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Issue 29 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Water Avoiding Day Zero Mining Energy Solutions & Policy Protection 11025

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Recycling Waste Paper Transformed Energy Geothermal Innovation 2018/02/15 9:53 AM

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Editor’s Note



EDITOR: Melissa Baird CONTRIBUTOR: Greg Penfold Anthony Turton Tumi Makwela PROOF READER: Amy Burton LAYOUT AND DESIGN: CDC Design PROJECT MANAGER: Vania Reyneke SALES: Farai Maunga PRINTING: FA Print DISTRIBUTION: Edward MacDonald WEB: publications/green-economy-journal/ DISTRIBUTION AND COPY SALES ENQUIRIES: ENQUIRIES: ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: EDITORIAL PROPOSALS: PUBLISHER: Gordon Brown, Alive2Green Projects PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 1st Floor Cape Media House 28 Main Road Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town TEL: 021 447 4733 FAX: 086 694 7443 REG NUMBER: 2005/003854/07 VAT Number: 4750243448 ISSN NUMBER: 2410-6453 PUBLICATION DATE: February 2018

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Green Economy Journal is audited by ABC Issue 29 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Water Avoiding Day Zero Mining Energy Solutions & Policy Protection 11025

Recycling Waste Paper Transformed Energy Geothermal Innovation

Cover image courtesy, Juwi Renewable Energies

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 organizations 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.

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I told you so. SO what. Who told who this would happen and who did not do what was supposed to be done? Who thought hope was a strategy when action was the wisest approach? Is Cape Town going to be the first major metropolitan city to run out of water or will day zero keep be being pushed out? These are the questions that will only be answered in time and we need facts to assist in guiding the way ahead and to help overcome the fear that has now set in. During this time of resource and political instability what has been incredible to observe is the way people are coming up with innovative solutions to manage their water consumption and most are now understanding what it is to be resource constrained. How the situation will play out is yet to be seen but what is unavoidably clear is how the politicians (I cannot call them ‘leaders’) have simply failed us all in their understanding of what it is to run a country and a city that must be water secure or else. Once upon a time I was at school and we were ‘educated’ in terms of civil defence i.e. what to do if there was a bomb at school. We were drilled to hide under the desks although thinking back now I can’t imagine how that would have helped. Water education is sorely lacking; in schools, in offices and perhaps now there will be a true shift in thinking and behaviour to prepare for a future that is uncertain with the spectre of an economy that could fail. GEJ has consistently addressed the water crises and what can be done to help. In this issue we do so again as well as champion marine conservationists who are drawing attention to the sea and how it too sustains us. We also turn attention to energy and mining as these too are pivots that the South African economy requires to function. I remain optimistic that we as a nation will show that innovation can transform the chaotical situation we are in and that communities will join to find localised solutions to water resilience and a collective game plan that will take care of everyone. The cynical me however is also saying it’s over, schools will have to shut, so will many businesses and there will be collective chaos as the water collection points become unmanageable within a country that has lost its way. These are certainly ‘interesting times’ for us all but let’s turn our sights to creating good news and what can be done to re-shape and re-purpose our future.

Melissa Baird

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News and updates Water rescue, putting an end to fossil fuel investments, celebrating marine conservation heroes & the built environment

Interview Greg Austin - Juwi energy and its success in delivering hybrid solutions for the mining sector

Dr Anthony Turton - analysing the Cape Town water crises and the bigger picture

Mining - how unlocking the potential of geothermal energy from abandoned mines can clean up acid mine waste


Mpact’s new recycling plant and the good news it offers the economy


The Rose Foundation on how to manage waste oil




Green Buildings

Nico Pienaar who leads ASPASA and the quest for sustainable surface mining

Green Buildings and the role corporates can play in creating water security

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News and Updates

Strength Re-purposed One of the most spoken about new buildings to open its doors in Cape Town, the new Zeitz Mocca Museum for Contemporary Art located in the V&A Waterfront was originally an old grain silo complex and consists of forty-two, 33-metre-high concrete tubes. The mammoth task of redesigning these silos into a functional exhibition space of the highest possible quality, was given to internationally acclaimed designer Thomas Heatherwick and his innovative team of architects. It was clear that this was a project that called for a solution that would be unique to Africa. It was therefore only fitting that a unique construction solution developed and used in South Africa was chosen; recycled polystyrene. The building was built 94 years ago so the developers needed a screed solution that would not put unnecessary load on the structure, yet would not compromise on quality, strength and durability,” Greenlite Concrete’s Technical Director, Hilton Cowie says. “We recycle post-consumer polystyrene back into beads through our recycling plants. This material is then used as aggregate mixed with cement and additives to form insulated, soundproof, fireproof, water-resistant lightweight concrete blocks and screeds,” Cowie explains, adding that they successfully recycled and diverted more than 6 tons of polystyrene from landfill with the Zeitz project. For more information: Adri Spangenberg email: or www.greenliteconcrete. Images: Supplied by Greenlite Concrete

