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

infrastructure development • Maintenance • service delivery


The future of wastewater treatment

Ronald Brown

Senior engineer: Wastewater Services, Drakenstein Municipality


cements a major Free State route

Coastal Protection Strand seawall project

Water Security

Umgeni’s lessons from the drought

IN THE HOT SEAT Technology continues to evolve and our plants and machines deliver productivity that wasn’t even dreamed of in 1869, when the present day Ammann commenced operations.”

Rocco Lehman Managing director of Ammann Construction Machinery South Africa P12 ISSN 0257 1978

V o l u m e 4 2 N o . 0 5 • M a y 2 0 1 7 • R 5 0 . 0 0 ( i n c l . VAT )







SUSTAINABILITY IS AT THE CORE OF OUR BUSINESS PRACTICES Leading Asphalt manufacturers and suppliers in Southern Africa

National Cold Asphalt

Call +27 86 146 6656

Call +27 86 146 6656

Call +27 12 562 9500

Call +27 34 393 1259


volume 42 no. 05 May 2017

20 Utilities Confidence in data Lessons from the drought Process analysis done right Powering rural South Africa sustainably

26 29 32 33

Water Groundwater and communities

Bulk tanker distribution services provided by AfriSam ensure the efficient delivery of its proprietary Roadstab stabilisation product for an existing and greenfield expansion. P6


Environmental Engineering Pavilion terraces add spectator value Rock baskets protect the environment

36 37

Roads Regulars Editor’s comment President’s comment Africa round-up Index to advertisers

3 5 10 64

Cover Story AfriSam cements a major Free State route


HOT SEAT Rocco Lehman, managing director of Ammann Construction Machinery South Africa, talks about expansion plans and new product launches in the asphalt and concrete segments. P12




Hot Seat Ammann expands its competitive niche


Transport, Logistics, Vehicles & Equipment SEM leads in the utility class FAW SA gets global recognition Trucks remain resilient No trenches, no problem

47 49 50 51

A digital safety revolution



Bringing sludge ponds back to life 18 Keeping back the sea 20 Delivering services in the Mother City 22

UTILITIES Confidence in data

Use technology to manage your fleet


Municipal Focus | Western Cape


Fleet Management


Municipal Insight Upgrading the Wellington WWTW

Regional integration through roads 41 Paving the road to real economic freedom 43

Cement & Concrete Paving the way Waterproofing extends durability Precast excellence builds capacity Building with precast Addressing aggregate compliance


54 55 57 59 61

ROADS Paving the road to real economic freedom


SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY. INNOVATIVE COMMERCIAL SOLUTIONS. The majority of local governments in Africa are under severe strain to deliver basic services to their communities. This is as a result of many factors such as population growth, insufficient capacity, limited budgets, lack of maintenance and, in the case of water and sanitation, severe water scarcity due to drought.

The advantages of the NuWater solution: • NuWater partners with municipalities by providing affordable, easily financed, rapidly implementable solutions to assist the municipalities in their endeavours to provide quality basic water and sanitation services to it’s communities. • NuWater can tailor the commercial offer to suit the cashflow restrictions experienced by the municipalities and operate on the Build-Own-Operate (BOO), Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), or Rental business model. • The existing water treatment works can be run at design capacity while the NuWater plant delivers the balance of the total volumes required by the municipality, thereby ensuring volumes and quality standards are met.

• The “Modular & Mobile” nature of our technology allows for the flexibility and easy deployment / redeployment as and when required.


Weathering the storm

Publisher Elizabeth Shorten MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Danielle Petterson Head OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister Chief SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders SUB-EDITOR Morgan Carter ContributorS Gavin Clunnie, Carmen Lawrence, Frances Ringwood, Nigel Webb CLIENT SERVICES & Production MANAGEr Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise, Zenobia Daniels financial manager Andrew Lobban MARKETING MANAGER Mpinane Senkhane HEAD: DIGITAL MARKETING Roxanne Segers Administration Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS Printers United Litho Johannesburg +27 (0)11 402 0571 ___________________________________________________


ublic infrastructure development planning has always been there to safeguard our socio-economic landscape, but we all know that times are tough at present. So, we need innovative, out-of-the-box responses to weather the storm in our construction sector, which is under major pressure at present but one of the most important drivers for change. The key for all stakeholders is to learn, respond and prepare based on past trends. I remember, for example, when the gold price slipped below US$300 an ounce in the late 1990s and many saw this as the beginning of the end for South African deep-level gold mining, and the commodity in general as a store of value – both at an international treasury and individual investor level. However, that predication didn’t hold true and South African underground gold operations continue to this day, benchmarked against a fluctuating metals price bordering $1 300 an ounce. Surviving deep economic troughs is never ideal though, particularly for SMMEs, so everyone needs to focus their individual capacity on promoting macroeconomic productivity. I know it seems simple, but if you study countries with high education standards, combined with a strong savings culture, like Japan, you will see that the individual’s contribution to the economic wheel is very significant. Of course, organisations, because of their collective representation, can take this forward in quantum leaps, either in the public or private sector, both of which, as we know, are essential business partners and employers for positive change.

Advertising Sales Jenny Miller Tel: +27 (0)11 467 6223 Email: ___________________________________________________

Publisher: media No. 9, 3rd Avenue, Rivonia 2056 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 Annual subscription: R550.00 (INCL VAT) ISSN 0257 1978 IMIESA, Inst.MUNIC. ENG. S. AFR. © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________________ IMESA CONTACTS HEAD OFFICE: Manager: King Singh P.O. Box 2190, Westville, 3630 Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Fax: +27 (0)31 266 5094 Email: Website: BORDER Secretary: Celeste Vosloo Tel: +27 (0)43 705 2433 Fax: +27 (0)43 743 5266 Email: EASTERN CAPE Secretary: Susan Canestra Tel: +27 (0)41 585 4142 ext. 7 Fax: +27 (0)41 585 1066 Email:

State of the industry

KWAZULU-NATAL Secretary: Ingrid Botton Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Fax:+27 (0)31 266 5094 Email:

In the construction sector, the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) is an important barometer of confidence in our infrastructure landscape and publishes quarterly reports on the ‘State of the Civil Engineering Contracting Industry’. The most recent is the Q1 2017 report. “As a major job creator in the industry, employment continues to fall, alongside contraction in revenue, profitability and tender opportunities,” reads

NORTHERN PROVINCE Secretary: Rona Fourie Tel: +27 (0)82 742 6364 Fax: +27 (0)86 634 5644 Email: SOUTHERN CAPE KAROO Secretary: Henrietta Olivier Tel: +27 (0)79 390 7536 Fax: +27 (0)86 629 7490 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 Fax: +27 (0)86 628 0468 Email:

an extract. “Economic conditions are also simply not conducive to supporting higher levels of investment, currently constrained by poor economic growth, policy and political uncertainty, low investor confidence, and a slowdown in both government and SOEs’ public sector infrastructure expenditure.” The report also states, “The outlook for 2018 and 2019 is subject to a stabilisation in government expenditure and some improvement in private sector spending, allowing for greater policy certainty.” Expenditure is projected to increase to 7.8% of GDP in 2017, 7.9% in 2018 and 8.0% in 2019, against the National Development Plan (NDP) target of 10% by 2030.

Roads focus Roads contributed 65.4% of turnover for SAFCEC members during the fourth quarter of 2016, as reported in the Q1 2017 report. Power, categorised as “Bulk” and “Services” represented 7.4% and 7.9% respectively, and was the next highest sector in terms of activity. PPP infrastructure projects for 2017/18 are projected at around 6% from a recent high of 11.6% for 2016/17. Going forward, the success of the South African government’s repositioning strategy following the recent investment downgrade will be decisive if we are to achieve our NDP goals. At the moment, it may seem like a step backwards, but it could be a great opportunity to reposition all sectors.

Alastair Currie

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

@infrastructure4 ctur www.infrastru

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Cover opportunity

In each issue, IMIESA offers advertisers the opportunity to get to the front of the line by placing a company, product or service on the front cover of the journal. Buying this position will afford the advertiser the cover story and maximum exposure. For more information on cover bookings, contact Jenny Miller on +27 (0)11 467 6223.

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. s Municipal Focu for

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IMIESA May 2017




SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING: back to basics for the future Has technology in design made us forget the basic principals of engineering design?






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President’s comment


Reconnecting communities

Reestablishing disconnected links between rural and urban centres is a vital focus area for both developed and developing nations.


ommunity development is an area where IMESA believes it can make a real difference, particularly in isolated rural regions. As the incoming president, I have commenced my official IMESA branch visits and outreach initiatives and, in April, met with our KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) chairman, Randeer Kasserchum, and his team. Our KZN vision is a highly motivating one, with the branch focused on reinvesting a portion of the funds generated to make a real difference. Led by Kasserchum, key projects are being identified that are specifically aimed at energising community members. We want young members of the community to get excited about the future potential of their lives and to place a seed that I’m confident will lead to the germination of a new generation of engineers, impassioned and empowered by the massive impact that infrastructure makes in building our society and economy. Our funds are limited, but our potential to mentor is not.

applications. Plus, we have abundant potential for renewable energy. Part of my KZN branch visit included a site tour to uShaka Marine World in Durban, hosted by eThekweni Municipality. This is a worldclass facility, and it’s now piloting renewable energy alternatives. This follows the installation of solar PV with a capacity of 165.4 MWh per annum. This is a sizeable output and there are numerous other public facilities within the metro also either already equipped or embarking on similar endeavours. We can certainly transition this expertise, on relevant scales, for community projects. There is already widespread evidence of this for solar-powered geysers on human settlements projects.

We want young members of the community to get excited about the future potential of their lives.”

School competitions and solar One of the KZN proposals is the introduction of a science and related engineering competition for rural schools, and there are so many opportunities to demonstrate ‘out-of-the-box’ projects, ranging from rainwater harvesting to agricultural irrigation systems, concrete block paving for roads, and sustainable building systems, both for human settlements and commercial

IMESA conference: the best in 81 years In October 2016, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of IMESA with an exceptional annual conference, hosted in East London and supported by close to 800 delegates. This year’s 81st conference, to be held at Emperors Palace in Gauteng between 25 and 27 October 2017 in the City of Ekurhuleni, is definitely going to be bigger and even better, based on the number of exhibitors signed up so far. I’m the chairman of the local organising committee and am pleased to report that we have received over 40 highly informative paper abstract submissions for consideration by IMESA’s conference adjudication panel.

“Sustainable Engineering – back to basics for the future” is our theme for 2017, and renewables are part of the equation. Over 50% of our exhibition space has already been secured, with strong sponsorship support rolling in.

Finland By the time you read this comment, I will have returned from the International Federation of Municipal Engineering (IFME) board meeting and the Finland Association of Municipal Engineer’s conference in Jyvaskyla, Finland, being held from 11 to 13 May 2017. Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are the African members represented. One of IFME’s objectives is to promote technical and cultural exchanges, particularly when it comes to best practices. It’s important to emphasise that every one of us is a member of the ‘global village’ and our shared outcomes are vital, especially in meeting the rapid trend of urbanisation, and the need to reverse rural economic decline. I look forward to reporting back, in detail, on some of the key issues presented at the conference on my return from Finland in the June 2017 edition of IMIESA. IMESA president Gavin Clunnie

IMIESA May 2017



AfriSam cements a major Free State route Bulk tanker distribution services provided by AfriSam ensure the efficient delivery of its proprietary Roadstab stabilisation product for an existing and greenfield expansion.


IMIESA May 2017


ork is now well advanced on a major upgrade to the N1 along a heavily trafficked Free State route that ser ves key regional industries, which include agriculture and mining. With an approximate length of 1 929 km, the N1 is one of South Africa’s longest paved routes, extend-

ing from the nor thern-most point at Beit Bridge on the Zimbabwe border and culminating to the south in Cape Town. It is, therefore, a critical transpor t corridor for South Africa, and the regional economy, connecting ever y town and city it runs through. Main contractor Aveng Grinaker-LTA was appointed by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to carr y out

Cover story extensive works on one of the key N1 Free State work packages currently under way, namely Section 17 from Ventersburg (km 2.1) to the new Holfontein interchange (km 24). The existing northbound single lane will be upgraded to a dual carriage, matched by a new southbound carriageway. Along the entire route (north and south), the vertical alignment has been changed significantly, especially in lower-lying areas that were traditionally subjected to flooding. Aveng Grinaker-LTA commenced onsite on 26 August 2015 and the current targeted completion date for all phases is scheduled for 8 October 2018, explains Bradley Crawford, contracts manager: Civil Engineering, Aveng GrinakerLTA. “We started with the southern route first and expect to complete this by June 2017,” he explains. This greenfield section is being constructed on previously agricultural land acquired by Sanral.

a Comar asphalt plant to meet its RA requirements. After milling the existing northern sur face, the next step will be to rip up and stockpile the in situ base. This will then form the new sub-base. (The excess RA will go into the new selected layer.)

North and south surfacing

Bridges and culverts

On both sections, the final wearing course will comprise an Ultra-Thin Friction Course (UTFC) sur face. Core benefits include improved skid resistance and reduced noise. The nor thbound route will be resurfaced with a 40% recycled asphalt (RA) mix, in accordance with Sanral specifications. Aveng Grinaker-LTA recently acquired

There are five major structures along the new north-south route, the most significant being the Holfontein interchange (B322) with its distinctive clover design. This is a post-stressed bridge that interconnects to the S166 road. B328 is a new precast beam bridge (an original overpass that was demolished and which will now be reconstructed) while B341 and B342 are new overpasses. Then there’s structure 326, which comprises a five-barrel culvert. In addition to routine traffic flows, these bridges are also intended for the requirements of the agricultural industr y, where individual farming operations take place on both sides of the N1 and need access in terms of equipment and personnel.

Advantages of Roadstab • It improves the engineering properties of soil by reducing plasticity and enhancing the strength of road-based materials. • It achieves superior stability across a broad range of road material types. • It reduces the plasticity of soil. • It ensures durability, stability and strength.

AfriSam client support AfriSam offers a unique and highly developed sales support and technical service, as well as an extensive supply infrastructure. This ensures that all customers can rest assured that every product is of the highest quality. AfriSam’s fully equipped SANASaccredited laboratory is run by experienced technicians who are ready to assist with specific technical requirements.

