach “It is vitally important to put commuter or customer needs at the core of mobility services. There is always a huge focus on the engineering part of transport projects, and little attention is paid to providing the best possible service to a customer. Systems need to be built around the user, which is why Egis will always place itself in the shoes of the commuter,” says Bouchacourt. He adds that even though significant capex has been spent on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, Gautrain and taxi recapitalisation, the commuter experience has been suboptimal. “I think that this is largely due to the failure of integrating various modes of transport. Everything is fragmented. Furthermore, a culture of maintenance and asset management still needs to be cultivated,” he says. Centralised payments, as well as easy access to scheduling, customer loyalty rewards and reliable and safe transport can create a better user experience. “With a transport project, the surrounding communities need to be consulted and included in all plans. This ensures that there is better alignment, and that assets are looked after and not vandalised,” adds Bouchacourt.

Urban mobility “It’s clear that the South African government has a desire to develop smart cities (and the

EGIS OPERATION SOUTH AFRICA BURSARY PROGRAMME Egis Operation South Africa is committed to offering education and training opportunities, particularly to those from previously disadvantaged groups, and to developing programmes that ensure local skills transfer and exposure to global best practices. Committed to contributing to the development of the next generation of both technical and engineering professionals, Egis has launched a bursary programme in partnership with the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE).

required urban mobility), as well as redress issues of the past in terms of spatial planning that needs to be more inclusive. It is faced with dilemmas on how to subsidise current modes of transport and facilitate uniform forms of payment,” he explains. Historically, Egis has completed successful urban mobility projects in Egypt and Morocco with light rail and high-speed rail. The group has also focused on projects aimed at decongesting megacities in East Africa, such as Nairobi. In addition to roads and highways, Egis Operation South Africa plans to focus on light and heavy rail. The aim is to continue contributing to Africa’s rail renaissance together with Gautrain, Prasa and Metrorail, as well as with Transnet on the heavy rail side. Ports and border posts, as well as automated fare collection for bus rapid transit systems are also of interest. Bouchacourt believes that all transport projects require areas of expertise in engineering, operations, maintenance and project structuring.

The Egis Group delivers a project from cradle to grave, and absorbs the turnkey risk, without doing the construction itself. “Every country is different, and it is difficult to be competitive in every market. We therefore add an element of flexibility by outsourcing construction. In South Africa, this will provide opportunities to exempted small enterprises (EMEs) and qualifying small enterprises (QSEs) who would traditionally never have had access to these types of projects,” he explains. In the next five years, the Egis Group has an aggressive path. It aims to double turnover and become one of the world's top 5 engineering companies, from its current position in the top 10. The South African market and the Southern African region are important parts of that plan.



Bigen is involved in the Vaalharts Revitalisation Project to enhance water security in the Northern Cape.

Five decades of delivery

Celebrating 50 years of ‘doing good while doing business’, the Bigen Group is renowned for providing cost-effective infrastructure and socioeconomic development solutions across Africa. In celebration of Youth Month, IMIESA speaks to upcoming engineering and project management professional David Gopane, a senior engineer within the Group’s Real Estate Directorate.

What attracted you as a young engineering professional to the Bigen Group of companies? DG Being a typical millennial, I look for meaningfulness in my career and Bigen’s purpose of ‘doing good while doing business’ powerfully resonates with my way of thinking. Since its inception 50 years ago in 1971, the Group has managed to transform itself from a traditional engineering firm into an engineering firm with a conscience and, ultimately, an infrastructure development company committed to socioeconomic well-being wherever we work. Seeing the life-changing effects of the infrastructure we


IMIESA June 2021

provide – not only in terms of providing impoverished communities access to basic services such as health, education, water and housing, but also the many jobs we create through our infrastructure projects – provides me with meaning and value for the role I play in this organisation. This is what attracted me to Bigen in the first place, and this is what has inspired me to stay with the Group for the past nine years. In the Real Estate Directorate alone, we have delivered more than 320 000 housing opportunities across the continent and we have also been involved with more than 42 000 school projects in South Africa.

How has the business evolved over the past 50 years? Our beginnings were humble. It started with the establishment of a small engineering consultancy in Polokwane, South Africa, in 1971. Over the past 50 years, we have grown and transformed from a traditional engineering consultancy operating from one office in Polokwane, to an engineering firm operating from eight regional offices in South Africa, and now to a truly African infrastructure development group of companies with headquarters based in Mauritius and South Africa, and country offices in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia. During the past five decades, Bigen has kept pace with the fast-growing infrastructure development needs of the continent and transformed itself into one of Africa’s leading engineering, advisory and infrastructure development company groups, working in Africa, for the people of Africa.

As the recipient of many prestigious industry awards, Bigen’s commitment to efficiency, transformation, development impact and quality is well acknowledged. Bigen has become a partner of choice for African governments seeking bespoke, cost-effective infrastructure development solutions, and has transformed lives and economies in 19 countries.

David Gopane, senior engineer: Real Estate Directorate, Bigen Group


What are the burning issues within the infrastructure development sector right now? Inadequate infrastructure is the single biggest threat to Africa’s long-term growth; in South Africa, the effective implementation of infrastructure development has always been plagued with subdued economic growth, a lack of funding, corruption and capacity issues. To my mind, however, the burning issue within the South African infrastructure sector right now is, without a doubt, the outbreak of Covid-19 and its related lockdowns. The infrastructure and construction sectors have been severely impacted and, according to Stats SA, the construction industry – which is a major provider of jobs in South Africa – experienced its eighth consecutive quarter of economic decline, slumping further by 76.6%. Having been classified as an ‘essential service’ during the lockdown, Bigen was fortunately able to continue providing services in most sectors, with its teams being issued with travel permits. To me, as a young professional, it was really reassuring to see how the company I worked for continued to provide water to communities, enabling them to adhere to the national directive of handwashing to prevent further spread of the virus. The upgrading of healthcare facilities and the erection of temporary ones to accommodate Covid-19 patients were other important projects Bigen has undertaken for, inter alia, its Department of Health clients. As a senior engineer for the Group,

I also felt assured by the various measures Bigen had put in place to safeguard its employees and clients, and to ensure construction sites were safe according to the national health directives.

What can be done to address these issues? In a bid to counter the devastating effects of Covid19 on the economy, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan was announced by President Ramaphosa on 15 October 2020. The plan’s priorities include attracting investments, a massive infrastructure programme, an employment stimulus to create and support jobs, steps to achieve energy security, and measures to intensify local industrialisation and African integration. I believe that companies in South Africa have a huge role to play to support the government in its quest to regain economic stability in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Governments and the World Health Organization alone cannot defeat this pandemic and its related devastating effects on the economy and infrastructure development. Private sector companies now have an increasingly important role to play in support of responsible capitalism, which seeks to move corporate culture beyond mere profits and shareholder gains. At Bigen, we have managed to achieve a fine balance between the concepts of profitability and beneficiation, and we have successfully been supporting governments in Africa to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The Bigen Group is regarded as a powerful change-maker in the agricultural, water and sanitation, real estate, transportation, energy, health and development advisory sectors.”

Bigen is the appointed civil engineers on the Lufhereng Integrated Housing Development Project in accordance with the 'breaking new ground' policy of National Government.

What role can South African engineers play in supporting government’s economic turnaround strategy? Engineers have helped to build South Africa, in the physical sense, and they will help to rebuild the economy. PwC states that science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) jobs will stay in demand to drive productivity gains; as engineers, we should aim to use our skills to support economic recovery and pivot towards a brighter future. During the Covid-19 pandemic, engineers have played a critical role, both on the frontline and in supporting frontline workers and communities across South Africa. Engineers are essential in the design, implementation, construction supervision and maintenance of all types of infrastructure – making the engineering profession critical in connecting communities, driving our economy, and keeping South Africans safe. Government’s willingness to coordinate and collaborate with key stakeholders, particularly the engineering profession, is essential as South Africa continues to cope with a response to the current pandemic, while shifting its focus towards the country’s economic recovery.

What are some of the key projects that Bigen is busy with right now? Bigen is continuing its involvement in projects and operations supporting the economic recovery of South Africa, as well as other African countries. Bigen is already involved, by way of engagement on specific projects, in the South African Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) programme of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, under the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council. At the end of July 2020, 62 SIPs were gazetted, six of which involve Bigen: • Phase 2A of the Mokolo Crocodile River (West) Augmentation Project, Limpopo • Rehabilitation of the VaalhartsTaung Irrigation Scheme, Northern Cape and North West • Berg River Voëlvlei Augmentation Scheme, Western Cape • Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Gauteng • Lufhereng Housing Development, Gauteng • Vista Park 2 and 3, Free State. All of these will make a lasting socio-economic difference to the lives and livelihoods of affected communities. For more information: Tel: (0) 12 842 8700 E-mail: pretoria@bigengroup.co.za www.bigengroup.com

IMIESA June 2021



National siltation programme to preserve SA’s large dams A three-year programme managed by the Water Research Commission and funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation, the National Dam Siltation Management Programme sets out to develop the Siltation Management Strategy. This will ensure the effective and sustainable management of the nation’s bulk water resource infrastructure.


s a water-scarce country with extremely variable rainfall, South Africa is highly dependent on the storage of water in large dams for its water supply. Nationally, the total storage capacity of the country’s major reservoirs amounts to an estimated 33 900 million m3 – or about 70% of the mean annual run-off. Most of South Africa’s dam infrastructure was constructed before 1980, and thus many of these engineering structures are decades old. In addition, seven of South Africa’s nine provinces rely on interbasin transfers – where water is transferred from one catchment to another through sophisticated water infrastructure – which provide more than half of their water requirements. However, these large dams experience various threats to their sustainability, not least of which is siltation. South African rivers, in general, carry large loads of suspended silt, as a result of both natural processes and humaninduced activities, such as deforestation, industry activities, improper farming techniques and overgrazing. Silt ends up in the country’s dams, where it reduces the storage capacity. The problem is exacerbated by an increase in high-intensity rainfall events coupled


IMIESA June 2021

extending the storage life of its existing large dams. There are several options for preventing and managing siltation in South Africa’s dams. Siltation management should not be a blanket approach and should be site-specific.

NatSilt initiative

with longer periods of aridity as a result of climate change. All of South Africa’s dams are affected by siltation to a greater or lesser degree. The most well-known example is the Welbedacht Dam on the Caledon River in the Free State. The dam was originally constructed in 1973 with the purpose of supplying water to the city of Bloemfontein. By 1988, merely 15 years after construction, the dam had already lost 73% of its original storage capacity. Another example is Hazelmere Dam, located on the Mdloti River in KwaZulu-Natal. This dam, completed in 1975, has lost more than 25% of its original design capacity through siltation.

Countering annual losses It is estimated that South Africa is losing about 1% of storage capacity in its dams to siltation every year. The limits to the development of surface water sources have almost been reached and the opportunities for the spatial economic placement of new dams are few. Dam construction is costly, and it is not costeffective to replace the lost capacity in existing water infrastructure by building more bulk water infrastructure. It is therefore imperative that the country manages its existing bulk water infrastructure as effectively as possible,

There is thus a requirement for a toolbox of solutions to address the siltation challenge. To this end, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) appointed the Water Research Commission (WRC) to develop the National Siltation Management Strategy for Large Dams in South Africa, more commonly known as the NatSilt Programme. The programme represents a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach to tackle the wide spectrum of dam siltation and storage capacity challenges in South Africa. The programme was officially launched in May 2021 at the NatSilt Virtual Symposium on Protecting Our Source Water Systems. Key outcomes included the role municipalities play in the maintenance of the catchment areas and how crucial it is that there is cooperation between the various government departments in ensuring the success of the programme. Leonardo Manus, acting deputy directorgeneral: Regulations, Compliance, and Enforcement at the DWS, said, “We have established our whole economy and livelihoods around these majestic dam structures, but we can so easily lose them if we don’t apply proper management procedures to keep them in that state. “The NatSilt Programme will provide the department with the tools and intelligence to make appropriate, site-specific decisions regarding each dam instead of having a blanket


approach,” he added. “Where sedimentation occurs to such an extent that it has to be dealt with, we will create a business model that will not be to the detriment of those who are dependent on the dam. To minimise costs to the downstream users in that specific catchment, we need to find alternatives to expensive methodologies and dredging models deployed to keep any dam operating.” The NatSilt Programme thus aims to ensure that bulk water resource infrastructure is managed in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner to ensure economic growth, social development and poverty eradication. The programme will provide a package of siltation management solutions as well as an overall strategy.

A coordinated approach is needed “With this programme, we hope to address some of the water challenges the country is facing, but also to establish a collaborative approach to dealing with matters affecting the water sector rather than organisations and institutions working in silos,” explained Lesego Gaegane, senior project manager, WRC. “Siltation of dams is a worldwide problem, which results in the loss of storage capacity and so exacerbates water insecurity. Effective siltation prevention and management will save scarce fiscal resources by extending the life cycle of our existing dams,” she explains.

Three phases The programme is being undertaken in three phases, the first of which is currently under way. The main objective of Phase I is the development of the Siltation Management Strategy to prevent and manage the siltation of dams, as well as stimulate local economies and cost recovery. The strategy will be supported by:

• risk management and monitoring, and evaluation frameworks • governance and financial considerations • implementation plan • future research requirements. Phase I will also see the investigation of current models utilised to manage siltation in South Africa. The objective is to generate and test tools that will enable the alleviation of dam siltation through optimised catchment management, as well as dam engineering methodologies and innovations. An operations model will be proposed to optimise and enhance dam management plans, processes, procedures, regulation and compliance. A toolbox will be developed alongside this that will delve into critical decision areas, system indicators and management boundaries in relation to efficient and effective siltation management. As part of a risk monitoring framework, real-time monitoring indicators and responses will be proposed, including costs to operationalise. For new dams, design considerations will be developed to ensure siltation is minimised, as well as considerations of the cost-benefit of dam basin management versus siltation of the dam.

Dredging viability assessment Dredging can be a technique to deal with sediment in dams, although it is seen by many as an expensive solution that is highly sitespecific. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to dredging. These factors, together with frequency, cost/benefit and environmental risk will be investigated towards the development of a dredging model that will guide such activities in South Africa. Priority sites will be identified

through a consultative process to capture areas requiring intervention. It has been recognised that all the dam siltation management tools and strategies will not be implementable without a parallel capacity-building component to support new skills development and skills transfer through the project and its design. The programme will develop training material, modules and four skills programmes during Phase I, to support a successful and valueadding Phase II. The second phase is expected to start during the second year of the NatSilt Programme later this year, which will run in parallel with the close-out of Phase I. Phase II will entail the piloting of the decisionmaking tools, operations models, dredging models and protocols, capacity-building and monitoring, and evaluation indicators. Three sites have been identified where these tools and models will be piloted. They are: • Welbedacht Dam (Free State) • Hazelmere Dam (KwaZulu-Natal) • Darlington Dam/Orange-Fish Government Water Scheme (Eastern Cape). Phase III is the culmination of the programme. This phase will involve taking the learnings from Phase I and II and revising the strategy, adapting and improving the models and tools based on stakeholder engagement and the results of the pilot phase. With all phases completed, the NatSilt Programme is scheduled to be concluded by the end of 2023.



KENYA Geothermal utility seeks $1.95 billion In a bid to almost double its power output from renewable fuel, Kenya Electricity Generating Co (KenGen) plans to raise US$1.95 billion (R26.8 million) to build new and upgrade existing plants. KenGen, Africa’s geothermal pioneer, plans to add 651 MW from underground steam in the next five years. President Uhuru Kenyatta is pushing investors to tap Kenya’s vast geothermal resources with a goal to switch completely to renewable energy to generate electricity for the nation’s grid, from about 90% currently.

Last month, at US President Joe Biden’s climate summit, Kenyatta said that there are “huge investment opportunities” in his country’s steam power, given just a fraction of the resource is being used. The state-owned company plans to build four new 140 MW steam-powered plants, including a project to be delivered as a publicprivate partnership. Steam wells have already been drilled at two of the planned facilities. The company also plans to upgrade some projects to add 66 MW and deliver another 25 MW from wellheads and mobile generating plants at the Eburru field.

GHANA Tema port expansion projects AECOM is on track to complete its work on the Tema Port Expansion Project on behalf of Meridian Port Services (MPS). According to Craig Thackray, director: MEA Ports & Marine, AECOM, the project team has managed to deliver the port facilities ahead of the programme, within budget and with a great safety record. “We are now operationalising the fourth berth and have just completed supervising the marine works for our client. The ship-to-shore crane infrastructure is already in place and the port is fully operational at present.” Located about 30 km from the capital city, Accra, the Port of Tema accounts for 70% of Ghana’s containerised volume. The containerised volume represents less than half of the port tonnage, which includes general cargo, bagged commodities, dry and liquid bulk cargo. The container terminal (Terminal 2) has been operated by MPS since 2007. Building on its success in operating Terminal 2, MPS and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority extended the concession to include the Tema Port Expansion Project. The Tema Port Expansion Project (Terminal 3) is adjacent to the existing Tema Port and has been designed to provide enough draft and modern container-handling


IMIESA June 2021

equipment to accept and service the largest container vessels operating on global trade routes. It can accommodate vessels with a capacity of 22 000 TEUs – a marked increase from the 5 000 TEUs at Terminal 2. The new terminal will significantly increase Ghana’s container-handling capacity to around 3.7 million TEUs a year, from 800 000 TEUs at Terminal 1 and 2. As Ghana is a seismically active zone, special attention had to be paid to the design of the marine and land infrastructure. This needed to address liquefaction of marine sediments and the reclamation materials, and the structural stability of the breakwater, quay wall and buildings. Solutions included the removal of liquefaction-prone materials, consolidation of marginal foundation materials, and detailed analysis and structural design of major elements. The first major milestone was the handover of a portion of the project works. This was the first commercial operation for two container berths (700 m), to the operator in June 2019. The second milestone, commercial operations for three container berths (1 000 m), was achieved in April 2020. The marine works for the fourth berth were completed significantly ahead of schedule during June 2020.

