Piling in sunny Cuba by ldh17437

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									Isivili Enjiniyering   April 2007 Vol 15 No 4

                             A time of opportunity for civil
                               engineering in South Africa

                            Piling in sunny Cuba
                                          Call for nominations:
                                        Geotechnical Division
                                                 Awards 2007

                                          The piling people
                                            of South Africa

                                        A contract
                                    is not enough
                                                                                                                                                38 MONTHS TO FIFA 2010

                               Isivili Enjiniyering   April 2007 Vol 15 No 4

                                                            A time of opportunity for civil
                                                              engineering in South Africa

                                                           Piling in sunny Cuba

                                                                                                 ON THE COVER
                                                                         Call for nominations:
                                                                       Geotechnical Division
                                                                                Awards 2007

                                                                         The piling people

                                                                           of South Africa

                                                                       A contract
                                                                   is not enough

                                                                                                 Plane sailing for Franki at O R Tambo         20
          ON THE COVER
          Franki Africa has received wide acclaim
          for its work on the lateral support and
          perimeter piling at the new central terminal                                           GEOTECHNICAL
          building (CTB) and surrounding areas                                                   Piling in sunny Cuba   6
          at O R Tambo International Airport. The                                                Prediction of settlement of a
          picture shows the soldier-pile lateral support
          wall (see page 20)
                                                                                                 re-used foundation 0
                                                                                                 Rational decision-making in the sustainable
                                                                                                 configuration of tailings impoundments 4
                                                                                                 Call for nominations: Geotechnical
                                                                                                 Division Awards 2007 8
                                                                                                 Pile testing in South Africa   9
                                                                                                 The piling people of South Africa   22
                                                      April 2007 Vol 15 No 4
                                                                                                 Preparing for diaphragm walling     25         An engineer’s engineer   2
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          The South African Institution of Civil Engineering                                                                                    A time of opportunity for civil
          accepts no responsibility for any statements made or
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                                                                                                                                                A contract is not enough    43
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          ISSN 1021-2000                                                                                                                        Fulfilling a critical need 46

                              BLIS HER
                                                                                                                                                ENERGYS to the rescue 52

                                                                                                                                                Obituaries 55
          M AG A Z I N


                                                                                                                                                Diarise this! 56

                         AS                IO
                              S O C I AT

                                                                                                                                                               Civil Engineering | April 2007 
           Text Lorraine Fourie


An engineer’s engineer
  ‘There comes a time in life when you feel like taking your foot off the                      roads division. ‘At that time geotechnical
                                                                                               considerations as applied to road construc-
       gas.’ At age 64, a sprightly Fred hartley decided to retire from his                    tion merited only nominal attention,’ he
                                                                                               says. ‘But by 1970, when we came to South
 position at Grinaker-LTA’s Ground engineering division and emigrate                           Africa, I had moved over to pavement
                                                                                               design and materials as part of the intro-
     to new Zealand. After a seven-week around the world trip with his                         duction of a new Code of Practice, and had
                                                                                               developed an interest in soil mechanics.’
   wife, Margaret, it sounds as if Fred is now spending most of his time
                                                                                               FINDING SOUTH AFRICA ON THE MAP
 playing golf or engaged in his new-found interest of marlin catch-and-                        Fred and Margaret were married in 1966
                                                                                               and when their first child, Peter, was 1-1
   release fishing. Lorraine Fourie spoke to the hartleys before they left                     years old they decided that they would like
                                                                                               to establish roots somewhere else on the
                                                                                               globe. ‘It was as simple as putting a pin on
When Fred and Margaret left South               want to attribute it to superb genes or hard   a map and finding South Africa,’ Fred jok-
Africa for new Zealand in September 2006,       work, but his father lived to the ripe age     ingly recalls. The fact that South Africa was
it was not the first major move they had        of 103. Of the six hartley children – Fred     the pariah of the world in those days didn’t
made in their lifetime. during Fred’s 40-       being number five in seniority – three re-     perturb them. In northern Ireland they had
year career they had experienced the pros       mained in northern Ireland, one went off       had first-hand experience of a conflicted
and cons of living on three continents and      to Canada and two – Fred being the later       society, though they had never been per-
they were about to spread their wings to a      arrival – opted for new Zealand.               sonally touched by it.
fourth, though this time the territory was          After attaining A-levels he attended           ‘The CSIr had offered me a position
not all that unfamiliar to them as with their   Queens University in Belfast – well known      but I declined because it was too research-
initial translocation to South Africa.          particularly for its engineering and medical   oriented and I’m more of a hands-on
                                                disciplines – where he graduated with a        person,’ he explains. In mid-1970 Fred
IRISH TO THE BONE                               BSc degree in civil engineering in 1964.       joined Ove Arup (as they were then called)
Fred was born in County Londonderry             ‘The degree course would have been             Consulting engineers in Johannesburg, as
in northern Ireland, where he grew up a         quite similar to that on offer at Wits or      a soils engineer. ‘Academically I had only
farmer’s son. ‘We had a small mixed farm        the University of Pretoria,’ is his opinion.   a very basic grounding in geotechnics, but
which was the kind of agriculture practised     he then joined the Londonderry County          I knew that was what I wanted to do, so
in that area,’ he recollects. Whether you       Council as an assistant engineer in the        it meant picking up the practical side as I

        2 Civil Engineering | April 2007
   Left: Auger-hole drilling with ‘new generation’ GEL piling machine
                  Right: Fred and Margaret in the village of Te Aroha

went along. At Arup, dr Brian Watt, who
had just returned from MIT in the USA to
head up the Geotechnical division, was
very influential in guiding and encouraging
me. I was also fortunate to work with Joe
de Beer, well known for the excellence of
his geological map of Johannesburg. Arup
provided a unique blend of world-class
engineering in a friendly yet motivated en-
vironment, bringing people together from
many parts of the globe,’ Fred reflects.
     he continues: ‘At MIT Brian had spe-
cialised in the engineering properties of
partially saturated soils, and suddenly
I found myself working on the analysis
of the laboratory test results for a new
basement in Braamfontein that was to be
located in the deeply weathered andesites
where a piled solution for the superstruc-
ture was not feasible due to the presence
of hard rock “floaters” from the adjacent
quartzites. deep basement construction in
Johannesburg in the 1960–1970 era was
unique for city development at that time. In
terms of innovative engineering, combined
with depth and constructability, the local                              of oil was expected to escalate to 90 dollars    considerable experience of this in Canada.
engineers had to be regarded as world                                   a barrel. The rush to exploit the large oil      ‘We initially rented hydraulic installation
leaders.’                                                               deposits in Alberta turned Calgary into one      equipment from holland for our first con-
     Fred spent two years at Ove Arup, after                            of the fastest growing cities on the north       tracts in South Africa, then commissioned
which he joined McLaren and eger (M&e).                                 American continent. ‘People were flocking        the department of engineering at Wits
‘I left because I wanted to go into the con-                            to Calgary in their thousands each month,        to look into the design of an equivalent
tracting side and M&e was considered one                                changing it from a modest-sized country          product, due to the costs of rental arising
of the three main piling and foundation                                 and western type city into this new metrop-      from our devalued rand. This was duly
contractors in Johannesburg.’ The eight                                 olis,’ Fred recounts. he had joined a com-       constructed, and proved successful, thanks
plus years he spent with them was a con-                                pany called deep Foundations Contractors         in part to a local expert who made up the
tinuous learning curve. his first site work                             that was particularly involved in lateral        necessary rubber elastomers to suppress
was for the cooling towers at Kriel power                               support for basement excavations for major       vibrations,’ Fred elaborates.
station. ‘This was big-time piling: 36 piles                            developments in downtown Calgary. But                By 1987 the piling and foundation
per cooling tower, each pile 2,1 metres in                              by the end of 1982 it was clear that the         market was shrinking, and in the same year
diameter socketed 5 metres into sandstone.                              oil price was not going to skyrocket, the        M&e was closed down by the holding com-
I’m not aware of bigger piles being drilled                             drilling rigs returned from the ‘high north’,    pany. Fred made a career move and joined
in this country ever since,’ he reminisces.                             and companies started laying off staff. The      LTA Group company Ground engineering
Piling at Kriel was followed by similar work                            boom was over. The scope of work reduced         (GeL).
at Matla and duvha power stations.                                      drastically, so when Fred, who had kept in           ‘This was a contracting company with a
      ‘At this time detailed investigation                              contact with his ex-colleagues, received an      broader spread of geotechnical applications
drilling also commenced for Sasol 2, for                                offer to return to M&e in Johannesburg, he       than I had previously experienced, particu-
which M&e was awarded a contract to                                     accepted, arriving in South Africa in March      larly such aspects as fissure and compac-
drill nine boreholes,’ he continues. ‘I still                           1984.                                            tion grouting, dynamic compaction and
remember the red flags dotting the mealie                                   Margaret, who during their stay in           ground anchors. It was a challenging time
lands to indicate the borehole positions.’                              Calgary had carved a niche for herself as a      with lots of industry competition in a static
Sasol 2 was followed by an even bigger                                  realtor, stayed behind with the two boys to      market. I was able to add the band drain
piling project for Sasol 3. detailed pile load                          settle their affairs. Although property prices   equipment, purchased for the bargain price
testing led to a technical paper on socketed                            had devalued greatly, she managed to sell        of r3 500, to the equipment fleet, where it
piles in the Karoo sediments, which Fred                                their house within three months. Back in         remains to this day,’ he laughs. ‘Growth in
later presented at a conference in Sydney                               Johannesburg she continued in the real es-       the Ground engineering profile has been
on behalf of the geotechnical consultant,                               tate business, eventually running her own        encouraged in the new Grinaker-LTA com-
dr d L Webb.                                                            successful company in the Lonehill area.         pany structure where GeL, as part of the
                                                                                                                         Civil engineering division, has benefited
OFF TO CANADA                                                           SECOND TIME ROUND                                in a dramatic modernisation programme of
By 1981 the hartleys, who by now had                                    At M&e Fred, who knew the ropes well,            plant replacement over the past two years.’
two sons, started getting itchy feet again.                             continued as site agent involved in piling       Fred retired from his position as technical
They set their sights on Calgary in the                                 and geotechnical contracting. A number of        manager in August 2006.
Province of Alberta, Canada, where Fred’s                               enquiries were issued at that time for the           etienne Terblanche, who while at BKS
sister lived. An Opec oil embargo had the                               installation of band drains to accelerate soft   Consulting engineers, worked with Fred on
world in its grip at the time and the price                             soil consolidation and Fred had picked up        several piling and lateral support contracts

                                                                                                                                     Civil Engineering | April 2007 3
           Above: Fred and son Peter at an open-day visit to the Martha     with his enormous enthusiasm, made him          RETIRING TO NEW ZEALAND
   open-pit mine, close to Te Aroha. The pit is soon to become a 195 m      an inspirational figure to anyone who had       does he have any regrets about leaving?
                                                   deep recreational lake   the privilege of working with him.’             ‘Plenty,’ was the reply. ‘So many friends,
   Right: Fred Hartley, of whom GEL General Manager Ken Jones, says:             Alan elaborates on Fred’s technical        so many challenges for the new South
 ‘In the time I’ve known Fred I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word       know-how: ‘he was always on the lookout         Africa, as well as leaving our younger son,
                 about him, and in contracting that’s quite something!’     for new and practical ideas which would         Michael, who is a hydro-geologist with a
                                                                            make piling, lateral support, grouting and      practice in nelspruit.’ But new Zealand is
from the ’seventies through to the ’nineties,                               dynamic compaction less of an art and           familiar territory to the hartleys. Fred’s
says he will always remember Fred for his                                   more of a relevant science. It was at his       older brother has been in Christchurch
helpfulness and openhearted personality.                                    instigation that the first Osterberg Cell       for many years and son Peter, a civil
‘But above all, he was an engineer who                                      test was used on large diameter piles in-       engineer, is an associate with a major
had the ability to get a job timeously and                                  stalled at the richards Bay dry-bulk jetty.     consulting practice in Auckland. The
properly done, because so often he could                                    he pushed for the “window sampler” to           hartleys visited the country a number of
offer workable alternative solutions to the                                 be used as an investigation tool, and saw       times and decided to settle in the small
problems at hand.’                                                          the beauty of using the CAPWAP method           town of Te Aroha, an edwardian spa
     To illustrate Fred’s proactive approach in                             for testing pre-cast piles, a procedure that    town 50 km from hamilton and 140 km
finding optimum solutions, etienne refers                                   makes use of electronic read-out devices        from Auckland. ‘We were attracted to
to the last job that his firm handled in con-                               from gauges attached to the pile to predict     the village style of life in Te Aroha; the
junction with Fred at Ground engineering.                                   the load-carrying capacity of the pile. It is   town doesn’t even have traffic lights, only
‘The project we were working on was the                                     because of his inputs that these methods        two stop signs – and of course there’s an
new nasionale Pers (naspers) headquarters                                   are making a significant contribution to the    18-hole golf course,’ Fred adds. ‘The area
office block complex in Auckland Park,                                      geotechnical community today.’                  around the village experienced a minor
Johannesburg,’ he recalls. ‘On the day of the                                    Asked about the biggest challenge that     gold mining boom in the late 1890s, early
site handover to the contractor – this being                                he had experienced in his career in civil en-   1900s, so what’s the difference?’ Fred asks.
Fred’s company – the client insisted on the                                 gineering, Fred somewhat ruefully remarks            It might be difficult to get the engineer
earlier completion of 50 per cent of the piles                              that maybe the biggest challenge for geo-       out of Fred in retirement. Margaret says
on the portion of the building site that hap-                               technical engineering is still to come, but     that when they were planning their world
pened to be on the most difficult ground                                    unfortunately he won’t be here to share in      tour itinerary, their trip to Milan in Italy
conditions. So innovative design ideas had                                  it – construction of the Gautrain. Although     had to be routed via Piacenza so that Fred
to be thought of urgently, because this por-                                Grinaker-LTA, as part of the Gauliwe con-       could visit a major trade fair for drilling
tion now had to be completed within 44 per                                  sortium, was not the preferred bidder, they     equipment. And since, for 40 years, they
cent of the available construction time. To                                 had nevertheless put in a tremendous effort     had made all their decisions together, natu-
cut a long story short, the effective manner                                to prepare their bid. ‘I was particularly       rally she would be going too.
and speed with which Fred’s in-house ex-                                    involved in the geotechnical aspects of              Although he has very firmly retired he
perts sorted out the instrumentation, testing                               the bid for about a year,’ he says. Looking     might apply himself wherever he finds a
and back-analyses side of things to be able                                 ahead, he enthuses about the challenges         niche in the marketplace. ‘new Zealand
to determine required pile lengths and the                                  contractors and consultants will encounter,     is just as short of skilled people as South
end-bearing component, with resulting eco-                                  especially for the section from Midrand         Africa, especially engineers and artisans.’
nomic benefits to the job, was impressive.’                                 to Pretoria. ‘In the Centurion area the         he also intends to register with redr, an
     Similar comments come from Trevor                                      Gautrain route has to be constructed over       international group of engineers involved
Green and Alan Parrock at ArQ. Trevor                                       the highly variable dolomitic rock forma-       in disaster relief efforts globally.
considers Fred to have had ‘the singular                                    tions and that is going to present challenges        ‘We decided that on retirement we’re
ability to bridge the gap between lofty design                              never before tackled in this country. But I     going on to a new stage of life,’ Fred says.
and practical necessity, while continuously                                 have no doubt that the geotechnical team        From all reports it sounds as if that is ex-
striving for constructability. This, coupled                                will again stand up to the challenge.’          actly what the hartleys are doing.

             4 Civil Engineering | April 2007
           Text Trevor Green
           ARQ Consulting Engineers, Pretoria


Piling in sunny Cuba
MOST OF US WOrKInG in the civil engi-           zens and foreign engineers – what more         Above: Pedro Sotto Alba Mine in Moa
neering field have had the opportunity to       could any young engineer ask for?           Below: Canadian piling rig used at Moa
travel during the course of our work and to                                                 Opposite page: Typical signage in Cuba
visit interesting and exotic places which the   PROJECT BACKGROUND
average tourist never experiences.              The Pedro Sotto Alba Mine is located        limped on ever since, until recently when a
    That said, being sent to a small town       near the town of Moa, in the province of    Canadian company, Sherrit International,
in Cuba has to be one of the highlights of      holguin, Cuba. It was built in the 1930s    bought a share in the mine and initiated an
anyone’s career. Travelling and working in      and operated by a US company until the      upgrade of the plant site facilities.
a country still run by a benevolent dictator,   Cuban revolution in 1959, at which point        The soil conditions at the plant site are
being involved in an interesting and chal-      the US company closed shop and left         difficult, comprising residual lateritic silts,
lenging project and having the opportunity      Cuba taking with them most of the tech-     underlain by residual clays, weathered
to mingle and interact with ordinary citi-      nical expertise at the mine. The mine has   serpentine and finally serpentine bedrock.
                                                                                            The laterite, present near founding level,
                                                                                            is highly variable with the consistency
                                                                                            varying from very soft to stiff and with a
                                                                                            clay/silt content in excess of 60%. Given the
                                                                                            high loads and low settlement tolerances of
                                                                                            the structure, founding using conventional
                                                                                            footings was not an option.
                                                                                                The geotechnical investigation report
                                                                                            recommended piling, which although
                                                                                            technically the correct option, was not
                                                                                            without its challenges. Bedrock, the only
                                                                                            reliable founding layer, is typically more
                                                                                            than 20 m below natural ground level. A
                                                                                            high water table is present over much of
                                                                                            the site with 4 m to 5 m thick layers of
                                                                                            very hard ferricrete encountered within
                                                                                            the laterite. Worst of all, the geotechnical
                                                                                            investigation had encountered voids, up to
                                                                                            6 m in depth, in at least half the boreholes.
                                                                                            Certainly not ideal piling conditions. Yet
                                                                                            in the end, something had to be done and
                                                                                            so it was decided to install driven steel
                                                                                            tube piles, 324 mm in diameter, to refusal
                                                                                            in the serpentine bedrock.

        6 Civil Engineering | April 2007
At that stage ArQ, a South African en-
gineering consulting company based in
Pretoria, was approached to provide design
assistance. The Canadian and Chilean
designers had limited experience working
in residual soils and were looking for assist-
ance in finalising the pile design especially
with specifying driving and refusal criteria.
    It was not unexpected that planning
a piling contract in Cuba would be chal-
lenging. For one, there were no local piling
contractors of sufficient size to handle
a contract of this magnitude. As such,
the client appointed a Canadian piling
contractor. This contractor, however, was
not particularly keen to bring any modern
plant or equipment into Cuba, given the
risk that it may never come back! The
piling rig used was thus as ‘disposable’ as
possible, over fifty years old, with a PILCO
d19-32 diesel piling hammer of roughly           serpentine bedrock without refusing above      rock because of the presence of large voids
the same era. Added to this was the fact         the rock or buckling under the driving         in the profile. Once rock was encountered,
that the steel tube piles had already been       stresses?                                      sufficient capacity from the pile would not
sourced, and would comprise 324 mm                                                              be a problem. Therefore the worst profile
diameter, 345 MPa steel tube piles with a        INNOVATIVE DESIGN AND                          from a drivability perspective was analysed
relatively thin wall thickness of 9,5 mm.        QUALITY CONTROL                                to make sure rock could be reached.
    This resulted in a delicate balance          To determine the suitability of the pro-           It was determined that the 9,5 mm
in terms of the pile design and driving          posed piling system, a pile-driving analysis   thick steel tube piles were right on the
criteria: could the piles penetrate the stiff    programme, GrLWeAP, was utilised.              limit, with near yield capacity stresses oc-
weathered serpentine to found on the             essentially the piles had to be founded on     curring towards the end of drive. The client

                                                                                                            Civil Engineering | April 2007 7
was informed that if this pile size were to
be used, there was a high element of risk
and a comprehensive system of quality con-
trol would be required to ensure the piles
were not overdriven.
    The client decided to continue with the
planned installation of the 9,5 mm thick
piles, but requested that the South African
design engineer be present at the start of
the piling to confirm the refusal criteria,
monitor the pile testing and establish the
quality control system. This appointment
was enthusiastically accepted and two one-
week trips were made in June and August
    The piles would be driven to rock but
driving would have to cease immediately
on encountering rock, at which point a
final set would be taken (that is, penetra-
tion per ten blows). A refusal criteria of
50 mm per ten blows was established, and
pre-drilling using percussion methods was             One activity that has thrived is the          Above: The Canadian contractor, Atlas
specified to penetrate the ferricrete layers in   weekly Canadian/Cuban hockey matches.           Shoring, after a good day’s piling
certain areas.                                    homesick Canadians started a social game
                                                  on a concrete basketball court, in which            Quality control documentation and
THE CUBAN EXPERIENCE                              some of the local Cuban youths took an          procedures were established and after a
Outside havana, Cuba is much like                 interest. It has since developed into a major   week of successful piling, the first area
Mozambique: hot and humid, underdevel-            weekly contest complete with a PA system        of 16 piles was completed. At this point
oped because of its political history, but        announcing the players and a running            the South African engineer departed and
with a charm that only occurs in a country        commentary in Spanish. The Canadians,           the piling continued in the next area. As
that has been sheltered by political isola-       being hockey players from birth, enjoyed        luck would have it, this is when the piling
tion for the last 47 years.                       an early dominance. however, the opposi-        started to deviate from the set parameters.
    To the Canadian engineers and contrac-        tion learnt quickly and the Canadians now           As the new area was in cut, below the
tors, the country represented a frustrating       find themselves on the defensive, especially    level which the hard ferricrete was en-
experience in bureaucracy and inefficiency.       as they are not used to playing in tem-         countered, the resident engineer opted not
everything occurs in what is fondly known         peratures in the mid-thirties with coastal      to pre-drill. The area also had somewhat
as ‘Cuban time’. That said, working in Cuba       humidity. even a South African engineer         poorer soil conditions near the surface.
was as much an experience for them as for         struggled running for two hours in that.        These factors combined to reduce the lat-
a young South African engineer.                       The project itself suffered from an         eral stability inherent in the initial piling.
    The average Cuban living in holguin           entertaining language barrier problem,          The piles deviated laterally during driving
Province earns roughly US$27 a month if           with most of the site staff being Spanish-      and once rock was encountered, buckled
unemployed and up to US$36 if employed,           speaking Chileans and the contractors and       as the driving stresses were now applied
regardless of qualification or position.          design engineers being english-speaking         eccentrically. despite the site staff and the
Although the cost of living is low and            Canadians. It made for some interesting         piling contractor’s best efforts, only a third
everyone has free access to healthcare and        meetings, with both parties talking pro-        of the next 24 piles were successfully in-
education, the people are poor by First           gressively louder and with more accentu-        stalled to the required refusal criteria.
World standards. The result is that you           ated hand gestures in a vain attempt to             A different approach was required.
have almost an entire population that is          bridge the language divide, all the time        Thicker steel tubes were sourced, pre-
universally impoverished yet relatively well      smiling and laughing at the absurdity of the    drilling was adopted and the pile shoe was
educated, healthy and vibrant.                    situation. eventually more Cuban transla-       adjusted to reduce the probability that
    The Canadian engineers and contrac-           tors were employed, solving the problem.        the pile would deflect off localised harder
tors, some of whom work at the mine on a                                                          areas. These changes in the piling reduced
permanent basis, earn considerably more           THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROJECT                   the ratio of failed piles to approximately
than the locals and are comparative mil-          The piling started off exactly according to     1 in 10. The remaining ‘failed’ piles were
lionaires. They are closely monitored by the      plan. The first four piles were installed to    tested using low-strain testing to assess
government and local police, and frater-          the expected depths, and stopped at the         their integrity and dynamic testing to es-
nising with the locals is not encouraged.         specified refusal criteria. These piles were    tablish their capacity. The results showed
    In a popular tourist guide to Cuba,           all tested using dynamic pile testing equip-    that although these piles were buckled, in
under reasons to visit Moa it simply states       ment and analysed using the CAPWAP              most cases, they were still partially intact
that you shouldn’t. It suggests the only          method. The capacities were all near those      and could still be used to carry part of the
people who would have any interest in             predicted by ArQ, and in excess of those        required load, albeit with a higher factor of
visiting the town would be Canadian nickel        required by the project. The driving stress,    safety.
miners, which is in fact fairly accurate.         whilst high, was less than the yield stress         In all, 138 piles were successfully in-
    The town is fairly minimal in terms of        with an acceptable safety factor. Based on      stalled, providing a successful end to the
activities outside of work, with the primary      these results the contractor was instructed     project. This will, hopefully, lead to future
diversions comprising drinking cheap beer         to proceed with the remainder of the piles      South African involvement in this fasci-
or excellent rum and smoking the world-           using the, now tested, driving and refusal      nating country, with its vast potential for
famous Cuban cigars.                              criteria.                                       future development.