Cement stabilisation with Roadstab On the southern section, the layer works are a minimum of 900 mm deep, with a number of undercuts required to remove unsuitable material. Impor ted material has been sourced from designated Sanral borrow pits. In terms of the road design, the subbase layers are being cement stabilised using AfriSam’s Roadstab product. On the southbound section, some 15 000 tonnes of Roadstab is being supplied with an in situ cement mix design composition of around 2.75%. The moisture content ranges between 3% to 4%.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Bradley Crawford, contracts manager: Aveng Grinaker-LTA, and Stefan Roos, territory manager: BCM Free State, Afrisam

“A pure limestone extended cement, this is a 32.5N CEM II B-L product that meets the Sanral-approved specification,” explains Roger Potgieter: AfriSam national sales manager. “This product has been developed and tested to achieve superior per formance across a broad range of road material types, reducing the plasticity of the soil and achieving consistent strength and durability.” Roadstab is sourced and produced at AfriSam’s Ulco quarr y and processing facility in the Northern Cape. As a standard approach on stabilisation projects, designers and contractors need to take into account the working time available, which is influenced by the cement type, soil type and ambient conditions. Sanral’s stabilisation specification provides a strict workability timeframe. “From the point of discharge until you do your final cut, you have a six-hour window, which cannot be exceeded, since this is an activated product,” says Crawford. Roadstab is purpose-designed to meet this requirement.

Bulk spreading During the course of the project, Roadstab is being supplied via tankers operated by AfriSam’s sub-contractor, Ezethu Carriers. Each AfriSam bulk tanker has an approximately 34 tonne payload. Normally, two to three tankers are required for each section, which averages around 300 m per day. “Discharging with a tanker is faster and more efficient than the alternative approach of manually spreading via

IMIESA May 2017


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Over 125 years Aveng has evolved in character, capability and reach Aveng Grinaker-LTA is a multi-disciplinary construction and engineering group anchored in South Africa with a footprint in other African countries and an unwavering commitment to world-class safety and quality. The company offers a comprehensive range of services that cover civil engineering, earthworks and roads projects, building, mechanical and electrical engineering, mining infrastructure, water infrastructure and property development.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Petrus Chake and Elias Jika from Ezethu Carriers

cement bags placed at inter vals, so we opted for this approach,” Crawford continues. AfriSam has strict quality-control procedures in place to ensure that the spread rates are correct. Released under pressure, approximately 21.5 kg of Roadstab is deposited per square metre. Each tanker makes two passes depositing around 11 kg/m2 on the first layer, and a further 11 kg/m2 on the second pass. Ever y tanker has a batch number for each section so that it correlates with the soil lab analysis and verification. Once the cement is spread, Aveng Grinaker-LTA uses a Cat RM300 recycler to work the 350 mm deep sub-base (comprising a 150 mm upper and 200 mm lower layer) in one go. The alternative would have been to mix the Roadstab composition into each separate layer using graders, followed by compaction. This would have been a far more time-consuming approach since the lower sub-base layer would need to be completed first before starting on the upper sub-base. Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s graders are equipped with Trimble guidance systems to ensure a precise final cut. “Like any project, we’ve had our on-site challenges, particularly in terms of extreme weather. For example, the site has experienced around 600 mm of rainfall since October 2016, but prior to this severe drought conditions. Since the onset of the project, we have recorded around 1 157 mm of rainfall to date. It’s a situation you just need to work around and we’re on track and looking for ward to opening the southern route in June,” explains Crawford. In terms of the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, approximately 6% of the contract value is being spent on employing and upskilling local labour and 12% on empowered SMMEs. Approximately 114 local members have been recruited from the surrounding Ventersburg community, which forms part of the Lejweleputswa District Municipality.


IMIESA May 2017

Aveng Grinaker-LTA Civil Engineering is renowned for executing complex major projects professionally and efficiently. Through continuous improvement, forward strategic thinking and quality delivery, the business unit ensures that its product offering meets the needs of all its customers. Whether it’s a bridge, world-class stadia, dams, water and waste-treatment plants, piled foundations, ground engineering, slipforming, power stations or design and construct projects our specialist teams deliver quality buildings professionally, efficiently and timeously. With its end-to-end capability as well as its multi-disciplinary and holistic approach, Aveng Grinaker-LTA provides turnkey solutions in construction and engineering infrastructure from design, development, construction, and project management.

Aveng Grinaker-LTA Head Office 1 Jurgens Road, Jet Park, Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 923 5000




African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina

Africa The off-grid revolution According to the recently launched Africa Progress Panel report, ‘Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa’, Africa has the potential to be at the forefront of off-grid electricity transformation. According to African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, the “offgrid revolution” in Africa has already started. Adesina argues that Africa should employ a mix of approaches – on-, mini- and off-grid – to light up and power the continent. “Still, off-grid solutions must be at the core of our approach to achieve the ambitious electricity access targets. It is simple: people cannot wait until the grid power reaches every corner of their villages or cities. We must be wise, efficient, and quick in our actions,” he said.

Fast facts


IMIESA May 2017

Africa’s energy potential is enormous, particularly in the field of solar where resources are almost unlimited. The environment is also more favourable than ever before with the cost of solar photovoltaic modules having fallen sharply in recent years. Mobile technologies are also advancing at an enormous speed. However, while the off-grid sector is growing rapidly, driven by innovative business models and rapidly decreasing technology costs, the sector faces challenges. According to Adesina, these are linked to the absence of an enabling environment, difficulties in obtaining financing, the high perceived risk of the sector, and the viability of business models using new technology. “We need new ideas, in terms of technology, business models,

financing and de-risking to jump these hurdles. And we should put the ideas into a thorough test, and scale them up throughout the continent. At the same time, we need a stronger political will to enable and accelerate the off-grid revolution,” said Adesina.

Angola Bringing water to the people More than 950 000 people will receive access to piped water services over the next seven years under the Second Water Sector Institutional Development Project (WSIDP II).

The project will be implemented in nine targeted provincial cities in Angola. Women and girls, in particular, will benefit from this water service expansion through reduced time spent collecting water. The project will also strengthen the institutional capacity of selected water sector agencies. According to Camilo Lombana Cordoba, World Bank task team leader of the project, WSIDP II will finance strategic institutional development activities and priority water supply investment. It seeks to harness the momentum created under WSIDP I and will deepen and expand the development impacts’ previous engagements. The project will include activities designed to strengthen water sector institutions, including regulatory capacity, utility operations, and water resource management.

950 000

200 MW

430 000

300 000

The number of people

The capacity of the

The number of off-grid

The number of

who will receive access

Gulf of Suez wind

households to be

Zimbabwean rural

to piped water in Angola

farm project

connected to power

households to become

in Kenya

solar powered

under WSIDP II

The 200 MW Gulf of Suez wind farm project will have up to 100 turbines

Egypt 200 MW wind farm on the cards The Arab Republic of Egypt has signed a €115 million agreement with the European Investment Bank to finance a wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. The wind farm will further expand energy generation from renewable resources and contribute towards meeting growing electricity demand. The Egyptian government aims to generate 12% of its power from wind farms, with a total of 20% of its power coming from renewable sources by 2020. The Gulf of Suez wind farm project involves the design, construction and commissioning of a large-size onshore wind farm of about 200 MW located on the west bank of the Gulf of Suez, some 400 km southeast of Cairo, with up to 100 turbines being installed. The site, of around 57 km² in size, is characterised by its arid desert conditions and has very favourable wind resources.

Kenya Off-grid solar access The Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project will see 430 000 off-grid households, across 14 counties, supplied with electricity. The project will involve establishing mini-grid and microgrid sites that will generate the solar power. The respective county governors recently met

with the World Bank, which will be fully funding the project. According to Lamu governor Issa Timamy, 46 695 homes in the Lamu and Tana River counties will be connected to solar power. The project will also ensure 15 secondary schools and 121 clinics will get solar power. The project also intends to provide solar power to the water sector to replace generators currently used to pump water. According to Timamy, 95 solar pumping systems are expected to be established in the region.

Zimbabwe Million-dollar solar project Zimbabwe has launched a $4 million project aimed at eliminating the use of non-renewable energy sources. This will see at least 300 000 rural households becoming solar powered. The project, which is modelled around a prepaid system, is the result of a partnership between the Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council and global off-grid lighting association Zonful Energy. It is set to complement the rural electrification programme and bridge the energy gap between rural and urban communities. According to Faber Chidarikire, Mashonaland West’s Minister of State, the project will leverage on the country's 300 days of sunshine a year, and will contribute to the eradication of poverty and stimulate sustainable economic growth.


Ammann expands

its competitive niche IMIESA talks to Rocco Lehman, managing director of Ammann Construction Machiner y South Africa, about expansion plans and new product launches in the asphalt and concrete segments.

How does Ammann view the construction market so far in 2017? RL The national and provincial roads market remains buoyant, with a number of longterm expansion and reconstruction projects under way on key national and provincial routes. Examples include the N1 through the Free State, where we have supplied latest-generation asphalt plants, namely the Ammann Prime 140 semi-mobile unit for key work packages. We believe that the current Amman product offering will also prove to be a highly viable choice in meeting the requirements of public entities embarking on gravel-totar upgrades, as well as ongoing urban resurfacing projects. The same applies to the two new models we introduced earlier this year, namely the Apollo ValueTec 80 batch plant, and the Apollo counterflow 90 continuous mixing plant, along with the Ammann Prime 140, which is available via the Asphalt Plant Rental Division. We currently have two Apollo plants installed within the Gauteng region, with a third being set up in Mpumalanga to service the Limpopo and Mpumalanga markets. All three of these units have been acquired by emerging asphalt contractors. We are pleased to say that we have a good pipeline of Apollo plant orders signed


IMIESA May 2017

and awaiting delivery, alongside the Apollo range.

What are the prospects for compaction? Ammann compaction solutions, which are supplied and supported locally by our dedicated dealer ELB Equipment, are gaining ground within Southern Africa. A great example is the Ammann 10 tonne ASC100 single-drum soil compactor. ELB has grown the market share for this product. Our asphalt compactors are also doing well. Examples include the AP240

The AP 600 is offered with a TV 4900 screed with a basic width of 2.5 m, hydraulically extendable to 4.9 m. Bolt-on mechanical extensions of 850/1050 mm each on either side of the screed offer a paving width of 6.5/7 m. The tamping and vibration arrangement is in line with international specifications

pneumatic roller (with an operating weight range of approximately 9 400 t to 24 000 t), and the ARX and AV series of tandem rollers in the 1.5 t to 13 t class. So we’re gaining positive ground in the road construction market.


Ammann is investing extensively in its Indian operations. What are the benefits for Southern Africa? We appreciate that many contractors in our market are becoming increasingly price sensitive when it comes to capital equipment purchases but that’s also a noticeable trend in other developing and developed countries that are under cost pressures. In response, the Ammann Group, headquartered in Switzerland, made a strategic move a few years back to invest in India in its quest to develop quality products that are highly competitive in terms of performance, but more affordable particularly for smaller and emerging construction companies. This follows the acquisition of a major interest in the consolidated road construction equipment business of India’s Apollo Group during 2013 and the formation of Ammann Apollo India Private Ltd based in Ahmedabad. Apollo is an established leader in India. Apollo products manufactured at the state-of-the-art facility in Ahmedabad include asphalt mixing plants, asphalt pavers, Apollo soil compactors and the newly launched Apollo ConcreteCenter 60 concrete mixing plant. Our new Apollo ValueTec 80 batch plant and the Apollo Counterflow 90 continuous mixing plant are both manufactured in Ahmedabad, as are a number of products that will be making their way to South Africa.

As with all our products, Ammann will provide in-depth operator and general maintenance training on the Apollo AP600. Apollo has an extensive paving train and most, if not all, of these units are wellsuited for African conditions.

Ammann has always been a leader in concrete. How has the acquisition of Elba served to strengthen Ammann’s market segmentation? The 100% acquisition of Elba-Werk (Elba) in 2014, a leading German concrete mixing plant manufacturer, forms part of Ammann’s broader diversification. Elba’s acquisition further strengthens our research and development focus in the concrete technology sphere. Elba’s product lines have been relocated to specified Ammann factories worldwide, including the Ahmedabad plant. Our first product launch locally is the CBS 105-150 S/T B Elba stationary concrete plant, which is now available in South Africa, and we’re very excited about this development. The standard concrete output for this unit has a production range of 114 m³/hour to 161 m³/hour, so it’s well suited for most mainstream construction applications. Features to highlight include a high production rate owing to the unit’s belt conveyor feeding system, a generously dimensioned mixing platform, significant dust reduction, foundation-free installation on steel frames as an option, and quick installation through preassembled modules.

And in closing?

Could you provide examples of new paving product launches planned? In May 2017, Ammann will be introducing the Apollo AP600 paver following an in-depth study of the South African and SubSaharan Africa industry in response to local demand for an affordable but technically advanced machine.

Ammann currently has manufacturing facilities in seven countries which, outside Europe and India, include China and Brazil. At all of these plants, the same rigorous qualitycontrol standards are maintained, and the products are designed and built to meet the application. For highly price-sensitive markets like South Africa, there’s a viable choice between the Ammann and Apollo brands. The enactment of the Preferential Procurement Regulations 2017 in January will now also serve as a positive impetus when it comes to bringing in additional

LEFT The Apollo ConcreteCenter 60 concrete mixing plant is the perfect solution for those looking for a flexible, transport-optimised and yet inexpensive concrete batching plant. ABOVE Ammann is a class leader locally in the 10 tonne soil compactor segment

entrants to the road and building market, particularly at the subcontractor level. A key purpose of the regulations is to empower targeted groups like SMMEs. Given the South African government’s policy on transformation and its focus on assisting new start-ups, we are confident that our brand strategy is ideally positioned to lower barriers to entry in the market and to enable small-scale contractors to grow to their true potential.



