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


Bitumen & Asphalt A cure for edge break headaches

Environmental Engineering

Water & Wastewater Municipal groundwater resource management

Gabion interventions


Quality aggregate at the heart of construction success

Renewable Energy & Electrification Striving for net zero emissions

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Reliable measuring results for extreme process conditions Whether level, limit level, density, interface or mass flow: Radiation-based


process instrumentation delivers precise measuring results in industrial

▪ Simple mounting and operation

production and handling processes, and that even under the most difficult operating conditions. Flexibility through detector variety: You can choose between different types of detectors. Detector can thus be optimized for widely different applications becoming the specialist for your particular measuring task.

▪ Maintenance-free operation ▪ Easy adjustment ▪ Self-monitoring and diagnosis ▪ Developed acc. to IEC 61508 ▪ Compact device with integrated inputs for temperature or belt speed

Electronics High sensitivity NaI scintillator for density applications

▪ 4 … 20 mA/HART ▪ Profibus PA ▪ Foundation Fieldbus PVT scintillator up to 3 m length

Display and adjustment module ▪ PLICSCOM ▪ VEGACONNECT and DTM ▪ VEGA Tools app Housings ▪ Aluminium double chamber ▪ Stainless steel double chamber

Flexible plastic scintillator up to 7 m length






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


Water & Wastewater

Bitumen & Asphalt A cure for edge break headaches

Municipal groundwater resource management

Environmental Engineering Gabion interventions

Renewable Energy & Electrification

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

Cover Story Quality aggregate at the hear t of construction success


Quality aggregate at the heart of construction success


Environmental Engineering Wire and stone


Thought Leader

Renewable Energy & Electrification Striving for net zero emissions

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ON THE COVER Quality and consistency of aggregate will make or break a project’s success. All too often, the quality of aggregate is overlooked in favour of price – a choice that can cost the engineer, contractor, and enduser dearly in the long run. P6


3 5 56


The implementation of the BUILD programme



Governance Procurement – from an engineer’s perspective


Africa Round-up Infrastructure news from around the continent



Water & Wastewater Model available for efficient landscape water use 100 Mℓ of water from Ndlambe desal plant How municipalities can effectively manage groundwater resources Leak detection in the Mother City





30 31

Transportation Autonomous cars and ethical AI: Where’s the line? 32 Bundle transpor t planning capabilities to improve public transpor t 34

A cure for edge break headaches Breathing new life into asphalt Putting old tyres back on the road, sustainably

36 40 43

Roads & Bridges Labour-intensive construction is a technology Low-volume roads: potential and pitfalls

Indian contractor sets new slipform paving records Isuzu remains resilient with flexible commercial solutions


Training & Development


Setting the standard for ear thmoving proficiency

22 24

Cement & Concrete

Pumps & Valves Integrated intelligence to solve wastewater challenges

28 29

44 46

Vehicles & Equipment

Trenchless Technology | CCTV Intelligent pipeline inspection using CCTV technology


Bitumen & Asphalt

Construction Industry Development Board Leveraging Industr y 4.0 for a post- Covid-19 recover y

Climate action plan for Johannesburg Renewables, energy storage and the future of smar t cities A greener future through convergence Recommissioning Unit 1 at Eskom’s Drakensberg plant Wind atlas available for South Africa

49 51


Local launch for structural adhesive



Imagine a world without sand





Hydrozoning in landscapes Why is it important to hydrozone in landscapes and gardens? Hydrozoning saves water and money. It improves the landscape design, mimics natural plant communities, minimises the impact on the surrounding natural environment, and simplifies maintenance The concept of hydrozones (hydrostations) is based on the theory that the correct plants should be planted in shade, semi shade or sun depending on plant requirements, as defined by the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS), developed by the University of California. The Landscape Irrigation Model South Africa (LIMSA), developed by Dr Leslie Hoy, is consistent with the WUCOLS model and focuses on individual assessment of each hydrozone within a landscape. Hydrozoning, in this context, is defined as: • A grouping or bed of plants, • Plants with the same water (hydrozone) requirements, • Plants are watered with the same correct amount of water, • Plants are positioned correctly in the landscape, • Each hydrozone has it’s own control valve, and their own specific irrigation system.

The intention of this model is to allow for a more accurate water use on any landscape site to be determined. This is particularly important for sites that will rely on any form of supplementary irrigation over and above rainfall of the area where the landscape is located. This will also apply to sites that require additional watering beyond the initial establishment period. and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60

EDITOR’S COMMENT MANAGING EDITOR Alastair Currie SENIOR JOURNALIST Kirsten Kelly JOURNALIST Nombulelo Manyana HEAD OF DESIGN Beren Bauermeister DESIGNER Jaclyn Dollenberg CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Tristan Snijders CONTRIBUTORS Leslie Hoy, Seydou Kane, Mpilo Mbambisa, Robert McCutcheon, Johan Muller, Gert Nel, Pieter Onderwater, Ivan Reutener, Bhavna Soni PRODUCTION & CLIENT LIAISON MANAGER Antois-Leigh Nepgen PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jacqueline Modise GROUP SALES MANAGER Chilomia Van Wijk BOOKKEEPER Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS PRINTERS Novus Print Montague Gardens ___________________________________________________ ADVERTISING SALES KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Joanne Lawrie Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 / +27 (0)82 346 5338 Email: ___________________________________________________

PUBLISHER Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: R600.00 (INCL VAT) ISSN 0257 1978 IMIESA, Inst.MUNIC. ENG. S. AFR. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________________ IMESA CONTACTS HEAD OFFICE: Manager: Ingrid Botton P.O. Box 2190, Westville, 3630 Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: Website: BORDER Secretary: Celeste Vosloo Tel: +27 (0)43 705 2433 Email: EASTERN CAPE Secretary: Susan Canestra Tel: +27 (0)41 585 4142 ext. 7 Email: KWAZULU-NATAL Secretary: Narisha Sogan Tel: +27 (0)31 266 3263 Email: NORTHERN PROVINCES Secretary: Ollah Mthembu Tel: +27 (0)82 823 7104 Email: SOUTHERN CAPE KAROO Secretary: Henrietta Olivier Tel: +27 (0)79 390 7536 Email: WESTERN CAPE Secretary: Michelle Ackerman Tel: +27 (0)21 444 7114 Email:

Net-zero transitions need collective buy-in


hile environmentalists list green initiatives first on the sustainability agenda, the ways to achieve this are complex and interdependent on socio-economic conditions. In other words, the extent to which any countr y can transition to net-zero emissions targets hinges on having the funds and the community buy-in to achieve it. Ever y sector is affected – from agriculture to construction, mining and manufacturing – and the pressure is on with inter ventions like the Carbon Tax aimed at speeding up the process. Within the energy mix, the World Coal Association (WCA) continues to argue the case for coal, stating that it currently remains the world’s single largest source of electricity, especially for grid power deliver y. Even by 2040, the WCA predicts that it will still constitute around 22% of total global generation. Within emerging markets, like South East Asia, the 2040 forecast is around 40%. Along the way, by-products like fly ash (a coal-fired waste product used as an additive by cement producers) are helping to reduce the carbon footprint and promote a circular economy. Eventually, though, alternatives like green hydrogen and expanding renewable and nonrenewable sources (like waste-to-energy) will steadily displace coal to a greater or lesser extent. Certainly, more so over the shorter term within developed nations. In South Africa, nuclear power is now also back on the table, with a proposal to procure some 2 500 MW of generation capacity. As stated by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, this “must be at an affordable pace and modular scale that the countr y can afford”.

FREE STATE & NORTHERN CAPE Secretary: Wilma Van Der Walt Tel: +27 (0)83 457 4362 Email: All material herein IMIESA is copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa or the publishers. _____________________________________________ Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. IMIESA is ABC audited and certified.

Transportation and mobility Affordability is the key ingredient to any sustainability initiative. A prime example is the electric vehicle (EV) market, which requires investment on a large scale to bring down the unit cost, plus it needs a solid infrastructure support network to make it viable. Within the G7, the UK took a bold position towards the end of 2020, stating that it intends to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. According to a UK government statement, some £1.3 billion (R25.8 billion) have been committed to date to fast-track the EV charging infrastructure across the countr y as part of a much broader investment plan to build the EV supply chain. Additionally, a new UK-government-backed app called EV8 Switch now aids prospective EV buyers in their selection, displaying statistics that show the cost benefits compared to conventional vehicles. Subject to sourcing the necessar y funding, rolling out a similar programme in South Africa would create thousands of new green jobs and reduce transportation costs. It would also bring down our emissions targets significantly. However, a more immediate priority for South Africa is to implement a coherent public transport strategy that ties in with current and future spatial planning. Without government support, sectors like the taxi industr y will struggle to transition. That needs to change because this sector is a vital par t of South Africa’s overall sustainable transport plan, with millions of commuters involved.

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



Infrastructure News

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


Bitumen & Asphalt A cure for edge break headaches

Environmental Engineering

Water & Wastewater Municipal groundwater resource management

Gabion interventions


Quality aggregate at the heart of construction success

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

Renewable Energy & Electrification

IMIESA October 2021

Striving for net zero emissions

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Sustainability in practice When the UN hosted the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, it marked a formal commitment by signatories to take a firm stance on climate change. Close to 30 years later, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) now meets annually to align on objectives and assess progress.


he UNFCCC evaluates signatories’ per formance against targets via the Conference of the Par ties (COP), which is the appointed decisionmaking body. COP26, also referred to as the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021, is the next rendition, taking place from late October to November 2021 in Glasgow and, as we speak, member countries will reflect on the challenges and refocus on the objectives. Historically, major milestones along the way include the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, which established the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For people, economies and the planet to coexist, the

SDGs make it clear that there must be a balance and the freedom to implement within an enabling environment. The SDGs cover areas ranging from education to gender equality, poverty and hunger eradication, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and place an emphasis on industr y innovation and infrastructure.

NDP and NIP In addition to their alignment with the SDGs, countries around the world have adapted them to meet their own unique experiences. A case in point is South Africa’s launch of its National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 in 2012. Key objectives include economic expansion and inclusive growth, job creation, the building of a capable and developmental state, and public-private sector participation. All these initiatives have happened to a greater or lesser extent. However, the fact that South Africa’s Vision 2030 targets are still a work in progress shows that realignment and refocus are required to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. A similar experience is shared globally among developed and developing nations. Within South Africa, this is a key rationale for the new National Infrastructure Plan 2050 (NIP 2050) gazetted by the Depar tment of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI). The NIP 2050 is a ver y comprehensive document prepared by Infrastructure South Africa in conjunction with leading experts.

Bhavna Soni, president, IMESA

To quote a DPWI statement, “The aim is to promote dynamism in infrastructure deliver y and address institutional blockages and weaknesses that hinder success over the longer term. Additionally, the NIP 2050 will guide the way to building stronger institutions that can deliver on infrastructure-related aspirations of the NDP.” IMESA welcomes the NIP 2050 initiative, as we continue to work with public stakeholders at national, provincial and local government level. Among the mandates of IMESA and the construction sector is to help clear procurement impediments that hinder the smooth deliver y of infrastructure so that South Africa can implement the roadmap in terms of our unique NDP and NIP objectives.



Quality aggregate at the heart of construction success


uality and consistency of aggregate will make or break a project’s success – be it in roadbuilding, readymix, concrete product manufacture or asphalt,” says Amit Dawneerangen, GM: Sales and Product Technical at AfriSam. The construction materials leader highlights the extraordinary lengths that are necessary to ensure that aggregate delivers a long-term return on investment. “This includes standard quality control testing on-site at each of our operations,” says Dawneerangen. “Our laboratory staff conduct tests on product as it is produced and stockpiled. The product is given the green light for dispatch only after being subjected to a grading analysis and flakiness index, as well as calculations to determine the fineness and grading modulus.” The fineness modulus is particularly important for sand used in the manufacture of concrete, as this measures the level of fines and influences the water requirement of the mix. These fines affect both the quality and cost of concrete. The relevance of the grading modulus is mainly in relation to G5-type material for road construction. Specifications for the road material will be detailed in the road design and must be met for the contractor to achieve the required compaction of the road material.

“The categories of aggregate available vary widely, according to their specific applications,” he says. “With our range of rock types at our quarries around the country, we also test these at independent, SANAS-accredited laboratories on an annual basis.”

Bedrock of planning, compliance The foundation for AfriSam’s sustainability, reliability and product quality is rooted in decades of good planning and regulatory compliance, says Glenn Johnson, GM: Construction Materials & Aggregates Operations at AfriSam. “A reliable and consistent aggregate value chain begins many years before any stone is actually delivered,” says Johnson. “Extensive research and planning goes into finding, licensing and establishing a quarry with suitable geology and mineralogy, which is close enough to current and future markets.” These mineral deposits must be registered with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, and must remain compliant with a range of demanding regulations. Without the careful selection of the correct type of deposit, he emphasises, it is impossible to produce the quality of material demanded by the various users of construction materials. “With AfriSam’s legacy going back over eight decades, we have plenty of valuable experience in establishing and operating quarries to the

All too often, the quality of aggregate is overlooked in favour of price – a choice that can cost the engineer, contractor and end-user dearly in the long run.

The application of compulsory standards in construction remains a cornerstone of building the country’s infrastructure

highest standards,” he says. “Only in this way can we provide ongoing assurance to customers that we have the right resources for their needs, now and into the future.”

Managing quarry reserves Reserve management is therefore a critical element of AfriSam’s sustainability to ensure that there are adequate reserves of quality products – in close proximity to where they are required by the market. The amount of preparation, discussion and planning that goes on behind the scenes is extensive, he notes. “Cheaper products are often available through producers working a temporary borrow pit or unregulated deposits, but this is where quality can be compromised,” he says. “The danger is that substandard aggregate finds its way into infrastructure and buildings.” This, in turn, affects long-term value for money as structures may not last as long as expected – placing an added financial burden on the end-client or the contractor for unexpected maintenance and repairs. In a worst-case scenario, structures could even

Reserve management is a critical element of AfriSam’s sustainability, to ensure that there are adequate reserves of quality products


The foundation of AfriSam’s sustainability, reliability and product quality is rooted in decades of good planning and regulatory compliance

With AfriSam’s legacy going back over eight decades, the company has valuable experience in establishing and operating quarries to the highest standards

begin to fail during or soon after construction, putting lives at risk.

Sticking to standards The application of compulsory standards in construction therefore remains a cornerstone of building the country’s infrastructure, emphasises Shaughn Smit, regional sales manager, AfriSam. In roadbuilding and bridge building, for instance, consulting engineers must base their proposed designs on the standard specifications of the Committee of Transport Officials (COTO). There are also South African National Standards (SANS) relevant to various construction materials in different applications. “These standards highlight the need for quality in all aspects of the value chain, and aggregate is a fundamental ingredient in this chain,” says Smit. “On the strength of AfriSam’s national footprint of quarries and aggregate operations – guided by our quality systems – we are well placed to provide the full range of contractors’ requirements.” This extends from G1 to G6 material, he says, giving consulting engineers and contractors material that aligns with COTO and SANS specifications – so that they can adhere to the project’s design requirements. Standards highlight the need for quality in all aspects of the value chain, and aggregate is a fundamental ingredient in the chain

Extensive research and planning go into finding, licensing and establishing a quarry with suitable geology and mineralogy

Sharing insights AfriSam’s experience and knowledge in the field of aggregates have allowed it to share valuable insights with project designers and consulting engineers. Dawneerangen highlights the relationships the company has built with these professionals over the years and how this translates into quality solutions, especially for large and complex projects. “Through these engagements, we are able to raise awareness about how our products and their applications are evolving, for better results,” he says. “In addition to talking about the latest developments, we also expose them to our quarries and operations – so they see first-hand how we achieve the quality of product their projects need.” AfriSam’s market-leading technical knowledge of aggregate products also guides engineers when they need to consider alternatives at early stages of a project. For instance, if certain aggregates are specified, but are not available in the area of construction, expert input is required to provide competitive options. “Where projects require it, we may even be able to propose producing a special product,” he says. “Our facilities and experience make it possible for us to achieve these customised

solutions, in close collaboration with the customer.” Even during the project implementation, AfriSam experts are on hand to help troubleshoot, he adds. It is not unusual for contractors to experience challenges in achieving the right compaction levels, even when in-spec aggregate is being used. In these cases, the company’s product specialists can contribute to solutions that reduce risk and save time and money. “This is where our well-established Product Technical Department and our technically competent sales teams come into their own,” says Johnson. “While Product Technical ensures quality compliance within our own facilities, it also works with clients to help produce competitive, high-quality bids for projects.” He also emphasises the importance of having sales expertise underpinned by technical depth – adding considerable value to client interactions at quotation, transaction and implementation levels.

IMIESA October 2021



ZAMBIA RIVERBANK PROTECTION The wall begins to take shape Workers prepare the bank and foundation. The fence in the river is designed to discourage marine life, including crocodiles, from entering the construction zone

With the gabion mattresses installed, workers begin establishing the wire baskets for the initial 1 m high wall at the base of the retaining structure

WIRE AND STONE The strength of hightensile steel wire has been used for generations to form seemingly simple cubic boxes filled with rock to form structures commonly referred to as gabions. Modern-day fabrication techniques have significantly extended the design and application boundaries, says Clinton Cheyne, operations manager, Gabion Baskets, citing recent projects. By Alastair Currie 8

IMIESA October 2021

A section of the gabion mattress foundation at an advanced stage of completion. Note the steel plate working platform extending out into the river


erived from the Italian gabbione, gabion structures are designed to create a natural interface that blends in and essentially ‘breathes’ with the environment due to their approximately 75% or higher stone composition. The voids are there to intentionally ensure permeability, which is especially well suited to mass gravity retaining walls that must provide a degree of controlled drainage, whether in a bridge abutment role or for riverbanks or marine installations. Being rock-filled, water can pass through to a greater or lesser extent with the added incorporation of permeable or impermeable membranes, depending on the designer’s intention.

