South Africa…. Just how far have we come?

Its hard to be objective about this topic, as it depends on the day and whether I feel like we have progressed or regressed as a country!

I started out researching stats to find out exactly what has got bigger and better and before I knew it I was yawning, now don’t get me wrong, I love good, hard, cold facts and statistics just as much as the next fellow, but do I want to blog about it???

Instead I found myself taking a trip down memory lane…..

I was born in the early 80’s and to be perfectly honest I was 100% oblivious to any political unrest our Country was going through at the time.

Ignorance is bliss they say and I tend to agree with them!!!

Anyway, what I am getting at is, I can only write from where I come from and that is a place where, well let me show you 😉

Blog2

So yes, I have very happy memories of the so called “Old South Africa” but lets get back to reality, We, as a nation celebrated our 20th years of Democracy last year (2014), and I for one think that’s wonderful….. well in theory anyway.

So has much changed? We all know it has, and I’m sure when the “Powers that be” spoke of change back in the day, they all intended for amazing things to be bestowed upon us South Africans, there was promise of jobs, health care, education, sanitation and all round goodwill for all!

Now where are we on this? How are we growing as a country?
Well the current state of affairs doesn’t make me all warm inside, I can tell you that!
Between the shortage of energy and water, I won’t lie, I’ve started looking out of the corner of my eye at other possible Countries to call home….

 

But before I jump ship, lets take a look at the figures first, yes, those stats again…. 🙂

Population of South Africa

Population

From this I can see that we are growing in population at a slower rate pretty much each year, and in my books that’s a win!

 

Unemployment……Well!

Unemp

 

Unemp

Its safe to say we not winning that war when it comes to our youth 🙁

The unemployment rate among the youth is more than twice that of adults each year. The unemployment rate among the youth rose from 32,1% in 2008 to 35,5% in 2015.

 

But why? I took a look at the Matric pass rate for the past few years, and I don’t think it’s insanely bad considering the conditions some of Matriculant’s have to school in.

National_Pass_Rate

It is really sad to know that after all the Exams, Projects, Maths!!! and high school embarrassments there is still no guarantees you will ever join the working world…..

 

 

So what about our GDP? (Growth Domestic Product)

This is pretty much how we measure the health of the Countries Economy, and let me tell you…. it don’t look good!

 

GDP1

Here is the explanation I found off http://www.tradingeconomics.com/

“South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa. The country is rich in natural resources and is a leading producer of platinum, gold, chromium and iron. From 2002 to 2008, South Africa grew at an average of 4.5 percent year-on-year, its fastest expansion since the establishment of democracy in 1994. However, in recent years, successive governments have failed to address structural problems such as the widening gap between rich and poor, low-skilled labour force, high unemployment rate, deteriorating infrastructure, high corruption and crime rates. As a result, since the recession in 2008, South Africa growth has been sluggish and below African average. This page provides – South Africa GDP Growth Rate – actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Content for – South Africa GDP Growth Rate – was last refreshed on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.”

stock-footage-crime-scene-tape-with-red-and-blue-flashes

Crime in South Africa… now this is a biggy and has, or statistically still will effect everyone of you in some way during the course of your life, if not multiple times…. what a terrifying piece of trivia – you’re welcome 😉

Clearly as a whole, crime is on the rise and currently South Africa ranks 4th in the world as most dangerous place to live!
Gosh, where did we go wrong??? (hanging my head in shame – while looking over my shoulder and shaking in terror!)

465x647q70crime-stats-infographic

 

So Crime states are not really our Country’s selling point, but how are our businesses doing?

Well from this graph below, we have definitely had our ups and down but  It would seem that since the 2008 Recession our businesses are slowly but surely repairing, and I can only hope that our Company liquidation rate continues to decrease! 🙂

Liquidations_graph

 

Now I don’t have any pretty graphs to show you regarding our Construction Industry, however I did come across a report put out by PriceWaterHouseCooper (Interesting read)

http://www.pwc.co.za/en_ZA/za/assets/pdf/sa-construction-2014-v1.2.pdf  

And in short, and be advised that this is the 2014 report, anyway, what they said is, there has not been considerable financial growth in the Construction and Materials Industry, however, and I quote
The South African Government’s ongoing National Development Plan and its continued commitment to public infrastructure investment of R847 billion over the next three years, are positive signals for future growth in the industry.”

And on that optimistic note…. South Africa and in particular Durban have been given the opportunity to achieved greatness once again and will be hosting the Commonwealth Games 2022!!!!

I see this as another chance to revive our economy 🙂

Durban20122Keep it up South Africa, we can add another win to our list!

event

 

So fellow South African’s, our luck may be changing….
And in light of all the information I have found during my research for this blog, it’s a given that South Africa is not in the best state at the moment, in spite of this however, I am an eternal optimist and have to believe we can turn this around. 🙂

 

Now for a little fun trivia about our fine Country – Enjoy;)

 

cad-chappies
DID YOU KNOW? South Africa is the one country to produce two Nobel Price Prize winners from the same street in South Africa?
Both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived at Vilakazi Street in Soweto!

 

 

 

 

cad-chappies

DID YOU KNOW? There are more than 2000 shipwrecks off the coast of South Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

cad-chappies

DID YOU KNOW? The Palace of the lost City is the largest themed resort hotel in the world!!!

 

 

 

 

 

cad-chappies
DID YOU KNOW? A few years ago the UK national Science Lab OFFICIALLY, declared that Cape Town has the bluest sky in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

cad-chappies

DID YOU KNOW? A South African monkey was once awarded a medal and promoted to the rank of corporal during World War I.

