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Environmental Studies News

Wits academics featured in Time magazine

By: Sane Dhlamini     21st April 2017 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academics professors Glenda Gray and Achille Mbembe have been recognised by TIME magazine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gray, an HIV medical researcher, has made TIME magazine’s Top 100 list as one of the most influential people in the... 

Govt not delaying Vredefort Dome’s heritage proclamation – Molewa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th April 2017 Concerns of landowners within the Vredefort Dome, in the Free State, are preventing government from proclaiming the area as a world heritage site, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. In a written reply to a Parliamentary question, published on Tuesday, she said the area, which was... 

Royal HaskoningDHV develops digital EIS

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2017 International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV Group has launched a digital and interactive environmental-impact statement (EIS) to replace the traditional, outdated, paper-based reporting approach of interpreting data surrounding the environmental impact of a... 

Royal HaskoningDHV develops digital EIS

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project 

By: Keith Campbell     11th April 2017 Two South African-designed and built nanosatellites, designated nSight1 and ZA-Aerosat, are set to be launched into space next week, as part of a consignment of 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries. The entire shipment of nanosatellites will, according to current plans, be lifted into space by a... 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project
Photo by SCS Aerospace Group
SCS Space’s nSight1 nanosatellite

Plastic bag working group weighing solutions to recyclability problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th April 2017 A working group set up to investigate the impact ‘fillers’ are having on the recyclability of plastic supermarket carrier bags is said to have “progressed well” in researching possible solutions and will report back to the industry in June. Established four months ago, the group includes... 

Plastic bag working group weighing solutions to recyclability problem

Data-rich Atlas shows SA having higher bio-energy potential than believed

By: Keith Campbell     7th April 2017 The South Africa Bio-energy Atlas, recently launched in Pretoria, will allow the country to identify opportunities for sustainable bio-energy and be able to achieve much more in terms of developing a Green Economy. This was affirmed by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor in her keynote... 

Development projects a core part of business

By: Simone Liedtke     7th April 2017 Owing to the role of groundwater resource development projects in communities’ wider socioeconomic wellbeing, consulting engineering company JG Afrika’s geohydrology technical director Mark Schapers says these projects are fast becoming a core part of the team’s business. 

Development projects a core part of business
SUSTAINABLE IMPLEMENTATION Rural areas are being targeted for the project as they have been poorly serviced in the past

NexOptic unveils revolutionary flat lens slated to disrupt optics as we know it

By: Henry Lazenby     5th April 2017 Upstart Vancouver-based technology firm NexOptic Technology and acquisition target Spectrum Optix on Tuesday night for the first time publicly unveiled field test images taken with the company’s proprietary new Blade Optics telescope prototype, an invention that changes humanity’s understanding... 

NexOptic unveils revolutionary flat lens slated to disrupt optics as we know it
Photo by NexOptic Technology
The Spectrum Blade Optics telescope disrupts our 400-year old understanding of how lenses work

Manufacturer launches water campaign

     24th March 2017 Pump manufacturer Grundfos announced the launch of its ‘Who Runs the Water That Runs America’ initiative last month, which was created to help water and wastewater utilities raise public awareness of the many challenges in the water sector. 

Early signs pointing to recovery in foundry industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 With the foundry industry having been under pressure last year owing to very low levels of economic growth, the drought and continuing import leakage, the South African Institute of Foundrymen (Saif) believes that signs to date this year point towards some form of industry recovery. 

Early signs pointing  to recovery in  foundry industry
Saif CEO John Davies and Saif president Takalani Madzivhandila discuss the challenges of the foundry industry. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Forging market for automotive application to be valued at $56-billion by 2022

     10th March 2017 Market research company Zion Market Research has published a new report highlighting that the global steel forging market for automotive applications was valued at $41.77-billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $56-billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% between... 

Forging market for automotive application to be valued at $56-billion by 2022
Photo by Duane Daws
INCREASED DRIVE Increasing cars sales are expected to drive the European automotive and automotive components market within the forecast period

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) is assisting industrial manufacturing companies – such as foundries – to develop and implement energy management systems (EnMS) in line with ISO 50001 through its EnMS training programme. 

