Author: Liesl Frankson

Keeping organic waste out of landfills

With only six years of municipal landfill airspace left, Johannesburg is staring down the barrel of a wheelie bin. While the city implements programmes to reduce reuse and recycle, industry experts ask: Are we doing enough to curb the amount of organic waste going to landfill? By Liesl Frankson Gavin Heron, co-founder of Earth Probiotic, believes that more needs to be done. “In terms of the current status of household food waste disposal in South Africa, nothing is happening on a formal basis. There are those proactive individuals who see the benefit of composting their food waste, but the sad reality is that most organic waste ends up in landfills,” he notes. According to an audit by the CSIR, 40% of all waste going to landfills nationally is organic. Heron points out that promoting the diversion of food waste from landfill is important for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that we are fast running out... Read More

A hazardous waste winner

As the first high-hazardous landfill to be constructed in Vereeniging, Gauteng, in 24 years, Averda’s Vlakfontein Class A landfill has been built to the latest local and international standards. From planning through to operation, the Averda team is proving that the age of the environmental afterthought is long gone. The landfill is located on a former brickmaking quarry and, according to Reg Gerber, national landfill manager, Averda South Africa, the site was specifically selected because of this history. “During our environmental impact assessment, we looked at a range of things for the particular sites we were considering and this one came out tops in terms of the composition of the site itself. Because it was previously a brickmaking quarry for many years, the whole area is actually underlaid by significant layers of clay, which is what makes it ideal for a landfill site.” Built for the environment In addition to the prime positioning, the landfill sits on top of... Read More

Workers down tools at embattled West Rand District Municipality

Workers at the embattled West Rand District Municipality have embarked on a total shutdown according to media reports. On Wednesday News24 reported that employees belonging to the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa) and the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) will not render any services. This comes after the municipality failed to pay salaries after it landed in financial trouble following its investment of over R70 million in the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank. Workers are demanding a permanent solution to keep the municipality up and running. The situation has been worsened by concerns that more than 300 workers will not be paid again this month. No work from today onwards Pitso Mogole, Demawusa West Rand secretary, told News24 that they have locked up all municipal vehicles. “No vehicle will leave the municipal premises. We are not working, and no manager is allowed to work from today onwards,” he said. The union claims that... Read More

Africa’s longest suspension bridge officially opened

The longest suspension bridge in Africa has officially been opened to the public after four years of construction. The Maputo–Katembe Bridge spans just over three kilometres across the Maputo Bay in southern Mozambique and will help connect the Mozambican capital of Maputo on the northern bank with Katembe on the southern bank. The bridge, which is a major accomplishment for development in Southern Africa, is also expected to have a direct impact on South Africans and Mozambicans travelling between the two countries as the road will see the travel time between Maputo to Kosi Bay – KwaZulu-Natal’s east coast border post – drastically reduced from six hours to 90 minutes. The total cost of construction reportedly reached R10.4 billion with 85% reportedly coming from special loans from China’s Exim Bank. Boosting trade between Mozambique and South Africa Speaking on the launch of the bridge the Kwazulu-Natal department of transport noted that the new bridge would further help boost trade and tourism between South Africa... Read More

Mt Edgecombe Interchange: A civil engineering work of art

Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande, has described the iconic Mount Edgecombe Interchange, as “a veritable civil engineering work of art”. Speaking at the official opening of the interchange last month Nzimande said the project was a fine example of infrastructure development that has multifarious spin-offs which include contributing greatly to easing traffic congestion, promoting road safety and also enabling business. Commenting on the development Skhumbuzo Macozoma CEO of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) noted that the R1.1 billion interchange, which is one of the largest projects undertaken by SANRAL in KwaZulu-Natal, is more than a masterpiece of award-winning architecture – it is a vital artery of the greater eThekwini metropolitan highway system and has greatly contributed to SMME development. Interchange specs The new four-level interchange facility provides at least two lanes on each of the major movements. The upgrade includes the implementation of directional ramps, eliminating the need for controlled signalisation, thus ensuring free flow of traffic... Read More

Large number of villages in Giyani still without water

A large number of villages around Giyani in Limpopo are still without water. That’s despite the Nandoni dam being completed. Billions of rands have been spent on a bulk water scheme, but it was left uncompleted after a dispute between the water board and the contractor. The dam is now used for recreational purposes while women push wheelbarrows in the scorching sun for kilometers to have water to drink. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

SA airports receive international environmental certification

All nine of Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA) airports have been certified as compliant with the most-recognised international standard for environmental management systems. The certification is a further milestone in implementation of the sustainability strategy of ACSA that has seen it also receive Level 1 carbon accreditation for four airports and build solar energy plants at three of its airports. The latest certification was performed in terms of the International Standards Organisation’s ISO14001: 2015 standard which sets out the criteria for an environmental management system. The standard maps out a framework that an organisation can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. Operating in an environmentally responsible manner ACSA’s sustainability strategy focuses on the environmental impact of its airports including water and energy conservation, waste management, alien vegetation removal, wildlife conservation, reduction in carbon emissions, management of airport noise levels and minimising the broader impact of airline operations on the environment. Commenting on the achievement Fundi Sithebe,... Read More

Change in municipalities must start from the top – Mkhize

Successfully effecting change in municipalities must start from the top down. This is the sentiment of minster of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize. Speaking at the 13th National Municipal Managers Forum in Germiston, Ekurhuleni on Monday Mkhize said if municipalities must change, the municipal managers must be in the forefront of that change. The minister’s comments come after a year of turbulence for municipalities with 87 declared dysfunctional and distressed. Sticking to the spirit of the law In light of this, Mkhize called on municipal accounting officers and heads of administration to ensure that the Municipal Recovery Plan succeeds. The recovery plan includes addressing the challenges faced by municipalities such as governance, poor financial management, infrastructure and services, fraud and corruption and political meddling. “We all know that everything happens in a ward and in a municipality. Municipal managers must take responsibility for good governance in the councils. In short, municipal managers must stick to the letter... Read More

Umhlanga development gets water wise

The Park Square development in uMhlanga Ridge now boasts a completely leak-free, water-efficient and cost-effective plumbing solution. The R1-billion mixed-used development, which was developed by Nedport Developments and official opened on 1 November 2018, employed sustainable building products throughout, among them Rifeng’s innovative piping system. “Rifeng supplies easy-to-install, high-quality polyethylene (PEX) products and multi-layer composite pipe systems that reduce water waste and offer an incredibly durable plumbing solution,” explains Glenn Fisher, National Sales Manager of Rifeng Southern Africa. “With the crippling droughts experienced in many parts of South Africa recently, and predictions for future water scarcity, developers are looking to our products as a sustainable option.” Easy to use Park Square has been designed as a completely eco-friendly building and is on track to carry a 4-star Green Star rating. This prompted the use of suppliers that meet stringent environmental standards, Rifeng among them. For this particular project, the Rifeng Crimp System was used in sizes ranging from 16mm... Read More

N West’s Kromellenboog Dam dam running low

Dam levels in the North West are the lowest in the country. Water and Sanitation says the province’s dams were about 76% full in October 2017. The average is now just 57-point-5 percent. Fish in the Kromellenboog Dam near Groot Marico are consequently dying. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

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