         8 Civil Engineering | April 2007
            Text Michelle Theron
            University of the Witwatersrand

            Martin Rust
            Jones & Wagener

            Bill Ellis
            Jones & Wagener

Prediction of settlement
of a re-used foundation
neW STrUCTUreS are built to replace              Foundation engineering in general has been developed to estimate
older structures in city centres. demolition
of old foundations is difficult, as they are     foundation capacity. Factors of safety are applied not only to
usually inaccessible. Consequently, the re-
use of existing foundations for new struc-       minimise the chance of failure of the foundation, but also to limit
tures is becoming increasingly important
in South Africa. Settlement calculations for     settlement of the foundation. Few tools are available to the engineer
these foundations are complicated partly
owing to their complex soil stress history.      to predict settlement of a foundation under working load.
This article describes such a case history.
    An existing road bridge over a railway           This article documents a case history. Two methods of settlement
line in Mpumalanga built in 1969 was to be
upgraded. The new design vehicle was the         prediction were used for a foundation. A load test was done on the
Caterpillar 777 rear dump truck. The GVM
of these trucks is in the order of 160 t (60 t   foundation and settlement measured. results show that the predictions
front axle and 100 t rear axle).
    A new bridge deck was designed to            of foundation settlement differed severely, and confidence in the results
overlay the existing deck. The original deck
was built in three spans, simply supported.      could only be gained after doing a load test on the foundation
The new deck was designed to distribute
load over the four spread footings built for
the original bridge. As a result very little     Figure  DPL test results of soil profile adjacent to the bridge foundations
settlement and especially differential settle-
ment could be allowed.

The foundations of the bridge were ex-
posed. A high-quality, undisturbed block
sample of the material immediately below
the founding depth was taken for labora-
tory analysis. Test pits were dug close to the
foundations to investigate the underlying
    The generalised soil profile consisted of
a clayey fine and medium sand overlying a
well ferruginised layer, described as ‘rela-
tively closely packed gravel’. The consist-
ency of the upper material was described
as ‘medium dense with loose to medium
dense patches’ and the ferruginised layer

        0 Civil Engineering | April 2007
Figure 2 Time for primary consolidation to take place after each stage of the stress path test        in the upper ‘loose’ layer of soil. Owing to
                                                                                                      concerns about the compressibility of this
                                                                                                      ‘loose’ layer a load test was recommended.

                                                                                                      SETTLEMENT PREDICTIONS
                                                                                                      Foundation settlement was predicted
                                                                                                      using two independent methods. The first
                                                                                                      method entailed a simple elastic analysis
                                                                                                      based on the dPL results. The second
                                                                                                      method was a settlement calculation based
                                                                                                      on triaxial stress path results.
                                                                                                          Predictions of settlement due to the load
                                                                                                      test as well as the ultimate working load
                                                                                                      were made. The applied pressure on the
                                                                                                      foundation due to the load test was 14 kPa.
                                                                                                      The total increase in applied load on the
                                                                                                      foundation consisted of 46 kPa from the
                                                                                                      bridge deck overlay and a further 39 kPa
                                                                                                      from the new live load.

                                                                                                      Elastic settlement prediction
                                                                                                      A simple plane strain finite element linear
                                                                                                      elastic analysis using the software package
was described as dense.                                of concern that the dPL results consist-       Plaxis was carried out. A trend line was
    dPL (dynamic penetrometer light) tests             ently showed a loose soil layer extending      hand fitted to the dPL results to distin-
were carried out next to the foundations at            approximately 250 mm below the founding        guish between the various soil layers and to
three locations. The test results are sum-             depth. Penetration per blow in this soil       obtain a representative value of penetration
marised in figure 1. The results confirmed             layer was in the order of 120 mm. Visual       for each layer (see figure 1). Soil stiffness
the variable density of the soil profile               inspection of the profile indicated that the   (Young’s modulus) was derived using the
noted during the test pit profiling. It was            majority of settlement would take place        empirical correlation suggested by Packard

                                                                                                                  Civil Engineering | April 2007 
 Figure 3 Voids ratio plotted against vertical effective stress                                                 undisturbed block sample to simulate the
                                                                                                                stress path of the soil under the founda-
                                                                                                                tion. The stress path included stresses to
                                                                                                                simulate the construction of the original
                                                                                                                bridge, construction of the new bridge
                                                                                                                deck overlay and application of the ulti-
                                                                                                                mate working load (table 1). The correct
                                                                                                                stress history was important, as soil be-
                                                                                                                haviour is highly dependent on its stress
 e (void ratio)

                                                                                                                    The test was carried out by dr Theron
                                                                                                                in a 38 mm Bishop and Wesley triaxial
                                                                                                                stress path cell at the University of the
                                                                                                                Witwatersrand. The cell, back and lower
                                                                                                                chamber pressures were applied with
                                                                                                                GdS pressure controllers and measured to
                                                                                                                1 kPa using pressure transducers. Volume
                                                                                                                changes were measured externally by
                                                                                                                the GdS controllers accurate to 1 ml and
                                                                                                                internally by high accuracy linear vari-
                                                                                                                able differential transformers (LVdTs).
                                                                                                                One-way drainage was allowed during the
                                                                                                                consolidation phases.
                                                       σv' (kPa)
                                                                                                                Consolidation time
                                                                                                                Figure 2 shows the consolidation test
 Figure 4 Full-scale load test in progress                      Figure 5 The completed bridge in operation      results in terms of deformation (strain)
                                                                                                                and time of the various phases. The time
                                                                                                                required for 90% of consolidation to take
                                                                                                                place (that is, 90% of excess pore pres-
                                                                                                                sures dissipated) after the new bridge
                                                                                                                deck overlay was constructed could be de-
                                                                                                                termined by means of the Taylor method
                                                                                                                (square-root-of-time method). The time
                                                                                                                for 90% deformation (consolidation) of
                                                                                                                the triaxial specimen whilst simulating
                                                                                                                the new bridge deck overlay was 6,5 min-
                                                                                                                    One-way drainage conditions were
                                                                                                                assumed under the bridge foundation.
                                                                                                                The drainage path length of soil below
                                                                                                                the bridge foundation was 250 mm as
                                                                                                                the gravel layer was assumed to be free
                                      The relatively short time of consolidation inspired further               draining. Time for consolidation of 90%
                                                                                                                of the excess pore pressures under the
                                      confidence in the bridge foundations. The new bridge has                  bridge foundation was calculated to be 1
                                                                                                                hour and 17 minutes. This was significant
                                                since been opened and is currently in operation                 as it meant that most of the foundation
                                                                                                                settlement would take place before the
                                                                                                                initial concrete set. Settlement (and differ-
(1996). These Young’s moduli were calcu-                           The settlement prediction for the load       ential settlement) after the initial concrete
lated for the soil profile below the founding                  test was estimated as 2,4 mm. The settle-        set would thus be reduced greatly.
level as follows:                                              ment prediction under full working load
■ 0 to 0,25 m       2,0 MPa                                    was 22,1 mm.                                     Settlement calculation
■ 0,25 to 0,4 m 17,7 MPa                                                                                        Figure 3 shows the changes in void ratio
■ 0,4 to 0,6 m 26,6 MPa                                        Stress path triaxial test                        with applied vertical stress. The coef-
■ Below 0,6 m 40,7 MPa                                         Stress path testing was carried out on the       ficient of volume compressibility (mv) was
                                                                                                                determined from these results. The coef-
 Table  Effective stresses applied to sample during stress path testing                                        ficient of volume compressibility for the
                                                                                                                change in stress due to the construction
 Step                                                              Vertical effective    Horizontal effective
                                                                                                                of the new bridge deck overlay was 4,62 x
 number              Description                                   stress (kPa)          stress (kPa)
                                                                                                                10 -5 kPa-1.
 1                   2 m overburden (assumed)                              30                     15                 The settlement prediction for the load
 2                   Excavation of foundations                              5                      5            test was predicted as 0,16 mm. The settle-
 3                   Construction of old bridge                            70                    35             ment prediction under full working load
 4                   Construction of new bridge deck overlay              116                    58
                                                                                                                was 0,98 mm.
 5                   Apply the live load                                 155                    77,5

                  2 Civil Engineering | April 2007
Bridge load test                               predicted a settlement of 2,4 mm for the      Table 2 Deflection measurements
The Caterpillar 777 rear dump truck,           load test. Analysis of stress path triaxial
                                                                                             of bridge 24 hours after load application
modified to be used as a water truck, was      test results on an undisturbed sample pre-
used to apply a load to the deck. When         dicted a settlement of 0,16 mm.               Northern abutment
completely full, the rear axle load of this        Two load tests were conducted on the      Point                      Deflection [mm]
truck is 83 t. The rear axle load of the       bridge. The measured settlement values
                                                                                             1                                      –0,3
truck used in these tests was approxi-         varied between 0,30 mm and 0,20 mm
mately 70 t, however, as the water tank        with an average of 0,25 mm. elastic mod-      16                                     –0,3
was not completely full but 430 mm and         elling of the settlement therefore overes-    Southern abutment
450 mm below the top in the first and          timated settlement by an order of magni-      8                                      –0,2
second tests respectively. Figure 4 is a       tude whereas back analysis of the triaxial    9                                      –0,2
photograph of the test in progress.            test underestimated settlement by 36%.
    Table 2 shows the results of the deflec-       The triaxial test measured the stiff-     Average                               –0,25
tion measurements made on the bridge           ness of the soil sample after the applica-
24 hours after first application of the 70 t   tion of a stress path similar to that of      to the nature of the test, imposed large
load. note that two separate load tests        the foundation soil prior to construction     strains. Consequently, the predicted set-
were conducted on the two abutment             of the new bridge deck. The calculated        tlement based on the triaxial test results
foundations. reference targets measured        stiffness thus represents the stiffness of    would be lower than those based on the
indicate that the accuracy of the precise      the soil under its correct stress state. It   dPL results. This study has also pointed
levelling results were approximately           has recently been recognised that soil        out that load tests on foundations are of
0,1 mm. negative deflection measure-           exhibit linear stiffness behaviour at very    critical importance if accurate settlement
ments indicate settlement. The average         small strains (0,001%) after which the        predictions are to be made.
settlement of the bridge foundation in         stiffness decreases with increasing strain.       An estimate of the rate of consolida-
these tests was found to be 0,25 mm.           The difference in predicted settlement of     tion (and hence settlement) could also
                                               the foundation using the two methods          be made using the triaxial test results.
Conclusions                                    followed from the differences in the          The relatively short time of consolidation
Two methods were used to predict the           strain range at which the stiffness meas-     inspired further confidence in the bridge
settlement of the bridge both during the       urements were made. The triaxial test         foundations. The new bridge has since
load test and during construction and          measured the soil stiffness in the correct    been opened and is currently in operation
operation. elastic finite element modelling    (small) strain range while the dPL, due       (see figure 5).

                                                                                                          Civil Engineering | April 2007 3
            Text Brian Rademeyer

Rational decision-making in the
sustainable configuration of tailings
         A system is described in which different environmental impacts and engineering design costs are
            integrated. It applies integrated environmental planning and design principles to the design of
   tailings impoundments, and the result is an environmental impact and engineering cost model for the
       configuration of impoundments. In this case, a theoretical ecological and sustainable philosophical
approach was used to evaluate, assess and analyse environmental impacts and formulate solutions for the
                                                           post-closure land use of tailings impoundments
MInInG OF South Africa’s gold, platinum              groundwater and discharge to surface water     that this is increasing for various reasons:
and base metal resources has given rise to           can give rise to water pollution over large    ■ There is a growing expectation for sus-
hundreds of mine residue deposits (Mrds) of          tracts of land. Mrds are often physically         tainable development
which the footprints cover large areas of land.      unstable and susceptible to erosion, thus      ■ environmental legislation is becoming
     Metalliferous mines produce a sub-              giving rise to long-term wind and water-          more stringent
stantial volume of fine-grained waste and            borne pollution. The quantitative predic-      ■ Stakeholders are becoming more aware of
it is estimated that between 11 500 and              tion of these impacts is difficult, and they      potential short-term and long-term envi-
12 000 ha of land is sterilised by approxi-          are costly to manage and mitigate.                ronmental hazards
mately 150 Mrds within Gauteng province                  Concepts of sustainable development             The impacts associated with Mrds
alone (figure 1). Mine residue can contain           necessitate even more positive outcomes        – particularly in the long term and after
sulphide minerals, which upon weathering             with regard to the post-closure state of       closure – have given rise to an increasingly
give rise to a range of potential pollutants.        a scheme. Post-closure land use and the        complex regulatory regime. It is difficult
Where there is insufficient neutralising             cumulative impacts of a tailings impound-      to obtain approval for upgrading old facili-
potential in the mine residue, acid mine             ment have become increasingly important.       ties, for developing new facilities, and for
drainage (AMd) occurs with its associated            Figure 2 illustrates the general perception    closing plans, because there is no suitable
low ph values, high salt loads, and high             that the cost of environmental protection      framework within which to make deci-
concentrations of metals.                            works has, over the years, become a much       sions. Since efficient development of the
     radionuclides are also found in some            larger proportion of the total tailings im-    South African mining sector is essential, it
drainage associated with Mrds. Seepage to            poundment construction costs and suggests      is necessary to develop a coherent system to
                                                                                                    facilitate transparent and effective decision-
 Figure  Footprints of mine residue deposits in and around Gauteng province                        making while maintaining a balance, with
                                                                                                    an acceptable level of environmental risk.
                                                                                                         environmental impacts and costs
                                                                                                    should be managed, so that reasonable ob-
                                                                                                    jectives can be attained.

                                                                                                    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
                                                                                                    Sustainable development applied to tailings
                                                                                                    impoundments includes rehabilitation with
                                                                                                    the aim of returning the land to some sort
                                                                                                    of agreeable land use and eliminating or
                                                                                                    reducing adverse environmental impacts to
                                                                                                    a long-term acceptable condition.
                                                                                                         Land development pressures neces-
                                                                                                    sitate a paradigm shift in dealing with the
                                                                                                    problem and what may have been standard
                                                                                                    practice some years ago is no longer accept-
                                                                                                    able. This can probably be best illustrated
                                                                                                    with a few examples.
                                                                                                    ■ new residential developments are con-
    Mine residue deposits        Urban settlement
                                                                                                       structed on vacant land in-between and

        4 Civil Engineering | April 2007
  in some instances adjacent to old Mrds                      of how mine residue can be used to                   initiative, to reshape the abandoned im-
  (figure 3, photograph 1).                                   create a sculptural landform within a                poundment and improve its appearance.
■ The Top Star drive-in, south of the                         landscape (figure 3, photographs 3 and               The landform is not only sculptural but
  Johannesburg CBd, is located on an                          4). This impoundment is located at the               provides for activities such as walking,
  Mrd and demonstrates how something                          main entrance to Geraldton, Ontario,                 mountain biking, bird watching and
  which would otherwise have laid barren                      Canada, and lies 320 km northeast of                 snow boarding.
  after closure are used for something quite                  Thunderbay. Approximately 14 Mt gold
  novel (figure 3, photograph 2).                             tailings was deposited over 70 ha at an         INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
■ The Geraldton tailings impoundment                          average height of 16 m. It was decided,         AND ENGINEERING DESIGN
  rehabilitation project is a prime example                   as part of an economic redevelopment            The system developed is innovative because

 Figure 2 Schematic illustration of the perceived increase in tailings impoundment cost over time

                                                                                                        Total impoundment cost
    Cost (r-million)

                       1900                                        1950         1966         1974           1994        2000                            2025
                                                                time (years)

                        Basic construction costs         Aberfan, United Kingdom                               Recent tailings
                                                                                                               impoundment failures
                        Environmental protection costs              Bafokeng, South Africa

                                                                               Merriespruit, South Africa

                                                                                                                            Civil Engineering | April 2007 5
           1                                                                                                                         2

           3                                                                                                                         4

it envisages tailings impoundment design                                                  Figure 3 Land development pressures often lead to the rehabilitation of existing tailings impoundments to
from the view of landscape architecture                                                   create some sort of appropriate landform while also addressing significant environmental impacts
and introduces the concept of visual im-                                                      1 New residential development in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, adjacent to an existing un-rehabilitated tailings impoundment. 2 The Top Star drive-in
pacts in a novel way. It includes a study                                                 is located on an old mine residue deposit south of the Johannesburg CBD. 3 and 4 The McLeod high tailings impoundment to the entrance of
to gain knowledge about the visual per-                                                   Geraldton, Ontario, Canada, has been reshaped to create an environmentally stable sculptural landscape
ception of tailings impoundments which                                                    (photographs courtesy of Martha Swartz Partners)
aims to determine critical threshold dis-
tances of detection and recognition of a                                                  altering the surface cover. The scenario                                    impoundment such that the design can
tailings impoundment with different geo-                                                  with the diversity of vegetation species                                    be optimised ab initio with respect to
metric alterations and surface covers. The                                                (bottom) can easily be mistaken for a                                       the environmental impacts and costs
effectiveness of mitigation is measured                                                   natural landform, and it is assumed that                                    (figure 4).
against the capability to ‘camouflage’ the                                                alterations to the overall geometry of the                                      This conceptual model demonstrates
tailings impoundment with its environ-                                                    tailings impoundment will contribute to                                     the environmental liability for the owner
ment and to reduce visual impacts.                                                        the camouflaging effect.                                                    at any stage. The solid line represents the
    Three surface covers are photo-realis-                                                    The system models key environ-                                          environmental liability of an impound-
tically simulated in figure 5 and indicate                                                mental impacts and engineering costs                                        ment configuration and may be defined
the difference in visual perception when                                                  throughout the life cycle of a tailings                                     as unacceptable as it will require ongoing

 Figure 4 Conceptual environmental liability graph over the life of an impoundment.
 The shaded area indicates a preferred acceptable state over time

                                                                                 ble st
                                                                    cept a
                                                           u n ac                                                                                                                        ept a b
 environmental liability

                                                                                       ate                                                                                    u n acc
                                                                           ta   ble st
                                                                Ac c e p

                                                                                                                                                                             Acceptable state

                                                                 time (years)

                           Development                               Operation                                       Closure                     Post-closure maintenance and management

                            6 Civil Engineering | April 2007
maintenance, the post-closure land use            Figure 5 Visual simulations of different surface covers
is not clearly defined, and the impound-
ment is aesthetically unacceptable.
     The environmental impact and engi-
neering cost model can be used to:
■ Inform the planning process during the
   conceptualisation of feasible alterna-
■ Assist with decision-making
■ Provide a platform for constructive dis-
   cussion with relevant authorities               Rock cover
■ Facilitate transparent liaison with
     regulators, proponents, and consult-
ants can use the system to better under-
stand what the important implications
are of flattening tailings impoundment
embankment side slopes and changing
     Through a process of elimination,
various key environmental aspects that             Grassed
influence tailings impoundment design
are integrated with the engineering costs,
namely visual aspects, air quality, and
water (figure 6).
     The view was taken that initially only
these aspects will be included with the aim
of creating a robust system demonstrating
its efficacy. It was also realised that some of
the input parameters in the system would
not be definitive and that applying conserv-       Diverse vegetative cover
ative value judgements may be required.

