SAIMC


SAIMC Zambian branch

February 2012 SAIMC

On 8 Dec last year, Johan van Jaarsveldt and I travelled to Zambia to attend the branch banquet in Kitwe in the province of the Copper Belt. It was a remarkable journey in many ways.

Since we had been to Kitwe many times before we did not expect any hitches, but we were mistaken. The name on one of our flight tickets was misspelt, Johan, on his passport, is Johannes and there was another problem too, my yellow fever inoculation card, although still valid, had my old passport number. This delayed us and we were unable to get onto the flight to Ndola as planned, but we did manage to get tickets for a flight to Livingstone in southern Zambia. On arrival, we found that we could take a flight to Lusaka which we did. There were not any available seats on to Ndola so we elected to travel by car and arrived in Kitwe on the 8th around midday.

The banquet, held at the Edinburgh Hotel, was a sparkling affair with Jones Kelela as MC keeping the audience interested in his usual edifying way. Guests included 120 vendors and end users from the Zambian industry. The guest of honour was the Kitwe District Commissioner Mr. Mwape Kasanba who thanked the SAIMC for its valuable contribution to Zambia through supporters from outside the country. Both Johan and I addressed the group emphasising the importance of the SAIMC and encouraged the Zambian members to continue the voluntary effort to forward the goals of our organisation. We had ample time to mingle with the guests and had some interesting discussions with new and old acquaintances.

Vivian MacFadyen (r) catching up with acquaintances at the banquet
Vivian MacFadyen (r) catching up with acquaintances at the banquet

Our general impression of the situation in Zambia is that things are improving rapidly. There are many new buildings under construction, new sport stadia built and other signs of improvement. This gave us the feeling that we can expect great progress from the Zambian branch in the future.

We followed the same route home and had some time to look around over the week end. Just after Kabwe (formally Broken Hill) on the drive to Lusaka we discovered a hydro electric power station that was built in 1925 and is now run by the Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company and known as the Mulungushi Power Station. We were able to arrange a short tour of the station located about 1 km below the buffer dam at the top of the gorge; the head water pressure on the turbines is about 10 Mpa. We travelled down the side of the gorge in a skip running on rails and descending at a 45° angle to the four turbines, including the latest installation by a Chinese supplier. The power generated is now supplied to the national grid, but originally it fed a lead and zinc mine in the vicinity. A study by the Blacksmith Institute in September 2007 found Kabwe to be one of the 10 worst polluted places in the world, mostly due to heavy metals (primarily lead and zinc) tailings making their way into the local water supply, yet for many years it has supplied ‘clean’ electric power – sad but true.



Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

In memoriam: Hendrick Frederik (Hennie) Prinsloo
June 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
It is with great sadness that the SAIMC announces the death of branch general manager Hennie Prinsloo after a short but brave battle with cancer. A stalwart and passionate member of the SAIMC since ...

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO
June 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
President Cyril Ramaphosa rightly stated in his letter of 11 May: “Imposing a nation-wide lockdown gave our country a strategic advantage. It bought us valuable time to prepare our health system and put ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
June 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
Here we are at the end of May, still in lockdown Level 4. While we at the Johannesburg branch are doing our best to bring technology to our loyal members, there is still nothing like the human touch.  ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Vaal branch
June 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
On 5 March the first coronavirus case was recorded in South Africa. The government reacted swiftly and called for a nationwide lockdown which commenced on 27 March 2020. Since then there have been extensions ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Vaal branch
May 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
At the last technology evening, Albert Louw, mobile control systems specialist from ifm electronic, gave a presentation on control systems for mobile machines, applicable to all mobile vehicles from transport ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Durban branch
May 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
The last technology evening was held in March, and as we headed into lockdown we reluctantly cancelled future technology events pending the reopening of the country. There is much discussion about whether ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Cape Town branch
May 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
Technology evening: Introduction to Profibus What an interesting time and age we are in. If anyone predicted what future would be knocking on our doors in 2020, they would be a millionaire. With ...

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO
May 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
Amidst the turmoil of the latest coronavirus pandemic and the recent downgrade of South African government debt to junk, I’ve begun to wonder whatever happened to traditional values like responsibility ...

Read more...
SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
May 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
IIoT/Industry4.0/4IR – they cover a large area and don’t always mean the same thing. So how do we define any of these terms? Basically, they are about improving manufacturing efficiency, largely through ...

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO
April 2020, SAIMC , SAIMC
South Africa has experienced terrible crimes against humanity over the years and somehow survived them. The idea of this letter is not to discuss who murdered who first, or who took whose country – if ...

Read more...