Green Economy Journal 24

Page 1

Economy G






Power for Africa

Mining and Water HOPES AND FEARS



through clever cattle farming




Issue 24

R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Big data 12024


INVESTING IN AFRICA’S AGRIBUSINESS Agriculture is increasingly seen as the driver of Africa’s rise to


economic power. This is because the sector has profound socio-

Agriculture is progressively presented as an attractive asset class

economic effects, being vital for food security, job creation,

for a diversified portfolio. Given the economic turbulence globally,

reducing poverty and increasing economic growth, especially

the low interest rate environment, and a search for safety as well

in Africa’s rural communities. Africa’s agricultural productivity

as yield, investors with a long-term horizon are looking to increase

has, however, long lagged behind the rest of the world. Crop

their allocation to real assets, such as farmland. Due to the

yields grew across Asia and lifted millions out of poverty,

availability of low-valued, premium farmland and agribusinesses

but stagnated in Africa where cereal yields stayed largely

on the continent, agriculture is a particularly viable opportunity for

unchanged for the 30 years of the green revolution. We believe

investors seeking stability and higher risk-adjusted returns.

that this reality will change.


Africa’s agriculture and food industries are attracting increasing

Old Mutual Investment Group offers access to an agricultural

interest from investors, largely fuelled by the fact that the

suite of funds invested in commercial large-scale farms in Africa.

continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land.

These funds are managed by Futuregrowth Asset Management,

FOOD SECURITY While the continent already battles with hunger in various areas, Africa’s food security is further placed under pressure by a growing population. Nine of the 10 lowest-ranked countries on the latest Global Food Security Index are in sub-Saharan Africa.

an investment boutique within Old Mutual Investment Group. UFF African Agri Investments, the fund advisor to these agriculture investments, has more than 100 collective years of experience in African agriculture from a team of leading experts in all agricultural disciplines.

And so, many African countries have met increased demand for

The investments are in actual farmland and infrastructure, which

food through overseas food imports, a wasted opportunity given

are leased to approved operators to manage, develop and run.

the continent’s abundance of arable land. This over-reliance on

Returns on these investments are twofold – firstly, from the long-term

imports is also a risk, as trade restrictions and price hikes in volatile

appreciation value of the land, and then also from the annual

times leave populations at risk of food insecurity. Indeed, without

lease income.

investment into industrial scale agriculture, Africa will simply never begin to fulfil its potential.

By investing in agriculture, we invest in the future of our continent and its food security. We invite you to become as invested as we are.

As responsible custodians of our clients’ wealth, we strive to convert the food security crisis facing Africa into genuine investment opportunities that change people’s lives and positively impact the continent as a whole.

Please visit for more information

December 2016 The following entities are licensed Financial Services Providers (FSPs) within Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd Holdings approved by the Registrar of Financial Services Providers ( to provide advisory and/or intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 37 of 2002. These entities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Old Mutual Investment Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd and are members of the Old Mutual Investment Group. Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd (Reg No 1993/003023/07), FSP No:604. | Futuregrowth Asset Management (Pty) Ltd (Reg No 1996/18222/07), FSP No:520.



hectares of TABLE GRAPES


Total committed capital:

hectares of BANANAS

R1.5 billion

Eshowe (KZN)

Northern Cape, Saron (WC) Bonathaba (WC), Brandwacht (WC)

1 023 100

hectares of MACADAMIA NUTS

hectares of CITRUS

Marble Hall (Limpopo), Eshowe (KZN), Saron (WC), Bonathaba (WC)

Eshowe (KZN)

140 Piketberg (WC)

Number of farms:


Total size of all farms:


2 935

hectares of CATTLE, PASTURE & MAIZE FOR FODDER Swaziland

12 579 hectares


workers receiving adult education Housing built/renovated for

633 workers

Permanent employment for

652 workers

Receiving pre-paid healthcare



Source: Futuregrowth Asset Management Figures as at 31 March 2016

Economy Editor’s Note G






EDITOR: Melissa Baird ASSISTANT EDITOR Natalie Mayer LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Shannon Manuel CLIENT LIAISON OFFICER: Linda Tom PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Shannon Manuel DIRECTORS: Lloyd Macfarlane Gordon Brown Andrew Fehrsen PROJECT MANAGER: Vania Reyneke SALES: Luthando Maqungo, Thandiswa Mbijane, Jessica Lamoral, Charles Adams, Glenda Kulp PRINTING: FA Print DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Edward MacDonald PUBLISHER: Alive2Green PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Cape Media House 28 Main Road Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town TEL: 021 447 4733 FAX: 086 694 7443 WEBSITES: green-economy-journal/ DISTRIBUTION AND COPY SALES ENQUIRIES: ENQUIRIES: ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: EDITORIAL PROPOSALS: Company Registration Number: 2006/206388/23 Vat Number: 4130252432 ISSN No.: 2410-6453 Published: August 2016

Economy G






Power for Africa

Mining and Water HOPES AND FEARS



through clever cattle farming



Green Economy Journal is audited by ABC


Issue 24

R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Big data 12024


All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any way or in any form without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher or the Editor. All editorial and advertising contributions are accepted on the understanding that the contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights and permissions. The Publisher does not endorse any claims made in the publication by or on behalf of any organisations or products. Please address any concerns in this regard to the Editor. The Green Economy Journal is printed on Hi-Q Titan plus paper, manufactured by Evergreen Hansol a leading afforestation member acknowledged by FOA. Hi-Q has Chain of Custody certification, is totally chlorine free, and is PEFC, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 accredited. This paper is FSC certified.

Water, water, once ‘everywhere’ but now, not so much, and truly very little left to drink. I could kick myself— although it seems I don’t need to as I often walk into hard edges because I’m too deep in thought. Ten years ago, I bought a property out of the city and had a very ‘futuristic’ idea that I would install water tanks and get myself off the grid before the chaos of water and electricity restrictions became a part of life. Now I face my own cognitive dissonance because— while I have planted many trees and established a fairly drought resistance garden – I didn’t buy the water tanks and now, at level 3 water restrictions, I am in no better position than so many gardeners who have no saved water to keep their treasured plots alive. In GEJ 23 I said water would be a huge business risk in 2017, and as Capetonians watch with horror their dams receding faster than a bald man’s pate, the rest of South Africa has already been through their own water shortages and lived to tell a story or three. Despite this reality, what action has been taken on a collective scale, especially regarding the use of fresh water in our toilets? While there are many solutions for black water treatment that would save thousands of litres per day in the big office blocks, fresh water is still used to flush waste away and hundreds of litres are further wasted by residents hosing down leaves from their driveways or by builders carelessly using fresh water to clean up their building mess. We all have to become a lot more water conscious and stand up to the domestic wasters, but what about what is happening in mining? There is a lot still to be understood and the two differing perspectives on acid mine water residues offer contradictory opinions; one says we are on top of things and the other says it is more serious than ever. Regardless of opinion, we need action now to solve the crises, work with our experts and find the money to move the industry out of a water-scarce reality. In my interviews with John Elkington and Adrian Gardiner you will meet extraordinary men who are action incarnate—they are visionaries and true leaders who are actively creating new opportunities in business and in society. The adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” is addressed by looking at how data capture can shift behaviour in the mining sector. Welcome to 2017 and a green economy that is looking a lot drier than we want it to be. As I penned this editorial, the words to a beautiful song by Ben Howard: Small Things were running through my brain. It poses the question: “Has the world gone mad—or is it me?” As I turned on my taps today and nothing came out, I had a truly sickening feeling in the pit of my tummy, and as I read the headlines about what is happening in the land of the free, it resonated. I don’t think it is me—there is a collective loss of reason. It is our very biggest call to action to be the change we wish to see in the world, and to work together to solve these issues that will impact business and the world around us in dreadful ways. Keep on keeping on.

Melissa Baird 3

The glass is always greener on our side.

