This week’s quote is from Elon Musk a business magnate, industrial designer, engineer, and philanthropist. Founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.
2020 has been full of crazy experiences: panic buying, social distancing, hard lock-downs, hotel quarantines, hand washing and sanitising, elbow-bump greetings and Skype weddings.
This year is, for many people, the worst year of their lives. This is because the Covid-19 pandemic is not just happening in some distant part of the world, it is here and has to some degree personally affected everyone.
Most of us will be all too happy to see the back of 2020!
But before blowing the year out of the water, let’s add some perspective and consider the passage below.
It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria.
For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war.
Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.
On your 62nd birthday, you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900.
How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was and how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.
Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe.
Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out.
“Oh, Sh#$, My Mask!” – Normal Person on the Daily.
I know we don’t all particularly like change, but times have changed and we, therefore, need to embrace change as well and conform to the new norm and try to remember to wear a mask and sanitize all the time.
The health and safety within the construction industry is challenging at the moment as everyone has to try to adapt to the new way of working.
To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, plans need to be in place to help identify risk levels in the workplace. They also need to determine the implementation of control measures.
Owners of companies as well as their staff need to remain in the know and up to date with the changing Covid-19 outbreak conditions as they directly affect and relate to community spread of the virus.
This blog is on “Changes since COVID-19” within the Construction industry. I’d like to focus on the construction site itself.
As a Health & Safety officer onsite or the main contractor, you will need to assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed. You also need to then evaluate the risk of exposure and ensure workers adhere to rules in place to prevent exposure.
Conducting a job hazard analysis can also help you determine whether work activities require close contact (within 2 meters) between staff, visitors, customers or members of the public.
There is so much information on this particular topic, however, below are some points which I believe most stood out to me:
1. Personal Protective Equipment
To be honest, most construction workers are unlikely to need more PPE beyond what they already use. What I mean is that the PPE that they should already have to have is a hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask. Since Covid-19, the PPE required may now include eye protection, gloves, and/or face shields.
Washing your hands before and after using public transport. Also washing your hands and sanitizing as soon as you get home. All persons should ensure that their hands are sanitized before and after, entering and existing any vehicle.
The use of individual transport is much preferred during this crisis. Where possible, workers should use their cars and drive alone rather than collective or make use of public transport. The employer can facilitate this and assist by ensuring there is a car park or open site available to all employees. If you think about it, even a rack for securely storing bicycles would also help. Heck if you live close enough and are fit do to so, then walk to work.
The contractor or health & safety consultant should note and assess the number of workers being transported. A log should be kept and the consultant can also implement measures to ensure that social distancing between persons is adhered to.
Work buses or work transport should have space where people can sit apart from each other (adhering to social distancing) and the vehicle should be well-ventilated. Masks are to be worn in both public transport & employer transport/buses.
Visitors to the construction site should be discouraged to visit. Should there be a delivery of any sort, drivers should try to remain in their vehicles while being screened and provided with hand sanitizer. When goods are being delivered, it is suggested to do so through pick-up or delivery outside of the construction site. It’s not often, but delivery workers could also be allowed to use facilities such as toilets and cafeterias onsite, and these should be sanitized and cleaned thoroughly at all times.
Transportation of staff:
Vehicles being used to transport workers or being used on site are to be thoroughly disinfected each time before and after boarding
Each person onsite is to be screened and have their temperature taken twice daily. A log of the everyone’s details, temperatures, times and dates as well as those of visitors to the site will need to be kept.
Stickers or markings on the ground should be placed around the site to ensure social distancing.
Wearing of masks is mandatory
The appointed Covid19 officer on site would need to monitor staff as they disembark from any transport vehicle to make sure social distancing and sanitizing are done.
3. Site access & workspace
Contractors have specific responsibilities for health and safety and must coordinate all activities of workers & sub-contractors. They are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of everyone and would do so by implementing policies and procedures as well as providing workers with instructions, training and supervision.
