Author: Liesl Frankson

Citizens urged to embrace recycling

With Clean-up and Recycle Week taking place in September the question everyone is asking is whether or not South Africans are doing enough? SABC Digital News digs deeper. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

Is rapidly thawing permafrost speeding up climate change?

A new study has for the first time revealed that rapidly thawing permafrost is adding to the world’s growing climate change problem. The study, which was published in Nature Geoscience has for the first time comprehensively accounted for permafrost carbon release when estimating emission budgets for climate targets. Permafrost is soil that has been frozen for an extended period of time. Due to the long periods that it remains frozen, the soil stores large amounts of carbon and other nutrients from organic matter, and thus represent a large carbon reservoir.  This is seldom considered in projections of potential future global warming. Thomas Gasser, a researcher with the IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program and lead author of the study says the rapid thawing of Permafrost and the related carbon release is caused by rising temperatures associated with global warming. T”his will certainly diminish the budget of CO2 we can emit while staying below a certain level of global warming,”... Read More

New plant set to turn SA’s coffee waste into biofuels

A South African recycling company is building a plant that will convert the country’s coffee waste into biofuels. CEO of Verda Waste, Fischer Khambule, says the company plans to be at the forefront of industrialising the process of converting waste coffee grounds into biofuels. The plant will recycle 17 million kg per year of spent coffee grounds into 1.8 million litres per year of biodiesel and 4.5 million kg per year of biomass pellets and fire logs. As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, coffee is the second largest traded commodity after petroleum. With more than 9m tonnes of the bean produced annually the great demand for this product has seen large amounts of residues generated in the coffee industry. The waste generated by the industry is toxic and represent serious environmental problems and the vast majority ends up in landfills. The multi-million rand plant will divert approximately 70 000 tons of coffee from landfills over... Read More

South Africans rise to the World Clean-up Day challenge

Thousands of South African’s rolled up their sleeves and took to the beaches to participate in the first ever World Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 15 September 2018. The event, which involved 144 countries and 13 million volunteers, kicked off in Fiji and moved around the globe with the time zones, ending in American Samoa 24 hours later. According to Plastics|SA, which spearheaded the country’s involvement in the event, 26 thousand registered volunteers and many more unregistered citizens arrived at beaches between 09:00 and 12:00 to do their bit to pick up and remove litter from the environment. Partnering with Lets Do It! Africa and the Ocean Conservancy, Plastics SA and sponsors provided resources for the clean-ups in the form of 300 000 specially printed yellow refuse bags, latex gloves and ground support to make this one of the biggest events ever to take place in South Africa as part of the annual Clean-up and Recycle SA Week. Growing public interest... Read More

Radisson RED goes green

The Radisson RED hotel in the Silo District of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has been awarded Green Key status. This comes after the Radisson Hotel Group partnered with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). The Green Key award is a leading standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operations in the tourism industry. Aligning interests The Radisson RED brand has been described as one that represents “a new hotel philosophy that connects with an ageless millennial mindset through art, music and fashion.” The hotel is one of only five of its kind in the world, with the other four hotels located in Brussels, Campinas, Glasgow and Minneapolis. Commenting on the Green Key award, Vince Shacks, General Manager of Ecotourism at WESSA said “Green Key is not only one of the most reputable and established sustainable tourism awards on the globe, but is also an excellent platform to align the work of responsible... Read More

Procurement process was already underway before Lisbon building fire

The Gauteng Provincial Government says it was already in the process of procuring suitable accommodation to relocate officials from the Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesburg CBD. This comes after a fire ripped through the building, which housed the Gauteng Department of Health, killing three firefighters in the process. Speaking during a media briefing Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo said it was unfortunate and tragic that the fire accident occurred at the building as the procurement process to find alternative accommodation for departments was commencing and already begun as early as March this year. “After the procurement process it usually takes about three months to move officials to an alternative building but we are aiming to fast-track the process and we will soon announce on the relocation developments,” said MEC Mamabolo. Non-compliance and issue The fire, which was allegedly caused by an electrical fault, broke out on the 23rd floor of the Bank of Lisbon building... Read More

Safety in Johannesburg buildings: Dr. Claire Deacon

This past weekend saw the burial of the last of the firefighters that died in the Bank of Lisbon fire in Johannesburg two weeks ago. The fire brought into sharp focus the issue of safety in these buildings. Joining SABC News is Dr. Claire Deacon who is the director of the Association of Construction Health & Safety Management or ACHASM. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

Infrastructure Specialist Group lets go of Ocon Brick

The Infrastructure Specialist Group (ISG) has sold clay brick manufacturer Ocon Brick to Willem Pienaar and his partner Mike Koch. CEO of ISG, Albert Weber, says the board took a decision to focus on the core business that Rocla and Technicrete afford the group, and therefore decided to sell Ocon Brick. “ISG regularly evaluates and reviews its operational activities to ensure that our long-term strategies and objectives remain on track,” Weber notes. “With the strong demand for Technicrete and Rocla manufactured products in the industry and with the Governments committed spend on infrastructure we see a bright future for the businesses. Both brands are well established industry leaders, our long term strategy is to grow and further enhance our service offering to the industry” he continues. “On behalf of the IS Group I would like to thank management and the entire team at Ocon Brick for their dedicated contribution to Ocon’s success during the past five years that they... Read More

Eskom delays completion of new long-term strategy

Eskom on Tuesday said it had delayed the date on which its new long-term strategy would be completed, potentially unsettling investors anxious for clues as to how the struggling state firm plans to bolster its finances. The cash-strapped utility said the new strategy will assess whether its current business model is sustainable, or whether the firm should be broken up into separate entities overseeing power generation, distribution and transmission. It will also consider ways of addressing Eskom’s declining electricity sales, shrinking cashflow and ballooning debt. Eskom now plans for the strategy to be submitted to its board on Nov. 15, as opposed to the end of this month, it said in a statement. Eskom is South Africa’s most indebted state firm and supplies more than 90 percent of the country’s power, making it critical to the health of Africa’s most industrialised economy. “Management in consultation with the shareholder have agreed that the development of a well thought-out and stress-tested... Read More

SAHRC calls for submissions on Vaal river crisis

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is calling on members of the Vaal community and surrounding areas to make written submissions to fully address the issues for investigation. This comes after SAHRC conducted a site inspection of the Vaal River following allegations of approximately 150 megalitres of raw sewage spilling into the river daily. According to the commission the site inspection has revealed a prima facie violation of the rights of access to clean water, clean environment and human dignity. “In light of this, the Commission will hold an inquiry at Stonehaven on the Vaal on 25, 26 & 27 September 2018 as part of its investigation into these allegations. Members of the Vaal community and surrounding areas, organisations and interested parties are invited to make written submissions to the Commission in order to fully address the issues for investigation,” SAHRC said in a... Read More

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