JUNE 2011 ISSUE 11 R29.95
current affairs 2011 SPORT politics finance & business development & education travel & TOURISM
Challenges to Renewable Energy South Africaâ€™s unsung rocket scientist superhero
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JOBURG UDZ ATTRACTS MORE THAN R8 BILLION INVESTMENT IN INNER CITY PROPERTY Does space hold the key to renewable energy?
RENEWABLE ENERGY AFRICA CONFERENCE & EXPO 2011
Project and Business Management Systems getting you down? We interviewed Key360, the newest revolution in project management software, due for release any day. Key360 is an in-house development by SSG Consulting. The system is designed and used by Engineers, Project Managers
Consulting – Developed by exceptional System Architects. Interview with a Software System: Are you Web based?
Of course – aren’t all good systems these days?
Can you deploy quickly for a new user?
How does a 2 Meg download from the internet sound – about 30 secs.
Does it cover all the systems I will need?
120 different units across 15 Knowledge areas – about everything we could think of.
Does it work for MEGA-Projects?
Absolutely, I was built for handling huge amounts of data, with all the fancy grouping, filters, sorting and templates you can imagine.
How about multiple small projects?
With all the units in one simple interface, one user can do several projects.
Do you keep my data safe?
Absolutely, with all the fancy encryption, backups, hardware protection etc.
Do you handle project collaboration?
From workflow, chat, messaging, email integration, action lists and stakeholder management everyone is kept on top of things.
No, I meant data collaboration and integration?
That is the best part of my internals. All the data in the system is centred around a core Project Breakdown Structure. You know, WBS, PBS, CBS. I even link units to each other. For example, if I capture risks, I can reflect them in the costs etc, etc.
Does that mean no time lag for reporting?
Definitely, all data and reports are available in real time anywhere across the globe, instantly.
With all this capability, what about my existing systems, can I keep them?
No problem, I will hook up to any system you have or extract info from any system you have.
Be honest, the system must be a nightmare to use?
Can I tell you secret, don’t tell my creators; I am actually just a very clever set of spreadsheets. That’s how they train people to use me!
Editors note Steven Rosenberg
FOREWORD Leigh Roberts
SOUTH AFRICA NEWS
BY THE NUMBERS
ECO Dispelling renewable energy myths
ECO Challenges to Renewable Energy
The solar gold rush to South Africa
Nuclear energy, re-thinking the grid
Urban planning for a greener future
ECO there is life beyond our rivers!
ECO Can Bio-Fuels meet the challenge
Biodiversity and waste management
A practical, proven path TO green energy
South Africa’s unsung rocket scientist superhero Siyabulela Xuza
Earthquakes Chile, New Zealand, Japan, Spain... Who is next?
ECO South Africa’s master energy plan
WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE Emilie Marchand
Distinguished Gentleman Devapala Chetty
Civil engineering into the future
SITA integrates Limpopo Government’s ICT systems
FINANCE UKTI Climate change meets commerce
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BORAINS BRAINS Foreign Investment in South Africa
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Skills & Training Recycling your staff
EDUCATION Is Schooling 2025 the way forward?
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CAR Some insight into keeping it green
CAR Crossover to hybrid luxury
OTTC The real deal
TECHNOLOGY Does space hold the key to renewable energy?
TECHNOLOGY Sony Xperia X8
TECHNOLOGY Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard
Can technology help to solve the worldâ€™s impending energy crisis?
TOURISM Green tourism
HEALTH Hospitals using renewable energy
HEALTH National Health Insurance
FILM & THEATRE
BOOKS & MUSIC
RESTAURANT REVIEW La Mouette
FASHION Recycle your wardrobe
GLOBAL SOLUTIONS How green is your environment?
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EDITORS NOTE Steve Rosenberg
from newspapers, television or the internet you’ll agree the prognosis is pretty grim. It’s all: environmental disasters here, natural disasters there – real “end of the world” stuff. It’s pretty refreshing, then, to hear about the wins! There are people and companies out there who are really concerned about our planet. But, and here is the key, they are not just talking about it! These pioneers are leading the way, making real changes to the way they operate. They are working We’re not just considering the hard to influence governments, mega-corporations and the human issues, we’re taking a look at population in general to behave in a what is being done about them sustainable manner. In this issue of Beyond we’re not just considering the issues, we’re taking a saying is this: I am tired of “hearing” about look at what is being done about them. We the issues. I’d like to hear more about what is consider how technology has been a driver actually being done about them. in the field of renewable energy, especially Twenty years ago, while I was still in school, when it comes to solar energy. You might I recall being taught that fossil fuels are find the article “Does space hold the key to finite. That we cannot rely on them forever renewable energy?” of particular interest. and that there was a need to find alternative It highlights how companies like Solaren sources of energy. I recall the warnings that and Space Energy Inc are making huge in the years to come, climate change may strides towards collecting and distributing have a devastating effect on human life. solar energy from space. In the article “Can Those years are here! Of that fact there can Biofuels meet the challenge” we consider be no doubt. Whether you get your news o be entirely honest, I am tired of hearing about climate change, renewable energy and environmental responsibility. That’s not to say that I don’t believe that these are vitally important issues! The first papers on climate change were published some 50 years ago. Whether or not there is a direct link between human activity and the state of our plant is a debate best left to the scientists and politicians. What I am
some of the issues surrounding biofuel production. In “Honeywell Biofuels - A practical, proven path to green energy” we look at how corporations are addressing those issues and producing biofuels from waste. Climate change, renewable energy and environmental responsibility might seem too big for us as individuals. After all, what difference can one person make? In “Woman of Substance”, “Distinguished Gentleman” and “South Africa’s unsung Rocket Scientist Superhero” we consider the huge difference a single voice can make. The crux of the matter is this – these issues affect all of us. They are not too big and, if history is anything to go by, we can’t sit back and wait for change. Each and every human living on this planet needs to adopt healthy, sustainable behaviours. Governments and corporations need to develop and adopt ‘100 year’ plans. Yes, there is a huge expense involved in adopting renewable energy and combating climate change now. But the alternative is even less attractive. To quote Gandhi we need to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’.
