http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 12.99Change: 0.04
R/$ = 12.08Change: 0.06
Au 1186.35 $/ozChange: 2.44
Pt 1139.50 $/ozChange: -1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 27, 2012

Getting it off my chest

Back
Gold|Screens|Contracting|Energy|Energy Return|Mandela|Phillip Pare|Prince
Gold|Screens|Contracting|Energy||
gold|screens|contracting|energy|energy-return|mandela|phillip-pare|prince
© Reuse this



Before I begin, let me record my thanks to Phillip Pare, who suggested the topic of energy return on investment, or EROI, which I used in a recent column.

Now this week’s column. There comes a time when I write a column that is guaranteed to upset everybody. This is one such column. I am sorry but it is time that I got a few things off my chest. So, firstly, to my dear hardworking staff. I love you all; you are all honest and brave and punctual, but . . . Despite what others think, the use of the words ‘is’ and ‘are’ can be generally understood if one understands that, in any sentence, there must be subject-verb agreement. Thus, ‘This is the specification’ is correct since there is one specification, and ‘These are the specifications’ is correct since there are many specifications.

Some clever yodel may tell you that this is not correct by citing these examples: ‘Here is a pen and a book’ and ‘Here are a pen and a book’, but this is not wrong. The first sentence implies that the items are separate (that is, ‘here is a pen and here is a book’), whereas, in the latter, the implication is that they one unit (that is, ‘over here are a pen and a book, together’).

Further, the use of an apostrophe. ‘The big kids’ pool’ is a pool for big kids. ‘The big kid’s pool’ is the pool owned by the big kid. Otherwise, an apostrophe indicates omission of a letter, as in ‘don’t’ (do not). Hey, I am not asking much. I mean, you can pretty much forget that plural nouns ending in ‘s’ take only an apostrophe after the ‘s’ when the possessive is formed– for example, two computers’ screens. And you need not know how to use a three-dot spaced ellipsis, or even if an ellipsis needs regular watering.

A final word: A person’s name is the most prized sound in the world to that person. Thus, when addressing letters, do check the correctness of the name. It is true that some people are called Prince No 1 and Annabill and mistakes can be made. But do not assume. For example, I do not think there is a Nielsen Mandela.

Secondly, to my dear fellow profes- sionals. I love you all; you are all honest and brave, but . . . If I say that something is to be installed or supplied in a certain way, then I mean it. I have no shares in a contracting business and, thus, I do not specify stuff to make money, cover my tracks, make the client unhappy – I specify it because it is needed. Thus, when you phone me at 18:00 and say you have found a cheaper alternative to what we would have specified, you probably have it half right – it is cheaper but not an alternative. I, on the other hand, have no budget for proving this to the client. So do not ask me to investigate a whole lot of stuff which I know will not work.

Further, if the client decides to do without something, that is a decision made. At the contract end, do not expect me to give a whole lot of time and energy to something the client has now found is needed.

Thirdly, to the quantity surveyors I work with. I love you all; you are all honest and brave, but . . . If I wish, I could easily never exceed my budget. I just make sure it is sky high and gold plated, to begin with, and then work towards it. I can fudge the contract to make sure that my favourite contractor gets the contract and make sure that there is so much in it that there will be no variation orders. But this is not professional. So, when I come asking for more money, it means that the rough estimate I gave ten months ago, which the quantity surveyor quickly carved in stone, was wrong. In the ball park, but wrong. I’m sorry. But that is how it is. Give me the money. So, to all of you, if it applies, read and remember. If you are offended, well, I am really sorry.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
I have never believed that voltage surges or current surges existed. Electricity, as far as I know, does not move in waves, like the sea. At very high voltages, you do get voltage spikes and transients but these are normally smoothed out at lower voltages. Thus, till...
It is a simple fact that, with the exclusion of those naturally gifted, to learn to play music requires practice – and lots of it. It is also a fact that most people do not like to hear people practising music – hence, at school and universities, there are music...
One of my favourite folk bands is K, Ray and the Bird. One of its songs is Listen to the Criticism. The first part of the lyrics are “And it’s easy to criticise / And it’s easy to around and say: 'Hey man, why don’t you try? / (Hey man, why don’t you try? / But...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 59 minutes ago State-owned power utility Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown confirmed on Wednesday that contracts under the so-called short-term power purchase programme (STPPP) had been renewed ahead of the March 31, 2015, expiry date. Eskom told Engineering News...
Updated 3 hours ago The value of copper stolen in February decreased to R12.7-million, from R12.9-million in January, but was 18.1% higher than the value of copper stolen in February 2014, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) revealed on Wednesday. In its latest...
Updated 3 hours ago Paper and packaging group Mpact has concluded a broad-based black-economic empowerment (BBBEE) deal that will see a purpose-formed trust subscribing for 10% of the ordinary issued shares in group subsidiary Mpact Operations, which holds its South African businesses....
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
RESOURCEFUL The raw material for the pilot plant would be supplied from the dissolving wood pulp plants at Sappi’s Saiccor and Ngodwana mills, in South Africa, and the Cloquet mill, in the US
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96