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Environmental News

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

By: News24Wire      27th November 2018 The government has lost out on more than R1-billion in VAT from drought-stricken farmers who were forced to cut production after their irrigation water from the Cape supply dams was radically reduced a year ago. Agri Western Cape CEO Carl Opperman said on Monday this was one of the facts he... 

UN goes online for 'most important discussion' of the century

By: Reuters     23rd November 2018 With a virtual summit on Thursday and veteran British naturalist David Attenborough set to represent "the people" at December's crucial climate talks, the United Nations and frontline nations are pushing for more ordinary citizens to tackle global warming. Supported by the world's biggest... 

Large scale erosion control at Pepper Bay

23rd November 2018 A large-scale erosion-control retaining wall to stabilise the existing eroded embankments in the Pepper Bay harbour area on the West Coast was initiated in the interest of public safety by the Department of Public Works. The embankments consist of multiple layers of sedimentation reaching up to... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 The University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering Department has developed a process to grow bricks that can be any shape using sand, bacteria and human urine. The bricks are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) – the same substance as limestone, coral reefs, egg- and seashells – and sand cemented... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine
GROWING BRICKS Sand, bacteria, fertiliser and urine produce calcium carbonate bricks in any shape

Global carbon dioxide levels hit a new record in 2017, UN says

By: Reuters     22nd November 2018 The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record last year with emissions showing no sign of slowing down, the UN World Meteorological Organization said on Thursday. The annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin dashed hopes for a slowdown in emissions of CO2 – the byproduct of burning fossil... 

Carbon Tax Bill provides for tax-free allowances of up to 95%, but concern over impact persists 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2018 South Africa’s National Treasury has included several transitional tax-free allowances in the Carbon Tax Bill tabled in Parliament this week. The allowances will result in an effective carbon tax rate of between R6/t and R48/t for carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions released by industrial... 

Carbon Tax Bill provides for tax-free allowances of up to 95%, but concern over impact persists

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

Vaal River pollution: 'There have been challenges to compliance', Sasol says 

By: News24Wire      21st November 2018 Petrochemicals giant Sasol has denied that it is responsible for pollution in the Vaal river. However, it has admitted struggling to interpret some compliance requirements with regard to regulations on the discharge of waste. According to a report by the Department of Water and Sanitation... 

Big plans afoot for training more young people in renewable energy

By: Kim Cloete     20th November 2018 The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec), which provides training for wind turbine service technicians and which has recently expanded into training solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, has been officially launched in Cape Town. The sophisticated and state-of-the-art training... 

Vusi Khanyile appointed WWF-SA chairperson

By: Simone Liedtke     16th November 2018 Former Thebe Investment Corporation chairperson Vusumzi (Vusi) Khanyile has been elected the new chairperson of World Wide Fund-South Africa’s (WWF-SA) board of directors at the nongovernmental organisation’s fiftieth annual general meeting. He takes over from Valli Moosa, who has chaired the... 

Vusi Khanyile appointed WWF-SA chairperson
Newly-elected World Wide Fund-South Africa’s (WWF-SA) chairperson Vusi Khanyile

Lack of funding worsens skills shortage

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 A lack of government funding is exacerbating the shortage of skilled coating technologists and accredited paint applicators, says paint industry representative South African Paint Manufacturing Association (Sapma) executive director Deryck Spence. The Chemical Industries Education and Training... 

Lack of funding worsens skills shortage
LEAD FREE Sapma is advocating for the removal of lead from all paint

Energy efficiency important in mitigating climate change

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th November 2018 South Africa is warming up, with a current estimated 4 ˚C to 6 ˚C increase in national temperature expected by 2050, compared with the global threat of a 4.5 ˚C temperature increase by 2100, Department of Environmental Affairs climate change director Reitumetse Molotsoane said on Tuesday.... 

Electrifying the world no panacea for global warming, IEA says  

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2018 Driving electric cars and scrapping your natural gas-fired boiler won’t make a dent in global carbon emissions, and may even increase pollution levels. Higher electrification may lead to oil demand peaking by 2030, but any reduction in emissions from the likes of electric vehicles will be offset... 

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... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 Demand for thermoplastic materials over conventional alloy metals has increased since engineering consumables and components distributor BMG was appointed exclusive distributor of UK-based manufacturer SAFi Thermoplastic Valve Solutions’ (SAFi’s) products, says BMG industrial valves national... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves
PROCESSING PLANT BMG’s SAFi range of valves can be used in mining, energy, environmental, process plant, agriculture, and food and beverage applications

Valve repair and refurbishment present vast opportunities

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 The repair and refurbishment of critical valves present significant opportunities in the South African valve industry, says mechanical engineering company Brimis Engineering MD Andile Nqandela. The company can manufacture in-house components required for repair and refurbishment of critical... 

Valve repair and  refurbishment present  vast opportunities
TEST BENCH Brimis Engineering has procured a pressure relief valve test bench to service 90% of the installed pressure relief valves in the local market

SA lags, but has much to gain from boosting energy efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2018 The energy intensity of South Africa’s economy – defined as energy consumption as a function of gross domestic product – is about twice the international average and electrical energy consumption is about 40% higher than the international average, says the Academy of Science South Africa (ASSAf).... 

SA lags, but has much to gain from boosting energy efficiency

Wind energy set to play important role in diversifying the energy mix

By: Kim Cloete     8th November 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says wind power can play a pivotal role in driving South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy.  Its competitive prices are also a drawcard and should be capitalised on. 

