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Environmental News

Skull of Homo naledi child discovered at Rising Star cave

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th November 2021 The first partial skull of a Homo naledi child, Leti, has been found in a remote passage of the Rising Star cave, in Johannesburg, by a team of international researchers led by University of the Witwatersrand Lee Berger. Two papers have been written about the discovery of parts of the skull and... 

Energy sector developments  

5th November 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest energy sector developments, including load-shedding, new procurements, a climate-finance announcement and the creation of a new energy council. 

Photo of Terence Creamer
Energy sector developments

Exxaro is open for green business as it participates in COP26

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th November 2021 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources, geared with both a Sustainable Growth and Impact Strategy and A Climate Change Response Strategy, hopes to garner investor interest at this year’s COP26 climate change summit.    The company has been setting out to become a principal driver of the just energy... 

A photo of Exxaro stakeholder affairs executive head Mzila Mthenjane
Exxaro stakeholder affairs executive head Mzila Mthenjane

Amendments demand stringent compliance

By: Claire O'Reilly     5th November 2021 With the new amendments to the Carbon Tax Act earmarked to pave the way for developing a national standard to approve offset carbon positive projects and administer these projects on a national database, Economic Development Solutions (EDS) head of business development Eckart Zollner says... 

Picture of interviewee Eckart Zollner who is the Economic Development Solutions (EDS) head of business development
ECKART ZOLLNER Economic Development Solutions head of business development

Mobile e-air compressor suitable for niche markets

By: Claire O'Reilly     5th November 2021 Given global demand for carbon-neutral products, industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco Industrial Southern Africa is increasing its range of electric equipment, such as its mobile e-air compressor, says business line manager David Stanford. 

Picture of an mobile electrical air compressor designed by Atlas Copco called the e-air compressor
ATLAS COPCO E-AIR COMPRESSOR The e-air range delivers compressed air with a flow of 3 m3/min to 37 m3/min, with its running costs reduced by up to 50% when compared with diesel alternatives

Ramaphosa says $8.5bn just transition partnership could become model for others 

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says the initial $8.5-billion to be mobilised over the next three to five years in support of South Africa’s just transition to a low-carbon economy, will facilitate the implementation of the country’s ambitious emission-reduction goals and develop a model for a just... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

InfraCo Africa, Helios to establish new climate-focused investment vehicle for Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th November 2021 InfraCo Africa and Helios Investment Partners have teamed up to establish a pan-African investment vehicle to fund climate-aligned infrastructure and growth businesses while working toward achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. The Climate, Energy Access and Resilience... 

India, UK International Solar programme seeks to connect 140 countries

By: Schalk Burger     4th November 2021 The International Solar Alliance (ISA) on November 3 unveiled plans for the first transnational network of solar power grids, known as the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), at COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. The initiative is aimed at connecting 140 countries to... 

Day Zero may come ‘sooner than expected’, Rand Water warns

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2021 Day Zero may come sooner than expected if South Africans continue to use more water than what is needed, despite being a water-scarce country, says Rand Water corporate services GM Mbuyiswa Makhubela. Speaking during the opening plenary of this year’s Green Building Convention on November 2, he... 

Connectivity in digital services will strengthen the resilience of society, climate change initiatives

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2021 The 2021 edition of the Global Risk Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlighted environmental risks such as extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, the loss of biodiversity and failure to respond to climate change as some of the top risks facing the world in the years ahead.... 

AfDB highlights importance of ‘green wall’ in Sahel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd November 2021 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has highlighted the importance of preserving the Sahel region and stopping desertification as a result of climate change. Speaking about the Great Green Wall initiative during the United Nations COP26 conference this week, AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina... 

AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina
Photo by Reuters
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina

$8.5bn climate package an ‘important first step’ in South Africa’s just transition 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2021 Eskom CEO Andrè de Ruyter describes the $8.5-billion (R131-billion) financing package announced at COP26 as “an important first step” in light of the fact that South Africa’s energy transition is expected to require investments of between $30- and $35-billion over the coming 15 years. He says... 

