It is the 2nd time the International Commission On Large Dams (ICOLD2016) came to SA and it was our pleasure listening to the plenary opening and keynote address from the Minister of South African Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Mrs Nomvula Mokonyane. Her speech was more focused on issues related to Dam’s Sustainable, Development and Challenges faced by this sector either locally or globally. The country still remembers the first keynote address opening by the former president Mr Nelson Mandela during 1990’s.
Tlou Integrated Tech is currently providing professional services on several projects to the DWS hence it was critical to have a delegate to ICOLD2016. It was an honor for Ms Isabel Radebe to attend this remarkable dam engineering event on behalf of Tlou. She had an opportunity to listen to global experts presenting technical papers on dams design innovations, dam selection criteria, structural deformations, rehabilitation, upgrades etc and that happened during technical sessions, workshops, symposiums and organised dam tours. That does not limit speakers who expressed concerned on global environmental compliance and those who highlighted issues around climate change effects on dams globally. Though she attended other technical sessions, she was also part of the global technical committee discussions on climate change issues and she is willing to go deeper in this subject and impact the knowledge gain on climate changes effects to contribute to SA remedial programs on behalf of Tlou consulting company. I also learned that geosynthetic materials can be used on selected dam lining and some good things about hydropower generation as a source of energy since this tactic is used globally and in SA dams.
In closing, as she was networking with specialized engineers from different countries, another lady engineer from Norway also shared the same excitement as she explained to her that, when ICOLD2015 came to their country it was also an engineering remarkable event they will never forget. Most of ICOLD2016 Johannesburg attendees, indicated that they do believe ICOLD2017 in Prague will be a successful one as well.