It is recommended that a Covid-19 safety co-ordinator or officer be appointed at each site and that everyone is familiar with that person. This officer will ensure compliance with Covid19 regulations and safeguard against infection as well as be able to provide answers to any questions persons may have.
Covid-19 compliance procedures are to be included in the contractors existing safety manuals onsite.
Site safety manuals should highlight where Covid19 safety procedures are difficult to adhere to, depending on the nature of work. (eg: shared fall protection ropes, tools and equipment that could be potential transmission points)
Covid19 signage and posters in all languages necessary should be installed onsite. Especially in high traffic areas such as entries, exits, hallways, meeting points, material docks, canteens and changing rooms.
Adopt staggered work schedules – alternating workdays or extra shifts, to reduce the total number of employees on a job site at any given time and to ensure physical distancing.
Ensure clean toilet and handwashing facilities. Clean and disinfect portable site toilets regularly. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items such as door handles, soap dispensers, taps and toilet seats.
4. Lunchrooms / Eating Area
Stagger lunch hours to reduce the number of staff in the breakroom at one time.
Food should be consumed at designated areas only. When you are eating, your mask is off and the risk of infection may be greater. Social and safe distancing still applies.
As said before, signage should be in the lunch area creating Covid19 awareness or simply just reminding everyone to wash your hands and wear your mask. Remember this is sort of “new” to us, and its human nature to forget to wear your mask sometimes. 6 months of it and I’m still not 100% used to it, but we have to be. I appreciate the signs and reminders.
Seating arrangements now needs be modified to include social distancing.
Tables, chairs, microwaves, utensils and any other equipment or surfaces need to be disinfected before and after every use. Where possible, encourage staff to bring their cutlery and crockery and to keep this at their desk or in their locker.
One-way walking on the staircase should be implemented. Basically, have people keep left at all times. This is to avoid social distancing being compromised.
The handrail needs to be regularly disinfected and should you use this you need to sanitise before and after use. Staff shouldn’t touch anything.
6. Site Offices
Again, Covid19 signage needs to be up at the site office as well as “Restricted Access” so that they know there is a limit to the number of people allowed in that area.
Sinks need to be installed with hand sanitizer available for staff and visitors
A checklist of commonly used items should be drawn up and those need to be wiped and clean periodically (such as doorknobs, chairs, desks, stationery). The construction safety officer is to ensure this is complied with.
7. Site Sanitation Measures
Provide hand sanitizers/handwash and sinks with clean running water.
Provide paper towels instead of hand towels. This you can throw away after use, instead of all using the same, dirty hand towel.
Provide foot-operated/foot pedal rubbish bins in all bathrooms and site offices.
Limit the number of persons allowed to make use of the toilet facilities at any one time. Have a visible sign with the maximum capacity allowed.
Toilet facilities and fixtures are to be disinfected by cleaning staff regularly.
8. Material Management
1. Unloading and loading zones should be clearly marked and also have limited access.
2. Any vehicle entering or exiting the premises is to be disinfected. Especially machinery or vehicles used by multiple persons.
3. Documents are to be reviewed and validated in digital formats where possible. If you can fill in contracts or documents online then do so. This is to avoid the physical exchange of paperwork and avoid the spread of the virus.
4. Any delivery that is unloaded should be disinfected before storage at the site.
9. Training & Awareness is to be provided to all employees on the following:
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the need to report any safety and health concerns
All policies and procedures are to be followed
Hygiene and social distancing
Avoiding physical contact with others and maintaining a distance
Appropriate cleaning practice
The proper way to cover coughs and sneezes
Alternatives to shaking hands upon entry
Not touching your face, or anyone else’s
Decontamination, removal and disposal of any PPE being used
The importance and seriousness of staying at home if you are sick.
Wearing a mask, always
Any members who have been in isolation, quarantine or had been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be physically separated from any other members of the team. Be it in a different room or on a different part of the site. You can even use closed doors or walls as physical barriers to separate workers.