                                                                                                            Civil Engineering | April 2007 7
                                                                                                      Call for
 Figure 6 Spatial representation of key environmental aspect zone of influences


                   Zone of air quality influence                Zone of visual influence

                                                                                                      Division Awards
                                                                                                      The GeOTeChnICAL dIVISIOn wishes
                                                                                                      to invite nominations for the Jennings
                                                                                                      Award for 2007.
                                                                                                          The Jennings Award is presented an-
                                                                                                      nually to the author(s) of a paper on a
                                                                                                      geotechnical subject published at a local
                                                                                                      or international conference or in a journal.
                                                                                                      The award is made in honour or Professor
                                                                                                      J e Jennings, who is widely regarded as the
                                                                                                      pioneer of modern soil mechanics in South
  0   1,5      2          4 km                                  Zone of groundwater influence             The Geotechnical division also invites
                                                                                                      nominations for the Barry van Wyk Award.
                                                                                                      This award is presented annually to a final-
                                                       influence zones                                year student at a South African university
             Road                                            Water                                    or university of technology for his or her
             River                                           Air quality
                                                                                                      final-year dissertation, which must be in
             Sphere of influence
                                                                                                      the field of soil mechanics or geotechnical
                                                             Visual recognition
             Tailings impoundment
                                                             Visual detection

                                                             Visual awareness                                                          TO NOMINATE
                                                                                                           Nominations, accompanied by a copy of the
                                                                                                      relevant paper/dissertation, should be mailed to:
                                                                                                                                       Dr T E B Vorster
CONCLUSION                                                 compared and the environmental impact                AFRICON, PO Box 905, Pretoria 0001
Using this system and approach may not                     sphere of influence spatially commu-                        E-mail: eduardv@africon.co.za
guarantee an acceptable outcome, but                       nicated. This helps to identify critical
it is likely to facilitate decision-making                 aspects that may cause conflict in land     The deadline for submissions is 31 June 2007.
when deciding on a preferred tailings                      use. The system makes uncertainties         The presentation of the awards will take place
impoundment configuration. Also, alter-                    clear and presents information in such a     at the Geotechnical Division’s annual general
native tailings impoundment configura-                     manner that is becomes more useful for                       meeting in November 2007
tions and post-closure land uses are                       decision-making.

            8 Civil Engineering | April 2007
                                                                                                                                                       Text Irvin Luker
                                                                                                                                         University of the Witwatersrand

Pile testing in South Africa
 Figure  Equipment for the ‘rapid’ pile test up to  500 kN                                                                  A third development is to carry out ei-
                                                                                                                         ther the sustained load or continuous pen-
                                                                                                                         etration test using a hydraulic jack within
                                                                                                                         the length of the pile, as shown in figure 2.
                                                                                                                         This removes the necessity for generation
                                                                                                                         of an external reaction for the jacking force
                                                                                                                         from either anchors or a heavy weight.
                                                                                                                              efforts are being made by Wits
                                                                                                                         University, with the assistance of the
                                                                                                                         piling fraternity, to increase the quantity
                                                                                                                         and quality of pile testing done here, the
                                                                                                                         objective being to derive the benefits of
                                                                                                                         improved efficiency and reliability of
                                                                                                                         piled foundations. The development of
                                                                                                                         inexpensive hydraulic jacks, displace-
                                                                                                                         ment and strain measuring devices has
                                                                                                                         enabled internally jacked tests (in which
                                                                                                                         these devices are cast into the concrete and
TeSTInG PrACTICe in South Africa to                    the United Kingdom.                                               therefore irrecoverable) to be offered as a
determine the load capacity of piles has                    Overseas the ‘dynamic’ load test is com-                     service to the geotechnical profession and
fallen significantly behind some other coun-           monly used to assess all types and sizes of                       piling industry. The results of the tests are
tries. Our code of practice, SAnS 1200f,               piles, not just driven ones.                                      put on the Wits web site for the benefit of
describes just two methods: the sustained                   A relatively recent innovation that has                      all. For example, figure 3 shows the graphs
load and the continuous penetration test,              not yet been used in South Africa is the                          of side shear stress v displacement for
but the latter only gives the maximum load             ‘rapid’ load test, which applies a force over                     various strata depths on a site from such a
capacity and is seldom used here. In ad-               a period of approx 150 milliseconds, and                          test. These graphs can easily be used with
dition to these two standardised tests, the            is intended to move the pile sufficiently to                      the ‘load transfer’ method of modelling pile
‘dynamic’ load test has been occasionally              bring at least the side shear resistance to its                   behaviour to refine a pile design.
used on driven piles here. In this test a              maximum value. The force is generated by                               research is also being carried out into
falling mass gives a sharp blow to the pile            rapidly accelerating a large mass from the                        a method of carrying out ‘rapid’ load tests,
(force duration approx 5 milliseconds), and            top of the pile using rocket fuel. A small                        using a falling mass striking and a form of
measurements are made of its response with             rig for doing this is shown in figure 1. The                      ‘shock absorber’ to produce the desired length
sophisticated instruments. Interpretation of           longer time period over which the force is                        of time for the application of force to the
the measurements into a prediction of the              applied enables a simpler interpretation                          pile. If this can be made to work, then South
static load behaviour of the pile is complex,          to be carried out than is the case for the                        African practice will, in some respects, have
and for the South African tests was done in            ‘dynamic’ test.                                                   overtaken that used overseas.

Figure 2 Pile under test by an internal jack            Figure 3 Results from an internally jacked pile test
                                                               Piletest Bedfordview, Franki, August 2005, shear stress v shaft displacement at eight depths down the pile

                                                                                                                                         Civil Engineering | April 2007 9

Plane sailing for Franki
   Franki Africa has received wide acclaim for its work on the lateral                            solution in more complex jobs,’ says Byrne.
                                                                                                  ‘These analytical methods facilitated the
   support and perimeter piling at the new central terminal building                              modelling of the complex construction
                                                                                                  sequence and allowed the linking of the
  (CTB) and surrounding areas at O r Tambo International Airport.                                 analysis with the observations of the actual
                                                                                                  wall movements made during and after the
According to Franki the original tender, for which it competed on an                              phased excavation of the deep basement.
                                                                                                  We were able to confidently predict the up
open-tender basis, was clinched because of Franki’s competitive offer                             to 12,5 m deep soldier-piled and anchored
                                                                                                  retaining structure movements.’
    and significant input into the development of the design concept                                  Ultimately, the tried and tested 600 mm
                                                                                                  and 750 mm diameter reinforced concrete
                                                                                                  soldier piles, with high capacity temporary
GAVIn BYrne, Franki’s technical director,        plementation of the observational method         ground anchorages proved to be a robust
says that the successful completion of a sig-    and continual reassessment of the design         and cost-effective lateral support solu-
nificant portion of the piling at the airport    during the construction sequence.’               tion. When deflections reached 30 mm
and the entire air-side corridor, which im-          But he says that the value of the high-      additional anchorages were installed as a
mediately adjoins the CTB, gave the Franki       tech software, working in conjunction            precaution.
team significant additional information for      with the observational method cannot be              The installation of the high capacity
the CTB contract, making a complex and           underestimated. ‘There is no doubt that          ground anchorages in the difficult residual
complicated set of piling and lateral sup-       both Plaxis and Frew gave us additional          Andesitic soil conditions made the post-in-
port jobs an easier task. ‘Working at an air-    confidence in the circumstances.’                jection and stressing of the anchors a chal-
port is never easy as the airport operation          Plaxis, the more used package in this        lenging task and all of Franki’s extensive
must move forward 24 hours a day without         contract, is a finite element package in-        experience in these types of conditions was
disruption,’ he says.                            tended for the two-dimensional analysis of       required.
     The first part of the additional contract   deformation and stability in geotechnical
was the deep basement lateral support and        engineering and Franki has developed a           PILING
right from the start there were challenges.      reputation for its expertise in this software    From Franki’s experience and recorded data
‘We had to contend with existing services,       application.                                     on piling conditions on the site, in addition
old foundations and an environment which             Geotechnical applications require ad-        to known difficulties with variable weath-
could not tolerate any disruption what-          vanced constitutative models for the simu-       ering conditions in the presence of a shallow
soever due to its highly strategic location.     lation of the non-linear, time-dependent         water table below the excavation, challenges
Aircraft were parked as close as 10 m from       and anisotropic behaviour of soils and/or
where most of the work was taking place          rock. In addition, since soil is a multi-phase
and to avoid disruption of the entire bag-       material, special procedures are required to
gage flow, luggage conveyor belts could not      deal with hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic
tolerate excessive deflection. In short, the     pore pressures in the soil. Although the
accurate prediction of the lateral support       modelling of the soil itself is an important
movements was critical.’                         issue, many geotechnical projects involve
    To achieve this, both the ‘observational’    the modelling of structures and the interac-
method and high-tech software – the two-         tion between the structures and the soil,
dimensional Plaxis Finite element Analysis       and Plaxis is equipped with features to deal
and the Oasis Frew Quasi Finite element          with various aspects of complex geotech-
Calculations – were utilised.                    nical structures.
    Byrne says that in these challenging             The Plaxis post-processor has enhanced
conditions, the key to the successful lateral    graphical features for displaying compu-
support design was the use of the ‘obser-        tational results. Values of displacements,
vational’ method to achieve the design           stresses, strains and structural forces can
objectives and to ensure the satisfactory        be obtained from the output tables. Plots
performance of the structure.                    and tables can be sent to output devices or
    ‘Owing to our limited knowledge of the       to the windows clipboard to export them to
soil stiffness conditions on the air-corridor    other software.
side (east) because of restricted access,            ‘It is fascinating software and we find
the accurate prediction – in spite of the        it not only easy to work with but also ex-
high-tech software – required careful im-        tremely helpful in determining the correct

        20 Civil Engineering | April 2007
at O R Tambo
were anticipated for the large piling contract                  always the issue in airport-type situations    and domestic terminals, creating a
involving piles with the required working                       and the new technology that we employed        central passenger processing facility ca-
load capacity of up to 10 000 kn.                               proved to be significant in us maintaining     pable of handling the new Airbus A380
     Large-diameter bored piles socketed                        this balance,’ said Byrne.                     – the largest passenger plane ever built
into the Andesitic bedrock proved to be the                         The CTB and surrounding areas on which     – as well as being connected to the new
optimal pile type. Temporary casings were al-                   Franki is working form part of the Airports    Gautrain link.
lowed for to deal with the shallow water table                  Company of South Africa (ACSA) r5,5 billion        ‘With the Gautrain project and infra-
and potential instability of the drilled shaft.                 capacity development programme to aug-         structure development for 2010 now under
     however, conditions proved to be even                      ment its infrastructure in time for the 2010   way in full force, Franki has a very buoyant
more variable than anticipated and the                          FIFA Soccer World Cup. r3 billion has been     order book. But as in busy periods in the
presence of significant spheroidal weath-                       earmarked for O r Tambo, the largest and       past we have geared ourselves up for the
ering with deep zones of large bouldery                         busiest airport on the continent.              current workload and we see no problems
conditions proved to be the most chal-                              Towards the end of 2009, the r1,8-         in fulfilling our large order book moving
lenging aspects of the job. But Franki’s                        billion CTB will link the International        forward,’ Byrne concluded.
extensive product range and experience in
solving this type of problem was once again
successfully demonstrated and the use of
their micropile technology which provided
a unique solution enabling the project to
be completed in time in the difficult piling
     Byrne says that Franki’s recently
acquired hydraulic Soilmech piling rigs
proved to be invaluable in the speedy and
efficient drilling and installation of the
soldier piles as well as the load bearing
foundation piles.
     ‘Balance between quality and time is

                    Below: Soldier pile lateral support wall
                Right: The Plaxis analysis of lateral support
                     Bottom left: Micropiles being installed

                                                                                                                           Civil Engineering | April 2007 2
            Viewpoint Boyd Cousins
            Pilequip SA

The piling people of South Africa
In The PreVIOUS TWO Geotechnical issues of Civil Engineering, I               Most of our piling contractors today are owned or have senior di-
commented on the state of the piling industry and on the different        rectors that stem from two or three companies of origin: Frankipile,
equipment that the contractors in this industry use.                      GeL (Ground engineering), McLaren & eger (who ceased trading
    It makes sense to follow these with a comment about the people        around 1985) and Cementation.
that make up the piling contractors and how change is affecting us all.       Many names still involved with our industry are synonymous
    recently Franki Africa celebrated 60 years of Piling in South         with the above original companies. names that come to mind are
Africa. As Franki is probably the longest established South African       Braatvedt, everitt, ross Parry davis, Friedlander, Krone, hollings-
piling contractor and when one thinks that 60 years is actually less      norton, du rand, Maas, Van niekerk, Bloem, Byrne, Schwartz and
than an average single lifespan, then one can see that our local piling   others.
industry is actually quiet young in global terms.                             These are some of the everyday names and company leaders
    I, like many others in the industry, have been directly involved in   who are well known to most of us in the industry. however, behind
local piling for almost 30 years, and can look back and reflect on the    each of these names are many others with also many years of service
many changes and the still changing face of our local evolving niche      and who are playing an equally important role. They are the people
industry.                                                                 making the site or equipment decisions that are equally important in
                                                                          making a successful piling company.
                                                                              These un-named contract managers, foremen, field managers
                                                                          and workshop managers are the people that keep the industry going.
                                                                          The majority are also generally older people who, like myself, started
                                                                          young in the industry and worked their way into senior posts.
                                                                              The understanding of piling and foundation is difficult to obtain
                                                                          from textbooks or classrooms and therefore a lot of this training and

                                                                             Far left: The old – 30 year old rigs with scarcity of operators and repair mechanics
                                                                          Left: The new – operator training and support from current manufacturers

        22 Civil Engineering | April 2007
job growth was experiential. People learned from their mentors who,
if you were lucky, were some of the figurehead names mentioned
     nowadays, we see a distinct change in management style and
selection of senior personnel.
     non-geotechnical senior personnel are being brought into the
piling companies to focus more on business and commercial man-
agement. The key personnel with the vast amount of geotechnical
knowledge are diminishing.
     Managing a piling company is one thing, but if insufficient tech-
nical knowledge is available, then this must present difficulties for
the future of some piling companies.
     If one looks generally across the spectrum of senior piling
foreman, then one sees a trend that a lot of these people started off
30 or 40 years ago as rig operators, crane operators or tradesmen.
These people were often matriculants and/or artisan type people
who wanted to follow a technical type career. As the years passed,
they became the foremen of today, and their machine minders
(greasers) or assistants became the new rig operators, crane drivers
or tradesmen. Unfortunately, owing to poor government, legacies the
majority of operators on the units now have low levels of literacy and
education. hence the natural evolution of trainee foremen has not
materialised and as a result foremen with no prior piling knowledge
are now being drafted into piling companies purely to enable a com-
petent person to be placed in charge of a site.
     Being a piling foreman, senior rig operator, site manger or even
contracts manger requires a certain passion for managing the un-
     no-one can say they know it all and no-one can be assured that
this site will be the same as that site next door.
     This uncertainty is what makes piling a constant challenge. Some
people thrive on it and others don’t make the grade. These uncertain-
ties always make one question and reassess the situation. Planning a
specific solution for that specific site is often required. One only need
to look in any piling contractor’s yard and one sees an enormous
amount of tools, casings, attachments and mountains of odd-looking
engineered items.
     All would have been used successfully on maybe one contract
and will surely be kept for that next similar challenging project.
     The word ‘challenge’ is very appropriate at present.
■ The piling contractors are challenged by the economic upswing
   and volumes of work that have not be seen for decades
     The contractors face similar challenges:
■ They are challenged by a massive skills and management
■ They are challenged by failures of so-called government training
   programmes that in five years have accomplished very little
■ They are challenged by new contractors starting up or arriving
   from off shore
■ They are challenged by the arrival and acquisition of new and im-
   proved equipment
■ They are challenged to introduce new piling methods and to create
■ They are challenged to show good year end returns
■ They are challenged to promote and uplift those previously disad-
   vantaged within their own companies
     All the above challenges cannot be overcome immediately; the
root of all possible success must be training of people at all levels.
     Some level of specific and improved piling specific training must
be developed so that all contractors can follow a more uniform and
structured manner of instilling the understanding and technical
management required on most piling contracts.
     People in piling are passionate about what they do.
     Through improved training we can nurture this passion and
make sure it lasts another 60 years.
     hopefully the mentor list of leaders in piling in the next 30 years
continues to grow and continues to have names that we respect and
learn from.

                                                                            Civil Engineering | April 2007 23
                                                                                                                La Cité, Lyon: Aerial view of overall site layout

Preparing for
diaphragm walling
The SOLeTAnChe BAChY Group market              has grown over the past five years with          second quarter of 2007,’ says Marsden. The
leadership in diaphragm wall construction      the global backing of the group. dUrA            contract period is scheduled over a two- to
is illustrated by a recent contract award in   continues to build on its track record for       three-month period, and will take place in
richards Bay, as well as two international     excellence on landmark projects, which           a congested site working between railway
examples.                                      include the Coega harbour development in         lines, with challenges for access.
     Soletanche Bachy, the global market       the eastern Cape, and more recently, work            ‘The diaphragm wall, which will be ap-
leader in geotechnical and underground         on the Gautrain rapid rail Link project.         proximately 25 m deep, will be constructed
civil engineering, and its wide-ranging            One of the core areas of expertise is in     in classical, saturated coastal sandy soil
subsidiaries, is forging ahead, with a pro-    the construction of diaphragm walls for a        conditions, using the CWS system as
jected turnover of €1,7 billion in 2007. By    range of underground structures, ranging         an integral component. Given that the
2010, group revenue is expected to reach a     from car parks to water storage facilities       groundwater table is only a few metres
turnover of €2,5 billion.                      and dry docks using technologies which in-       below surface, this provides dUrA with a
     Making use of the group’s extensive       clude its patented CWS (continuous water         perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the
proprietary technology suite and extensive     stop) rubber joint system. The latter en-        local construction market how a watertight
technical experience, dUrA Soletanche          sures the structural integrity of diaphragm      diaphragm wall should be constructed to a
Bachy continues to introduce into the          walls, specifically in terms of maintaining      very high standard in these ground condi-
southern African market the most cost-         a watertight seal, and minimises the risk of     tions, thereby setting a new benchmark for
effective and lasting solutions on complex     follow-up remedial work.                         the industry.’
projects.                                          Marsden discusses dUrA’s latest dia-             Marsden explains that the best way to
     In South Africa, the wholly owned         phragm walling contract secured in South         construct a high-quality diaphragm wall is
local subsidiary, which was previously         Africa and provides two recent interna-          by ensuring a highly controlled excavation
know as dUrA Piling – one of the mar-          tional examples to illustrate Soletanche         process with high verticality control and
ket’s long-established leaders – now trades    Bachy’s expertise in this field: one at Lyon’s   interconnection between the panels. This
under its new name of dUrA Soletanche          Saint-exupéry Airport in France, and the         requires the best excavation equipment,
Bachy (dUrA) following the conclusion of       other at the Port of Altamira in Mexico.         which dUrA has in the country, to signifi-
a rebranding exercise towards the end of           ‘Locally, we have been awarded the           cantly fast-track the construction, handing
2006 to bring the company in line with the     diaphragm wall contract for the third tip-       over the final works to the client in the
group’s identity.                              pler pit at richards Bay Coal Terminal           shortest possible time and to the highest
     headed by CeO rob Marsden, dUrA           (rBCT) and the project is due to start in the    quality.

                                                                                                           Civil Engineering | April 2007 25
                                                                                                 done through the drilling machine. despite
                                                                                                 the relatively small quantities injected, due
                                                                                                 to the compact ground the tightening of the
                                                                                                 anchors revealed no weaknesses.
                                                                                                      The total surface of the diaphragm wall
                                                                                                 was 11 500 m 2, with an average depth of
                                                                                                 28 m. The works were completed within
                                                                                                 approximately two months.

                                                                                                 As a second example Marsden discussed
                                                                                                 a recently awarded project being done by
                                                                                                 Soletanche Bachy’s Mexican subsidiary for
                                                                                                 a new quay in the port of Altamira on the
                                                                                                 Mexican Gulf, north of Tampico.
                                                                                                     The project involved an ore carrier
                                                                                                 terminal at the port. Of the approximately
                                                                                                 2 to 3 million tons of ore that pass through
                                                                                                 the terminal annually, the greatest portion
                                                                                                 comprises of coke, an oil industry residue
                                                                                                 used as fuel by cement manufacturers.
                                                                                                     To meet higher throughput projections,
 Lyon: Inclined anchors on slurry wall          velopment programme for the next 20 years        the port authorities decided to build a
                                                anticipated the construction of ‘La Cité’        much larger and more up to date terminal
    The construction process at rBCT will       – a mixed-use project alongside the air-         with two berths, necessitating the con-
entail the establishment of guide walls on      port terminals. The current Ulys complex         struction of two quays, each measuring
the surface and the excavation of the dia-      will include a four-star hotel, a 10 000 m 2     120 m in length.
phragm wall panels under bentonite using        tertiary activity zone, and a 2 000-space            The first quay was built as a private
a clam shell grab attached to a crawler         underground car park.                            contract; the second, which is now in
crane. The rheological properties of the             The perimeter of the car park was           progress, is a government-funded project.
bentonite stabilising fluid, under which        built by Soletanche Bachy using a 60 cm          Soletanche Bachy’s Mexican subsidiary suc-
the diaphragm wall is excavated prevent         diaphragm wall. The surface area of the          cessfully completed the geotechnical works
the soils from collapsing. Strict control of    site is just over 8 000 m 2 with a perimeter     for the first quay during 2006, and has sub-
the bentonite fluid is critical during this     of approximately 450 m. The construction         sequently been appointed by the Altamira
process.                                        principles are classic: construction of the      port authorities for the second.
    ‘Once the carefully designed and            diaphragm wall, two levels of temporary              Soletanche Bachy’s geotechnical design
detailed steel reinforcement cages are in-      ground anchors in phase with the earth-          for the first quay, in conjunction with Sol-
stalled, we displace the bentonite upwards      works, civil engineering works up from the       expert International, comprised a frontal
by tremming in the concrete. The inter-         bottom of the excavation, and tensioning of      diaphragm wall 1 m thick and 22 m deep; a
panel joints need to be clean as well as ver-   the anchors.                                     line of barrettes with similar characteristics
tical, and this is ensured by using our CWS         The new car park is built flush against      at the rear, and heavy 3 m x 1 m x 20 m
technology which enables a rubber water         an existing car park built on four levels.       beams to consolidate the upper part of the
stop to be installed at the joints and a key    Owing to the high ground water level and         structure and form a stabilising frame. A
to be formed between the panels to create       poor quality of the soil discovered during       capping slab, lateral protective diaphragm
the required waterproof seal,’ Marsden          the earthworks, a diaphragm wall solu-           walls and dolphins mounted on barrettes
explains.                                       tion was adopted. ‘This solution enabled         were then added.
                                                Soletanche Bachy to respect the strict toler-        ‘These international examples are just
INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS                          ance levels of the project – levels that would   a selection of the many diaphragm wall
Marsden also outlined some other inter-         have been difficult to guarantee using piles     contracts that Soletanche Bachy compa-
national examples of diaphragm walling          – to avoid having to coordinate shotcrete        nies complete annually,’ says Marsden.
contracts carried out by other Soletanche       and earthworks, which would have been a          ‘however, they illustrate how dUrA can
Bachy subsidiaries which illustrate the tre-    constraining and tight operation generating      call on the international expertise of the
mendous flexibility of this technique.          a significant over-consumption of concrete,      group, combined with our local engi-
                                                to economise on the concrete facing and          neering expertise, when executing complex
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport                      to use equipment already on site,’ says          projects of this nature.’
Over the last 15 years, the Lyon Chamber        Marsden.                                             ‘With the construction programme
of Commerce and Industry, in collabora-             In terms of geology, the terrain consists    imminent at rBCT, we are also embarking
tion with the French government and local       mostly of coarse alluvia, with a few sandy       on other new developments at dUrA to
authorities, has developed a major invest-      patches. The diaphragm wall was con-             extend our market capabilities. This in-
ment programme to increase the capacity         structed using two rigs – a cable grab and a     cludes dUrA’s introduction of new piling
of Lyon Saint-exupéry Airport as a major        KS-3000, working two shifts. The ground          technology in order to update the compa-
international hub. One of the most sig-         anchors were installed using two dCh 114         ny’s equipment fleet and we are aiming at
nificant investments over this period was       drilling rigs, working one or two shifts.        fast, high quality, efficient types of piles
the construction of a TGV railway station       The method used was rotational percussion        which will be trialled and introduced over
at the airport – an initiative similar to the   using hollow rods and a lost cross-shaped        the coming months. We believe that such
one now being carried out by the Gautrain       bit or ‘German bit’. Once the bit pushed         innovative techniques can be carried out
project in Johannesburg.                        away, the cables were inserted into the          by dUrA to better serve the South African
    At Lyon Saint-exupéry Airport, the de-      hollow drill rods and the grouting was           market.’

