IMIESA March 2021

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


Cement & Concrete Cement & Concrete SA opens for business

Who’s Who in Water Technologies, projects and sustainability

Waste & Recycling The concrete solution to plastic waste

SADC Focus

Opportunities for African engineering integration

Hall Longmore

ventures into dual layer FBE coatings for steel pipe

IN THE HOT SEAT The beauty of MTWO is that it has an open architecture with open APIs, and this allows it to interface with other tools within the construction value chain.” Andrew Skudder CEO of RIB CCS 8 l uVo r cbhe 2r 022012 0• R•5 5R. 0505 .(0i n ) I S S N 0I S2S5N7 01295778 1 9 V7 o m leu m 4 5e N4o6 . N0o9. •0 3 S•e pMt ea m 0 c(li.nVAT c l . VAT )





VOLUME 46 NO. 03 MARCH 2021


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


Cement & Concrete Cement & Concrete SA opens for business

Who’s Who in Water Technologies, projects and sustainability

Waste & Recycling The concrete solution to plastic waste


Who’s Who in Water

Editor’s comment


Greywater reuse in landscapes


President’s comment


Index to advertisers


Ultraviolet treatment in wastewater plants


Restoring dignity through water and sanitation


Seeing the big picture


Sludge management solutions for water and wastewater works


SADC Focus

Opportunities for African engineering integration

Hall Longmore

ventures into dual layer FBE coatings for steel pipe

IN THE HOT SEAT The beauty of MTWO is that it has an open architecture with open APIs, and this allows it to interface with other tools within the construction value chain.” Andrew Skudder CEO of RIB CCS

Cover Story Hall Longmore ventures into dual-layer FBE coatings


8 l uVo r cbhe 2r 022012 0• R•5 5R. 0505 .(0i n ) I S S N 0I S2S5N7 01295778 1 9 V7 o m leu m 4 5e N4o6 . N0o9. •0 3 S•e pMt ea m 0 c(li.nVAT c l . VAT )

ON THE COVER Committed to providing valueengineered solutions, Hall Longmore’s decision to introduce dual-layer fusion-bonded epoxy corrosion protection coating systems will set a new benchmark for the South African market. The primary objective, says managing director Kenny van Rooyen, is to ensure legacy benefits for local infrastructure. P6

IN THE HOT SEAT Andrew Skudder, CEO of RIB CCS, talks about a solutionbased collaborative platform and one central database. This digital platform approach empowers the sector to use the increasingly important asset of data to make better decisions and ensure projects are delivered more efficiently, on time and within budget. P10



Infrastructure Funding & Implementation Infrastructure procurement: A minefield for municipal engineers

Lining Systems Long-lasting containment liners



Sanitation Contracting FIDIC versus NEC


Facilities Management Public buildings need expert maintenance plans



Driving sanitation service delivery through a web platform


Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa


Building Systems Innovative modules for Jubilee hospital


Cement & Concrete

Eliminating technical barriers to trade


Risk and reward


Opportunities for African engineering integration

New industry body – CCSA – open for business



Eco-friendly dune rehabilitation


Concrete indispensable for SA’s post-pandemic revival


Who’s Who in Water Engineering futureproof plants


Taking the pressure off with digitalisation


Easily erectable, economical tanks a big success


More sustainable engineering detail now needed in WULAs




Countering moisture loss and shrinkage 49

Vehicles & Equipment A cut above the rest


Waste & Recycling The concrete solution to plastic waste


Coal ash reuse


New technology for concrete recycling





WHEN PERFORMANCE AND PRICE MATTER ƒ Independent studies prove that the STIHL FS 235 brushcutter delivers professional-grade power at a costcutting price. The two-stroke engine with 2-MIX technology ensures efficient use of fuel (up to 20% saving), with high torque over a wide speed range. This machine is userfriendly too, with excellent power-to-weight ratio and lower emissions. Best of all, when using the AutoCut 26-2 nylon head with STIHL nylon line there are further savings, according to research by the University of Stellenbosch forestry department. Tests showed that, taking into account productivity and nylon costs, STIHL 2.7mm nylon is more efficient and cost-effective, since about 60% of contractor nylon is wasted due to the method of winding the aluminium head, compared to about 30cm of STIHL nylon when using the STIHL Spooled nylon head system. A robust machine for cutting at the best price. Like any premium item, STIHL products are only available at specialised dealers nationwide, for expert advice and superior after-sales service.

EDITOR’S COMMENT MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Kirsten Kelly JOURNALIST Nombulelo Manyana HEAD OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders CONTRIBUTORS Gundo Maswime, Zizodwa Mkhize, Bryan Perrie, Bhavna Soni PRODUCTION & CLIENT LIAISON MANAGER Antois-Leigh Nepgen PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jacqueline Modise GROUP SALES MANAGER Chilomia Van Wijk BOOKKEEPER Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS PRINTERS Novus Print Montague Gardens ___________________________________________________

Education, experience and implementation


s technological advances continue to reshape industries and jobs, keeping pace is a key priority, and that applies to both countries and individuals. Evidence shows us that those nations that invest in education – particularly IT, mathematics and science – and back it up with experiential learning, reap the benefits. In South Africa’s case, we have an excellent talent pool across most industries. However, it’s being stretched thinner by the day due to a stagnant economy that limits opportunities for new entrants. Our construction sector, for example, remains world class, but can only be sustained by new work to continue attracting and mentoring built environment professionals and specialist trades. The same scenario equally applies to municipal engineering and technical departments, government departments and SOEs, all of which are the private sector’s implementing partners. To function effectively, South Africa needs a capable private and public sector working in collaboration to achieve common goals.

ADVERTISING SALES KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Joanne Lawrie Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 / +27 (0)82 346 5338 Email: ___________________________________________________

PUBLISHER Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: R600.00 (INCL VAT) ISSN 0257 1978 IMIESA, Inst.MUNIC. ENG. S. AFR. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________________ IMESA CONTACTS HEAD OFFICE: Manager: Ingrid Botton P.O. Box 2190, Westville, 3630 Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: Website: BORDER Secretary: Celeste Vosloo Tel: +27 (0)43 705 2433 Email:

Achieving fiscal goals and talent audits Here, the people responsible for implementation are key. During his 2021 budget speech, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni underscored this as he outlined interventions aimed at stabilising government debt to around 88.9% of GDP by 2025/26. That’s an alarming figure in itself; even more concerning though is the question of how reductions in wasteful and non-essential expenditure will be achieved in practice, given past Auditor-General reports on generally poor municipal and SOE performance. Local and international investors also need greater assurances that the changes promised will be successfully executed. Greater policy certainly would also encourage local retirement funds to commit to public-private partnership

EASTERN CAPE Secretary: Susan Canestra Tel: +27 (0)41 585 4142 ext. 7 Email: KWAZULU-NATAL Secretary: Ingrid Botton Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: NORTHERN PROVINCES Secretary: Ollah Mthembu Tel: +27 (0)82 823 7104 Email: SOUTHERN CAPE KAROO Secretary: Henrietta Olivier Tel: +27 (0)79 390 7536 Email: WESTERN CAPE Secretary: Michelle Ackerman Tel: +27 (0)21 444 7114 Email: FREE STATE & NORTHERN CAPE Secretary: Wilma Van Der Walt Tel: +27 (0)83 457 4362 Email: All material herein IMIESA is copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa or the publishers. _____________________________________________

BOOTS upskill In a cash-strapped environment, accelerating service delivery and skills transfer is going to be especially challenging; however, there are practical responses like the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model, which has been proven locally and internationally. A key advantage of BOOT concession agreements is that they provide an essential service, but with minimal, if any, upfront funding from government. Examples include wastewater treatment works, desalination plants, solar and wind farms. Among the benefits are the experiential and skills transfer opportunities. Since BOOT investors tend to be leaders in their field, municipal personnel learn the latest applied technologies from around the world. These can then be shared with neighbouring municipalities. In the end, BOOT projects and PPPs can serve the dual purpose of modernising South Africa’s infrastructure and fasttracking the transition to smart local government. They also take more financial pressure off the state for essential investments in early learning, primary, secondary and tertiary education, which prepares future generations for a high-tech world.

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



Infrastructure News


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

Cement & Concret


SA Cement & Concrete opens for business

Who’s Who in Water

Technologies, projects and sustainability

Waste & Recycling The concrete solution to plastic waste

SADC Focus

Opportu nities for African engineer ing integrati on

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.

(PPP) projects with a guaranteed return on investment. From a capability perspective, a good starting point would be for government to conduct a detailed talent audit of all national, provincial and local government entities. That would provide a clearer indication of the skills gaps. It would also help speed up the recruitment process on critical positions vital for government’s turnaround strategy.

ngmore HallresLo into dual layer FBE ventu

coatings for steel


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.


with open APIs, open architecture is that it has an the constructio n The beauty of MTWO other tools within it to interface with CCS and this allows Skudder CEO of RIB ) ) value chain.” Andrew c l . VAT n c li.nVAT 2 12 0• R•5 5R. 0505 .(0i 0 ( r cbhe 2r 02 0 3 •e pMt ea m 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

Cover opportunity

IMIESA March 2021




CALL FOR ENTRIES To recognise outstanding achievements in municipal infrastructure, we are calling for entries that showcase projects that demonstrate the best of civil engineering as a science and how engineering enhances the lives of the local communities, through excellence in:

Planning and design Construction methods Innovation and originality Meeting social and technical challenges Contributing to the well-being of communities



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


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


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


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


QUESTIONS Contact Debbie Anderson on +27 (0)31 266 3263 or email



Water creates life and economies The unpredictability of climate change makes planning for future water demand scenarios especially challenging worldwide. In South Africa’s case, more frequent and prolonged droughts pose a serious threat to water security unless proactively managed. There is, however, an upside.


he positive aspect of this is that there are a range of options beyond conventional dam-sourced supply, such as wastewater reuse and desalination, which

can and probably will be far more common in the future. Either way, there are immediate priorities that must be addressed. With water being a finite resource, city planners and water engineers need to factor in current and future urbanisation trends and population growth. Both are rising at an unprecedented rate. That places increasing pressure on our ageing water and wastewater infrastructure. To put this in perspective, the latest National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP) states that an estimated 56% of wastewater treatment works and 44% of water treatment works are in a poor or critical condition. Overall, 11% are said to be dysfunctional. Compounding issues include excessive organic loads due to the illegal dumping of industrial effluent into sewer systems and rivers, plus maintenance backlogs and budget constraints.

NRW losses

Bhavna Soni, president, IMESA

An overriding concern is the extensive loss of potable water, caused predominantly by pipeline leaks. It’s a terrible waste in terms of non-revenue water (NRW) losses – estimated at around 41% nationally – and sustainable resource management. According to the NW&SMP, around 33% of NRW is due to

technical losses, like leakages. The balance can be attributed to scenarios like faulty water meters, incorrect billing, non-payment and illegal connections. NRW negatively impacts on the budgeted water tariff revenues that each municipality depends on for the bulk of their infrastructure maintenance. Incurring the cost of producing high-quality drinking water only to lose it along the way is tragic, particularly when a portion could go to servicing the free basic water and sanitation needs of indigent communities. The upside is that, across South Africa, numerous municipalities are forging ahead with leak detection and repair initiatives, Nelson Mandela Bay being a case in point, as Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) and surrounding towns experience one of their worst droughts on record.

War on Leaks Combined with these initiatives, a renewed focus on the Department of Water and Sanitation’s War on Leaks programme will make a major difference. In addition to tackling NRW, the War on Leaks programme positively engages and informs communities on the significance of water as a socioeconomic enabler. It also serves to create jobs through the training of non-technical monitors, and technical specialists acquiring a formal trade in plumbing. The overall objective is that all stakeholders take collective social responsibility for the vital importance of the water and wastewater that surrounds and enables them. Water conservation and utilisation forms a central component of IMESA’s asset management and outreach initiatives. Together we can achieve a real difference through a change in water consumer behaviour, supported by ongoing investment for essential water and sanitation infrastructure.


Committed to providing value-engineered solutions, Hall Longmore’s decision to introduce dual-layer (DL) fusion-bonded epoxy (FBE) corrosion protection coating systems will set a new benchmark for the South African market. The primary objective, says managing director Kenny van Rooyen, is to ensure legacy benefits for local infrastructure.

Hall Longmore ventures into dual-layer FBE coatings


o ensure that carbon steel pipes meet their expected lifespan, some form of coating system is always required – often in conjunction with cathodic protection – to combat corrosion. Allied to this are primary considerations like impact, as well as load and soil stresses, which all influence the internal and/or external lining system chosen for each specific application. Examples include the oil and gas sector, and the water and wastewater segment. Alongside pipelaying, these coatings also need to be able to withstand and maintain

their integrity for rigorous tasks like horizontal directional drilling, pipe jacking and allied trenchless technology techniques. Here, these coatings perform optimally in terms of high mechanical impact resistance, providing exceptional protection properties that exceed what was previously available in these hot, moist environments. “Hall Longmore, as a leading steel pipe manufacturer since 1924, has always fielded a range of coating systems. However, we’re confident that one of our most enduring solutions to date comes in the form of AkzoNobel’s

Kenny van Rooyen, managing director, Hall Longmore, discusses the benefits of ARO and MRO coatings during a factory open day in March 2021

proprietary DL FBE powder coatings series. FBE is a premier corrosion resistance coating adopted globally,” says Van Rooyen.

Adding back “As a South African company, our investments and innovations play a crucial role in revitalising our country’s industrial base, especially via local content production. This has a direct benefit for all the industries that we supply, and we clearly understand that their growth is integral to ours. In addition to this, we understand the need to launch products that can extend the life of our pipeline assets. Up front, that hinges on choosing the best technologies,” Van Rooyen continues. Hall Longmore’s target market for FBE coated pipes is for 100 mm to 600 mm nominal bore applications in the water reticulation sector.

Dual-layer benefits There’s a two-pronged solution, which is application dependent, namely an abrasionresistant overcoat (ARO) and a moisture-resistant overcoat (MRO). Both are intended to provide the final protection layer within the DL powder-coating Second layer being applied


Conducting a coating thickness test

A view inside the spray chamber

application process. The base coat is always the corrosion protection layer. Then follows the secondary ARO or MRO coating. ARO forms a tough outer layer that is resistant to gouging, impact, abrasion and penetration. DL FBE systems that have ARO or MRO as a second outer layer have an elevated glass transition temperature up to 180°C, which underscores their durability. An improved moisture barrier also translates into less ‘steam jacking’ in hot systems. This is because these coatings absorb destructive energy in rough environments, minimising coating damage. These coatings also exhibit excellent cathodic disbondment resistance and superior performance in long-term roles that include wet conditions.

Application process At Hall Longmore’s factory in Wadeville, Gauteng, there are two powder application booths working in tandem. Hall Longmore has invested in one of the few dual box fusion bonded application plants in Africa. This is a high-speed line, incorporating an extensive degree of automation. The advantage for customers is that this technology achieves higher efficiencies that result in more competitive pricing for end users. As per industry

standards, typical pipe lengths are either 9 m, 12 m or 18 m. During the coating process, the pipe is charged negatively and the powder positively, so there’s an automatic attraction to each other. This creates an even coat. During this manufacturing process, the powder coating is air sprayed while the pipe is polarised. The pipe is heated to a specified temperature. The first layer is then applied, followed within 10 to 20 seconds by the second layer. As an indication of the speed of production, around 1.5 km of DL FBE coated pipe can be produced in a single shift configuration daily, depending on the pipe bore specification. Field joints can be coated with a compatible epoxy system to maintain the coating integrity of the entire pipeline.