A team which includes a safety officer could be put together to form a Covid19 response unit onsite. This team can then plan, co-ordinate and provide information to others. They would be involved in decision making and co-ordination with other companies and stakeholders.
Daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly reports should now include Covid19 stats. This means Covid19 safety compliance as well as staff screening. The number of workers being screened, their locations and any workers suspected of symptoms.
Site safety procedures are to be updated and managed.
Documents, including training logs, should be kept and readily available.
A three strike policy could be implemented for those who are non-compliant. In the same breath, you can implement a rewards program for those who have done well and adhered to the rules.
Meetings. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible and limit the number of workers in attendance. Limit this to less than 15 minutes and use social distancing practices. No more than 50 persons gathered in the same area. If you have to, rather consider holding on-site meetings in open spaces or outside. Another alternative is having staff or team meetings online.
11. Engineering Controls
Plastic sheets can be used as barriers
Special attention needs to be given to those “High Risk” employees as well as those with family members who are at high risk.
12. Use of Technology
Thermal imaging scanners can be used for easy temperature screening of groups of staff.
Digital scanners (instead of biometrics) can be used for recording staff attendance.
Drones. I’ve even heard people go as far as to use drones to spray disinfectant on-site areas.
Spray booths or disinfectant walk-through booths are also used at the entrance to the site.
Occupancy of rooms or common areas can be displayed and viewed.
Covid19 mobile compliance app which includes chat-bots in multiple languages, are very helpful and should be introduced to employees.
A control centre should be set up where you can use remote camera technology to track those who arrive to and leave the site.
13. Mental health
We need to be aware that Covid19 not only affects our physical health, but our mental health as well.
We need to assist those who are suffering from anxiety or stress and support should be in place for those persons.
This is also a time of uncertainty and many will need advice, support or just someone to talk to.
Additional important points
Never mix any of the solutions or different types of disinfectants (e.g ammonia with bleach). Hazardous vapours will be released and can be very toxic.
As hand sanitizers result in dehydration, we need to moisturise hands regularly.
If any of the staff members develop skin rash or irritation after using disinfectants or the hand sanitizers, they are to inform occupational health practitioner/specialist immediately. They can then establish what the cause is and recommend another brand or type of sanitizer or disinfectant to be used.
I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects department in 2014 and have been working as the Regional Gauteng content researcher ever since.
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.
An opinion piece on Construction in South Africa during Covid
26 March 2020, the day that everything changed. Hard lock-down. The entire country sequestered to their homes and not permitted to leave, it was called Lock-down Level 5. The ramifications of this decision will still be felt by everyone in all industries and walks of life for a long long time. We were entering the unknown, fearful of everything and everyone and if you listened to the various news broadcasters masquerading as prophets of doom and gloom, the world as we knew it had come to end, normal did not exist any more and life would never ever be the same again. I eventually made the conscious decision to change the TV channel from any and all news broadcasts and limited myself to one broadcast of news per day, this was for my own sanity as the bombarding of constant fear-mongering was powerfully eroding away at me. But this unknown scary time was going to be for 21 days, I would survive. Oh, how little did I know…..
But not all was doom and gloom, I was going to work remotely. I had subscribers that were depending on me to obtain information that was not readily available, they needed this information to assist in their business, they needed to keep their business going which in turn keeps our business going, it seems like an endless circle, but actually makes sense. Gosh, information was very scarce initially, no one knew what was happening (and if they did they did not want to say anything because who knew what tomorrow would bring…) Town planning and environmental notices (where we get a lot of our very new projects) “dried up” and no new notices were being posted, new tenders being published dwindled down to almost nothing, in fact, I noted that most of the tenders that were still going out were for various Eskom entities that needed repairs, Eskom’s procurement department was still hard at work. It was very slow going in the beginning, could not contact professionals, some were on leave, some did not have mobile numbers.