Municipal Insight

Upgrading the Wellington WWTW The R305 million Wellington Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) upgrade is a priority project under Drakenstein Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan. By Danielle Petterson


ith an existing design capacity of 6 Mℓ/d, the Wellington WWTW has become overloaded from both a hydraulic and organic perspective, rendering the plant unable to treat the incoming wastewater suitably. This has affected the ability of the WWTW to comply with effluent discharge standards, presenting a major risk to downstream users and ecosystems in the Berg River – an impor-


IMIESA May 2017

tant water resource in the region, explains Ronald Brown, senior engineer: Wastewater Services, Drakenstein Municipality. The incoming wastewater flow is also close to exceeding the design capacity of the existing plant, which will hinder future development in the catchment area – specifically social housing development in Wellington and surrounds. Drakenstein Municipality has a very strong focus on installing bulk services prior to the implementation of any housing projects and other developments, says Brown. In

addition, a number of the assets at the current plant have exceeded their life expectancy, further necessitating the upgrade. However, the large capital cost the project meant it was delayed for a year (due to funding constraints) before it was elevated to a

Ronald Brown, senior engineer: Wastewater Services, Drakenstein Municipality

Municipal Insight

Professional Team Client: Drakenstein Municipality

Consulting engineers: Aurecon

Consulting engineers: Neil Lyners and Associates

Civil contractor: Stefanutti Stocks Coastal

Mechanical and electrical contractor: Inenzo Water

high priority and funding was procured from within the municipality and the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. The project involves an upgrade of the WWTW to a full biological nutrient removal process capable of handling up to 16 Mℓ/ day, catering for the seasonal changes in the influent load experienced during the agricultural harvesting season when the organic loading on the plant increases significantly. “The plant’s process operation design caters for this scenario by varying key process parameters during the harvesting season to ensure effluent quality compliance,” explains Neeren Govender, technical director: Wastewater Engineering, Aurecon.

Expansion plans The existing WWTW comprises an inlet works (screening and grit removal), primary settling

tanks (PSTs), biological filters, an activated sludge reactor (Modified Ludzack-Ettinger process configuration), secondary settling tanks (SSTs), chlorine disinfection, and sludge treatment facilities. The sludge treatment process comprises the anaerobic digestion (cold process) of primary sludge, which is then dewatered on sludge drying beds, and the dewatering of waste activated sludge in a sludge lagoon. The upgrade and expansion comprise the civil, mechanical and electrical works associated with the construction of an inlet works to replace the existing inlet works, two new 12 m diameter PSTs, a 20 000 m3 biological reactor (UCT process configuration), two 33 m diameter SSTs, a closed-vessel UV disinfection facility, various recycle pump stations, a blower room to feed the fine bubble diffused aeration system, and an emergency

overflow pond. Further civil works comprise various buildings, including an administration building and new access road, as well as all associated stormwater, potable water, on-site sewerage, a wash-water pump station and network, and landscaping, says Carel Davids, engineer, Neil Lyners and Associates. According to John Woodburn, director, Stefanutti Stocks Coastal, construction on the PSTs is close to completion, with the inlet works, biological reactor, return flow pump stations, and main sludge pump station all more than 60% complete, and the SSTs approximately 50% complete. Construction on internal access roads and buildings has begun.

Automation controls The upgrade will allow for the full automation of the WWTW. The entire plant will be

Aurecon brings ideas to life to design a better future. Imagining what is possible, we turn problems into solutions.

Municipal Insight

Waste-to-energy Drakenstein Municipality is planning to build the country’s first municipal waste-to-energy (WTE) plant. A tap-off point has been incorporated in the sludge pipeline design to enable the diversion of a portion of the Wellington WWTW’s waste activated sludge to the WTE anaerobic digestion plant as and when required.

monitored, recorded and controlled via a centralised supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) system. This was considered necessary due to the size and complexity of the upgraded plant, and to optimise the process control and operation efficiency, explains Govender. All of the activities critical for ensuring plant performance – including primary sludge wasting, waste activated sludge wasting, operation of the main sludge pump station and aeration – will be fully automated.

Biological treatment upgrade Due to its overloaded state, the existing Wellington WWTW is not compliant with the prescribed effluent treatment requirement in terms of Section 39 of the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998). For this reason, the biological treatment process will be upgraded to ensure


IMIESA May 2017

complete nitrogen and phosphate removal, and ultimately compliance. Biological aeration is a vital function in any WWTW to ensure organic and nutrient removal in a conventional activated sludge system, and typically accounts for between 40% and 60% of the annual running cost of a WWTW, primarily due to the high cost of the electrical power required, explains Govender. The Wellington WWTW will incorporate a fine bubble diffused aeration system, which is more efficient than most other aeration systems, resulting in lower energy requirements. In addition, high-efficiency blowers were specified to supply air to this system, further reducing energy requirements. The effluent disinfection process will comprise a closed-vessel UV disinfection process. Initial calculations show that this system will have a lower life-cycle costing when compared

to the gas chlorination system installed on the current plant. UV technology also has other advantages over chlorination, adds Govender, namely avoiding the safety concerns around handling and storing chlorine as well as being effective against chlorine-resistant pathogens like Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia.

Centralised sludge treatment A feasibility analysis was undertaken during the design stage to determine the cost of upgrading the existing sludge treatment facilities at the Wellington WWTW versus conveying the sludge to the Paarl WWTW and creating a centralised sludge treatment facility. The latter was found to offer a cost saving for the municipality because the Paarl WWTW already has more extensive sludge treatment facilities in place, and thus requires less capital investment, explains Brown. According to Govender, a centralised facility also offers economy-of-scale benefits, opens up opportunities to utilise gas from the anaerobic digestion processes to generate electricity, and is beneficial from an operation and

Municipal Insight

Effluent reuse Roughly 30% of the Wellington WWTW’s effluent is diverted to the neighbouring Wellington Golf Course for irrigation purposes. A new pump station and pipeline to supply the golf course with treated effluent is included in the upgrade and is roughly 25% complete. Further investigation into other possible reuse of treated effluent is also under way. The upgraded works will limit the on-site use of potable water for process unit operations, and treated effluent from the WWTW will be reticulated for process operations and on-site irrigation.

maintenance perspective. The centralised facility will cater for the treatment of sludge generated at the Paarl WWTW, the upgraded Wellington WWTW and the future Paarl South WWTW. To achieve this, a sludge pump station and two 5 km long pipelines will be constructed to convey primary sludge and waste activated sludge from the Wellington WWTW to the new centralised sludge treatment facility. Construction of the pipelines is at 55% and Woodburn hopes to have the bulk of the work completed before the 2017 Cape winter. Although there are no major technical challenges, the coming rains will delay completion, and local community challenges have no doubt hampered progress on the project.

three-year operation assistance, maintenance assistance and training period to support and train the municipal staff working on the plant. This will mainly involve the mechanical and electrical contractor, but will also include Aurecon and Neil Lyners and Associates to ensure that the handover and training process meets the municipality’s requirements. Construction on the project is expected to be completed in August 2018, having commenced in March 2016. Once completed, the upgraded Wellington WWTW will cater for surrounding regions’ treatment capacity for the next 20 years.

Keeping the plant running One of the municipality’s requirements on the project was to keep the existing plant functional during the construction process. This presented a major challenge and required the engineering of temporary processes and an integrated project delivery approach from the municipality, design consultant and contractors during the construction phase. The Wellington WWTW project is particularly unique in that it is a very small site and access to the various structures has been challenging. Stefanutti Stocks had to establish two tower cranes to alleviate the very congested site. Woodburn states that it is these types of projects that make construction in South Africa interesting. According to Bertus Jacobs, project manager, Stefanutti Stocks, locating and protecting existing services and controlling safe excavations presented quite a challenge, particularly when working between structures. This has resulted in delays on critical work. For example, Stefanutti Stocks had intended to complete a temporary diversion early in the project but, because of the existing pipe work not having been constructed as planned, the diversion has still not been completed. There are also several structures in need of refurbishment, but the process will be delayed during the rainy season when the plant needs all of its functional structures to accommodate the higher flow.

Handover of project The project entails a large capital investment in infrastructure together with the implementation of new technologies for the municipality. This necessitates additional care in the handover process to ensure that the WWTW is fully functional and compliant with its licence requirements. As a result, the contract includes a excellence in execution

Municipal Focus | Western Cape

Bringing sludge ponds back to life Western Cape-based contractor Khubeka Construction has developed an innovative, cost-effective and environmentally friendly means of rejuvenating and maintaining wastewater sludge ponds that have become overloaded and lifeless. By Alastair Currie


t some point in its life, every wastewater treatment pond will need the introduction of positive aeration to stimulate the natural ecosystem within. Sometimes, though, the build-up is too extensive, and the intervention too late to carry out a routine replenishment process. That’s when a more intensive approach is required, but as Mark Rennie from Khubeka Construction explains, conventional techniques using high-powered pumps can be prohibitively expensive. In response, Khubeka has developed a low-cost solution that is achieving sustainable results, underscored by a recent pilot project at George’s Gwaing wastewater treatment works (WWTW). “Where we’ve been called in to assist on treatment works remediation projects in the past, what we’ve frequently encountered is a


IMIESA May 2017

situation where maturation/oxidation ponds are typically ‘sludged-up’, often as a result of many years of use. This can be compounded by power failures that cause uncontrolled raw effluent discharge into these ponds. The end result is that these systems become completely overloaded and, eventually, septic,” Rennie explains. “This scenario commonly occurs in rural and small towns. However, there are cases where large cities have a similar problem. Either way, the sludge needs to be removed.” There are two methods that can be applied: either mechanically pumping the sludge out of the pond; or going the biological intervention route to break down the bio-solids. “The mechanical option has a number of disadvantages. First, the cost is extremely high, and the ponds must be taken out of use during the remediation process, which adds additional stress in terms of increased

Khubeka Construction’s purposedesigned aeration unit

inflows at the wastewater treatment plant.” Once extracted, the sludge has to be dried out (so additional site space is required) and then, in terms of environmental legislation, transported to a registered landfill site. There is a potentially positive downstream benefit, since the sludge can be used to fertilise farm land. However, it has to be heat-treated first to remove any E. coli from the sludge, and the heating process adds additional costs.

Aerobic alternative: pros and cons As opposed to mechanical extraction, a purely biological intervention – namely, pumping in a range of aerobic bacteria – would seem the most viable alternative, and it can be, given certain conditions. However, Khubeka has encountered a number of problems with this method. “The initial cost is cheap. However, maintaining the system using bacteria becomes expensive over time. Plus, large pumps are needed to mix the bacteria into the sludge effectively, and to ‘turn’ the pond over. What also happens in this case is that the sludge becomes suspended, and then usually spills into the final discharge area – the river or wetland – with negative downstream results.”

Municipal Focus | Western Cape

A system that works

is a blower, which is land based. The system Practical experience, combined with these employs fine bubble aeration to move the observations, motivated Khubeka to develop water using an air-lift principle, which attains its unique response, which is aimed at any the massive volumes required. industry that discharges organic wastewater “Systems using rough aeration wouldn’t for treatment or polishing. be able to achieve the same result: we’ve “We realised that there was definitely found, in practice, that bubbles with a diama gap in the market to supply a low-cost eter greater than 4 mm are not effective.” system that runs cheaply, is mobile, virtuRemarkably, Khubeka’s unit is capable of ally maintenance free and that can operate moving approximately 15 million litres of in situ while the pond is in use. After quite water within a 24-hour period. The water a few trials and almost is aerated as it passes two years of research and through the unit and, in “The main goal development, we finally the process, the dissolved is to introduce managed to perfect a unit oxygen in the pond is oxygen back into increased. The growth of that works.” Khubeka’s system opernative bacteria in the pond the system.” ates on a 3.5 kW motor then begins feeding on the – essentially a low-power unit at low head sludge and reduces it. – which is cheap to run compared to con“Our system also complements bacterial ventional aerators and mixers. The system dosing as it is able to mix the bacteria effecis also mobile. The square-shaped aeration tively into the sludge and the water body,” unit that sits in the water is made up of points out Rennie. internal chambers and has no moving parts. During the pilot project at Gwaing WWTW, The only part that requires any maintenance the sludge volume was reduced by at least

+27 (0)44 874 1584

ABOVE LEFT Aeration begins on Gwaing WWTW’s primary oxidisation pond on 2 September 2016 ABOVE Remediation works, as at 14 November 2016, showing a vast improvement in the condition of the pond

60% in just two months on one of the plant’s four ponds. The pond in question, which is now fully reinstated, measures 250 m in length and is 40 m wide with a depth of 1 m to 1.5 m. Having ‘brought this pond back to life’, there is now evidence of emerging aquatic life, like tadpoles, plus a resurgence in bird activity. The dead zone has come back to the top of the pond, plus the smell is now virtually odourless. “We are currently in discussions with other Western Cape municipalities where we’re receiving strong interest,” adds Rennie. “We also hope to return to Gwaing when its new financial year commences to de-sludge the three remaining ponds.”

+27 (0)82 888 5778 Mark Rennie

+27 (0)44 874 7680

Water and waste water structures Reservoirs General concrete works

Municipal Focus | western cape

Keeping the sea at bay The relentless pounding of the Indian Ocean on Strand’s Beach Road seawall eventually took its toll, requiring an innovative response and the construction of one of the Cape’s most significant coastal protection structures in recent years. By Alastair Currie


IMIESA May 2017


ising sea levels and the increasing incidence of severe storm events worldwide are well-published phenomena, which require creative infrastructure solutions. For the coastal town of Strand, situated some 50 km southeast of Cape Town, the impact of increasingly aggressive wave action was frequently overtopping the existing seawall – particularly during high and Spring tides – and spilling into Beach Road, which runs along the town’s scenic beachfront. This caused widespread flooding of the road, plus the ensuing sand deposited was clogging stormwater infrastructure, compounding the problem and impacting on traffic flows, the businesses situated along the route, as well as general tourism activity, which is one of Strand’s key revenue earners. As a counter measure, the City of Cape Town approved the construction of a new seawall, which forms part of the Strand Pavilion Precinct Upgrade. This is split into three phases at an estimated total project cost of around R235 million. Phase I, valued at around R103 million,

entails the construction of the seawall and appurtenant works, which was awarded to long-established Cape Town-based contractor Civils 2000, the latter commencing onsite in January 2016 with a scheduled completion date of July 2017. Civils 2000 is a multidisciplinary 9CE contractor specialising in concrete structures, road construction and building. “One of the key features of the new seawall is its aesthetic appeal, in addition to its true purpose as a protection barrier. We’ve constructed an integrated raised promenade along the wall on the landside, with road and beachside staircases and ramps that promote ease of access to the beach,” explains Kevin Daddy, Civils 2000’s contracts director for the project. On the beach side, and depending on seasonal levels, the final wall height above the sand varies between 1 m to 2 m in height. On the walkway side, the wall is 750 mm higher than the promenade.

Establishing the berm The construction programme has been intensive and multifaceted. The works started with the installation of a seaward berm, chiefly

Municipal Focus | western cape


statistics Contractor Civils 2000

Contract duration January 2016 to July 2017

Wall length 1 140 m

Precast elements 503 L-shaped elements topped by 1 600 coping units

Dimension/weight of L-shaped precast units 2.5 m wide x 2.6 m high, with weights averaging between 14.5 t and 16 t

composed of 1 000 kg of sand-filled sugar bags, along the entire length of the site to counter wave inundation and to safeguard the excavations. “When we started demolishing the old seawall, we expected to encounter an in situ reinforced concrete structure. It was actually a ground beam, which was lightly reinforced and badly deteriorated,” explains Daddy.

