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Environmental News

Legislation, without enforcement, is useless in combating poaching in Africa – expert

By: African News Agency      22nd September 2017 Passing legislation, which is not backed up by competent law enforcement on the ground, will not save Africa’s wildlife from the scourge of poaching, an expert said on Thursday. Speaking at ENACT’s World Rhino Day seminar of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Interpol, panellist Tapuwa... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

By: Dylan Slater     22nd September 2017 Applications that can benefit from using drones are increasing worldwide, almost daily, but commercial users of drones are being scuppered by highly generalised legislation, which is difficult to understand and expensive for operators to implement. A much-contested application – and one that is... 

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

Industries should prepare for increased use of HFO gases

By: Nadine James     22nd September 2017 As a result of the Kigali Agreement, countries will gradually start phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, replacing them with hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) gases and natural refrigerants like ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, says industrial gases supplier A-Gas South Africa.... 

Industries should prepare for  increased use of HFO gases
MULTiFACETED OPERATION A-Gas offers a range of products to assist across a broad range of sectors, including shipping, refrigeration, air conditioning, automotive and mining

New global standard for workplace health and safety, company proves compliance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd September 2017 The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) will announce the next stage in development of its ISO 45001 health and safety standard later this month. Companies across various industries globally are required to comply with ISO standards before operation starts.  

New global standard for workplace health and safety, company  proves compliance
UP TO STANDARD Interwaste implements solutions such as fully automated shredding technology and baling machines to assist in achieving optimal workplace safety

Water Diagnostic Consultants

By: Zandile Mavuso     22nd September 2017 Water Diagnostic Consultants (WDC) is a water-related consulting company that offers a broad spectrum of services to a range of clients. WDC is committed to quality assessments and service that will add value to any operation, while providing integrated solutions for the real needs of clients in... 

Water Diagnostic Consultants

Zuma schools Trump on climate at UN

By: News24Wire      21st September 2017 President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday declared in his address at the UN that climate change was real. Speaking at the General Debate of the seventy-second Session of the UN General Assembly, Zuma expressed support for victims of hurricanes, arguing that climate change was "real". 

The graphite fix: Inside China's newest commodity addiction

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 China's aggressive environmental protection campaign has tightened supplies of graphite electrodes used in steelmaking, boosting the fortunes of big producers like Fangda Carbon as mills search far and wide for a material now in short supply. Beijing's campaign for clearer skies has closed... 

Climate change is a global challenge – Zuma

By: African News Agency      19th September 2017 Climate change is a global challenge and developing countries should be provided with adequate support for their mitigation and adaptation actions, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday. “Climate change is a global challenge that requires no one to be left behind. The whole world affirmed this in... 

Legal fight over R4.5bn logistics park in Durban

By: News24Wire      15th September 2017 Residents of Clairwood are expected to turn out in their numbers at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday when their lawyers challenge the provincial government’s approval of a massive R4.5-billion logistics park at the old Clairwood Racecourse - once the only green lung in the area.... 

Toolkits help companies navigate standards upgrades

By: Robyn Wilkinson     15th September 2017 Inspection, verification and certification company SGS South Africa has developed toolkits that have been circulated to all its clients to assist them with the transition process required to meet the updates in the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO’s) three core management... 

Toolkits help companies navigate standards upgrades
MITIGATING RISKS Companies across all industries must ensure compliance with updates to health and safety, quality management and environmental standards by September next year

Sulphurous fuels flow to West Africa as States defer tougher rules

By: Reuters     13th September 2017 Nigeria and several other West African States are not expected to implement rules banning imports of sulphur-heavy fuels until December 1 at the earliest after missing summer deadlines, drawing the ire of health campaigners pushing for cleaner air. Nigeria, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire and Benin promised... 

Coastal Clean-Up assists in educating public on responsible plastic use

By: Nadine James     8th September 2017 As part of the yearly initiative Clean-up & Recycle SA Week, taking place from September 11 to 17, industry body Plastics|SA says the yearly International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) day on September 16 is the highlight of the week, as it is the world’s biggest yearly volunteer effort for ocean... 

Coastal Clean-Up assists in educating public on responsible plastic use
SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT Saving the seas international Coastal Clean-up day on September 16 is the highlight of Clean-up and Recycle SA Week

Company champions enterprise development in fledgling waste industry

By: Nadine James     8th September 2017 Skills and socioeconomic development company Bosch Ulwazi launched the first phase of its three-year Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme in KwaZulu-Natal, in July. The Petroleum and Waste Recycling programme will assist in developing five businesses that will offer products and... 