TANZANIA Funding secured for Malagarasi Hydropower Plant

NIGERIA 6 million to receive improved WASH services The World Bank has just granted a US$700 million (R9.63 billion) loan to Nigeria. The International Development Association loan will finance access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for 6 million people, mainly in rural areas and small towns. With an estimated population of 201 million, the provision of clean water, sanitation and hygiene is a real challenge in Nigeria. According to the World Bank, about 60 million Nigerians live without access to basic drinking water services, 80 million without access to improved sanitation facilities, and 167 million without access to a basic hand-washing facility. In rural areas, 39% of households are without water services, while only half have access to improved sanitation facilities and almost a third (29%) still practise open defecation. The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to build and rehabilitate water points and drinking water systems for rural communities and small towns; build and rehabilitate sanitation facilities; and build hand-washing stations. The Nigerian authorities are also planning to build small-scale faecal sludge disposal and/or treatment facilities.

The Tanzanian government has just approved a further US$140 million (R1.93 billion) in funding for the construction of the 50 MW Malagarasi hydroelectric power station. The funds are provided by the African Development Bank and the Africa Growing Together Fund. The Malagarasi Hydropower Plant Project is being implemented in the Uvinza and Kigoma District Councils, Kigoma Region, western Tanzania. The project involves the construction of a run-of-river power plant. The plant will harness the Igamba Falls on the Malagarasi River. It will include a gravity overflow weir of about 600 m in length that diverts flows to the waterway. The waterway system includes a culvert, approximately 1 km long, which leads the discharges to short penstocks, through an external force main and then to the 50 MW power plant built on the right bank of the river. There will be construction of about 53 km of 132 kV overhead transmission line between the Malagarasi Hydropower Plant and the 400/132/33 kV Kidahwe substation in Kigoma. The plant will require a total investment of $144.14 million (R1.98 billion). The Tanzanian government will be contributing $4.14 million (R56.93 million).

MOZAMBIQUE Consortium acquires 30% stake in Rompco from Sasol Reatile Group and African Infrastructure Investment Managers have teamed up to buy a 30% stake in the Rompco pipeline in Mozambique for up to R5.14 billion from Sasol South Africa (SSA). Rompco is a joint venture between SSA (50%), Companhia Mocambiçana de Gasoduto (25%) and the South African Gas Development Company (25%). The joint venture owns the 865 km gas transmission pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa. SSA intends on retaining a 20% shareholding in Rompco. Sasol’s agreements to transport gas to Secunda are unaffected and the existing tariffs, approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, will be unaffected.

IMIESA June 2021


SMART CITIES While a smart city needs high-quality, predictable and affordable public transport, the aim is to reduce the need for public transport as much as possible

Ramaphosa’s SMART CITY dream becomes ‘reality in the making’ Two years after President Ramaphosa announced his dream for a South African smart city, the draft Greater Lanseria Master Plan (GLMP) has been completed by a team of professionals appointed by the Presidency and the Gauteng Provincial Government. By Kirsten Kelly


APP Architects & Urban Designers won an open tender and was commissioned to lead the design of the smart city. The professional team (assembled at tender stage) included SMEC South Africa’s Urban Development Division as the infrastructure and transportation planners. The Lanseria Smart City will cover a huge area (430 km2) that straddles three municipalities – City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, and Mogale City Local Municipality – and shares a border with Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West. Deon Du Plessis, function manager: Urban Development Division


IMIESA June 2021

Deon Du Plessis, function manager: Urban Development Division at SMEC

at SMEC, explains that this adds a level of political complexity to the project. “A province cannot do any planning at a local authority level. Planning is a function of the municipalities. It is important to get buyin from each local municipality.” Erky Wood, director at GAPP Architects & Urban Designers, adds that the company therefore reported to a complex client body. “We worked with a project steering committee comprising representatives from the Presidency and the Gauteng Premier’s Office, the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), as well as from the City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, Mogale City and Madibeng Local Municipality.”

Erky Wood, director at GAPP Architects & Urban Designers

The meaning of a smart city “The majority of people associate a smart city with technology. This is a small component of a smart city. It is about creating a liveable space. A liveable city also needs land use, energy, water, mobility and refuse. All of these components need to be integrated with each other in order to create a sustainable city. The smart part of a city is not about the tech – it’s placing the correct urban structures in the correct places,” says Du Plessis. Wood believes that simply imposing the latest ‘smart’ technology in a structurally flawed urban system will merely increase the digital divide. “You have to get the fundamentals right, and inclusion is a vital part of a smart city. The Lanseria Smart City needs to be understood

SMART CITIES within the complex South African paradigm. This will be a city that incorporates the full socio-economic profile of South African society and serves the needs of everyone who lives in it. A smart city creates an inclusionary space.” President Ramaphosa has referred to the Lanseria Smart City as South Africa’s first post-apartheid city. “We have embraced that description and are passionate about creating an inclusionary urban structure,” says Wood. Creating a local economy is an important part of creating an inclusionary city. The GLMP puts new infrastructure in place in order to attract new economic drivers with an emphasis on those that SMMEs and start-ups can latch on to, forming a more complex cross-over and inclusionary economy. Another fundamental part of a smart city is the green agenda. While compact, complex cities are efficient from a space perspective, they use a lot of energy and water, as well as have a large carbon footprint. This is, however, an advantage in that it concentrates these otherwise negative factors into a single ‘pointload’ where they can all be tackled holistically and with focus. A smart city uses energy and water efficiently and has a low carbon footprint. Efficiencies in the Lanseria Smart City can be achieved via spatial patterning and smart infrastructure that uses biogas, solar, waste-toenergy and water reuse technologies. The Lanseria Smart City must not, under any circumstances, promote further urban sprawl. It sits on an edge portion of the Magaliesberg Biosphere and also impinges slightly upon the Cradle of Humankind’s World Heritage Site. The Lanseria Smart City comes with a carefully crafted transition zone to take development pressure off these two areas. Agriculture will play an important part in creating a local economy for the Lanseria Smart

Aerial view of Lanseria International Airport

City. An agri-village is planned in the Northern Farms area. Urban farming, high-density agricultural development involving hydroponics, tunnel farming, rooftop gardens and public grow spaces will be encouraged. The GLMP also includes a regional fresh produce market.

Lack of development in the area “A significant population already lives in the Lanseria Smart City area and there is a desperate need for development. But most of the region within the area is viewed as outside the ‘urban boundary’, making it difficult to gain critical mass from an economic point of view,” explains Wood. The City of Johannesburg has quite rightly channelled investment into the ‘Corridors of Freedom’ in the city centre, as well as the south-western part of the metro, and has not viewed Lanseria as an area of focus for extended local authority infrastructure. The part controlled by the City of Tshwane is considered

The aim is to create a city where the local population lives, works, learns, prays and plays in the same space

rural and there is no push for development. While Mogale City would like investment in the area, it has no capacity and is hemmed in by the Cradle of Humankind’s World Heritage Site and the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve. Split jurisdictions and insufficient infrastructural capacity are additional reasons why there has been a lack of development in the area. “People living on the margins of the wider Gauteng City Region in places like Diepsloot and Cosmo City spend a lot of time and money to commute and find work in more urban areas. The GLMP intends to rectify this and develop a new local economy in the area that creates economic prospects for people already living there,” says Wood.

Infrastructure Currently, the entire Lanseria Smart City is poorly serviced with infrastructure, other


The majority of people associate a smart city with technology. This is a small component of a smart city. It is about creating a liveable space. A liveable city also needs land use, energy, water, mobility and refuse. The smart part of a city is not about the tech – it’s placing the correct urban structures in the correct places.” than the N14 highway. Both the Northern Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) and Driefontein WWTW are heavily overloaded. The City of Johannesburg has been planning the desperately needed construction of the Lanseria WWTW for many years. It has received the necessary authorisations and licences but needs to raise funds. There is also a plan to build the Lindley WWTW in 20 to 25 years to deal with the growth of the new city into the catchment of the Crocodile River to unlock development within the catchment. “We believe that the Lanseria WWTW is the correct solution for the Lanseria Smart City and is the only plan that can be implemented in the next five to six years. It already has existing demand and is to be implemented with an element of urgency in 50 Mℓ modules. The GLMP has suggested that the Lanseria WWTW be one of the first projects implemented in the smart city,” says Du Plessis. The GLMP also suggests an option of using package treatment plants to unlock development outside the catchment of the new WWTW prior to it coming online. “In the future, we foresee using technologies like urine diversion and waterless sewerage systems, which will drastically reduce the demand on the Lanseria WWTW,” adds Du Plessis.

Transport While a smart city needs high-quality, predictable and affordable public transport, the aim is to reduce the need for public transport as much as possible, with a local population that lives, works, learns, prays and plays in


IMIESA June 2021

the same space. The Lanseria Smart City will be a walkable city that is bike-friendly with non-motorised transit routes. High-occupancy vehicles (such as the Rea Vaya bus) via designated routes would be encouraged. “We have also made proposals for a railbased freight and logistics hub in the area. Transnet has indicated that it has lost appetite for new infrastructure and we have therefore considered how private rail could service the area. Gautrain has plans to extend its line to Lanseria Airport,” explains Wood. “The airport itself at present sits without the support of adjacent urban land that can create critical mass that builds on its potential as a very significant economic driver. With the Lanseria Smart City, the airport will become a more focal area and a major cargo hub into Africa. It may need to expand the runway from 3 km to 4 km, and the GLMP has tried its best to allow for the future expansion requirements for the airport.”

Financing a smart city Significant investments are needed to make the Lanseria Smart City a reality. The DBSA is spearheading an initiative to make use of a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to secure funding, develop the project, operate Lanseria’s Smart City infrastructure, and recoup the investment via rates and service charges. In so doing, regional infrastructure investment need not place a burden on the balance sheets of local government. Furthermore, the SPV for the Lanseria Smart City should be used as a case study that can be replicated elsewhere. While split jurisdiction may be a reason for lack of development in the area, it may be favourable when developing a funding model. “Residents of the Lanseria Smart City will come from the three different municipalities, but they will be using the same utilities and may therefore have to pay the utility directly.

GLMP local development framework

However, this will probably face opposition from municipalities as they use revenue earned from the supply of water and power for other services.” The model still needs to be fine-tuned and the DBSA is in the process of creating the bankable feasibility documents. When briefed, GAPP was told that the Lanseria Smart City must be a publicly led city initiative – it cannot simply be driven by developers but it must recognise the vital role of developers in being the basic implementing agency. “In addition to financing the project, another hurdle is the fact that all the land in the Lanseria Smart City area is privately owned. We have therefore recommended that a real estate investment trust be put in place. This will prevent land, regardless of its urban framework, being pursued for ‘highest and best possible use’ that could result in, for an example, a shopping centre being placed inappropriately simply because the developer happens to own it,” explains Wood. Wood concludes that the Lanseria Smart City will be a testing bed for the SPV as well as the setting up of development controls when encouraging developers to use sustainable technology. “By-laws and policies need to be in place. There could be a mechanism for developers whereby they could receive 40 of the 100 points required for a four-star Green Star building by merely buying land in that space. A four-star-rated building should be an entry-level development in the Lanseria Smart City. And rebates could be offered for four-star-rated buildings and upwards. The idea is that the more Green Star-rated buildings in the area, the less need there is for intensive infrastructure spend going forward.”


Bosch Holdings celebrates 60 years of innovation in engineering It was inconceivable for the founders of Bosch Holdings in 1961 to have known that, 60 years later, the company would have expanded into a global operation, offering consulting engineering, skills development and project finance solutions throughout South Africa, into Africa and internationally, having executed projects in over 120 countries.


osch Holdings has been involved in many prestigious projects around the world, starting with the 1963 design of Durban’s iconic sugar terminal. “Innovative engineering, authentic people and pursuing excellence in every aspect of our business are key to our success. We value our team and we encourage our people to grow, have fun and reach their full potential as we continue our journey together,” says Mike Gibbon, CEO, Bosch Holdings. “Our relationships with clients are central to our business and we are committed to embracing the latest technologies and improving the lives of those around us, through integrated project solutions. “We ensure the successful completion of every project, in line with the highest standards, in terms of safety, quality, time and budget constraints," he continues. Bosch Holdings, with its head office in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is supported by a strong regional presence, with highly qualified professionals at more than 10 office locations across South Africa, Kenya, Brazil and the UK.

Eight specialist companies The group comprises eight companies – Bosch

Projects, Bosch Munitech, Bosch Ulwazi, Bosch Capital, Bosch Engenharia, Booker Tate, Bosch East Africa and Bosch Trading – all offering specialist services. Bosch Projects provides consulting engineering and project management services to diverse sectors, including industrial plants, water and wastewater, roads, urban developments and buildings, as well as ports and terminals, the sugar sector and agriculture. Bosch Projects also designs and supplies a unique range of process production equipment to the global sugar industry. Bosch Munitech provides specialist ‘reality capture’ services, consisting of underground utility detection, 3D laser scanning and material thickness testing. Bosch Ulwazi facilitates the advancement of engineering skills. The company provides solutions for engineer development and technical training, as well as supplier/ enterprise and socio-economic development. Through Bosch Ulwazi’s enterprise development programme, the group strives to develop black-owned businesses that operate in the engineering sector. The recent expansion of Bosch Ulwazi’s services includes consulting engineering solutions in the offering.

Northern Aqueduct Pipeline


N2 Grahamstown to Fish River

Bosch Capital provides a range of financial advisory services, including corporate finance and project finance advisory, capital raising and investment facilitation for public and private sector projects, and transactions. The company’s delivery model combines financial expertise with the group’s engineering capabilities to deliver integrated and customised solutions. The establishment in 2008 of the group’s first foreign subsidiary in Brazil – Bosch Engenharia – was a significant milestone, creating new opportunities for the company to offer enhanced engineering services. This includes multidisciplinary engineering, equipment supply and plant operations management in South, Central and North America. The group’s carefully structured global growth strategy has also seen the establishment of Bosch East Africa in Kenya, and the acquisition of Booker Tate Limited in the UK. The Bosch East Africa team, which is based in Nairobi, is well positioned to lead projects in and beyond Kenya, with professional services including mechanical and electrical engineering, building services, project and construction management. Booker Tate in the UK is a leading global agribusiness consultancy that specialises in bringing agricultural projects to realisation. Over five decades, Booker Tate has developed recognised, world-class competencies in conceptualising, implementing and professionally managing large-scale renewable resource production systems. Bosch Trading offers a customised solutions service to clients looking to improve the efficiencies of sugar and ethanol factories

C&D West Storage Facility, Richards Bay

in Brazil and Central America. The company acquires and supplies both new and refurbished plant and equipment from Brazil on an international basis.

Milestone projects Some notable milestone and award-winning projects undertaken by the group are noted below. Water and agriculture: the Bivane (Paris) Dam; numerous projects growing and irrigating sugar cane on over 250 000 ha across four continents; undertaking of agricultural assignments in over 100 countries; water master planning for Bulawayo for a million inhabitants; regional planning for iLembe District Municipality; water reticulation analysis and design in Zimbabwe, KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg; the Vlakfontien 210 Mℓ reservoir; eThekwini’s Northern Aqueduct in KwaZulu-Natal; a communal ablution programme servicing 350 informal settlements; and one of the largest flood protection works in South Africa to control floods up to 10 000 m3/s. Roads: the R1 billion phased realignment and upgrade of the N2 from Grahamstown to Fish River; rehabilitation of urban arterials and streets for eThekwini; and implementation of the new R600 million Gonubie Link Road dualcarriageway urban arterial. Urban developments: Brettenwood Coastal Estate; the 49 ha Bridge City new CBD development; international development experience with a residential and mixed-use Fumba development on Zanzibar island; the Mt Edgecombe Retirement Village; and the 2 000 ha Ntshongweni Urban Development, including participation in establishing the

world’s largest Green Star rated urban area, with R6 billion in infrastructure services. Buildings: Serena Hotel 200 room refurbishment and additional top floor in Kenya; refurbishment of the Westgate Mall after the terror attack in Nairobi; the Coega Head Office; and a prestigious Sandton office upgrade. Sugar and industrial: the greenfield TSB Komati Sugar Mill; a 200 000 t coking coal storage facility in Richards Bay; the first and largest 4 MW biomass plant (Bio2Watt) in Africa; the Ubombo expansion project – the largest brownfield sugar expansion project in Africa; the design and supply of 15 patented Bosch Projects chainless diffusers and 61 continuous vacuum pans globally; numerous 25+ MW power plants, including integration to both factories and the Eskom grid; worldwide experience in the FMCG industries, including a rum plant in the Caribbean, alcohol plants in East Africa and many brewery assignments; numerous large materials handling projects, including a 750 000 tpa sugar packing plant in Egypt, and a 9 000 t/h conveyor design. Training and development: notable achievements include the development programme for Transnet Capital Projects of 30 black women and for 1 000 staff for BMW. Financial advisory services: Eight water sector study projects undertaken for the Water Research Commission, and transactional advisory work for a large parastatal for ports and terminals in South Africa With the Bosch Holdings team’s steadfast commitment to excellence, the highest standards of service delivery and uplifting the quality of life for the people of South Africa, the company is set to celebrate many more milestones 60 years from now.

