Page 1



ISSUE 4 •  2016


eco travel

an indian odyssey

1 SG

*Available November 2016



- Touch Free Operation - Sensor operated - Lifetime warranty on all working parts

- Industry leading battery life of 3 years or 120 000 shots of hand soap (Alkaline batteries only, we recommend Duracell) - 304 Stainless Steel - will not rust - Lockable - Controlled usage reduces servicing costs each refill give 2750 shots of product - Hygienically sealed refill ensures that the

alcohol does not evaporate, ensuring that

you are always using a product that works - Optimised dosing reduces usage up to 60% CONSUMABLES - 1100ml Lotion Foam Soap with Moisturisers - 1100ml Foaming Antibacterial Soap (SABS Approved) - 1000ml Hand Sanitiser (SABS Approved)

SG 2

*Available November 2016




Auto Sanitiser Toilet Roll Holder Paper Towel Dispenser Pedal Operated Sanitary Bin 40L Wallmounted Waste Bin Microburst 3000 Airfreshener Dispenser - 800ml Foam Soap Dispenser - 400ml Seat and Handle Cleaner Dispenser - Automatic Hand Soap Dispenser

3 SG

10 l 20 enta nm sm iro nali v En our ard J Aw er nn Wi


ican Afr ited uth Lim e So ies Th er Brew



10 General 38 Climate 52 Water 72 Motoring 106 Awards

14 Global Wheelinge 20 SA's New Energy Plan 24 Is Nuclear the Way to Go? 34 Is Nuclear a Bad Idea? 42 Quest for Climate Justice 78 Sustainable Debate

simply • Cape Town Office • P O Box 30946, Tokai, 7966 Tel 27 (0) 21 701 1186 SG 4

Publisher Robbie Sammers

Project Manager Kyle Villet

Sales Executive Jacky Villet

Editor Chris Erasmus

Design Kevin Rule

Office Manager Susan Ball

Creative Director Silke Erasmus

Issue 4 • 2016 Volume 9 No.4 •

Home 56 Safety Overhead 68 Swimming Pool Covers 100 The Soil-Water Connection

Lifesyle 82 Eco Fashion 90 Treasure Your Gut

Publishing House Insights Publishing 176 Main Road, Claremont Tel 021 683 0005

Copyright Simply Green is a registered trademark and is copyright protected worldwide. Material published in Simply Green, including all artwork, may not be reproduced without the permission of the editor.

Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or staff.

ISSN 1998-1309

Flagship Member

5 SG


EDITORIAL It is both impolite and inappropriate to adopt a 'we told you so' attitude when one has been among the lead critics or commentators on a public issue under debate, and then one's position is subsequently vindicated. But it is deeply satisfying that the man who, not quite single-handedly but almost so, 'killed' SA's state-private enterprise renewable energy programme – that REIPPP initiative being a job-creating, forward-looking and highly appropriate response to climate change impacts already being felt locally – is forced to resign. Such is the case with former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Hopefully, with this man's departure from the state power producer's hot seat, sanity will return to Eskom, though we at Simply Green doubt it will be a one-step solution to that entity's self-made problems. What we can say for almost dead sure at this point is that SA's up until very recently touted adventure into further nuclear power production is off the table for the foreseeable future (see the analysis piece on page... of this issue for more on this). The very recent announcement by Eskom that it will call for its quotes for its nuke build programme appear comparable to the automatic run-around of the proverbial headless chicken. What a relief, not merely because nuclear power has its own set of problems (see articles SG 6

related to this on page 19 and page 34 of this issue) regardless of what ostensible 'solutions' it may seem to offer, but because the country simply can't afford new nuke plants. So it will be back to renewables, plus soon-tocome-on-stream coal production going forward for the next several years at least. With the very rapid evolution of both wind, but more particularly solar power production (both PV and concentrated solar power), and in light of technical developments of just the last few years, it may now safely be forecast that SA's power production future, while not yet very 'clean', will likely become ever-more sustainable over time as we proceed with the necessary rollout of smaller, decentralised power production facilities. There is, of course, still much resistance in the halls of power to this all-but-inevitable development – there are plenty of people who still, as we pointed out last issue, want to literally keep their hands on the levers of power production (actually, on all forms of power, but that's another discussion) in SA. But while some, including Jacob Zuma and his coterie of like-minded cohorts, will very grudgingly have to accept the economic realities in which we live, it is now clear that there is no real way to put the independent power producing genie back in the bottle. Not only that, there is likely to be much more of the same, given SA's parlous investment status.

Eskom, as a state-backed and owned entity which has just had a ratings outlook downgrade, simply won't be able to raise, or raise at an affordable rate, the necessary very large sums to deliver in the longer term on its declared nuclear build ambitions, nor in the short to medium term on retaining as much power production control in state hands as would be preferred by those who see their grip on power and power production slipping away. And that is all the better for all South Africans, whether they yet realise it or not. Readers should bear in mind that any power producers must still sell their electricity via state entities and must have any increases vetted by the national energy regulator, which has done a creditable job so far of reigning in some of Eskom's more absurd demands for unsustainable customer tariff increases, ranging as they have in the mid-teens of percent, year on year. In short, SA is in for a much 'brighter' future, with nuclear off the table and Eskom emasculated from engaging in major builds of more or less any kind. This means private sector funding, private sector skills (and therefore human development related to that), and private sector levels of efficiency. All this without, hopefully, the public being perennially gouged by incompetents operating from primarily political agendas and without an adequate grasp of what will actually work for the entire country and all its people in terms of future power provision. Conditions have conspired to 'cut us some slack' as the Americans might say. We should all be grateful, not only for the fact that rolling blackouts have not become a permanent feature of our economic and energetic landscape (and are unlikely to return as the bogeyman that loomed just a year back), but for the demise of the 'nuclear now' plan that had been Molefe's agenda and, we strongly

suspect, his brief from 'on high'. That independent parties are linking 'state capture' to the nuclear deal, as we have previously indicated seemed to be the case, has been a further vindication for Simply Green's vocal stand against the nuclear programme that had been planned. That this wave of foolishness and disastrous public expenditure has receded – at least for now – should not, however, be taken for granted. We have as an Energy Minister someone who has not previously performed well (ask those intimately involved in the country's fishing industry) and one who seems to change her mind on key elements of our critical future power production, more or less as the political winds switch direction. We are not out of the woods on this score as yet – but we have some critical breathing room and probably enough time for the entire nuclear foolishness to potential go away for good, to be replaced by much lower cost, and clearly vastly more sustainable and safer alternatives. So, even in the midst of global uncertainty, a possible rollback under a Trump administration of the US's belated sign-up to global accords to limit climate change impacts, plus a host of other issues, domestic and international, all very worrying, there are still points of light that require our acknowledgement and celebration. That we are much more than less likely to have a future based on a growing quantum of sustainable energy production is definitely something to celebrate. We take, therefore, this opportunity to wish all our readers and clients a restful and happy festive break and we look forward to the ongoing journey into a greener, more sustainable future with you all in 2017.

Green greetings Chris & the Team

7 SG


Brian Wilkinson is the CEO of the Green Building Council. He joined the GBC in 2011 as Chief Executive Officer after some creative encouragement out of what he thought was his ‘early retirement’. At the time he was working with ILIMA Trust, an NPO involved in supporting leaders in the public sector.

Gareth Burley is the CEO of Green Business Synergy, a company that brings business together for sustainable energy solutions and projects. He consults to companies and organisations such as the SAEE, Measurement and Verification Council, Energy Saving Company QDM, Microcare Solar Manufacturers and local government.

Jane Griffiths is a television producer, writer, artist and traveller, who has grown organic vegetables and herbs in her Johannesburg garden for 20 years. Her best-selling book Jane’s Delicious Garden has led to a vegetable revolution in South Africa, with thousands of people now following in Jane's green footsteps.

Kevin James Kevin James is a sustainable business strategist and futurist. He applies systems thinking to tackle some of the most pressing environmental and social challenges facing business today, He believes that the only way to solve the many problems that our current sustainability conundrum presents to us, is to connect the dots between stakeholders, their activities and the various systems within which they all interact.

Richard Duckitt has a BSc in Environmental and Geographical Studies (UCT), an Honors degree in Oceanography and is a registered Green Star Accredited Professional for New Buildings and a Green Star SA Assessor. Promoting sustainability solutions through an integrated and collaborative approach, he considers how all elements of a building’s design, construction and management work together to meet the needs of its owners, occupants and the environment.

Richard Sherman serves as a technical advisor on multilateral environmental agreements, international environmental governance, climate change and sustainable development. He is a member of South Africa’s Official Negotiating Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is currently the Advisor to the Co-Chair of the Board of the Green Climate Fund and is the convenor of the African Group of Negotiators Finance Working Group.

Carole Knight is a freelance environmental writer with specialisations in sustainability, emerging trends, and globalisation. She lives in the Western Cape of South Africa. The website for BirdLife South Africa is www.

Mike Britten has a B.Comm (Econ Hons) from the University of Natal, has worked in the Rhodesian Government Economics Ministry, and became General Secretary of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Rhodesia during the sanctions war. He spent the next 25 years running his own businesses, and at the same time writing weekly economic updates on the SADC region for a variety of overseas publications. Specialised on the economics of energy, particularly renewables.

Jeunesse Park established ProGreen, SA’s first environmental communications and public relations company, as well as Food & Trees for Africa and has won many awards. She continues her work as a social activator with the African Climate Reality Project.

Susanne Karcher is a chemical engineer who runs her own Environmental Consultancy called EnviroSense. Her company specialises in the planning, development and facilitation of tailor-made governmental, industrial/commercial and residential 'Integrated Resource and Waste Management' programmes. Susanne is also the coordinator and chair(wo) man of the Southern African e-Waste Alliance (SAEWA).

Johan van den Berg is the CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association, the Chair of the South African Renewable Energy Council and the African Private Sector Focal Point for the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. A barrister, he has spent 18 years in dispute resolution; environmental mediation; climate change avoidance/ emissions trading; and efforts to deploy renewable energy in Southern Africa.

Prof Mark Swilling is an internationally-recognised expert in sustainable development and is Academic Director of The Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch. Swilling has published eight edited and co-authored books, over 54 book chapters, 37 articles in refereed journals, and compiled 22 major technical reports.

9 SG

N ews The Overshoot Olympics: a world record we must not break We humans have now used up all of the Earth's resources for 2016 and are overexploiting the planet at a faster rate than ever before, writes Luke Nicholls. 'Earth Overshoot Day', which passed on August 8, is not something to be celebrated. It serves as a depressing reminder of just how far the world's developed nations still have to come to stop overfishing, overharvesting, overforesting and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the forests and oceans can sequester. If there was an Olympic Games of global resource overconsumption (see graphic), the gold medal would go to Australia, which is currently using up as much resources as would be required by 5.4 Earths. The USA would take silver (4.8 Earths) and bronze would, somewhat surprisingly, go to Switzerland (3.3 Earths). The UK would rank eighth. That this planet is rapidly running out of resources is an unarguable truth. And it’s equally true that the various organisations we all work in will still want to be around and operating profitably in five, 10 or 20 years’ time. But unless we can truly decouple ‘profitability’ and ‘sustainability’, then we will quickly surpass the crucial 1.5 and two-degree limits of global warming – which is a record that no Olympian would be proud to see us break. Click here for more

CONDUCTING ELECTRICITY ON PAPER This captivating pen made by Tokyo-based startup AgIC conducts electricity as a person draws lines. Using a silver conductive ink, the magic pen serves as an incredible tool for paper circuit projects. Watch with wonder as the electric marker brings a miniature 3D paper town to life. AgiC’s pen set can be bought on Amazon for about R350.

S G 10

WORLD EXPO 2017 Construction works on the highly anticipated Expo City 2017, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), are well underway in Astana, Kazakhstan. The 429-acre master plan responds to the Expo theme 'Future Energy' by incorporating buildings that will operate as power plants, generating energy from solar panels and wind turbines to power themselves and the rest of the campus through an innovative smart grid. The project focuses on using renewable energy as the primary source for infrastructure and daily operation of the buildings. Each element of the design aims to encourage and support the idea of clean energy across the project, which will feature exhibition and cultural pavilions, a residential development, commercial areas, educational and civic facilities, as well as parks and parking. Located at the very heart of the campus, the sphere-shaped Kazakhstan Pavilion will be a true symbol of the 'Future Energy' concept. Its transformative skin will reduce thermal loss and reduce interior solar glare, at the same time increasing the building’s energy output through integrated sustainable systems such as photovoltaics. Each building was designed to reduce energy use and increase the amount of clean energy that can be harvested. In addition to the excellent energy performance of individual buildings, the architects ensured that the entire development will be interconnected by including a smart energy grid, smart recycled water grid, integrated waste management system, and inter-seasonal underground thermal energy storage. Click here for more

ENERGY UNDER OUR FEET Flooring can be made from any number of sustainable materials, making it, generally, an eco-friendly feature in homes and businesses alike. Now, however, flooring could be even more 'green', thanks to an inexpensive, simple method developed by University of Wisconsin– Madison engineers that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity. The method puts to good use a common waste material: wood pulp. The pulp, which is already a common component of flooring, is partly made of cellulose nanofibres that, when chemically treated, produce an electrical charge when they come into contact with untreated nanofibers. Click here for more

11 S G

N ews SETTING AN EXAMPLE If you’ve ever doubted the power of just one person, this story might change your mind. Husband and wife Sri Bikkala Chikkayya and Saalumarada Thimmakka from southern India couldn’t have children, so they began to plant and care for trees instead. Now Thimmakka, who is around 105-years old, has planted approximately 300 trees. After being married for 25 years without kids, Thimmakka started planting trees from her home village Hulikal along the road to Kudur in the state of Karnataka. The trees now span around four kilometers, or nearly two and a half miles, on the route. Thimmakka told CNN, 'It was my fate to not have any children. Because of that, we planned to plant trees and raise them and get blessings. We have treated the trees as our children.'

My Call For Humanity

Physicists announce the 'possible discovery' of a fifth force of nature Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have announced the ‘possible discovery’ of a previously unknown subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could unlock the secrets of dark matter. The discovery would represent a fifth force of nature in the form of a mysterious new particle. Theoretical physicists at UCI now believe the particle, initially theorised by a team of Hungarian researchers last year, could be a newly discovered light particle that adds a fifth component to the four known forces of nature, or even a 'grander, more fundamental force' when combined with one of the existing forces. For the full story click here.

S G 12

Click here for more

INGULA PUMPED WATER SCHEME The Ingula Pumped Water Scheme may not have been heard of by most South Africans, but it is a significant contribution to the country’s electricity supply. Located on the KwaZulu–Natal border in the Little Drakensberg, the scheme began in 2005 and is now partially operational. The scheme involves two dams with a hydraulic head of 480m. Four 333MW generators will generate a maximum of 1 332MW. Initial cost estimate was R8.9bn, but has escalated to R36bn. The Scheme is jointly owned and was built by Eskom and partner CMC Impregilo Mavundla. Electricity is generated by pumping water to the upper dam with excess electricity from coal and other generators, and releasing it to the generating turbines via a 2km tunnel to the lower dam. While the scheme is relatively expensive in terms of electricity produced, it fills that difficult gap left by wind and photovoltaic when weather reduces or ceases their contribution. Phalani Mavundla has a R1.2bn share in the scheme. He is a long-time friend of Jacob Zuma and offered to pay for Zuma's Nkandla bill. He is also a member of the Jacob Zuma Trust and Chairman of the Bhambhatha region of the ANC. Mavundla’s engineering company was involved in the building of the King Shaka International Airport.

TRUTH IN PICTURES 'When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realise That You Cannot Eat Money.' This prophecy is becoming a more and more brutal reality. But, even today, not every person is aware of the horrible effects our lifestyles have on nature. recently published a series of evocative photographs that will leave you speechless. BELOW: (L) A fire storm plows through Colorado — increased incidences of wild fires is a result of climate change. (R) The beginning of Black Friday at an electronics store in Boise, Idaho.

13 S G

T ravel

Global Wheeling

S G 14

Global Wheeling is the brain child of Kayden Kleinhans who decided to show the world that it is possible to explore the planet without the use of fossil fuels. Global Wheeling has already received acclaim as an NPO and ambassador for carbon negative travel and environmental contribution (planting thousands of trees at schools and local areas in the Western Cape). Kayden embodies his philosophy that 'whether you're a climate change carbon crusader or a global warming sceptic, the world's a cooler place with more trees.'

15 S G


n the past few years Global Wheeling was nominated both at the 2012 SA Eco Awards and for Best Reality TV Show at the 2016 SAFTAS, and recently won Merit awards in the Eco-Warrior and

Transport categories at this year's SA Eco Awards. Kayden also received a Climate Change Leadership Award for the 2010/2011 period and was voted as one of the top 200 most influential South Africans by the Mail and Guardian in 2012. Over the last ten years Kayden (Outside TV and Discovery Chanel) has cycled, unassisted though most of Europe, Australia, South East Asia, Africa and most recently from the southern tip of Argentina through the Andes to Nevada in the US. This epic solo voyage was self-recorded and the eight episode adventure documentary (Global Wheeling Season 1) has already aired in America, France and Poland. Highlights of his voyage of the Americas can be seen on YouTube in a 90 second compilation of the eight episode series. His next thrilling expedition (Global Wheeling Season 2), an eight month Indian Odyssey spanning the subcontinent, infamous for its poor roads, intense traffic and other dangers to road users, as well as Sri Lanka and Nepal, starts mid-November and will see him cycling on his Surly bicycle, exploring and assisting with local volunteer and environment projects throughout. Kayden will start his solo voyage from the ancient ruins and Unesco Heritage sites of Sri Lanka before crossing over to the mayhem, mad streets and desserts of western and central India, finally ascending eastwards to the peaceful highlands of the Himalayas. Kayden wants to shed light on our over-reliance on fossil fuels and where better to drive this message home than in the 1 billion-strong, motor-dependent sub-continent of India? With 53 000 world-wide kilometers already cycled, this trip takes Kayden to just shy of one-and-a-half times around the world since 2005. South Africans can look forward to viewing Kayden's latest expedition on E-TV in February 2017. Fans and cycling enthusiasts will be able to follow his progress, trails and trials on Facebook and Intagram. In 2017 Global Wheeling launches its new exciting volunteer programme where intrepid participants (known as voluntours) will be able to join Kayden on two-week carbon-negative expeditions in the Western Cape. Voluntouring (combining volunteering and adventure touring) has become popular world-wide and where better to launch such an initiative than in beautiful Cape Town with mountain passes and ocean fronts to rival the best and a city where environmental and community driven initiatives are a-plenty. International voluntours will be taught about each unique bio-sphere by experts in their respective fields, sample unique local delicacies sourced from sustainable farms and participate in South African community-driven and environmental projects. This unique tour combines the fast-paced adrenalin-coursing elements of adventure touring within a dedicated eco-programme focusing on environmental issues and conscientious global awareness.

For more info about the volunteer programme visit

S G 16

'Whether you're a climate change carbon crusader or a global warming sceptic, at the end of the day, the world's a cooler place with more trees.' - Kayden Kleinhans

17 S G


SA's new

energy plan University of Johannesburg Professor of Physics, Hartmut Winkler takes a look at the SA government's latest energy plan that looks ahead to as far as 2050, with some far-reaching implications for both renewable and non-renewable energy production.

S G 20

21 S G


he much awaited updated South African Integrated Resource Plan for electricity has been released for comment.

The document makes far-reaching proposals

about the target energy generation mix leading all the way to 2050. In particular, the plan pronounces on the future scale and role of nuclear energy and renewable energy technologies. The appropriateness of these has been debated a great deal in the country in the past few years. If adopted in its current form, it will lead to a 15-year delay in the construction of new nuclear power plants. But it will also result in a greater reliance on gas, solar and especially wind power than anticipated five years ago in the previous plan

It recommended that, in view of these changing


conditions, there was no longer a need to kick-start

The proposed plan has already been the subject

a nuclear build programme immediately. It also

of intensive scrutiny and debate, with those for and

recommended that a decision on whether or not to

against lining up to make their points. The state

embark on an expensive expansion of the nuclear

utility Eskom is unhappy about the suggested delay

reactor fleet could be delayed for several years.

in building a much bigger nuclear capability and has

But this updated version of the plan was never

even threatened to ignore key recommendations.

promulgated. This left the door open for a fiercely

For their part, advocates of renewable energy

pro-nuclear lobby which is in favour of a highly

argue that the plan underestimates how much less

lucrative nuclear expansion programme. This issue

expensive these technologies will be in the next 20

has developed into a political hot potato. The

to 30 years.

central argument is that the push for nuclear goes

The previous road-map An earlier version of the integrated resources plan

against economic common sense and that it's being pursued for the benefit of politically connected individuals.

released in 2011 envisaged that between 2010 and

The nuclear build issue has come to feature

2030 South Africa's electricity demand would grow

prominently as one of the important drivers of

from 255TWh (tera-watt-hours – a unit of energy)

what is referred to as 'state capture' of some of the

to 436TWh. This was to be achieved through the

country's large institutions.

completion of two very large coal power plants, Medupi and Kusile, which would supply the bulk of

The latest version

the shortfall. Other contributors would be nuclear,

The draft update of the resources plan advocates

for which new plants would need to be built, and

the following most likely scenario, referred to as

the establishment of a new renewable energy

the 'base case'.

generation network of wind power and solar power.

