Author: Riante Naidoo

Mpact unlocks economic opportunities in waste sector

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has called for transformation in the waste sector so it can significantly contribute to the growth of the secondary materials economy. She believes this will help foster job creation at an entry level, and support industrial efficiencies. Molewa said her office was committed to finding alternative and innovative ways to divert waste from landfill sites and convert it into valuable resources. She reiterated that this commitment was also echoed in the National Development Plan (NDP). In line with diverting waste from landfill sites, plastics bottle manufacturing company Mpact launched its Liquid Packaging recycling plant in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday. At the launch, Molewa called on other companies operating in the packaging industry to follow suit and ensure their waste is also recycled. Mpact’s new plant has been developed to recycle 25,000 tonnes of liquid packaging products per year, poly coated cups and cartons, wet strength bags and packaging. It is estimated that this will save... Read More

Elevating Africa’s bankable projects

The establishment of a regional information hub is being advocated by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF). NEPAD believes this development should be used to advertise bankable projects in Africa, and has proposed that each country have a window, or channel, that is linked to its centralised information hub. They say this could help unlock bankable investment opportunities throughout the continent. Addressing delegates at recent programming session, Shem Simuyemba, coordinator for NEPAD-IPPF, said: “It would be both a ‘project hub’ and a ‘help desk’ – a centralised IT platform for bankable projects which potential investors can access. Such a hub could be housed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to ensure credibility and confidence by both project owners (governments) and potential investors.” The assessment and programming session was held at the AfDB Headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on last week. Services and bankable opportunities Simuyemba explained that the  ‘one-stop-shop’ initiative would not just be a listing of projects,... Read More

Construction to help upgrade services begins at Cape informal settlement

Following a series of community negotiations, development of the False Bay Incremental Development Area (IDA) is progressing well, the City of Cape Town said earlier this month. Anda Ntsodo, mayco member for the east side of the city said: “It is hoped that further development opportunities could be unlocked using the lessons learned in this process.” The city said civil infrastructure construction began at 283 serviced sites at the False Bay IDA in Khayelitsha, which is located adjacent to the Khayelitsha Campus of False Bay College. The city added that the development would cost approximately R20 million. The development of the site is intended to help with the upgrading of services in the area by creating space in the Monwabisi Park informal settlement as it is currently overpopulated, making it difficult for the city to provide additional toilets and electricity infrastructure. The project, which initially began in 2010, was halted as residents from the Ilitha Park community were opposed... Read More

Mkhwebane to probe Molefe’s R30 million payout

Brian Molefe’s R30 million “golden handshake” will come under close scrutiny by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday. When news of the payout surfaced, opposition parties and independent bodies were outraged at the amount Eskom’s board reportedly approved for its former CEO. The R30 million was said to be Molefe’s pension payout, however the numbers failed to add up as he had only been at the power utility 18 months with a salary that did not warrant the R30 million figure. The DA wrote to Mkhwebane shortly after the news surfaced, requesting that she probe the matter. Mkhwebane’s office acknowledged receipt of the party’s letter and said it was similar to two other letters that were already lodged. Her office also said the letter had been allocated to the good governance and integrity branch for further investigation, and that they would provide a progress update in 30 working days. Molefe resigned from Eskom in... Read More

Sustainable development of infrastructure in SA

Natural infrastructure is just as important as built infrastructure as it provides the basis for crops and raw materials which drive the economy. It also protects the country’s built infrastructure. However, natural infrastructure is increasingly under threat, weakened by invasive alien species, soil erosion, unsustainable harvesting and bad land use practices. To combat these challenges, South Africa, as well as several other countries, committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals. If these are implemented correctly, one of the outcomes will be the restoration of the country’s natural infrastructure. Source: Biodiversity Finance... Read More

