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Environmental Studies News

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... 

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.... 

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... 

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... 

Licensing rules for large desalination plants remain challenging

By: Dylan Slater     18th August 2017 With increased debate around water security in South Africa, as a result of growing surface-water scarcity and future uncertainty, the prospect of implementing large-scale desalination of seawater is also increasing.  

Licensing rules for large desalination plants remain challenging
SHARON JONES Desalination may be the most sustainable source of water in the absence of natural recharge of surface and groundwater resources

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

S Africans satisfied with improvements in metros – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd August 2017 South Africans have seen a marked improvement in the performance of local government aside from the metropolitans Cape Town and Buffalo City, according to an Ipsos survey conducted after the local government elections on August 3. The Khayabus study, for which 3 598 South Africans 15 years and... 

S Africans satisfied with improvements in metros – survey

Company to hold short courses and workshops this year

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Environment solutions company I-CAT plans to hold a range of external, environment-oriented short courses and workshops at its Pretoria-based training facility by the last quarter of this year, as a means to keep the industry updated on legislation changes and the responsibility of industry players. 

Company to hold  short courses and workshops this year
Photo by Duane Daws
LOURENS JANSEN VAN RENSBURG I-CAT uses highly qualified and experienced facilitators to provide competency-based specialised training programmes

Nuclear is essential to Africa’s energy mix – Rosatom 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 If Africa is to ensure it places itself on its expected path of becoming the future growth market of the world, nuclear energy needs to be included into its plans, as a lack of energy access is a major hurdle for the continent, Rosatom regional VP of sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov said on... 

Control system minimises dust escape during grab discharge

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2017 Materials handling equipment supplier BLT South Africa’s Samson travelling Eco-Hoppers have an effective dust control system that minimises the escape of dust during the grab discharge cycle. 

Control system minimises dust escape during grab discharge
DUST CONTROL The grab discharge cycle includes transferring materials down the line using handling systems

Particulate matter a national concern

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2017 Owing to government’s 2020 target that air quality in all low-income settlements should be in full compliance with ambient air quality standards, mineral processing company MIP Process Technologies (MIP) MD Philip Hoff says particulate matter is, therefore, a national concern. 

Particulate matter a national concern
PHILIP HOFF MIP invests in young engineers and has, in the past, offered bursaries to chemical engineering students

Thermometer designed and tested for industry use

7th July 2017 Handheld-products supplier Fluke - represented locally by distribution service provider Comtest - has launched the Fluke 64 MAX IR thermometer with internal memory, unattended monitoring, improved accuracy, increased battery life, as well as the precision needed to do the job accurately. 

Thermometer  designed and tested  for industry use
THERMOMETER APPLICATIONS Applications include the industrial maintenance, the electrical as well as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industries

Need for accurate designs of dosing systems 

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2017 The designs for dosing systems in the gas and fumes industries have to be accurate to ensure safety, says chemical dosing and pumping applications supplier Packaged Metering and Pumping Solutions (PMPS) technical director David O’Neill. 

Need for accurate designs of dosing systems
Packaged Metering and Pumping Solutions’ David O’Neill talks about the company’s strategies with regards to the fracking process. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

South Africa, Canada partnership awards C$1m to new research initiatives

By: Anine Kilian     4th July 2017 The South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Trilateral Partnership Initiative announced on Tuesday that it would award C$1-million to two new trilateral research chairs, including a South Africa-Canada-Kenya collaboration and a South Africa-Canada-Uganda collaboration. In addition, the South... 

Brics Environment Ministers adopt sustainability initiative

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) member countries’ Environment Ministers on Friday adopted the Partnership for Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (Puesi), which identifies water and air pollution prevention measures. The initiative further sets out to improve... 

Municipality reduces GHG by using buses

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 The City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality aims to achieve 25% less greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, an operational cost efficiency with gas at R7/l for bus equivalents, and over three phases create more supply chain opportunities using its ‘green’ Metrobus fleet. 

