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Environmental Studies News

Greenpeace opposes Eskom’s application to postpone air quality legislation compliance

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2019 Nonprofit organisation Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to State-owned Eskom’s application for further postponements and/or suspensions from air quality legislation. The organisation explained that, in the interests of realising the Constitutional right to a healthy... 

'No tomorrow' for many unless consumption falls – UN

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 Global exploitation of natural resources – from water, sand and timber to oil, coal and gemstones – has more than tripled in 50 years, the United Nations (UN) said on Tuesday, warning of devastating environmental impacts unless demand is reduced. Surging consumption of natural resources –... 

Ramaphosa takes Good Green Deeds environmental programme to the people

By: African News Agency      7th March 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa will, on Friday, International Women's Day, officially launch the national Good Green Deeds programme in East London, Eastern Cape, at the Sisa Dukashe stadium in Mdantsane.  Provinces are expected to host similar Good Green Deeds activities simultaneously, the... 

DEA to undertake R7m water quality testing project in PE

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd February 2019 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will lead a R7-million water quality testing project, titled ‘Improving Ocean Governance in the Benguela Current Large Marine Econsystem’ (BCLME III) in the Swartkops area, in Port Elizabeth. The project is being implemented by the Benguela Current... 

UJ study provides glimpse into early stages of species formation in the sea

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th February 2019 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Wednesday reported findings of an international study published in “Proceedings of the Royal Society B”, substantiating that warm and cool water temperatures over a long stretch of coastline cause new species of marine fish to evolve without being isolated... 

UCT scientists part of international study of Antarctic waters

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th February 2019 University of Cape Town (UCT) scientists, Dr Marcel du Plessis and Isabelle Giddy, are part of an international study team that is attempting to occupy and collect vital measurements of the frigid ice-covered waters of Antarctica – the least studied place on the planet. During winter, Antarctic... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland 

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2019 Mining can and will deliver massive benefits if all stakeholders work together, Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday Speaking on the third day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he outlined the huge potential of collaborative government,... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland
Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland speaks about the winds of change blowing in South Africa and the DRC and the benefits mining companies, African governments and communities can reap if all parties work together. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Research shows West Africa is facing more frequent severe storms

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st February 2019 A multinational research consortium of British, French and West African institutes and scientists, funded by the UK Government, has ascertained that “mega storms” in West Africa occur three times more frequently today than they did 35 years ago. The results of the research are being applied to... 

Could alien tree clearing near dams be Cape Town's solution to saving water? 

By: News24Wire      31st January 2019 Cape Town is losing 50-billion litres of water every year to thirsty alien trees surrounding the region’s supply dams – equivalent to two months’ water supply effectively going down the drain. For those who doubt the hydrological models that have come up with this figure, there will soon be hard... 

Rhodes University to lead £20m international collaborative ocean project

By: African News Agency      29th January 2019 Rhodes University is set to lead a £20-million international collaborative project to influence ocean health and integrated ocean governance for equitable and inclusive sustainability. The One Ocean Hub is one of twelve innovation hub programmes approved by the UK Research Innovation’s Global... 

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report   

By: Sane Dhlamini     28th January 2019 The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) launched the Foresight Africa report on Monday, in Johannesburg, highlighting the top priorities for the continent in 2019.  AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly... 

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report
AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly & ISS senior research consultant Liesl Louw-Vaudran on the Foresight Africa report (Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling)

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

By: Sashnee Moodley     24th January 2019 Funding agency United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) have selected University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers to establish research hubs at UK universities, to tackle some of the development challenges facing the world. The hubs offer five... 

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

How the cargo ship industry is cleaning up its filthy act

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2019 Air pollution from cars and factories has been regulated in much of the world since the 1970s. When it comes to the smoke-belching ships that carry global trade, the rules have been a lot looser. Big changes start next January, though, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime... 

There’s a tiny plastic enemy threatening the planet’s oceans

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2019 Environmentalists have identified another threat to the planet. It’s called a nurdle. Nurdles are tiny pellets of plastic resin no bigger than a pencil eraser that manufacturers transform into packaging, plastic straws, water bottles and other typical targets of environmental action. 

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

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... 

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

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

Court sets aside decision allowing coal mine in Mabola Protected Environment

By: News24Wire      9th November 2018 The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has set aside a 2016 decision allowing a new coal mine to be developed in the Mabola Protected Environment near Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga. The decision had been made by of former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and late environmental affairs... 

New oil, gas opportunities emerge in Sudan, Niger

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Some countries in Africa are emerging as potentially exciting players in the oil and gas space – from Sudan, which has emerged out of the clutches of civil war, to Niger, which is rising up as a new producer of petroleum products. Sudanese Petroleum and Gas Minister Azhari Abdalla Abdelgader on... 

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification

By: Halima Frost     2nd November 2018 Cleaning chemicals manufacturer Blendwell Chemicals is the first South African company to be awarded the international GreenTag certification for its Enviroblend range.  GreenTag, which is recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa, is an international certifying body that claims... 

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification
GREEN GREASE Green degreaser chemicals supplied for industrial applications are available from Blendwell Chemicals

Industries must address legacy contamination – firm

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Despite a significant improvement in the parameters outlined by current environmental policy – often diligently upheld by the local chemicals and petrochemicals industries – multidisciplinary engineering consultant SRK Consulting states that historic practices caused by lack of knowledge have... 