           26 Civil Engineering | April 2007
                                                                                                                     I N T E R N AT I O N A L

                                                          Right top: Civil Designer DTM generation
                                                           enables all preliminary and detailed land
                                                           development tasks, particularly useful for
                                                         understanding complex landforms such as
                                                 Taghazout Beach Resort and its surrounding area
                                                        Bottom: 3D view of preliminary earthworks
                                                 grading scheme modelled in Civil Designer makes
                                                 it easy to understand proposed landform changes
                                                 whilst providing detailed quantitative information
                                                                            for economic evaluations


Moroccan government’s
‘Plan Azur’
ThE US$2 BIllION Taghazout Beach Resort
project in Morocco forms part of King
                                                             The development comprises a range of
                                                         custom homes, town houses and apartments.
                                                                                                               Above: The resort at Taghazout is poised to fulfil its destiny as an
                                                                                                            internationally renowned coastal resort destination that will define the
Mohammed VI’s ‘Plan Azur’, which plans to de-            In addition, the resort will offer a 36-hole       essence of the Moroccan Riviera
velop six coastal resorts in the country in order        golf course designed by world renowned golf
to attract ten million visitors by 2010.                 course architect David Kidd with dramatic          private real estate investment firm, along with
     The resort at Taghazout stretches over 5 km         views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlas     two joint venture partners, worked closely
of stunning, pristine beach on the Atlantic              Mountains. Taghazout will also be home to          with hart howerton landscape Planners and
coast, boasting some of the best surfing spots           the Institute of Global Peace and Sustainability   Architects to prepare the comprehensive
in the world.                                            (GPS), an international assembly for ex-           master plan for the Taghazout ‘Plan Azur’ site.
     The multi-generational luxury complex will          changing ideas between all nationalities and       According to Engineer Paolo Odorico of hart
include several five and four-star hotels including      strategically located in Morocco, where East       howerton, the master plan submission was for-
the Raffles hotel, Fairmont hotel and Residences,        meets West.                                        mally recognised as the successful development
as well as several other leading hotel chains.               Colony Capital llC, a los Angeles-based        master plan by the Moroccan government in

                                                                                                                                Civil Engineering | April 2007 27
         Right: Civil Designer’s Roads module allows easy multiple
       iterations to be undertaken on difficult road alignment and
    geometries giving the developer the optimised design outcome
                           right at the planning stages of a project

2006 with official development works currently
under way.
      hart howerton is a landscape architect and
planning company that has three of its main of-
fices in San Francisco, New York and london. As
part of the organisation’s design practice, they
make use of South African infrastructural design
package Civil Designer and used the software
extensively during the Taghazout Beach devel-
opment project.
     ‘We used Civil Designer as a planning tool
to help us understand landforms better when
providing a rapid feasibility assessment of de-
sign components such as roadway preliminary
designs, the validation of grading and terracing
solutions as well as the illustration of concep-
tual design ideas to clients using the multitude
of graphical outputs within the software. The
program has therefore proved to be quite
useful on this project,’ explains Odorico.
                                                                       PROJECT AND DESIGN CHALLENGES                          additional 1 000 ha surrounding the site.
POSITIVE LOCAL IMPACTS                                                 With a project of this magnitude, the design                ‘The 3D View module helped us generate
The development is located approximately                               criteria were clearly stipulated by the Moroccan       perspectives with land use overlays which al-
15 km north of Agadir on Morocco’s Atlantic                            government from the onset.                             lowed planners to understand a very complex
Coast. The site area is 620 ha and it nestles                                ‘We had to satisfy development densities,        topographic landform in very little time, mini-
between two coastal villages. To the south is                          public access areas, water recycling, landscape        mising the time needed to physically validate
the village of Tamraght/Aourir, which has local                        preservation, development phasing strategy,            planning products on field inspections,’ he
artisan industries and where fruit is cropped                          road network improvements and numerous                 says.
in fertile soils of the alluvial river banks. To                       urban planning conditions.                                  Besides a difficult terrain, road access and
the north is the fishing and surfing village of                              ‘The site topography consists of a 4,5 km        the allocation of services also had to be consid-
Taghazout.                                                             Atlantic coastline orientated in a north south di-     ered. ‘Road access and services to the balance
     ‘There is currently a lack of basic services                      rection with a 500 m wide flat seafront platform       of the eastern elevated portions of the site
such as water supplies and waste water col-                            steeping up some 50 m to a secondary terrace           required extensive road alignment design anal-
lection and treatment systems in the villages                          which then rises progressively to elevations of        ysis. This involved many iterations to achieve
of Tamraght/Aourir and Taghazout. As part of                           up to 100 m above sea level. In addition, there        a functional road design that would minimise
the strategic investment plan by the Moroccan                          is a dominant escarpment at the south east of          the visual impact on the land form, thereby
government, preparations are now in place for                          the site which has an elevation of some 270 m,         preserving the landscape’s features.’
the future installation of water supplies and                          explains Odorico, adding that two major                     Odorico explained that Civil Designer was
wastewater collection systems.                                         drainage paths intersect the site from east to         instrumental in helping to develop the concep-
     ‘The Taghazout Resort development will                            west. These drainage paths typically create a          tual water supply and distribution model for the
be linked to these networks in such a way that                         40 m to 50 m dip in the land form, separating          entire project. ‘The software’s Water module
all wastewater will be recycled and used for                           the development site into four distinct zones.         allowed us to create a detailed water network
landscape irrigation purposes. In addition, cur-                             One of the challenges was the site topo-         model which consisted of multiple and diverse
rent waste management practices for the area                           graphy itself. ‘The wide flat lower bench devel-       pressure zones. As the network designer on the
will be improved to ensure that solid waste is                         opment area adjacent to the beach is subject to        project, I was able to provide the client with a
disposed in a structured modern landfill system                        a comprehensive landscaping project. The area          rationalised design network sized and tested for
rather than via an unmanaged local discharge,’                         on this part of the property is very degraded,         the entire master plan,’ he says.
notes Odorico.                                                         lacks vegetation and has been unmanageable                  Taghazout aims to create an exquisite resort
     Besides water and waste water improve-                            for a very long time. Our development pro-             that values local heritage, both in terms of the
ments, road network improvements are also                              posal for the lower bench area consisted of the        culture and the environment, while providing
planned to improve the connectivity of both                            layering of hotel, recreation, residential, com-       an economic stimulus to the region. It is an-
the resort development site and nearby adja-                           mercial and services land usage. In addition, a        ticipated that the project will generate over
cent village areas. Other benefits of the project                      comprehensive earthworks programme for the             50 000 direct and indirect jobs with the first
include local training and employment oppor-                           lower bench which entails deep lift cuts and           residential units, hotel, medina and golf course
tunities which will receive a significant boost                        fills will allow a series of terraces to be created,   due to open in early 2009.
with the construction of the development both                          providing each land user with ocean views,’
from a building and operational perspective.                           explains Odorico.                                                                      Yolanda Desai
According to engineer Odorico, improvement                                   According to Odorico, Civil Designer’s                                        Knowledge Base
works to the urban fabric of the two adjacent                          powerful Terrain module was used to process                                          T 021-701-1850
villages has already started.                                          the DTM for the entire 620 ha site as well as the                           yolanda@knowbase.co.za

          28 Civil Engineering | April 2007

                              Above: Bulldozers in action during
                    the opencast rehabilitation at Khutala colliery
                                       Right: Before … and after

rehabilitation design of the opencast workings at
Khutala colliery.
     BhP Billiton’s Khutala colliery is situated near
Ogies in Mpumalanga. It is mainly an under-
ground coal mine that supplies Kendal power
station with coal for its power-generation require-
ments. The mine has in recent years also mined
three small opencast workings with a fourth
currently being mined. Operations at the three
worked out pits seized during June 2005.
     The objective of rehabilitation design is the
creation of a sustainable landscape over the long
term, resulting in the minimum management and
aftercare cost to maintain the areas after closure.
Conceptual designs for each pit were done in line
with the requirements of the EMPR (in-pit evapo-
ration) as well as alternative designs to make                        three pits were equipped with abstraction wells,    design and proper planning of rehabilitation
the pits free draining with a minimum of water                        a unique feature which has until now not been       work contributes to cost-effective and long-term
ingress into the mined out voids. On all three                        implemented at any other rehabilitated mine pit.    sustainable solutions in the field of opencast reha-
occasions, free draining was a feasible option                        The purpose of the pits is to allow monitoring of   bilitation in the mining industry.
whereby the long-term liability of the mine was                       pit water levels. More specifically, though, the
significantly reduced by adopting this approach.                      pits have been designed to allow for abstraction                                        MORE INFO
The free-draining option was chosen as the pre-                       of affected water from the mine for treatment                                            African EPA
ferred alternative for all three pits.                                and/or evaporation when necessary.                                                   T 012-366-0100
     A special feature of this project was that all                        This project has again shown that optimised                                     www.aepa.co.za

         30 Civil Engineering | April 2007
OF DEEP FOUNDATIONS                                    ThE BUIlDING BOOM has resulted in 30 project              power station foundation and superstructure

                                                       entries for the Fulton Awards 2007, South Africa’s    ■ Mondi Secondary Effluent Treatment Plant
                                                       premier construction industry awards, presented       ■ Riemvasmaak Bridge

                                                       every two years by the Concrete Society of            ■ Civil engineering works for the Sishen
                                                       Southern Africa (CSSA).                                   Expansion Project
                                                            The Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI)           ■   Realignment and rehabilitation of the Tarka Bridge
ThE CAPWAP SOFTWARE ANAlYSES data ob-                  is the anchor sponsor for the competition for         ■   Quality Street/M4 Interchange upgrade
tained during dynamic load tests of deep founda-       which the winners will be announced at a gala         ■   Toyota Paint Plant 3
tions (these load tests are also known as high         function at the Champagne Sports Resort in the        ■   University of Johannesburg pedestrian bridge
strain tests or PDA tests) to determine foundation     Drakensberg on 9 June this year.                      ■   Vanguard Drive pedestrian bridge
bearing capacity, resistance distribution and                                                                ■   Waterval Water Treatment Works
other relevant information. It also simulates a        CIVIL ENGINEERING PROJECTS
static load test. Pile Dynamics Inc announced in       Fourteen projects have been entered in this           BUILDING PROJECTS
late 2006 the release of a new version of the tried    category:                                             There are ten contenders:
and true program, and has made the software an         ■ Berg River Dam                                      ■ Fairlands Office Park
integral part of all PDA (Pile Driving Analyzer®)      ■ Durban harbour Services Tunnel                      ■ Volkswagen Paint Shop
systems.                                               ■ Volkswagen Paint Shop                               ■ New head office, CSIR Department of Science
     The increased popularity of dynamic load          ■ Impala Platinum 16th Shaft                            and Technology
tests to evaluate drilled shafts and auger cast-       ■ Maguga Dam Regulating Weir and the dam’s            ■ Ocean View luxury apartments
in-place (CFA) piles prompted the software
developers to include features especially suitable

                                                                                                             TENDER AWARDED
for these types of foundations. Useful options         plywood and composite board.
for the analysis of pipe piles have been added,             Abe Stears, a technical specialist who played

                                                                                                             FOR NELSON
and the program now optimises the way it treats        a key role in writing the standard, explains as
foundations depending on their length. Finally,        follows.

                                                                                                             MANDELA BAY MULTI-
the static load test calculations give the user more
choices. This latest version actively engages users    Why was the standard written?

                                                                                                             PURPOSE STADIUM
in the analysis to help them reach correct results     ‘One of the most important uses of plywood is
in a short time while providing more control over      as the mould for concrete: very important for
the abundant output options which include the          construction, especially new soccer stadiums. If
capability to generate graph labels in languages       the plywood does not have the right strength          ThE CONSTRUCTION OF stadiums for the 2010
other than English.                                    and other properties, the concrete will not have      FIFA World Cup is now definitely well under
     CAPWAP has been developed by Pile                 the right shape after setting. Besides adversely      way with the award by the Nelson Mandela
Dynamics Inc (www.pile.com). The program is            affecting the appearance of the entire building,      Municipality of the contract to construct the
available directly from the company or through         safety standards can also be compromised.             new Nelson Mandela Bay Multi-Purpose Stadium
its network of international representatives.          Following persistent complaints about imported        in Port Elizabeth to Grinaker-lTA, part of The
                                                       substandard plywood and composite board,              Aveng Group, in joint venture with Interbeton,
                                                       it was decided to update the standard to help         part of the Royal BAM Group from holland. hBM
                                                       remedy the matter.                                    Stadien-und Sportstättenbau Gmbh, a specialist
                                                            ‘Plywood and composite board are also            stadium construction company who were in-
                                                       important in building, that is, for use in built-in   volved with stadium construction for the 2006
                                                       cupboards. If these items do not have the right       FIFA World Cup and who are of the Royal BAM

                                                       properties, they can absorb water, swell, and         Group, will also be contributing their expertise.
                                                       distort the shapes of final products.’                      This contract, to the value of R1,15 billion,

                                                                                                             which was won on tender, comprises the con-
                                                       Who needs to use the standard?                        struction of a new 45 000-seater stadium with all

                                                       ‘For the above reasons, the standard will be          the associated facilities. The stadium will be par-
                                                       important to those importing and applying ply-        tially covered by an aesthetically pleasing roof.

                                                       wood and composite board: especially the timber             Schalk Ackerman, director of Grinaker-lTA,
                                                       industry, civil engineers and architects.’            comments: ‘To be awarded this project is really a
                                                                                                             feather in the cap of our companies. Our people,
WITh ThE FIFA WORlD CUP in 2010 coming                                 TO PuRCHASE THE STANDARD              throughout the world, are really very proud to
closer and a shortage in raw materials – including                         Standards Sales at the SABS       be involved. We are ready to start and are com-
timber – being experienced, the South African                                         T 012-428-6883         mitted to have this stadium operational for the
timber industry has to import products from                                          sales@sabs.co.za        Confederation Cup in 2009 as a forerunner to the
foreign countries. Currently, a lot of sub-standard                                                          Soccer World Cup in 2010.’
plywood and composite board products are                The standard can also be downloaded directly               Grinaker-lTA and Interbeton were recently
entering our market, and many of these pose a                   from the secure standards webstore at        also awarded the contract to construct the Soccer
threat to the safety of people. Consequently, the      http://www.sabs.co.za/Business_Units/Standards_SA/    City Stadium in Johannesburg. Work has already
publication of the new edition of SANS 929, ply-        WebStore/WebStoreHome.aspx on entry of a credit      commenced.
wood and composite board is important news for                                               card number
many in the industry.                                                                                                                            MORE INFO
     In technical terms, the standard covers re-                                                                                                Grinaker-lTA
quirements for materials, construction, preserva-                                                                                            T 011-923-5200
tive treatment, dimensions and performance of                                                                                    sjackerman@grinaker-lta.co.za

         32 Civil Engineering | April 2007
■   Red location Museum of the People’s Struggle      ■ Mondi Secondary Effluent Treatment Plant               ■   Toyota Paint Plant 3
■   house Rothman                                     ■ Maguga Regulating Weir, power station foun-            ■   Durban harbour Tunnel
■   Amazoners apartments                                dation and superstructure                              ■   Five compartment cement storage silo
■   Redevelopment of Athlone Stadium                                                                           ■   Tarka Bridge
■   Toyota Paint Plant                                AESTHETIC APPEAL                                         ■   The Volkswagen Paint Shop
■   Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication                There are 11 contenders in this category:                ■   house Rothman
                                                      ■ Toyota Paint Plant 3                                   ■   Freedom Towers
UNIQUE DESIGN ASPECT                                  ■ The Volkswagen Paint Shop                              ■   Amazoners apartments
This category attracted 13 entries:                   ■ Red location Museum of the People’s Struggle           ■   Impala Platinum’s 16th Shaft
■ Toyota Paint Plant 3                                ■ house Rothman                                          ■   Mondi Secondary Effluent Treatment Plant
■ Durban harbour Tunnel                               ■ Freedom Towers                                         ■   Sishen Expansion Project
■ Mkomaas River pedestrian bridge                     ■ University of Johannesburg pedestrian bridge           ■   Riemvasmaak Bridge
■ Five-compartment cement storage silo                ■ Amazoners apartments
■ Marquard Reservoir                                  ■ New head office, CSIR Department of Science            SPECIAL AWARDS
■ Volkswagen Paint Shop                                 of Technology                                          Two projects have been entered: the Marquard
■ Desalination of 40-year-old interchange bridge      ■ Vanguard Drive pedestrian bridge                       Reservoir and the Spoornet Universal/Infrabolt
  on the N2                                           ■ Bosmandam Road footbridge and l’Ormarins               concrete sleeper innovation.
■ house Rothman                                         exposed aggregate concrete roads
■ Freedom Towers                                      ■ Riemvasmaak bridge                                                                              MORE INFO
■ Amazoners apartments                                                                                                                                   Irma Dyssel
■ New head office, CSIR Department of Science         CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES                                                                          012-809-1824
  and Technology                                      Vying for the honours are:

SOUTH AFRICANS                                        SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
                                                                                                               in promoting the imminent rollout of solar water
                                                                                                               heaters, and to moving South Africa towards a

EXCEL IN PRESTIGIOUS                                  BODY WELCOMES SOLAR
                                                                                                               more sustainable future from renewable energy

CONCRETE COURSE                                       HOT WATER INITIATIVES                                                                         MORE INFO
                                                                                                                                                  Dr John ledger
FIVE OF ThE SEVEN international candidates who        ThE SUSTAINABlE ENERGY SOCIETY Southern                                                      082-650-1768
successfully completed the prestigious Advanced       Africa (SESSA) has welcomed press reports of                                        John.ledger@wol.co.za
Concrete Techonology course last year are South       new initiatives to promote solar water heating in                                        www.sessa.org.za
Africans. In total, 44 candidates took part in the    South Africa.
course globally.                                           Responding to news that Eskom is consid-
     The South African construction profes-           ering an incentive scheme to encourage the
sionals who received their diplomas from the          installation of solar water heaters by homeowners

                                                                                                               GAUTRAIN WINS
Cement and Concrete Institute (C&CI) in               and business, and that Cape Town is to introduce
Midrand are: Andries Marais from Chryso South         a municipal bylaw that all new buildings be fitted

                                                                                                               INTERNATIONAL AWARD
Africa, Amit Dawneerangen and Theo Roelofsz           with solar water heaters, the society says it is en-
from holcim, Nishal Surjoo from lafarge, and          couraged by these moves.
Kevin lester from Group Five Civils. In addition,          ‘It is well known that South Africa has some
lester was the only graduate in the world to          of the highest solar radiation in the world, and we      ThE WEBSITE DEDICATED TO informing chil-
achieve a distinction for the ACT course this         have been negligent as a nation in not utilising         dren about public transport and Gautrain – the
year. he supervises quality control of concrete       this bountiful solar energy to heat our water or         Gautrain Kids’ Station – has received international
for Group Five Civils.                                provide electricity from photovoltaic panels.            recognition. It has been judged as the project
     Dr Graham Grieve, managing director of the       We also have a number of manufacturers and               which, on a global scale, best improve the image
C&CI, who presented the diplomas, said: ‘We are       suppliers of solar water heating equipment and           of public transport amongst the youth.
very proud of the fact that the C&CI has been         photovoltaic systems that have a lot of experience             ‘Gautrain is not even in operation yet and it
able to achieve such a resounding international       in these technologies. Different countries around        is already making South Africa proud by reaping
success. The technical skills acquired by our         the world have dramatically increased the instal-        in international awards,’ said Gauteng MEC for
candidates will go a long way to alleviating the      lation of renewable energy solutions by a variety        Public Transport, Roads and Works Ignatius
critical shortage in the South African construction   of incentives as well as legislation,’ says Dr John      Jacobs.
industry.’                                            ledger, chairperson of SESSA.                                  The International Association of Public
     The course is presented in South Africa               SESSA has been actively promoting renew-            Transport’s Youth Project Awards rewards crea-
by the C&CI’s School of Concrete Technology           able energy and energy efficiency for more than          tivity and innovation in public transport initiatives
(SCT) under the auspices of the Institute for         40 years, and represents all stakeholders in those       targeted at young people, including new proc-
Concrete Technology in the UK. The SCT is the         fields. SESSA is affiliated to the International Solar   esses to involve and engage them. A jury com-
only centre outside the United Kingdom that           Energy Society (ISES) and will host the World            posed of relevant experts from all over the world
is able to offer this prestigious course, which       Solar Congress at the Sandton Convention Centre          made the selections during February 2007.
has international recognition and is one of the       in October 2009. This important ISES event is                  Other categories that forms part of the UITP’s
highest diplomas in concrete technology in            held every two years – in 2007 it is being staged        Youth Project Awards are awards for ‘improving
the world. Candidates are required to pass two        in Beijing, China.                                       the mobility of young people’ and for ‘improving
written examinations, and to pass a research               All the leading renewable energy companies          the integration of young people in society’.
project to complete the course.                       in South Africa are corporate members of SESSA.                In terms of international transport use,
                                                      The society says it is ready to work with govern-        young people represent almost half of the total
                                                      ment agencies, municipalities and anyone else            number of people in transit and they travel more