MARINE DYNAMICS is a winner Marine Dynamics has in the past won the African Responsible Tourism Award (WTM Africa - 2015) and the ARTA People’s Choice award (2016). Celebrating further success, it was awarded the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award and was Highly Commended for Responsible Tourism at WTM in London. What makes Marine Dynamics a South African organisation to celebrate is that it offers five star shark cage diving and whale watching eco tours in the unique Dyer Island ecosystem of Gansbaai. All its activities are Fair Trade Tourism certified and founded on the belief that: “Your Choice Makes a Difference.” Through their environmental project, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, they are making a real difference for conservation and the community by researching and gathering daily observational data on marine animals like the great white shark and humpback whales which are important benchmarks to influence conservation initiatives and legislation. They actively promote the conservation of the endangered African Penguin and their Seabird Sanctuary offers world class rehabilitation facilities for injured birds. They promote marine awareness and education initiatives in the Gasnbaai community, conduct marine animal rescue and actively work to reduce marine pollution by providing fishing line ‘bins’ and conducting regular beach clean ups. For more information: Brenda Du Toit

A win for Speedo Diplomacy In 2015 legendary Lewis Pugh took to the high seas to launch a campaign to protect the Ross Sea in Antarctica. Many called him crazy but great actions aren’t born out of timid wishes and he has proven that with determined lobbying and feats of superhuman skill he can change the world. The Ross Sea has been declared a protected area nearly three years after the campaign began. Pugh swam in the sub-zero waters of the Ross Sea to highlight their importance, and then began the task of persuading the Russian authorities to support the formation of a Marine Protected Area there – even though they had blocked the proposal at CCAMLR (The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) on five occasions. He travelled back and forth to Russia, speaking with their leadership to encourage them to join the other CCAMLR nations in protecting the Ross Sea. This huge success in the history of marine conservation ensures 1.57 million square kilometres is protected – this makes it a space bigger than the UK, France, Germany and Italy combined. Source:

10 Virgin Media Business in has been named a top ote riPr Ag r cle s at -cy up nt WASTE-to-nutrie can access all past edition wed Jason in GEJ 22 ( you rvie it of inte fru We . the tch is s Wa ces to Disruptor and CEO, said: “Our suc ing AgriProtein co-founder ycl w, upc Dre the on er Jas sid ) om con l u.c issu failure. Soon people wil of e fac the in nce and era metals eight years of persev ycling of paper, plastics, l as they consider the rec ment.” iron env the to of nutrients just as norma efit ben the ger we get, the greater glass to be today. The big

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News and Updates

Coke adds Water Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation and participating suppliers are in the process of finalising the details to provide millions of litres of relief water to the Western Cape Province and City of Cape Town. This forms part of its commitment to helping the City mitigate the impact of Day Zero. This initiative is dependent on CCPB being able to utilise alternate water sources in order to supplement the use of municipal water. The “prepared water” will be provided in a 2-litre recyclable PET bottle, said Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at CCPB. The bottles will be clearly marked “not for resale” and would also be produced to supply to emergency sites as determined by the Provincial Task Team on Water and the Disaster Risk Management team. “In addition CCPB, has committed R1-m to fund an entrepreneurship initiative in conjunction with the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government to fund new ideas that will stimulate the “water-wise economy” in the Western Cape,” said Urquhart. For more information contact: Candace Gawler or Priscilla Urquhart

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No more fossil fuel investments The World Bank which provides loans to developing countries to foster economic growth, announced on December 12 2017 that it will no longer offer financial support for oil and gas exploration after 2019. In 2015, the bank previously vowed to have 28% of its portfolio dedicated to climate action by 2020. The bank’s latest statement on fossil fuel financing suggests that it is on course to achieve that goal. This is a significant blow to the fossil fuel energy industry, and a win for environmental advocates. The economics surrounding the energy sector are increasingly making it more attractive for entities to switch to renewable energy. Across the world, it has become cheaper to build new renewable energy installations than to operate and maintain existing coal power plants. There is a caveat for “exceptional circumstances,” saying that they will consider “…financing upstream gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments.” Source: Patrick Caughill – Read the GEJ published article by David Le Page about divesting from fossil fuels in GEJ 26 visit www. to view all past editions

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Examining Hybrid Solutions for

Energy Supply Melissa Baird interviewed Greg Austin, the managing director of Juwi Renewable Energies – one of the world’s leading proponents of renewable energy solutions for the mining and agricultural sector. They offer project development focusing on solar and wind as well as hybrid solutions for energy supply. MB: Talk to me about the shift in battery pricing within the context of Africa and how this will motivate the uptake of renewable energy solutions. GA: I was at an event in London that revealed the costs of running diesel generation sets in Africa, at a cost of 7 billion USD p.a. – 18 % of which is spent pumping water. In other words, substantial money is used to buy fossil fuel to pump water, which is crazy because you can have a renewable energy source and pump this water into a header tank (read: battery) until it is needed. It makes little sense to spend that kind of money when hybrid renewable and battery

power systems offer a real opportunity to plug the gaps in electricity demand, in many cases more cost efficiently than fossil fuels. We have seen three main drivers in the reduction of battery and hybrid system costs as follows: a) Battery cost – to date we have seen a 20% p.a. reduction year on year in battery costs with a further 10% p.a. reduction forecast for the coming years. Over the last 3 years battery storage costs have halved. b) The price of solar modules have dropped 30% year on year, but this is no longer the case. The drivers behind this are many and varied, but with the big three markets (China, USA, Japan)

