Jun 26, 2009
DURBAN|Pretoria|Engineering News|Hydropower|Mining Weekly|Kazakstan|Russia|South Africa|Martin Creamer|Tim Modise|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
Updated 12 minutes ago Investment bank Nedbank Capital, which currently has an R18-billion debt exposure to 23 of the 64 approved renewable-energy projects in South Africa, expects to complete a review of the portfolio in early 2014, with the intention of allowing the bank to continue with...
Updated 29 minutes ago Cape-based engineering, procurement and construction company Sustainable Power Solutions and its subcontractor Renen Renewable Energy Solutions have completed the installation of a R17-million, 1 MW single-rooftop grid-tied solar plant on the roof of floorcovering...
Updated 51 minutes ago Global pan-emerging markets investment firm Actis on Monday closed its third energy fund, Actis Energy 3, after having raised $1.15-billion, exceeding its original target of $750-million by 50%. Actis Energy 3’s investor base included pension funds, sovereign...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 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...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 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.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.