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Engineering News Features

Public-private partnerships

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE Beitbridge-to-Bulawayo railway line in Zimbabwe and the Phakisa International raceway in Welkom are two public-private partnerships in which V3 Consulting Engineers has been involved. The concession for Zimbabwe’s first railway line to be financed through a build, operate and transfer... 

New HQ completed

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE high-pressure tight-deadline contract for the building of South African Airways’ (SAA’s) new high-profile headquarters at Johannesburg International Airport has been completed by Protekon Building Services in conjunction with other consultants. The work involved the alteration of... 

Building of R116m technocentre on track

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Contributing to the building of technology in South Africa, the Grinaker group is involved in the construction of properties for cellular service provider Vodacom and computer giant Microsoft. The Vodacom technocentre contract awarded to Grinaker in Bellville, Western Cape, is valued at... 

Growth targeted despite adverse conditions

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Although Concor Holdings has a substantial order book for this year, MD Gavin Hardy does not see too bright a future for the South African construction industry for the last year of the century. “Our order book is still increasing, which is encouraging. However, the construction environment... 

R10,6m hospital revamp

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A R10,6-million contract for additions and renovations to the Sunward Park hospital in Boksburg, Gauteng, has been completed by Rainbow Construction in joint venture with WBHO. The contract included construction of a 34-bed ward and a round chapel. Also included was a new administration block, a... 

Last hurdle for Kwazulu-Natal expansion

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Additional work at one of Kwazulu-Natal’s largest projects ever, the new aluminium hot-rolling mill for Hulett Aluminium (Hulamin) in Maritzburg, is scheduled for completion at the end of this year. This comprises external paving, a canteen, change house, effluent plant and recycle... 

Defence contracts will bolster growth

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Although the machine tool industry has been subdued for quite some time and no significant recovery is expected in 1999, Retecon executive chairperson Burkhard Herrmann is quietly optimistic about the future. He attributes this to positive signs such as the softening of interest rates, which is... 

Utility seeks to galvanise business in SA

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Electricity utility Eskom is developing new business opportunities and foreign investment through the investigation of opportunities for electricity-intensive industries in South Africa, which has the lowest-priced electricity in the world, says Eskom new-business promotion manager Don Govender.... 

Fourth power conference

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE continent’s fourth international exhibition and conference for power generation, transmission, distribution, installation and alternative energy, Electrics Africa, returns to Johannesburg in August with a new, expanded profile. Under the banner of Epea ’99, Electrics Africa will... 

Some tips on professional hoodwinking

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Since it is January and not much is happening, I thought I would give readers some tips on how to make some quick bucks over this quiet period. Now, note well, none of what I am about to reveal is necessarily illegal, but that is my opinion only – you try the scam that follows at your own... 

From the bottom of the sea to a giant waterbag

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 In July last year Norwegian geologists descended to a depth of 5 600 m to investigate the mid-Atlantic ridge west of Svalbard, known before as Spitzbergen. For this venture, the scientists were lowered to perilous depths by the Russian mini-submarines MIR 1 and MIR 2, which were used to film the... 

‘Green’ plastic from UK for home and heavy industry is a wrap

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE environment-unfriendly method of manufacturing the kind of plastic used in things such as buckets and rubbish bins could soon be as dated as horse-drawn streetcars. Scientists have discovered a new way of producing the plastic, which has thousands of uses from around the home to heavy... 

Disaster White Paper paves way forward

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Co-ordinated disaster-relief efforts may not stop the devastating effects of natural and manmade disasters, but will save money and human lives. This was the message delivered by Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development Minister Mohammed Valli Moosa when he launched the White Paper on... 

Hi-tech shopping trolley rolls in

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A NEW range of ergonomically-designed lightweight shopping trolleys has been launched locally. Speaking at the launch of the Galaxy range in Johannesburg, Cape Gate, Fence & Wire Works MD Robert Kaplan said the products were in line with international consumer trends to offer customers a... 

R1-million Mozal contract

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A R1-MILLION contract for the cathode sealing furnaces and associated equipment at Mozal has been awarded to Cementation group company Efco Furnaces. The contract includes two 600 kW Inductotherm Powertrak VIP power units, each with a 500 kg furnace body, charge dryer and ladle preheater. The... 

R1,4-million air-con system installed in Pta

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A REVAMPED R1,36-million air-conditioning system is providing a first-class working environment at the Maize Board’s offices in Pretoria. MBB Consulting Engineers was commissioned to produce a design which would breathe new life into the building’s 27-year-old system at the lowest... 

New export finance for SA firms

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A US bank is offering small-to-medium South African manufacturing exporters an innovative way to finance their exports to the US market, Engineering News can today report. Although new to South Africa, the programme has an established and successful record in the US. The bank concerned is the... 

Lesotho contracts

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 MIDRAND-based Llandt Exports has taken delivery of the company’s first forklift truck to assist with cargo forwarding for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Despite the current economic climate, the new company is doing a booming trade in procurement, forwarding and export to Malawi,... 

South African first in Internet technology

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Specialist publisher of product and brandname information Ezee-Dex Information Systems has launched a massive product search engine on the Internet. Its address being www.edx.co.za, the site offers a unique researched relational database that can search more than 32 000 South African companies,... 