Phoenix Wastewater Treatment Works


IMIESA June 2021


Gabion systems NEED GEOTEXTILES As soil separation, drainage, water filtration and allied protection interventions, geotextiles play crucial roles in the overall integrity and performance of gabion systems. The starting point is a soil analysis, followed by optimal design, correct product specification, and best practice installation techniques, says Louis Cheyne, managing director, Gabion Baskets. By Alastair Currie


here are two main types of geotextile employed in the construction of gabion structures that enhance their structural stability – namely woven or needle-punched non-woven, which are produced using materials like polyester and polypropylene. Both materials are designed to provide some form of controlled permeability since a typical gabion basket is composed of 35% voids and 65% rock. Non-woven mesh products are ideally suited for sandy soil-type environments, plus riverine structures. Examples include bridge abutment protection, weirs, riverbank erosion control and retaining walls. Here, these non-woven geotextiles are highly effective in countering the migration of fines that would otherwise undermine these structures. They can also perform optimally in reducing water velocity below and around submerged gabion systems. In contrast, woven geotextiles are better suited to soils with a high plasticity. Clayey soils are a prime example. Where the

Laying geotextile sheets is the essential starting point for ensuring a sound base on which to build gabion basket and/or gabion mattress structures

Geotextile installed behind and below this gabion wall structure helps to prevent soil loss that could potentially undermine the structure

plasticity is very high, however, a geotextile may not be required, but the soil analysis will determine this. “Installing a non-woven mesh in a clayey scenario will result in progressive clogging of the liner via fine particle build-up over time. This will make the geotextile progressively impermeable. Subsequent water pressure build-up could then potentially push over the structure,” Cheyne explains. Gabion Baskets provides turnkey solutions for all projects. This scope encompasses the manufacture of gabion baskets and/or gabion mattresses, the supply of specialist geotextiles, plus the rock fill material. Design recommendations, plus contractor and installer training are also provided.

Selecting the right liner specification Choosing the right geotextile layer thicknesses and strength is essential. The general specification supplied by Gabion Baskets ranges between 200 g/m2 and 270 g/m2. As Cheyne points out, lighter-weight fabrics at around 140 g/m2 are fine for roadway and sports field subsoil drainage, but far too thin and lightweight for gabion installations. “The most common fill source is blasted rock from a commercial quarry,” Cheyne explains. “These rock fragments tend to be angular in shape, often with sharp edges that


prevents the sand washing through and subsidence occurring behind and below the structure. In this application, the general rule is to use 1 m² to 2 m² of geotextile per m³ of gabion.


Geotextiles form an especially important role in ensuring the stability of gabions installed as part of a river erosion system


Examples of subsoil drainage system designs

could puncture a thinner geotextile during the gabion basket filling process. Then the fines will start to pass through.” For specialist applications, the geotextile layer thickness can go as high as 1 kg/m2. This is typically used for layer works separation during road construction where the geotextile serves as a bridge over poor

All gabion installations placed directly on to sandy in situ soils should rest on a primary geotextile separation liner. To further prevent any soil ingress, it’s also important to ensure that there’s a minimum overlap of 30 cm between laid-out geotextile sections. Where gabions are submerged in a riverine environment, the rock within the gabion systems should be entirely wrapped in a non-woven geotextile to prevent silt build-ups


in situ soils, like black turfs. The geotextile liner, covered by an aggregate layer, allows the water to pass through but stops soil movement below. Where the latter occurs, potholes are among the end results. The same principle applies for gabion retaining walls built in a sandy soil environment. Here, a non-woven geotextile

A gabion river wall failure. Contributing factors include poor installation and founding, as well as inadequate use of geotextiles to prevent soil erosion behind and below the structure

that could eventually lead to failures. The foundation – often a gabion mattress with apron – must also be placed on a non-woven geotextile to cater for soil movement below. Geotextiles are also ideal for protecting gabions and gabion mattresses exposed to constant fast-flowing water. Without a liner, the ensuing water velocity causes a sucking effect through the mattress. The riverbed soils are then sucked through, which causes hollows underneath. The supported gabion retaining wall will then start to lean over and eventually collapse. “As these and other examples mentioned illustrate, the use and extent of geotextiles will vary with every gabion installation; however, it’s the basics that are non-negotiable,” adds Cheyne. “Interestingly, geotextiles only started to gain traction in South Africa in the early 1990s. But, since then, have become the standard for professionally engineered structures,” Cheyne concludes.

IMIESA June 2021



ESMFs support bankability of SADC power projects The South African Power Pool (SAPP) provides a forum for the development of a stable interconnected electrical system, including the identification of priority power projects, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Many of these projects need to fulfil bankability requirements by adequately assessing environmental and social safeguards. By Kirsten Kelly


Over a two-year process, SRK reviewed regulations and laws with regard to several countries’ power projects


IMIESA June 2021

RK Consulting was awarded an open tender by SAPP to develop an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), which the World Bank approved. Created in 1995, SAPP is a SADC structure and one of the oldest power pools in Africa. It develops systems and agreements that help member states to trade power – to generate, transmit and distribute power at the most affordable price. Over the years, there has been an increased demand for power due to the growing economies of countries within the SADC region. Darryll Kilian, partner and principal environmental consultant at SRK

Consulting, adds that power projects typically require large investments. “Power plant upgrades and new builds, interconnectors to transmit power from one country to another, as well as hydropower schemes are capital intensive. Therefore, many of these countries must seek international funding. It can take years to produce these funding proposals, which can be constrained from reaching bankability.” Most of these proposals include exhaustive data on the location of the project, specifications by engineers on the power configurations, the amount of power required and a detailed cost estimate. However, environmental and social sustainability aspects are often left out of the proposal or are not adequately covered.

Safeguards Environmental and social safeguards refer to policies, standards and operational procedures designed to first identify and then try to avoid, mitigate and minimise adverse environmental and social impacts that may arise in the implementation of development projects. “They hold significant weight when determining the bankability of a project. There must be sufficient planning and screening in the beginning of the project to make sure that cultural, biodiversity, water and compensation

Darryll Kilian, partner and principal environmental consultant at SRK Consulting

Environmental and social international impact assessments at the early design and feasibility phase of a project reduce risk



issues are adequately addressed. For example, if applying for funding for a hydropower plant, one needs to consider whether people are living off the area to be inundated. Will they need to be relocated? Will they need to be compensated? If there are no environmental and social international impact assessments at the early design and feasibility phase of a project, there is a risk of losing millions of dollars in creating a funding proposal that will not be bankable,” adds Kilian.

In response to the intensified need for power projects in the SADC region and the small percentage of these projects reaching bankability, SAPP created a Project Advisory Unit, of which the ESMF was a key deliverable. SRK Consulting was tasked with creating an ESMF for the whole energy sector in 14 countries within the SADC region (excluding the island states). The ESMF includes a set of tools to assist utilities’ personnel, including: a screening checklist, management plan examples, and terms of reference. “It was a two-and-a-half-year process where we reviewed each country’s regulations and laws, and consulted ministries, utilities, independent power producers, nongovernmental organisations and academics involved in power projects from different countries. We also visited several countries to assess different types of power projects (such as hydropower, geothermal, solar power, wind power, coal power and nuclear power) and identify common environmental and social issues, as well as insights associated with each,” explains Kilian.

According to Kilian, the ESMF requires a multidisciplinary approach. “While an engineer may flag an area as the best location for a power project, as it is close to existing infrastructure, for example, that preferred location may be occupied by many people whose potential relocation could undermine the financials of the project and cause major social disruption. This is why the ESMF calls for technical, environmental and social disciplines to work together at a strategic level during the early stages of design and concept development. This will assist with defining the scope of environmental and social impact studies. But importantly, it will help a project reach bankability.” “The ESMF deals with the core safeguards that a client or funder considers when looking at the viability of a project because environmental and social issues have a huge impact on the financials that can adversely affect a project. Banks have recognised the need to integrate environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decision-making, lending, and project finance approaches and decisions,” concludes Kilian.



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

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

Contributing to the well-being of communities

Meeting social and technical challenges



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 2021 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


New material specifications for roadbuilders Quarrymen and miners of materials used in the construction of roads have a new set of specifications to adhere to in order to supply national and provincial roads agencies, as well as all metros and municipalities.


ur face mining industr y association ASPASA has worked tirelessly with the Committee of Transport Officials (COTO) and role players to hammer out standards for different types of materials to be used on South African roads. Crushed aggregates and sand are key components in the manufacture of this type of infrastructure and the new COTO specifications effectively replace the previous, widely known COLTO spec. An industry veteran and the motivating force behind ASPASA’s submission to COTO, Barry

Pearce – who heads up ASPASA’s Technical Committee – says the new specifications have brought the industry together and led to close cooperation between roads agencies, engineers, material suppliers and road contractors. Material suppliers will now have a two-year trial period to implement, test, debate and refine the specifications before final acceptance.

Implementation The move from the COLTO to COTO specifications also comes with a change in sieve sizes from imperial to metric ISO sizes. That means quarries will need to make minor changes or possibly set about changing worn grizzlies and screens to match the relevant COTO sizes to conform to the new specifications. “The specifications also pay closer attention to the testing and acceptance of materials where they are mined, and upon delivery and usage. ASPASA has long been of the opinion that acceptance needs to be conducted at the source of the material and before any further processing, such as the addition of cement or binders,” says Pearce. “For now, this method of acceptance is required for materials sourced from approved

borrow pits and requires engineers to test and accept crushed and stockpiled material at the borrow pit before delivery to site and further processing by the contractor,” he continues. “Our Technical Committee, however, suggests the same should apply to existing quarries, with some minor adjustments where compliance with existing legislation is already in place, such as HSE requirements. If this approach of approval of material is adopted, I think the COTO specification will be as near to ‘perfect’ as we can get it right now,” Pearce adds.

Ongoing work “ASPASA and our Technical Committee will continue to work with the agencies, the Road Pavement Forum, the Southern African Bitumen Association and other role players to ensure the COTO specifications are upheld and that our members are well versed in the supply of in-spec materials. We will also continue to highlight any issues that may arise in the two-year implementation period,” Pearce concludes. Barry Pearce heads up ASPASA’s Technical Committee

IMIESA June 2021



The smart way to monitor bridge loads

Mechanical indicator on the bridge bearings

Keller sensors can be used to measure and record load distribution on bridges.


he volume of traffic on our roads is an unknown quantity and the growing proportion of trucks places increasing loads on bridges. Furthermore, plate tectonics constantly cause the ground beneath our feet to move. These two variables cause the load distribution on a bridge to change. It is therefore necessary to continuously monitor and identify changes in the load distribution with sensors.

Previously, bridge loads were displayed using a mechanical indicator on the bridge bearings, which had to be read on-site. Fortunately, Keller has focused its attention on this central supporting element of the bridge and integrated a networked pressure measurement solution into the bearing. The bridge transfers the loads to an elastomer cushion. An elastomer is a polymer with viscoelasticity (both viscosity and elasticity) and weak intermolecular forces, generally low Young’s modulus, and a high failure strain compared with other materials. Between the pressure sensor and the elastomer is a layer of grease that functions as a pressure transfer medium and makes it possible to measure the

Bridge bearing with a built-in elastomer cushion, layer of grease and pressure sensor

internal pressure due to loading. This change in pressure is determined by a pressure transmitter, which is customised to integrate perfectly with the bridge bearing.

Telemetry module Keller has two telemetry modules: a basic version (ADT1) and a more extended highend version (ARC1). Both are battery-operated modules for the remote transmission of pressure transmitter data. The telemetry modules have been specially designed for connecting to Keller pressure and level sensors. There are several versions of both modules covering data transfer by 3G or 4G networks, as well as narrow-band and longrange internet of things (IoT). SMS and email data transfer is possible but will reduce the system’s extended features. With bridge loads, the telemetry modules read the data directly via a digital interface and can send this data (immediately or at preset times) to the customer’s server or the Keller Kolibri Cloud Portal. The use of stainless-steelcovered pressure sensors with an especially long service life guarantees decades of reliable measurements and functional safety. With the ARC1 module, alarm alerts can be sent by SMS for immediate response. By using IoT, bridges can be reliably and continuously monitored for changes in load distribution that pose a threat.

IMIESA June 2021





recognise excellence At the 2021 Southern African Bitumen Association (Sabita) Awards, four wor thy recipients were recognised for their passion and contribution to industr y excellence. Last year’s event was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. For this reason, a 2019 winner was included alongside three 2020 award recipients at this year’s vir tual ceremony, held in April 2021.

2019 SABITA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF BITUMINOUS PRODUCTS Winner: Dave Collings, representing Loudon International Project: Development of cold recycling technology with bitumen stabilised materials (BSM) Dave Collings has contributed to numerous cold recycling projects in South Africa and abroad over the past three decades. His contribution includes the development of specialised pavement evaluation methods for rehabilitation, appropriate laboratory mix design methods, structural pavement design models, application guidelines and implementation (construction), as well as training of the human capital to expand and support the technology. Through the application


IMIESA June 2021

of the technology, many successful and sustainable projects have been completed, to the benefit of the broader roads industry. In his acceptance speech, he humbly pointed out that his achievements are the result of joint efforts since the late 1980s with numerous role players in industry. He said co-workers from various companies all played a significant role in the development of BSM technology, making it a highly viable option for constructing cost-effective/highly durable base layers. Underscoring this point, he said Sabita’s Technical Guideline 2 is recognised globally as the go-to guide for bitumen stabilisation.

Winner: Mahendren Manicum, managing director at Naidu Consulting Project: Rehabilitation of road P20-1 from km 10 to km 30 in the Maphumulo area The scope of works, on which Mahendren Manicum was extensively involved, included the production of BSM1 using aggregate from milled sections, and thereafter paving with a A-E2 modified binder wearing course. Ancillary works included guard rails, V drains, kerb, channels and gabions by Contract Participation Goal (CPG) contractors. The use of BSM1 resulted in a saving of 80% on the project. The nomination highlights Manicum’s hands-on passion for road pavements, which is evidenced through his extensive involvement at project and sector level, alongside his responsibilities as managing director. He understands the significance of sustainability and its importance in the South African context, and remains committed to serving as a catalyst for change in South Africa. He is currently working with one of his teams to unpack CPG goals through pavement rehabilitation works, showing how the initiative may be effectively utilised to capacitate emerging contractors without compromising the output of projects. Manicum is passionate about transformation and has driven the subcontracting of meaningful work to emerging contractors in the road pavement sector. In his acceptance speech, he stated: “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my colleagues who were also nominated for this award. I know that each one of us deserved to win. “I want to thank Sabita for keeping the asphalt industry moving forward during these unprecedented times, always striving for technical excellence and making a valuable contribution to international best practice. We are all proud to be associated with such a strong brand,” he added.


2020 CEO MERIT AWARD FOR NOTABLE HSE ACHIEVEMENT Joint winners: Melissa-Ann Jew, AECI Much Asphalt, and Eddie Jansen van Vuuren, AECI SprayPave Project: Health & Safety At the time when Much Asphalt joined the AECI Group in 2018, the total recordable incident rate (TRIR) was over 3, against an AECI internal aim of <0.5. Melissa-Ann Jew was appointed as the SHEQ manager for the Much group during the latter part of 2019. With her excellent people skills, good planning skills and passion, she drove the TRIR down to a current rate of 0.38. This sets Much Asphalt among the top performers in the AECI Group and indeed against global best practice. In addition, her passion for the environment and her sheer drive ensured that all the Much Asphalt, as well as SprayPave, sites operate within the law and beyond in this respect. Her approach to everything is totally customer focused and continually promotes the concept that the SHEQ team serves others. It evaluates the process by doing satisfaction surveys and using the input and criticism for better performance. In her acceptance speech, she mentioned that she is receiving credit for something that is really a team effort and that no strides would have been achieved without the support of every employee. She added: “I want to thank my mentor and leader, Bennie Greyling, for his and the senior management’s unwavering support in all SHEQ aspects. It is a dream come true to work with such amazing people and such an amazing team.”

Project: Waste Bitumen Recovery Eddie Jansen van Vuuren was nominated for initiating a waste bitumen recovery project. The AECI SprayPave team designed and constructed a bitumen recovery system consisting of a drum decanter and heating system. This system recovers bitumen from drums collected from customers and SprayPave’s three operational branches. The objective is to ensure that bitumen waste and the steel drum containers it is held in are safely disposed of in accordance with waste management regulations. This initiative is the direct result of SprayPave’s responsible care policy (cradle-to-grave commitment) and a good example of sound product stewardship. Commenting on the award, Van Vuuren said: “Waste management in the blacktop industry has always been a thorny issue. Hopefully, this project paves the way for other initiatives that demonstrate that the industry really cares about the environment.”