 

 

 

 

And if those little nuggets didn’t completely blow your mind, well then this absolutely will!
I stumbled upon this site and I was amazed!!
Take a look at the amount of cigarettes that are smoked, emails that are sent, money spent on video games!! and so much more!

http://www.worldometers.info/

 

 

Well this blog has truly been an eye opener and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Until next time;)

 

 

throughback

 

 

Sources:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/south-africa-population/
http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0211/P02112ndQuarter2015.pdf
https://africacheck.org/factsheets/factsheet-south-africas-official-crime-statistics-for-201314/

https://www.issafrica.org/crimehub/uploads/crime_situation_sa.pdf
http://www.durban-2022.com/

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About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.

Ancient Inspiration for Modern Motivation

Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. “Discovered” has now been replaced with “brought to international attention”, rightfully so, since you can’t very well discover a place that the locals are using as grazing for their alpacas. And there are maps that reference Machu Picchu from around 1874. The 15th century Inca site sits 2430 metres above sea level, in the Cusco region of Peru. It is very much a stone city on top of a mountain. It’s believed to have been built for the Inca emperor Pachaputi (1438 – 1472), but nobody really knows why. It was abandoned about a century after construction, and managed to survive the Spanish Conquest (since the Spanish didn’t know it was there). Apparently, all six roads leading into Machu Pichu were destroyed and who exactly is going to notice a giant city on top of a mountain during a Conquest? People are busy during conquests, what with spreading disease, pillaging and general rude behaviour. About thirty percent of Machu Picchu has been restored, allowing for a better idea of what the city looked like back in the day and restoration continues.

 

Machu Picchu

 

 

 

[tweetthis]About 500 people are allowed on the Inca Trail, leading into Machu Picchu, a day.[/tweetthis] 500 people including guides, porters and tourists. Apparently, it’s a bit difficult to get tickets. I only realised this days away from my Inca Trail trek, when my friend confessed she’d only agreed to the trek since she didn’t think we’d get tickets. Well, we did. I’ve always wanted to see Machu Picchu. To say it was on my bucket list would be an understatement. You can do the four day trek (hell, no!) or the day trek which meant hopping off the very comfortable Inca Rail train at the 104km mark at 08:00 in the morning, and walking to Machu Picchu over the next 8 hours. There was trepidation. Peru is not a flat country. At all. My overall impression of the place is stairs and more stairs. Half constructed houses, that is the next generation’s responsibility to finish and awesome avocados. Seriously, their food and produce were fantastic. Mielies the size of my head and a ridiculously large selection of potatoes. There’s like 3000 varieties of potatoes in Peru. Who needs that many?! And the coca tea. O the coca tea. This was a lifeline in the shadow of altitude sickness. I digress.

 

Restoration
Restoration

 

Anyway, so we marched it up to Machu Picchu. We had two guides with us, Ruth and Ruti. Ruth took the lead, and Ruti stayed at the back. With the oxygen. I was at the back (no, I didn’t need the oxygen), keeping up the rear as usual. Gentle incline, and then stairs, gentle incline and then more stairs. Waterfalls. Butterflies. Beautiful scenery, with mountains crowding each other and the river so very far below. Trying to keep track of how far we had come, and how far we had to go was truly bizarre. The scale is baffling. Everything is green and lush and vast. Beautiful. I noticed. In between the wheezing and side clutching, and the leg cramps and beating down sun and the unidentifiable rustling in the bushes. We were in the jungle after all. That day we reached the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) and looked across to Machu Picchu. Hazy and still so far away. It’s about 45 minutes walk from the Sun Gate. [tweetthis]The road we’d walked had been run by messengers, when Machu Picchu was occupied.[/tweetthis] We rested in the shelters where they had stopped to pass the messages on. Our tickets didn’t allow for entrance into Machu Picchu that day. It was late and we were sweaty and gross. Feeling accomplished, but still gross. Random thing I noticed, there were only two loose stone pavers on the road we walked. Only two.

 

Machu Picchu

 

The next day, after a bus ride that was more switchback than anything else, we got to go into Machu Picchu. Our guide giving us a basic run down of the city. Basically, not much is known. It was abandoned and no one really knows why. About a 1000 people could inhabit the city. It could’ve been built for strategic or tactical reasons, or as a holiday resort for the Inca Emperor. There’s water and the terraces (which are everywhere) could grow enough food to feed the population. It’s a mystery. But it’s there. The smooth stones, and rounded walls. The single storey and double storey houses. There’s a quarry from which the granite was mined. The windows are trapezoid in shape. Better to survive an earthquake. Peru has lots of earthquakes, and a surprising number of active volcanoes. I was sitting in the shade of a stone wall, listening to our guide and he said something that I thought was quite strange. He mentioned the alien theory for the construction of Machu Picchu. I thought it was weird since when would an official guide give time to such nonsense. But it got better. He had a reason why aliens couldn’t have built Machu Picchu. He pointed out a wall “Aliens didn’t build Machu Picchu. Look, this wall is falling down”. Now, my sarcastic nature took over and I mumbled “What, aliens can’t make mistakes?”. Not exactly helping international relations on my side. Now I don’t for a second think anybody but the local people built Machu Picchu, just like the local people built the Pyramids in Egypt and the local people built Great Zimbabwe. But standing in front of that shifting wall, I couldn’t help but imagine the scene.

