Volume 6, Number 6 - Oct/Nov 2011

The World Wide Fund (WWF-SA’s) Water Balance Programme was greatly assisted by the donation of a NP300 Hardbody from Nissan South Africa recently. In order to reduce the demand, increase the supply and maintain the health of the country’s high water-provisioning catchment areas, the Water Balance Programme was established in 2008, aiming to challenge corporate South Africa to get involved.
Written by John DalyChina’s omnivorous energy requirements have been attracting increasing attention lately, as Beijing attempts to secure all sources of power for its growing industrial base.
Written by Nichelle LemmerSustainable building methods could play a key role in preserving natural resources for future generations. With water resources in South Africa already at a low, the redesign of all households systems to become more eco-friendly is on the cards. Sanitation systems like toilets that use litres of water a day will also have to be transformed. The need to find a solution created a new market for various eco-friendly toilets that are currently available in South Africa.
For the environmentally-conscious industries in South Africa a revolutionary new hydrodynamic screw has been introduced to the local market by the WAMGROUP , an internationally-recognised specialist in the manufacturing of screw conveyors and various other bulk material-handling and processing equipment.
This is the last in a three-part series of edited articles in WATER360 on reusing water to make beer, by Dr Bernard Talbot of Talbot & Talbot. This article will once again focus on filtration methods and other technologies for water recycling in breweries.
The Nedbank Group is going to invest R9-million in the innovative Water Balance Programme, an initiative by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa.
Written by Nichelle LemmerWater security in South Africa is under pressure. Government, scientists and experts in the field alike confirmed that South Africa is a water-scarce country, while the demand for accessible water in the country keeps growing. The availability of this life source is constantly challenged by climate change, economic growth and a dire need to conserve water.
It has been proven that as a result of a reduction in leaks and burst pipes eThekwini Water & Sanitation (EWS) saved R58,5-million over the past financial year and added another R19,2-million in increased billing as illegal connections were reduced.
The following is a synopsis of a book by Synne Movik, which was recently published by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press.
One of the most interesting and unique developments, which not only provides an attractive addition to any water feature in a landscape, but also acts as highly efficient floating water treatment wetlands, is now being introduced to South Africa.
Having been available in this country since the late 1960’s, Sodastream is still South Africa’s only home carbonated drinks maker system and, by offering an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic-bottled drinks, is experiencing increased favour due to the growing global backlash against bottled water.
Coca-Cola’s new Valpré premium spring water bottling plant in Heidelberg is setting a new standard for greening the bottled industry in South Africa. This state-of-the-art plant, recently opened in July 2011, is equipped with environmentally-friendly technology and is the greenest plant in Africa. Its office facility has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
An innovative solar-powered Internet school model has been launched by Samsung South Africa at its Engineering Academy in Boksburg recently. Claimed to be a world first, the exclusively solar-powered, mobile and completely independent classroom is aimed at increasing accessibility to education and connectivity across Africa. It is designed particularly for use in remote rural areas with limited or no access to electricity.
The KwaDabeka Community Residential Units (CRU) Energy-Efficiency and Hot Water Pilot Project was officially launched this week by eThekwini Municipality mayor, councillor James Nxumalo, with community leaders and councillors on hand to celebrate the occasion. The launch formed part of the eThekwini Municipality’s COP17 greening project plan.
Underlining the importance that South Africa offers to companies involved in climate and environmental systems, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Climate Change and Environmental Services has recently added to their local presence in Africa by employing Grant Little to be based permanently in their Durban office as business developer manager.
The president of South Africa, Dr Jacob Zuma, together with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, recently opened a new state-of-the-art South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) laboratory complex that provides testing, inspection and certification services for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, clothing and footwear products. The new laboratories will support South African manufacturers to meet local and international quality and safety requirements.
By Gareth Griffiths, Bsc (SAFREA)A major consideration in the design and ongoing operation of a large observatory such as the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Sutherland, where the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is located, is the comfort of the observer and resident technical maintenance and support staff.