Major precast structures The new seawall is made up of L-shaped precast concrete units placed on an in-situ mass concrete foundation. The length of the new seawall is 1 140 m and totals 503 precast units each measuring 2.5 m wide by 2.650 m high, with weights averaging between 14.5 t and 16 t. Interspersed between these precast units along the wall are approximately 28 elements that were formed in situ. These counter the creep factor inherent with precast, as well as enable Civils 2000 to accommodate services passing through the wall, such as stormwater and sewer outfall connections. The entire wall is capped with around 1 600 coping units, which are about 800 mm wide and weigh 1.2 t each. The precast elements were manufactured and supplied by Concrete Units. Highly durable concrete formulations were used throughout to achieve high standards in

durability and finish quantities. Stringent testing was carried out, which included laboratory studies at the University of Cape Town.

Bulk excavations Forming the foundations required extensive dewatering on a 24-hour basis. “We had up to eight pumps running, all on manifolds. Where practical, we excavated down to bedrock as far as we could. Where we couldn’t, because of the varying rock levels, we also employed free-water pumping.” Bedrock levels change quite dramatically on this site. For this reason, the trench levels varied in depth from 2 m to 4 m, and were between 9 m and 12 m wide, depending on the alignment of the new wall. “Where the sand layer above the rock was of sufficient thickness, we didn’t need to excavate fully. In these instances, we introduced a pioneer layer wrapped in bidim, on to which we cast the mass concrete foundation to accept the precast units. Where the rock climbed high enough to warrant it, though, we cast the in situ structure directly on the bedrock,” Daddy explains. Where the wall has been founded on a pioneer layer, gabion mattresses have been installed on the seaward side to counter wave scouring. “Where founded on bedrock, this is not necessary as the front of the foundation has a curvature to cater for any turbulence at this point.”

New services Once the wall was in place, the next step was to replace affected stormwater installations, and construct new networks that discharge into the sea. Civils 2000 replaced the existing treated effluent line with a new installation interconnecting with the pump station on Beach Road. The original 200 mm asbestos pipe was replaced with a 355 mm diameter HDPE pipeline, as was the existing gravity-fed sewer line. Various stormwater culverts need to be constructed. Four are box culverts that run out into the sea, measuring between 35 m and 65 m in length, and house largediameter pipes ranging from 450 mm to 750 mm. These culverts are situated on bedrock with a mass concrete level platform. Civils 2000 is currently busy with this section of the construction programme, which has included the establishment of a sea berm. “While we’ve been involved on marinerelated projects in the past, this is Civils 2000’s first seawall and we are proud to have played such a key role in building this monumental structure,” adds Daddy.

IMIESA May 2017


Municipal Focus | Western Cape

Delivering services in the Mother City

Cape Town has found itself in a water crisis as the Western Cape’s dams run dr y under the pressure of South Africa’s latest drought.


ittle over 15% of usable water remains and the city is under pressure to curb usage and secure supply. Amid warnings of only 100 days of water remaining, residents have been urged to conser ve water to meet the collective daily water usage target of 600 million litres per day. “The drought situation is not going to be alleviated any time soon, as the impacts of climate change, with reduced annual average rainfall, are harshly being felt,” Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille told council. According to Rashid Khan, regional head: Western Cape, Department of Water and Sanitation, the Western Cape water supply system has been experiencing a more


IMIESA May 2017

than 1% week-on-week decline, which is a concern to water security. Cape Town is currently under level 3B water restrictions and will remain restricted until dams fill up to 85%. According to De Lille, stricter water restrictions could also be on the cards soon, subject to due process.

Emergency measures The city is in the process of implementing several emergency water supply schemes. This includes extracting water from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer (TMGA). An exploratory phase of a pilot project is expected to begin near the end of June 2017, with a foreseeable yield of approximately two million litres per day. De Lille, however, said the city is taking a precautionary approach to determine the sustainable yield of the

TMGA to prevent over-abstraction and environmental damage. The city is also continuing with extensive pressure-reduction programmes to reduce the flow of water and water losses through leaks. “We will progressively intensify water restrictions and will reduce water pressure further to lower consumption, which could in cases lead to intermittent supply over larger areas of the metro at the same time,” said MMC for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy Cllr Xanthea Limberg. The regulation of supply is under way in the central, southern, eastern and northern suburbs. In addition, a small-scale desalination plant is on the cards as well as a R120 million small-scale wastewater reuse plant at the Zandvliet water treatment works, which will be capable of producing 10 million litres

Municipal Focus | Western Cape

of high-quality drinking water per day to the central and southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Informal settlement upgrade The City of Cape Town has informed both national and provincial government of its

intention to declare the entire city a restructuring zone in order to provide affordable housing opportunities wherever suitable land is available. Already, community consultations for the upgrade of the Agste Laan informal settlement have been concluded and contractors have begun site preparations. The R50.8 million upgrade will formalise the layout of the settlement, in turn allowing the city to provide an enhanced level of

basic services. Each of the 580 residential plots will have access to its own toilet and metered water and electricity connections. The redesign will also allow for the provision of public lighting. This could not be done previously due to the density of the structures. “Given the crippling land shortage in the city, these informal settlement upgrades will become more and more integral to ensuring that residents receive higher levels of service,” said Limberg. Barring any complications, construction on the project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.

Expanded public transport In April, Cape Town City Council adopted the implementation strategy for the city’s Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) plan, which prioritises the roll-out of five new MyCiTi corridor routes across Cape Town. This strategy underpins the city’s new Organisational Development and

We offer clients fully integrated building and civils solutions across all sectors of the economy

Municipal Focus | Western Cape

Theewaterskloof Dam, a major component of the Western Cape Water Supply System, is less than 20% full

Advanced Public Transport Management System The city’s Transport and Urban Development Authority has made good progress with the reinstatement of the Advanced Public Transport Management System (APTMS), which will enable the MyCiTi Control Centre to track and monitor all of the MyCiTi buses on the 40 MyCiTi routes across Cape Town. This translates into monitoring 377 buses across nearly 1.5 million kilometres each month, transporting up to 68 010 passengers on a weekday. This will assist the city in monitoring the vehicle-operating companies’ schedule adherence, as well as bus driver behaviour and bus travelling speeds. The Control Centre will also be able to communicate directly with the drivers at any time, and forewarn and divert them from any incidents along the route. The MyCiTi Control Centre should become fully operational shortly, once the hardware, software and related systems – collectively known as the APTMS – are fully reinstated.

Transformation Plan (ODTP), which identifies dense and transit-oriented growth and development as well as efficient, integrated public transport as key priorities. The five corridors will connect Wynberg and Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Claremont, Khayelitsha and Century City, Mitchells Plain and Cape Town CBD, and Mitchells Plain and Durbanville. The plan will also see the development of the Blue Downs rail corridor – a 9 km double-track rail link between Nolungile station in Khayelitsha and the Kuils River station, with three new stations in Mfuleni, Blue Downs and Wimbledon. The new corridors – which should be fully operational by 2032 – will serve at least five times the number of passengers currently travelling on the existing MyCiTi routes and will connect disadvantaged communities

to five major destinations. “The roll-out of these trunk routes will accelerate our efforts to create a more equal society based on integrated communities, economic inclusion, and access to opportunities – the main pillars of the City’s ODTP,” said MMC for Transport and Urban Development Cllr Brett Herron. Given the costs involved, the city can only build one corridor at a time and will incrementally roll out the trunk routes according to a priority schedule. The city will also upgrade several public transport interchanges currently utilised by minibus taxis and buses, and provide new parkand-ride facilities at MyCiTi stations and rail stations. A further five MyCiTi trunk routes are planned for implementation after 2032.

IMIESA May 2017




in data

For Water Ser vices Authorities (WSAs) like Johannesburg Water, it is crucial that ever yone involved in the provision of water and infrastructure maintenance processes has confidence in their data so they can make quick decisions and be proactive before problems occur. By Frances Ringwood


dward Livesey is the electrical suppor t manager at Johannesburg Water (JW). He stresses the necessity of having confidence in the data gathered through WSA’s telemetr y, super visor y control and data acquisition (Scada) systems and geographical information systems (GIS) to be able to use these technologies to their full potential.


IMIESA May 2017

“We operate on the basis of a theory developed by Russell Ackoff, where the path from data to knowledge is like a pyramid, where data is the foundation. When you ask ‘what’ and provide the necessary context to understand that data, it becomes information. When you ask ‘how’ and gain more intelligence and understanding around that information, it becomes knowledge. Finally, when you ask ‘why’ something has

occurred, your knowledge becomes wisdom, enabling you to project past experiences into the future, prompting certain outcomes and avoiding others,” he explains. “Without good, reliable data, which is the basis for everything else, you will not develop knowledge or wisdom within an institution and you will not be able to act out of anything beyond intuition and assumptions. Action based on intuition and assumptions can often result in knee-jerk responses that do not solve the problem and waste valuable time and resources,” he adds.

Continuous improvement JW’s older version of its current Scada system would only provide graphical readouts of a variety of different levels and limits from sensors and devices installed at the WSA’s assets. When a level or limit reading was irregular, an alarm would sound, a team would be sent out and that was more or less the end of the process. Sometimes,

a follow-up visit would be carried out or a team would be asked to justify their overtime, but that was it. “By adopting a philosophy of continuous improvement, the system now allows for manual inputs like making notes. After accumulating these notes and reasons for potential issues, a larger pattern may start to emerge, which can then be escalated and a management decision taken,” explains Livesey. Included in the upgrade was networking JW’s GIS into the data transformation process, allowing for real-time data to be mapped on to JW’s Scada intelligence. Not only does this enhance operators’ confidence in the accuracy of the data, it also allows the generation of reports, which can be sent to managers’ smart devices.

Outcome One of the benefits of having large amounts of data readily at hand about the assets in a specific geographical area is that planning decisions can be made based on that data. For example, city planners will be able to see if there is capacity in the existing network to build a new retail centre. For construction purposes, they’ll have a better idea of where underground pipes lie so that these can be avoided, preventing unnecessary service interruptions. Another benefit of the system upgrade is that when teams are dispatched, it is now possible to know what size team is needed, what vehicle is needed and what

type of repair equipment might potentially be required based on the size of the pipe located in the callout area. “Additionally, the system prevents the loss of institutional knowledge when a particular individual leaves the institution or changes their position. This is achieved by saving, storing and backing up our documentation. Documentation is updated every six months and we do a standard review once a year,” Livesey explains. Other things that can be achieved include performance reviews for individual controllers, reviewing a configuration to determine whether or not it is the best fit, reviewing alarm performance, identifying problem areas, faulty signals, design problems and excessive demand. “We’re moving to a space where we have data on every component connected to the system, right up to the software. We can use this information for planned maintenance. So, when in the past a technician would scribble a report in a book and leave it on somebody’s desk where it would never be read, we now have an intelligent system where each component has a code with information on its installation date, condition and service life. This means that when maintenance is due, an automated signal sends a team out before a problem occurs. It takes time to log every component in a system as big as the one delivering water to the whole of the City of Johannesburg; so this

IMIESA May 2017


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Johannesburg part of the system isn’t operating at full capacity yet, but this is what the future will look like.

Water conservation “Building confidence in our data has allowed us to make decisions about conserving water. In Johannesburg, our water pressure is extremely high. So, when the drought hit, we knew there were certain areas where we could drop the water pressure. Yes, there were some complaints, but the reality was that, after implementing this strategy, there was enough water to go around,” says Livesey. By having confidence in its data, JW is also able to go to its main supplier, Rand Water, and compare its levels to theirs, ensuring their data correlates. This is a practice that all WSAs should engage with in partnership with their Water Service Providers – but it is not often carried out.

Water comprises:  9 reservoirs (networked via telemetry – 8 there are more) 28 water towers 10 depots 6 wastewater treatment works 12 581 km of potable water pipes 12 581 km in sewerage pipes 1.4 million domestic, commercial and industrial clients 4.5 million water users 2 500 employees

Another facet of JW’s system’s capability with regards to water conser vation is its ability to monitor reser voir levels and water quality. “When you hear that a reser voir's water level is only 67%, what does that actually mean? We now have the capability to monitor the actual rate of change. This allows us to anticipate a problem and, for instance, send out a press release asking consumers to limit their consumption. “Similarly, by having data on water quality, we now have the ability to make instant decisions where we used to have to wait days for transport and testing at a laborator y,” Livesey explains. A further tier to the new system is the integration of visual data fed through WiFi-enabled cameras located at certain assets. This, again, assists managers to make the right decisions based on visuals rather than just graphs on a screen. In future, the system will also have the capability to prioritise and allocate job teams, ensuring no vehicle leaves JW’s depot without the necessar y equipment. Once on-site, teams will be able to upload photographs for record keeping, risk management and legal purposes.

Benefits The benefits include improved governance, accountability, optimised asset utilisation, avoidance of ser vice interruptions and prevention of extended downtime, up-to-date scheduling, better facility management and active maintenance forecasting, among others. “In conclusion, we started off small and we’re continually improving our utilisation of the system through building confidence in our data. This process has required continuous training,” concludes Livesey.


Lessons from the


South Africa is considered a highly waterstressed region and par ts of the countr y are still in the grip of one of South Africa’s worst droughts in decades. With a second small El Niño event expected in the coming year, water utilities need to take stock of how they can adapt for future drought events. By Danielle Petterson


waZulu-Natal was one of the regions worst hit by the recent drought. According to Sunil Maharaj, regional manager at Umgeni Water, the most recent El Niño event resulted in a 1 in 200-year drought, which affected all of the water utility’s systems. In KwaZulu-Natal, the drought was managed by a joint operations committee, which met every fortnight to assess the ongoing situation. The resilience of the infrastructure in the larger Mgeni System allowed the delay in implementing restrictions in this supply area. However, while the region’s systems were augmented with water from other catchments, water restrictions ultimately had to be

implemented. But this is a fine line for utilities to tread, explains Maharaj. Implementing restrictions too soon or restrictions that are too strict can result in non-recoverable loss of revenue. Water restrictions were applied in December 2015 in order to implement a 15% saving, ahead of the gazetting of restrictions for the Mgeni System by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in March 2016. The North Coast was worst affected and, ultimately, 50% restrictions were applied across the board to the Hazelmere system. The Mgeni System had 15% and 50% restrictions imposed for potable and agricultural users, respectively. Despite this, between 14 December 2015 and 28 March 2016,

Umgeni Water had not seen the savings it needed, despite water being transferred from the Mooi River system to the Mgeni system to boost capacity. Between 28 March and 19 October 2016, with restrictions in place and 400 Mℓ of water being transferred daily from the Mooi to the Mgeni scheme, there was only a marginal increase in levels. While recent rains have brought some relief, the drought is not over, says Maharaj. Although many of the smaller systems are currently sitting at high levels, the bigger system will take two more seasons before a positive trend emerges, barring a significant flooding event. For now, restrictions remain in place.

