According to Engineering News, South Africa’s power system is extremely constrained and vulnerable, owing to deteriorating, underserviced power plants and delays in the completion of major new power stations.
The tight system means that any unexpected event, from inclement weather to equipment failure, pushes the country into a power deficit. Rotational load-shedding, which spooked investors in 2008, returned in March 2014, and was followed by further bouts of load-shedding later in the year. 2015, load-shedding has threatened to become the norm, with warnings that regular outages should be expected. Eskom has said that South Africans should brace themselves for power-supply troubles for the next three years, while it tries not only to complete the building of new capacity but also to deal with a major maintenance backlog, which will take between 20 and 30 months to resolve. In 2016 load shedding has been avoided with Eskom scrambling to keep up with demand.
SOUTH AFRICA’S WATER SITUATION
South Africa is a semi-arid, water stressed country, with an average rainfall of about 450mm, which is well below the world average of about 860mm per year. Water availability across the country is faced with three major challenges:
- Uneven spatial distribution and seasonality of rainfall (43% of the rain falls on 13% of the land)
- Relatively low stream flow in rivers most of the time, which limits the proportion of stream flow that can be relied upon for use, and
- Location of major urban and industrial developments remote from the country’s larger watercourses, which necessitates large-scale transfers of water across catchments.
About 70% of South Africa’s gross domestic product is supported by water from the Limpopo, Inkomati, Pongola and Orange Rivers, which collectively drain two thirds of the land area. Judicious joint management of these rivers with the relevant neighbouring countries is therefore of paramount importance to South Africa. Although the National Government is the public trustee of the nation’s water resources and the Minister is ultimately responsible for implementing water legislation, the management of water resources will take place at a regional scale in 19 Water Management Areas (WMAs) that cover the entire country. In turn, Municipalities manage their own water and waste water resources.
When it comes to managing field workers and mobile employees, each of these facilities and other services, are faced with tasks that can be daunting at times. Numerous job locations, seasonal employees, documenting billable hours, recording breaks are all responsibilities of the employer. How is a company to manage workforce efficiently and productively without slowing down progress of the workers and/or the project at hand?