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Environmental News

South Africa first to test key biodiversity areas

By: Donna Slater     25th August 2020 In 2019/20, South Africa became the first mega diverse country to practically test the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) standards across a full range of species groups and ecosystems. The KBA Standard was developed in 2016 by the global conservation community to identify the most important sites... 

Insimbi ‘cautiously optimistic’ as earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Germiston-based foundry Insimbi Industrial Holdings remains cautiously optimistic for the year ahead as its headline earnings a share for the financial year ended February 29, was 25% lower year-on-year at 10c a share. Earnings a share also decreased, but by 32% year-on-year, to 8c a share. 

Climate-resilient economy is necessary – Ramaphosa  

By: Sane Dhlamini     24th August 2020 As South Africa tries to develop an urgent economic recovery programme, it is important that the new economy be resilient in the face of climate change. This was according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly column to the nation. He said a climate-resilient economy was vital in protecting... 

Climate-resilient economy is necessary – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Department invites comments on amendments to plastic bag regulations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th August 2020 The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has invited public comment on the intention to amend the Environment Conservation Act Plastic Carrier Bags and Plastic Flat Bags Regulations. “Plastic waste has not only become a challenge in diverting it form going to landfill sites,... 

Elon Musk is going to have a hard time finding clean nickel

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2020 Elon Musk promises a “giant contract” with the miner that can supply nickel for Tesla Inc. batteries at low cost with minimal environmental impact, yet the industry’s messy track record may make that deal difficult to clinch. Recent accidents such as a diesel spill in Arctic Russia and a burst... 

Elon Musk is going to have a hard time finding clean nickel
Elon Musk

Mauritius starts to scuttle Japanese oil-spill vessel

By: Reuters     21st August 2020 Mauritius said on Thursday it had started to scuttle the Japanese-owned bulk carrier that ran aground off its shores and spilled oil over pristine waters and fragile coral reefs. The MV Wakashio hit a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on Aug. 6, prompting... 

Mauritius starts to scuttle Japanese oil-spill vessel
Photo by Reuters
A part of the MV Wakashio

Increased storage crucial to mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 With South Africa aiming to move towards more diversified energy generation systems as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019), it is crucial to increase the country’s energy-storage capacities, says solar industry supplier Valsa Trading. 

Increased storage crucial to mix
A DECADE IN Valsa Trading has been in the photovoltaic solar industry in South Africa for more than ten years

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal energy mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 In about 2060, the ideal energy mix would be one with only non-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, pumped hydro and hydrogen, says global energy advisory UL. 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal  energy mix
JAMES TRUDEAU It is “very critical” that Eskom increases its energy storage capacities to support a more diversified energy portfolio

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 Coal is relatively cheap and widely available; therefore, if it is used cleanly and efficiently, it can be a vital part of the economic development of South Africa, says the IEA Clean Coal Centre (IEACCC). 

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
GROWTH POINT About 18 000 jobs were created during the peak of construction at Eskom’s Medupi power plant

CFBC boiler technology viable for S Africa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 The global success of circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) boiler technology, suggests that this should be the technology of choice for the future in State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations. 

CFBC boiler technology viable for S Africa
SMOKE STACKS The emissions of concern in coal-fired technology are carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates (usually fly ash of various sizes)

Eskom fully supports South Africa’s lower-carbon trajectory

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 The Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) signals an important move to a range of fuel options for power generation in South Africa, which State-owned power utility Eskom supports. 

Eskom fully supports South Africa’s lower-carbon trajectory
PHASING IN THE GREEN Eskom proposes to continue adopting a phased and prioritised approach to achieve compliance to the Minimum Emission Standards regarding particulate matter

SIU appears before Scopa to discuss investigations related to Covid-19 pandemic

By: Sane Dhlamini     19th August 2020 Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head of investigations Leonard Lekgetho has told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that his unit is, among other cases, investigating the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development’s alleged irregular procurement during the coronavirus... 