 

Machu Picchu

 

Inca Emperor Pachaputi calls his Project Management team together and explains that he wants a new city. The suggestions are flowing, but he knows what he wants. He wants a city on top of a mountain. Technically, on top of a mountain in the saddle between two mountains. No biggie. The frozen smiles and sweaty brows. Someone had to design it (architect) and someone had to figure out how to build it (engineer) and someone had to deal with those two (contractor). The polite suggestions of other locations. The polite consideration and dismissal of said locations. The realistic problems of logistics and access and water and manpower, being politely listened to and considered and dismissed. Since after all, human sacrifice wasn’t completely off the table back in those days. I’m thinking the local chicheria [definition: Place that sells chicha, a fermented or non-fermented beverage derived from maize. Usually] was totally frequented that night. Chicha is sold in half litre glasses. Giant tumblers, people. Giant. I can imagine a lot of head holding and commiserating with strangers going on. Or perhaps that’s not how it played out. Perhaps it was the complete opposite.

 

Inca Engineer says “So what’s it going to be?”

Inca Architect replies “Mountain top city”

“Again?!”

“Again”.

Inca Engineer whines “But it’ll be the third one this year. I’m so bored of building cities on mountains. Can’t we do something new? Like a nice estate in a valley? Ooo sea level”

Inca Architect shrugs “What can I say? The Inca loves his cities on mountains”.

 

 

Falling Wall
Falling Wall

 

 

But is that really a good enough reason to contribute one of the most fantastic pieces of construction on the planet to humans – because part of it is falling down? Way to go human race, we can’t take credit for anything unless it’s blatantly faulty. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there somewhere. And can you imagine the pressure the poor aliens must be under. They’ve inadvertently created this expectation of perfection. So much so that we doubt our own involvement and attribute any massive structure to little green men.

 

Alien Architect asks “What’s this?” pointing a long decidedly alien looking finger of a greenish hue at a photo.

Alien Engineer Bob replies “Um…”

“Bob. You realise we are trying to share knowledge by example here. We’re are trying to demonstrate our superior skills and expertise. We can’t just say we know better; we have to show the humans. By blowing their minds, with massive building projects on an impressive and totally unnecessary scale. And what I have is a wall sliding off its foundations!! What do you have say for yourself?”

Alien Engineer Bob “Um… have you heard of a drink called chicha?”

“…[Intergalactic facepalm]”.

 

I loved Machu Picchu. I loved the fact I got to go there. I loved what it represented. Achievement and a strange immortality. Someone said build it, and it got built. Skills and knowledge were applied years ago, and their city still stands. And is marveled at daily. It’s really no different from any new project set out today. An idea turns into plans, which turns into execution and accomplishment and completion. The intangible made real. I’ve always considered construction as a way to live forever. An indelible mark on the landscape and history, whether for function or beauty, necessity or whim. Our challenges are our own, and so are our victories. We need no help from little green men.

 

Inti Punku
Inti Punku

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Developing Africa … is Africa the new China?

When I first stepped into the Private Projects Department, I had a vague idea of what to expect from Africa.

 

[tweetthis]What I did not expect was to see huge #developments taking place in the remotest parts of #Africa.[/tweetthis]

 

Developments like:

 

Hope City in Ghana

 

Hope City
Hope City

 

 

 

Desert Rose International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Namibia (it’s just a desert there, right?)

 

Desert Rose Namibia
Desert Rose Namibia

 

 

Mall de Mozambique

 

Mall of Mozambique
Mall of Mozambique

 

 

 

and a whole brand New City to be built in Egypt (another desert??)

 

New City Egypt
New City Egypt

 

 

 

 

These are some of the developments that spring to mind…developments that take your breath away…but how on earth are these small, money hungry countries going to fund, let alone develop these ambitious projects? Projects so ambitious they raise eyebrows…well, mine mostly.

 

For example .  Zimbabwe wanting to build a Disney Land at Victoria Falls…a pipe dream at the moment, but what a dream!! Just to keep tourists there longer than a day or two.

 

Disneyland
Disneyland

 

 

African Development Bank is one way, but most of the investments are coming from China.

The Chinese footprint in Africa has been cemented. In the last decade, investment in Africa by the world’s second-largest economy has surged to $2.9 billion from $75 million, and with it China’s influence can be seen everywhere.

The next question… who is going to build these huge developments?

China of course.! If a Chinese company has invested in a Project, you can be sure that they will be building it too. Build, Own, Operate. But there are benefits, the Chinese do subcontract some of the work to the locals.

Swaziland, however, in an effort to ensure that their local contractors still have work and can tender for contracts, have implemented the rule that any projects less than E120 million cannot be awarded to foreign companies.

So, what has this have to do with developing Africa? Just feeding Africa does not solve anything. Providing them with employment that doesn’t warrant anything more than maybe digging a hole in the ground, painting a room, something that doesn’t require much skill, but providing these people with employment, a sense of self, educating them. Providing them with purpose. A trade. Hope. To me, that is really developing Africa.

When I used to imagine Africa, I used to think of trees, rivers, wildlife, war, jungles and deep dark Africa … nothing much could be happening there right?

How wrong was I !?!

 

 

Photo Sources:

 

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/Disneyland.jpg

http://ghanagist.com/president-mahama-launches-hope-city/

http://www.mccormick-property.com/mpd/content/mall-mozambique

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-14/egyptian-government-reveals-plans-to-build-new-capital/6320144

http://www.namibiansun.com/infrastructure/governor-unhindered-by-n8bn-project-conservation-concerns.82564

 

 

About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

South African Harbours and Ports

 

 

Harbour & Port
Harbour & Port

 

According to a Port Development Plan by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), dated September 2014, various developments have been listed for the Ports currently under the TNPA’s care and control, namely Western Ports: Saldanha Bay, Cape Town and Mossel Bay; Central Ports: Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London and Eastern Ports: Durban, New Durban Dig-Out Port and Richards Bay. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the activity at South African’s various Ports.