Meeting the holiday test These coatings comfortably meet holiday test specifications. This non-destructive test method essentially verifies that the pipe is homogeneously coated, correctly sealed, and that there’s no opportunity for air or water ingress. In this respect, a holiday is defined as a hole or void in the coating film, which would expose the pipe to corrosion. “The point to emphasise here is that the DL FBE coating then adds a further level of quality assurance,” Van Rooyen continues. “Thanks to DL FBE, the direct current voltage gradient is also significantly reduced during pipe handling and installation.” Higher intrinsic dielectric strength results in less moisture uptake and fewer issues with wet/ dry sponge holiday detection – i.e. fewer false positives. That has key benefits where pipelines are laid in vlei and marshy areas using the MRO. The MRO actively repels water. “To ensure carbon steel pipe integrity, cathodic disbondment resistance testing is another important tool. The test verifies the ease with which corrosion could under-creep any coating system. In the case of DL FBE, this test proves that these coatings have exceptional resistance against cathodic disbondment in this scenario,” he adds. Final production stage

Robust pipeline installation, simplified backfilling DL FBE coating systems promote long lifespans, and that’s not just thanks to factory quality assurance. Downstream installation was always top of mind, which is where ARO scores major points in terms of transport logistics and onsite operations. ARO coatings are designed for tough handling, ensuring that there’s minimal or no damage in the process. The upside for contractors, especially SMMEs without access to formal pipelaying machines, is that more general earthmoving plant, like excavators, can be used. Another important aspect to consider is backfilling. Traditionally, fill material must be carefully screened to remove sharper and larger rocks; however, the DL FBE system provides more leeway in terms of improved damage tolerance, since the coating is effectively as strong as steel despite its approximately 1 mm thickness. This middle ground helps to lower earthmoving costs and accelerate the overall construction programme.

Global best practice, local excellence “Over the years, Hall Longmore has developed a detailed understanding of the needs of consulting engineers and pipeline contractors. This has constantly influenced and shaped our research and development programmes,” adds Van Rooyen. “We fully appreciate the critical contribution that infrastructure makes in building a vibrant economy where everyone benefits. The local launch of new technologies like DL FBE is our latest contribution to ensuring that South Africa remains in step with what’s happening in the rest of the world,” Van Rooyen concludes.

Established in 1924

IMIESA March 2021



Infrastructure procurement: A minefield for municipal engineers Few activities of built environment professionals in the public sector are as disconcer ting as the appointment of engineering consultants and contractors. The process is a minefield of innumerable, inconsistent, inhibitive and contradictor y legislative provisions that ends with the built environment official being answerable for decisions mainly made by finance and legal professionals. By Gundo Maswime*


nfrastructure procurement in South Africa, by design or coincidence, is about financial prudence and administrative compliance, and less about the successful delivery of public infrastructure. This is mainly because legislation was conceived by politicians, drafted by non-engineering bureaucrats and presided over by accountants and auditors, with nominal engineering input. Even at institutional level, infrastructure procurement is presided over by the chief financial officer. There are many clauses in the various pieces of legislation governing public infrastructure procurement that have no identifiable benefits nor beneficiaries along the

Gundo Maswime

infrastructure value chain. These clauses are painstakingly followed in pursuit of a clean audit outcome at the expense of good project outcomes. The pre-1994 procurement system in South Africa had an obvious bias towards large and established construction and consulting firms, which made it ver y difficult for newly established businesses to enter the sector. Government procurement was granted constitutional status in 1996. A year later, the 1997 infrastructure sectoral transformation Green Paper was gazetted as a means of addressing past discriminatory policies and practices. Saki Macozoma, based on his experience as managing

director of Transnet, conceded that the new framework was too preoccupied with getting the politics right at the expense of government efficiency. If by “the politics” Macozoma meant the transformation of the construction sector, it is debatable if indeed “the politics” came to be right. If they really were, the stoppages of construction projects and the frustration at the slow pace of transformation of the industry would not be as commonplace as is the case today.

Procurement and engineering interlinked Procurement for public infrastructure is a core function of an engineer’s repertoire, which should be inseparable from engineering practice. There is a direct link between design philosophies (such as limit state design) and contract price (as a determinant of risk). This link is hidden in the concept of safety factors and the inherent uncertainty in some aspects of engineering science. The more obvious one is geotechnical engineering. The engineer has a valuable insight about where the real risk in design and construction lies and this exper t knowledge is critical in deciding which bidder has the most appropriate set of skills and experience, and which price can envelope the risk that the uncertainty presents.

Incompetent bidders and legislative hurdles In the public sector today, supply chain officials without engineering credentials


IMIESA March 2021


par ticipate in allocating points for functionality and their scores weigh enough to tip the scales in favour of an incompetent bidder. When this bidder fails to deliver the project, the municipal engineer will be the one reporting to various structures and accounting for the lack of progress. The engineer, in daily practice, is confronted by the need to comply with not less than 11 pieces of legislation that are enforced by the Auditor-General. Geo Quinot, a law professor at Stellenbosch University, places the number at just over 80 indirect legislations affecting infrastructure procurement, of which 22 have direct applicability to the process. The Auditor-General inspects whether these are complied with. The audit process is very unforgiving to engineering logic. Many engineers in the public sector know that it is safer to let the project fail than to skip any of the stipulated procurement procedures. These rules can be used on a whim to frustrate, intimidate and even dismiss engineers in local government. The absence of differentiation between infrastructure procurement and the procurement of any other goods and services is a statutory negation of the uniqueness of infrastructure procurement. Infrastructure procurement is unique and distinct in the sense that it concerns the procurement of goods that are not delivered packaged and finished like furniture or computers. The risk in infrastructure procurement increases ver y sharply as the bid price drops. Our procurement philosophy puts a premium on the very lowest price despite its risk amplification. This is a very costly contradiction.

Regulation 28 Public officials appeared to rationally drift away from minimum price using the creative dismissal of low-price bidders. This prompted National Treasur y to issue Regulation 28 of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (No. 5 of 2000) to compel public servants to appoint the bidder with the highest points. Regulation 28 was issued after a number of legal cases that the state lost to aggrieved bidders that had the more points than the appointed bidder. Typically, the highest points go to the lowest-price bidder because price accounts for either 90% or 80% of the points, depending on the estimated overall contract price. The appropriate reaction should have been to revise legislation to ensure that the fallacy of equating the lowest price to the best price is circumvented. The courts merely interpret legislation as it is and make a ruling. The Draft Public Procurement Bill has been widely circulated for comment in a process so delayed that the lack of a sense of urgency is obvious. The Supreme Court of Appeal made a ruling that rendered sections of the 2017 Preferential Procurement Regulations unlawful. These are regulations pertaining to subcontracting and the prequalification criteria associated with the Preferential Procurement Framework Act. These legislative inter ventions do not address the bigger problems with infrastructure procurement. That is why both Construction Alliance South Africa and the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors never mentioned them in their petitions to the Minister of Finance just before the budget speech, though they

wrote broadly about procurement. Fana Marutla, president of SAICE, unpacked how procurement attracts corruption when it is not based on sound engineering judgement (Civil Engineering, January/February 2020). The draft bill on public sector procurement does not show any significant change in direction from a rules-based approach to a project-outcome-based approach driven by product experts.

Conclusions There is a need for a comprehensive infrastructure procurement manual that factors in the uniqueness of infrastructure procurement, and shifts from the boxticking approach into strategy and risk management by allowing engineers to apply their technical knowledge in deciding how best to procure the services of built environment consultants and contractors. This manual should correct or nullify some clauses that apply to general procurement. It will also add new clauses to cover the gaps that exist pertaining to such scenarios as strip-and-quote, as-andwhen contracts, and procurement for new innovative methods and technologies in the built environment. Until then, funds will be wasted while avoiding wasteful expenditure, and projects will be abandoned to avoid unauthorised expenditure. The construction fraternity must patiently lobby relevant authorities to bring comprehensive reforms to this impor tant aspect in the deliver y of public infrastructure. *Gundo Maswime is a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and researcher in public infrastructure.

IMIESA March 2021



Build smarter with digitalisation The construction industry is tool-based – there are different tools for different jobs. This creates silos of information and work that are unstructured and uncollated. Andrew Skudder, CEO of RIB CCS, talks about a solution-based collaborative platform and one central database. This digital platform approach empowers the sector to use the increasingly important asset of data to make better decisions and ensure projects are delivered more efficiently, on time and within budget. What value does RIB CCS bring to the construction sector? AS Our mission as a business is to digitally transform the construction and engineering industry into a more sustainable, advanced industry. Digital transformation increases collaboration,

productivity and efficiency, which results in greater profitability and sustainability for companies. By assisting construction companies to build more with fewer resources, we then benefit society. Those saved resources can be directed to other projects. An effective built environment

Andrew Skudder, CEO of RIB CCS

(and the associated infrastructure) is key for people’s quality of life and prosperity.

What is MTWO Complete Construction Cloud? This is a cloud platform that provides end-to-end management across the

WHO IS RIB CCS? A STORY OF TWO SOUTH AFRICAN PETERS AND 1982 A GERMAN SOFTWARE A project manager COMPANY called Peter Reynolds, frustrated with repeatedly 2000 – 2008 generating estimates on a piece of


paper, decided to digitalise his estimating CCS and BuildSmart Schneider Electric buys activity. He developed the Candy estimating merge and expand their shares into RIB Software. software solution and established CCS. footprint into India and From there, Peter further developed Australia. Candy into a project planning and control solution and CCS offices opened in Portugal and the UK. Peter Cheney started BuildSmart, where he developed a financial management CCS joins RIB Software – a solution (including procurement, payroll German multinational construction and accounting) specifically for the software company that has been construction industry. It is introduced operating since 1951, leading to into other Southern African the rebranding of CCS as neighbouring countries. RIB CCS in 2020. Candy expands into Dubai and New Zealand.




IMIESA March 2021


Quantity Takeoff

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5D BIM Simulation



Facility Management

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MTWO Complete Construction Cloud design, build and operate phases of the construction life cycle. It is a partnership between RIB and Microsoft. RIB hosts Is MTWO a major departure iTWO 4.0 software with 5D BIM (fivefrom ERP-type (enterprise dimensional building information modelling) resource planning) capabilities on the Microsoft Azure systems industry has platform. Furthermore, Microsoft Azure known in the past? offers exceptional cybersecurity and other I would like to describe capabilities like AI (artificial intelligence) MTWO as the technical ERP and HoloLens that are layered on top of the in the construction industry. software – creating additional value. We depart from traditional A critical part of MTWO 5D BIM is the ERPs because we are industry integration of 3D models with cost and specific – the engineering and schedule information to create a 5D model construction industry is projector digital twin of a project. 3D models can based and operates differently to other demonstrate how changes to materials, sectors. Traditional ERPs focus on multiple layouts, square meterage and other design verticals while we focus on one – therefore, elements affect the appearance of a the depth of functionality, expertise and facility, as well as the cost and schedule of support is unique, which is why roughly construction. With a 3D model, costing and 80% of RIB CCS staff have previously worked schedule, a client can simulate a project at construction companies. Also, unlike before construction has started and then other ERPs, MTWO deals with the entire value engineer and optimise that project. value chain – from bidding for the project to A 3D model is a visual representation of its operation. the project and if you add a functionality like HoloLens, you can even do a virtual Can MTWO be used in the walkthrough. The AI functionalities on public sector? MTWO are chatbots, voice assistance and Absolutely – government entities must machine learning. make sure that infrastructure is built in a The beauty of MTWO is that it has an open responsible way (on budget, on time, quality architecture with open APIs, and this allows and according to environmental, social and it to interface with other tools within the governance rules). MTWO gives government construction value chain. For example, many entities transparency to see if a project is on of our clients are users of Microsoft Project budget and time, and provides transparency or Primavera, as well as SAP or Oracle, to stakeholders (like National Treasury) with which can integrate into our platform. This regard to procurement. allows for everyone to work on one single This transparency will give greater platform and database, which means that confidence to the funders of these projects, everyone collaborates seamlessly. as they would know that the project has As an internet-based solution, MTWO been optimised and value engineered before needs decent bandwidth to operate, but construction and is well managed and there are offline functionalities, particularly controlled during construction. relating to work done on a site. The Deutsche Bahn (German rail operator) RIB CCS is bringing this product to and Autobahn (German equivalent of Sanral) the Southern Africa, UK and Middle uses MTWO because they see the value East regions. We are also working on in the transparency, collaboration and the further enhancing the platform with new ability to coordinate multiple projects. functionality and modifications that may improve or better reflect the way that What are common misconceptions owners, developers and contractors operate about digitalisation? within these markets.



ct nt oje e Pr gem na Ma

People think that digital transformation is expensive and time consuming. MTWO can be implemented in months, not years. But this often depends on a client’s implementation approach – some clients choose to start with estimating, and then a few months later move on to planning and, a few months later, procurement. Buying a best-of-breed solution that is purposely built for your specific industry can be expensive, but there is limited customisation and no development. We will be developing an outof-the-box solution, where MTWO can be preconfigured and precustomised, which lowers the barriers to entry. But if there is poor planning with no digital roadmaps and unclear objectives, digital transformation can be expensive and time consuming. Change management, led from the top, is key to a successful transformation. “The construction industry has taken the longest to embrace digital technology. But we are now at an interesting stage within the built environment where we have solutions like MTWO that are available to us. This is a unique opportunity for owners, developers and contractors to embrace this technology and create a more collaborative, transparent, efficient, and productive industry,” concludes Skudder.

IMIESA March 2021



FIDIC versus NEC

When it comes to contract disputes, the FIDIC and New Engineering Contract (NEC) suites both have their merits, but which is the most practical and costeffective? By Zizodwa Zizo Mkhize


he Global Construction Disputes Report (2016) definition outlines a situation where two parties typically differ in the assertion of a contractual right, resulting in a decision being given under the contract, which in turn can become a formal dispute. The important point is to find a middle ground that achieves favourable resolution. In this respect, the construction contract adjudication process is a form of dispute resolution that meets a need for a rapid, inexpensive mechanism where agreedon outcomes can be implemented immediately. The aim of my study was to evaluate if the clauses of the construction contract adjudication method for FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) were similar for NEC infrastructure construction projects.

Dispute resolution methods in South Africa Table 1 shows the four standard forms of construction contracts used in South Africa, as noted by the Construction Industry Development Board and the applicable dispute management clauses. Two prominent methods used for resolving disputes include the dispute adjudication board (or DAB) and statutory adjudication. The DAB is utilised under FIDIC contracts, while adjudication is utilised within the NEC, JBCC (Joint Building Contracts Committee) and GCC (General Conditions of Contracts) framework.

FIDIC versus NEC adjudication

FIDIC contracts make provision for arbitration as the final dispute resolution method, while the NEC prescribes litigation as the final method. In addition, FIDIC contains a provision for adjudication, while NEC renders adjudication FIGURE 1 Breakdown of sample contract types compulsory, and has a separate adjudicator’s contract. 1 6 In both the DAB and adjudicator’s case, decisions are final and binding. That’s if no notice of dissatisfaction Fidic Red 14 is raised by either party within Fidic Yellow 28 days after the decision. NEC ECC 12 Several studies have NEC TSC confirmed that there is no single source of disputes, since various interconnected factors


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Zizodwa Zizo Mkhize, Pr CPM (SACPCMP), senior manager: Contracts Management at Eskom

combine to form them. However, where delays do occur, this has adverse consequences on project objectives in terms of time, cost and quality. According to the Global Construction Disputes Report, the most important activities in helping to avoid a dispute are proper contract administration, fair and appropriate risk and balances in the contract, and accurate contract documents.

CONTRACTING Research methodology My research focused on the principal or main contractors only, as they signed a direct contract with one organisation. The research study was mainly qualitative in nature because of the questions to be answered. A total of 33 awarded adjudication cases were analysed, of which 18 were FIDIC and 15 NEC contracts. The FIDIC analysis referenced high-value and complex projects, whereas the NEC was used for non-complex and low-value projects. A comparison between the FIDIC suite of contracts and the NEC suite is very complex because there are many contracts in each family. Therefore, it was never clause-toclause. The scope of this study was limited to the concluded adjudication cases for the construction infrastructure contracts only. The case study was based on the type of contracts as per Figure 1.

TABLE 1 Dispute-resolution methods endorsed in the standard forms

Contract type FIDIC NEC GCC

Adjudication/dispute adjudication board Clause 20.2 Clause W1.1 Clause 10 GCC 2019 Guidelines


Clause 30.3

Arbitration Clause 20.6 Clause W1.1 Clause 10 GCC 2019 Guidelines Clause 30.5, Clause 30.7

FIGURE 2 Comparison of the top 10 FIDIC and NEC causes of adjudications

Key findings There were 21 main causes and driving forces identified in the FIDIC cases and a total of 16 were derived from the NEC cases (see Table 2). Figure 2 in turn represents a comparison of the top 10 FIDIC and NEC causes of adjudications.