FOREWORD Leigh Roberts
irst there was wood. Then coal. Then oil. The history of man’s civilization shows a one-track dependence on carbon-based energy. Man’s reliance on fossil fuels needs to end though, as the earth warms under its carbon blanket and pelts humanity with dramatic weather events, rising oceans and other thoroughly unwanted consequences. So what comes next and more importantly what will prompt the global change? Global change is usually prompted by crisis. The global financial crisis (GFC), for instance, sparked a rethink of accepted business practices and added impetus to a new type of corporate reporting called integrated reporting, where corporates link their strategy and financial performance to their social and environmental impacts. The GFC also generated greater government regulation over business, as well as higher national debt. At first light it looked as if Japan’s nuclear disaster would steer the world away from the rising dependence on nuclear energy. The Fukushima radiation leaks immediately intensified the global debate over the pros and cons of nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative to carbon-based energy. Many countries announced a temporary stay on building new power plants, coupled with a relook at the safety mechanisms at their existing power plants. Now, though ‘Fukushima fear’ is waning. Pictures of Japanese folk lining up to be tested for radiation levels by men in white suits and gas masks is becoming a distant memory, and short of another nuclear disaster in the near term, it appears that the
world will remain on its nuclear energy path. Where then could the drivers of change come from? A driver of change may, rather ironically, come from the heart of the oil space: the Middle East. The region’s evolving stress poses an ongoing risk of a supply squeeze with resulting price shocks. It is estimated that the regional tension has added at least 20 dollars to the price of a barrel of oil. Governments around the world will be concerned by the oil price impact on their balance of payments, economic growth, currencies and stock markets. Recurring price hikes could see governments give greater focus (and subsidies) to alternative and renewable energy sources and research. A widespread and binding agreement reached at the United Nation’s COP17 meeting in Durban in December this year could become another driver of change, as governments commit to cutting their national carbon emissions. I hope I am wrong, but I won’t be holding my breath on this one. People power could be a driver of change. As climate change settles in and the impact on food and water security and prices becomes more deeply felt, ‘the people’ could show their wrath. Governments, and maybe large corporations too, could be forced to come up with clean, cheap energy. There is always the possibility of a ‘black swan’ event. This is supposedly a once-ina-lifetime event that comes from a totally unexpected quarter. In the past decade, however, such events have become almost commonplace (sub-prime loans that toppled global banks, ash from Iceland, bankrupt
governments, major earthquakes). It’s not inconceivable to think that a black swan event could steer man’s path to a new energy source. A driver for change could be the very factor that has steered human behaviour for eons. The power of commerce! A simple, quick and cheap way to produce energy is needed. Humans have achieved so much; surely we have the mind power to come up with something? The Deloitte’s report 2011 Oil & Gas Reality Check forecasts that oil and gas will continue to constitute the majority of the world’s energy supply over the next 25 years. But players in the renewable energy space shouldn’t be disheartened. Life changes all the time. In the meanwhile, who will be ready to surge ahead in the renewables race – will it be the sun, the wind, water or plants? Each of the existing renewable energy sources will be spurred on, or held back, by the power and lobbying influence of the global or local company selling it. Each of the renewables will be spurred on, or held back, by the ruling regime’s tariffs and incentives. While government regulation is required it should be unbiased, fair, well considered, and achieve a level playing field. Government MUST encourage innovation and forward thinking. The global change to clean and renewable energy will only be a part of the change in the way humans live. It will be part of a conscious awareness that earth’s resources are finite, actions have consequences, and of the need to re-use, re-cycle and re-new.
Image USA Ramstein Air Base
12 Mile No-Entry Zone The Japanese government has declared a 12 mile no-entry zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the detection of high levels of radiation. Initially 8000 people were evacuated from the area while a 130 000 people have been asked to voluntarily evacuate locations bordering the no-entry zone. “The plant is not stable. We have been asking residents not to enter the area as there is a huge risk to their safety.” The government’s chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, told reporters.
Sleeping on the Job Two air traffic controllers have been fired by the US FAA after they were found sleeping during overnight shifts. This comes in the wake of an incident requiring the flight carrying first lady Michelle Obama and vice-president Joe Biden’s wife to abort its landing. There have been five cases of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job and one case where a controller was caught watching a movie at his post. 16
Liberating Libya The US has put forward a proposal to supply $25 million worth of non-lethal surplus equipment, including medical supplies, radios, protective vests and vehicle to the rebel opposition in Libya. France and Britain have sent military advisors and the French have agreed to intensify air strikes.
Shale Gas vs Renewables Fossil fuel giants including Statoil, Shell and GDF Suez are lobbying governments and business around the world to reject solar and wind power in favour of “green” shale gas. However, experts remain critical. “It would be ridiculous to encourage shale gas when in reality its greenhouse gas footprint could be as bad as or worse than coal. We need to reject this source of gas, and have a clear plan to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and harness the full potential of renewable technologies.” commented Jenny Banks, climate and energy policy officer at WWF-UK.
