July 2008

Zimbabwe 2008-07-30 : Govt Reviews Plans for Stadium Construction

Zimbabwe: Govt Reviews Plans for Stadium Construction - Construction of the 40 000-seater soccer stadium in Masvingo ahead of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa, has not yet begun as the Government is still reviewing plans for the project. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Building Buries 40 Alive in Abuja

Nigeria: Building Buries 40 Alive in Abuja - About 40 people, many of them workmen, were buried alive yesterdaywhen a complex under construction in the Jabi area of Abuja collapsed, due to poor quality of work. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Lazy Contractors to Face Prosecution

Nigeria: Lazy Contractors to Face Prosecution - Contractors handling various development projects in Ebonyi State have been warned to complete their contracts on schedule or risk being prosecuted in the court of law. [AA Construction]

South Africa : The Fairland Office Development - Far from ordinary...



The newest addition to the skyline of the West Rand of Johannesburg is the long awaited office development that houses WesBank and FNB HomeLoans.

On a hillside and highly visible from the N1 highway, the Fairland office development represents a fundamental shift in the stereotypical image associated with banks.

The design concept was composed by Continuum Architects and was underpinned by a six part story. The exterior evokes the earthy colours of Africa through green glazing and earthy exterior paint finishes. Vertical sunscreens adorned with potato prints are a prominent feature along the eight facades of the building in grey, green, yellow and red.

The development comprises a three-storey structure with canted concrete columns, supporting corner pod office units and sweeping elliptical features. The pods at the outer corners of each building are placed at a 6 degree pitch with triple volume glazing carefully fitted between the columns.

The building can accommodate over 5,000 people. A shared facility with a footprint of 3,000 m² is situated between the two office buildings. It houses a clinic, facilities management offices, security offices, canteen, two kitchens with the capacity to produce 2,000 lunches each day, training facilities and a 600-seater multi-function conference centre.

The entire building is perched on top of two super basements that can accommodate 1,600 cars, with an additional 1,250 on-surface bays. The two-level basement contains vast storage facilities, a gymnasium, computer and electrical rooms and back-of-house facilities for the kitchens and pause areas. The third basement level accommodates the centralised and shared HVAC room.

South Africa : South Africans make strides in accommodating disabled

By Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - People with disabilities are contributing to the economy, says the Inter Departmental Coordinating Committee on Disability (IDCCD).

Speaking on behalf of the IDCCD and the Inter Provincial Forum on Disability, during a National Disability Summit held on Tuesday, Sithembile Lunguza said government had done much to ensure people with disabilities contribute towards making South Africa a prosperous country.

South Africa : Cape Town state of the art library opens

Cape Town - A $2 million state-of-the-art library has been opened in Cape Town.

The new central library, which will contribute to the regeneration of the Central Business District in Cape Town, was officially opened on Tuesday by Cape Town Executive Mayor Helen Zille.

The library was previously housed at the City Hall but it was moved to Old Drill Hall to be used a centre for excellence by all Capetonians.

Carnegie Corporation awarded the City of Cape Town an initial funding of $2 million in 2004 to upgrade of the new library.

South Africa : Service delivery over the last 15 years has touched the lives of millions

Four million homes electrified, over 2.3 million housing units built, 1 600 clinics and health care centres built, almost 100 percent enrolment in free primary education, almost 90 percent of households having access to water - government has achieved all this in just 15 years, writes Shaun Benton.

The achievements of the government since the advent of democracy in 1994, also highlight the challenges remaining as the executive looks at what more needs to be done in the last remaining months of the current government.

South Africa 2008-07-30 : Joburg's 2010 stadiums "well on track"

By Emily Visser

Johannesburg - Johannesburg's two key stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup - Soccer City and Ellis Park - are well on schedule and will be completed within predicted timeframes.

Joburg.org reports that Ellis Park will be ready well in advance of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 taking place next June. It is expected the stadium will be completed in November 2008.

Soccer City will be finished in May 2009.

"We are very happy with the progress on Ellis Park and on Soccer City. It's really exciting to see how fast things are moving.

"Every time I visit the stadiums progress is visible," said Sibongile Mazibuko, the City's executive director for 2010. Mazibuko is responsible for co-ordinating and implementing the City's 2010 programme.

Construction has not been without its hitches, however, at the Ellis Park site, work has to be co-ordinated as the stadium is in continuous use.

Areas have to be made safe for public use and some of the work has to be done during window periods when no sporting activities are taking place at the stadium.

Some of the major complications at Soccer City include additional work to the original structure which could not have been foreseen during the design process.

Design requirements in the form of piles and columns for the roof had to be added. FIFA also added extra requirements to the design and construction later in the project.