Conclusions and recommendations In comparing the FIDIC and NEC main causes of contract disputes, the summarised conclusion is as follows: • There are comparable causes of disputes among the two contracts even though they vary in terms of ranking on each contract. • Cost and contract management ranked as the highest source or the cause of the disputes. • Design, poor planning and risk management ranked as the lowest source or cause of the disputes. • The adjudications or DABs disputes on the interpretation of the contract terms and conditions of the contract should have been avoided. The key strategic factor in dispute management is the appropriate knowledge in managing the construction disputes. The formal training of project managers, engineers and contract managers on contract dispute avoidance and management is therefore recommended. In addition, the lesson learnt on the awarded adjudication cases must be published within organisations to ensure common understanding and aligned focus on the primary mandate – namely, optimal infrastructure delivery.

TABLE 2 Main causes and driving forces of disputes in FIDIC and NEC cases

Ranking Number of Number of Total occurrences occurrences numbers of occurrences in FIDIC in NEC Communication 5 1 6 7 Contract ambiguity 2 7 9 4 Contract management 6 10 16 1 Cost 5 11 16 1 Delayed access 0 8 8 5 Design/scope 0 1 1 11 Dispute settlements 1 1 2 10 Extension of time 5 8 13 2 Human behaviour 1 2 3 9 Labour unrest 2 2 4 8 Material 1 3 4 8 Payment 7 3 10 3 Performance and experience 3 1 4 8 Poor planning 0 1 1 11 Quality 1 1 2 10 Reject claim 1 6 7 6 Risk management 0 1 1 11 SA law 0 2 2 10 Termination 2 0 2 10 Unrealistic client expectation 1 2 3 9 Variations/CE 3 3 6 7 Weather conditions 0 1 1 11 Sources of disputes from the cases

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The author would like to thank the organisations for allowing the study and giving access to the adjudication cases. Further acknowledgement goes to

Professor Dhiren Allopi from Durban University of Technology for his assistance and guidance. This article is an edited version of the original paper. Full references are available from the author.

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Public buildings

need expert maintenance plans Clearing government building maintenance backlogs requires a working partnership between the private and public sector, with a specific focus on employing the skills of facilities management (FM) experts. Lydia Hendricks, business development director at FM Solutions, says this is the best way to help curb wasteful expenditure.

A robust and measurable FM support plan will not only ensure building compliance, but also the sustainability and reliability of all government’s operating systems.”


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he South African government spent R5 billion on renting private buildings during the financial year ending March 2020, according to a recent statement by Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille. This has highlighted how failing infrastructure forces government departments and institutions to procure reliable and compliant office space from the private sector to the point of paying premium rates. “The South African government has a portfolio of more than 93 000 buildings. Many of them hold great historical value and should be more than adequate to accommodate the public servants and departments they were meant to house, provided they were in a safe and habitable state. The fact that state departments needed to rent private buildings from landlords shows the urgent need for collaboration between the public and private sector, especially when it comes to managing valuable property assets,” says Hendricks. Hendricks explains that, traditionally, government’s approach to property management has been to steer funds towards upgrading derelict buildings at huge capital costs instead of directing enough funds toward preserving their assets.

A reactive approach “Historically, the government was steadfast in managing their buildings themselves and applied a reactive approach. This meant that massive financial injections were needed to restore the structures to their former glory. In many cases, the renovation and repair projects were done long after disgruntled and frustrated departments had moved out to find more suitable and safe accommodation. Because some buildings were left vacant, the burden on the state’s coffers only became heavier,” Hendricks reports. She also explains that the absence of a robust FM plan, backed by a financial plan to preserve and extend the life cycle of these assets, meant that the negative cycle continued unabated for many years.

Lack of data “Owing to the size and complexity of managing buildings and assets at this scale, decisionmakers at the top had no real data to know whether the state property assets were being effectively managed for many years. The Government Immovable Asset Management Act (No. 19 of 2007) sought to address this, but the wheels churned too slowly. When conducting our conditions audits, we still find that some government departments have no clear understanding of what their asset portfolios need to include, or the true state of their assets,” she reveals. Hendricks advocates that fixing this problem starts with government admitting that it needs help and accepting guidance from professional FM experts who will be able to give them a thorough understanding of the built-in systems, as well as develop a detailed recovery and restoration plan. “A robust and measurable FM support plan will not only ensure building compliance, but also the sustainability and reliability of all government’s operating systems. This includes the technology and the human resources that drive and manage it. FM plays a huge role in aligning service delivery and infrastructure. Because valuable assets are preserved and maintained, service interruption is kept to a minimum, and strategic objectives of the organisation are met,” she says.

Informed procurement decisions There are numerous ways in which partnerships between the public sector and private FM service providers will not only address inefficiencies but will also result in immediate savings thanks to informed procurement decisions. Moreover, it can create more jobs in communities through the development of SMME initiatives, the appointment of carefully selected local service providers, and the in-house training of staff to run facilities more effectively. “I believe the current Covid-19 pandemic has brought us to the point of no return. Local and provincial governments are now willing to concede that they need help in curbing ongoing

Lydia Hendricks, business development director, FM Solutions

fruitless expenditure, unlocking savings, and turning ailing administrations around,” Hendricks explains. “Local government entities are facing serious financial deficits ahead of the start of the new financial year. Funds are required to continue operations, maintain buildings, and drive the post-lockdown recovery of local economies and town centres. The only way they can do this is to join hands with the FM industry and form public-private partnerships,” she implores. Hendricks says the challenges facing government today stretch far beyond delivering frontline services, corporate strategy and income generation. More than ever before, government needs to be resilient. This requires long-term thinking and deliberately improving capabilities in order to ensure it can effectively deal with future challenges. “During last year’s State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa made it clear that his administration needed help to get the economy back on track. The good news is that it is not yet too late to turn the country around, but it is impossible for government to do it alone. Going about business the same way will only continue to cost the taxpayer billions and put thousands of jobs at stake,” she adds. “We therefore urge our country’s leaders to tap into the wealth of specialist knowledge housed in the private sector to develop workable, holistic and achievable plans that will provide the right solutions for government departments and the communities they serve,” Hendricks concludes.

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Eliminating technical barriers to trade The SABS has been designated as the WTO TBT Enquiry

Point Office, with the goal of consolidating the technical The South African knowledge of government experts regarding the preparation, analysis and submission of technical regulations Bureau of Standards (SABS), in collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO), recently an obligation to drive resolving all enquiries that arise from both transparency by local and international stakeholders that hosted a seminar on the WTO making available all experience barriers to trade. Hundreds of Technical Barriers to the documentation alerts and enquiries are dealt with on a Trade (TBT) Agreement's related to the monthly basis and these queries range from enablement of trade reviewing regulations to managing queries on Transparency Framework. This within borders and to local trade conditions and any requests for forms part of a vital initiative be available to answer country contacts regarding equipment and that sets out the rules enquiries from member infrastructure,” Scholtz explains. states,” Scholtz continues. of engagement.


he seminar discussed national regulator y organisations’ responsibilities in the drafting of policies, regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures. “The principle of transparency underpins the TBT Agreement, and this is attained through the framework of notifications, the establishment of enquiry points and publication requirements,” says Jodi Scholtz, lead administrator at the SABS. “In essence, all states that are members of the WTO have

South Africa, as one of the 164 countries that are a signatory to the WTO TBT Agreement, has a responsibility to ensure that all technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are nondiscriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstructions to trade. The SABS has been designated as the WTO TBT Enquiry Point Office, with the goal of consolidating the technical knowledge of government experts regarding the preparation, analysis and submission of technical regulations. “The SABS has the responsibility of coordinating and Jodi Scholtz, lead administrator, SABS


During the seminar, national regulators were reminded of the key provisions, principles and e-tools available to assist and enable the successful implementation of the WTO TBT Agreement. “Notifications relating to regulations, changes to conformity assessment procedures, or new or amended standards can have an impact on trade and it is important to ensure that South Africa does not intentionally or unintentionally restrict or hinder open trade,” adds Scholtz. Anyone can access the WTO ePing portal via to receive alerts and updates on the regulations issued by WTO member states. The site has a search function that enables users to research product specifications by market or country and by industry classification. These TBT services are available for free and are intended to encourage transparent global trade.

IMIESA March 2021



Nacala-a-Velha, Nampula Province, Mozambique

Risk and reward Policy certainty is a deciding factor for doing business with any country. Alastair Currie talks to Lebo Leshabane, CEO, iX engineers, about the firm’s diversification strategy in the SADC and sub-Saharan region. What is iX engineers’ experience in the SADC region? LL We’ve completed numerous successful projects, some under the WorleyParsons name prior to the name change to Worley, and others as iX engineers. What we’ve found is that conducting business with governments outside South Africa can be challenging, since their operating environment is so different. In some instances, signed contracts are not honoured and governments default on funding agreements, which clearly presents a business risk. We try to hedge that risk by insuring against non-payment. Despite this, expansion in SADC and greater Africa remains one of our diversification strategies alongside continued growth in South Africa; however, where SADC countries have the skills, capacity and resources in place, it’s not realistic to expect to win work there. To secure opportunities, it’s therefore important to have a unique proposition, or to present a bankable turnkey concession model. Establishing local partnerships achieves the most flexibility and business benefits.

Where do you see the growth? We categorise countries based on their risk profile. Key countries where we see opportunity for public sector infrastructure projects include Botswana, Rwanda and Zambia.


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Across the board, we also focus on private clients. In Mozambique, for example, we work for multinational groups involved in key growth sectors like oil and gas. Work here ranges from pipelines and power stations to the design and construction management of complete settlements for personnel working on these longer-term projects. As in South Africa, we will focus on our core market segments, namely energy, water, transportation, mining and urbanisation. Going forward, we want to concentrate more on our build, operate and transfer model because we know it is the most viable for cash-strapped African governments. To achieve this, we work closely with leading EPC firms globally. Our successful concessions to date have been in energy and transportation infrastructure.

Does the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement present meaningful opportunities? I think it’s a much-needed agreement; however, effectively managing its roll-out and implementation is crucial. Participating countries need to ensure that mechanisms are in place to reduce the risk exposure for companies doing work on the continent. This includes legislation conducive to doing business and clearly stating the regulations around contracting and foreign investment. An enabling environment is vital. Rwanda, for example, is a country that welcomes the concession model.

Lebo Leshabane, CEO, iX engineers


Is giving back an important part of doing business in Africa? As in South Africa, we apply the same operating philosophy on SADC projects when it comes to community upliftment, job creation and skills transfer. South Africa has a great need for increased social investment. In many cases, however, that need is even greater in many parts of Africa. Our infrastructure designs cater for this. An example would be the installation of a community borehole as part of a turnkey water project.

Does iX engineers work with international donor agencies? Yes, we do. In fact, our largest donor project to date was as a member of the design team on the Saint Helena Airport project. This was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. We have also completed planning work in South Sudan, which was funded by the World Bank, and work in South Africa for USAID in Mangaung and Polokwane.

What is iX engineers’ key focus for South Africa during 2021? Water and sanitation are at the top of the list. At present, only around 33% of South Africa’s wastewater treatment plants are

Zeekoegat WWTW

functional. We want to help resolve this challenge, restoring these plants back to full operational capacity. Non-revenue water is an equally crucial focus. At present, South Africa loses 40% or more of its potable water due to failing infrastructure. Delivering solutions for desalination and reuse, as drought mitigation and water security strategies, are integrated areas.

How can you contribute personally as an engineer and business leader?

I’m part of the Steering Committee for the South African Water Chamber. Our mandate is to foster public-private partnership investments in the water sector. The establishment of a water regulator is one of our key objectives as part of national government’s Public Private Growth Initiative. Internally, iX engineers is continuing to mentor, train and upgrade its teams to adapt to new technologies. Ensuring that we have a shared vision and purpose makes iX engineers even better equipped to deliver legacy projects in South Africa and Africa.

Seawater reverse osmosis desalination, Cape Town

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The African Continental Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January 2021 and serves as a working policy for intercontinental imports and exports. Alastair Currie speaks to Chris Campbell, CEO, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), about partnership opportunities that could unlock mutual value within the infrastructure arena.

Opportunities for African engineering integration Does FIDIC Africa welcome opportunities for engagement with CESA firms? CC Definitely. We share similar infrastructure challenges and opportunities in areas like energy, urban planning, sanitation, and water. We also commonly experience funding shortages, which presents a strong case for the exchange of proven ideas and practical solutions. The important point to emphasise is that it’s a partnership approach and must be inclusive in terms of skills exchanges, community upliftment and mutual financial benefit. The upside is that there’s already an invaluable network in the form of the FIDIC Group of African Member Associations (FIDIC Africa). This is a regional body that forms part of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), an umbrella entity that is present in more than 100 countries via national member associations like CESA.

Chris Campbell, CEO, Consulting Engineers South Africa

CESA forms part of FIDIC Africa, which currently has around 18 member countries, with the membership base continuing to grow. Most Southern African countries are members, so that’s a good starting point for business engagement. A further benefit of being part of FIDIC is that its contract suite is one of the most accepted globally. The FIDIC suite, for example, is one of the World Bank’s preferred contract agreement frameworks for infrastructure projects. FIDIC’s regionalisation focus sets out to reinforce this to the benefit of all FIDIC Africa chapters in securing work, including with local organisations like the African Union and African Development Bank. Key FIDIC goals include the establishment of global best practices, the creation of a knowledge base, and the identification of potential partners. Where African countries don’t have the capacity to form their own association, CESA and its African counterparts can assist. These associations provide the essential and credible linkages that can viably facilitate the South African export of engineering, contracting, product and services solutions to the benefit of all parties. Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a good example of where South African and local companies have formed joint ventures on this megaproject.

How would possible implementation work? Throughout Africa, there’s a pool of


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exceptional engineers that can maximise their collective contribution to infrastructure development via pan-African participation. That forms the basis for proactive joint ventures on national, foreign direct investment and public-private partnership projects. Combined with design, this presents the opportunity to specify appropriate technologies that are affordable, sustainable and locally maintainable. A multidisciplinary consortium model can achieve this. The starting point, though, is the business risk, which applies equally when considering business opportunities in any country around the globe. Here, bilateral country-to-country agreements would greatly mitigate the risk for South African built environment businesses. Diversification is a recognised strategy, but South African companies cannot expect to achieve quick wins in Africa. It’s not a South African conquest approach and there’s already intensive competition within the SADC and broader regions from external countries including China, Brazil and India. Historically, there are examples of South African companies, particularly top-tier contractors and specialist subcontractors, that have run into challenges when working in Africa, resulting in some major financial losses and retrenchments at home. In contrast, consulting engineering firms are far less exposed, especially where work in Africa is secured via major funding agencies like the World Bank, UN and USAID.

Could the SA consulting market face increased competition from external firms? Unless it’s an internationally funded consortium project, foreign firms would not qualify in terms of South African legislation. That’s unless of course they establish operations in South Africa and meet local

SADC regulatory requirements, which has happened in the past and successfuly so, contributing to the growth of our own local capability. It is worth noting, though, that South African engineering capability has always been held in high esteem the world over.

Why has BEPEC stalled and should it be remodelled and relaunched? Initiated more than 10 years ago, the Built Environment Professions Export Council (BEPEC) concept germinated within the CESA fold. From there, it evolved into a standalone organisation with the express aim of bringing all built environment professionals and contractors together under an umbrella body to trade collectively with Africa and the world. As a separate, partially member-funded entity, BEPEC had a key objective to work in line with the broader Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTiC) exports strategy in assisting in the planning and coordinating aspects of international trade missions that provided potential opportunities for built environment professions and contractors. These would of course further increase the demand for construction plant and equipment, all in turn exported from South Africa. BEPEC did become one of the DTiC’s Export Councils. The challenge, however, was that although the money raised by BEPEC was matched by the DTiC, in line with their grant policies, BEPEC’s own member-derived funds had become insufficient to gain meaningful traction without other sources of external funding. There were also only two full-time BEPEC staff members, hence operational costs were kept to a minimum.