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... 

South African, French companies collaborate on sustainable cities 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th November 2018 While there has been an ongoing push for environment-friendly practices and reducing harmful greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, in Africa, South Africa and France, growing urbanisation requires further efforts and an approach to engender sustainable cities for all citizens. This was outlined during... 

South African, French companies collaborate on sustainable cities
Business France trade development adviser Stefane Leny outlines the pioneer French-South Africa Sustainable City conference, its contribution to the countries’ bilateral relations, and the upcoming Pollutec event. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

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

Small thermal plants hold promise for regions without grid electricity 

By: Nadine James     2nd November 2018 Small-scale power generation plants driven by hydrocarbon sources and biomass are still likely to play a valuable part in rolling out electricity in regions of Africa unserved by grid power and where renewable resources are insufficient to sustain a reliable energy supply, according to SRK... 

AfDB to institute climate risk management programme for African countries

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th October 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the Africa Disaster Risks Financing (ADRiFi) programme – the institution’s first climate risk management programme aimed at boosting resilience and responding to climate shocks in regional member countries. The initial phase is expected to run from... 

Greenpeace Africa affirms Mpumalanga is a nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th October 2018 Greenpeace Africa states that analysis from satellite data between June 1 and August 31 shows that Mpumalanga is the world’s largest nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot across six continents. The data points to coal and transport as the two principal sources of the nitrogen dioxide air... 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 As forecast, 2018 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the South African energy sector, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Brenda Martin tells Engineering News. Bolstering South Africa’s energy sector is much-improved policy certainty, transparent decision-making and public... 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook
MONEY IN THE WIND Wind power is a significant foreign direct investment contributor and a driver of local socioeconomic growth in South Africa

Sasol, Indian companies join EP100 global energy-saving initiative

26th October 2018 Petrochemicals giant Sasol and Indian companies UltraTech Cement, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers, Mahindra Heavy Engines and Godrej Industries and Associate Companies (Gilac) last month pledged to put energy efficiency at the heart of their business growth strategies by joining EP100. EP100 is a... 

Sasol, Indian companies join EP100 global energy-saving initiative
HELEN CLARKSON Lowering energy use in sectors such as auto manufacturing, cement and chemicals production is an ambitious task

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

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Danone Southern Africa joins Polystyrene Association of South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 Danone Southern Africa (Danone SA) has become the latest producer of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) to join the Polystyrene Association of South Africa, which represents the entire value chain of polystyrene packaging manufacturers, collectors and recyclers. According to the association’s CE Adri... 

Danone Southern Africa joins Polystyrene Association of South Africa
Danone SA MD Hendrik Born

Parliament hears call to cut air pollution, improve health 

By: Kim Cloete     23rd October 2018 Government has a golden opportunity to improve public health in South Africa and mitigate global climate change if it drops plans for the construction of more coal-fired power stations and focuses more sharply on renewable energy in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), says the Public Health... 

Shoprite to pay South African customers for reusing plastic bags

By: Reuters     23rd October 2018 Shoprite Holdings, South Africa's biggest supermarket chain, said on Tuesday it would pay customers for reusing its newly introduced recyclable bag as it joined domestic rivals in efforts to curb plastic pollution. Supermarkets have come under increased pressure to cut their use of plastic as... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd October 2018 The advent of technologies such as energy storage, small-scale embedded generation and smart grid solutions are set to fundamentally change South Africa’s electricity landscape, outgoing Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender said during an opening address at the SA Energy Storage... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender

Reduce and reuse raw materials to slash waste and emissions, UN and think-tanks urge

By: Reuters     23rd October 2018 The rapid consumption of raw materials must be curbed to cut waste and carbon emissions, the United Nations and global think-tanks have urged, with resource consumption set to almost double by 2060, especially in developing economies. In the twentieth century, the world mined 34 times more... 

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd October 2018 Pollutec 2018, which will mark the fortieth anniversary of this international environmental trade show, is set to cover 14 key industry sectors, and focus keenly on Africa – notably Burkina Faso – as well as other key regions, such as South America and South-East Asia. Pollutec has featured an... 

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

DBSA awarded funding to create R2bn climate finance facility 

By: African News Agency      22nd October 2018 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) announced on Monday that it has been awarded funding of R795-million to establish a R2-billion Climate Finance Facility (CFF) focusing on infrastructure projects and businesses that mitigate or adapt to climate change.  The DBSA received funding from... 

DBSA awarded funding to create R2bn climate finance facility
Photo by Creamer Media
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini

Packaging system saves about 76% of plastic

19th October 2018 Brewery company Carlsberg Group has switched to packaging solution Nature Multipack which is aligned to its new industry-leading sustainability programme called ‘Together towards Zero’ to be implemented by 2030. Being an innovation of global company KHS subsidiary NMP Systems, Nature Multipack... 

Packaging system saves about 76% of plastic
GROUND BREAKING The Snap Pack replaces plastic wrapping

Coca-Cola says all containers to be made from recyclable materials by 2025

By: Schalk Burger     19th October 2018 Beverages multinational subsidiary Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa (CCSEA) continues to reduce the weight of its bottles and has committed to recovering the equivalent of 100% of  all its packaging by 2025, says CCSEA head of sustainability Dr Casper Durandt. These commitments are part of... 

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