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_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_upSustainability week – connecting the dots
keyboard_arrow_downSustainability week – connecting the dots

Sustainability Week is scheduled to run 25 to 29 July 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and will include a series of conferencing activities as well as an exhibition.  The event is based on the premise that appropriate responses to the current global crises need to take account of the interconnectedness of these issues. Climate change, oil/energy security, food security, waste generation, water and soil degradation, the destruction of habitat and the extinction of species, and now the financial crisis too, all impact on each other directly or indirectly. Understanding this interconnectedness is fundamental to understanding the true cost of our actions.  In this context, Sustainability Week aims to identify opportunities for change that recognise the ‘full picture’. Taking a broad view and engaging on specific issues, it will look at ways to make our economy and society more sustainable and resilient to external shocks – such as drought, extreme weather conditions, runaway oil prices and others.

keyboard_arrow_upDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town winner
keyboard_arrow_downDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town winner

The winner of the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) Cape Town 2012 is Mothers Unite from Lavender Hill. Chosen by an independent jury from a pool of 254 entries and a shortlist of eight finalists, the project will receive a prize of R750 000.  The winning project – selected as that which most benefitted local residents through an improved urban environment – was founded in 2007 in a mother’s home. Mothers Unite provides a safe haven from the gangsterism, drugs and violence that are part and parcel of street and home life in the area. Three afternoons a week, in a ‘village’ in the grounds of the City’s Seawinds multipurpose hall, 120 children between the ages of 3 and 15 are provided with alternative activities such as storytelling, computer literacy, food garden training, art therapy, sports and play. Built with donated shipping containers, the village is made up of a library, kitchen, office, sheltered area, playground and food garden. The Mothers Unite project addresses the family unit and encourages family participation and a shared commitment to community development, providing a support base for the family and a safe place for children to play, explore and develop.

keyboard_arrow_upFinalists for the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award 2012
keyboard_arrow_downFinalists for the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award 2012

Cape Town, home to almost 4 million people, is a highly differentiated city, filled with almost endless promise but also undermined by various constraints and pressures. The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award, which is located in Cape Town this year, has attracted 254 entries, the highest number since the award was initiated five years ago in Mumbai, India, and through its subsequent travels to Sao Paolo in Brazil, Istanbul in Turkey, and Mexico City.  The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to the problems – and opportunities – that city dwellers face. It offers a prize of R750 000 for the winning project.

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_upDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town entries
keyboard_arrow_downDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town entries

The fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) – in Cape Town this year – has received the highest number of submissions – 254 – since the award programme was established in 2007.  The submissions reflect the vibrancy and creativity of Cape Town’s citizens in tackling the social and urban challenges of their city. From a range of social and geographical backgrounds, the projects indicate that strong and diverse alliances are being built to improve the urban environment and quality of life. The support of universities, local authorities and government programmes and the cooperation of different community organisations have been important factors in the success of the projects.  The Cape Town projects are generally of a high quality and range across categories such as education, culture, environment, sanitation, public space, local economies and social integration.

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.

keyboard_arrow_up400 000 CFLs for metro municipality
keyboard_arrow_down400 000 CFLs for metro municipality

 Actom Electrical Products, the Actom group’s electrical equipment wholesaler, landed its biggest ever order for lamps recently when Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM) awarded it the contract to supply 400 000 spiral compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for distribution to householders in the municipality.

keyboard_arrow_upCombo meter aids water management
keyboard_arrow_downCombo meter aids water management

The Meitwin combination meter from Sensus South Africa offers significant advances in design, performance and efficiency over conventional combination meters for the management of water resources. This is why it is Sensus’s biggest selling water meter in South Africa. One major plus cited for the Meitwin is that it combines the bypass meter, the change-over valve and the main meter into a single, field-replaceable, verified measuring insert. It’s even a big step ahead of the successful Meinecke 3-in-1 combination meter, according to managing director of Sensus South Africa, Basil Bold.

keyboard_arrow_upPressure controllers reduce municipal water loss
keyboard_arrow_downPressure controllers reduce municipal water loss

As part of its 17-point plan to reduce water losses, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) has installed a series of intelligent water pressure controllers. The first installed pressure controller, installed in October last year, is currently saving the city one million litres of water per day in the Durban CBD alone.

keyboard_arrow_upNew restraint joint facilitates pipe repairs
keyboard_arrow_downNew restraint joint facilitates pipe repairs

DPI Plastics product manager, Mike de Villiers, says that the newly launched Durolok internal restraint joint for PVCU and PVCM pipes can make it easier for municipalities to repair reticulation and drainage pipes that may have been damaged by recent floods, even if they are in still waterlogged ground. “A major challenge facing municipalities at present is that permanent repairs to infrastructure damage can generally only take place after the water levels have subsided and the moisture content of the soil has returned to an acceptable level,” says de Villiers.

keyboard_arrow_upEnvironmentally responsible water services
keyboard_arrow_downEnvironmentally responsible water services

June 5th marks World Environment Day and, in this regard, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS)  highlights two of its current projects, the Western Aqueduct Project and the Advanced Pressure Management Plan, that are contributing positively to the city’s environmental balance.

keyboard_arrow_upeThekwini puts a stop to water loss
keyboard_arrow_downeThekwini puts a stop to water loss

The eThekwini water reticulation system’s aged and leaking pipes currently lose 90 000 kilolitres daily. This motivated the City to invest in a multimillion rand replacement programme to ensure that eThekwini has sufficient water for the future. According to eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS)  head Neil Macleod, the Non-Revenue Water branch embarked on a focused programme to identify and treat the problem at source.