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UJ, Gauteng Infrastructure agreement advances drone delivery technology

Gauteng Provincial Government’s first of-a-kind drone programme, launched in Etwatwa, Benoni on the 21st of May 2018, has yielded dramatic results, fundamentally changing the way the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) monitors and delivers its high-value building projects such as new schools, clinics, libraries, community centres and hospitals.

These were the sentiments shared on Monday, 29 October 2018, when an update on the collaborative work delivered by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID) was highlighted to accelerate delivery of public infrastructure through smart technologies.

The Vice-Chancellor of UJ, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, agreed to pave a way for the use of innovative technologies to ensure that the delivery of social infrastructure is more efficient, when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MEC of Gauteng Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID), Jacob Mamabolo on Tuesday, 10 July 2018, in Johannesburg.

 

DID now employs five (5) unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor its projects across Gauteng City Region’s five development corridors.

“Since the launch, the programme has been refined and enhanced. Working with IT specialists from the University of Johannesburg the programme has been further strengthened with a range of technological advances,” said DID MEC, Jacob Mamabolo.

“This has fundamentally changed the way DID monitors and delivers its social infrastructure projects. The precise on-the-ground monitoring will cut out wastage and corruption and ensure that public infrastructure is delivered within budget, set time frames and at the right quality.”

Also speaking at the forefront was UJ’s Prof Innocent Musonda, Associate Professor: Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, who added that the introduction of using drone data to monitor project progress against plans, monitoring the use of material on site and project governance and safety controls would enable more efficiencies.

DID MEC Jacob Mamabolo together with Prof Musonda showcased the operations and benefits of the Drone Programme by exploring drone analytics which included measuring project progress and measuring material usage which will assist contractors to get ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is already yielding positive results.

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