The Blame Game BP has filed a law suit against Transocean, the owners of the Deepwater Horizon rig, suing for damages of at least $40 billion. They are also suing Cameron International who provided the blowout preventer. “The Deepwater Horizon was a world-class drilling rig manned by a top-flight crew that was put in jeopardy by BP... through a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk, in some cases severely,” stated Transocean.
TBWA\CORPORATE - © Andrea Chu/GettyImages
Education makes a difference in South Africa. This philosophy drives ArcelorMittal’s R250 million flagship project to build ten schools in South Africa. And because it’s today’s children who need it most, the Meetse-a-Bophelo Primary School in Mamelodi has been completed in a record-breaking twelve months.
transformingtomorrow transformingtomorrow Go to www.arcelormittal.com/southafrica to find out more.
SOUTH AFRICA NEWS
GugulethU Wine Festival WACs has landed The new undersea Western African Cable System stretches 14500km along the coast of Africa to London. Stephen Song, ICT expert and founder of Village Telco, the arrival of the new cable system will have a positive impact on broadband pricing and stability in the market.
Are South African’s getting dumber? The results of the Annual National Assessments, written by more than six million pupils point to the disastrous state of education in the country. The current average for numeracy and literacy for Grades 3 to 6 lies between 27% and 38%. But it’s not just the pupils who need better education, numeracy and literacy skills of teachers need to be improved as well. It’s no wonder then that a new education system (aka Schooling 2025) is soon to be ushered in. 18
IPL atwitter The IPL recently sent cheerleader Gabriel Pasquallotto home after they discovered her blog “Secret Diary of an IPL Cheerleader”. Interestingly Pasquallotto didn’t make any untrue allegations or name any names in connection with misconduct. Further it would seem that the IPL was acting at the behest of cricketers with guilty consciences. Gabriel explains “There is so much I could say about the cricketers or could reveal in another blog, but I haven’t done that. I have not accepted any money for my blog or for any interviews and I am not taking any legal action.”
Nederburg is the leading wine sponsor of the debut Gugulethu Wine Festival, hosted by local entrepreneurs Mzoli Ngcawuzele and Lungile Mbalo from Mzoli’s Place, taking place on the last weekend in May. Zimbabwean Winemaker Tariro Masayiti will be sharing his love and passion for wine as he presents the Nederburg Food & Wine Theatre experience.
IBSA Fund India, Brazil and South Africa joined forces in 2004 to setup a development fund with a difference. Support from the IBSA Fund for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation does not come in the form of a loan which needs to be repaid, nor are strict conditions imposed. Fernando Sena from the Brazilian embassy in South Africa explains: “The idea is to support viable and replicable projects... The projects should be needs-driven, as well as locally owned and managed. When we are talking about co-operating in another country, we are not trying to impose our views. It is a conversation. We are not trying to tell them what to do. We are not arrogant.”
BY THE NUMBERS 650
39% 4000 20
rand the amount for the annual wage subsidy was announced in the Budget
shelters have been made available to victims of the deadly tornadoes in Alabama
the amount in US Dollars NASA will have spent over the last 30 years on its 135 space shuttle missions
people joined the Facebook page called ‘Osama Bin Laden Is Dead’ in less than 12 hours after his death was announced
the number of individually iced flowers and leaves decorated on Kate’s royal wedding cake
the amount in British Pounds the Royal Wedding is suspected to have cost of which the Royal family contributed seven million while the rest was paid by tax payers
guests attended the reception at Buckingham Palace following the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in London
the number of years America took to catch their most wanted man Osama bin Laden
the age of girls the ANCYL has proposed that the government give contraception to to stop teenage pregnancies
The last year that Chrysler posted a profit! That all changed when the company announced a profit this year of Apple’s revenue is from its bestselling product the iPhone in the last fiscal year
missing in the latest boat tragedy on the Congo river last month
the amount in rands that the Lotto has given to sponsor the Johannesburg concert of soul band Earth, Wind & Fire people including 10 tourists were killed in a terrorist blast in Morocco
users’ credit card numbers were likely obtained by hackers who hacked Sony’s user database
tweets per second about the death of Osama bin Laden’s death making it the third highest in Twitter’s history, on par with the 4064 of this year’s Super Bowl, but still far short of the 6939 set when Japan brought in the 2011 new year
Dispelling renewable energy myths Writer Rishqah Roberts
enewable Energy! Do any of us know what to believe or not? The subject seems clouded in mystique and controversy. We’re going to take a look at some of the myth surrounding renewable energy in an effort to get a clearer picture.