User behaviour According to Maharaj, one of the biggest realisations was that the consumers cannot be relied on to adhere to restrictions. Although water cuts were implemented, they did not have the desired effect, largely due to the fact that consumers collected water ahead of cut-off periods. “Water-shedding is not like load-shedding. You can’t store electricity,” says Maharaj. Ultimately, the decision was made to cut production from water treatment works, which enabled the required 15% savings. However, as demand outstripped supply, reservoirs began running dry, which subsequently led to

IMIESA May 2017



infrastructure challenges such as air in the pipes and pumps burning out.

Lessons learnt Changing people’s behaviour is a major challenge, says Maharaj. Some municipalities’ bylaws are not adequate to cover penalties for high water consumption. Moreover, penalties only work if people pay, but a large portion of household water is being consumed by nonpaying users. “We cannot get complacent,” says Maharaj. He argues that by-laws need to be reviewed and a focus needs to be placed on billing and collection because, if people are paying, they will monitor how much water they are using. He also called on utilities and municipalities to improve on their infrastructure maintenance and metering to reduce losses. Drought management plans must be reviewed and hydraulic models developed to determine how to respond to every situation. This will allow for a better understanding of the utilities’ systems. According to Maharaj, utilities need more information on the available resources. There needs to be a focus on developing new raw water sources and improving the flexibility of existing systems so that water can be transferred between catchments. Refill schemes and emergency schemes should be put in place now – it is too late when the drought has already hit. Reuse must also be explored as a viable alternative. Ultimately, regionalisation may be the answer. With talk of the establishment of a single provincial water board in KwazuluNatal, Maharaj believes it would be better to begin investing in large regional schemes now, rather than smaller, more localised schemes that are spread out.


IMIESA May 2017

Building additional capacity In line with this, Umgeni Water has plans to augment its water system to secure its water supply. Reconciliation studies conducted by the DWS showed that the long-term water requirements of eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Local Municipality and the surrounding areas would exceed the assured yield of the integrated Mgeni system from 2016 onwards. This means that if these areas were to experience a 1 in 100 year drought from 2016, restrictions would be required in the Mgeni system – as has been the case. This deficit will increase to as much as 202 Mℓ/annum in 2040. This despite planned infrastructure projects such as the construction of

Spring Grove Dam, raw water pipeline and pump station, and the upgrade of Midmar Water Treatment Works. It was determined that the Upper Mgeni system would not be able to meet the demands of Phase 2 of the Western Aqueduct, scheduled for commissioning in 2018, without some form of augmentation. According to Shami Harichunder, corporate stakeholder manager, Umgeni Water, three possible interventions were explored: water reuse,

seawater desalination, and a conventional water storage, treatment and supply scheme. It was determined that reuse would have produced between 60 Mℓ/day and 100 Mℓ/day, but only as an interim solution until 2019. Umgeni Water also investigated the option of implementing two 150 Mℓ/day seawater desalination plants, but found that the system would again be in deficit in 2023. However, a pilot desalination project is currently at feasibility stage. This will see the construction of a small plant, which will produce between 4 Mℓ/day and 10 Mℓ/day. According to Harichunder, the aim of the pilot plant is to learn about the technology and to determine its feasibility. The last option was the uMkhomazi Water Project, a gravity scheme with low energy requirements and less expensive operating costs. This was found to be the most financially viable option, taking into account capital and operating costs and its ability to supply increasing demands in the long term.


l/s °C

uMkhomazi Water Project According to Harichunder, the R20 billion uMkhomazi Water Project will be one of the largest water transfer schemes in South Africa when fully functional – comparable to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2 in terms of volume, and tunnel length and diameter. All feasibilities into the project, including financial, have been completed and approval is scheduled to be received in 2017. Design is expected to be completed by 2018, and construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 for completion in 2024/5, explains Harichunder. The project will comprise two phases. Phase 1 involves the construction of Smithfield Dam on the uMkhomazi River and a 33 km tunnel from this dam to Baynesfield where an emergency or balancing dam The R20 billion and a water treatment plant will uMkhomazi be constructed. Water Project will be one of A 7.5 km raw the largest water transfer water pipeline will supply the treatschemes in South Africa ment plant and a when fully functional 19.4 km potable water pipeline to Camperdown will ultimately supply eThekwini’s Western Aqueduct Pipeline. Phase 2 of the uMkhomazi Water Project will comprise a dam at Impendle, outside Pietermaritzburg. In the best case scenario, this phase will only be required in roughly 2050. Phase 1 will produce 600 Mℓ/day of potable water supplied exclusively to eThekwini Metro through the Western Aqueduct, sufficient to meet the metro’s demand projections for at least 25 years if commissioned in 2025. If eThekwini’s water demand remains below 500 Mℓ/day, Phase 1 will most likely meet demand for more than 40 years. Thereafter, Phase 2 of the scheme, which will be able to produce an additional 600 Mℓ/day of potable water, will be required. According to Harichunder, the scheme possesses the versatility and capacity to both secure assurance and enhance water supply as the eThekwini region gears for accelerated housing and industrial development in its northern and western zones.




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W Sustainable Infrastructure Seminar 15 June Infrastructure is critical to sustainable urban and community development, our future well-being and the day-to-day lives of all Africans. The infrastructure we are building today will shape tomorrow’s cities. The Seminar examines the approaches necessary for infrastructure stakeholders, from government to project managers, to maximise this strategic opportunity!

Programme Overview Session 1: Excellence, resilience and engagement Topics:

• Innovative circular business models for the built environment • Planning for climate change in all Government Spheres in South Africa • Stakeholder driven project management

Session 2: Infrastructure investments for sustainable returns Topics:

• Energy infrastructure as an asset class • Water infrastructure investment is critical for national survival • Sustainable roads: a case study in project planning

In partnership

Delegate Fee - Half Day: R890 per person Special rates for bulk booking:

ith the introduction of the Blue and Green Drop reports, utilities are under more pressure to ensure that their potable water output is compliant. To achieve this, water treatment must be monitored effectively and reliably at all stages. The use of analytical sensors and systems plays a major role in ensuring that plant operators meet their required parameters. An automated process control can offer a range of applications such as quality/limit values monitoring in waterworks, quality monitoring in distribution networks, filter monitoring and disinfection control using analytical sensors and systems. Moreover, automation provides an optimised process, real-time data and a higher level of accuracy, which all work to ensure better water quality and a reduction in losses. Krohne supplies a full of range of process instrumentation, which now includes analytical sensors and systems.

Industry solutions Krohne’s latest solution, SMARTPAT, offers pH/ORP and conductivity sensors, which feature an integrated transmitter for direct connection to the process control system and allow for calibration either online (in the field) or offline (in a controlled laboratory environment). Matching accessories round out the portfolio for a comprehensive offering. With the OPTISENS series, Krohne offers the same sensor types for use with an external transmitter. The product line also features measuring systems for water applications. The OPTISYS CL 1100, for example, is a potentiostatic disinfectant measuring system for free chlorine, chlorine dioxide and ozone. It is to be used in bypass lines and comes readily mounted. In addition, the OPTISYS TUR 1050 is an optical turbidity measuring system for potable water applications with cost-effective cuvette calibration and automatic ultrasonic cleaning system. These solutions come with pre- and post-sales service nationwide. Krohne will perform the start-up and commissioning on-site, on-site repairs, recalibration of instruments and training for customers at local facilities. Although Krohne is typically associated with flow meters, it also offers other parameters to provide an overall solution to customers for the water industry.


IMIESA May 2017

UTILITIES | energy

Powering rural South Africa sustainably


s climate change becomes a more pressing matter worldwide, increasing emphasis is being placed on environmental sustainability. One of the most contentious topics in this area is power sources. Most of the world’s electricity is still generated using some form of fossil fuel, leading to devastating effects on the environment and championing calls for environmentally friendly electricity sources. From wind turbines to solar panels and biogas, there are many renewable energy sources that have little negative impact on the environment – although they do have some downsides, such as being dependent on weather conditions to work efficiently. An increasingly popular option

Benefits of hydropower 1 A clean, renewable and

sustainable energy source

2 Environmentally friendly 3 Schemes have long lifetimes

is hydropower, which will generate electricity regardless of weather conditions. This solution is ideal for South Africa with its numerous perennial rivers. WEC Projects – together with the University of Pretoria, the Department of Science and Technology and the Water Research Commission – is currently executing a small hydropower project in Kwa Madiba. The Kwa Madiba small-scale hydropower plant is a run-of-river scheme on the Thina River within the Mthlontlo Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Water is rerouted from the Thina River immediately upstream of the Thina Falls through an intake structure, penstock and containerised turbine room to the section of the Thina River immediately downstream of the Thina Falls. The penstock is constructed by

and high efficiency levels

4 A feasible electricity source

for remote areas far from the national grid

directional drilling through the mountain. The system is closed, with no exposure of the water resource to any chemicals or lubricants. Once completed, the project will generate electricity for 39 households, playing a critical role in providing energy access to remote areas in South Africa as standalone isolated mini-grids.

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81ST IMESA CONFERENCE GAUTENG SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING: back to basics for the future Has technology in design made us forget the basic principals of engineering design?

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Groundwater and communities

Assessing the risk and opportunity in Africa requires an open and participative approach.


roundwater projects have grown in prominence as government decisionmakers explore more ways of managing South Africa’s precious water resources. “Policymakers have come to appreciate the strategic role that the country’s groundwater is able to play in future water supply planning,” says Regan Rose, an executive associate at JG Afrika. “These projects provide a very cost-effective alternative to pumping water from other sources of supply. In addition, the resource is more resilient to evaporation than surface water, while recharges of underground aquifers in drought conditions have remained favourable.” He joined JG Afrika’s team of geohydrolologists earlier this year, following the latter’s acquisition of Rose’s company, Geowater IQ. This development merged two respected brands in the public sector groundwater market at a time when water security has been placed firmly on the agenda. Both companies have built a very strong reputation over the years for providing holistic geohydrological capabilities to their clients, which includes municipalities. Rose says that these technical and scientific skills are essential to ensure the success of any groundwater initiative, and notes that

the failure of many projects in the past can mainly be attributed to the limited manner in which they were implemented. This has been detrimental to the development of the resource and the larger groundwater industry, he warns. “This is why it is imperative that any existing and future related groundwater initiatives be implemented in a professional manner to ensure their continued support,” explains Rose.

Project successes Rose says there are a host of government projects that successfully continue to demonstrate the larger role that groundwater is able to play in future water systems by bolstering, or even alleviating pressure on existing supply infrastructure. For example, Geowater IQ has been working closely with a municipality since 2012, helping it develop its groundwater resources for sport complexes. These projects will continue to provide important support to already strained systems in the drought-stricken Western Cape. They complement many other current JG Afrika projects, including its recent appointment by Ramgoolam as the professional geohydrologist for a large water and sanitation initiative for schools in rural areas of KwaZuluNatal – another water-stressed region of South Africa. The project, which is being driven

ABOVE LEFT An elevated 5 000 ℓ water tank with a communal standpipe and 500 ℓ drinking trough offer water source security to village life ABOVE Children enjoy the novelty of pumped groundwater for the first time

by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works, on behalf of the province’s Department of Education, serves as a sound example of the specialist skills JG Afrika brings to these initiatives. On this project, Rose is working closely with Mark Schapers, another highly respected local groundwater expert. Schapers, who is a technical director at JG Afrika and the firm’s Durban branch manager, says that right from the outset, the team of geohydrologists focused on ensuring buy-in from beneficiaries and surrounding communities. The team continues to consult with relevant political and traditional structures, including councillors, ndunas and headmasters, forming the basis of ongoing communication channels for both during and after the project’s implementation cycle. “This is a critical step in the process that seeks to establish a long-term outlook for the project, and endeavours to make optimal use of the groundwater resource after handover,” he adds.

IMIESA May 2017


Environmental Engineering

Pavilion terraces add spectator value Creative use of concrete block paving transforms unproductive embankments into dramatic seating structures.


ublic or community seating solutions are often expensive and time-consuming to install, leaving such spaces underdeveloped due to a lack of funds. As a result, there is considerable demand for durable seating arrangements that can be installed in a cost-effective and easy manner, while still meeting all statutory requirements regarding comfort and safety. A good example is a locally developed product, the Terraforce 4 x 4 step block system. A combination of an accessory stair/seating block and any standard Terraforce retaining block, this system has become popular in South Africa and other parts of the world, and has been used successfully at recreational or educational facilities. Terraforce says the system requires low hardware input for manufacture, low transport costs, and low inventory requirements

at sales outlets. As an added benefit, the completed seating arrangements also offer a high-quality aesthetic finish. Recently, two such installations were installed by Decorton Retaining Systems, Terraforce’s recommended civils company, at schools in the Western Cape, South Africa. The first, at Fish Hoek High School, seats 1 100 students comfortably. Says Steve Mitchell, educator at the school: “The embankment next to our sports field was too steep for anyone to sit on. It was a wasted area and an eyesore, as cutting the grass on that slope was quite a task.� Mitchell emphasises that the school is particularly happy with the way the seating pavilion looks. “We love that it does not look like a bare concrete structure. The blocks have been slightly coloured, so it blends in with the environment. And the rounded edges just looks so much better than edged concrete,� he adds.