South Africa

As the economy started to decline and financial pressures increased, companies seeking to lower their own operational costs started reducing member subscriptions to organisations like BEPEC, and began to withdraw, so sustaining this excellent initiative became much harder. BEPEC is parked for now; however, as indicated earlier, BEPEC is an offshoot of CESA. So while it goes through this difficult period, CESA has volunteered its support in a caretaker role for the foreseeable future.

Where can the DTiC do more? Going forward, the rationale for BEPEC remains very sound; however, the possibility of relaunching it depends on greater policy clarity from the DTiC in terms of its national Export Council strategy. While specific sectors or goods are catered for, there doesn’t appear to be a holistic and integrated strategy for a construction sector Export Council. DTiC support for South African trade pavilions at exhibitions on the continent would help consulting engineering firms, construction companies, manufacturers and suppliers promote their services and capabilities; however, the current realities in view of the risks related to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have understandably created the need for such interventions to be put on hold. That said, this should not have meant that all B2B initiatives facilitated by the DTiC’s government-to-government relations in respect of trade had to grind to a halt as well. The virtual platforms that exist make it equally possible to have such exhibitions and exchanges – you just need to be more creative in your approach to make them work.

The recent launch of Construction Alliance South Africa (CASA), of which CESA is a member, is a proactive step towards uniting our industry locally. We’ve been too fragmented in the past. Therefore, we need a collective approach when engaging with government on issues of common interest. As an industry, we’ve been too dependent on tenders, instead of being involved up front in joint master planning. We need to fix the challenges at home first and connect all the dots. Then, at some stage, one could approach CASA to drive the BEPEC rejuvenation.

And in closing? An outward, Africa-wide focus should form part of a sensible diversification strategy, rather than a survival tactic to counter the dearth of current infrastructure opportunities in South Africa. Where consulting firms are exploring opportunities on the continent, we’d strongly encourage them to talk to CESA, which currently hosts the FIDIC Africa Secretariat, about network possibilities rather than going it alone. Priority Number One for CESA and our member firms is to encourage home-grown excellence and the need for service delivery. Expectations are high that the South African government’s infrastructure-led economic recovery will begin to mobilise in 2021 as we all work to reverse the devastating impact of Covid-19. A vibrant South African and SADC economy will directly and indirectly have lasting benefits for all African trading partners. Here, a formal government-to-government alliance approach would work best.

Tracking water consumption is made easy by Water Wise

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

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

Keeping track of water usage through the Water Footprint Assessment, founded by Arjen Hoekstra, is a step in the right direction that shines light on water use patterns in different aspects of society. With a deeper understanding of water consumption patterns and water balance, water utilities and municipalities can work towards improving their existing water-supply models, as well as addressing Achieving this will contribute to the bigger picture water wastage such as non-revenue water, and excessive use and leakages, in order to reduce of reduced water demand, ensuring a sustainable supply water losses in large distribution networks. of water for South Africa. End-users such as homeowners also encounter and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60


The Terraforce wall is slightly visible behind the buildings, keeping the dune stabilised. The building technology incorporates robust stilted gum pole foundations, which allows for elevated floors with majestic views

Sand is well known for shifting, especially where wind and rain are prevailing factors, which can overwhelm and undermine coastal structures unless countered. This was the case for Nhoxani Beach, an idyllic residential project on the Santa Maria peninsula in Maputo Bay, Mozambique.


ver the past four years, various new sites have been established on the peninsula’s water front, bordered by lush indigenous coastal forest and bush that have been preserved by the founders of the concession property. One site needed urgent control measures to prevent wind and water erosion – a situation aggravated historically by local fisherman and boat skippers taking refuge in the bush and cutting wood to keep warm in winter. Having completed his research, Mike Braby, Nhoxani developer and shareholder, decided to specify Terraforce’s earthretaining and erosion control system. Once an agreement and design were in place, Terraforce’s purpose-designed concreteretaining wall blocks were trucked from EFS Construction, a licensed manufacturer based in Mbabane, eSwatini, to Maputo. The blocks were then shipped via dhows (local boats used for fishing) to Santa Maria, under the watchful eyes of Terraforce-recommended contractor Ben van Schalkwyk of BRW Projects, who designed and supervised the installation of the Terraforce wall.

Eco-friendly dune rehabilitation

covers 400 m², designed with four 3 m high interconnecting terraces – the highest point reaching 12.4 m. “Getting the concrete foundations placed (each terrace having its own) proved challenging, as the dune bank was constantly collapsing,” says Van Schalkwyk. “An Agri drain was placed behind the wall to prevent water build-up that could cause future damage. We also placed bidim® behind the wall, as well as cement-stabilised backfill – all the way to the top – to provide extra stability,” he continues.

Getting the concrete foundations placed

Indigenous vegetation Following completion, the Terraforce retaining wall was painstakingly planted with indigenous vegetation using local labour. It then took another couple of years for construction of the housing development to begin. During that time, the wall has performed optimally in retaining and stabilising the slopes, keeping the dunes at bay from the homes that now line this pristine waterfrontage.

The terraces nearing completion

The Terraforce retaining wall was extensively planted with indigenous vegetation using local labour

Collapsing banks As Van Schalkwyk explains, the installation proved to be no mean feat. The wall itself

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futureproof plants

Maintaining and growing the water economy is vital for sustainable socio-economic development. IMIESA speaks to Chris Braybrooke, GM: Marketing, Veolia Ser vices Southern Africa, about how innovation makes the difference. How would you describe the state of WTWs and WWTWs in SA at present? CB It’s a complex problem. The current statistics available from the Department of Water and Sanitation report a steady state of deterioration in the functionality of water treatment works (WTWs) and wastewater treatment works (WWTWs). Figures range from around 50% to much lower for some municipalities; however, one of the most pressing concerns is the approximately 41% non-revenue water loss statistic.

What’s the impact in terms of urbanisation? The shift from rural areas to towns and cities is a global trend. This is particularly evident in Africa and South Africa, where unprecedented urban migration patterns have severely challenged the capacity of existing infrastructure to deliver essential services. As a result, WTWs and WWTWs are increasingly being overloaded beyond their design capacity.


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Can we achieve ‘quick wins’ to bring faltering systems back online? Through coordinated public-private partnership (PPP) participation, industry and government can come together to effectively clear bottlenecks. Veolia operates on an engineering and procurement model. As a proven technology solutions provider, we can mobilise and execute WTW and WWTW projects on any scale. We do this either via a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model, or through the direct sale, installation and commissioning of our technologies. Larger-scale plants for towns and cities require medium- to longer-term planning and commissioning. However, Veolia’s modular, containerised solutions are designed to provide more immediate solutions, even on the same day or within short timeframes of a few months or less. In Lesotho, for example, we’ve successfully deployed truck-mounted purification units that are designed to abstract river water and deliver this on the spot as safe drinking water. These

units are produced at our factory in Sebenza, Gauteng, for the local and African market.

How can Veolia assist in bridging the technology gap? The starting point is for municipalities to update their asset management registers. To function effectively, they must have a clear condition assessment understanding. Working with the municipality and its appointed consulting engineers, Veolia can then assist in developing an optimal operations model that improves overall cost and process efficiencies.

Chris Braybrooke, GM: Marketing, Veolia Services Southern Africa


At our project for Cape Town’s Bellville WWTW, for example, our solutions doubled the capacity. In addition, the plant footprint is now 25% smaller than the original one. This is thanks to the installation of membrane bioreactors (MBRs). Ideal for the treatment and reuse of industrial and municipal wastewater, MBRs combine a membrane separation process such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration or reverse osmosis with a suspended growth bioreactor. To keep pace with urbanisation and population growth, municipalities must embrace new technologies. In France, for example, Veolia has commissioned underground WWTWs below city parkades, which is another example of smallfootprint technology.

Are environmental considerations top of mind? Veolia always puts the environment first. That’s the rationale behind the Group’s Impact 2023, which aligns Veolia’s multifaceted performance model with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All our solutions are aimed at reducing the carbon footprint and reversing climate change. More frequent and extended droughts are a recurring concern. This makes water conservation and water security planning a major priority. Our strategy is to equip municipalities for their longer-term requirements. This especially applies to water reuse. Agriculture and industry are the two primary sectors for this, but we must not rule out reuse as a potable source. In terms of the latter, our

Veolia’s modular, containerised solutions are designed to provide more immediate solutions, even on the same day or within short timeframes of a few months or less

BOOT plant in Windhoek is a classic example. It is believed to be the first WWTW in the world to resupply drinking water. Desalination is also a viable option, and we have extensive experience locally. Examples include the 15 Mℓ plant we designed and commissioned in Mossel Bay. Through our integrated Waste and Energy business units, we also promote a sustainable circular economy. Examples include wasteto-energy ventures, and the commercial beneficiation of WWTW sludge into products like fertiliser.

Does outsourcing O&M make financial sense? The proposed Water Resources Infrastructure Agency mentioned in South Africa’s 2021 Presidential State of the Nation Address is an encouraging sign of renewed investment in this vital sector. This could unlock more PPP opportunities, as well as a more concerted drive by municipalities to outsource operations and maintenance (O&M). This is especially the case where there are skills and funding gaps. O&M contracts are certainly a viable way to speed up the restoration and recovery of underperforming plants. O&M contracts also minimise the risk of cost overruns so that municipalities stay within budget.

Chris Braybrooke, GM: Marketing, Veolia’s 15Water Mℓ desalination plant in Mossel Veolia Technologies South Africa Bay

Through Veolia’s technical training support, we can also train municipal treatment plant personnel on the latest cuttingedge technologies.

Does Veolia have working municipal O&M examples in South Africa? Our 15-year contract for Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape is an excellent example. In terms of our agreement, Veolia has 50 key performance indicators (KPIs) that need to be complied with. These KPIs range from specifications to availability. Even under the challenging Covid-19 lockdown conditions, Overstrand’s water and wastewater infrastructure ran optimally without a single interruption. The same can be said for all Veolia plants managed via O&M agreements worldwide. This type of assurance gives clients and communities major peace of mind.

And in closing? Upgrading infrastructure must form part of a long-term master plan in line with town and city geospatial growth projections. That’s why our systems can be designed up front to be scalable in modular phases to handle the estimated process volume requirements, say, 20 years into the future. The mistake is for utilities to think short term and then get stuck with a plant that’s difficult and overly expensive to retrofit. It’s a proven fact that investing in the right technologies and solutions partner up front achieves the best return on investment over the longer term.

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Data sent to the cloud can be analysed by water utility operators to plan maintenance

Taking the pressure off with digitalisation

The water utility sector has made great strides in the uptake of digital technology; however, there is still plenty of scope for improvement. Because technology has evolved and the prices of smar t devices have decreased, it is now possible for the water industr y to achieve digital transformation.

Smart monitoring technology allows for asset optimisation in the water utility sector


ean McCree, manager: Product Management at ABB, believes that utilities need to start with a clear strategic plan: “Ripping out all the existing hardware is probably not the best approach. Utilities can divide the water network into discrete zones and decide on how to identify what is needed to address each challenge. Effectively, it is best to start small by adding to existing technology. In this sense, smart sensors are the perfect starting point, as they can be placed on a motor, pump, bearings or gearing. They are easy to connect and use, without having to invest in new, expensive systems.” Wireless smart sensors are a low-cost, easyto-install digital option where operators can use remote monitoring for the early detection of problems. With sensors, maintenance actions can be cost-effectively planned before functional failure. This results in reduced downtime, eliminating unexpected production stops, optimised maintenance and reduced spare parts stock.


IMIESA March 2021

Sensors can also turn traditional pumps into smart, wirelessly connected devices. This approach measures vibration and temperature from the surface of the pump and uses it to develop meaningful insight into the pump’s condition and performance. This includes details such as pump speed, vibrations, misalignment, bearing condition and imbalance. In addition, smart sensors attached to the motors, which are connected to the pumps, can detect a drop in water flow based on the output power of the motor.

problems such as blockages and leakages), sometimes the first warning they receive is when a customer notifies them of a burst water pipe. Digitalisation can trigger the earliest possible warning. There is increasing pressure on utilities to lower their total cost of ownership and high leakage rates. The rapid development of realtime sensing and monitoring technologies for improving early leakage and water quality anomaly detection is an effective way to address these challenges. By combining smart monitoring technology with drives and motors, water utility operators can secure pre-emptive asset management optimisation and, in the process, drive a significant shift from reactive to real-time monitoring.

Insights and early detection When sensors are used in variable-speed drives, the data can be uploaded to the cloud via a remote monitoring solution. This allows for data from the drive, motor and pump to be analysed together, providing insights on the health and performance of the complete powertrain. While water companies are always monitoring their networks for changes in pipe pressure and the flow of water (which can indicate

ABB ACQ580 drive series ensures optimal operation of water and wastewater pumps


Easily erectable, economical tanks a big success


he Circotank range launched by Structa Technology during South Africa’s first lockdown in 2020 is rapidly becoming a market leader. The range offers a robust, yet economical solution to water storage. The Circotank is manufactured from cold-rolled galvanised steel plate, which is stiffened with an anti-buckling profile in a secondar y rolling process. Tanks are assembled on-site and a PVC liner is installed to ensure a watertight structure. Circotank is offered in two model ranges. The Midi line-up caters for tank sizes from 1 000 ℓ to 20 000 ℓ capacity, while the larger Maxi models field tanks with capacities from 100 000 ℓ up to 1.5 Mℓ.

A Midi tank housed on a purposedesigned tower manufactured and supplied by Structa as a turnkey solution

Midi and Maxi applications The Maxi is ideal for bulk water storage applications that include process plants, firefighting tanks and the delivery of potable water to village communities. These tanks stand on a concrete ring beam foundation and are constructed in circular segments on-site. No cranes are used, and it thus offers an economical solution both in terms of building speed and ease of transport. The smaller Midi tanks have found successful application in rural water schemes, as well as water storage at schools and clinics. The 10 000 ℓ capacity tanks on elevated stands are popular products and, again, a crane is not required for their installation. Structa

supplies the tank and stand as a complete solution, which includes an optional site construction ser vice. Circotank is manufactured in the Structa Meyerton facility and is shipped and erected across South Africa.

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More sustainable engineering detail now needed in WULAs

Ever-increasing pressure on water resources is leading to a greater focus on sustainable engineering detail in proposed water-related structures – a global trend now reflected locally in new water-use licence application (WULA) requirements.


here is a substantial shift in world best practice related to the comprehensive integration of engineering aspects with environment, social and governance (ESG) issues and financial sustainability in all projects,”

An off-stream storage dam that would require the approval of engineering design works for the authorisation of water use prior to construction

says Jacky Burke, principal scientist at SRK Consulting. “This shift – which SRK has already made – is driven from the levels of the UN and various participating entities across the globe, such as the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD),” she continues. Aligned with global best practice in ESG and sustainability, in facilitating the efficient use of water and to minimise pollution, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has issued in-depth engineering specifications that are now required as part of a WULA. SRK has been anticipating this changed approach.

An in-stream storage dam that would require the approval of engineering design works for the authorisation of water use prior to construction


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Jacky Burke, principal scientist, SRK Consulting

Burke highlights that far more detail is now required for the engineering designs that support WULAs, before the DWS will consider the submitted application. The WULA submission will now have to include a proof of concept, design and drawings to the required level, and a construction quality assurance (CQA) plan. She notes that the WULA process has been regulated since 2017, when Government Notice R267 set out the procedural requirements for WULAs and appeals.


“The DWS has now developed technical advisory notes (TAN) and design checklists to give effect to the WULA regulations and help its case officers to undertake the initial assessment on submitted WULAs to check readiness for review by DWS Engineering Services,” Burke explains. “In line with ESG best practice, this framework will also assist applicants in addressing the engineering requirements, which must now be conducted up front and not after submission.” It is hoped that these changes will speed up the processing of WULA submissions, although they will certainly require a greater investment in upfront work by project developers. Insofar as these new requirements represent a positive movement towards responsible engineering, this new approach is fully supported by SRK Consulting, says Burke. She notes that, in addition to the requirements outlined in the TAN from the DWS, there are two design checklists – one addressing all Section 21 water uses in terms of the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998), and the second specifying the requirements for waste licence applications in terms of the 2013 Waste Regulations under the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008).