Job creation There have been some incredible claims with regards to hundreds of thousands of jobs being created in the renewable energy industry. While renewable energy will be beneficial to the economy and provide new jobs we might stop to ask: “What about all the existing jobs being occupied within the current commercial energy industry?” Well, worldwide policymakers are of the opinion that, adapting sound environmental policies, such as renewable energy, will promote, rather than hinder both economic growth as well as job creation. The Geneva-based International Labour Organization (ILO), has a plan for a new “Green Jobs Initiative”. Juan Somavia, Head of ILO states that investments in energy efficiency, clean energy technology and renewable energy has huge potential to create productive as well as decent employment. Solar energy is too expensive As noted by the Wall Street Journal, even with the declining costs of solar energy it still 22
costs nearly twice as much as the traditional coal or natural gas sources. According to the Journal, solar energy can cost between fifteen to twenty cents or more to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity. Of course this depends on the location of the system and the level of incentives offered. Whereas electricity manufactured by coal, or natural gas only costs between two and ten cents pre kilowatt-hour, depending on the fuel and how old the power plant is. However, it is highly likely that coal plants will be hit with carbon taxes in the near future which will make solar energy more attractive. It’s also a question of adoption and resource sharing. If enough solar infrastructure is put in place, naturally the maintenance and production costs will drop even further. Solar can’t provide enough power In theory the ultimate energy source is the sun; it heats our planet and dictates our weather. Thus, it seems only fitting that it provide us with power too. This is unfortunately not that simple. Sunlight hours are not constant and solar energy can only be collected during the day. Further solar collection will be most effective in areas that receive near-constant sunlight with minimal cloud cover, or varying weather conditions. At this point, and without efficient energy storage methods, solar power cannot be the
relied upon as our primary source of power. Other energy sources like wind, tidal and geothermal will have to serve as a supplement to accommodate all the energy demands at peak times. In theory solar energy can provide more than enough power, it’s more a question of collection and storage. Nuclear power is cheaper than other low-carbon energy sources A clear example of the great expense and unpredictable costs involved with nuclear plants is the island of Olkiluoto, western Finland. Electricity production was scheduled to begin in 2008, however, the power station will not start generating until 2012. The impact of this on the cost of the project has been striking. When the contracts were signed, the plant was thought to cost three billion Euros. Now costs are predicted to be more than double. A new plant in Normandy also appears to be experiencing similar setbacks. US based power companies are declining nuclear projects, due to fears of such unmanageable costs not to mention safety issues and the unpredictability of natural disasters. Wind energy is noisy, expensive and kills birds The thought of wind energy seems all advantageous, but there are also some real disadvantages. Noise pollution, high production costs, real estate requirements and bird killings are among those most widely debated. The noise caused by wind turbines is of such a concern that it makes the placing of them particularly challenging. They can not be located near residential or commercial areas. True, the wind is free, but the creation costs of wind energy are high. When it comes to wind turbines killing birds the subject becomes a little less clear. Most studies citing bid mortality as a negative factor were done prior to 2000. Wind generation has come a long way since then. In the United States bird mortality is estimated at less than 3 birds per turbine. The fact is that more birds are killed by cars or by flying into windows than are killed by wind turbines.
Challenges to Renewable Energy Writer Natasha Braaf
enewable energy is more than just a buzz phrase being bandied around the world! The hope is that Renewable Energy will be the answer to the energy crisis and help sustain our planet and its resources for our children and for our children’s children. Wikepedia defines Renewable Energy as: “..energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished)”. With our recent admission to the esteemed BRIC countries (making it BRICS),
driven by alternative energy forms”. Let’s have a look at some of those challenges. Scalability and timing For the promise of an alternative energy source to be achieved it must be supplied in the time frame needed and at a reasonable cost. This relies on the engineering and construction of equipment and manufacturing processes for its production. As a result output grows in a gradual manner. This difference between “production” of alternative energy and extraction of fossil fuels can result in marked constraints on the ability to produce the required alternative energy sources. Commercialisation Closely related to the issue of scalability and timing is the issue of commercialisation, or the question of how far away a proposed alternative energy source stands from being fully commercialised. The average time frame between laboratory demonstrations of feasibility and full, large scale commercialisation is twenty to twenty five years. The reality, by that reckoning, is that the technologies found feasible today will only have an impact in the 2030’s. Substitutability Ideally, an alternative energy form would integrate directly into the current energy system as a drop-in substitute without requiring further infrastructure changes. In reality, this is not the case as (for example) the development of wind and solar power electricity requires additional infrastructure; wind and solar electricity must be generated where the best resources exist, often far from populated areas. While alternative energy forms may provide the same energy services as more traditional forms, they rarely substitute directly and these additional material costs need to be considered. Pres. Zuma, along with his counterparts announced their support to the development and use of renewable energy as a means to address climate change. The road towards achieving the goals and aspirations as set out in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010-2030), is not without its challenges. David Fridley of the Post Carbon Reader comments “Nature provided energy over millions of years to convert biomass into energy-dense solids, liquids and gases – requiring only extraction and transportation technology... Alternative energy faces the challenge of how to supplant a fossil-fuel-based supply chain with one
Material input requirements Unlike what is generally assumed, the input to an alternative energy source is not money per se: It is resources, be it time spent in research and development or energy. The type and volume of the resources needed may in turn limit the scalability and affect the cost and feasibility of an alternative energy source.
stored in the form of coal, gas and oil – this continuous supply of energy was possible. On the other hand, solar power will only be available when the sun shines, while wind power will be available only when the wind blows. Need I say more? Energy density This refers to the amount of energy that is contained in a unit of energy. Most alternative energies are characterised by low energy densities. The deployment of these renewable energies will result in higher levels of resource consumption. Water Water ranks with energy as a potential source of conflict among people and nations. The problem is that a number of alternative energy sources, especially the biomass-based energy are largely dependent on a reliable water supply. Catch 22? Clean and Green Renewable energy definitely offers the opportunity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions but unfortunately solar and wind energy generation require huge amounts of land to deliver relatively small amounts of energy compared to fossil fuels. In short, shifting to renewable energy will result in a significant “energy sprawl” that will pose challenges for the conservation of biodiversity. Energy Security China controls between 95 and 100 percent of the elements (known as lanthanides) that are key in the production of high-capacity batteries, hybrid-electric vehicles and wind turbines. Shifting to renewable energy may put all our “energy dependence eggs” in one basket moving from multiple oil exporting nations to China. Who knows how quickly and what breakthroughs may occur in the next twenty years. I am confident that these bumps in the road will be overcome, it’s just a matter of how soon.
