Multiple appointments of mine surveyors a risky business

  The increasing trend in recent years to appoint mine surveyors to positions of responsibility over multiple mines is potentially hazardous for personnel working on those mines and is hastening the demise of the mine surveying profession just as it is most needed. In terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 (MHSA) […]

Video: Minister tells Eskom to “do something extraordinary”

  Speaking at the utility’s integrated results announcement meeting on 11 July 2014, Lynne Brown, the minister of public enterprises said that the utility needs to improve its performance by thinking outside the box and doing something extraordinary. Eskom has reported a net profit of R7,1-billion for the year ended 31 March 2014 (which includes profit on […]

Integrating a wind farm into a transmission or distribution system

  South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme (REIPPP) has produced keen interest by Independent Power Producers in wind energy facilities (WEFs) [1]. Integrating a WEF into a transmission or distribution network not only requires good engineering practices but also conformance to the NERSA grid connection code. This paper considers some of the requirements […]

Bloodhound SSC: a supersonic engineering marvel

  A hybrid jet-and-rocket powered vehicle will fire up its 135 000 hp engines to break the sound barrier and the world record alike in a 1600 km/h race at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. The 14 m, 7 tonne Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) was designed and is being built by the Bloodhound Project, described as […]

Owning our energy future

  At a recent conference in Cape Town I was asked to address the load shedding of 6 March this year and the dire consequences for the South African economy and investor confidence. My response was that there are two ways we can view the South African power sector. On the one hand you could […]

Data as infrastructure: who should carry the costs?

  The value of geospatial and earth observations data to facilitate informed decisions is indisputable. Increasingly decision-makers have become aware that a single problem may require access to many datasets, while one dataset may have many applications. Having access to a variety of datasets that are current and accurate ensures superior solutions. Essential datasets that […]

Pumped storage scheme’s HV yard successfully energised

  Eskom successfully energised the high voltage (HV) yard and three power lines at the Ingula pumped storage scheme in June 2014. The project is currently under construction near Ladysmith on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The Ingula pumped-storage scheme, located within the Little Drakensberg mountain range, 23 km north-east of Van Reenen’s, […]

Remarks by minister of energy to the Parliamentary Portfiolio Committee on Energy

  On Tuesday, 1 July 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat Pettersson addressed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy in Cape Town. Below is a transcript of her remarks. Chairperson, The President of the Republic addressed the nation on 17th June 2014 and I dare say that the directives and injunctions issued to […]

Toward universal energy access: Designing a new household electrification strategy for SA

  Over the past two decades, South Africa has achieved a significant level of electrification: 76% of all households now have access to largely grid-connected power, up from 34% in 1994. Despite successes, the country’s Department of Energy (DoE) and its delivery partners face several barriers to electrifying the remaining backlog of 3,4-million households. In […]