Businesses embracing energy and carbon action plans

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 Uptake of the challenge of implementation corporate energy and carbon management strategies has taken some time, but businesses are now increasingly putting into place aggressive energy and carbon action plans, says resource efficiency and management company Environmental Resource Management... 

Company aims for positive impact on environment

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 Environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions aims to deliver a product and service offering that impacts the environment favourably when compared with traditionally used products. 

Need for environmental awareness in growing industry

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 There is a growing need for the construction industry to become more environmentally aware, which includes considering solvent emissions, recycling and toxicity, and building materials supplier DenBraven national sales and marketing manager Michael Berg says the company has made higher... 

South Africans more conscious of greener ways of living

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 With South Africans being more aware of greener ways of living, multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP regional director and sustainability consultant Alison Groves says this has led to green building becoming integral in the design and construction of buildings. 

South Africans more conscious of greener ways of living
INITIAL FOCUS The rating system developed by the Green Building Council of South Africa was initially only focused on new buildings

Several Green trends expected to emerge this year

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 As the green-building groundswell takes hold globally, construction materials supplier AfriSam says industry can expect to several trends emerge this year. 

Several Green trends expected to emerge this year
VICTOR BOUGUENON Trends include South Africa’s property and construction players committing to greener practices

Need for business to safeguard and support environmental protection initiatives

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 There is increasing pressure on businesses whose production processes produce waste to become more sustainable and support government’s efforts to safeguard the future of the environment by minimising their carbon footprint within their operations, says waste management company Interwaste group... 

Need for business to safeguard and support environmental protection initiatives
REWARDING BENEFITS By obtaining green accreditation, businesses are recognised and can be rewarded for the role they play in protecting the environment

Programme provides in-depth understanding to boost green industry

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 Owing to the continuous development and application of new technology in the green industry, training and research provider Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises at UP) will present the biannual ten-day Programme in Environmental Management under the auspices of the Centre for... 

Luminaire manufacturer expands product offering 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 Energy efficient luminaires manufacturer Beka Schréder launched a new standalone solar luminaire – the SOL-ONE – in May 2017, which uses the most efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs), says Beka Schréder marketing manager Sibusiso Skosana. 

Luminaire manufacturer expands product offering
SOL-ONE The luminaire has an integrated photocell and an integrated motion sensor

Community and EnvirsoServ again at odds over Shongweni landfill site

By: African News Agency      8th June 2017 Environmentalists and community members on Wednesday night again fired questions at EnviroServ about the company’s contentious Shongweni landfill in the first monitoring committee meeting that has run successfully since September last year. Wednesday’s gathering saw the company’s chief executive,... 

Greening Africa’s cities could reverse some of the impact of urbanisation – report

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd June 2017 A fast urbanising Africa is rapidly degrading the environmental assets of its cities, leaving the continent at risk of locking itself into a “grow dirty now, clean up later” development path that may be irreversible, costly, inefficient and welfare-reducing, a new World Bank report has revealed.... 

Sasol faces up to air quality challenges of new standards 

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st May 2017 As Sasol works to transition its plant operations to meet the new air quality minimum emissions standards requirements, “credible, viable solutions” to its two biggest air quality challenges remain out of reach and the group plans to apply to have the compliance deadline postponed by five years.... 

Sasol faces up to air quality challenges of new standards

Princess Anne crowns South African conservationist a winner

By: African News Agency      18th May 2017 HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne on Thursday presented a Whitley Award, a prestigious international nature conservation prize worth £35 000 in project funding, to Ian Little at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society, London, in honour of his work to protect South Africa’s threatened... 

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

By: Dylan Slater     12th May 2017 The expansive Pretoria campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is increasingly being taken off-grid with the roll-out of renewable-energy projects as part of its drive to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to the domestic energy industry.  

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

Agricultural adaptations will cut costs of climate change impacts

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th May 2017 Ongoing climate change impacts can result in significant economic costs for a country’s agricultural sector, evident in the drought South Africa has been subjected to over the last two years; however, enormous benefits can be drawn from possible adaptation options, if implemented correctly. At a... 

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... 

Wits academics featured in Time magazine

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

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

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... 

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