Zambezi River erosion In a recent riverine example, Gabion Baskets

secured an order for the supply of gabion baskets and mattresses for an erosion control protection project on a section of the Zambezi River near Chirundu in southern Zambia. This section borders a private property that extends to the riverbank. In addition to providing technical drawings and design advice, Gabion Baskets conducted in-depth training for locally employed workers, with a South African trainer deployed on-site during the key construction phases. “Before the preparation works could begin, though, the contractor first had to install a temporary 2 m high protective fence in the river, boarding the site in case a crocodile came to visit,” says Cheyne. “This was certainly a new take for us on an environmentally engineered solution.” For this project, a combination of gabion systems was installed, depending on


HONEYDEW BUILDING ENTRANCE The perimeter layout incorporates weld mesh gabions with space for planting shrubs

erosion severity at points along the bank. In some cases, up to 3 m of the original bank had been lost to the river. Interventions include standalone gabion mattresses installed at an angle of some 33 degrees, and gabion wall sections at 1 m or 2 m heights, founded on mattresses. The scope also included the repair of existing gabions installed locally some seven years ago that were in an advanced stage of deterioration. The fact that the contractor at the time didn’t install gabion mattress foundations was a contributing factor.

Temporary working platform “A key challenge was that the river embankment has a very small toe and the contractor needed to excavate back into the embankment to create a suitable platform wide enough for placing the mattress base,” explains Cheyne. “The riverbed also slopes steeply away to depth from the toe. Aside from the depth, the installers also couldn’t work in the water due to the crocodile threat. We thus recommended the installation of a temporary 5 mm steel plate working platform extending out into the river on designated sections. The mattresses were built on top of the steel plate. This worked very well. As the mattresses began to fill with rock, they held the steel plate horizontal. Once the applicable mattress sections were completed, the plates were removed.” Gabion Baskets supplied its standard hexagonal double-twisted mesh panels. The wire specification is Class A galvanised. “It’s not unusual to expect at least a 50-year life from a gabion river retaining wall, but that does depend on a number of criteria,” he explains. “Beyond correct design and installation procedures, corrosion protection is a must, and although the standard zinc-coated steel wire manufactured is fine for land-based structures, it won’t last beyond a reasonable period in environments that will be submersed and exposed to potential scour, flotsam impact and corrosion. Ideally, a more advanced Galfan coating is recommended, often in conjunction with an additional PVC coating,” he continues.

The welded mesh gabions complement the company’s mosaic entrance panel design

Gabion islands Back in South Africa, work continues on a mixed-use residential and office development in Secunda, Mpumalanga. A key element is a lake, which was drained to enable the construction of an approximately 300 m long gabion retaining wall. For this project, Gabion Baskets completed a detailed site assessment, design proposal and costings, securing the order for the supply of the gabion systems, as well as training. Another interesting element has been the developer’s decision to construct gabion islands. “The concept of gabion islands is a really innovative adaptation. Simple to construct, and with an earth-filled centre, the aesthetic appeal of these installations is another example of out-of-the-box approaches to traditionally environmentally engineered designs. We’re seeing this increasingly on both civil and building projects, as architects, engineers and developers embrace the beauty and simplicity of wire and stone combinations,” says Cheyne.

Demarcation A major growth in landscaping and architectural gabion designs underscores the increasing popularity of the natural stone appeal for installations that include building cladding, boundary walls, and barrier structures that delineate between parking spaces and properties. An example of the latter is a welded mesh gabion project recently completed by Gabion Baskets in Honeydew, Johannesburg.

SECUNDA GABION RIVER PROTECTION & ISLANDS This gabion island creates a distinctive feature for a property development in Secunda. The gabions for the island and the retaining wall in the background were supplied by Gabion Baskets

“The client wanted to establish a perimeter delineation in front of its entrance, using four free-standing welded mesh gabion baskets as the central design, bordered by L-shaped gabion wing walls – the latter including a central pocket for the planting of scrubs,” Cheyne explains. The framed boxes were fabricated by Gabion Baskets using 40 mm x 40 mm x 3 mm angle iron sections. The wire mesh panels are placed flush against the inside edges and held in place by the rock infill. Ornamental rock forms the exterior faces, while the interior fill was sourced from building rubble. “This is a cost-effective way to create attractive effects, while at the same time recycling waste material that would otherwise end up in a landfill,” says Cheyne.

Project management and quality control Increasingly, Gabion Baskets is being called in to provide design recommendations and installation support. In response, the company has now appointed a full-time project manager to assist clients and contractors with quality execution. From a throughput perspective, Gabion Baskets also recently upgraded the production lines at its Johannesburg factory to meet rising volume demand. One of the major changes on its welded mesh line is a switch to the use of hog ring guns in place of the more time-consuming hand-lacing technique. The pneumatic gun dispenses a hard wire clip at set intervals to instantly bind panel sections together. These clips are manufactured to Class A galvanised or stainless-steel specification, as specified. “Each project is unique in terms of shape, size and design. It’s an exciting opportunity to deliver on our out-of-the-box approach by assisting clients to create customised and sustainable engineered solutions,” Cheyne concludes.


The implementation of the BUILD programme

The Construction Industry Development Board’s (cidb’s) Best Practice Project Assessment Scheme – coined the BUILD programme to underscore its objective – sets out to professionalise, grow and transform the industry. IMIESA speaks to Ishmail Cassiem, BUILD leader and director: Construction Industry Performance Programme, about practical implementation, and funding mechanisms to achieve this.


argeting projects valued at R60 million and above, the BUILD programme places joint responsibility for its execution on public and private sector clients and contractors. The goal is to foster greater collaboration and commitment by pooling financial and mentorship resources, repositioning the construction sector, and placing it on a sustainable growth path. The cidb’s BUILD programme came into effect in April 2021 and is mandated in terms of the cidb Act (No. 38 of 2000). In total, 14 best practice, or performance, standards will govern the BUILD programme’s roll-out – the first two having been gazetted by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure in September


IMIESA October 2021

2020, as per Government Gazette 43726. The first two, as well as future standards, will be a contractual requirement in current and future tender documents. The initial two standards comprise: The Standard for Indirect Targeting for Enterprise Development through Construction Works, where, for each project above R60 million, public and private sector clients are required to provide a financial contribution based on a 0.2% fee and capped at a maximum of R2 million. To qualify, project should have a minimum six-month duration. The Standard for Indirect Targeting focuses on the development of emerging contractors on public and private sector projects through subcontracting and joint venture partnerships. Also factored in are the 30% community participation goals as stipulated by National Treasury. In turn, the Standard for Developing Skills through Infrastructure Contracts, aims to increase the pool of qualified young professionals, as well as learners from TVET colleges in terms of their experiential training. To facilitate this process, clients must allocate 0.25% to 0.5% of the project’s contract value, depending on the class of works. This standard applies to projects with a minimum duration of one year. These initial two standards are currently only applicable to the cidb’s General Building and Civil Engineering categories for cidb Grade 7 to 9 contractors. However, over time, all cidb categories, like Electrical and Mechanical, will be incorporated. Each cidb grade has a maximum tender value limit that they qualify for, as determined by a range of criteria and capabilities. For Grade 7 cidb contractors, their threshold is currently capped at R60 million – the starting point for BUILD. Grade 8 contractors are capped at R200 000 million, while there are no project value limitations for Grade 9s.

No cost for contractors “The important point to emphasise is that BUILD does not place any additional financial pressure on the contractor. In fact, contractors don’t pay a cent towards the implementation of BUILD. So, there’s nothing to distract from their role and responsibility


The cidb is currently at an advanced stage of finalising pro formas and practice notes that need to be included in future tender documents to accommodate the requirements of the first two BUILD standards.” for implementing the standards according to their conditions of contract. The client – public or private – is responsible for the funding provision,” explains Cassiem.

Register of Projects The BUILD programme’s management control mechanism is the cidb’s Register of Projects. It is a legal requirement for all public sector projects above a value of R200 000 to be registered. Additionally, all SOE and private sector projects above R10 million must be listed on this register. “The cidb is currently at an advanced stage of finalising pro formas and practice notes that need to be included in future tender documents to accommodate

the requirements of the first two BUILD standards,” says Cassiem. “This will ensure that there’s a uniform process for mandatory reporting – within set timeframes – once a project has reached practical completion,” he continues. The first three cidb practice notes in the pipeline will comprise a general overview of the BUILD programme. The second will provide guidelines for client implementation, while the third will explain the ins and outs to contractors and professional service providers.

with the intention of guiding individual contractors through to formal registration with industry-recognised certification bodies,” Cassiem expands. A portion of the funds derived from the BUILD programme will also be used to upskill government personnel responsible for supply chain management. “Capacitating officials within infrastructure departments is crucial so that budgets allocated are correctly spent, and contractors get paid within the legislated 30-day timeframe,” he explains.

Contractor and supply chain development

Other standards in the pipeline

As the BUILD programme gains momentum, a portion of the funds collected will be reinvested to capacitate and develop cidbregistered contractors, especially those in the upcoming Grade 1 to 6 band (projects valued at R10 million and below). The BUILD fund will be ringfenced and governed by a specialist team within the cidb, who will be responsible for monitoring and auditing. Business development advisory services and construction mentors will be provided regionally via the cidb’s provincial offices. “Helping SMME contractors to grow and sustain their businesses is a fundamental objective in closing competency gaps and effecting meaningful transformation in the construction sector,” says Cassiem. “As the starting point, we will assess each CIDB contractor against local and internationally accepted performance benchmarks. “To be sustainable, contractors must master project management and financial management, as well as have a solid understanding of the legislative requirements and law of contract. In addition to this, courses will focus on safety, health, environment and quality programmes,

The first two BUILD standards will bed down the process as the initiative progressively evolves to integrate all the players within the South African built environment. Other BUILD performance standards themes planned include: Contractor Performance Reports, Green Buildings, Health and Safety Plans and Auditing, Occupational Health, Building Information Modelling Systems, and Quality Management. “With the foundations and frameworks established, BUILD is now moving into the implementation stages with a measureable platform to develop people, communities and lasting infrastructure. It’s certainly a new, exciting era for the cidb as we translate policy into practice,” Cassiem concludes.

Ishmail Cassiem, BUILD leader and director: Construction Industry Performance Programme

IMIESA October 2021



Leveraging Industry 4.0 for a post-Covid-19 recovery The cidb, in conjunction with the University of Johannesburg’s cidb Centre of Excellence, hosted its first annual State of the South African Construction Industry Seminar in October 2021. Robust presentations from local and international thought leaders explored the challenges to do the work also has a major impact on and opportunities. quality, cost overruns and wasteful expenditure. By Alastair Currie The point made is that transitioning aspirants


he world as we know it has always faced challenges, and history shows that few, if any, are insurmountable. This is underscored by innovators born out of the first Industrial Revolution that emerged in the mid-18th century with inventions like the steam engine. Racing forward in time, we now live in the so-called Fourth Industrial phase, or Industry 4.0, which is another leap forward in terms of technological evolution. The goal for society is to balance the motive for profit with that of common good. Bongani Dladla, Acting CEO for the cidb, said, “The purpose of this seminar is to unpack the complexities and to leverage the opportunities in construction, using innovation as a driving force to advance transformation.” Dladla stressed that new opportunities and skills need to be created within the context of Industry 4.0. “We also need to ensure that we have the capacity to retain existing expertise, which is essential for mentorship and skills transfer.”

Ethics defines us Across the board, South African presenters acknowledged that corruption remains endemic, undermining transformation and progress. The appointment of contractors that are not qualified


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into registered cidb contractors has to come with recognised industry qualifications, training and accreditation.

An analysis ‘Planning the flight and flying the plan’ is standard practice within the aviation sector. Within the South African construction sector, however, too few projects of significant value have gotten off the ground on a significant scale to alleviate the current fortunes of local construction. This is despite a promising pipeline of projects unveiled at landmark events like the recent Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium 2021 in October. Presenting at the seminar, Professor John Smallwood, Department of Construction Management at Nelson Mandela University, provided a synopsis from his most recent State of the South African Construction Industry survey. Smallwood was part of the cidb 2004 Status Report research team. The survey included the rating of 76 aspects/ parameters, with public and private sector respondents scoring on a scale of very poor to very good, plus an opt-out for those who were unsure. Some 53.3% had an honours degree or higher, and the mean for years of experience and the age of respondents was 23.9 and 50.6, respectively. In turn, 16.4% were women, and the balance men. Revealingly, 68.4% of the aspects’/ parameters’ mean scores (MSs) were > 2.60 and ≤ 3.40, which indicates a rating between

poor to average. “The results show that our construction economy is not healthy and has been in decline for years. However, the arrival of Covid-19 almost broke the industry’s back,” said Smallwood. Highlights from the survey summary reveal the following MS results per aspect/parameter. In general, MSs < 3.00 indicate the rating is poor, as opposed to good: - Skills development: 2.54 - Mitigating corruption: 1.94 - Research and development: 2.51 - Retention of people: 2.46 - Mental health: 2.38 - Promptness of payment: 2.30 - Sustainability of businesses: 2.29 - Digitalisation/Industry 4.0 implementation: 2.27. “Essentially, what the survey shows is that the construction industry has been captured, and work is going to unqualified companies masquerading as contractors. That must stop immediately, along with rampant corruption, which, left unchecked, will kill the industry,” said Smallwood.

State of the Global Construction Industry Nothing functions in isolation. This was the thrust of Professor Roger Flanagan’s presentation, speaking virtually from the University of Reading. Flanagan has been involved on projects and initiatives across the developing and developed world, including South Africa. He underscored the importance of flexibility in the ‘race to the future’ and that staying the


distance and winning required a whole new set of tactics. Covid-19 is a key inflection point, but he highlighted many others in the present, like climate change. Geopolitical conflicts are also intensifying, with an increasing blurring of the boundaries between the cyber and the physical world. Flanagan stressed that, in order for construction contractors to survive, it can no longer be about winning at the lowest bid. That’s not sustainable. He also pointed out that present contractual formats needed to shift with the times, harnessing the latest design, manufacturing, and supply chain technologies to maximise value and function for all parties. He acknowledged the balance between embracing technology and sustaining jobs, especially in the context of the Covid-19 economic slump. Plus, Flanagan underscored the importance of technology collaboration locally and internationally to optimise fit-forpurpose solutions. As he stated, “The old competitive models don’t fit anymore. For this reason, future policy decisions must be informed by research and what works best in practice.”

Relevance and resilience This is a view shared by Brian Bruce, former CEO of Murray & Roberts who has been retired since June 2011. His presentation was entitled ‘Our relevance in a new society post Covid-19’. Bruce is one of the pioneering champions that led to the formation of the cidb, based on his exposure to an existing model implemented in Malaysia. As an internationally renowned former captain of industry, Bruce pointed out

that it’s essential for leaders to respond to the reality of constant change. “Essentially, the world is increasingly becoming an overpopulated high-tech global village with huge complexity, and South Africa needs to catch up,” he said. “Responding to infrastructure demands depends on an accurate determination of current and future demographic trends, and a comprehensive understanding of urban dynamics. That way, governments will have a far more accurate forecast of the anticipated demand for future construction services and the available resources,” he said.

Technology tools Speaking about ‘The illusion of control in an automated construction industry’, Professor David Edwards from Birmingham City University noted that Industry 4.0 will influence future work. However, technological trends will need buy-in from the construction sector. “Machine intelligence is a tool to harness, but machines cannot make reasoned choices,” said Edwards. “And any new technology will need to be based on its inherent value.”

Air pollution and health Since sustainability needs to factor in people, the economy and the environment, there will be a mix between older and Industry 4.0 interventions. Dr Obuks Ejohwomu from the University of Manchester presented on the topic ‘Air pollution and health burden: unmasking plant and equipment emissions in the built environment’, which showed that construction machines account for more than 50% of emissions from construction operations. These emissions are also responsible for a high number of global deaths annually related to poor air quality. Diesel engines are also greenhouse

The purpose of this seminar is to unpack the complexities and to leverage the opportunities in construction, using innovation as a driving force to advance transformation.” gas emitters. The key takeaway was that, while hazards like dust and other airborne emissions can be mitigated, earthmoving machines will be diesel powered for the foreseeable future. (A ‘lives versus livelihoods’ scenario.) However, over time and as battery-powered solutions develop, this may well change, plus there are alternative fuel sources in the pipeline, like green hydrogen.