The global community is moving rapidly towards clean energy and a greener worldview. With climate change impacts already visible, the green leaders of tomorrow are the front-runners in accepting responsibility for the environment and its health.
Many countries have already introduced various tax and subsidy policies to encourage energy-efficiency. In 2009, Trevor Manuel (South Africa’s previous Finance Minister) announced that the government would provide tax incentives for companies who could show that they were saving energy, which gave way to the Income Tax Act of 1962.
The Sustainable Energy Society of South Africa (SESSA) recently created a heat pump division as a building block in their efforts to create a responsible and sustainable energy future in the country.
“South Africa cannot remain behind the global technology curve, which is increasingly focussing on low or zero emissions vehicles,” said the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI)’s deputy director-general, Nimrod Zalk, when addressing delegates at the CAR Conference held at the Johannesburg International Motor Show in October.
Assuming there are no major shifts in the governments’ policies, statistics from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook indicate that the global energy demand is predicted to increase by 40% by 2030.
There is a distinct possibility that 2011 could become iconic as being the year when energy-efficiency incentives, regulations and technical platforms that have come into play inevitably result in energy-efficiency being propelled from the engineering department to the accounts office and the boardroom.
Imperial Logistics are front-runners in leading the logistics and supply chain of a business towards greener pastures. They demonstrated this through a focus on best practice across the supply chain, logistics delivering operational and economic benefits, while simultaneously limiting their carbon footprint and waste. Adopting a green approach in supply chain management will lead to a reduction in the company’s environmental impact.
Written by Nichelle LemmerIt seems that for Eskom to empower South Africans with electricity is an intricate act of balance between generation capacity, maintenance and peak-hour demands. The pressure to keep the lights on is mounting as cut-throat decisions have to be made on a daily basis when power reserves run low.
The Kusile power station, which is one of two major coal-fired power stations currently being built by Eskom as part of their multi-billion rand expansion, is set to light up South Africa with its use of revolutionary new technology, powering South African homes and industry while complying with international clean-air standards.
Written by Nichelle LemmerIn the future, Africa could be lit up by the lights of millions of households that will all have access to some form of electricity. Veerle Vandeweerd, the director of the environment and energy group at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is convinced that this is a reachable goal. She talked about her vision for Africa and other developing countries at a UNDP media conference that was held recently in Johannesburg.
Andrew Gilder, director at IMBEWU Sustainability Legal SpecialistsLodewijk Nell, Director Consultancy at EcoMetrix AfricaBrett Jordaan, Vice President Evolution Markets (with responsibility for Africa)
The Nkowankowa Demonstration Centre, a plant oils and extracts facility, recently launched in Tzaneen Limpopo. The centre resulted from a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Sasol ChemCity Limpopo in an effort to create sustainable livelihoods in the area.
Written by Nichelle LemmerResearch on the development of algae as feedstock for biofuel seemed far-fetched decades ago. Today, the concept is more than just a stretch of our imagination. The constant search by the science community to find solutions for climate change is just one of the reasons for research done into algae as a viable feedstock. The shortage of petroleum and the expansion of biofuels into the energy market also fuel scientists to take a closer look.
Written by Nichelle LemmerGreen fever hit South Africa hard this year, with terms like the green economy, green energy and green technology that are on the lips of industry leaders. With South Africa hosting the UNFCCC’s 17th climate change discussions (COP 17) in Durban at the end of the year, industries gear up to spread their green wings. The green fever spilled over in various sectors of society, including the building industry. 25º in Africa looks at some fundamental principles to be incorporated in the building industry, helping South Africa’s building professionals to change colours.
The insulation used for the Gobi line of solar flat-plate collectors by Heliodyne of Richmond, California – which is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of solar collectors in the US – is provided by BASF’s Basotect melamine foam. The Gobi line is Heliodyne’s flagship product that has continuously been refined and developed for over 30 years.