Greg Austin, the managing director of Juwi Renewable Energies

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accounting for over 50% of total demand their domestics policies around solar have a global impact. But overall volume has a lot to do with it, with 2017 being another record year with 100 gigawatts of solar installed. This shows no signs of slowing down, and so we can safely predict that the ongoing trend in module pricing is down. c) The third driver is more subtle if you look at the South African REIPP programme. The initial costing was very expensive and had high risk associated with it (for new market entrants, e.g. investors entering South Africa for the first time) but the reduction from about R2.65 per kWh in 2013 to R0.65 as per projects bid in 2016 represents a 75% price reduction over 4 years. This lowering cost opens up space for batteries – at a higher cost than stand-alone solar – to be combined with solar and other renewables to allow for a range of what industry refers to as stacked battery storage services to be provided to the market. Combine this with growth in sector-specific skills in the SA market and we are becoming better positioned to grow in services supply to the hybrid sector. MB: Can you tell me more about the hybrid solutions for mines? GA: I recently participated in a panel discussion about energy supply for mining and worldwide there will be 100 gigawatts of power systems on mines that will be implemented this year. This market volume means that there is space for hybrid business models to offer real benefits to mining, the food and beverage and agricultural sectors – taking them from a position of energy insecurity to one of being more confident in the technology, that there is in fact a competitive advantage available to them now. MB: In SA there has been a stop start approach to renewables due in part to the nuclear debacle but also because of legislative barriers and the supply of grid generation licenses– what needs to shift to make the landscape easier to operate within? GA: This is a big question and has to do with our overarching energy policy and how this flows through to regulation and policy. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), first published in 2010, is meant to be updated every two years; no updates have been published subsequent to the first issue largely because how much nuclear is going to be added is unclear. Separately, there has been talk of Eskom being split into generation and transmission businesses – this is in government’s 1998 White Paper on Energy Policy and adopted during at least the last 2 ANC Policy Conferences – but we are no clearer on that either. The IRP talks to there being a “ministerial determination” for generation assets – in other words if a quote for a technology doesn’t feature in the IRP it requires separate ministerial approval – so assuming you can get this then a subsequent hurdle is securing a generation license for a specific project. These are the pre-hurdles

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with the whole space remaining uncertain. Until recently the only embedded generators outside of REIPP have been up to 1 megawatt scale as these feature in the IRP. Outside of this you have roof top systems that have an exemption from a generation license because of their size. Then of course you have individual municipal regulations that determine how these projects can connect to the grid. What is peculiar about this regulation is that diesel generator projects don’t require licenses but renewable projects do. You don’t hear of factories with a two megawatt generator as a backup having to secure generation licenses; why are different measures applied to different technologies? MB: Explain Juwi’s leadership in the renewable energy sector… GA: Globally juwi is a pioneer and leader in renewables, having constructed over 4.2 GW to date of wind and solar projects. In South Africa, delays in signing Power Purchase Agreements and Implementation Agreements for Round 4 projects of the REIPP has been a challenge but we are one of the few true solar EPCs active today in the market, with a full staff complement. On the hybrid front Juwi is also a leader for example with the DeGrussa mine project in Australia, but of course there are competitors that offer alternatives for this sector. This I consider to be a good thing, as if there were no competition it would mean that there is no real market … but Juwi is here for the long run and ready to play a significant role in the solar and wind sector under the REIPP program. MB: What of the CSI options for mines that can enable community driven energy solutions? GA:This is a common theme amongst the stakeholders involved in the powering of mines but the question remains about the business model of doing this. It has always been a difficult business model to solve because right now there is a slow uptake in to clean rural energy access. The key question that still remains to be satisfactorily answered is, how does the ownership and operation of these generation assets continue sustainably into the future?

To date Juwi has achieved: 950 wind turbines with a total capacity of approximately 2,100 megawatts at more than 150 sites. More than 1,600 solar projects with a total capacity of around 2,200 megawatts have been designed and constructed. Combined, these energy systems produce 7.7 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, equalling the annual demand of roughly 2.5 million households.