                                                                                                                             Civil Engineering | April 2007 33
AQUADAM hAS RECENTlY lAUNChED its new                    for our Future tank (modular tank) liners, and the         Above left: 6,01 mø x 2,4 m Future tank liner
division, ‘Future linings’, as a result of demand from   J series of Dura Skrim for earth dam linings, heap      Above right: Canal being lined with Dura Skrim J30BB
their current client database, as well as the demand     leach pads, interim landfill covers, pond liners,       Below: Demtech Pro VM 20 wedge welder
for more technologically advanced materials and          landfill liners, remediation liners and various other
plant and equipment in the industry.                     applications.                                           The panels can be ordered directly from the USA
     ‘having grown from humble beginnings in                   ‘The Dura Skrim range of materials is tridirec-   and delivered to site, or made up in Aquadam’s
1989 to a flourishing business that builds and sup-      tionally reinforced with a polyster skrim of up to 1    factory in Silverton and then delivered to site any-
plies Gunite reservoirs and Zincalume Steel-bolted       100 denier. The unique diamond shape of the Skrim       where in Africa.
Future tanks, we felt that the time was right to enter   helps prevent a tear running by bunching around
this market,’ says Aquadam’s Malcolm Whitehouse.         the tear, if and when this should happen.                                                          MORE INFO
     ‘After years of research we have found what we            ‘The other major advantage of this range of                                           Malcolm Whitehouse
consider the perfect solution in liner materials and     materials is the relative light weight because the                                              T 012-804-0875
welding machines,’ he says.                              llDPE is reinforced, thus eliminating the need                                           082-667-2649 (all hours)
      In September 2006 Aquadam signed an agree-         for thick heavy materials. The formulation is such                                      malcolm@aquadam.co.za
ment with Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, USA, to       that the material can be used for extremely heavy                                           www.aquadam.co.za
market and distribute their range of Dura Skrim          duty outdoor applications that require UV stability,
reinforced llDPE liner materials, as well as a range     extreme puncture resistance, very good cold crack
of other materials, in the whole of Africa.              resistance, as well as flexibility and very good
     Aquadam also obtained the agency to dis-            thermal properties,’ he says.
tribute the full range of machinery and spares for             ‘Furthermore, the formulation has been de-
Demtech Inc Products.                                    signed to promote wedge welding, thus ensuring a
     ‘These ultra-modern and exciting machines           better bond when seaming, be it in field or on site.’
have been designed for the “serious” geosynthetics             Dura Skrim materials can be ordered in panels
installer in mind,’ says Malcolm.                        of up to 8 500 m2, thus reducing the need for in
     ‘We are using the Dura Skrim range of materials     field seaming, as well as reducing installation time.

         34 Civil Engineering | April 2007
than adults. One of the major stakes for public       National Roads Agency.                               Johannesburg is poorly positioned to act as an
transport organisations is thus to slow the fall in         ICCR 2007 will showcase the latest trends in   industrial and logistics hub – the development of
public transport use by young people when they        concrete road design, construction and rehabili-     the country’s industries in Gauteng being more
become adults.                                        tation as well as current research, and provide      of a historical accident.
     The rationale behind the Gautrain Kids’          an ideal opportunity to network with overseas              ‘Strategies are being tabled for the re-engi-
Station is to familiarise the future ridership of     specialists and local leaders in the roads sector    neering and re-organising of our infrastructure
Gautrain with the concept of a rapid rail public      and earn CPD points.                                 from a logistical point of view. In this process,
transport system in an entertaining manner.                 Keynote addresses will be delivered by Nazir   however, caution must be taken that we are not
Objectives include informing youth about the          Alli, CEO of the South African National Roads        endeavouring to build and re-engineer the infra-
importance and benefit of an effective, inte-         Agency (SANRAl), and Dr Ernie Barenberg, of          structure to cater for the old industries or for the
grated public transport system and edutaining         the University of Illinois.                          businesses that worked for South Africa in the
about the Gautrain itself as being a public trans-          Other speakers will include:                   past,’ says Saxton.
port mode of choice.                                  ■ Dr Jamshid Armaghani, Consultant, previously             ‘It is essential that we develop industries and
     Amongst a circle of African animal friends          of the Florida DoT, USA                           business that are related to the future, which
(the Gauties), Swift and Slo-Mo are the two           ■ Dr José Tadeu Balbo, University of São Paulo,      identify the needs of marketplaces around the
main characters on the Gautrain Kids’ Station.           Brazil                                            world and that take advantage of our geographic
Together with all their friends they introduce        ■ Dr Ernest Barenberg, University of Illinois at     positioning, and our unique skills, abilities
public transport and the Gautrain process to             Urbana-Champaign Illinois (UIUC), USA             and resources. Most of the economic activity
children through easy to understand educational       ■ Dr Neeraj Buch, Michigan State University,         of South Africa, for example, is based around
articles, stories and interactive games. These are       USA                                               Johannesburg, which is located over 500 km
all colourful, supported by sound and can be          ■ Juan Pablo Covarrubias, ICh – Chile                away from the nearest port, has no means of
found on the Gautrain website for easy acces-         ■ Dr Michael Darter, Applied Research Associates     effective transportation out of it, and whose
sibility.                                                Inc and University of Illinois, USA               very existence was based initially on its mining
     The UITP’s Youth Project Awards is organised     ■ Jim Grove, PCC Center, Iowa State University,      activities. As a country we have to decide what
in two steps with regional and international             USA                                               the future of Johannesburg will be. We need to
awards.                                               ■ André Jasienski, Federation of the Belgian         develop skills and abilities that aren’t so industr-
     There is a primary selection for the seven          Cement Industry, Belgium                          ialised and industrially based, to which high lo-
regions of UITP. Depending on the geographical        ■ Dr Mark Snyder, Consultant, USA                    gistics costs wouldn’t be like an albatross around
implementation of a project, projects first com-      ■ Dr Shiraz Tayabji, CTlGroup, USA                   their necks – like finance, technology and similar
pete for the geographical awards of their region.     ■ leif G. Wathne, American Concrete Pavement         services-oriented businesses, where the location
For each region, the international jury selects the      Association                                       of Johannesburg would seem to be ideal, and
three best projects. The Gautrain Kids’ Station       ■ Dr Dan G Zollinger, Texas A&M University,          where the delivery system is digital. If we are en-
received this award in November 2006. Up                 USA                                               tering into global markets, with greater reliance
to 21 projects are selected and constitute the        ■ Dr Anna-Carin Brink, Stewart Scott, South          on imports and exports and consequent higher
nominees list for the International Awards. The          Africa                                            logistical costs, we should leave Johannesburg
21 projects are gathered in a brochure to be dis-                                                          to build itself on new advantages. It must create
seminated during a congress in helsinki.                                                  MORE INFO        for itself competitive advantages in areas that
     After the semi-final regional awards, the                                             Gill Owens      don’t rely on the low cost of logistics to support
jury selects the three best projects out of the 21                                    gill@cnci.org.za     exports and imports.’
best regional projects. These three international                                                                Saxton’s arguments in the book contend that
best projects (Gautrain Kids’ Station being one                                                            the answer for Johannesburg rests on finding
of them) will receive the International Awards                                                             ways to add value to its traditional activities, and
during the awards ceremony at the helsinki                                                                 move into new ones it is well positioned to offer

                                                      WILL JOZI BE A GHOST
Congress in May 2007.                                                                                      to economic advantage. Its place as a mining
                                                                                                           hub is assured, but ways should be found to

                                                      TOWN BY 2050?
                                                                                                           add value in other ways. Export goods need to
                                                                                                           be beneficiated, and Johannesburg should take
                                                                                                           advantage of its growing position as a services
                                                      SOUTh AFRICA IS IN ThE MOST sustained                and intellectual capital centre, in which capacity
                                                      growth phase in its recent history. Demand           it already attracts much commercial tourism.

                                                      for consumer goods is at an all-time high, as is           With looming competition for South Africa’s
                                                      business confidence. The 2010 FIFA World Cup         developing market economy coming increasingly

                                                      is on the way, and is fuelling huge demand and       from global sources such as India and China,
                                                      growth in industries across the board, from          who supply goods globally with a much greater

                                                      tourism to construction.                             reach and with lower supply chain costs, perhaps
                                                           But will the bubble burst?                      it is time that we radically reinvestigated the
                                                           A new book by Barry Saxton, one of South        place and future of South Africa’s cities in our
SOUTh AFRICA WIll hOST a major international          Africa’s most respected supply chain manage-         economic strategy as a country.
conference on concrete roads later this year.         ment gurus, argues that unless the country can
     The Cement and Concrete Institute (C&CI),        create more globally competitive national supply                                       BuY THE BOOK
in collaboration with the International Society for   chains in its major industries very soon, we may            Rock the boat is published by TerraNova,
Concrete Pavements (ISCP), will bring 13 of the       be faced with the shock scenario that, despite         and is available from selected bookstores, in
world’s top concrete roads specialists to South       its current prosperity, Johannesburg, the fabled        hardcover, at the recommended retail price
Africa to join local experts for the International    ‘City of Gold’, may be bypassed as a part of the      of R280. It is also on sale at a bulk discount to
Conference on Concrete Roads 2007 (ICCR               new global economy.                                      corporations and institutions, directly from
2007). This event, at the Bytes Technology                 Saxton’s contention, in his new book,                 TerraNova. Contact Belinda Schraader at
Conference Centre in Midrand on August 16             Rock the boat: Why leaders need to make waves          Belinda@tnova.co.za, log on to www.tnova.co.za,
and 17, has been endorsed by the South African        to succeed in the era of globalisation, is that                          or call Belinda at 0-463-573

                                                                                                                         Civil Engineering | April 2007 35
                                                                                     STABILISED ROADWAY
                                                                                     ALLOWS MARSHLAND
                                                                                     ACCESS IN KZN
                                                                                     A NEW hOUSING DEVElOPMENT in hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, was faced
                                                                                     with the problem that the only access point was over a marsh wetland
                                                                                     directly above a conservation area, which included a dam.
                                                                                          Raudig Civils approached Moore, Spence & Jones to assess the require-
                                                                                     ments in order to provide a stable access point to the housing develop-
                                                                                     ment. Of primary concern was the need for the roadway to withstand the
                                                                                     weight of the heavyduty trucks that would be servicing the building site.
                                                                                          Comments lionel Moore of Moore, Spence and Jones: ‘The wetland
                                                                                     material is of a siltified sand nature, which is very soft and loose. On in-
                                                                                     spection we found that a DCP or DPl probe could penetrate as deep as 3
                                                                                     m in this soft environment. After consultation with Maccaferri we agreed
                                                                                     that FlexMesh would provide the basal reinforcement and separation
                                                                                     functions required by the proposed fill, which will form the new access
                                                                                     road to the proposed housing development.’
                                                                                          FlexMesh is a multi-purpose geo-composite made of hexagonal
                                                                                     woven double twist wire Mesh Type 8 reinforced with transverse steel
                                                                                     rods and with a pre-attached geotextile to one side of the wire mesh
                                                                                          The geotextile is AG 300, a compact needle-punched non-woven
                                                                                     polyester fabric with a weight of 250 g/m2. The AG 300 has high resis-
                                                                                     tance to installation damage and was ideal for the application. The pri-
                                                                                     mary function of the geotextile was to separate the siltified wetland soil
                                                                                     below the proposed FlexMesh from the coarse rock above and by doing
                                                                                     this prevent the contamination of the coarse rock layer.
                                                                                          To meet the needs of the traffic flow AG 300 has a minimum energy
                                                                                     absorption of 10 kN/m and a tensile strength of 22 kN/m. The geotextile
                                                                                     is overlapped and stapled to one side of the mesh along the longitudinal
                                                                                     edges and at both ends of the roll. The added strength required for basal
                                                                                     reinforcement and limiting the settlement of the fill was provided by the
                                                                                     double twist wire mesh, which has a tensile strength in excess of 50 kN/m.
                                                                                          A metre high coarse rock was placed on top of the FlexMesh which
                                                                                     has the tensile strength to reinforce the fill, the weight of which is 3,6
                                                                                     tons per square metre. The desired settlement of the fill is to be kept to a
                                                                                     minimum of 100 mm.

                                                                                                                                                   MORE INFO
                                                                                                                                         Maccaferri SA (Pty) ltd
                                                                                                                                               T 031-700-8456

                                                      sources are used responsibly.                          is a founding member of the Business Software
                                                          The increasing dependence of companies             Alliance (BSA).

                                                      on technology requires executives to extend                   ‘Software developers, like Autodesk, have
                                                      governance to information technology (IT),             extensive online and reseller infrastructure dedi-

                                                      ensuring it sustains and extends the enterprise’s      cated to providing expert technical support to
                                                      business goals. This includes balancing IT risk and    licensed users.

                                                      the value it offers and harnessing IT’s enabling             ‘Non-compliant users cannot access this
                                                      capacity, while achieving an appropriate return        backup. Should they experience technical
                                                      on investment.                                         problems, the output of designers and detailers
USING UNlICENSED SOFTWARE is a gamble that                Policies need to be put in place for managing      can be severely hampered. Project milestones,
flouts the principles of good corporate governance.   software licensing and compliance along with           and associated revenue are put in jeopardy and,
     While originally introduced to promote           other IT risks in areas such as security and data      sometimes, penalties can even be incurred.
transparency and protect shareholder interest,        integrity.                                                   ‘Software licensing is an integral part of good
governance principles are also helping companies          ‘Companies that use unlicensed design              IT governance and short-term cost decisions
to drive performance. They assist the board and       software or remain in the dark about its legal         should not be allowed to put overall project per-
executive management to formulate strategic           status are taking a reckless gamble with com-          formance in jeopardy,’ says Ashwell.
direction, ensure objectives are achieved, manage     pany resources,’ says Errol Ashwell, MD of
risk appropriately and ensure that company re-        Autodesk Africa. The design software specialist

                                                                                                                           Civil Engineering | April 2007 37
                                                                                                        The annual Members’ Banquet

Members’ Banquet
                                                                                                        and Presidential Inauguration was
                                                                                                        held on 20 February in Midrand.
                                                                                                        On the occasion SAICe’s
                                                                                                        president for 2007, neil Macleod,
                                                                                                        delivered his presidential address,
                                                                                                        in which he mapped out his
                                                                                                        vision for SAICe and the industry
                                                                                                            Sam Amod (president 2006), Neil Macleod (president 2007), Neil’s
                                                                                                        wife, Glenda, Zina Girald (SAICE)
                                                                                                        2 Sam Amod, his wife, Lekha, Glenda Macleod, Neil Macleod
                                                                                                        3 SAICE Executive Director Dawie Botha, Don Macleod, Neil’s father and
                                                                                                        SAICE president in 1987, Don’s wife, Pam, Glenda Macleod, Neil Macleod
                                                                                                        4 Joined by some of the past presidents
                                                                                                        5 Wine with the president – Sam has the floor
                                                                                                        6 President-Elect Johan de Koker in conversation with Jones Moloisane

                                      1                                                         2                                                                            3

                                      4                                                         5                                                                            6

                                     Meritorious research recognised
                                                                                                                        was released in November 2006.
                                                                                                                             A significant milestone was
                                                                                                                        achieved in August 2006, when
                                     On the same occation Dr Kevin          that has been achieved, especially          Cabinet approved a ‘National
                                     Wall of the CSIR received the SAICE    during the course of 2006.                  Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy
                                     Award for Meritorious Research for         Currently, at national level,           – in support of ASGISA and govern-
                                     2006 in recognition of the pains-      the CSIR is assisting a government          ment growth objectives’, a docu-
                                     taking and thorough research of the    department with the formulation             ment prepared by the CSIR with
                                     CSIR into infrastructure asset man-    of an infrastructure asset manage-          the assistance of the Construction
                                     agement over the last five years;      ment strategy for its sector and is         Industry Development Board (CIDB)
                                     the CSIR’s considerable efforts and    publishing a strategy document on           and under the guidance of the na-
                                     strategic foresight in attempting to   municipal infrastructure asset man-         tional Department of Public Works
                                     place infrastructure asset manage-     agement. It was also instrumental in        (DPW). The CSIR is also involved in
                                     ment on the national agenda at         formulating the SAICE Infrastructure        the formulation of the next stage of
                                     the highest level; and the success     Report Card for South Africa, which         the overarching national strategy.

 38 Civil Engineering | April 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Text Neil Macleod
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SAICE President 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Presidential address delivered on 20 February 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  References available on request