Across Africa, countries are struggling to meet the increasing demand for electricity in energy sectors characterised by severe supply constraints. Uganda is no different in this respect. Despite its flagship 250MW Bujagali hydropower plant getting geared to produce power in early 2012, experts are already looking to cope with a post-Bujagali period of similar supply-side pressures. Uganda’s high profile 600MW Karuma hydropower plant that will also be constructed to boost their energy capacity is not expected to be operational until 2018/19.
The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) announced recently that member Hudu has begun work on a photovoltaic installation that will dramatically cut the energy consumption of an office park in KwaZulu-Natal, and which comprises the largest photovoltaic installation to an office building to date in the province.
A total of 500 pupils attending primary and secondary schools in Alexandra Township have been given the “power” to complete their homework and study after dark by office furniture and equipment supplier Ukhuni – thereby giving them the opportunity to “shine” at school.
Ernst & Young’s recently released report, “Africa oil and gas: a continent on the move”, reflected that Africa’s economic output has doubled over the past decade, and six African economies were among the fastest-growing in the world for the 2001-2010 period. African economies generally proved resilient through the financial crisis, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting sub-Saharan growth rates of 5,5% in 2011 and 6% in 2012.
Written by John Daly While NATO members, led by France, piously proclaimed at the onset of their military offensive in Libya that their concerns were solely humanitarian, a covert tussle to gain a commanding lead in developing the country’s energy riches in light of Colonel Gaddafi’s departure is well underway.
The Competition Commission of South Africa granted the petroleum and refinery industry an exemption on 10 October, following an application by the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) in April 2010. The exemption enables participants in various stages of the supply chain to enter into the collaborative exchange of information necessary to ensure stability of supply and the efficient use of supply chain facilities.
According to a recent poll conducted by ooba, one of South Africa’s leading bond originators, almost three quarters of South Africans consider the price of petrol as a factor before making a property purchasing decision. This was revealed when 68% of respondents stated that they consider rising fuel prices when choosing a home.
The Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg, was the venue for the 4th annual Natural Gas Conference, which was held during September and organised by the South African Pipeline Gas Association (SAPGA) under the theme Evolving Energy Source.
In the face of climate change vulnerability and risks, businesses and cities around the globe are becoming more focused on developing effective adaptation strategies. Increasing extreme weather events, decreased food security, an increase in water scarcity due to changed rainfall patterns and a rise in sea levels are just a few climate change impacts that compel corporations and communities to find sustainable ways to cope with these shifts. In order to respond proactively, both private and public sectors need to determine the climate-related threats most pressing to their operations.
In October, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd announced its new six-year environmental plan, Nissan Green Programme 2016, which will help the company to achieve its environmental philosophy: Symbiosis of People, Vehicle and Nature.
South Africa will fight for a more focused approach to adaptive climate change strategies and actions at the UNFCCC‘s COP17 climate change negotiations, which will be held in the first week of December in Durban.
The building industry’s contribution to climate change could be minimized to the bare essentials in the future with the introduction of a new building material called novel non-deformed energy storage phase change material (PCM) to the industry, which will cut energy usage of a building by more than a third.
Having been recently ranked as the most sustainable company in the industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth year running, Siemens took the first place in the diversified industrials category and scored 90 out of a possible 100 points – the highest rating it has achieved to date and a further improvement on 2010’s result of 87 points.
A Nigerian environmental group claimed an oil spill from a pipeline operated by the Italian oil and gas company ENI badly polluted an area in the south of the Niger Delta region. The spill, which reportedly took place in September, allegedly polluted the swamps of the Ikeinghenbiri area of the Bayelsa state in the main oil-producing region.
Nigeria is a developing country in Western Africa that has experienced periods of political and communal violence. It has the largest population on the continent and is inhabited by over 150-million people.
A staggering amount of entries received for the eta Awards this year is testament to the prominence that energy-efficiency and environmental issues have across various South African sectors. This is the opinion of Dr Steve Lennon, divisional executive (Eskom International), after the eta Awards attracted a record number of entries this year.

GIL Africa 2017