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Environmental Studies News

Innovation and research needed to bolster farming productivity

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th May 2016 As South Africa struggles with rising food prices, the effects of the worst drought in 20 years and water shortage, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) highlighted how the country’s agricultural industry could address some of the challenges from an agricultural... 

Bioremediation at North End lake shows promising results

By: David Oliveira     13th May 2016 Water-quality test results following the organic clean-up of the North End lake in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, were positive in various critical parameters, suggesting a significant drop in pollution levels, which made the lake unsuitable for swimming events in the past. According to... 

CSIR successfully purifies sewage using algae 

By: Victor Moolman     22nd April 2016 The algae treatment project implemented by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) during the course of 2015 in the town of Motetema, in the Elias Motsoaledi municipality is fully operational. 

CSIR successfully purifies sewage using algae
PONDS The algae treatment system uses the existing ponds

Excessive water restrictions impact on sewage treatment systems

By: Victor Moolman     22nd April 2016 Extreme and prolonged water restrictions could have a negative impact on the sewage treatment system if it is not managed properly says the Water Research Commission (WRC). 

Excessive water  restrictions impact on sewage treatment systems
TREATMENT PLANT The impact of a draught on the sewerage system is still being researched

Wits’ Lee Berger named in TIME 2016 list of world's most influential people

By: Sane Dhlamini     21st April 2016 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) professor Lee Berger has been added to the 2016 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s yearly list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Berger is an award-winning palaeoanthropologist, researcher, explorer, author and speaker from the Evolution Studies... 

Wits’ Lee Berger named in TIME 2016 list of world's most influential people
Lee Berger

SA, Chinese firms team up on Moz–Gauteng gas pipeline study

By: David Oliveira     1st April 2016 JSE- and Aim-listed oil and gas company SacOil signed a cooperation agreement with the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) last month for the possible construction of a gas processing facility near the Rovuma basin, in Mozambique, as well as a 2 600-km-long, large-diameter pipeline to... 

SA drawing on 150 experts as rigorous Karoo shale-gas enviro assessment advances

By: Dylan Slater     1st April 2016 The development of shale gas projects in South Africa was halted with the 2011 issuing of a moratorium on the issuing of shale gas exploration licences within the central Karoo, which has subsequently been lifted.  

SA drawing on 150 experts as rigorous Karoo shale-gas enviro assessment advances

Green techniques, energy management reduce energy demand

By: Victor Moolman     1st April 2016 Correct energy management and using green building techniques can decrease the demand for energy by 30%, says the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). 

Green techniques, energy management reduce energy demand
Photo by Reuters
RESIDENTIAL ENERGY SAVING Responsibility of saving energy should be shared by consumers and suppliers

Development of biobased carpet backing step towards sustainable flooring

4th March 2016 Global modular flooring manufacturer, Interface, announced in July last year that it had developed the first biobased backing for carpet tiles, which has now passed all European performance and quality tests, including low volatile organic compounds and high dimensional stability. The ‘green’... 

Development of  biobased carpet  backing step towards sustainable flooring
INTERFACE CARPET Interface has now developed the first biobased backing for carpet tiles

COP 21 agreement raises justness concerns

By: Lynne Jackson     4th March 2016 Although Engineering News reported in January that the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP 21), held in Paris last December, had been lauded as better than any other international climate change meeting, the media has reported that there has been controversy regarding the justness of the... 

COP 21 agreement raises  justness concerns
Photo by Bloomberg
CLIMATE CHANGE The meeting at COP 21 reached an agreement to keep the global temperature below 2˚C, which was adopted by 187 member nations

Science department, offshore oil industry set up joint research forum

By: Keith Campbell     12th February 2016 The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (Samref) was recently launched by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. The Forum is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (Opasa). The launching... 

Contract awarded to remove dredge spoil from uMfolozi river

By: David Oliveira     5th February 2016 The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority signed a R10-million contract last month with local tailings storage facility specialists Cyclone Engineering Projects to remove about 100 000 m3 of dredge spoil obstructing the natural course of the uMfolozi river, in KwaZulu-Natal. A further R20-million... 

DST and offshore oil industry set up new joint research forum

By: Keith Campbell     29th January 2016 The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (Samref) was launched on Friday by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. The forum is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (Opasa). The launching... 