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Understanding the Cape Town

Water Crisis By: Dr. Anthony Turton

The City of Cape Town, known worldwide as a premium tourist destination, is in deep distress. Day Zero is fast approaching, and the unfolding crises are attracting media attention from Canada to New Zealand, because it is about to become the first significant city in the world to literally run out of water.


ay Zero is the day the taps get shut off. On that day the citizens will be time-warped from modernity back to the Mediaeval ages, where warlords reigned, and people lived lives that were “nasty, brutish and short” to Quote Thomas Hobbes from his classic Leviathan published in 1651. The international literature on water scarcity tells us two things with great confidence: (1) Acute water scarcity is unevenly distributed across society, and (2) it magnifies or amplifies underlying tensions in that specific society. This is certainly going to be true for Cape Town, so let’s try to understand how we got to this point. Day Zero is a perfect storm caused by the collision of four fundamental drivers. The first is constitutional, because when we became a democracy in 1994, the roles and responsibilities of government were neatly defined. National government is responsible for all bulk water infrastructure, provincial government is mostly an impotent oversight layer, and municipality’s are responsible for water reticulation from the bulk service provider to the end user, as well as the collection and treatment of all waste water return flows. There is a clause in the constitution defining cooperative governance by prohibiting one sphere of government interfering with the activities of another. From this it’s clear that national government has the obligation to ensure that the citizens are serviced with potable drinking water. The second driver is crime. This has many layers to it. The most damaging is related to the plunder of state coffers by ANC elites, with Jacob Zuma at the epicenter of a sophisticated network of highly skilled money laundering cutouts. These are under investigation by various law enforcement agencies from the FBI to European banking regulators. In effect, the theft, of what appears to be around R50 billion by the Zuma criminal enterprise, has denuded the treasury and created an infrastructure backlog nation-wide. But there is another layer to this, not yet fully evident, but bubbling under the surface. Questions are being asked about why the city failed to award desalination contracts, while so blatantly favouring groundwater contractors. The role of the

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Shows a desalination plant at a mine using South African technology. If there are so many South African companies with deep experience in desalination, why have no contracts been awarded of any significant magnitude, favouring groundwater instead?

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A major sea water desalination plant in Alicante Spain of the size that Cape Town needs to thrive in future.

shows a JoJo tank precariously balanced on a Seapoint building as the water crisis gripped the city. Heavy wind could dislodge this with potential loss of life.

WRC 2015 shows the distribution of rainfall across South Africa over the last century as a deviation off the norm. Note that in the 1980’s there was a perceptible shift to figures below the norm. consulting engineers is unclear, but increasingly being investigated. This story is likely to be a long news cycle as leaks from investigators inevitably make their way to the media. The third is the inherent instability of the coalition government. The DA is an amalgam of remnants from the historic past, including the Independent Democrats (ID), the Progressive Federal Party (PFP) and an assortment of individuals opposed to the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The glue holding them together is weak, and the tensions unleashed by the acute water scarcity are tearing these fragments apart. The fourth is climate variability. Peer reviewed research from the Water Research Commission, published in 2015, has shown that the distribution of rainfall has deviated from the mean over time, with a perceptible shift occurring in the 1980s. This speaks to the inherent uncertainty of rainfall events. These four drivers have now intersected. For whatever reason, decisions were made by whatever party responsible for such decisions, either to build or not to build infrastructure, and now the underlying tensions are being unleashed. This is consistent with the international literature. It seems that the unfortunate citizens have been hung out to dry, blamed by the Mayor for being selfish in not heeding her instruction

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to throttle back water use. In so doing an act of political suicide has been committed, and the outcome is not predictable in any way. But sadly, it’s not only a Cape Town problem, because the Eastern Cape is also in dire straits. East London and Port Elizabeth are both in crisis, without clear political leadership to roll out a coherent plan of action. Day Zero happened in KwaZulu-Natal during the debilitating drought of 2015-2016, but nobody gave it a name. The Ugu District Municipality has been reduced to a festering den of factional warlords, fighting over water tanker routes, as the doctors of Murchiston Hospital have been instructed to discard their toilet paper in bins, because there is insufficient water to flush toilets. The Premier of the Western Cape has now entered the fray, always eager for the comeback play. She is now managing a full-blown emergency, calling it our equivalent of 9/11 or the devastation of post war Europe in 1945. No real plan exists, but one is being cobbled together on the fly. To paraphrase Churchill, this is not the beginning of the end, merely the end of the beginning of a turbulent descent into the Mediaeval ages. The stunned nation, numbed with fear and unable to grasp the full reality, is either in denial, or starting to become angry. What happens from here nobody can predict with any degree of certainty.

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Unpoisoning the well By Greg Penfold

South Africa’s communities and environment remain at serious risk from the consequences of mining activity. Mining, toxic waste and abandoned mines and acid mine drainage continue to pollute the air and water with devastating consequences for people, plants and animals. However, an innovative solution proposed by scientist Thakane Ntholi promises to deal with one aspect of the problem – by harvesting geothermal energy from abandoned mines while cleaning up acid mine water.