A time of opportunity for
civil engineering in South Africa
In 1987 AnOTher MACLeOd stood at a                                                                                                         to our profession in 2007. A significant                                                                                                            of Civil engineering Contractors. The con-
podium similar to this one and delivered                                                                                                   difference is, however, the political and                                                                                                           fidence index relates to the general busi-
his presidential address. It is an honour                                                                                                  economic state of our country today.                                                                                                                ness outlook amongst companies within
for me to follow in his footsteps. I am also                                                                                                   The civil engineering sector stands at                                                                                                          the industry. Levels below the 50 mark
aware that many of South Africa’s most                                                                                                     the beginning of a period of significant                                                                                                            indicate pessimism, with 0 indicating total
prominent civil engineering professionals                                                                                                  increase in activity which will be equal to,                                                                                                        negativity and 100 absolute optimism.
have preceded me – I thank the Institution                                                                                                 and could exceed, the levels of investment                                                                                                          The trend line indicates a five-quarter
for entrusting me with this role.                                                                                                          in civil engineering projects last seen in                                                                                                          smoothed average.
    In my father’s address he commented                                                                                                    the late 1970s and early 1980s. The cabinet                                                                                                             This ‘time of opportunity’ does not
that ‘for education and training to be                                                                                                     has recognised that, for economic growth                                                                                                            appear to be one that will be of short dura-
meaningful, graduates should increase the                                                                                                  to achieve levels needed to halve the levels                                                                                                        tion and should last until beyond 2014, if
economic welfare of a country and that to                                                                                                  of poverty and unemployment, the growth                                                                                                             the government’s economic targets are to
increase economic growth in South Africa,                                                                                                  rate as measured by the increase in GdP                                                                                                             be met. however, this time of increased de-
more engineers were needed’. he also said                                                                                                  needs to be increased. An average growth                                                                                                            mand in the civil engineering sector does
at the time that ‘the engineer has not re-                                                                                                 target of 4,5% or higher for the years 2005                                                                                                         not come without significant challenges.
ceived adequate recognition for his training                                                                                               to 2009 and of at least 6% for the years                                                                                                                Municipalities have the constitutional
and for his contributions to society’.                                                                                                     2010 to 2014 has been set. In addition, the                                                                                                         obligation to ensure the provision of infra-
    Concerning the need for job creation,                                                                                                  need to invest in new infrastructure and to                                                                                                         structure services to their communities,
he suggested the need for more labour-in-                                                                                                  adequately maintain existing infrastruc-                                                                                                            and to meet community expectations in
tensive projects to create job opportunities                                                                                               ture is emphasised in the Accelerated and                                                                                                           this regard is proving to be fraught with
for the unemployed. he commented criti-                                                                                                    Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa                                                                                                           difficulties – many of which have been well
cally on the practice at the time, of plan-                                                                                                (AsgiSA) strategy document. So, too, is the                                                                                                         documented by Allyson Lawless in her
ning on racial grounds. Finally he dealt                                                                                                   need to train sufficient engineering profes-                                                                                                        book entitled Numbers and Needs.
with communication issues and the fact                                                                                                     sionals and skilled artisans.                                                                                                                           The shortage of engineering staff is a
that ‘engineers on the whole are not good                                                                                                      The high level of optimism in the civil                                                                                                         limitation on the sector’s ability to deliver.
at presenting themselves in public and the                                                                                                 engineering sector is well illustrated by the                                                                                                       There are also valid concerns about the
community at large will not accept that                                                                                                    Civil engineering Confidence Index and                                                                                                              market’s ability to meet the demand for
their professional advisers do not need to                                                                                                 the Analysis of Turnover and Profitability                                                                                                          material resources – plant and equipment,
explain their actions’.                                                                                                                    in the Civil engineering Sector, both                                                                                                               reinforcing and structural steel, cement,
    All of these issues are just as relevant                                                                                               published by the South African Federation                                                                                                           piping, electrical equipment and timber
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – at affordable prices.
 Confidence levels in the civil engineering sector                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ironically, funding is not currently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               a constraint to growth in the civil engi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               neering sector, but rather the ability to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               access the funding that is available and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               spend it efficiently and effectively on
                                                                                                                 Index                                   Trends
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               projects that are socially, environmentally
100                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and financially sustainable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Given this background, and in ac-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               cordance with the economic principles
 75                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            governing the relationship between supply,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               demand and price, one would expect the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               value of civil engineering professionals
 50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to society to be increasing considerably.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               This increased value should be reflected in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               rising remuneration and fees for work done
 25                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            by civil engineering professionals – re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               grettably this is not the case, particularly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               for municipal engineers, technicians and
  0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            technologists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MUNICIPAL ENGINEERING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In South Africa the role of engineering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Civil Engineering | April 2007 39
Table  Grant funding to municipalities                                                                      trained and mentored in municipalities.
                                                                                                             There is clearly a need for the municipal
Year                                           05/06             06/07          07/08            08/09
                                                                                                             sector to play a greater role in this regard,
MIG (capital) funding                       5,44 billion      6,26 billion    7,14 billion    8,05 billion   particularly against the background of
                                                                                                             research by Lawless that has revealed that
ES (operating) funding                      17,16 billion    18,05 billion   20,08 billion   22,77 billion
                                                                                                             over 60% of final year national diploma
                                                                                                             students studying civil engineering, who
professionals in municipal government                          relatively costly resource to use for this    responded to a survey at the end of 2004,
has changed considerably since the early                       work                                          could not graduate because they did not
1990s. Until that time the engineering and                  ■ Civil engineering professionals often          have the necessary six months of practical
‘support’ functions (such as finance and                       struggle to convert engineering ‘jargon’      work experience that is required.
human resources) had been separated in                         into language understood by communi-              In some cases, the use of retired civil
municipal administrations. This resulted                       ties                                          engineering professionals in the municipal
in the engineering aspects being headed by                  The consequence of civil engineering             sector is meeting with resistance from
engineering professionals, who reported to                  professionals not engaging directly with         trade unions, who view this initiative as
the Town Clerk (or City Manager of today).                  project beneficiaries is that they are dis-      taking work away from younger profes-
The problem with this approach was that                     tanced from the communities that they            sionals – the irony is that these retired civil
it was difficult to integrate the manage-                   serve.                                           engineering professionals would ensure
ment of the financial and human resources                        In municipalities the grading of engi-      that graduates achieve the required level
aspects of what are often large businesses                  neering professionals is generally part of a     of proficiency for registration and that mu-
in any municipal area, with the line func-                  single salary grading system, used to grade      nicipalities without sufficient competent
tions. The corporatisation of municipalities                all staff from general workers to execu-         engineering staff are able to secure the
and the creation of business units resulted                 tive management. Key criteria used in the        services of civil engineering consultants
in more efficient service delivery, but at                  grading system include reporting levels          to design and manage the construction
the expense of the status of the finance                    and the number of staff under manage-            of engineering projects that are needed
and human resources senior management.                      ment, as well as factors such as the impact      to meet communities’ needs and improve
It also resulted in non-engineering staff                   of the post being graded, on the organisa-       their quality of life. rather than a reluctant
being appointed in many cases, to run                       tions. Complexity, knowledge, influence          acceptance of this trend or in some cases,
what are essentially large engineering                      and pressure are the broad factors used          outright opposition, the municipal trade
operations – today it is rare to find a City                to determine salary grades. As a result, it      unions should actively promote the use of
or Town engineer in any South African                       is extremely difficult to reflect the rela-      retired civil engineering professionals.
municipality.                                               tive scarcity of engineering professionals           The impact of the engineering skills
     Largely as a result of their training,                 in salary grades. The result has been an         shortage and the allocation of capital
civil engineering professionals use their                   increased migration of civil engineering         in municipalities are seen in the results
problem-solving skills to solve technical                   professionals out of the municipal sector.       of the recently published survey by our
challenges. These skills that engineers pos-                Lawless’s research indicates that 50%            Institution on the state of infrastructure in
sess are of immense value in non-technical                  of civil engineering professionals leave         South Africa where the condition of our in-
situations as well, but are generally not                   municipalities because of low salaries and       frastructure was graded as d+. As a result
recognised or utilised by senior manage-                    poaching, primarily by the private sector.       of an emphasis in the allocation of capital
ment in municipalities. engineers tend to                   A further 28% leave because of their frus-       expenditure to the extension of services
avoid the ‘office politics’ and competition                 tration with bureaucracy, lack of authority      to communities who do not have adequate
for positions of authority and as a result                  and the poor quality of staff appointed.         levels of service, the existing assets have
find themselves unable to exercise any                           The enormous shortage of civil engi-        deteriorated to an extent that is of concern.
significant influence on the strategic direc-               neering staff in the municipal sector means      To restore these assets to an acceptable
tion or decision-making processes in their                  that municipalities are failing to meet          operating condition will require massive
municipality.                                               the delivery expectations that their com-        recapitalisation.
     Before the new political dispensation,                 munities have of them. The South African
municipal engineering proceeded largely                     economy needs municipalities to play their       COMMUNICATION
without the involvement of communities.                     part in ensuring well constructed and            The value of doctors, lawyers, account-
Similarly to most democracies in the world,                 maintained engineering infrastructure if         ants and similar professions to society is
community participation is now an integral                  our economy is to achieve the ultimate           reflected in their income. It is of interest to
part of service delivery in South Africa, be                GdP growth target of over 6% a year.             consider why this is so. The obvious con-
it road construction, the provision of water                     The statistics from Lawless’s research      clusion to draw is that their services are
and sanitation services, or community                       in 2004 concerning civil engineering sta-        delivered directly to clients on a personal
facilities. environmental impact studies                    tistics for engineering professionals in the     basis and their role is therefore directly
are also now an integral part of all new                    284 municipalities in South Africa have          evident. Secondly, society has accepted the
projects, with the attendant community                      often been quoted, but deserve repetition:       need to legislate the type of work that is
consultation processes.                                     ■ 83 municipalities have no civil engi-          reserved for these professionals.
     Civil engineering professionals are gen-                  neers, technologists or technicians                engineering professionals’ work is done
erally not the most appropriate resource to                 ■ 46 municipalities have only one civil          in a less direct way, with only the products
use in community engagements, given that                       technician                                    of their work being evident and not their
over 90% of engineering professionals are                   ■ 43 municipalities employ only civil            role. This lack of a direct link between the
white males and most communities that                          technologists and technicians under the       work of a civil engineer and his ‘products’
need services consist largely of other race                    age of 35                                     is a limiting factor in building the status of
groups, and women are significant deci-                     ■ Only 70 municipalities have any civil          the civil engineering professional.
sion-makers:                                                   engineers                                          To compound the problem, the work of
■ Language is often a barrier                               Another concern is the small number of           civil engineering professionals is generally
■ Civil engineering professionals are a                     graduates and diplomates that are being          well publicised in the case of failures – the

        40 Civil Engineering | April 2007
history television channel has a series de-           introduction and implementation of these            tion and more advertising revenue, and a
voted to engineering disasters and most are           regulations needs to be strongly encour-            head office structure with a lower unit cost
of a civil engineering nature.                        aged. Any survey of society will show that          per member.
    The man or woman in the street takes              the term ‘engineer’ and the roles of engi-              SAICe, with a total membership of
for granted that his or her car remains on            neering professionals have many interpreta-         approximately 7 000, is by far the largest
the road surface through a corner, or when            tions and that few of them are accurate.            engineering institution in South Africa.
cresting a rise, and does not appreciate                  Many presidents of this Institution             Civil engineering, by its very nature, has
the design required to engineer the gradi-            have spoken in the past about the need for          links with other engineering disciplines,
ents and cross falls to make this possible.           effective communication, and yet the prob-          as well as professionals from the town
Similarly, the public take for granted the            lems related to the status and relevance            planning, architecture, geotechnical and
fact that water comes out of their taps at a          of civil engineering professionals remain.          related disciplines and would seem to be
relatively constant pressure and is able to           There is a clear need for our Institution to        best placed to act as the catalyst for such
be drunk directly from the tap. Toilets are           communicate more clearly the role that              a restructuring of the institutions in the
flushed with no thought for the processes             civil engineers play in society and the fact        built environment sector. SAICe should
needed to transport away this waste and               that engineering is not ‘obvious’ or ‘easy’         therefore take active steps to build on the
treat and dispose of it safely. Multi-storey          and requires years of training and experi-          relationships with institutions in the sector
buildings are occupied and filled with                ence for one to become proficient. There is         that already exist and open discussions
furniture and equipment with no thought               also a need, together with eCSA, to ensure          with those institutions that have not par-
for the design processes that make this               that the quality of civil engineering work          ticipated in such unification talks. Issues
possible. Similarly, architects are able to           is of the highest quality and integrity and         that seem to have impacted most negatively
design graceful structure which can with-             that this work is undertaken by competent           on such negotiations in the past include
stand the forces of winds and earthquakes,            persons.                                            maintaining the identity of the various dis-
in cooperation with structural engineers.                                                                 ciplines and membership fees – solutions
Aeroplanes are able to take off and land              UNIFICATION OF THE ENGINEERING                      to both these concerns can be found.
in heavy rain with little thought on the              PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
part of the passengers for the design of              A further complicating factor in accurately         CONCLUSION
the runway that makes this possible. The              reflecting the role played by engineers to          Our profession stands at the threshold of
design of foundations and earth retaining             society is the fact that the broader engi-          a period of unprecedented opportunity
structures that enable structures to be built         neering and built environment sectors               in South Africa and we have the ability
on a variety of soil and rock types is not            are fragmented in many ways. We have a              to meet the technical challenges that will
appreciated or generally understood.                  single engineering council, eCSA, but at            be presented. however, we need to make
    As engineers we also tend to assume               a professional level there is fragmentation         a concerted effort to move closer to the
that the public ‘know’ how these things               into the various disciplines.                       general public, so that the role of the civil
work and do not need to have them ex-                     Attempts have been made in the past             engineering professional is valued and un-
plained.                                              to combine the various engineering dis-             derstood – this will result in more students
    having said this, however, a recent               ciplines under one home that represents             making the choice to study mathematics
survey by the British Medical Journal of over         their combined professional interests and           and science and choose engineering as
11 000 respondents listed sanitation as the           in a way that is more effective than the            a career, it will result in a better under-
most significant medical advance of the               current model. Countries such as Australia          standing of our profession and its positive
past 150 years.                                       (with engineers Australia) have succeeded           impact on society, and the value of this
    The identification of engineering work            in achieving this objective. The result is a        contribution. To do so will require us all to
has been provided for in section 26(1) of             powerful institution that can speak with            relate to people with the same passion as
the engineering Professions Act of 2000,              authority to government and other deci-             we relate to technology.
and almost seven years later the first signs          sion-makers and ensure that the views of                I am struck by the concluding remarks
of significant progress in identifying the            engineers are effectively communicated to           in the presidential address of 1987, re-
work that can only be done by engineering             society in general. The financial viability         ferred to at the beginning of this address
professionals are evident. As engineering             of an organisation with a larger member-            – ‘We should never see the fruits of tech-
professionals, we can learn from the suc-             ship base, flowing from the synergies that          nology as being of greater importance than
cesses and mistakes of the medical, legal             result, can be used to advance the interests        people. Our respect for the dignity and
and accounting professions who have intro-            of members through more regular training            immeasurable value of the human being
duced similar regulations before us. rapid            courses, a magazine with a larger circula-          should always be upheld.’

Neil Macleod was born and educated in Durban          Municipality where he manages an organisation       and serves on steering committees of the Water
and graduated in 1972 with a BSc in Civil             with over 2 500 staff members and an annual         Research Commission. he is a director of the MIIU,
Engineering. he obtained an MBA in 198 and is         turnover in excess of R2,0 billion (US$300 mil-     a private company formed to promote private
currently completing a PhD on the sustainable         lion) providing water and sanitation services to    sector partnerships in the provision of municipal
provision of water services to urban poor com-        the Durban Metropolitan region.                     services in South Africa. he is also a director of
munities.                                                  his fields of expertise cover water supply     Johannesburg Water (Pty) ltd, as well as director
    As a registered professional engineer Neil is     (conservation, demand management, treatment         (and currently chairman) of Building Partners for
a Fellow of the South African Institution of Civil    and distribution), sanitation, sewage collection    Development in Water and Sanitation, with head
Engineering (SAICE), a Fellow of the Institution of   and treatment, solid waste management, tariff       office in london. Neil served on the National
Municipal Engineers of Southern Africa (IMESA),       design, and public/private partnerships. In this    Standing Committee on Water Supply and
and a Senior Fellow of the Water Institute of         regard he has presented numerous papers at          Sanitation (SCOWSAS) as chairperson of the Sub-
South Africa (WISA).                                  regional, national and international conferences    Committee on Pricing, Finance and Technology
    Neil has 30 years’ experience in the water        and seminars.                                       Choice, and also chairs the National Free Basic
and sanitation sector. Since 1992 he has been the          he was the chairperson of the committee that   Water Services task team implementing free basic
head of Water and Sanitation at the eThekwini         drafted the National Water Supply Regulations       water services and sanitation in South Africa.

                                                                                                                       Civil Engineering | April 2007 4
                                                                                                                        Text Sam Amod
                                                                                                                      SAICE President 2006

A contract is
not enough
    Much is being spoken and written           if we are to prevent a complete breakdown
                                               in the resources available in this crucial
                                                                                                ment by mutilating these contracts with
                                                                                                unnecessary special conditions as too often
       about South Africa’s capacity to        sector. Three of these can be summarised         happens.
                                               as follows.                                          Any chief executive of a construction or
    deliver on the infrastructure needs                                                         design firm will tell you they are busy right
                                               CAPACITY TO DELIVER                              now. Ask them if they could do more work,
      in the coming decades. Everyone          The first relates to the efficiency of our       and again they’ll agree. not because this is
                                               ability to deliver services.                     the standard marketing response, but be-
         now has an opinion on rugby,              Much is being spoken and written             cause so many resources are wasted in ac-
                                               about South Africa’s capacity to deliver         quiring work in an uncertain environment.
inflation, the latest sensational court        on the infrastructure needs in the coming        We have also recently seen the most bizarre
                                               decades. everyone now has an opinion on          demonstration of self-immolation in any
 case and … the skills shortage. This          rugby, inflation, the latest sensational court   economy: by consultants who, in a high-de-
                                               case and ... the skills shortage. This is un-    mand economy, are rushing to offer prices
   is undoubtedly a severe constraint.         doubtedly a severe constraint. The widely        as much as 65% below tariff! Who needs
                                               acclaimed SAICe publication Numbers and          a competitions commission – we need a
 But are we not forgetting something?          Needs offers useful information in this re-      consultant preservation fund! Consultants
                                               gard. For example: compared to the 150 to        are self-destructing, to the detriment of
      There is another way to increase         350 persons per engineer in the UK, USA,         themselves and our country. It has dire
                                               Western europe, China or India, we have          consequences for training; it will not attract
       capacity, and that is to improve        a massive 3 200 persons per engineer – or        the best students to our sector; and bodes
                                               up to a 20-fold disadvantage. We continue        poorly for the sustainability of especially
     efficiency. And it can be achieved        to lose skilled people to other nations.         the small to medium-sized firms. Clients
                                               enrolments have increased by over 100%,          should not encourage this behaviour.
  far quicker than the ten or so years         but this is not reflected in the graduates
                                               coming through the system so as to in-           CONDITION OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE
   it takes to develop a skilled artisan       crease the resource pool.                        The second challenge has to do with the
                                                   But are we not forgetting something?         condition of our infrastructure. South
                         or professional       There is another way to increase capacity,       Africa is blessed with the finest infrastruc-
                                               and that is to improve efficiency. And it can    ture on the continent. Indeed, it compares
                                               be achieved far quicker than the ten or so       favourably with the best infrastructure
The reLATIOnShIP OF the South                  years it takes to develop a skilled artisan or   anywhere, in parts. It is sad, then, that
African Institution of Civil engineering       professional.                                    this asset is not fully appreciated. If it was,
(SAICe) with the UK Institution of Civil           The Construction Industry                    we would take better care of it. We need
engineers (ICe) goes back a long way,          development Board (CIdB) is routinely            to maintain especially our key economic
and SAICe is currently in the process of       selected for public derision at meetings         and social infrastructure as we increase
finalising the details of a joint SAICe/ICe    and conferences in South Africa, but is          the value of the capital asset through new
division that will serve ICe members in        quietly and confidentially lauded behind         construction. There is no doubt that the
South Africa and offer SAICe members the       closed doors or publicly by international        wise provision of civil infrastructure is the
opportunity to be exposed to ICe before        commentators. It approved the neC suite          surest way to improve the social and eco-
choosing to become members of that es-         along with FIdIC, JBCC and SAICe’s own           nomic health of a nation.
teemed organisation.                           General Conditions of Contract (the GCC)              The SAICe Infrastructure report Card
    Construction is the fastest growing        as appropriate for our conditions. This          for South Africa, which was launched on
sector in the economy. not surprising,         movement towards standardisation of a            29 november 2006, was the Institution’s
then, that there is a sense of excitement in   few contract forms is necessary if we are        first attempt at what we believe to be an
the construction sector that has been ab-      to make our response to the demands of           important exercise. Our objective was to
sent for some decades. There are also some     clients efficient. It is important also that     raise public awareness to the importance
serious challenges that must be addressed      we do not promptly dishonour this move-          of infrastructure and the role of the profes-

                                                                                                             Civil Engineering | April 2007 43
  The contract itself derived simply as a means for achieving justice that can                    speaker, as if to say, ‘you haven’t learned
                                                                                                  anything yet, your time is coming’. Today
  be traced back to Aristotle. His intention was to answer the relationship of                    most professionals would be appalled at
                                                                                                  the thought of engaging in construction
a just price and value in exchange for a commodity in an economic market.                         without a good contract in place.
                                                                                                      The CIdB decision to standardise con-
    The intention was to achieve the fundamental moral prohibition against                        tracts reduced the proliferation of contract
                                                                                                  types in South Africa quite dramatically
     harm that can be done in an economic exchange through equivalence of                         over the past five years. It is important that
                                                                                                  we support homegrown initiatives while
      exchange. And it is no longer sufficient that the contract considers only                   not reinventing the wheel. The impact of
                                                                                                  globalisation on standardisation has been
 economic exchange. Equally important is what we require as non-financial                         marked, and the use of the neC Suite of
                                                                                                  Contracts moves us further along in that
       requirements of the parties to the contract. It is increasingly clear that                 direction. Its simplicity in the use of clear
                                                                                                  english, the clarity of the requirements of
      our activities as constructors, whether they are in design, the supply of                   the parties to the contract, the introduc-
                                                                                                  tion of adjudication as an efficient dispute
materials or the construction processes, needs to take cognisance of the four-                    resolution mechanism and the support of
                                                                                                  non-adversarial relationships to the point of
 dimensional human space – that is, ethical, ecological, social and economic                      partnering, are all to be praised.
                                                                                                      neither should we be cynical of the
                                                                                                  honour that is required in contractual rela-
sionals who do this work in government,          but the Soviets achieved the first earth         tionships. The contract document is really
consulting and construction. The report          unmanned orbital flight with Sputnik 1 in        an instrument to achieve a form of justice.
card contains grades for roads, water, sani-     1957. Then, on 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin       We understand a contract as a promise or
tation, ports and airports, and other as-        became the first human to orbit the earth.       an agreement which consists of an offer
pects of our built environment. Of course a      The Americans were determined to catch           and an acceptance for a consideration. We
single grade will hide large variations – one    up. Three weeks later they launched Alan         understand that there are various require-
municipality might produce consistently          Shepard on their first manned space flight.      ments of a contract to make it valid, such as
excellent water, while another may be very       It was a sub-orbital flight and therefore        the competence of the parties entering the
poor. A single grade for all the roads in the    not as significant as the orbital flight of      agreement, the legality of the activities that
country has limited engineering use, but         Gagarin’s. But, for the history of procure-      the contract requires, the right to remedy in
it has important notional connotation for        ment it was very significant because of          the event of a breach, and so on.
the public, public sector officials and deci-    what Shepard said after he returned: he              But the contract itself derived simply as
sion-makers, especially as we see trends         said, ‘It’s a very sobering feeling to be up     a means for achieving justice that can be
developing over time.                            in space, and realise that one’s safety factor   traced back to Aristotle. his intention was
    The overall grade we have given South        was determined by the lowest bidder on a         to answer the relationship of a just price
Africa’s infrastructure is a relatively poor     government contract.’                            and value in exchange for a commodity in
d+. The term ‘relatively poor’ is used be-           They say that nothing focuses the mind       an economic market. The intention was to
cause we must view our assets from many          like the prospect of death. So, consider         achieve the fundamental moral prohibi-
vantage points – consider our legacy that        what the same Alan Shepard said a few            tion against harm that can be done in an
has deprived so many areas and set our           moments before he was launched into              economic exchange through equivalence of
development so far back, our geographic          space. Sitting in his cockpit atop the mas-      exchange.
location at the southern tip of a poor con-      sive redstone rocket, he murmured what is            And it is no longer sufficient that the
tinent, our terrible lack of skilled human       now known in aviation circles as Shepard’s       contract considers only economic exchange.
resources, and ultimately our need for that      Prayer, ‘Please, dear God, don’t let me fuck     equally important is what we require as
infrastructure. But we cannot manage the         up.’ For all its vulgarity this is a prayer we   non-financial requirements of the parties
past – we can only manage what we are            also whisper whenever we commence a              to the contract. It is increasingly clear that
doing now and prepare better for tomorrow.       contract. Two years later President John         our activities as constructors, whether
Our fiscal discipline has reaped many            F Kennedy focused American efforts by            they are in design, the supply of materials
benefits and, given our constraints, our         setting a target to land a man on the moon       or the construction processes, needs to
achievements since democracy have been           and bring him back safely before the end of      take cognisance of the four-dimensional
significant to put it mildly. SAICe trusts       the decade. The rest is history.                 human space – that is, ethical, ecological,
that the report card initiative will assist in       Of course, there was little solace for       social and economic. We must consider the
moving us further along the path of op-          Alan Shepard in knowing that the contract        way in which we treat waste on projects,
timum development.                               permitted for a good dispute resolution          the safety of people and the treatment of
                                                 method in the event of a catastrophic            the environment, real empowerment and
OUR APPROACH                                     failure.                                         upliftment and ethical behaviour to achieve
Thirdly, a short comment on our approach             Like most instruments, construction          an acceptable outcome. It is a world that in-
to these challenges, and a brief tale would      contracts have evolved over the past many        volves trust and credibility. A world where
not be out of place here. Let us recall the      years. You no doubt recall a time when           a contract is not enough.
space race during the late ’fifties and early    a contract was supposedly not required.
’sixties.                                        You’d hear people saying things like, ‘my        Edited version of the keynote address delivered
    The Soviets were way ahead of the            word is my bond’, or, ‘a handshake is the              by Sam Amod, SAICE president for 2006,
Americans. Incidentally, the Germans were        only contract I need’. Often that type of               at the NEC (New Engineering Contract)
the first to achieve space-flight with the       statement is followed by sniggers and                  Seminar, Volkswagen Conference Centre,
V2 rockets during the Second World War,          knowing winks from those around the                                Midrand, 15 November 2006