New construction regulations guideline has pros and cons

The recent publication of a guideline to the 2014 Construction Regulations by the Department of Labour provides clarity on certain definitions and sub-regulations, however it fails to address a number of items. This is according to the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC). The association’s occupational health and safety manager Deon Bester said that by failing to address certain items, these guidelines are then open to personal interpretation which can create conflict on construction sites. Some of the items addressed by the guideline, which Bester feels are beneficial to the industry, include the clarification of the definition of ‘agent’ and elaboration on the responsibilities of this position – namely supervising the overall construction work on behalf of the client and ensuring the management of health and safety on a construction project. Bester also said he appreciates the addendum to the phrase ‘competent person’ to include more detailed criteria for determining the appropriateness of an individual in relation... Read More

Concreting a team approach

The Concrete Conference brings the industry together in a unique way and addresses the changing construction landscape alongside new techniques and technological advancements. The Southern Africa Readymix Association (Sarma) has an important role to play in auditing and verifying that member companies adhere to strict quality standards, but its function goes way beyond this and is evolving in line with industry requirements. “In addition to ensuring that our readymix products and delivery mechanisms are world class, internally we’re forming closer relationships with our member companies so that we can add value to their operations, and that includes skills development and training,” explains, Johan van Wyk, director at Sarma. “Externally, we’re aligning our mission and operating scope with other leading associations in the cementitious industry to leverage key synergies. Initiatives include CPD-accredited training programmes in cooperation with The Concrete Institute (TCI), as well as the upcoming Concrete Conference.” The Concrete Conference, being held between 17 and 18 August 2017, is... Read More

ECSA gets nod of approval from International Engineering Alliance

During a recent meeting of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) held in Alaska, the IEA confirmed and recognised ECSA‘s standards and processes for the Washington Accord for an additional six years. The International Engineering Alliance is an international forum/body established to advance the benchmarking of educational standards and engineering competency standards. The primary aim of the IEA is to promote the recognition of substantial equivalence in engineering qualification (accords) and to promote and support engineering practitioners’ mobility (competency agreements) across signatory jurisdictions. “This recognition of ECSA by the International Engineering Alliance is a remarkable milestone which reaffirms that ECSA conforms to global engineering education and competences standards. It is particularly encouraging to note that this recognition further enables ECSA registered persons to gain recognition of their qualifications in other IEA signatory countries, and this is after gaining similar recognition in 2016 for the International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA) for recognition of our International Professional Engineers across signatories of the... Read More

Sustainable development of water in SA

South Africa is a water scarce country that receives a low amount of annual rainfall, and also has limited access to its few underground aquifers. Demand for water across the country is growing rapidly as the country has experienced drought conditions for the past 15 years, and by 2030, it is predicted that the country will not be able to supply 3 billion cubic metres of water to its users. The country’s water sources are dependent on good, sustainable rainfall patterns, as well as healthy ecosystems, however rainfall patterns are becoming more unpredictable and climate change is impacting our ecosystems. Water sources are also being threatened by mining activity, infrastructure developments, and fragmentation, to list a few. Source: Biodiversity Finance... Read More

DWS releases proposed raw water tariffs

The Department of Water and Sanitation met with all concerned stakeholders at the end of last week to discuss raw water tariffs. Through the Mzimvubu-Tsitsikamma Proto Catchment Management Agency, the department consulted concerned stakeholders at a meeting which took place in East London and Port Elizabeth. Every financial year the department is mandated to consult with stakeholders pertaining to raw water tariff pricing. The department said this process was held in order to assist with discussions around the proposed water tariffs for the 2018/2019 financial year regarding water management and bulk raw water in the area. The consultation sessions were also used as a platform which gave the public an opportunity to comment or make an input regarding the proposed tariffs. The proposed raw water tariffs are as follows: Domestic and Industry: Full cost 2018/19 tariffs: 3.61 cents/m³ Proposed 2018/19 capped tariffs: 3.61 cents/m³ Irrigation Full cost 2018/19 tariffs: 3.61 cents/m³ Proposed 2018/19 capped tariffs: 2.26 cents/m³ Forestry Full... Read More

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