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Environmental News

Ministers work around the clock to strengthen global climate deal

By: Reuters     14th December 2018 Ministers are working around the clock to complete and strengthen the rules for making a landmark agreement to combat climate change operational, with one day of talks remaining. Delegates from nearly 200 nations are on a self-imposed deadline to produce a "rule book" to flesh out details of... 

Self-sustaining clean energy system developed

By: Paige Müller     14th December 2018 Sustainable energy specialist Hyson Sustainable Energy – situated in Krugersdorp – has developed and patented a fully self-sustaining, energy-producing tower, says Hyson Sustainable Energy MD Sally Hall. “The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’, which was provisionally patented just seven... 

Self-sustaining clean  energy system developed
Photo by Bloomberg
ZERO EMISSIONS The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’ allows for the recycling of liquefied carbon dioxide and water used in the energy generation process, resulting in zero harmful emissions

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The website application Mzansi Amanzi (isiZulu translation of Water South Africa), has the capabilities to monitor and provide insight on surface-water resources across South Africa on a monthly basis, says Mark Thompson, the director of the earth observation technology company GeoTerraImage. The... 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence
THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM WESTERN CAPE Water is going to be the kingpin in just about every decision-making sector

Odourless treatment process produces energy, creates jobs

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 A new labour-based upgrade for wastewater management plants and acid mine drainage plants below ground – the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) process – can be used to produce potable water and energy while reducing costs and creating job opportunities, says engineering and... 

Odourless treatment process produces energy, creates jobs
HYSON CELLS The upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor process is below ground, which allows for natural insulation of the cone structures

DEA launches climate change monitoring app at UN climate change conference

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2018 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on Friday launched the South Africa Biennial Update Report Explorer (BURE) app on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Katowice, Poland. The BURE app is part of South Africa’s Climate Change... 

2019 Petco Awards open for nominations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th December 2018 The South African polyethylene terephthalate (PET) industry’s biggest celebration of recycling and waste management excellence, the Petco Awards, are now open for nominations. The awards recognise leadership and future-thinking across the PET industry and beyond in addressing a reduction in, as... 

Big coal wants consumers to pay for fixing its pollution problem

By: Bloomberg     11th December 2018 Some of the world’s biggest fossil-fuel producers are calling on taxpayers to help them kick their pollution habit. The world’s biggest oil, natural gas and mining companies are stepping up their campaign to deploy carbon capture and storage, or CCS, as way to slow global warming. But with a... 

Growthpoint prepares for Cape Town’s planned ban on wet waste at landfills

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2018 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has partnered with Waste Transformers – an organisation based in Netherlands – to leverage end-of-pipeline food waste from the Reit’s shopping malls and to adopt a decentralised approach to organic waste. This comes ahead of... 

Growthpoint prepares for Cape Town’s planned ban on wet waste at landfills
Waste Transformer's aerobic digester at Growthpoint Properties' N1 City Mall

Asset managers team up to pressure governments on climate change

By: Bloomberg     10th December 2018 Institutional investors increasingly concerned about climate change have teamed up to ask governments to set tougher policies. A group of 415 investors overseeing $32-trillion in assets has signed a letter asking governments to phase out thermal coal, set a price on carbon emissions and end... 

Regius developing coal-to-liquids, fertiliser project in Mozambique

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th December 2018 UK-incorporated company Regius Synfuels is, through its Mozambican subsidiary Regius Synfuels Mozambique, developing an integrated 10 000 bbl/d clean diesel and gasoline and a 409 000 t/y fertiliser project, in the Tete province of Mozambique. The project is registered with the Investment... 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2018 The Western Cape economy remains relatively stable despite challenges affecting consumer spending, says Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Beverley Schäfer. “The province has recorded good gains in employment, and continues to record the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country.” 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy
Beverley Schäfer Growth in the Western Cape economy slowed down over the past years because of the drought that impacted on some of the province’s key sectors such as agriculture and tourism

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 Despite the local sugar industry championing a bioethanol fuel subsidy as a potential method to relieve the burden on sugar through demand diversification, Ethanol Producers Association of Southern Africa secretary, Alf Stevens, suggests that this may not have the timely impact that the local... 

