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Environmental News

Enviro reporting, licensing processes to enjoy extended timeframes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 29 minutes ago Law firm Webber Wentzel says that, in light of the current restrictions of movement of people in South Africa to curb the spread of Covid-19, various timeframes around environmental applications and others have been extended. Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy on March... 

Africa to face new challenges amid Covid-19 outbreak

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa will probably look different from what has been observed in other parts of the world, as the continent's demographic is unique and different to other countries, according to a new publication by management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

Staying home most effective way to contain Covid-19 – Ramaphosa

By: Sane Dhlamini     30th March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said it was clear that the most effective way for a society to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus is for the population to remain at home and physically isolated from each other for at least several weeks. As South Africa enters day 4 of its national... 

Staying home most effective way to contain Covid-19 – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Greenpeace opposed to weakening of emission standards

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy last week gazetted the doubling of minimum emission standards (MES) for sulphur dioxide, weakening the limit from 500 mg/Nm3 to 1 000 mg/Nm3. Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaigner Bukelwa Nzimande has responded negatively to... 

Greenpeace opposed to weakening of emission standards

Wastepaper R&D receives R2m from local industry body

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     27th March 2020 Fibre Circle, the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the paper and paper packaging sectors, has earmarked R2-million for research and development (R&D) in the areas of alternate and innovative uses for recovered paper as well as the provision of recycling equipment for micropreneurs... 

Industry reaction to Minister’s call for higher levels of clean-coal investment

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 There is much scepticism domestically and internationally about the potential for clean-coal technology (CCT). In South Africa, however, there has been an amplification in recent months of calls for accelerated efforts to be made to finding innovative solutions to the serious environmental and... 

Industry reaction to Minister’s call for higher levels  of clean-coal investment
Photo by GE
POWER PLANT OPTIMISATION Eskom’s Kusile power station’s use of the wet flue gas desulphurisation technology ensures lower emissions

Lack of port development a concern

By: Tracy Hancock     27th March 2020 While there is some movement in the development of South Africa’s port infrastructure by the private sector, the overall stagnation of its development is concerning, law firm Bowmans ports, transport and logistics head Andrew Pike tells Engineering News. He says this lack of activity may largely... 

Lack of port development a concern
ANDREW PIKE The Port of Durban is often congested with trucks that should be transporting up to five or more containers a day but only manage one, if lucky

Waste generation likely to increase during national lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     26th March 2020 Waste generation at households is expected to increase as South Africans prepare to stay indoors for the next three weeks, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) said on March 25. Owing to this, the institute said it supported the continuation of waste collection, processing... 

Black rhino population increases by 800

By: African News Agency      24th March 2020 The number of critically endangered black rhino in the wild have increased by nearly 800 over a six-year period, according to a statement released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The black rhino population across Africa has grown at a modest annual rate of 2.5% from an... 

Greenpeace against granting of MES compliance postponement to Eskom 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2020 South Africa’s National Air Quality Officer Dr Thuli Khumalo’s decision on Eskom’s application for a postponement from complying with the Minimum Emission Standards (MES) at the end of this month could have implications as far reaching as the country’s water security, says Greenpeace Africa.... 

Greenpeace against granting of MES compliance postponement to Eskom

Facility upgrades help to ramp up supply

By: Halima Frost     20th March 2020 Local high pressure pump supplier Werner South Africa Pumps & Equipment has successfully improved its turnaround time from between four and six months to between two and three months to manufacture a truck mounted pump system, depending on the unit ordered. “This is subsequent to the... 

Facility upgrades help to  ramp up supply
UNDER THE PUMP Werner Pumps has managed to increase its turnaround time, to relieve the pressure of increased demand, by upgrading its facilities

Growing interest in green bonds

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Local interest in green bond and/or securitisation instruments is robust and growing, says financial services provider Nedbank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) debt capital markets origination principal, Arvana Singh. Nedbank issued R2.7-billion in 2019 across two auctions, which it says... 

Growing interest in green bonds
ARVANA SINGH Increasing pressure is being placed on investors and financiers to allocate capital responsibly

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Choosing between a low-carbon future and Africa’s economic growth is a false dichotomy, as these goals do not need to be in competition, says independent power producer Pele Energy Group founder Fumani Mthembi, a speaker at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa. “The global investment... 