Industry 4.0 versus the world of work Technology helps to make the world more connected and responsive. But the bottom line is that people come first, and they need sustainable employment. Closing out the seminar, Gregory Mofokeng, representing the Black Business Council in the Built Environment, pointed out that the lack of sufficient work threatened the financial viability of many smaller tier contractors (cidb grades 7 and below) and consulting engineers. It also made the industry’s transformation goals much harder to achieve. Key inhibiting factors include a lack of access to finance, delayed payments from public and private clients, delay or the cancellation of advertised projects, and pervasive corruption. “We must improve engineering and construction management capacity within government – especially local government. Achieving this depends on a strict recruitment policy where only qualified and experienced personnel can be appointed. That’s the only way true sustainability and transformation can take place,” he added. To conclude with a quote from Professor Smallwood, “Construction is a science, art, craft and profession.” It’s also the foundation for society, and Industry 4.0 provides new tools in terms of its current and future implementation.

IMIESA October 2021



Procurement – from an engineer’s perspective A significant problem with the delivery of projects is the low capacity of municipalities to establish requirements for what is being built, and to award and administer contracts. Gift Mphefu, chairperson: Gauteng Province Branch at Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), talks to Kirsten Kelly about public procurement issues.


here are a number of challenges that construction firms or consulting engineering companies face when it comes to procurement in the public sector environment, and this threatens the sustainable development of infrastructure in South Africa, as well as the country’s economic growth,” explains Mphefu. Some of these problems are: • non-payment or late payment by public sector clients • requests for proposal issued without adequate scope of works or services (that are impossible to price) • three-year contract duration/restriction imposed by Section 33 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (No. 56 of 2003) that regularly clashes with/disrupts long-term construction contracts


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• abuse of SA Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulation 32. Procurement has been used by governments all over the world to stimulate economic activity. The South African Constitution has made provision to use procurement as a policy tool to address economic, social and political issues. It is there to protect national industry against foreign competition, improve the competitiveness of industrial sectors and remedy regional disparities. Procurement is also used to achieve social policy objectives to: create jobs, promote fair labour conditions, protect the environment, promote equal opportunities between males and females, and prevent discrimination against disabled people. “However, too often, public entities do not follow the necessary procurement processes

and this often results in unhappy parties, litigation and poor-quality construction, creating a risky environment for engineering consulting firms. It has become clear the current procurement processes do not always support the objectives of the Constitution,” says Mphefu.

Managing risk Mphefu believes that consulting engineers need to be firm with their ‘public clients’. “As engineers, the sustainability of the businesses that we own or work for is paramount. We need to address these problems because if we don’t, many emerging small mediums and micro enterprises will fail.” He suggests that the solution lies in best-practice procurement. Best practice is defined as the technique or methodology that consistently yields successful or optimum outcomes for an organisation. These are best practices for the procurement of engineering consulting services based on an international study: • strategic planning – identify objectives and determine key drivers needed to achieve objectives and facilitate alignment of the tactical and individual actions of the organisation with its long-term objectives • quality management


• professional services (procurement manager) • standardisation of operational processes, documentation and reporting • operations manual for consultant procurement and contract management • training and certification for contract managers, procurement personnel, and professional services consultants to communicate process and policy, gain feedback and buy-in, and stabilise operations • automation systems for data, document and project management to improve communication, allow automatic data capture, prevent redundant data entry, improve document accuracy and reliability, and reduce personnel needs • contract-specific procurement plans that establish procurement deadlines, objectives and a plan for resource allocation once the need for professional services has been identified • indefinite delivery contracts for common and or routine work types to take advantage of shorter and more efficient procurement, and to provide flexibility to respond to funding issues • lump-sum contracting for projects with appropriate characteristics to mitigate project risk, encourage professional service provider efficiency, and reduce administrative burden • performance metrics that will allow the department to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the procurement and contract management of professional services consultants • performance evaluation to implement an assessment policy that obtains feedback from all entities involved in procurement and administration, including professional service providers, contractors and other interested stakeholders.

Local solution “I did a survey with local companies (consulting engineers, contractors and subcontractors) involved in the procurement

space to find out what they would consider best practice based on the problems they encounter,” adds Mphefu. This is the feedback that he received: • Use of quality criteria in the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (No. 5 of 2000), a point scoring system. This will encourage firms to improve the quality of service to the benefit of the sector. Current threshold requirements reduce quality to the minimum acceptable level. • The use of construction contracts (New Engineering Contract, FIDIC) in construction procurement. These forms of contract cover traditional and turnkey procurement. • Distinguish between professional and non-professional consultants. Tailored procurement strategies should be used for professional services contracts, in line with cidb and National Treasury. • Engineering consultants can be procured and used to manage infrastructure procurement if required. Clients lacking capacity can easily outsource technical aspects of infrastructure procurement to consulting engineering firms. • Practical procurement of recurring services. • List of approved engineering consultants. The use of panels allows clients to fasttrack the procurement process. The panel is a list of approved consultants already assessed on quality and BBBEE. • Infrastructure tenders awarded according to the scope of work of the project. It is cost-effective and reasonable to employ consulting engineers to complete the scope of infrastructure projects within suitable timeframes of not more than three years. • Award projects by quotes. Having a minimum of 10 bidders involved satisfies competitive tendering requirement and eliminates overpricing. “Infrastructure delivery cannot take place without collaboration between engineers,

government and other relevant stakeholders. The method in which these professional service contracts are procured and managed can have a substantial impact on organisational resources, employment creation, infrastructure cost and quality. By facilitating and making sure that procurement processes are easier, and the companies and services appointed can deliver, many social and economic problems can be addressed. We must always remember the two constitutional principles that directly impact the use of procurement as a policy tool in South Africa – the right to equality and the attainment of value for money,” concludes Mphefu.

Gift Mphefu, chairperson: Gauteng Province Branch at CESA and managing director at Med-Tech Engineers. He is a PhD researcher attached to the Postgraduate School of Engineering Management at the University of Johannesburg

IMIESA October 2021




NIGERIA Modernising Flour Mills’ power generation facilities Technology group Wärtsilä will supply fuelflexible dual-fuel engines to extend, improve and modernise power generation for a captive power plant at Nigeria’s oldest and largest food and agro-allied company, Flour Mills Nigeria. The company’s Lagos-based power plant is needed to ensure sufficient capacity and a reliable electricity supply around the clock to meet its food production requirements, and commitments to its customers. Wärtsilä has received two orders. The first order comprises a nine-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine generator set and is an extension to the existing generating capacity provided by a similar Wärtsilä engine generator set that has been successfully operating since 2017. The second order comprises a 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engine generator set and is intended to replace


ETHIOPIA Boost to youth employment and crosscountry electricity trade The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Ethiopian government have signed two separate grant agreements: • US$47 million (R697 million) towards an industrial parks and youth project that will see the development of irrigation and water management infrastructure around the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks. This will offer opportunities for graduate ‘agri-preneurs’ to establish agro-related, commercially viable businesses. • $71 million (R1.05 billion) towards the Ethiopia-Djibouti Second Power Interconnection Project, which aims to boost electricity trade between Ethiopia and neighbouring Djibouti. With the Agro-Industrial Parks, the Arab Bank for Economic Development is also providing financing of about $50 million (R741 million), in addition to a $5.2 million (R81.5 million) contribution from the Ethiopian government itself.


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an existing, inefficient mono-fuel generating asset in the plant with efficient dual-fuel generating capacity as part of Flour Mills Nigeria’s captive power plant modernisation plans. The Nigerian government’s Vision 30:30:30 document for the power sector aims to achieve a capacity of 30 000 MW of electricity by the year 2030, with at least 30% being supplied from renewable energy sources. The selection of fast-starting and -stopping Wärtsilä engines means that, should the customer have access to solar or wind power in the future, these engine generator sets can provide smart backup generation to balance the fluctuating supply from renewables. Wärtsilä holds a leading position in supplying flexible power generation to West Africa, with 4 792 MW of capacity installed, of which 667 MW is in Nigeria. Wärtsilä has operated in the country since 2010 and has around 90 employees locally.

The programme entails the development of 12 607 ha of irrigated land, while 3 000 youths will receive agronomic and business development training. Irrigation infrastructure will: strengthen water users’ associations; protect the watershed areas around the irrigation schemes; go towards training farmers and youth agri-preneurs on soil and water conservation practices, agricultural production, value addition and marketing; and support established youth SMEs to access credit. The Ethiopia-Djibouti Second Power Interconnection Project involves the construction of about 300 km of interconnector lines, as well as 170 km of transmission lines to reinforce the network within Ethiopia, and the new construction and expansion of substations in the two countries. In Djibouti, expected benefits include a 65% increase in customer connections and a sharp reduction in the use of thermal generation plants from 100% to around 16%. In Ethiopia, the project should lead to higher incomes.

Replacing 316 km of water distribution pipeline The Société Nationale des Eaux du Sénégal (Sones) is working with Sen’Eau, the company that operates and distributes drinking water in urban and peri-urban areas, to replace 316 km of pipes in the drinking water distribution network in the city of Dakar. This will save approximately 45 000 m3 of water and improve the distribution of drinking water from various plants. Work will begin once negotiations with the concessionaires are finished and the international call for tenders has been completed.


ZAMBIA Lusaka Sanitation Programme gets funding support

ZIMBABWE Solar power for 15 Total service stations Distributed Power Africa, a subsidiary of the Econet Global group, has begun installing solar panels at Total service stations in Zimbabwe. Total Zimbabwe, the subsidiary of French oil company Total Energies, wants to reduce the dependence of its service stations on the public electricity grid and be better equipped to cope with load-shedding. During load-shedding, Total Zimbabwe has had to turn to generators that are more expensive to maintain and operate. The company estimates that the adoption of solar photovoltaic energy will enable its service stations to reduce their dependence on the national electricity grid and diesel generators by 30%. It will also enable the petroleum distributor to reduce its electricity bills. In Zimbabwe, the oil company has 101 service stations that currently operate on grid electricity or diesel generators. Total Energies wants to equip 5 000 of its service stations with solar photovoltaic systems in 57 countries – most of them in Africa. These installations will have a cumulative capacity of 200 MWp, against a total investment of US$300 million (R4.44 billion).

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the KfW Development Bank have provided €102.5 million (R1.78 billion) and €33 million (R572 million) respectively to the Lusaka Sanitation Programme. This will support the transformation of public health in the Zambian capital through improved access to sanitation for 525 000 families, the expansion of wastewater treatment at two new plants in Chunga and Ngwerere, and the construction of 520 km of sewerage pipes. Access rates to safe sanitation are not increasing fast enough, and boosting the wastewater treatment capacity in Lusaka will form the backbone for upscaling access to safe sanitation and hygiene, particularly for poor households. The Lusaka Sanitation Programme will reduce the prevalence of waterborne disease and pollution in local rivers.

MOZAMBIQUE US$1.8 billion to improve urban drinking water supply Mozambique's Water Supply Investment and Participation Fund (Fipag) states that an investment of US$1.8 billion (R26.7 billion) will make it possible to guarantee drinking water services for between four and five million people in Mozambique’s major cities. For the moment, the rate of access to drinking water in Mozambique is 54%. To reach its water supply target, Fipag also intends to reduce losses from the current 47% to 30% by 2024. The Mozambican Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources has set up a 10-year investment programme, comprising projects that aim to strengthen the resilience of urban communities against the effects of climate change that have negatively impacted Mozambique in recent years.

IMIESA October 2021



Intelligent pipeline inspection using CCTV technology Whether for new installations or the maintenance of existing pipeline systems, condition assessment is a foremost and ongoing process. Ryan Osborne, general manager at Bodotex, expands on the key role played by CCTV systems in providing a live view of sewer and water system health. By Alastair Currie


s a specialist supplier to the trenchless technology market, Bodotex keeps abreast of the lasted trends. Technologies offered in the range include CCTV crawler camera systems, patch repair products, cured-in-place (CIPP) liners, UV curing systems, resins for felt lining, mechanical seals, and cutters. “We provide the support and the technical expertise so that customers can gain the best value from specific technologies,” says Osborne.


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One of its largest CIPP projects to date is for a 1.8 km sewer upgrade in Durban, where Bodotex is supplying international technical CIPP skills and a UV CIPP liner curing system from ProKASRO to refurbish a 1 400 mm diameter pipeline. “Asset management and ongoing maintenance are crucial for any water or wastewater network, and there’s huge scope across South Africa for CIPP refurbishments, given our ageing infrastructure,” he continues. “As the starting point, the process begins with routine inspections and condition assessments, and this is where CCTV units come into their own.” Within South Africa, Bodotex is the official distributor for IBOS, a Czech original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with over 20 years’ experience in the CCTV field. IBOS solutions range from push-rod self-levelling cameras to high-tech electrically powered all-wheel-drive crawler units deployed on bulk water and sewer lines. Bodotex is also the local distributor for ProKASRO, a leading German OEM whose name stands for ‘progressive sewer rehabilitation robotics’. ProKASRO’s product

solutions include UV technology and cutters. The key advantage for customers is that certain IBOS and ProKASRO processes are interchangeable and interlinkable. The IBOS remote controller, for example, can control a ProKASRO working robot used for milling, grinding, filling, moulding and injection operations.

Laser measurement One of the top IBOS crawler models is the CamBoss 150_IV, which can be supplied with a cable length of 300 m and 500 m installed on a fully automatic reel. Fitted with intelligent lasers in the camera head, the CamBoss 150_IV can be configured to measure key parameters like distance, cracks, holes and connections in the pipe, diameter and continuous ovality, as well as sediment

build-up. Onboard software translates the data captured into predetermined condition assessment reports. Optional software modules further enhance the CamBoss 150_ IV’s functionality. The reports generated then assist asset owners in determining the next steps – e.g. to clean, rehabilitate or replace the pipeline.

Proactive interventions “However, the ideal approach is to proactively manage a pipeline system from its commissioning, rather than taking a

reactive approach when unplanned faults occur, which tends to be the case far too often in the South African municipal environment. A pipeline tends to be a forgotten asset until failures start to occur. Then the true value becomes very evident,” Osborne continues. Bodotex focuses on a continuous education drive to inform municipalities and utilities about pipeline technology and the importance of planned maintenance. “We also believe a CCTV inspection training programme should be created for SMMEs to support municipalities in pipeline asset management,” says Osborne. For routine inspections, more affordable push-rod CCTV units are a great starting point for SMMEs to learn the basics before advancing towards top-end, sophisticated crawlers.

Researching the best options For established contractors looking to add CCTV to their technology suite, Osborne stresses the importance of indepth market research, and to think carefully before buying a second-hand unit. The price point may be attractive, but what about the age of the technology? Is it on the verge of becoming redundant? For example, there may be limitations in terms of resolution and data capture, which are not upgradeable. “Also, make sure that there’s well-established service support and parts availability. Through our OEMs, we can guarantee this, plus we have standby rental crawler units in place,” Osborne continues. An obvious consideration is the robustness of the unit. That equally applies to the cable, which is the critical interface between the controller and the camera. In IBOS’s case, its units come equipped with some of the thinnest and lightest cables on the market – an important feature because it minimises drag on the crawler. IBOS’s cables are further protected by an outer Kevlar sleeve.

Interchangeability Interchangeability is another key consideration – for example, the ability to change out the chassis, wheel diameters, and camera lenses to suit the specific pipeline conditions and/or inspection criteria. As Osborne points out, lenses can get damaged, so ease of replacement is essential; plus, if a more advanced lens/laser technology is introduced, provision should be made for this in terms of retrofitting. “Top-end crawler units should comfortably be able to work in a range of pipeline diameters – say, from 150 mm upwards – and fulfil a myriad of tasks and reporting functionality. Choosing the right OEM and supplier will ensure that contractors get the best return on their investment. Every technology is application specific and, in the case of CCTV, it’s an exciting and rapidly evolving market, backed by cutting-edge software development,” Osborne concludes.


Model available for efficient landscape water use

Plants with the same water needs should be grouped

Landscapes consume between 0.52% and 60.79% of water supplied for urban use – proving that the ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work and does not support water conservation as required for the ornamental and amenity landscaping industry. By Dr Leslie Hoy, Environmental Management Services, Rand Water


uring times of drought or when there is insufficient water in storage dams, water restrictions are imposed. Note that a drought may be experienced in the catchment area of a dam while the urban area supplied with water from that dam may be experiencing good rainfall. In every single case to date in South Africa, the watering of landscapes is impacted when restrictions are imposed.

It is, therefore, critical that landscapes are: • designed, constructed and maintained in such a manner as to apply/use the least amount of water possible while still enhancing landscape aesthetics • managed with as little water as possible from the start – this ensures that the plants are sturdy, and robust and that root systems are more well developed and deeper growing • resilient in their entire make-up and functioning.

