Western Cape Report
In the Western Cape things have been relatively slow. Since the water crisis of 2018 there has been a drop in the water related requests and as you may have seen in recent news, many of the larger projects related to alternative water supply solutions have been put on hold or are going slowly for other reasons. We have not been asked to help people find water for a while, and since We are not water diviner this is probably a good thing.
With the insolvency of some of our larger construction companies there are also a few projects that are standing still, despite construction being over 50% on these projects. These are maybe the most annoying delays given that people in the industry had won such projects as subconsultants and now, when they go out to tender again, they may be given to others. Ultimately just a waste of time writing tender documents again.
We have noticed an increased amount of smaller infrastructure projects by local authorities, including taxi ranks, train stations, low cost housing and sewer lines. This is good considering that in the last while such projects appeared to be limited and, although less glamorous, these are the projects that keep cities working.
Other projects that are around are private developments, ranging from opulent houses to large commercial developments in prominent, and controversial, positions. These tend to move very slowly but there are quite a few that are in the pipeline and when they push the button the Geotech side of things will be the first to come under pressure to deliver. One project that we have not been involved in, bus ride (yes ride, not drive) past on the way to work, is the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Island Pedestrian Bridge. Although not interesting from a structural point of view, this bridge has wooden pile foundations and will be retaining those foundation!
Other than these there are no major projects in the Western Cape that we are involved in, nor aware of any up for grabs. Since the western region of SAIEG also incorporates the Eastern Cape and, at least parts of, the Northern Cape, it is worth mentioning opportunities for renewable energy schemes in the Eastern Cape have been seen going around and the involvement in a project on the border with Namibia.
As with our counterparts in other parts of the country, we also entertain opportunities outside the borders of RSA, both to ensure we can continue to make a living in a generally slow period in our country but also because most of us like traveling and seeing new places. Not to mention interesting rocks.