Contents ISSUE 24, FEBRUARY 2017

7 10

10 18


NEWS AND UPDATES SA’s green cities, nuclear case, Chris Whyte, solar PV update

ACID MINE DRAINAGE Collaboration between stakeholders boosts progress


LEADERSHIP Interview with John Elkington, Chairman of Volans


ELECTRICITY Electricity is crucial for Africa’s socio-economic progress


RESPONSIBLE TOURISM Interview with Adrian Gardiner of the Mantis Group


MINING AND BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity presents business risks and opportunities


DATA MANAGEMENT Sustainability metrics can help green the mining sector


PROTECTING SOIL Carbon sequestration through smart cattle farming


WATER CRISIS Impact and management of water scarcity in business

28 5

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Cape Town And Johannesburg: ‘Above Average’ Green Cities The African Green City Index conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), ranks cities’ positive environmental impact from ‘well below average’ to ‘well above average’, using 25 indicators such as electricity consumption, waste generation and water consumption. The index found that Accra, Cape Town and Johannesburg ranked as ‘above average’ green cities, whilst Maputo and Dar es Salaam ranked ‘well below average’. Meanwhile, it may come as a surprise that Hartebeespoort has the highest level of air pollution in South Africa (ranked 162nd most air-polluted in the world), according to the 2016 Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, which measures the level of air pollution in over 3,000 cities across the world. Hartebeespoort is followed by Tshwane and Johannesburg. Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit;

Nuclear Case Postponed To February 2017 On 13 December 2016, the Western Cape High Court postponed the challenge by Environmental Justice Groups Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA-JHB) and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI), to the legality of the government’s nuclear procurement deal. In what the Court described as a “disquieting” twist of events, senior counsel for the State (Marius Oosthuizen SC) announced that yet another secretive Section 34 Determination for nuclear power had been signed by the current Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat–Pettersson. Despite it being signed on 5 December 2016, the Court was not informed thereof and neither were the applicants – until literally minutes before the hearing was to begin. The Court expressed its displeasure with the State’s conduct, ordering that the State should pay the costs of the applicants’ four counsel on a punitive scale. The case has been adjourned to 22 to 24 February 2017. Source: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and SAFCEI

Woolies potted flower supplier invests R25M in harvesting sunshine Woolworths horticulture supplier, LVG Plants has invested R25 million in the largest solar water heating facility in the southern hemisphere. Based in Krugersdorp, LVG Plants has 100 000m² of state-of-the-art climate-controlled greenhouses where they grow delicate potted flowers such as orchids. In the harsh, variable African climate, the production of many of these indoor plants would not be possible without maintaining a constant greenhouse temperature of 28 °C. The water in the closed heating system, as well as the water that they use to irrigate their crops and increase the humidity in their greenhouses, is harvested off the greenhouse roofs and stored in their on-site dams. LVG Plants joined the Woolworths’ Farming for the Future initiative 6 years ago, and they have made huge strides in adopting green practices throughout their operations. “Woolies commends LVG Plants on this major investment in clean solar energy,” says Justin Smith, Woolworths Head of Sustainability. Source: WOOLWORTHS

Improving Perceptions With The “Sustainability Check”

The expansion of the green economy is providing a strong incentive for organisations to determine and improve their reputation by having a commitment to environmental sustainability. Reputation Matters have developed a tool for organisations to take the next step towards a better reputation. “Our Sustainability Check,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters, “provides clear insight into stakeholders’ perceptions of their corporate environmental and sustainability commitments.” Chris Bischoff, Research Analyst and environmental specialist, explains how it works: “We use the same methodology as our Repudometer® to assess the five core elements of an organisation, namely Corporate Management, Corporate Capital, Corporate Positioning, Corporate Performance and Corporate Dialogue. This allows us to get a holistic view of a business’ stakeholder groups’ perception on their commitment to environmental sustainability. It is a cost-effective assessment that is designed for quick turnaround results,” concludes Bischoff. Source: Reputation Matters

SodaStream Defies Attack On Environmental Campaign SodaStream International Ltd. is under attack by Nestlé and the bottled water industry, for its successful viral campaign, “Shame or Glory”, which sheds light on plastic bottle pollution and advocates for using tap water as an alternative to disposable plastics. SodaStream has received no fewer than six cease and desist letters from “front groups” including Nestlé Waters in France, other Europeanbased industry groups, and the US-based International Bottled Water Association, aiming to protect the $150 billion plastic bottled water industry. The letters attest that their plastic bottles are recyclable and claim that SodaStream’s campaign is misrepresentative. However, it is well established that most of the 200 billion plastic bottles bought each year worldwide are not recycled, and according to The Carbon Trust, recycling only reduces the carbon footprint of a plastic bottle by 20%. Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, retorts: “If anyone is misleading consumers and using scare tactics, it is them, not us. We won’t back down.” Source: SodaStream

86MW Prieska solar PV plant earns Grid Access Unit’s praise The 86MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska PV project, a 125 hectare solar PV project valued at R1.4 billion was completed on schedule, on budget and reached full grid code compliance in good time for commercial operation last year. The 14-month intensive project was developed on a remote site 50km south-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape.“We have received excellent feedback from Eskom’s Grid Access Unit and NERSA’s RETEC regarding our grid code compliance planning and execution,“ reports Greg Austin, MD of Juwi Renewable Energies. “Although the Northern Cape is one of the best irradiation areas in the world and has enormous future energy generation potential, the grid connection here and elsewhere in the country is the issue that everyone’s grappling with,” he added. The energy from the project, which is capable of powering 86 000 homes, is believed to be the first PV project under the REIPPPP to gain grid code compliance prior to reaching commercial operation. Source: Juwi Group


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16 – 18 May 2017 Cape Town, South Africa


SA’s Smart Charging System For Electric Vehicles A smart-grid pilot project for the energy-efficient charging of electric vehicles (EVs) through battery storage and energy management across a network of charging stations, has proved successful. Innovated by the uYilo e-Mobility Technology Innovation Programme—a national programme hosted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth—the project paves the way for a new era of green transport and smart cities. Project Leader and Deputy Director of the uYilo Programme, Hiten Parmar explains: “Through our pilot project we’ve demonstrated that energy efficiency applied to solar-powered EV stations can be developed at scale because we have solved energy storage through re-using the lithium-ion battery pack from an EV for stationary storage. The energy management system prioritises each charging event, based on renewable and stored energy available, and incorporates a Time-of-Use feature to manage peak and off-peak charging. This way, SEVs can be sustainably charged 24/7.” Source: Heather Dugmore

Mazista Community Receives Diageo’s Water for RamBrick’s Chris Whyte Wins KZN Waste Life Project Management Award Mazista is one of the beneficiaries of Diageo’s global project Water for Life that aims at providing water and sanitation in water-stricken communities. Following six months of collaboration with the provisional government and the community, the project was officially handed over to the community to manage and sustain on Tuesday, December 6th. The project made possible the construction of an in-field support drip-irrigation system covering an area of 2 592m². This system has led to the establishment of a communal garden providing fresh vegetables to the community. A chicken coop has been built, with layer hens and feeds provided to kick-start a chicken-breeding business, to not only provide food but also serve as a source of income for the community. “The project resulted in temporary employment of around 35 people and will help in the economic injection for the community in the future,” reports Diageo SA’s Sustainability Manager, Zanele Njapha. Source: Diageo

Help is at hand to assist in placing CSI funds Now is the time to donate CSI funds already allocated in your budget, in order to get BBBEE points. It’s also often difficult to place CSI funds without a dedicated CSI manager and be confident that they will be well-utilised. There are so many NGOs and all need help – how do you ensure that you know what impact your CSI funds make? A new company called CSI Link solves these issues. CSI Link ensures that: your CSI funds go to carefully-screened sustainable NGOs; you get maximum BBBEE benefit for your donation; funds are aggregated where possible for maximum impact; you don’t need to worry about the administration burden; your donation is monitored; you will get a report to see how your money has been used. CSI Link also helps companies place their Enterprise Development funds – Visit to find out more or contact them to see how they can help: or Source: Diageo

