From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. Our top stories this week: the first Gautrain is tested in Midrand; we talk to a South African scientist involved in the hunt for the Holy Grail of particle physics; and a R42-million hi-tech surveillance system for Joburg's CBD.
The dream to travel by rail from the OR Tambo Airport to Sandton has come one step closer with the unveiling of the first Gautrain. Irma Venter was on board.
The once distant, almost mythical 2010 completion date for the first phase of the Gautrain rapid-rail link from Sandton to the OR Tambo Airport has become a very impatient next year. And, even though the first train is being tested in Midrand, inspiring curiosity from commuters on Gauteng's Ben Schoeman highway as it rolls by, the project still has to cover quite a few miles before the ribbon is cut, says Bombela Concession Company CEO Jerome Govender.
Bombela is responsible for the construction of the R25-billion high-speed rail project.
Bombela Concession Company CEO Jerome Govender
Despite the current economic climate, punctuated by company failures and rising unemployment, Gauteng Management Agency CEO, and Gauteng government Gautrain project leader Jack van der Merwe remains positive the project will remain on track for 2010.
Gauteng Management Agency CEO, and Gauteng government Gautrain project leader Jack van der Merwe
Join us after the break for more on the Large Hadron Collider experiment.
Europe has built the Large Hadron Collider to help answer some of the most fundamental questions in science today. And South African scientists will help find the answers. Keith Campbell has the story.
The Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is the most powerful physics experiment ever. One of the most important questions it seeks to answer is: why does matter have mass? We don't know. There is, however, a widely accepted hypothesis, that mass is provided by a particle known as the Higgs Boson. But does the Higgs Boson exist? The LHC's ATLAS detector will provide the data needed to prove the existence of the Higgs, and one of the South African scientists involved in the hunt for the Higgs is University of Johannesburg Physics PhD student Claire Lee, who explains her role in this global project.
University of Johannesburg Physics PhD student Claire Lee
Technology is bolstering the fight against crime in Johannesburg, Christy van der Merwe reports.
Christy van der Merwe:
Johannesburg inner city is regarded as South Africa's crime capital. But this could change in 2009. With the help of state of the art surveillance systems, criminals no longer go unwatched in the CBD.
Here we see a typical smash-and-grab taking place in the city, and mere seconds later, the suspect is apprehended.
This is made possible through a network of closed circuit television cameras, and control centre, with a capital cost of some 42 million rand. The system was installed and is maintained by Omega technology solutions, and is monitored 24 hours a day.
Thys Le Grange, Omega Technology Solutions, MD:
The system is specifically designed for macro public surveillance technology and applications.
Christy van der Merwe:
And its working. After 6 months of operation, statistics have shown that crime has reduced in the CBD by about 80%. The centre is integrated with reaction units from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, the South African Police Service, and emergency services. Should a crime such as a smash-and-grab take place, or even seem likely to take place, operators at the control centre dispatch the appropriate response team.
And now for a sneak preview of this week's Engineering News magazine:
We take an in-depth look at property developers who seek an ‘open forum' with Eskom to clarify rules for new electricity connections.
We report that automatic tolling will be rolled out across Gauteng's freeways in late 2010.
And, vehicle importer Peugeot Motors South Africa reaffirms its commitment to doing business in South Africa.
And in Mining Weekly this week:
Read how Canadian miners are gearing up for the big economic chill.
We report that gold-mining major Gold Fields has invested R40-million in an uninterruptible power supply system at its South Deep mine.
And, news that JSE-listed gem-miner Diamond-Corp has been granted the mining rights for its flagship Lace project in the Free State province.
That's Creamer Media's Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa's real economy.