he urgency of dealing with the pollution caused by mining cannot be overemphasised. South Africa is one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters for its population size. Most insidiously of all, the very water system on which this water-scarce land depends is under threat from acid mine drainage – contamination from heavy metals seeping into the water from old mines. “Our rivers and streams throughout the country are under severe stress as a result of mining and industrial activities and have been this way for a very long time,” John Capel, executive director of the Bench Marks Foundation, said in a recent public statement. ““It poses a huge threat to those who drink the contaminated water, especially for infants, pregnant women, the elderly and those who are ill as a high concentration of nitrates results in the restriction of oxygen transport in the bloodstream. In newborn babies, it can lead to a disease called methemoglobinemia, which is often fatal.” Against this grim background, the idea that a single process could not only clean up the polluted water in abandoned mines but also serve as a source of geothermal energy holds considerable appeal. Geothermal energy – ground heat stored in the earth’s crust – can be tapped by means of geothermal drilling to provide regenerative energy for heating, cooling, electricity generation and geothermal generating plants. Resources are categorised as low, medium and high enthalpy, according to the thermal energy of the geothermal fluids. Low-enthalpy geothermal energy is widely considered a potential game-changer in the renewable energy field. As technology improves and organic conversion systems such as the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) increasingly come into use, low enthalpy geothermal energy harvesting projects are under construction in Indonesia, Turkey, and other countries around the world. Currently, geothermal accounts for as little as 0.15% of world final energy consumption. Speaking at the Science Business Society Dialogue Conference in December, Ntholi presented her findings on how South Africa’s abandoned mines can add to that mix. “The abandoned gold mines in the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa extend as far as 4 km below the surface and are subject to continuous inflow of water. The inflowing water reacts with sulfide minerals within the mines, leading to the generation of acid mine water (AMW). Acid mine water is characterised by high acidity, low pH, and high concentrations of sulfate and metals, particularly iron. Over time, AMW accumulated in these mines, incidentally turning them into acid mine water reservoirs,” Ntholi found. “The Passive Underground Mine-water Purification System

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(PUMPS), is a geo-engineering systems designed to treat AMW within the mines and over time convert them into clean water reservoirs. “Founded on the mimicry of natural systems, PUMPS relies of the functions of sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) to treat the AMW and more importantly, it is powered by geothermal energy which is harvested directly from below the mines.” The system is build in gold mines 3-4 km deep underground. “A well doublet up to 4 km is drilled from base of the mines extending up to 8 km below surface to harvest geothermal energy. The AMW is used as a geothermal fluid and is pumped down the injection well into the hot rock to harvest heat and potentially entrain deep seated minerals including gold. The hot mineral rich AMW is then pumped up the production well into the reaction chambers. In these chambers, sulphate in the AMW is reduced to sulfide by SRB and reacts with the dissolved metal ions, leading to the precipitation of metal sulfides and increased pH. The ensuing water then flows through a selectively permeable membrane back into the flooded mines, resulting in dilution. Over time, continuous circulation will transform the underground mines into clean water reservoir protected from evaporation. Being situated “within a cold, dense Archaen craton”, the Witwatersrand Basin is not an ideal location for geothermal energy harvesting. However, Ntholi’s research shows that “historic heat flow measurements across the basin were proven to be higher than average cratonic measurements”. This means that “[b] ased on the high heat flow and a geothermal gradient of 12°C / km, from a depth of 8 km, the Witwatersrand Basin can be classified as a potential reservoir for low enthalpy geothermal energy (in-situ temperatures <150°C).” Will the Witwatersrand witness the conversion of polluted water to clean energy? Ntholi argues that the case for PUMPS is strong: “A 2D thermal model of the Witwatersrand Basin based on physical and thermal properties of the rocks confirm that the temperatures at 8km range between 90 and 120°C, sufficient for geothermal energy harvesting. Further calculations indicate that the geothermal heat extracted from a 1km2 reservoir area at this depth, can produce approximately 59.6 MW through the ORC with mass flow rate of 30 kg/s for the geothermal fluid and 10 kg/s for the working fluid. This is sufficient to power to drive PUMPS for at least 20 years. Setting up a pilot plant for PUMPS will assist in refining the model and testing the geothermal energy output.” (Source: Science Business Society Dialogue Conference: Linking Science, Society, Business and Policy for the Sustainable Use of Abandoned Mines in the SADC Region. Abstract Volume.)

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Advertorial: Recycling

Minister of the Environmental Affairs unveils

Mpact’s liquid packaging recycling plant

Mpact’s new R 46 million liquid paper packaging recycling plant is expected to recycle approximately 25 000 tonnes p.a which, until now, has seen limited beneficiation in South Africa. Mpact says recycling rates in SA are well ahead of global recovery rates.


ohannesburg, 25 July 2017. Mpact today opened its liquid packaging recycling plant at the company’s Springs paper mill. The company held an on-site ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning, with Minister Dr. Edna Molewa, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, as well as other national and local government officials in attendance.