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry
Photo by Bloomberg
SLOW PROGRESS Even if the Biofuels Regulatory Framework is attractive, the first ethanol for biofuel would only reach the petrol blenders by the end of 2021 at the earliest

China’s BRI translating its influence into trade, development and cultural engagements with global South

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2018 The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is an infrastructure development and integration initiative championed and mainly funded by China, has emerged as a conduit for translating China's growing influence into trade, development and cultural engagements and partnership with the global South.... 

The $3bn map – scientists pool oceans of data to plot Earth's final frontier

By: Reuters     6th December 2018 For experts in the field of ocean mapping it is no small irony that we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our planet's sea floor. "Can you imagine operating on the land without a map, or doing anything without a map?" asked Larry Mayer, director of the US-based... 

EVs to become main driver of battery storage deployment over next decade, says Fitch Solutions

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2018 The electric vehicle (EV) market is set to become the main driver of surging battery storage deployment over the next decade, following increasing ambitions by developed and emerging markets to decarbonise their transport sectors, and will have a substantial disruptive effect on how energy is... 

DEA to appoint sulphur dioxide emissions expert panel  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th December 2018 Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will appoint a panel of experts to provide strategic and technical guidance on the effective management of sulphur dioxide from old and existing power generation plants. The decision to appoint a panel comes as a result of the challenges faced by... 

DEA to appoint sulphur dioxide emissions expert panel
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane

Mpumalanga remains under strain as water pollution continues

By: Simone Liedtke     4th December 2018 Residents of Mpumalanga remain concerned about sewage spillages and wastewater challenges. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has received complaints about alleged sewage spillages and/or the inadequate treatment of wastewater. 

The final frontier: who owns the oceans and their hidden treasures?

By: Reuters     4th December 2018 Ransom-hungry pirates, polar explorers, offshore oil giants - the race for the riches of the world's final frontier is on. From Thailand to Alaska, the battle to tap ever-dwindling resources from minerals to fish is spurring new conflicts over who has the right to the treasures of the deep seas. 

Pollutec covers full spectrum of environmental industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd December 2018 Environmental trade show Pollutec concluded a successful fortieth anniversary, in Lyon, France, last week. This year’s event saw an increase in the number of international exhibitors and also hosted three new pavilions – Korea, Hungary and Italy. 

Pollutec covers full spectrum of environmental industry
Photo by Tasneem Bulbulia
Display depicting ocean pollution

Germany seeks private funds for climate projects in Africa, elsewhere – newspaper

By: Reuters     3rd December 2018 Germany will unveil an initiative at UN talks on climate change this week to attract more private investment in projects in Africa and elsewhere, Development Minister Gerd Mueller said. Mueller told the RND newspaper network that Germany would "send a strong signal" at the UN climate conference... 

Court sets aside decision permitting mining in protected area

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     30th November 2018 The North Gauteng High Court earlier this month set aside a 2016 decision of former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and late Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa that permitted a new coal mine to be developed in the Mabola protected environment, in Mpumalanga. Under the... 

Court sets aside decision permitting mining  in protected area
CHRISTINE REDDELL The Centre for Environmental Rights has been continuously campaigning for administrative penalties to be introduced as part of South African environmental law

Alignment of solutions needed for water security

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     30th November 2018 Nature-based and engineering solutions should be aligned and the value of ecological infrastructure must be recognised for water security, says South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) ecological infrastructure director Mahlodi Tau. In May, Sanbi launched a R90-milllion Ecological... 

Alignment of solutions needed for water security
COMBINING INFRASTRUCTURE The R90-million water security project seeks to illustrate the complementarity and the support that ecological infrastructure offers built infrastructure

Circular economy presents opportunities for Africa

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     30th November 2018 The circular economy, as a reformative system, presents significant opportunities for Africa to deliver on more inclusive economic growth, which includes job opportunities and the positive environmental practices that are in dire need for sustainable growth, says waste management company... 

Circular economy presents opportunities for Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
GROWING SECTOR The waste picker sector is growing and plays a key role in South Africa’s recycling strategy

Company opens new energy and resource recovery facility

30th November 2018 Waste management service provider Oricol Environmental Services earlier this month opened its new resource recovery facility in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal. The facility has been certified to the international standard ISO 14001:2015. It specifies the requirements for an environmental management... 