The 2016 Individual Merit Certificate and Trophy in the KZN Waste Management Awards has been won by Chris Whyte, Managing Director of RamBrickTM. Whyte has been a consultant in the fields of natural resource management and sustainable development for 22 years, and has been the driving force behind the USE-IT eThekwini Waste Materials Recovery Industry Development Cluster. Chris says: “It has been my passion for many years to contribute towards innovative solutions to ensure that waste is diverted from landfill and utilised as a valuable resource.” He cites RamBrick™ as an example. “It is the first, and currently the only, local conventional building material manufactured from 95% recycled materials: waste soil and recycled builder’s rubble.” The RamBrick™ system won the 2015 Cape Craft and Design Institute’s Better Living Challenge in the Structural Home category, and also the Gold Award for Recycling and Waste Management at the 2015 Eco-Logic Awards.. Source: RamBrick™

Chris Whyte: SA Finalist At The Prestigious WEF Awards USE-IT is in the running for a prestigious award at the World Economic Forum (WEF) hosted in Davos, Switzerland between 16-20th of January 2017. Chris Whyte is the founder and MD of USE-IT, the non-governmental organisation behind several innovative waste beneficiation projects, including a pioneering brick-making project that incorporates waste soil and rubble into thermally efficient and environmentally friendly construction material. Whyte, through USE-IT, has been nominated for six (6) award categories, collectively known as the Circulars 2017. USE-IT is a finalist in the Capital AV INBEV Award for Circular Governance, Cities and Regions that pays tributes to outstanding endeavours that promote sustainability through economically sound and environmentally friendly initiatives. USE-IT is one of only two African finalists, and the only South African finalist selected from 36 countries across the globe. For Whyte, with a slew of local awards under his belt, recognition as a finalist at the WEF is almost reward enough, as this is arguably the world’s most influential global platform.

Solar Capital Named SA ‘Investor of the Year’ 2016 Cape Town-based renewable energy company, Solar Capital, a subsidiary of Phelan Energy Group, won the prestigious ‘Investor of the Year’ category at the South African Premier Business Awards on Tuesday 6 December. To date, Solar Capital has invested over R5 billion in solar farms in South Africa. The major portion of the investment was in their 175MW solar facility located outside of De Aar in Left to right: Johannesburg Stock Exchange Capital Markets Director Donna Nember, the Nothern Cape. This is now in full production and Solar Capital Economic Development Director is supplying green electricity to over 75 000 homes Janice Finlay, Solar Capital Community Liaison Manager Thabiso Mosai, Head of Invest SA at the daily. The facility was constructed as part of the very Department of Trade and Industry Yunus Hoosen. successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Photograph provided by Proudly South African. Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme and is the culmination of a two-phase project, making it the largest solar farm in Africa, the Middle East and the Southern Hemisphere. In 2017, Solar Capital will begin construction of a new 86 MW solar PV farm in Loeriesfontein, with an investment of R1.8 billion. Source: Solar Capital omy-journal/



Acid Mine Drainage: Yes, we are on the right track Collaboration between the government and all stakeholders has meant good progress towards eliminating the negative impacts of Acid Mine Drainage in Gauteng. By Sputnik Ratau, Director of the Media Liaison and Content Development, Department of Water and Sanitation


fter more than at least 120 years of mining, particularly on the goldfields of the Witwatersrand in Gauteng—the economic hub not only of South Africa but the African continent—the consequences on the environment became most pronounced, around 2001/2002. At this time, the country became more aware of the surface flow of mine water called “decant” around the West Rand of Gauteng. The decant from disused and abandoned mines in the Witwatersrand gold mining area created a need for the protection of the water resources and environment into which the acid mine water was flowing. Decant created unwanted water security risks and negative socio-economic and environmental impacts. The worst risk of all was to the Vaal Dam/River


System (VRS). This system is central to water security for Gauteng, which is the key driver of economic activity on the continent. Solving the AMD issue together The decision by Cabinet to institute an InterMinisterial Committee (IMC) on AMD in 2010, ably guided and supported by the InterDepartmental Committee and the Team of Experts (ToE), proved to be a master stroke in the need to address the issue of AMD. Whereas initially AMD was regarded as an issue for the then Department of Water Affairs, what resulted from the work of the IMC indicated that it actually needed a multipronged approach, thus the constitution of this IMC. An important lesson from the AMD experience is that all interested and affected parties do have a role to play towards the

resolution of many of the negative impacts on humankind and the world. The has government joined hands with the private sector, i.e. mining, industry and agriculture, interested environmental NGOs and affected communities to reach consensus on the way of addressing this challenge. What has been achieved so far The Team of Experts suggested short-term AMD mitigation interventions in the Witwatersrand gold fields, with the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) as the Implementing Agent. The Technical Solution for the Western Basin commenced in December 2011 with the upgrading of the existing AMD plant to a 36 ML per day capacity. The neutralised AMD was then released to the Tweelopiespruit. The project eradicated surface decant by


full operation projected for July 2016. The treated water will be released into the Blesbokspruit. Plans for long-term mitigation of AMD Beyond this short-term intervention, the Team of Experts also suggested a long-term AMD mitigation intervention. The TCTA was appointed as the Implementing Agent in May 2016 and has developed an accelerated implementation programme. The long-term solution will integrate with the short-term solution where the desalinated AMD will be directed to beneficial socio-economic uses. This in the long run will have a positive impact on reducing supply demand from the Vaal River. Operations in this regard are projected to commence in February 2020. In order for the long-term solution to be sustainable, there will need to be rigorous monitoring and reporting on AMD matters, with the DWS to verify water and salt balances. There has to be support for and strengthening of partnerships with for example the mines, Rand Water, SASOL, ESKOM, etc. What will also be helpful will be the

continuous exploration of promising technologies and strategies for AMD management by the Technology Development Task Team that must be established. Factors for future success In the final analysis, the pro-active measures for AMD management nationally must include the assessment of other mining catchments to ensure timeous interventions with specific emphasis on AMD/mine water policy, strategies, control, prevention and re-use of miningimpacted water. A national AMD/Mine Water Management Policy also has to be developed with nine key policy principles, including partnership with business. One has to be appreciative of the political will to get the situation to where it is now. Beyond the criticism, there is now also appreciation by the environmental NGOs of the effort and direction that this process has taken. The inclusion of all stakeholders in the progress and sharing of information has really helped.

August 2012, with a significant improvement in river water quality and aquatic life status. The project was further augmented by new clarifiers and new pump station to reach 70 ML/d. Regarding the Central Basin, the Technical Solution commenced in January 2013 with the construction of a new AMD treatment plant next to the South West Vertical Shaft. This treatment plant has a capacity of 84 ML/day and has been operational since May 2014. It is currently treating 72 ML of AMD daily, and the treated water is according to specifications of the department. The treated water is released into the Elsburgspruit. For the Eastern Basin, work commenced in July 2014 with the construction of a new AMD treatment plant next to Grootvlei No. 3 Shaft, with a capacity of 110 ML/day. Commissioning commenced in March 2016 with



Mine Water—The Time For Debates Has Run Out—SA Must Act Now! The issue of mine water treatment and management has become urgent for South Africa. It was always important, but now we have run out of time for debate, and we must act. By Dr J. E. Burgess (MRSSAf; IWA Fellow; SF WISA)


outh Africa’s mining history has generated vast economic benefit and still plays an important role in ensuring the country’s position in the global market. Despite such benefit, large-scale closure of mining operations since the 1970s within the Witwatersrand mining regions or basins (see map) and the subsequent termination of the extraction of underground water from mines have become important national concerns. As elsewhere in the world, the activities of the mining sector have resulted in serious environmental consequences, notably in respect of poor environmental and water management and, in the case of the gold mines of the Witwatersrand, acid mine drainage (AMD). Given the magnitude and dynamics of the South African mining industry, it must be accepted that the challenges of mine water management cannot be administered by either government or the private sector alone.

in subsurface and surface environments) of some types of mining-impacted waters (MIWs) are severe. Many types of waters exiting mine workings are not acidic; neutral mine water can be almost harmless (depending on what has dissolved in the water). However, sites where MIW which is acidic (with a pH below 6; mine water with pH of 6 - 8 is classified as NMD, neutral mine drainage) has been escaping into the environment without control suffer severe damage when acid, dissolved metals and salts get into rivers or lakes or re-enter downstream aquifers. The salts and metals can be toxic to plants, animals, and people.

