keyboard_arrow_upNew Swellendam primary school is set to excite
keyboard_arrow_downNew Swellendam primary school is set to excite

Bold use of face brick colours contrast in a striking architectural design have resulted in an eye-catching school building servicing the Railton community in Swellendam, Western Cape.

keyboard_arrow_upAlternative building technologies for Southern Africa
keyboard_arrow_downAlternative building technologies for Southern Africa

South African exports of home grown alternative building technologies (ABTs) into Southern Africa are extending across an increasingly wider footprint as regional economic growth and infrastructural development continues. 

keyboard_arrow_upCape Town’s IRT system takes form
keyboard_arrow_downCape Town’s IRT system takes form

Corobrik has supplied an estimated one million plus of its Autumn, Wheatstone and De Hoop Red clay pavers for the pavements, walkways and ramps around the bus stations that have been constructed to date in Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system.

keyboard_arrow_upBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress
keyboard_arrow_downBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) recently brought together members of the building industry at its 107th annual congress, convened under the theme Building South Africa. Invited speakers and panel discussions looked at future infrastructure trends, growth opportunities and the challenges and changes experienced in the construction sector. Experts from South Africa and other African countries shared their knowledge and highlighted the need for collaboration among stakeholders to promote the industry.  Environmental issues and sustainability in building were a key focus as was the important role the industry can play in South Africa’s economic growth. 

keyboard_arrow_upHousing needs bulk infrastructure too
keyboard_arrow_downHousing needs bulk infrastructure too

Speaking at the handover of 49 houses at Mantheding Village outside Polokwane in Limpopo in July, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said the provision of bulk infrastructure remains one of the major challenges in delivering houses in rural areas. Sexwale stressed, however, that this challenge did not mean that people in villages should be excluded from receiving houses. 

keyboard_arrow_upThe people prefer concrete block paving
keyboard_arrow_downThe people prefer concrete block paving

The people living in South Africa’s second oldest township, Ngangelizwe in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, are happy with the installation of concrete block paving (CBP) on some of their roads and footpaths. In fact, such is their enthusiasm for concrete block paving that when the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport proposed switching to asphalt instead of CBP in 2009/10, objections from the community led to a compromise. This saw tarring being restricted to a ring road around the township while four internal roads and some adjacent pavements were surfaced with CBP. 

keyboard_arrow_upRetail projects boost rural development
keyboard_arrow_downRetail projects boost rural development

Recent reports highlight an increasing number of retail developments in rural areas and the consensus in the property investment sector seems to be that, for retail developments, the lower income market is the place to be.  The Lephalale Mall is one new rural retail centre currently under construction. It is located in the new town of Onverwacht in Limpopo. The 14 800m² first phase of the development is due to open in November 2012. 

keyboard_arrow_upMeet $93 Billion Investment Power at IIIC
keyboard_arrow_downMeet $93 Billion Investment Power at IIIC

The World Bank reports that $93 billion will be needed to improve Africa’s infrastructure. To be financed and secured by global institutions such as The World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank, the German kfW and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. 

keyboard_arrow_upPaving the way with emerging contractors
keyboard_arrow_downPaving the way with emerging contractors

A young entrepreneur who “fell in love with construction” is today running her own busy construction company handling a multimillion rand contract to pave township roads in the North West Province – and sees the prospect of more such contracts on the way. 

keyboard_arrow_upAdvancing leak detection in buildings
keyboard_arrow_downAdvancing leak detection in buildings

In many buildings that have been refurbished over time or where extensions have been added, new plumbing solutions are often introduced – and this usually also means additions or complex reroutes to installed lines that were approved in the original plans. When it comes to leak detection, contractors may well be challenged to find the leak amid a confusing array of new lines and unused pipes and cabling.  However, according to SA Leak Detection Distributors, with advanced technology detecting leaks or locating lines need no longer be complex problems for trained contractors. 

keyboard_arrow_upGlobal trial points to energy-saving LED street lighting
keyboard_arrow_downGlobal trial points to energy-saving LED street lighting

At Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio, Brazil, in June, the UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum released the results of an independent global trial of LED street lighting undertaken in 12 of the world’s largest cities.  The LightSavers trial found that the use of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) in street lighting can generate energy savings as high as 85%. The programme also indicates that citizens of the pilot cities where the trial was conducted prefer LED lighting, citing the social and environmental benefits associated with it. 

keyboard_arrow_up40 years in geotextiles and 27 green
keyboard_arrow_down40 years in geotextiles and 27 green

Kaytech, supplier of bidim® geotextiles and other geosynthetic solutions for the construction and civil engineering industries, celebrates 40 years in business this year.  Established in 1972, Kaytech initially imported the finished bidim product but the company began producing bidim locally in 1978. Within six years it introduced recycled PET (from throw-away plastic bottles and rubbish bags) into the production process. In 2000 Kaytech moved to full production of bidim using 100% recycled PET. The tonnage of bidim produced from recycled PET over the last 27 years reportedly calculates to some 672 million 2-litre plastic bottles! 

keyboard_arrow_upSABS certified quality in concrete kerbing
keyboard_arrow_downSABS certified quality in concrete kerbing

Concrete building products manufacturer Technicrete has been awarded the SABS mark for its entire range of precast concrete kerbing. This confirms the effectiveness of the company’s quality management systems which have been in place for over 20 years.  Every day Technicrete’s Olifantsfontein, Gauteng, manufacturing plant turns out more than one kilometre of various concrete kerbing profiles for both bitumen and paved road-building projects currently under way in several provinces. 

keyboard_arrow_upCorrectional Services construction projects to go ahead
keyboard_arrow_downCorrectional Services construction projects to go ahead

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) has welcomed indications that the long-awaited building of new correctional services facilities is likely to go ahead soon. MBSA recently had what it described as extremely positive discussions with the former Minister of Correctional Services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. In her Budget Vote Speech soon afterwards, the minister confirmed that the construction of six new correctional services centres will begin during 2012 and another 12 are to follow in subsequent years.

keyboard_arrow_upPrivate sector support for community housing
keyboard_arrow_downPrivate sector support for community housing

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale recently launched the R300-million high-rise Masimong Community Housing Project in Welkom in the Free State. The project is being undertaken as a partnership between government and the private sector, a response to the minister's call for more involvement in housing delivery from those outside government.

keyboard_arrow_upInfrastructure investment conference for Electra Mining 2012
keyboard_arrow_downInfrastructure investment conference for Electra Mining 2012

Deutsche Messe will launch its first ever event in South Africa with the International Infrastructure & Invest Convention – IIC – to run 12 to 13 September, in parallel with Electra Mining Africa at the Expo Centre, Nasrec in Johannesburg.  The convention will cover the topics of energy efficiency, smart grids, renewable energies, water and wastewater management and transport infrastructure. It is being organised by Hannover Fairs International – a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Messe – and the Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCCI). 

keyboard_arrow_upInfrastructure and investment convention at Electra Mining Africa
keyboard_arrow_downInfrastructure and investment convention at Electra Mining Africa

Deutsche Messe will launch its first ever event in South Africa with the International Infrastructure & Invest Convention – IIC. The convention will run 12 and 13 September 2012, in parallel with Electra Mining Africa, at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, in Johannesburg. It will look at opportunities for infrastructure development and investment in the fields of renewable energies, energy efficiency, smart grids, water and sanitation, and transport, including public transport systems.  The Infrastructure & Invest Convention is being organised by Hannover Fairs International – a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Messe – and the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are available to interested companies. 

keyboard_arrow_upHousing a key driver in infrastructure rollout
keyboard_arrow_downHousing a key driver in infrastructure rollout

Ahead of the presentation of the Human Settlements Budget Vote 2012-13 to the National Assembly last week (9 May 2012), Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, highlighted the progress the department has made not only in the continuing development of housing and human settlements but also in rooting out the corruption that has, over past years, undermined the delivery of decent housing.  Interestingly, Minister Sexwale raised the question of whether government should not be turning to sizeable, established contractors and their BEE partners rather than the “wheelbarrow and bakkie brigade” to support its housing delivery commitments. He said that while some emerging contractors are genuinely committed to building houses of sound and long-lasting quality, many had shown themselves to be fly-by-nights, abusing taxpayers’ money and government’s resources. 