Intention and aim of LIMSA

Low water use plants grouped together in the same hydrozone

Hydrozoning decreases water use and increases plant productivity


IMIESA October 2021

The Landscape Irrigation Model of South Africa (LIMSA) is intended for use at the design, installation, and maintenance phase of a landscape. For the design phase, besides determining anticipated site water use, it allows for the landscaper to change some of the input factors for the design, thus influencing possible water use up or down. This could be used by the designer to assess input costs against long-term water savings and other water availability challenges that may occur. The intention of this model is to allow for a more accurate water use on any landscape site. There are several high-level benefits that can be achieved with the use, implementation and continual updating of the LIMSA model for landscape sites. Some of these benefits are: • There is an increased awareness of specifically how much water should be required for the site, as well as each hydrozone. • By specifically calculating and improving water use on-site, this will result in

short-term (some) and long-term (more so) financial savings for clients and landowners. • The model is comprehensive in considering the most pertinent aspects of a site that will influence water use. • Implementing the aspects in the model on a site will assist in improving the overall management of the site beyond the design and construction phase. • Using and implementing the model requirements will allow for the site to be more resilient and more likely to be able to withstand dry periods. • Implementation will allow for landscapes to contribute in a positive manner towards water conservation in South Africa, while still promoting aesthetically pleasing sites. For more information, visit the Rand Water website ( and click on the Water Wise logo. Alternatively, email us at or call us at 0860 10 10 60. We also have a presence on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

100 Mℓ of water from Ndlambe desal plant The Ndlambe Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant reached the 100 million litre milestone of water pumped into the municipal reticulation system in Port Alfred.


e’d like to thank the Depar tment of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Newground Projects, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the municipality for supporting this project,” says Musawenkosi Ndlovu, director of Quality Filtration Systems (QFS). “The combination of a 2 Mℓ/day desalination plant and 3 Mℓ/day water reuse plant is a power ful and sustainable solution (reduced electricity and running costs) as a coastal town drought-buster. Furthermore, the quality of the water from the desalination plant is far beyond the requirements of SANS 241:2015,” adds Ndlovu.

The municipality is the first in the countr y to combine a desalination and wastewater plant on one site. Deputy Minister of the DWS David Mahlobo, a microbiologist by training, was highly impressed with the quality of the water and endorsed the implementation of water reuse as a solution for drought-stricken areas around the countr y. “A project of this nature is technically complicated and advanced. The per formance of the plant has improved substantially and we congratulate the project team for making this possible,” explains Louis Fourie of Newground Projects. Aimed at dealing with the crippling water crisis brought on by protracted periods of drought, the multimillion-rand plant is fitted with technology to treat and process seawater so that it is suitable for human consumption. The plant is fully automated to ensure there is no human error and the water quality produced is not compromised. QFS will continue to operate and maintain the plant for the next three years, during which time it will operate a skills-transfer programme for local residents. A major part of the project is being funded through a Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant from the DWS.

L-R: Thembani Mazani (councillor: Infrastructure Portfolio), Musawenkosi Ndlovu (QFS), Ray Schenck (chairperson: Project Steering Committee and local ward councillor), Onke Sopela (manager: Water Services, Ndlambe Local Municipality), and Dawie van Wyk (Port Alfred Ratepayers Association)


How municipalities can EFFECTIVELY MANAGE groundwater resources

Sustainable groundwater supply by municipalities goes beyond the drilling of boreholes and installing state-of-the-art monitoring systems


he importance of groundwater supply has increased substantially over the past five years, as the impacts of global warming and associated droughts have been painfully felt across the country. Dams, rivers and other surface water resources have largely not been receiving the necessary recharge to sustain user demands. In many municipalities where SRK Consulting is assisting with groundwater management interventions, we have seen a drop in water levels in recent years. The declining water levels are not just as a result of drought conditions, however; there is also an ever-increasing demand on available water, and municipalities face considerable pressure to increase their pumping rates to satisfy the increasing water demand. This contributes significantly to reducing groundwater levels.


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Monitoring boreholes A first step in managing groundwater resources is to put systems in place that can monitor water levels, ideally giving decision-makers real-time data that can be acted upon timeously. Telemetr y technology, for instance, can be applied to groundwater management and monitoring, making it possible for town officials to control the pumps at all their production boreholes – and to do this from a single location. The municipality can therefore access data on each of their production boreholes with the press of a button.

Water levels in boreholes are not a clear reflection of how much groundwater is available for abstraction.”

As South Africa comes to rely more heavily on groundwater sources, many municipalities have to deal with decreasing groundwater levels. Reasons include the growing needs of communities being supplied, as well as rainfall variability due to climate change. So how can these factors be responsibly managed as we seek sustainable answers to our water needs, asks Gert Nel.

In our experience of applying such systems, they prove invaluable by quickly delivering information on the water level in a borehole – as well as its pumping rate and total volume abstracted. Data can be sent wirelessly to a super visor y control and data acquisition system at the municipality, where it can be captured and stored. Officials can therefore see, in real time, which of the production boreholes present declining water levels, or are not pumping to their set capacity. Pumps can also be stopped and started from this central location.

Managing supply and demand Through scientific pump testing, combined with the interpretation of data by a geohydrologist and the installation of telemetric groundwater monitoring systems, a well-field of boreholes can be accurately monitored. Of course,


the monitoring itself does not make groundwater supply sustainable. If water levels are low, restrictions need to be put in place, and the water users must be alerted. This can be done through social media, posters, radio broadcasts and other communication channels. While the water level of a dam can be readily measured and communicated to consumers, it is not quite so simple to determine the percentage of groundwater left in an aquifer. Water levels in boreholes are not a clear reflection of how much groundwater is available for abstraction.

Monitoring of well-field boreholes starts with scientific pump testing

Complexity in measurement If a borehole is 100 m deep, for example, and the water level drops to 50 m, it does not mean that there is still 50% capacity available. The ground below a water level is not always saturated up to the depth of the borehole. For this reason, there are scientific methods to determine, with reasonable confidence, the volume of groundwater available in an aquifer. It also needs to be remembered that sur face water is recharged immediately during and after rainfall, but recharge to groundwater can take months – and even years – depending on the aquifer’s depth. There is no guarantee that a borehole will recover after the next rainfall season if it has been pumped dr y. Indeed, it may never recover to its original production. Many municipalities therefore struggle to manage their groundwater resources, even with the best technology. Telemetric systems will quickly inform officials if the borehole or well-field is in trouble, but not what they should do about it – and how much time remains before the borehole dries up. If a borehole is depleted, then drilling more boreholes will not be the answer.

Partnerships for sustainability Sustainable groundwater supply by municipalities goes beyond the drilling of boreholes and installing state-ofthe-art monitoring systems. It requires a partnership with a geohydrological company, or the appointment of a senior geohydrologist within the municipality. It is a process that starts with a geohydrologist identifying the available groundwater resources in and around a municipal area. These ‘source areas’ are then delineated and further investigated in terms of yield potential and water quality.

SRK Consulting conducts and facilitates geophysical drilling target selections

Within the source areas, existing groundwater use (such as private boreholes), recharge and potential contamination sources (like waste sites, fuel stations, cemeteries and abattoirs) must be taken into account when developing a groundwater management plan (GMP). SRK conducts and facilitates a range of related ser vices: from groundwater feasibility assessments and geophysical drilling target selections, to water drilling, pump testing, environmental impacts and resource management. Once the scientific assessment has been completed and the GMP compiled, the road to long-term groundwater sustainability begins. This sustainability journey also demands the full participation of the residents, local business, the agricultural sector and public sector (schools, clinics and hospitals). These users and stakeholders have the responsibility to use water sparingly and to play their part in protecting the source areas against over-abstraction and pollution. If users understand the resource limits and the impact of groundwater contamination, they will buy in to the plan more easily. However, the municipality must also show its commitment towards water conser vation by ensuring that source areas are protected, and that there are no leaks in the water distribution system. Further, it must keep the users informed on the status of the groundwater sources. Groundwater

education and awareness building can start at school level, where learners and their science teachers are most open to new information. They can, in turn, connect with their parents and disseminate information, spreading awareness in a fun and open manner. Perhaps this involvement in the science and management of groundwater can encourage learners to pursue a career in water, even returning to their hometowns as qualified water engineers or geohydrologists. With sustainable water management now a key requirement for our future, there is no reason not to plan actively for such a scenario.

Gert Nel, partner and principal hydrogeologist, SRK Consulting

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Leak detection has been identified by the Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WC&WDM) Strategy of the City of Cape Town (CoCT) as one of the best methods to minimise water losses in its reticulation network. By Kirsten Kelly

Leak detection in the MOTHER CITY


he City concentrates on detecting both visible and non-visible leaks, supporting reticulation depots to pinpoint the location of existing leaks, and improving the leak repair response time to a maximum of 48 hours,” says Unathi Noludwe, senior technician: Water Demand Management Division, CoCT.

Non-visible leaks Different types of equipment are used by the CoCT to detect non-visible leaks: • Mechanical listening stick – used at all contact points (meters, valves, fire hydrants). • Noise loggers – deployed on pipe fittings and programmed over a period of time (recordings are usually taken at 02:00). • Leak noise correlators – this needs accurate information around the pipe material and diameter. Then the exact location of certain noise profiles (such as hissing leak sound) on the pipe are determined by correlating the noises that reach both sensors and Damp areas on the ground or very green grass patches surrounded by dry grass are visual indications of a leak

TABLE The CoCT’s leak detection results over the past three years

Year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21

Network coverage (km) Number of leaks detected 5 471 323 4 640 568 6 662 262

measuring the difference it takes to travel on the pipe from the leak location to each sensor. • Data loggers – measures the flow and pressure of water in order to analyse the minimum night flow. • Ground-penetrating radar – locate the pipe direction and depth.

The CoCT uses four leak detection methods: • Visual leak detection – drive or walk on streets to inspect reticulation networks for obvious ground leaks. There is a 3 km target per team per day. • Localise – conduct leak noise surveys by using a listening stick and noise loggers. • Locate – identify a leak location by use a leak noise correlator. • Pinpoint and confirm – find the exact leak location by using a ground microphone. “We also use step testing as a leak detection method. Step testing is the process of localising leakage into specific pipe segments of the distribution system for subsequent replacement or repair. It is conducted at night when there is low demand, as we often shut off certain valves. A leak is usually found in an area with a disproportionate drop in flow,” adds Noludwe.

Leak detection in non-discrete areas can be challenging, as it is difficult to isolate the leak

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Total savings (Mℓ) 4 4.4 5.89

due to feedwater from other areas. “The CoCT has therefore developed a different approach where a score card is used,” explains Noludwe. Parameters like type of pipe material, age of infrastructure, average pressure, pipe burst record, soil type, period of supply, leak detection record and type of land use are included on the scorecard. Leak detection will be prioritised in areas with a high score.


Non-discrete zones


One of the leak detection methods used by the CoCT is a mechanical listening stick

Discrete zones Discrete zones are monitored by controllers like i20, Zednet, MyCity and MNF/AF. The minimum night flow (MNF) is compared to the average flow, and leak detection is considered if the MNF is more than 30% of the average flow. “We also use the SanFlow model (night flow analysis) that helps in identifying key problem zones. It uses the MNF, average pressure, number of connections, number of properties and the residential population as part of its calculation. Unavoidable annual real losses formulae are also used,” states Noludwe.

Results “Over the past three years, we have covered the entire water distribution network of Cape Town by using non-visual methods. Most of the leaks occurred by the water meters, followed by service connections,” adds Noludwe. Going forward, the CoCT aims to cover 100% of its network on an annual basis by 2031. The metro also wants to pilot and explore new leak detection technologies.


Integrated intelligence to solve wastewater challenges


aunched more than 60 years ago, Xylem’s Flygt brand represents a long history of pioneering development of products and solutions for handling water and wastewater; with the first submersible drainage pump and the first submersible sewage pump. A fully integrated pumping system, Flygt Concertor’s design works in harmony with the external pumping system to reduce total costs of ownership while delivering the highest quality and reliability. It senses the operating conditions of the environment and adapts its performance in real time to provide feedback to station operators. “The name Concertor relates to the harmony between built-in software functions and hardware, which creates efficient asset management, trouble-free pumping and energy savings at a reduced investment. Concertor combines a fully integrated control system, IE4 motor efficiency, Xylem’s patented Adaptive N-hydraulics and intelligent pumping system functionalities. The control system automatically adapts to the changing pumping environment to deliver optimal performance at the lowest costs. The built-in intelligence also makes it easier to set up and operate, as well as allowing for a significantly smaller footprint,” says Chetan Mistry, strategy and marketing manager, Xylem Africa. In terms of pump asset management, due to the wide range of pump curves that can be accommodated, the need to identify real pumping design requirements before sizing and choosing suitable pumps is removed. One self-adjusting pump can efficiently replace several differently sized pumps, reducing inventory by up to 80%. This makes product selection much easier, with adjustable performance curves that can be fine-tuned remotely or on site, reducing

backup inventory, making spare part handling easier and reducing delivery lead times. For trouble-free pumping, built-in features such as clogfree operation reduce the need to call out vacuum cleaning trucks – by up to 80%. “Cleaning out sludge, sand, grease and other debris from a sump tank can be an unpleasant and costly task. While standard pumps are designed to combat many of these issues, Concertor takes trouble-free pumping to an entirely new level,” says Mistry. With built-in sump, pipe and pump cleaning, as well as automatic clog detection and phase rotation correction, the Flygt Concertor system’s self-cleaning hydraulics and self-monitoring functionality are ideally placed to protect key system components, using the variable-speed drive and its control electronics placed in a stable submerged environment. “Studies show that energy accounts for 34% of the total life cycle cost of a typical wastewater pumping system. Concertor is a true energy-saver, with the potential to cut municipal electricity bills by up to 70% compared to a conventional wastewater pumping,” adds Mistry. Concertor also reduces energy use in several ways. For example, Xylem’s patented self-

Xylem’s new Flygt Concertor wastewater pumping system is designed for 1 kW to 10 kW pump stations.

optimising Energy Minimiser automatically ensures that all working pumps at any station are running at their most efficient duty points. The pump’s motor complies with IE4 efficiency standards, while Xylem Flygt’s adaptive N-hydraulics, in high chrome HardIron™, guarantees sustained efficiency on the hydraulics side. Investment is reduced because the cabinets required for the system are up to 50% smaller compared to direct online pump controllers. Concertor achieves this by including the variable frequency drives, control electronics and climate control equipment into the pump to give a single, pre-engineered and configured pumping system. This frees up space in both existing and new cabinets, allowing for full monitoring functionality without the larger cabinets that would traditionally be required. As it is fully integrated, no additional climate control equipment is required; the system is factory configured and tested. On installation, it requires only a connection to a small cabinet to give access to the simple installation wizard and the built-in supervision and monitoring functions.

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for Johannesburg Cities such as Johannesburg and Nairobi face elevated risks from rising temperatures due to being inland and, as a result of the urban heat island effect, an increasing risk of precipitation and flooding (and, in some cases, drought).


mbitious climate change targets have been set by cities across the world, including Johannesburg. Its Climate Action Plan (CAP), developed between 2018 and 2020, aims for net-zero emissions and a resilient city by 2050. In this work, the city has been supported by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group through its Climate Action Planning Programme, as well as engineering consultants Zutari. The Johannesburg CAP is led by Thapelo Letete, technical director: Climate Change and Sustainability, Zutari. Prior to the Paris Agreement, Johannesburg was already at the forefront of low-carbon development and resilience planning. Its long-term vision, known as the 2040 Growth and Development Strategy, made provision for a resilient, liveable, sustainable urban environment compatible with a healthy natural environment and underpinned by infrastructure supportive of a low-carbon economy. A CAP was compiled for the most feasible scenarios to achieve the identified adaptation and mitigation targets. The process kicked off with a climate change risk and vulnerability assessment in the form of detailed mapping of climate change risks and various temperature and precipitation scenarios, and how those related to flooding, temperature increases and water-

supply issues. Some modelling was also undertaken to understand the impact of the various risks, followed by identifying specific actions to be undertaken, and a scoring of those actions against multiple criteria. “In Africa and the developing world, there is increasing acknowledgement of the importance of mitigating climate-change risk, particularly in cities like Johannesburg,” points out Letete. The mitigation scenario modelling determined possible means and targets for Johannesburg to achieve its net-zero emissions goal by 2050. Three scenarios were produced: • business as usual (BAU) • existing and planned actions • ambitious actions.

Business as usual The BAU scenario assumes no actions are undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The existing and planned actions scenario was informed by current national, regional and local policies and programmes, as well as market trends, adjusted downwards based on certainty of

Thapelo Letete, technical director: Climate Change and Sustainability, Zutari

implementation. The ambitious actions scenario, on the other hand, was informed by discussions, iterative follow-up communications and check-ins with relevant departments and other entities to identify an ambitious but realistic set of key actions that can be implemented. Under the BAU scenario, emissions for Johannesburg are projected to grow by 133% by 2050, with the fastest growth in stationary energy, followed by transport. Existing and planned actions will see emission reductions below the 2016 base year of 3% by 2030, followed by a 2% increase in emissions by 2040 and a 17% increase in emissions by 2050. With ambitious yet achievable actions, Johannesburg’s emissions can be reduced to 43% below the BAU scenario by 2030, 70% by 2040 and 81% by 2050, representing a 57% reduction of total emissions from the 2016 base year. Johannesburg has committed itself to pursuing the ambitious action scenario and has adopted the

Johannesburg is at the forefront of low carbon development and resilience planning (Credit: Steffen Lemmerza)


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a shared vision, and the CAP report is certainly a highly successful example of this approach,” notes Letete.

Future Cities South Africa

For more information about the Sixth Assessment Report from the International Panel on Climate Change, scan the QR code above

following emissions reduction targets: 25% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and 100% (net-zero emissions) by 2050, as compared to the 2016 baseline. “The challenge posed by climate change is that it cuts across many different sectors and departments, which is a challenge for many cities and institutions that are still very silo-based. However, at the end of the day, we all have to work together to achieve

Zutari’s combination of urban planning, engineering and climate change expertise has also come together to support a unique alliance of organisations and independent specialists comprising the Future Cities South Africa (FCSA) initiative, in conjunction with PwC (UK and South Africa), Open Cities Lab, Palmer Development Group, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading, and the Isandla Institute, among others. The FCSA is the delivery partner for the South African component of the Global Future Cities Programme, managed by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The initiative aims to support Johannesburg,

There is increasing acknowledgement of the importance of mitigating climatechange risk, particularly in cities like Johannesburg

Durban and Cape Town with the urgent challenges of sustainable development. This has resulted in the scoping and delivery of several projects, with Zutari overseeing the development of a Strategic Area Framework for Soweto, which is also integrating some of the recommendations from Johannesburg’s CAP.