How is Mining Impacted Water (MIW) generated? The cessation of underground mine water extraction leads to the mine voids becoming flooded. This phenomenon was highlighted in September 2002, when AMD started flowing from an abandoned shaft in the Mogale City/ Randfontein area of the Western Basin as a result of the flooding of the mines in this basin, to a level where water could flow out onto the surface. This surface flow of mine water (often called “decant” in South Africa) is of concern to the environment as the water, in accordance with well-known and researched chemical and geochemical reactions between the mine rock strata, wastes and oxygen, readily becomes acidic, characterised by elevated concentrations of salts, metals and radionuclides. Ownerless mines which have become wards of the state are vulnerable to releasing untreated water to the environment. The impacts of uncontrolled release (emergence



What can we do? Treatment already takes place at several sites. However, every site is unique, because the amount of water that needs to be treated, the characteristics of the water to be treated and the characteristics of the desired resulting water all influence what treatment is needed. For example, saline drainage needs a completely different treatment process to acid drainage. Mine sites which are still active include mine water treatment by the mine owners, like the Emalahleni Water Reclamation Plant and Optimum Water Reclamation Plant in Mpumalanga. These two plants both utilise membrane processes—specifically ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis—but membrane technology is not the only option. Over 20 different methods for treating all the types of mine waters have been developed worldwide, so the issue isn’t that people do not know how to treat the water. The de facto international guide for those dealing with MIW issues is the Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide, or GARD Guide, which is freely available online at The GARD Guide diagram shows us that membrane processes are but a single one of a range of available treatment methods. The way in which treatment of MIW must be done is selected on the basis of the quality and quantity of untreated water

and the desired treated water quality. This means that we need to decide what we want to do with this wonderful resource, and align the regulatory functions of the Departments of Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs and Mineral Resources, that relate to mine water, and create a regulatory environment that enables the private and public stakeholders to work together in implementing the treatment methods that we already know about. And yet, in South Africa we have so far only used membrane processes for MIW treatment at full scale. Why? Some of the factors come from problems identifying who should be responsible for paying for or effecting the treatment, and deciding what type of water we want to produce by treating MIW. For example, it is possible to treat water to different extents so that it is suitable for industrial use, or for irrigation of certain crops, or for release into rivers, or for drinking. The other issue is where the treated water and the by-products of treatment will be sent. The by-products are created because MIW is basically water with things dissolved in it; when you take those things out to create clean water, you are left with the same things, and you have to do something with them.

Mitigation by pumping and treating is the most common reaction to an existing MIW problem. This initial pump and treat approach can be pursued in parallel with or followed by preventative measures to minimise future MIW generation, and thus reduce the ongoing need active treatment. Mine water prevention is an active, adaptive strategy that removes the need for the reactive mitigation approach of pumping and treating MIW. The two mechanisms by which MIW may be prevented are the exclusion of oxygen or of water. This leads to two apparently opposite actions having the same result: dewatering the void, or flooding the void. Both can minimise and in some cases eliminate MIW. South Africa does not lack knowledge, since methods of dealing with MIW here do not differ from those used in other parts of the world, except in matters of scale. It is high time that we allow partnerships to be created. No single stakeholder has all the answers and resources needed for a complete solution to this complex social, economic, and, most importantly, environmental problem. Dr J.E. Burgess is the Research Manager of Sustainable and Integrated Industrial Water Management, and Mine Water Treatment and Management, at the Water Research Commission




Disruptive Leadership And The Curve Of Chaos GEJ Editor Melissa Baird interviews John Elkington, Chairman And Chief Pollinator Of Volans, about the new real leaders, constructive disruption, and the current state of corporate sustainability. By Melissa Baird


hile he resists being labelled, John is a writer, thought-leader and business strategist, a serial entrepreneur and, at heart, an environmentalist. His career history speaks for itself: • Co-Founder, Chairman & Chief Pollinator of Volans, a certified B Corporation (2008 to date) • Co-Founder, Honorary Chairman (for life), former Chairman (1995-2005), Board member (1987-2014), of SustainAbility, a certified B Corporation • Co-Founder, Founding Editor and Managing Director of Environmental Data Services (ENDS, 1978-1983) Focusing on business from the mid-1970s, John has worked with scores of large corporations, particularly at board and C-suite level, as well as with the financial community, industry bodies, government, the media, NGOs, academia, innovators and entrepreneurs. His favourite description of his role: “Grit in the corporate oyster.” As a provocative friend both of the future and of business, his aim is to help identify and create new forms of value. I had the pleasure of interviewing John after his presentation at the Green Building Council’s Rethinking the Future conference, and asked him about leadership and what disrupts him. Talk to me about leadership. What do the real new leaders look like? “There is a different generation of leaders popping up in board rooms and C suites around the world. When I first engaged in business, the CEOs were twice my age—they just didn’t get it—they were thumped by Greenpeace and maybe opened the door a bit. But now there is a very different generation coming through. This is their agenda—they want to do the right thing: economic, environmental, social governance, ethical issues and so on. The question is how to focus. What are the priorities, and what is the change agenda, and what links

back strongly to your business in a financially material way? People are a lot more open, but many would say they are locked into regulators —financial markets—and so on.” In other words the bottom line? “Yes.” I wonder though are we seeing the extinction of another species—the CEO? “Companies are a bit like orchestras. They will always need someone to stand at the front. But what we are seeing is a dilution of that role by a proliferation of other C-suite roles, including the Chief Sustainability Officer. Every cycle has its reverse period; in the same way we are seeing globalisation going into reverse, we are going to see the same thing in C-suite roles.” And what of the curve of chaos? [referring to a graph John showed to plot a company’s journey] “It depends where you are, which sector, what geography. But if you look at the sustainable business sphere, the overwhelming bulk of companies have said they are pursuing sustainability, but are in the business-as-usual space for the bulk of what they are doing. Then there are bits where they are experimenting, like supply chain management, reporting or having a Chief Sustainability Officer… But the principle that underlies the grid—by the time you get to the middle line things get peculiar— is that it starts with one change and then there’s exponential growth and change. Who is in the higher space on the curve? “Elon Musk… and other people being driven by digitalisation. Uber and Google are invested in principle, but the problem with Silicon Valley is a low level of emotional values. People just want to do stuff, and the fact that this work can be disruptive, helps them choose not to look at this. We need to disrupt ourselves. The industry that has grown up since the Brundtland report

is extraordinary, but there is massive competition and fragmentation, and what is happening is that the rest of the world has an agenda and issues, and the challenges and opportunities are actually quite real. We are seeing mainstream players coming into the space with different ambitions, but I think we need to wake up and pull ourselves up by the boot straps. Everyone is agreeing to the principles but now it is changing, and once you cross the middle line, it happens fast.” On a more a personal note, how do you disrupt yourself? “I’m permanently in a place of disruption—I’ve never liked knowing what I’m doing, and I don’t really know anyway!” John has authored or co-authored 19 books, and has written chapters or forewords for many others. His most recent book is The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line, co-authored with Jochen Zeitz—former Chairman & CEO of PUMA and now co-founder of The B Team alongside Sir Richard Branson.