21 days came and went and lock-down continued. Come 1 May 2020 and the country moved down to level 4, this meant a slightly different set of rules, we still could not leave our homes unless it was an essential service, but we could exercise within a 5km radius of our homes between 6am and 9am. It was still dark at 6am and dangerous to leave your home but that didn’t worry me, I am not an exercise person anyway! But I digress, back to work….looks like some construction could start again, essential infrastructure projects and repairs but still the tenders had not really picked up as most of the municipalities remain closed, and they are the ones that put out the tenders according to their budgets…. Great excitement….we are moving to level 3 on 1 June 2020..hooray…many more sectors can open up and construction will definitely pick up now, slowly and surely tenders starting picking up and there was much speculation about all the field hospitals that were being planned (these projects were shrouded in secrecy and very little information was being released) but we persevered and were diligent in our research and managed to add 13 of these Covid 19 hospital projects to our database. Half of the office was still working remotely and the other half were coming to the office under strict hygiene and sanitising conditions. The joy of sitting at my desk, with the familiar all around me was soothing to the soul, maybe, just maybe things are going to be okay, no wait, I know they going to be okay, it might be different, it might be hard but it will be okay. I felt the construction industry was starting to look up and gain a little traction, majority of the projects in various sectors that were under construction when the lock-down was announced were prepping their sites and educating their staff on how to take precautions so that construction could recommence in earnest. Our L2Q department started getting new bills from contractors that required coding and pricing, there was a definite movement in the industry.
Level 2 was the next stage and that momentous day was 18 August 2020, 145 days since the National Lock-down was implemented. Additional industries have been permitted to start again and the number of tenders has increased, in all the different trades that we capture. Even though life might not be the same and the old normal has evolved into a new normal with a face mask and copious amount of sanitiser, there are signs of the Private Construction Sector is moving ahead and the larger privately funded projects are being awarded and construction is starting, new developments are being marketed and researching for updated information is moving at an increased pace.
We entered Level 1 on 21 September 2020 and there has been a substantial increase in public tenders as well as the progress and movement in privately funded projects.
Even though the effects on the construction industry and economy in the whole will likely have long term consequences Leads 2 Business will strive to continue sourcing viable and beneficial information for our subscribers as we did through the entire lock-down.
North West which was created in 1994, and takes up 9% of the total land in South Africa. North West is divided into 4 district municipalities, which in turn are divided into 18 local municipalities. North West consists of 24 cities and towns. Agriculture and mining production plays an essential role in boosting the economy in South Africa, providing main products such as diamonds, gold, platinum, sunflower seeds, maize and beef.
North West is known as the Platinum Province as most of the world’s platinum comes from its Merensky Reef, which is a layer of igneous rock. The mining in North West is the pillar of its economy and generates more than half of the province’s gross domestic product. The primary minerals are gold, uranium, platinum, and diamonds. Interesting enough in Licthenburg, a town in the North West, was the richest public diggings in the world from 1925 – 1935, where the biggest pure red flawless diamond was found in 1927.
The tallest building in the North West Province is the Rustenburg City Council building, which is 8 floors above ground and that is excluding the basement
The largest mall in the North West is situated in Klerksdorp. The Matlosana Mall is a first-super regional shopping centre at 65,000sqm.
What to do in North West:
North West offers breathtaking scenes of rolling fields and African bushveld and has a big selection of activities to do, especially if you have an adventurous spirit. With a selection of wildlife destinations, visiting World Heritage Sites and enjoying adventure activities, there is definitely something to do for everyone. The most famous place to be in North West is definitely Sun City, offering anything and everything from golfing to safari and wildlife, from Zip lining to Drift Trikes, from lazing in the sun to enjoying the Valley of the Waves to an extravagant nightlife filled with entertainment and that is not even the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to do at Sun City. History was absolutely made when Sun City opened in 1979. It has become the best holiday resort in South Africa. North West also offers a paradise for any hiker or climber at the Magaliesburg mountain range, offering deep ravines and waterfalls.
North West has so much more to offer to anyone who visits this beautiful province.