 

Western Ports:

 

Port of Saldaha Bay – In 2013 with the aim in increasing the iron ore export from the Port of Saldanha Bay, Transnet proposed a third tippler and associated infrastructure, for which Gibb (Pty) Ltd were appointed as the Independent Environmental Assessment Practitioners. The tender for the Construction of Vault, Tunnel, Buildings and Ancillaries for Transnet Tippler 3 Project at the Port of Saldanha was advertised at the end of July 2015 (DTA 525896) and is expected to close on 08 September 2015.

 

Port of Cape Town – The Request for Proposal for the New Cruise Terminal Facility at the Port of Cape Town was advertised in December 2014 (DTA 487279), and in June 2015 the announcement by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) was made of the preferred bidder being V & A Waterfront (Pty) Ltd. According to the media statement, the V & A Waterfront will invest just under R179 million to finance, design and develop the terminal and the agreement includes the operation, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the facility back to TNPA after a period of 20 years. Currently, V & A Waterfront are in negotiations to sign the lease, and it’s expected that any development will only commence after May 2016.

 

Port of Mossel Bay – The most recent tender concerning construction in the Port of Mossel Bay is the Request for Proposal for Extension and Construction of the Administrative Building in the Port of Mossel Bay (DTA 500781) which was advertised in March this year. So far no award has been made.

 

Central Ports:

 

Port of Port Elizabeth – TNPA expectes to relocate the Manganese Ore Terminal and the Tank Fam to the Port of Ngqura. TNPA expects to start shipping manganese ore out of Ngqura in 2019 and the relocation should happen before this. As of December 2014, it could take these four years before the Manganese Terminal at the Port of Ngqura is completed therefore ending the relocation from the Port of Port Elizabeth. Apparently the plan is to convert the Manganese Terminal and tank farm land into a vehicle terminal, the timeframe for the decommisioning and rehabilitation of tank and manganese land is 2018 to 2021. As of 14 August 2015, Transnet Port Terminals was issued with a permanent operating license for operating the manganese terminal at the Port of Ngqura.

 

Port of Ngqura – Manganese Export Expansion Project at the Port of Nguqura involves the upgrade and expansion of the rail network, new bulk minerals export terminal and the reinstatement of existing berths. Infrastructure will comprise new roads, infrastructure services and buildings as well as new equipment: stackers, reclaimers, surge bins and an unloading system (tippler), a conveyor system linking the stockyard with existing berths and these berths will be equipped with twin shiploaders. The tenders for the Port of Ngqura Manganese Export Terminal (DTA 444247) as well as Phase 2 of the Rail project (DTA 444237) were advertised April 2014. The tender for the Design, Supply, Installation and Commissioning of 2 Shiploaders for the Ngqura Manganese Export has been advertised in August 2015 (DTA 527882) and ix expected to close on 22 September 2015. The tender for Design, Supply, Installation and Commissioning of a Rotary Dual Wagon Tippler Facility including Supply and Installation of Apron Feeders, Dust Extraction and Suppression Systems, for the Ngqura Manganese Export Terminal is also out (DTA 527873) and also closes on 22 September 2015. Port of East London – In July 2014, it was announced that the Coal terminal at the Port of East London would move to the new Port of Ngqura and be operational in approximately five year’s time. Future development that might be expected is the extention to the Port of East London to include an expanded container terminal, refurbish liquid bulk facilities and boat building.

 

Eastern Ports:

 

Port of Richards Bay – With regards to the Port of Richards Bay, plans include the establishment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.

 

Port of Durban – The Request for Proposal for the Design, Development, Financing, Construction, Operation and Maintenance and Transfer of the New Cruise Terminal Facilities at the Port of Durban was initially advertised in June 2013 (DTA 382061). No award was made and it was advertised again in July 2015 (DTA 524504) The RFP is expected to close on 02 October 2015.

Durban Dig-Out Port (DDOP) – “From 2019 to 2042, Transnet will embark on its medium-term projects, which includes the new dig-out port. The new harbour will be built at Durban’s old International Airport and will require the construction of: a breakwater and entrance channel; a 16 berth container basin and terminals; and a new automotive terminal, among other infrastructure”. So far the driver for the DDOP remains the same, demand will exceed capacity at the existing Port of Durban by ±2025. Although nothing has advanced beyond the planning stage, the current view is that the first phase should be operational by 2025. (PPA 10166)

 

 

Sources

http://www.transnetnationalportsauthority.net/Corporate%20Affairs/Press%20Releases/2015-07-01%20-%20Transnet%20Awards%20Bid%20for%20Cape%20Town%20Cruise%20Terminal.pdf

http://www.transnet.net/BusinessWithUs/LTPF%202012/1.LTPF%202014_Chapter%2004__Ports_Final%20Proof_Sept%202014.pdf

http://projects.gibb.co.za/Portals/3/Appendix%20G%20Tippler%203%20draft%20Environmental%20Management%20Programme.pdfawards-bid-for-cape-town-terminal

http://www.shopwestcoast.co.za/proposed-third-tippler-for-the-port-of-saldanha-transnet-saldanha-bay/

http://www.transnetportterminals.net/Media/Publications%20Paper%20and%20Presentation/TPT%20Saldanha.pdf

