Author: Riante Naidoo

Women in water: Vision for success

Susan Cole, owner and director of water treatment products company Aqua Resources SA, says that starting her own business was one of the most daunting and rewarding moments in her career. She challenges other women in the water sector to embrace their own visions for success. Where were you born and where did you grow up? SC:  I was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and grew up in Johannesburg. How did your life experiences shape your interest in the water sector? SC: I studied chemistry at UCT and was lucky enough to be awarded a study bursary through a chemical company called NCP. It was here that I first heard about water treatment, as the NCP Ultrafloc Division was involved in technical sales and the marketing of chemicals used for conventional water treatment. I discovered the water sector during my time at NCP and I haven’t looked back since. What qualification and career highlights allowed you to succeed? SC:... Read More

QFS: Odour control at wastewater works

As the world’s cities grow, the need for odour control at wastewater works and other waste handling municipal facilities has skyrocketed. What products and services does QFS offer to assist its public and private sector clients manage odours from municipal wastewater, effluent and leachate? HS:  QFS saw the need for odour control at South Africa’s wastewater treatment plants and, so, began a process that eventually saw the company signing an exclusive South African distributor agreement with a highly regarded international company based in Poway, California. Through our partnership with Integrity Municipal Systems (IMS), we are able to provide the most effective odour control available. IMS is a specialty engineering company devoted to the design and supply of innovative, preassembled process solutions for the water and wastewater industry. IMS’s compact, multistage odour control systems combine the low cost of biological oxidation with the high efficiency of activated carbon adsorption. Pre-engineered designs speed up delivery, while improving reliability and reducing cost. Every... Read More

Ambitions for Africa – New goals new strategy

In unveiling its new ‘Africa Organisation’, Veolia Water Technologies has entered the next chapter in its history. The water solutions specialist is laying out a new global vision that will enhance its ability to respond to Africa’s water treatment requirements. Ambitions for Africa, a central growth initiative within Veolia Water Technologies’ Transformation Plan describes a range of organisational and technological innovations aimed at increasing Africa’s access to highly efficient, low-footprint treatment technologies through streamlined manufacturing, distribution and service networks. “The Africa Organisation embraces a new platform of shared services between strategic anchor areas in Africa, including Southern Africa, and Veolia in Europe, enhancing our ability to offer global technology solutions within localised service, support and management structures,” explains Gunter Rencken, managing director, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa. Aligned with this new organisational framework is the launch of an exciting Standard Product Portfolio, designed to provide reliable plug-and-play water treatment solutions with fast turnaround times for industrial and municipal water treatment requirements... Read More

Barriers to professionalising municipal civil engineers

By Reginald Sethole Legoabe Municipal service delivery has always generated significant public interest because of frequent service delivery protests and risks generated – by infrastructure breakdowns – for public health, environmental integrity and municipal financial sustainability. However, municipal service delivery is closely linked with professionalisation and the civil engineering profession. Download the full paper here: Barriers to professionalising municipal civil... Read More

Addressing Stellenbosch’s bulk infrastructure backlog

By Danielle Petterson By 2011, Stellenbosch Municipality had a huge backlog in the availability of bulk infrastructure, hampering development and growth in the region and leading to a moratorium on all new developments.  The reason for this was the rapid urban expansion of Stellenbosch, which was not equally matched by the expansion and upgrade of bulk infrastructure by the municipality. In the water services sector, the municipality faced the following main concerns: insufficient wastewater treatment capacity for present and future needs insufficient reservoir storage and bulk water supply capacity. Having identified these shortfalls in 2011, the municipality embarked on a process to make more funds available for the upgrading and expansion of bulk infrastructure. The budget for water services capital projects saw a significant increase of 142% between the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years. Water services now accounts for 51% of the municipality’s current budget. Prioritising spend The biggest challenge was to decide which services most needed the limited budget... Read More

Leaders in pump innovation

The year 2017 marks a key milestone for APE Pumps as it celebrates its 65th year in business, underscoring its design, manufacturing and project management capabilities. From its inception in 1952, APE Pumps has been an innovator in the field of fluid transfer solutions across applications and industries that include water utilities, mining, petrochemical, pulp and paper, ports and harbours, and the power station sector – a comprehensive skill set that is aligned with its sister company, Mather+Platt, which traces its own heritage back to England in 1845. Both companies are owned by WPIL Limited, based in India, which has manufacturing operations in its home country, as well as the United Kingdom, Thailand, Australia and Italy. “APE Pumps has succeeded because, from inception, we’ve always focused on our employees,” says Peter Robinson, managing director of APE and Mather+Platt South Africa. “Our training and development focus is one of the main reasons we’re market leaders today.” APE and Mather+Platt serve specific... Read More

US visits SA to address plastic pollution in oceans

Solutions to reduce plastic waste along South Africa’s coastline were recently discussed with members of the United States’ Embassy who recently visited several provinces across the country. The US’s Embassy is recognised as a leader in addressing marine debris through building scientific research and promoting capacity building.  Dr Jenna Jambeck, a plastic waste expert from the University of Georgia, was one of the visiting delegates. Jambeck and other delegates participated in a conference in Port Elizabeth on the newly-launched African Marine Waste Management Network earlier this month. They also visited Plettenberg Bay’s Hope Spot Committee and a landfill site and recycling centre in Hermanus. There, they met with pupils from the surrounding communities and discussed the possibility of pursuing careers in engineering and science. Jambeck participated in a panel discussion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus, she addressed attendees on the impacts that ocean pollution has on the environment and health. “There are people alive today who remember... Read More

SA laws to curb use of plastic bags fail to achieve goal

Moves to reduce plastic bag usage in South Africa haven’t worked as well as expected. Legislation around the manufacturing and consumption of plastic packets was introduced in 2003 in the form of taxes and new regulation on production. Although the levies raised over a million dollars, this did not reduce the use of plastic bags. Source: CGTN... Read More

Could new 100% biodegradable plastic bags affect recycling industry?

Plastic shopping bag waste could soon be a thing of the past. This follows the development of 100% biodegradable plastic bags by a team of scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Polymer and Composite Research Group in Port Elizabeth. The bags consist of agricultural by-products and are maize and sugar cane bio-based. The CSIR said the bags were completely biodegradable in mud‚ soil‚ water and compost and would break down completely in three to six months. The technology used to create the bags is said to be so advanced that it is also possible to recycle that bags themselves. Retailers and grocery chains such as Pick n Pay and Woolworths are also said to be keen to test the bags in a pilot project. The CSIR’s research team was led by Sudhakar Muniyasamy. He explained that the new product had the same durability as normal plastic bags but with many more advantages. “These biodegradable plastic bags... Read More

Boosting safety when transporting hazardous materials

In an effort to bolster safety when moving hazardous materials, the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) will be providing training to more than 20 auditors in August. Transporting dangerous goods, including hazardous chemicals, has the potential to cause harm to people, animals, property and the environment in the event of an accident. It is therefore essential for hauliers and logistics service providers to have management systems in place to properly identify and control the risks arising from the transportation of dangerous chemicals. Deidré Penfold, executive director of the CAIA said the training of the auditors will be used as a way to evaluate the quality, safety and environmental performance of hauliers and logistics service providers and chemical distributors. This will be done by means of standardised assessments and carried out by independent CAIA approved third-party auditors every two years. SQAS was originated by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), with CAIA setting up SQAS-SA, a similar system, which... Read More

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