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Can Deep Roads Restore Public Spaces and Limit Climate Change?

Can Deep Roads Restore Public Spaces and Limit Climate Change?

Cities around the world are trying to ban cars from urban areas as traffic congestion take a toll on our health and environment. Banning cars from urban spaces may make cities much more livable, but this is an especially urban-centric perspective. Banning vehicles from urban centers simply reroutes vehicle traffic that is necessary for commuting or commercial purposes further out into outlying areas, largely in poorer communities whose political power is not sufficient to prevent this change in traffic patterns. To accommodate the increase in vehicle traffic on the roads, existing highways and freeways are often expanded, but this apparently simple fix doesn’t actually reduce congestion—it i... »

Delayed and Non-payment of Subcontractors: A Component in SA’s Construction Industry Crash

Delayed and Non-payment of Subcontractors: A Component in SA’s Construction Industry Crash

The issue of delayed or non-payment of subcontractors by main contractors, within the South African construction industry is occurring at a more frequent rate. As such, subcontractors are currently faced with the dilemma of either accepting work from main contractors on onerous terms and risking late or non-payment or closing their doors, and subcontractors are finding that trading under these conditions is no longer viable. Whilst unpacking some of the issues behind late or non-payment at a recent workshop held by the Master Builders’ Association Western Cape, regarding the challenges and risks that this is posing to subcontractors, it was noted that some main contractors are making changes... »

South African Municipalities Shortcomings in the development and maintenance of infrastructure

South African Municipalities Shortcomings in the development and maintenance of infrastructure

The auditor-general (AG), Kimi Makwetu,  released yet another set of municipal audit results that show an overall decline in audit results for the 2017-18 financial year. The Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) audits again identified a number of shortcomings in the development and maintenance of infrastructure by municipalities. These included the underspending of grants, delays in project completion, and non-compliance with supply chain management legislation. Makwetu cited as a key concern “the lack of attention paid to water and sanitation infrastructure”. He says the condition of water and/or sanitation infrastructure was not assessed by 32% of the municipalities responsible for water a... »

3 Reasons why it is critical to make our infrastructure resilient

3 Reasons why it is critical to make our infrastructure resilient

From serving our most basic needs to enabling our most ambitious ventures in trade or technology, infrastructure services support our well-being and development. Reliable water, sanitation, energy, transport, and telecommunication services are universally considered to be essential for raising the quality of life of people. Access to basic infrastructure services is also a central factor in the productivity of firms and thus of entire economies, making it a key enabler of economic development. And in this time of rapid climate change and intensifying natural disasters, infrastructure systems are under pressure to deliver resilient and reliable services. The resilience of four essential infra... »

South African Construction – an ecosystem in crisis

South African Construction – an ecosystem in crisis

Recent media coverage of appeals by SAFCEC, CESA and others to government to intervene and save our industry has caught the attention of many a Civil Engineer. We work and ply our trade in a sensitive ecosystem that is a jewel in the crown of South Africa. We are in fact one of the few countries in Africa that still has a fully functioning and self-sufficient construction industry. But we are in trouble. THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ECOSYSTEM The construction industry ecosystem is like a biological ecosystem – a very sensitive order of interrelated and interdependent entities. Damage or disrupt one, and the whole ecosystem suffers. In many cases innocuous meddling also causes unintended consequ... »

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