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path
SUNNY DISPOSITION The global investment sector is increasingly more interested in funding renewable-energy projects, such as solar farms, as opposed to coal projects

Cape Town commercial building showcases pioneering use of ecobricks

By: Kim Cloete     19th March 2020 A new building under construction at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has become among the first commercial buildings in the world to use ecobrick technology.   Recycled beverage bottles, including the typical ‘Coke’ 2 litre bottles, are being used as ecobricks in the construction of The Ridge, a... 

Effective forest management strengthens resilience against climate-related natural disasters

By: Yvonne Silaule     13th March 2020 Effective forest management can strengthen resilience and bolster capacity for adaptation when it comes to climate-related natural disasters, says Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu. Speaking at the opening of the twenty-second African Forestry and Wildlife... 

Water ‘crisis’ needs private-sector intervention

By: Darren Parker     13th March 2020 It is essential for the private sector to proactively contribute more towards the upliftment of water infrastructure and services in South Africa, said water engineering company Talbot economist Mike Smith and Talbot strategic director Helen Hulett during a seminar on South Africa’s water... 

Water ‘crisis’ needs private-sector intervention
Photo by Bloomberg
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL If the private sector invests in water infrastructure projects, it can help ensure water security

Water security needs diverse, flexible systems

By: Darren Parker     13th March 2020 As climate change increasingly poses a risk to water security, the flexibility and diversity of bulk water distribution and the effective management of these systems are essential to secure future water supply. “Water security depends on the systems that are in place to manage it. Risk is system... 

Water security needs diverse, flexible systems
Photo by Creamer Media
A SALINE SOLUTION One way of ensuring a guaranteed supply of clean water is through desalination, as is done in Namibia

Carbon storage vital to chemicals projects

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 With the global drive to meet climate targets and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a vital emissions reduction technology for the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, says international think-tank Global CCS Institute advocacy and... 

Carbon storage vital to  chemicals projects
Photo by Bloomberg
DECARBONISING INDUSTRY Efforts from government and industry are needed to address carbon emissions from chemical and petrochemical production and the use and disposal of chemical products

ESG gaining prominence in SA, but more to be done

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th March 2020 Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is gaining prominence in South Africa, but is still not at the level it should be, a panel of speakers at FTI Consulting’s ESG breakfast discussion, held in Johannesburg on Tuesday, agreed. Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership... 

A recycling plan to clear wind turbine blades from landfills

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2020 It’s difficult to recycle a gigantic wind turbine. The blades are built to withstand extreme weather, from scorching desert heat to hurricane-like winds, and that means their life almost always ends in a landfill. In Europe alone, about 3,800 blades will be removed every year through at least... 

Company to improve processes with new furnaces

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 Local metalworking company Thomas Foundry is set to improve and increase the efficiency of its metalworking and manufacturing processes with the purchase of four new induction furnaces. The order was placed in September last year to replace three decommissioned furnaces – a 1 t furnace and two 5... 

Company to improve  processes with new furnaces
FORGING AHEAD The company has purchased 4 new furnaces to reduce electricity consumption, improve quality and productivity, improving environmental compliance and reducing maintenance costs

4IR, rail projects can grow local foundries industry

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 The local foundries, forges and casting industry can benefit from following the global trend of metal casting companies implementing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies. An abundance of infrastructure projects, such as rail projects from State-owned rail utility Transnet, has the... 

4IR, rail projects  can grow local  foundries industry
GLEN DIKGALE There are opportunities for the local foundry industry. Government is increasingly talking about sourcing equipment locally, so we need to comply with requirements

M&R confirms coronavirus-linked disruptions at two project sites 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2020 Specialist engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has initiated a study into the potential health and commercial effects of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, on its projects and people, confirming on Thursday that the outbreak was already affecting project delivery in South Africa... 

