Jun 26, 2009
DURBAN|Engineering|Pretoria|Africa|Engineering News|Generator|Generator Sets|Generator-Sets|Hydropower|Mining Weekly|Pipelines|Road|Roads|System|Water|Africa|Kazakstan|Russia|South Africa|Energy|Generator Sets|Mining|Generator Sets|Martin Creamer|Tim Modise|Water|Pipelines|Engineering News
© Reuse this
Modise: Good to have you with us, Martin. South Africa's satellite has arrived in Russia to prepare for its launch into space in August.
Creamer: Yes, we've had a lot of delays with this satellite. It is a South African-built satellite, but we need someone to launch it and the last time, when we put our SunSat satellite into space, in 1999, the Americans launched it for us. This time, with Sumbandila, which is the Venda language for ‘lead the way', we have got the Russians to assist us. But there have been a lot of delays and, finally, we have got our satellite to Kazakstan, which is the cosmodrome that is controlled by the Russians there. So we won't be responsible for any of the delays now, but we are not primary payload, we are secondary payload on the Soyaz rocket.
The rocket is there, ready, but the primary payload should come in by Saturday. That then takes another 40 days to attach it to this rocket and we will have that time, so the pencilled-in date now is August 20, and we should be able to meet that.
Modise: Now, the new toll road system is being introduced in Gauteng, but a huge billing challenge awaits the introduction thereof.
Creamer: Yes, those that are bidding for these tenders now, to do the billing system for this new era that we're entering into where we pay to go to Pretoria along roads that we never used to pay before, they will be tolled, but they will be tolled in a way where you won't have a tolling booth where you've got to pull out some money and pay physically. This is a situation where you continue driving and you get billed. There'll be gantries overhead that track your electronic tag - provided you've got one in your car, under your mirror or they will have cameras to take pictures of your number plate - and then they will bill you directly.
There's a lot of legal backing there to make sure that this is quite strict and people have to pay. But one of the concerns now, by the people bidding for this contract, is that South Africa is pretty unique in that of the three-million people using this, less than half are banked, so where do you send the bill? Many of them have vehicles, but they don't seem to have fixed addresses, so where do you send the bill? And they don't want a situation where few are paying for these roads, which are now R76-million per kilometre, so pretty expensive stuff. So they want to make sure they can build so they are linking it to the demerit system. If people continually don't pay, you'll suffer demerits, and you may lose your driver's licence. They are also linking it to an intelligent licence plate introduction so that there will be fewer people who have false number plates. Hopefully, billing will come through so that they can collect something like R250-million a month.
Modise: And the water supply to Durban is going to be improved with a R700-million pipeline.
Creamer: There has been unprecedented growth and demand for water in the western and northern areas of Durban, and they've had to rush in with this new western aquaduct. The first 20 km of pipeline is already under way, which they started in January. The second phase will come early in 2010 of this R700-million. But the big part is on the second phase, with R550-million spent there for 55 km of pipeline to bring additional water into these areas that have grown in an unprecedented fashion.
But it's very interesting to see a little exciting addition to the way they are doing their pipeline development on this western aquaduct and it is related to energy. We know that energy costs are going up and we know that when water travels down these pipelines there's a potential for hydropower. We've never actually exploited that before and sometimes that water runs at quite high pressure and there's excess pressure and what Durban is going to do is invite private companies to set up generator sets, so that from that water movement you can actually generate some electricity and then they will buy that 10 MW that will be generated from the companies that do that.
Modise: That's Martin Creamer, the publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. He will be back At the Coalface at the same time, next Friday.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
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...
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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...