Reddam School, Clara Anna Fontein Estate, Durbanville: accommodating 1 600 spectators comfortably, and up to 2 000 at a push

The second installation, at Reddam House in Clara Anna Fontein lifestyle estate, Durbanville, is possibly South Africa’s largest pavilion-type arrangement built to date using the 4 x 4 seating system. Bordering a 400 m athletics and events track, the pavilion was built against the embankment in front of the school and above the sports field, with a staircase in the centre and at both ends for easier access. Comments SP van Blerk, co-founder, Decorton: “The seating platform accommodates 1 600 spectators comfortably, and up to 2 000 at a push. We have just been given the go-ahead to add a further four metres of seating space on either side.�




Environmental Engineering

Rock baskets protect the environment Gabions, in their many forms, have been a part of the construction landscape for centuries, but the technologies, in terms of materials and applications, have seen major advancements, as Louis Cheyne, managing director of Gabion Baskets, explains. This is part one in a three-part editorial series. By Alastair Currie


arine and riverine environments are naturally subjected to the elements, and erosion is the ensuing result, especially given the weather extremes experienced in recent years. A percentage of this erosion factor is the result of urban expansion, and ensuing pollution, which needs to be countered by interventions that promote sustainability and cope and counter the downstream pressure on eco-systems. “Gabions are a natural and proven solution, and although the construction approach appears to lack complexity – since these are essentially wire mesh compositions filled with rocks – the design and application of these systems requires a highly experienced civil engineer specialising in environmental construction,” says Louis Cheyne, managing director of Gabion Baskets – which manufactures and offers in-house design services for its extensive product range to consulting engineers, architects and contractors.


ABOVE The end result: a well-engineered structure, pictured here with Ronnie Dagnin from Petron Engineering

Booysens Reserve

River overload “When it comes to rivers, soil embankments are often eroded as a result of overloaded water passages, thereby exposing the boundary wall foundations and forcing these walls to settle or fail due to a lack of a stable soil foundation: most in situ soils have a low clay content, which is easily washed away, becoming dislodged and suspended in the river,” Cheyne expands. “This indication of imminent failure is frequently overlooked, as the symptoms are often hidden beneath flowing water. We are frequently called out to sites where soil erosion has led to the failure of a reinforced concrete boundary wall. These walls are not flexible and any movement from the soil below leads to cracking of the foundation, and subsequently the wall above, ultimately resulting in its eventual collapse.”

LEFT The existing site prior to remediation works at Booysens Reserve

In response, Gabion Baskets has a range of soil stabilisation solutions. Examples include river mattress linings on their own or together with a gabion wall, which provides lateral stability above the lining protection. “A well-built gabion wall structure is flexible, permeable and stable enough to support the soil foundations,” explains Cheyne.

PVC evolution Gabion Baskets is now in its 10th year and initially started off as a mono-product supplier for gabions and river mattresses fabricated using galvanised wire. A year or two after that, the company diversified by manufacturing PVC-coated systems in response to industry

Client Barnes Fencing Contractor Petron Engineering The project entailed the installation of two river walls, together with mattress aprons. Galvanised and grey-coloured PVC-coated wire was used for the construction of the mattresses and the first level of gabion walls. The structure is 80 m long, and features prefabricated concrete culverts for a bridge, which passes over the river. The works took approximately three months to complete.

IMIESA May 2017


Environmental Engineering

BEFORE House Coombes Contractor Gabion Worx The works were completed using a blue-shot granite stone with 75 mm x 75 mm x 3.15 mm Class A glavanised weld mesh with 50 mm angle iron and flat bar. This structure acted as a gabion retaining wall and an architectural feature. demand for an intervention that would cope well with corrosive environments in mining, coastal and river applications. The company’s next step has been to add the Galfan-coated mesh option. Consisting of a 95% zinc and 5% aluminium composition, this solution offers three to five times the corrosion life and resistance of conventional zinc coatings. Design aesthetics have been another element. Cheyne says, “We’ve developed

ABOVE The site condition prior to construction shows extensive environmental damage ABOVE LEFT An aesthetically appealing and environmentally sustainable solution has been achieved for this river section

different colour options. Grey is a standard choice, but we’ve also introduced a tan textured PVC for regions like Cape Town, which require a gabion mesh colour system that matches the sandstone characteristic of the internal rock.” The architectural sector is another growing niche market. Here, Gabion Baskets is supplying square welded-mesh materials for applications that include cladding and walling. “Welded mesh is ideal due the tighter tolerances achieved,” he adds. All products meet the SABS 1580 specification. This means that Gabion Baskets complies in terms of manufacturing standards that include the withstanding of predefined surcharge loads from the soil, high river water velocities, or traffic loads when gabions are packed next to a road. Gabion Baskets also complies with SANS 1200 DK, which is the installation specification. Comments Cheyne, “This is

AFTER Riverlodge, Craighall Client Riverlodge Homeowners Association CONTRACTOR Gabion Guru A river frontage had been eroded over the years to a point where it undermined the boundary wall. Gabion Baskets and Gabion Guru worked together to provide a solution using a 2 m high wall founded onto a 170 mm thick mattress with geotextile behind and below the wall. The wall is 90 m long and entailed the installation of approximately 300 m3 of gabion river work. The costing is normally split equally between rock, gabion and labour. The brown rock matches the in situ soil. The project took around three months to complete.

Environmental Engineering an essential one, since it guarantees expertise in correct construction practice.”

SMME and community “Aside from the endless design flexibility, one of the key advantages of gabions, particularly for South Africa, and Africa, is their labour-intensive construction methodology. Over the years, we’ve trained and upskilled hundreds of community members in terms of the South African government’s Expanded Public Works Programme, as well as the Working for Wetlands programme. We have also been instrumental in assisting a number of SMME start-up companies in this sector,” Cheyne continues. Gabion Baskets has a dedicated training team that provides on-site, practical instruction. Trainees receive key insights on rock-size selection, and rock quality. This five-day course includes an animated video. “From our extensive experience, we know that the best gabion and allied structures appear so natural and beautiful because of their in-depth detailing. If the construction challenges and materials requirements are thoroughly interrogated at the design stage, the end result is an enduring solution. It may seem amazingly simple, but that’s thanks to the skill of our environmental engineers.”

A new intervention at Clansthal, KZN An existing gabion wall needs an upgrade. The wall to be replaced on the beach at Clansthal in KwaZulu-Natal is 40 m long, and has been damaged by storms over the past 25 years or so. This wall will be replaced with a new improved Galfan alloy coating (95% zinc and 5% aluminium coating composition) plus a 500 µm PVC coating. This will provide three to five times the corrosive protection compared to using a purely galvanised mesh material, which is characteristic of the existing installation. The wall to be replaced is 2 m high and includes a flexible mattress apron to take the scour to the end of the mattress, which has an approximate volume of 150 m3 in total. IMIESA May 2017


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Regional integration through roads Transpor t corridors remain the key to unlocking African economies – given access to the necessar y funding and inter-countr y governmental suppor t – but the first priority is to focus on nationspecific infrastructure requirements, of which there are many on the continent. By Alastair Currie


elegates attending the Argus Africa Roads 2017 conference, held between 15 - 17 March 2017 in Maputo, Mozambique, came from all over the world to present and debate on key infrastructure challenges. IMIESA was an official media partner. According to a recent Argus Media survey report, “slightly over US$222 billion is being invested in a total of 322 African infrastructure projects”. The top sectors are energy and power, transport (representing 25% overall), mining, real estate and water, and oil and gas. Southern Africa leads the pack (accounting for 38% of total project activity), followed by East Africa (29%) and then West Africa (21%). Of survey respondents, 90% believe that Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria demonstrate the best potential. The view from the bitumen industry is that the longer-term outlook is favourable. Currently, Africa’s estimated bitumen demand is around 4 million tonnes annually,

with the continent chiefly reliant on imports, the main exceptions being the Ivory Coast and South Africa. According to the Argus survey, Kenya (78.57%), Uganda (64.29%) and Tanzania (71.43%) are the highest volume buyers at present, with Ethiopia (35.71%) and Mozambique (35.71%) equally forming the next tier. These stats are clearly indicative of where the main road activity is at present, outside South Africa. Central concerns expressed by bitumen suppliers and importers focus on the need to maintain quality standards. More specifically, the avoidance of procuring cheaper products that do not meet recognised international performance specificationsand end up costing a lot more in the long run due to prematurely failed roads.

Trade routes Formalising trade routes and economic corridors is a well-accepted and important consideration when it comes to unlocking Africa’s potential. The most significant bodies working towards this end are the Common Market

for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which form the proposed COMESAEAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The official launch was June 2015. However, there’s no immediate indication of when this initiative will gain any real traction, since the conclusion of Phase I negotiations between member countries was not reached by the June 2016 deadline. Within the Southern African region, though, the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative is certainly a success stor y, with over US$5 billion invested since 1996. The investment breakdown includes road, rail, border posts, pipelines, and ports and terminals. Forming a component of this corridor is the Trans-African Concessions (TRAC) N4 route, which links South Africa directly with Maputo along what is believed to be the first tolled cross-border road on the continent.

East coast potential Most of the presentations by government roads departments at Argus Africa Roads

IMIESA May 2017



placed emphasis on seeking public-private partnership (PPP) opportunities on strategic routes to supplement funding shortfalls, with Tanzania standing out as one of the countries within SADC seeking to make meaningful progress. One of Tanzania’s potential PPP projects is the Chalinze to Dar es Salaam toll road, upgrading the current four lanes to a sixlane highway (three lanes in either direction) over a distance of more than 100 km. Tanzania is approximately 1.6 times the size of Kenya, and around 1.18 times the size of Mozambique. Plus, Tanzania is

strategically positioned in terms of various current and future corridor initiatives, since it shares a border with eight countries. However, at present, only around 11% of the country’s 87 581 km road network is paved. This translates into a paved network road density of about 10 km per 1 000 km2. This is well below the subSaharan average of 50 km per 1 000 km2 and so creates massive opportunities for gravel-to-tar upgrades. Approximately 59.8% of current trunk routes are paved, and 6.3% of regional roads. Over a five-year period (financial

years 2016/17 to 2020/21), Tanzania intends to construct and rehabilitate some 9 440 km of road: six major bridges, with a total combined length of 9 726 m are also planned during this period. However, this will depend on sufficient funds, plus the countr y’s construction sector’s capacity constraints. The upside here, though, is that it paves the way for external players to become more involved and exchange ideas, which is the goal, after all, if we want to meaningfully achieve African integration in Tanzania, as well as across the continent.


Paving the road to real economic freedom *Carmen Lawrence is an associate at Bergstan South Africa.

The Mooiwater project involved the upgrading of 3.5 km of gravel road to surface standards using a LBS medium continuously graded blend

Reaching out to disadvantaged communities requires an innovative approach when it comes to meaningful skills transfer on construction projects. By Carmen Lawrence*


ergstan South Africa was appointed by the Stellenbosch Municipality in 2015 to upgrade a 3.5 km road in Mooiwater, Franschhoek – from gravel to tar – as part of a MIG grant. As this was to be a community-based project, from the onset, the brief was to identify an asphalt surfacing technology suitable for labour-intensive construction techniques. The cold asphalt product selected is a LBS medium continuously graded blend. Six key project fundamentals were identified:




The surfacing technology selected was designed to the required standards for continuously graded fine and medium asphalt mixes suitable for inclusion in low-order roads where thin asphalt surface seals (20 mm – 25 mm) are applicable. During construction, samples

were taken and assessed in the laboratory using recognised tests for pertinent criteria such as ITS, Marshall stability, dynamic creep and binder content. A detailed feasibility study, commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, was completed on the technology in 2011 by Jeffares & Green (now JG Afrika) consulting engineers. The study confirmed that the technology meets the design criteria for continuously graded asphalt as defined in both COLTO and TRH8. It is important to note, however, that the technology has been designed specifically for low-order roads and is not recommended for highly trafficked roads or highways.



Due to the unique methodology of this labour-based surfacing technology, where the asphalt premix is manufactured on-site, normal costs associated with transportation are minimised,

To surface approximately 300 m2 per day, a team of 10 people was used. Around 40 labourers were sourced from the community during the course of the project

Job creation

To date, the project has been able to achieve a labour component value of 20%; a deliberate focus was placed on the empowerment of women and youth. In fact, the specific technology employed has proven capable of facilitating up to an 80% female labour component.

IMIESA May 2017



resulting in a substantial cost saving over traditionally bagged asphalt. This is further supported by an analysis that was done as part of the feasibility study, which included a life-cycle cost and economic benefits analysis. A comparison of the different surfacing options, including hotmix asphalt, paving blocks and Cape Seal, proved conclusive. The study found that “both the labour-based surfacing technology and Cape Seal options can be considered the most economically feasible” over a 25-year period. A team of 14 people was used for the manufacturing of approximately 15 t of asphalt premix per day.



All equipment required on-site for the mixing of the asphalt components was deliberately kept as basic as possible. All containers were purposely cut out or marked to hold the correct volumes, eliminating complicated measuring and ensuring a consistent mix.


IMIESA May 2017


Training and technical support

A three-step training programme introduced by the appointed skills development company provided a fresh approach to SAQA-accredited courses, covering both technical and entrepreneurial training. The comprehensive training programme was designed to transfer the following skills: • ‘Sustainable Skills for Life’ – modules included leadership, personal finance, goalsetting and eco-construction practices. • The ability to manufacture four different eco-friendly cold-asphalt- or asphalt-related products for road surfacing, repair and maintenance; to apply and surface the four different eco-friendly mixes and to maintain and repair potholes using CSIR technical guidelines. • As part of the exit strategy, labourers were capacitated to become small contractors where they would be taught to establish and operate a construction business and execute construction projects.

The labour-based surfacing technology employed was modelled in accordance with the Expanded Public Works Programme operational level guidelines. The inclusion of these accredited training courses will, therefore, allow the municipality to benefit from the associated incentive grants.


Sustainability (exit strategy)

The Mooiwater project is unique because it’s the first time local communities have been taught to manufacture a quality cold asphalt product, which can subsequently be supplied to municipalities for their ongoing road repair and maintenance programmes. Going forward, our hope is that communitybased repair teams can be incubated through a mentorship programme and developed into structured business units or cooperatives. Since the LBS asphalt solution can be applied just about anywhere, even the remotest of communities with no prior skills can enter the roads business.

Fleet Management

Use technology to manage your fleet Are your fleet management information systems (FMIS) at the same level as other business information systems? Probably not, since, as the second or third highest business expense, fleet systems are often grossly underrepresented. By Nigel Webb


anaging your fleet through your organisation’s accounting system simply doesn’t work because fleets need to know mileage, utilise benchmarks and integrate with sophisticated independent systems such as tracking/telematics and fuel card systems. Fleet management is about managing costs, operations, drivers, traffic fines, safety and HSE compliance. This requires a specialised FMIS, not an accounting system. Let’s start by consolidating your expense information: lease rentals, depreciation, fuel, maintenance, insurance, accidents, licensing, and tracking. Link this to kilometre usage and you can start identifying total cost of ownership (TCO) and fleet cost per kilometre. You are now in a position to make informed decisions about the fleet. Are you using the right vehicles; are they costing too much to maintain; is your fuel consumption too high; is there abuse; when should we replace; and where are we spending our money? As always, identify and manage the trends. Get this right and it will be the first step to improved cost management. Have an automated system to schedule activities such as relicensing, vehicle inspections and safety certification. Manage traffic fines in compliance with AARTO requirements. Importantly, have your own system. Utilising the systems of current service providers will not enable you to consolidate information from their competitors, independent suppliers or even your own selffunded vehicles. Plus, of course, there are issues of confidentiality.

