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Thu, 16 May 2019
Egypt opens world’s widest suspension bridge

Egypt on Wednesday opened the world’s widest suspension bridge, across the Nile, in what is one of a series of military-led, mega-projects designed to improve infrastructure and provide jobs.

The bridge, which crosses the Nile just north of central Cairo, is a key link in a highway stretching from the Red Sea in the east to Egypt’s northwestern Mediterranean coast, and is meant to help reduce congestion in the capital.

Traffic ground to a halt in parts of central Cairo on Wednesday morning as president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi travelled to open the bridge with ministers and military generals.

World’s Widest

At its widest, the bridge has six traffic lanes in each direction and measures 67.3 metres (222 feet) across. A regional director for the Guinness Book of World Records present at the opening said that makes it the world’s widest suspension bridge.

Around one million cubic metres of concrete as well as 1,400 km (2,268 miles) of steel wire for 160 suspension cables were used in its construction, according to a presentation given at the formal opening.

The bridge crosses the Nile’s Warraq Island, which has an estimated 100,000 residents, some of whom have protested against planned demolitions on the island and plans to develop it into a “modern residential community”.

On an inspection visit to the suspension bridge last month, Sisi denied reports the island could be sold to investors and said the state could not forcefully evict residents.

Other prestige projects launched under Sisi include an expansion of the Suez Canal, completed in 2015, and the building of a new capital in the desert east of Cairo that is currently under construction.



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Tue, 23 Apr 2019

Co-working is a self-directed, collaborative, flexible and voluntary work style that is based on mutual trust and the sharing of common core values between its participants. In these co-working environments, one tends to find people from the same industry or background sharing the space, whereas in a makerspace it is quite common to find people from totally different industries and backgrounds working in unison. For example, on one side of the workshop, Craig is assembling his composting mulching machine, when Johan walks in to use the 3D printers to build a part for his company’s latest prototype.

A makerspace can also be an extension of a user’s own workshop where one needs to use a set of tools or machines to complete a project, which they do not have access to. These are usually tools that have a very high capital and running cost, which need to be housed in a warehouse and run on phase electricity and sometimes compressed air. The costs of owning and maintaining a dedicated workshop or office space can be overwhelming, which is why the idea of a co-working space or makerspace becomes very appealing as these costs are shared amongst the members using the facility.

Free training

We often have new members who do not know how to use the machinery. We provide them with training, but we often find that their interaction with other members improves their confidence and abilities on the machinery. If we have an open attitude towards training and spreading knowledge on manufacturing techniques, users become more willing to help each other. This is the main reason we provide most of our training on the machines free of charge to members.

Made In Workshop has invested in a shared workshop equipped with heavy duty industrial machinery, such as laser cutters, lathes and CNC equipment. The fourth industrial revolution has made these types of equipment easier to use and more appealing than ever. Users can develop prototypes and products at a much faster rate than ever before with the help of these machines. From a cash flow perspective, a makerspace is ideal for startup entrepreneurs looking for workshop space and equipment without the high upfront costs. The value offered by makerspaces to SME manufacturers cannot just be measured in terms of capital expenditure, but also in terms of flexibility and time.

In the future, we see the maker and co-working communities merging to allow for a more collaborative environment between technical and creative individuals, and Made In Workshop wants to lead the way. We are actively looking at partnering with existing co-working spaces in the upcoming future.


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Mon, 01 Apr 2019
There will be affordable inner-city housing in Cape Town, but only when the...
Inner-city affordable housing is on the cards for Cape Town if the provincial Department of Human Settlements has its way. On Tuesday, MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela revealed plans to build housing in the Cape Town inner city — but could not provide specific timelines for when construction would begin in areas his department has identified. However, the civil society group Ndifuna Ukwazi is cautious of promises made close to an election.

There are plans for affordable housing in Cape Town’s inner-city areas — the CBD, Bo-Kaap and the wealthier suburbs of Oranjezicht and Tamboerskloof — which will provide 10,000 housing opportunities, but Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says the developments cannot begin until planning phases are completed by his department.

“Various pockets of land of approximately 8.4 hectares have been identified and secured,” said Madikizela on Tuesday morning, during his department’s budget speech in the Western Cape provincial parliament in Cape Town.

Madikizela, the Western Cape DA provincial leader, delivered his department’s budget speech amid interjections and interruptions from ANC MPLs.

“In 10 years no social housing in the CBD,” ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore shouted at the Human Settlements MEC.

In spite of the noise from opposition MPLs, Madikizela proceeded to set out plans for the department for the 2019-20 financial year, with its budget of just under R2.6-billion.

The announcement of the planned implementation of social and affordable housing in some Cape Town inner-city areas went relatively unnoticed by opposition MPLs.

Daily Maverick asked Madikizela if there was a timeline for this housing construction in areas such as Bo-Kaap and Oranjezicht.

“Where we are now, we have embarked on a process where we identified pieces of land we could use,” the MEC replied. “We will keep you updated.”

Madikizela said the department had researched who owned each piece of land and how the province could acquire it, but said timelines for these properties could be done only once the department concluded its planning phase.

Affordable and social housing has been an issue housing activist groups such as Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi have been advocating for.

Earlier in March 2019, Ndifuna Ukwazi released a report titled City Leases: Cape Town’s Failure to Redistribute Land where it argued for 24 areas owned by the City of Cape Town that could be redistributed into mixed and social housing.

Nick Budlender, a researcher for the report, told Daily Maverick:

“Well located affordable housing is crucial to the social, environmental and financial stability to Cape Town.”

Budlender pointed out provincially owned sites such as Tafelberg, the Government Garage and top yard, as well as Moray Place in Oranjezicht that could be used if the province wanted to roll out social housing immediately.

Although Budlender said affordable housing was a step towards redressing apartheid spatial planning — both in the past and in the present — he cautioned against this being a promise made during an election cycle.

“However, promises made by politicians during election season should always be approached with caution. It is too early to celebrate.

“We note that the province has repeatedly argued that our calls for affordable housing on smaller parcels [...]

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