Structural Concrete in South Africa


Some firsts:

Three arched bridges, one in Swellendam of 7,2 m and two of 10,8 m span on the George-Knysna road designed by AW WESTHOFEN using a bastard construction of steel girders buried in mass concrete which is not considered true reinforced concrete and so not credited as the earliest examples of such bridge construction techniques.

Wagon Bridge over the Kowie (1907) at Port Alfred, for which FW WALDRON appears to be the primarily responsible engineer, comprised nine spans of 9,0 m each constructed of reinforced concrete supported on abutments and piers, these in turn supported on reinforced concrete piles. It is thus the first designed reinforced concrete structure in South Africa.

Grain Silos, Cape Town and Durban Docks (1919) designed by WH CLARK, Chief Bridge Engineer for the SA Railways, designed these in reinforced concrete using the novel construction technique of sliding formwork.

Cornelia Colliery, Vereeniging constructed the first reinforced concrete coal washing plant (1929).

ISCOR Cooling Towers, Pretoria (1934) were the first of the hyperbolic reinforced concrete type constructed in South Africa.

Herold & King’s (later Eriksen’s) Garage (1936), Salisbury St, Johannesburg. First reinforced concrete portal framed building of any note in South Africa, with portal structures of 21,0 m span and 0, 695 deep. The reinforced concrete structure was designed and engineered by the SAYLE & ROSSACK.

ESCOM Cooling Towers, Worcester (1961) were the first in South Africa and of the earliest world-wide to use asbestos cement stacking. The stacking was engineered by GUNNING AND MITCHEL and the reinforced concrete shell construction was by A STUART. It stands 83,7 m high and is 60,0 m in diameter.