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/port-of-ngqura-manganese-export-expansion-project-south-africa-2015-04-03http://www.nmbbusinesschamber.co.za/blog/posts/another-major-step-in-transnet-s-manganese-expansion

http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/transnet-slows-ore-terminal-relocation-1.1687158

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/tank-farm-removal-delayed/

http://m.news24.com/fin24/Economy/Cabinet-grants-Transnet-license-for-manganese-terminal-20150814

http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/business-2/focused-strategy-for-el-port-after-big-loss/

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/morwe-outlines-tnpas-port-development-plans-2014-09-02

http://www.saoga.org.za/information-hub/port-handbook/future-plans

http://www.rsagency.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Develop-in-SA-Sep14.pdf

http://www.skylinegroup.co.za/transnet-re-assesses-dig-out-dates/

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Finding Diamonds in the Rough

 

Diamond in the rough
Photo cred : itsjonahhorst.deviantart.com

 

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one. – Confucius

For my blog this month, seeing as the subject is mining and diamonds I thought I would find some interesting facts on diamonds, where they are found, how they are mined and more:

The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible.

The largest diamond ever discovered was called the Cullinan diamond, and weighed in at an amazing 3106 carats, or 1.33 pounds. Discovered in 1905 in South Africa, the mine’s owner and the South African leaders gave the diamond to King Edward. The Cullinan was eventually cut into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones, and the three largest of these are on display in the Tower of London as part of the crown jewels.

Diamonds are formed hundreds of kilometers below the surface, as carbon is squeezed under intense temperatures and pressures. Kimberlite pipes bring the gems to the surface in eruptions that sometimes rise faster than the speed of sound. The pipes are rare. Of the more than 6000 known kimberlite pipes in the world, about 600 contain diamonds. Of these, only about 60 are rich enough in quality diamonds to be worth mining. West Africa has many “artisanal” operations in which people sift through river sediments for the occasional diamond eroded from a kimberlite pipe upstream. But a few pipes have been found in the thick jungle.

Africa is the world’s largest producer of diamonds, producing as much as 50% of global production. To date, Africa has produced over 75%, in value, of the world’s diamonds with more than 1.9 billion carats worth an estimated $US 158 billion mined. Angola, Botswana and South Africa are leading producers of diamonds.
Mining activities are centered around South Central Africa, with diamonds being produced primarily from kimberlite mines (South Africa, Angola, DRC, Ghana, Tanzania, Lesotho and Botswana), followed by alluvial dredging operations (Angola, CAR, Namibia and South Africa) and offshore marine diamond activities (South Africa and Namibia).

Before any actual mining even takes place, prospectors need to locate diamond sources first. To hit pay dirt and get to the larger sized rough crystals, geologists follow the trail of secondary diamond sources to determine where the primary sources of pipe deposits are.
Once the pipes are found and the presence of diamonds is proven true and profitable, shanks are inserted into the ground at the ore-bearing pipes and huge amounts of soil are extracted. In order to make mining efficient and effective, the raw rock and soil are typically not examined on-site.
Instead, they are transported to special plants where the ore is processed and the rough diamonds are extracted. Depending on how rich the ore is, a few hundred tons of ore might be sieved just to produce a single carat of gem quality rough diamonds.
Even after extraction, the precious gem is still far from being set in an engagement ring. Rough stones are then sorted into various gem-quality categories and industrial-specific grades. Thereafter, the roughs are sold, cut, polished and commercialised.

An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry. From the countries where they are sourced to the countries where they are polished and sold, diamonds are supporting millions of people globally. In the African country of Namibia, the diamond mining industry is the largest single employer after the government. In Botswana approximately 25% of the labour force is directly or indirectly linked to diamonds.

“A Diamond is Forever” – NW Ayer Agency – One particular diamond producer got all the credit for this sentence that forever changed an industry, but the actual statement was delivered by an advertising agency. Before this impressive marketing campaign, diamonds were not necessary identified with romance, marriage or engagement. They were considered decorative jewellery and used for a variety of purposes. Then came the brilliant strategy of linking diamonds to the most sacred and beloved of American institutions; the wedding ceremony. However, one can’t truly say that prior to the 20th century, no lover had ever thought of diamonds as a romantic gift – in fact, one of the most famous diamond gifts in history was a diamond necklace given by Napoleon Bonaparte to Marie Louise.

And to end on a humorous note: “I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.” ― Mae West

References:

http://www.mbendi.com/indy/ming/dmnd/af/p0005.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-pit_mining
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_mining_%28hard_rock%29
http://www.brilliantearth.com/news/15-amazing-facts-about-diamonds/#sthash.fMzx7PcE.dpuf
http://beyond4cs.com/faq/diamond-origins/how-they-are-mined/
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2015/05/rare-african-plant-signals-diamonds-beneath-soil
http://www.diamondfacts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=133&lang=en

About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

Why be Revolutionary? (The Sequel)

 

 

In my previous post, ‘Why be Revolutionary?’ I talked about the rise in popularity of alternative energy sources in South Africa. This is growing in impetus all over the world as resources become more scarce. The billions of people on the planet are realising that the onset of global warming was not just a conspiracy theory after all and that something needs to be done, quickly, to start remedying our current and ever growing impact.

The term Revolutionary has always seemed to me to be a word that implies movement? Why? It is a major and sudden impact on society or human endeavour according to Wikipedia. If you look at some of the famous revolutionaries in history (whether you agree or disagree with their principles and actions), none of them achieved the status of being a Revolutionary by doing nothing.

To name a few:

Spartacus : A slave leader who led a revolt against the Roman empire and in doing so became symbolic of revolutionary leaders fighting oppression.