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems
FAITH MKHACWA EnMSes are not ‘one-off’ projects, but rather need to becontinuously implemented on site

Water crisis impacting economic growth, but there are solutions – GIBB

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd March 2017 With the Water Research Commission (WRC) predicting that South Africa will require 17% more water by the year 2030 and with the country’s water supplies almost fully allocated, it has become even more pressing to change peoples’ attitude towards water use and effectively manage water demand,... 

Water crisis impacting economic growth, but there are solutions – GIBB

Programme complements government objectives

By: Robyn Wilkinson     3rd March 2017 Private higher education institution Monash South Africa welcomed the first class of students for its new Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management this year. 

Programme complements government objectives
BIMO NKHATA Water Week is crucial for highlighting the role that every person has to play in using water responsibly and sustainably

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba

     17th February 2017 The yearly Women in Energy conference, organised by the Africa Energy Indaba, will bring together Africa’s leading women in the energy sector for its third iteration on Monday, February 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The Africa Energy Indaba was the first energy conference... 

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba
DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES The Women in Energy conference is designed to aid the increase in leadership and development of women involved in the African energy sectors

Agreement significant in phasing down ozone depleting substances

     3rd February 2017 Specialty chemicals and gas company A-Gas South Africa (SA) has hailed the signing of the Kigali Amendment on October 15, 2016 as an “historic international agreement” for the phasedown of commonly used, high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. 

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2017 Speciality chemicals and gas supplier A-Gas highlights its concern regarding disposable cylinders being used as packaging to import hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and in some cases, flammable hydrocarbons (HCs), into South Africa. 

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders
CYLINDER LEGALITIES Chris Phillips explains that there are currently no legalities around the banning of disposable cylinders, however A-Gas continues to lobby the DEA on this topic

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd February 2017 With South Africa’s signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations twenty-first Conference of the Parties in 2015 requiring it to have met certain greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets from a mitigation and an adaptation point of view by 2020, this year’s Industrial Efficiency... 

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy
TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES The Industrial Efficiency Conference aims to guide industries in energy, water and waste efficiency

Expo and conference to focus on major industry trends

     3rd February 2017 In line with significant changes in the power and energy landscapes in Africa, this year’s African Utility Week (AUW) conference and expo will focus on the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors. “The availability of private investment for power and... 

Expo and conference  to focus on major  industry trends
SOURCING SOLUTIONS The African Utility week conference and expo will gather over 7000 decision-makers from more than 40 countries

Water scenario plan seen as way of stimulating innovative responses to crisis 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2017 An international scenario planner has teamed up with conservation organisation WWF to chart scenarios for South Africa’s water future in light of the country’s precarious position as a water-stressed country, as well as the recent drought, which caused serious social and economic damage. The... 

Water scenario plan seen as way of stimulating innovative responses to crisis
Boston Consulting Group’s Alan Iny

Improved technology boosts airport operations

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 To provide more accurate information for airports across the country, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has upgraded existing technology and implemented new weather-observing technology at all airports to detect harsh weather earlier. 

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd December 2016 Conservation organisation World Wide Fund (WWF) South Africa on Thursday warned that the West Coast rock lobster, commonly known as kreef, could disappear from menus altogether within the next five years unless radical action is taken to save the fishery. For this reason, the organisation... 

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

By: African News Agency      8th December 2016 Nearly 14-million people in southern Africa are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance as the region faces the worst El Nino induced drought in decades. United Nations (UN humanitarian agencies and partners launched a revised action plan to outlining their response to the needs of an... 

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

Considerable growth opportunities for sustainable environmental management

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2016 With the drive to a greener economy and sustainable management of the environment, specialist cleaning service provider Spill Tech is well positioned for considerable growth in the Western Cape owing to its rapid spill response service concentrating on hazardous waste, says Spill Tech chairperson... 

Considerable growth opportunities for sustainable environmental management
WASTE MANAGEMENT Opportunities introduce new waste technologies, as the future of the spillage response will move toward more environment-friendly methods

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 As a means of protecting the environment, nonwoven geotextile manufacturer Fibertex uses chemical-binder-free products and production processes to manufacture Fibertex geotextiles, which are made of virgin polypropylene (PP) material. Fibertex South Africa CEO Clive Hitchcock comments that virgin... 

