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Letters

Kemm has become conflicted

     17th March 2017 Editor – I refer to an article by Dr Kelvin Kemm, headlined 'High-powered speakers lined up for Nuclear Africa' and published in the February 17 edition of Engineering News. 

Kemm’s piece on alternative take on history spot-on

     26th August 2016 Editor –I thoroughly enjoyed Kelvin Kemm’s column in the Engineering News edition published on July 29, 2016, concerning presenting an alternative take on history not seen through the lens of politics. His article skimmed over the main scientific, technological and economic issues of the last few... 

Isolated uranium waste site shouldn’t cause alarm

     24th June 2016 Editor – I refer to the article by Kelvin Kemm in the Engineering News edition of May 27 and the subsequent responses by Sipho Kings and others in the June 10 edition concerning waste uranium rocks and other waste dumped near Beaufort West, in the Karoo. There is a need to put possible harmful... 

Kemm’s nuclear article off the mark

     10th June 2016 Editor – I write with reference to an article by Dr Kelvin Kemm, who, I believe, is an old hand in nuclear circles and currently chairperson of the board of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, a parastatal. In the article, published on May 27, he pleads for emotion to be taken out of... 

Right of reply

     10th June 2016 Editor – The Mail & Guardian (M&G) to respond to Dr Kelvin Kemm's in Engineering News, published on May 27. 

CSP trumps nuclear

     1st April 2016 Editor – It was amazing to read your article about a new concetrated solar photovoltaic (CSP) power plant coming on stream in Bokpoort on the March 15. This molten salt storage system provides nine hours of power after dark, which means that it gives baseload power through the peak demands of... 

Patel wrong about De Beers Pass, N2 Wild Coast projects

     1st April 2016 Editor – We act for the Harrismith Business Forum, an interested and affected party that has been involved in the environmental-impact assessment (EIA) process initiated by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) for the proposed National Road 3 (N3) from Keeversfontein to... 

Worrying inaccuracies in GM article

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th October 2015 Editor – We read with interest but also with great concern the article entitled 'The promises of GM crops remain unfulfilled'. 

Procurement problems in consulting engineering not down to BBBEE

     10th July 2015 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) would like to dispute in the strongest possible terms an article that appeared in Engineering News dated Friday June 26, 2015 titled "BBBEE requirements compromise quality of consulting services". The article by Gerrit Coetzee is highly patronising,... 

The synchrotron light source: An ‘engine of discovery’ 

     20th March 2015 Dear Ms Pandor – I wish to draw to your attention to a matter of considerable importance to the future development of scientific research in South Africa. For several years now, I have been advocating the launching of a feasibility study into the establishment in South Africa of a large-scale... 

Gauteng’s e-toll conundrum 

     27th February 2015 Editor – The recent presentation of the findings of the Gauteng e-toll review panel by Premier David Makhura and his team was very instructive. The focus was the Premier's open acknowledgement of the tension faced by political decision-makers in a democracy – between reliance on statistical... 

Remotely recorded webcams for busting crooked cops

     30th January 2015 Editor – The recently reported arrest of two Tshwane Metro traffic officers for soliciting a bribe from the head of Crime Line brought a warm glow of satisfaction to my heart. All corrupt officials deserve dismissal and exemplary, lengthy jail time for their violation of the public trust and the... 

Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array

     12th December 2014 Editor – I am a recently retired engineer, formerly of a local scientific research and development  (R&D) institution. I enjoyed a career there in electrical and electronic engineering and physics spanning some 43 years, and remain very interested in and concerned about South African science and... 

Cost of nuclear-generated electricity the most predictable

     12th December 2014 Dear – We have had the pleasure of reading your article entitled 'SA meets more nuclear vendors amid "costly diversion" criticism',  and would like to share our opinion on the cost of electric power and why we can confirm that the cost of electric energy generated by a nuclear power plant (NPP)... 

Nuclear Is Safest, Cleanest, Cheapest 

     20th June 2014 Saliem Fakir is wrong on every count in his attack on nuclear power under the headline:‘Four reasons why nuclear is dead beat’, published in Engineering News, May 30 – June 5, 2014. Actually nuclear power is the safest, cleanest and most economic option for the huge extra baseload electricity... 

Unfounded Concerns

     13th September 2013 Editor –Claims of “increasing concern about genetically modified (GM) foods” voiced by Lorraine Jenks in Engineering News of August 23 are unfounded. There are no agricultural research institutions, academies of science or medicine, government food regulatory authorities or faculties of science,... 

Columnists off the mark

     23rd August 2013 Editor – I normally enjoy reading Terry Mackenzie-Hoy's and Kelvin Kemm's columns, but not their contributions in the August 2 edition.  

High power tariffs unsustainable

     8th February 2013 Editor – The recent Eskom tariff hike application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has rattled some cages within business, labour and civil society. These apprehensions are understandable, especially since companies are already contemplating downsizing and retrenchments as... 

