South Africa has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) to hold roadshows to raise awareness about the need to protect the Earth's ozone layer.
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu says that, as a Party to the Montreal Protocol, South Africa has started phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC).
“In January 2016, refrigerant-141B, used in the foam sector, was banned successfully and companies in the sector transitioned to the technically and economically feasible alternatives and subsequently removed over 1 000 t of HCFC,” she points out.
She adds that a complete phase-out of HCFCs is set to be met much earlier that the target date of 2040.
Sotyu notes that the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has worked with industry and other government departments to establish the Chemicals Management Phakisa initiatives that are aimed at impacting positively on both the environment and the economy.
These initiatives include the training of more refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians.
"We have allocated three refrigerant reclamation machines to two companies and to the Capricorn Vocational Training College in Polokwane, Limpopo, [to assist in the training of more technicians]," she says.