Renewables, energy storage and the future of SMART CITIES ‘Smart cities’ are no longer considered just a buzzword. They are a topic of constant conversation, and they’ve already come to fruition across the globe. From Singapore to San Francisco, organisations, government officials and city planners have made incredible efforts to support the development of intelligent communities. By Seydou Kane


ith smar t cities and the general population on the rise, one of the major issues facing industr y leaders today is how to power these interconnected cities effectively and efficiently. As a result, many global leaders have publicly asked for a suitable and sustainable answer – one that would support critical infrastructure yet not add to the global emissions challenge. While joblessness and migration from rural poverty to anticipated urban wealth have led to rapid urbanisation in South Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, putting pressure on limited resources, designing smart cities – or even including


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elements of smart cities in existing metropolises – may help communities leapfrog obstacles that would impede more complex locations. The increasing need for such a solution, coupled with the dropping costs of renewable technologies, has made the transition to a fossil-fuel-free environment more likely than ever before. In the last year alone, global renewable energy investment has increased to the point where it’s now surpassing investment in fossil fuels, according to a recent UN report. From wind to solar, nations all over the globe are taking advantage of this shift to create innovative and energy-efficient solutions from natural power. In Saudi

Arabia, a US$200 billion (R2.96 trillion) solar power development has recently been signed off, potentially tripling the countr y’s electricity generation capacity. Over in China – one of the most highly populated countries in the world – the Jiuquan Wind Power Base, also called the Gansu Wind Farm Project, was recently approved by the government. The wind farm, which is currently installing capacity of more than 6 000 MW, is projected to grow to a total of 10 000 MW, solidifying China’s ambition to be a global leader in renewable energy. South Africa is home to eight of the ten largest solar plants in Africa, including the 175 MW Solar Capital De Aar project, the 100 MW KaXu Solar One project (South Africa’s first commercially operated thermal electric power plant), and the 100 MW Ilanga-1 CSP Plant, among others.

What’s next Though renewable energy is the way of the future, there are still some concerns about how this will all be feasible – especially as our cities continue to get bigger, smarter and more demanding. This uncertainty has led many industr y leaders to start asking


valid but tough questions. For example, as renewable energy from wind and solar is weather dependent, will we be able to be permanently independent of coal, oil and natural gas? And with the shift to electric cars, will our energy system be able to handle the increased demand on the grid? The answer? While clean energy technologies are evolving tenfold, much more flexibility will be necessar y for these energy sources to provide the reliability we require. This includes investing in interconnected systems, having ample control over when and how we use energy, and – most importantly – safe, reliable and efficient energy storage.

Business benefit for energy storage Today’s energy storage solutions provide business owners with the unique opportunity to not only invest in renewable energy projects, but to also benefit from their excess. The surplus energy that is

generated from renewable sources, such as solar or wind, is stored and used later when they are no longer generating energy – further eliminating emissions from imported electricity. This excess energy can also then be sold back to the grid, giving businesses the chance to improve on their own return on investment, while lowering overall energy costs. Investing in batter y storage projects like microgrids also enables businesses to ensure reliable power continuity during grid outages – especially during peak times. This is particularly interesting for financial investors, as many see this as a way to play on the grid ser vice markets. There is no doubt that smart cities are the future – and many would even argue they are our present. But given their environmental impact, and their ability to put vast amounts of pressure on the grid, the way that they’re currently set up is simply unsustainable. The need for renewable energy sources has come to a

head, and while many nations are taking the right steps for ward, more needs to be done. A strong, efficient and sustainable future depends on the creation of smart technologies to provide flexibility – and energy storage is just the first step. Because without sustainability, the smart cities we envision are likely to remain closer to fiction than reality.

Seydou Kane, managing director, Eaton Africa

A greener future through convergence


ne of the biggest energy challenges going forward is to make electricity efficient and visible – an evolutionary Schneider Electric calls

process that Electricity 4.0. “The world’s energy demand continues to be met by fossil fuels that are distributed by systems that are passive and outdated,” says Taru Madangombe, vice president: Power Systems, Schneider Electric. “This means that we need to upgrade each stage of the value chain – from generation with cleaner energy production, to distribution that includes microgrids closer to the point consumption, and energy usage that incorporates metering and smart technology,” he continues. “When we then bring

Electricity 4.0 into the equation, we start making real strides.” As Madangombe points out, electricity is the most efficient energy (proven to be three to five times more efficient than other sources) and it is also the best vector for decarbonisation. It offers near 100% maximum thermal efficiency when it comes to ‘useful energy’. “Also, while electricity demand is projected to double by 2040, six times more electricity will also come from renewables, which translates into a massive jump from 6% to 40% in the next 20 years,” he explains.

apps, analytics and software, we can then deploy energy more efficiently, which results in massive savings,” adds Madangombe. “Ultimately, Electricity 4.0 allows us to become more efficient and to transmit electricity with less loss and waste. However, for us to gain the most from Electricity 4.0, we must upgrade our transmission grid. This will entail substantial commitment and investment, which can only be achieved through public-private partnership,” Madangombe concludes.

The convergence At its core, Electricity 4.0 represents the convergence of electricity and digital. An important benefit is the establishment of smart energy measurement and waste reduction. The technology already exists to digitalise electrical distribution, making it visible to grid operators, and providing insights into how it’s used. “When you then add smart devices,

Taru Madangombe, vice president: Power Systems, Schneider Electric

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Recommissioning Unit 1 at Eskom’s Drakensberg plant


ar thinusen & Coutts (M&C), a division of Actom, completed a significant rewind in midNovember 2020 after being contracted by Voith Hydro, based in Germany, to wind the stator of Unit 1 at Eskom’s Drakensberg pump storage scheme. The massive stator winding contract, performed by a winding team from M&C under the supervision of Voith, was the final stage in the refurbishment of three of the station’s four 250 MW motor-generator units. Eskom engaged Voith to refurbish Unit 1. M&C has worked with Voith over several years on projects that include a stator rewind at Eskom’s Ingula pumped storage scheme. The 6.5 m diameter stator was wound in situ under Voith’s supervision after removal of the rotor. Deploying a Voith-supplied winding kit, the winding teams were required to install a total of 720 heavy-duty stator bars that had to be connected in an extremely complex bus arrangement. “Our teams had to undergo special training by Voith technicians before getting started on it,” explains Richard Botton, CEO, M&C.


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Recommissioning Covid-19 travel restrictions at the time prevented Voith from flying one of its senior engineers from Germany to recommission the unit. In response, Voith requested M&C to complete this phase of the project, which was carried out by Rob Melaia, executive: Engineering & Technical, M&C. Previous power plants commissioned by Melaia as part of M&C contracts include the N’zilo hydro station in Katanga province, DRC, in 2013 and the SA Bureau of Standards’ National Electrical Test Facility’s High Power test laboratory in Gauteng last year. Senior technicians at Voith’s head office in Heidenheim, Germany, provided detailed instructions on the required procedures. “By the time I got there, I was thoroughly briefed about what I was required to do. The process was challenging, and I had to give it all my attention,” explains Melaia. “The one single thing that gave me the greatest confidence was knowing that M&C had done the winding of the stator. I wouldn’t have felt so confident if anyone else had done it.” M&C successfully performed the recommissioning of Unit 1 over a period of five days in March 2021.

DRAKENSBERG PUMPED STORAGE SCHEME Location Northern Drakensberg, KwaZuluNatal, close to the town of Bergville History Construction of the scheme started in 1974 and the last unit was put into commercial operation in 1981. A special feature of the station is that it is constructed entirely underground with only a dam wall, lift shaft buildings and transmission lines visible at the surface. The four reversible pump turbines are situated 52 storeys below ground level. Technical details - 4 x 250 MW generating sets - Installed capacity of 1 000 MW - Nominal operating head of 450 m (Source: Eskom)


Wind atlas available for South Africa The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) has completed the third phase of its Wind Atlas South Africa project (WASA 3). This is the mapping of wind (as a resource) in the country that can be used for feasibility studies in support of wind energy projects.


lthough it is possible to build a wind farm anywhere in the country – wherever land is available – there are some areas better suited to the production of electricity from wind than others. But how does one know where the best wind resources are found? This is where WASA comes into play. WASA is financially supported by the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility, through the South African Wind Energy Project (Sawep). The government of Denmark co-funded WASA 1 and WASA 2. • WASA 1 (2009-2014) covers the Western Cape and areas of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. • WASA 2 (2014-2018) covers KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and remaining areas of the Eastern Cape. • WASA 3 (2017 to 2021) covers the remaining areas of the Northern Cape and the rest of South Africa. Ms Lethabo Manamela, interim CEO, Sanedi, explained that the wind atlas provides a graphical representation of the wind resources available in various areas of the country. This information is primarily used by investors wishing to build wind farms in South Africa. “In order to place wind turbines in areas where

they will benefit from the available wind resource, one needs to know where the best wind resources are. Nineteen masts (covering 75% of South Africa’s land area) were erected over a period of 10 years to collect data about wind resources,” says Andre Otto from Sawep. Over and above the data collected from the 19 masts, further data has been supplied by the South African Weather Service (SAWS). SAWS has 111 weather stations, which hold 50 years’ worth of wind data. This data has been compacted to a range of wind speeds between 36 m/s and 44 m/s. Where wind speeds were below 36 m/s, they were increased to 36 m/s; and where they exceeded 40 m/s, they were capped at 44 m/s. “Wind power is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. Therefore, the energy

that can be extracted from the wind is highly affected by the speed of the wind. Computerderived digital (or numerical) modelling is used to convert global wind data through a process of meso- and microscale modelling, with each step increasing the resolution and incorporating the land topography to estimate the local wind resource,” Otto adds. WASA 3 used new and improved software, which increased the speed of processing while reducing computer power requirements. Work on a prospective fourth phase – WASA 4 – is expected to begin soon.

The wind atlas provides a graphical representation of the wind resources available in various areas of the country

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Autonomous cars and ethical AI: Where’s the line?


here’s a notion that AI should work for people and enhance our lives – but that it should never replace people. Instead, it should replace mundane, repetitive tasks, through faster computing of algorithms and access to data sets for pattern recognition. The applications of AI are endless. For example: • CCTV cameras and facial recognition software increase security in public places, transport hubs, and at events. • In finance, credit providers use AI to vet loan applicants based on factors such as their credit record and spending behaviour. • When integrated into self-driving cars, AI can help to detect vulnerable road users, enforce speed regulations, and discover the best route for travel based on historic and current destination patterns and driver behaviour.

Ivan Reutener, leading professional: Smart Mobility, Royal HaskoningDHV


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However, AI causes concerns, especially if proper regulations regarding the ethics of AI applications are not correctly implemented, and transparently monitored. The problem is these regulations don’t yet exist. We have guidelines for AI development, such as Isaac Asimov’s (1942) famously proposed ‘Three Laws of Robotics’, designed to guide the moral action of machines: • Law 1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. • Law 2: A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. • Law 3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. But, at the end of the day, guidelines are not enforceable. They’re merely suggestions. This is why I believe that human oversight is critical when implementing AI, especially if we’re to address: • Immediate concerns: Here-and-now questions about security, privacy, or transparency in AI systems. •M edium-term concerns: Such as the impact of AI on mobility, militar y use, medical care, or justice and educational systems. • L onger-term concerns: What are the fundamental ethical goals of developing and implementing AI in society? These concerns apply not only to highprofile cases, such as deaths caused by

Where is the line between artificial intelligence (AI) ethics and human rights? And what exactly is ethical AI? These are questions I often ask myself as someone who works in the smart mobility industry, with a focus on connected autonomous vehicles. By Ivan Reutener, Pr Tech Eng

autonomous vehicles (AVs), but also to ever yday – but still significant – use cases, such as in automated decisions about parole eligibility or creditworthiness when applying for a loan.

What is AI ethics? Before we can regulate AI ethics, we must first understand it. Ethics help us to distinguish between good and bad, right


and wrong, and address questions such as: “What is justice, well-being, or equality?” As a discipline, ethics entails using conceptual analysis, thought experiments, and argumentation to systematise, defend and recommend concepts of right and wrong behaviour. According to a recent study (Jobin, et al., 2019), AI ethics has rapidly converged on a set of five principles: • Beneficence or non-maleficence: AI should be used for good and not to cause harm. • Responsibility or accountability: Who is accountable if AI causes harm? • Transparency and ‘explainability’: Do we understand what AI does and why? • Justice and fairness: AI should be fair and non-discriminative. • Respect for human rights: AI should respect and promote human rights.

AI ethics and smart mobility The following can be noted when implementing AI in smart mobility, focusing on current challenges for AI ethics, what role AI guidelines play in shaping the discussion, and how things might develop in the future: • We can do more, better and faster, with the support of AI. • The more people who benefit from the opportunities of having a smart agency ‘on tap’, the better our societies will be. • Responsibility is thus essential considering the type of AI we develop, how we use it, and whether we share its advantages and benefits with ever yone. The absence of such accountability poses a risk.

This could happen not only because we have the wrong sociopolitical framework, but also because of a ‘black box’ mentality, according to which AI decision-making systems are beyond human comprehension – and thus control. SAE International, a leader in technical learning for the mobility industr y, recognises five levels of automation in the context of selfdriving vehicles: 1. Hands on, no automation (e.g., cruise control) 2. Hands off (driver still monitors driving) 3. Eyes off (driver can turn attention elsewhere, but must be prepared to inter vene) 4. Minds off (no driver attention required) 5. Steering wheel optional (human inter vention is not required). We’re only at Stage 1. Before we advance to the next stage, we must address the immediate concerns. Public safety is a major concern when it comes to the deployment of AVs, especially after several high-profile deaths have been linked to their use. With this emerging technology, liability is a major concern, and efforts to investigate accidents are hampered by a lack of standards, processes, and regulator y frameworks. Did you know that California is the only state in the US that requires AV manufacturers to log near-misses? AVs also raise concerns about drivers’ and passengers’ privacy and data protection rights since manufacturers collect significant amounts of data from their vehicles.

There are also infrastructure concerns. AVs have the potential to alter urban environments, necessitating additional infrastructure (such as AV-only lanes), which will affect traffic congestion and necessitate the expansion of 5G network coverage. In the long run, AVs have the potential to improve road safety. This is because most vehicle collisions are caused by human error (fatigue, speeding, reckless driving, lack of maintenance, driving under the influence, etc.). AVs can also reduce traffic, improve access to mobility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport industr y. While no one can predict exactly how AI will affect our lives, we’re in a position to make a difference. There are real risks, as there are with most emerging technologies. However, if AI is developed and deployed in an ethically sustainable manner, it could have many positive consequences — not just for individuals and societies, but for the entire planet. The direction we take is entirely in our hands.


Bundle transport planning capabilities to improve public transport The quality of service that public transport (PT) passengers experience in South Africa is very much dependent on the planning capabilities of government, which has historically not always been adequate. The National Land Transport Act sets out the responsibilities for PT planning and includes the introduction of transport authorities and transport planning entities. By Mpilo Mbambisa* and Pieter Onderwater**


n rural areas, PT is poorly available and unsafe, with long trips that are slow, infrequent, and expensive. In urban and metropolitan areas, PT is better available, but trips are still long, slow and expensive. Also, the different modes of PT are hardly integrated – i.e. road and rail. The National Land Transport Act (No. 5 of 2009; NLTA) requires that transport planning be developed by the lowest competent level of government. As a result, the responsibilities for PT are scattered over multiple spheres of government and entities. Planning for rural and urban minibus taxis is the responsibility of municipalities. However, licensing of minibus taxis is a duty of provinces, as are subsidised buses. The introduction of bus rapid transit systems is a metro responsibility, but metropolitan rail’s responsibility lies at a Prasa/National Department of Transport (NDoT) level. Therefore, implementing an overarching integrated PT network (IPTN) depends on too many different parties at present. Also,


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most municipalities and some provincial departments have insufficient capabilities to execute transport planning functions.

Transport planning functions as per NLTA The NLTA outlines the transport functions and locates them in the appropriate sphere of government. National government is responsible, among others, for: • formulating legislation • publishing national land transport policy, with the aim to increase the use of public transport • setting regulations and requirements for a wide array of transport issues • monitoring policies and planning • establishing national information systems • the National Land Transport Strategic Framework. The NDoT has developed numerous legislative documents, national policies and discussion papers on several transport issues. The

Mpilo Mbambisa

Pieter Onderwater

challenge, however, lies in the implementation of these policies. Provincial government is responsible, among others, for: • implementation of provincial land transport policy • ensuring the link with matters having an impact on transport in the province, including land use management, environmental issues, population growth, economic development and investment in infrastructure, to facilitate integration and efficient transport • coordination between municipalities to ensure the effective and efficient execution of land transport in the province • keeping a provincial information system • the Provincial Land Transport Strategic Framework. This list indicates that provinces are responsible for translating the national policy into planning, and the coordination of implementation. In the NLTA, the municipalities are considered to be the most appropriate sphere to perform the transport planning functions and implementation. They are responsible, among others, for developing land transport policy and strategy within their area, based on national and provincial guidelines, which incorporates spatial development policies. The NLTA comprises a long list of municipal duties, requiring a wide variety of expertise over time to be executed as transport authorities.