Power For Progress: Why Africa Urgently Needs Access To Electricity Boosting access to reliable, affordable, and clean electricity will be crucial for speeding up Africa’s human and economic development. By Miriam Mannak


hen looking at overall electrification levels, Africa remains a dark continent, despite being blessed with above average GDP growth rates and ample resources. Apart from a few pockets of progress in the north and far south, two thirds of Africans rely on kerosene, charcoal, and firewood for cooking, heating, and lighting. That equals about 620 million people. Unreliable electricity supply Those who do have access to electricity often can’t make use of it, a recent World Bank report suggests. High costs and frequent power outages due to ailing infrastructure are some of the main culprits. “Poor reliability of electricity services is as serious a problem in Africa as low rates of access and per capita consumption are,” writes the authors of ‘Making Power Affordable for Africa and Viable for Its Utilities’. They note that six out of every seven households in Malawi that are connected to the grid are struggling with daily blackouts. In Nigeria, 57% of households reported daily blackouts. Some cited poor reliability as their reason for not connecting to the grid, and instead, rely on their own diesel generators. Dangerous consequences of traditional energy sources Africa’s overwhelming reliance on diesel, kerosene, charcoal, firewood, and other inferior sources isn’t without danger. The African Development Bank says that 600 000 Africans, mainly women and children, die prematurely

of illnesses attributable to indoor air pollution caused by the burning of biomass for cooking, heating, and lighting. That amounts to 1 643 deaths per day, or 68 per hour. Besides killing people, the use of charcoal and firewood fuels deforestation and climate change. The 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) suggests that deforestation has destroyed 129 million hectares of forest— South Africa’s entire surface area—since 1990. Africa accounted for 2.8 million lost hectares. In Somalia, 99% of the population relies on charcoal due to poor electricity infrastructure. Consumption ranges between three to four bags per family per month, with one bag equalling three trees. Then there is Zambia, which loses 250 000 to 300 000 hectares of forest annually. Besides biodiversity loss, deforestation is linked to soil erosion and climate change, which—as we all should know by now—impacts human life in the form of droughts, floods, loss of arable land, food insecurity, and often death. Achieving universal access to energy in Africa might be nothing short of a monster job, but it can be done. It requires political will and the willingness of the private sector to come to the table. This is not something governments can solve on their own. Besides grid infrastructure upgrades, building and renovating power plants, and tapping into renewables, the off-grid sector will be play a pivotal role in providing affordable and clean electricity, particularly to those living in the remotest of regions. The 2016 Off-Grid Solar Market Trends report by the World Bank, Bloomberg New

Energy Finance, and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, suggests that innovations that provide energy without requiring grid connections have boosted energy access for 89 million Africans and Asians. The future looks brighter, the global number of households relying on off-grid solar as a primary or secondary energy source is expected to rise from 25 million in 2015 to 99 million in 2020. Africa will account for 44 million households. Electrifying Africa shouldn’t be seen as a charity case, it is a strong business case. According to the World Bank report, global offgrid solar investments grew 15-fold between 2013 and 2015, to $276 million. This figure will exceed the $3-billion mark in four years’ time. This is good for economic productivity, people, and the planet, and that is what sustainable development is all about: the harmonization of economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Miriam Mannak is a sustainable development journalist and content writer in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a specific interest in the human, economic, and environmental aspects of energy (in)security in Africa.



Man, and Nature – Together Is Sustainable An interview with Adrian Gardiner – Chief Executive and Founder of the Mantis Group, which is a family run collection of privately owned, five star Boutique Hotels and Eco Escapes properties located around the world. He is also the chairman of the Wilderness Foundation Global and Stenden University South Africa. He has won multiple awards in both business and environmental categories; most recently the Tourism Business Leadership Award, 2009. By Melissa Baird


ardiner has come a long way since launching the legendary Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape years ago. Shamwari was a risky and bold initiative—establishing a Big Five game reserve in a malaria-free zone thousands of miles from South Africa’s game-viewing attractions up north in the bushveld. Yet, as has consistently remained true, Gardiner had his fingers on the pulse of what tourists valued most, and he was proven right in his bold assumption that South Africa’s other main tourist region, the Garden Route, could offer an incomparable game and bush experience. With Shamwari as its flagship, Gardiner and his team have since grown the Mantis Collection to stretch over all seven continents, with each destination dedicated to offering something truly exceptional. Talk to me about leadership and what you see as vital in terms of taking us to the next generation of environmental and business success. “My major contribution to conservation has been by creating the award-winning Shamwari Game reserve and adjacent, the newly launched Founders Lodge. This degraded and abused land was restored over a period of sixteen years, having once been the domain of absentee farmers whose only interest in it was for grazing. The transformation occurred by giving the community members their own portion of this land adjacent to the river. This action


enabled them to thrive and become stewards of the land. I believe education and opportunity are key aspects to developing new leaders and we never know where they may emerge from. For example I gave a man working as a cleaner in my office a new perspective; I taught him how to use a computer, how to drive and then about wildlife, and in a few short years this man became my head ranger.“ He has another story about a fuel pump attendant who he trained up to become a ranger, and the stories don’t stop there. But what is evident is that mentorship is crucial in developing a new generation of leaders. “Whoever you are, you always have the capacity to change one person’s life. If you’ve done well for yourself, you should be able to do good for others.” Adrian himself was guided and supported by Ian Player—a man he says changed his life. When the farmers in the region thought he had more money than brains, it was Ian who stepped up to endorse what he was doing. “Ian was the most respected conservationist of his time and he gave me a lot of advice and he liked what I was doing.” Through their collaboration The Wilderness Foundation has grown to become the third leading NGO in conservation with approximately 34 projects currently in action. “If you can create jobs for people, you can create new leaders. Mentorship is vital, and so is developing levels of redundancy in your own position so that you end up creating something bigger than yourself.”

How do you think the travel industry can impact business overall in understanding the risks of climate change and resource depletion? “The travel industry is vital to South Africa’s growth and development, yet there is a disconnect in the understanding of the value this can bring to social development. Much more can be done by the travel industry as a whole to gain the support of our government because, unfortunately, environmental sustainability is seen as a race issue; a white man’s problem with a white man’s benefit. How this perception is overcome is key to future success because by investing in the travel


industry you are investing in the biodiversity of this country and its people and can therefore create a generation of success. “There is a lot to do on the land. If you take the wildlife out of Africa what have you got?” He asks as he remembers Nigeria; a country once rich in wildlife but now experiencings zero tourism due to the loss of the wild animals. You single handedly put the Eastern Cape back on the tourist map and this must have had very positive economic benefits. How do you see SA natural heritage being able to contribute to the social and environmental development of the country? “It was the team I had that enabled me to do this. A team wins a rugby game, and although they were all ‘green’ to begin with, (in the sense that it was all new), the results speak for themselves. It is a perfect case study to showcase to the country about what can be done with a vision and with the dedication to transform everyone involved. Conversion of farmland to wildlife reserves has a lot to offer, as the 16 private reserves in the Eastern Cape show, and they work now because community is involved and there are direct benefits they get to see.” Your mission statement—“conserving a vanishing way of life” is so pertinent to global tourism and stems from a formula that works. What would your advice be to other CEO’s of the Tourism Industry today? “We all need to do our bit and continue to raise money for the conservation of our natural heritage. If I could have a telephone line to my

grandchildren in twenty years time I wonder what they would tell me and whether it would be a good call. The Shamwari model is a prime case study showcasing how rehabilitating degraded land, spurring local employment, and uplifting rural areas has significant social benefits. More needs to be done. “ You once stated that economic sustainability is essential, “otherwise everything we have done would be lost”, if we do not market and educate on Responsible Tourism within the tourism industry. What are your thoughts on educating and marketing Responsible Tourism practices? “We need a curriculum at schools; in fact there is a dire need for this, because perhaps the most valuable natural asset South Africa has is its biodiversity, and this needs to be part of everyone’s education..“ What would you say attributes to the success of Mantis Collection and the sustainability of the group? “The diversity of our products. MANTIS products are exclusively awesome and we are the only group that operates in the minor space (10 rooms to 80 rooms). We are also the only hospitality group in the world that operates on all seven continents.” To view the work done in the Eastern Cape by the Mantis Group, visit Founders Lodge, which showcases the conservation and tourism work done in the Eastern Cape.