I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂
Limpopo as we know it today used to actually be called Northern Transvaal before 1994. The Province is very well known for its arts and crafts. Though very interesting today we will be looking at some of the construction projects taking place in this province.
The following will give you a bit more insight into the projects currently happening in Limpopo.
This project is currently in Phase 3 and is for Raw water supply in the Vembe District Municipality. Status for this tender is currently is the Tender stage and is classified as an Open Tender. For more detailed information on this tender please see PPA 25909 on the Leads 2 Business website
Mokopane Vanadium Project:
This project that is currently in the Procedural stage falls within the Mining industry. Vanadium is in the process of completing the feasibility studies for this Limpopo based project by later this year. Approval of this project allows for the extraction of a range of different valuable minerals. For more detailed information on this project please see PPA 15637.
Although the project is still in the Procedural stage, this most definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re looking at the Mining industry. To follow the progress of this project please see PPA 22451.
“Mpumalanga” The city where the sunrises’ is also known to be the province with the Highest rising levels of air pollution.
What is Pollution? Pollution is “the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.”
Mpumalanga has the highest rate of pollution in the world and here is why:
Mpumalanga has Thirteen (13) coal-fired power stations and this has been identified as the biggest source of pollution in the province. The pollution levels are deadly and have claimed the lives of 305 and 650 premature deaths in 2016, this has evolved into a public health crisis. The power stations are Government-owned, Eskom owns Eleven of the Thirteen coal power stations in the area. Eskom is the biggest culprit in polluting South African Air.
How can Mpumalanga improve this:
Mpumalanga can improve its high rate of air pollution by switching to Green energy such as solar and wind power. Government is currently looking at reverting to renewable energy to decrease the pollution in the area.
Kindly click on the below link to should you be interested in listening to the litigation against Government for Air pollution: https://omny.fm/shows/the-breakfast-show-702/the-litigation-against-government-for-air-pollution
This week’s quote is from Byron Pulsifer a retired criminologist, former manager of an employee assistance program, project manager and strategic planner, motivational speaker and motivational seminar leader
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.
Mining in Africa has a long history. For over 2000 years iron ore and other metals have been mined in North Africa. Iron mining began in sub-Saharan Africa around 500 BC and had spread throughout the region by 200 AD.
The African continent is home to plentiful natural resources including diamonds, cobalt, oil, natural gas, copper, and gold among others.
Some examples of African countries that are rich in minerals are:
Around 55% of the world’s diamonds are led by Botswana and Congo
Africa produces about 483 tons of gold which equate to 22% of the world’s total production
60% of mining in Africa is Gold Mining.
Africa hosts 30% of the world’s mineral reserve.
South Deep gold mine is the largest gold mine in the world, by reserves. Located 45km south-west of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, South Deep is also the seventh deepest mine in the world, with a mine depth up to 2,998m below the surface.
The Mponeng Mine located south-west of Johannesburg in South Africa is currently the deepest pit in the world.
Botswana heads Africa’s list of diamond miners, housing seven well-established mines including Jwaneng, the world’s richest in terms of value, Orapa, the world’s largest by area, along with Karowe and Letlhakane.
Ghana has cemented its position as Africa’s largest gold producer after increasing its industrial gold output by 6% in 2019.
The Big Hole in Kimberley is considered one of the deepest cavities excavated by man. From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50,000 miners dug the now famous Big Hole (then called the Kimberley Mine) in Kimberley with picks and shovels yielding 2 722 kilograms of diamonds. The hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 meters wide. It was excavated to a depth of 240 meters, but then partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 m. Since then it has accumulated water to a depth of 40 meters, leaving only 175 meters visible.
The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” and means “unconquerable and indestructible”
To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tonnes of earth needs to be mined
The Cullinan Diamond was the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3 106.75 carats (621.35 g), discovered at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905.
Leads 2 Business currently has 417 active mining projects on our database and growing.
Should you wish to subscribe to receive and follow mining project leads, please feel free to contact me MelanieM@L2B.co.za.