Intermittency In modern societies when we flip a switch, we expect light, our favourite movie or a steaming cup of coffee. Because of our exploitation of fossil fuels - the result of millions of years worth of the sun’s energy 25
The solar gold rush to South Africa Writer Dominic Goncalves, Frost & Sullivan
outh Africa will soon be experiencing a solar gold rush. In the IRP, South Africaâ€™s 20 year master energy plan, a scope of 9.4GW of solar has been allocated for development. Furthermore, demand-side management initiatives are currently being developed to make solar water heaters compulsory on new buildings. To explore the ramifications of these developments for South Africa, we first have to distinguish three different areas of solar technology: solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), and solar
water heating (SWH). PV uses the photovoltaic effect whereby photons of light catalyze electrons into a higher state of energy to create electricity. Together, these solar cells form modules, or panels, and these modules may be arrayed to form solar PV parks for large scale generation. CSP uses highly reflective mirrors to focus sunlight onto a receiver tube, where the heat is then transferred to generate electricity via a steam turbine. These are used for large scale generation, either by using rows of parabolic curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto
receiver tubes, or by way of a centralized tower, where a field of mirrors focuses the sunlight onto a central receiver. SWH uses the sun to heat water naturally for hot water usage, bypassing the need for a conventional geyser and hence reduce electricity demand rather than actually generating electricity. What does this mean for South Africa? PV In South Africa, PV has been used for decades in off-grid applications. PV has its niche off-grid uses in telecommunications, game farms and isolated lodges, rural applications, navigational buoys, and other such applications where grid-connected electricity is hard to come by. More recently, companies have been using PV as a marketing tool to showcase their clean energy trends, and several municipalities have been experimenting with using PV for road signage, street lights and billboard illumination. The off-grid market for PV however, is limited, and has been growing at a natural, organic rate for years, both globally and in South Africa. The other side of PV entails large-scale gridconnected PV parks or farms. Globally, the price of PV has been decreasing rapidly, which is caused by an oversupply of silicon and market saturation as multinational companies produce more efficient PV cells at economies of scale. Over 20GW (or about half of South Africa’s installed capacity) of large scale PV parks have been installed globally. Primary markets to date have been Spain, Germany, and the US. Spain has recently imposed a cap on PV, due to an over-generous feed-in tariff that resulted in four times in excess of their 2010 target. Key growth markets currently have shifted from Spain and Germany to Italy, India, China, the US, and South Africa. With 8,400MW of solar PV allocated into South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan, South Africa is poised to become a key global market for large-scale PV generation. Currently, the largest PV park is located in Canada; the Sarnia Photovoltaic facility produces 97MW. CSP Concentrated solar power technology was first launched in the deserts of Nevada in the mid-1980s, yet stagnated until 2007. Since then, the market has ignited. Spain and the US have been the largest markets to date. Currently, two technology types have
been commercially viable. Parabolic trough technology uses parabolic curved reflectors to focus sunlight on receiver tubes, in what is arrayed in rows, as a solar collector assembly. Central receiver towers on the other hand, use mirrors called heliostats to focus sunlight onto a central tower. To date, over 90% of CSP has been installed with parabolic trough technology. Project size ranges from 1-100MW, although internationally some PPA’s have recently been signed for larger projects. CSP currently has been allocated 1,000MW in South Africa’s IRP, although the first installation is planned to commence in 2016, as the market waits for decreasing costs.
Whichever way you look at it, solar is coming to South Africa on a large scale, and will be here to stay. SWH Solar water heaters have gained much attention in South Africa since the rolling blackouts of 2007. The rebate program, that garnered interest for the initial awakening of the industry, has since been reduced, paving the way for compulsory new building code regulations. This is in line with global trends, and is necessary to grow the market to levels needed to meet the target set by DoE, for one million units to be installed by 2014. SWH collector technology can be classified as flat plates or evacuated tubes. The high initial growth phase of the SWH market in 2007-2010 caused significant quality issues and discrepancies over the appropriate technology for South Africa’s climate. Specifically, installation and applicability issues have proven to be a problem in the South African market, although these teething problems will be ironed out over time as local companies are maturing and gaining more practical experience. When new building codes are implemented, every new residential, commercial and industrial property, with few exceptions, will be mandated to have either a solar water heater or a heat pump to be installed to account for more than half of their hot water usage. Solar Outlook for South Africa The new Policy Adjusted IRP, released in March, 2011, grants solar technology a favorable allocation for the nation’s 20 year master energy plan. PV has been granted 8,400MW, and CSP 1,000MW. PV was
favored for several reasons. Firstly, PV is modular and quick to install. Capital costs are less than CSP, but what is noted is that PV’s costs are forecasted to decrease significantly. The IRP also accounted for learning rates with PV. As a result, PV is projected to roll out from 2012, while CSP is on the backburner until 2016, due to then longer lead times of these projects. Whichever way you look at it, solar is coming to South Africa on a large scale, and will be here to stay. 9,400MW of solar, and regulations that require solar water heating for most new buildings, is not a small market. International players, particularly for PV as well as CSP, are setting up shop in South Africa, and component manufacturing, as well as the build contracts, will lead to significant job creation for South Africans. A solar park at Upington, should the development go ahead as planned, would enable South Africa to become a global component manufacturing hub for solar components and R&D for technology. Once the legislative policy around IPP’s and the Independent Systems and Market Operator is finalised, the implementation of these solar facilities will be possible, and the solar gold rush, which has burnt through Spain and Germany as well as the deserts of California and Nevada, will head to South Africa.