Mining and Biodiversity: Can Old Enemies Become Friends?

Although mining companies have a reputation for impacting negatively on biodiversity, they also have the potential to enhance biodiversity conservation—while boosting their bottom line. By Shelley Lizzio, Manager of the National Biodiversity and Business Network


hen we think of mining in the context of biodiversity, we usually do so in a negative light, as we imagine large tracts of land being cleared of vegetation and waste water polluting our rivers and groundwater. Mining activities certainly do have the potential to impact negatively on biodiversity, and they can do so throughout the lifecycle of a project, from exploration all the way through to closure. These impacts can be both direct, for example, the clearing of vegetation to build infrastructure, and indirect, such as the opening up of previously inaccessible areas to further development. However, despite the significant potential for negative impacts on biodiversity from mining, there is also the potential for mining companies to impact positively on biodiversity through, for example, enhancing biodiversity conservation in their areas of operation. Biodiversity: business risk or opportunity? For over a decade, the mining industry’s biodiversity conservation performance has been under increasing scrutiny from NGOs, governments, investors and other related stakeholders. This is due in part to a growing awareness of the importance of biodiversity

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conservation to human well-being, but also because the industry increasingly operates in remote and environmentally sensitive areas of the world. So why should mining companies consider biodiversity? Ethical reasons aside, there are many sound business reasons why companies should address their potential to impact both negatively and positively on biodiversity. A lack of attention to biodiversity presents a number of business risks—and opportunities—which if not appropriately managed, could impact on their ability to obtain or maintain their social or functional licence to operate, which will ultimately impact on their bottom line. Negative impacts on biodiversity could result in the following business risks: • Limited access to land; • Negative reputational impacts; • Limited access to capital; and • Increased costs at any stage of the mining life cycle. Each of these negative impacts of biodiversity on business could be turned around through effective management to become a positive impact. Sound biodiversity management practices could, for example, result in the following: • Increased investor confidence and loyalty; • Better relationships with regulators resulting in shorter permitting cycles;

• Improved community relations; • Strong supportive partnerships with NGOs; • Improved employee motivation; and • Reduced costs, risks and liabilities. Industry leaders have realised that their potential to impact on biodiversity posed significant risks and opportunities to their business, and that a demonstrable commitment to biodiversity conservation is essential if they are going to achieve the sustainable development of the mining industry. Mining industry’s evolving commitment to conserving biodiversity In 2003, the International Council for Metals and Mining (ICMM) and its member companies adopted a sector-leading stance on biodiversity, committing to contribute towards the conservation of biodiversity and to not explore or mine in World Heritage properties. Some mining companies fully embraced these commitments and developed partnerships with NGOs to assist them in responding appropriately to biodiversity. In 2014 the IUCN, together with the ICMM, commissioned an international study to assess the progress made by ICMM mining companies in managing biodiversity over the past 10 years. The study showed that while many


ICMM members have shown a significant increase in the extent and sophistication of their biodiversity management systems, more action is required in a number of key areas if they hope to demonstrate that these developments have resulted in improved performance. To effectively manage biodiversity-related business risks and opportunities, mining companies need to have mainstreamed biodiversity into all aspects of their business, from their strategies, to their management systems, through to their operational activities. This approach will ensure that relevant biodiversity information is integrated into decision making at every stage of the mining life cycle about how best to avoid, minimise or remedy biodiversity impacts to support sustainable development.

Shelley holds a Masters degree in Zoology from the University of the Witwatersrand and has 12 years’ experience in the environmental field, where she progressed from EIA work to the integration of biodiversity into the corporate environment. Shelley’s ambition is to make a meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of the environment through the mainstreaming of sustainability into business practices.

In 2013, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) spearheaded the establishment of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs, Pam Golding Properties, Nedbank, Pick n Pay, Hatch Goba and Transnet. The aim of the NBBN is to facilitate the mainstreaming of biodiversity into business in Africa and the development of a national agenda. Amongst other services, the NBBN helps to develop and provide relevant information, tools, resources, benchmarks, pilot-studies and strategic support to businesses looking to mainstream biodiversity issues.

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Big Data To Green The Mining Sector Can effective data management help to green the mining sector? By Jaisheila Rajput


f there is one industry sector that’s constantly in the spotlight regarding negative social and environmental issues, particularly in emerging markets, it’s the mining sector. Can transparency in the form of data generated by sustainability metrics play a role in changing that? Why is this such an issue, and how could good data management change things? “Companies like Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel in India are increasingly looking at using recycled metal for their raw material supply. Although we’re not quite at that level yet in SA, if the recycling industry were to provide viable, steady supply and cost-effective alternatives to virgin materials, could this act as significant competition to current mining practices? For current virgin mining to continue as a viable industry for decades to come, certain reforms are needed. Data analytics to identify and create robust alternatives to address the most vulnerable parts of the mining value chain could be the answer.” How should we understand the value chain and create transparency? “This is part of the key question on where to start and what would add value. The idea behind mapping the value chain would be to create transparency and understand where gaps are, while devising effective ways to address these to make for greener supply chains. But what is the right section of the supply or value chain to focus on? That depends on the problem you’re trying to solve. If the issue is soil remediation, then looking at key areas from the point of breaking ground, processing and deposition all become areas of focus. The same holds true for operations and waste generation. Deciding on what steps need to be taken and areas of action is where effective data selection comes into play. What are the

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most relevant criteria? How do we develop effective strategies while identifying and building up the weakest parts of the value chain? And most importantly, if you’re a mine, how do you prevent yourself from being caught off-guard?” What is the “right” data to collect? “The scope of possibilities is significant with technology offering vast opportunities for data gathering. I recently attended an ILO Big Data Symposium where one of the presenters discussed mining social media to predict social unrest patterns and consequently, potential labour strike action. A predictor regarding social unrest comments, as well as level of dissatisfaction is monitored. This clearly only works if workers and the communities in which they reside, are active on social media. Additionally, drone technology has become relatively inexpensive and accessible, allowing it to be used for a range of applications, including investigating the environmental status of existing and prospective mining sites. Extending this technology to speed up and identify remediation sites and areas for soil conditioning explodes the realm of possibilities.” What about the amount of waste generated, energy and water consumed? “Yes, yes and yes! Understanding mining consumption, manufacturing patterns and impact areas in detail, allow for the implementation of more environmentally savvy solutions. It also gives us an opportunity to identify potential spin-off industries and their viability from a raw material supply perspective. Just look at the number of tyres needed and discarded at mining sites, as an example. Potential applications for the discarded tyres could include bitumen production for road surfacing, or heat or electricity generation on site, to name just a few. A detailed exploration of the mining process and waste generated could yield similar

applications, some of which have already been identified and put into practice. According to PWC, a number of mines are already addressing topics such as local economic development, beneficiation, environmental management and climate change strategies. The question is, what is the right type of data to collect to ensure this is being done effectively? That requires a fair degree of preparation up front. As the old saying goes, it’s good to trust but better to verify—that’s the surety effective data management provides.” So, does big data truly have a place (and value) in the mining sustainability context? “The short answer—maybe. A longer answer— it needs to be explored further. Predictions, trend analysis, and timely environmental interventions all make it attractive as a real possibility. The question always comes down to what you collect and what you plan to do with it. The best piece of advice is not to get caught up in the technology, but to focus on the end goal. Be clear on what you’d like to achieve. It certainly could help a very traditional industry make a step change in the right direction.” Jaisheila Rajput is Founder and CEO of Tomorrow Matters Now. TOMA-Now an independent consultancy focused on developing the Green Economy, with special emphasis on value chain management and growth. Her background includes strategy, sustainability, technical and management systems, and she has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town.