Eskom CEO Andrè de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andrè de Ruyter

Hydrogen can contribute over 20% of global carbon abatement by 2050

By: Yvonne Silaule     3rd November 2021 Hydrogen can provide the lowest-cost decarbonisation solution for over a fifth of final energy demand by mid-century – contributing a cumulative reduction of 80 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the Hydrogen Council's CEO Coalition has told delegates attending COP26, in Glasgow. To achieve that... 

DBSA commits to playing its part in a just transition to net-zero emissions by 2050

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2021 Development finance institution (DFI) the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) says it will play an active role and provide finance for a just transition that achieves net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. 

Mantashe wants new energy council to speak as one, not as competitors 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has expressed optimism that the newly established Energy Council of South Africa will provide a platform for greater coordination and cohesion within the sector, which has hitherto approached government and debates on the energy transition as... 

Fleetwood Grobler is the inaugural chair of the Energy Council of South Africa
Fleetwood Grobler is the inaugural chair of the Energy Council of South Africa

Half of investors express intent to divest from companies not committed to improving ESG – PwC

By: Donna Slater     2nd November 2021 Forty-nine per cent of investors surveyed by PwC have said they would consider divesting from companies that are not taking sufficient action on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. The ‘2021 Global Investor ESG Survey’ captured the views of 325 investors from around the world,... 

South Africa signs R131bn concessional climate pledge for low-carbon transition  

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa on November 2 announced that South Africa had signed a political declaration with the governments of France, Germany, the UK and the US, as well as the leadership of the European Union, to establish a partnership to mobilise an initial $8.5-billion, or R131-billion, over... 

A photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Rolls-Royce and Qatar Foundation partner to drive development of green technologies

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd November 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce, and the Qatar State-led educational, scientific and community development agency, the Qatar Foundation, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly invest in, develop, and scale-up technology businesses focused on addressing... 

UK to make corporate climate risk and opportunity reporting mandatory

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd November 2021 The UK is to become the first country in the Group of 20 major economies (G20) to require, by law, major companies to report their climate-related risks and opportunities. This requirement meets the recommendations of the international and industry-led Taskforce on Climate-related Financial... 

UN climate summit starts under cloud after G-20 dodges hard questions

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2021 Climate negotiators at the COP26 summit were banking on the world’s most powerful leaders to give them a boost before they embark on two weeks of fraught discussions over who should do what to slow the rise in global temperatures. In the broadest sense, they got what they needed — any consensus... 

A banner advertising the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) where world leaders discuss how to tackle climate change on a global scale.
A banner advertising the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) where world leaders discuss how to tackle climate change on a global scale

Waste material used in roads construction

By: Anna Moross     29th October 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been involved in several new research initiatives geared towards providing alternative waste material products for use by the road pavement industry in South Africa.  

An image of the demonstration project evaluating the feasibility of using waste plastic in road construction
ROAD RESEARCH PROJECT The research focus of the CSIR has been centred around creating a more inclusive and sustainable approach to future road construction

Innovation implemented in road project

By: Anna Moross     29th October 2021 Consulting engineers firm WSP has used not only innovative technology in the upgrading of the National Route 3 (N3) project but also aims to ensure the use of sustainable materials throughout construction. 

An image of the digital design of the national route 3 project Mappings
NATIONAL ROUTE 3 PROJECT WSP has implemented a building information modelling (BIM) and digital design strategy during the design phase and will continue to do so in the construction phase

Drive to build a better world now being adopted in legislation, corporate strategies

By: Simone Liedtke     27th October 2021 There is a need to enhance resource efficiency and increase recycling and the sustainable production of resources, all while limiting the impact of these activities on the environment and reduce waste, says industry association the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) legal, regulatory... 

Exxaro sending a delegation to COP26

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th October 2021 Resources company Exxaro Resources is sending several of its executives and sustainability experts to form part of the South African delegation to participate at the COP26 climate change summit, which is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12. COP26 convenes global... 