A new component to the energy industry is the smart grid
Nuclear energy, re-thinking the grid Writer Ryan Jared Ali
he recent disaster in Japan highlighted the weakness inherent in the Nuclear power solution. The risks posed by natural disasters to nuclear energy power plants are serious and can cause further disastrous effects. Does this indicate that we need to abolish the use of nuclear energy? The answer to that is both yes and no. Updated approaches to risk analysis need to take into account the increasing occurrences of natural disasters. With industrialized nations, such as Japan, which are also densely populated the fallout radii is often encroached by residential, commercial and other industrial activities. However, a proven technology like nuclear energy should not just be shelved forever. Within the South African and largely the African continent’s context we are not as exposed geographically by fault lines and other extreme natural phenomena. The risk is exponentially less than that of Japan and
other countries which are more exposed to natural disasters. A new component to the energy industry is the ‘Smart grid.’ Whereas in the past transmission and distribution were passive systems, they have now evolved into intelligent systems which record, compute and react. This is essential to ensure that generated energy is utilized in an effective manner. Imagine this scenario: You wake up in the morning, take a hot shower, make breakfast. Your electricity usage spikes. Then you leave for work. Your energy usage follows you to work where you use printers, computers and coffee machines. At the end of the day your usage returns home with you. Now multiply that by millions, billions even. All of this creates fluctuations in energy requirements. Not only in demand but also geographic location. Two points come out of that scenario which point to the need for the ‘smart grid’: Firstly, traditional power plants generate energy at a constant rate, mostly without
fluctuations. What happens to the excess energy? This is often used in load balancing schemes. An excellent example is the Steenbras Hydro Electric Dam. Excess energy is used to pump water back into the dam. This creates the potential to generate more energy during periods of high load usage. Unfortunately this only provides a limited solution. Without a smart grid not all energy in the system can be reallocated and effectively utilized. The result is wasted energy. Secondly, bringing renewable energy into the equation doesn’t solve the problem. Most renewable energy sources do not generate energy at a constant rate. Solar and wind energy can be affected by climatic changes e.g. some days are cloudy or there may not be enough wind on a given day. In order to increase efficiency and tie all these technologies together an adaptable grid is a necessity now more so than ever before. While alternative energy is being sought we need to utilise our current resources in a much more effective and efficient way. Further to the ‘smart grid’ increasing usage efficiency it is also set to decrease maintenance costs on transmission and distribution networks. Losses in the network will easily be detected and preventative maintenance will be able to be conducted in a more orderly manner. Sudden spikes in efficiency degradation will be detected and attended to. Adapting the generation of power and increasing delivery efficiency is already underway. Now it’s a question of how quickly “re-thinking” can be turned into action.
OBURG IS IN THE MIDST OF A NEW GOLD RUSH. But today’s scramble for investment in Africa’s world class capital city is not driven by the promise of gold. Instead, a boom in property development is attracting smart investors. Led by an innovative tax incentive that has seen billions of rands invested in the inner city, the city is set to experience a massive spurt of growth and wealth. Now the City of Johannnesburg has announced exciting new development and investment opportunities. Speaking at the Inner City Economic Development Implementation Plan (ICEDIP) workshop in March 2010, Councilor Oupa Monareng, Johannesburg’s new Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Economic Development acknowledged investors for demonstrating their confidence in the inner city and called on investors to participate in further transformative investment opportunities offered by the City. “We intend to leverage on the highly successful Joburg Urban Development Zone (UDZ) tax incentive to anchor innovative emerging economic development initiatives in order to attain a structural transformation of the Inner City’s economic and physical landscape.” The Inner City has the state-of-the art infrastructure and is already the site of massive investment. The Urban Development Zone Tax incentive has attracted over R8 billion worth of cumulative investment in property development, states Lebo Ramoreboli, Deputy Director for Inner City Regeneration at Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development states. “As a result, the Inner City is being physically transformed before everybody’s eyes, with major developments led by
the banks and the mining houses, new high-rise office buildings, new hotels and hotel apartments, conversion of offices in Braamfontein into students’ lifestyle precincts, sectional title modern apartments throughout the Inner City. BEE and young investors have also taken advantage of the opportunities and invested in sectional title units and are reaping benefits from their investments. All these investors are major beneficiaries of the UDZ tax incentive that enable them to claim up to 100% of their investments over time,” says Ms. Ramoreboli. Future investment opportunities announced by the City include a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Precinct. Speaking at the same (ICEDIP) function, Mr. Jason Ngobeni, the Executive Director for Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development invited investors to take advantage of “a beckoning and exciting investment opportunity that comes in the form of an establishment of a fully serviced Business Process Outsourcing Precinct boasting a 3,000-seater business park on 3 hectare or real estate with readily available build office space and state-of-the-art facilities with Intelligent Building Management Systems at a strategic location in the Inner City.” The City also unveiled an ambitious plan to build a deck over the railway line that runs through the centre of Joburg from Fordsburg to Doornfontein. “The economic future of the Inner City of Joburg has never been brighter. With the emerging initiative of the decking of the railway from Fordsburg to Doornfontein, the City will harness the energies of investors to create a new region of high value land for development, incorporating the new Gautrain station at Park Station,” says Mr. Ngobeni.