Telematics benefits Remember, your cheapest vehicle is the one you don’t have, so how do you reduce your fleet? The answer is: improve utilisation and productivity. For this, you need a tracking/telematics system to measure activity. Originally used to locate a vehicle, telematics systems now routinely provide detailed activity reports, namely driving time, standing, hours of usage, distance travelled and, importantly, driver behaviour. Analyse this and you can improve utilisation and save costs in areas such as fleet size, fuel consumption and accidents. Many modern vehicles have on-board CAN bus systems fitted, which provide detailed information on engine management, fuel and odometer readings. This system provides an alternative and the most reliable information source that can integrate with your telematics systems. A good FMIS system will provide real-time integration with your tracking/telematics systems, providing location, utilisation, vehicle health, and driver behaviour. An added advantage is that all cost and operating activities can be viewed from a single system.

Safety Technology now facilitates an increasing focus on safety. Driver scorecard systems reduce great volumes of data, vehicle events and driver behaviour into a simple-to-use scoring system. Track the trends and you have a tool to provide driver behaviour training and support. Taking corrective action can translate into significantly reduced insurance premiums. Used in combination, today’s technologies – be these information systems, on-board vehicle systems, tracking and telematics, or fuel cards – provide fleet managers with powerful tools to manage expenses, operations, drivers, safety and HSE compliance like never before. As a fleet manager, your biggest challenge is to use these tools to the fullest.


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Transport, Logistics, Vehicles & Equipment

SEM leads in the utility class New product launches and a comprehensive after-market suppor t programme are driving sustained growth for Barloworld SEM. By Alastair Currie Members of the Barloworld SEM team: from left to right are Barry Fang, business manager; Andre Bruyns, sales manager; Dashen Naicker, product support; Suleiman Reddy, technical manager; and Jessica Jacobs, sales coordinator


leading Chinese OEM since 1958, SEM has a well-established presence in the global earthmoving segment and has been sold and supported in the Southern African market since 2008 by Barloworld SEM as the official dealer.This was also the same year that Shandong Engineering Machiner y Co. Ltd (SEM)became a wholly owned subsidiar y of Caterpillar Inc. In 2013 Shandong Engineering Machiner y Co. Ltd was renamed Caterpillar (Qingzhou) Ltd (CQL) and in 2016 SEM became an official Caterpillar brand. SEM has its own distribution channels, marketing strategy and product support and is supplied via Cat-approved dealers. Outside South Africa, SEM is gaining ground in countries that include Botswana and Namibia, with fur ther territor y growth anticipated. (Globally, SEM now has a distribution network in over 80 countries.) “SEM utility products meet or exceed regional industry requirements for quality and reliability and target customers who emphasise initial acquisition cost over long-term total cost of ownership,” explains Barry Fang, business manager for Barloworld SEM. “For this reason, SEM is proving popular for Southern African contractors seeking an alternative solution for

lighter- to medium-duty earthmoving applications in construction, quarrying, mining and general industry. “We anticipate strong demand in the SMME segment, and have developed tailored financing packages with leading banks to help grow this important section of the industry by lowering the barrier to enter the market. This includes project financing, which is a first for Barloworld SEM. That means a contractor could potentially approach us with an approved tender for finance approval.” SMME growth support initiatives will also be driven by Barloworld Siyakhula, the supplier and enterprise development arm of Barloworld Limited. “Siyakhula is responsible for promoting transformation, BBBEE compliance and supplier diversity within the group’s supply chain.”

Machine population expansion The current active Southern African machine population now numbers in excess of 500 units, with growth being supported by the progressive roll-out of new products, backed by a comprehensive research and development programme. All units are manufactured at SEM’s Qingzhou facility in China for global export, and this is the same factory that also produces the Cat 950 GC wheel loader.

The current SEM local line-up coonsists of eight models, namely seven wheel loader derivatives in the small-to-medium size class, and the 140 kW rated SEM 919 motor grader. Medium-sized SEM C-Series models include the 658C and 668C with operating weights and rated payload capacities of 17 t and 19 t, and 5 t and 6 t, respectively. “One of the leaders in the three-tonne payload class is the SEM639B, and this model is a best seller locally,” says Fang. All wheel loaders come with ROPS and FOPS, with rock buckets sold as standard on larger units.

New products During the second half of 2017, this range will be expanded with the introduction of the SEM 816 and 822 track-type tractors weighing in at approximately 17 t and 20 t, respectively. Alongside these product launches are plans to rollout SEM soil compactors in the fourth quarter of 2017. “With these developments, we will have a far more comprehensive range of machines, which will drive our growth plans into 2017 and beyond. Customers can expect more from SEM,” adds Fang. “Our products offer a significant price advantage, without compromising on quality, and meeting the tough demands of the African operating environment.”

IMIESA May 2017





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Transport, Logistics, Vehicles & Equipment


gets global recognition The commitment by FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA to the African region and its successes, both this and last year, have not gone unnoticed.


ecognised as the most determined and successful expor t and impor t business units of the massive FAW Group worldwide, the local company has received a sought-after accolade. FAW in South Africa received this recognition in February in China, amid representatives from all the active FAW regions worldwide. It was during the FAW Import and Export Corporation’s annual Global Sales and Marketing Conference in Chengdu that Richard H Leiter, executive director, FAW SA, was called up to receive the special honour of the FAW – Best Distributor Award 2016. Wang Zhijian, president of the FAW Import and Export Corporation, who announced the award, explained: “This award stands for the united spirit of FAW employees and dealer partners who jointly tackle regional and global challenges. It is awarded in recognition of singular collaboration between all teams and all individuals working for the company or dealers in: Sales; Aftermarket; Service and Support; Parts and Maintenance; and Finance and Insurance. It acknowledges these teams that have worked according to a coordinated strategy with a single, unified vision.

“This award gives honour to that FAW company that has shown quantifiable results emanating from joint determination and focused drive,” he added.

A series of good results While the award mainly recognises the efforts of a particular year, the fact remains that FAW SA is continuing with its growth strategy into 2017. FAW SA set new benchmarks and company sales records in both January and February this year. First were the impressive 107 units sold in January, setting the highest benchmark yet for FAW SA regarding year-on-year growth comparisons. FAW SA sent another record tumbling in February, when the company and its dealers together racked up 134 units sold – the most ever recorded in a single month. This year’s momentum follows on from many of last year’s successes. One of these 2016 highlights happened in the second half of last year when the Coega-based plant near Port Elizabeth saw its 2 000th locally built truck roll off the production line after just two years of production giving rightful claim to the company’s motto “Built in South Africa, for Africa”. It was in the export market that FAW SA was particularly prominent and flourished in 2016,

having one of the most consistent month-onmonth export drives in the South African truck building industry. The company exceeded the 200 unit mark in exports into African countries in just a year. A growing number of African truck dealers who traditionally ordered from FAW China continue to move their orders to originate out of South Africa, owing to the shorter lead time for delivery, the high levels of quality from the South African plant, and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles on the same continent. Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA, adds: “What is most gratifying is that many of our units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now second- and third-generation repurchases. This affirms our commitment to service and support into the African regions.” The Coega plant has also been the bedrock for further investments in the region as a number of China-based industrial giants have visited Coega to see first-hand what the region can offer in infrastructure, logistics and labour. The FAW SA plant, at a start-up cost of US$60 million, was the first massive investment by a China-based company in the Eastern Cape region. A number of China-based companies are considering following suit based on FAW SA’s successes.

Wang Zhijian, president, FAW Import and Export Corporation

IMIESA March 2017


Transport, Logistics, Vehicles & Equipment

Trucks remain resilient

The South African truck market showed ongoing resilience in the first quarter of 2017 despite political and economic events.


owever, the effect of the downgrade of South Africa to sub-investment grade by ratings agency Standard and Poor will determine whether the small growth built by the industry this year will remain or be eroded. “The next few months will be critical in determining the path we as a country will follow and leadership in all spheres of business, but mostly in government, will be the key,” said Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “As the adage goes, ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ (or woman) will now be more relevant than ever. A consolidated road freight industry


is, therefore, needed to drive reform and advancement in the sector, as well as in the larger economy.” According to the latest results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD), the total truck market increased by a significant 16.9% month on month, to record 2 618 new truck sales. This brings the market’s year-to-date total to 6 416 new trucks for Q1 2017, a 3.9% increase over the same period last year. During the first three months of the year, sales in the medium commercial vehicle

segment grew by 3.3% to 1 993 units compared to Q1 2016. Sales in the heavy commercial vehicle segment increased by 11.9% to 1 355 units, while the extraheavy commercial segment grew by 2.2% to 2 837 units. Only the bus segment remained in the red, with a 10.5% decline in sales, to a total of 231 new units sold so far this year. “Even amidst all the turbulence, we believe that the dust will settle and the steady slog towards growth in the truck industry will begin once more,” said Swanepoel. “We still expect the South African commercial vehicle market to grow marginally by an estimated 3% during 2017, to around 28 998 units.”

Medium commercial vehicles

Heavy commercial vehicles

Extra-heavy commercial vehicles






IMIESA May 2017

Transport, Logistics, Vehicles & Equipment

No trenches, no problem The latest horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technologies have a big role to play in avoiding dangerous trenches spanning roads and sidewalks.


roject owners are increasingly calling for trenchless technologies, such as HDD, as a means to minimise traffic disruptions and avoid potentially costly and disruptive damage to buried utilities such as electricity and water supplies. This has particularly been the case with the recent and ongoing roll-out of largescale fibre networks in cities and suburbs. “Using HDD trenchless technology means road traffic can remain unhindered while sidewalks only require a small area to be cordoned off for launch and receiving pits and equipment on either side of the roadway,” explains Keith Smith, area sales manager of ELB Equipment. “What’s more, utilities buried over many decades can be avoided without disruption to services. Whereas the only way around utilities in the old days was to go aerial, HDD now means that

we can thread new utilities in among the old ones safely, without damaging or disrupting services.”

Effective technology HDD technology effectively employs a drill rig to steer a drill pipe on a set horizontal path underground from one side of an obstacle to the other. Once on the other end, the drill crew is then able to attach a backreamer, which is pulled through the narrow pilot hole to cut and remove the soil in stages till the required diameter is met. This can be done with a range of equipment from small rubber-track machines that can fit through a garden gate to larger machines and all-terrain machines, which can drill and steer in solid rock and span long distances with enough pullback force to pull large backreamers where large-diameter utilities are required. According to Smith, ELB Equipment’s range of Ditch Witch HDD equipment has been

successfully employed beneath obstacles ranging from driveways to dual-carriageway roads and sensitive landscapes. ELB Equipment has a long-standing relationship with Ditch Witch and has developed the technology in South Africa to adapt solutions to any local requirement. Subsequently, a great deal of expertise on the subject has been garnered, and a number of specialists are now available to work with customers to identify the right equipment for specific requirements. Phillip Mc Callum, product manager at ELB Equipment, adds that the Ditch Witch is regarded globally as one of the top machines for accuracy and ease of operation in the field. ELB Equipment also has a range of HDD guidance and utility-locating solutions from Subsite Electronics that enables contractors to locate and reduce the liability of striking buried utilities and infrastructure.

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A digital safety revolution The world is undergoing a digital revolution, and this technology can be adapted to enhance health and safety on construction sites.


he construction sector contributed 12% to the country’s GDP in the last financial year, but the sector had at least 1.5 to 2.5 fatalities per week. According to Lennie Samuel, a senior inspector and forensic investigator at the Department of Labour, despite South Africa’s health and safety regulations being of a high standard, they have not had the desired effect as fatalities and injuries continue in the construction sector. Human error, whether it be limited expertise or oversight of engineers or safety personnel, can increase the risk of hazards during construction projects. However, this can be offset if a safety-by-design approach is implemented. This calls for safety to be determined during the design stage and for designers to ‘design out’ health and safety risks.

Building Information Modelling Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around for decades, but it has seen a huge uptake in interest in recent years. BIM software provides a digital description of every aspect of the built asset; namely a process for creating and managing information on a construction project across the project life cycle. Unlike computer-assisted design (CAD) software, BIM represents and manages graphics and information. This information allows for the automatic generation of drawings and reports, design analysis, schedule simulation, facilities management, and more. This ultimately enables the team to make better-informed decisions, thereby changing the way safety can be approached. The most effective safety programme starts at the planning and pre-construction stage. BIM allows for early hazard identification, meaning preventative measures can be implemented through design components to reduce high-risk tasks. The BIM software also enables a virtual information model, which can be passed from the design team to the contractors and operators to reduce information losses. By sharing and coordinating information among the project team, BIM allows those involved to consider and think about hazards and risks earlier in the process. Furthermore, BIM facilitates the 3D simulation of the building and components, which can prove particularly useful for site safety.

SA lagging behind Despite the numerous benefits BIM offers, the 2016 South African BIM Survey Report shows that there is very little uptake within South Africa. IMIESA May 2017


The global interest in BIM within the construction industry has boomed over the past five years, particularly in countries such as the UK, Canada and China. However, according to the report, international software vendors have shown very little interest in South Africa. But, as BIM begins to change the life cycle of construction projects, from procurement to design to scheduling, cost control, and future asset management, many predict its impacts will be more profound than the move from manual drafting to CAD more than 20 years ago.

Cement & Concrete


Paving the way

impopo’s Public Works and Infrastructure Depar tment announced in mid2015, that R1.2 billion had been earmarked for road refurbishment and maintenance to be rolled out over the next three years. Included in this rollout was maintenance to a section of the Moletjie Road Project in Polokwane that was to be upgraded from gravel to paving. There was no established pavement on this section of Moletjie Road, explains Makapani Modipa, CEO of MacP Construction. Instead, there was a gravel walkway in place, which needed to be upgraded to a paved surface, accommodating a 1.3 km bus stop along the stretch.