Proof of concept Outlining the new requirements, she said the proof of concept may involve sitespecific investigations, field and laboratory testing, other relevant assessments, and the required engineering of all structures. “This aligns with the new global approach towards the construction of earthworks and engineering structures, to consider both the technical aspects as well as the ESG requirements,” she says. “It requires that the holistic feasibility of the concept or design must be proven in order to assure the DWS that the stability of the structure over the intended life of the facility is adequately engineered.” The approach taken by the DWS is in line with that of global organisations like ICOLD, which has updated water and tailings dam standards. In terms of this approach, the structural risk must be assessed, and the identified risks must be mitigated by suitable engineering works, which are to be incorporated into the designs and CQA plan submitted with the WULA.

Design level “Under the new arrangements, the design level that is acceptable to the DWS is stated in its TAN,” says Burke. “It is based on the Board Notice 138 of 2015 from the Engineering Council of South Africa, which provides the various stages of a project in its Regulation 3(2).” Stage 2 is a level of design that is generally inadequate for regulations requiring a quantified performance but may be adequate in some projects. At this level, the concept design criteria would be established, and a preliminary concept design would be prepared. The client would be advised regarding further surveys, analyses, tests and investigations – including the establishment of regulatory requirements – which need to be incorporated into the design. The concept would be refined to ensure conformance, and the deliverables would include a preliminary design. “A Stage 3 design is the basis of quantified performance assessment and subject to review by authorities,” Burke continues. “In this stage, the concept would be developed to finalise the design and outline specifications, which would incorporate a cost plan and define the financial viability of the project, as well as a programme for implementing the project.” The regulatory requirements are to have been built into the Stage 3 design, which is to be reflected in design drawings, including draft technical details and specifications. “Stage 4 comprises documentation and procurement, which is essentially the preparation of tender documentation and the procurement of construction services,” says Burke. “This can be done once the WULA is approved and a WUL is issued.” The fifth stage addresses the general condition in an issued WUL requiring as-built drawings to be submitted on completion of construction. This is the implementation phase, which culminates in the issuing of certificates of completion and the submission of reports to authorities.

regulator y requirements and will lead to the development of the documentation that needs to be provided to the regulator y authority,” she explains. The objective of this plan is to provide independent third-party verification and testing. It must demonstrate that the contractors and installers have met their obligations in the supply and installation of components and materials according to all the requirements of the construction drawings, the construction specifications and the regulator y requirements. While the new DWS requirements for the submission of WULAs will undoubtedly demand a greater investment of money and time in the early stages of a project, the overall result will be a positive one, according to Burke. “Developers will be more prepared for their project implementation, and the interests of safety, water conser vation and environmental protection are more likely to be ser ved,” Burke concludes.

A dam that can pose risks to downstream communities and the environment if not adequately engineered and maintained

CQA plan The other important element that the DWS now requires in a WULA submission is the CQA plan. This document establishes the procedures that will verify that construction is in accordance with the applicant’s construction drawings and specifications. “The CQA plan must show that the planned procedures will meet the appropriate

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Greywater reuse in landscapes As the demand on surface freshwater increases due to a surge in urbanisation, development and population growth – and the future supply of surface freshwater remains uncertain – businesses and landscapers have started to focus on alternative water sources.


reywater is one of the new approaches being considered to address water needs. In response to this, Rand Water has created a Water Wise Guide to DIY Constructed Wetlands manual that focuses on greywater reuse, as well as provides information on the installation and implementation of a greywater system. Defined as wastewater that is derived from the domestic and household use of water for washing, laundry, cleaning and food preparation – and does not contain faecal matter – greywater is used for activities that do not require potable water, such as washing down hard surfaces, flushing toilets, and irrigating gardens and landscapes. It is most commonly used to irrigate business and domestic gardens and landscapes. Plants such as rosemary, lavender, Olea spp., bougainvillea, Cape honeysuckle, Italian cypress, bearded iris and petunias thrive on greywater, as do most tough, drought-tolerant plants. One should avoid using greywater on acid-loving plants such as begonias, azaleas, gardenias, camellias, hibiscus, fynbos, proteas and ferns for long periods. Furthermore, greywater should be used in specially designed irrigation systems that are separate from potable water irrigation systems and could include a subsurface pipeline network and non-clogging drippers. Greywater may contain large particles such as hair, food or lint. These particles can cause blockages in the pipe system and need to be removed using a filtering system.



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Constructed wetlands to treat greywater Water Wise is Rand Water's environmental brand that works toward increasing awareness of the need to value water and use it wisely. It has developed a simple and cost-effective solution to treat domestic greywater for use in the landscape. A constructed wetland is a man-made wetland that mimics the natural processes of a wetland to treat water. Greywater is passed through the wetland, where it is slowly cleaned and filtered, and then released. The root system of the plants in the wetland releases oxygen into the water, and this creates a suitable environment for aerobic microbial and fungal activity (the biological breakdown of pollutants and organic materials). This system can be implemented in gardens and urban landscapes and adapted to suit the volume of greywater produced. The design of this system ensures that there is no pooling of greywater on the surface and no smell or waterborne pests such as mosquitoes. Besides effectively removing various contaminants from domestic greywater – such as oil and grease, phosphates and sulfates – and reducing turbidity, the system significantly decreases the levels of coliform bacteria in greywater. An additional benefit to constructed wetlands in the landscape, with the planting of indigenous wetland plants, is the increase in biodiversity and wildlife. Greywater should always be used responsibly in the landscape. It is difficult to standardise greywater use, as the concentration and presence of contaminants in greywater will vary between users, depending on the types of products used and what is passed through the system. Filtration systems are essential to remove any large organic particles such as hair, lint or food, and to remove oil and grease. It

is prudent to be aware of what is being put down the drains and it is good practice to use environmentally friendly products and to prevent fat, blood or oil from being washed down the drain. Greywater should never be stored for longer than 24 hours, without being treated in a constructed wetland or other treatment system, as this encourages the growth of bacteria, which may lead to foul smells and may also encourage waterborne pests such as mosquitoes. It is also suggested that landscapes be allowed to be flushed with rainwater now and again to clear out salts and other contaminants from the soil.

The Water Wise DIY Constructed Wetlands manual is a comprehensive guide to installing and implementing your own greywater treatment system. This guide also demonstrates how the system can be upscaled to accommodate larger volumes of water for larger landscapes if required. Download the manual here.


Ultraviolet treatment in wastewater plants


he rapid expansion of De Doorns – a town located in the Hex River Valley in the Western Cape – has put added pressure on its already scarce water resources. As a result, a 1.5 Mℓ/ day reuse plant was designed, engineered, manufactured, installed and commissioned


DRUM SCREEN Wastewater filters through the inside of the drum screen to the outside by gravity pressure and then flows to the ultrafiltration feed tank. The drum is fully automated – it starts to turn once a specific water level is reached in the drum – and it is automatically cleaned with a set of nozzles once the drum begins to turn.



to help save water. From here, secondary municipal wastewater is treated to produce irrigation water (in place of potable water). The plant can be upgraded to process 2.5 Mℓ/day.

This is how the plant operates: Process flow Wastewater filters through the inside of the


ULTRAFILTRATION Water from the feed tank is pumped into the ultrafiltration skid for removal of microbiological particles and suspended solids. The ultrafiltration system is a pressurised, preengineered membrane system with a modular building-block configuration, which simplifies design and operation, and reduces installation costs. It utilises the latest advancements in membrane technology where an enhanced PVDF membrane is 20% to 25% more permeable, which translates into lower transmembrane pressure, using less energy and reducing ownership costs.

GAC media filters are used for the absorption of dissolved organics and micropollutants. A regular backwash sequence fluidises the bed to reduce the risk of channelling in the media.

drum screen to the outside by gravity pressure and flows to the ultrafiltration feed tank. From here, water is pumped through the ultrafiltration, granular activated carbon filters and ultraviolet (UV) light into the final water tank. Ultra V Solutions supplies and maintains the Ultrascreen Drum Screen System and the Wedeco Ultraviolet System.


UV TREATMENT The advanced oxidation process (AOP) of UV radiation in combination with hydrogen peroxide (UV/H2O2) is well known and documented. The AOP process targets micropollutants through an oxidation process with the hydroxyl radicals. Unlike chlorine, UV disinfection does not degrade the water. Xylem’s Wedeco LBX Series is a closed-vessel UV disinfection system, designed for energy-efficient disinfection of wastewater, water reuse, surface water and process water. With more than 1 000 installations worldwide, LBX UV systems have been tested extensively. While the UV system is simple, Ultra V Solutions is always available to provide technical support. Manual maintenance is required but the operation of the entire system is automatic, with minimal input from operators. Xylem's Wedeco LBX UV systems employ low-pressure, high-output, amalgam Ecoray UV lamps and ballasts. The Ecoray is used in combination with the variable power option and this results in excellent energy efficiency under all operating conditions. In dimmed mode, there is a 20% average energy saving.

IMIESA March 2021



Restoring dignity through water and sanitation

EThekwini Municipality is home to approximately 200 000 informal households, some of which are among the poorest in South Africa. Those with little or no access to piped potable water and ablution facilities experience adverse health conditions.

Construction of the Luganda 900 mm diameter pipeline laid in 2.5 m trenches


IMIESA March 2021


o help address and meet the basic human needs of its informal residents, the eThekwini Water and Sanitation Department undertook a pilot project in January 2008 to provide ablution facilities to various informal communities within the municipality. The pilot project, which was initially carried out on a small scale to assess its acceptance by the communities, was successful in that the approach rapidly and effectively proved to address the provision of water and sanitation services to the informal settlements concerned. Consequently, Phase 2 of the programme commenced in 2012 on a larger scale to address the municipality’s sanitation backlog further. Following Phase 2, the Programme for the Provision of Water and Sanitation to

One of the various ablution facilities that formed part of the Phase 3 Programme

Informal Settlements and Schools (Phase 3) commenced in August 2015 and focused on eThekwini Municipality, with bulk infrastructure in the greater uMlazi, Malukazi

WHO'S WHO IN WATER and Luganda catchment areas. SMEC South Africa’s Management Services team was appointed by eThekwini Water and Sanitation for Phase 3’s programme management, and overall governance and control, over a fouryear period. After having assessed and determined the required level of serviceability for the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure in the targeted areas, the following project deliverables were set in motion: construction of male and female ablution facilities; water and sewer bulk infrastructure, including reticulation mains, pump stations, rising mains, on-site treatment works; and ancillary infrastructure that is aligned to future municipal development.

Rapid roll-out of CAB and MAB infrastructure The rapid roll-out of infrastructure in the form of containerised ablution blocks (CABs) or modular ablution blocks (MABs) was a highpriority project deliverable. Both the CABs and MABs required limited lengths of water and sewer pipeline and could be connected into the respective existing water and sewer networks, which allowed for an affordable, functional and fast interim solution to address

the lack of water and sanitation services within the targeted settlements. Upon completion of the rapid roll-out, over 400 new ablution facilities and a further 825 refurbished ablution facilities were provided. Each ablution block services approximately 50 to 75 dwellings within an approximately 200 m walking radius and contains toilets, showers, wash and hand basins, urinals and wash troughs.

Bulk infrastructure The lack of existing sewer and/or water infrastructure in the targeted settlements and surrounding areas necessitated bulk infrastructure in order to allow for improved servicing of the ablution facilities in the short term and housing developments in the long term. The existing water network was assessed for required upgrades to existing water mains, and bulk infrastructure was sized for the longterm requirements of the catchment areas by taking into account future demand and connections, as well as upstream flows. Subsequently, significant bulk sanitation infrastructure works were implemented, including 51.76 km of new sewer pipelines; 38.68 km of water pipelines, measuring 22 mm to 315 mm in diameter; 4.2 km of

PROJECT NUMBERS • 400 new and 825 refurbished ablution facilities • 51.76 km of new sewer pipelines and 38.68 km of water pipelines (22 mm to 315 mm diameter) • 4.2 km of 900 mm diameter concrete pipe • 3 concrete pipe bridges spanning 150 m to 200 m • 3 on-site treatment plants from 5 Mℓ to 10 Mℓ, 90 ℓ/s pump station • 1 project manager, 4 design consultants, 12 main contractors and 40 emerging contractors

900 mm diameter trunk main; and three concrete pipe bridges spanning 150 m to 200 m and measuring 2.45 m wide to allow space for future pipelines or services. The trunk main is housed within the structure of each of the bridges and is accessible by removable concrete slabs. One of the pipe bridges, which runs over a minor stream, serves a dual purpose by also acting as a pedestrian walkway, linking villages and providing ease of access to local communities. Three on-site treatment plants ranging from 5 Mℓ to 10 Mℓ were implemented, as was

Aerial view of the Malukazi Bulk Pump Station

IMIESA March 2021



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Construction of the Luganda Pipe Bridge

the construction of the 90 ℓ/s Malukazi Bulk Pump Station – one of the highlights of the project. The introduction of a temporary pump station, which now serves as the overflow chamber, was initially designed by another engineering design consultant under Phase 2 of the programme. Bosch Projects – one of the design consultants managed by SMEC South Africa under the programme – was appointed for the design review, redesign and construction monitoring of the Malukazi Bulk Pump Station. Bosch Projects included the client’s key design requirements of incorporating operational and maintenance efficiencies. Another highlight of the project was the development of the Amazambane Business Node, which serves as a community centre for young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The development involved numerous engineering design elements, such as: the demolition of the existing structure; bulk earthworks for platform preparation; the construction of sewer, water and stormwater infrastructure; the construction of block retaining walls; and the construction of a parking area. The location of the ablutions, and particularly the associated infrastructure network and bulk services, was designed to prevent fruitless expenditure when future formal developments take place. The design is based on the Red Book’s ‘Guidelines for Human Settlement Planning and Design Principles’, together with customised project processes and procedures that were formulated by SMEC South Africa specifically for the programme.

established with the eThekwini Water and Sanitation Water Planning Department and managed by consultants while rolling out the CABs and MABs infrastructure on the programme. • Domestic meter requirements for each ablution facility were positioned close to each facility. Bulk domestic meters were required at offtake points, which resulted in some ablution facilities sharing a common domestic bulk meter. The installation of domestic and bulk water meters was the responsibility of eThekwini Municipality, in accordance with the water meter applications submitted by the design consultants.

Innovating through system integration The Phase 3 Programme proved to be resilient when faced with challenging demographics, social elements, environmental considerations, difficult terrain, adverse geotechnical conditions and densely populated settlements. Construction work at the foundation of the Luganda Pipe Bridge

SMEC South Africa efficiently managed these ever-evolving factors through the continual development of project processes, techniques and tools, such as: the S12 financial tool, which allowed for the processing of numerous payment certificates each month with minimal delays at month end; and Noodles, which integrates the S12 financial tool with design and construction data to allow for live dynamic monitoring, tracking and reporting. Through the implementation of these structured procedures, SMEC South Africa was able to ensure that the client received an accurate electronic record of new infrastructure and that new assets had been captured in the client’s systems.

Community upliftment and participation Under the management of SMEC South Africa, the project team (which comprised four design consultants, 11 contractors and 40 emerging consultants and contractors) was committed to and has been successful in achieving contract participation goals, social development and increased economic wealth. This was evident through the support of local enterprises and services, the inclusion of labour-intensive construction methods, the employment of local unskilled labour, the recruitment of community members for supervision of the facilities once completed, and the overall upliftment of the local community in which dignity has been restored and a sense of ownership created through the introduction of the ablution facilities. The programme has also implemented similar services to numerous schools, hostels and housing projects scattered within the metropolitan area and has achieved similar success. This increased the overall budget beyond R1.7 billion, which included all aspects of the programme.