William Wallace : (Who could forget Mel Gibson with war paint on?) Scottish rebel who led an uprising against the English during the Scottish wars of independence.

Joan of Arc : A revolutionary who inspired the French Dauphin to renew the fight again English Forces.

Mahatma Ghandi : Ghandi inspired non violent protests against the British.

 

But why am I going on about revolutionaries? Well, regardless if action was carried out peacefully or with force, the point is that there was action, movement, sudden impact. I had the opportunity to briefly discuss the ‘power play’ in Africa with one of our Project Researchers, Marlaine Andersen. She had some interesting points to make about her research in relation to the power (or lack thereof in some cases) in Africa:

“In terms of history – The African and SADC countries, like South Africa, have not made any provision for the expansion of their cities and town, the population growth and influx into the towns from the outlying areas, neither have they maintained the existing power grid infrastructure and as a result most countries in Africa have a huge power deficit, with load-shedding being a regular occurrence in many countries and many poor people having no access to power whatsoever. In recent years, many of the African and SADC countries have started making plan, raising funds etc. in a bid to generate more power through different sources, like hydro power, wind power, transmission lines, power stations, etc.”

Some of the more recent projects are:

Gas and Oil :

  • Construction of a 350MW gas-and oil-fired combined-cycle power plant in the municipality of Kpone, within the Tema industrial zone, in Ghana. Tema, Ghana’s major residential and industrial city, has the largest sea port in the country. It is about 24km from the international airport in the capital, Accra. Estimated project value : $900-million
  • Construction of a 50MW gas power plant in Rwanda in Central Africa.
  • NamPower (Pty) Ltd, the national electricity utility of Namibia, is developing the Kudu 800MW CCGT Power Station near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia. The combined cycle power station project will use natural gas from the Kudu Gas Field which is located 170km off-shore. Estimated Project Value: N$13.8 billion.
  • Namibian electricity utility, Nampower’s plans to build a new 300MW power station and waste oil recycling plant the heavy industrial zone of Arandis in Erongo, Namibia. The source of the coal to fire the power station has not yet been decided. Nampower would seek to identify all potential environmental, social and health impacts associated with the project, so as to manage these in accordance with international standards.

 

Electricity Highway :

  • Construction of an electricity highway between Ethiopia and Kenya, approximately 1068km of high-voltage, direct current 500kV transmission line and associated alternating current/direct current converter stations from Wolayta-Sodo, in Ethiopia to Suswa in Kenya, with a power transfer capacity of up to 2000MW. The total estimated project cost is $1.26 billion.

 

Hydro :

  • The 2067MW Lauca hydro-power station is being developed on the Kwanza river between the Cambambe and Capanda project in Angola. The project includes the development of a 132m high roller-compacted concrete dam, with a crest length of 1075m. The plant will comprise two units with six Francis turbines, each with an output of 340MW, and generators as well as additional equipment. The power station will supply power to about 750 000 people.
  • The project involves the construction of the 40MW Kabompo Gorge hydropower station to be located between the Solwezi and Mwinlunga districts at Kabompo Gorge on the Kabompo river in the north western region of Zambia. The development of the plant on the Kabompo river will help reduce the constant power outages occurring in the region. The power station will have an installed capacity of 1 600 MW and includes a 181-m-high roller-compacted concrete cavity arch dam, a radial-gated crest-type spillway and two underground power stations on the north and south banks of the river, each with four 200 MW vertical-shaft Francis turbine generators. The project is designed as a run-of-river scheme, with an estimated average energy generation of 8 700 GWh/y. Estimated project value : $120 million.

 

Coal :      

  • The construction of a 150MW to 300MW coal-fired power station(with potential to upgrade to 800MW) in the Erongo region of Namibia, known as the Erongo Coal-fired Power Station. The proposed project has a total estimated price tag of between R4-billion and R7-billion.

 

Action is always better than stagnation. Does Africa like South Africa has power issues? Of course! We, as a continent, are developing at a rate faster than anticipated (or planned – regardless of whose fault it may be). Life doesn’t tend to play by a set of guidelines. This continent is most certainly revolutionary. Sometimes the actions taken are not the ones we would specifically choose and sometimes to the detriment of her people, but the point is, there is also action being taken that is in a direction to build and improve. Take a look at these projects and see for yourself.

 

I suppose my question is really, “what am I doing to be part of this revolutionary continent?”

I leave you with the words of Martin Luther King Junior “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. What is your next move?

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Why be Revolutionary?

 

Leads 2 Business : Alternative Energy

 

I have enjoyed music all my life. There is no doubt that it plays an integral part of who I am. I enjoy anything from classical to rock to indie to reggae to alternative. In my choice alone, some would consider me a little unconventional. But that isn’t where it ends. I enjoy (exceptional) tattoos and consider it wearable art. Perhaps a little nonconformist I hear you say? Not to mention I like the idea of eco houses, container housing and other non standard building methods. Just because it is different, it doesn’t mean it is wrong. In fact, sometimes different can be exceptionally right.

I think most South Africans have gotten a good few picnic dinners with candles of late. Some relish the opportunity to ‘unplug’ from life and make the most of quality time with loved ones, while others lament lost time and money and the effect it is having on the economy.  I am fairly certain that Companies retailing solar panels, solar geysers and lights as well as generators thank Eskom profusely for their increase in revenue. Flipping a switch to only find yourself still standing in the dark, in winter especially, definitely brings you to looking at alternative methods of getting things done and wondering how long we, as a nation, can continue on this (dark) road.