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes
CLIVE HITCHCOCK Nonwoven geotextiles play an important role in diverse sectors

Company supports plastic waste management  

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), plastic pipes manufacturer DPI Plastics will sponsor the inaugural African Marine Waste Network (AMWN) conference next year.   The AMWN was launched in July this year by the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), plastics industry representative... 

Company supports plastic waste management
Plastics SA sustainability director Douw Steyn and DPI Plastics technical and product manager Renier Snyman discuss the importance of environmental and waste management, as well as the plastics industry’s contribution to environmental protection. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

CSIR investigates road applications for waste materials

By: Nadine James     25th November 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)  has been researching the use of alternative materials, including waste by-products, in road construction to reduce costs, enhance engineering properties and ensure the sustainability of the environment. CSIR Built Environment Transport... 

CSIR investigates road applications for waste materials
Photo by Duane Daws
THE BUS STOPS HERE Transport systems depend on the quality and sustainability of the associated infrastructure, therefore government has to invest in infrastructure to increase mobility and grow the economy

Exclusive rights for wastewater treatment acquired

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 Angolan oil and gas services company Friburge has acquired the exclusive rights to provide waste treatment solutions using wastewater treatment company Nature Oil and Gas’s technology in sub-Saharan Africa. The waste treatment solutions are on-board solutions to treat wastewater, or slops,... 

Exclusive rights  for wastewater treatment acquired
WASTE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS Friburge provides waste treatment solutions that are on board and can be flushed regularly with water or chemical to clean them of debris and built-up residue

Leaks to blame for South Africa’s major water losses 

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2016 The amount of municipality-supplied water being lost through leaking pipes and dripping taps – which amounts to about 25% – is a significant concern in the current drought-promoting climate and subsequent water restrictions in the country, says South African Institution of Civil Engineering... 

Leaks to blame for South Africa’s major water losses

WWF-SA welcomes South Africa’s ratification of Paris agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd November 2016 Environmental preservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature – South Africa (WWF-SA) has welcomed South Africa’s ratification of the milestone Paris agreement reached at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).... 

WWF-SA welcomes South Africa’s ratification of Paris agreement

New SADC body set up to strengthen groundwater management

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st October 2016 The Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI), a new organisation that will work within 15 SADC member States to collaboratively strengthen the management and development of groundwater for social and economic development in the region through the... 

New SADC body set up to strengthen groundwater management
Photo by Bloomberg
UNTAPPED RESOURCE Groundwater is the primary source of all water for about 70% of the inhabitants of the Southern African Development Community, yet only 1.5% is used

High potential for investments in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2016 The African continent, as an emerging and relatively underdeveloped market, displays a significant lag in investment, particularly in primary sectors such as infrastructure. This presents a unique opportunity for investors with a focused approach wanting to generate superior returns, says private... 

High potential for investments in Africa
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT Africa displays a significant lag in investment, particularly in primary sectors such as infrastructure

Fishing companies and NGOs call for moratorium on bulk sediment seabed mining

By: Kim Cloete     13th October 2016 The Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA), which comprises five major fishing companies and two nongovernmental organisations, is calling for a moratorium on all new and existing prospecting and mining applications related to bulk sediment seabed mining. This follows the release of a new report... 

Contractor for Mpumalanga power lines EIA named

By: David Oliveira     19th August 2016 Engineering and environmental consultants Jones & Wagener announced earlier this month that it had been appointed to undertake an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed construction of two loop-in and loop-out 400 kV power lines to connect the approved KiPower independent power... 

Algae-free irrigation systems to save money for farmers

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated the rand value of the impact of algae pollution in the Berg river, near Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape. The calculation enables farmers to compare different ways of managing the problem in the area. A ‘Water SA’ report... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Anine Kilian     29th June 2016 South Africa is the twelfth-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world, as well as the biggest polluter on the African continent, according to German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa director Renate Tenbusch, speaking at a roundtable event on black... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th June 2016 Automation technology group ABB has commissioned an integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation – the group’s first microgrid in South Africa – at its 96 000 m2 Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg. The Longmeadow site hosts ABB’s head offices and logistics and manufacturing centre. 

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters
ABB Longmeadow Headquarters
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