Innovative solutions for your success. WIRTGEN supplies a complete range of mobile machines and high-quality services for all areas of road construction and opencast mining. www.wirtgen-group.com/southafrica WIRTGEN SOUTH AFRICA · 52 Maple Street · Pomona · Kempton Park 1619 T: +27 (0)11 452 1838 · sales.southafrica@wirtgen-group.com


A groundbreaking partnership between Origin Materials, the world’s leading carbon-negative materials company, and AECI Much Asphalt, Southern Africa’s largest commercial asphalt manufacturer, is set to take world asphalt production by storm.

AECI Much Asphalt to pioneer low-carbon asphalt


t the heart of the programme lies Origin Materials’ patented technology platform, which turns inexpensive, sustainable wood residues into cost-advantaged, carbonnegative materials that reduce the need for fossil resources. AECI Much Asphalt is an AECI Group company and AECI is a strategic investor in Origin Materials, which is based in West Sacramento, USA. “AECI Much Asphalt and Origin are both committed to innovative, sustainable solutions for bringing the globe to net zero as quickly as possible,” says Rich Riley, co-CEO, Origin Materials. “With AECI Much Asphalt’s leadership position in asphalt and extensive reach as a supplier to the African continent, we expect that this partnership can result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions and will play a key role in Origin’s mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials. “AECI has formalised its strategy to 2025, which has sustainability at its core,” adds Dean Mulqueeny, executive at AECI Group and chairman of AECI Much Asphalt. “Roll-out of the strategy includes our commitments and targets in terms of carbon-intensity reductions. The partnership with Origin is totally aligned with this and exemplifies our brand promise of enabling ‘a better world’ through our products and services.”


IMIESA June 2021

Eco-friendly binders For AECI Much Asphalt, the partnership with Origin Materials is Herman Marais, a significant step plant and in reducing its own technical director at AECI Much carbon footprint and Asphalt that of its customers. Herman Marais, plant and technical director at AECI Much Asphalt, says this programme is very significant due to the vital role of bitumen as the binder in asphalt production and the direct relation of the bitumen to the long-term performance of asphalt. “Although we currently only measure the carbon footprint of our processes during the manufacture of our asphalt products, the carbon footprint of the bitumen itself is high. Turning Origin Materials’ carbon neutral feedstock into an alternative asphalt binder therefore makes huge environmental sense,” says Marais. The collaboration with Origin Materials is expected to create considerable value in the developing African market, where AECI Much Asphalt is active, and could revolutionise global bitumen production. AECI Much Asphalt already includes up to 40% reclaimed asphalt in its products in a drive towards sustainable production, which has resulted in more than a million

tonnes of aggregate not being mined and avoided the refining of some 53 500 tonnes of bitumen since 2012.

Stable pricing The Origin Materials platform is expected to provide stable pricing largely de-coupled from the petroleum supply chain, which is more volatile than supply chains based on sustainable wood residues. “With the closing of the Engen refinery and recurrent production challenges experienced by the other local refineries, South Africa has become a net importer of bitumen over the past year,” says Marais. “There is no indication that this balance will be redressed in the foreseeable future and the potential of an alternative source of asphalt binder from Origin Materials is an opportunity not only for environmental benefit, but also to ensure sustainability in the South African bitumen and asphalt market,” he continues. “There is very exciting development work ahead and we eagerly await the commissioning of Origin Materials’ first production facility at the end of 2022, and its second not long thereafter, to start seeing the true benefits of this joint venture,” Marais concludes.


Bridging the chasm between school and life


he ‘Nurture a Girl’ initiative launched by Mariswe five years ago has stepped up from supplying basic hygiene needs for high school learners to teaching them economic independence. “This has become a vital progression in our support for teenage girls due to the significant challenges they face on leaving the school system,” explains Nonkululeko Sindane, CEO of Mariswe. Nurture a Girl was launched in schools in four provinces in 2017 and includes exposure to life skills, career advice and counselling. However, Patience Mashala, programme manager, Mariswe, says in order to provide sustainable value, their beneficiaries need to know how to become self-sufficient. “That’s why we are expanding Nurture a Girl to help our beneficiaries earn a living upon leaving the school system,” she explains.

Providing trade and business skills Mariswe kicked off the enhanced programme at Thembinkosi School for learners with special educational needs in Thembisa – a founder Nurture a Girl beneficiary school. To enable the teaching of basic trades, Mariswe provided the school with a shed and tools for vegetable gardening, an industrial bread-baking stove with dough mixer, industrial sewing machines, carpentry tools and materials, and carwash equipment. Teachers have also received formal training in carpentry, while training in other skills may be provided if needed. “By the end of this year, we expect our beneficiaries to know how to start and manage their own businesses. In addition to the core skills, we will provide training on essential business skills, including stocktaking, invoices and receipts, marketing and sales. Our programme aims to help produce strong, independent, successful women,” she adds.Mashala urges other businesses to

RESPECT FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT AECI Much Asphalt, incorporating AECI SprayPave, is southern Africa’s largest manufacturer of bituminous products. For us success means providing bituminous products that are sustainable throughout the value chain. That’s why our plants are designed for the use of high percentages of recycled asphalt and we focus on low impact products such as warm mix asphalt. That’s also why our plants meet and exceed emissions standards and our products have long design lives. Respect for all our stakeholders is key. 20 static plants • mobile plants • extensive product range stringent quality control • industry training

muchasphalt.com +27 21 900 4400 info@muchasphalt.com

spraypave.co.za +27 21 931 0459 info@spraypave.co.za

Nonkululeko Sindane, Mariswe CEO (seated), and Patience Mashala, manager of Nurture a Girl (standing centre), with beneficiaries at Thembinkosi School

join Mariswe in supporting the Nurture a Girl initiative. Every sponsorship of R150 a month|, or R1 800 a year, enables one more teenage girl to become a beneficiary. It will require more to provide the self-sustaining skills initiated at Thembinkosi. However, Mashala is confident the programme can be expanded across all beneficiary schools, one step at a time.

Rooftop gardens -

landscape innovation Rooftop gardens and green roofs have been around for many decades, especially in highly populated urban areas such as cities and towns. Initially, rooftop gardens were used mainly to provide insulation in cold northern hemisphere climates. These days, with limited ‘green’ space, rooftops gardens are used to reduce the heat island effect in cities, reduce stormwater run-off and flash-floods, create small safe havens for insects and birds, and beautify the environment. In essence, this is a creative and functional way of reducing reliance on municipal water, saving water, and preventing pollution. Rooftop gardens can be as simple as a few container plants artfully arranged in an open space, or as complex as a fully waterproofed and vegetated roof surface. In a rapidly growing urban environment with limited space, many people are choosing to live in flats, apartments, and townhouses. A rooftop garden or landscape is ideal for those living in homes without gardens. They make use of unused or underused space and are great for plants and veggies that require full sun. Veggies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas and beans, tall corn and rambling squashes, carrots, radishes, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, potatoes, and onions are ideal for rooftop food gardens (but may require some protection from the wind in some areas). If you are looking more at an aesthetic landscape, consider hardy, sun-loving, locally endemic plants such as indigenous Highveld grasses, succulents or fynbos (all appropriately hydrozoned). Remember that there are a number of factors to consider when implementing a rooftop garden or landscape: • Make sure your structure/building/roof can support the load of a rooftop garden (Engineering requirements will apply). Using lightweight planting materials such as vermiculite, perlite, and sphagnum moss alleviates the problem of weight, and absorb and hold water well. • Rooftop environmental conditions such as full sun and strong wind can be tough on plants. If necessary, provide shading for more delicate plants, and buffers (for users and plants) to prevent excessively windy conditions. • Speak to an expert if you are interested in implementing a fully planted green roof. You may need to consult with a structural engineer or architect to conduct a structural analysis of your building. • A simpler, more cost-effective solution is to use containers and raised plant beds. Lightweight containers are ideal as they are portable, flexible in use, and affordable. You can really get creative and can easily change the design as required! Rooftop gardens are environmentally-friendly, water–saving, creative, innovative, space-saving solutions to a limit in garden and landscape space.

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


Unscheduled shutdowns and process efficiency


he process of pumping liquids and controlling these with valves is a carefully designed one where parameters such as flow rates, pressures, temperatures and a host of other factors are carefully monitored, measured and controlled. On plants designed to run as 24-hour operations, like wastewater treatment works, any sudden or unscheduled shutdown could place unexpected strain on the system. For this reason, the starting and stopping/shutdown of process plant equipment should always adhere to original equipment manufacturer specifications. However,

10 KEY MAINTENANCE CHECKPOINTS • Mechanical pump seals • Bearings • Suction and discharge pump casings and flanges • Valves and valve seals • Control instrumentation • Performance curves • Pump impellers (corrosion) • Ensure paperwork is updated for improved reporting • Overall condition of piping • Instrumentation, gaskets and elastomers (e.g. manometers, flow switches, temperature probes, accelerometers, etc.)

Pump maintenance during and after shutdowns is critical



where unscheduled stoppages do occur, it is impor tant to Hugo du Plessis, troubleshoot the system senior project to check for possible engineer, KSB faults. Preventative Pumps and Valves maintenance may be required. “Performance can be severely impacted and even a single digit decrease in the system’s productivity can have a vastly detrimental effect on a company’s bottom line,” explains Hugo du Plessis, senior project engineer, KSB Pumps and Valves.

Recommission the pump circuit “As plants are brought back into operation, it is necessary to recommission the pump circuit to be sure it is optimal. This investment in time can prevent further problems down the line,” he continues. “Hardening of materials, corrosion, leaks, etc. can start during these times and are best dealt with up front. The medium being pumped also dictates how long materials can be stationary before deteriorating the system. It is probably a good idea to have an audit of your system to ensure it is still optimal,” adds Du Plessis. KSB Pumps and Valves is a leader in the supply of pumps, valves and services for almost every application. The company’s products range from water pumps to advanced petrochemical and pumping systems for energy, mining, industry, waste handling and other applications.


Water Wise Buildings


Green buildings are environmentally responsible, and ensure the sustainable and efficient use of resources and energy. They are also shown to promote well-being and productivity, as well as have lower operating costs.


hat makes a building ‘green’? The City of Cape Town has put together a set of green

building guidelines: • Used water, known as greywater, can be directed on to your lawn and flowerbeds. • Consider switching to ‘green’ electricity, which is generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar and wave power. This will save you water too, as coal-based power stations use water to generate electricity. • Plant trees on the south, west or east side of your property to provide shade during summer. • A ceiling and insulation in a small house can reduce your energy requirements by as much as 124 kWh a month – saving roughly R50.00/month. • Eco-friendly building materials can be used, including reclaimed wood, recycled/ composite plastic and non-toxic ecosensitive paints. • Rainwater can be harvested from the roof and stored, or channelled to the garden. • Install a solar water heater – these are relatively expensive but result in substantial savings on your electricity bill (water heating is the biggest part of most households’ electricity use profile). • Install energy-efficient light bulbs (CFLs) throughout the house. These are usually more expensive than conventional incandescent light bulbs, but have a much longer lifespan and use far less electricity. They pay for themselves in


IMIESA June 2021

twitter.com/water_wise www.waterwise.co.za/site/home.html

a few months and are a very sound environmental choice. • Install solar (photovoltaic) panels on the roof to provide electricity to run lowconsumption appliances such as the TV, radio, lights and fridge. Saving electricity saves water. Statistics show that for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy generated, approximately 1.3 litres of water is used. To register your building with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) and get it Green Star SA certified, you will need to provide evidence of the green building measures you have used or will use.


Local community upskilled with new plant installation Filtration and water solutions provider QFS was appointed by Ndlambe Municipality in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, Por t Alfred, to implement a 5 Mℓ/day wastewater reuse and seawater desalination project.


FS used local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to implement some of the works. During the project implementation, these local SMMEs had to go through a rigorous and strenuous time of implementing the emergency works under pressure. On successfully completing the works, QFS hosted a ‘lessons learnt’ session where QFS, the SMMEs, the SMME Business Forum, as well as consulting engineers all discussed the positives and negatives of the project along with the methods used to work together in bringing solutions to solve the water crisis. “The session assisted both parties in understanding the responsibilities and risks that come with being business owners that bring solutions to local municipalities. It further highlighted the importance of working together as a team to solve local problems.


Surface Water (Rivers & Dams)





Water Resilient Ndlambe Municipality

Wastewater Reuse

Groundwater (Borehole)


Industrial Reuse

QFS believes in implementing augmentation solutions to ensure that water-resilient cities are built. This graphic illustrates the vision that QFS has in building water-resilient communities while using sustainable technologies

Musawenkosi Ndlovu, director of QFS

The design build section is close to completion

The SMME civil contractors that helped to build the 2 Mℓ/day desalination plant and the 3 Mℓ/day wastewater reuse plant for the Port Alfred community

QFS has the technical know-how to implement water projects and, with the outcome from this session, QFS has further grown to have a clear picture on how SMMEs can be used effectively to assist in implementing these types of projects,” says Musawenkosi Ndlovu, director of QFS. Ndlovu adds that QFS is excited to be moving to the operating and maintenance phase of the wastewater reuse and seawater desalination project, where further opportunities will be opened to the local community in terms of skills transfer. “We will be training operators and upskilling them to run the 2 Mℓ/day desalination plant and the 3 Mℓ/day wastewater reuse plant. Working with local communities in implementing these projects builds a sense of responsibility and pride, as each party plays an active role in solving the water challenge faced by the nation.” The tremendous need for water treatment services in the Eastern Cape has prompted QFS to open a branch in the Port Alfred area.




Repositioning for GROWTH

In office since 30 October 2020, Executive Mayor Randall Williams of the City of Tshwane is focused on executing quality service delivery as he leads the roll-out of the metro’s 10-point Plan.


he City of Tshwane’s approved operating and capital expenditure budgets for the 2021/22 financial year amount to around R39 billion and R4 billion, respectively. In compiling its budgets, the City had to adjust spending levels downwards after taking into consideration projected declines in revenue collection. However, measures are in place to correct this. “We found a massive budget deficit of over R4 billion as a result of declining collection rates in the city. Collection levels had dropped to as low as 75% in some months when the administrators were in office. Recently, we managed to make significant progress in this regard and reported a 90% collection level in March 2021,” says Williams. He adds that measures include presenting the business case for the implementation of prepaid electricity meters across Tshwane to help to stabilise billing and provide sustained revenue.

Tshwane’s 10-point Plan The City’s 10-point Plan forms the framework for improved turnarounds in service and infrastructure delivery and is focused on the following areas: 1.  Prioritising the electrical grid and water infrastructure 2.  Implementing a robust Covid-19 management strategy 3.  Creating a reliable waste and refuse removal service 4.  Providing stringent financial management and oversight 5.  E nhancing city safety and emergency services


IMIESA June 2021

KEY OPERATING PROGRAMMES FOR THE 2021/22 FINANCIAL YEAR: - Expanded Public Works Programme initiatives: R70.1 million - Food bank: R4.6 million - Local economic development and SMME initiatives: R11.4 million - Household refuse removal: R616.5 million - Illegal dumping: R94.4 million - Drug and substance abuse: R35.5 million - Formalisation of informal settlements: R72.6 million - Repairs and maintenance of infrastructure and community facilities: R663.9 million - A Re Yeng operations: R20.3 million - Electricity reticulation, power stations, connections and disconnections: R123.9 million - Water purification works: R84.1 million - Water tankers (informal settlements): R27.1 million

6.  Promoting employment and economic growth in the city 7.  Supporting the vulnerable and providing social relief 8.   Fast-tracking development by cutting red tape 9. A  pplying expansive financial cost-cutting across City processes 10.  M aintaining and expanding road infrastructure. Examples of successful interventions to date include the repair of more than 13 000 potholes, and over 82 000 streetlights. In turn, Tshwane water and sewerage teams have focused on maintenance initiatives that include the unblocking of more than 11 000 sewers, with over 20 000 water leaks repaired to date. “If we fix electrical infrastructure, we reduce financial losses. The same is true for water infrastructure, as the revenue lost as a result of water leaks is significant,” Williams explains.

Strategic priorities and highlights One of the city’s largest infrastructure projects is the ongoing revamp of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW). This is the largest facility of its kind in Tshwane and purifies around 45% of the city’s wastewater. It remains operational during its multifaceted upgrade. Phase II is due to start in the 2021/22 financial year and will provide an additional 80 megalitres of treatment capacity per day to facilitate new developments in its catchment area for the next 20 to 30 years. Meanwhile, Tshwane’s Baviaanspoort WWTW project is at an advanced stage of construction and on track for completion. This R41 million project will restore the additional treatment capacity needed for the plant to ensure that the treated effluent released into the Pienaars River complies with national standards. This will stop further pollution of the Pienaars River and the Roodeplaat Dam downstream.