But a great deal has changed since then.

in 2030 (about 100TWh lower than envisaged

Firstly, the growth in energy demand has proved

in the 2010-2030 plan) with demand rising to

to be lower than projected. Secondly, the cost

between 390 and 530 TWh in 2050. This is

of renewable technologies has dropped faster

based on projection models developed at the

than expected. In particular, the price of solar

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

photovoltaic electricity allocated under the country's

The construction of 37.4GW (1  000GigaWatts

renewable energy procurement programme fell by

equal 1 TeraWatt) of wind capacity and 17.6GW

75% between 2012 and 2015.

of solar photovoltaic capacity between 2020 and 2050.

These developments were captured in an updated version of the 2011 plan that was prepared in 2013.

S G 22

Electricity demand between 310 and 355TWh

The gradual decommissioning of most existing

The nuclear industry and its supporters have reacted very negatively to the new draft. Strong nuclear advocates in the state electricity utility Eskom have gone so far as to defiantly declare that they will invite nuclear construction proposals before the end of the year.



coal power stations by 2050 in line with

drop a further 20% for photovoltaics and 9% for

international carbon emission agreements.

wind. But given recent trends and projections

A substantial increase (35.3GW) in electricity

there's a strong likelihood that future renewable

generation from gas. Due to the high cost of

energy costs will be lower than that.

gas it is generally used only as a back up. It

The 'base case' also assumes a limit to how

would in any case contribute only about 7% of

many solar and wind plants can be constructed

total energy generation.

annually. But based on past interest and delivery

The construction of just over 20GW of nuclear

by private renewable power producers far greater

power. But this would only gradually come

annual developments are possible.

on line between 2037 and 2050. Given that

Several researchers have shown that by applying

construction of the plants would take ten years

lower renewable tariffs and removing annual

the decision to go ahead with the nuclear build

construction limits, renewables can make up a

could still be delayed for another decade.

much greater proportion of the energy mix, and that new nuclear might not even be needed in 2050.

Initial reactions its

Future energy demand

supporters have reacted very negatively to the new

The new energy plan is now subject to public

draft. Strong nuclear advocates in the state electricity

input. It is due to be adopted by government in

utility Eskom have gone so far as to defiantly declare

four months' time after improvements and further

that they will invite nuclear construction proposals

scenario modelling has been added.






before the end of the year.

Even after adoption, updates will need to be

But Eskom's defiance is unlikely to lead to

done regularly, ideally every two years since even

anything substantial. This is because the state

current projections could be overestimating future

utility is facing both a credibility crisis and its

energy demand considerably.

finances are in poor shape.

This is particularly true given that energy

On the other hand advocates of faster growth

consumption is declining in most developed

in renewables have criticised two fundamental

countries because of advances in technology and

assumptions underpinning the 'base case' model.

energy saving initiatives.

They argue that the model assumes renewable

If the energy sector is managed correctly, the

tariffs slightly higher than achieved in the last

current South African energy crisis may not be as

allocations made under the renewable energy

far reaching as is often assumed.


procurement programme. Only by 2030 do these

This article was published recently by the online forum The Conversation and is republished in terms of the forum's creative common license. Read the original here.

23 S G

N uclear


Is nuclear the way to go in SA

S G 24

The government of Jacob Zuma is apparently determined to go ahead with a nuclear build program in the face of much controversy. The following article by regional economic analyst Mike Britten is the result of not only research of current world and South African thinking on nuclear energy, but also consulting the views of South African, Russian and British nuclear experts.

25 S G


hether or not to embrace nuclear energy

design, could be 'fool proof' – and although half of

is a live issue in South Africa, quite

the core went into meltdown, the radiation leak

apart from the political ramifications.

was minimal, because nearly all vented radioactive

In this review we will look at nuclear risk, the

materials were retained within the facility.

current SA and international scene with nuclear as

At Chernobyl, 20 million curies of radiologically

an 'alternative energy' option (to fossil fuels), and

active particulant material and seven million curies

attempt to see where SA should go in the future with

of radioactive gas were released. At Three Mile

regards to reliable, cost-effective energy provision.

Island, the level of radiation close to the site was

The start of the nuclear energy age may

miniscule with only 43  000 curies was vented

have begun with Einstein's theory of relativity,

from the reactor a year later in preparation for

the development of quantum mechanics and the

the clean-up. Two million people received a dose

splitting of the atom during WWII. But it was with

of about one millerem. To provide contextual

the US determination to find a way to power its

comparison, the equivalent exposure from an X-ray

submarines that paved the way for nuclear energy's

image is six millerem.

effective roll-out as a power generation technology.

In March 2011, the Fukushima Daichi accident, initiated by the tsunami which followed a massive

Nuke history

9.0 Richter scale quake, occurred in North Eastern Japan. Following the tsunami hitting the Fukushima

While putting small reactors on board submarines

reactor area, the reactors shut down fission. All

has been achieved by a number of countries

would have been safe, except that the tsunami

since, the wide-spread development of nuclear

flooded the standby electric generators providing

generation was, arguably, slowed, particularly in

power to pump water to cool the reactors. This

the US and the UK, by two nuclear accidents and a

led to three meltdowns and the release of a very

film. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 is still used

substantial amount of radioactive material – indeed,

by activists and politicians to scare voters against

even as you read this caesium 137 and iodine 131

nuclear energy. The power plant's second-rate RBMK

continue to be released into the sea, mostly, at

reactor was a function of the USSR establishment's


determination to keep up with the United States. Twenty years before that disaster, British nuclear

and dangerous, and scientists outside the USSR

Why Fukushima happened

were not surprised at the Chernobyl meltdown. In

In 2008 Tepco, the Japanese equivalent of Eskom,

fact, the immediate cause of the meltdown was

had initiated an in-house study to suggest ways

the operators conducting a non-routine test and

to better protect Fukushima from sea flooding.

running the reactor in a way which it was never

The company did not take the recommendation

designed for.

seriously and nothing was done. Both the Japanese

scientist Sir Christopher Hinton publically stated that the system adopted for Chernobyl was unsafe

S G 26

The accident did lasting damage to the concept

Active Fault and Earthquake Centre, and the US

of nuclear energy as a 'safe' method of power

Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1991 warned of

production, since some reactors were self-evidently

the risks at Fukushima, but in a most un-Japanese

not safe.

reaction, nothing was followed up.

The earlier Three Mile Island disaster, in

In the wake of the 2011 disaster, the Japanese

conjunction with the anti-nuclear theme of the

Government Commission of Enquiry decided that

film The China Syndrome, scared the population of

the accident should have been foreseen, and that

Pennsylvania to the extent that 200 000 people left

the Tepco had failed to meet basic safety standards

their homes and fled. Ironically, Three Mile Island

regarding risk, the containing of collateral damage

was a clear example of how safety measures for the

and evacuation planning. The disaster was rated

(much safer) pressure water system type reactors,

a seven on the International Nuclear Event scale

which were fundamentally different to the Chernobyl

(similar to Chernobyl) and it was estimated that

between 130 and 640 deaths would result over time. That estimate may well have to be significantly upwardly revised, in due course, given that the release of radiologically active fission products and by-products continue to be released into the sea almost six years on, especially as long-lived caesium, along with radioactive iodine and strontium 90 (which behaves like and replaces calcium in our bodies), bio-accumulate up the food chain, rendering almost all sea food in a large area of the Pacific off the eastern coast of Japan potentially hazardous. Despite this direct health hazard, such sea food continues to be caught, bought and eaten – though, notably, not by the Japanese themselves. What the accident investigations show in both cases is that Chernobyl and Fukushima should never have happened if project planning was up to required international standards and warnings had been heeded. Three Mile Island showed that, with effective risk planning, even a meltdown had been safely contained. However, to this day, partly because of lobbying from oil and other interests, as well as anti-nuke bodies such as Greenpeace and similar organisations, most Americans and people around the World still don't distinguish fact from fiction regarding nuclear safety.

Renewables In looking at the place of nuclear in the suite of energy options now available, there is much to consider, both in terms of short-term implications, as well as those pertaining to the long term – 20 years and more. Looking to the future, we must also take into account that globally hundreds of millions of people, billions even, are starting to actively demand a better lifestyle. If the current world population was to attain the same standard of living as is currently enjoyed in Europe, it would take three times the earth's available resources. As populations increase and living conditions improve,

In looking at the place of nuclear in the suite of energy options now available, there is much to consider, both in terms of short-term implications, as well as those pertaining to the long term – 20 years and more. Looking to the future, we must also take into account that globally hundreds of millions of people, billions even, are starting to actively demand a better lifestyle. If the current world population was to attain the same standard of living as is currently enjoyed in Europe, it would take three times the earth's available resources.

the need for very large scale alternative sources of energy will become crucial, not optional. If we last on earth for a million years or even a much shorter period, and unless some currently unknown source of energy is found, the sun, in the form of solar, wind, hydro, wave etc, and nuclear (whether fission or fusion) are all we have. Apart from the inevitable long-term depletion of all reserves of coal, gas and fossil fuels, the cost of bringing them to the consumer is already beginning to escalate, even if

27 S G

prices do not yet fully reflect this fact. Oil reserves

is to introduce into such storage pools neutron

being tapped are, unavoidably, ever deeper under

absorbing material, generally aluminium compounds,

sea, while economically recoverable coal reserves in

to reduce the number of thermal neutrons causing

some countries are estimated to last no longer than

fission. This will allow much higher waste storage

another 20 years.

densities. This is, of course, a 'temporary fix' in that

We should also take into account some statistical

it merely puts off the date at which something other

facts: The 640 million population of Africa outside

than simple storage will have to be done to replace

South Africa share only 28 GigaWatts (GW) of

the current status quo.

generation, or about the same as Argentina. In

Much research is ongoing to perfect new ways

South Africa, with just 24% of households having

of avoiding costly alternatives, and engineers in the

access to electricity, load-shedding in 2015 was still

industry believe that waste disposal is no longer the

unavoidable, and cost 2.1% of GDP in that year.

bogey it once was.

Making the right choices for power generation

Others, mainly nuclear critics outside the

has many implications, but the human aspirations

industry, have a very different view and see the

for a better life cannot be forgotten.

pro-nuke lobby's failure to take long-term safe storage and/or treatment of nuclear fission waste

Low carbon

as a key argument against proceeding with this type of energy infrastructure development given that,

One of the main drives for expanding alternative

in their view inevitably and un-arguably, high-level

electricity generation is that they are low carbon

nuclear fission waste will some day in the not

producers, often referred to incorrectly as 'green'. It

too distant future become a problem requiring a

is more precise to refer to renewable energy sources

solution which is currently nowhere to be found.

as low carbon in that they have a generally much smaller greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. All renewables have steel, concrete, and other

Photovoltaic (PV), solar towers, solar troughs, wind

to build, create and/or maintain, so they have a

turbines and even hydro have reliability problems

measureable carbon footprint. Maintenance costs,

of power delivery to varying degrees. Only nuclear

and to a lesser extent capital costs, are well known,

does not have reliability concerns (except when

but the carbon footprint of construction is subject to

'broken' as in Fukushima, of course), with France

controversy. Some overseas research has suggested

and its 76 nuclear reactors providing an example

that PV panels in manufacture produce as much CO2

of routine functioning without major incidents.

as they will ever save. This point is heavily opposed

However, there is a trend in nuclear thinking

by various pro-solar parties.

towards more numerous small reactors. Large

Nuclear build costs, bot in revenue and CO2

reactors are enormously expensive, require high

emissions are extremely high relative to other

quality construction materials and ability, operation

energy production methods. But nuclear has a close

and maintenance, with very long build times. A

to zero operational carbon footprint. Disagreement

problem at one smaller reactor would not affect the

revolves around the cost of waste disposal. Waste

grid significantly.

at nuclear power stations is currently stored in 'fuel

A vital factor in renewable reliability evaluation

pools' – mostly for want of anything else to be done

is the so called 'net capacity factor', or how much of

with these materials, which are among the most

the time the project is actually providing electricity.

toxic that humankind has ever produced. As these

For nuclear this is known to be 92% plus, for wind

pools accumulate waste, innovative ways are being

36%, and PV farms a surprising 26%. The figures for

used to increase the storage potential of the pools

wind and PV vary depending on the part of the world

for the obvious reason that as waste accumulates


over time, and if not being moved off-site, new storage on-site is required. One method which has been tried successfully

S G 28


manufactured inputs, all of which take energy

This means that any renewable needs significant backup in case of down-time or reduced generation periods. Experience from different parts of the world

and for different renewables, sets the back-up needed from 30% to 100%. This backup will, it has been argued by pro-nuclear assessment, 'have to be' in nuclear, or gas (another natural resource which has recently been found to be in much larger reserves than previously believed, but still ultimately also not renewable). Crucial to stability in the grid is the ability to rapidly increased output from power stations to meet unexpected demands. At current time, it is claimed that only nuclear and gas can provide this, with gas a high-cost option. This back-up factor must surely be critical where a country, such as South Africa, is severely stretched financially and cannot finance the luxury of large scale backup. Some indication of official South African thinking regarding back-ups to renewables is the recent announcement by government that R50bn will be spent on providing port facilities for gas at Richards Bay and Coega. The back-up issue may also partly explain Eskom's recent pull-back on renewable approvals, though it may also be that there are purely political considerations with respect to now-disgraced former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, as indicated in the Public Protector's report on 'state capture'.

Cost/Affordability There is no point in producing electricity which nobody can afford. Cost of production has therefore become a determining factor. Until recently there has been general agreement that wind produced the cheapest electricity, but maintenance costs for wind turbines, and rapidly reducing costs for PV farms (see September edition of Simply Green), has brought PV to the forefront with cost as low as US0.4¢ per kWh, an amount equivalent to about R0.60 cents, and way below Eskom costs. Nuclear opponents, including Outa and Greenpeace, have been ready to quote R3tr as the capital cost of a nuclear reactor suite for South Africa. However, these figures are not based on any reliable estimates. In the absence of actual contracts, Eskom, government and the pro-nuke lobby is certain that South Africa can afford a series of reactors; opponents will stridently propound the opposite.

Photovoltaic (PV), solar towers, solar troughs, wind turbines and even hydro have reliability problems of power delivery to varying degrees. Only nuclear does not have reliability concerns (except when 'broken' as in Fukushima, of course), with France and its 76 nuclear reactors providing an example of routine functioning without major incidents. However, there is a trend in nuclear thinking towards more numerous small reactors. Large reactors are enormously expensive, require high quality construction materials and ability, operation and maintenance, with very long build times.

Although nuclear may not start generating the cheapest power, the contract for Hinkley Point and the French experience shows that nuclear can keep down the cost of power without increase for up to 35 years

29 S G

(assuming nothing goes wrong, of course). No other

generators, can also cause chaos.

option could come anywhere near matching this advantage. Nuclear costs would start at about R1.40 per kWh, as against current Eskom costs of about

Local opposition

R1.10, but the short-term influence on national

While some South Africans will unhappily accept that

electricity prices would be negligible, while the

the government is likely to get its way over nuclear,

long-term influence of nuclear would be positive.

if funding can be secured there are some opposition

One of the reasons why nuclear can keep costs

groups who are actively fighting back. Action falls

down over very long periods is that fuel costs are

into three attacks: on the grounds that we don't

only 10% of total, while in coal or gas generation

need the extra nuclear power and can't afford it

fuel costs are 60-70%. Oil is even higher.

anyway; the alternatives available via renewables are sufficient to the country's needs, if rolled out

Build time

sensibly; and court challenges on the grounds that information relating to nuclear energy in SA was and

Nuclear is clearly the longest build of all options,

is being withheld by government and decisions were

followed by hydro. The Koeberg contract for a

and are being taken unconstitutionally.

reactor with a known track record, was signed in

Energy consultant Anton Eberhard believes that

1976, and came on stream in 1984. If load shedding

South Africa has already committed to enough

is to be avoided in coming years, tough decisions on

energy to see it through to 2030. This energy

the nuclear option are necessary now, if the country

will be provided by the Medupi and Kusile coal

is to go that route.

power stations adding 9.6GW, the Ingula pumped

Obligations to the Paris Agreement require

storage scheme adding 1.6GW, and two peaking

long-term planning to reduce national CO2 output,

power stations each adding 1GW. This view remains

but the poor record of the SA government in making

controversial as the projected growth of the

timely decisions for energy tends to suggest we

economy over an extended period is an unknown

should not expect a cohesive energy plan any time

factor in determining future demand – though the


likely future demand curve is already far off (much

As a genuine renewable (so long as the Congo still has high tropical rainfall, of course) and what

lower than) Eskom's assessments based on usage and projected growth of a decade ago.

could be a success for the whole of Southern Africa,

Green activists have long propounded the view

would be the installation of the Congo River Hydro

that renewables can make up any increased power

scheme. This scheme has been punted for many

demand without needing nuclear. Such arguments

years, but has made no apparent progress, due, it

generally avoid the fact that because renewables are

would seem, to politics – put simply, the countries

not necessarily reliable in output, backup capacity

which would like to be involved don't trust each

must be available to mitigate this risk. The capital

other sufficiently to place their energy future in

cost of the backup is clearly significant, as is its

the hands of another country. In the highly volatile

influence on the cost of power. It is for this reason

geo-political context of Sub-Saharan Africa, that

that court applications by activists to halt nuclear

prevarication may, in fact, be well-placed caution.

production in SA seem unlikely to succeed. But that is just one side of an argument which, in purely legal


S G 30

terms, may well go against secretive and dubious governmental and utility management pro-nuke

SA's centrally controlled administration means that

determinations made, it would seem, for reasons

all alternative energy projects suffer extended

that have nothing to do with energy production

approvals from government/Eskom, central and

per se, but a lot to do with who may benefit from

provincial government, and in some cases public

building a suite of nuclear power plants, legally and

opinion. Changes without notice, such as the

in other ways.

recent Eskom decision to suspend the negotiation

There is no doubt that Eskom and the SA

of electricity purchases from new renewable

government have tried to deny the public information

about their nuclear plans and has withheld key facts. It is now known that past Minister Ben Martins had signed a nuclear procurement determination on 11 November 2013, announced by the Russian media in 2014, but not acknowledged by the SA government until late 2015. It remains to be seen if such a decision-making process holds up to a Constitutional challenge on the grounds that the decision-makers failed to act transparently, to consult with the public and to investigate the environmental implications of a nuclear build program – and it would seem that there is a strong prima facie case that it may well not do so, on these and other related grounds. If such an outcome eventuates from the inevitable Constitutional challenge that will be thrown up by anti-nuke elements in SA's civil society, then it will be back to the drawing-board, literally, for the Zuma government and Eskom – and in all likelihood they will be back at square one with much less time on their hands to decide where next to go. In that case, the additional 'conventional' power production sources now coming on line or due to over the next several years, may be better used as the necessary back-up to a much larger suite of smaller and widely dispersed renewable production facilities (mainly wind and solar of different kinds). The great advantage of all genuinely renewable projects (except hydro) is that they are much cheaper, much quicker builds – and they can be modularised as an offset against the effects of a single-facility failure, with a potentially massive negative impact on the grid and on national power production.

World trends In terms of deciding what SA's power production trajectory may be, what the rest of the world is doing about nuclear may be considered a key indicator. In short, embracing nuclear with 'open arms', is what many countries are doing, according to the International

Green activists have long propounded the view that renewables can make up any increased power demand without needing nuclear. Such arguments generally avoid the fact that because renewables are not necessarily reliable in output, backup capacity must be available to mitigate this risk. The capital cost of the backup is clearly significant, as is its influence on the cost of power. It is for this reason that court applications by activists to halt nuclear production in SA seem unlikely to succeed.

Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors but does not promote the use of nuclear reactors. The Far East (China, mainly, but also India) is moving rapidly ahead, with the West (mainly Europe outside France) much more cautious. China plans 30 new reactors by 2020, while India has for some time been committed to nuclear power production as the only way to improve the standards of living of its huge population. Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE have

31 S G

indicated to the IAEA that they too aim to master

by the tactics being adopted by Eskom and SA's

nuclear technology.

political leaders. Whether or not blatant corruption

The West, led by France, is slowly overcoming the

is or could be involved or not, the issues have led to

'Chernobyl syndrome', and with commitments to the

many uninformed views, both for and against. Either

Paris Agreement now a reality, a number of Western

way, the nuclear decision will have a significant

governments now see nuclear as an important part

influence on SA's future.

of their future energy strategy – however, a major

Rumours are very strong that the Zuma

problem that most have is domestic resistance

government has already signed a deal with Russia

among a wary public which is deeply suspicious of

to build one (more likely several) of its modern

nuclear power in their own back yards. In France,

third-generation reactors in the Eastern Cape,

80% of electricity is already nuclear, while the recent

although financing is unclear. If one goes ahead, it

approval for the go ahead for the Hinkley Point

is likely others will follow. Only time will tell.

reactor in the UK, and the acknowledgement that it

However, it must be pointed out that in the wake

will be followed by five more new reactors, may help

of the Public Protector's report on state capture, the

start a general rethink in Europe.

resignation of the Eskom CEO (with ongoing calls

Germany, which is reducing its nuclear capacity,

for the heads of the entire Eskom board) and with

is happy to buy nuclear power from neighbouring

a looming Commission of Enquiry into the 'State

France. Denmark, which is 80% wind renewable, can

of Capture', there is a high level of probability that

only operate in this way because it can draw large

any agreements of intent, or even purchase, signed

amounts of power at short notice from Swedish and

by Zuma, the current Energy Minister or any other

Norwegian hydro generation. But notably, nuclear

party will be challenged and overturned by the

is off the program for all time as far as the Danes,

courts for being inadequately and inappropriately

Swedes and Norwegians are concerned as being

determined both in relevant legislation and under

both too expensive and too risky – and they simply

the Constitution.

don't need it. Another reason that nuclear power production in

In short, Jacob Zuma's 'nuclear dream' is already all but dead in the water.

Europe is gaining some favour has been forced by

Still, it is the author's view – and that of many

the increasingly unreliable Russians playing fast and

involved in power production, especially nuclear

loose with their gas supplies, and the cancellation of

power production – that in the light of the best

gas and oil joint ventures with Western companies.

currently available information, those tasked with

Countries most affected include Turkey, France,

making decisions for their nations future in energy

Finland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece.

would be negligent to exclude nuclear.

One irony of the nuclear scenario is that major

For SA, as for nuclear projects anywhere, the

oil producers and oil companies look like turning

financing and contract structure will determine

out to be among the biggest investors in nuclear.

ultimate success. Given how matters have proceeded

While there is no immediate risk of fossil fuels

with Medupi and Kusile coal power stations, purely

drying up (oil is indeed running out, requiring

on the level of numerous unnecessary delays and

ever-more expensive, risky and damaging extraction

construction-level hold-ups, the construction cost

processes, but there is plenty of coal – at least 200

estimates for any SA nuclear build program will have

years' worth at current and predicted usage levels),

to be looked at with great scepticism relative to

energy companies can see the day when they will

initial assessments. If even half as many problems

have a change of emphasis. Chief Executive of

occur with the government-desired nuclear suite

Total, writing in The Times newspaper, has said it

of power stations as have occurred with either

was time Total looked seriously at nuclear.

of the two major coal-fired stations still under construction, the build cost estimates are going to


S G 32

spiral towards R1.5-2tn in short order. And that's if the rand stays reasonably stable in the interim,

It is the author's view that it is unfortunate that the

given that such builds are almost certain to be

merits of a nuclear future for SA have been muddied

costed in dollar-denominated quanta.

It seems there is consensus among the pro-nuke lobby that for most modern economies nuclear must form at least a significant part of energy mix – say 25-30% of electricity generation in the medium term, and more in the long term. Looking at the wider consumer interest, it is also clear that in a normal energy environment, renewables have a significant contribution to make by providing electricity off-grid in places where to take the grid would be unviable. Ignoring political interference, there are a limited number of major factors outlined above, which should decide whether or not SA takes the nuclear route. They include the need for backup to renewables, the capital cost and price of electricity to the consumer, and the carbon footprints of both the build and operational stages of any power production process. It also seems that PV farms are likely to be the lowest cost producers short-term and the most quickly actioned projects. Why then has Eskom pulled up the drawbridge on PV farms, when the cost of PV panels is dropping to less than R10/W and investment was just beginning to gather momentum and attract outside investment? Is it the cost of backup and or the need to fund Eskom's nuclear aspirations?


Is nuclear 'renewable'? One of the problems in the current energy debate taking place both in SA and elsewhere around the world is whether nuclear power production can be classed as 'renewable', as many pro-nuke lobbyists would have it. In short, it cannot. Uranium 235, the primary fuel in fission reactors, is a natural resource like any other and while there are several major land-based sources for this heavy metal which, under current and projected usage, would likely last at least a couple centuries, there is also a vast quantity of uranium in the world's seas (along with almost every other element one could name) but extremely widely dispersed. Theoretically, should the world be largely nuclear powered in, say, 150 years' time and the uranium resources on land are becoming ever harder to find and increasingly costly to extract, scientists could turn to the world's oceans and extract uranium from there. But, as with most things, there is a vast difference between what may be done in theory and what works in practice – the time, energy and money needed to extract the uranium concerned from global oceans with current means (and any imaginable but as yet undeveloped techniques) is vastly greater than the energy which could be extracted from such uranium in any fission process. Similarly, there is a lot of gold and other precious metals to be found in oceanic waters, but it is not worth the effort and cost to extract them, so too with uranium. In reality, then, just like coal and oil, uranium is an ever-dwindling resource and therefore certainly not 'renewable' at all in the strict sense of the world.

33 S G


Nuclear option for SA

'bad idea' S G 34


outh Africa's cabinet is to consider a proposal that a mooted nuclear power deal for the country be financed

Former government specialist on support for state-owned enterprises, specialising in Eskom, SeĂĄn Mfundza Muller, now a senior lecturer in economics, University of Johannesburg, wrote the following article for the academic debate forum The Conversation recently. This is his take on the proposed nuclear deal for SA's future power generation needs.

through the state-owned power utility Eskom. This is

the latest twist in South Africa's controversial efforts to expand its nuclear power capability by commissioning up to 9.6GW of energy from six nuclear power stations. The decision has been mired in controversy and still hangs in the balance and the offer by Eskom to foot the bill raises more questions than it provides answers. Recent claims by Eskom's management fail to adequately address any of the fundamental criticisms of the proposed nuclear programme. Statements that Eskom can 'finance nuclear on its own', or absorb the risks from an incorrect decision, don't add up economically or financially, and are misleading. Furthermore, changes in Eskom's rationale for justifying nuclear procurement over the last two years call into question the merits and motives of these arguments. Its claims about financing also raise serious questions about the arguments it presented to Parliament last year to justify a R23bn cash injection and writing off a R60bn loan. The right decision would be for cabinet to defer further consideration of the programme for at least two years. In addition Eskom should account to Parliament on discrepancies in its statements about its financial situation.

Fundamental flaws The three main problems with the case for nuclear procurement are well-established. The actual power probably will not be needed. Recent trends in economic growth and electricity demand are much lower than the original forecasts on which the supposed need for nuclear power were based. The programme is also likely to be very costly although there are still no credible, government cost estimates in the public domain. Many energy experts have argued that even if additional capacity was needed, other energy sources may be cheaper or more appropriate. Finally, the combination of insufficient demand and costly supply means that nuclear poses a serious threat to the future stability of the country's public finances and economic growth.

Eskom's shifting arguments An indicator of problematic motives behind the push for nuclear is the way in which the arguments made for it keep shifting. Late last year former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe told parliament that procurement of nuclear was 'urgent' and feasible. Molefe

35 S G

argued that nuclear costs are lower than critics imply and concerns about financing reflect a 'pedestrian' attitude. Subsequent to this Eskom decided on a new line of attack: trying to limit procurement of power from independent renewable energy producers. In a letter to the minister of public enterprises Eskom questioned the merits of renewable energy programmes that had been approved and were already proceeding. It has subsequently become clear that Eskom is defying national policy decisions by not signing renewable energy agreements. In doing so Eskom is attempting to obstruct the procurement of other forms of energy to 'create' a need for nuclear.

Eskom's finances Eskom's statements about 'independent' financing are similarly misleading. Eskom has been, and continues to be, heavily reliant on government support. As of February 2016, Eskom held R350bn of debt guarantees from the National Treasury, of which it had used R168bn. Worse, in 2015 Parliament approved a R23bn cash transfer to Eskom and an eight-year-old R60bn loan was written off. One estimate of the additional cost of foregone interest payments is a massive R82.6bn. Eskom won the concessions because it claimed that it needed support to stabilise its balance sheet. And its then CEO Molefe accepted a large bonus for the improvement in Eskom's finances. Yet Eskom now claims it will have an excess of R150bn in cash, and can borrow to fund the nuclear build programme. The appropriations committees of Parliament that approved the 2015 financing for Eskom should demand an explanation for this apparent contradiction.

Even if Eskom was not receiving government support, procurement of nuclear would still be a threat to the economy and an indirect threat to public finances. As the latest medium term budget showed, a decline in economic growth has a knock-on effect on government revenue. experienced in the country before following the introduction of e-Tolls. The costs were passed onto motorists who then refused to pay, requiring significant financial intervention by the government. The danger is that this could happen on a much larger scale with the nuclear build. In essence, having financed the procurement of costly, unnecessary energy capacity using power-purchase agreements, Eskom would have to pay for the energy even if consumers do not need it. If tariffs are insufficient then Eskom's balance sheet would be compromised and national government would have to step in. And it would, because Eskom is too big to fail. Alternatively, if higher tariffs are approved – in advance, or at the time – by the regulator, these will have a very negative effect on citizens' welfare and on economic growth. At best this would reduce government revenue and compromise efforts to improve the lives of all citizens. At worst, it could lead to social instability and a refusal to pay exorbitantly high tariffs, leading to a collapse in Eskom's finances and the government – again – having to step in. It should therefore be clear that the case for

Threat to the economy

proceeding with the procurement of nuclear power

Even if Eskom was not receiving government support,

and responsible decision by Cabinet would be to

procurement of nuclear would still be a threat to the

halt the process.

economy and an indirect threat to public finances.

at this point, whether through Eskom or another mechanism, is fundamentally flawed. The rational






As the latest medium term budget showed, a

increases significantly over the next few years the

decline in economic growth has a knock-on effect

matter could be revisited based on an appropriately

on government revenue.

updated Integrated Resource Plan that uses credible

The dynamics that would unfold have been

forecasts of future energy needs.

This article was published recently by the online forum The Conversation and is republished in terms of the forum's creative common license. S G 36




A WHOLE NEW APPLE Why there’s life

6 OF THE BIGGEST RIVALRIES IN 2016 Walt Disney Animation vs Pixar

after the iPhone

Current Twitter vs Future Twitter Snapchat vs Facebook SpaceX vs Blue Origin Amazon vs Google Slack vs Skype

Move with the times How brands can connect with millennials




Top wealth coach JT FOXX has the blueprint

24 7 1 1601

9 772313 330006



The Digital version of Fast Company South Africa is now available on Apple iPad and Android tablets


Gallo Images/Getty Images/ Isaac Brekken



Interview by Evans Manyonga


37 S G

C limate News 10 Compelling Climate Change Videos These 10 climate change videos feature sustainability leaders from around the world in short and long clips to help spread the word about climate action.

S G 38

NASA confirms July 2016 hottest month on record Newly released data from NASA indicates July was the hottest month on record, since scientists began tracking global temperatures in 1880. This July was 0.84°Celsius warmer than the 1950-1980 global average, and a fraction of a degree hotter than the two months tied for the previous 'hottest month ever' record. The conflux of climate change related to human activity and the warming effects of El Niño contributed to this summer’s soaring temperatures, and climate experts expect to see more record high temps in the future.

Click here for more

INTERVIEW: Paul Beckwith Climate system scientist Paul Beckwith recently set off a media firestorm after posting a video of the jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere crossing the equator and mixing with the jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. Originally calling the event unprecedented, Beckwith later modified the word with a question mark in the YouTube title and on his website. He also wrote that 'we must declare a global climate emergency.' The Washington Post took the pre-question mark assertion and published a scathing rebuke, including comments from climate scientists pushing back hard on Beckwith’s original assertion. Later, the Post published Beckwith’s response to the criticism. We wanted to delve deeper in the controversy, Inhabitat got on the phone with Beckwith, who is based in Canada as a part time professor at the University of Ottawa. Click here for their interview.

SAILING THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE NOW A REALITY The Northwest Passage originated as an unattainable and lethal legend when Europeans arrived in the Americas and longed for an easy sea route across North America. Now, a cruise ship has successfully traversed the route in only a month. Rising temperatures have contributed to radical shrinkage of Arctic ice in a disturbingly short period of time. Researcher Peter Wadham, who has spent decades in the Arctic, predicts that the region will be free of ice by the middle of the century, which means that cruises like the 14-deck cruise ship, which recently completed the journey that was a pipe dream just over one hundred years ago, could become a lot more common.

Click here for more

'The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.' – Edward O Wilson, The Future of Life

39 S G

C limate News

Drought turns China’s largest freshwater lake into a sprawling grassland Many people are not aware that China has a freshwater lake that spans 1 737 square miles. Scratch that, China had a lake that size. Recent photos show that areas of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province have dried up completely, turning into a vast grassland. Drought conditions in the province have resulted in an early dry season, causing much of the lake water to disappear. Now, visitors can walk on dry ground where water once measured between 9-27m deep.

Click here for more

Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere just reached a major milestone Change is in the air, or at least the air itself is changing. Earth's atmosphere is shifting to a state unseen in human history, and, according to scientists at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, it recently reached a milestone we'd be unwise to ignore.

Our atmosphere now holds over 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas behind human-induced climate change. It has flirted with 400 for about three years, but data from September 2016 suggest it's finally exceeding the 400ppm mark year-round. Click here for more

S G 40

US and China agree to ratify the Paris climate deal The United States and China recently announced that they will formally join the Paris climate agreement. The world’s top two contributors to global warming account for 37.98% of global greenhouse gas emissions (17.89% for the US and 20.09% from China). The Paris climate deal needs to be ratified by 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions in order for the agreement to enter into force. The US and China announcement brings the total ratifications to 26 and total emissions to 39.06%.

Ranping Song, China expert at the World Resources Institute, told The Guardian that the US and China ratifications will lead to a surge with major emitters, such as Brazil, following the world’s two biggest polluters and formally joining the Paris climate deal. Song said the US and China moves increase the chances that the Paris climate agreement will be implemented by the end of the year. Source

Earth's atmosphere is mysteriously losing oxygen Our planet has been losing atmospheric oxygen for at least the last million years. But don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Earth's atmosphere is steadily losing oxygen. But before you panic and gasp for breath, understand that oxygen levels have only dropped by 0.7% over the past 800 000 years. So you don't have to worry about widespread asphyxiation just yet. Still, it's an alarming finding that scientists aren't quite sure how to explain. In the study, researchers were able to measure atmospheric oxygen levels over time by analysing tiny air bubbles trapped in ice core samples taken from Greenland and Antarctica. The research was published in the journal Science. Source

WEATHERWISE PHOTO CONTEST 2016 Every year, popular weather magazine, Weatherwise, published by Taylor & Francis, hosts a photo contest dedicated to all things weather.

The panel of judges included Bob Ryan, former president of the American Meteorological Society; Stanley David Gedzelman, a retired professor of meteorology at the City College of New York; and Doyle Rice, Weather Editor at USA Today – and it was no easy task selecting the winners. In the end, Benner Smidt says, they chose the 14 photos that 'best exemplify the power, beauty, and excitement of weather. The photos selected balance quality of image with rarity of the phenomenon photographed.' Click here for all the winners

41 S G


Quest for

Climate Ju

S G 42


When we talk about climate justice, the first thing that comes to mind is the plight of small island states, which contribute little to global warming but suffer its worst impacts. Or perhaps we think of climate-vulnerable countries like Pakistan, where millions are at risk of displacement due to severe floods. But with the latest instalment of the UN climate talks underway in Marrakesh, don't forget about the people of Western Sahara right next door. Catherine Constantinides, International Climate Activist and Humanitarian, takes a look who gets left out in the quest for climate justice.


orocco has become a key player in international climate politics after assuming the Presidency of this year's UN climate conference, known as

COP22. It is troubling and ironic that such an important

responsibility has been entrusted to a country that has repeatedly demonstrated its profound contempt for international law and the United Nations, and that remains a brutal occupying power. Lest anyone involved in international climate politics – journalists, diplomats, or civil society actors – forget: despite an opinion from the International Court of Justice in 1975 that Morocco has no valid claim to the territory of Western Sahara, Morocco has been illegally occupying the territory, located south of its southern border, for forty years. And in case anyone missed the news: when last year the UN Secretary-General had the temerity to refer to Morocco's occupation as 'an occupation',

43 S G

Morocco responded, first, with massive street protests denouncing the Secretary-General (that were attended by Moroccan government officials), and subsequently by expelling all civilian personnel from MINURSO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the territory. As the Secretary-General made clear, Morocco's behaviour carries a serious risk of reigniting war in the region. The history of the Western Sahara occupation is complex, but a good place to start is with 'MINURSO' itself. The name stands for (in English) 'the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.' The referendum in question was promised to the indigenous Saharawi people of Western Sahara in 1991, as part of a UN-brokered ceasefire that ended the war that they had fought with Morocco since its invasion in 1975 (after Spain, the prior colonial power, withdrew). In line with clear international norms for post-colonial transitions, the referendum will give the Saharawi people the option to become an independent nation. They remain the only former colony in Africa that has not been granted this fundamental right, and the African Union has repeatedly called on the UN to set a date for the referendum to occur. The Saharawi Republic is a full and founding member of the African Union, while Morocco is the only country on the continent which is not a member. Since 1991, Saharawi refugees in Saharan Algeria have been waiting, in some of the most inhospitable conditions imaginable, for the referendum to be held. They have foresworn armed struggle and placed their trust in the UN, and in international law, to resolve the issue. In response, Morocco has repeatedly prevented the referendum from being held, flooded the Western Sahara with Moroccan settlers, and engaged in widely documented human rights abuses against indigenous Saharawi in the occupied territory. The people of Western Sahara are some of the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. Increasingly common extreme weather events amplify the hardship posed by already inhospitable conditions. Last year, severe floods devastated the adobe structures of the refugee camps, destroying homes and displacing some 25  000 people. Meanwhile, Morocco is fast positioning itself as a global green energy pioneer. This is an important and admirable goal, but the fact that

S G 44

Morocco is actively granting new oil exploration contracts for foreign corporations to illegally drill on – and off-shore in Western Sahara throws its true intentions into question. Already, some of Morocco's renewable energy development is taking place in Western Sahara. Energy generated in Western Sahara – without the consent of its people – is exported back to Morocco. The royal palace regulates Morocco's energy market and receives significant energy contracts in the occupied territory. This contravenes the UN's legal opinion of 2002, which asserted that exploration and exploitation activities of the natural resources of Western Sahara could only be carried out in accordance with the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has not consulted the people of Western Sahara on its green energy projects in their territory, nor will the people of Western Sahara be the ones profiting from them. Quite simply: Morocco's actions violate international law. Left unchecked, this will further entrench the occupation and damage the peace process. The Saharawi have no interest in disrupting the

'As a climate activist, I've dedicated much of my life to the pursuit of a safe climate future for the world. The fight against climate change is the most important challenge of our time, but it must not be used as a smokescreen to mask injustices perpetrated against some of the world's most marginalized people.' - Catherine Constantinides

essential and urgent international cooperation that is needed to deal with the climate crisis. But it is imperative that everyone involved in international climate politics understands that no country is less deserving of the honour and responsibility of guiding these crucial talks than Morocco: a country that has unilaterally expelled UN peacekeeping staff and repeatedly refused to abide by UN Security Council resolutions. At






community must not allow Morocco to sweep the injustices of Western Sahara under the rug. Responsible countries, journalists and members of civil society can use this opportunity to send the message that it does not condone Morocco's behaviour. Only in the face of strong international pressure will Morocco begin acting as a responsible international partner with the UN. For a start by agreeing to return to direct negotiations with the Frente Polisario, the internationally recognized representative of the Saharawi people, towards holding a referendum as soon as possible.