Company champions  enterprise development in fledgling waste industry
ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT The programme encompasses project and operations management, mentoring and skills development, as well as assistance with International Organisation of Standardisation accreditation

Importing refined fuels quicker and more financially viable for Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th September 2017 Rather than focusing time and finances on establishing new oil refineries, African countries should enhance their focus on a niche market strength that will enable them to become competitive in a global market, accepting that the import and storage of refined fuels is a quicker and more... 

Importing refined fuels quicker and more financially viable for Africa
RODRICK NAIDOO Countries that have their own crude resources and established mega-refineries could never be outpriced by a South African refinery

Organisation advocates a local recycling culture

By: Nadine James     8th September 2017 Despite numerous recycling initiatives and incentives in communities across the country – including collection points in close proximity to neighbourhoods – metal packaging recycling organisation MetPac-SA believes that an inherent recycling culture still needs to be established in South Africa.... 

Organisation advocates a local recycling culture
ONE MAN'S TRASH Aluminium and metal cans are regarded as high-value items by recyclers

Strategic planning ensures successful turnaround on refinery upgrades

     8th September 2017 Creative thinking and sound preparation enabled engineering firm MegChem to assist oil company Chevron with large-scale upgrades at its Cape Town refinery in a turnaround period of ten weeks, says MegChem director Louis Odendaal 

Strategic planning ensures successful turnaround on  refinery upgrades
TEAM EFFORT The combined Chevron and MegChem teams worked together closely to complete the upgrades

New EnviroLeach process poised to transform metals extraction as we know it

By: Henry Lazenby     6th September 2017 A small Vancouver-based start-up company has created a new environment-friendly chemical process with the potential to disruptively transform metal extraction in the mining and electronic waste (e-waste) sectors, akin to the application of cyanide for gold extraction, which revolutionised the... 

New EnviroLeach process poised to transform metals extraction as we know it
EnviroLeach expects to capitalise on recovering metals from e-waste – the fastest growing portion of municipal waste expected to grow to 50-million tons by 2020

Heavy rainfall predicted in late summer, says water dept

By: Anine Kilian     6th September 2017 Although no heavy rains are expected at the beginning of the summer season, the South African Weather Services is predicting heavy showers towards the end of the period. “The good news is that the El Nino phenomenon that brings with it the drought, will not hit South Africa this summer,” the... 

Leaf EV real alternative to conventional car – Nissan

By: Tracy Hancock     6th September 2017 Vehicle manufacturer Nissan will start selling the new Nissan Leaf 2 electric vehicle (EV) in Japan on October 2 at the same price point as the original Leaf while offering a 40% increase in range and an improved driving experience.  At this point Nissan is looking to introduce the Leaf 2 to the... 

Family trusts sue Durban factory for R9m in damages

By: News24Wire      5th September 2017 The large warehouse in Prospecton, an industrial area outside of Durban's CBD, appears old and rusting. In fact, it was built a mere five years ago. Its condition, its owners say, is due to continuous wafts of black ferrous dust from a neighbouring crushing plant which is chasing away prospective... 

'Zero-waste' stores put consumers on frontline in fight against packaging

By: Reuters     4th September 2017 When Ingrid Caldironi decided to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, she made a few changes to her routine. Caldironi bought a reusable coffee cup, started making her own beauty products and tried to stop buying packaged products. 

Saldanha fishermen slam new marine bill

By: News24Wire      4th September 2017 It was anything but smooth sailing for the Marine Spatial Planning Bill on Wednesday when members of Parliament came to consult the fishing community of Saldanha, GroundUp reported. Members of Parliament’s portfolio committee on environmental affairs came to consult coastal communities along the... 

Brazil suspends Amazon mining decree in face of criticism

By: Reuters     1st September 2017 Brazil's government said late on Thursday it would suspend action on a decree opening a vast section of the Amazon rainforest to mining, backtracking in the face of activist criticism and a legal challenge. The mining ministry said in a statement that, after consulting with President Michel... 

Harmful gas phase-out plan on track

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 The Department of Environmental Affairs has drafted a phase-out plan for the use of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) across industries to be down to 2.5% by 2030, with the refrigerants industry already achieving results of 2 556 t in 2016, compared with 3 163 t in 2013.  