Ancillary infrastructure In addition to the bulk infrastructure and the rapid roll-out of the CABs and MABs, the following ancillary infrastructure project deliverables were fulfilled by the project team: • Requirements for water logging were

IMIESA March 2021



Seeing the BIG PICTURE Successful organisations are defined by their unique cultures and the dynamic individuals and teams that spearhead their growth. Umvoto Africa is a prime example, and IMIESA speaks to four key specialists that are taking the business for ward in the complex field of groundwater abstraction and management.


rom the onset, in 1992, Umvoto’s core specialisation has been groundwater assessments, geological mapping and hydrogeological monitoring techniques. However, over the past three decades, that specialisation has evolved into a multidisciplinary focus that encompasses integrated water resource management, disaster risk reduction, georisk assessment and prevention, geoinformatics and remote sensing. Allied to this is an evolving focus on community education and engagement as part of an overall project management approach to sustainable water use beneficiation. Technical director Dr Kornelius Riemann has the responsibility of leading a talented team of environmental specialists, hydrogeologists and geologists. He joined Umvoto in 2002 and has made a key contribution on numerous longer-term groundwater projects for municipal clients that include the City of Cape Town and Overstrand Municipality, based in Hermanus. “Groundwater is our passion and core business; however, as a consultancy, our business approach now extends far beyond the


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identification, measurement and monitoring of underground water bodies,” says Riemann. “Our scientific expertise and rigour are the foundation, but our vision is much broader. We’ve adopted a holistic approach to sustainable water resource management with the objective of optimising the resources available for beneficial use. This requires ongoing monitoring and modelling of the resource’s responses to natural or induced changes. During this process, we work with clients and communities to develop the most effective implementation model, leading to co-management of the resource. “Severe droughts have become commonplace in South Africa – Cape Town’s narrowly avoided Day Zero event in 2018 being a case in point. As we speak, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is currently facing a similar crisis, as are many other regions nationally. We believe groundwater needs to be part of a well-managed response,” Riemann continues.

Landmark projects Umvoto’s involvement with the Western Cape

Provincial Government and City of Cape Town began in 2002, working as a member of the professional team on the Table Mountain Group (TMG) Aquifer Feasibility Study and Pilot Project. Groundwater exploration was undertaken at various target sites. These included Steenbras Dam, located in the Hottentots Holland Mountains above Gordon’s Bay, Nuweberg near Eikenhof Dam in Grabouw, and Wemmershoek Dam near Franschhoek. Then, in 2017, Umvoto – under various City of Cape Town-appointed engineering consultants – undertook the emergency groundwater development of the Cape Flats Aquifer (CFA), the upgrading of existing wellfields within the Atlantis Aquifer, and the long-term development of the TMG aquifers in areas easily accessible to Cape Town. The scope included implementing and monitoring the borehole drilling and testing contracts, designing wellfield layouts, and analysing the hydrogeological data collected. Allied to this is Umvoto’s involvement in the ongoing development of the Steenbras Wellfield (SW). Intended as a large-scale augmentation (≈15-20 million litres per day), the SW is initially focused around the two Steenbras reservoirs to facilitate relatively easy integration with Cape Town’s surface water supply infrastructure.

A transdisciplinary approach “Based on my experience, effective water resource management definitely requires a transdisciplinary approach if projects of this


Luke Towers, MSc Hydrogeology, Pr.Sci.Nat, senior hydrogeologist

Kornelius Riemann, PhD, Pr.Sci.Nat, technical director

nature are to successfully come together,” says senior hydrogeologist Luke Towers. “It’s been a crucial lesson. In response, I’ve learnt how to move outside the realm of my technical expertise to embrace the overall project in all its facets. An example would be gaining greater understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic and municipal engineering environment, especially on the work we do for the City of Cape Town. It’s about sustaining the overall solution,” he continues. Senior geologist David McGibbon concurs: “We’ve seen water infrastructure projects that have failed because of a piecemeal or siloed approach to implementation. An example would be where the groundwater experts and engineers work independently. Then – through a lack of teamwork and communication, and sometimes funding – the groundwater source never gets connected via pipeline to the enduser. At Umvoto, we’ve proven that working together with all project disciplines, such as consulting engineers and ecologists, gets the job done.” Adding to this viewpoint, principal geologist Dylan Blake says local municipalities would also benefit from a more integrated approach. Examples include the co-funding and sharing of groundwater resources. “For example, TMG resources and associated structures extend over hundreds of kilometres, so there are points along the way that could be tapped into across municipal boundary lines,” Blake explains. “Sharing regional resources makes sense.”

Career evolution Riemann, a seasoned professional with decades of experience in Germany and South Africa, says integration of disciplines is not common in industry locally and globally, which makes Umvoto’s approach unique. He says that it has major benefits for younger team members in terms of mentorship and personal development.

Dylan Blake, BSc (Hons) Geology, Pr.Sci.Nat, associate and principal geologist

In the case of Blake, McGibbon and Towers, each completed a BSc in Geology before progressing to postgraduate studies. Their technical skills have since been sharpened by progressive exposure to project planning, management and execution. Towers says he always had a keen interest in geology and groundwater. Initially, he worked in the mining sector and during that time registered for an MSc focusing on groundwater. Since he needed a practical project for his thesis, he approached Umvoto for assistance. The rest is history. Starting as an intern, Towers worked on Umvoto projects in East Africa, which provided great exposure to the company’s interdisciplinary methodology. He has since been employed on Umvoto’s City of Cape Town projects. “That has been a major career highlight, especially during the midst of the city’s drought crisis,” says Towers. McGibbon has been with Umvoto for seven years. His honours programme included a short course on groundwater, which stimulated his interest. It was while he was waiting at home in George for the results of his MSc in structural geology that his path led him to Umvoto. “Umvoto was engaged on a project nearby in Oudtshoorn and needed field staff. This appointment led to my fast-tracked career with Umvoto to date, which has also included a stint in Ethiopia. The last three to four years have been spent on Umvoto’s City of Cape Town projects. This has greatly developed my broader-scale thinking on groundwater in terms of aquifer-scale planning, implementation and managed aquifer recharge (MAR),” he explains. “One day, it would be great to apply this experience related to MAR and drought resilience on Umvoto projects across South Africa, as well as internationally.” Blake’s story is very similar. His interest in coastal and marine geology developed into an interest in aquifer systems. He applied at

David McGibbon, MSc Geology, Pr.Sci.Nat, senior geologist

Umvoto and to date has some 14 years with the company. “My interest in sedimentology and structural geology was a good fit for the Western and Eastern Cape environments, which are characterised by primary sand aquifers and fractured rock, such as the TMG,” says Blake. “Because Umvoto is so multidisciplinary, the great aspect about my career is that I can continue developing my core passion in geology and environmental science within the wider context of groundwater as the resource,” he adds. “Other key work areas to date include disaster risk reduction and geohazard studies.”

Technology Keeping pace with technology has been a key success factor for Umvoto in rolling out its integration philosophy. Some eight years ago, telemetry systems were already put in place on Umvoto’s Hermanus wellfields project and, today, the latest GNSS transmitters provide real-time water-level reports at the SW project. “The important point, however, is how the flood of spatial data generated by today’s IT tools is managed. Cloud platforms comfortably cope with increased storage space, but the deciding factor is determining which data sets have value. The secret is to avoid overautomation and to balance the new age of data with the fundamentals of science and common sense,” adds Riemann. “Technology is an invaluable tool; however, nothing replaces applied experience and that’s central to the way we mentor our interns and future business leaders,” Riemann concludes.

IMIESA March 2021



Sludge management solutions for water and wastewater works The Bosch Projects and Bosch Capital team recently investigated sustainable sludge management methods at different wastewater treatment works (WWTWs) in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. This led to key recommendations on costeffective options.

were assessed and classified in terms of the National Gazetted Regulations, SANS and the Sludge Utilisation Guidelines.

Analysis model developed


he disposal of sludges at water treatment works (WTWs) and WWTWs is a challenge facing water boards and municipalities across South Africa. Current practices include the stockpiling of sludge on-site or disposal at a landfill site,” explains Jason Holder of Bosch Projects. “Although the disposal of sludge on-site may provide the lowest-cost option, this method is not seen to be sustainable due to space constraints, environmental risks and non-compliance with the relevant regulations. “Our investigations show that reusing and recycling sludge as compost, bricks or as a fuel source are sustainable management options but must adhere to key regulatory requirements and require the identification of a customer for these products,” Holder continues. “Research also indicates that the recovery of energy from sludge can reduce electricity costs on-site and surrounds but may require a relatively larger capital outlay.” The project methodology incorporated the collection of sludge samples from various WTWs and WWTWs, which were analysed by SANAS-accredited laboratories. It is worth noting that not all laboratories in South Africa are SANAS accredited and able to undertake the full suite of tests; therefore, samples were exported to the UK for testing. Samples FIGURE 1: Comparison of cumulative costs for dewatering and drying technologies*


IMIESA February 2021

A ‘Sludge Disposal/Utilisation Options Analysis Model’, which highlighted the financial and strategic implications, and the risks to be mitigated for each option, was developed to compare the available management options. The project outcomes also indicated that, although water and wastewater sludge is an inherent part of the treatment process, a critical part of any sludge disposal strategy should be the reduction in the volume of sludge to be disposed of. This can be achieved by employing various dewatering and drying options. The reuse option of applying sludge to agricultural land has advantages, but the identification of a suitable offtaker is necessary, and this process must adhere to key regulatory requirements. Sludge can also be recycled into other products, including compost and bricks, and this process may

require the services of a specialist contractor. As another option, energy from sludge can be recovered for use at the WWTW and surrounds through biogas generation.

Landfill as a last resort As a ‘last resort’ option in the waste management hierarchy, Bosch Projects recommends that sludge be disposed of at a registered landfill site and that, preferably, sustainable management options be pursued. In terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008), sludge with a moisture content of >40%, which liberates moisture under pressure in landfill conditions and has not been stabilised by treatment, is not allowed to be disposed of at a landfill. This imposes regulatory pressure on the water services authorities and water boards, which, in turn, will impact the authorities both in terms of capex and opex.

Dewatering costs Figure 1 provides an indication of the cumulative life-cycle costs for different dewatering technologies, which includes

WHO'S WHO IN WATER FIGURE 2 Comparison of cumulative costs with an increased transportation distance

the disposal of sludge at a landfill from a 24 Mℓ/day WWTW. Transportation costs were based on the assumption that the landfill was 20 km away from the WWTW and a sludge disposal fee of R194/m3. Figure 1 highlights that dewatering technologies provide the lowest cost over the 20-year modelled period compared to drying technologies in this application. This can be attributed to the lower capex and opex costs, despite higher disposal and transportation costs.


These options, however, are not seen to be viable as they do not meet the minimum legislated solids content for the disposal of sludge to landfill in terms of the Waste Act. Note that current legislation deals with the disposal of sludge to landfills only, unless there is adequate storage on-site in terms of the regulations (i.e. lining of disposal area and licences). Sludge drying beds are seen to be the most compliant and cost-effective option, as the sludge quality meets the minimum

requirements, and the overall costs are lower than those of other dewatering technologies. Figure 2 provides an indication of costs, if the distance to the landfill is increased to 100 km. Figure 2 indicates that the option of sludge drying beds becomes more attractive if the distance to landfill increases from 20 km to 100 km. This is due to increased transportation costs for the higher volume of sludge produced from the dewatering technologies. It can thus be concluded that the volume and distance of the sludge being transported, coupled with the landfill disposal costs, have a material impact on the sludge disposal strategies being implemented by WWTWs. The development of a sludge disposal strategy should be considered in a holistic manner for each water services authority and water board. *SSD – Solar sludge drying PD – Paddle dryer BP – Belt press


Long-lasting containment liners

Designed specifically for use in chemically aggressive environments, AKS Lining Systems supplies a range of lining solutions, utilised extensively in infrastructure containment projects.


ince its inception in 2002, AKS Lining Systems has grown to become a competitive global producer of thermoplastic lining products. Its products are exported to more than 30 countries worldwide where they are used in diverse applications such as mining, environmental conservation, water treatment and general infrastructure. Situated in Cape Town, AKS Lining Systems naturally offers strong support to the local South African and SADC regions.

Containment and corrosionresistant solutions According to Peter Hardie, Manager: Technical & International Sales at AKS Lining Systems, the company’s geomembrane products, the Geoliner range, are manufactured from HDPE or LLDPE resins, which are considered chemically inert. Geoliner is supplied in 7 m wide rolls, with various surface finishes, such as smooth, textured or mega textured. “Our geoliner products are used extensively in the construction of critical facilities like landfill sites, tailings and ash storage facilities, but also in straightforward applications in aquaculture, water storage, farm dams, etc.,” he explains. In addition to the Geoliner range, the AKS Lining Systems flagship product is the AKS™ Corrosion Protection Liner (CPL). AKS™ (Anchor Knob Sheet) is a liner extruded with a matrix of anchors. It is used extensively in acid-proofing concrete structures by being cast into the concrete. The mechanical bond into the concrete means the product can be used in a vast range of applications: from mining to sewage treatment, WWTWs, large outfall sewers and storage tanks, to name but a few. “Our AKS™ product is exported globally and we have a well-established network of distributors and installers who are able to offer a complete solution to their client base. By utilising this global

AKS network, we have been able to supply some large projects with our 7 m wide Geoliner product range as well. A 300 000 m2 landfill project in Vietnam, and an 850 000 m2 contaminated soil project in Singapore are just a few of the more recent exports,” says Hardie. “The resins we use are all imported and are tried and tested to comply with (and in many cases exceed) the requirements of the internationally accepted liner standards, GRI-GM13 and GRI-GM17, along with our own SANS 1526 requirements,” he continues. AKS Lining Systems, being ISO 9001:2015 certified, ensures that management system and quality procedures are maintained and reviewed at the highest possible levels. These systems and procedures follow through right from resin suppliers, shipping and logistics, to finished product, testing and delivery.

The latest technology and sustainability AKS Lining Systems uses state-of-the-art European-manufactured extrusion lines. These large extruders are designed to utilise the latest technology and operate continuously and faultlessly. “We can achieve extrusion accuracies close to 5%, where the current market trend is within a 10% range,” says Hardie. AKS Lining Systems also utilises low-carbon emissions technology to power its plants. The Cape Town-based production plant has installed

a 500 kW solar facility with plans to upgrade to 1 MW over the next two years. The company also makes use of equipment cooling facilities that utilise non-potable groundwater. During 2020, AKS Lining Systems installed three additional large power generators in order to ensure that their production remains unaffected during the challenging and ongoing loadshedding South Africa has had to deal with. “This massive investment was made to ensure that our clients would not suffer delays in the delivery of their liner materials. We know any delays would ultimately impact their project timeframes,” he explains.

Guaranteed quality “Our logistical team ensures the expert handling and loading of trucks and containers, along with all the required export documentation. For identification, tracking and traceability, all AKS™ and Geoliner rolls are individually labelled and numbered. Our manufacturing quality control (MQC) system ensures that we can trace each roll and its components right through from incoming resin to in-line production testing, QC testing and final MQC certification,” explains Hardie. AKS Lining Systems has an open-door policy, allowing customers to inspect and review their product during manufacturing and testing, giving them peace of mind when materials start arriving on their sites.

IMIESA March 2021



Driving sanitation service delivery through a web platform It has been over 50 years since the moon landing, yet we have still not figured out how to achieve universal sanitation access – a basic human need. This is a conundrum that a global network of sanitation exper ts aims to unlock and help solve via the Faecal Sludge Management Toolbox. By Kirsten Kelly


ater and environmental services company Emanti Management formed part of an international team that developed version two of the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Toolbox ( First created and implemented by the Asian Institute of Technology with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the FSM Toolbox helps to assess the overall FSM ecosystem in an area and plan for infrastructure improvements. It has evolved over the years with valuable contributions, inputs and feedback from various organisations. “Emanti Management was part of a team that met in Seattle, USA, in July 2017 to revamp FSM Toolbox V1. We brainstormed how to create a new, improved and efficient FSM Toolbox that was user-friendly. Over the following two-year development phase, we focused on how to better support the planning part of FSM. This is through an assessment on the

CONTRIBUTORS TOWARDS THE FSM TOOLBOX • Africa Water Association • Asian Institute of Technology • Athena Infonomics • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • Cabinet EDE • CDD Society • CEPT University •C entre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy • Emanti Management • I nternational Water Management Institute •U niversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna •E xperts: Dr Shirish Singh, Dorai Narayan, Dave Robbins, Sujaya Rathi, Isabel Blackett, Peter Hawkins, Mingma Sherpa


IMIESA March 2021

FSM ecosystem where gaps in the financial, infrastructure, institutional and regulatory aspects of FSM practices are identified. Once gaps are identified, the FSM Toolbox can be used to create a remedial plan. It can also assist potential users with prioritising sanitation projects, planning the scope of such projects, and creating accurate terms of reference for these projects,” says Philip de Souza, director at Emanti Management.