        44 Civil Engineering | April 2007

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and win an ergonomically friendly chair
WhEN CONSIDERING that there is an increase              speaks to the value of investing in the design of      official figures available on the cost of disability,
in back problems directly related to longer hours       ergonomically healthy and comfortable office           it is estimated that worker disability in 1999 cost
behind computers, shorter or non-existent lunch         space,’ says Bergh.                                    the economy more than R2 billion.
breaks, and increased stress levels, the choice of                                                                   So improve the quality of your work life and
office furniture becomes an ergonomic priority          ERGONOMIC INDICATORS                                   enter the CIVIl ENGINEERING READER SURVEY
and is paramount to a healthy office. As a result,      Workspace                                              COMPETION! You could stand in line to win a
more and more organisations are leaning towards         The elements that contribute to ergonomic health       sexy Italian-designed lunar Wood leather chair,
employing ergonomic practices within their office       in an office include the surrounding: lighting,        which offers the ultimate in ergonomic comfort
environments.                                           air quality, temperature and acoustics at work.        and support. Valued at over R6 000, the lunar
     This calls for a complete rethinking of the        All these have an affect on a person’s physical        really is the smart choice when it comes to a cus-
way in which furniture is designed and used.            and psychological health and contribute towards        tomised stylish CN chair.
A mindset that has been fully embraced by               delivery or non-delivery, happy or irritable staff.
CN Business Furniture (formerly Cecil Nurse),           Both mental and physical comfort is impacted by                                              MORE INFO
a Bidvest company and leader in the sourcing            these ergonomic indicators.                                                            www.cnonline.co.za
and production of stylish smart choice furniture,
suitable for outfitting both large or SME office        Physical
environments.                                           This refers to how a person’s body interacts with
     ‘We are increasingly sourcing, designing           the physical workspace – desks, chairs, keyboards,
and manufacturing more ergonomic centred                phones, computer monitors, and the shelves – to
desks and seating. These product ranges allow           name but a few.
individuals to adjust furnishings to their optimal
specification – a definite necessity within of-         Cognitive
fice areas where more and more people are               This encompasses everything that is not physical
required to share work stations. Therefore, by          and all that is mental and emotional. Emotional
assessing organisational working environments,          wellness has a direct impact on how effectively
CN Business is able to design safe, effective and       staff perform and in turn impacts ergonomic
productive work systems,’ says Robbie Bergh, MD         comfort levels. Cognitive ergonomics considers
of CN Business.                                         co-worker interactions, psychological demands,
     ‘Ergonomics is not just about comfortable          individual factors and many other sources of non-
chairs and suitable desk set ups; it encompasses        physical stress.
the air we breathe, the chair we sit in, the lighting        If back pain is endemic in South Africa
                                                                                                                COMPETITION RULES
in the immediate work space and our cognitive           – and statistics reveal that at least 80 per cent of
response to our environment. Ergonomic factors          South Africa’s workforce is suffering from acute        ■ The winner of the competition is to receive a
influence your health, comfort and productivity.        discomfort and even disability due to problems            lunar Wood executive chair
Accordingly, when conducting an ergonomic               which arise from low back pain – then the in-           ■ A request may be submitted for a colour
health check, all these factors should be consid-       troduction and implementation of ergonomics               preference, but the chair presented to the
ered.’                                                  into the workplace is mandatory. Astonishingly,           winner will be dependent on stock avail-
     In fact, according to Bergh, when people           backaches, after colds and flu, cause the largest         ability
feel good, their performance is enhanced. ‘This         portion of work absenteeism. While there are no         ■ The winner will be notified telephonically
                                                                                                                  and in writing
                                                                                                                ■ Prizes are not transferable and will be deliv-
With this issue of Civil Engineering, you will find an insert with a questionnaire. Please                        ered to the address supplied by the entrant
                                                                                                                ■ The judges’ decision regarding the winner
take the time to fill it in, or go to www.civils.org.za/magazinesurvey2007.html for the                           will be final and binding and no correspon-
                                                                                                                  dence will be entered into
electronic version. We need your input! – SAICE EDITORIAL PANEL
                                                                                                                             Civil Engineering | April 2007 45
TEACHING THE TEACHER                                                                                          of it, I approached ASCE about allowing SAICE
                                                                                                              to participate and maybe one day replicating the
                                                                                                              programme for local use. They were very helpful,
A teacher can make or break a young person.           nical know-how.                                         indeed, and eventually our own Tom McKune
     A teacher can inspire so well that the pupil         And so enter Civils – and other teachers of         attended such a course, courtesy of ASCE.
excels. On the other hand, a teacher can destroy      potential engineering professionals.                          Tom reported back that this was really good
somebody’s interest in a subject forever. Some            The American Society of Civil Engineers             – a valuable comment from someone who has
teachers become icons, carrying nicknames of          (ASCE) realised that we often appoint a bright          himself been teaching for a very long time.
affection, while others end up with derogatory        academic or practitioner to teach at a university,            The first of three articles about ExCEEd, its
nicknames, usually for good reason.                   or at a university of technology, but then some-        philosophies and background appears below.
     It is also true that a teacher can know his      times fail to in fact teach the student.                I believe that in this day and age of mentoring
subject so thoroughly that he engrosses himself in        To teach an engineering class can be nerve-         and skills transfer and transformation, more than
his subject rather than concentrating on the en-      racking and awesome – we all know that. ASCE            only our teachers in civils could benefit from this
thusiastic and effective transfer of his knowledge    therefore decided to facilitate, and ExCEEd was         programme.
to the students or pupils. To be able to inspire is   born. This orientation programme has already been
often worth far more than merely teaching tech-       on the road for about eight years. When I first heard                                         Dawie Botha

                       Fulfilling a
                                                                                                              MAnY neW enGIneerInG faculty
                                                                                                              members at major institutions are assigned
                                                                                                              a classroom, a course of instruction, and
                                                                                                              students to teach without any formal
                                                                                                              training on how to teach. The result is

                     critical need
                                                                                                              often a trial and error approach where real
                                                                                                              students suffer the consequences. Seymour
                                                                                                              and hewitt (Talking about leaving: why
                                                                                                              undergraduates leave the sciences, Westview
                                                                                                              Press, 1997) concluded in a study of 355
                                                                                                              students at seven institutions in the USA
                                                                                                              that poor teaching (inadequate organisa-
                                                                                                              tion, ineffective presentation, inaccessible
     In response to the need to develop effective teachers in civil engineering,                              faculty) was the most common student
                                                                                                              complaint and was a cause for many to
                 the American Society of Civil engineers developed the landmark                               leave maths, science and engineering pro-
                                                                                                              grammes. In response to the clear need for
      faculty development initiative exCeed (excellence in Civil engineering                                  faculty training, the American Society of
                                                                                                              Civil engineers has developed the exCeed
    education) which includes the exCeed Teaching Workshop (eTW). The                                         (excellence in Civil engineering education)
                                                                                                              Teaching Workshop (eTW), which is en-
           eTW is a workshop consisting of seminars, demonstrations, practice                                 tering its ninth year of existence. The eTW
                                                                                                              was developed from the Teaching Teachers
         classes, critiques, and social events. eTWs have been conducted since                                To Teach engineering (T4e), originated
                                                                                                              at the United States Military Academy
        1999 on the campuses of the US Military Academy and the University                                    (USMA) and was sponsored by the national
                                                                                                              Science Foundation. In 1999, a group of
              of Arkansas – Fayetteville. The feedback has been overwhelmingly                                nine educators formally evaluated eTW as
                                                                                                              part of a programme design workshop. The
       positive with participants citing substantial improvements in their class                              eTW continues to develop and improve as
                                                                                                              a result.
      organisation, presentation skills, and rapport with students as a result of                                  The eTW is a highly intensive,
                                                                                                              hands-on, five-day workshop consisting
      eTW. In 2005, Carla de Jager (SAICe Manager education and Training)                                     of seminars, demonstration classes, and
                                                                                                              small group labs. The focus of the work-
          attended the American Society of Civil engineers (ASCe) conference.                                 shop is basic teaching skills and the goal
                                                                                                              is to improve teaching and learning in
      during this visit her ASCe counterpart, Jim O’Brien, suggested that the                                 civil engineering programmes. The eTW
                                                                                                              philosophy is to learn by doing. As such,
         exCeed principle could perhaps be extended to South Africa. On the                                   most of the workshop consists of small
                                                                                                              group labs in which each attendee teaches
       basis of an invitation from ASCe, Tom McKune, chair of the education                                   and is critiqued on three separate classes.
                                                                                                              The workshop objectives are to teach and
       and Training Panel, attended the 2006 USMA exCeed workshop. This                                       demonstrate the best methods of teaching
                                                                                                              and learning; have participants apply the
 article summarises the content of the exCeed Teaching Workshop (eTW),                                        best methods of teaching and learning in
                                                                                                              practice sessions; teach and demonstrate
    assesses its effectiveness, highlights changes in the programme as a result                               learning assessments skills; foster a passion
                                                                                                              for teaching; and build a learning commu-
         of the assessment, and outlines the future direction of the programme                                nity of civil engineering educators.

         46 Civil Engineering | April 2007
WHO MAY ATTEND                                 Figure  ExCEEd teaching workshop course schedule
Because of the amount of small group
work and the large degree of personalised                                                    Course sChedule

feedback provided in the eTW, attendance                 sunday          Monday            tuesday        Wednesday             thursday            Friday
is limited to 24 participants per workshop.                            Admin & Gift      Admin & Gift     Admin & Gift         Admin & Gift      Admin & Gift
The eTW is currently designed for civil         8:00
                                                                                                                                                  Seminar XIII
                                                                       Demo Class I
engineering educators with less than ten                                                                                                         Interpersonal
years of teaching experience at the college                                                 Lab II
                                                                         Seminars                             Lab III             Lab IV             ASCE
level. each candidate submits an applica-      10:00                      II, III, IV
                                                                                                             Practice            Practice          Programs
                                                                                           Class 1
tion which includes a statement of teaching                             Teaching &                           Class 2             Class 3
philosophy, a letter of support from the                                 Learning
participant’s department chair, a résumé, a                                                                                                       Graduation
description of what the participant hopes to   12:00
achieve from the workshop and a contract                                                                      Lunch
in which the attendee agrees to complete all                                            Demo Class II
activities of the workshop. The workshops                                  V, VI                             Lab III            Seminar XI
have typically received 70–80 applications.                             Organizing                         (Continued)           Design of
                                                                         a Class                                                Instruction
In the first two years, ASCe has subsidised                                               Seminars
the eTW by waiving conference registra-                                                   VII, VIII, IX   Demo Class III      Seminar XII
                                                       Intro to ETW       Lab I                                              Making it Work
tion fees and paying a stipend to those        16:00                                    Communication
                                                                       Organizing a          Skills
ASCe members who are chosen to attend.                                    Class                             Seminar X
ASCe continues to partially sponsor the                  Seminar I                                         Technology
                                                        Learning to
attendance of the workshop by subsidising                 Teach
the workshop fee (the subsidy for 2006 was                               Working
US$1 600).                                                               Dinner &
                                                                          Class                                               Hudson River
WORKSHOP CONTENT                                       Reception and
The gruelling schedule for the five-day
workshop is shown in figure 1. The
workshop activities can be classified into

                                                                                                                           Civil Engineering | April 2007 47
     Figure 2 Composite ratings from participants at ETW 2005 at USMA                                            rative discussion with an exCeed faculty
                                                                                                                 member acting as presenter and moderator.
             Demonstration classes
                                                                                                                 Demonstration classes
       Labs 2, 3, 4: Practice classes
                                                                                                                 exCeed faculty members teach sample
            S-5: Learning objectives
                                                                                                                 engineering classes where the workshop
          S-8: Interpersonal rapport                                                                             participants are role-playing as students.
             S-6: Organizing a class                                                                             The demonstration classes are intended to
                   Lab 1: Objectives                                                                             illustrate active engagement with students
          S-2: Principles of teaching
                                                                                                                 and reinforce the methods of teaching
                                                                                                                 covered in the seminars in a realistic class-
              S-1: Learning to teach
                                                                                                                 room environment. The demonstration
          S-7: Speaking and writing                                                                              classes are deliberately spaced at intervals
                S-4: Learning styles                                                                             throughout the workshops so that partici-
      S-10 Teaching with technology                                                                              pants can better observe and appreciate dif-
        S-9: Classroom assessment
                                                                                                                 ferent aspects of teaching as the workshop
                                                                                                                 progresses. Afterwards, student groups
                   S-8: Questioning
                                                                                                                 formally critiqued the strengths and weak-
         S-3: Teaching assessment
                                                                                                                 nesses they observed in the demonstration
              Ice-breaker reception                                                                              classes.
          S-11: Organizing a course

                S-12: Making it work                                                                             Laboratory exercises
                                        0   0,5   1   1,5       2       2,5      3       3,5   4   4,5      5
                                                                                                                 Between a third and a half of the eTW is
                                                                    rating (1–5)                                 spent in small group laboratory assign-
                                                             Value             Conduct                           ments. A group consists of four workshop
                                                                                                                 participants, a junior mentor (usually a
                                                                                                                 recent graduate of a teaching workshop
 Table  Content of the ExCEEd teaching workshop seminars                                                        program) and a senior mentor (a veteran
                                                                                                                 instructor with many years of successful
 I           Learning to teach Justifies the importance of formally learning to teach and introduces a model
             instructional strategy that will be a road map for the ETW
                                                                                                                 teaching experience). each student will
                                                                                                                 teach three classes (25 minutes, 55 min-
 II          Principles of effective teaching and learning Introduces lowman’s two-dimensional model of          utes, and 25 minutes, respectively) in his
             teaching and provides a compendium of learning principles                                           or her area of expertise while the other
 III         Teaching assessment Covers student, peer and self-assessments and separates myth from fact          members of the group role-play as students.
             regarding their usefulness                                                                          Afterward, each class is critiqued. Initially
 IV          Introduction to learning styles Examines Felder’s learning style dimensions and examines how to     the critiques are provided by the senior
             accommodate all styles of learners                                                                  mentor, but as the workshop progresses,
                                                                                                                 the fellow students provide the critiques.
 V           Learning objectives Introduces Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives and shows how to          Ultimately, the participant who taught the
             write appropriate and useful learning objectives
                                                                                                                 class provides a self-assessment. each par-
 VI          Planning a class Offers a structured methodology for organising a class with emphasis on con-       ticipant receives videotape containing all of
             structing an outline, board notes, and out-of-class activities                                      his or her classes and critiques recorded for
 VII         Speaking and writing Covers fundamentals of communication skills with emphasis on speaking          future reference.
             to a group and making written presentations using the chalk board, VU-graphs, and
             Powerpoint slides                                                                                   Social events
                                                                                                                 While much of the evening time is spent
 VIII        Questioning techniques Examines different student questioning techniques and discusses              in class preparation, social events were
             effective strategies for their use
                                                                                                                 deliberately planned to promote interac-
 IX          Classroom assessment techniques Introduces techniques such as muddiest point paper, pre-            tion, collaboration and the sharing of ideas.
             conception check, minute paper, and approximate analogy as potential means of assessing             An introductory banquet, a hudson river
             student comprehension                                                                               cruise, student skits, morning/afternoon
 X           Teaching with technology Focuses on effectively incorporating the computer and various types        snack breaks and lunches are designed as
             of software into classroom instruction                                                              important learning activities.
 XI          Systematic design of instruction Introduces a model for designing a course in an established
             curriculum and examines the role of classroom teaching in that model                                SHORT- AND LONG-TERM ASSESSMENT
                                                                                                                 eTW participants received a complete as-
 XII         Making it work at your institution Discusses how the techniques and principles covered at ETW       sessment worksheet on the first day of the
             can be incorporated under conditions that exist at other institutions such as larger class sizes,
                                                                                                                 workshop and were encouraged to review
             no blackboards, etc
                                                                                                                 and comment on the individual activities as
 XIII        Developing interpersonal rapport Offers useful techniques for building an effective rapport with    they occurred rather than waiting until the
             students; discusses student personality types and offers hints to avoid chill in the classroom      final day of the workshop. Participants rated
                                                                                                                 each major activity on both its value and
seminars, demonstration classes, laboratory                 content and were designed to provide                 conduct on a scale of 1 (unsatisfactory) to
exercises, and social events.                               theoretical background, teaching hints,              5 (excellent). Figure 2 shows the composite
                                                            organisational structure, and communica-             ratings on each activity by the eTW 2005
Seminars                                                    tion techniques (see table 1 for a brief             participants. The demonstration classes and
The course schedule for the 2006 eTW                        description). The format for the seminars is         practice classes were clearly rated as the
contained 13 seminars which varied in                       lecture, small group activities, and collabo-        most valuable activities which validates the

             48 Civil Engineering | April 2007
                                                                                                         the seminar on system design of instruc-
     ExCEEd is clearly working in the United States. There is merit in more                              tion was largely in response to previous
                                                                                                         feedback that such a class was needed to
  engineering teaching staff from South African universities attending future                            provide a broader perspective on the role of
                                                                                                         classroom teaching and instruction prepa-
     ETW offerings. Ultimately the ExCEEd programme needs to be run in                                   ration in the larger topic of curriculum de-
                                                                                                         velopment. In the 1999 eTW, the seminars
                                  South Africa under the auspices of SAICE                               were all conducted early in the workshop
                                                                                                         and during the morning hours. The eTW
                                                                                                         2000 schedule was revised based on feed-
 Figure 3 Long-term self assessment feedback from ExCEEd 2005 participants                               back that the seminars should be spread
                                                                                                         throughout the week and that participants
                                                                                                         preferred to teach classes in the morning
         Overall assessment                                                                              when they were fresher. In the past, the
                                                                                                         three demonstration classes were on di-
        Lesson organization                                                                              verse topics and each stood alone. All three
                                                                                                         of the demonstration classes in eTW 2006
     Presentation of material                                                                            were on trusses and built on each other to
                                                                                                         illustrate the concept of a lesson block. The
                                                                                                         block of classes demonstrated how the role
                                                                                                         of the teacher can transition from lecturer
         Student integration
                                                                                                         to facilitator as students become more fa-
   Use of demos / visual aids
                                                                                                         miliar with the material.
                                                                                                             The eTW appears to be fulfilling
        Energy & enthusiasm                                                                              a genuine need in providing new civil
                                                                                                         engineering educators with high quality
                 Confidence                                                                              instruction and practice in the art of
                                                                                                         teaching. The feedback from participants
    Level of student learning                                                                            and department chairs has been tremen-
                                                                                                         dously positive.
         Student evaluations

                        4       0      0,5   1   1,5        2        2,5      3   3,5      4      4,5    CONCLUSION
                                                            rating (1–5)                                 exCeed is clearly working in the United
                                                       Before ETW     After ETW                          States. despite the relatively high cost (ap-
                                                                                                         proximately r50 000 in 2006) to attend
                                                                                                         exCeed from South Africa there is merit
‘learn by doing’ philosophy. no activity re-            isfactory) to 5 (excellent). The post-course     in more engineering teaching staff from
ceived a composite rating less that 4. Written          survey also asked for feedback on what           South African universities attending future
comments were highly encouraging and                    should be improved, what eTW aspect              eTW offerings. Ultimately the exCeed
most were overwhelmingly positive:                      helped the most, and whether they would          programme needs to be run in South
■ ‘A great job! Thanks for taking the edu-              recommend eTW to others.                         Africa under the auspices of SAICe. Future
   cation of our engineering students so                    A summary of the long-term feedback          articles will look at additional aspects of
   seriously.’                                          from eTW 2005 is shown in figure 3. The          exCeed, namely ‘A model for instructional
■ ‘After I was accepted to the workshop,                participants assessed improvement in virtu-      design’ and the ‘exCeed teaching model’.
   I kept wondering if losing a week of                 ally every category questioned from their
   work at my institution was worth it. It              confidence as a teacher and interaction with         Allen C Estes, Professor, Department of Civil
   definitely was! I was hired to teach engi-           students to the lesson organisation and level       and Mechanical Engineering, United States
   neering (as well as research), and I now             of student learning. The survey response                       Military Academy, West Point, NY
   realize that I had no idea how to teach              rate was 75%, which itself is an indicator of                                Allen.Estes@usma.edu
   effectively.’                                        the long-term effect of the programme. On
■ ‘15 lbs of great stuff in a 10 lb box!’               average, the improvement per category was                 Tom W McKune, head of Department of
■ ‘This has been an extremely broadening                +0,81 on a scale of 1 to 5 – essentially a 20%         Civil Engineering and Surveying, Durban
   experience – I will carry it with me for-            improvement in every area. Participants                  University of Technology, South Africa
   ever! Thanks.’                                       cited that eTW contributed most to their                                            tom@dut.ac.za
■ ‘One of the top 3–4 workshops of all                  improvement in lesson organisation, con-
   kinds that I have ever participated in!’             fidence, and presentation of the material.                     Stephen J Ressler, Professor and
■ ‘Overall I felt this was an eXCeLLenT                 While there were individual suggestions for                Deputy head, Department of Civil
   workshop. I wish I had this three years              improvement, there was no consistent trend.         and Mechanical Engineering, United States
   ago when I just started my teaching                  Since the eTW programme and its pred-                      Military Academy, West Point, NY
   career. even now it is not too late and              ecessor, T4e, have been formally assessed                               Stephen.Ressler@usma.edu
   I hope to make effective use of what I               over a five-year period, any major deficien-
   gained during this workshop.’                        cies have already been addressed.                Ronald W Welch, Associate Professor, Department
     To assess the longer-term effects of the                                                              of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United
eTW, participants completed a follow-up                 RESPONSES TO THE ASSESSMENTS AND                       States Military Academy, West Point, NY
survey a full semester after the workshop.              THE FUTURE OF ETW                                                          Ronald.Welch@usma.edu
The questions included a self-assessment                The participant assessments have been
of teaching ability by rating ten different             tremendously valuable for revising and
aspects of teaching on a scale of 1 (unsat-             improving the eTW. The inclusion of                      Full references are available on request