Holistic Management of Cattle—Back to Nature Managing domestic livestock to positively impact soil health By Kevin James


onsider two adjacent farms in the Australian outback, both around 20 000 ha in size and both rearing cattle. The two farms, however, have vastly different resiliency to what is hardly the archetype of fertile land, and as a result vastly different profit margins. The first farm has soil that a shovel would struggle to penetrate; nothing grows on the land. The farmer therefore carries significant costs of chemical fertilizers, animal feed, and diesel for vehicles to transport these inputs. The second farm has soil that falls through fingers; is rich in microbial activity, root systems, and carbon, and remains moist even in times of low rainfall. The land is covered in good pasture. The farmer has no need to procure animal feed, nor much diesel or any chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, the resulting grass-fed, organic beef fetches premium prices in the market. The principle difference between these two farms lies in how they manage the grazing of their animals. The first farm makes use of a conventional feedlot, where food is brought in and the animals are left to roam around the (almost barren) land. The second farm applies a method known as Holistic Resource Management, which segments the 20 000 ha into a few hundred paddocks and rotates the cattle every three or four days. This dynamic rotational grazing of animals is an example of biomimicry—using the systems and processes found in nature to solve human challenges. Before humans domesticated the cow, these animals roamed and grazed in herds and were constantly on the move. Not only did they carry seeds over vast distances, but their hooves created indentations for these seeds and their excrement served as fertilizer. This is how vast rangelands were maintained. The practice of Holistic Resource Management emulates this natural process by creating the conditions for cows to carry and plant seeds and to naturally fertilize these with their manure. The result is that carbon is sequestrated into the soil in the form of

microbial activity, root systems, and worms— the ideal environmental conditions for healthy ground cover to thrive. Large-scale husbandry, on the other hand, has sacrificed these closed loop efficiencies. As ground cover is slowly eaten away by freely roaming cows and natural fertilizers are replaced by chemical ones, critical microbes and diversity are destroyed and the land is denuded—a process that has systematically malformed the world’s soils. The shift from industrial agricultural to regenerative farming methods is therefore a particularly powerful way to get maintain healthy soil ecosystems in traditionally dry and thirsty areas like the Australian outback. As climate change promises to change oncefertile areas into similarly arid landscapes (or vice versa), farmers and policy makers around the world would benefit from pre-emptive shifts to more regenerative practices. Beyond the commercial benefits of lower input costs, higher value product, and greater resilience, however, one of the most critical benefits of rehabilitative farming lies in the soil’s role as a global carbon sink. Carbon held in our soils is the third largest pool of carbon (after oceans and fossil fuels) globally, but research by the Ohio State University’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Centre has found that the worlds cultivated soils have already lost 50—70% of their carbon to the atmosphere. As a result, land use conversion and soil cultivation is responsible for around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Association. So while smoke stacks from burning fossil fuels have become the quintessential picture of climate change, perhaps not enough attention has been given to the daily practices of the world’s farmers. Soil as a carbon sink also introduces an additional commercial opportunity. It is possible to measure this absorption and—if it can be shown to be the result of a farming practice intervention—to convert this into carbon credits. These credits can then be sold

to companies wishing to offset their carbon footprints, providing an incentive to the farmers to change the way they manage their grazing plans. With over 5 billion ha of grazing land globally, this type of “carbon farming” has the potential to make a significant dent in the world’s mitigation requirements. While there are examples of farmers successfully implementing this model (South Africa’s Farmer Angus Ferguson at Spier being one of these), the big question is why this potential remains largely untapped. Apart from the natural inertia that characterizes all global change, one of the principal barriers is a continued lack of systemic thinking in largescale commercial agriculture. Until we evaluate our farming systems based on their ability to generate yields in a resource-efficient, resilient, and sustainable way—the slow demise of our soils will continue to be justified, with devastating effects on global food production and climate-change mitigation efforts.



Agriculture Research Council: the pulse of legume research in South Africa


he cultivation of pulses can be traced back to 8000 BC, with these crops having significant benefits particularly for developing countries. Pulses are a diverse set of crops that can ensure food security and human health. They are a critical source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe, as well as a source of plant-based protein for animals with added benefits to contribute to increasing soil fertility. It has been argued that the increased consumption of pulses as part of a healthy diet could help to address obesity, prevent and help manage chronic diseases and effectively contribute to food and nutrition security. Being a natural nitrogen fixator, these versatile crops also improve soil health, reducing the amount of nitrogenous chemical fertilizer application for smallholder farmers that cannot afford fertilizers, thereby promoting sustainable agriculture. The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP2016) as an effort to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits and the


potential role of pulses for sustainable food production towards food and nutrition security. Pulses research in the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) The ARC conducts research on five major pulses based on popular consumption patterns in South Africa, that is: dry beans, groundnuts, soybeans, cowpeas and bambara groundnuts. Among some of the major research activities conducted, the ARC’s groundnut seed multiplication project is the heartbeat of the groundnut industry being the only organisation that does SANSOR registered breeder seed multiplication, with 95-98% of the market share on groundnut breeder seeds in SA. The ARC’s soybean and dry bean cultivar evaluation trials are some of the most reliable in the country, evaluating the commercial cultivars available and making unbiased recommendations based on trial findings. Every one to three years, several new summer soybean and dry bean cultivars are introduced to the South African seed market, either as a replacement of older cultivars or as new entries with desirable traits.

The ARC’s cultivar evaluation programme makes it possible for farmers to access impartial information about performance in order to choose the cultivar best suited to them. These trials are the only independent source of objective cultivar-performance data available to South African farmers, making it easier for farmers to identify the best-performing cultivars for different farming areas.

#IYP2016- Beans, beans and more beans! Pulses production competition 2016/17 To commemorate the United Nation’s International Year of Pulses (IYP2016), the ARC, together with the Department of Science and Technology(DST), will be focusing on promoting research, production and consumption of pulses in South Africa through a variety of exciting activities. The ARC launched a Pulse Grower’s Competition in October 2016 with the intention of stimulating production of pulses by emerging farmers to address hunger, poverty and food and nutrition security. Increasing pulses


production and consumption in South Africa will take a shift in the mind-set of smallholder farmers both in terms of farming practices and consumption behaviour, as such the Pulse Grower’s Competition will overlap with promoting pulses production in schools. The inclusion of school-going children is one of the major selection criteria for the competition where each of the competing farmers is required to work hand-in-hand with a local school to create a school garden. The ARC will provide support through information dissemination and sourcing of seeds and other inputs. This activity is of great importance for promoting production and highlighting the importance of pulses for their high plant-based protein source and thus their inclusion in school feeding schemes. This competition will span over Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal provinces. The ARC prides itself in translating research outputs in order to generate knowledge, facilitate decision making and contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector. The promotion of pulses and its inclusion in the South African diet has innumerable potential benefits for society and, in particular, the poor, and this project is but a small pulse that could grow into a bigger trend going into the future.

Agricultural Research Council is committed to Excellence in Agricultural Research and Development in South Africa and beyond.

Tel: +27 124279700 - Fax: +27 12430 814 Email: Website:



Interns save SA industry millions in expenses and resource wastage


outh African industry has saved R8 million in resources, including 500 000 kℓ of water, after 16 manufacturing facilities nationwide each hosted a Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) funded intern to conduct onsite resource efficiency assessments over a 12month period. Water savings accounted for 48% of overall savings, with energy savings accounting for 43%. An additional R36 million in resource savings has also been identified at the plants located in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. At a cost of just R4 million to implement, the economic and environmental benefits of the recently revamped Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) Internship Programme are immense. This programme forms part of the DTI’s National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) skills development activities of the DTI. Science and engineering graduates were appointed as interns for 12 months in late 2015, and were equipped with RECP skills through the NCPC-SA training programme in early 2016, then placed in host plants under the guidance of expert mentors appointed by the NCPC-SA. The interns were taught ISO 50 0001 energy management plans, how to conduct an RECP assessment, and how to identify water-saving opportunities—all while working full-time at the host plant on a daily basis. “The programme is designed to not only teach interns the skills to do a plant assessment and identify savings opportunities at their host plants, but to also assist the company with implementation to realise actual resource and financial savings,” says Wynand van der Merwe, NCPC-SA Skills Development Manager. This is the only RECP learning programme of its kind in Africa. “These graduates represent a fairly new career path, but one that has already proven invaluable to South African industry,” said Ndivhuho Raphulu, NCPC-SA Director. “We’ve seen again and again that resource management cuts millions in operating costs, making South African factories more productive, and ultimately more competitive.”