Tshwane’s eco champion tackles Hennops River pollution


Bagged plastic waste pulled out of the river during the World Environment Day community clean-up on 5 June 2021

Like many urban riverine systems across South Africa, the Hennops River passing through Tshwane is becoming overwhelmed by pollution. The latter chiefly comprises domestic solid waste, together with a toxic mix of industrial effluent and untreated sewage.


or Tarryn Johnston, founder of Hennops Revival, the mounting environmental impact could no longer be ignored, and she started mobilising volunteers in September 2019 via social media platforms. There was an overwhelming ground swell of support and sponsorship from the community, industry and the City of Tshwane. Within a short space of time, Hennops Revival was registered as a non-profit organisation. Since then, the momentum has kept building throughout the various Covid-19 lockdowns, with the main thrust at present on the Centurion section of the Hennops River, including the township of Olievenhoutbosch. “I was so shocked by the state of the river and this jolted me into action, especially after the high levels of flooding that occurred during December 2019,” says Johnston, recalling her motivation for kick-starting the venture.

L-R: Dana Wannenburg, MMC: Environmental Affairs, City of Tshwane; Executive Mayor Randall Williams; and Tarryn Johnston, founder, Hennops Revival, during Earth Day 22 April 2021

“In the flood’s aftermath, the trees and banks bordering the river were covered in a thick layer of plastic and polystyrene waste, which really highlighted how uncontrolled the problem had become. In one case, we cleaned up a polystyrene island in the river that was some 20 m across and several metres high. On that job alone, we probably filled some 2 000 refuse bags.” The severity of the flood also highlighted a growing social concern when upwards of 100 homeless people living alongside the riverbanks needed to be moved to an emergency shelter. Johnston saw this as an opportunity to help tackle the challenge by creating casual employment for some of these indigent community members, bringing them on board.

Forging partnerships On each of Hennops Revival’s regular cleanups, Tshwane Waste Management Services has demonstrated its commitment by collecting and removing the bagged rubbish to landfill. “Unfortunately, there’s very limited opportunity to recycle since the plastic and allied waste pulled out of the river is so contaminated,” Johnston explains. “However, we do encourage volunteers to bring their recyclables to our work sites and collection stations for onward dispatch to recycling centres.” In terms of recent support, Hennops Revival has received a sponsorship from KwaZuluNatal-based water specialist company Talbot. The sponsorship covers a 12-week water quality testing study being carried out by Johnston.

Tarryn Johnston collecting water samples from the polluted Hennops River

KEY STATISTICS FROM INCEPTION IN NOVEMBER 2019 Rubbish collected: 1 228 785 kg Number of bags: 29 746 Volunteers involved: 2 432

Hennops Revival has also partnered with Tshwane University of Technology, which is conducting a study of the microplastics concentrations in the river. Other potential initiatives include the installation of litter traps via donor funding. “Ultimately, we need to know what we need to fix. At this stage, cleaning up – as necessary as it is – is like placing a plaster over a gaping wound. The upside, though, is that meaningful action has been taken, and we have made the problem impossible to ignore,” she adds. “Overall, the major issue is that the pollution levels experienced in the Hennops River are just the tip of the iceberg. Our solution is one part of the equation, but we need more education, awareness and environmental compliance from citizens and industry to turn the tide,” Johnston concludes.

IMIESA June 2021


Disentangling the complexity of groundwater issues to create visibility, and improving resilience

17th Groundwater Conference & Exhibition




Fanus Fourie, national chairperson, Ground Water Division

How much groundwater is used in South Africa? FF Between 13% and 16% of the nation's total water supply originates from groundwater. However, this would exclude all boreholes that are not registered at the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Is groundwater an underutilised resource? Yes and no. Yes, because 7.5 billion m3 per annum of groundwater is available and there is 10 billion m3 per annum of surface water, but almost all of the surface water is fully allocated. Around 19% of all groundwater is found in KwaZuluNatal, but most of the province’s water is sourced from a river or a dam. Groundwater is definitely underutilised in KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa is currently using around 50% of available groundwater and can still develop the other 50%. But if a community has a river, it will not go to the expense of drilling a borehole and utilise available groundwater. There is around 2 billion m3 per annum of groundwater that can be developed. On the other hand, it is not underutilised. In fact, groundwater is overutilised in places like the Karoo. Groundwater has massive potential. Cape Town will be pumping roughly 10 Mℓ of groundwater a day. Once Port Elizabeth’s groundwater scheme

Groundwater: hidden but never forgotten

is in place, roughly 15% to 20% of all of its water will come from groundwater. Groundwater in Brandvlei in the Karoo is pumped as far as 50 km from the town. Many towns and communities are supplied solely from groundwater. In certain cases, we can utilise more groundwater; in other cases, we need to focus on protecting our groundwater. Groundwater protection zoning is aimed at safeguarding the quantity and quality of groundwater. A community cannot live on top of a wellfield. Petrol stations or ventilated improved pit latrines should not be close to a borehole. In some cases, development needs to be reconsidered if groundwater earmarked by the municipality for community use will be impacted if this construction goes ahead.

How can we better manage groundwater? Groundwater management seeks to balance and mitigate the detrimental impacts of the development and operation of groundwater. There are a number of elements to consider: • Protect the wellfield: If people are living on top of your aquifer, there is a high likelihood that it may be polluted. The wellfield needs to be fenced off. But for maintenance and daily operations, there must be easy access to the borehole. • Planning: There may be a possibility that one requires more water from the borehole than can be extracted. It may

Par t of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA), the Ground Water Division (GWD) is a body of scientists and technicians who have an interest in the optimal development of South Africa’s groundwater as a limited natural resource. IMIESA inter viewed its national chairperson Fanus Fourie.

GROUND WATER DIVISION (GWD) • Established in 1978 • Essentially a non-profit association, it is committed to upholding and promoting professionalism in the field of groundwater among its membership • The GWD is a community of professionals who help South Africans understand and manage groundwater • The 17th biennial Groundwater Conference will be held between 17 and 20 October as a hybrid event, broadcasting from Gauteng • The GWD focuses on networking, knowledge transfer, as well as capacity and awareness building through initiatives such as conferences, seminars and courses, talks and media relations, publications and sponsorships • It has a large database of registered professional hydrogeologists • For more information, visit the GWD website https://gwd.org.za

take two to four years to get another groundwater scheme up and running. • Maintenance: Often, when a borehole is not working, it is because a pipe broke, or there is a power issue, or a stolen cable or faulty pump or tap. • Daily operations: Water levels need to be measured on a daily basis. If no one knows how much water has been

extracted, and how much the aquifer has been replenished, the borehole may dry out. • Groundwater education: The community using the borehole water needs to understand where the water is coming from, how much water can be used, and how to avoid polluting the aquifer. The GWD is available to provide help and technical advice.

IMIESA June 2021


Manufacturers, designers, exporters and distributors of quality water management systems


Global pioneers in the design, development and production of advanced engineering plastic products for the water and other specialised polymer engineering products since 1980.

Testing and quality procedures All products are tested to the most stringent requirements. Because of previous system failures in the field, due to poor installation and or supervision, we fully assemble and test all our valve boxes, meter boxes and above-ground meter box assemblies up to 24 bar for three minutes.

Lea��r� �� ��� �n�us��� f�� ���� 40 �e�r�

About us Davis & Deale Irrigation have been in the technology of developing, manufacturing, marketing and exporting of water-related innovative products since 1980. Mr Davis has many past and current patents held in water-related and other polymer products.


Contact Details

Physical Address

Postal Address

Office: +27 (0)11 827 2460 Fax: 086 619 0799 E-mail: tarynne@convertek.co.za

6-8 Coert Steynberg Street Van Eck Park Ext2 Brakpan

PO Box 5070 Delmenville, 1403 South Africa


Davis & Deale and Conver-Tek have been respected suppliers of waterrelated and injection moulding products for over 41 years. They design the concepts, develop the products, build the tools and perfect the optimum production workflows from concept to finished product – all under one roof.

The power to perform in the water reticulation market


s group companies, Davis & Deale’s and Conver-Tek’s reputation for excellence has always been based on innovation, working the problem and finding solutions. In this respect, the unexpected arrival of Covid-19 really put that to the test, with the group responding by rapidly adjusting its processes to meet production targets in a safe and efficient manner. The Level 1 BBBEE supplier’s solutions are being installed on municipal water infrastructure projects nationally. Key metros include the City of Tshwane, where the company has been supplying quality, affordable water-related metering and packaged products for close on 20 years. “As long-standing suppliers, we appreciate the ongoing input received from engineers, water maintenance supervisors, and contractors. This has been instrumental in helping us perfect the design and development of many key products. A prime example is our Above Ground Box (AGB) and Meter. We believe this product has set the benchmark for durability and performance over the past two decades. We now successfully sell nationwide, as well as export to many African countries,” says Bevan Davis, managing director of Davis & Deale and Conver-Tek.

Combatting clones Products manufactured by Davis & Deale and Conver-Tek are subject to rigorous quality control. Each unit is pressure tested to 24 bar for three minutes, which guarantees a worldquality technical standard. “Some producers supply moulded boxes and parts using below-spec materials and sizes,

which, of course, reduces prices, and is evident from failed products frequently seen in some areas. Where product failures, excessive leaks and breakages occur, you can be certain that this is a counterfeit and not the genuine item. We therefore strongly recommend that specifiers only use products from accredited sources,” Davis stresses.

analysis was carried out in conjunction with solar energy specialist Millennial Reign. Production and electricity consumption patterns were monitored, assessed and logged for a few weeks. The results of this analysis were then used to determine the correct balance between panels, invertors and the 500 kVA output of the generator selected.

Managing power security

A worthwhile investment

How companies best respond to threats and opportunities is what defines the market leaders. In South Africa’s case, load-shedding has become one of the biggest hurdles to business continuity. “Aside from downtime and wasted materials, extended power outages have the potential to cause damage to our high-tech equipment. For example, the expensive engineering polymers used to form product components can crystallise in the injection moulding machines and destroy barrels and screws completely,” Davis explains. The group’s first power mitigation measure started with the installation of a diesel generator to run during peak charging hours, namely 06:00 to 08:00 and 18:00 to 20:00. The generator ensures that 24-hour operations can be maintained, when required, and radically reduces maximum demand charges. “However, diesel is costly and so this generator was intended from inception to form part of a hybrid system. The objective is to move off the grid completely. Our key investment in achieving this is the installation of an approximately R6 million rooftop solar system at our Brakpan factory, which is currently in the process of being commissioned,” Davis continues. Before committing to an off-grid strategy, an in-depth

“While we could have spent the money on additional machinery (the equivalent of buying four new-generation injection moulding machines and two state-of-the-art toolroom CNC milling machines), we realised that going the off-grid route was the immediate priority,” says Davis, adding that this investment should pay for itself within four years. “As a responsible manufacturer, renewable energy helps to reduce our carbon footprint, but more importantly guarantees that we are self-reliant. Constant power equals consistent quality, and the ability to meet on-time customer consignment delivery targets,” he concludes.

Davis & Deale and Conver-Tek have set up an education trust to support employee learning and skills development

IMIESA June 2021


Together, SIYAZI and the various role players we work with on our projects can make a difference in delivering effective solutions that meet the needs of all people – from grassroots level to executive management.



TRAFFIC ENGINEERING Impact studies for developments such as shopping centres, filling stations and residential areas Setting and synchronisation of traffic lights Parking studies, including issues such as parking layout, parking demand and parking supply Designs for pedestrian and bicycle facilities


SIYAZI is an award-winning South African transport solu�ons provider that services both the public and private sectors. The company’s main service offering focuses on public transport planning/development and traffic engineering, for everything from municipal to residen�al and commercial developments. With offices based in the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West, SIYAZI provides services that include:


Operating licence strategies (OLSs) Public transport plans Integrated transport plans: freight, public transport (taxis, buses), modal integration Needs determination System design Taxi rank and bus terminus design Taxi industry facilitation Taxi Rank management strategies and central management Determining of Transportation Vision, goals and objectives on various spheres of government Policy development Modal integration Taxi recapitalization plans

Data surveys Database analyses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) development Development planning Travel demand management and modelling Community service (conflict handling, mediation and facilitation) Training and capacity building Economic analysis, municipal finance Public transport management Policy and strategy development Development of cooperatives

SIYAZI is a registered member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)

+27 (0)12 343 6259



Transport solutions that empower

Founded in 1996, SIYAZI has expanded to provide professional transport engineering solutions throughout South Africa.


s a leader in innovation and empowerment in South Africa, SIYAZI offers public transpor t planning, development and traffic engineering solutions for everything from municipal to residential and commercial developments. The company is a registered member of the Engineering Council of South Africa. “Our solutions offer sustainable approaches that empower local communities. Together with the various role players in the projects we work on, SIYAZI makes a difference in the delivery of effective solutions to meet the needs of people from grassroots level all the way up to executive management,” says Sias Oosthuizen, CEO, SIYAZI. “It is in working together that we will build a strong, equitable and prosperous South Africa, characterised by effective and convenient mobility solutions.” This view is embraced within the organisation as well. SIYAZI’s holding company, SIYAZI Legacy Holdings, has a 40% shareholding by previously disadvantaged individuals through Ukusebenzisana Investments, 91% of which, in turn, belongs to a SIYAZI workers’ trust.

A section of the A Re Yeng public transport network within the City of Tshwane

offices in provinces across the country in order to empower and develop previously disadvantaged individuals. “We strongly believe that knowledge shared is knowledge gained, and skills development is key to unlocking the sustainable wealth contained in a resilient South African economy,” says Sias Oosthuizen. A prime example of this working philosophy is SIYAZI’s long and trusted relationship with the taxi industry, which makes SIYAZI the ideal partner and advisor to the affected parties. This is underscored by SIYAZI’s involvement on strategically important empowerment projects like Tshwane’s integrated public transport network.

Shared knowledge and value The company is strongly committed to ensuring sustainable Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment and has formulated a strategy aimed at establishing local


Solid foundations SIYAZI’s service offering is built on solid in-house skills. As CEO, Sias Oosthuizen has more than 40 years’ experience in the

transport sector. He has been instrumental in the planning of numerous integrated public transport plans for various municipalities, the development of guidelines for the first Current Public Transport Record surveys done in Gauteng, and negotiating and managing transport provision for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in eThekwini. Sias Oosthuizen was also involved in the development of the first taxi liaison committees in the East Rand, and SIYAZI has gone on to design several taxi ranks for the City of Ekurhuleni and other parts of South Africa. He is backed up by technical director Leon Roets, who has over 25 years’ experience as a transport and traffic engineer. Roets has extensive experience working with private and municipal entities – and in ensuring cooperation between the two – and has also been involved in projects concerning the taxi industry for most of his career. “SIYAZI was founded with the express goal of empowering communities and individuals through the implementation of sustainable transport solutions. Our mission is to stay a key transport specialist in South Africa and the continent through effective, sustainable empowerment and skills transfer to provide transport solutions that favour job creation,” concludes Sias Oosthuizen.

SIYAZI is involved on strategically important empowerment projects like Tshwane’s integrated public transport network

IMIESA June 2021



Moving the City of Tshwane towards zero emissions Electric vehicles (EVs) can reduce congestion and air pollution in South Africa’s capital city. To make that happen, though, EVs need to be more affordable and accessible. By Ivan Reutener


very morning, around 200 000 people living in Pretoria wake up, get dressed, and drive to work alone1. On average, they’ll spend about an hour in traffic2, travelling at a snail’s pace of around 26 km/h3. Collectively, these 200 000 slow-moving single-occupant vehicles – all of them internal combustion engines (ICEs) – emit 790 tonnes of CO2 emissions one way4. Then, when it’s home time, they do it all over again. To offset the environmental impact, we’d need to plant 1 580 trees around the city – every day. And this doesn’t take into account the tailpipe emissions from the other 660 000 registered ICE vehicles in the city5. As the capital of South Africa, Pretoria is home to various foreign embassies, high commissions, consulates, and some 1.4 million households. It’s unlikely that we’ll convince people to travel less, but if there were a mass shift to EVs, the public and private sectors could work together to make it easier to move around the city, while radically reducing tailpipe emissions, enhancing quality of life,

Ivan Reutener, Pr Tech Eng, leading professional: Smart Mobility, Royal HaskoningDHV

and boosting the economy. However, there are a few policy, technology, and business obstacles that South Africa would first need to overcome in the shift to smart mobility.

The beginning of the end of traffic Granted, replacing ICE vehicles with EVs won’t make a difference to congestion and travel time during peak periods. However, it’s a significant step towards fully autonomous transport, when EVs will be easily accessible and affordable to all through digital mobility solutions. This would encourage ride-sharing and reduce the number of single-occupant vehicles – and therefore congestion – on the roads. Encouraging residents to walk and cycle more, by allocating bigger public spaces to pedestrians in car-free areas and providing green corridors with dedicated walkways and cycling infrastructure is another way to reduce congestion.

Fast-track climate targets It’s not just commuters that benefit in an

EV-friendly city. As signatory to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group6, the City of Tshwane has taken the pledge to collaborate, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change. The stated goal in the City’s Climate Response Strategy7 is to reduce emissions and improve air quality. An EV adoption strategy that starts with converting the City’s fleet to EVs and eventually rolls out to include public transport and taxis will enable the City to meet targets to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another focus area should be on making EVs more affordable to the general public through incentives, subsidies and reduced import tax.