Philip de Souza, director at Emanti Management

Shit flow diagram An important section of the assessment part of the FSM Toolbox is the so-called shit flow diagram (SFD). De Souza explains that this is a commonly accepted term (just google it) and is used to communicate how safely (or unsafely) excreta ‘flows’ through a city or town. “It shows in a very easy-to-interpret manner the flow path of all excreta generated in a city, and whether it is or is not safely contained as it moves from defecation to disposal or end-use. The idea is to empower and encourage people to talk openly about ‘shit’ – where it is going and what is happening to it. An SFD gives you a snapshot of the entire sanitation value chain from beginning to end, including both off- and on-site sanitation,” he states. The Water Research Commission championed the first round of demonstration SFDs, technically supported by the Emanti team, at a group of ‘volunteer municipalities’, with breathtakingly useful outputs arising for all technical, management, planning and regulatory officials involved. The opportunity now exists to expand the powerful SFD assessments throughout South Africa, thereby facilitating improved planning, operations and maintenance, and budgeting across the sanitation value chain. In South Africa, sludge management from offsite sanitation (where ‘shit’ is taken away from the home to a point of treatment) is a huge challenge while sludge management from on-site sanitation (think pit latrines) is even worse off and very rarely adequately managed.

Unathi Jack, water utilisation engineer at Emanti Management

While sludge from wastewater treatment works can be measured and classified according to its toxicity, sludge from on-site sanitation is rarely monitored or characterised, as there are currently limited standards and procedures. This clearly shows the gaps in safe and effective faecal sludge management. Faecal sludge is a lot more concentrated than sewage sludge and has the potential to completely overload wastewater treatment works if not managed appropriately. Fortunately, the FSM Toolbox provides case studies and best practices from different countries for reference, guidance and learning opportunities, including options for beneficial sludge reuse. An innovation introduced by Emanti is that an SFD can be used for scenario analysis – which explains what could happen in the future if sanitation infrastructure is not properly managed. “The SFD graphic has green streams (safely managed) and red streams (not safely managed). Initially, an SFD graphic may look healthy, with a high percentage of green streams. But, when there is zero maintenance, those green streams could turn red as time passes. The SFD graphic can therefore be






? WW not delivered to treatment (e.g. due to old leaking pipes)

Off-site sanitation (e.g. flush toilets to sewers) ?

On-site sanitation (e.g. VIPs, septic tanks) ?

? of on-site sanitation systems are not appropriately sealed/ enclosed/lined

Not serviced – open defecation ?

? of population not serviced - implying open defecation

? not servicing basic sanitation facilities


WW not treated – ? have <90% compliance regarding COD

? FS not delivered to treatment (e.g. honeysucker does not deliver to WWTW)


? have not classified sludge

? do not dispose of or reuse sludge appropriately

? of drinkingwater sources at risk from on-site sanitation

? provide Green Drop data to the regulator

? receive required funds to address wastewater issues

? have sufficient sanitation programme funding

Result: Not safely managed; impacting on community and environmental health used to develop future projections of the sanitation status. This is a good advocacy tool for technical government officials to use when motivating maintenance budgets for their infrastructure, especially to non-technical decision-makers including finance, municipal managers and politicians,” explains De Souza.

Expanded local uptake To encourage the uptake and use of the FSM Toolbox in South Africa, the FSM Alliance tasked Emanti with a first phase of FSM Toolbox profiling and training with high-level stakeholders, including the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), South African Local Government Association, National Sanitation Task Team, and potential users, including municipalities. Unathi Jack, water utilisation engineer at Emanti Management says that the DWS assisted the national profiling via the National Sanitation Task Team that comprises various government stakeholders like National Treasury, the departments of Science and Innovation, Health, and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. “The FSM Toolbox has been well received by the DWS, which is in the process of reviewing existing and developing new plans and frameworks in support of

improving sanitation. The FSM Toolbox has come at a time when the attention paid to sanitation backlogs and significant operational, maintenance and management issues has been heightened. Many municipalities do not have proactive maintenance plans for their onand off-site sanitation infrastructure.” Jack sympathises with municipal officials. “They are conflicted all the time – there are so many agendas and priorities that are pulling them left and right. So, while the FSM Toolbox is an incredibly helpful tool, it is important to support municipalities in their early-stage use of the Toolbox, using a ‘train the trainer’ approach to both assist them in taking the first initial steps forward and support the ongoing and sustainable use of the FSM Toolbox.” This approach was tested and verified by a focused training and support pilot engagement at uThukela District Municipality.

“Sanitation fails communities (be it rural, periurban or city), first, when government is not aware of a sanitation deficiency; second, when there is no motivation for adequate sanitation infrastructure and its maintenance; and, finally, when there is no or little technical sanitation knowledge. In all these cases, the FSM Toolbox is ideal because it is a technical tool that indicates gaps where action and funding are needed. And this gives decisionmakers and funders greater confidence in the identified needs and associated proposed budget for sanitation infrastructure and maintenance. That results in providing more sanitation services and changing countless lives for the better,” concludes Jack.

To encourage uptake and use in South Africa of the FSM Toolbox, Emanti Management has engaged with various stakeholders within the water sector

IMIESA March 2021



The African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal have released the inaugural Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa – a tool to benchmark and measure Africa’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on safe sanitation and wastewater management.

Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa


ith the aim to help policymakers accelerate change and investment in the sector, the Atlas incorporates maps, graphics and profiles of all African countries, including analyses of their water resources and the provision of basic services. It also explores the links between sanitation, wastewater, ecosystem health and human health, and discusses frameworks and circular economy approaches that can lead to better infrastructure and systems. “Africa cannot have a healthy society without adequate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene,” said Wambui Gichuri, acting vice president: Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the AfDB. “In the past 10 years, the AfDB has invested more than US$6 billion (R90.5 billion) in sanitation and hygiene improvements, but much more financing is needed from the private sector, development finance institutions, governments and other sources. The new Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa can inform strategic investment going forward.” The Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened an already existing need to upgrade Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure.


IMIESA March 2021

The report’s authors urge African governments to incorporate sanitation and wastewater programmes into their post-Covid-19 strategic planning.

Findings The baseline metrics available for Africa with respect to progress on SDG 6 indicate that there is still an enormous amount of work and resources that must be invested for Africa to achieve the set targets. With a young and growing population, the effects of missing these targets would be catastrophic for the continent, including damage to its natural environment and ecosystems. The failure to roll out safely managed sanitation systems would lead to an unchecked increase in the amount of untreated wastewater released into the natural environment, hugely increasing disease risks. As a water-poor region, Africa must embrace opportunities for innovation in not only economic development, but also in the way services such as sanitation and safe drinking water are delivered. The continent must invest in the necessary policies, infrastructure and human skills capacities to operationalise actions towards the achievement of goals

and targets in the 2030 Agenda, including those for sustainable sanitation and wastewater management.

INTERESTING INSIGHTS FROM THE ATLAS • Africa’s 29.65 million km2 of land area is home to over 1.3 billion people, with this population expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. Almost 60% of the continent’s population lives in rural areas, where sanitation services and access to safe drinking water lag behind those offered in urban areas. • Our continent is the second driest in the world after Australia, with only 9% of global renewable water resources. • Groundwater represents only 15% of the continent’s total renewable water resources. • More than 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are in Africa. • While 90% of North Africa’s population has access to improved sanitation facilities, sub-Saharan Africa has startlingly low coverage, at 30%. • Less than 20% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is connected to a sewerage network, which is mainly found in high-income, urban areas.


Innovative modules for Jubilee hospital

The new facility comprises 10 modular units

The adoption of light steel frame building technology proved optimal for the execution of an urgent Covid-19 facility at Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal, nor th of Pretoria, underscoring the advantages of alternative construction systems.


ubilee Hospital’s 10 new modular units have added a further 300 beds to meet the care for Covid-19 patients. These comprise five 25-bed intensive care unit (ICU) modules – complete with a twobed isolation ward – and five 35-bed highcare modules. Rui Santos, senior contracts director at Concor, said the brief from the implementing agent – the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development – called for alternative construction materials to reduce the project timeframe. After considering different options, Concor decided on Futurecon’s light frame steel with prefabricated panels. “To assist in the fast-tracking of the process, the panels were cladded on-site and were quickly followed by roof truss installation,” Santos explains. “This opened up the opportunity to get the services installed much earlier than would have been possible using conventional brickand-mortar methods. This process was facilitated by a specialised team making up the frames on-site and erecting them there

Concor successfully completed a fast-tracked Covid-19 facility at Jubilee Hospital using innovative building technology

and then, allowing for greater control of sequencing and pace of work.”

Module layout The ICU and high-care modules each consist of two separate wings with a central nurse’s station, sluice and ablutions, with central utility areas for offices, storage areas and a waiting area. It was vital for the rapid roll-out of the project that the appropriate wet services and ventilation systems were selected to allow for all mechanical services to be commissioned on a stand-alone basis. They also needed to accommodate future expansion, as required. The design brief incorporated a combination of field hospital standards and the usual Infrastructure Unit Support Systems requirements. According to Courtney Hart, architect at Osmond Lang Architects & Planners, the new modules were also designed with their future use in mind.

To assist in fast-tracking the process, the panels were clad on-site and followed by roof truss installation

“While satisfying the need for a 300-bed Covid-19 facility, the facility can be used for more general hospital purposes going forward,” says Hart. The current design prioritises the intensive care that Covid-19 patients will require, and the ways that clinicians must conduct their procedures, including visual and physical access to the patients. Keeping up the speed of construction meant implementing a double-shift schedule, ensuring work continued almost 24 hours a day. To maintain the necessary momentum, Concor strengthened its core complement of employees – making for an on-site workforce at peak, including subcontractors – of 350 to 400 people. Moving materials and panels was facilitated with a couple of telehandlers, but the results were achieved with little need for specialised construction equipment or cranes.

IMIESA March 2021



New industry body – Cement & Concrete SA – open for business The Concrete Institute (TCI), Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) and the Association of Cementitious Material Producers (ACMP) have consolidated to form a single, non-profit entity called Cement & Concrete SA (CCSA). Bryan Perrie, CEO of CCSA, says the new platform has been mandated to promote and support the industry, to drive growth and deliver shared value through a unified platform for cement and concrete.


new and inclusive membership model will make the portfolio of ser vices offered by CCSA available to individuals or corporates, either for free or at members’ discounted rates. These ser vices include courses presented by the School of Concrete

Technology (SCT), access to the Information Centre, attendance at technical events and webinars, publications, and hyperlinked listings on various electronic sources. Hanlie Turner, business development manager at CCSA, says that this membership model has been thought out ver y carefully. “We want to create value for our members

through tailored categories of benefits that are suited to the needs of different member profiles. We have categories for individual members, corporate members, retired members, academic members and emerging contractors. The different benefit categories for corporate members (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) offer various levels of affordability, as well as promotional benefits and marketing exposure. This is because the size and geographical operation of companies var y widely. We wanted to make membership as inclusive as possible.” Those in the Partner Members categor y have interests in the South African built environment economy and are strongly aligned to CCSA and its memorandum of incorporation. They often have existing relations and buy-in to the longer-term strategy and operation of CCSA. Partner


Bryan Perrie, CEO, and Hanlie Turner, business development manager, of CCSA

You can contact CCSA via email or visit the website

Members are well-established, recognised leaders in the cement and concrete industr y. So far, there are four Partner Members: AfriSam, PPC, Lafarge and Sephaku Cement.

The SCT will continue running courses under CCSA. With its current focus on education and the theoretical part of concrete, CCSA is investigating the possibility of broadening the scope of courses by partnering with a company to provide practical concrete skills training. The SCT will continue to offer the Advanced Concrete Technology (ACT) Diploma through the Institute of Concrete Technology, based in London, UK.

will empower members to guide and shape many of the ser vices, while branch committees of the erstwhile Concrete Society of SA will be retained to ensure that CCSA will have concrete ambassadors in various regions. “We want to constantly engage with people within the concrete and cement industr y and these committees will continue to keep CCSA abreast of trends, concerns and developments within the industr y,” adds Turner. CCSA will also have a standards committee to provide input on various standards before they even reach the SABS. As the committees start functioning, potential new committees may be identified to address specific needs in the industr y.


CCSA goals and priorities

Fondly referred to as the ‘Oscars of the concrete industr y’, the Fulton Awards will be held in 2022. Turner states that while the format and location of the event will change, it will remain a prestigious event with the same level of distinction. “The Fulton Awards are one of the few awards where the judges physically travel to the construction site to meet the entire project team and the adjudication is based on the actual project, not the resourcefulness of the team submitting the entr y.” The CONCRETEFiX Series that started last year as technical webinars – in response to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions – will continue this year, as these events are regarded as ver y informative.

These include to: • be an advocate for cement and concrete • support research as a means of growing expertise • promote industr y standards • encourage compliance among members and industr y role players • grow industr y skills and build capacity by developing and offering courses, seminars, and training materials • provide information, research, advisor y and on-site technical consulting ser vices – all ser vices available to members. Perrie adds that the consolidation will also strengthen the ability of CSSA to lobby government: “With the formation of CCSA, there will be far better coordination when talking to government, rather than different associations talking at different government levels to different officials.” Presently, there are three topics that CCSA believes are pertinent to the industr y and will actively work towards solving:


Committees CCSA will have a dedicated focus on committees to ensure that all relevant cement, concrete and related areas are addressed. The committee structures

1) Clarification on the Infrastructure Fund – how much has been allocated and where? 2) Cement imports: a. The safeguard application through the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa. b. A review of the Pakistani cement tariffs that have lapsed in December. Currently, they have received a sunset review, meaning they will stay in place for the next 18 months. c. There are discussions with National Treasur y about designation, where government-funded projects can only use locally produced cement. 3) Presently, many conflicting and ambiguous messages are shared readily on various platforms and, with the proliferation of substandard products and ser vices, the need for authoritative engagement with all stakeholders is critical. “We are excited about the future of the cement and concrete industr y in South Africa. The staff of CCSA are ready to discuss membership options and benefits. We are poised to add value and unlock opportunities for all members, and the industr y at large,” Perrie concludes.

IMIESA March 2021



Concrete indispensable for SA’s postpandemic revival With infrastructural provision high on the national priority list as the pandemic subsides, concrete will be the one indispensable component for almost all municipal or national rebuilding and development projects, writes Bryan Perrie, CEO, Cement & Concrete SA.


fter water, concrete is the most used resource in the world and contributes significantly to South Africa’s standard of living. It is used for a multitude of infrastructural projects – ranging from houses, hospitals, schools and universities to offices, water reticulation, sewers, dams and reservoirs, as well as road and highway networks. It will also be an essential part of any future ‘super city’ in South Africa. Concrete is one of the most durable and cost-effective materials on earth. This Concrete is being widely used for bus lanes in South African cities

extended lifespan results not only in lower expenditure of energy in building new homes and infrastructure, but also in substantially reduced maintenance and impact on the use of finite resources. In the long term, concrete’s durability, low maintenance and reusability have strong, positive economic effects. In practice, many of the factors affecting the contribution of concrete to sustainable development are interrelated. For example: • The use of cement extenders in the concrete mix has a positive environmental impact because it reduces the amount of cement needed in the mix. Less cement production means lower CO2 emissions. • Concrete also uses other secondary industry products, resulting in waste minimisation and savings in landfill space. To achieve maximum sustainability benefits during a building or structure’s life cycle, the designer, specifier and owner need to consider many factors during the design, construction, usage and end-of-life phases. This applies not only to saving energy and reducing the use of finite resources, but also to fully applying the other inherent advantages of concrete.

Local material All the primar y materials used in concrete (except for some sophisticated imported admixtures) are produced locally. Extenders and slag aggregates used in concrete mixes are secondar y products


IMIESA March 2021

Virtually no building site in the world can operate without concrete

that would other wise have been dumped if not used by the cement and concrete industr y. While the cement factories are generally located close to their raw material sources, sources of aggregates and readymix plants can be placed close to the areas of demand to reduce the energy required for transport.