SIU appears before Scopa to discuss investigations related to Covid-19 pandemic

Greenpeace condemns exploitation of yet another fossil fuel in South Africa  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th August 2020 Commenting on the arrival of Total’s oil and gas drill rig DeepSea Stavanger in Cape Town on August 12, environmental organisation Greenpeace Africa says the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy “needs to get its story straight”. “The claim is that the drilling aims to diversify South... 

Greenpeace condemns exploitation of yet another fossil fuel in South Africa

Canal Walk awarded 5-Star Green Star rating for environment-conscious initiatives

By: Donna Slater     19th August 2020 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) awarded Cape Town-based shopping centre Canal Walk a 5-Star Green Star Existing Building Performance v1 Rating earlier in August. The centre, which is co-owned by Hyprop Investments and Ellerine Bros, is the first super regional shopping centre... 

Canal Walk awarded 5-Star Green Star rating for environment-conscious initiatives

Scientists harvest more eggs from near-extinct northern white rhino

By: Reuters     19th August 2020 Scientists racing to save the northern white rhino from extinction have harvested 10 more eggs from the last two females alive which they hope will help create viable embryos that can be incubated by other rhinos acting as surrogates. Neither of the remaining northern white rhinos on Earth - a... 

Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese oil spill ship

By: Reuters     19th August 2020 Mauritius has arrested the captain of a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground off its coast, causing a devastating oil spill in one of the world's most pristine maritime environments, police said on Tuesday. The MV Wakashio struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began... 

Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese oil spill ship

Fuelled by consumer demand, Tetra Pak takes steps to green processes and products

By: Donna Slater     18th August 2020 Food processing and packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak is taking steps to better align itself with the demand for more sustainable and environment-friendly packaging solutions. Tetra Pak president and CEO Adolfo Orive says the company has, over the course of 2019, witnessed awareness and... 

Enviro dept adopts climate change adaptation strategy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th August 2020 The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has outlined a set of objectives, interventions and outcomes to enable the country to give expression to its commitment to the Paris Agreement. The National Climate Change Adaption Strategy (NCCAS) outlines the required climate action and... 

Enviro dept adopts climate change adaptation strategy
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy

Nehawu to strike at National Health Laboratories Service

By: Sane Dhlamini     18th August 2020 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union is preparing for a strike at the National Health Laboratories Service to amicably resolve a salary dispute dating back to August last year. The decision follows an “unsuccessful meeting” convened yesterday with the management of the NHLS... 

Nehawu to strike at National Health Laboratories Service

Oil spill puts five-decade Mauritian fisher family in a bind

By: Bloomberg     17th August 2020 It may take a decade to restore a delicate ecosystem in Mauritius after a bulk carrier ran aground and spilled oil into the island nation’s pristine waters. Some fishermen fear they may never get their lives back. The vessel that left Mauritius almost helpless after it spilled 1 000 t of fuel oil... 

Japanese shipping company says Mauritius government has requested compensation

By: Reuters     14th August 2020 The Japanese shipping company that owns the bulk carrier that struck a coral reef off of Mauritius and leaked some 1 000 t of oil said the government of Mauritius had requested compensation. Nagashiki Shipping also said in a statement that the cause of the incident was still not known and would... 

Japanese shipping company says Mauritius government has requested compensation

Rising demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts anticipated

By: Cameron Mackay     14th August 2020 “The demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts is increasing locally, owing to companies wanting to reap the benefits of energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, as well as in preparation for changing legislation regarding emissions,” says forklift distributor for Masslift Africa national sales... 

Rising demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts anticipated
CLEAN HANDLING The highest demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts has been from fast-moving consumer goods applications that require clean environments for food

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th August 2020 Researchers in the US have successfully used recycled plastic to create rapidly-charging energy storage devices. The research team is composed of engineering professors and students at the University of California Riverside (UCR), and they have been working on using sustainable resources –... 

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US
Photo by University of California Riverside
Left to right: Professors Cengiz and Mihri Ozkan.