keyboard_arrow_upJabulani hostels make way for family housing
keyboard_arrow_downJabulani hostels make way for family housing

The R487-million Jabulani Housing Project in Soweto, launched at the end of March, will see the development of 1 919 community residential and RDP housing units completed over the next few years – replacing the existing hostels on the site which are to be demolished over time. The new housing units will provide a more family-oriented environment for hostel dwellers and people from other income groups. 

keyboard_arrow_upConcrete poles for electricity distribution at Fleurhof
keyboard_arrow_downConcrete poles for electricity distribution at Fleurhof

Over 3 000 prestressed I-section concrete poles are being supplied by Aveng Manufacturing Infraset for the electrification of the integrated housing development in Fleurhof, Roodepoort, in Gauteng.  The development involves the construction of 9 600 houses, between 30m² and 100m² in size. The building programme began in 2010 and will run until 2016. Some of the units are being sold on the open market, others fall under the RDP umbrella and the balance are being allocated for social rental and the gap market.

keyboard_arrow_upConcrete solutions for infrastructure and housing
keyboard_arrow_downConcrete solutions for infrastructure and housing

Concrete and concrete products offer social, environmental, economic and other benefits in housing as well as in the development of infrastructure for human settlements. These benefits are set out in a leaflet entitled Sustainable Concrete for Human Settlements, published by the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI).  Compared with new, sophisticated and relatively expensive alternative construction technologies, concrete remains one of the most cost-effective and durable building materials. 

keyboard_arrow_upSAICE laments Nazir Alli’s departure from SANRAL
keyboard_arrow_downSAICE laments Nazir Alli’s departure from SANRAL

In a press statement, the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) said it laments the resignation of Nazir Alli as CEO of SANRAL. Alli is a longstanding, valued member and Fellow of SAICE. “It is indeed a privilege to salute him for the significant leadership role he has played since 1998 with the establishment of SANRAL, an implementing agency of the Department of Transport,” SAICE said. Alli was also a recipient of the SAICE Transportation Division Chairman’s Award for excellent service to the industry.  “Under Nazir’s leadership a 16 000km road network across South Africa, that can compete with the best in the world, was developed, operated and maintained. In the SAICE Infrastructure Report Card for South Africa 2011 these national roads received a B+ grading, one of only a few infrastructure systems awarded this ‘Fit for the Future’ grade. This is of major importance to our country’s economic growth and development and could only be accomplished because Nazir was a highly competent, motivated and technically sound civil engineering and business manager – a rare combination. It could be said that he was a visionary leader who propelled the civil engineering industry into the 21st century, while working in a complex and very technical environment. 

keyboard_arrow_upCivil engineering experience critical to infrastructure development
keyboard_arrow_downCivil engineering experience critical to infrastructure development

In his inaugural address as the 110th president of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), Dr Martin van Veelen spoke of the importance of retaining engineering experience – and the wisdom that has grown with it – in government departments responsible for the country’s infrastructure, and equally, of transferring this wisdom and experience to the corps of younger engineers in the public service.  Van Veelen pointed out the shortage of technocrats in those government departments where such skills are essential, highlighting, for example, that in the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) there are only seven engineers in a senior management team of 48 people.

keyboard_arrow_upDevelopment moving ahead at Waterfall Business Estate
keyboard_arrow_downDevelopment moving ahead at Waterfall Business Estate

Atterbury Property Group recently launched its Waterfall Business Estate, an ambitious 1.6 million square metre mixed-use commercial development in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.  Atterbury Property Group CEO, Louis van der Watt says, “This is an opportunity to develop a mixed-use commercial precinct in the heart of the fastest growing metropolis on the African continent.” The development of Waterfall Business Estate will be market-driven and will roll out over the next 14 years with a total value well over R25 billion.

keyboard_arrow_upTrenchless pipe laying and rehabilitation
keyboard_arrow_downTrenchless pipe laying and rehabilitation