 

We all know that our amazing nation has an abundance of natural resources. So why not utilise them? Enter the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (try say that fast five times over) aka REIPPP.  Say what? Well, the IPP procurement programme has been designed to contribute towards the target of 3725 Megawatts and socio economic and environmentally sustainable growth as well as to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa.

 

The qualifying technologies in this programme are:

  • onshore wind
  • concentrated solar thermal
  • solar photovoltaic
  • biomass solid
  • biogas
  • landfill gas
  • small hydro

 

According to The Guardian ‘South Africa has been quietly creating one of the world’s most progressive alternative energy plans. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country and feeding clean energy into the strained electrical grid’. It seems that South Africa is taking revolutionary leaps forward in implementing clean energy solutions, but it also has the general view that it should be closely monitored.

The REIPP have recently added to their renewable projects currently underway in South Africa.  Some of these include:

 

Wind

  • Construction of the 140MW Roggeveld Wind Farm. The wind farm will be situated on farms surrounding Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.
  • Construction of the 117MW Golden Valley Wind Farm located outside Cookhouse, in the Eastern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the Riverbank Wind Energy Facility: Phase 1 entails the construction and operation of a wind energy facility and associated infrastructure. This is also known as the Wesley-Ciskei (33 MW) which forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Biomass

  • Construction of a 25M biomass-to-power plant, known as Ngodwana Biomass Power Project, located at Sappi’s Ngodwana mill, outside Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Solar Photovoltaic

  •  Construction of the 40MW Aggeneys Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located outside Aggeneys, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Konkoonsies 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 1 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75 MW Droogfontein 2 solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and all associated infrastructure on the Farm Droogfontein, in Kimberley, Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 82.5MW Pulida solar photovoltaic park. The planned capacity will be 82.5 MWp DC – 75 mw ac and will be located on remainder portion of farm Klipdrift 20, Letsemeng local municipality, Xhariep district municipality, Free State province. This forms part of the REIPPP – Window 3 Projects.
  • Construction of the 75MW Sirus Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility. The facility will be situated approximately 20km southwest of Upington, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

Hydro

  • Construction of the 5MW Kruisvallei Hydo located near Bethlehem, in the Free State Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

I have heard the expression that ‘it’s never too late’ to start something. In the case of Eskom, I am sure some feel like they may be testing the boundaries of this expression. The point though, is that something is being done. Something quite revolutionary at that! So I for one, want to keep an eye on the array of projects to keep up to date with South Africa’s progressive steps toward creating clean energy for our overworked grid. I also think that it is maybe time that I start figuring out how to be part of doing something idiosyncratic in my nation instead of being part of the problem.  #Justsaying

 

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Project Management – A CCN Perspective

posted in: Construction Chat 0

 

 

CCN+ A NEW WAY OF MANAGING YOUR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

 

Building a building has always been a very complex process – but in today’s hyper connected and increasingly legislated world this takes on a whole new meaning.

 

CCN + Opening Screen
CCN + Opening Screen

 

Developers are faced with the demands of ever changing legislation, and the requirement to employ what seems to be a never ending list of specialist consultants to ensure that they are compliant with current legislation. Construction professionals are placed under extreme pressure to comply with the demands of rapidly changing construction technologies and new regulations – at lightning speed – all within a framework of ever diminishing professional fees.

 

CCN+ Project Plan
CCN+ Project Plan

 

Sound communication practices are now, more than ever, a vitally important aspect of getting construction projects completed on time and within budget.

 

“That’s why we invented CCN+” says Director, Mark Grant. CCN+ is an online document management and project management service that allows all participants in the construction process to collaborate and be clear on the status of all construction documentation, from sketch design to detailed shop drawings.

All participants, including building developers, can be kept “in the picture” as to the status of all documentation,

including the construction programme itself, and information released to contractors for construction can be tracked and properly controlled. No more myriad emails floating around with copies of drawings that are out of date!

 

 

CC+ Construction Drawings Issued
CC+ Construction Drawings Issued

 

CCN+ has looked into international best practice to put in place a highly configurable platform, based on rock solid, secure and scalable technology, specifically tailored to the South African market. Prices for use of the service vary depending on features required and the degree of user self-management possible, but normally the cost of the platform, per project, can be easily accommodated within the normal disbursement allowances made for commercial projects.

If you are interested in getting your next construction project under control – feel free to contact Sianne de Gaye on sianne@ccn.org.za for an online demo.

About Mark Grant

Mark Grant is Director of Construction Communication Network, CCN, South Africa.

Trends in 2015

 

42-Blog

Anyone who is interested in keeping up with the times, or the Joneses, or is just vaguely curious, knows that keeping an eye on the trends will help you get a bigger picture. This is not to say that any predicted trend is a surefire thing. But sometimes it can be helpful to know where ‘those in the know’ think we are headed so that you can take advantage of any potential opportunity that may arise. Taken with at least a tablespoon of salt. But let’s not knock predictions entirely,  you just never know if that one tip was ‘money in the bank’.

With this in mind, here are some predicted trends for 2015 to keep in mind:

 

Consumer Trends

  • Buying Convenience, products and services need to add to consumers skills
  • Malls and Shopping Centres in Community Mode
  • Privacy Matters
  • Consumption as a Route to Progress
  • Influencers: More Like Us
  • Let’s Share: The Rise and Rise of Lightweight Living
  • Millennials
  • Shopping the World and easier mobile payments
  • Virtual to Real and Back: A Smoother Convergence
  • Wired and Well: Connected Health

 

 

Top 5 Web Trends

  • Mobile Focus

According to a survey by Google, 48% of users said that if a site didn’t work well on their smart-phone, it made them feel like the Company didn’t care about their business

  • Interactive Scrolling

Parallax scrolling

Infinite scrolling

  • Flat Design

Flat design features clean design with open space, crisp edges, bright colour and 2 dimensional illustrations without 3D effects

  • Single Page

Condensing content works!