Transport authorities The larger metropolitan municipalities have already started the process of becoming


transport authorities in terms of the NLTA. The future intention is that all relevant transport planning functions devolve to these transport authorities, including metropolitan rail transport, subsidised bus services, and the issuing of operating licences. This will improve the integration and quality of PT services. However, some of the smaller metros and many rural municipalities are not yet ready to become a transport authority, as they are not always fully equipped.

government must coordinate and support this. We call on national and provincial governments to accept the challenge. TPEs should ideally comprise transport planners from the provincial DoT. Most of the provinces have some capabilities to perform this planning work, or are at least able to attract staff if adequate resources are available. Otherwise (as stated in the NLTA), the NDoT must assist those provinces. Looking after a relatively large area with multiple municipalities, these TPEs will be making multiple integrated transport plans (ITPs), each in a five-year cycle. In doing this repeatedly, they will retain and enhance their capabilities, improving the quality of these planning documents.

Shortage of skills

Developing local capabilities

With ‘engineering’ (including the field of transport) identified as a ‘critical skill’, it is expected that not many of the 226 local, 44 district and 8 metro municipalities have the required capacity and skills to perform their transport planning functions. The situation is improving. However, due to the influx of recent graduates, the average engineer has less experience and often lacks proper mentoring and guidance. Often, the responsible official for transport at a municipality is a general civil engineer (or a law enforcement officer). Their task for transport planning is combined with other infrastructure service delivery functions, like water, sewerage, roads, stormwater, etc. Those are often a higher priority. Since transport planning is a specialist discipline, many registered engineers at municipal level may not have the relevant knowledge. This makes many of the NLTA’s transport planning functions even more difficult to perform at a municipal level. Additionally, there is limited justification for municipalities to employ a full-time transport engineer.

To safeguard local knowledge in the ITPs, municipal staff need to be invited for regular workshop sessions by these TPEs. This is also a way to develop local capabilities. Once the capacity-building process has materialised, the transport planning functions could be further devolved. It is likely that this will first happen for the smaller metros and the bigger district municipalities, while the provincial entities might need to retain their coordinating role somewhat longer in smaller rural municipalities. The result of an ITP will be, among others, a prioritised list of infrastructure projects to facilitate road traffic and PT operations: road upgrade and maintenance programmes, taxi ranks and bus stops, etc. As the coordination is at a provincial level, budgets can be allocated effectively. These projects can be implemented by the municipalities, demanding similar engineering and contractual skills as required for delivering other infrastructure projects, and include local participation.

NLTA’s safety net: provincial transport planning entities The NLTA acknowledges that not all municipalities might be equipped to perform the tasks of a transport authority and has included several sections in which it states that the province must assist municipalities that lack capacity and resources. A province may enter into an agreement with one or more municipalities to provide for the joint exercise of their functions and may establish a provincial transport planning entity (TPE). Likewise, the NLTA states that national

Conclusion: supportive provincial transport planning entities In conclusion, the required functions on PT policy, planning and implementation (as per the NLTA) are best performed as follows: • The development of transport legislation, policy and regulations should remain at a national level. • The bigger metropolitan municipalities can function as a transport authority, responsible for all planning and implementation. They should have all tasks devolved to them, including passenger rail transport, subsidised buses, and issuing of operating licences.

• As most municipalities are not yet ready to become a transport authority, provincial TPEs must assist in the responsibilities for PT planning and coordination. This is also where training could be intensified to build capacity to the benefit of all municipalities. • The municipalities will be responsible for the implementation of transport infrastructure projects: road upgrades, PT facilities, etc. Over time, when capabilities increase, some of the smaller metros and bigger districts can become independent transport authorities, with the provincial planning functions devolved effectively. When transport functions are developed by the lowest competent level of government, the quality of planning improves and, with that, the quality of PT itself improves, enhancing the passenger experience. The NLTA caters for this intervention, but it requires the NDoT to lead from the front.

Acknowlegments The authors would like to thank Allyson Lawless (ex-SAICE), Logan Moodley (exETA), Mr AZ Soko (Eastern Cape Department of Transport), Bongani Kupe (consultant), Roger Behrens (UCT), Ofentse Mokwena (NWU) and Muhammed Lokhat (law student) for their critical feedback while discussing our thoughts. *Mpilo Mbambisa is a civil engineer with over 25 years working experience in both the private and public sector. He spent most of his working career in local government at both municipalities and provincial departments. He is now working at Hatch as part of the Urban Solutions team. **Pieter Onderwater is a public transport planner at Hatch Africa with over 30 years of experience in both Europe and South Africa. He advises to transport authorities and public transport operators but will always put the needs of passengers first.

IMIESA October 2021



A cure for edge break headaches A lack of maintenance, inherent design flaws and poor driver behaviour all contribute to edge breaks. Fixing the problem is essential for road safety, and the preservation of a sound pavement structure. This is Part 2 of 2 in a series highlighting the problems and offering solutions and recommendations. By Johan Muller*


dge breaks can be treated and handled in various ways. These include base construction, and specialist products and technologies like warm mix asphalts. An emulsion bitumen stabilised material (BSM) can be considered. An example is the maintenance spray application of 10:1 diluted SS 60 at least once a year.


IMIESA October 2021

(Photo credit: Pierre Roux)

However, once the base has been primed, the exposed shoulders will oxidise and the prime will carbonise, resulting in a permeable sur face and easy ingress of water. Vehicles driving on the edge will deform the sur face, leading to further cracking and eventually the deterioration of the edge. This will be applicable to asphalt and seal construction. Through presentations and applications abroad, I’ve obser ved that when applying the asphalt, the road authority’s paver is equipped with a spray nozzle on the side, spraying a highly modified SBS-type product on the shoulder of the asphalt,

A low-volume road subjected to heavy vehicle traffic. Pothole diversions have simply accelerated the extensive shoulder edge break

An example of severe edge break damage and shoulder erosion

especially where compaction will be difficult to achieve. This will seal off any permeability on the shoulder and will retard deterioration on the edge. This will ensure a significantly stronger edge. For edge break repairs, various options have been considered in the past. These include the Jetpatcher system, where carefully selected aggregates, with the injection of a cationic bitumen emulsion, are introduced. Prepacked pothole patching material like Roadmix, which was pioneered by Jan Henning, is available from numerous suppliers of asphalt and cold asphalt. A cautionar y note, though: ensure that the mix is dense and not permeable after placement. Inappropriate grading and compaction will worsen the problem. Cutting out deteriorated sections and joining repairs with hot or cold mix asphalt (available from most asphalt producers and suppliers in most major metropolitan areas) is also an option. Warm mix asphalt technologies have certainly opened the paving and compaction window for contractors and maintenance teams. A prime example is a project completed in Botswana. Pieter Molenaar at Royal HaskoningDHV mentioned that they manufactured asphalt in Francistown, travelled more than 200 km to Orapa, stockpiled the asphalt and paved an airstrip successfully in recent years. If that is possible in remote locations, then there are no further excuses.


Anionic and cationic bitumen emulsion options Where asphalt mixes are not readily available, an anionic bitumen – typically a Feltec product 60/3 – has been used successfully in areas like Namibia. Again, carefully selected aggregates with enough stone skeleton in the matrix will support the load of the vehicles. It can be applied either by hand or machine, with a specific spreader box pushing the courser material to one side and smoothing off the edge at the end. Microsur facing emulsions in the form of AC-E2 can also be used in hand or spreader box application. As long as you use some form of mixer (e.g. a concrete mixer or auger system) – creating electrostatic charges between the emulsion and the aggregate – you will obtain an irreversible bond. Believe me! It is as hard as concrete. The original cationic Ralumac microsur facing design was intended to fill deep, narrow courses. A Type II aggregate with a microsur facing emulsion will work ver y well in these kinds of applications,


with the additional benefit of opening up the traffic faster compared to its anionic counterpart. Even a macadamised approach can be considered when doing anionic emulsions where larger stones are being incorporated (detailed in the April 2020 edition of IMIESA).

shoulder or new shoulders, you will achieve longevity with additional strength and lifecycle cost improvements. It will stop the ingress of water softening the road edges or the side of the road, alleviating 90% of the problem created through not achieving compaction or an ageing asphalt/sprayed seal application.

Mechanised benefits

Non-destructive pavement evaluation

Machine work does tend to give a much smoother finish at the end of the day, but if you use a straight-edge beam and cast your 100% cold mix into these beams you will obtain a flush finish. When cutting and profiling is considered for repair edge breaks, it is best to consider an angle of approximately 45 degrees to obtain proper interlock of the cold mix and the existing sur face. It all depends on the construction methodology that was used – i.e. asphalt, or chip and spray. If you treat the edges with emulsion at the time of construction, per form regular maintenance on the shoulders, and consider an SBS modifier on the existing

Road sur veillance ser vices from a company like Specialised Road Technologies (SRT) will benefit your non-destructive pavement evaluation, with high-resolution visuals, profiling, functional and structural assessments. The benefit is that you can determine the level and extent of damage and deformation. SRT’s Road Sur face Profilometer (RSP) measures various indices and characteristics. These include the longitudinal profile, international roughness index (IRI), ride number (RN), transverse profile and macrotexture. This system can provide valuable visual data. The RSP has a unique ‘Stop & Go’ functionality, enabling

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(Photo credit: Pierre Roux)

Sandy granitic shoulder material prone to road stormwater erosion

the equipment to operate efficiently in urban areas, at traffic lights, stop signs, junctions, and roundabouts, making it an ideal tool for data collection on both urban and rural road networks.

A final note on accident prevention In terms of accidents due to edge breaks, Professor Roodt (first mentioned in Part 1 of this article series in the September 2021 edition of IMIESA) warns us as follows: “The South African public is becoming more legal-wise and claims against roads authorities will increase as a result of poor maintenance and the capping of the Road Accident Fund payouts. To determine if legal duty has been complied with, the conduct of the professional engineer and technician will be measured against that of the

Example of successful road edge break repair in Namibia using slurry mix placed with a narrow tailor-made edge repair spreader box. Geotextile is used in combination with edge repair before resealing across the entire road width

reasonable, knowledgeable, experienced engineer.” Although the standards for the design of road infrastructure are high in South Africa, society nowadays expects the engineer to understand human behaviour and the interaction with the road and its environment. Management of our road infrastructure should therefore aim to reduce and mitigate hazards and promote safety. Sadly, most claims for damages result from systemically poor maintenance, further compounded by poor safety warnings. Although the standards for pavement failures such as edge breaks and dropoffs, potholes, and rutting have not been quantified, wonder ful guidance documents such as TMH 9 provide the necessar y information for sound engineering practices. Another helpful guideline such as The Southern African Development Community Road Traffic Signs Manual similarly guides the reasonable engineer on warning of hazardous situations. Roads authorities need to plan properly for adequate maintenance inter ventions. The training of operational staff and sufficient feedback on the consequences of court verdicts and decisions will be required to ensure appropriate corrective actions. (Cautionar y note: verdicts in recent reported cases were mostly in favour of the claimants and these cases are setting legal precedents.) As pressure mounts, the under funding of roads will place increasing pressure on ministers and MECs for transport,

Bituminist Consulting aims to disseminate valuable information and promote collaborative engagements in the interest of the roads industry, the binder supply and manufacturing fraternity. Continuous improvement and adaptation to the challenges experienced locally and internationally leads to new developments. In preparation of this article, various practitioners provided input and dedicated their time free of charge. Special thanks to the passionate people like Basil Jonsson at SARF (www.; Craig Proctor-Parker and Eloise Deschamps at Accident Specialist (www.accidentspecialist.; Johannes Lambert at Tosas (; Nastassja Nielsen, Dave Collins and Wynand van Niekerk at BSM Laboratories (; Louis Walstrand and Mark Knowles at Specialised Road Technologies (www.; and Pieter Molenaar of Royal HaskoningDHV (www.rhdhv. Two retired individuals, Professor Roodt and our freelance field photographer, Pierre Roux, have an unlimited amount of accumulated collective industry experience and can also still be reached for access to their expertise.

executive mayors, politicians, heads of department, municipal managers, and treasurers to take corrective action. Road engineers, as the custodians of road safety, need to be provided with the funding and tools to make sure this happens. *Johan Muller is the founder of Bituminist Consulting. He has an MSc in Organic Chemistry and has worked in the roads industry for more than 27 years.

IMIESA October 2021



Breathing new life into asphalt


“We have difficulty communicating the beauty of what we do due to the technical nature of our work.” These were the words of Susanna Zammataro, director general, International Road Federation (IRF), in her keynote address at the Society for Aphalt Technology’s inaugural SATBinderrr conference hosted in South Africa on 9 September 2021.


ddressing more than 250 delegates, she reiterated the IRF’s role as a platform for people to connect and solve problems around sustainable roads and mobility. The IRF puts special focus on Africa and its project on ‘Sustainable Mobility for All’ – led by the World Bank and addressing roads, maritime, aviation and rail – is currently being piloted in South Africa.


IMIESA October 2021

Dr Seirgei Miller, associate professor: Civil Engineering, University of Twente, Netherlands “I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and topics. It heartens me to see young civil engineers presenting at SAT events, especially young women showcasing their skills in a male-dominated industry. The presentations were topical, organised, clear and professional, and the positive influence of the mentors could be seen. I think the mentor system and awarding of prizes for the best digital presentations should become permanent fixtures of the event, whether it is virtual or face to face. “I encourage the low-entry threshold – therefore no formal papers – to encourage broader participation and make the science more accessible. The entry could be limited to potential presenters having to submit an abstract.’’ Alex Visser, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria “I found the content most interesting and it covered a wide scope. I look forward to seeing the repository where the material will be kept for future reference. The PowerPoint presentations were generally of a high standard, but presenters should be aware that some members of the audience use smartphone or iPad screens, so the amount of information on the screen should be limited.” Deon Pagel, managing director, Tosas “In my view, the inaugural SAT conference – ‘Binderrr’ as it was appropriately named – filled a vacuum between our well-known and popular CAPSA conferences every four years. It is of just the right duration, ‘light’ enough but with presentations of a very high standard, well-chosen speakers and topics, and relevant to where industry finds itself today. Well done to SAT and its ‘drivers’. May this event continue to be there and grow in importance and significance.”

Zammataro also emphasised the need for innovation to fast-track decarbonisation of the roads sector. “We must digitalise in our sector and the global recovery gives us an enormous opportunity to drive change,” she said, adding that proper processes needed to be put in place to change the fragmented value chain in the provision of road networks. Of utmost importance, she stressed, was more investment in skilled people to achieve this.

Zammataro invited SAT to connect with the IRF to the benefit of both. “The IRF is doing a lot of capacity-building work, and we also work to advocate the role younger people can play in the sector and to inspire gender diversity. We are all looking in the same direction,” she said. “The roads sector struggles to find a leading voice to represent it around the table. The value of our work is not fully understood.”


Young professionals These words resonated strongly with the aims of the SATBinderrr conference – the first in the Society’s 27-year history to showcase the talents of younger, upand-coming professionals and women in particular. The four focal topics around which the conference was planned – Binders, Seals, Asphalt, and Pavement Design – were chaired by leading women in technical roles. They were Nirvana Loutan, executive heading the Durban head office team at Eyethu Engineers; Joanne Muller, manager of the Gauteng Regional Laboratory at AECI Much Asphalt; Nteseng Ramoraswi, technical manager at Colas South Africa in Cape Town; and Kele Makamu, laboratory and quality manager at the CSIR’s Advanced Material Testing Laboratory. Nathisha Gengayah, engineering technologist at Naidu Consulting, led the conference administration team. All but 2 of the 19 speakers were industry professionals younger than 40, and seven were women. “Our presenters are senior

people in their organisations, but many of them have not had opportunities to address a leading industry forum in the past,” said Krishna Naidoo, pavement and materials specialist at Sanral and SAT vice president. “SATBinderrr has given a new generation of future leaders a chance to contribute meaningfully to the development, reputation and sustainability of the asphalt sector,” she added. A balance between established wisdom and new ideas was achieved through the involvement of a large and very select group of top industry experts who stepped forward as mentors to the presenters. “Through this conference, we hope to form the glue that binds together all the different elements of the asphalt industry,” insisted Naidoo at the start of the planning process. The event achieved this by bringing together a wide cross section of industry players and giving them all meaningful roles in the event.