For more information, or to stake your claim in the new gold rush in the heart of the City of Gold contact: Lebo Ramoreboli, Deputy Director Inner City Economic Regeneration. Tel: 011 358 3437 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Urban planning for a greener future Writer Ryan Jared Ali
green future involves more than the electric car, more than an energy saving light bulb. A future with a sustainable environment, where humans and nature are living symbiotically, requires a complete shift in the way we live. Looking at the UN World Urbanization Prospects Report the following statistics and projections for increasing populations of urban areas were made: 1900 13% (220 million), 1950 29% (732 million), 2000 49% (3.2 billion). The report projected the increase in 2030 is likely to be nearly 60% (4.9 billion). Looking at these figures we can see that a larger and larger portion of the human populus will be living in urban centres. If we are to work towards a sustainable environment this is one of the first places we must start to affect a change. Urban planning is becoming more than just looking at land use, transport, social and economic environments. Now we have to address all of this considering the impact it has on the environment. What we have learnt is that none of these points are mutually exclusive. We now know and are tracing the
impact that each has on the environment, directly and indirectly. We have examples of how this can be achieved by simple means; one major international drive has been the push toward the use of the bicycle in city centres. The solution is not as simple as dumping government funded bicycles into a city. The solution involves changing cultural behaviour. People within cities are now more aware of their own carbon footprint. A packaged solution for city dwellers, one that provides a safe and convenient alternative to the utilization of vehicles, is required. Jens Martin Skibsted, who recently spoke at the Design Indaba 2011 Conference, believes that he has started providing one aspect of the solution. Changing the behaviour of people is the real challenge and Jens recognises that. “I hope that a point will come where people choose bikes over cars because they are more attracted to the bikes out there and not because of some ideology imposed on them. But because they love it.” He comments. Reaching this point will take more than a few years. A lifestyle transformation is currently underway where the popularisation of the
bicycle is taking place. The motor vehicle grew in popularity and we have grown not only to use, but become emotionally attached to these machines. Pop culture, film, television and advertising have contributed by assigning character to these machines. The height of auto-passion can be seen in the custom car culture of the late 60’s. That passion resurged in the 90’s. Simply put green cities need green mobility. The bicycle on its own will not change the whole world but it could be a part of the solution, especially within the South African context where we are not exposed to extreme climatic conditions. In order to design greener cities there will need to be a host of options including the likes of electric public transit busses, effective mass transit systems and legislative change to encourage cleaner transport. A green future is no longer a luxury! It is a requirement for humans to be able to continue to inhabit the earth. We can’t just leave it to the governments, we need to look at partnering with the brightest minds worldwide. Only then will solutions be found.
There is life beyond our rivers! Writer Robin Hayes, SSI Ingula Project
The Southern and Eastern Cape coastal belts are currently severely affected with the worst drought in 150 years.
owns and cities generally rely on surface water capture or abstraction from reliable river resources, both of which could become severely stressed during drought conditions. Towns in this region - which rely heavily on tourism - face an additional dilemma in that their relatively small population swells dramatically during holiday seasons, placing increased demand on scarce water supply resources. Conventional storage, treatment and conveyancing structures may meet peak demand for relatively short periods of time but, when coupled with severe drought conditions, water shortages and rationing occur – with a devastating effect on all aspects of the region’s economy. Increasing the capacity of conventional storage structures requires long-term planning and financing models that are often beyond the means of the average holiday town – bearing in mind that such infrastructure could take years to build when immediate relief is required. Whilst acknowledging that increased surface water capture will eventually have to be provided to meet long-term development, SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants have developed an innovative, demandbased solution to solve the water supply crisis to these areas which is both economical and takes weeks, rather than years, to implement.
This intervention provides respite during which time larger and more conventional schemes can be planned and financed. The essence of SSI’s innovative approach is to make better use of what is available and to supplement traditional, inexpensive supply sources with more expensive water on a sliding scale and as demand dictates. This provides the option for the facility to, when demand drops, discontinue the more expensive alternative. SSI’s approach has been accepted and implemented by several of the worst affected towns in the region, i.e. by utilising a combination of surface water, ground water, desalination and indirect water reuse strategies. NELSON MANDELA BAY MUNICIPALITY (NMBM) 60Mℓ/day MBR Industrial Reuse The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is a major growth point in South Africa, in particular at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ). The growth of industries and subsequent population growth within the municipality has created an increased demand for treated water. NMBM is also currently affected by severe drought conditions which places tremendous stress on existing surface water resources. NMBM and SSI are currently in the process of upgrading the existing Fishwater Flats
Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) to a 170Mℓ/day treatment capacity. Planning and design are underway to provide advanced treatment in the form of membrane bioreactors and reverse osmosis plants to supplement the existing water resources and provide the Coega IDZ and NMBM with sustainable industrial and potable water through indirect effluent reuse. It is proposed that the first phase of the water reuse scheme will produce 60Mℓ/day of industrial and/or indirect potable reuse water with a second phase of similar magnitude to follow. SEDGEFIELD 1.5Mℓ/day Desalination Plant The town of Sedgefield has been particularly hard hit and actually ran out of water, causing authorities to truck in supplies from nearby George. The town relies on supplies from the Karatara and Hoogekraal Rivers, supplemented by boreholes. SSI’s engineers optimised these resources and supplemented the supply with a 1.5Mℓ/day desalination plant. SSI proposed the use of indirect effluent reuse from the Sedgefield WWTW by advanced treatment and disinfection of final effluent. KNYSNA 2Mℓ/day Desalination Plant A new 2Mℓ/day desalination plant for Knysna provides, together with the boreholes, a base