The interns graduated from the RECP Internship Programme on 5 December 2016. Three have been offered permanent positions within the Programme, and another has been employed by a host company. The 2017 NCPC-SA Internship Programme will kick off early in the New Year and interns have already been recruited countrywide. The NCPC-SA is a programme of the DTI hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The NCPC-SA assists industry to implement RECP through various programmes, including the internship, and is also the implementer of the South African Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, which has saved industry R 1.7 billion in energy costs in five years. This was also largely achieved through a skills development approach, as industrial energy efficiency experts were trained through practical implementation in industry plants. The internship programme was run in three previous years as a six-month programme, but the new 12-month model has allowed for a more in-depth training and greater host plant implementation. Whilst the interns and host plants for 2017 have been secured, companies

interested in participating as hosts for RECP experts, or in future internship programmes can contact the NCPC-SA on Graduates should register their interest on the NCPC-SA website.

Intern conducting RECP assessment

Back row: Resource Efficient Cleaner Production Internship Programme Graduates 2016 Front Row: NCPC-SA Skills Development Team

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The Water Crisis: The New ‘Business Unusual’? In the past, SA has been spoilt with cheap water. But as the global water crisis deepens, this is no longer a given. How can businesses future-proof themselves against this new reality? By Lise Pretorius and Darren Vorster, GCX


outh Africa is in the midst of a water crisis, with water restrictions in place across the country. The past months have seen the country nervously watch dam levels as they teeter on critical levels. Gauteng experienced a near miss at in the last months of 2016, with the Vaal system only being saved from collapse by last-minute water transfers. The Western Cape is now also watching its lifeblood—the Theewaterskloof Dam— shrivel day by day. This is a tangible lesson of a long-known truth: our ability to sustain our societies and economies relies on the availability of water. Yet our historical response has never matched the severity of running dry. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that water in South Africa has been too cheap. It seems that because we’ve been spoilt, we have an innate assumption that water will be available on demand at a given quality, quantity, and price. This assumption simply no longer holds. The global water crisis is a top risk facing humanity These concerns are echoed globally, with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2016 identifying the global water crisis as top risk facing humanity for the next decade. There is now a stark realisation that in order to meet our human needs—let alone economic growth aspirations—we need a lot more water than is currently available. Furthermore, shortages and compromised quality of water will exacerbate all other major risks, such as unemployment, food insecurity, poverty, inequality and energy shortages. These risks can therefore escalate each other’s effects, making their consequences difficult to predict and navigate. South African businesses need to future-proof themselves South Africa faces a number of added challenges. Climate change will make the country drier, infrastructure is crumbling, financial resources are lacking, water quality is deteriorating, skills are in short supply, and there is


lack of political will to authentically address these issues. IIt is clearly up to business to future-proof themselves. Understanding water as a business risk, however, is about more than planning for expensive water bills. Water is embedded in everything we produce and consume - from the simple fruit we eat, to the clothes we wear, and the technology we use. Every product, company, and industry therefore has a water footprint, which can be understood either as its impact on this resource or as its vulnerability to shocks in supply, quality, or price. To put this into context, the Water Footprint Network has calculated the volume of water it takes, over a product’s entire lifecycle, to produce simple everyday items. On average: • One apple costs 125 litres of water • A pair of jeans costs 11 litres of water • A 250ml glass of beer (from barley) costs 74 litres of water • A kilogram of beef costs 15415 litres of water • A kilogram of chocolate costs 17196 litres of water What these figures suggest is that the quality, availability, and price of water can shift entire industries, affect their global competitiveness, and disrupt supply chains. For the most part, however, South African companies are generally not applying sufficient resources to understanding the risks associated with this reality. Business leaders—through regulatory, investor, and consumer channels— are being called on to develop informed and engaged response strategies to the risks that they both impact on and are impacted by. First step: Measuring your water footprint There are a number of tools or strategies that companies can use to start this process, but almost all will start with getting accurate data. Companies should to be able to answer questions such as how and where they use water, what the external physical or institutional risks are in the areas they do business, and where changes in water quality, availability, or price would most materially affect the business. Through initiatives like CDP Water, through which companies disclose and reduce their water related risks, investors are starting to

factor this information into their investment decision making. Learn more about the water crisis and your business Organisations and companies who wish to learn more may want to attend an exciting event this March. GCX and Sun International bring together South Africa’s top minds in water to share practical insights into: • The state of the water crisis currently facing South Africa • The impact this could have on your business • Water stewardship • Solutions and innovations for managing risks and opportunities in a water-constrained future The event takes place at The Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg on the 3rd of March 2017. For more information please visit or call 021 702 4058.

The enormous Theewaterskloof Dam emptying as Cape Town waits for the rains to come

The Vaal system, which supports 45% of the population of South Africa, reached dangerously low levels in 2016.

Water for Cities REGISTER NOW for ICLEI’s 4th pan-African Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LoCS4Africa) 2017 Congress, co-hosted with Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa. LoCS4Africa 2017 will focus on finding solutions to Africa’s rapidly growing urban water and sanitation needs. Date: Venue:

22 - 24 March 2017 The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa

The African continent faces many sustainability challenges; but none more critical than the threat posed to the continent’s water resources, exacerbated by climate change, burgeoning human populations, aging and inadequate infrastructure, lack of strong urban planning frameworks and uncertain economic development trajectories. For the first time, African cities and their partners will gather together to seek collective solutions to this looming crisis, at ICLEI’s 4th pan-African Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LoCS4Africa) Congress in Ekurhuleni, South Africa. The LoCS4Africa 2017 Congress will be solutions driven, bringing together the diversity of African cities and uniting them and their partners in a common mission to collectively take action towards addressing our most pressing urban water challenges, from flooding and drought, infrastructure, sanitation and associated quality of life and health challenges. Delegates to LoCS4Africa 2017 gather under the theme “Water for Cities” from a diverse cross-section of stakeholders from pan-African cities and other local governments, academia, donor agencies, NGOs, the private sector, national governments and civil society.

Sub-themes:  Integrated Urban Water Management as Instrument for Innovation  Sustainable Sanitation Solutions for Africa’s Future Urban Generation  Driving Climate Action through Resilient Water Infrastructure  Urban Planning for Water Smart Cities  New Water and Climate Financing Options for Local Action  Resource, Reduce and Reuse – Securing Water NOW  Water for Healthy Cities

Register online at and be part of the event where African cities turn the corner towards a climate resilient water future for our rapidly growing urban populations! For more information, please contact and visit

REGISTER NOW: “In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.” –The Water Project

There has never been a more critical time to address the issue of securing water and sanitation for Africa’s rapidly growing urban population. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover innovative solutions and new finance options through the Ekurhuleni Solutions Design Platform and the Interactive expo.

Water for Cities REGISTER NOW for ICLEI’s 4th pan-African Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LoCS4Africa) 2017 Congress

The focus this year is on finding local solutions to Africa’s rapidly growing urban water needs Date:

22 - 24 March 2017


The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa

There has never been a more critical time to address the issue of securing water and sanitation for Africa’s growing urban population. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover innovative solutions and new finance options through the Ekurhuleni Solutions Design Platform and the Interactive expo.

Partners in Action


For more information, please contact and visit

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