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Environmental News

Climate change remains a top concern for people alongside Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd April 2020 Market research and consultancy firm Ipsos has reminded governments to not take their eyes off the issue of climate change amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm notes that eight in every ten South Africans surveyed online believed at the start of this year that average temperatures would... 

Spar introduces new 2 ℓ fully-recyclable milk carton

By: Donna Slater     17th April 2020 Household goods retailer Spar has launched a new 100% recyclable 2 ℓ milk carton, which is made from 87% renewable resources. The entire carton closure, including the cap, is made from plant-based material, and the board used to make the cartons, comes from responsibly-managed forests that are... 

Modular power solutions increasing in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     17th April 2020 In most power plants across Africa, clients prefer to install modular-type solutions, also known as containerised solutions or e-houses, and dry-type transformers fit “perfectly” within this scope, says transformer supplier and specialist Trafo Power Solutions MD David Claassen. The preference... 

Modular power solutions increasing in Africa
DAVID CLAASSEN Trafo also designs and customises its transformers according to client specifications and requirements

Decarbonising of local power generation sedate

By: Tracy Hancock     17th April 2020 Decarbonising South Africa’s electricity generation is no longer a technical challenge, it is a political and economic issue, says University of Pretoria Graduate School of Technology Management professor David Walwyn.  The Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) forecasts that it will take... 

Decarbonising of local power generation sedate
RENEWED PROJECTION The growing appeal of grid-tied and standalone rooftop solar systems may alter the Integrated Resource Plan’s 30-year projection for the decarbonising of South Africa’s electric power generation

BlackRock launches impact fund towards companies driving sustainable goals

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th April 2020 Financial technology provider BlackRock has launched a high-conviction active equity impact strategy called the BlackRock Global Impact Fund. The fund gives investors the opportunity to direct their investments toward companies helping to address major world challenges.  

Standard Bank says it is not legally obliged to have voting on proposed climate resolutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th April 2020 Standard Bank has decided to not table proposed climate change risk resolutions for voting by shareholders at its annual general meeting (AGM) in May, following pressure from nonprofit shareholder activism organisations Just Share and Raith Foundation to do so. Just Share executive director... 

Waste pickers get relief with food vouchers during national lockdown

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 An electronic food voucher initiative is being rolled out to waste pickers across the country, as part of a partnership between the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the packaging industry, to assist waste pickers who have lost their livelihoods during the national... 

Manufacturer pursues innovative ways to improve efficiency

10th April 2020 Multinational automotive manufacturer Ford Motor Company's Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth has been pursuing innovative systems and technologies to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing operations, while reducing its impact on the environment in terms of water use, electricity... 

Business is booming for supplier

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Stainless steel vessels and tanks supplier Metal Tank Industries has noted a definite market upswing in the past eight months, particularly in the food and beverage sector, as well as in the industrial sector, in terms of mineral oils, petroleum oils, chemicals and agrochemicals production.... 

Business is booming for supplier
MAKING IT WORK Metal Tank Industries’ streamlined production processes has helped it become more competitive in terms of costing

Storage should aim to address cost reduction

10th April 2020 Ensuring that renewable energy is a useful asset to the grid and that the companies that own and operate it are profitable, while also producing less expensive energy, is a complex job. 

Association aims to address storage hybrid projects

10th April 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has announced that it will be creating a discussion platform to support members and the broader renewable energy sector, by addressing questions that are emerging in relation to wind and storage hybrid projects. 

Association aims to address storage hybrid projects
NTOMBIFUTHI NTULI There is a global wave of hybrid projects that use, among other things, wind and battery storage

Storage key to exploiting renewables’ full potential

By: Mamaili Mamaila     10th April 2020 Energy storage is a key technology to unlock renewable-energy potential, says full-service renewable-energy provider New Southern Energy (NSE) MD John Deepak. 

Storage key to exploiting renewables’ full potential
CHANGES OVERTIME A solar panel currently uses considerably fewer inputs, compared with a solar panel ten years ago

Covid-19 showing importance of early action in tackling global threats, says NPO

By: Simone Liedtke     8th April 2020 While the world’s immediate priorities have shifted to focus on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the virus is showing the importance of early action in tackling global threats, and it is therefore crucial that the world not emerge from this crisis to find itself worse off in terms of efforts... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th April 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one of which will be unpaid, for violating the regulations of the national lockdown amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. A recent social media... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Covid-19 cases surpass 10 000 in Africa

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th April 2020 The World Health Organisation has reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus has surpassed the 10 000 mark in Africa, with over 500 deaths. In a statement WHO raised concerns that while the virus was slow to reach the continent, the infection has grown exponentially in recent weeks and... 

Covid-19 cases surpass 10 000 in Africa

Ground-breaking R488m fund seeks to catalyse green-economy SMMEs 

By: Terence Creamer     7th April 2020 An innovative new fund has been launched in South Africa to incentivise fund managers to invest in small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that are able to generate verifiable green outcomes and jobs in the energy, water, waste, infrastructure and land-management sectors. The... 

Ground-breaking R488m fund seeks to catalyse green-economy SMMEs

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

By: Donna Slater     3rd April 2020 Nature conservation organisation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), reports that the world population of black rhino has risen from about 2 500 in the 1990s to 5 600. Independent conservation organisation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) attributes some of that... 

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

Building for sustainability promotes valuable returns

3rd April 2020 There is a direct link between the stability of an economy and ongoing development, says consulting engineers firm WSP Africa structures regional director Johan Piekaar. Currently, the local construction and property industries are experiencing a lull owing to reduced expenditure by government on... 

Building for sustainability promotes valuable returns
Photo by Creamer Media
CONSTRUCTIVE BUILDING Implementing a sustainable building philosophy provides value-add throughout the value chain

Coronavirus forces postponement of UN’s COP26 climate summit

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd April 2020 The United Nations (UN) climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, has been postponed as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus, the UN and UK government have confirmed in a joint statement. The twenty-sixth conference of the parties (COP26) has been delayed... 

Enviro reporting, licensing processes to enjoy extended timeframes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st April 2020 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... 

Enviro reporting, licensing processes to enjoy extended timeframes
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

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
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