DST and offshore oil industry set up new joint research forum
Photo by Bloomberg
A view over the Indian Ocean

City of Cape Town to procure electric buses for MyCiTi service 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2016 The City of Cape Town plans to issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for the MyCiTi service, in line with its commitment to lowering carbon emissions, mayor Patricia de Lille said in a statement published on the city’s website on Wednesday. “Since its inception in May 2010, the... 

City of Cape Town to procure electric buses for MyCiTi service

More plastic than fish in world's oceans by 2050, warns WEF report

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2016 There is a significant need for a revolution in the plastics industrial ecosystem, as most plastic packaging is used only once, with 95% of the value of plastic packaging material lost to the economy after a short first use, a new report suggests. The report, titled ‘The New Plastics Economy:... 

More plastic than fish in world's oceans by 2050, warns WEF report

Nuclear site process not being fast-tracked - Eskom

By: News24Wire      24th December 2015 There is no rush to fast-track the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for South Africa’s first new nuclear power station, a senior Eskom official said on Thursday. Eskom initiated the EIA for the proposed construction of a nuclear power station (termed nuclear 1) in 2006 and is due to... 

Nuclear site process not being fast-tracked - Eskom

20 years on, Working for Water still making jobs, ecological impression

By: Anine Kilian     11th December 2015 The Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA’s) Working for Water (WfW) programme, which was launched in 1995 by former Department of Water and Forestry Minister professor Kader Asmal, celebrated 20 years of existence last month. According to a statement released by the DEA on the 20th... 

20 years on, Working for Water still making jobs, ecological impression

Johannesburg air quality under research spotlight

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th December 2015 A collaboration agreement between the City of Johannesburg, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and IBM Research would see the application of advanced technologies to help the city deliver on its air-quality management plan. Through this agreement, researchers from IBM South... 

Johannesburg air quality under research spotlight

Filtration companies collaborate on expansion

By: Malusi Mkhize     27th November 2015 Having established its coolant manufacturing plant in July 2015 in Woodmead, Johannesburg, global filtration products designer and manufacturer Cummins Filtration appointed hydraulic fluid specialist Hytec Fluid Technology (HFT) as its ‘super dealer’ for the company’s Fleetguard range of engine... 

Filtration companies collaborate on expansion
WORKING TOGETHER HFT is the ‘super dealer’ for Cummins Filtration’s Fleetguard range of products across Southern Africa

US, S Africa launch low-emissions development initiative 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th November 2015 To assist South Africa in reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions, while promoting economic development, a $15-million, five-year US Agency for International Development (USAID) South Africa-Low Emissions Development (SA-LED) initiative was launched on Thursday.   The programme sought to bridge the... 

US, S Africa launch low-emissions development initiative

EIAs, rhino poaching biggest concerns for Green Scorpions

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th November 2015 The number of environmental crimes finalised with a verdict by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) increased by 60.6%, from 165 cases in 2013/14 to 265 cases in 2014/15, while the conviction rate increased from 87.3% to 94.7%, the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report... 

EIAs, rhino poaching biggest concerns for Green Scorpions

Fracking task team denied opportunity to address meeting

By: RDM News Wire      10th November 2015 Pro-fracking entrepreneurs brought the first public meeting of scientists studying the controversial attempt to mine gas buried deep under the Karoo to a sudden halt in Graaff-Reinet's Masizake Hall on Monday. In May‚ cabinet mandated five government departments and three science councils and... 

Fracking task team denied opportunity to address meeting

South Africa pressing ahead with four-phase carbon-capture plan

By: Anine Kilian     6th November 2015 More than 90 per cent of South Africa’s energy consumption is derived from fossil fuels – resulting in the release of more than 400-million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. While there is no doubt that increased energy production is necessary to ensure economic growth and development, South... 

South Africa pressing ahead with four-phase carbon-capture plan

S Africa’s CCS ambitions get funding boost

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th October 2015 South Africa’s ambitions of proving the viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) have received a boost, with Norway committing to inject millions of rands into a World Bank-managed CCS fund focused on CCS projects in South Africa and Mexico. Norway Ambassador to South Africa Trine Skymoen... 

S Africa’s CCS ambitions get funding boost

ASAQS promotes use of sustainable construction materials, techniques

By: Dylan Slater     9th October 2015 Voluntary quantity surveying association the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) is formulating plans to accelerate not only its own but also the general construction industry’s understanding and increased use of sustainable construction techniques and materials in green... 