Rich man’s toy The general public is more likely to choose an EV as their next vehicle if there were compelling incentives to do so – and if they were more affordable. However, this is not the case in South Africa. Electric vehicles are generally regarded as ‘rich men’s toys’ – and for good reason. Unlike

Vehicle-to-vehicle connections will facilitate communication between autonomous vehicles and synchronise travel patterns so that traffic signals – and traffic as we know it today – will be obsolete


Electric vehicle public transport will be conveniently and affordably accessed via mobile devices in an autonomous future

other governments around the world, South Africa does not offer any incentives to the public to purchase an EV. While some countries offer rebates to reduce the price of EVs, South Africa’s policies increase the price through exorbitant import duties, making them unaffordable for the average person. To encourage EV adoption in South Africa, the government may need to reconsider its high import tax structure. Tax on an imported ICE vehicle is currently levied at 18%. For an EV, it’s 25% plus an additional 15% luxury tax. Let’s compare that to other countries: • China and Germany offer subsidies of between US$2 500 and $10 800 (between R35 000 and R152 000) on EVs8. • The US is ramping up to increase industry incentives, with the Biden administration announcing plans to install 500 000 public charging stations by 2030. • The UK’s Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) offers 25% off a new electric car’s list price up to £5 000 (R99 500). Making EVs more affordable is one way to

incentivise EV purchases in South Africa. Others include: • allowing EVs to use HOV lanes to reduce congestion • offering free parking • exempting EVs from city emissions and congestion charges • reduced or zero road and company car tax • expanding the public charging station network. Other ways to increase affordability and accessibility would be to convert the public transport fleet into EVs, to incentivise the taxi industry to convert9, and to establish and encourage electric car-sharing schemes. This approach also enables low-income earners to enjoy the benefits of EVs, which can be conveniently and affordable accessed via their mobile devices in an autonomous transport future.

EVs for everyone The private sector has a significant role

to play in ensuring successful autonomous transport, the benefits of which include zero or close-to-zero emissions, no congestion, and potentially no accidents. Communication networks, smart mobility solutions, and reliable connectivity form the backbone of an efficient autonomous transport network. Vehicle-to-vehicle connections will facilitate communication between autonomous vehicles and synchronise travel patterns so that traffic signals – and traffic as we know it today – will be obsolete. From a logistics and fleet management perspective, this advanced IoT-enabled network can help to optimise costs and maximise asset utilisation in ride-sharing fleets. We’ve estimated that, taking into account the kilometre range of the EVs, ridesharing businesses can expect to see a return on investment within four to seven years. After that, the entire system becomes more cost-effective than fuel fleets, with the added benefit of zero emissions.

References: 1 Gauteng Province Household Travel Survey Report 2019/20 – May 2020 2 Technical Paper, ‘Comparison of travel time between private car and public transport in Cape Town’, Hitge G, Vanderschuren M 3 Table 28 4 White Paper, South Africa’s New Passenger Vehicle CO2 Emission Standards, 2018 5 Gauteng Province Household Travel Survey Report 2019/20 – May 2020 6 http://www.tshwane.gov.za/sites/Council/Ofiice-Of-The-Executive-Mayor/Climate%20Action/000-COT-Climate-Response-Strategy.pdf 7 http://www.tshwane.gov.za/sites/Council/Ofiice-Of-The-Executive-Mayor/Climate%20Action/000-COT-Climate-Response-Strategy.pdf 8 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/europe-leads-in-ev-sales-but-for-how-long 9 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/electric-minibus-taxis-can-help-sas-poor-heres-how-gideon-treurnich

IMIESA June 2021



Shaping the automotive zone The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) ser ves as a key socio-economic driver and one of the largest infrastructure projects currently under way in the city.


ngineering consultancy Zutari is supporting the fasttracked roll-out of the TASEZ to accommodate a major investment by Ford Motor Company in a new production facility. This will produce a new line of vehicles to be exported globally. “Given the current economic climate, this project is not only a shining example of the revival of the local automotive industry, but also a much-needed injection of foreign direct investment during the Covid-19 pandemic,” comments Dr Stephan Jooste, head: Advisory at Zutari. In March 2020, Zutari was appointed by the Coega Development Corporation to provide

Zutari provided design and supervision of the enabling infrastructure for Phases 1 and 1A of the TASEZ


IMIESA June 2021

civil and structural engineering services associated with providing bulk and internal infrastructure for the TASEZ. With a total construction value of about R2.8 billion, it is one of the biggest developments currently under way in Tshwane, with automotive suppliers receiving tax incentives and opportunities to invest in an SEZ that will ultimately provide Ford with all the components it needs. Funders of the TASEZ include the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, the City of Tshwane, and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Bulk infrastructure upgrades The TASEZ is located on the eastern and southern side of the existing Ford facility in Silverton. Zutari’s role is to provide design and supervision of the enabling infrastructure for Phases 1 and 1A, including all internal civil engineering services and associated bulk infrastructure upgrades. The latter include a water supply pipeline and upgrades to Sefatanaga, Alwyn and Propshaft roads and associated intersections. Zutari also provided civil and structural conceptual design input at Stage 1 and 2 into each of the identified supplier sites. To promote job creation and business

The TASEZ is one of the biggest developments currently under way in Tshwane

development, the aim is to award 45% to 50% of the contracts to small, medium and micro enterprises. The goal is to ensure that the jobs and revenue generated are retained within the local community. For many years, Ford in particular has been exporting vehicles and components for the motor industry. Leveraging off the favourable tax incentives and exchange rates for overseas companies, South Africa is uniquely positioned to deliver quality products at affordable prices to the rest of the world. “Not only will the TASEZ create crucially needed jobs in the industrial areas of Tshwane, including Mamelodi, it will ensure continued investment in South Africa,” adds Chester Kan, location lead: Built Environment, Gauteng, at Zutari.

PILING AT Harbour Arch


eveloped by the Amdec Group, Cape Town’s Harbour Arch project – comprising six individual towers – is one of the largest mixed-use precincts delivered to date in the city. The towers’ establishment required an intricate geotechnical design, with the works executed by Keller, formerly known as Franki Africa. The project comprised lateral support and foundation piles. The lateral support was essentially an 11 m deep triple basement, constructed by means of soldier piles, jet grout columns, anchors and gunite arches, with dewatering included in the scope of works. “The foundation piles comprised largediameter, temporarily cased augered piles, which were socketed into hard rock,” explains Daryn Cloete, contracts engineer, Keller. The excavation consisted of loose sandy soils, stiff clays and hard rock material. In total, some




3 6 0






Apart from the basement's final level being below mean sea level, the Keller site team also had to contend with substantial groundwater in the excavations, which required dewatering. This water was pumped and filtered prior to removing it from site





66 000 m³ of material was removed to spoil sites. Concrete obstructions and old foundation footings, as well as the relocation of services, presented major challenges and the resequencing of the works. This included the building of a cable tray capping beam on top of the lateral support piles to house the relocated services. Additionally, on one section of the project site, the rock level was much deeper than envisaged and Keller had to install largediameter temporarily cased auger piles for the foundations. “The jet grouting proved to be a winner with regard to sealing the basement against largescale water ingress. It was an important factor in the design of the project,” adds Cloete.













C O R R O S I O N - F R E E



W W W . M A C C A F E R R I . C O M / Z A


+ 2 7



( 0 )

3 2

8 1 5






5 3 0 0




T U R N - K E Y


I N F O @ Z A . M A C C A F E R R I . C O M



Founding the right approach Time and cost pressures have placed increasing emphasis on purposedesigned solutions for building and infrastructure roll-outs that achieve valueadded results. Shaun Nell, managing director, Terra Strata, says it all comes down to experience, exper tise and ser vice. By Alastair Currie


ithin a highly competitive sector, Terra Strata has progressively evolved its marketing strategy from inception in 2011 to meet South African and broader African continental demand for geotechnical services. Core Terra Strata capabilities encompass: piling (CFA, oscillator, micro, and percussion); lateral support, consolidation and compact grouting, shotcrete, gunite, and sprayed concrete; marine work; as well as geotechnical investigations. These solutions are backed by a modern capital equipment fleet that includes CFA (continuous flight auger) rigs capable of establishing large-diameter holes to depths of up to 24 m. “Our starting point from inception has focused on recruiting and retaining the best talent to sustain business excellence through the peaks and troughs of the construction market,” says Nell. “Over time, we have successfully diversified into key industry segments that include industrial, marine, building, mining and civil infrastructure.” In terms of the Construction Industry Development Board grading system, Terra Strata is a Grade 8CE (Civil engineering), Grade 8SC (Building excavations, shaft sinking, lateral earth support), and Grade 7SJ (Piling and specialised foundations for buildings and structures) contractor. Within this multifaceted mix, Terra Strata also offers turnkey design and construction


IMIESA June 2021

services, and geotechnical investigation services. In-house professionally registered engineers work with external firms that include ARQ Consulting Engineers to execute pricecompetitive design and build solutions. Terra Strata is also a licence holder for French multinational Menard – a global leader in ground improvement technologies.

Marine projects In the marine infrastructure field, major projects completed include a quay wall reinstatement at the Port of East London. Undertaken for Transnet, the project commenced in June 2015 and was completed in January 2018. The scope included removing an existing 101 m long capping beam and installing fifty

Terra Strata secured a piling contract for a new methane power station development on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rwanda

165 mm diameter micro piles 17 m deep to protect the platform (the existing dead-man anchors were rusted through). This was followed by installing 31 m of 900 mm diameter tubular and sheet pile combi wall, vibrated to 15 m below the existing platform, and then hammered down into the rock. Other works entailed coring a 2 m rock socket in 65 MPa rock, vibrating sheet piles to the same level, and filling between the old and new quay wall. This entailed some 527 m3 of concrete and 586 m3 of stone.

The Mohembo Bridge in Botswana. Terra Strata was awarded an approximately 18-month sheet piling project by the Itinera and Cimolia JV


Our starting point from inception has focused on recruiting and retaining the best talent to sustain business excellence through the peaks and troughs of the construction market.” The construction of the new capping beam entailed the installation of 572 kN permanent anchors (between 25 m and 30 m) through the newly constructed capping beam. Final measures entailed pumping 689 m3 of compaction grouting into the platform through 106 percussion-drilled holes to a respective depth of 15 m. A current marine project is ongoing for the new Mohembo Bridge in Botswana. Terra Strata’s approximately 18-month sheet piling project has been executed for the Itinera and Cimolia JV. Terra Strata’s scope has entailed the following: • installation of the original two boxes around the bridge towers and the quay wall • installation and removal of the sheet pile walls on the sides of 14 piers • installation and removal of three additional boxes around three piers of the bridge • installation and removal of two sheet pile walls for the fixing of the riverbanks to the construction sites. “The bridge is virtually complete. We are now going back to site to extract the last sheet piles,” says Nell.

Super basements Alongside its marine capabilities, Terra Strata is a renowned specialist in the establishment of super basements for landmark building projects. The largest to date is an approximately R150 million lateral support project for Phases I and II of Sun International’s Time Square development in Menlyn, Pretoria. The scope here included bulk excavations, the drilling and installation of soil nails, and guniting. More recently, works include the Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng. Here, Terra Strata constructed a 13.5 m high lateral support wall, entailing 70 soldier piles and 140 anchors, ranging between 450 kN and 600 kN. Another landmark retail project is the Mall of Thembisa in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. Undertaken for Tembisa Property Investments, this project was divided into two parts, namely a geotechnical investigation to determine

Terra Strata completed an intricate quay wall reinstatement project at the Port of East London in 2018

the rock profile, and the piling phase. The geotechnical investigation took more than seven weeks to complete and entailed proof drilling across the entire site. “This included drilling 418 holes (foundation positions) to an average depth of 19 m in order to inform the design engineer as to the suitable foundation type for each of the required footing positions. The piling project that followed was successfully completed and handed over to a satisfied customer within the 12-week contract duration,” says Nell.

Mining Within the project mix, Terra Strata has a well-established track record for executing geotechnical solutions in the mining sector. Current examples include the establishment of a box cut for Exxaro’s Matla coal mine in Mpumalanga. This approximately 10-month project is due for completion in September 2021. Past work at Matla has included piling on the new silo development. Another ongoing mining project entails the installation of 610 mm diameter ODEX casings up to 26 m in depth for a client in Steelpoort, Limpopo.

Cross-border expansion Terra Strata has traditionally had a strong presence in neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Namibia. This focus is now moving deeper into Africa in search of new opportunities. “Victor Ferreira, a seasoned professional in the industry, has joined in our team to focus on the expansion into Africa,” say Nell.

In terms of super basements, Terra Strata’s largest works to date is an approximately R150 million lateral support project for Phases I and II of Sun International’s Time Square development in Menlyn, Pretoria

Success to date includes projects awarded in Rwanda. This entails piling work for a new methane power station development on the shores of Lake Kivu. Terra Strata is also actively seeking to expand into key West and East African countries that include Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. This African focus runs in parallel with its national business expansion in South Africa. “Currently, the bulk of our work in South Africa is being sourced from the building, marine and mining sectors. Going forward, we hope to also secure new work in the roads sector, as Sanral starts to roll out new projects. The South African government’s Infrastructure Fund also offers major promise,” adds Nell. “In the meantime, we continue to update our equipment to ensure that the work we deliver is on time, within budget, and adheres to best-in-class quality and execution,” Nell concludes.

IMIESA June 2021



Geotechnical partnerships that work CAPABILITIES & SERVICES

Solving the most difficult geotechnical challenges requires a combination of expertise and applied experience, and a proactive relationship with the client’s professional team. IMIESA speaks to Dawie Nell, managing director of Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics, about his company’s multifaceted solutions.


akarios Geotechnical Dynamics was established towards the end of 2019, having acquired the business of Makarios Geotechnical Contractors (MRPI) as a going concern, along with its equipment and personnel. “As we started to ramp up operations in early 2020, Covid-19 hit, but despite this we had an exceptional year, with an excellent pipeline of new work,” says Nell, who previously served as operations manager at MRPI and is now a majority owner of Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics. “One of the main reasons for this is our historical and loyal customer base, which we retained following the MRPI buyout.” “The company's highly skilled management, staff and workforce share an accumulative

experience totalling some 158 years. This combination makes for a dynamic, ambitious team with the desire to succeed and deliver quality projects, within established timeframes,” Nell explains. Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics is a Level 3 BBBEE supplier and has programmes in place to move to Level 2 during 2022. “We pride ourselves on being a niche player in the market, providing costcompetitive and best-practice responses to found both smaller and larger structures within the private and public sector, from low-cost housing developments to building super basements, mining infrastructure, and municipal installations that include bridges and reservoirs,” he continues.

Turnkey solutions Working with external consulting engineers, the company provides a turnkey design and build solution, which includes geotechnical investigations. Core geotechnical engineering disciplines offered include compaction grouting, dynamic compaction and dynamic replacement, piling, and lateral support. The latter includes geonails, concrete soldier piles, self-drilling anchors, as well as strand anchor systems. Specific piling capabilities include mini/micro piles (from 50 mm to 300 mm diameter), 250 mm diameter CFA piles, and 450 mm to 1 200 mm diameter bored auger piles. Milestone lateral support projects include the 10 m deep super basement establishment for the Masingita Towers residential development in

• Compaction Grouting • Dynamic Compaction & Replacement • Design & Construct Turnkey Solutions • Geotechnical Investigations • Lateral Support • Piling • Micro Piling

Sandton, Gauteng, and the Morningside Clinic extension, also in Sandton. Running in parallel are a diverse range of piling projects completed. These include works at Linksfield Hospital; the Carstenhof Clinic; Brooklyn House in Brooklyn, Pretoria; Urban Quarters in Hatfield; and The Point residential development in Bedfordview.

Ground improvement leaders “We are proficient in all areas, especially in terms of ground improvement technologies, which need a specialised understanding of where and when these techniques can best be applied,” Nell explains. Alongside its grouting and guniting machines, lateral support, auger piling and micro-piling fleet, Makarios Geotechnical Contractors has a dedicated fleet of six dynamic compaction rigs, with pounders ranging from 8 t to 15 t, and capable of going up to 20 t. This enables high-energy compaction for soil depths down to 10 m. The pounder is lifted and dropped by the rig from a height of around 18 m on to presurveyed grid points to consolidate the soil mattress. The technique has successfully been used for applications that include opencast mine


Compaction grouting

rehabilitation, sinkhole rehabilitation, consolidation of collapsible soils, treatment of old dump sites, and reclaimed land rehabilitation. According to the Council for Geoscience, up to 25% of Gauteng, as well as parts of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the North West and Northern Cape are underlain by dolomitic zones. The resulting problematic ground conditions require some form of geotechnically engineered response. However, by using dynamic compaction, even the worst ground conditions can be reinstated for development. Past dynamic compaction projects include the Dayizenza Plaza retail development in Hazyview, Mpumalanga (47 700 m2), and the 15 000 m2 Edenvale mine shaft rehabilitation project. The latter entailed the pre-collapse of old mine shafts to make way for a warehousing development. The Thembisa Ext 25 low-cost housing development (39 000 m2) was another key project. Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics also completed a dynamic replacement project for the Mall of Thembisa, which entailed the installation of some 200 stone columns. Meanwhile, recent examples executed by

Our objective is to develop the most cost-effective, bestpractice project solutions for our clients, and their professional teams.”

Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics include the Midstream residential development in Gauteng. One section had previously served as an informal landfill for building rubble to a depth of up to 3.5 m. This needed to be consolidated using dynamic compaction over an area of approximately 167 000 m2. A similar residential project was recently completed in Fairlands, Johannesburg, where the site of an old brick quarry needed to be consolidated to make way for a housing development. Brick debris in this case went as deep as 14 m. “In these examples, using dynamic compaction proves to be far more costeffective than excavating the material,” Nell explains.

Sinkholes Other projects include the reinstatement of the R103 Vosloorus. A sinkhole had occurred on a main road intersection bordering a mall. The repair solution was resolved within the shortest possible timeframe. Similar work was carried out on the R31 towards Danielskuil in the Northern Cape; on the R55 in Laudium, Pretoria; and at Snake Road in Benoni. Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics also completed a dynamic compaction project at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria in 2020. A total of eight sinkholes were rehabilitated. “It’s important to emphasise that every dynamic compaction remediation project is different, so there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. That’s where our expertise and experience come into play to perfect the best approach,” says Nell.

Another proven technique for deep-level dolomitic fault zones is the employment of compaction grouting. Within the Gauteng region, these depths can range anywhere from 30 m to 60 m. “Low-mobility grouting densifies loose granular soils, reinforces fine-grained soils and stabilises subsurface voids or sinkholes highly effectively,” Nell explains, adding that compaction grouting often offers an economic advantage over conventional approaches. The cementitious grout is injected under pressure to fill the underground voids, with a superplasticiser typically used to improve flowability. Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics executes these projects using a 5 m3 grouting plant, combined with pumping systems. Among Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics’ landmark compaction grouting projects were the solutions delivered for the Khutsong township in Carletonville, comprising two key contracts. One was for a low-cost housing development, where sinkhole formations needed to be remediated. The second was for an allied reservoir and pipeline. Some 2 500 m3 of grouting was installed. In terms of new work, Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics is currently working on a project in Katlehong, Gauteng, where a reservoir needs to be constructed in a dolomitic zone.

The makings of a great geotechnical contractor “Competition in any business spectrum is intense and remaining relevant is critical, and it begins and ends with a passion for excellence. At Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics, we invest in our people because they are the crucial customer interface,” adds Nell. “Throughout our organisational culture, adherence to safety, quality, health and environmental compliance standards is mandatory, as is a commitment to exceptional service – and it shows on every project,” he continues. “In the end, our objective is to consistently deliver sustainable and world-class solutions, and leave behind a proud legacy, whether in our local market or beyond. We’re excited about the road ahead,” Nell concludes.


IMIESA June 2021



Challenges when building on dolomite

Instead of piling, a combined soil and concrete raft approach was used

Found in large areas of Gauteng, dolomite is widely used in the manufacture of roads, concrete and paving materials. But it is a complicated rock to build on.


im Timm, structural engineer at infrastructure consulting firm AECOM, explains how and why dolomite needs to be accommodated when designing and constructing foundations, services and the superstructure of a building. “With dolomite, there is often a massive amount of variation in the bedrock. “It will, for example, be just below the surface on one part of the site then fall away to 50 m below ground just a few metres away. This is


IMIESA June 2021

challenging, as it is difficult to apply a uniform approach to foundations,” explains Timm. Therefore, Timm advises that clear and detailed geotechnical information is the best way to be able to plan for surprises that might occur. Money spent on geotechnical investigation frequently leads to money being saved during design and construction. Good geotechnical information minimises the negative consequences of problematic ground conditions and enables projects to run smoother. “As a structural engineer, it is possible to build upon any foundation, as long as you know and understand what is below the ground,” adds Timm. The biggest concern for any structural engineer when building on dolomite is the potential of sinkholes. Dolomite can be soluble. Rainwater and percolating groundwater can gradually dissolve the dolomite over time as it seeps

through joints, fractures and fault zones in the rock. The dissolution of the dolomite gives rise to cave systems and voids in the rock. Soils covering the rock can collapse into these caves or voids, resulting in catastrophic ground movement on the surface such as sinkholes. “This is hugely problematic, especially in built-up areas like Vereeniging and Centurion,” adds Timm.

Exxaro Head Office in Centurion According to Timm, AECOM encountered challenging dolomitic ground conditions at the site of the new Exxaro Head Office in Centurion, Pretoria. “We had to deal with potential sinkholes or pockets on-site before construction commenced. Soil was removed to reach an appropriate foundation level and dolomitic pinnacles within this zone were blasted. Dynamic compaction was then used to increase the density of the underlying material and provide a working platform. This


allowed us to pre-collapse high-lying potential sinkholes in certain areas. Weak material like weathered altered dolomite (WAD) was excavated and replaced with a blended, crushed, blasted rock from site and then recompacted. This process enabled us to alter the nature of the underlying layers up to 10 m below ground.” However, dolomite is often found deeper than 10 m below the ground, meaning that sinkholes may still develop below a building. “With the Exxaro building, we therefore had to reshape the entire building concept to account for the highly variable ground conditions. We ultimately assessed 16 different variations of the structure with the assistance of the AECOM’s quantity surveyors and AMA Architects to mitigate the underlying foundation risk in the most cost-effective manner possible,” says Timm. Instead of piling, AECOM adopted a combined soil and concrete raft approach. The structural foundation system was a 2.25 m reinforced concrete raft, designed to span a 15 m sinkhole. The raft was designed on a mattress of variable spring stiffness, adjusted for the depth to bedrock, the anticipated depth of the WAD, and the enhanced soil mattress zone created by dynamic compaction. The concrete raft mitigated against sinkholes deeper than 10 m and reduced the potential of associated cracking in the upper structure.

New sinkholes Timm adds that it is also important to avoid

An artist’s impression of the new Exxaro Head Office in Centurion, Pretoria

causing any new sinkholes. “This can be done by making sure that all services are constructed above the ground where possible. The structure needs to accommodate considerably more complicated services routing and the trenches, sleeves and voids associated with such. All this needs to be designed in the structure up front.” Since sinkholes are often water driven, it is important to avoid a large influx of water in and around the building due to leaks. In high-risk areas, Timm advises that if pipes have to be placed within the ground, a double sleeved system should be used where high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes are placed within PVC pipes. “With the Exxaro building, these pipes run to a double manhole system. This prevents leaks from seeping into the ground and the entire system is fitted with sensors that alert the building monitoring system (BMS) of the location of the leak. This allows for the rapid identification and remediation of any leaks that might otherwise have led to the development of sinkholes.” Another complexity experienced with the Exxaro building was the attenuation of the stormwater – especially in Centurion, where there are always flooding concerns. “However, large attenuation tanks that are embedded in the ground may leak and cause sinkholes. Therefore, with the Exxaro building, we built the attenuation tank on a separate platform with bund walls. If the attenuation tank were to burst, water would fill up the bund wall area first, where sensors would trigger an alarm. There is also an overflow route, in the event

Kim Timm, executive: Structures, Buildings and Places at AECOM

of accidents, that would direct any excess water into the floodplain area at Centurion Lake,” says Timm. AECOM also installed a water cut-off drain that would deal with potential water leaks from the road or neighbouring properties. The water would run into the subsoil drain where a sensor would again activate an alarm. As an extra precaution, three sets of three rod extensometers were placed in locations where sinkholes were likely to develop. These were embedded into the ground at three different heights to provide an early warning system of encroaching sinkholes. When the surrounding soil holding the rod in place falls away, the rod slips and triggers an alarm on the BMS. This provides an indication of the depth and location of the sinkhole.


In May 2021, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure officially launched the Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum (IBACF) in partnership with the Special Investigating Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Financial Intelligence Centre. It’s a potentially groundbreaking development, but can IBACF turn the tide against rampant corruption? By Gundo Maswime*


IMIESA June 2021

Exploring new avenues to fight corruption


he IBACF initiative emanates from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, which is indeed fitting. This is the department that gave South Africa the 10-point Plan, which laid the foundation for all government procurement in the late 1990s, plus the subsequent legislative enactments. The public infrastructure sector is especially prone to corruption because the provision of capital goods is almost entirely outsourced within a segment that accounts for more than

8% of national expenditure. To correct the problem, and in the interest of evidence-based interventions, the state needs to tackle the underlying pathology. What’s obvious about the South African construction sector is that the quantum of corruption is significantly high, the incidents very frequent, with very few offenders imprisoned or sanctioned. Within this context, it’s revealing to see how other countries in Africa have approached the issue. Both Rwanda and Tanzania, for example, have had a measure of success in shifting the


majority of the members on a bid evaluation and/or bid adjudication committee collude to ensure a particular bidder is selected. This may be via an instruction from a political principal to whom the officials are beholden, or purely the actions of administration. The evaluation committee is the natural platform for this kind of corruption. Post-procurement corruption is especially pervasive. In this instance, the contractor claims for work not done and the public servant approves the claim for payment. An example in road construction would be where the contractor claims for damp rock that was not used or hard material excavation rates on soft material. The approval may either be done knowingly or unknowingly. When it is done knowingly, the official is rewarded by the service provider once payment is made. Effectively combatting this crime requires a vigilant project manager who is closely involved in the activities of the contractor and the consultant.

False representation

narrative by resorting to some very unusual measures to curb corruption. When corruption is confirmed in Rwanda, all government employees who were close enough to the action to see what was happening are imprisoned until they disclose fully what they know. This extreme measure is unlikely in South Africa. In Tanzania, the government has launched sting operations, colluding with thousands of public servants and residents to request and offer bribes respectively. Those that fall for the trick are imprisoned. This may also not pass the South African constitutional test.

Corrupt networks In many instances in South Africa, corruption networks are structured so that the perpetrators know who the whistleblower is. Some government officials even participate in corrupt activities to avoid losing their jobs or lives. Public officials in certain strategic positions also find themselves having to enable corruption for fear of being targeted as ‘tap closers’. There are various ways in which corruption occurs in government construction contracts. The prime one is the formal corruption network, which involves a syndicated approach. Here, the

There is yet another concerning corruption technique that is becoming more pervasive. Typically, a public sector employee presents a false sense of being close to those who hold sway over which company gets appointed. This complicit individual may be working with a junior official within the supply chain department. The objective is to get hold of the attendance register, with the list of bidding companies and their contact details. The corrupt employee then calls and falsely promises to assist bidders in securing the work in return for a reward. They also maintain that they will not dictate the amount needed for securing the appointment of the service provider. From this point onwards, the conniving person gets updates from their contact in supply chain on the progression of the tender process, which they pass on to their targeted service providers. The aim is to be the first to tell the service provider about their appointment before the genuine appointment letter gets to them. The drafting of the appointment letter, based on minutes of the bid adjudication committee, is done by very junior officials and is known internally before it reaches the service provider. This kind of corruption costs the unsuspecting service provider only. The corruption that is most costly to the state is the appointment of incompetent service providers and those contractors who

make false work claims to tap into the contingent fees set aside for unforeseen circumstances, like the road construction example mentioned earlier.

Pros and cons of whistleblowing There are honest government employees who are not bold enough to be whistleblowers. Some know it will be immediately obvious that they are responsible for the leaking of information. Among these are those who also go as far as receiving money to ensure they are seen to be part of the syndicate for their own safety. At the IBACF launch, the minister’s message included a proposal that whistleblowers should be financially incentivised to come forward where the information provided could lead to successful prosecution and the potential recovery of ‘stolen’ money. Perhaps the minister should also consider availing a repository for them to declare and deposit money they took for fear of being targeted. The quantum of this ‘fear fund’ would surprise many. As part of the deposit, a form could be completed that gives the depositor the freedom to choose the level of disclosure they want to make about the sources of funds and the other ‘beneficiaries’. This idea recognises that public servants have discomfort in knowing that there are rogue elements in law enforcement agencies that operate in cahoots with corrupt officials. Beyond this, the state must run operations where it monitors a group of public servants in corruption hotspots over set timeframes. This may have a downside, however, if it is used to deal with political opponents.

A slippery slope Reports on the extent of corruption and the value of losses associated with it show that the country is on a slippery slope. Though other regions, including those within the EU, have been ranked as more corrupt than South Africa, there are certain vulnerabilities that South Africa has that make the impact of corruption more debilitating. Any intervention should be explored if it is premised on evidence and not in conflict with other interventions that are already under way. *Gundo Maswime is a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and researcher in public infrastructure.

IMIESA June 2021



10th Fulton's Concrete Technology edition unveiled the previously published 2009 version. The authors of the different chapters, selected to offer a combination of experienced and young professionals, were drawn from a wide range of backgrounds: academics and researchers, concrete producers and manufacturers, construction materials specialists, and consulting engineers. The current edition was edited by Professor Mark Alexander, emeritus professor: Civil Engineering and senior research scholar at the University of Cape Town.


Growing repository of knowledge

he latest and 10th edition of Fulton’s Concrete Technology comprises 37 chapters. It is a hardcover book with searchable electronic flash card, available to the public, with members of Cement & Concrete SA (CCSA) enjoying a discounted rate. Bryan Perrie, CEO of CCSA, says several years of intensive research and coordination preceded the revised edition, which follows

“The 2021 Fulton’s contains a wealth of new reference material and – with 10 new chapters – represents a significant update on the previous edition. There is, for example, strong emphasis on sustainability – an issue of global concern in all sectors of industry,” Perrie states. He says the knowledge, experience and insights in concrete technology in the latest issue are as usual directed at South African conditions and will be welcomed by concrete

practitioners and lecturers in diverse fields, as well as students for whom it is a prescribed reference work. The first three editions (1957-1964) of what has become commonly known in industry simply as Fulton’s were written by Dr Frederick Sandrock (Sandy) Fulton – then director of the forerunner of the Portland Cement Institute, which now has Cement & Concrete SA as its latest incarnation. Perrie adds: “Subsequent editions of the book were multi-authored and multifaceted because, as concrete evolved into a much more complex material, it became extremely difficult for a single author to deal in suitable depth with all aspects of modern concrete technology. The fact that more chapters than any other in the new edition deal with ‘Special Concretes and Techniques’ illustrates this technological expansion.” CCSA members can order a copy of the new Fulton’s Concrete Technology by emailing info@cemcon-sa.org.za and non-members can purchase copies from www.bidorbuy.co.za.

The LC paradigm shift 3


n cooperation with key industr y players, Sika is working on the introduction of concrete admixtures that harness the benefits of limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) technology. Developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, LC3 aims to facilitate the production of per formant and sustainable cement with less clinker. Clinker contributes to high CO 2 emissions during cement production. With LC3, however, part of the clinker is now substituted by a blend of calcined clay, limestone and gypsum. LC3 thus reduces clinker consumption, and hence CO 2 emissions, compared to regular cements. The calcination of the new added clay requires lower burning temperatures compared to clinker production. The


IMIESA June 2021

fact that the limestone is not calcined also greatly reduces CO 2 emissions during production. “With these new LC3 admixtures, we are walking the talk of our sustainability strategy. Our aim is to act as an enabler of sustainability in the construction industr y and develop more environmentally friendly and better-per forming products,” says Frank Höfflin, chief technology officer, Sika.

“We are committed to maximising the long-term benefits for our customers and other stakeholders, reducing resource consumption and the construction industr y’s environmental impact. LC3-based binders have a huge potential and, with our dedicated team, we are bundling our R&D and technical expertise to help support and promote the widespread use of this exciting LC3 technology,” he concludes.


Precast pole durability

T THE BENEFITS OF CONCRETE POLES • An optimised design enables the use of standardised fittings and ease of installation • They are maintenance-free, while being a cost-effective, long-term, durable solution • Superior fire rating compared to wooden poles • Less prone to theft and vandalism – hardened concrete has no resale value

he days of using wooden poles for electrification projects have long passed with the advent of superior concrete products that provide greater longevity, and cost efficiencies. Rocla, part of the IS Group of companies, recently underscored this by subjecting one of its precast poles to 11 m/8 kN of force testing at its Roodepoort plant. “Our cast pole is manufactured using the conventional concrete casting method,” explains civil engineer Mohammad Bodhania. “It is essential that we continually conduct quality checks to ensure the concrete pole stands up to the required standard, and the results of the recent test show that our concrete poles easily reach the required SANS 470 concrete pole code. In fact, the final test result showed that our poles reached a load of 10 kN without collapse.”

Ultimate load The recent 8 kN force testing means that the pole should be able to support a load of 8 kN applied at 300 mm from the tip. This is known as the ultimate load of the pole. The pole has a safety factor of 2.5, meaning that – in practice – the pole might be subject to a maximum load of 2.5 times less than the ultimate load. This is known as the working load. The proof load of the pole is 10% higher than the working load. At proof, the load must comply with the deflection, crack width and permanent set criteria stipulated in the SANS 470 concrete pole code. “We loaded our concrete pole to proof. At proof, the deflection and maximum crack width were measured. The load at which the first hair crack appears was also noted. After loading the pole to proof, the load was released and the permeant set was measured. We then loaded the pole again to ultimate and achieved the 10 kN without collapse,” Bodhania concludes.