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The R46 million project is expected to recycle approximately 25,000 tonnes per year of liquid packaging products, which until now has seen limited beneficiation in South Africa. The recovery rate of all paper grades available for recycling in South Africa was approximately 68% in 2016, representing 1,4million tonnes of the approximately 2,0million tonnes of paper. However,

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when it comes to paper packaging grades, this number is estimated to be well over 80%. Bruce Strong, CEO of Mpact Limited explains, “Paper recycling rates in South Africa are well ahead of the global recovery rates, and comparable to many first world countries, and we can be very proud of that. The key to this level of recycling is the demand for recyclable products from paper manufacturers. In Mpact’s case, this demand comes through innovative projects and investments, such as the liquid packaging recycling plant being unveiled today.” With traditional sources of recovered paper in South Africa in short supply mainly due to increased demand from paper manufacturers both locally and abroad, the recovered paper from the liquid packaging products processed at this plant provide Mpact with an alternative source of high quality recycled fibre which is currently being landfilled. In 2016, Mpact recovered approximately 560,000 tonnes of recyclable paper fibre. Mpact will recycle an additional 120,000 tonnes by 2018 off the back of the liquid packaging recycling plant as well as the recently upgraded Felixton paper mill, which is now using 100% recovered paper fibre as raw material. These projects and other initiatives by Mpact Recycling represent the next stage of increasing the paper recycling rate, which will take South Africa’s paper recovery rates to another level. “Other than sustained demand, cost effective collection and the aggregation of recyclables for beneficiation is critical in maintaining high levels of recycling. We believe this is best achieved through public–private partnerships and real interventions on the ground, rather than punitive taxes,” continued Strong. Samantha Choles, Communications Representative from Paper Recycling Association of South Africa, added her voice in support of Mpact’s liquid packaging recycling plant, saying, “Today is a

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celebration of many kinds: it is a celebration of investment, not just in Ekurhuleni’s manufacturing hubs, but in Gauteng and South Africa. We also celebrate the circular economy and the extended producer responsibility in action, technology and manufacturing, as well as efforts by industry to make products more recyclable, to close the loop just a little further so that fewer tonnes of waste go to landfill.” Mpact’s beneficiation of recyclables also extend to the R350 million state-of-the-art recycled PET (rPET) plant (Mpact Polymers), which processes 29,000 tonnes a year of used PET bottles into 21,000 tonnes of rPET for food and beverage packaging products. Consequently, Mpact now also recycles plastic lids on liquid packaging cartons and plastic bottles to make wheelie bins. “The opening of Mpact’s liquid packaging recycling plant advances its position as the pre-eminent paper and carton recycler in Southern Africa,” says Rodney Reynders, Cluster Leader, Environment, Greater Middle East and Africa, Tetra Pak. “This innovative facility amplifies Mpact’s opportunity for environmentally sustainable activities, and increases the collection and recycling of liquid packaging products. The operation will also meet the burgeoning needs of our customers to recycle greater volumes of carton packaging for reuse in new products”. In his concluding remarks, Strong added, “wastage of any kind is not good. We are very clear that zero waste to landfill has to be the goal. This project and many others across the Group dovetail Mpact’s strategic drive to beneficiate recyclable materials in South Africa. This in turn reflects our long term commitment to sustainability and development of sustainable systems in recycling. Therefore, we embrace opportunities that will see us realise this in the country, drive innovation, investment, entrepreneurial development and the growth of SMMEs, as well as secure a sustainable future for all South Africans for generations to come.”

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Waste & Water

Oil and Water – Do not Mix! By: Catherine Pate – on behalf of the Rose Foundation

Used lubricant oil contains harmful compounds and carcinogens and one litre of used oil can contaminate one million litres of water. Because of this, used oil – which is a common by-product of mechanised processes in all industry sectors - is classified as a hazardous waste and is strictly governed by environmental laws and, more specifically, the requirements of the Waste Act.


he ROSE Foundation (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment) have been championing the responsible collection and removal of used oil for proper recycling since 1994 and offer the following advice to used oil generators: 20kg of used lubrication oil per day must be registered on SAWIS Four car oil changes a day, or one truck oil change per day, will require registration as a generator of Hazardous Waste. In short if you get in excess of 20kg of used oil per day, you are required to register on the South African Waste Information System (SAWIS). Once registered, the generators need to submit their figures every 90 days (quarterly) into the SAWIS. The information needs to be based on actual volumes and not estimates.

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The following information needs to be submitted and retained by the waste generator for five years, to be produced for inspection required: (a) the month and year to which the information applies; (b) Category of waste; HW07 Waste Oils 01 Waste oil (c) Source from which waste comes (d) The quantity of waste reported in tons.

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Waste & Water

Hazardous waste generators are required to have a Waste Manifest with every load As used oil is a hazardous waste, generators are required to maintain the below information on a Hazardous Waste Manifest, a document that will track the used oil from cradle to grave and offer a clear snapshot on how it has been managed. • A unique consignment identification number in the form of a bar code; • The generator’s contact details, including the contact person, physical and postal address, phone and fax number and email address; • The physical address of the site where the waste was generated; • An emergency contact number; • The origin/source of the waste (how it was generated); • A description of the waste (waste classification and waste category) • The physical nature / consistency of the waste (liquid, solid, sludge; pump-able, non-pump-able); • The quantity of waste; • Packaging (bulk, small containers, tank); • Transport type (tanker, truck, container); • Special handling instructions; • The date of collection / dispatch; • The intended receiver (waste manager). For more information visit

The proper collection and storage of used oil Used oil finds its way into our water table through disposal in drains and storm water drains and by being poured directly onto the ground as either a dust suppressant or as a means of disposal. To prevent this, drain oil into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a reusable combination drain pan/storage container. Use a specially designed plastic Sumpy or container to collect and store your used oil. Ensure that you store the oil in a container with a secure lid so that it cannot spill out. Empty oil containers and drums make effective makeshift storage vessels for used oil, however, DO NOT use a

