In June 2012, SMEC acquired Vela VKE, a professional consulting engineering company in South Africa. Vela VKE has operated since 1947 and opened its first permanent office in Johannesburg in 1951. Vela VKE now has 12 offices throughout South Africa: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Kroonstad, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Rustenburg.
SMEC, via the addition of Vela VKE, provides multi-disciplinary services throughout the Transport sector in South Africa. In the areas of transport planning and public transport systems, two signature projects include the design of a multi-storey transportation centre for the Mangaung Intermodal Project (constructed for the 2010 Soccer World Cup); and the development of the Kathu Transport Master Plan, designed to alleviate traffic congestion associated with the expansion of the Khumani Iron ore mine, in Northern Cape.
SMEC has extensive experience in all aspects of road design for urban and rural freeways and local access roads in South Africa, via the addition of Vela VKE. In Cape Town, Vela VKE provided design services for Chapman's Peak Drive Rehabilitation. This project involved the design of rockfall shelters, high-energy catch fences, structures, civil, geotechnical and electrical components. Another key project which highlights Vela VKE’s design expertise is the upgrade of the Western Freeway in Durban, which carries an average of 122,000 vehicles per day. Vela VKE provided design, geotechnical and pavement rehabilitation services for the upgrade.
In the area of Municipal Services, SMEC is an experienced player in South Africa. Vela VKE provided design services for the Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre, a mixed-use urban development north of Durban. The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is located in the centre of the development. In Port Elizabeth, Vela VKE designed the New Motherwell to Perseverance Bulk Water Pipeline. This pipeline has a capacity of 100ML per day to meet forecast water demand.
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