GIGSA News, June 2015
Counteracting sinkholes with geosynthetics.

Mokolo Dam - Nonwoven Geotextiles
The Mokolo Dam utilized nonwoven geotextile filters 35 years ago. It was one of the first engineered installations in South Africa to use geosynthetics.

The June 2015 issue of GIGSA News is available. The newsletter is published by the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa, one of the International Geosynthetics Society’s (IGS) 43 national and regional chapters. GIGSA is one of the oldest IGS chapters, and with the June 2015 issue the group has taken time to recognize its 21 years of activities and contributions to the field.
The content of the June 2015 issue, which is the second issue of GIGSA News for the year, is wonderful.

  • Chapter president Edoardo Zannoni interviews Alan Parrock, who served as the first president of GIGSA. They recap 21 years of accomplishments and steps and challenges along the way that have built the South African geosynthetics community into one of the world’s strongest.
  • Peter Davies adds a case study on the Mokolo Dam. The site, which continues to perform well today, was one of the first geosynthetics applications in the country. Nonwoven geotextile filters were used there 35 years ago. The performance of this and similar constructions, combined with more recent research, is beneficially contributing to the field’s understanding of the suitability and value of geotextile filters in dams in both critical and non-critical filter zones.
  • A chart of GIGSA’s history

The issue also highlights some important opportunities in geosynthetics in South Africa.

  • Dr. Pat Naughton (Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland) will lead a one-day seminar and evening lecture on soil reinforcement. The evening lecture will be held July 27 in Johannesburg. The one-day seminar will be held July 28 in Midrand. Get full details in the GIGSA News.
  • The program will soon be finalized for Landfill 2015: Advances in Waste Treatment and Engineered Landfill Environment. The 15 – 16 September 2015 event will be held in Western Cape.
  • The IFAT Environmental Technology Forum, which has made a substantial mark on environmental discussions in Europe from its flagship conferences in Munich, continues its international expansion. An Africa series of IFAT events will take place 15 – 18 September 2015 in Johannesburg. This is the inaugural African event from IFAT.
  • The Land Rehabilitation Society of South Africa (LaRSSA) will hold its 3rd Annual LaRSSA Conference 11 – 13 September 2015 in Gauteng.

Download the June 2015 issue with the link atop the article or visit for more information on the people, companies, and activities of GIGSA.