  • Clean, Simple layout

 

This considered, you will be able to forge forward into the year keeping an eye on what is happening. In addition to this there are some of our source articles below, as well as some interesting reads that may catch your eye, to add to your arsenal of information for the coming year. Be sure to also take a look at our Market Intelligence feature to draw up your comparative chart of what Projects and Tenders are being published throughout South Africa. You can find this at http://bit.ly/MarketInt

 

Happy 2015!

 

http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/223/33/123427.html

http://trendwatching.com/trends/10-trends-for-2015/

http://content.ce.org/PDF/2014_5tech_web.pdf

http://www.slideshare.net/stackhands/companyculture-trends-to-watch-in-2015

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/12/08/trends-to-watch-in-2015-from-algorithmic-accountability-to-the-uber-of-x/?mod=e2gp

http://mashable.com/2015/01/02/mobile-trends-2015/

http://www.thesouthafrican.com/sas-top-10-young-entrepreneurs-to-watch/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170081323403886318/

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Understanding Awards

Understanding Awards

 

 

The pendulum for researching tender awards swings from one extreme to the other. The only constant are the benefits. When researching tenders awards, you never know what you are going to get. It could be so simple and painless that you’re unsure if you’ve actually just worked on, confirmed and published a tender award. It could also be so teeth-gnashingly frustrating, that you would think you’d been charged with finding the Holy Grail. The cast of characters are vast and numerous, but tend to favour certain categories:

 

Quick and Painless: This category is populated by those that publish award information in the media (you would think that this is a given. But it’s not); who answer phones and are willing to answer questions; those who answer emails (regardless of the email content. Answer emails. That’s it). Basically, if you are willing to engage in a conversation and confirm or supply me with award information, this is your category. I thank you. My Department thanks you. Our subscribers thank you. Transparency in the tender process hard at work.

 

Not Quick and Definitely Not Painless: This category contains everyone else.

 

Every unanswered email, ever.

 

The “instant-hangup”. You know the one. You call, it rings, it’s picked up and then “Click”. A sub-category that involves me phoning back and remaining on hold indefinitely. This results in partial deafness in my right ear from listening to either a tinny Greenleaves on an endless loop or a wind instrument butchering of a ’80’s One Hit Wonder. I will turn that ringing phone into an instrument of torture until that Government employee crawls out from under their desk and answers the phone. Generally, this results in them realising that if they give me what I want; I will go away. Until next time. But let’s not burst their bubble.

 

The “Wrong Department”. I tend to end up at HR. Regardless of how I worded my request. When I’ve done the full circuit of synonyms for “tender” and am now on a first name basis with the woman in HR; I know it’s going to be a long day.

 

There’s the blatant “No”. I can respect these guys because at least they’re not wasting my time or theirs. But I do think “Dodgy” when this happens. Which I will concede is unfair. The construction industry is very competitive, and as we all know, information is very valuable. Not everyone likes their “business” to be spread all over the place. Of course not, why would any company in this day and age want other people (with money), to know about their services and how some people (also with money) trust them with it to do a job? Scandalous. Yes, I know. You main contractors and some consultants out there don’t want to be inundated with calls. I get it. I know. I sympathise. But I’m still going to call anyway. A sub-category of this group are the “No Internet presence” people. They don’t exist. At least not digitally anyways. They can not be found. It baffles me, how they do business at all?

 

The “Who are you and why do you want to know?” category can go either way. This category either just wants to be informed (I can admire this) or they are suspicious of us. I’m perfectly happy to explain myself and what L2B does, just short of submitting a DNA sample. This category is an opportunity as they either subscribe to us or give us the opportunity to explain that publishing their awarded company details on the L2B website, is the grownup version of “Na-na-nana-na!”.

 

The “Uber-suspicious” group is like trying to have a conversation with Gollum, protecting his Precious (insert bad Gollum impression here).

“Sir, I don’t want to take it from you. I just want to talk to you about it”

“Filthy Hobbitses!”

“Um… okay. You have a good day, sir”. I don’t really blame this guy. Tender awards sometimes happen when they are needed the most, and sometimes when they won’t help a damn.

 

Tender Awards are not boring, that’s for sure. And very emotional. Anything from surprise, joy and excitement to doubt, jealously and anger. And that’s just the researchers.

 

Construction isn’t my business; information is, so those of you out there:

 

Subbies, reach out and touch someone. In the non-lawsuit kind of way. And no one likes a Spammer. This isn’t about shot-gunning a kitchen and hoping a cake will fall out. Be selective. Be smart. Approach those that you know will use your product or service. Approach those that will know what you are talking about. Create relationships. Even if the answer is “No!” that’s still a conversation.

 

Contractors, do not ignore the subbies. New products, skills and services are being created every day. The construction industry, although very traditional and conservative, is also incredibly innovative. Broaden your supplier lists and don’t get held hostage by suppliers/ subbies who are unwilling or unable to adapt to the times. Give the new guys a chance to impress you. Those that can’t deliver won’t last long anyway. You were once new too. Help a brother/ sister out. Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone

 

If you’ve been awarded a tender and you’re proud of this fact, and want to metaphorically thumb your nose at your competitors, please email Tenders@L2B.co.za with the details.

Your company is doing well, broadcast it.

Free advertising, people.

That stuff’s expensive.

 

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

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