Digital excellence A




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ABOUT SAT The Society for Asphalt Technology (SAT) is a learned society of individuals in the asphalt sector based in South Africa, which also serves the interests of members in Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

Susanna Zammataro, director general, International Road Federation

representing the Who’s Who of the industry demonstrated approval for the event across the South African roads sector. “The sponsorships helped us to put together a


The IRF is doing a lot of capacitybuilding work, and we also work to advocate the role younger people can play in the sector and to inspire gender diversity.” professional conference that added value for all who attended, and we are grateful to our industry for its generosity,” said Herman Marais, president, SAT. The importance of digital transformation was also addressed through a strong focus on digital excellence at the conference. As part of this strategy, presenters were encouraged to introduce digital components applied in their fields of expertise into their presentations. Naidu Consulting sponsored the SATBinderrr Digital Excellence Award. Indeed, it was so difficult to choose a winner that three awards were presented. “Congratulations to all presenters

on excellent and well-thought-out presentations. The calibre of presentations and content was world class,” said Mahendren Manicum, managing director, Naidu Consulting. “This award was tough to adjudicate; to be fair, I decided to reward three presenters who I believe captured digitalisation outstandingly. They were Fergusson Paulse of the Roads Authority of Namibia, Johan Gerber from Zutari, and Babalwa Nzuza of Naidu Consulting.” Each received a trophy and R5 000. “I commend the presenters on adopting digitalisation models, which was evident in some form in all presentations. It just proves that digitalisation doesn’t necessarily have to only mean digital twinning, or scanning using software such as Navis Works and Revit, but also building on metadata information and modelling it to produce digital representations such as Master Curves, using macros in Excel to find simple, efficient solutions,” Manicum concluded.






5 Johan Gerber from Zutari

Fergusson Paulse from the Roads Authority of Namibia

Babalwa Nzuza from Naidu Consulting Engineers

1. A dministration Leader Nathisha Gengayah, engineering technologist at Naidu Consulting 2. Asphalt Joanne Muller, manager of the Gauteng Regional Laboratory, AECI Much Asphalt 3. Binders Kele Makamu, laboratory and quality manager at the CSIR’s Advanced Material Testing Laboratory 4. P avement Design Nirvana Loutan, executive heading the Durban head office team at Eyethu Engineers 5. Seals Nteseng Ramoraswi, technical manager, Colas South Africa


IMIESA October 2021


Putting old tyres back on the road, sustainably The advantages of using ground tyre rubber (GTR) in asphalt – including a more flexible pavement with increased fatigue resistance, and reduction in ageing of the binder – are well known.


nly 20% of rubber tyres are recycled in South Africa, and the reuse of waste rubber in asphalt has the potential to significantly increase this figure and support greater economic sustainability. AECI Much Asphalt has supplied several road projects with asphalt mixes containing GTR in the past year, notably in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape. The increased attraction of this more sustainable solution to asphalt surfaced roads has also led AECI SprayPave – an AECI Much Asphalt subsidiary – to manufacture binder containing GTR in-house, using technology that adds significantly to the shelf life of the binder and saves energy costs. While this technology is not new to South Africa, it is making pavement mixes containing waste tyre rubber increasingly popular. Ultra-thin porous surfacing with A-R 2 (warm mix ground tyre rubber binder) on the N5 in Harrismith, supplied by AECI Much Asphalt Bloemfontein

Longer lifespans Joanne Muller, manager: Gauteng Regional Laboratory, AECI Much Asphalt, explains that the use of GTR enables the use of more binder in the asphalt without the risk of bleeding or excessive deformation due to increased binder and subsequently mix viscosity. Increasing the amount of binder – together with the elastic properties of the binder and the crumbs themselves – provides longer lifespans for roads and lower rolling noise on the asphalt surface. “The wet process of using GTR in asphalt typically would have between 18% and 22% of GTR in the binder, which in turn typically constitutes between 5.5% and 7% of the mix,” says Muller. While this doesn’t seem like much, the quantity of rubber tyre used in a mix increases exponentially with the large quantities of asphalt produced for major road surfacing projects. She explains that the production of hot mix asphalt with GTR requires production of the binder on-site at the asphalt plant, as its use is time sensitive. Digestion tanks and blenders are required, as well as feeder pumps and a header tank to supply the binder into the asphalt plant. For warm mix asphalt, however, the binder does not have to be mixed on-site and can be hauled to the asphalt production plant and utilised without the need for additional equipment. Warm mix asphalt has the added advantage of a lower energy requirement in the manufacturing process and less environmental and social impact.

AECI SprayPave’s mobile blending unit can produce bitumen at a rate of 25 t/h, incorporating 25% rubber crumbs sourced from waste tyres

Quality and R&D at AECI SprayPave’s Alberton plant, says the new plant is using between 50 t and 150 t of waste rubber from tyres per month depending on orders for its rubber bitumen product, EBR (Extended Bitumen Rubber). “The EBR blends are produced on an order basis and demand has significantly increased in the second half of 2021,” she says. “We are using revolutionary technology that combines rubber crumbs and other additives to give the bitumen a longer shelf life, while simultaneously building moisture-resistant, long-lasting and maintenance-free roads.” Munsamy says the advantages of EBR include reductions in carbon footprint, energy consumption and emissions. Spray temperatures are lower, and the product has reduced viscosity and longer workability than conventional GTR mixes.

Danashia Munsamy, manager: Quality and R&D at AECI SprayPave’s Alberton plant

Production facility In 2020, AECI SprayPave commissioned a new mobile blending unit, currently located at its Cape Town facility, with the capability to produce bitumen at a rate of 25 t/h, incorporating 25% rubber crumbs sourced from waste tyres. Danashia Munsamy, manager:

Joanne Muller, manager: Gauteng Regional Laboratory at AECI Much Asphalt

IMIESA October 2021



Labour-intensive construction is a technology a great opportunity to change perceptions and reinforce the benefits,” says Govender.

Technical and non-technical LIC training

Within the conventional engineering toolbox employed by South African consulting engineers, there’s a growing need for project designs that enable community employment on infrastructure projects. One of the proven methodologies is labour-intensive construction (LIC), says Devan Govender, technical executive: Economic Development, Naidu Consulting. By Alastair Currie


nabling social infrastructure development is essential if South Africa is to make meaningful and measurable progress in closing the inequality gap. That’s a core function of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), an implementing body forming part of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. One of MISA’s mandates is to mainstream LIC within municipalities as part of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). This ties in with government’s economic and employment stimulus packages aimed at alleviating and proactively responding to the devastating impact of Covid-19. In response, MISA is now rolling out an LIC initiative, which is being piloted across 15 municipalities. Naidu Consulting has been appointed as the consulting engineer for eight of these municipalities, situated within five provinces.


IMIESA October 2021

Pilot process As part of the pilot process, Naidu Consulting has been running a series of workshops with its appointed municipalities – the feedback from which will contribute towards a national working framework for LIC. Essentially, LIC processes are nonmechanised, with a sufficient volume of work that is repeatable and measurable. An example would be plastering within the context of social housing, maintenance activities, gabion construction, the installation of VIP toilets, or cast-in-situ stormwater V-drain installations on a road project. Within the process, unskilled and semi-skilled workers can eventually transition to accredited trades and SMME contractors. “From our initial status quo analysis with these municipalities, we found that most are not selecting or designing projects conducive to LIC implementation. However, there’s strong interest and willingness from within the pilot group, which presents

Dovetailing with this is the inclusion of LIC training for technical and non-technical municipal decision-makers. Topics include an understanding of the LIC administration and contractual framework for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), labour law and LIC renumeration, as well as how to draw up LIC pro forma tender documents. “This will also enable the private sector – whether as clients, designers or contractors – to respond effectively to future LIC contracts to optimise job opportunities. In rebuilding and repositioning South Africa, there’s clearly a joint public and private sector responsibility to meet our collective development goals,” Govender continues. For designers, the emphasis is on taking a holistic approach enhanced by ‘out of the box’ thinking. For example, concrete block paving is ideal for LIC, but what about the host of other site preparation elements that can also be incorporated, like levelling and compaction by hand, or the resur facing of roads using chip spreaders? The goal for LIC designers is to consider all the possible LIC avenues that can be incorporated. Naidu Consulting is well placed to guide the LIC process, having gained extensive experience on EPWP projects for municipalities.

Gaps in understanding at NQF 5 and 7 levels “What we found from the onset was that those working in the construction sector at NQF 5 and 7 levels were often not conversant with LIC. So, there was an obvious gap to launch our own LIC training programmes for industry,” Govender explains. Naidu Consulting’s NQF Level 5 course is aimed at the contractor and the management of processes on-site. In turn, the NQF Level 7 course is targeted at designers and specifiers. These are five-day CETA-registered courses and earn

ROADS & BRIDGES LIC is a pre-planned and integrated construction technique, and not a reactive, add-on component.” 5 CPD points. Courses are run via virtual platforms, although in-contact learning could also be offered. In the next phase, Naidu Consulting plans to enhance training on LIC specifications for NQF Level 7 practitioners. In turn, future NQF Level 5 courses will incorporate more practical mechanisms for implementing LIC, as well as sustainable exit strategies for EPWP temporary workers. Examples of the latter include contractor and people development so that ex-EPWP workers have the skills to find more permanent employment in the construction sector. In a further development, Naidu Consulting has been accredited by CETA to conduct NQF 2, 3 and 4 Construction Road Worker training. Over the longer term, soft skills will also be added, like contractor mentorship development. “We’ve intentionally designed our courses so that there’s a practical learning experience. We unpack legislation from a contractual viewpoint so that participants understand the purpose of EPWP and LIC programmes. This is reinforced through role-play interaction, which includes an appreciation of the crucial community liaison interplay,” he expands. On day one of its course, Naidu Consulting asks participants to list their perceptions of LIC. The typical responses are that LIC is too slow, too expensive, and the quality

Empowering local labour

is poor. On the last day of the course, the participants are then required to revisit their responses and the LIC myths are dispelled. Nine times out of ten, Govender says there’s a very different approach because participants now understand that LIC is a pre-planned and integrated construction technique, and not a reactive, add-on component.

Setting the benchmark Govender says the point to emphasise is that LIC is an accepted methodology worldwide. The objective for South Africa is to study and learn from international examples and customise the best technologies for local conditions. Some of the best benchmarks are from India, which has created largescale employment through LIC. “In future, LIC needs to form part of the toolkit of every South African consulting

An example of labour-intensive construction on a concrete road

engineer and contractor. The project value won’t change, but the positive impact on community employment will be invaluable. It’s an alternative construction technique and it’s not an option. And South Africa has the exciting opportunity to establish the next LIC benchmark,” Govender concludes.


Low-volume roads: potential and pitfalls


he term ‘low-volume roads’ covers a wide range of road types – from an access earth road to a district route that links settlements, or a feeder that connects to a network. The term can be applied to secondary, tertiary and access roads in rural and peri-urban areas. One definition might set the threshold at 400 vehicles per day. There are other definitions based on axle loading. For this reason, there isn’t a common characteristic or definition of ‘low volume’. Each road needs to be assessed individually since there are many variables: technical, economic, social and political. Assessment assists in prioritising which routes should be earmarked for new construction and upgrading within the context of limited national, provincial and municipal resources. Cost-benefit analyses determine where spend yields the best results. This must factor in the economic, community wellbeing and ‘targeted’ employment goals – the latter weighted towards labour-intensive construction (LIC) as a job and skills generator. That’s an essential component. Essentially, LIC is the substitution of ‘targeted’ human effort for non-essential, fuel-based, ‘heavy’ equipment during


IMIESA October 2021

Roads are essential conduits whose construction presents excellent skills development and employment opportunities. This is not just for high-tech construction; more low-tech interventions are especially suited to rural and peri-urban areas. However, to be sustainable, these lower-volume roads still require a specialist engineering design and costing model to work, with the framework provided by legislation. By Robert McCutcheon* the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. It is a proven approach both locally and internationally; however, for it to work effectively, road designers need to incorporate LIC at the design stage and make it a contractual requirement.

Contract framework To be enforceable in South African law, the contract must state that the project is labour-intensive and that the use of equipment is forbidden. Let’s start with the background developments. In 1993, a framework agreement was signed following negotiations between the construction industry (NCLIC), Cosatu and Sanco. James Croswell was responsible for the contractual aspects of the framework agreement. In 1994, the South African

government joined the negotiations. The 10th Revision of the New Framework Agreement (1996) stated in no uncertain terms that: In relation to all employment-intensive construction contracts, it is proposed that the following wording should be used for contract documents in respect of the sanctions relating to employmentintensive works. All or part of this contract has been designated to be constructed employment-intensively. Where only parts of the contract are to be constructed using employment-intensive methods, the relevant items in the Bill of Quantities have been marked in an unambiguous way and include the letters LI in a separate column filled in against every item so


designated. The works, or the part of the works so designated, have to be constructed using employment-intensive methods and the use of machinery, other than machinery permitted for compaction or other purposes specifically agreed to by the Engineer in writing, will not be permitted. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the above is taken seriously, the following should be explicitly stated with respect to payment: Payment for items which are designated to be constructed employment-intensively will not be paid for unless they are constructed using employment-intensive methods. Any unauthorised use of machinery to carry out any work, which was to be done employment-intensively, notwithstanding the fact that the Contractor may have paid the labourers to do work, which was actually done by machine, will not be condoned. Payment for the particular operation, or part thereof, will not be certified by the Engineer. Despite such non-payment, the Contractor’s obligations, in terms of the Contract in respect of this work, will remain unaltered and the fact that the Contractor is not paid for work in the abovementioned circumstances, will not relieve the Contractor in any way from his obligations either in contract or in delict. Any work designated employmentintensive work, which was not carried out using employment-intensive methods will not qualify, where applicable, for the employment-intensive component of a contract and sanctions relating to this aspect may be applied independently. The 1996 New Framework Agreement provided details regarding the clauses and terminology that had to be changed.

Roads authority standpoint In 2017, Sanral released Horizon 2030. It stated that South Africa’s “high

unemployment rate exerts pressure on Sanral to maximise the number of jobs created.” Sanral’s main focus of operations will remain the construction and maintenance of South Africa’s major roads network. However, alongside its investment in the major network, Sanral has an important new component: a commitment to community development objectives, which include the following: - s kills and small contractor development - e mployment generation - the promotion of women and youth during investment and maintenance. This is a very important development on the part of one of South Africa’s most effective (semi-state) institutions. (The dire situation in South Africa regarding levels of unemployment is far greater than normally reported in the media. In addition, the low educational and skills base among the population challenges rapid improvement in conditions. See ‘What happened to the EPWP Infrastructure Sector?’ in IMIESA October 2020 for a critique of the Expanded Public Works Programme [EPWP].) Sanral has actively supported the preparation of the new COTO Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Works for South African Road Authorities. In August 2020, these were approved by the Committee of Transport Officials as a draft standard to replace the COLTO Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Works for State Road Authorities (1998 edition). Each chapter contains a section addressing labour enhancement. To date, from the author’s perspective, one of Sanral’s most important actions (besides its intention to “maximise the number of jobs created”) has been its 2020 decision that the new COTO Standard Specifications (2020) would be mandatory for use in their procurement documents advertised from 1 March 2021.

The author strongly disagrees with the use of the term ‘labour enhancement’. However, it is extremely important that Sanral – South Africa’s premier roads authority – has published draft specifications related to the formal use of ‘labour-enhanced’ methods across the entire spectrum of its activities. Sanral’s policies are a great step forward. In the long term, it could be the bedrock for future expansion in labour-based construction. Confusion creeps in since the draft specifications provide definitions of both ‘labour enhancement’ and ‘labour-intensive’. By their definition, “Labour enhancement is the process of improving the scope for the use of manual labour as an alternative to using machines to increase employment opportunities on a project.” In turn, “Labour-intensive operations are those operations, which, by their basic nature, require a significant amount of manual labour and to a large extent exclude the use of machines.” The author does not understand the essential difference between the two definitions, since they both aim to use less ‘machinery’. The latter should be termed ‘fuel-powered heavy equipment’: a hand pump is a ‘machine’. The author recommends that the Committee should use the term ‘labourintensive’, which has been defined and in use in South Africa since the establishment of the National Public Works Programme (NPWP) in 1994. It is the term used in the President’s SONA. It is the term used in legislation and regulation; most importantly, in the ministerial determination (2002, renewed annually) and subsequently linked, through the Division of Revenue Act (No. 9 of 2021), to the mandatory LI construction of certain categories of municipal infrastructure. It was the term used for the vast majority of the detailed research and experimentation into modern LI construction

IMIESA October 2021



and maintenance, which was carried out by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the International Labour Organisation (see IMIESA August 2017). The civil engineering profession has about another year to comment on the COTO specs. The author advocates that COTO uses of the ‘search’ function for ‘labour enhancement’ and replace it with ‘labour-intensive’.

LIC is proper engineering The author presumes that his recommendations will be ignored. Many engineers condemn consideration of LIC as ‘serious engineering’. In a nutshell, they are concerned that employment will be generated at the expense of ‘time, cost and quality’. Also, they often ask: “Why have 100 problems when you could have just one equipment operator?” The underlying lack of knowledge leads to rejection by clients, consultants and contractors (see SAICE June 2018 and IMIESA articles). But, please remember: the fact that Sanral has produced draft specifications for “improving the scope for the use of manual labour as an alternative to using machines” is far more important than the author’s objections regarding terminology. It will be interesting to see whether the new specifications are used in relation to the projected four ‘experimental’ 50 km gravel road stretches proposed at the 2020 and 2021 SONAs. Other than testing the use of the draft specifications, the author considers it unnecessary to use the term ‘experimental’, with all its implications of technical uncertainty and high overhead costs.