Road safety article inaccurate

     7th December 2012 Editor – The Engineering News of November 23 quotes Paul Vorster, of the Intelligent Transport Society of South Africa, sa saying that South Africa has the third-worst road safety record in the world.  

ABT article misleading

     30th November 2012 Editor – As the Clay Brick Association of South Africa, we refer to the report in the Engineering News of September 26, 2012, titled 'Group mitigates poverty with alternative building technology'. 

Chinese Imports Article Too Simplistic

     16th November 2012 Your article which claims that Chinese imports are not hurting the South African economy 24 October 2012, presents a very simplistic view of economic theory, as it does not recognise the longer-term impact of importation or the impact of China’s export subsidisation programme. 

Tokyo spot-on on shoddy low-cost houses

     24th August 2012 I agree with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale that many of the building contractors who are appointed by munucipalities do not deliver the quality of subsidised houses that is expected. In many instances, you are saddled with a contractor that has gone through all the supply chain... 

Frustrated with Home Affairs

     25th May 2012 It is with mixed feelings that I write this brief letter. After gaining all my engineering experience in the UK and the US, I returned to South Africa for a variety of reasons, including a desire to play a role in the infant local renewable-energy industry. I kept hearing about how South Africa... 

Unrealistic numbers

     25th May 2012 Editor – An article regarding the report by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), published in Engineering News recently, is of great concern. As a person who was a faculty member at University of Pretoria for 20 years, until August 2011, I am very concern. When a number of colleagues... 

Afrox article inaccurate

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th April 2012 Editor – I refer to the Engineering News article titled 'Gas supplies: Afrox to focus on operational prudence, African expansion', published on February 24.  

Kemm’s e-tolling article misleading

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th March 2012 While it is obvious that Dr Kelvin Kemm’s information was a bit dated when he wrote his article titled 'Sanral’s tolling soap opera', I would like to take this opportunity to give Engineering News readers an update on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and correct some of the... 

Fracking report out of touch with reality

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th March 2012 The article titled 'Strong economic case for lifting shale exploration ban, economist argues', published on March 2, refers. 

Is govt serious about waste-tyre problem?

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th March 2012 I read your article relating to the waste tyre problem in South Africa with extreme interest, as it sounded like the plan I discussed with government officials last year on how to clear waste tyres, generate employment, create more businesses and generate income by exporting the product derived... 

Columnist ignored aspects of Cape wind farm EIA report

     10th February 2012 The article appearing under the headline 'CSIR is stumbling boldly where angels fear to tread' in Terry Mackenzie-Hoy's column, Electrically Speaking, in the Engineering News of January 27, refers. 

Engineering News got it wrong

     16th December 2011 In the Engineering News edition of November 25, staff writer Dimakatso Motau states in the article titled 'Incentivising Innovation' that Department of Science and Technology (DST) chief director: science and technology investment Godfrey Mashamba "noted the DST had allocated a R4.2-billion... 

Wrong nomeclature

     25th November 2011 Editor – I notice that Engineering News recently published an article in which refernce is made to the Johannesburg–Pretoria freeway project coming on line in February, when the tolling of the road will begin. 

Solar water heater tendering won’t work

     28th October 2011 Eskom’s mandate, as I understood it, was to install 1 000 000 solar water heaters, and this initiative evolved the rebate system, which, in essence, failed to achieve any plausible success. Now we have a contract system.  

Copper theft costing SA economy R5bn each year

     14th October 2011 At a time when Telkom, a parastatal, is complaining of headline earnings loss, it is reported that the theft of copper cable is now costing the South African economy about R5-billion a year and Telkom about R1-billion.  

Inaccuracies in nuclear article

     23rd September 2011 Editor – I refer to the article titled 'Good nuclear citizen', published in the Engineering News of July 8 to 14, 2011. 

Giving Kemm a platform is being irresponsible

     24th June 2011 Editor – I think it is extremely irresponsible of your magazine to continue to give a platform to Dr Kelvin Kemm's assault on climate science. Although climate science deals with uncertainty and huge quantities of data, the evidence for human-caused global warming is accepted by a large majority... 

Time for SA to face the facts

     24th June 2011 The article titled 'SA’s resource-intensive economic trajectory unsustainable' (see page 14 of this edition), is much more important than many would care to know, in particular the National Planning Commission warning that “the costs of such a transition would not fall evenly and export sectors... 

Remarks on nuclear might become one of many confuted quotes

     17th June 2011 If carbon dioxide causes the earth's temperature to rise 5 oC, there will be an urgent need to switch from fossil fuels to nuclear power, being the only alternative stable source. 

Willis’s article depressing

     10th June 2011 I found the article by Peter Willis on Occam's Razor, in the May 20, 2011, edition of Engineering News rather depressing. Someone more modern than Occam changed the KISS principle to read 'keep it as simple as possible, but no simpler' quite a while ago. Unfortunately, this has not been the case... 

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