Follow Catherine: @ChangeAgentSA All photos courtesy of Catherine Constantinides

45 S G

W ater I nnovation

Hippo Roller changes lives of the poorest The 'Hippo Water Roller Project' was established in 1994 in response to the unique needs and constraints in terms of access to water of rural women and children across Africa. Now simply referred to as 'Hippo Roller', the broad social impact of this social enterprise has been felt in more than 20 countries, with a total distribution of 50 000 Hippo Water Rollers, and a reach of close to half a million people. We take a look.


here is a long story behind the success

The award-winning technology is a distinctive

one too – it makes more water and time

portable water innovation that enables rural

available for education, household tasks and food

communities to transport water more easily and in

production enabling people to transport up to five

less time than with traditional methods.

times more water to their homes and food gardens. The Hippo Water Roller was developed in 1991

S G 46

to access safe, drinkable water.

of the Hippo Roller, but there's a short

Water Scarcity

by two South Africans in response to the daily

Today, 1.2 billion people live in areas of water

struggle of rural women and children across Africa

scarcity of which 750 million suffer from economic

water scarcity, which means they lack access to

it very user friendly for women, children and the

safe drinking water. In Africa, 40% of the poorest

physically weak.

households do not have piped-in water, and more

It carries 90l (equivalent to five buckets of water,

than half of its population lack access to improved

has a large opening for easy cleaning and is an

water sources such as boreholes, wells, or taps.

hygienic method of water storage.

These figures represent: •

2.5 times the US population

Proven Durability

1 in every 10 people

The Hippo Roller has been specifically designed

1/3 of all schools globally (see infograph below)

for daily use in tough rural conditions, including uneven surfaces, gravel roads and sharp stones. It has a long lifespan of five to 10 years. It uses thick drum wall – no joints, UV-stabilised polyethylene and a strong electroplated steel handle.

Maintenance-Free This simple, yet incredibly functional device is virtually maintenance-free by design and requires no replacement parts,




use in rural and economically poor communities.



include that its screw cap wears in – not out, it has no rubber seals which could perish and requires no spare parts.

Devistating Impact A heart-breaking reality of economic water scarcity is that women and children are forced to carry their water using a 20l bucket, balancing a bucket

Broad Social Impact The device has led to broad positive social impacts. The Hippo Water Roller is an appropriate technology widely accepted in many countries by

filled with water on top of their heads – for hours

communities where water infrastructure is either

at a time – every single day. This has devastating

unreliable or totally non-existent. It was designed

effects in terms of health, sanitation, education

with an understanding that women and children

and livelihoods including long-term neck and spine

are often responsible for water collection in rural

damage, keeping kids away from school and no


time for economic activities.


The 90l Hippo Water Roller is a strong and durable

By enabling more water to be transported concurrently, a daily burden becomes a task that can be completed a few times a week, enabling users to become more economically active. Its

barrel-shaped container equipped with a steel

integration in rural communities has had a positive

handle with which it can be pushed or pulled.

cultural impact as even men are proud to use it and

The design of the Hippo Water Roller allows water to be placed 'inside the wheel' so that the weight is borne on the ground and distributed over a wide rolling surface.

Effective & Efficient

help with water collection.

Immediate Benefits The benefits enjoyed by the users are experienced immediately unlike many projects that require extensive time and money before results are seen.

The effective weight of the 90kg drum is just 10kg

Among these are that its use:

when pushed or rolled on level ground, making

Reduces suffering caused by heavy loads

47 S G

Improves hygiene and health

Empowers women and children

More time for economic activities

More time for education

Makes the elderly less dependent

Improves morale and personal dignity

Improves irrigation of food gardens

Hippo Utility Cap Another water innovation by Hippo Roller is the Utility Cap, effectively a cap-in-cap design to ensure water is hygienically dispensed and contamination is reduced. It also functions as an irrigation tool. The Utility Cap allows small-holder farmers to irrigate their crops far more efficiently. If lost, it can be replaced with a standard soda-bottle top. There is no need to remove the handle and no need to stand the drum upright to access the water. The inside cap enables users to draw water without opening the larger seal, reducing the risk of contamination and ensuring the hygienic storage of water. Filters and other point-of-use water treatment products can be added to further improve the quality of the stored water.

Hippo Spaza Shop The Hippo Roller’s functionality is enhanced by the addition of the Hippo Spaza, a specially designed steel frame that can be attached to the Hippo Roller, converting it into a mobile road-side ‘spaza’ shop, and bringing the prospects of entrepreneurial endeavour into the mix.

Remarkable Device There can be no doubt that the Hippo Roller is one of the most enduring and durable water storage and movement devices ever invented and as such it will be serving its users for many years to come. Simple ideas, changing lives.


To support the Hippo Roller's ongoing programmes visit

S G 48

Water doesn’t come from a tap. Water goes on a long and complicated journey to get to you.

Visit to learn more about where your water comes from. Photo Š Hougaard Malan

49 S G


*Available December 2016


A lower-cost alternative in electronic hands-free dispensers. Ideal for all hand drying applications. Smooth, easy towel delivery assures reliable dispensing. Designed for maximum strength and durability.

COMPACT LITTLE DISPENSER SIZE: 29.21cm (H) X 29.21cm (W) X 16.69cm (D)

- Key lock discourages theft

- Accomodates most non-perforated



S G 50

roll towels with a diameter of 15.24cm Stub roll tray included Smooth and reliable operation Designed for maximum strength and durability with impact-resistant materials Dispenses 27cm sheets

Did you know that as of August, 2016 all light bulbs are banned from landfall? Ewaste Africa – your environmentally-friendly lamp recycling solution

Interesting Facts • Ewaste Africa is the first proudly South African company to have officially commissioned the award winning Baclan MP8000 bulb recycling plant in 2014, thus making us a certified market leader in our industry • 1 Bulb has the ability to pollute 30 000 litres of water • Ewaste Africa beneficiation is officially the only company in Africa and now the world that is able to process lumino phosphorous powder • 100s of millions of bulbs are in circulation daily

Award Winning •

• •

Sa Premier Business Awards Sapba Youth Entrepreneur For The Year 2nd at the Sab Kick Start National Finals Nedbank Pcb Spirit Of Entrepreneurship Award

Why Recycle Lamps? While the mercury content in bulbs has reduced significantly over the years we cannot escape the fact that today’s compact fluorescent lamps and bulbs (CFL or energy savers, as they are commonly called) still contain a few milligrams of mercury. Depending on their usage, lamps have a life-span of a few years and whilst today’s lamps & bulbs have a lower mercury content than before, there are still many in circulation and disposed of each year which contain much higher levels of mercury.

WE OPERATE NATIONALLY | PLEASE CONTACT US TEL 033 346 4068 CELL 083 236 1632 FAX 086 244 8618 EMAIL • WEB

51 S G

W ater News WATER HAS MEMORY? Not long ago humanity generally looked at water as a necessity of life, as well as something plants need to grow and give us food. We also use water for cleaning and various mechanical help. What scientists recently discovered may be a turning point in human consciousness. Water may actually be something more 'divine' than we ever thought of. Water has memory. In other words, your tears hold a memory of your whole being, bodies of water are stored information of what each drop in there went through, and rain is just a transfer of information. That’s how we are globally always connected. See video below for more.

FREEZING WATER AT BOILING POINT Researchers at MIT have discovered that water trapped inside carbon nanotubes can actually freeze at the high temperatures that would normally bring it to a rolling boil. Previous research has long shown that the boiling and freezing points of water change when it is confined to small spaces, but those temperature variations usually hover around 10°C. The introduction of carbon nanotubes has changed the game significantly. Carbon nanotubes are tube-like structures with a diameter measured in nanometers, which are equal to one-billionth of a meter or about 10 000 times smaller than a human hair. The carbon nanotubes used during the MIT experiments were just slightly larger in diameter than the width of a few water molecules. Because water confined within the carbon nanotubes can take on a solid frozen state at a much higher temperature than in other vessels, the discovery could lead to inventions such as ice-filled wires, which could exist at room temperature.

Click here for more

WALKING ON WATER For the Yeosu Expo in 2012, Daniel Valle Architecture created an architectural experience that embraces the notion of fluidity and brings attention to changing sea levels. The pavilion can be raised to float above the sea or rest below it in order to accommodate large or small exhibits, creating an environment that is deliberately unstable.

Click here for more

S G 52

Egypt uses sewage to grow forests in the desert To tackle desertification, the Egyptian government is growing tree plantations that thrive on waste water. Egypt is made up of 96% desert due to extreme sun exposure and almost no rainfall. The land is deprived of any fertile soil. Water is taken from the Nile and strictly reserved for household consumption and agriculture. Before its initiation, the forest programme had to look for an alternative source of water to sustain its tree plantation. It found waste water to be the perfect substitute. The water is taken from the sewers and filtered to remove all pollution debris such as plastic and other waste. In the second phase of treatment, oxygen and microbes are added to the water to decompose faeces and other organic materials. What is left is a nutrient-rich liquid filled with the phosphates and nitrogen compounds that plants thrive on. The trees do not require any fertiliser thanks to the high concentrate of nutrients in the water that is pumped directly to the plantation sites. The forests give rise to healthy ecosystems, where shade and moisture provide a welcome habitat for animals to live and other plants and flower to grow. A variation of indigenous and commercially valuable tree species have been selected based on their rapid growth rate, which results in more frequent harvests.

WATER OUT OF AIR VICI-Labs, together with UC Berkeley and the National Peace Corps Association, have developed a wind turbine that could produce clean water from thin air 24/7. Tagged as WaterSeer, this is a revolutionary way to provide clean drinking water to far-flung areas that experience water poverty issues.

According to WaterSeer's Indiegogo page, the device is a low-tech, cheap atmospheric water condenser that creates pure water from the air without any power or chemicals via condensation. WaterSeer is planted six feet into the ground, and its water chamber will be cooled by the surrounding soil. Meanwhile, as the wind flows, the turbine will spin which will, in turn, result to the spinning of the device's internal blades. The warmer air entering the chamber condenses, creating pure clean water that can be extracted through a hose and pump.


Since the average faucet releases roughly 7kg of water per minute, you can save up to 15kg of water every morning by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth.


53 S G


Smart Green


Kent Law Energy (Pty) Ltd (KentLaw) is a South African registered company which offers smart green energy solutions. They help you make the move to cleaner, efficient and cheaper forms of energy. Their purpose is to not only advise you about clean energy solutions, but to install and manage a highly-efficient power system that allows you as the end-user to be off-grid and to save money and get the rebates from the Department of Energy for using clean energy fuels and systems. We take a look.



S G 54


power is generated on site, using gas engines or

generation and energy efficiency solutions





micro-turbines. The engine's waste heat is captured

including: energy efficiency audits and

for heating. The technology is energy-efficient,

strategies; combined heat and power (CHP) and

cost-effective and generates less greenhouse gasses

combined cooling heating and power (CCHP)

than conventional options. It may also be a process

solutions, and gas heat pump solutions for heating

where waste heat used in chemical or industrial

and cooling demands.

process is used to generate electricity.



Cogeneration, also known as combined heat

Also known as combined cooling heat and power

and power (CHP), is a process were electrical

(CCHP), is an additional process to cogeneration

their products are available on their website –

GAS HEAT PUMP The gas heat pump is a device allowing combined production of where the waste heat is also used to produce

heat and cold. Technically, it is a combination of gas

cooling through an absorption chiller.

engine, compressor, heat exchangers, and a control

Both processes are better than using grid

system that function as one unit. The gas heat

connected electricity as they have a higher efficiency

pump operates on the same principle as common

(80-94%) than conventional power production in the

heat pumps.

grid (30-40%) or through a diesel power generator

The difference consists in replacing the electric

(40-50%). The system can also lead to the user being

engine that drives a compressor with a gas engine

independent or partially independent of the grid

from which extra heat can be utilized like in the

and thereby less affected by tariff increases and

CHP unit.

load shedding/cutting.

Applications for CHP and CCHP

WHY CHOOSE Kent Law Energy? •

Any building with heating and cooling demands

Their competitive prices and optimal energy efficiency are guaranteed to reduce energy

such as Commercial buildings, hospitals, hotels,


malls, supermarkets, universities, schools. It may

Product assurance and warranty provided

also be used in most industrial processes with

Their partners operate in over 40 countries and

heating and cooling demands.


possess over 20 years' experience. •

Their C/CHP systems achieve some of the highest efficiency levels in the market. Their

An energy use and needs analysis is completed to

systems are generally 5% more efficient than

establish the system that would be most suitable

those of their competitors and 50% more

for the needs of the client. This information will feed into the feasibility study to determine the best

efficient than grid-supplied power. •

design, funding model, and ROI for the project. The project is developed and commissioned.

coal and diesel generators. •





after-sale maintenance service. •

Compressed Natural gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Biogas, and Hydrogen gas.

High technical standards, reliability, unmatched systems

PRODUCTS Their CHP systems typically run on Natural Gas (NG),

Natural gas, LPG, and Biogas are cleaner than

Clean energy and meeting green building certification criteria.

The engine size of the CHP solution would depend

KentLaw Energy also provides guidance to companies wishing to pursue the SARS Section

on the current and anticipated future needs of the


client. Engines sizes start at 7kW to 10MW. These

companies using Cogeneration at R0.95/kWh

systems can also be combined for clients having

for a 12 month period.

incentive which currently reimburses SG

larger energy demands. A comprehensive list of

For more please contact Kagiso 076 420 7467 / Fulufhelo 081 776 2710 /

55 S G


Safety overhead The importance of roof maintenance

S G 56

Although the importance of a roof structure as a component of a building and its functioning cannot be overstated, it is possibly one of the most neglected parts of a building. While some roof systems call for less intense maintenance than others, all roofing systems should be checked periodically and maintained accordingly. The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) weighs in.

While some roof systems call for less intense maintenance than others, the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) stresses that all roofing systems should be checked periodically and maintained accordingly.

57 S G


s the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and the best preventative measure one can implement in the care of a roof

structure is to conduct regular inspections to help identify and remedy problems as and when they occur. A roof withstands more from the elements than any other component of a building and the frequency of roof inspections and maintenance is dependent on the geographical location of the given building; if the structure is close to the sea or in similarly harsh conditions, it will need greater care than a structure inland, for example. That said, preventative maintenance is pivotal in saving money on a roof by providing a longer service life. The following offers a guideline towards maintaining a safe and secure roof structure for years to come.

Roof exterior When it comes to the roof's exterior, be sure to check for any cracked roof tiles, loose sheeting and loose roof screws. These may cause leaks, which have the potential to cause damage to the interior timber of the roof structure and prompt or accelerate wood rot. At the same time, look for open areas around newly installed antenna shafts and chimneys; while waterproofing should be installed to prevent any leaks, the condition of the waterproofing membranes must also be inspected regularly. Crumbling chimney mortar could also signal moisture penetration and will need to be reapplied. Timber roof overhangs are most susceptible to the elements and should be maintained regularly to

The roof is a structurally important and very costly component of a building and the average cost of a roof as a portion of the final building can easily exceed 25%. The costs associated with repair or replacement of the same roof structure will be even more than this due to the additional work required to establish structural integrity. This is why it is imperative that a roof structure, on residential, commercial and industrial buildings, is regularly inspected for any anomalies and that remedial action is promptly and accordingly taken. A roof is a lifetime investment and should last just as long.

prevent fungal attack or rot from moisture. Loose fascia boards and leaking gutters are the most

loose shingles. Trim back any overhanging tree

common cause of leaks onto roofing timber. On

branches and check any metal on the roof for

this note, be alert to any creeper plants growing

signs of rust. Pay attention to all caulking and

onto the overhanging roof timbers. Keep all gutters

sealants, and scrape and remove any caulking that

free from debris and make sure the downpipes are

is weathered, cracked or damaged, and reapply. If

draining properly by water testing them.

the roof has gravel surfacing, be alert to any bare

If the roof exterior is beginning to collect moss or algae, consider installing zinc or lead control


strips to help control the problem. These strips form

Salt or dirt build-up can encourage rust on steel

harmless zinc oxide when rainwater runs over them,

roofs, and moss and lichen growth on tiled roofs.

in so doing, carrying with it a coating preventing

Some manufacturers' warranties advise regular

further moss or algae growth from occurring.

washing, particularly in areas that don't receive

Check all flashings, making sure they are not deteriorated and be sure to secure or replace any

S G 58

spots, otherwise, check for blisters in the roofing

frequent rain. Frequent washing and inspection are advised to prevent salt and dirt build-up.

Exposed timber trusses must be treated for

that it remains safe for continued use; 4. The records of the inspections and maintenance

exposure to the elements.

are kept and made available on request to an

Roof interior


Cracked timber components in the roof structure

The roof is a structurally important and very

are the first warning signs that something within

costly component of a building and the average

the roof structure is deteriorating. Inspect all the

cost of a roof as a portion of the final building can

components of the roof structure after new services,

easily exceed 25%. The costs associated with repair

like plumbing, electrical and/or a fireplace, are

or replacement of the same roof structure will be

installed. Check the interior of the roof for any

even more than this due to the additional work

leaks; these may be indicative of a leaking roof

required to establish structural integrity. This is why


it is imperative that a roof structure, on residential,

If timber is beginning to show signs of rot,

commercial and industrial buildings, is regularly

painting it will only worsen the situation. In this

inspected for any anomalies and that remedial

case, it is advisable to replace the affected timber.

action is promptly and accordingly taken. A roof is

Painting and repainting should only be done on

a lifetime investment and should last just as long.

healthy timber surfaces. Be sure to adhere to the

All nail-plated timber roof structures must be

paint or treatment specifications concerning the

designed, manufactured, erected and inspected by


ITC-SA accredited members who have been awarded

a Certificate of Competence. An A19 Certificate

Additional loading

will be issued on compliance, which is required by

Additions, such as a cooking canopy that extracts

the Local Authority before issuing an occupation

smoke or steam from the kitchen, for example, are



usually suspended from the roof trusses. In the case of additional loading, it is important to ensure that the load is spread across more than one truss.

For more visit

The load of the item should be established before

About ITC-SA

installation and the truss design should be checked

The ITC-SA was established more than 40 years ago to regulate the engineered timber roof structure industry and to provide design, manufacturing, erection, inspection and certification for compliance with inter alia SANS 10400 and SANS 10082, where engineering rational designs are applicable. The ITC-SA is a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited professional body with a professional membership and therefore has to comply with the requirements as set out in the National Qualifications Framework Act (NQF Act 67 of 2008 - as amended). The ITC-SA is also a Recognised Voluntary Association in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act 46 of 2000). In 2014, the Institute for Timber Frame Builders (ITFB) was incorporated into the ITC-SA to ensure a better and more uniform representation of the timber engineered practitioners in the built environment.

for any added loads. Be sure to use a professional to install new items in roofs, such as additional ceilings, bulkheads and chimneys. Storage in roofs is not recommended unless the design of the roof specifically makes provision for this.

Legal compliance As






Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993, an owner of a structure must ensure that: 1. Inspections of the structure are carried out periodically by a competent person in order to render the structure safe for continued use; 2. That the inspections contemplated in paragraph a) are carried out at least once every six months for the first two years and thereafter yearly; 3. The structure is maintained in such a manner

Many thanks to MiTek Industries SA and International Truss Systems for their contribution to this article.

59 S G

S G 60

A d v ertorial

light up for less Lumi is a registered trademark of Lumi LED Lights which have stringent quality standards providing a 4-year factory warranty on all Lumi LED products. Lumi operates an online store in South Africa that has a wide variety of LED products for commercial, residential and industrial use. Their ever-expanding product list of indoor, outdoor and architectural lighting options, colour changing lights, pool lights, lighting for signage, strip lighting, controllers and power supplies are easy to use lights that you can simply plug into your common existing fittings and save up to 90% electricity. We take a look at their solar-powered LED lights which are ideal for large properties, remote places, camping, farming, outdoor, recreational and emergency or stand-by lighting. All in one solar powered LED Lighting systems have become the new default outdoor lights to eliminate the cost of wiring, installation and electricity.