ASAQS promotes use of sustainable construction materials, techniques
LEADING THE WAY The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors has embarked on a study to determine a more precise cost of green building in South Africa

Local environmental head elected to IPCC working group

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th October 2015 eThekwini municipality Department of Environmental Planning and Climate Protection head Dr Debra Roberts has been appointed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II co-chair, marking the first time a South African has been selected to a co-chair position in the IPCC... 

Local environmental head elected to IPCC working group

GIBB obtains citywide EIA authorisation for Cape Town’s stormwater maintenance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th October 2015 The City of Cape Town has successfully reapplied for an environmental-impact assessment (EIA) for its routine stormwater management activities following changes in national legislation; however, this time, the city gained citywide authorisation. The City of Cape Town originally obtained its... 

Free State launches emissions portal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2015 A South African atmospheric emission licensing and inventory portal (SAAELIP) was launched in addition to the existing 102 government-owned monitoring stations by Free State Economic Small Business Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sam Mashinini, on Wednesday. Comprising the... 

Free State launches emissions portal

GIBB to expand environmental solutions footprint through acquisition

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2015 Engineering consulting firm GIBB has acquired environmental solutions consultancy Strategic Environmental Focus (SEF), more than doubling the size of its environmental team. GIBB environmental services sector GM Dr Urishanie Govender said the move enabled the company to deliver broader... 

GIBB to expand environmental solutions footprint through acquisition

Bioregional planning important for SEZs, says consulting firm

By: David Oliveira     25th September 2015 Bioregional planning will play an important role in determining land-use limitations in special economic zones (SEZs), such as industrial development zones, says global consultancy SRK Consulting principal environmental scientist Warrick Stewart. He tells Engineering News that bioregional... 

Bioregional planning important  for SEZs, says consulting firm
SEEKING HARMONY Bioregional planning promotes effective land use for various development activities, while ensuring that biodiversity is maintained

Communities being stripped of their heritage by mining 

By: RDM News Wire      24th September 2015 Communities in Sekhukhune, in Limpopo, were not only being stripped of their dignity‚ but of their heritage too thanks to mining‚ said Trevor Malope‚ a Bench Marks Foundation’s community monitor. “Our land is an incredibly important part of our culture and integral to our lives‚ but mining has... 

Communities being stripped of their heritage by mining
Photo by Anglo-American
Anglo-American’s Twickenham mine, Limpopo.

Black-owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th September 2015 Black-owned green technology company G-Tech is currently running a mine dump rehabilitation project in Randfonetin, West of Johannesburg, on one of South Africa-focused gold miner Mintails’ tailings sites. 

Black-owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation
Black owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation

South Africans urged to become more aware of their water footprints

By: Anine Kilian     28th August 2015 It is predicted that, in the next five years, water demand could outstrip supply in South Africa, says Nedbank Sustainability Carbon Specialist Dr Marco Lotz. With increasing population numbers and urbanisation, the debate regarding the amount of investment in water and the possibility of future... 

GM crops important for food security – CSIR

By: Anine Kilian     21st August 2015 Significant developments in genetically modified (GM) crops have been made in South Africa’s agriculture sector , including increased crop yield, which has a direct impact on food production and food security, and a decrease in the use of pesticides and herbicides in fields of GM crops. This has... 

GM crops important for  food security – CSIR
Photo by Bloomberg
ENSURING FOOD SECURITY The CSIR believes that new traits in the production of GM maize will impact positively on the country's economy

Obama in political, legal storm with new power rules

By: News24Wire      5th August 2015 President Barack Obama launched the first-ever climate rules for US power plants Monday, calling for sweeping reductions in carbon emissions and provoking protests from the mining industry and Congress. The new rules dictate an overall reduction in heat-trapping gasses of 32% below 2005 levels by... 

Obama in political, legal storm with new power rules
Photo by Bloomberg
President Barack Obama

New dinosaur from South Africa gets Sesotho name

By: RDM News Wire      25th June 2015 South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have named a 200-million year old dinosaur from South Africa‚ “Sefapanosaurus”‚ from the Sesotho word “sefapano”. The researchers from South Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University)‚ and from... 

New dinosaur from South Africa gets Sesotho name
Sefapanosaurus

South African companies gain German insight into energy efficiency

By: Pimani Baloyi     19th June 2015 With South Africa seeking ways of mitigating the country’s ongoing power challenges, the Southern African–Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC), in cooperation with the Germany Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, hosted a South African delegation on an industrial energy... 

South African companies gain  German insight into energy efficiency
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY The SAGCC's building, in Forest Town, Johannesburg, has been fitted with solar panels to improve energy efficiency

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