PPE waste poses contamination risk to others, Averda warns

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th August 2020 Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was already battling plastic pollution and the reckless dumping of waste. The United Nations declared plastic pollution a global crisis two years ago and the waste burden is likely to grow amid the rapid rise in the use of Covid-19-related personal... 

Why so much world trade passes Mauritius’s pristine beaches

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 The bulk carrier Wakashio was 11 days into a month-long voyage to Brazil when it hit a reef off Mauritius causing it to spill fuel into the island’s crystal clear waters, endangering baby turtles and unique plants in a nearby nature reserve. Given the vastness of the Indian ocean, why was the... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads

By: Reuters     12th August 2020 Mauritian volunteers fished dead eels from oily waters on Tuesday as they tried to clean up damage to the Indian Ocean island's most pristine beaches after a Japanese bulk carrier leaked an estimated 1 000 t of oil. The ship, MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and operated by Mitsui OSK... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads
Photo by Reuters
The MV Wakashio which struck a coral reef on Mauritius' southeast coast is leaking oil

Coca-Cola changes Sprite packaging to increase recycling

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th August 2020 The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa has stopped the production of Sprite’s iconic green packaging to produce fresh, new clear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle packaging. The transition to clear packaging means that more Sprite bottles can be collected, recycled and reused to make... 

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th August 2020 Much progress still needs to be made on the road to a more sustainable world, with South Africa facing hotter and drier summers, and continued high levels of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions when compared with the rest of Africa, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).... 

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa
Aerial view of a 'cool roof'.

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in the demand for disinfectants to help mitigate the spread of the virus, which, in turn, has prompted the need for strict compliance in industrial and domestic cleaning companies and chemical cleaning suppliers. 

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants
EMMA CORDER Consultations determine which chemicals would best suit a company’s requirements and assists in providing a methodology that would best suit the application of these products

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 The processing facility of manufacturer and minerals producer Pratley has been significantly busy producing Pratley Vulture Creek Clino during the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, as the product is mainly supplied to the agriculture sector and, therefore, classified as essential,... 

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling
PRODUCTIVE PROPERTIES More farmers are experiencing improved crop yields when using Vulture Creek Clino, owing to its cation-exchange and slow-release fertiliser properties

African Climate Justice Group calls on govts, institutions to respond to pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th August 2020 The African Climate Justice Group has released a statement calling on African governments and institutions to respond urgently to the climate, health and Covid-19 crises facing the continent. The statement has, to date, been endorsed by more than 300 African and international organisations and... 

Creecy extends public comment on compulsory proposed manufacturer recycling regulations

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy, on August 5, granted a 30-day extension for public comment on proposed regulations regarding extended producer responsibility with regard to the management of waste post the consumer stage of a product’s lifecycle. Members of the... 

Climate change must be considered when granting water use licences, says Water Tribunal

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 A landmark decision by the Water Tribunal confirms that water licensing authorities must consider the impacts of climate change when deciding whether or not to grant water use licences for new coal-fired power stations. In a decision handed down on July 21, the tribunal upheld an appeal to set... 

Penguin guano seen from space leads to discovery of new colonies

By: Bloomberg     5th August 2020 Satellite-mapping technology that detects stains on the ice from penguin droppings has revealed there are nearly 20% more Emperor colonies than previously identified in fast-warming Antarctica. Eleven new colonies of the species were found, taking the census to 61 across the polar continent,... 

Air Envirotech launched to assist mining industry in creating ‘cleaner air’

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 Air pollution, dust control and pneumatic product handling specialists Air Envirotech has started operating, providing a comprehensive range of air environmental and pneumatic conveying services, systems and technologies. The company mainly focuses on the mining, metallurgical processing and... 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

SKF targets full carbon-neutral manufacturing by 2030

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Bearing manufacturer SKF is aiming to have its factories carbon neutral by 2030, the Swedish group has announced. The company has already decreased its manufacturing carbon footprint by 36% since 2015 and is operating two carbon-neutral factories.  

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