Solar Motion Sensor Security Light: Made from

Solar LED Fairy Lights:

Solar Pathway Light: Is

Come with a solar panel, spike

great for general outdoor light as

aluminium and comes with a

and 20m of LEDs. The 20m is a

a solar wall light, solar pathway

panel that can be mounted

double set of 10m LED strings

light or solar deck light. It is a

separately from the light to

each with 100 LEDs on and a

compact solar powered LED light

maximise the solar charging and

spike to position the panel.

with a day night sensor and

light position at the same time.

motion detector.

lumi LED Solar Lantern:

Solar Torch: A powerful

Has a solar panel and 0.5W

narrow beam portable torch

Solar LED Garden Spike Light: This compact, easy

LEDs driven by a 4V battery. The

that has a solar panel and usb

to install garden spike light is

light can shine for at least six

charger. Great for any application,

incredibly robust. The spike is

continuous hours and requires

simply leave it in the sun for the

made from aluminium to prevent

about two hours of sun

day and it will run just about

it from breaking too easily.

to recharge.

all night.

For more info and products visit, email or call 021 813 5970 61 S G

paints from plants

company profile

S G 62

ProNature, South Africa's leading manufacturers of 100% natural paints, stone and wood finishes, have been in the business for almost two decades. Not only are most of their products VOC-free, they are locally-produced, fully sustainable and truly eco-friendly. We take a quick look.


roNature has been manufacturing their innovative and affordable brand of paints for nearly 20 years and can be seen as

an ecological pioneer in the South Africa market. Their locally-made wood finishes, paints and cleaning products are very efficient and far more sustainable than your conventional, or so-called eco-friendly / lead-free paints and finishes, and comprise mostly of sustainable, bio-based raw materials. Most of their systems are VOC-free or

have natural emissions, which evaporate very swiftly and won't linger around in your home for many years. The







experienced and flexible when it comes to customer requests. They can match almost any colour with their natural pigments at reasonable prices for both wood and walls. Their expertise and the product quality speak for themselves and technical aspects like coverage and durability don't have to hide when compared to expensive, imported systems.

To view their range of products or contact them for more info, see ad, right.

63 S G


'Love for life'

t n e m e e r g A is r a P e th is the key to

S G 64

Recently, the 22nd UN Framework for Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22) took place in Marrakech, Morocco. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) attended the higher profile COP21 in Paris in December last year, and was represented by the World Green Building Council (WGBC) this year. COP21 generated major global support for the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by 55 countries, to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2ºC. The building sector has a significant contribution to make in rapidly reducing emissions. The following are GBCSA's CEO Brian Wilkinson's insights into where green building is headed – the fascinating world of Biophilia.


t COP 21, the GBCSA made an ambitious

commitment to introduce a net zero building certification scheme, target 2

500 commercial green building certifications – representing around 10 million square metres of gross building area – and 10 000 residential green building certified homes in South Africa by the year 2020. On Friday, November 4, the Paris Agreement came into force. Now, COP22 has focused on implementing the agreement and fine-tuning details such as financing for developing countries. As a big part of achieving its green goals, GBCSA aims to change South Africans' perspectives on the built environment by sharing a better understanding of the ways that green buildings achieve a range of environmental, social and economic goals. Biophilic design is one such way.

Biophilic design Buildings with biophilic design help reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, and improve overall well-being. As the world's population continues to urbanise, these qualities have become increasingly important. The term biophilia, which means the love of life or living systems, was first used by social psychologist Erich Fromm to describe people's attraction to all that is alive and vital. Biophilia

65 S G

suggests humans have a biological need – physical,

bringing nature into a building – by incorporating

mental and social – for a connection with nature.

plants, daylight, fresh air, water features, courtyard

This connection affects our personal well-being,

gardens and nature views into an interior workspace

productivity, and social relationships.

– to using fabrics and finishes that evoke nature, as

Often thought to provide an explanation for

well as artworks, ornaments, building elements that

why humans are captivated by the likes of crackling

mimic natural and organic shapes, and materials

fires and crashing waves, or comforted by animal

such as grained wood and natural rock.

companionship, biophilia may also help explain why

Biophilia can be applied in many ways to change

some urban parks and buildings are preferred over

dreary urban settings into stimulating environments,


from engaging with nature by taking a walk in the

Brian Wilkinson, GBCSA CEO, explains: 'While people have been farming for over 12 000 years,

view of greenery from the window.

modern cities have only become common over the

Wilkinson adds: 'Green building goes beyond

last 250 years and, today, there are more people

conserving and protecting the environment. It

living in cities than ever before. Projections show

benefits everyone and everything exposed to the

that 70% of the world's population will live in cities

built environment – people, planet, and profit.

in the next few decades. Figures from the World

Biophilic design is an aspect of green building that

Green Building Council reveal that more than half

looks specifically at the human needs affected by

of urban areas projected for developing countries

the built environment. It's a key quality of buildings

by 2030 are yet to be built. How we build these

that support the wellness of building users.'

cities will define our future quality of life. This is yet

Restorative responses

another reason why designing buildings with people and nature in mind is an imperative.' Connecting people with nature can range from

S G 66

park to interacting with animals or simply having a

Taking into account how quickly an experience of

nature is proven to elicit a restorative response, Wilkinson asks why is it that businesses all over the globe spend billions each year on lost productivity due to stress-related illnesses. 'By incorporating a design that reconnects us with nature, we provide people with better opportunities to live and work in healthy spaces,' says Wilkinson. He reports that while green building has grown as a concept, not only in South Africa but the rest of the world, it is essential to constantly find new ways of improving the built environment. 'This is imperative, not only for the sake of the environment, but for our own growth and development as human beings,' says Wilkinson. 'The need for urban design and architecture that

'By incorporating a design that reconnects us with nature, we provide people with better opportunities to live and work in healthy spaces.' - Brian Wilkinson

considers the environment and reconnects people to an experience of nature for their well-being has

to the forefront of property development in the

become an absolute necessity.'

country. In September this year, the GBCSA had

As the GBCSA enters its 10th year, many South Africans have already started to benefit from better

issued 200 certifications to South Africa's green buildings.


work and living spaces – spaces that take into consideration their personal needs as well as those of the environment – with green building propelling

For more info on the Green Building Council South Africa please visit

67 S G


SWIMMING POOL COVERS: from accessory to necessity in times of water scarcity S G 68

With the introduction of strict water restrictions around most of the country, pool covers – once considered an accessory – have now become a lifestyle necessity. Considering that pools are one of the biggest consumers of domestic water, it makes sense to start by covering the pool as a means to keep water in the pool rather than having to top up throughout summer or let the pool stand unfiltered, according to PowerPlastics Pool Covers.

69 S G


  he pool cover industry has seen an unprecedented demand for pool covers in recent weeks and it has been interesting

to observe the response to the two main provinces' water restrictions. In Gauteng, restrictions were introduced and it was stated that owners could no longer fill up their pools. Fines are being issued, however, no specific water-saving method for pools was suggested. In the Western Cape, Level 3 water restrictions have come into play and residents were told that they could only fill pools if the pool was actually covered, and non-compliance would result in heavy fines. Two different approaches to the

I am your pool water: a community awareness water-saving initiative guaranteed to make you think about pool water differently

same problem. 'The industry saw two very different results.

also has an important role in helping to drive

'The other side of the water crisis that we don't always consider in our daily lives is the economic impact. So many sectors are affected by water shortages and it's no secret that food prices go up when water is short. Agricultural production is also affected and poor supply leads to a reliance on imported alternatives.'

water-saving approaches at city level.

- Carolyn Idas

Cape Town pool owners sat up and took notice. Pretty much all pool cover suppliers had a deluge of enquiries, everyone's stock ran low in a matter of days, and in early November many suppliers had closed their order books for the year. In Gauteng, there was some increase in demand for pool covers but nowhere near as significant,' says Carolyn Idas of PowerPlastics Pool Covers. As a leader in the industry, PowerPlastics Pool Covers is hoping to work with local municipalities in 2017 and show them the vast difference in behaviour when just one small water-saving tip that is tangible and practical is stated alongside formal restriction notices. The green building sector

'In most urban crisis situations, consumers have great power when it comes to setting the tone for the response or behaviour, and that attitude can

for up to 60% of water consumed in the home.

spread through a community at an incredible rate.

Worse still, this is mostly treated water, a process

Take 10 people who observe the rules and have the

that consumers pay for in their municipal rates,

right attitude to water-smart pools in a drought,

going into pools. Many people have installed grey

and their responsible behaviour can literally turn

water systems and are using recycled water for

into thousands of covered pools in a matter of

pool top ups. This is great in principle however the

days. We've seen it first hand in Cape Town over

chemicals used in bath and kitchen products can

the last eight weeks. It just reinforces that this

degrade and damage the pool pump.

really has to be a concentrated collaboration, with

By covering a pool, water evaporation is almost

consistent messages coming down the line from

entirely prevented. During a long hot summer,

city decision-makers across South Africa. The City

the amount of water lost from an average pool is

of Cape Town really has shown incredible foresight


during this drought and must be commended,' says Idas.

S G 70

'One of our Cape Town customers recently shared her water bill with us. During the summer, her pool

The implications of maintaining swimming pools

was used daily therefore she opted to leave her pool

during a drought also have to be communicated

uncovered, but was topping up every few days in

consistently. Pools and gardens alone can account

order to keep her pump running. When the weather

started to cool down in April/May, she recovered

national level in the new year.

her pool with her EnergyGuard thermal cover and

'Meanwhile, in KwaZulu Natal, water authorities

the figures speak for themselves. Her home's water

are concerned about dam reserves as the city

consumption went from 27.00 kilolitres in March/

enters the holiday season, a time where daily

April to 17.00 kilolitres in April/May. She went from

consumption can increase by as much as 50% due to

Tariff 4 prices down to Tariff 3 prices and saved 37

holidaymakers. And in Gauteng, the recent rains are

percent on her water bill. No other habits changed

nowhere near sufficient to lift the restrictions and

in her home so the savings can be directly attributed

the City continues to clamp down and issue fines

to the use of her pool cover.

for water abuse.

'This may seem like a small saving but consider

'The other side of the water crisis that we don't

this scenario replayed over 12 months and apply

always consider in our daily lives is the economic

it to every pool in South Africa, and you're talking

impact. So many sectors are affected by water

a massive amount of water saved annually.

shortages and it's no secret that food prices go

Furthermore, once our customer re-covered her pool

up when water is short. Agricultural production is

and shut it down for the winter, she also stopped

also affected and poor supply leads to a reliance on

filtering and chemical treatments. Her pool required

imported alternatives.

very little effort to get it ready for the new season.

'Every way you look at it, water is life. Without

Suffice to say, this summer she will be re-covering

it, the fundamentals of society are directly impacted

her pool after swimming every day,' says Idas.

and the results of a community living with limited

Because a pool cover with a dark underside, such as the EnergyGuard, prevents algae and keeps

water are far reaching,' concludes Idas. PowerPlastics





debris out the pool, chlorine input can be scaled

comprehensive range of water- and power-saving

back too. Not only is this a financial saving, it means

pool covers as well as child safety covers across

that the pool water can also be used in the home

South Africa. Also available are entry-level covers

when you cap your allowance or slide into the more

such as LeafNets and Solid PVC covers with hooks

expensive tariffs.

and eyelets. The upper level of the range includes

Pool owners with wells or boreholes are not getting off either in Cape Town. The City has stated

chic automatic and solar-powered slatted covers for the designer home.


that no watering or irrigation is allowed within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. 'People forget that the underground water table is not actually theirs to use as they wish. Vast areas suffer when people use borehole water excessively. We hope to see tighter regulation around this at

Learn more at Customers can also use the new online shop to order and pay for pool covers. See the following pages for more.

71 S G

Tips for saving water this summer as well as reducing the pool’s carbon footprint • Install a quality swimming pool cover. If you have an outdoor spa/Jacuzzi, cover that too. Covers reduce water evaporation by over 98%. • Collect rainwater and use it to top up your pool. Please secure the tank so that small children are kept safe from drowning. • Pool covers reduce the amount of debris in pools, therefore reducing the filtration times and the frequency of backwashing. • Avoid boisterous swimming to reduce splashing. Discourage dogs from swimming too. • Turn off any fountains and waterfalls. Water aeration increases evaporation and also cools the water. • Never leave a heated pool uncovered. Warmer water evaporates more quickly. • Fix pool leaks as soon as you notice them to avoid unnecessary water loss. Install a cover and, if you lose more than 2% of your water, you have a leak in your pool. • Because chlorine dissipates in sunlight, the use of a pool cover will reduce chemical requirements. This in turn reduces one's carbon footprint. • Thermal pool covers are an excellent alternative to solar or electrical heat pumps, and can raise water temperatures by up to 8ºC through solar energy transfer alone.

S G 72

73 S G

Motoring News MOBILE REFUELLER FOR AUSTRALIA'S MIRAI FLEET Toyota Australia has unveiled a mobile hydrogen refueller that will enable its three Mirai fuel-cell sedans to go anywhere that a conventional car can be driven. This breakthrough, which has been developed by the company's local engineers and partner suppliers, represents a clever temporary solution to counter the current lack of a refuelling infrastructure in Australia for fuel-cell cars.

Toyota to Start Sales of Fuel Cell Buses Toyota Motor Corporation will begin to sell fuel cell buses (FC buses) under the Toyota brand from early 2017. Having already undergone repeated field tests for practical use, the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to utilise two of these FC buses (model name: Toyota FC Bus) as fixed-route buses. Toyota plans to introduce over 100 FC buses mainly in the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In view of this, the FC buses will be sold for the first time in Japan in early 2017, so as to help increase the level of understanding by the general public of the utilisation of FC buses as a form of public transportation. Moreover, in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the number of FC buses being introduced will increase steadily going forward. Together with this, Toyota aims to engage continuously in the diligent development targeted at the expansion of the introduction of the new FC buses from 2018 so as to contribute to the realisation of a hydrogen-based society.

S G 74

However, the Mirai itself represents a turning point in the automotive industry, introducing a new age where electricity is generated on demand using hydrogen as a fuel. Mirai - its name is Japanese for "future" - is designed to diminish the world's dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment. Named 2016 World Green Car, Toyota's Mirai is a remarkable zero-emissions car with all the convenience of today's conventional vehicles. Hydrogen, delivered to the refueller in bottles, is cooled and pressurised to the required 70MPa (700bar) before being pumped into the three Mirai sedans. The refueller can also be used to deliver hydrogen to other fuel-cell vehicles, such as buses and forklifts, as well as being capable of transporting a Mirai. Hydrogen is as safe as any other automotive fuel and, unlike fossil fuels, it does not contribute to global warming during vehicle operation. It is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced from almost anything - including sewage sludge - by using a vast array of primary energy sources such as pollution-free solar and wind power.

VW achieves international environmental certification Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has been awarded the new International Environmental Certification - ISO 14001:2015. This certification was awarded and confirmed by lead auditors from Tuev Nord and Volkswagen AG. VWSA has made great improvements in safety, environmental and energy management performance processes. These improvements were acknowldged by achieving this certification in record time. This result is gratifying, as the new standard of ISO 14001:2015 was implemented in a record time of one year, instead of the two to three years that most organisations require to receive a similar level of compliance. This makes VWSA one of only five manufacturing plants in the Volkswagen production network to receive this certification in 2016. In addition VWSA’s Sales and Marketing offices in Johannesburg have also successfully implemented the International Standard on Energy Management ISO 50001, ensuring that the entire VWSA now has a formalised and certified energy management system in place.



Building on its success in the affordable ebike market, SONDORS is now looking to enter the low-cost electric vehicle sector as well.

A German startup has successfully raised over $200,000 to crowdfund a self-charging electric car that uses integrated solar panels to supply power throughout the day. The funds for Sono Motors’ Scion car will be used to produce prototypes for trial runs and crash testing, with the first deliveries of the finished vehicle expected in 2018.

SONDERS is aiming to build a three-seater, three-wheeled, fully enclosed electric vehicle priced as low as R140 000, with three different models offering a 80, 160 or 300 kilometre range. The body will be aluminum for lightness and strength, the batteries will be a proven lithium-ion version, with the general idea being to use currently available technologies and materials to create the vehicle, with an emphasis on redesigning the electric car concept from the ground up. The only problem at the moment is that there is no prototype of the vehicle, but they are hoping to crowdfund the project.

Click here for more.

The vehicle features built in photovoltaic panels which can generate up to 30km of driving range per day, simply sitting outside in the sun. Of course, the vehicle can also be recharged the traditional way by being plugged into a standard household outlet. The interior of the car has some unusual features as well: for one thing, a particular species of Iceland moss is integrated into the fan to serve as a natural air filter.

Click here for more.

75 S G

Mobility News ECOHELMET A disposable paper bike helmet could save lives by being sold alongside cycle share schemes in cities. The EcoHelmet, invented by New York design graduate Isis Shiffer, is made using a lattice shape that means it can fold up into a compact design about the size of a banana, while protecting cyclists as well as a typical helmet. While many cyclists already wear helmets, there isn’t an option for those who use bike share schemes such as London’s Boris bikes or New York’s Citi Bikes. Ms Shiffer said she envisions the helmets being sold in vending machines next to a row of hire bikes, and being recycled after use.

For more click here.

TREADING THE FUTURE Could a new type of bike tire completely remove the frustration that comes from one of cycling's most common issues? Getting a flat tire is never fun, and while it can be just mildly annoying at the least, it can also mean a long walk home if you're unfortunate enough to be caught without a patch kit and pump (or the skills to use them), and sometimes the old flat tire excuse is used to keep bikes parked for months before being ridden again. But what if those bike tires aren't inflatable in the first place, in which case punctures aren't even an issue anymore, and flats very well could be a thing of the past. So-called 'flat-free' semi-solid bike tires aren't a totally new thing, but they really haven't taken off in a big way, perhaps partly due to the compromise necessary in a solid tire between stiffness and shock absorption. However, a bike company out of Spanish Fork, Utah, is looking to change that with its two flat-free bike tire options, which are said to offer a number of advantages over conventional tires, including being more sustainable on the manufacturing and waste aspects of the product.

For more click here.

S G 76

JETTING THE STREAM Are personal submarines the vehicles of the future? While Ortega Submersibles' electric, open-top submarines are designed for scientists and divers, their sleek submersibles could one day ferry us across the seas. Ortega's latest submersible, the Mk.1C, allows three divers to zoom around below the surface of the ocean. Co-founders Daan Pol and Filip Jonker dreamed of adventure, so they decided to dive into the personal submersible business. They’ve designed three open-top submarines that seat one, two, or three people. They say their submarines are the safest, fastest, and most versatile of their kind on Earth. The company does not say how much their submarines cost on their website, but people serious about buying the product can get in touch via their contact page.

THE BICYCLE HOTEL Norway’s “best cycling city” has added a new feature to make two-wheeled transport even easier for local residents and visitors. The new Bicycle Hotel adjacent to the main square of the train station in Lillestrøm (near Oslo) will give bikes a cozy space to bunk up while riders are off in the city. The project, commissioned by Norwegian National Railways as a public space, offers just over 1.5km2 of bike storage space that is protected from the elements. The aim is to make cycling even easier for people commuting around the city, and bicycle hotels such as this one are popping up near railway stations throughout the bike-friendly nation.

For more click here.

HYPERLOOPS MAY WELL BE THE WAY OF THE FUTURE Bjarke Ingels Group unveiled designs for the world’s first Hyperloop, an autonomous hyper-fast transportation system that could whisk passengers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (150km) in just 12 minutes. Created in partnership with Elon Musk-backed US firm Hyperloop One, the Hyperloop design uses a system of pods, portals, and elevated tube-shaped tracks to allow travelers to commute whenever they wanted 'at near supersonic speed'. The futuristic system doesn’t just aim to dramatically shorten commutes, but also 'vastly simplifies the experience of getting from front-door to final destination.' To eliminate waiting from the passenger experience, travelers will be able to refer to a smartphone app that identifies the closest Hyperportal (Hyperloop’s name for their circular stations) and departure gate for on-demand travel. At the gate, passengers board a six-seater cuboid Hyperpod (each designed with different seating arrangements) that can move autonomously onto roads to pick up or drop off passengers.

For more click here.

VESPA GOES ELECTRIC Vespa recently unveiled its new all-electric scooter concept as well as a special edition model to benefit AIDS research. At Milan’s annual motorcycle show, the 70-year-old scooter company lept onto the leading edge of urban transportation with its first-ever all-electric model, the Vespa Elettrica, due to begin production late next year. While scooters have long been a viable alternative to cars in urban areas, since they use less fuel and take up less space, all-electric scooters are not yet the standard.

Click here for more.

