February 2010

Tunisia: Local Architecture Goes Digital

Tunisia: Local Architecture Goes Digital - After the "digital cities", administrations, services and several other economic sectors, the Tunisian architecture is joining the digital era thanks to www.Archi-mag.com [1], Tunisia's first online architecture magazine. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Fashola Wants Lagosians to Clear Drains

Nigeria: Fashola Wants Lagosians to Clear Drains - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday called on Lagos residents to clear drains and flood channels in their environment in order to mitigate the effect of heavy flood expected to accompany the rains this year. [AA Urbanisation]

Nigeria: Firefighters Identify Inadequate Fire Cover at Airports

Nigeria: Firefighters Identify Inadequate Fire Cover at Airports - Members of the Nigerian Aviation Fire and Safety Association (NAFSA) has identified lack of sufficient fire cover and the poor state of the existing ones across the nation's airports as a major challenges confronting them in the course of discharging their duties. [AA Urbanisation]

Nigeria: Ohakim Targets 1,000 Houses

Nigeria: Ohakim Targets 1,000 Houses - In pursuit of its housing development initiative the Imo state government recently signed an MOU with six estate developers to deliver 1000 decent and affordable housing units to the citizens of the state in 2010. [AA Urbanisation]

Nigeria: Work Begins On Enugu Airport Runway

Nigeria: Work Begins On Enugu Airport Runway - Work on the runway of the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, has started in earnest, according to its Manager, Mr. Chigbo Nwobu. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: Federal Mortgage Bank Spends N102 Billion on 35,000 Houses

Nigeria: Federal Mortgage Bank Spends N102 Billion on 35,000 Houses - The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) says it has committed N102 billion into construction of houses since it commenced the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme in 1992. [AA Construction]

Zambia: State Acts to Curb Fraud in Construction Industry

Zambia: State Acts to Curb Fraud in Construction Industry - THE Government has put in place mechanisms to detect fraud and malpractices in the construction industry, Works and Supply Deputy Minister, Christopher Kalila has said. [AA Construction]

Nigeria: World Bank Commissions N104 Million Hospitals in Abuja

Nigeria: World Bank Commissions N104 Million Hospitals in Abuja - Health System Development Project II, a World Bank assisted project has commissioned two Comprehensive Primary Health Centres at Dagiri community in Gwagwalada and Dabi village at Kwali. [AA Construction]

Kenya: Home Buyers on Their Own

Kenya: Home Buyers on Their Own - With seven out of 10 houses in Kenya poorly built, many home buyers have been looking to the Government to offer a solution. [AA Construction]

North West Province to build 14 000 houses

Pretoria - The North West provincial government has committed itself to providing 14 000 houses for the 2010/2011 financial year to the most needy communities in the province.

To achieve this, the province would accredit deserving municipalities in terms of the accreditation framework.

"In order to accelerate the delivery of houses in terms of outcome eight of the national monitoring framework, we are going to accredit deserving municipalities in terms of the accreditation framework," said Premier Maureen Modiselle.

Modiselle was delivering her State of the Province Address at the North West Provincial Legislature on Thursday.

Thus far, the provincial government has provided 11 000 low-cost houses to the most destitute families.

On education, Modiselle said the province would train subject advisors on subject content, an area that research has identified as being weak.

In the drive to strengthen the teaching of Mathematics and Science in the province, government has in the past year supplied schools with various support materials worth R22.7 million.

LOC to inspect 2010 stadiums

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - The 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) will on Friday begin its inspection trip to the final ten stadiums to be used for the Soccer World Cup.

The final ten stadiums are Soccer City, Coca-Cola Park commonly known as Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane, Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein, Green Point in Cape Town, Moses Mabhida in Durban, Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, Mbombela in Nelspruit and Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth.

The tour, in which reporters, LOC and FIFA representatives will take part, will begin at Coca-Cola Park, move to Soccer City and proceed to Loftus Stadium in Pretoria.

During a media briefing in Johannesburg on Thursday, LOC boss Danny Jordaan said they will also inspect the teams' training facilities.

Jordaan said during the tour which is aimed at wrapping their journey of building and revamping stadiums which started in 2004, host cities will make a presentation of their full operational plans for the tournament.

He said the tour will end in Durban at Moses Mabhida Stadium on March 3, marking the last 100 days to the tournament.

Eskom Price Hikes : Consumers using less to see lower increases

Cape Town - Though electricity tariffs will increase by almost 25 percent from 1 April, those who use less power can expect to experience lower increases in their electricity rates, says Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters.

"The more you use the more you pay, that's why we call on people to become more energy efficient," said Peters.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa) declining block tariff for residential users, which was released on Wednesday, provides a sliding scale for homeowners that procure their electricity directly from Eskom, rather than via their municipality.

Homeowners who use between 351kWh and 600kWh of electricity a month would see an effective increase of 21.95 percent from 1 April, while those who use over 600kWh a month would have to pay 35.82 percent more.