And finally, the challenge of transporting the roof structure, which was manufactured in Italy, to South Africa had to be overcome. But today, the roof is almost halfway to completion.

In the past year work at both stadiums has also had to contend with rising construction costs, with steel prices alone increasing by 70 percent.

However, Soccer City's progress was recently applauded when Jerome Valcke, the FIFA Secretary-General, paid Johannesburg a quick visit. He commented that work on the stadium was "impressive".

The project is on programme schedule and 44 percent complete.

The stadium was completely demolished late in 2006, and the rebuilding started in 2007. The builder's rubble from the original construction has been used in the rebuilding.

Various aspects were at different stages, the 2010 office confirmed. The stadium's support structures are completed and the roof is 45 percent finished. Structural and pre-cast concrete work is also progressing well.

The stadium has increased its seating by 34 percent and will have place for 94 700 people through three tiers of seating, private boxes and VIP suites.

The media will be accommodated in eight television presentation studios. There will also be a soccer museum and a 300-seater restaurant.

"I must also say that our construction partners on the project, the workers and everyone associated with the stadiums' upgrades are very mindful of the enormous obligation we have to have these completed on time and to FIFA standards.

"They are committed to helping us achieve this and so I have no doubt that our excellent progress will continue for the remainder of the project period," Mazibuko added.

The stadium is expected to be completed by May 2009.

While Soccer City is a completely new construction, Ellis Park stadium - soon to be renamed Coca-Cola Park - is getting a major revamp ahead of the world cup.

Building started in the latter part of 2007 and is now nearing completion, with final fittings in progress. These include tiling and improvements to the foyer areas as well as new change rooms and toilet blocks.

Seating is also receiving some attention to cater for disabled people. Alterations to seating are completed except for balustrades, which still need to be erected. The buttressing of the parkade and northern area was completed early in January this year.

Most of the pre-cast concrete work to the stadium is completed. The roof structure is being erected and is 35 percent complete. Workers have started sheeting the roof structure.

All the lighting within the stadium was also replaced in June.

In June and July 2009, Ellis Park will be the most important venue for the Confederations Cup, with the opening ceremony taking place there as well as a number of games.

The stadium will be completed and ready for this event well before time.

And in 2010, the stadium is earmarked to host five first-round matches, a second round match and one of the quarter-finals for the World Cup.

Ellis Park will seat 62 000 football fans, increasing its capacity by almost 9 percent from the previous 57 000.

Uganda: 30 Buildings Closed Over Latrines

Uganda: 30 Buildings Closed Over Latrines - A TOTAL of 31 buildings in Kayunga town have been closed for lacking latrines. The town health inspector, Daniel Eberu, on Friday led the team comprising the town council law enforcement officers in the crackdown. [AA Urbanisation]

South Africa: Joburg Poor Can Now Afford Accommodation in the City

South Africa: Joburg Poor Can Now Afford Accommodation in the City - A neglected nursing college in Hillbrow has been transformed into an affordable rental and communal accommodation to provide decent homes for poor households in the area. [AA Urbanisation]

Rwanda: Demolitions - is Anyone Thinking of Social Consequences?

Rwanda: Demolitions - is Anyone Thinking of Social Consequences? - Kigali City Council has been demolishing slum houses and shacks in Rugenge, the area popularly called Kiyovu cy'Abakene. The bulldozers, with policemen standing on guard, have been flattening the shacks, some of them still with tenants in them. [AA Urbanisation]

Rwanda: Kiyovu Residents Decry Demolitions

Rwanda: Kiyovu Residents Decry Demolitions - The Kigali City Council last week demolished houses in Kiyovu after residents had been evicted. The affected families, however, claim they have not been treated correctly. "The houses were dilapidated because of running water, which is why we built Batsinda housing estate and relocated the residents of Ubumwe cell there." [AA Urbanisation]

Cameroon: Warda - Modern Public Toilets Under Construction

Cameroon: Warda - Modern Public Toilets Under Construction - A new public toilet will soon be constructed at the Warda junction in Yaounde. The former public toilet which served Yaounde inhabitants for a good number of years, had gone out of use. [AA Construction]

Angola: Govt Invests USD 28 Million in Centre for Vulnerable Children

Angola: Govt Invests USD 28 Million in Centre for Vulnerable Children - A regional centre for the sheltering, education and social insertion of children, with the capacity for 125 kids, shall be built within a year in Lubango district, south Huíla province, in the light of the government's programme of social reintegration of disadvantaged minors. [AA Construction]

Uganda: Foreign Firms Dominate Construction Contracts

Uganda: Foreign Firms Dominate Construction Contracts - "ONLY two foreign companies are doing 60% of the available construction jobs. A country which has no local construction industry is not going to grow," the chairman of the Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (UNABCEC), Gumisiriza Birantana, has said. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Dam Construction Breeds Anarchy in Argungu

Nigeria: Dam Construction Breeds Anarchy in Argungu - Over 1000 farmers in Argungu Emirate penultimate Thursday, attempted to lynch the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu and the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera at the Emir's palace protesting the siting of the N18 billion Zauro Polder irrigation project in Argungu.