Having launched trenchless technology in South Africa in the early 1990s, subsurface pipeline construction and rehabilitation company, Trenchless Technologies, has seen the applications of this technology grow rapidly in the construction and civil engineering sectors.  Trenchless Technologies managing member, Sam Efrat, says that the deterioration of the country’s underground infrastructure systems and the ever-increasing demand for utility services is driving an even greater need for subsurface utility construction and rehabilitation that causes minimal disruption to traffic and business at surface level.

keyboard_arrow_upWhen you want concrete that ‘leaks like a sieve’
keyboard_arrow_downWhen you want concrete that ‘leaks like a sieve’

With ever-increasing urbanisation and the resultant sprawl of rooftops and hard-surfaced landscapes, the effective management of storm water drainage has become increasingly difficult. The risk of flash floods escalates and the impact of rapid runoff on natural watercourses can cause serious environmental damage.  Lafarge Readymix  has launched Hydromedia™, a new, fast-draining concrete pavement solution to address this problem in South Africa. Hydromedia provides for rapid storm water removal from streets, parking areas, driveways, walkways and other hard surfaced areas. It offers a drainage medium that enables rainwater to return to and replenish groundwater reserves locally and it can reduce the costs and long-term maintenance requirements of storm water management systems – for public authorities and private property owners.

keyboard_arrow_upMast lighting structures at Eskom’s Medupi Power Station
keyboard_arrow_downMast lighting structures at Eskom’s Medupi Power Station

Lighting Structures, a business unit within Jasco Carrier Infrastructure and a jointly owned venture between Jasco and the LeBlanc group, secured the contract valued at more than R12 million to design, manufacture, supply and install a range of Hi Masts along with civil works and electrics at Eskom's ground-breaking Medupi Power Station in Lephalale, Limpopo.  Medupi is the first power station to be built in the country in more than two decades. The development requires significant peripheral infrastructure, including specialised area and street lighting to ensure security and safe operations. Lighting Structures specialises in the engineering and design, fabrication, logistics and installation of Hi Masts (including Rail-low masts, Mid-hinge masts, Hydro and Access masts) and street lighting poles, among other systems.

keyboard_arrow_upBenefits in ductile iron manhole covers
keyboard_arrow_downBenefits in ductile iron manhole covers

Incledon, a leading supplier of pipes, fittings, pumps and related systems, has introduced the Tekflo range of ductile iron manhole covers and frames to the South African market. The Tekflo products meet key local requirements and offer a number of benefits for municipalities.  Incledon national product manager for civils, Kelly Wilson, notes that the Tekflo range of ductile iron manhole covers and frames is compliant with the SANS 50124:1994 specification, which carries more comprehensive design requirements, type testing, marking, quality control and loading classes than the older and more commonly used SANS 558:1973 specification. Compliance with this newer specification ensures that the end user is provided with a better standard of product.

keyboard_arrow_upRaising the bar on pump skills
keyboard_arrow_downRaising the bar on pump skills

Pump manufacturer Wilo South Africa is upgrading the professional skills levels of its technical teams to meet the twin challenges posed by advances in pump technology and energy conservation. A mechanical engineering degree is now a key to gaining a place on the company’s support staff. Driving this advance in customer care is a severe shortage of engineering skills in the infrastructural sector, especially among smaller municipalities.  Managing director Errol Cornelius, says, “Wilo is leading the pumps industry in developing advisory and consulting capacity for customers that goes way beyond the manufacturing and selling of pumps.”

keyboard_arrow_upWater metering key to effective water management
keyboard_arrow_downWater metering key to effective water management

Water conservation was a headline topic on the periphery of the COP17 United Nations climate change conference in Durban in December last year. But “all the planning and good intentions in the world will fail without accurate water metering,” says Basil Bold, managing director of Sensus South Africa.  “Uncountable litres of water are being lost in South Africa through inefficient metering – and sometimes no metering at all,” Bold says. “The fact is that the successful management and effective conservation of water resources is impossible without efficient metering.”  Sensus SA is a leading supplier of water meters and metering systems to municipalities and water utilities across the country.