77 S G

S ustainable D ebate


takes on global bottled water giants in eco-campaign battle


S G 78


espite 'co-ordinated efforts' by 'Big Beverage' players, SodaStream's CEO

says the company 'will not be silenced

about the shameful use of polluting plastic bottles'. According





International Ltd, is under a global, co-ordinated attack by Nestlé and the bottled water industry, for its hugely successful viral video campaign, Shame or Glory, which sheds light on plastic bottle pollution and advocates for using tap water as an alternative to disposable plastics. SodaStream's video has so far netted more than 50 million views and has been shared by celebrities and environmentally minded NGOs around the world. During the past several days, SodaStream has received no fewer than six cease and desist letters

SodaStream, the leading homemade sparkling water brand in the world, has come under attack by major water bottlers, including the US-based International Bottled Water Association and other European-based industry groups, for an eco-campaign featuring actors from Game of Thrones, in which the sale and use of 'throw-away' plastic water bottles is criticised. We take a look at the brewing blow-out between the two sides – and why the issue has tweaked some sensitive nerves.

from what is describes as bottled water 'front groups' that have taken issue with the campaign. The first such letter came from France, signed by Denis Cans, the CEO of Nestlé Waters, France, on behalf of the French National Federation of Packaged and Bottled Water. The subsequent letters from the US-based International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and other European-based industry groups are all similar in content, reflecting the 'orchestrated nature of this attack aimed at trying to protect the huge and lucrative global $150b plastic bottled water industry', says SodaStream.

Going on the Offensive Despite receiving a growing pile of cease and desist letters, SodaStream has determined that far from backing down, it is going to go on the offensive. 'We will not let these industry groups and their threats stop us from speaking the truth and trying to save our planet,' said Daniel Birnbaum, Chief Executive Officer of SodaStream. 'These so called bottled water industry groups are simply fronts for major plastic manufacturers like Danone (Evian), The Coca-Cola Company, and Nestlé Waters, the world's largest producer of bottled water. They all are trying to grow profits at the expense of the Earth. These groups, whose financial gains are a direct result of the 247 million plastic bottles they make every day, want to gag

79 S G

our message: that plastic bottles represent a very real, present-day threat to our global environment. 'By sending these letters, the industry clearly wants to try to convince consumers around the world that there is something wrong with the high-quality, delicious tap water that is available in our homes (in the USA) and that was made possible in the US by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 – and is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. If anyone is misleading consumers and using scare tactics, it is them, not us. We won't back down.' The letters from the bottling industry attest that their plastic bottles are recyclable and claim that SodaStream's 'Shame or Glory' campaign is 'misrepresentative'. However, it is well established that most of the 200 billion plastic bottles bought each year worldwide are not recycled, says SodaStream. 'The EurActiv watchdog group reports that only 23% of plastic packaging is currently recycled in France, and Fast Company magazine (sibling publication of Simply Green) recently noted that only 23% of plastics are being recycled in the US. The average recycling rate in Europe is 29.7%, a very low figure. Additionally, the practice of recycling reduces only a portion of the carbon footprint inflicted by the transportation, processing and

Since 1988, ocean conservationists have warned about the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch', a floating island the size of Texas comprising improperly disposed plastic waste. According to the Greenpeace report, Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans, more than 267 different species of seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish have been documented as casualties of plastic ingestion or entanglement.

production of these bottles and, according to The Carbon Trust, reduces the carbon footprint of a

The full video at the centre of what appears to

plastic bottle by a mere 20%. Recycling does not

be a rapidly expanding point of contention between

remotely eliminate the devastating effect of plastic

the parties involved can be viewed here. The video

bottles on our planet,' says SondaStream.

features a film production assistant on a mission

'The effect of plastic pollution on marine life

to buy sparkling water from a local supermarket.

is particularly concerning,' adds the home-bottled

The Game of Thrones actor Hannah Waddingham

sparkling water company.

rings the bell of shame and repeatedly shouts

'Since 1988, ocean conservationists have warned

'shame' at the assistant as she pursues him. When

about the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", a floating

the assistant finally reaches the film set, Game

island the size of Texas comprising improperly

of Thrones actor Thor Bjornsson explains the

disposed plastic waste. According to the Greenpeace

benefits of using a SodaStream machine and fresh,

report, Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans, more

local tap water instead of the 'shameful habit of

than 267 different species of seabirds, turtles, seals,

using and throwing away plastic water bottles'.

sea lions, whales and fish have been documented as

One SodaStream reusable carbonating bottle can

casualties of plastic ingestion or entanglement.

replace thousands of single-use plastic bottles, says

'Each new letter from the bottled water industry

homemade sparkling water company.


has the same demand: that SodaStream cease airing its "Shame or Glory" video campaign, in which the brand advocates using fresh, local tap water to make sparkling water at home over the use of single-use plastic bottles,' says SodaStream.

S G 80

Those interested in exploring the issue further can view SodaStream Chief Executive Officer Daniel Birnbaum's interview with CNBC here with full transcript here. See ad, right.

Mother Nature Products have been proud manufacturers of great green baby products in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2006.

021 782 9117 •

FASHION We take a look at some recent eco-fashion breakthroughs and trends.

S G 82

JE SUIS ALICE With her project 'Rethinking High Fashion Shoes', Kristel Peters explores innovative methods and possibilities for shoemaking. Je suis Alice is a project Peters recently exhibited at Dutch Design Week. It proposes a modular shoe design as an example of high fashion that answers a sustainable design model. If the fashion industry starts to reimagine the way it designs shoes, this could positively impact on the million tonnes of footwear waste currently polluting the environment each year with toxins used in the manufacture of shoes.

3D PRINTING BREAKTHROUGH The term 'fast fashion' is poised to take on a whole new meaning, thanks to a breakthrough in 3D printing that could revolutionise the way clothing and shoes are made. Researchers at Loughborough University in London, in collaboration with Thailand’s Yeh Group and an unnamed 'major fashion house', are embarking on an 18-month project to create customised garments in under 24 hours. This technology has the potential to reduce waste, water, labour and carbon emissions, as well as make bespoke apparel affordable.

Click here for more

FASHION INDUSTRY TRANSPARENCY According to Fashion Revolution, a grassroots movement that rose from the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, most fashion companies don't own the factories where their clothes are produced, making it difficult to direct or monitor labour conditions. Transparency, Fashion Revolution says, is essential if businesses and governments are to be held culpable for what goes on behind the scenes. H&M, Levi Strauss, and Inditex emerged at the top of the list for doing their bit to communicate about their supply-chain practices.

Click here for more

ECO FASHION MYTHS DEBUNKED One of the biggest misconceptions about living a greener life is that you need a lot of time and money – two luxuries not a lot of people have. As deeply unsatisfying as disposable clothing is in the long run, a large swath of the population still believes it cannot afford the time, effort, and budget to shop more ethically. The good news is this is simply untrue.

Here are five myths about sustainable fashion

83 S G

LEVI'S Levi's and Aquafil, an Italian company that recycles waste materials into good-as-virgin nylon fibre, are making beautiful jeans together. First up: A version of Levi's 522 men's tapered pant composed of Econyl, a regenerated yarn derived from recovered fishing nets and used carpeting. The collaboration happily dovetails with Levi's long-standing interest in promoting a 'circular economy', a tack that grows ever more vital on our resource-strapped planet.

Click here for more

SELF-CLEANING TEXTILES Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia have discovered a cheap and efficient new way to grow nanostructures – teeny tiny metal structures that can degrade organic matter when exposed to light – directly on fabric. The result? A new breed of self-cleaning textiles that expel dirt and stains when placed under a light bulb or worn out in the sun. Fabrics used in tests have so far required less than six minutes to 'spontaneously clean' themselves.

Click here for more

PROYOG – ECO YOGA APPAREL Proyog is no sportswear in disguise. In fact, it’s a clarion call to millions of present-day yoga lovers who still wear polyester, unaware of the innate contradiction, or the harm they invite. Naturally breathable, Proyog is meant to liberate, to free the body so the mind can focus. It is the polar opposite of synthetic. Soft and stretchable, neither too tight nor too loose, Proyog moves along with the body as you breathe in and out of asanas.

Click here for more

7 ECO-FRIENDLY LUXURY FABRICS As buzzy as sustainability may seem today, the term still conjures up (for the most part) images of grass-fed beef, off-the-grid yurts, and thick-buckled Birkenstocks. Small wonder, then, that fashion brands – those peddlers of dreams and artificers of cool – might be loathe to embrace something that might make them appear gauche by association. If sustainability is poised to save the world, innovation has to first save sustainability, and it's only recently that technology has begun to catch up with our values.

Here is a list compiled by Ecouterre

S G 84

THE TRIPTY PROJECT Luke Swanson and Brooke McEver were working in Bangladesh at the time of the incredible garment industry tragedy at Rana Plaza. In reaction, they decided to found a company to train locals to create accessories and garments from pineapples. The Tripty Project sources the waste agricultural byproducts from the harvesting of these sweet fruits, to turn it into a woven fabric. Using indigo and natural bark dyes, and unique weave patterns, the Tripty line of clothing and backpacks can send you on your next day hike in style.

THE GREAT (CONTAMINATED) OUTDOORS Greenpeace is calling into question the sustainability credentials of leading outdoor-apparel brands like The North Face, Patagonia, and Mammut after an investigation confirmed the continued and widespread use of hazardous per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals in their products. In its recently released report, the environmental nonprofit affirmed the presence of PFCs not only in clothing and footwear but also camping and hiking equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents.

Click here for more

PLANT BACKPACK FIGHTS POLLUTION Fresh air on demand? That’s the idea behind the 'plant backpack', an out-of-the-box concept that could replace flimsy paper masks in the fight against air pollution. The brainchild of five Dutch students, the bag uses a fan to draw in outside air through the roots of a shrub housed within. A high-efficiency particulate air filter gives the sifted air a second pass before the wearer breathes it in though an attached collar. The design has already won a Battle of Concepts challenge and the next step is to develop a working prototype.

Click here for more

IKEA'S Sustainable Milestone IKEA made history recently when it became the first major retailer to

obtain 100% of its cotton from 'more sustainable sources', specifically farmers who 'use less water, less chemical fertilisers and pesticides'. The milestone fulfills a pledge that IKEA made in 2011, shortly after it became a founding member of a 'round-table' initiative, led by the World Wildlife Fund, to improve cotton production’s environmental and social profile.

Click here for more

85 S G


Balthazaar by Jessi-Jean is a new young designer

once-off pieces. All current bags are up-cycled and

from Cape Town, South Africa. All bags are upcycled

recycled from vintage Pakistan camel saddle bags. The

and re-cycled from vintage Middle Eastern carpets into

shells and tassels are vintage, the trinkets where all put

premium bespoke handbags. Not only is Balthazaar

on by wives of the camel riders to protect their husbands

an eco brand but it also zones in on social aspects

in the desert and to ward off illnesses on their long

by uplifting Cape Town's surrounding communities by

journeys through the desert.

teaching their employee's skills such as leather work, patterns, cutting and how to make wool pom poms to assemble Balthazaar's handmade bags. Balthazaar's current carpet materials are each unique and often

S G 86 Instagram : @balthazaardesigns

A d v ertorial

Herbafrique was founded in 2005 by a research and development team. They provide what they believe to be the finest scientifically founded herbal products in South Africa. Only the finest African ingredients and the highest standard of manufacturing has gone into these biological and natural products. Herbafrique’s intention is to create awareness around herbal remedies and provide great products as an alternative to conventional medication and skin care.

SKIN SOFTENER: This product serves as the foundation of the entire facial skin care range that is 100% pure natural cream/gel; made from olive oil and beeswax; contains no mineral oil, petrochemicals, parabens or artificial fragrance or colourants; great for dry skin conditions; ideal for hyper-allergenic skins and baby bottom barrier cream.

PROTECTIVE DAY CARE CREAM: This unique, easily absorbed Day Care Moisturising treatment with sun filters (Skin Softener properties) contains: Evening Primrose oil (anti-oxidant), Vitamin E (anti-oxidant and essential for healthy skin), Bulbinella frutescens (anti-acne), Calendula (anti-fungal), Neroli (tones the complexion and prevents thread veins).

NOURISHING NIGHT CARE CREAM: This nourishing cream with skin softener properties contains: Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola – promotes blood circulation), Jojoba, Avocado and Marula (enriching oils to prevent fine lines and wrinkles), Beeswax and Olive oil, Neroli (tones the complexion and prevents thread veins). NATURAL CLEANSING CREAM: This unique multi-purpose and water soluble cleanser has the same ingredients and properties as our Skin Softener (see above). The Natural Cleansing Cream contains lemon pith which lifts grime and impurities. Can be used as a very effective eye make-up remover or a hydrating mask if left on for 10 minutes, Easily removed with a cotton pad or rinsed off with warm water.

NATURAL ORANGE GEL: PH balanced, Disinfectant, Degreaser, Stain remover, Bio-degradable, Fabric softener, Anti-static, Non toxic, 100% Orange oil base (citrus fragrance). Available in 1kg, 2.5kg and 5kg.

For more info visit

87 S G

Hemporium's new home

Hemporium has been leading the charge for years in favour of the widespread commercial cultivation of hemp – an industry which with just initial calculations could easily be worth several billion rand almost immediately, with many employment opportunities attached.

S G 88


ow, this 'budding' business (sorry, we couldn't

products from the nutritious hemp seed, construction

help ourselves) is 'branching out' with a new

materials and a wide selection of imported hemp fabrics,

hemp shop, showroom, warehouse and offices

ropes and twines.

in Westlake, Cape Town.

Hemporium will also be using the space to offer

Hemporium, established in 1996, is South Africa's

educational talks on hemp and other environmental

premier hemp company. Now it has consolidated its

issues, as well as displaying products by other local

operations and offerings in a new space, with the largest

designers and manufacturers that are all made from the

selection of hemp products in Africa.

versatile hemp plant.

Tony Budden, Hemporium's Marketing Director, says:

Hemp is fast reclaiming its position as the premier

'Having our showroom, shop, offices and warehouse all

eco-resource, providing jobs, houses, medicine and food

at one address enables us to better serve our customers

without harming the planet, for those countries that allow

and meet our aim of showcasing all that hemp has to

its growth.

offer, while presenting it in a natural and sustainable environment.' Hemporium's new shop and offices are an embodiment of Hemporium's eco-credentials with hempcrete plaster on the walls, cork flooring, LED lighting and sustainable

South Africa has yet to amend legislation to allow hemp to be grown commercially, and Hemporium continues to lobby for a local industry. Hemporium's new headquarters can be found at 15 Bell Crescent, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town. O

moon-phase harvested wood panelling and shop fittings. Hemporium manufactures locally, from imported raw materials, a range of eco-friendly hemp clothing, accessories, body-care products, hemp oil and protein

For more info contact Tony Budden 021 702 4988, email: See ad below.

89 S G

C onscious K itchen

Treasu S G 90

In this issue Liesel James talks about how Conscious Cooking can assist you and your family not to become a statistic of an autoimmune disease caused by the imbalance in gut bacteria or leaky gut syndrome. This has become a growing issue in Western Societies due to poor diet, chronic stress, toxin overload and bacterial imbalances.


healthy immune system defends your body

organisms regulate your immune system to keep

against disease and when out of balance

the lining of your gut strong and can be a part of

an autoimmune disease develops when

how you take control of your own biology.

your immune system decides your healthy cells are

Maintaining the correct balance however will

foreign. Your immune system then attacks healthy

make your cells in your gut biome do everything

cells and can affect one or many different types of

from making you happier, clearing up acne or fixing

body tissue.

autoimmune issues. However as soon as your gut

It changes between periods of temporally

bacteria are out of balance, it can turn into Leaky

recovery, little or no symptoms and then flare-ups,

Gut Syndrome - a condition where holes develop in

which are worsened symptoms. Often we don’t

the walls of your gut allowing intestinal contents to

take these symptoms seriously as they are not

“leak” through into the bloodstream. Bad bacteria

continuous however, the body is slowly being

and undigested foods particles – particularly gluten,


A1 casein (found in milk and cows meat), and soy –

So what happens?

are proteins similar to proteins found in your body.

Your digestive tract has a universe of living

leaky gut, it may accidentally begin attacking your

organisms a rich variety of bacteria, viruses, and

thyroid gland in a condition called Hashimoto’s. Or

other microorganisms, as well as a wide array of

they can impact other organs like the liver, kidneys,

fungi which are vital to your health. This is known

and heart, causing widespread inflammation and

as your gut microbiome. Each one of us has a


microbiome for our skin, our lungs, every organ has a microbiome of its own and they all differ. There is a direct connection between your

When your immune system sees gluten from your

Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction.

microbiome and your immune system. As the

Recently researchers discovered the gut-brain

host and when your gut microbiome is in balance

axis which means that your intestines and brain

all is well and these organisms live in perfect

communicate to each other via the endocrine and

equilibrium with you. Gut bacteria play a beneficial

the nervous system which means it is an important

role in countless bodily functions and can help you

messaging system that oversees your satiety, food

perform at your maximum level, if the right kind is

intake, glucose regulation, fat metabolism, insulin

multiplying rapidly in the right environment. These

secretion and sensitivity, and bone metabolism.

ure Your Gut 91 S G

So let's have a closer look at the causes of Leaky Gut

Recently researchers discovered the gut-brain axis, which means that your intestines and brain communicate to each other via the endocrine and the nervous system which means it is an important messaging system that oversees your satiety, food intake, glucose regulation, fat metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, and bone metabolism.

Poor Diet


When you have a leaky gut your cells are not absorbing Vit B12, Iron and Magnesium which are essential in keeping you healthy and providing energy. When you have a leaky gut your cells are not absorbing Vit B12, Iron and Magnesium which are essential in keeping you healthy and providing energy. Common diseases of an imbalance in gut bacteria or leaky gut syndrome include: Asthma; Food allergies; Chronic Sinusitis; Persistent acne; Eczema; Migraine; Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Fatigue; Weight gain; Digestive issues/bloating; Mood swings; Depression; Autism; Autoimmune disorders such as (there are approximately 80) Celiac disease, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Graves disease, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Chron's disease, Alzheimer's and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Lectins are a protein found in many foods that can

Artificial food colouring is routinely added to

bind to cell membranes and if you consume small

food to make them look more presentable. Research

amounts it will not have a negative affect. However

on these compounds has focused primarily on

large amounts are problematic and cause leaky gut.

toxicity factors, but if you dig deeper, you'll find

The highest food in lectins are found in GMO and

that many food colourings have been shown to

hybridized foods since they have been modified by

exhibit both antibacterial and antifungal properties.

humans to fight off bugs and have better yields.

Generally this would be considered a positive

A typical sign of a hybrid food is a fruit without

attribute however, when we begin to concentrate

seeds as fruit are technically defined to have seeds.

and purify or create these compounds synthetically,

Lectins are found in raw legumes and grains like

we run the risk of disrupting the natural order of

wheat, rice, spelt and soy and there is enough

microflora in our bodies.

evidence that gluten-containing grains will damage

your intestinal lining and cause leaky gut syndrome. I recommendation sprouting and fermenting grains

Chronic stress

as it reduces phytates and lectins, making these

Stress is not just in your head and chronic stress

foods easier to digest.

can trigger symptoms and full-blown disease in

Sugar is another destructive substance causing

I recommend getting into nature, gardening

growth of yeast, candida and bad bacteria, which

where you also get sun the greatest source of

will further damage your gut. Bad bacteria actually

Vitamin D (30 minutes without sunblock), swim

create toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy

in fresh or sea water, exercise, schedule fun into

cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.

your week, meditate, and hang out with positive,

Milk from conventional cows is another food

S G 92

your gut.

havoc on your digestive system. Sugar will feed the

uplifting people. They are all natural mood lifters.

that can cause leaky gut due to the protein A1 beta

The connection between soil microbes and

casein. The Guernsey breeds produce only about

human health also have a positive link which

10% of their beta casein as A1 while the Jersey breed

has been studied and found to be verifiable. Soil

produces about 35%. The Ayrshire produces 50% or

microbes, Mycobacterium vaccae have been found

to have similar effects on the brain and are without

imbalance can begin at birth for many because of

side effects and chemical dependency potential. It

a C-section as the birth canal in natural birth offers

has been found to mirror the effect on neurons that

the first inoculation of good bacteria followed

drugs like Prozac provide.

by breastfeeding. Further imbalances are due to

Mycobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil

the overuse of prescription antibiotic drugs, tap

are also being investigated for improving cognitive

water with chlorine and fluoride, and the lack of

function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid

probiotic-rich foods.

arthritis. Read more here.

thousands of chemicals and toxins we are exposed

Here are some great Probiotic Foods which are available from most health stores in the country and also easy to prepare at home:

to every single year, but the worst offenders for

Kefir – is a fermented dairy product with a

causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides,

combination of milk and fermented kefir grains.

tap water, mercury and aluminum in vaccines and

Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented

dental fillings, aspirin and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory

with yeast and more bacteria the final product is

aspirin, Ibuprofen and more).

higher in probiotics.