         50 Civil Engineering | April 2007
ENERGYS to the rescue
       Aerospace engineer Theodore von Karman expressed himself                                       instrumental in delivering bulk infrastruc-
                                                                                                      ture, undertaking operations and mainte-
    wisely: ‘Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create                              nance – with many students accepting the
                                                                                                      responsibility to operate treatment works
      the world that never was.’ Over the past 14 months, engineers                                   in the absence of trained staff – developing
                                                                                                      solid waste sites, building houses and
    young and old have been building municipal infrastructure that                                    amenities, and carrying out infrastructure
                                                                                                      audits in order to draw up backlog reports.
                                   never was throughout South Africa!                                      These activities were in support of the
                                                                                                      list of deliverables defined at the outset if
                                                                                                      the enerGYS programme, which singled
The enGIne behind this accomplishment           PROJECT TARGETS                                       out the timeous delivery of MIG projects,
has been the enerGYS (engineers now to          The targets and goals of the enerGYS pro-             the planning and delivery of capital
ensure roll-out by Growing Young Skills)        gramme over the past months have varied               projects, rehabilitation of services, curbing
programme, which was initiated in February      from municipality to municipality, but the            losses, and enhancing revenue as of crucial
2006 to address needs identified in the         main objectives remain the following:                 importance. In many provinces the list
SAICe publication Numbers and Needs, com-       ■   Improve service delivery through:                 of deliverables was extended to include
piled by Allyson Lawless.                           Accelerating the delivery of MIG                  updating organograms to appoint more
     The most compelling challenges identi-         (Municipal Infrastructure Grant) projects,        technical staff where required, developing
fied were:                                          where funds are often reported as being           job specifications and interviewing and
■ A shortage of qualified civil engineering         unspent by the end of the financial year          populating structures, and carrying out
   professionals in municipalities country-         Planning, initiating and/or delivering            backlog studies in terms of the need for
   wide                                             capital projects                                  both new basic services and rehabilitating
■ Many student technicians are unable to            rehabilitating services which have suf-           failing or failed services.
   obtain experiential training or employ-          fered operations and maintenance neglect               Of the more than 650 projects to the
   ment after graduating, because there is          over time                                         value of just over r2 billion that had been
   insufficient capacity to manage and train        effecting sustainable savings by curbing          identified as requiring attention or manage-
   young professionals                              losses                                            ment, some r500 million has been spent
     The enerGYS programme, of which the            revenue enhancement by installing me-             and r200 million worth of projects have
start-up phase drew to a close on 31 March          ters, addressing illegal connections and          been completed by the teams in the 12-
2007, encompasses the deployment of re-             checking tariffs on all major accounts            month period to February 2007.
tired engineers, paired with students and       ■   Grow technical capacity through training, men-
unemployed graduates, in local authorities          toring and coaching of in-house staff, students   SINGULAR ACHIEVEMENTS
to unblock existing bottlenecks, while at the       and graduates:                                    ■ In Ugu district municipality (dM) in
same time offering comprehensive training           More than 130 in-house staff have                   KwaZulu-natal, details of 19 sewerage
to those students and graduates. To date            been trained in, inter alia, project                and water treatment plants had been lost
56 senior engineers, 45 graduates and 99            management, expanded public works                   over time, preventing essential refurbish-
students have been deployed in 76 local and         programmes, CAd (computer-assisted                  ment. The eight students deployed there,
district municipalities countrywide, aug-           drawing) and design                                 not only operated but surveyed, sketched
menting the technical structures or filling         Students and graduates have been suc-               and developed operating procedures
core positions in the absence of technical          cessfully exposed to a range of disciplines         for each of the plants. These students
staff. (See box on page 53.)                        such as administration, planning, design,           are now able to train new operators
     SAICe in partnership with SABTACO              survey, drawing up contracts, construc-             as they are appointed as part of the
(South African Black Technical & Allied             tion, material testing, and operations and          district’s human resources develop-
Careers Organisation) are managing the              maintenance, in compliance with the                 ment programme. One of the students,
programme, while funding has been                   requirements of the South African uni-              Zotha Cele, considered it to have been ‘a
provided by the national department                 versities of technology and eCSA. Since             great opportunity in terms of in-service
of Local Government, the department                 these disciplines are all found in local            training, which does not come by easily,
of Water Affairs and Forestry, and the              government, students and graduates have             and learning the in-and-outs of becoming
Gauteng and northwest departments of                gained unique and holistic experience in            a future civil engineer’.
Local Government. Another key con-                  the workplace                                     ■ In Zululand dM, 12 young civil engi-
tributor has been the Local Government                                                                  neering technicians who had limited ex-
Sector education and Training Authority         SUCCESS RATE                                            perience or mentoring in the workplace,
(LGSeTA), which provide stipends for            Both large and small projects have been                 asked the senior engineer deployed,
experiential training, enabling students to     handled by the teams of senior engineers,               Brad rutherford, to develop a training
ultimately obtain their national diplomas.      students and graduates. They have been                  programme that covered all aspects of

        52 Civil Engineering | April 2007
Appeal to Senior Civil Engineering Professionals …
                                                                                                               their gravelling projects
                                                                                                                 All the appointments would entail resolving
                                                                                                            bottlenecks as well as supervising and training
I am delighted to be able to report that the              us know wherever you are!                         young civil engineering student and graduate
ENERGYS project is set to continue. To date we        ■ KZN Zululand centred around Ulundi,                 technicians. Attractive contracts are being offered
have employed 56 mostly retired engineers, 99             Amajuba centred around Newcastle, Sisonke         for those with the passion to make a difference in
students and 45 graduates who are collectively            (East Griqualand), Impendle, Pongola and          the development of young people and delivery in
tackling almost R2 billion worth of projects in           Umhlatuze (Richards Bay)                          local government.
local government! Spending is taking place and        ■   Limpopo Groblersdal, Marble hall,                      Another national imperative is the need for
the young people are progressing well.                    lebowakgomo and Thohoyandou                       lecturers. There has been recognition of the need
      In Gauteng the project has been extended to     ■   Mpumalanga Bushbuckridge, lekwa                   to increase throughput in all engineering degrees
March 2008, elsewhere to September 2007, and              (Standerton), Dipaleseng (Balfour) and the        and diplomas, which will require an increase in
in selected areas for two to three years!                 districts of Nkangala and Ehlanzeni               teaching staff. If you are based in a centre with a
     We are therefore looking for more available      ■   Northern Cape Kimberley, Kuruman, Springbok,      civil engineering faculty and are interested in full
or retired, but energetic engineers willing to work       Upington and De Aar – we really need people       or part-time lecturing, send your CV please!
in the following centres:                                 in these vast areas!                                   let’s hear from you all – you collectively have
■ Eastern Cape We currently do not have specific      ■   North West All over!                              so much knowledge to share!
   requests from local government here, but there     ■   Western Cape Eden District, centred around
   is so much to be done, if you are living in an         George, is in desperate need of a mentor to su-                                  Allyson lawless
   outlying area, let us know as we can possibly          pervise their road gravelling teams. The senior    SAICE Professional Development and Projects
   link you up with the local municipality                who has just left did a brilliant job mentoring                             T +27-11-476-4100
■ Gauteng West Rand, Emfuleni (Vereeniging) and           the concreting teams who carried out the flood                               F +27-11-678-7518
  Ekurhuleni – for that matter, most areas could          damage repairs on stormwater structures. Now                                  allyson@ally.co.za
  do with one or two more pairs of hands, so let          Eden is anxious to see a similar improvement in

  municipal engineering. Brad threw all                   similar work in the area.’                          trust, accountability, a positive attitude,
  his energies into drawing up a refresher            ■ At the Kungwini local municipality (LM)               discipline, honesty, productivity and
  course that included general manage-                  in Gauteng, senior electrical engineer                good communication in fulfilling his
  ment, surveying, hydraulics, pipelines,               Thys human and his team remedied a                    task as technician/technologist were ac-
  water distribution and losses, roads,                 situation where electricity was sold to               centuated. he concludes: ‘Mentoring is
  structures, project management, fleet                 large clients at a much lower rate than               of vital importance in this programme
  management, and materials. After com-                 it was being purchased for from eskom.                as acquiring the appropriate skills in the
  pleting the course the students designed              Accounts were corrected, which resulted               profession is fundamental.’
  and drew small water supply systems                   in an immediate financial benefit of over           ■ Caroline Maphanda, one of a group of
  and have become involved in water de-                 r2 million. Another redress was billing               female students who helped build rdP
  mand management. The response from                    large consumers who had escaped the                   houses in Orange Farm, Gauteng as part
  the Zululand dM was: ‘We believe this                 net in the past, leading to an increased              of the Women’s Build 2006 project, re-
  project should definitely be continued                income of about r270 000 per year for                 ports from randfontein LM how they had
  and run for a period of at least three                the municipality.                                     to do the plastering, painting and roofing
  years.’                                             ■ russell Motlatsi reports from the                     on the house that was allocated to them.
■ In the Karoo dM, which serves a sparsely              randfondtein LM that in the task                      Their senior, Leonard le roux, ‘taught
  populated area of 102 592 km 2 that                   schedule drawn up for him by his senior
  is difficult to service or maintain and               engineer, the norms of responsibility,               Below: Russell Motlatsi on the job
  where unemployment in rural communi-
  ties is high, Christian Schumann has
  come up with very creative approaches
  to road and stormwater maintenance.
  he relates how hans from Petrusville
  benefited from the SMMe development
  programme, which was key to Christian’s
  work: ‘A local farmer, Jacques, who grew
  up with hans, introduced him to me for
  the job of clearing the reserve of a sec-
  tion of the road between Colesberg and
  Petrusville, where the thick thorn trees
  contributed to storm damage to the road
  during heavy rains. Jacques, an agricul-
  tural economist, helped hans – who is
  illiterate, but has a bakkie, a cell phone
  and a bank account – to prepare a quote,
  and hans and his team of workers were
  awarded a two-month contract. They
  completed the job in three weeks to high
  standards and hans was paid according
  to his quote, which enabled him to feed
  his family. It also paved the way for him
  to enter into future contracts for other

                                                                                                                              Civil Engineering | April 2007 53
                                                                                                Left: The plastering team at Orange Farm

                                                                                               encountered and have added regular site
                                                                                               visits to their training, after which protégés
                                                                                               have been expected to carry out research
                                                                                               and write reports addressing a difficult
                                                                                               issue encountered on site. With this level
                                                                                               of involvement many of the students and
                                                                                               graduates have progressed in leaps and

                                                                                               A MODEL FOR THE INDUSTRY
                                                                                               The discovery and development of talent
                                                                                               in this project has been very rewarding for
                                                                                               many of the senior engineers. research car-
                                                                                               ried out when preparing Numbers and Needs
  us a lot about what was wrong with the          with the enerGYS project and the men-        showed that experienced staff are working
  house design so that we will know what          torship.’                                    70 hours a week and more and have no
  to look out for in future. I learned that    ■ At eden dM in the George area, Michael        time to train young people, and that young
  building is not all about having com-           Xelani was involved in beautifying the       people cannot get experiential opportuni-
  pleted the job, but also thinking about         Swartvlei caravan park. he was given the     ties or employment as all posts call for
  the people that will be using the struc-        opportunity to do surveys and cost esti-     applicants to have five years experience or
  ture on a daily basis … I hope to see this      mates for the whole project, and phone       more! The only way this gap is going to be
  as a continued practice in future …’            contractors for prices. he says that under   addressed is to bring retired staff back into
■ At Prince Albert LM, graduate Ashley            the guidance of Mr Gunther erhardt he        industry to act as dedicated supervisors for
  America, under the mentorship of Peter          has gained more self-confidence and that     students and young graduates. Industry
  de Villiers, did the planning and design        his communication skills have improved.      has long complained about the quality and
  of the repair work needed to restore serv-      ‘I believe that working with municipali-     the lack of career readiness of students and
  ices and infrastructure which had been          ties is a good opportunity for civil engi-   graduates, but most seniors forget that they
  flood-damaged in 2006. After having             neering graduates who are still new in       too were not very effective when they first
  assessed the damage, he recommended             the industry and a great experience for      entered the job market. This project has
  that a gabion structure be constructed          trainee students. I really appreciate the    proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if
  as protection for the water treatment           enerGYS team for providing this project      sufficient attention and guidance is given
  works against future floods, and the            and wish that it may continue for future     to these young people they can participate
  river crossing bridge be rebuilt by hand        civil engineering students.’                 in projects in a meaningful way and start
  packing small rocks below the bridge              Senior engineers, on realising the lim-    to carry some load to assist those who are
  deck and pumping cement mortar be-           ited understanding many of their protégés       overloaded.
  tween the voids. ‘I am steadily developing   had of several engineering disciplines, took        The model is one that should be har-
  as a technologist and acquiring the ap-      it upon themselves to become teachers and       nessed by all companies to grow the new
  propriate skills for my chosen profession.   lecturers. They also took time to explain to    generation of civil engineering profes-
  This is largely due to my involvement        their charges what to do when problems are      sionals.

        54 Civil Engineering | April 2007
Obituaries                                       would administer roads contracts all over       distinguished. he did not exude superficial
                                                 the country, from Pofadder to Port St Johns,    utterances of concern, but showed a deep
                                                 over the following 20 years. Mike had a         seated genuine care for all around him. In
                                                 hand in the planning and design, from the       later years, when he suffered from serious
                                                 materials and contractual side, of many         cardiovascular problems, this caring never
                                                 large and prestigious projects throughout       changed in spite of his own physical and
                                                 South Africa in which hhO has been              emotional pain. Mike was an inspiration to
                                                 involved. he became a partner in the firm       all he came into contact with.
                                                 in 1988 and subsequently a director, and            Mike played a leading role in the South
                                                 stepped down in 2002 when he became a           African road Federation over many years
                                                 consultant to the firm.                         and was honoured with the presidency of
                                                     Mike Withers was one of dying breed         the organisation in 1991 and 1992. Mike
                                                 of old-fashioned (in the best sense) pad-       also played an active part in the affairs
                                                 makers having been involved in the design,      of the South African Bitumen and Tar
                                                 construction, contract documentation and        Association (SABITA). he was a member of
                                                 administration of roads contracts in many       the Institution from 1968 until his death
                                                 parts of South Africa. he always said to the    and also a member of the South African
                                                 younger generation that building a road         Association of Consulting engineers. he
                                                 was a lot more than shifting material from      also had a keen interest in education and
                                                 one place to another. There was the skill of    spent several years with one of his col-

Michael John Withers
                                                 dealing with people in remote places where      leagues presenting courses on contract
                                                 living conditions were much rougher than        documentation and administration around
                                                 they are today and your family had either       the country on behalf of SArF.
It is with regret that we have learned of the    to trail along or you would see them on             Mike is survived by his wife, Margaret,
death of Michael (Mike) John Withers on          infrequent visits home. The ability to assess   and two sons, Greg and MJ. To them go our
3 november 2006 at the age of 68.                materials by eye long before the laboratory     sympathies at this time.
     Mike was born in Cape Town in               results were available and the courage to
1938 and completed his schooling at St           take tough decisions particularly where                                                 Robert Blyth
George’s Grammar School. he then started         contractors were inclined to take chances.
a sandwich course in engineering at the          he always told his juniors that ‘whether
University of Cape Town and also worked          working for a contractor or a consultant in-
for Clifford harris. he once said that at that   tegrity and professional judgement are your

                                                                                                 John Blignaut
time he was so poor that he could not even       prized assets and you compromise them at
pay attention. he graduated with a degree        your peril’. It was the mark of the man that
in civil engineering in 1964 and remained        he was respected by all sides for his knowl-
with Clifford harris for the next six years.     edge and his fairness in the administration     Jan (John) hendrik Blignaut was born in
he was site agent on the Outjo to Okukuejo       of contracts. Mike served as a mentor to a      Paarl on 19 June 1928, went to school at
road and also part of the road to Tsumeb         number of the younger engineers guiding         Paarl Boy’s high, and graduated from the
in namibia. he admitted that was one of          them through both the design of the project     University of Cape Town in 1949 with a
his toughest appointments with a harsh           and more so during the construction super-      BSc (eng) in Civil engineering. he joined
climate, water shortages, few of the ameni-      vision stage. Many younger engineers who        the roads department of the former Cape
ties for his family we enjoy today, and the      spent hours on field trips with Mike recall     Provincial Administration on 6 March
materials a serious headache. As with all        how much he taught them. he believed that       1950, where he devoted his whole career to,
contractors, he spent a lot of time on other     being a professional engineer imposed a         in particular, advancing the bridge building
roads in other parts of the country before       duty to pass on knowledge to the younger        challenges of the national and provincial
managing the eastern Boulevard contract          generation.                                     road network. (Before the promulgation of
in Cape Town. One of his partners at hhO              First impressions of Mike were invari-     the national roads Act (Act 54 of 1971),
said that he worked for Mike as a student        ably that here was a jovial man who had a       the provinces had been responsible for the
and learned a great deal but got paid only       mischievous glint in his eye. he always had     design and construction of national roads
r1,00 per day from almost dawn till dusk.        a laugh and something positive to share.        on an agency basis.)
     Mike joined hhO in 1970 as a resident       Above all, Mike always had a joke to tell at        In his heyday John had been resident
engineer, supervising the construction of        the tea table or would relate some funny        engineer in Cookhouse. This was but one
roads contracts in the eastern Cape and          incident.                                       of the many departmental construction
other parts of the country, including the            The more time one spent with Mike           units that had not only built roads and
n2 from Sir Lowry’s Pass to Caledon. It          over the years, the more one sensed and         bridges on a large scale departmentally up
was not until 1980 that Mike appeared            appreciated his caring and empathy for          to the mid-eighties, but had also equipped
in the Cape Town Office from where he            others from the most humble to the most         many young engineers before becoming

                                                                                                             Civil Engineering | April 2007 55
                                                          following various flood events, notably the         in the ‘Bridge Office’.
                                                          1974 floods which had resulted in the loss              At a national level he served on the
                                                          of (among others) the Groblershoop bridge           then Committee for State road Authorities’
                                                          over the Orange river; Seacow river Bridge          (CSrA, now COTO) Sub-committee for
                                                          (old steel structure); and Fish river mouth         Bridge Loadings, which was responsible for
                                                          bridge spans (old structure – the new one           the first-ever national Code of Practice for
                                                          was under construction). Within a few               the design of Bridges and Culverts in South
                                                          months designs had been completed, docu-            Africa TMh 7 (1981).
                                                          ments prepared and tenders invited.                     dr A C Liebenberg had been commis-
                                                              In a report on bridge deck analysis             sioned to prepare a draft document. John
                                                          that he prepared after attending a course           was one of the members of that subcom-
                                                          in London 1975, he made the following               mittee, who had made a major contribution
                                                          remarks:                                            towards making the code a more pragmatic
                                                              It is one of the special satisfactions of       one after many meetings and hours of de-
                                                              our job to take a problem and worry             liberation.
                                                              it until it all becomes crystal clear and           he became Chief director of the roads
                                                              we really know how the structure is             department of the former Cape Provincial
                                                              working, but anything less than that            Administration in 1987 and served in this
                                                              knowledge is very dangerous.                    capacity until his retirement in 1991.
                                                          hence he cautioned:                                     his success can be described in the
consultants or contractors.                                   A few years ago it would have been              words of Wellington:
    In John’s case, he elected to specialise                  quite superfluous to make the point                 The secret of success lies in embracing
in bridge design, becoming Chief engineer                     that a designer must understand the                 every opportunity of seeking high and
in 1973. With his construction background                     structure he is designing, since only               right ends, and never forgetting that
and unique abilities, he played a major                       experienced engineers could handle                  golden rule of the catechism, ‘of doing
role in developing codes of practice for                      complicated structures. however, with               your duty in that station of life to which
the design of bridges and culverts in the                     the vulgarisation of computers and the              it shall please God to call you’.
province, as well as manuals and standard                     apparent ease with which redundant              John Blignaut passed away on 12 February
designs to facilitate the expedient design of                 structures may be analysed, the temp-           2007.
structures at a time of vast expansion of the                 tation to entrust such structures to                he will be missed and fondly remem-
road network.                                                 relatively inexperienced engineers, has         bered not only by his wife, nonnie, and his
    his work was his joy and pride, and                       become very strong.                             children, but also by the many members of
he worked relentlessly to keep abreast of                 John was a mentor of note in his field of           the civil engineering fraternity who knew
the latest technology and displayed unique                specialisation and rolemodel to many, as            and respected him.
visionary qualities in this regard.                       attested to by so many engineers in good
    John’s purposefulness was manifested                  standing today, who had spent some time                                           Etienne M de Villiers

 Date                                        Event and CPD validation number         Presenters/venue                     Contact details
 18 April – Bloemfontein                     Structural Steel Design to SANS         Greg Parrott                         Sharon Mugeri
 9 May – East london                         10162:1-2005                                                                 Cpd.sharon@saice.org.za

 13 June – Gauteng

 18–22 June – Gauteng                        The Application of the Finite Element   Roland Prukl                         Dawn hermanus
 9–13 July – Cape Town                       Method                                                                       dhermanus@saice.org.za

 23–27 July – Durban
 10–14 September – Gauteng

 27–28 June – Gauteng                        Technical Report Writing                SAICE house, Midrand                 Sharon Mugeri

 26 April 2007                               Water law of South Africa               hubert Thompson                      Dawn hermanus


 14–18 May 2007                              CIB World Building Congress:            Cape Town International Convention   cdejager@saice.org.za
                                             Construction for Development            Centre                               http://www.cib2007.com
 5–6 June – Cape Town                        Business Finance for Built              Wolf Weidemann                       Dawn hermanus
 12–13 June – Durban                         Environment Professionals                                                    dhermanus@saice.org.za
 11–12 September – Gauteng
 7–8 June – Cape Town                        handling Projects in a Consulting       Wolf Weidemann                       Dawn hermanus
 14–15 June – Durban                         Engineers Practice                                                           dhermanus@saice.org.za
 18–19 September – Gauteng
 17 & 18 September 2007 – China              5th International Conference            ICE                                  Dayle long
                                             on Current and Future trends in                                              Dayle.long@ice.org.uk
                                             Bridge Design, Construction and

 For more information on courses, venues and course outlines please visit http://www.civils.org.za/courses.html

         56 Civil Engineering | April 2007

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