Harmful gas phase-out plan on track
BREATHE IN BREATHE OUT Reducing harmful greenhouse gases is expected to lessen global warming by up to 0.5 ˚C by the end of the century

Servest acquires stake in ICT services company

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 International facilities management provider Servest has partnered with investment company Bottega InvestCo in the acquisition of integrated information and communications technology (ICT) services company Getronics. The transaction, which is supported by specialist banking and asset management... 

Servest acquires stake in ICT services company
Photo by Duane Daws
ENABLING TRANSACTION The transaction, will enable Servest to provide a seamless facility management and mobile technology offering for its growing client base

Study urges South Africa to find energy storage niche

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With energy storage considered to be the “new wave” in the energy sector and increasingly becoming a reality, South Africa needs to prepare itself if it wishes to take advantage of the energy storage growth opportunities within the energy storage stationary value chain and the mobility value... 

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 Considering natural gas as an alternative energy source could prove beneficial for the country’s economy in the long run, says waste management company Interwaste COO Jason McNeil.  

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch
JASON MCNEIL South Africa’s gas economy is in its infancy, but once the market becomes more competitive, you will see a lot more technology introduced

Recycling wastewater an option to counter water scarcity

By: Kim Cloete     31st August 2017 Recycling sewage into potable, drinking water is an extensive and complicated process, but it could be part of the solution for water-scarce South Africa in future. The issue has come into the spotlight since the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its ‘Potable Reuse Guidance for producing... 

Experts unpack their experience in desalination solutions

By: Kim Cloete     31st August 2017 Gathering this week at the Water Desalination Symposium Africa 2017, water experts have offered their experience and insight into building and operating desalination plants in South Africa, with some saying the real cost of desalinated water has worked out to between R7/m3 and R10/m3.  The price... 

Gas vital to South Africa’s energy mix

By: Anine Kilian     31st August 2017 All countries face energy challenges and must manage this by improving energy security and economic development, without compromising sustainable development, Department of Science and Technology (DST) director-general Dr Phil Mjwara said on Thursday. He pointed out that sub-Saharan Africa was... 

Tanzania invites bids for hydropower project in game reserve

By: Reuters     31st August 2017 Tanzania has invited bids to build a 2 100 MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations, despite opposition from conservationists to the long-delayed project. The East African nation considers the project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the Unesco-designated Selous... 

Swapping 'rubbish' for food in Dunoon

By: News24Wire      29th August 2017 Every Tuesday morning between 09:00 and 11:00, a handful of Dunoon residents gather at the Recycle Swop Shop at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School, bringing material for recycling. In a long steel container, food and household items, toiletries, and donated clothes line the shelves, GroundUp reported. 

Kenya imposes world's toughest law against plastic bags

By: Reuters     28th August 2017 Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40 000 from Monday, as the world's toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect. The East African nation joins more than 40 other countries that have banned, partly... 

Fire risk assessments ideal to improve fire risk management

By: Simone Liedtke     25th August 2017 Fire risk assessments are the ideal way to develop and improve fire risk management, from documenting findings, categorisation of risk areas, recommendations or requirements for improvement as well as prioritisation of risk improvement measures, says the Fire Protection Association of Southern... 

Fire risk assessments ideal to improve fire risk management
Photo by Bloomberg
CRITICAL PROTECTION Fire risk assessments are critical in the protection of life, assets and in ensuring the continuity of business operations

Fire-protection equipment and ongoing maintenance provided by consultant

     25th August 2017 With the National Building Standard and Building Regulations Act stating that all buildings – including shopping centres – should meet the South African National Standards (SANS) 10400 part ‘T’ fire-protection standards requirements, fire risk management and support consultant ASP Fire supplies... 

Fire-protection equipment and ongoing maintenance provided by consultant
MICHAEL VAN NIEKERK ASP Fire has completed a number of risk assessments in shopping centres

Hotel group moves to integrate bamboo products into facilities

By: Ilan Solomons     25th August 2017 Bamboo producer and products supplier EcoPlanet Bamboo and hotel group Mantis Collection have signed a memorandum of understanding which could have “far-reaching benefits for the environment and the global movement towards sustainable tourism”, says EcoPlanet Bamboo CEO and co-founder Troy... 

Hotel group moves to integrate bamboo products into facilities
Photo by EcoPlanet Bamboo
AIR QUALITY IMPROVER EcoPlanet Bamboo will initially supply Mantis with for use across the group’s hotel rooms to improve the quality of indoor air
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