Labour-intensive construction With unemployment at unprecedented levels, concrete and concrete products in most cases further lend themselves to labour-intensive construction – whether for the small-scale manufacture of concrete products or the use of concrete in various forms of construction. In the provision of human settlements, for example, roof tiles, bricks, kerbs, reticulation poles, block paving and pipes can all be installed using labour-intensive construction methods.

Design flexibility As concrete products and elements can be constructed into any shape and cast in various ways, designers are given an enormous amount of flexibility. The fact that concrete can be constructed in situ or by precasting – or a hybrid of the two – provides the designer with exceptional creative scope when planning a project, particularly if it needs to be fast-tracked.

CEMENT & CONCRETE Variety of finishes There are also unlimited possibilities for finishes, which can be designed in a range of attractive colours and a multitude of textures. The finishes are incorporated into the concrete during the construction stage, rather than applied later as a separate operation. The use of concrete as the ultimate finish means no other finishing activities – such as painting, tiling or coating – are required, saving energy and materials at the construction stage, with lower future maintenance costs. Additionally, concrete finishes do not emit any toxic or volatile products into the environment and have no detrimental effects on the community during their entire lifespan.

Life-cycle cost Due to its durability, various analyses show that the whole-life cost of many projects is lower when concrete is used as the major construction material. Then, at the end of the usage phase, concrete can easily be recycled and crushed to produce building aggregate. South Africa has not yet fully exploited the recyclability of concrete.

Countering moisture loss and shrinkage 1 P roFilm 19 will prevent concrete cracking in hot and windy conditions 2 R apid evaporation of surface moisture from concrete can cause map cracking and plastic shrinkage 3 T he film formed by ProFilm 19 is active while the concrete remains plastic

1 2


Structural integrity The structural design and construction of concrete elements in buildings (including in situ reinforced concrete, precast concrete, tilt-up, hybrid construction and post-tensioned concrete elements) has been fully appreciated and acknowledged by architects, structural engineers and contractors for many years. Well-constructed concrete can last well over a century. For example, the Pantheon in Rome, built around AD 126, is still in use and has a coffered dome that – almost 1 900 years after it was built – remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Conclusion Concrete offers many other benefits, including – to name just a few – sound insulation, fire resistance, light reflectance, and more durable roads that require far lower maintenance and fewer pothole repairs. Concrete structures are also beautiful and enhance the aesthetic appeal of any town or city. In fact, this age-old material is the cornerstone for providing the infrastructure that can lead South Africa to a sustainable future. The Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spectacularly shows the creative scope concrete offers the designer


ne of the dangers of working in low-humidity conditions – even inside heated buildings during cold weather – is the rapid evaporation of surface moisture from the concrete. This can cause map cracking and plastic shrinkage, where cracks can penetrate to the full depth of a concrete slab. According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), plastic shrinkage cracking is likely to occur whenever the evaporation rate is more than 1 kg/m2/hour. The ACI highlights that this rate of evaporation can be readily caused by many combinations of air temperature, relative humidity, concrete temperature and wind velocity. As an evaporation reducer, Chryso ProFilm 19 prevents this cracking by protecting fresh concrete from the effects of excessive moisture loss in rapid drying conditions. Furthermore, it can achieve this result without increasing the bleed.

Mono-molecular film By spraying this evaporation-reducing product on to fresh concrete surfaces, the user creates a continuous mono-molecular film, which inhibits the rapid loss of bleed water. This film lasts for as long as the concrete remains plastic, even where floating and trowelling operations must be conducted to create the required surface finish. The effectiveness of the mono-molecular film means there is no need for water spraying on the surface of the concrete in order to slow the evaporation process. It can be used on a range of horizontal concrete pours where the evaporation rate may exceed the bleeding rate of concrete. These applications include industrial floors, roads, bridge decks, slabs, patios, driveways and sidewalks.

IMIESA March 2021


New SK220XD Excavator


Our new Kobelco SK220XD-10 is loaded with features not usually found in 20t machines

• Reinforced boom and arm • Undercarriage guards and reinforcement • Additional fuel and hydraulic filtration • Hydraulic efficiency and fuel savings • Comfortable ROPS certified cabin • Reliable 4-cylinder Toyota Hino engine Bell-1549

Tel: +27 (0)11 928 9700 • E-mail:


A cut above the rest Graders generally come in two classes – those best suited for road construction and others designed for lighter maintenance tasks. Then there’s the exception to the rule in the form of the Bell B20G grader, which fills both roles equally well, according to the Western Cape’s Depar tment of Transpor t and Public Works.


he Western Cape is renowned for its big-sky Karoo vistas, dramatic mountains and spectacular coastline. And to get to these places its citizens and visitors use some 6 600 km of tarred roads and almost 33 000 km of gravel and access roads*. All these routes, especially those that are unpaved, need to be maintained and at times rebuilt. This is the responsibility of the Western Cape’s Department of Transport and Public Works. “We oversee the construction and maintenance of all the non-national roads in our province and the acquisition and maintenance of the yellow machine fleet used for this purpose,” says control technician Mustapha Subailey. “To give you an idea of the size of our yellow machine

A Bell 620G grader working on the maintenance of a gravel road outside the town of Bredasdorp

and general vehicle fleet, its current replacement value is a sizeable R1.7 billion.” “We pride ourselves on the fact that we do regular and correct road maintenance on especially our gravel roads and this disciplined approach sees our yellow machines remaining mechanically sound for a long time – as long as 30 years in some cases,” Subailey explains. “We therefore have a replacement policy on machines and vehicles that is based on replacing equipment when it starts costing more money than it is earning.”

Performance feedback Fleet upgrades

Clifton Roberts (left), sales representative, Bell Equipment, and Mustapha Subailey, control technician, Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works

open to all registered original earthmoving equipment suppliers, and one for preferred suppliers, known as an RT57 contract. Bell Equipment is such a preferred supplier and won the tender to supply six Bell 620G graders and two Bomag BW27RH pneumatic tyred rollers. “Bell Equipment exceeded our expectations, especially with the Bell 620G graders – a powerful machine that has the same engine as the old Bell 670G model, of which we already have 10. They are still giving us excellent service,” he adds. “Interestingly enough, we requested four of these new Bell 620G graders be fitted with mid-mount scarifiers, a set of slightly shorter ripper teeth than the normal ripper that is fitted on the rear of a grader, fitted here in front of the blade.” The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works operates from its main workshop in Bellville but has depots in Paarl and Oudtshoorn. Equipment is also rented to various local municipalities such as George, Moorreesburg, Van Rhynsdorp and Cape Agulhas Municipality.

Within the last year, a need arose to replace six maintenance standard graders and two pneumatic tyred rollers. State departments issue one of two types of tenders – a national tender,

Jan de Goede, workshop supervisor for Cape Agulhas Municipality, and an industry veteran with 36 years’ experience, is full of praise for the Bell graders. “If I had my way, I’d change our entire fleet to Bell graders due to the quality of their build and performance,” he says. “The mid-mount scarifier on the Bell 620G grader gives an extra tool in our quest to maintain our gravel roads properly and we’ve been very happy with the way it’s working,” adds De Goede. When Bell Equipment asked Subailey for his input on the performance of the new Bell and Bomag additions, he replied, smiling: “We have a saying that when you don’t hear anything about a piece of equipment, it’s running well.”

IMIESA March 2021



The concrete solution to plastic waste Plastic waste is a massive global problem, with only 9.5% of plastic being recycled. The other 90.5% is either incinerated, landfilled or ends up polluting our waterways and oceans. By Nombulelo Manyana


nly 21% of the 1.5 million tonnes of waste generated yearly in South Africa is recycled. The rest, like in many other countries across the world, ends up landfilled or in the environment. Additionally, South Africa has a severe housing shortage, with the housing backlog reportedly sitting at 2.3 million houses, and growing by around 178 000 houses a year. South Africa's official unemployment rate also


IMIESA March 2021

rose to a staggering 32.5% between October and December 2020, with 11.1 million people currently out of work. Although these statistics may seem shocking, the Centre for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) believes that they also present a unique opportunity. With the introduction of what they call a new innovative technology, the CRDC will not only help mitigate the growing waste problem but will also create jobs, boost informal waste

collection and solve some of South Africa’s other major problems by building houses, hospitals, schools and roads. RESIN8 – which is the CRDC’s groundbreaking, regenerative solution to South Africa’s unmanaged plastic waste – is a breakthrough concrete modifier made from mixed plastic waste. It can take any type of waste plastics and convert them into high-value concrete modifier that perfectly simulates construction sand.


Deon Robbertze, manager: Business Development and Communications at CRDC, says the RESIN8 technology represents a “cross-industry collaboration between CRDC, leading plastic, waste management, construction industries and NGOs.”

Who is CRDC? CRDC is a global company with its roots in Costa Rica. It was founded by Donald Thomson in 2010 as a volunteer-based beach clean-up programme and is presently recognised internationally for its contributions towards sustainable product design. CRDC comprises a diverse, multidisciplinary group of experts in the packaging and food/ beverage industries, conservationists and award-winning designers working to create products, industrial processes and economic models that provide economic, social and environmental benefits. The company also operates in South Africa, with a pilot plant based in Cape Town. Through its net-zero-focused business model, REAP (Recover – Enrich – Appreciate – Prosper), CRDC has created collaborative relationships between diverse industries, where the waste stream of one can become the value stream for the next.

RESIN8 RESIN8 is a process that can turn any plastic – dirty or clean and in any form – into concrete modifier. The end results from this process are environmentally friendly products that incorporate regenerated waste plastics, which

would otherwise be destined for landfill. Through the REAP process, all types of postindustrial and consumer plastic waste are recovered using different avenues, as shown in the accompanying figure. Then, while coexisting with them, natural systems can be regenerated and enriched. Resources can be kept in use and their value appreciated while also being preserved. A tonne of mixed plastic waste can, through the RESIN8 process, produce 4 000 concrete blocks, while 1 000 tonnes will equate to 4 000 000 concrete blocks. RESIN8 has multiple applications, namely concrete blocks and pavers, precast concrete and poured-in-place concrete. It is the only material from plastic waste to maintain or improve the performance of concrete products. It is tried, tested, in operation, has low capex requirements and can be scaled to regional remediated plastic waste volumes. RESIN8 supports 12 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is the 2020 Winner of the DOW Impact Award. In Costa Rica, 400 houses have already been built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Costa Rica’s leading concrete company, Pedregal. Here in South Africa, Martin & East will be building about 4 000 Breaking New Ground homes over the next four years for the Western Cape Provincial Government, with the project set to start at the end of March 2021. Those houses will have RESIN8 in the concrete blocks, making them stronger and

increasing the thermal characteristics of the blocks by 25%. “This means that you will need less heating and cooling in that house. With climate change, that is another added value of the product,” said Robbertze.

Other key benefits The porous composition and gradation of RESIN8 improves both the mechanical and chemical bond to cement. It has numerous key benefits, which include: Within concrete and construction: • i ncreased strength • 8% to 16% decrease in weight (with 5% or 10% RESIN8) • i ncreased thermal properties • s ame fire resistance as standard concrete • reduces cement industry's carbon footprint. Environmentally: • supports and grows the UN Sustainable Development Goals • reduces carbon footprints by eliminating plastic to landfill and plastic pollution • all types of plastic can be regenerated into RESIN8 – no separation required • supports zero waste to landfill, extended producer responsibility and government programmes or initiatives. Social and economic: • SMME and job creation from waste plastic collection, plastic shredding and transport • c leaner cities and healthier environments • helps support the building of better housing with a product that benefits the environment and society.

Prosper In terms of the last step in the process, Robbertze says that beyond creating better housing and infrastructure for those that need it, the aim is to ensure that jobs are being created for people operating in informal sectors. “It is absolutely critical to create jobs and build better infrastructure in this country. And we take our inspiration from nature – it doesn’t waste.” CRDC’s full-scale plant, which is expected to use up to 1 000 tonnes of plastic waste per month and convert it into RESIN8, will be up and running by the third quarter of 2021. The company also plans to have 21 plants across South Africa in the next five years. “Now that we have a zero-waste solution to our unmanaged plastics problem, we have a massive responsibility to make it happen at scale,” says founder Donald Thomson.

IMIESA March 2021




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





here are myriad uses for coal ash – a key by-product from thermal power generation – which range from cement blending, cement-less concrete production, brickmaking and road stabilisation, to plastic additives, agricultural uses and neutralising acid mine drainage. “Our country is running out of space to dump the millions of tonnes of coal ash produced annually and it is imperative that we support all attempts to take useable ash out of the waste stream at its source,” says Belinda Heichler, director, South African Coal Ash Association (SACAA). “It is also worth noting that the requirement for fly ash has grown over the past 30 years, but that the number of off-takers has not,” she continues.

Facilitating role Heichler says SACAA has an important role to play, particularly in promoting the use of coal ash more widely and to a more diverse audience than before. “In a depressed economy, it is safe to say that SACAA will do everything within its abilities to help individuals, companies and government departments unpack the characteristics of different types and grades of coal ash, and to assist in the use and commercialisation of products derived from this valuable material,” Heichler concludes.

Coal ash has a wide range of applications as a low-cost raw material

IMIESA March 2021



New technology for concrete recycling


peciality chemicals company Sika has developed a new recycling process for old concrete called «reCO2ver». This technology uses 60 kg of CO2 per tonne of crushed concrete, which is broken down into individual parts gravel, sand and

limestone – eliminating the need to add concrete to landfills. This Sika innovation will produce highper formance concrete while capturing a significant amount of CO2. CEO Paul Schuler explains: “In the five largest EU countries alone, roughly 300 million

tonnes of old concrete is generated every year. By recycling these materials, up to 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions can be captured. We are convinced that our new process has the potential to benefit both our customers and the environment.” Frank Hoefflin, chief technology officer at Sika, states: “Due to our strong expertise in concrete technology, we were able to develop a completely new recycling process. We are already developing complementary chemical additives and quality enhancers, and are pushing the industrialisation of this new technology.” Comparative testing of the Sika «reCO2ver» process has demonstrated that new concrete containing recycled content performs similarly to an all-new product. Thanks to additionally developed chemical additives, further process optimisations can be achieved, such as the flexibility to tailor specific concrete functionalities.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS AKS Lining Systems Andreas Stihl Bell Equipment Group Services

40 2 50

Hall Longmore Holdings IMESA Rand Water RIB CCS

Bosch Management Services Cement & Concrete SA


IMIESA March 2021

39 OBC


OFC 4, 34, 54

SMEC South Africa SRK Consulting

22, 30

21 5

Structa Group


Umvoto Africa


Veolia Water Technologies


10 IBC

Sizabantu Piping Systems IFC

75 Years of dedication to Local Industry! Putting South African Industry first should be our main priority in these challenges we currently experience. Our economy cannot achieve our goals if we import most of the products we use. A thriving manufacturing industry creates jobs and business opportunities, enables skills development and improves our competitiveness in global markets. Procuring locally manufactured goods has obvious benefits for national competitiveness and economic growth. Therefore, the Local Production and Content initiative mandates minimum local content requirements for state tenders in designated sectors. For public procurement, South African National Standard (SANS) 1286:2017 defines local content as “that portion of the tender price that is not included in the imported content, provided that local manufacturing takes place and is calculated When companies irrespective of the size ask how SABS can improve the quality of their products and services and consistently meet their customers’ expectations, then we confidently can say that Standards are the answer. Addressing various aspects of quality management there’s the well known SANS/ISO 9000 family. The Standards have continuously been updated to suit changing manufacturing environments. At SABS we say: “Start your Success, start with GET STANDARD SANS/ISO 9001”. Quality DOES count! ONLINE


SABS provides services to assist the implementation of best practice solutions • • • • • •

More than 7000 South African National Standards Laboratory Testing Services for a diverse range of Products Certification of Companies to Management System Standards Certification of Products and the Application of the SABS Mark Scheme Training of Management and Employees on Implementations of SANS Local Content Verification for South African manufacturing industry

SABS a Trusted Partner in Delivering Quality Assurance. Contact SABS to establish support for your Standardisation, Testing, Training and Certification Aspirations.



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