January 2010

Continued rains cause havoc

Pretoria - Johannesburg Emergency Metro Services (JEMS) have been put on high alert in areas prone to flooding in the province as wet weather continues.

High- risk areas include those around the Klip River system in Soweto, areas between the West Rand's river system and the northern suburbs, including Dainfern, Diepsloot, Alexandra and Woodmead, among others.

"We are calling for people who experience problems to call 10177 from a land line and 112 from their cell phones. They must make sure they have a proper evacuation plan should their houses be flooded," JEMS spokesperson Percy Morokane told BuaNews.

He warned people to stay away from low water bridges because the water pressure would be much higher than usual and there was a possibility they could get washed away.

He further appealed to parents to keep an eye on their children. "Kids are kids - they may want to experiment with water," he said.

The continued rains have been causing havoc this week, with many living in informal settlements being rendered homeless.

Community torch accused houses

Pretoria - Two houses in Block F West, Soshanguve, belonging to the suspects accused for the murder of Masego Kgomo, were torched by angry residents on Thursday evening.

The angry community members are believed to have set the houses alight at around 10.30pm. The two houses were completely burnt down. Fortunately the occupants of the house had fled and no one was injured.

A third house was saved through the intervention of the Tshwane Metro Police and the police.

The incident follows the death of 10-year-old Masego, whose badly decomposed body was found near the Soshanguve Train Station on 8 January 2010 after she went missing.

Three men were arrested for her murder and are alleged to have cut off some of her body parts, possibly for muti.

Spokesperson for the Tshwane Community Safety Department, Console Tleane said the situation remained tense as the Tshwane Fire Brigade also remained on scene and on alert.

He said one male was arrested for public violence.

The three suspects in the case of Masego Kgomo are still in custody. - BuaNews

Women must make inroads in construction

By Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - Deputy Minister of Public Works Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has encouraged women contractors to make their mark in the industry.

Bogopane-Zulu said South Africa was a country that was transforming and every industry, including construction, should be part of that change.

"Construction sites should not make women feel like they need to be men, but rather they need to change because women have arrived," she said, speaking during a roundtable discussion with women contractors on Friday.

She said her department was doing its bit too and putting together plans to establish a gender unit to help in understanding what it is that needs to be done differently and address issues such as the expectations of women in the industry.

"When we say a construction site is 'women-friendly', we've got to ask what is it that determines this, and what are we, as women, bringing to the sites," she questioned.

The minister further challenged the women contractors to ensure that they get a slice of the R800 billion allocated by government for infrastructural development for the next three years.

Preparing to buy your first home

Preparing to buy your first home - Nikiwe asks: I am a young woman, just got a new job and am preparing to buy my first home. I would like advice on what I should invest in. [XMG News]

Demand for smaller properties, closer to work

Demand for smaller properties, closer to work - Forget house prices, it is the increasing running costs of our homes that will drive buyers to smaller properties. [XMG News]

ACTIVISM : Design Competition - Heathrow Fortress for Greenpeace UK

Airplot is the piece of land in the middle of the proposed third runway site at Heathrow airport, owned by Greenpeace, Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan, Zac Goldsmith and tens of thousands of people from around the world. The Airplot is a fundamental part of the campaign by Greenpeace and other groups to block construction of a new runway. A new runway would destroy communities, increase noise and air pollution, and contribute significantly to climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. 

ACTIVISM : 1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for a Real 9/11 Investigation


Press Conference and Dinner February 19, 2010 

AE911Truth will hold a press conference on Friday, February 19, at 11:00 AM at the Marines Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco. We will announce and honor the milestone of our achievement of obtaining 1,000 architects and engineers (A/E's) petitioning for a real investigation into the destruction of the 3 World Trade Center skyscrapers.

Invitations are being sent to more than 400 local AIA members, to many local, national, and international media outlets, and to more than 15,000 AE911Truth.org petition signers and supporters from around the world.

Minister calls women in construction imbizo

By Gabi Khumalo

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of Public Works, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, has invited women contractors to a roundtable discussion of their experiences in the construction industry.

The discussion, which will be held at the Alexandra Sports Centre on Friday, forms part of the department's oversight role as it is tasked with providing strategic leadership to the construction industry.

Bogopane-Zulu said she would like to propose policy guidelines and intervention programmes to mitigate violence against women and their experiences in this male dominated industry.

She said the construction industry needed to create a woman-friendly and gender responsive environment that adds transformation, growth and development value to this sector of the economy.

"As one of its core mandates, our department is tasked with monitoring and promoting the construction and property sectors of the economy.

"I believe that ameliorating lots of women, youth and people with disabilities in this industry is paramount and we need to enhance the profile, image and performance of the construction industry," said Bogopane-Zulu on Thursday.

Landfill gas-to-electricity project launched

Pretoria - A landmark project that converts gas from household waste into electricity has been officially launched in Durban.

A first for Africa, the project will produce enough electricity for thousands of medium-income homes.

It will also inject tens of millions of Rands into the city coffers through the sale of electricity and certified emission reduction credits, also known as carbon credits.

