African Society for Trenchless Technology
A Southern African perspective on TT
In the densely populated areas of Western Europe, the United States and East Asia, trenchless techniques are the accepted means of installing new and rehabilitating underground services.
With the rapid urbanisation of Southern Africa's cities there is a corresponding demand for services to meet the needs of the growing population. Traditional open trench methods of service installation are disruptive, potentially unsafe and costly to the public. In addition there is the potential of damage and disruption of existing services.
This approach can be tolerated in the affluent residential suburbs which have wide sidewalks and large gardens. However, in the high density developing urban areas, houses are frequently built before services are installed. There are no sidewalks and the stands are too small to allow for trenching. The only place where trenches can be dug is down the narrow streets. This in itself will cause severe disruption and inconvenience as properties will become inaccessible by vehicles.
Likewise, the industrial and downtown business areas cannot tolerate open trenches. The existing underground services which frequently are unmapped, further aggravate the situation.
Trenchless techniques can significantly reduce these frustrations. Although the use of most of these techniques in Southern Africa is not extensive, the know-how is available.
SASTT is a learned society with members from all fields of trenchless activity. With the needs of our urban society in mind, TT is actively promoted via:
* regular site visits and seminars
* providing information and technical support on TT to interested parties.
SASTT membership includes utility providers, consultants, contractors, equipment suppliers and material suppliers. Hence, the organisation is able to advise those interested with the full spectrum of information about TT.
Updated on 30 September 2009