How water influences concrete mix designs Water is an integral par t of any concrete mix design, and not without reason, says John Roxburgh. Here, he explains why the quantity and state of the mixing water are so impor tant.

plastic shrinkage cracking if the surface is allowed to dry out. So, although there are some very good reasons for reducing the amount of mixing water in concrete, one should always consider the important roles this water plays in the whole concreting process.



oncrete mix design usually places significant emphasis on the reduction of the mixing water. By reducing it, less cement can be used, thereby lowering the cost of the concrete. Less water in relation to the cement also increases the strength of the concrete. A reduction in water will also reduce the overall shrinkage in the plastic and hardened concrete, and will ensure that the hardened concrete is less permeable and consequently more durable. Furthermore, reducing the amount of mixing water will help reduce settlement in the compacted concrete and thereby reduce the chance of plastic settlement cracks. But there are some negative concerns about including too little mix water. For example, the plastic concrete could be more susceptible to


IMIESA June 2021


First, mixing water is needed in the concrete for the hydration of the Portland cement clinker. Water reacts with the clinker to form a cement gel, which is the ‘glue’ that holds the sand and stone together and gives the concrete its strength. Typically, around 28 kg of water is theoretically needed to hydrate 100 kg of Portland cement clinker. However, during the hydration process, some of the mixing water is ‘trapped’ in the cement gel structure and can never be made available for the hydration process. The result is that richer concrete mixes, with water to cement ratios of below about 0.56, may self-desiccate. This means that all the available mixing water is used up and the concrete would then require additional curing water to continue the hydration process. Interestingly, most concretes – particularly stronger ones – end up with a proportion of the cement clinker unhydrated. This bodes well for when the concrete is eventually recycled. Crushed, this unhydrated cement

IMIESA June 2021

Interestingly, most concretes – particularly stronger ones – end up with a proportion of the cement clinker unhydrated.” then becomes available if the recycled concrete is used as aggregate in new concrete. When fly ash and slag are used as cement extenders, the mixing water will help facilitate the pozzolanic reaction of the fly ash and optimise the slag’s role as a latent hydraulic binder.

Workability Second, mixing water is also the major lubricant within the plastic concrete mix. Adding more mixing water to a mix will generally increase the workability of the concrete. In the slump test, which is a useful tool in assessing concrete workability, a rule of thumb that often applies is that adding 10 litres of water to a cubic metre of concrete will double its slump, while removing 10 litres of water from a cubic metre of concrete will halve its slump. This shows the critical lubricating effect of mixing water.

Air voids In modern concrete mix design, admixtures also play an important role in the workability


of a concrete mix. Lubrication and the resulting increased workability are important in concrete to ensure that the concrete fills all parts of the shutters easily and the air in the concrete can be expelled effectively (usually through vibration). Air voids left in the hardened concrete of even 1% can lead to a drop in strength of between 5% and 6%, so it is crucial that the air be expelled from the plastic concrete. Well-lubricated concrete compacts easily by allowing the air to move easily out of it.

Heat energy Water also has a high specific heat capacity. For the temperature of water to rise by 1°C, it must first absorb a lot of heat energy. This is why hot water geysers are the biggest contributing factor to electricity bills. Water has an enormous capacity to both take in a lot of energy, but also release a lot of it. This is why water is used extensively for both heating and cooling operations, generally. Mixing water in concrete can also be used to heat or cool the concrete. In massive concrete pours or thick sections, there can be substantial heat buildup in the core of the concrete and if the difference in temperature in the core – compared to other parts of the concrete

– becomes too large, the concrete can crack. In concrete practice specifications, the maximum temperature differential is often limited to between 10°C to 15°C. There are various effective techniques employed to achieve this. One is to lower the temperature of the plastic concrete, which can be done effectively by chilling the mixing water or adding the water into the mix in the form of crushed ice. By casting the concrete at a lower temperature, the peak temperature in the concrete is reduced. The hydration reaction between cement and water is pushed forward by heat. High ambient and concrete temperatures can result in early stiffening of the concrete, thereby not allowing enough time for transport, placing and compaction. Using the mixing water to cool the concrete will allow more open time for the handling of the plastic concrete and slow the evaporation of water off the surface of the concrete – hopefully mitigating plastic shrinkage cracking. Heating the mixing water up by around 50°C will raise the concrete temperature by around 10°C. In cold weather, preventing the concrete from freezing, or making sure the concrete has sufficient strength before

FAR LEFT: Bongani Methula, lab assistant at CCSA, prepares to add mixing water to produce concrete. The important roles this water plays in the concreting process should always be considered LEFT: Methula performs a slump test – a useful tool in assessing concrete workability

John Roxburgh, senior lecturer at Cement & Concrete SA’s School of Concrete Technology

freezing, is important. In such cases, using heated mixing water can help. Casting concrete at an elevated temperature in cold weather and preventing heat from escaping from the concrete through insulation will promote the initial hydration of the cement, which will add further heat to the concrete – a win-win situation. This is also a useful technique that can be used in precast applications where the economical use of moulds is important. Accelerating the setting times, and the gain in concrete strength, allows for earlier demoulding.

Admixtures Finally, mixing water can be useful in evenly dispersing admixtures through the mix. Admixtures often have highly charged molecules that will easily attach to cement particles. If an admixture is added to a mix in a concentrated form, these molecules may quickly attach to the cement in the immediate environment and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the admixture. Adding the admixture to the mixing water, and then dispatching the mixing water over time into the mix, will allow for even dispersion of the admixture throughout the concrete. For further information and details of the School of Concrete Technology’s online training, contact info@cemcon-sa.org.za or phone +27 (0)11 315 0300.

IMIESA June 2021



Quality you can trust Choosing the right capital equipment supplier is a defining moment in any business. Alastair Currie speaks to Ryan Britain (RB), GM: Aftermarket at Bell Equipment Sales South Africa, and Meltus Badenhorst (MB), GM: Group Technical Services at the OEM’s Richards Bay factory, about new, used and remanufactured options backed by warranties. What is Bell Equipment’s overall aftermarket strategy? RB Bell Equipment Sales South Africa is the customerfacing entity looking after, supporting and maintaining our machines so that customers obtain the best value in terms of utilisation and availability. Our comprehensive aftersales strategy covers key components such as the driveline and hydraulics as part of a potential secondand third-life rebuild programme, depending on the machine and its application. Running in conjunction with this is a parts programme that includes the change-out of remanufactured components at competitive prices.


IMIESA June 2021

This solution applies to Bell Equipment’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, which include our world-renowned articulated dump trucks (ADTs), as well as the OEM machines that we sell and support as a specialist dealer, locally and globally. The latter includes the JCB earthmoving range, Kobelco excavators, and the Finlay crushing and screening line. By listening and adapting to customer requirements, we jointly refine the best aftermarket response. Is there a growing demand for used equipment? RB It’s clear that trading conditions within the

Ryan Britain, GM: Aftermarket, Bell Equipment Sales South Africa

Meltus Badenhorst, GM: Group Technical Services, Bell Equipment Sales South Africa

construction sector are challenging across the board, especially for new SMME entrants. In response, there’s a new, used or rebuilt option that caters for top-tier and entry-level contractors. The most popular used category comprises lowhour machines (around 6 000 hours) with a full service history. Each machine undergoes a detailed inspection and is then resold with a warranty. Such is the demand for this equipment that we have developed a dedicated preowned equipment website for customers that lists all our used equipment across the globe.

any unknown core surcharges. Some customers, however, still prefer to have their own components remanufactured and returned. Where they’re involved in cross-border work, for example, it’s often simpler if the engine serial number matches the one on the machine’s plate.

Are Bell remanufactured (ReMan) components interchangeable or can customers have their existing items rebuilt and returned? MB Both options are available. The key benefit of the remanufactured component exchange programme is that there’s minimal downtime for the customer. For example, an engine can be swopped out and the machine returned to service within a 24- to 48-hour period. The cost of a Bell ReMan exchange usually works out to be more affordable when a customer takes delivery of a remanufactured unit up front, supplied at a fixed price, and returns the old core/ component, thus eliminating

What warranties are provided on a used machine? MB All ReMan components have a standard 12-month, 1 500-hour warranty and for units with a full service history, we offer top-up warranties. Examples include a repower package that incorporates a full driveline component change-out. Our extended warranty is a peace-of-mind product, which we strongly recommend. The unexpected cost of a major component repair can make a deep dent in a customer’s operating budget and negatively affect their bottom line. This is especially the case if the machine is central to achieving daily production targets. Are there any operational tax benefits in going the Bell ReMan route? MB Imported components, e.g. a gearbox, attract a customs duty. That’s a strong motivation for buying a locally rebuilt component. Supporting remanufacturing in South Africa also promotes localisation and job creation.


Does Bell Equipment provide condition monitoring services? RB Yes, absolutely. Here, we apply a qualitative and a quantitative type approach. From a qualitative perspective, Bell Equipment offers a Machine Condition Assessment (MCA) service, which is carried out by one of our after-sales support technicians. There’s no charge for this. The more scientific or quantitative approach – which often happens in combination with MCAs – is our oil sampling and laboratory analysis service. This covers all the major components (engine, transmission, differentials, etc.) and hydraulic systems. The oil analysis reports generated prove invaluable in undertaking proactive interventions to maximise machine life. These reports also highlight issues like poor utilisation, e.g. excessive idling, which might indicate the need for corrective operator training. Oil samples are compulsory for all warranty programmes. In addition, all services must be carried out by Bell Equipment or one of its accredited dealers. A well-preserved machine is best suited for a downstream rebuild. In addition, a fullservice history demands a much higher trade-in and/ or resale value, especially if there’s an existing warranty in place. How does the Bell aftermarket Infohub work? MB The Infohub is a knowledge management portal for Bell Equipment’s local and international dealer network. They can access productspecific technical information, including technical information like service and repair manuals, parts manuals, and product improvement bulletins. This is the backbone of our service network that interfaces with customers. What technical training is provided for customer personnel? MB The best executed equipment maintenance programmes require a

combined OEM, dealer and customer interface. That’s why we focus a great deal on education and training. That includes Bell Equipmentcertified product training for our customers’ technical personnel. They are our strategic partners in the machine optimisation value chain. How does Bell assist customers in terms of operator training? RB Bell Equipment’s operator training initiatives cater for new operators entering the market that require a legal licence to work in the construction and mining sector. In parallel, we offer certified training for experienced operators that need to update their licence. In terms of legislation, a new operator must spend 40 hours with a certified operator trainer, which entails a combination of classroom and infield training. In turn, a currently certified operator must complete an eight-hour refresher course to renew their licence. Certified operator trainers based at Bell Equipment’s Richards Bay factory are deployed nationally and internationally to conduct training at customer sites. These training programmes also familiarise operators with key machine software updates that are designed to improve machine performance and safety. The latter includes updates like Hill Assist, speed control, i-Tip and braketardation on our ADT range. Professionally trained operators extend machine life. This includes the daily care and maintenance routines that maintain optimum mechanical health, like maintaining correct oil and lubrication levels. What does the Bell Care Package offer? MB This is essentially a service plan. It fixes the customer’s cost of scheduled maintenance over an agreedon period, e.g. 6 000 hours. Alternatively, customers can select a ‘service by the hour’

option based on an agreed-on scale that includes the travel time to site for the Bell Equipment technician. ‘Service by the hour’ is the preferred route where customers want to keep overhead costs as low as possible – a prime example being SMME contractors. There are four Care Package options, namely Basic, Classic, Premium and Supreme. They all include LubeCheck oil analysis and service kits with variable options of travel, labour and lubricants that can be tailored to the customer’s needs.

How old is too old for a machine refurbishment? MB It’s all relative. With proper maintenance and support, we’ve seen customers obtain exceptional hours. A classic example is a fleet of Bell Equipment B40D ADTs operating in the Middle East, which have each recorded over 60 000 hours. Any closing thoughts? RB Whether customers are buying new, used or rebuilt machines, there’s a value proposition. Our aftermarket strategy is focused on end-toend partnerships that drive down the cost per tonne for our customers.

IMIESA June 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 CCG puhumudzo@ccgsytems.co.za / info@ccgsystems.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 EMS Solutions paul@emssolutions.co.za 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 INFRATEC info@infratec.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 SAGI annette@sagi.co.za 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 info@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 WRCON ben@wrcon.co.za WRP ronniem@wrp.co.za WSP Group Africa ansia.meyer@wsp.com Zutari Rashree.Maharaj@Zutari.com



omatsu’s new Kprime Tooth System from Hensley Industries is now available as standard on new Komatsu excavators. Replacing the Kmax and XS range, the Kprime series is suitable for excavators with operating weights from 4 tonnes to 400 tonnes. Safety enhancements include an intuitive locking system, pry slots on the tooth and wear cap for the easier removal of worn parts, plus a low-torque pin for easier tooth changes. Reliability has also been improved through a 10% stronger adapter nose design, an improved pin setup that reduces the potential for accidental unlocking (even after extended use), and an optimised design to reduce wear on adapters. “Kprime teeth are rotatable to further extend life, while wear indicators on the wear cap and fastener let users know when those parts need to be changed,” explains Sifiso Dubazana, ground engaging tool specialist, Komatsu South Africa. Buckets fitted with Kprime adaptors present the option of using different styles of teeth to meet individual digging and loading requirements. “While Kprime teeth will be offered as standard on all Komatsu excavators, this system is also ideal for all other brands of earthmoving and mining equipment – from compact utility-class machines up to large mining machines,” adds Dubazana.

IMIESA June 2021





acker Neuson’s latestgeneration DW60 and DW90 wheel dumpers come to market with improved efficiency and safety features for enhanced on-site performance. A spacious cabin is optional for both machines, meeting ROPS and FOPS level 2 specifications. Compact by design and capable of transporting 6 t and 9 t payloads, respectively, Wacker Neuson’s DW60 and DW90 units are renowned for their off-road capability thanks to hydrostatic four-wheel drive. Both models are equipped as standard with a front-tip skip, while a swivel-tip skip is optional on the DW60 unit. This swivel skip can be variably turned 180 degrees, which is advantageous in applications that include filling trenches and working in tight spaces. An automatic Eco mode ensures lower fuel consumption and optimum power use. A standard auto-stop function ensures that the engine shuts down after a predefined period to avoid excessive idling and fuel burn. Electric consumers such as headlamps are also switched off to conserve the machine’s battery. As a further plus, a spring-loaded parking brake operates automatically when the engine is switched off. On the go, the time-tested and proven joystick operation concept means that one hand can always stay on the steering wheel, while the other can complete many important functions such as dump operation or changes

Wacker Neuson’s DW60 6 t payload wheel dumper. A top speed of 25 km/h provides for fast cycle times and efficiency

in speed and travel direction. For added safety, the DW60 and DW90 are now fitted with a new reverse alarm with broadband tone. In total, Wacker Neuson offers 10 wheel dumpers, three Dual View and seven track dumpers. Included in the line-up are the electricpowered DW15e and DT10e units forming part of the OEM’s zero emission series.

The DW60 and DW90 (shown here) can be fitted with an optional enclosed cab

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS APE Pumps ARRB Systems Bell Equipment Group Services

OFC Ground Water Division 8 IMESA


Much Asphalt


Quality Filtration Systems

37, 39

Rand Water

36, 38

4, 28, 66

Bigen Africa Services

12 Keller Nederland


Bosch Management Services

21 KSB Pumps & Valves


Davis & Deal Irrigation

44 Maccaferri SA

Egis Operation South Africa


27 Gabion Baskets

IMIESA June 2021

OBC Makarios Geotechnical Dynamics







Water Research Commission



Wirtgen SA


Video engages users for longer on a website. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video content. (FORBES, 2018)


of marketing professionals use video as a successful marketing tool. (WYZOWL, 2019)

Marketers making use of video get 66% more qualified leads per year.

Water& Sanitation Complete water resource and wastewater management


(Optinmonster, 2019

3S Media offers robust thought-leadership panel discussions and anchor desk interviews with captains of industry. 3S Media provides the interface to host, manage and broadcast live as well as on-demand webinars.

Webinars are ideal marke�ng pla�orms for product launches, training events and industry announcements. Our pla�orm ensures the highest quality video and audio technology.

Our pla�orm ensures the highest quality video and audio technology. This ensures flawless digital broadcas�ng by using enterprise-grade streaming solu�ons.

Book your webinar today and participate in robust thought-leadership panel discussions and anchor desk interviews with captains of industry. Novus Print (Pty) Ltd t/a 3S Media is a proud Level 2 BBBEE Contributor.

where printing is personal


Novus Print (Pty) Ltd t/a 3S Media is a registered member of National Treasury’s Central Supplier Database for Government. Supplier Number: MAAA0016423 Unique Registration Ref Number: FFA60BC9-37E6-4596-89D9-A00025D4C50F

Joanne Lawrie t +27 (0)11 233 2668 c +27 (0)82 346 5338 e Joanne.Lawrie@3smedia.co.za Hanlie Fintelman t +27 (0)67 756 3132 c +27 (0)82 338 2266 e Hanlie.Fintelman@3smedia.co.za


contact@egis-southafrica.co.za www.egis-southafrica.co.za

As a developer, operator and maintainer of transport infrastructure, Egis is committed to the performance of assets under its responsibility across their entire life-cycle. Likewise, we are invested in supporting and nurturing South Africa’s prime asset - its youth.

Egis Operation South Africa (Pty) Ltd Nelson Mandela Square West Tower, 2nd Floor Sandton, 2196

Profile for 3S Media

IMIESA June 2021  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded