http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.02
R/$ = 10.96Change: 0.00
Au 1195.22 $/ozChange: -3.23
Pt 1225.00 $/ozChange: -4.50
 
 
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 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
A phenomenon which I have mentioned before and which continues to worry me is the popularisation of science.  I have been involved in this for years. Some years ago, I made the largest South African TV series on local science achievements.  It was aired on SABC and...
I am on my way to the country of Mali. The capital, Bamako, has one of the largest mosques in the world, made from mud and earth, and it is very magnificent. The country is large and the city of Timbuctu is in the north. In 1841, the French Geographical Society...
I will be going to Mali next week. I quote from the Internet: “Mali is bordered by Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso to the south, Guinea to the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west. It is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 1 hour 34 minutes ago The Central Energy Fund (CEF) has backtracked on its decision to appoint Tshepo Kgadima as a director and chairperson of national oil company PetroSA following the public “controversy” dogging the new appointee. Nonhlanhla Jiyane had now been appointed as interim...
South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
Updated 2 hours 10 minutes ago South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has emphasised the role of the private sector in delivering the 51 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida) projects, collectively valued at $68-billion, being prioritised for implementation by 2020....
Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago This year, 82 companies met the JSE’s Socially Responsible Index (SRI) requirements relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and management practices, compared with only 72 companies in 2013, as companies become more aware of how they...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
JAMES ROBERTS The MOM incubator was designed to help babies in developing nations who were dying in conflict-struck nations or who do not receive hospital care
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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