M&R confirms coronavirus-linked disruptions at two project sites
Photo by Creamer Media
Murray & Roberts CEO Henry Laas

Standard Bank releases policy on lending to thermal coal mining projects 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th March 2020 Financial services provider Standard Bank has released its Thermal Coal Mining Policy, making it the first South African bank to publicly release a policy on lending to coal mining projects. This follows a landmark shareholder vote in favour of a climate risk-related shareholder resolution which... 

Standard Bank releases policy on lending to thermal coal mining projects

Global warming fast shrinking rainforest role as climate protector

By: Bloomberg     5th March 2020 The amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide that can be sucked up from the atmosphere and stored by tropical forests is falling as the global climate heats up, researchers said on Wednesday. They warned in a study that rainforests could tip from absorbing carbon to becoming a source of emissions... 

Mpact performs well, despite 2019 financial year not having gone ‘to plan’

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2020 The weak South African economy, low business and consumer confidence, as well as the re-emergence of load-shedding and uncertainty in a number of areas, had a marked impact on paper and plastics packaging business Mpact’s customers and consumer-facing business in 2019. This resulted in tough... 

Mpact performs well, despite 2019 financial year not having gone ‘to plan’
Mpact's paper punnets

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

By: Kim Cloete     4th March 2020 Getting more energy to more people in Africa is imperative, particularly as the continent's population is set to soar over the next few decades, the Africa Energy Indaba has heard. “This is an opportunity for all of us to move forward faster and further together,” World Energy Council secretary... 

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

Germany moves into hydrogen with lessons from Opec, Russia 

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 Germany is taking its first steps to build an economy based on hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, seeking to deliver both green growth and to avoid being trapped by a small cartel of suppliers. Ministers have been quietly lining up deals with nations including Nigeria that might produce hydrogen... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2020 Eskom's megapower station Medupi is suffocating South Africa in more ways than one: It is not just a financial black hole; it is also a health and environmental catastrophe. And the installation of crucial technology to make it less poisonous has once again been delayed. For years, Eskom has... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers

Standard Bank issues South Africa’s first offshore green bond

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Standard Bank has issued its first-ever green bond through a private placement with development finance institution, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The $200-million bond, which is Africa’s largest green bond and South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance, has been listed on... 

Standard Bank issues South Africa’s first offshore green bond
Photo by Creamer Media
Standard Bank CE Sim Tshabalala

Water challenges flagged as potential deterrent to investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 Amid growing uncertainty on the rising cost and scarcity of water, infrastructure gaps and the potential of water-shedding, water and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are increasingly looming large on the radar of ratings agencies. South Africa stands at the cusp of another... 

Beware of biodegradable and compostable plastics – Plastics SA

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 The introduction of bioplastics to South Africa’s burgeoning and well-developed recycling industry should carefully be considered, says plastics industry association Plastics SA. Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources that are not grown or intended for human... 

Beware of biodegradable and compostable plastics – Plastics SA
LITTERING IS TRASHY Alternatives to conventional plastic packaging do not change consumer behaviour with regard to littering

Products reduce plastic waste, improve packaging

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 Packaging supplier Baypac Solutions’ innovative solutions have resulted in its  customers being able to reduce their use of disposable plastic by 50% on average. Using one or all of Baypac Solutions’ Lock n Pop adhesive, Anti-Slip sheets and 55-layer Nanotechnology stretch film can halve stretch... 

Retailer to reduce single-use plastic impact

28th February 2020 Retail company Pick n Pay is moving to dramatically reduce the impact of single-use plastic and packaging by 2025. Since 2018, the retailer has successfully implemented a number of initiatives to reduce packaging and single-use plastic at its stores and throughout its supply chain. 

Flooring company to start green project

By: Halima Frost     28th February 2020 Flooring contractor KBAC Flooring will handle a 1 400 m2   external raised paving installation project in Centurion for M&T Development, set to start in April 2020. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa using a unique locally manufactured product. KBAC Flooring will... 

Flooring company to start green project
UPLIFTING Raised flooring allows for increased aesthetic appeal and accesses to hidden building services

Cableway company is taking on a mountain of waste

By: News24Wire      27th February 2020 There is an ongoing battle to keep Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain clear of rubbish. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) is actively engaged in recycling the rubbish that accumulates as a result of human activity on the mountain. 

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