But the real winner will be the environment. Millions of cubic metres of greenhouse gases that would otherwise have escaped into the atmosphere each year, contributing to global warming, will now be converted into clean electricity.

The project is currently operating at the Marianhill and La Mercy landfills and will be extended to the larger Bisasar Road landfill.

Speaking at the official launch ceremony today, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters said the project will accelerate the use of renewable energy and deal with energy challenges.

The project, she said, was an important part of government's strategic vision to be more sustainable and to tackle climate change.

Gauteng sets up monitoring unit for 2010

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Executive Council (Exco) has established a monitoring unit to work with municipalities and other government departments involved in the organising of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Outlining the outcomes of the Exco to reporters, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the unit will focus on critical issues such as disaster management, emergency services, health services, food supplies, hospitality, traffic management, public safety and entertainment.

Mokonyane said the unit will report to a sub-committee of Exco comprising of MEC's for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Roads and Public Transport, Economic Development, Health and Social Development as well as Local Government and Housing.

The Premier said the implications of hosting the FIFA World Cup are huge for Gauteng.

"We have to do everything to ensure that we will be ready to welcome the multitude of visitors who will be in our province during the world cup tournament.

"The fans, players, officials, organisers and everybody else who will be part of the world cup must be able to stay and move freely within our province," she said.

Gas leak to blame for Yeoville explosion

Pretoria - An underground gas leakage was responsible for the explosion at Telkom's Yeoville building, says the telecommunication company.

"An underground gas leakage in the Yeoville, Johannesburg area was responsible for this morning's (Wednesday) explosion which damaged Telkom's exchange as well as adjacent buildings," said Telkom in a statement.

The explosion, which occurred yesterday morning, resulted in two people being injured. One of the injured, who was a Telkom technician, was hospitalised and is in a stable condition in hospital.

It was earlier believed that a municipal transformer at Telkom's exchange in Yeoville had exploded.

The explosion affected voice, data, DSL and MCO (mobile cellular operator) links with the company citing service restoration as its highest priority.

Telkom, however, added that progress to do this was being delayed because the building which houses Telkom's exchange was declared unsafe by the Johannesburg Fire Department.

"Telkom is continuing investigations into the matter and is determining the most appropriate course of action to expedite service restoration," said company spokesperson Ajith Bridgraj. - BuaNews

Nigeria: Why Affordable Housing is Not Possible Now--Mortgage Banker

Nigeria: Why Affordable Housing is Not Possible Now--Mortgage Banker - The quest to provide mass housing nationwide in an economy where the banking sector has become anti-loaning institutions would continue to be a mirage. [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Pader Hotel Stalls Due to Land Dispute

Uganda: Pader Hotel Stalls Due to Land Dispute - THE construction of a sh300m Acholi War Memorial Hotel at Aruu Falls in Pader district has stalled due to a dispute over the land on which the building is to be set up. [AA Construction]

Uganda: MP Threatens Govt over Latrine Shortage

Uganda: MP Threatens Govt over Latrine Shortage - TORORO Municipality MP, Geoffrey Ekanya, has threatened to take legal action if the Government does not address the problem of shortage of latrines, desks and classrooms in primary schools in his constituency. [AA Construction]

Gambia: Construct CEO, Architecte Associates Designer Meet President Jammeh

Gambia: Construct CEO, Architecte Associates Designer Meet President Jammeh - Fara Shams, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Construct Limited, accompanied by Mohammed Ali Farzaneh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Pars-O-Gam Company and Aziz El Ouali', the designer of Architecte Associates; a Moroccan Company, Tuesday called on the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh in separate engagements at State House in Banjul. [AA Construction]

Sexwale: New strategy to fix housing problems

Sexwale: New strategy to fix housing problems - Tokyo Sexwale assured MPs on Thursday that problems of faulty construction in low-cost housing projects "are a drop in the ocean". [XMG News]

Nigeria: FHA Buys Into Kaduna Millennium City Project

Nigeria: FHA Buys Into Kaduna Millennium City Project - The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is to participate in the development of the Kaduna Millennium City, a new town development programme of the state government. [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Collapsing City Building Kills Two

Uganda: Collapsing City Building Kills Two - TWO people died and at least five others sustained severe injuries when a building under construction on Luwum Street in Kampala city centre collapsed yesterday mid-morning. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Housing - NHF Generates N52 Billion, Says FMBN

Nigeria: Housing - NHF Generates N52 Billion, Says FMBN - A big relief has come to most Nigerians seeking to own houses of their dream through mortgage loans as the National Housing Fund (NHF) collection has tripled recently to over N1 billion per month with the cumulative collections standing at N52 billion as at December, 2009. [AA Urbanisation]

Côte d'Ivoire: Travesty of justice for toxic waste victims

An Ivorian court decision to transfer $45 million intended for the victims of the Trafigura toxic waste disaster to a group falsely claiming to represent them is a travesty of justice, Amnesty International said today.

The organization called for an immediate stay on the court's decision so that the money is not transferred before the victims have a chance to appeal.

In late 2009, a group known as the National Coordination of Toxic Waste Victims of Côte d'Ivoire (CNVDT-CI) claimed that it represented some 30,000 victims who had brought a court case against Trafigura in the UK. The claimants and Trafigura had reached an out-of-court settlement for $45 million in September 2009.