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container that previously held chemicals, such as cleaners, solvents, fuels, paint or bleach. Always clearly label the container “Used Motor Oil.” Keep these containers in a place that can be accessed by a ROSE registered used oil collector and keep the surrounding area clear and clean. Ideally store them under cover and away from heat or sources of ignition. Very small volumes of used oil can be dropped off at most vehicle service centres, as they have used oil storage facilities on their premises. Keep oil change pans free of water and ensure your storage containers are tightly sealed and covered to protect them from rain water. Oil that is contaminated with water is far more difficult to recycle – requiring several laborious and costly processes to separate the water from the oil before it can be recycled. Ensure that you do not mix used oil with other fluids such as antifreeze, transmission fluid, petrol, diesel etc. Mixing them may make them non-recyclable as well as very hazardous and flammable. Build a bund wall around your bulk used oil storage tanks so that in the event of a spill or leak, the used oil will be contained. In the event of an oil spill, contact your used oil collector.

The removal of used oil for responsible recycling Used oil generators are urged to gather and store their used oil for responsible collection by a ROSE registered oil collector who will come and remove the oil and take it to be recycled in an environmentally compliant and safe manner. Your collector must always issue you with a safe disposal certificate which is now required by law under the Waste Act. This safe disposal certificate issued by ROSE registered collectors also acts as a Hazardous Waste Manifest, thereby fulfilling the requirements of reporting by law, the same information can be used on SAWIS. For more information and to find out about a registered used oil collector contact the ROSE Foundation on (021) 448 7492 or visit Hazardous Waste: visit: Other/WQM/RequirementsHazardousWasteSep05Part4.pdf

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Mining: Interview

Keeping a check on open cast mines

Melissa Baird spoke to Nico Pienaar – ASPASA’s Director about the role that the organisation plays in monitoring surface level mining.

Nico Pienaar – ASPASA’s Director

MB: Tell me more about the membership base of ASPASA and how this enables you to influence policy? NP: ASPASA as it is commonly known used to be the acronym for Aggregate and Sand Producers. During 2017, it was decided to drop the description and only refer to it as ASPASA. It represents a broad group of surface mines and has different categories of members:

PRODUCER MEMBERS • Quarries • Rock Dumps • Mobile Crushing • Rubble Crushing • Ash & Coal • Borrow Pit • Other

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• Environmental • MPRDA • MHSA • Water Act • Other

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Mining: Interview ASPASA has noticed that many surface operations in the “mining” industry have a need for services broadly categorised as follows:

• Integrating management of environmental aspects into day-today management functions; • Improving communication with all Stakeholders;

Legal Compliance

Government Liaison

Skills Development



Health & Safety


International Liaison

Local Liaison

Publica Relations General

As we cover various levels of services it makes the organisation unique and we have a seat on the Chamber of Mines, which is a high-level body covering National issues, such as creating an enabling policy, legislative, regulatory and operating environment for a successful mining industry and it supplies actual services at an operation level. The Environmental programme “About Face” (based on the ISO 14001: 2015 Management System Framework) has been in operation since 1994. All ASPASA members operations are expected to undergo a fully-fledged audit. This initiative was developed internally with input from various specialists and the industry itself and is, at present, the most advanced industry programme worldwide. A similar programme is also run for Health & Safety and during 2017, Aspasa members had a zero-fatality record in the SA mining industry. Our members consist of big corporates and medium and smaller operations that consist of 39 Producer Members and 24 Associate Members in Aggregate & Sand, Silica, Claybrick, Salt & Dimension stone. So far 115 plants undertook the environmental About Face Audit. MB: How does ASAPA’s environmental policy play a role in shaping the changes in mining behaviour? NP: ASPASA recognises that environmental stewardship of natural resources serves as the foundation for sustainable development in Southern Africa. In the promotion of development that is sustainable and world class environmental performance, ASPASA and its members are committed to:

• Making available, on request, this Policy to all Stakeholders and Interested Parties; • Participation in the ASPASA About Face Environmental Management Programme ASPASA will monitor the environmental performance of Member operations through scheduled About Face Audits and will recognise environmental excellence through the ASPASA Annual Awards program. This Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as and when necessary. MB: The press reports about the lack of legislative boundaries for sand mining in KZN has had negative impacts on the industry. Can you explain why this is the case and what the actual threats are to the environment and people involved? NP: The issue of illegal mining and especially sand mining is a serious problem in SA. The precious metal illegal mining tends to get good coverage in the press and the illegal underground extraction especially when fatalities occur is well documented. In the surface mining industry, it is also rife. Small groups extracting sand, gravel & stone is happening to a big extent. There are even bigger institutions that are guilty of this. Municipalities, local leaders and construction companies don’t always pay attention to the legal side of mining in SA. ASPASA has obtained a legal opinion on illegal mining which sets out the situation clearly. The illegal activities in the surface mining industry is a serious issue to the environment. The legal operations are strictly controlled and must comply with the laws laid down. The illegal operations it seems are having a blind eye turned to them. There are various regulatory departments that should deal with this issue, but it seems there is no will to do so. MB: How do you see ASPASA developing in the next five years and what are your hopes for the organisation? NP: The most important issue ahead is the economy and infrastructure development. With the downturn of the economy and political interference, the infrastructure work at National, Provincial and local levels took a serious tumble. As it is with most situations, there are always those companies that still do well. It can be seen who did some planning and strategic understanding of the changing South Africa. In the last 5 years the country and industry has had a huge focus shift. ASPASA has also had to adapt to this and therefore has increased its services, it supports to the industry and to represent a much wider industry. Issues such as training/development, technical, quality, health & safety, environmental, legal, etc. are all key in planning ahead.