IMIESA May 2017

Longevity and quality Technicrete’s Bond Brick and Kerbs were selected for this project. “We chose these products due to their durability. This was a key factor for the bus stop development in particular, due to the weight and regularity of the bus traffic,” said Modipa. The project consisted of a combination of 50 mm Bond Bricks together with Fig 8B Kerbs, 60 mm and 80 mm Double Zig Zag Grey pavers and Fig 3 Kerbs. According to Hendrik Steenkamp, sales consultant for Technicrete ISG in Polokwane, the Bond Brick is a traditional paver that offers economy and durability and is very well suited for commercial and domestic surfaces. The Precast Concrete Kerb is

an ideal edge restraint in the construction of roads, kerb and gutter systems and Technicrete now also offers Figure C900 mountable kerbs, which can be utilised in traffic calming measures. “We were pleased to have joined forces on this R2 million project with MacP Construction. Where heavy traffic is experienced, our Bond Brick paving blocks are per fect because of their wellestablished reputation for longevity and quality while still offering a really good finish aesthetically. “We aim to ensure that all stock is supplied as per client requirements, and this was the case on the Moletjie Road Project,” concluded Steenkamp.

Cement & Concrete

Waterproofing extends durability Following a few simple rules can significantly lower life-cycle costs, says The Concrete Institute.


urability and competitive pricing are two of the main reasons why concrete is the most abundantly used construction material. Concrete’s durability also leads to significant reductions in maintenance costs over its service life. However, although concrete is inherently very durable, it can nevertheless be susceptible to chemical or mechanical attack, or degradation, points out John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology. Causes of deterioration could include abrasion, erosion, cavitation and freezing. “The more common chemical processes that can cause deterioration are soft or pure water attack, acid attack, carbonation (along with the associated corrosion of steel reinforcement), sulfate attack, alkali silica reaction and the ingress of cr ystal-for ming or corrosive salts. The corrosion of steel, and consequent cracking and spalling, is the most common durability problem.”

Three principles By following three simple principles, Roxburgh feels these deterioration issues can be prevented, or at least greatly reduced. • First, the concrete mix should be designed for the specific local environment and application. “If the concrete is going to be placed in sulfate-bearing soil, the concrete mix design should be one that will mitigate sulfate attack. Another precaution would be the use of heavily extended cements

ABOVE Alkali-silica reaction on a dam outlet RIGHT Concrete degradation caused by corrosion of the steel reinforcement BELOW RIGHT Poor placing and compaction on-site

in the mix to reduce the risk of alkali silica reaction.” • Second, good on-site practice will optimise concrete durability. Transpor ting, placing, compacting, correctly curing and using concrete with the right plastic properties will reduce the formation of cracks and voids, and enhance strength, finish and durability. Good site practice also involves the correct depth of concrete cover to protect the rebar. • Third, and probably most impor tantly, is waterproofing. Almost all durability problems associated with chemical deterioration of the concrete or steel, as well as mechanical deterioration, such as freeze-thaw and salt-cr ystal jacking, can be prevented – or considerably slowed down – by making the concrete impermeable to water and, to a lesser extent, gas. Water transports chemicals into the concrete and facilitates chemical reactions. By stopping or minimising water ingress, potential deterioration is either halted or reduced. Gases can also contain chemicals with adverse effects. “Of course, the first two principles are intrinsically linked to making concrete waterproof,” Roxburgh adds.


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Cement & Concrete

Precast excellence builds capacity The flexibility of designing and building in the precast environment is without limits. But, it begins with industry accreditation and training. By Alastair Currie


idely acknowledged as the quality assurance gatekeeper for the precast industry, the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) is committed to ensuring that the highest standards of excellence are rigorously maintained. “We are now close to attaining South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accreditation, which we expect to be finalised by the end of Q2 2017,” explains Frans Minnaar, executive director, CMA. “This will ensure that our members are compliant in terms of the applicable SANS standards.”

“It’s public knowledge that the SABS has been under human resource constraints that have extensively delayed product certification across a wide range of industries. This factor has hampered these businesses – either when working in the private or public arena. Private enterprises have engaged with us to work through the challenge, but within the government business space, precast suppliers cannot transact without SANAS approval, which clearly has been an issue.” According to their website, “SANAS is the only national body responsible for carr ying out accreditations in respect of conformity assessment, as mandated through the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laborator y Practice Act (No. 19 of 2006).”

Frans Minnaar, executive director, CMA

CMACS mark In the meantime, the CMA has proactively developed its own certification system, which directly ties in with SANAS requirements and has greatly fast-tracked the process. This follows the formation of its registered subsidiar y, CMA Certification Ser vices (CMACS) in March 2016 and the introduction of the CMACS mark. As Minnaar explains, the motivation behind the CMACS initiative is the formation of a SANAS-accredited ser vice, which is fully impartial. The CMA has appointed an independent auditor, along with an impartiality committee. The purpose of this committee is to sample CMA

IMIESA May 2017


A strong foundation for infrastructure success

assessments randomly to ensure impartial compliance. Once SANAS approval is in place, the CMACS will be audited by SANAS on a six-monthly basis. In the interim and pending SANAS accreditation, a number of leading contractors have agreed to accept the CMACS mark, based on the evidence of compliance audits per formed at CMACS mark holders.

Maintaining quality Regulation is important in protecting the industr y and downstream customers from entrants that may be producing products that don’t meet SANS requirements. “Ever y precast manufacturer, irrespective of their size, needs to have a quality mark to confirm quality and efficiency.” “Every precast The precast masonr y block market is a prime example. Some manufacturer, ten years ago, CMA members irrespective of in Gauteng were ver y active in their size, needs this segment, but the number of current producers has dropped to have a quality significantly to almost zero. The mark to confirm Western Cape is one of the only quality and regions that has a buoyant CMAapproved manufacturing and supefficiency.” plier base for this product line.The main cause is the entrant of ‘backyard manufacturers’ targeting the housing sector. “It’s our responsibility as an association to protect and inform the consumer about the importance of the CMACS brand.”


Training focus

ROCLA is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products. Surpassing 99 years of product excellence, including pipes, culverts, manholes, poles, retaining walls, roadside furniture, sanitation and other related products within infrastructure development and related industries.

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Maintaining standards is dependent on training and, for this reason, Minnaar says that the CMA’s seminars are increasingly taking on a workshop approach. “There’s a real need to ensure a causal link between theor y and practice.” Work is currently under way on the development of installation training programmes, catering for three industr y segments, namely consulting engineers, mainstream contractors, and new SMME entrants at a subcontractor level. The first courses will cover concrete block pavers (CBPs), and roof tiles, and the CMA plans to launch the first programmes by the end of 2017. “We aim to provide CPD points for registered professionals attending these courses,” says Minnaar, adding that all CMA product lines will be covered going for ward. Traditionally, the CBP product line has been one of the best employment creators for communities in the roads and general infrastructure sector and so this is a logical focus for the CMA. Meanwhile, the roof tile market has real potential, given the major human settlements projects currently being rolled out, as well as those planned for the near future. “In August 2016, we ran a paving workshop, and in March 2017, we ran a workshop on roof tiles nationally, highlighting the latest technologies in this field. These include ‘dr y ridging’ systems, which work well and accelerate the building process,” he expands. “Our training focus, in all areas, will ensure that our worldclass products are installed correctly, ensuring a lasting built environment solution wherever designers and contractors build in precast, which has endless potential for most forms of construction. Plus, precast is a viable and important business opportunity.”


IMIESA May 2017

Cement & Concrete


Building with precast

m od ul ar sy st em sa pp roa ch pro ports ves facility construction


opt ima l at

projects have become a common sight in Limpopo in recent years and play an impor tant role in uplifting affected communities. In addition to creating much-needed recreational space, these developments are an impor tant source of work for the countr y’s emerging contracting sector. A prime example is a new sports complex now under construction for the Collins Chabane Local Municipality, which is due for completion by mid-June 2017. The facility features a grandstand that will be able to seat up to 2 500 spectators as well as two tennis courts and an Olympic-size swimming pool. The construction works are being led by main contractor A & P Civil & Trading, which has a solid track record in public sector-related civil engineering and building projects; the consultant is EVN Consulting Engineers; and the sub-contractor is Corestruc, who is responsibility for developing the bulk of the grandstand. Corestruc is a specialist precast concrete system designer and manufacturer Clifford Ramashia, site manager, A & P Civil & Trading, and his team have been working alongside Corestruc since the latter arrived on-site to start installing the columns and raking beams. One of the key benefits of Corestruc’s modular system is speed of construction. The company’s teams have completed similar projects in as little as eight working days, including the pavilions for the Sekgopa and Lebaka sport complexes. All items are manufactured in controlled conditions at Corestruc’s precast yard and transported to site. Here, they are C installed by an experienced team that guarantees the accurate M placement of every item. Y

Heavy lifting


Each project is unique and Corestruc’s Russell Hobbs says this MY one certainly presented its share of challenges.“On this project, we had to deploy a 160 tonne mobile crane to lift and place theCY CMY 20-odd back columns (each weighing in at 12 tonnes) that make up the 18-bench stadium,” he explains. “Apart from the com-K plexities of accessing the sites, we also had to place the crane strategically to lift each precast concrete segment while work was forging ahead at the other construction faces.” Up to four back columns were installed in as little as two days: the columns and rafters form the basis of the structure and were designed and manufactured specifically for this project. All items used on this site are 60 MPa, contributing towards a robust end product. Gradually working its way to the back and below the

IMIESA May 2017


a ne wm unicip al spor ts complex.

Most of the concrete items are standard issue, providing an additional cost-reduction benefit to the municipality

structure, A & P Civil & Trading had completed more than 90% of the brick work by March, with Corestruc only having to place the roof slabs over the VIP and changing rooms to complete its component Corestruc-105x148 - April.pdf 1 2017/04/05 9:50:40 AM of the build.


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Cement & Concrete

Aggregates are among the most mined materials in the world. But South Africa is still faced with challenges around quality and compliance when producing and using them.

Addressing aggregate compliance By Danielle Petterson


he Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa (Aspasa) is in the process of developing draft documents on quality and laborator y management to help address these challenges. According to Nico Pienaar, director, Aspasa, the quarr ying fraternity is battling

with regular disputes over the quality of material delivered to construction sites. However, the approval of material is often done after the contractor has worked the material. This can change the material’s characteristics, especially under compaction, which can affect its grading, PI and CBR values – all of which are typically critical to its approval.

The accredited laboratories’ results are, for the most part, seen as correct, regardless of what the supplier’s results reflect, explains Pienaar. To resolve this issue, suppliers’ laborator y results need more credibility. The laborator y is the centre of quality control within the quarr y. It is the decider of whether the material conforms IMIESA May 2017


to specifications, and approves or rejects material internally based on the results it produces. Its importance needs to be properly recognised, says Pienaar. To this end, it is imperative that the quarr y fraternity sees the value in having testing facilities on-site. Additional expenditure may be required in the form of staff training, equipment calibration and proficiency testing scheme participation in order to improve these facilities to produce more reliable results. Sampling also needs to be given attention as it is equally as important as the testing. According to Pienaar, sampling is still a major problem in the industr y at all levels of testing and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Furthermore, TMH5 – the guide for sampling materials to be tested for road construction – is considered by Aspasa to be outdated and in need of revision, preferably into a SANS 3001 document with input from all stakeholders to reduce the number of issues arising from incorrect sampling practices.

Finding a resolution Aspasa is now exploring the possibility of developing a system – either in-house or SABS-based – to be implemented in ever y facility. The system would make available the proof of the testing undertaken and the calculation of the results. A broad-based quality-control document is also under development for both the management system and the laborator y facilities, flexible enough to accommodate and assist smaller Aspasa members. It is hoped that these documents will bring more credibility to quarries’ labs and assist in resolving disputes over material quality.

A new direction for Aspasa Aspasa is making changes in 2017, presenting a refreshed offering to the industry. According Pienaar, the organisation will no longer be known as the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa, but will adopt the acronym Aspasa as its title. The association has also changed its constitution to include affiliate members that deal with and produce not only sand and aggregate, but also clay brick, salt and granite. According to Pienaar, the services offered by Aspasa are becoming attractive to companies involved in all aspects of mining – no longer purely sand and aggregate producers. In line with this, Aspasa is expanding its offering to its members, assisting with, among others, legal compliance issues, technical issues, government liaison, and health and safety. Aspasa is also placing a bigger emphasis on training, expanding the courses it has on offer with great success. According to Pienaar, there was a gap in the market for training and Aspasa has stepped in to fill it. “The industry is changing and Aspasa needs to adapt with it,” concludes Pienaar.


IMIESA May 2017

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATES AECOM Afri-Infra Group (Pty) Ltd AJ Broom Road Products Arup SA Aurecon Aveng Manufacturing Infraset Averda Bigen Africa Group Holdings BMK Group Bosch Munitech Bosch Projects (Pty) Ltd Brubin Pumps BVI Consulting Engineers Civilconsult Consulting Engineers Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa Development Bank of SA DPI Plastics EFG Engineers Elster Kent Metering Engcor Engineers Fibertex South Africa (Pty) Ltd GIBB GLS Consulting Gudunkomo Investments & Consulting Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd Henwood & Nxumalo Consulting Engineers cc Herrenknecht Huber Technology Hydro-comp Enterprises I@Consulting INGEROP Integrity Environment IQHINA Consulting Engineers & Project Managers Ix engineers (Pty) Ltd JG Afrika Johannesburg Water KABE Consulting Engineers Kago Consulting Engineers Kantey & Templer (K&T) Consulting Engineers Kitso Botlhale Consulting Engineers Knowledge Base Lektratek Water Lithon Project Consultants (Pty) Ltd Makhaotse Narasimulu & Associates Malani Padayachee & Associates (Pty) Ltd

M & C Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd Maragela Consulting Engineers Marley Pipe Systems Martin & East Masithu Consulting & Project Management Mhiduve Moedi Wa Batho Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd Mott Macdonald Africa (Pty) Ltd Much Asphalt NAKO ILISO Nyeleti Consulting Odour Engineering Systems PMA Consulting Pumptron Pragma Royal HaskoningDHV SABITA SALGA SARF SBS Water Systems Sembcorp Siza Water Servotech (Pty) Ltd SiVEST SA Sizabantu Piping Systems (Pty) Ltd SKYV Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd SMEC SNA Sobek Engineering Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology SRK Consulting Syntell TPA Consulting Ulozolo Engineers CC UWP Consulting Vetasi VIP Consulting Engineers VUKA Africa Consulting Engineers Water Institute of Southern Africa Water Solutions Southern Africa Wilo South Africa WRP WRNA WSP Group Africa



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