Those who use less electricity procured directly from Eskom, could expect to pay less from 1 July, with those that use 50kWh or less in a month set to pay 10.59 percent less for their electricity and those who use between 51kWh and 350kWh of electricity a month would pay 5.20 percent less.

Fifa: Soccer City 'still needs work'

Fifa: Soccer City 'still needs work' - Some work still needed to be done at the stadium set to host the opening and closing matches of the Soccer World Cup, Fifa's Jerome Valcke said. [XMG News]

SA ready for 2010 World Cup - Chabane

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Its all systems go for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane.

Briefing reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Chabane said Cabinet had received a progress report on the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which indicated that it's "all systems go".

He said the report highlighted the upgrades at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Mangaung's Vodacom Park which have been completed to world class standards.

The new Durban airport, he said, will be completed just before the start of the finals in June, adding that 570 additional busses were being procured and driver training was underway.

Discussions are also taking place with the taxi industry to look at how they fit into the transport system. Meanwhile, sites have been selected for fan parks and public viewing areas.

"There will be a total of 46 public viewing areas around the country; additional power substations and generators have already been installed at the stadiums to ensure adequate power supply.

Service Delivery Protests : We've heard your concerns - Cabinet

Pretoria - Cabinet has reassured communities protesting against lack of service delivery that government has plans to increase the capacity of local government to enable them to expedite service delivery.

This comes as the tense situation continues in Sharpeville and Orange Farm following violent community protests.

"… Cabinet wishes to re-assure communities throughout the country that we have heard your concerns," said Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane following a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

"Government has already declared 2010 as the year of action to deal with the most urgent needs of our communities."

Chabane said, at the meeting, President Jacob Zuma urged ministers to prioritise all areas that still lack basic services.

However, the minister said violent protests and general lawlessness cannot and will not be tolerated.

"Communities are urged to protest peacefully and within the framework of the law."

Orange Farm residents took to the streets on Monday and Tuesday to protest against poor housing construction and lack of other basic amenities.

Ekurhuleni increase efforts to rehabilitate lakes

Pretoria - The Ekurhuleni Municipality has purchased a multi-million Rand dredging machine to rehabilitate its lakes, dams and wetlands which have deteriorated over time.

The Watermaster Classic III, which costs R7.5 million, is the first of its kind in Gauteng.

Known as the city of lakes, Ekurhuleni had faced numerous challenges with the state of its lakes recently.

Ekurhuleni executive mayor, Clr Ntombi Mekgwe, said as a result, the council sourced a variety of opinions from wetlands specialist and environmental groups on the conditions of the lakes, dams and wetlands.

"Eventually an agreement was reached that the Watermaster Classic III is the most suitable equipment to address the conditions of our lakes," Mekgwe said.

The broader rehabilitation intervention measures include re-vegetation, erosion control structures, pathways/walkways control and removal of illegal dumping materials, among others.

The mayor urged local communities to refrain from dumping general waste any unwanted objects in the wetlands, dams or even the storm water drainage systems as these objects end up polluting the lakes. - BuaNews

Gauteng infrastructure gets facelift

Pretoria - The "Clean Face of Gauteng" initiative, to be introduced this year, will see all government buildings in the province enhanced.

The initiative, to be rolled out in collaboration with communities, will see schools, clinics and libraries, among others, cleaned to the desirable state.

The communities will be encouraged to form "co-ops that will maintain the facilities," MEC for Infrastructure Development Faith Mazibuko said on Wednesday.

This, she said, will see local plumbers, electricians and engineers placed at facilities for prompt response to maintenance issues.

"This will assist in the prevention of vandalism and burglary to public facilities," said Mazibuko.

The provincial government will also work with the private sector to ensure that they deliver the infrastructure needed in the province.

Mazibuko also highlighted that the her department would continue to pursue the expanded public works programme (EPWP) which will target the provinces' youth, women and people with disabilities.

Mazibuko said they will provide some relief for those who were unemployed through the launch of the community works programme in the 50 poorest wards.

Eskom tariff hikes slammed

Pretoria - The National Electricity Regulator of SA (Nersa) has been widely criticised for granting Eskom a multi-year tariff increase.

Nersa on Wednesday announced it was granting the power utility a 24.8 percent tariff increase for 2010, 25.8 percent for 2011, and 25.9 percent for 2012.

However trade unions and some political parties said the hikes would mean more job losses.

The SACP said the increase was a "catastrophic betrayal" of the poor who are bearing the brunt of a neo-liberal economic regime that did not encourage increased state investment.

"It is indeed very sad that the majority of our people are expected to pay for the blunders of the elite," SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka said.

COSATU said the hikes were four times more than the current rate of inflation which it said was "unacceptable".

The National Union of Metalworkers (NUM) said the tariffs are going to exacerbate job losses and negate government's efforts of creating decent work in the midst of the high cost of living and widening income inequalities amongst the rich and the poor.

The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) also warned of vast job losses.

Eskom to study Nersa's decision

Pretoria - While taking note of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa) decision to grant it a 24.8 percent tariff increase in 2010, Eskom says it will further study the price determination.

