Author: Liesl Frankson

EThekwini’s M13 interchange project to get underway

The eThekwini Transport Authority says it expects to start construction on the project to upgrade and expand the M13 and Essex Terrace interchange this month. New developments in the area have led to a significant increase in traffic on the interchange. In order to support a more fluid and efficient traffic flow through this area, the eThekwini Transport Authority notes that the bridge on the M13 over Lincoln Terrace will be extended on both east and west bound carriageways. Traffic accommodation plans in place In addition the on and off ramps will also be upgraded, extended and realigned to accommodate current and expected increase in traffic. Devon Terrace, Lincoln Terrace, Latina Place, and Essex Terrace will also be realigned and form part of this construction contract. Traffic accommodation plans will be in place in order to minimize the inconvenience to those using the roads in the area, and some deviations are expected. Calls for calm “We ask that people... Read More

Tech and finance to bridge last mile of infrastructure gap

Innovative finance and new technology will help to bridge the “last mile” of the infrastructure gap by getting goods and services to end users, and connecting underserved populations to business value chains. This is according to the African Development Bank. Speaking at the Global Infrastructure Forum 2018 Wale Shonibare, Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation at the AfDB, said the bank’s commitment to connect millions of households under its New Deal on Energy for Africa required flexibility and innovation from both a technology and financial perspective. “We are looking to connect 200 million households to electricity – 75 million of those will be off-grid,” Shonibare, said.  “Conventional grids cost, on average, US$2 500 per connection in rural communities, whereas minigrids cost between US$500-100 per connection,” he added. Improving livelihood across the continent Given the remarkable improvements in the field, Shonibare said there was no doubt as to the role technology could play in the Light Up drive... Read More

Leaking sewage pipes a health hazard in Homevale Kimberley

Residents of Homevale in Kimberley are outraged over the constant stench of sewage flowing in the area. They complain they have been living under such conditions for more than a year. Earlier in 2018, an angry community took to the streets calling on the Sol Plaatje municipality to fix the leaking pipes. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

Drakenstein Municipality uses water pumps to generate electricity

The Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape is now home to one of the country’s largest pump and turbine stations which will be used for more than water reticulation. The facility, which is able to generate 57 kW with three turbines, will be used for water reticulation to the nearby town of Paarl during dry periods, and as turbines to generate electricity for the city during the remainder of the year. The municipality was previously forced to fork out thousands to maintain the pump station which was dormant for most of the year because it was only used to pump water to its neighbours for just one month a year. Generating electricity for the grid The solution allows the municipality to run its pumps backwards against the pressure of water from its elevated Leliefontein reservoir and generate electricity for the region’s electrical grid.  The power generated by the pump and turbine station is enough to power the entire region’s... Read More

Rand Water urges consumers to use water sparingly

Rand Water has urged water consumers within its area of supply to use water sparingly. This comes after technical challenges have reduced the capacity of one of the main engine rooms to 20%. “With temperatures expected to increase throughout our area of supply, we appeal to consumers to use water wisely, as doing so will assist in alleviating pressure on the reduced capacity,” explained Justice Mohale, Rand Water Media Relations Manager. He said the engine room is estimated to be restored to its normal operating capacity within the next few days. Thumbs up for Gauteng dams Meanwhile, a weekly dam levels report by the Department of Water and Sanitation has given Gauteng the thumbs-up for recording a whopping 97.7% at the beginning of the week, followed by Free State at 88.6%. “The two provinces experienced heavy downpours last weekend and they are poised for higher levels with the predicted showers at the end of the week,” the department said.... Read More

Clanwilliam Dam wall project finally gets underway

The Department of Water and Sanitation’s construction unit has been given the go ahead to start construction work on the project to raise the Clanwilliam Dam wall. This follows an announcement by Minster of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti during his inaugural Budget Vote speech that the project would commence within five months of that announcement. The project, which has been on the national department’s books as an essential water augmentation project for about a decade, involves the raising of the dam wall by 13.5 metres and is expected to treble the dam’s holding capacity, increasing the amount of water available for agriculture and creating jobs. Critical project Commenting on the project at the sod turning ceremony last week Western Cape Premier Helen Zille “If we were here in periods earlier than May this year, I would have thought that there was a funeral due to the low level of the dam. “We met with Minister Nkwinti and discussed... Read More

Mashaba welcomes R2bn investment in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba has welcomed the Divercity Urban Property Fund’s on R2 billion investment Johannesburg as part of its strategy to create mixed-use inner-city precincts. The investment, which is the largest in the Johannesburg CBD for some years, will be focused on the redevelopment of the iconic ABSA Towers Main building and Jewel City. “For the City of Johannesburg, the investment is an indication of investor’s renewed confidence in the potential held within the inner city,” Mashaba notes. The newly launched Divercity is an investment fund backed by the experience of some of South Africa’s leading property investors and developers. Absa Towers Main building According to Mashaba the fund is set to renew and re-energise the country’s urban centres with its unique focus on inner-city precinct development that combines commercial buildings with affordable residential space to create inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods. The investment will see Divercity redevelop the recently acquired 30-storey Absa Towers Main building into a one-of-a-kind... Read More

Launch of waste buy-back centre

The North West MEC for Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development, Manketsi Tlhape recently launched the first state owned waste buy-Back centre in Mahikeng as part of a waste management plan that is geared towards promoting waste minimisation and recycling. The centre is a community based depot where waste collectors can sell recyclable waste such as paper, plastic, cans and glass to recycling companies. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

Waste cooking oil gets a new lease on life

Researchers have found a way to turn waste cooking oil collected from cafes and restaurants into a slow release fertilizer that results in better plant health and less wasted nutrients. The fertiliser uses the waste canola oil and sulphur, a waste product from the petroleum industry, to form a degradable polymer coating to encase each fertiliser pellet. Dr Justin Chalker, lead researcher of the study, says the food waste product could make an important contribution to the circular economy. Biodegradable “You can use it for frying up food and then you can use it again for something that’s used to grow more food,” he explains. Dr Chalker and his team developed the fertilizer at the Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology at Flinders University in South Australia. “What’s unique about our material compared to other slow release fertilisers is the material that holds in the nutrients is made entirely from waste and we show in this paper that it... Read More

A hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa – Oxfam

Oxfam International says rising temperatures will push millions of people in Africa into poverty and hunger unless governments take swift action. Earlier this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing progress and pathways to liming global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Apollos Nwafor, Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International notes that settling for 2 degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa. Embracing the renewable energy revolution “Climate change has set our planet on fire, millions are already feeling the impacts, and the IPCC just showed that things can get much worse. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared,”Nwafor explains. He continues: “A hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa. Today at only 1.1 degrees of warming globally, crops and livestock across the region are being hit and hunger is rising, with poor small... Read More

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