Industries must address  legacy contamination – firm
CONTAMINATED SITE Significant harm has arisen from a legacy of poor waste management, particularly within the chemicals industry

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2018 After acknowledging that its KwaZulu-Natal-based Shongweni landfill was a contributor to malodour, waste management company EnviroServ has returned to its “old way of disposing of waste”, which comprises using lime to raise the alkalinity (pH) levels at its landfill sites. This decision,... 

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue
Shongweni landfill, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Opportunities abound for Italian entrepreneurs expanding into Africa

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th October 2018 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries says Italian companies are becoming increasingly positive about the opportunities offered by South Africa, which is being acknowledged as a hub from which to expand and invest into surrounding African countries, says Italian-South African... 

Unesco ready to help protect Kogelberg biosphere amid drilling programme

By: News24Wire      8th October 2018 Unesco has offered South Africa "technical support" to protect the Kogelberg biosphere and preserve the Unesco status of the reserve, which has one of the highest levels of biodiversity and endemism on the planet. Unesco chief of media services George Papagiannis said this week that "Unesco was... 

Marine waste a pressing issue, but few solutions in sight

By: Dylan Slater     5th October 2018 Plastics have become the “ubiquitous workhorse material” of the modern economy, combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost, and its use has increased twenty-fold in the past half-century, according to circular economy advocacy charity The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  

Marine waste a pressing issue, but few solutions in sight

Mars’ sustainable generation plan achieves key milestones globally, locally

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2018 Mars Multisales Africa, a division of global family-owned food company Mars, has recorded progress with its global Sustainable in a Generation plan, which was launched globally last year. The plan is designed to make tangible, scientifically-based changes to the way Mars does business globally. 

IPCC opens meeting to consider 1.5 °C report

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2018 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a meeting on Monday to consider its special report on global warming of 1.5 °C. Representatives of the IPCC’s 195 member governments will work with scientists from the IPCC from October 1 to 5 to finalise the Summary for Policymakers of... 

Drilling for water 'makes no economic sense'

By: News24Wire      1st October 2018 The City of Cape Town's (CoCT) borehole drilling programme has scientists scratching their heads at the apparent determination of the City to drill into the hard rock of the Table Mountain Group Aquifer (TMGA) at great cost, while other cheaper and more environment-friendly options are not first... 

Damage to West Coast beaches from mining can be kept to 'acceptable' levels, say consultants

By: News24Wire      26th September 2018 Consultants employed by Australian company Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) have acknowledged that the massive expansion of mining for mineral sands on 10 West Coast beaches north of the Olifants River estuary will cause unavoidable environmental damage, but claim that the damage can be reduced to... 

South African phosphate miner plans London IPO by year-end – CEO

By: Reuters     25th September 2018 South African phosphate miner, Kropz, is on track to list on London's Aim Stock Exchange by the end of the year as it prepares for first production from its main asset in 2019, its chief executive said on Tuesday. Kropz wants to raise cash to pay down debt and further develop its Elandsfontein... 

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader 

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Energy Institute researcher, South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) Fellow, energy expert and passionate educator professor Philip Lloyd passed away last month. He championed the role of science and how one needs to learn the language of... 

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader
PHILIP LLOYD Philip Lloyd contributed to the nation as an eminent engineer, as well as through mathematics and science education programmes for underprivileged children

Tiny beetle is killing SA's trees – and nothing can stop it

By: News24Wire      5th September 2018 A beetle smaller than a sesame seed is killing huge trees throughout South Africa, and little can be done to stop it. The polyphagous shot hole borer, a native of southeast Asia no bigger than 2mm, has found its way to South Africa and is infesting trees at an alarming rate. According to... 

Technical analytical firm offers sector-focused laboratory services

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2018 Sci-Ba focuses on providing highly technical analytical services for commercial companies across a range of industries and has been divided into ten sector-focused laboratories to cater for the needs of specific industries, says Sci-Ba co-founder and director David Long. Developing new tests and... 

Technical analytical firm offers sector-focused laboratory services
INDUSTRIAL TESTING Sci-Ba’s scientists are specialised in chemistry, environmental science, hydrology, geology and mineralogy serving Africa, Europe and the Middle East clients

Trawling for a cleaner environment

24th August 2018 An international study has revealed that South African Hake has a low environmental impact; this and the fact that South African Hake comes from a sustainable and well managed fishery, makes it a good choice over beef and many other forms of animal proteins. According to the study − published in... 

Trawling for a  cleaner environment
HAKING ITS TOLL Hake takes less toll on the environment than most other farmed proteins

Biojet feasibility project under way

By: Paige Müller     17th August 2018 The Waste to Wing feasibility project, aimed at ascertaining the viability of waste-based sustainable aviation biofuel production and consumption in South Africa, is under way, says nature conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA). WWF-SA bioenergy programme... 

Biojet feasibility project under way
Photo by Creamer Media
PROOF OF CONCEPT Waste to Wing aims to prove that biojet fuel can be used economically in South Africa and that it can offer an inclusive value chain

Research chairs established to assist South African waste sector

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2018 The South African waste sector is in desperate need of change, says Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap Implementation Unit manager Professor Linda Godfrey. Speaking at the launch of South Africa’s first research chairs in... 

Research chairs established to assist South African waste sector
Photo by Dylan Slater
University of the Western Cape professor Catherina Schenk
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