Toxins It is impossible to avoid all of the eighty odd

I recommend buying a high-quality water

Cultured Vegetables (Sauerkraut and Kimchi) –

filter to eliminate chlorine, fluoride and mold. To

high in organic acids (what gives food its sour taste)

reduce inflammation in your body and promoting

which support the growth of good bacteria.Kimchi

anti-inflammatory biomes; eat 2 stewed green

is the Korean take on cultured veggies and a cousin

apples with a bit of cinnamon and raisons with

to sauerkraut. Both of the fermented formulas are

organic plain yogurt or even better kefir. This will

also high in enzymes, which can aid digestion.

reduce local and systematic inflammation. There is

Kombucha – Is an effervescent fermentation drink

truth in the old saying – an apple a day keeps the

made of black tea and started by using a SCOBY

doctor away.

(symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and its primarily health benefits include digestive support,


increased energy and liver detoxification. Kombucha

This is one of the leading causes of leaky gut,

has been around for over 2,000 years originating

which means an imbalance between beneficial

around Japan.

and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. This

Coconut Kefir – Made by fermenting the juice

93 S G

of young coconuts with kefir grains. This dairy-free option for kefir has some of the same probiotics as traditional dairy kefir but is typically not as high in probiotics and is very tasty. Yogurt – Possibly the most popular probiotic food is live cultured yogurt if it comes from raw grass-fed animals. It is recommending when buying yogurt to look for 3 things. That it comes from goat’s or sheep milk, or that it is grass-fed, and or it is organic. Bone Broth – helps heal your damaged cell walls as broth contains collagen and the amino acids

Digestive Enzymes – before meals to ensure that

proline and glycine. A bone broth fast for three days

foods are fully digested and pro

is a recommended way to help heal leaky gut and

Licorice Root – This herb is especially beneficial

cure autoimmune disease.

if someone's leaky gut is being caused by emotional

Raw Cheese – Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and A2


casein cow’s soft cheeses are particularly high

Fixing your microbiome is the most important

in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus,

thing you can do. I hope this article has inspired you

bulgaricus and acidophilus. It is important to note

to know which of the elements destroys and what

that only unpasteurized cheeses will give probiotics.

builds good bacteria and how to create a healing

Microgreens and Sprouts - are Bio-Genic

process in the microbiome which spreads to your

Nutrition, known as the ‘Life Generating’ phases of

entire body and impacts on your entire life: because

plants. It is the cell renewal phase and supplies your

health is wealth and it starts at the very core of your

body with top-notch, super alkalizing, nutrients


and enzymes. Very easy to grow – refer to Simply







Green Issue 2 for easy steps to grow your own

Integrative practitioners out there. I can highly

microgreens at home.

recommend the autoimmune series: Betrayal: which

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (not palm oil) a

was recently launched including interviews and

healing plant in so many ways and can be used in

latest facts and findings from 85 doctors' specialists

food or externally as a nourishing cream. It helps

and recovered patients from various autoimmune

regulate the bad bacteria and support the good

diseases. Click here for more.


bacteria and reduces inflammation and leaky gut. Add to everything.

Supplements to assist Leaky Gut Vitamin D3 – increases intestinal absorption of

For any further information on courses on how to make your own probiotic foods email

calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 and vitamin D


Slippery Elm – Derived from the bark of the


tree is a prebiotic and assists in the healing many conditions but in this case it causes mucous

• • •

growth and repair of your intestinal lining.

S G 94

L-Glutamine – an essential amino acid supplement that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the the-9-best-fermented-foods-for-your-gut/

Probiotics – replenish good bacteria and crowds out the bad bacteria

secretion which is helpful for stomach and intestinal problems.

Sodastream is the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of Home Carbonation Systems. Our brand, SodaStream, is sold in more than 45 countries worldwide. THE IDEAL GIFT SodaStream is the ultimate must-have kitchen appliance and the perfect gift. Powered by a refillable CO2 cylinder, SodaStream allows you to turn tap water into sparkling water in an instant so you can create refreshing homemade fizzy drinks and mixers.

GET THE PARTY STARTED! Whether you’re catering for a family braai, kid’s birthday party or just a normal Saturday night in, SodaStream has got you covered! You can make everything from sparkling water, flavoured sparkling water and even cocktails! Check out some of our favourite recipes, plus upload any new ones you’ve created for us to try. 95 S G


The Classic South African Cookbook Melinda Roodt Struik Lifestyle • 978 1 4323 0673 1

The Classic South African Cookbook is exactly that – classic home cooking for South Africans the way they eat now. In line with the country's diverse cultures, which often blend more harmoniously in the kitchen than in any other sphere of life, this book is a kaleidoscope of our modern lifestyle with influences from grandma's kitchen, popular Mediterranean cuisine, as well as both Indian and African culture. But no matter what your roots may be, this book sets a foundation for good, honest, carefree home cooking, incorporating all the wellloved and familiar favourites. The more than 170 recipes have been refined to guarantee mouth-watering results, no matter your skill level. Only fresh and locally available ingredients are used, while the various techniques are carefully explained – a real boon to those just setting out on their culinary journeys. Best of all, every recipe is accompanied by a full-colour photograph. Melinda Roodt and her husband Gerhard are senior pastors at the Delta Community Church in Vereeniging. Melinda is also a public speaker and serves on the boards of a number of charitable organisations working to assist

S G 96

abused women and children, crime victims, orphanages, old age homes and the underprivileged generally. She is also a musician and oversees and directs three bands. As a seasoned host and organiser of various conferences, catering for a few hundred people at a time, Melinda has run several cooking courses at her home, teaching more than 360 women to cook delicious homemade food. And if all that isn't enough, she manages her own rusk and biscuit label, Mel's Kitchen, and undertakes oil painting commissions. In between, this mother still finds time to garden and ride horses for relaxation.

The Yoga Kitchen: 100 Easy Superfood Recipes Marlien Wright Jacana Media • 978 1 4914 2404 7

This book celebrates nourishing whole-foods. These recipes enable you to reclaim your inherent power to heal your digestive system and boost immunity. This book will inspire you to return to the kitchen to create delicious simple, satisfying and nutritious meals that will appeal to the whole family. All the recipes are gluten, grain and dairy free, and based on the 'Food Combining' principles that promote good digestion and nutrient absorption, weight loss and an alkaline body. Wright is a teacher of Yoga and

Pilates, a certified nutritional therapy coach, yoga retreat facilitator, farm dweller, former city girl, mom and part time hippy. She has been studying movement, holistic wellness and nutrition as long as anyone can remember. Marlien's Yoga Kitchen journey began when she started hosting and blogging about her 'yoga retreat food' and 'yoga farm lifestyle'. She is passionate about good nutrition and helping others to rediscover their best health. Her love of good food was ignited while she was travelling and living abroad, where she discovered all the weird and wonderful foods out there and felt inspired to recreate healthier versions in her own kitchen.

For Friends & Family Nicky Stubbs Human & Rousseau • 978 0 7981 7125 0

This book is a love song – to the family and friends who have fed us, taught us to cook, and have eaten with us. Who have eaten simple meals at our dining room table. Because these meals were a reason for gathering and celebration. In For Friends & Family you will find all the necessary recipes you are looking for, ranging from breakfast, starters and mains to baking and pudding. So cook something and invite your friends and family over. It's time for creating new memories.

Stubbs has a talent for cooking that is appreciated by all her friends and family. After lunch they lose their good manners and fight over the chocolate mousse bowl; at tea time they drop in unexpectedly in the hope of a freshly baked lemon sponge, and at supper time they can count on being invited to linger as there is always enough food for everyone. Stubbs's passions are family, friends, food and books. In her long and interesting career, she has completed a Cordon Bleu cooking course, cooked in London and France, run restaurants, catered, given cooking classes and written for magazines. She is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager of NB Publishers.

The Low-Carb Creed: The Indispensable Guide to the Low-Carb Healthy Fat Lifestyle Sally-Ann Creed Creed Nutrition • 978 0 620 71251 4

Following on from her many successful nutritional books, regarded as the leading nutritional therapist in South Africa, SallyAnn Creed has unveiled her latest book The Low Carb Creed with contributing authors Merle Wescott and Janita Bold. Readers can obtain valuable advice from Sally-Ann, which she has gathered from her extensive career as an international

Nutritional Therapist. The Low Carb Creed takes readers on a practical, easy-to-follow nutritional journey that is simple enough to weave into anyone's lifestyle. It also introduces the Paleo lifestyle for those who find banting is not working for them. There are basic cooking techniques, colour plates, new affordable/budget meal plans and the valuable 'The Creed' – the manifesto for Low-Carb Healthy Fat living. It's the first embossed and foiled book to be done in South Africa in line with leading European trends and sticks to the Low-Carb Healthy Fat lifestyle principle demonstrating that it's not a diet but a lifestyle. Healthy and unhealthy fats explained, protein portions and types of protein guidelines, the hormone connection to weight loss and insulin resistance, myths and misconceptions, blood tests – what to ask for and how to interpret your own, the role of sleep and heart health, stress and the role of the thyroid. The book also explains how to get started with LCHF, shopping lists, portion control, new updated lists – which help you to understand how many carbs you are eating – the core of the book, things which sabotage weight loss, intermittent fasting, resistant starch, organ meats, super foods and supplements; the importance of the microbiome as well as two week's meal plans – one week LCHF menu, with recipes and alternatives to your favourite foods. This book is aimed at everyone, so you don't need a medical degree to understand it! I've made it easy and fun to help readers to lead a healthier, more nutritious and cost-affordable life! Sally-Ann Creed. In the wise words of Thomas Edison, 'The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of


Tasty WasteNOTS Sally-Ann Creed & Jason Whitehead Human & Rousseau • 978 0 7981 7126 7

This book guides readers and offers advice on how to save money and waste nothing while creating incredible easy to follow low carbohydrate dishes that are all sugar-free. The cookbook focuses on using whole, organic foods that are preferably homegrown. Each recipe includes nutritional facts about the main ingredient and in addition lunches and suppers will be paired with a superb organic wine. There is also a small, dedicated space on diet suggestions to 'our beloved furry friends' which was written by Sally-Ann and a section by Jason Whitehead on all the know-hows to start a vegetable garden. It is right on trend – a lovely, modern cookbook that shows you how to use everything edible and waste nothing. In this way readers improve their cooking skills, limit expenses and help save the planet. With healthy and wholesome recipes that cover all your needs and wants such as breakfast, starters, soups and salads, main dishes, snacks and smoothies, pastes, pestos and dips, desserts and even the braai, this latest book covers it all. Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the culinary world and is renowned for his highly creative and distinctive style of cooking. Sally-Ann has an impeccable reputation in the health and wellness industry on both sides of the Atlantic. Proof of that is her massive fan following by the general public and health leaders worldwide.

97 S G

H ealth



The hibiscus flower brings to mind a lush, tropical paradise and serene Hawaiian beaches, but the healing hibiscus tea, currently all the rage, is in actual fact not your garden-variety hibiscus. 'Age-old wisdom about this fragrant, tart beverage is finally receiving scientific acknowledgement, proving the rich healing history of this flower to be true,' says Robyn Smith, founder of online organic and natural store, Faithful to Nature.

S G 98


ibiscus tea is known for its delicious taste, and while it has been enjoyed in numerous different ways in customs across the globe

primarily used to treat high blood pressure, it also has many other powerful healing benefits. Why not try it for yourself and experience one of the many ways in which

3 Hibiscus Tea & Diabetes

Not only does fragrant hibiscus brew help to lower high blood pressure which can be a risk for diabetics, it has also been used and researched to improve cholesterol levels. Studies found that regular consumption of

hibiscus tea can bring health to your life:

herbal hibiscus tea balances your body's good and bad

1 Hibiscus Tea & Blood Pressure

cholesterol and decrease triglycerides. It is also a great tasting, aromatic and vibrantly coloured

high blood pressure, and the addition of hibiscus tea

and caffeine filled drinks.

to your diet is the age-old way to manage those levels.

4 Hibiscus Tea & Cancer

Dietary changes are an effective way to help manage

Although it has already been used for this purpose in traditional medicine, studies have also shown that

beverage to replace sodas, fruit juice and other sugar

In a Taiwanese laboratory study, extract from Hibiscus


Sabdariffa was found to be toxic to cancer cells, and especially effective in killing human gastric carcinoma cells, and has also been shown to kill leukaemia cells. Researchers attribute these effects of hibiscus extract to the potent levels of polyphenol compounds, found in hibiscus flowers, also recognised for their disease prevention, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties.

2 Hibiscus Tea &

5 Hibiscus Tea & Metabolism

The dried calyces of the hibiscus flower

metabolic function which is great news for those with

drinking as little as 2 to 3 cups of tea from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower each day helps to lower BP levels and works as effectively as




medications, without the potential side

Hibiscus extract has even shown promise in adding


used to brew the tea are known to contain high levels of antioxidants essential to our body's natural daily detox efforts. They also work to prevent disease and fight low-grade chronic inflammation, which research has linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, IBS, Crohn's and so many more chronic diseases and health issues. Keeping your intake of antioxidants up is a great way to prevent health issues, and hibiscus tea has the bonus of also containing loads of the well-known antioxidant vitamin C. This makes this delicious beverage supportive for




metabolic syndrome or anyone looking to lose weight, particularly if you suffer from obesity. Studies have found after just one month with daily doses an impressive improvement in glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as insulin resistance. Even more impressive is the decrease it causes in serum free fatty acids, high levels of which are associated with obesity and uncontrolled diabetes. There is no denying the powerful healing benefits of this incredibly delicious tropical drink, with new studies continually proving the benefits of what the Egyptian pharaohs enjoyed as a refreshing, healing beverage. As with most potent natural healers, it is not to be enjoyed in large amounts without caution, and should be avoided by pregnant women all together.


absorption, lowered risk of chronic disease, protection against that pesky common cold, and much more.

Visit to stock up on Hibiscus Tea.

99 S G




S G 100


to buying some kind of dark compost to mix into

encouraging and I am excited to trial

our soil, and then we typically mulch with another

many of them. However there is no question that

layer of similar courser material because we have

in conjunction with this we need to start taking

been told it is beneficial to do so. However, this is

responsibility for our soil's water-holding capacity

of limited value as many of you will have come to

because when we only have restricted access to

realise, a disheartening reality as evidenced by poor

water the soil has to be able to hold onto the

soils despite decades of following this, or similar

limited amount that it will receive during the dry,


any clever water conserving devices

Conventionally we have become accustomed

and techniques are surfacing which is

hot periods. Most people know this and so there is

Unfortunately the truth is that often this

hardly a person that does not want to create good

'beautiful' looking black compost you purchase

soil when asked the question. Furthermore, nearly

has been literally burnt through overheating in

everybody buys into the natural logic that good

the compost-making process, which unfortunately

soil promotes healthy plants, and healthy produce

means that it has lost many of its valuable nutrients

promotes healthy people. So the will is largely

to gas exchange as well as its ability to bond

present, but do we know what good soil is? And do

nutrients. Assuming, however, that it has not been

we know how to create it in our home gardens?

overheated, it is also probable that the compost is

By now all gardeners have had some experience with water restrictions, whether for brief periods of time or long whole hot summers, and with that a gnawing, knowing feeling that this is to become a way of life into the future, and that we all need to be prepared on one level or another. Sarchen Bassingthwaighte digs deeper. The ingredients of good supercharged soil

sold to you before it has been allowed to build up again. Why do I say this? Compost goes through

building are simple:

to two phases; one, where it heats up and organic

system of the soil and plants;

and nutrients are locked into the organic content again. The appearance of the compost can seem the

Composting worms to start the decomposition process of the organic material;

same, or similar, to the layman and most gardeners would never know the difference. So, unfortunately,

Green nutrients to provide the nutrition base for soil building and to strengthen the immune

content breaks down, and two, where it cools down

Micro-organisms to further decompose the

good soil-building is not going to be achieved

organic material and then to re-arrange nutrients

by following the basic conventional wisdom of

into stable usable bonds, and Trace Elements to

religiously adding compost and mulch.

help in the vital bio-electro-chemical processes involved;

But yet it remains critical to have good soil because this will nourish and provide moisture to plants for season upon season, and in this time of

Carbon bonds to provide the building blocks for humus chains.

never-ending water restrictions it is fool-hardy not

It is worth following this strategy because

to look closer at the moisture retaining capabilities

many scientific studies have shown that good soil

of good soil.

can retain three times more locked-in moisture

101 S G

than poor soils, ensuring a higher plant carrying

easily flicks onto the soil. These firstly break down

capacity, and plants with a drought tolerance which

the organic matter and later build nutrient chains

show limited adverse effects during dry periods.

up again; meaning one gets break-down-micro-

Conversely, poor soils lose their moisture retention

organisms and build-up-micro-organisms which

capabilities and their plant carrying capacity.

basically need a constant food supply in the form of

But it is not just about the ability to retain

organic matter. These micro-organisms need to be

moisture, because, after all, plants need more than

re-applied constantly as they tend to die off easily

just moisture to survive and thrive. In the presence

in our compromised and modern environments. We

of moisture micro-organisms remain active, nutrient

suggest fortnightly in most cases.

exchanges continue and immunity is high; whereas

Electrolytes in the form of trace elements are vital

the absence of moisture retention limits nutrient

to this bio-chemical process and are added in the

exchange and immunity is diminished.

same application. 4) Carbon Build is applied to form

We also have to adjust our notion of water vs

the basis of nutrient chains that are subsequently

moisture. Micro-organisms require a microscopic

released back to the plant as and when the plant

film of moisture around particles to perform the

requires the nutrients. This reflective mulch, as with

nutrient exchanges and the immune responses,

shredded thatch, is also advantageous in keeping

this and oxygen circulating through a porous soil

the supercharge soil building layers which are

structure that can be absorbed into this tiny film

cool and moist via a miniature greenhouse effect

of water around the particles. In fact water per

contained in the supercharge soil building layers,

se leads to the expulsion of oxygen from the soil

whilst dark inert material attracts heat and adversely

and a potential detrimental effect due to resultant

affects the moisture-holding capacity.

anaerobic conditions which lower-energy life forms require – not good for growing plant life. But exactly how is this done? Over the last 15

Building a good soil with moisture-retaining capabilities clearly has benefits in times of drought but it also has health benefits to us;

years we have experimented with various simple

1. Plants that are grown in good soils have high

methods of creating soil in situ in home gardens

immune responses which, as it turns out is

and have devised a simple 4-step system for you to

good for you and me. By way of illustration

utilise. This 54 second animated video below gives

you may consider the cancer-reducing potential

a splendid overview:

of fruits and vegetables grown naturally by comprehending Dr Burke's findings. Dr Dan Burke discovered that cancer cells in humans have a specific enzyme called CYP1B1 that does not appear in healthy human cells, which basically means cancer cells have the potential to be specifically targeted by virtue of this unique enzyme that exists only in cancer cells. And indeed Dr Burke found an agent called Salvestrol that in fact targets this enzyme and thus kills cancer cells. But here's the real discovery relevant to this topic: Salvestrol exists naturally

S G 102

Essentially, the process is as follows. 1) Dried and

in healthy fruits and vegetables. But how so?

fresh greens are laid down to form the food source

It appears that salvestrol is predominantly

for the life forms that you will inoculate. The first

found in fruits and vegetables that have been

life form is 2) composting worms which will start to

attacked by pathogenic fungus, and that the

propagate and multiply in as little as a few weeks.

plants' natural defence against this attacking

They are fantastic contributors to the formation of

fungus is to produce salvestrol. Imagine that,

humus and only need to be inoculated once a year,

a cancer preventative agent in fruits that have

3) Micro-organisms are the second life form to be

had to 'toughen up' and produce salvestrol

inoculated via a simple water solution that one

in order to fend off an invading bad fungus.

It may be worth considering that naturally grown fruits and vegetables with blemishes on them are evidence of a plant that has had to fight back and survive, and potentially has health-promoting agents in it, otherwise absent in conventionally grown produce. (*See disclaimer below) 2. Plants that receive too many water-soluble nutrients are too high in the wrong nutrients and have been proven to be unattractive to pasture animals when compared to grasses grown in healthy soils which produce pastures with a more comprehensive nutrient component. (This diverse nutrient component is incidentally delivered to the plant via the nutrient-tie-inmicro-organisms that are so often deficient in commercial composts). 3. Science has also proven that mature soils produce plants that are not contaminated by radioactivity. This was proven by virtue of two adjacent fields; one with good soil high in micro-organisms, and one with poor soil low in micro-organisms which produced foods that were respectively; not radioactively contaminated as in the case of good soils, and radioactively contaminated as in the case of the adjacent poor soil. Of course, there are also the environmental considerations of superior soils such as: preservation of our water sources from reduced water soluble fertiliser




wildlife preservation and so on. And one would do well to remind oneself of this factor too as we all try and do our bit for the environment, however large or small that may be.


