covid-19 south africa

With the promise of a plethora of road construction projects on the cards as part of Governments Covid-19 economic relief stimulus packages the 39th Road Pavement Forum (RPF) was an eagerly anticipated event and was successfully organised as an online event in September this year.

Hosted by surface mining industry association, ASPASA, the event was well attended by approximately 300 attendees via meeting streaming software and featured hard hitting presentations and high levels of interaction.

First on the agenda was Louw Kannemeyer of the South African National Roads Authority Limited (Sanral) who provided an update of future project roll outs and the position of the agency at present.

With a lack of funding due partially to E-Tolls collection difficulties and compounded by Covid-19 restrictions the Agency is keeping a careful reign on its existing and future projects.  As seen there can only be projects for which there is budget.

He added that the impact of the ongoing E-Toll debacle had been a reduction in toll, as well as non-toll revenue which was used to service toll infrastructure debt.

This shortfall amounted to approximately R17bn which effectively put a halt on any expansive projects in future. The Covid-19 pandemic also led to losses of about R1.1 billion which was reallocated from Sanral to the Covid-19 relief fund by the Department of Treasury.

Equally interesting was a presentation by Gerrie van Zyl of the South African Bitumen Association who spoke about the associstion’s new Sabita Manual 40 which will be used to replace or compliment the current TRH3 manual.

The manual, which is available from Sabita incorporates new technologies and other important updates for the industry to observe and synchronises carefully with COTO standards.

The sections of the manual includes general information, materials, performance, seal type and binder selection, design, construction, quality assurance and the repair of premature failures.

Cobus Van der Walt of Sanral covered the latest draft of the eagerly anticipated COTO Standard Specification for Road and Bridge Work for South African Roads Authorities, saying it has been a long project leadng to a complete overhaul of the old COLTO document.

Barry Pearce of Learning Matters updated the audience on Laboratory Testers Certification ISO 17024 and the deeming of “competent persons” in the eye of legislators.

Prof Wynand Steyn of Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, discussed the University’s new Engineering 3 Faculty which is currently under construction and promises to provide its students with world leading facilities to be used in the construction and study of roads.