• Optimal utilisation of resources in the production of Member products; • Employing responsible production techniques to minimise environmental impacts and pollution associated with Member product production; • Compliance with applicable environmental legislation and where feasible industry best practice; • Promoting environmental awareness and competence amongst employees and contractors;

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13. Poster Conf conte

Industrial Energy Efficiency Case Study

Fry’s Metals - A Division Of Zimco Group (Pty) Ltd Metals Gauteng

Fry’s Metals - A Division Of Zimco Group (Pty) Ltd) activities revolve around the secondary smelting and refining of lead, antimony and tin alloys as well as the production of lead and lead alloys in ingot form.

Intervention Period 2014 – 2015 Intervention implemented EnMS No. projects undertaken 7 Total investment R 4 288 200 Payback period 1.7 years

Interesting fact: Fry’s Metals has assisted in the development of national regulations on lead and is committed to recycling.


Monetary Savings (ZAR) R 2 687 452 Energy Saved (ZAR) R 501 000 Energy Saved (KWh) 136 743 kWh (Elect) & 6 387 028 kWh (Natural gas) Total 6 523 771 kWh GHG emission reduction (ton CO2) 1 408 tons

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Green Building

Day Zero: By: Tumi Makwela

PHOTO: Boogertman + Partners

The Race to Avert

SAGE VIP's sumptuous roof garden provides fresh vegetables and herbs to the staff restaurant

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is committed to tackling climate change and is one of the 14 Green Building Councils participating in the World GBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme which has as its objective: the promotion and acceleration of net zero buildings to the maximum by 2050. More to the point, “Net Zero Water buildings” refers to a building that “takes full responsibility for generating its potable water needs and treating all discharge waste”.


he role corporates can play in averting Day Zero should not be underestimated. They are able to play an active part in creating sustainable water supplies, thus helping avert water insecurity. Water Insecurity refers to “the lack of capacity to deliver expected socio-economic and environmental outcomes from investment in water resources” (, while Water Sustainability is defined as “the sufficient availability of water into the foreseeable future”. Lest we delude ourselves that the City of Cape Town’s precarious water situation is unique, let’s bear in mind that Durban (Albert Falls Dam recording the lowest level at 19.3%), Beaufort West (totally dependent on underground water), Port Elizabeth (The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality on the verge of being declared a disaster area) and Johannesburg (currently under level 2 restrictions) may swiftly follow suit. Though a scarce resource, and one that is likely to become even more scarce, water is renewable. But the South African water situation has always been precarious. Here is the reality in technical terms: According to the Global Water Balance, “South Africa is situated in a negative run off zone, which means that annual evaporation always exceeds rainfall” and it is common knowledge that the country is semi-arid. What corporate entities can do to manage the shifting and precarious water resource landscape is to partner with organisations such as the National Business Initiative (NBI) and World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which are geared to facilitate and effect business stewardship, defined as ‘the protection and securing of natural capital’. Business stewardship also requires business to localise economic benefits, and actively mitigate climate change.

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It is heartening to note that the National Business Initiative, a Coalition of 100 businesses dedicated, among other things, to sustainable growth has water management and stewardship as one of its focus areas. While there is no disputing their valuable contribution, there is potential for them to play a bigger role in an attempt to contribute to employees’ behavioural change relating to water usage. For a variety of reasons, most South Africans are nonresponsive to government-sponsored behavioural change messages but are more likely to respond to messages that emanate from big business. Besides, most people spend a great part of waking lives at work. As a matter of urgency, corporates in the City of Cape Town can help avert Day Zero by enforcing water usage limits, tightening their water stewardship protocols and encouraging their staff members to change their behaviour relating to water usage. The link between carbon emissions and climate change has long been established. The effects of climate change also drive water insecurity. Despite the fact that access to water is a constitutionally guaranteed social right and included in the National Development Plan: “before 2030, all South Africans will have affordable access to sufficient safe water and hygienic sanitation to live healthy and dignified lives” the access to water is only possible if there is water available. This is where corporates can really take the lead and comply with the legislative and regulatory framework relating to water usage and become water stewards, not just from a compliance perspective but as a matter of ethics and responsibility to their staff and other stakeholders. It is with this change in perspective that they can do more than what the law requires of them.

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