Company opens new energy and resource  recovery facility
RECOVERY FACILITY The Cato Ridge facility is permitted to process hazardous solids, liquids and sludges, which includes solvents, oils and oils sludges, paint sludges, solids, acids and bases

Govt should urgently plan for massive cyclone storm damage in SA - Wits researcher

By: News24Wire      29th November 2018 The South African government should begin to urgently plan to deal with the impact of Category 5 storms resulting from an increase in the severity of cyclone activity in the Indian Ocean. According to Wits University researcher Dr Jennifer Fitchett, these storms are related to the increase in... 

Pollutec off to a resounding start

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th November 2018 Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce GM Martial Tapsoba this week expressed his pleasure at the country being honoured at this year’s Pollutec 2018 – an environmental trade show that attracts thousands of exhibitors showcasing eco-innovations and clean technology solutions. The event, being held in... 

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises

By: Simone Liedtke     28th November 2018 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology in a world facing the impact of climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, diversified miner Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first... 

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises
Photo by Simone Liedtke
The University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first institutional anaerobic digester at nonprofit organisation EARTH Centre’s premises, in Johannesburg

EU's climate chief calls for bloc to go for net-zero emissions by 2050

By: Reuters     28th November 2018 The European Union's (EU's) climate chief on Tuesday called on the bloc to aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the most ambitious path in a long-term strategy due to be announced on Wednesday. With President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of international efforts to... 

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm

By: Simone Liedtke     27th November 2018 The gazetting of the overhauled National Environment Management Act (Nema) will ensure more mines are held accountable and meet their obligations in terms of financial provisioning for environmental rehabilitation, says law firm Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn... 

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm
Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn Rapson

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

By: News24Wire      27th November 2018 The government has lost out on more than R1-billion in VAT from drought-stricken farmers who were forced to cut production after their irrigation water from the Cape supply dams was radically reduced a year ago. Agri Western Cape CEO Carl Opperman said on Monday this was one of the facts he... 

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

UN goes online for 'most important discussion' of the century

By: Reuters     23rd November 2018 With a virtual summit on Thursday and veteran British naturalist David Attenborough set to represent "the people" at December's crucial climate talks, the United Nations and frontline nations are pushing for more ordinary citizens to tackle global warming. Supported by the world's biggest... 

Large scale erosion control at Pepper Bay

23rd November 2018 A large-scale erosion-control retaining wall to stabilise the existing eroded embankments in the Pepper Bay harbour area on the West Coast was initiated in the interest of public safety by the Department of Public Works. The embankments consist of multiple layers of sedimentation reaching up to... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 The University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering Department has developed a process to grow bricks that can be any shape using sand, bacteria and human urine. The bricks are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) – the same substance as limestone, coral reefs, egg- and seashells – and sand cemented... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine
GROWING BRICKS Sand, bacteria, fertiliser and urine produce calcium carbonate bricks in any shape

Global carbon dioxide levels hit a new record in 2017, UN says

By: Reuters     22nd November 2018 The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record last year with emissions showing no sign of slowing down, the UN World Meteorological Organization said on Thursday. The annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin dashed hopes for a slowdown in emissions of CO2 – the byproduct of burning fossil... 

Carbon Tax Bill provides for tax-free allowances of up to 95%, but concern over impact persists 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2018 South Africa’s National Treasury has included several transitional tax-free allowances in the Carbon Tax Bill tabled in Parliament this week. The allowances will result in an effective carbon tax rate of between R6/t and R48/t for carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions released by industrial... 

Carbon Tax Bill provides for tax-free allowances of up to 95%, but concern over impact persists

Countries urged to embrace greener energy sources 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st November 2018 Amid rising global energy demand, University of the Witwatersrand visiting adjunct professor Adam Luckos urges developing countries to embrace greener energy principles. To do this without jeopardising economic growth, he suggests that developing countries, where coal is the most viable... 

Countries urged to embrace greener energy sources
Photo by Dylan Slater
University of the Witwatersrand visiting adjunct professor Adam Luckos

Vaal River pollution: 'There have been challenges to compliance', Sasol says

By: News24Wire      21st November 2018 Petrochemicals giant Sasol has denied that it is responsible for pollution in the Vaal river. However, it has admitted struggling to interpret some compliance requirements with regard to regulations on the discharge of waste. According to a report by the Department of Water and Sanitation... 

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