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Jade Davenport

Jade Davenport

DAVENPORT, MA (UCT), is a freelance journalist and historian – jade@engineeringnews.co.za

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case pursue out-of-court option

5th May 2017 Mining companies facing a class action suit from mineworkers who developed silicosis on South Africa’s gold mines are expected to reach an out-of-court settlement before the close of the year. The class action, which was lodged in May 2016, comprises, according to attorney Richard Spoor, an... 

Rand Airport – Joburg’s first hub of civil aviation

31st March 2017 Since it was established  in 1886, the city of Johannesburg has been at the forefront of much of the economic, industrial and infrastructure development in South Africa and the broader African continent. However, there is one notable exception to that general historical and ongoing trend, and... 

Cradle of South African aviation

10th March 2017 The birth of South Africa's aviation industry cannot be pinpointed to one location or date or to a single individual. While East London may boast the status of hosting the first flight in South Africa, the first aerodrome, along with the first flying school, was, in fact, established in... 

The first powered flight in South Africa

17th February 2017 The field of aviation achieved a new milestone last week with the safe passage of the world's longest commercial flight. That Qatar Airways plane travelled a distance of 14 535 km between the Qatari capital of Doha,  and Auckland, New Zealand, in one continuous stretch – a journey that covered... 

Koeberg contract and SA’s covert nuclear arms programme

3rd February 2017 One of the most fascinating aspects of the construction of South Africa’s first nuclear energy project, the 1 800 MW Koeberg power station, in the Western Cape – and an aspect that will always differentiate it from any future nuclear build programme in the country – was that it was undertaken at... 

The nuclear contract that rocked the Dutch

27th January 2017 In the closing weeks of 2016 State-owned power utility Eskom announced that it would be moving ahead with the decision to invite bids to build six nuclear reactors, which are projected to add 9 600 MW of capacity to the national grid in the coming decades. While Eskom’s insistence on pursuing a... 

A brief history of SA’s nuclear energy sector

9th December 2016 State-owned power utility Eskom’s recent announcement that it intends to move ahead with a controversial initiative to request proposals for new nuclear generation capacity has sparked an intensive national debate on not only the need and viability of such a project but also its ethics. Politics... 

Cape Town harbour’s Alfred Basin

25th November 2016 Given that Cape Town was the most important port on the sea route between Europe and the East, for the first half century that the British administered this strategic maritime jewel, it is surprising that little effort was made to develop any infrastructure that could transform Table Bay into a... 

South Africa's first official civil engineer

18th November 2016 Following Britain’s annexation of the Cape at the turn of the nineteenth century, a number of measures were implemented, including the introduction of a new currency and the removal of all restraints on the trading of goods, which had the effect of stimulating trade and the economic life of the... 

The battle to tame Table Bay – Part 2

28th October 2016 Being strategically located halfway between Europe and the lucrative spice route of the East, the Cape of Good Hope was certainly a jewel in the crown of any maritime trading empire. This was especially the case in the era prior to the opening IN 1869 of the Suez Canal, an engineering marvel that... 

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