In order to preserve the momentum of the President’s intentions, it would be sensible to carry out a complementary lower-profile, but broader, approach, which is already contained in Sanral’s Horizon 2030. It emphasises ‘community development’, which is one of the prime motivations for the promotion of LI methods. In order to generate employment within the community, it is essential to train ‘hands-on’ site supervisors (working foremen/ women). The training must imbue into the ‘hands-on’ site supervisor (an NQF 4 level qualification – mainly matriculants) the knowledge and self-discipline required to efficiently and fairly organise the technically sound work of teams of people. From a long-term community development perspective, the construction and maintenance of good-quality infrastructure and productive employment generation are critically dependent upon skills development at a proto-artisanal level. These skilled people (mainly matriculants) will have acquired ‘portable’ skills and thus improve their future job prospects.

Technical details For LIC, the major opportunities lie in the earthworks components, which comprise over 50% of the cost of civil construction. These are the ELHUS activities, represented by their letters as: • Excavation • Load • Haul • Unload • Spread. In conventional roadbuilding, mass haulage is one of the factors affecting the choice of alignment. The engineer balances cut and fill longitudinally – i.e. along the alignment of the road. Excavated earth materials may have to be hauled considerable distances to be used as fills (termed ‘longitudinal earth balance’). In practice, this can be done efficiently only by machines. The alternative design strategies suitable for LI methods would be to choose an alignment that balances the earth cut and fill transversely, to ensure that wheelbarrow or tractor-trailer combinations may carry out shorter hauls. This design decision generates employment and avoids hauls longer than can be done effectively by wheelbarrow.

Task-based payment pros and cons

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In terms of economic efficiency, it is essential to link the payment of the worker to the successful completion of a task. This is a key area where LIC approaches fail. It all hinges on a properly trained site supervisor to set and manage every task. Different countries have used different terms for this first level of formal site supervision – e.g. ‘junior supervisor’ in Kenya or ‘roadbuilder’ in Botswana. The scale of the project would determine whether there are other levels of supervision on-site. South Africa has something similar, but its implementation remains problematic. Between 1994 and 2002, negotiations were carried out between government and Cosatu, which resulted in a ministerial determination regarding special public works. The related code of practice covered a wide range of employment terms. For our purposes, the most important principles were: •A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. •A fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage (no work, no pay). • T asks could be set by a properly trained supervisor. •P ayment was dependent upon the successful completion of the task.



• Accredited training was required for all levels of work. Once this ministerial determination was in place, it was possible to modify the NPWP to morph into the present-day EPWP. In 2004, the following was recommended for the training of ‘hands-on’ site supervisors. As part of the full NQF 4 Construction Supervisor qualification, trainees in South Africa must complete the 120 notional hours required for Unit 15168 (Implement labour-intensive construction systems and techniques) and the 80 notional hours required for one of the remaining three unitstandards, namely:

• 15165: Use LIC methods to construct and maintain roads and stormwater drainage • 15159: Use LIC methods to construct and maintain water and sanitation systems • 15166: Use LIC methods to construct and maintain structures. A crucial principle of LIC is the task-based payment stipulation – i.e. payment is made on completion of a set ‘task’. From April 2020, the government minimum in the civil construction sector is about R37/hour. At these rates, however, even on a task-based payment, no one can compete cost-competitively with fuelbased equipment.

Indian contractor sets new slipform paving records


ue to its size, this megaproject has been divided into more than 50 individual subprojects awarded by the National Highways Authority of India. Initially, the roadway will be widened to eight lanes, with four lanes in each direction. Looking ahead to the future, however, sufficient space has been set aside in the middle of the road to allow for four additional lanes. At temperatures around 28°C, it being winter in this region, the record attempt started on 1 February 2021 at 08:00. Using a modified Wirtgen SP 1600, Patel Infrastructure succeeded in completing a four-lane motorway, including a hard shoulder, over a distance of 2.56 km (1.28 km in both directions) within 24 hours.

Four world records A total of four world records were entered into the India Book of Records and the Golden

Book of World Records in connection with Patel Infrastructure’s project for: • Largest quantity of pavement quality concrete (PQC) paved in 24 hours – 14 613.30 m³ • Largest volume of PQC produced in 24 hours – 14 370 m³ • Longest continuous section with a width of 18.75 m paved with PQC in 24 hours – 1 280 m • Largest area of a motorway paved with PQC in 24 hours – 48 711 m². The standard paving width configuration for the SP 1600 is up to 16 m, so, in order to meet Patel Infrastructure’s requirements, Wirtgen’s R&D Department developed a customised solution. This involved additional extension elements for each component, including the extremely complex dowel bar inserter. The machine also had to be able to compensate for the enormous amount of additional weight and still be capable of high-precision levelling. Patel Infrastructure’s Wirtgen TCM 180 texture curing machine was also adapted to match the 18.75 m working width to apply a dispersion to the concrete surface

The execution of LIC cannot create jobs in the absence of engineering. It is innovative engineering that creates the perfect match between community-based labour and construction technology. LIC programmes only work if they are led by ‘hands-on’ and formally trained site supervisors who can effectively work within a task-based system. If we can effectively mentor and grow these infrastructure leaders, then the prospects are very promising for community-based employment. A positive step in this direction is now emerging with the proposed establishment of a labour-intensive training college housed within the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s EPWP. A major focus of this current endeavour is to get formal approval for the three NQF 4 Construction Processes Site Supervisor courses. *Robert McCutcheon is a professor emeritus of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Setting a new benchmark in its class, a modified Wirtgen SP 1600 slipform paver helped Indian contractor Patel Infrastructure set new records for performance on a section of the 1 350 km Delhi-VadodaraMumbai Expressway. The route is currently undergoing a major upgrade, scheduled for completion in January 2023. behind the slipform paver as protection against evaporation. To ensure that the customised machine always ran smoothly, the construction project was supported by four Wirtgen technicians. Every hour, a total of 45 transport vehicles delivered concrete to the construction site to provide the slipform paver with sufficient material. To be able to process this enormous quantity of concrete in such a short time, the paving process had to be carried out at an average speed of 1.8 m/min. Approximately 30 000 dowel bars and tie bars were inserted using the built-in automatic dowel bar inserter and the central tie bar inserters. This provides the structure with the necessary stability, ensuring that the slabs are bonded together properly to withstand traffic loads for many years to come. IMIESA October 2021




with flexible commercial solutions

Isuzu has remained resilient and competitive through the difficult trading conditions of the last 18 months or so as it adapts to the new normal.


s the number one truck brand in South Africa, the company continues to provide business solutions with innovative initiatives such as off-the-shelf, ready-to-work trucks and variable warranty programmes for its range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Isuzu’s Ready To Work programme is designed to save customers time by supplying trucks that are preconfigured for specific industry sectors. To do this, Isuzu has matched its most popular trucks with the most frequently ordered truck body applications. “Our Ready To Work programme allows us to facilitate faster delivery of new trucks to customers. This is key in our fluid and rapidly changing market where operators have to respond quickly to meet market demand or service new business contracts,” says Craig Uren, senior vice president: Sales and Marketing, Isuzu.

Twenty-two different combinations Isuzu’s Ready To Work programme gives truck buyers the option of selecting from a menu of 22 different truck chassis

and body combinations. Popular cab and body combinations include configurations for applications such as water tankers, waste compactors, and hazardous chemical transporters.

Tailored warranty periods To further enhance the Isuzu customer experience, Isuzu Motors South Africa also offers an innovative after-sales solution in the form of variable warranty plans specifically tailored to fit the needs of short-, medium-, or long-haul operators. The Isuzu Variable Warranty Plan is the first of its kind in South Africa and allows greater flexibility for truck customers. In addition to the standard two-year unlimited kilometre warranty, customers and operators can opt in on a Variable Warranty Plan, extending the warranty period to either three, four or five years. The Variable Warranty Plan is available at no additional upfront cost on all new Isuzu truck chassis cabs across the N-Series, F-Series and FX-Series ranges purchased and operating in South Africa. However, this excludes truck bodies and certain applications such as tippers, compactors and mixers. The Variable Warranty Plan is valid from the date of sale of a new vehicle to the original retail purchaser up to a maximum of 500 000 km on N-Series trucks, and 700 000 km on F-Series and FX-Series trucks. Maintenance terms and conditions apply to the specific Variable Warranty selected. Visit for additional information.

The Isuzu NPR 400 configured with dropside body

The Isuzu FTR 850 with van body

Isuzu’s FTR 850 equipped with a flat-deck body aimed at sectors that include the waste recycling industry An Isuzu FXZ 26-360 brick transporter with crane

IMIESA October 2021



Setting the standard for earthmoving proficiency Barloworld Equipment’s PJB Learning Academy in Isando, Ekurhuleni, is a well-established and reputable learning institution. It focuses on the delivery of various competencies in engineering, mining and construction through OEM-certified, competent and experienced facilitators using the latest technologies. IMIESA speaks to Dumisani Kala, Head: Academy, about current programmes.

centres in Johannesburg, which are also home to Barloworld Equipment's PJB Learning Academy and its Technical Operator School of Excellence. The latter play a crucial role in ensuring a pipeline of newly qualified technicians and operators. The Academy was established in 2009 and offers a variety of courses. These range from semi-skilled workforce competencies to courses for apprentices, artisans, engineers, logistics and supply chain specialists, right through to super visor y and leadership development competencies. However, the Academy has a primar y responsibility to develop and enhance key technical, maintenance and engineering competencies that are critical to sustain both Barloworld Equipment’s and its clients’ capabilities. The Academy boasts an impressive external/private client base in South Africa, as well as across its Southern African dealer footprint.

overing a key por tion of Southern Africa, Barloworld Equipment is Caterpillar Inc.’s sole dealer for Cat earthmoving machines and related mining and construction equipment in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, as well as the DRC’s Katanga province (in a joint venture with Bartrac). Parts and ser vices are provided within the regions and supported via Barloworld Equipment’s and Caterpillar’s logistics

Certification and accreditation



IMIESA October 2021

The Academy is quality and safety compliant in terms of ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007, and has Five Star Monitoring Condition Certification. The PJB Learning Academy is also the third Academy in the Caterpillar world to achieve the highest level of excellence in terms of Caterpillar Technician Career Development Process Accreditation. The Academy is accredited with MerSETA, the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA), and the Transport SETA

(TETA) for all applicable trades and occupations, and with the Qualifications Council for Trades and Occupations for Earthmoving Equipment. In addition to apprenticeship programmes, advanced and expert-level training is provided via Caterpillar’s Technician Career Development Programmes across all Caterpillar OEM brands, which include Perkins engines and SEM earthmoving machines. Thanks to the multifaceted nature of the courses offered at the Academy, training is provided at ever y point along the value chain. For example, learners can qualify as earthmoving technicians, auto electricians, machinists, technology specialists, or operators. “All the material in use by Barloworld Equipment for all the mining/construction machines is vetted by Caterpillar and, where supplied, the material is adapted by the Academy to suit the needs of Barloworld employees and customers,” Kala explains. Apprenticeship training is based on the three legs of occupational training, namely institutional (theoretical and practical training),


experience building (on the job, logbooks to cover all the modules, etc.) and support (availability of resources, coaching, machines, tooling and components, and opportunities to apply what was learnt).

Optimum machine health At all levels, Academy instructors underscore the vital importance of predictive and preventative maintenance to yield the legendar y durability of Cat machines and components. Courses include condition monitoring, as well as parts reusability training. “Academy learners gain an in-depth understanding on how diagnostic tools can be used to prevent premature failures and unplanned breakdowns,” Kala continues, adding that training also includes familiarisation on the ser vices provided by Barloworld Equipment’s S•O•S Laborator y – a high-tech oil analysis and condition monitoring facility – as well as its Rebuild Centre. Both are housed on Barloworld Equipment’s Boksburg campus. As Kala points out, these facilities form a core component of Barloworld Equipment’s commitment to helping customers maximise their machine investments at the lowest cost per tonne. The ser vices provided by the Rebuild Centre enable customers to exchange cores – like engines, gearboxes, and transmissions – for certified Reman (remanufactured) components, which helps to drive down costs and maximise machine uptime. A complete machine rebuild ser vice is also offered.

artificial intelligence and augmented reality to enhance the learning and practical infield experience for technical personnel,” says Kala. "Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy was already using these and other IT tools to remotely coach and support in-field or workshop based technicians with any diagnostic or troubleshooting exercises."

Why operator training is important From the time a customer takes deliver y of a machine, two of the most important factors in its future life and per formance are the client’s operators and ser vice personnel. For this reason, Barloworld Equipment’s Academy has a dedicated Operator Training Centre for all machine classes. This is accredited by MQA, SETA and TETA. Operator training courses offered to employees and customers include: • full training for novices • recognition of prior learning for experienced operators that are not certified • new licence competency training to relicense operators already licensed by a SETA • handover training where new machines are delivered to customer sites • stop, start and driving training for technicians and apprentices – this enables ser vice personnel to move machines from the parking yard to the workshop and back for repairs • remote control operation.

Cat MineStar and Vision Link Technology. Cat MineStar assists in enhancing safety, reducing costs, improving productivity and boosting efficiency in mining operations. The MineStar team provides a comprehensive suite of training opportunities that allows users to build skills from foundational to expert through web-based, instructor-led and on-the-job courses. The Academy’s Technology Department supports a range of intuitive programs to further optimise machine utilisation and operator proficiency. These include: • Terrain for Dozing, Loading and Grading: With onboard guidance tools and realtime feedback, this program provides dozer and motor grader operators with the information to maximise machine efficiency by monitoring key elements like ore bodies, bench heights, cycle times and volume of material cut and filled. Inputs from the control centre tell operators where to dig or cut, how much material to move, when they’ve moved enough and even if they’ve moved too much. • Terrain for Drilling uses state-of-the-art guidance technologies to help operators drill holes in the exact location and to the exact depth specified by the plan, resulting in smoother, safer and more efficient blasting. • Command for Dozing enables the remote control of a dozer from a control room that can be as far away as 2 000 km from the machine’s location. “By providing integrated solutions, the Academy empowers customers to deliver the best solutions for their clients. It’s a highly effective model that continues to evolve in new and exciting ways,” Kala concludes.

Technology Department Leveraging the benefits of AR and AI “We are also leveraging the benefits of

The Technology Department has two Caterpillar Technology Optimisation Specialists certified by Caterpillar to deliver

Dumisani Kala, Head: PJB Learning Academy, Barloworld Equipment

IMIESA October 2021




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


Local launch for structural adhesive


hen it comes to structural anchoring, Sika AnchorFix-3030 ranks as a top-performing adhesive. This epoxy-resin-based, two-par t, thixotropic, high-per formance product is employed to anchor bolts, Specifiers can use Sika’s AnchorFix calculation threaded rods and reinforcing bars, in software to determine the both cracked or uncracked concrete, exact quantities needed as well as dry or damp concrete. for a project Characterised by its exceptional high load capacity, Sika AnchorFix-3030 has a long open time, yet is fast-curing. Sika AnchorFix-3030 meets the highest quality standards and certifications, which include: - European Technical Assessment (ETA) for anchoring in cracked concrete - ETA for post-installed rebar connections - seismic test verification (C1 & C2) - fire resistance - it is styrene-free - drinking water certified (WRAS) - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. To complete the system, Sika provides a kit solution comprising the applicator gun, spare nozzle, hole-cleaning brushes, and cleaning pump.

Sika AnchorFix-3030 is purpose-designed for the fixing of non-expanding anchors. Examples include rebar/ steel reinforcement anchoring in new and refurbishment works, threaded rods, as well as bolts and special fastening/fixing systems

IMIESA October 2021



Imagine a world WITHOUT SAND


walk on the beach without the feeling of sand between your toes, or riverbeds carved into rock with no sandbanks to protect the shores from flood waters… these are two haunting scenarios that can become a reality in certain parts of the country if government does not take immediate action against illegal sand miners. Stealing sand from beaches, dunes and riverbeds is regarded as a soft crime by many authorities and the inaction of law enforcers to shut down such illegal operations only serves to strengthen this perception. As a result, surface mining industry association ASPASA says it will adopt a zero-tolerance attitude towards illegal mines and will lobby government and its various departments to act and close these

operations. In instances where government departments or municipalities are implicated, the association wants to ensure justice is served and guilty parties are prosecuted. “It must be remembered that licensed mining operations have to jump through hoops to get a mining licence and that the assurance of compliance with relevant legislation, regulations, and by-laws relating to the payment of tax, royalties, water usage, environmental, health, safety and other requirements is onerous and expensive,” says Nico Pienaar, director, ASPASA .

Environmental consequences He explains that many examples of

illegal mining exist throughout South Africa and the world, and that some have had catastrophic consequences that include landslides, severe erosion, disappearing beaches, burst riverbanks and many more. “If authorities continue to cast a blind eye towards illegal sand mining operations, these will prosper and, with fewer input costs, will eventually displace legitimate and sustainable operations,” Pienaar continues. “Once this occurs, it will spell disaster for land usage in the country and citizens can expect ruined landscapes, swathes of inarable land, flooding and erosion of our coastline and waterways. “Please report suspicious sand mining operations to your local authorities and local councillors. If these operations persist, we suggest contacting our offices to report the matter and we will pass the information on to the relevant government departments and law enforcement agencies. We must act now to save our environment,” Pienaar concludes.

Nico Pienaar, director, ASPASA



Rand Water

Barloworld Equipment




SRK Consulting

Gabion Baskets


VEGA Controls SA

4, 38, 54

Isuzu Trucks


Much Asphalt


Quality Filtration Systems

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19, 21


Construction Industry Development Board (cidb)



2, 20

Wirtgen SA



Xylem Water Solutions South Africa Zutari

48 IBC 27

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