"Eskom notes the announcement that it will be awarded a 24.8, 25.8 and 25.9 percent tariff increase for the periods 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 respectively," the power utility said on Wednesday.

Eskom's acting chairman, Mpho Makwana, said they were currently studying the full details of the determination and were in consultation with key stakeholders. "We will make further comment on the determination and its specific implications," he said.

Commenting on the keenly anticipated decision, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said: "We have noted the decision of the regulator. We respect the decision taken by the regulator."

Peters said it has become necessary to conclude the price path for the electricity industry in order to eliminate the uncertainty around the funding of the capital programme for the sector.

Eskom : Nersa announces power price hikes

Pretoria - National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has announced that electricity tariffs will go up by 24.8 percent, 25.8 percent and 25.9 percent over the next three years.

"This will result in percentage price increase of 24.8 percent on average standard tariff from 1 April 2010 followed by another average increase of 25.8 percent from April 2011 and 25.9 in April 2012," Nersa Chairwoman Cecilia Khuzwayo said on Wednesday.

This results in the average standard price of 41.57 cents per kilowatt hour for 2010/11, 52.3 cents per kilowatt hour for 2011 to 2012 and 65.85 cents per kilowatt hour for 2012/13.

In December, Eskom revised its original 45 percent request down to 35 percent following further consultation with stakeholders over its Multi-Year Price Determination over the course of the next three years.

Economists had predicted that Eskom, which wants to use the tariffs to help raise funds for a R385 billion power expansion programme, would receive a minimum 25 percent increment while others thought they would receive the 35 percent. - BuaNews

Nigeria: Addressing Housing Needs of Gombe Workers (1)

Nigeria: Addressing Housing Needs of Gombe Workers (1) - "This administration is aware of the importance of shelter as one of the basic necessities of life, next only to food. The Tunfure Housing Estate is the first phase of our estate development programme aimed at providing decent and affordable housing to our citizens particularly the civil servants. The 240 houses in the estate, consisting of 70 three-bedroom units and 170 two-bedrooms units, have been sold to beneficiaries that were carefully selected by a disposal committee set up by the company to ensure equitable allocation. [AA Urbanisation]

Ethiopia: Chinese Bid of 415 Million Br Wins Bahir Dar Complex Construction

Ethiopia: Chinese Bid of 415 Million Br Wins Bahir Dar Complex Construction - Chinese company Jiangsu Construction beat six local and international contractors to win a 415 million Br project from the Amhara Regional State. [AA Construction]

Sierra Leone: Massive Demolition Rocks Hastings

Sierra Leone: Massive Demolition Rocks Hastings - Hastings airfield in the outskirts of the capital, Freetown was the scene of emotion over the weekend as the 'crack squad' of the ministry of lands, country planning and the environment stormed the area and embarked on a massive demolition of illegal structures. [AA Construction]

Uganda: Namirembe Needs Sh2 Billion to Renovate Cathedral

Uganda: Namirembe Needs Sh2 Billion to Renovate Cathedral - NAMIREMBE Diocese is seeking sh2b to renovate its 90-year-old St Paul's Cathedral. The repairs include works on the roof, floor and walls. [AA Construction]

South Africa: Important 2010 Routes to Be Completed On Time

South Africa: Important 2010 Routes to Be Completed On Time - The Albertina Sisulu Freeway, formerly known as the R21/R24 - the highway that links Joburg to all other Gauteng municipalities - will be completed by the end of April, to the relief of many motorists. [AA Urbanisation]

South Africa: Infrastructure Development to Assist Job Creation

South Africa: Infrastructure Development to Assist Job Creation - The Gauteng provincial government has identified infrastructure development, in the form of intensive labour projects, as key to the province's job creation strategy. [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Underneath the Sewage Spills on Kampala's Streets

Uganda: Underneath the Sewage Spills on Kampala's Streets - SHE holds her long dress with her right hand as she leaps over a stream of sewage on Mukwano Road in Kampala. Irritation is written on her face as she walks away from the stinking sewage flowing along the street. Men tending tree seedlings nearby are indifferent to her plight as they go about their daily activities. [AA Urbanisation]

Zimbabwe: Power Cuts Worsen After Thermal Plant Shuts Down

Zimbabwe: Power Cuts Worsen After Thermal Plant Shuts Down - The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) on Saturday issued a statement warning customers to expect extended power cuts following the complete shut down of the Hwange thermal plant. For the past two weeks the country has faced severe power cuts which have affected even Harare's central business district. [AA Urbanisation]

Namibia: Houses for Bwabwata Park

Namibia: Houses for Bwabwata Park - EIGHTEEN staff members of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism based in the Bwabwata National Park in the Kavango Region will have new houses by the end of this year. [AA Urbanisation]

Uganda: Floods Paralyse Business

Uganda: Floods Paralyse Business - On Monday, business was paralysed after hours of rain in Kampala and some other parts of the country. [AA Urbanisation]