It is always inspiring to learn about developments that are taking place in our country, especially those developments that aim to uplift communities by providing necessary infrastructure, and that have the community’s best interests at heart. Also many projects are using innovative technologies in construction which will help to reduce negative impacts on the environment, which is something of great importance. There are also other large and exciting developments to look forward to, some of which will change landscapes forever. Many developments have progressed throughout 2015. Some highlights, which cover developments across all nine provinces over 11 months of the year, are mentioned below:
- It was reported in January that work had commenced on 300 residential units that would form part of the massive Modderfontein City development in Gauteng. Modderfontein City will see the development of 1600 hectares of land over the next 10 to 15 years.
- The month of January also heard the announcement of R9.65 billion rand in infrastructure projects that would take place at Saldhana Bay. These developments will boost the Saldhana Bays Industrial Development Zone’s ability to service the offshore oil and gas industry.
- The Department of Energy announced that two new Concentrating Solar Power plants will be built in the Northern Cape – Kathu Solar Park and Redstone Solar Thermal Power project
- In February, The Green Point Athletics Stadium was officially opened, after a two year delay. The stadium boasts state-of-the-art facilities, such as a cobalt blue tartan track.
- March contained an abundance of positive construction news, completing the first quarter of 2015 on an exceptionally high note.
- The Youth in Construction Expo took place at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg from 2 – 6 March 2015. The focus of this Expo is to provide high-school learners with information on the many different career choices that are available in the construction industry.
- Also in the first week of March, the Steyn City development was launched. Steyn City is a huge mixed-use development and is the largest construction project to take place in Gauteng in many years, after Waterfall in Midrand.
- The Coega Development Corporation made an announcement early in March that a notice for an Environmental Impact Assessment would be issued for the possible development of a cargo airport and an aeronautical or aerospace industrial cluster in the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
- A sod turning ceremony took place towards the end of March 2015, for Phase 1 (Roosendaal) of the massive Delft integrated housing project. The four phases of the development are: Roosendaal; The Hague (Phase 1); Eindhoven and The Hague (Phase 2). This development will improve the living conditions of many of the area’s residents.
- The KwaDukuza Municipality approved the site development plans for the Ballito Junction mega mall (PPA’s 14139 and 14140) . The existing shopping centre will be expanded to more than six times its current size.
- After much anticipation, Unit 6 at Medupi power station in Limpopo finally began to produce power, marking new beginnings.
- The Robert Clarke Water Treatment Plant at Matla Coal Mine in Mpumalanga was launched in April, and is designed to alleviate water storage constraints, make sure mineworkers are safe and protect natural water resources.
- On the technological front, students from New York have developed the M-App. M-App is “a real-time tool that monitors and evaluates road construction projects to maximize service delivery and root out corruption”.
- An announcement was made in May that an International Convention Centre will be built in Rustenburg.
- The V&A Waterfront was named the preferred bidder for the new luxury cruise terminal in Cape Town.
- Thavhani Property Investments and the Thulamela Municipality announced the transfer of the land on which the Thavhani Mall (PPA’s 13674 and 13675 ) will be constructed.
- Construction of Phase 2 of Central Square in Sandton (PPA’s 10792, 10793 and 10794) commenced in July, and will comprise a 12-storey apartment block.
- A launch and ribbon cutting ceremony took place in August, for the construction of Sizabantu Piping System Manufacturing Plant. The SPS Manufacturing Plant is the first plant to be built as part the RBIDZ’s Phase 1A.
- A sod turning ceremony, to mark the official commencement of the Thavhani Mall in Limpopo, took place in August.
- A Tender for the design and construction of a solar-powered plant was issued by Telkom. The proposed solar plant will form part of Telkom’s Centralised Energy Centre Project at Telkom Park in Pretoria, and will eventually allow Telkom to be electrically fully self-reliant.
- A briefing session took place in August for a Tender that was issued by Transnet National Ports Authority, for a cruise terminal facility at A and B Berths in the Port of Durban.
- Construction commenced on the Botshabelo Shopping Centre in the Free State.
- This is not exactly a highlight in terms of construction in particular, but definitely in terms of educating people about the natural environment in which construction takes place in. With the start of a very warm Spring season and the location of some construction in close proximity to forest areas, a very large African Rock Python, measuring 3.8 metres in length and weighing in at 31 kilograms, was found at a construction site at Izinga Park in Umhlanga in September! Thankfully, the snake was not harmed, but instead a snake removal company was called in to remove and relocate the reptile. Applause for all involved!
- Sanral received awards for both the Umgeni Road Interchange and the Candella Road Project. The Candella Road Project forms part of Sanral’s “green roads” initiative. This initiative aims to reduce the impact that road construction has on the environment. The innovative design of the Candella Road Project also increases skid resistance. The bridges in the Umgeni Road project were built using an innovation construction method, known as incremental launch.
- During the month of October, it was announced that there are plans to revamp the former Victoria Embankment, to be ready for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Another announcement made in October, was that of the major R1.1 billion revamp on the cards for The Pavilion shopping Centre in Westville (PPA’s 16674, 16675 and 17164) , near Durban.
- During this month of November, it has been reported that the VW PeoplePavilion, a multi-purpose complex for Volkswagen which is located in Uitenhage and was completed in 2013, received an award from the Eastern Cape Institute of Architects. The building was recognized as one of the leading architectural buildings in the Eastern Cape.
- December is fast approaching, and with the builders’ shutdown period looming, many developments are nearing completion. I am sure that there will be many positive news stories reporting on the completion of exciting new developments.
I hope you enjoy many of the new or upgraded facilities that may be opening in your area during the festive season!
Here’s to all the new and exciting developments that will be taking place in the year ahead. Bring on 2016!