For further background information, a case study, a 3-step programme and a way to get started you can visit

Plants need more than just moisture to survive and thrive. In the presence of moisture micro-organisms remain active, nutrient exchanges continue and immunity is high; whereas the absence of moisture-retention limits nutrient exchange and immunity is diminished. Thus soils need to be able to retain moisture through good soil building practices

*Disclaimer: Research this yourself as I am not a medical doctor and do not make this claim.

103 S G


SOUTH AFRICAN BYRD BOOK Dr Jack Struik Nature • 978 1 7758 4528 7

This 72-page booklet of bird-based cartoons is the third edition from birder and cartoonist 'Dr Jack', whose name is not released, but who is a journalist and birder living in the Lowveld. Each cartoon is based on an actual bird variety, and it is Jack's huge imagination in interpreting the bird's characteristics which gives this book its attraction. The introduction lets us into the world of cartoonists by telling us that cartoons are 99% dreaming and 1% drawing. When you view the creations in this little book, you can well understand his statement. The author has turned the South African Shel(l)duck, the Masked Weaver, the Cardinal Woodpecker and the African Crowned Eagle into cartoons which instantly recognise the bird. Others require a bit of thought to relate the cartoon to a variety. This could be an ideal stocking filler for the coming Xmas season.

SEVEN DAYS IN CAPE TOWN Sean Fraser Struik Travel and Heritage 978 1 9282 1333 8

When Capetonians host visitors,

S G 104

they appreciate a checklist of places to visit and unique experiences to enjoy, no matter how much they may think they know their city. This is an updated edition of the best-selling book to fill this gap. It is more extensive, with more exceptional photographs, and will give you almost endless detailed ideas from which to choose. Day one starts with an in depth look at the mother city, with detail from the Artscape Theatre, and Government Avenue, to District Six, museums and churches. Day two moves to the V & A Waterfront and Robben Island, and including the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Cape Wheel. In this section there is enough detail for you to spend your seven days here in the V&A. Next up is Kirstenbosch and Table Mountain. This section has one of the most spectacular photographs of Cape Town that I have seen, from Camps Bay, through the City to False Bay. Kirstenbosch rightly gets extensive coverage. Days 4, 5 and 6 cover the Atlantic Seaboard, False Bay and Southern Suburbs, again in great depth. Then the book covers excursions to the winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and areas further afield. This is an attractive update. The photos are excellent, the depth of content

useful and in the end the book achieves the aim of providing a guide to the best places to visit in Cape Town and further afield. Definitely a candidate for presents.


Struik Nature • 978 1 7758 4449 5 Kruger Park has 50% of all the bird species in Southern Africa, amounting to 400 species with another 100 vagrants, so Kruger is rightly a key destination for twitchers. The two authors could hardly be better qualified to write a book like this. Tarboton is past President of BirdLife South Africa, while Ryan is Director of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at UCT. South Africa has a rich history of books on birds generally, and the birds of the Kruger National Park specifically, but this new offering sets new standards. The old Robert's started with paintings of the birds, and the quality of photography in subsequent books has not always been helpful to identification. If you are a twitcher, how many times have you been unable to be sure of an identification because the photo was poor. No

without them. Publication was sponsored by E Oppenheimer and Son, the holding company of the Oppenheimer family interests. I doubt that this book will end up on the bookshelf of the average twitcher, but for the more committed it represents a top rate in-depth source of information on this sector of birds.

WILDLIFE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA Edited by Vincent Carruthers Struik Nature • 978 1 7758 4353 5

longer. This book covering the Kruger has excellent photography, with every photo sharp and making identification easier. As a photographer who has tried bird photography, one is in awe at how the authors have managed to maintain such a high standard, mostly by collecting from a very wide range of contributors. There are other aspects which add to this book. Information from the South African Bird Atlas Project shows the areas in which you can expect to find a particular bird in the Reserve, and there is a reading list for anyone wanting to delve more deeply. For any twitcher, this will be a must-have on your bookshelf.

SOUTH AFRICA Sean Fraser Struik Travel & Heritage 978 1 7758 4511 9

Another offering from Sean Fraser, this is a coffee-table book with a very wide coverage of South Africa and a high quality of photographs. South Africa is large and diversified, and the author has covered an amazing range of every province, 'the face of the nation'. In a coffee table offering, photographs are the key. Among the outstanding are the Cape Town city bowl at night, the Eastern Cape's hole-in the wall, Durban bay water-front,

Sun City and the Kalahari, plus others too numerous to mention. Although not strictly a travel book, it does serve to remind the reader of the diversity of the country and the many places worth adding to your list of 'must see' destinations. Another excellent souvenir gift for Xmas.

TERRESTRIAL GAMEBIRDS & SNIPES OF AFRICA Rob Little Jacana Media • 987 1 4314 2414 6

This specialist book from Jacana covers 74 species of Guineafowl, Francolins, Spurfowl, Quails, Sandgrouse and Snipes in the whole of Africa. Perhaps 60% of the birds do not appear in South Africa, which makes the appeal restricted to the real fanatic and researcher. As a piece of dedicated research it is to be commended. Little has been a game bird specialist at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and he has a PhD on the Grey-winged Francolin. He has several books to his credit in this field. A worldwide appeal for photographs resulted in 950 results, and this is reflected in some species photos which have not been previously published. The names of these photographers fill a complete page, and the book would not have been possible

This update continues to be a field guide with a difference. Wildlife here includes not only the traditional categories of mammals and birds, but reptiles, frogs, fishes and insects, and even includes wildflowers and trees. Each section is contributed by a well-known expert. Inevitably in an all-in-one guide the sections on mammals and birds are not in the detail you might be used to in more specialist books, but as a coverage of flora and fauna in Southern Africa, I have not seen a book to achieve this as well as this publication. The two thousand entries are backed up by highquality colour illustrations, and the update includes distribution maps and diagnostic features to aid identification, which adds significantly to the value of the book. There is an unusually extensive reading list for readers wanting to investigate the different categories. This book will continue to appeal to travellers and tourists, both local and international. It would be an excellent present for the younger generation beginning to take an interest in fauna and flora in Southern Africa. Available in Afrikaans.

105 S G

A wards

S G 106

Ducere Holdings was recently named as the winner of the Green City Startup competition, a R3.7m competition aimed at unearthing creative green entrepreneurs whose ideas could help boost Johannesburg’s green ethos. We take a look.


ucere Holdings has developed a new, hydraulic version of hybrid transmission for vehicles that offers fuel savings of up

to 70% and significantly reduced emissions. This transmission, called MISER, can be fitted to existing

vehicles and won the startup R1m in cash to boost the growth of the business. First runner up Solid Insight was awarded R400  000 to further develop its cloud-based technology solution for managing resources in buildings accurately and in real time. Third place went to Rydawi Fish Farms along with a cash prize of R300 000. Rydawi’s product, Farm-in-a-box, is a complete farming system, ready to add water and Tilapia fish which is ideal for small scale farmers. The Green City Startup competition, now in its second year, was developed by The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle. Resolution Circle is the University of Johannesburg’s technology

Ducere Holdings has developed a new, hydraulic version of hybrid transmission for vehicles that offers fuel savings of up to 70% and significantly reduced emissions. This transmission, called MISER, can be fitted to existing vehicles and won the startup R1 million in cash to boost the growth of the business.

commercialisation company and incubator. The challenge began in January 2016 when ideas that could change the world and accelerate

Ravi Naidoo, executive director: Department

innovation in Joburg were sought. 187 proposals

of Economic Development, says, 'This competition

were received, which were reduced to eight finalists.

accelerates green innovation in Johannesburg in

Each of the eight finalists received R250  000 to

terms of our buildings, energy and water use,

build a prototype of their ideas. They were also

transport and waste. We had a surge in entries this

offered in-depth technical support to improve their

year, which is great as we want Jozi citizens to be

ideas and help them present their pitches. These

conscious of creating a greener city as they live,

finalists presented their prototypes and business to

work and play here.'

a panel of judges including an independent team

Last year’s winner, Paseka Lesolang, says that

of entrepreneurs and technical experts earlier this

winning the competition in 2015 boosted his


business and resulted in job creation as he ramped

In addition, The Green City Startup has developed

up mass production of his WHC Leak-Less Valve

a TV and online magazine show that highlights the

which prevents up to 70% of the water loss in the

competitors, entrepreneurship news and offers

case of a toilet leak.

tips for startups. It is being broadcast on MindSet Network DStv Channel 319 and via YouTube.

For more visit

107 S G

A wards

National cleantech innovation winners announced at gala event Klerksdorp innovator Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry took top honours at the 2016 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) awards ceremony with her water re-use and recycling solution called aWetbox. We take a look.


choeman received a cash prize of R120 000

most promising youth-led team went to Sandiswa

and an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley

Qayi of Amahlathi Eco-Tech who developed the Hot

in the US to compete against top performers

Spot for geysers, an innovation that supplies hot

of other GCIP programmes from across the world. Pamela Alborough of SanAqua HCA with a

S G 108

water within 30 minutes. They received R20  000 each.

wastewater treatment enhancement and sanitation

The Innovation for Social Impact award went to

solution and Martin Ackermann of Thevia with

Louise Williamson for her fuel-efficient Mashesha

roof tiles made from 99% waste materials were the

syngas stove. She received a cash prize of R10 000.

runners-up. They received R60 000 each as well as a

Delivering the keynote address at the award

trip to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in Silicon

ceremony in Pretoria last night, Naledi Pandor,


Minster of Science and Technology, said through

Yolandi Schoeman was also named the most

its various activities and continuous engagement

promising woman-led team, while the award for the

with stakeholders, the GCIP-SA contributes to the

development, promotion and deployment of clean technology innovations. 'The programme also creates a platform for linking South African entrepreneurs with investors, business and commercial partners, potentially resulting in the commercialisation of new products and services and ultimately job creation. 'This cleantech programme has showcased an innovative nation. Innovation adds momentum to the structural economic change that is needed for economic growth, job creation and an improved quality of life for us all,' she said. The GCIP-SA is part of a global initiative that aims to identify and support SMEs and start-ups with innovative solutions that can tackle the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges facing the planet, focusing on energy

of success. We are proud of the diversity and the

efficiency, green building, renewable energy, waste

inter-generational mix of men and women that are

beneficiation and water efficiency. These categories

developing the cleantech products and services for

are aligned with the national priorities of each of the

all provinces of South Africa,' he said.

seven participating countries.






The GCIP-SA combines a competition and a

and UNIDO remain ever committed to find, foster

business accelerator to help de-risk the businesses of

and connect South African innovators, inventers

participants by offering them extensive mentoring,

and problem-solvers who have found innovative,

training, access to investors and opportunities to

practical and commercially viable ways to address

showcase their innovations to the media and the

these issues.

public. This year there has been an increase in

'All of our 2016 cycle companies will have

the number of entries from 45 to 88, with energy

gained a better understanding of the core principles

efficiency dominating the semi-finalists making up

of becoming a long-term, sustainable, commercial

35% of the total. Water efficiency is the next highest,

entity and they have received expert advice and

comprising 23% of the total semi-finalists. Of the

tutoring on issues such as legal matters, financial

nine finalists, five were women.

management and investor pitching. We firmly

Speaking on behalf of UNIDO Director General

believe that this better enables our entrepreneurs

Dr Pradeep Monga, James New commended South

to meet the challenge in the cleantech space to gain

Africa as an opportune country where technological

access to the necessary markets, not only in South

breakthroughs can create ample platforms of

Africa, but also internationally.'

opportunity, either in the form of mature or start-up

Legal firm Spoor and Fisher also sponsored

businesses, as well as academia and research

R30 000 worth of legal services to Thevia for the

institutes for much-needed solutions to the national

best pitch of the evening.


challenges of achieving sustainable development and creating green employment opportunities.

About the GCIP-SA

'Taking into account the importance of job

The GCIP-SA is implemented by the United Nations

creation and diversity, the role of women and

Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with funding

youth in South Africa cannot be overstated and

by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In South Africa

therefore let me celebrate the successes of the

UNIDO partners with the Technology Innovation Agency

female and young entrepreneurs that have been

(TIA) as the execution and hosting institution for the GCIP,

actively involved in the 2016 cycle. Female and

while the US-based Cleantech Open serves as the main

young entrepreneurs assist in reducing market

knowledge partner of the global programme.

barriers in the cleantech industry and are examples

For more click here.

109 S G


According to the results of the 20th International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) that took place on Saturday, the 17th of September 2016, glass pieces, bottles and paper bags have taken over from PET bottles and bottle caps as macro pollutants on Cape beaches.

S G 110


he ICC is an annual event and one of the highlights of the industry’s Clean-Up and Recycle Week SA. This year’s event was dedicated to the

memory of Nelson Mandela and enjoyed the support of all the packaging streams, provincial governments, local municipalities, environmental organisations, businesses, schools and the community. According to John Kieser, Sustainability Manager of Plastics|SA and co-ordinator of the clean-ups in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape, 9 243 volunteers helped to pick up and remove litter from beaches, rivers and water sources in these three provinces this year. '2016 saw more clean-ups

industry participation in recycling efforts as part of extended

taking place in areas where little or no area cleansing is

producer responsibility, is starting to bear fruit,' Kieser says.

done by local authorities, whilst large groups of school children also participated in organized clean-ups around the

Industry involvement bears fruit

provinces', Kieser says.

'Clean-ups have allowed for greater awareness and

Analysing data sheets to draw up a snapshot of marine debris

monitoring of the problem. We are definitely seeing more people in Africa – and specifically in southern African – who are mindful of the dangers of marine debris thanks

Plastics|SA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have spent the past

to the ongoing commitment and work being done by

eight weeks compiling and analyzing the sheets that were

organisations such as Ocean Conservancy, the United

filled in by the co-ordinators and volunteers during the

Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the National Oceanic

clean-ups. This information is fed to Ocean Conservancy

and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Plastics|SA and

for inclusion into an annual report that provides the world’s

partners. Another positive result of the ICC is the increase in

only item-by-item, location-by-location snapshot of marine

clean-ups taking place at rivers and estuaries this past year,


with many of these sites now enjoying monthly clean-ups by

'The use of data is becoming an integral part of our clean-up campaigns and education as it affords us a valuable

members of the community,' Kieser says.

assessment of the scale of debris pollution affecting the

Looking forward to the 2017 ICC

South African aquatic environment. A positive outflow of the

'As the public participation in this annual event continues

last few years’ clean-ups is the use of site data in awareness

to grow, we will see an increase in the amount of material

and education, as well as allowing us to act pro-actively

that is directed from landfill to being recycled into new

when it comes to addressing materials of concern within a

products with a second life. In recent years, we have seen

specific area,' Kieser explains.

numerous new inventions entering the market made from

Changing landscape of macro pollutants

plastic removed from the marine environment, ranging from jeans and clothing to top-end athletic shoes. The Industry’s

Whilst plastic micro debris (smaller than 2.5cm in diameter)

'Design for Recyclability' initiatives create awareness of

continues to be the biggest culprit when it comes to beach

responsible design and manufacturing practices in South

litter, glass bottles and pieces have entered the top ten list

Africa and should result in less waste finding its way to the

of pollutants for the first time in 20 years. Cigarette butts


continue to be a major problem.

'The International Coastal Clean-Up continues to be the

'This year’s results have also shown a marked increase

largest citizen science project and volunteer effort for ocean

in the number of paper bags (as used by the fast food

health worldwide and we would be delighted to see many

industry), food wrappers and multi-layered crisp packets

more concerned people taking part in next year’s 21st year

collected along the coast line. Whilst plastic litter continues

of participation when we head out to beaches around the

to be highly visible on our beaches, we were pleased to

country on Saturday, the 16th of September 2017,' Kieser

see that the presence of plastic PET bottles and bottle



tops have declined for the first time in many years. This is an early indication to us that the concerted efforts made

For more information,

by industry bodies such as PETCO and POLYCO to increase


111 S G

A wards

sustainable INNOVATION Seven 'Awarded' and four 'Commended' projects in the 2015/2016 AfriSam SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation were announced at the gala event in Cape Town recently. Following on from our coverage in the previous edition (click here), we take a closer look.

S G 112


he eleven projects chosen by the award

Paul Marais' Otto Cottage was Awarded in the

adjudicators were among a total of 22 final

Sustainable Product/Technology category.

qualifying entries that had been selected

Finally there were two Awarded Projects in

from a record number of eligible submissions

the Sustainable Social Programme category –

earlier this year.

buildCollectiveNPO with Carinthia University of

'The Awarded and Commended projects amply demonstrate the three main criteria that the adjudicating panel was looking at – regeneration,

Applied Science's Bridgingmzamba and Architecture for a Change's Malawi School. The






reconciliation and restoration,' commented Richard

Sustainable Architecture + Innovation took place

Tomes from AfriSam. 'These projects all make the

in a unique space adjacent to the Zeitz Museum

world a better place by minimising the environmental

of Contemporary Art Africa, a project supported

impact of building. They also bear the hallmarks of

by AfriSam. It was attended by representatives of

great architectural and social design. Together they

the most compelling architectural practices, social

represent the very best in sustainable architecture

businesses and thought-leaders in the country.

and innovation.'

'The awards are a resounding endorsement of

The increasing importance of sustainable and

sustainable and innovative design practice in the

innovative design practice in the South African

South African built environment, 'concludes xxx.

built environment was confirmed across all four

'We have entered a new era in which sustainable

categories of the 2015/2016 AfriSam SAIA Award for

design is becoming a non-negotiable, integral part

Sustainable Architecture + Innovation.

of the building industry. Alongside significantly

Sustainable Architecture saw three Awarded

impacting the lives of those who use them, tonight's

projects – the DEA Building by Boogertman+Partners

Awarded and Commended projects provide fanastic

Architects, Gorgeous Green House by Sagnelli

inspiration for architects – and indeed everyone


playing a part in our built environment.'





Kogelberg by Architecture Coop. These were

The adjudicators of the 2015/2016 AfriSam SAIA

joined by four Commended projects – Earthworld

Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation

Architects' iCat Eco Factory, Local Studio's Outreach

were Kevin Bingham (convener), Daniel Irurah,


Llewellyn van Wyk, Sebasti Badenhorst, Eric Noir and





Associate Architects' Maboneng Precinct and WWF

Richard Stretton.


SA Braamfontein by Alive Architecture.

The Award for Research in Sustainability went to Designing Hope for Pathways to Regenerative Sustainability, a book by Chrisna Du Plessis while

For more info on all awarded and commended projects click here.

113 S G

t o v i ew a l l o u r previously published magazines online click here www . s i m p l y g r ee n . c o . z a S G 114


The Intrepid Explorer




Two incredible getaways worth a total

Mike Horn’s epic circumnavigation attempt

R41 000

GOING UNDERGROUND Inside Oman’s subterranean caverns



AJ Calitz, Tim Leatherman and Chris “Len Cooper” Beasley

7 of the world’s top nature photos

BON VOYAGE 20 countries in 500 days

mars or bust

Adriana Marais seeks a one-way ticket to the Red Planet

or visit to download the link

R29.90 Incl. VAT

9 772310 970403

› NOW THIS IS THE LIFE – Hanging out on Thanda Private Island › WONDERFUL LAND OF OZ – Island-hopping Down Under › BACK IN THE SADDLE – Grant does A D RLottering IANA MAR A I S the Im’Possible › BLACKS DO CARAVAN – Fikile Hlatshwayo shows us how it’s done › LIFE THROUGH THE LENS – Underwater magic by Fiona Ayerst

Mars bust



Adriana Marais has her eyes set on a one-way trip to the Red Planet, writes Miriam Mannak

From paddling the Amazon, exploring the Arctic and climbing Mount Everest, to hiking the Grand Canyon and visiting Easter Island—when it comes to adventure bucket lists, the sky is the limit. Or is it? The Intrepid Explorer spoke with a would-be space pioneer from Durbs.

©Richard Hughes



The Intrepid Explorer issue 15

The Intrepid Explorer issue 15


115 S G

Simply Green Magazine, Issue 4, 2016  

South Africa's first award-winning multi-niche eco magazine leading sustainability in business and for the consumer in all things good, 'gre...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you