South Africa: Delft Squatters to Fight

South Africa: Delft Squatters to Fight - It could be months before the new Symphony Way in Delft is re-opened for public use if a mass of squatters living on the pavement remain resolute in their decision to stay put. [AA Urbanisation]

South Africa: Construction of Freedom Park Phase Two Kicks Off

South Africa: Construction of Freedom Park Phase Two Kicks Off - The construction of phase two of the Freedom Park has commenced and is set to be completed by March next year. [AA Construction]

Angola: Government Focuses on National Reconstruction

Angola: Government Focuses on National Reconstruction - The will of the Angolan Government to continue to rehabilitate social infrastructures destroyed during the armed conflict became clear during the 25th edition of the Luanda International Fair (Fil2008) that closed Sunday. [AA Construction]

Rwanda: Govt Institutions Dispute Belgian Firm's Shoddy Construction Work


Elastic house help

The Pirons did not show us inside the quarters for the house help, claiming that they did not have the keys.

But on a second visit, without the Pirons but with somebody who could show us these quarters, we found out that the house-help in any of the 52 houses is supposed to sleep in a space that is smaller than a dog kennel. So the poor man or woman will have to spend nights curled up like a fetus.

WITS Architecture Film Festival 2008 : The Castling



Kasia Kwiecinska and Eduardo Cachucho created this short film for an architectural research project. It is about how a simple house can turn into a chess academy. #1 Job Maseko Street has changed drastically over the last 20 years, this film tracks that history in a short and entertaining architectural feature.

This video features new Narration by Laurens Cilliers.

Special thanks to the KwaThema Chess Academy for all their help (Especialy Anthony and Tshepo).

Original Score by: Angie Mullins

WITS University 2007

Created using: Premier Pro, Photoshop and Google Earth. Recorded on a Panasonic GS500.

South Africa : Affordable-housing programme is maturing, but the delivery pressures are mounting

Affordable-housing programme is maturing, but the delivery pressures are mounting - Affordable-housing programme is maturing, but the delivery pressures are mounting - The areas which were engulfed by violence and attacks on foreign nationals were in informal settlements and in hostels. These areas often experience a lack of service delivery and are where the poorest people reside.

South Africa : FIFA 'confident' about SA 2010

FIFA 'confident' about SA 2010 - By Ndaba Dlamini
Johannesburg - FIFA is confident that South Africa's preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are adequate and there is no plan to take the tournament to another country.
This was said by the Secretary-General of the world football governing body, Jerome Valcke, after a 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) board meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday, according to the official website for the City of Johannesburg.

South Africa : Engineers to be deployed to flood-hit Cape

Engineers to be deployed to flood-hit Cape - By Nthambeleni Gabara
Johannesburg - A team of experienced engineers are to be deployed to the flood-hit low lying areas of the Western Cape.
Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, Director General at the Department of Provincial and Local Government said the National Disaster Management Centre would deploy the team to support and advise the provincial and local government leadership.

Nigeria: 20,000 Houses Deal With Malaysians Delayed - Governor

Nigeria: 20,000 Houses Deal With Malaysians Delayed - Governor - Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, has explained that the delay of the proposed construction of 20,000 housing units by a Malaysian firm in the state to provide more houses for civil servant is due to what he described as sudden increase in the cost of building materials in the country. [AA Construction]

Kenya: Reconstruction Efforts to Raise City From the Ashes

Kenya: Reconstruction Efforts to Raise City From the Ashes - The burnt-out shell of Wedco Centre on Oginga Odinga Street in Kisumu evokes uncomfortable memories of the post-election violence that rocked the country at the beginning of the year. [AA Construction]

South Africa: R200 Million Set Aside to Renovate Unsafe Schubart Park

South Africa: R200 Million Set Aside to Renovate Unsafe Schubart Park - The Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality has set aside R200 million over the next three years to renovate two of the city's oldest block of flats. [AA Urbanisation]

Nigeria: Bayelsa Govt Demolishes Ovom Shanties

Nigeria: Bayelsa Govt Demolishes Ovom Shanties - For residents of the Ovom slum some distance away from the new Judiciary Complex and the on-going Bayelsa State government owned Amusement Park, this is certainly not the best of time especially with the daily heavy downpour. [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Construction Industry Booming - Werikhe

Uganda: Construction Industry Booming - Werikhe - The construction sector is experiencing a boom, housing state minister, Michael Werikhe, has said. [AA Construction]