Eskom suggests modular microgrid option to power outlying communities in Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th October 2021 Should State power utility Eskom show the way to a cleaner and greener energy future through its 15-year roadmap, group CEO Andre de Ruyter believes it will demonstrate Africa’s ability to leapfrog older technologies and “move straight to the latest technologies”. Eskom, he notes, is responsible... 

De Ruyter suggests 15-yr roadmap for South Africa’s just energy transition 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th October 2021 While there has been “very positive engagement” in the lead up to COP26, power utility Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter stresses that the coal value chains and communities that surround its coal-fired generation “cannot be left in the lurch” as foreign governments look to support South Africa in its... 

Eskom’s R178bn grid plan points to ‘scary’ step change in expansionary capex 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has outlined a R178-billion grid investment plan for the coming ten years, which is premised on a dramatic acceleration of expansionary capital expenditure. The Transmission Development Plan (TDP) for the period 2022 to 2031 is largely geared towards... 

Eskom group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers

SAWEA urges industry members, stakeholders to support global net-zero push

By: Schalk Burger     26th October 2021 Industry organisation the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) urges key stakeholders, including governments, economies and communities, to put policies in place that will raise ambitions and remove barriers to the massive scale up in investments in wind power to help reach global... 

Africa must address six barriers to unlock greater climate funding

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th October 2021 Africa is not receiving sufficient climate funding from the available pool and there are six key enablers that must be focused on to unlock that funding, GFA Climate and Infrastructure MD Jonathan First said on October 25 during the Africa-Europe Dialogue on African Climate Finance Priorities for... 

Availability of sustainability funding driving changes in legal agreements

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2021 Demand for sustainability-linked loans is surging and banks are competing to offer this new form of finance in South Africa, which is driving legal firms like Webber Wentzel to innovate in the loan terms and agreements that they are drafting for clients, say Webber Wentzel partners Khurshid Fazel... 

South Africa must make solid cases at COP26, BLSA says

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th October 2021 South Africa will be going into COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, next week with a substantial agenda and both business and government representatives will be going with a view to getting things done, business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says in her weekly... 

Just Energy Transition to result in 300 000 new energy jobs over ten years – De Ruyter

By: Donna Slater     22nd October 2021 Ongoing analysis and work done by various groups into the so-called Just Energy Transition (JET) points to the potential creation of 300 000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in South Africa’s electricity sector over the next decade, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said on October 22. He added that... 

South Africa to set up finance workstream to assess climate-finance offers  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2021 The South African government is set to establish a high-level technical workstream, which will work under the direction of a Cabinet subcommittee, to evaluate possible concessional finance offers that could be made in support of the country’s just energy transition strategy. The workstream is yet... 

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

Project provides support for local green SMMEs

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2021 Nonprofit organisation GreenCape and tourism, trade and investment promotion agency Wesgro have teamed up with several partners to pivot support to local green small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) so that they can continue to build international relationships and secure trade... 

Countdown to COP26  

22nd October 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the final countdown to COP26, the South African government's negotiating stance and its plans to canvass a just energy transition financing facility. 

Photo Terence Creamer
Countdown to COP26

New methods, technology key in driving net zero goal

By: Anna Moross     22nd October 2021 The South African road infrastructure and construction industry can learn from international markets and apply several key lessons on its journey to achieving the goal of net zero, ensuring a balance between emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, says consulting engineers... 

An image of Marshall Muthen WSP in Africa’s highways, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and rail director
MARSHALL MUTHEN South Africa can futureproof the road network infrastructure and its construction by taking digital roads into consideration to achieve the net zero goals and implement digital technologies

Technologies play powerful role in climate change efforts

By: Anna Moross     22nd October 2021 Technology is a critical accelerator in the efforts to implement climate change actions, and according to South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) energy efficiency and data & knowledge management GM Barry Bredenkamp, there is a major shift in the design of energy-consuming... 

An image of Barry Bredenkamp, the energy efficiency and data & knowledge management GM at Sanedi.
BARRY BREDENKAMP Small- and large-scale renewable-energy technologies solutions are also developing at a rapid rate and digitalisation is inevitable
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