Telecom sky platform proposed for Gauteng

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Telecom firms and governments worldwide are looking at cost-effective ways to increase the precious commodity of bandwidth for businesses and individuals alike, and South Africa is no exception. The feasibility of launching a stratospheric telecom platform up to 21 km above Gauteng to provide... 

Software for African renaissance

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 LOCALLY-developed software is assisting African countries with the planning of radio communication networks. Gisrap, designed by CSIR information and communications technology division Mikomtek, is used to predict propagation losses and to determine the capacity and coverage requirements of... 

The bitter pill of labour-market reform

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Deputy President Thabo Mbeki’s new year announcement that there may be some review of South African labour legislation has been well-received by commentators, who have argued that former Labour Minister Tito Mboweni’s programme of heightened labour protection had put undue strain on... 

Bleak year ahead for machine tool sector

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 High interest rates, the fall in the rand and the general lack of growth in the South African economy suggest a bleak outlook for the machine tool industry in 1999. “Because interest rates are expected to remain abnormally high for at least the next six months in order to protect the... 

Used equipment sector toughs it out

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 How would you describe the state of the used machine tool industry? The used machine tool industry went through a rough year in 1998. Orders were hard to achieve owing chiefly to the lack of confidence in the economy and the country. Our industry is affected just the same as any other which deals... 

Products sourced worldwide

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A comprehensive range of products used in the machine tools industry is distributed by Bearing Man, specialist in bearings, seals, power transmission components, geared motors and belting. The range includes IKO linear bearings, NSK ball and roller bearings and high-precision ballscrews, Gamet... 

Machine tool stockist

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Having serviced the South African engineering industry for 25 years, Machine Tool Exchange, an offshoot of AD Machinery, stocks machine tools ranging from pedestal drilling machines to heavy engineering machinery, including vertical, horizontal and floor boring mills. All items stocked are... 

Crisis can be surmounted

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Introducing lean manufacturing principles, improving and maintaining service and quality as well as developing an export market are important factors for surviving the present economic crisis, Dorbyl Automotive Technologies executive director Mornet Villet tells Engineering News. This can be seen... 

Plastic ‘plug-and-play’ home on offer to SA

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A US composites and building materials multinational is mulling over the possible introduction of an all-plastic ‘plug-and-play’ house as an alternative offering for the South African affordable-housing sector. Owens Corning South Africa MD Dr Michael Effing tells Engineering News... 

Housing initiative leads job-creation drive

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE first signs that real progress is being made following the hoopla surrounding the jobs summit held in October last year is the news that the final report on the National Presidential Lead Project on Housing (NPLP) will be released at the end of February. The report is expected to include a... 

Log homes run into wall of misconception

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 PERHAPS the greatest challenge still facing the marketing team of T&B Log Homes of Knysna is to make potential customers realise that a treated solid log is a long-lasting solution to walling problems, and will remain inviolate in perpetuity – provided the specified maintenance treatment is... 

Economic meltdown must be staved off by smart leadership

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 N economic meltdown – locally and globally – must be staved off determinedly by smart local and global leadership. There can be no resigned acceptance locally or globally of further economic slowdown. The economy of the world and the economy of South Africa must be managed upwards... 

Euro will have ‘significant impact’ on SA – IDC

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 The implications of European monetary integration for South Africa are likely to be significant, though not extraordinary, predict Josef Swanepoel and Jorge Maia of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Export penetration opportunities are indeed likely to expand as Europe turns into a... 

New conditions of contract to be put to test

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (Fidic) has released test editions of four new conditions of contract. The first edition of these documents will be published for use during the first half of this year, says Fidic arbitrator Philip Loots. “The engineer’s role and... 

SA investment in Venezuela is ‘assured’

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 PRESIDENT-elect Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a major oil-producing country which began to attract more interest from South African business last year, is to be inaugurated on February 2. Schumann-Sasol has been negotiating with PDVSA, the Venezuelan national oil company, for the establishment of a... 

West Coast offers projects

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 The West Coast Investment Initiative (WCII) has progressed beyond Saldanha Steel and Namakwa Sands and is aiming to become a truly economically-diverse growth node. Several smaller projects in this multisectoral growth zone are taking off, ranging from minerals, industry, agriculture and... 

Foundry assists business

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 WELL-known Cape-based aluminium foundry Ajax Manufacturing has invested a considerable sum in its toolroom facility over the last decade. Director Roger Fife, who is responsible for the toolroom, commented that the original plan was to provide the necessary up-to-date equipment and technology for... 

R17-million sewer pipeline on track

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 DUE to be completed in July, a 3,8-km-long sewer pipeline being laid in Cape Town’s northern suburb of Goodwood will make an important new contribution to Cape Town’s utility facilities. The R17-million tender to replace the existing 500 mm main sewer line was issued by the Cape... 

Merger in plastic engineering field

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE engineering plastic division of Maizey Plastics has merged with Polypenco to form DSM Engineering Plastic Products SA. The merger, which took place in December last year, will benefit the local market by increasing access and serviceability in the plastic engineering field. Service to the... 

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