All of the claimants in the case were actually represented by UK lawyer Martyn Day of Leigh Day & Co. Amnesty International has seen no credible evidence to support CNVDT-CI's claim and considers it a blatant attempt to perpetrate fraud.

An appeal court today ruled that the $45 million, paid by Trafigura and intended for the victims, should be transferred to CNVDT-CI's bank account.

Ghana: Darkuman Residents Abandon Rubbish

Ghana: Darkuman Residents Abandon Rubbish - Environmental sanitation has been a major problem for many Ghanaians. Many inhabitants are aware of the consequences of staying in a bad environment, as there is a saying that a clean environment protects the health of the individual. [AA Urbanisation]

Nigeria: Aborode Assures On Beautification of Ibadan, Other Cities

Nigeria: Aborode Assures On Beautification of Ibadan, Other Cities - Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command, Mr. Patrick Dokumor ; receiving National Conscience Party (NCP) Governorship candidate in the state, Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, at the Ijebu-ife Police Station, when the latter paid a condolence visit on victims of the December 5, 2009 insurgence in the town. Photo: Segun Adeleye [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Contractor Arrested over Market

Uganda: Contractor Arrested over Market - THE agriculture state minister, Aggrey Bagiire, on Friday ordered the arrest of the director of Shepherds Construction Services for delaying the completion of the construction of Keri Market in Koboko district. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: N1.2 Billion Estate Commissioned in Gombe

Nigeria: N1.2 Billion Estate Commissioned in Gombe - The dream of more civil servants in Gombe owning their personal houses became brighter last weekend when the state governor, Danjuma Goje commissioned a N1.2 billion housing estate which contains 240 unit of houses. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Why We Sited Doo Palace in Makurdi, By Akange

Nigeria: Why We Sited Doo Palace in Makurdi, By Akange - Recently, Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, commissioned Doo Palace, the newest three-star hotel in Makurdi. Proprietor of the hospitality outfit and Project Coordinator of Hajaig Construction Nigeria Limited, Engr. Stephen Akange, in this interview with Correspondent, TERNA DOKI, shortly after the event, spoke on why he established the outfit in Makurdi. [AA Construction]

South Africa: Local Construction Site Safety Standards 'Too Low'

South Africa: Local Construction Site Safety Standards 'Too Low' - SAFETY standards employed by most industry players in the construction sector - the fastest- growing in the economy - are too low and fail to provide workers with adequate protection. [AA Construction]

Gambia: Crisis in the Construction Industry Why the Scarcity of Sand?

Gambia: Crisis in the Construction Industry Why the Scarcity of Sand? - The sudden scarcity of sand for construction has put many people out of work and is increasing the cost of building houses and other facilities. A clear example is the experience of this holiday maker who has scheduled his month's holiday so that he could return to the Gambia to finish his building. [AA Construction]

Grinaker-LTA MD Neil Cloete steps down

Grinaker-LTA MD Neil Cloete steps down - Grinaker-LTA MD Neil Cloete steps down - The MD of multidisciplinary construction and engineering group Grinaker-LTA, which is a subsidiary of the JSE-listed Aveng group, Neil Cloete has resigned.
Aveng on Tuesday said that Cloete would leave the group “by mutual agreement” with effect from February 28.
[Engineering News]
[AA South Africa]

Power conservation budget ‘too small’, should be boosted by green levy

Power conservation budget ‘too small’, should be boosted by green levy - Power conservation budget ‘too small’, should be boosted by green levy - South Africa's Chamber of Mines (CoM) has recommended a doubling of the amount of money set aside for the reduction of power demand between 2010 and 2013, which it said would help industry adapt to the tight supply/demand balances, while shoring up supply security.
However, the advocacy body has argued that these so-called demand-side management (DSM) costs - included by power utility Eskom in its unpopular second multiyear price determination (MYPD2) tariff application - be funded by the 2c/kWh special environmental levy, introduced by the National Treasury last July. In other words, it should not be recovered through electricity-price hikes as proposed by Eskom.
[Engineering News]
[AA South Africa]

2010 replacement schools almost complete

By Eric Mashaba

Nelspruit - The construction of two new schools to replace those that had to be vacated for the construction of the 2010 soccer stadium in Mpumalanga is expected to be completed by 31 March.

Mpumalanga Education MEC Rejinah Mhaule toured the construction sites of the John Mdluli primary and Cyril Clark secondary schools in Mataffin outside Nelspruit on Monday.

"Since we commenced work on 4 December, about 85 percent of the first phase for John Mdluli primary has been completed. We have began with phase two and have done 65 percent of the work," said spokesperson for construction company Clear Choice Builders, Joe Manonga.

Construction of the computer lab, library, kitchen and most of the classrooms was going smoothly, he added.

He said the company was still waiting for structural engineers to forward plans so that construction could begin on the soccer field and hall.

Spokesperson for Mpfumelelo Business Enterprise, which is building Cyril Clark Secondary School, Susan Nyathi, said the project was almost complete.