flow of potable water to sustain the town in drought conditions. The desalination plant has been constructed next to the waste water treatment plant. A borehole field, situated next to the lagoon, provides saline feed water for the plant. The return brine effluent is mixed with the final effluent of the waste water treatment plant, having a raised salinity level which has a positive impact on the lagoon. GEORGE 10Mℓ/day Indirect Water Reuse As the largest town on the Garden Route, George also faces water shortages and has decided on an indirect water reuse strategy where final effluent from its Outeniqua WWTW is treated to a very high quality through ultra-filtration and disinfection prior to being returned to the main storage facility, the Garden Route Dam, where it is combined with current raw water supplies. This initiative supplements the existing supply by an additional 10Mℓ/day which contributes approximately one third towards the current drinking water demand. MOSSEL BAY 15Mℓ/day Industrial Reuse SSI’s Mossel Bay initiative swops potable, treated water used in PetroSA’s Mossgas refinery for a supply of treated final effluent in the industrial process, thus saving valuable
drinking quality water for residential demand. Planned to eventually supply Mossgas with 15Mℓ/day, the first phase of 5Mℓ/day draws final effluent from the Mossel Bay Regional WWTW through an advanced ultra filtration and reverse osmosis treatment process. This treated final effluent is then pumped to the refinery’s raw water storage dam for use in the refining process. MOSSEL BAY 15Mℓ/day Desalination Plant To prevent possible water supply failure for both PetroSA and Mossel Bay, a new 15Mℓ/ day seawater desalination plant is nearing completion at the PetroSA fuel storage tanks in Mossel Bay. BITOU (PLETTENBERG BAY) 2Mℓ/day Desalination Plant Bitou has recently commissioned a 2Mℓ/day desalination plant which has just produced its first potable water. The desalination plant will augment the current ground water and surface water schemes. Sea water is abstracted from seven boreholes at a depth of 12m each, sunk close to the landmark Beacon Island hotel. The new portfolio of water services will reduce the risk of supply failure.
INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING Innovative engineering solutions rarely happen by accident. SSI and its Netherlandsbased parent company, the DHV Group, have a combined worldwide experience of more than 180 years in all aspects of water and effluent treatment and engineering. SSI has been innovative in the water sector in southern Africa since 1922. In addition to proven universal treatment methodologies, the DHV Group has developed significant process technologies, including Carrousel, Oxyrator-Star, Nautilus Membrane BioReactor and the ground-breaking Nereda® wastewater treatment process. The latter process has won international and local acclaim and the world’s first Nereda® demonstration production plant was commissioned recently by SSI in Gansbaai in the Western Cape for the Overstrand Municipality – where it has exceeded expectations in terms of final effluent quality. SSI is the leading South African consultant in the fields of design and implementation of water reuse and desalination schemes for the supply of world-class potable and industrial water. SSI’s experienced teams provide clients with optimum emergency and longterm solutions to diversify and supplement their water resource portfolio to provide communities and businesses with sustainable and reliable sources of water for the future.
Can Bio-Fuels meet the challenge Writer Kendal Brown Fuel for thought OK so everybody knows that our motor cars are the largest consumers of our fast diminishing oil supply and of course our greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. 400,000,000 tons of carbon enters our atmosphere each year. Quite impressive don’t you think? Or perhaps devastating would be a more appropriate word! Despite countless experiments with solar-powered and electric cars it’s unlikely they’ll be replacing our gas guzzlers any time in the near future. Hydrogen is oft touted as a perfect replacement fuel but at present it’s only a distant possibility as technology is actually still struggling to make the idea a reality. Solar powered cars are still in the forefront but nothing earth shattering has been achieved really for decades. The possibility is there but until the sun can be tapped consistently or storage mechanisms can operate as efficiently as our modern age demands, it is still not a viable solution. So
where to now? Hey man it’s a gas In Finland a farmer drives a car “fuelled by biogas, which is produced from wastes that are cleaned and pressurized in a biogas reactor located on the car owner’s farm.” Biogas has a number of pluses as it is the cleanestburning vehicle fuel in use at present and can be produced when recycling garbage. It also produces valuable agricultural fertilizer as a by-product. Ethanol can be distilled from sugar cane or corn crops. Way back in 1987 ethanol was already powering over 90 per cent of the new cars sold in Brazil. That figure has fallen back to the 60% mark in recent times. It’s cleaner than petrol and of course comes from a replenishable source. BUT and it’s a big BUT, here lies the rub: The USA for instance would have to devote about 40%of its annual corn harvest to make enough ethanol to supply less than 10% of its car fuel 39
Another obstacle when it comes to alternative fuels is how easy it will be to find a service station that supplies your kind of alternative
requirements. Do you see a problem there? Then here’s another. It’s been estimated that it needs more energy to make ethanol than the ethanol itself provides! To produce 50 litres of biofuel for a passenger car requires 200 kilograms [440 pounds] of corn—“enough to feed one person for a whole year!”—GAZETA WYBORCZA, POLAND Some time ago Dutch politicians and environmentalists decided that running generators on biofuel, notably palm oil would be the answer to sustainable energy. Note what The New York Times reported later. “Rising demand for palm oil in Europe brought about the clearing of huge tracts of South East Asian rainforest and the overuse of chemical fertilizer there.” Plantations were created by draining and burning peat land, sending “huge amounts” of carbon gases into the atmosphere. As a result, says the Times, Indonesia fast became “the world’s thirdleading producer of carbon emissions that scientists believe are responsible for global warming.” And so to methanol, an alcohol obtained from natural gas or coal. Less expensive and known to give your car’s performance a boost it does unfortunately emit formaldehyde, suspected to cause cancer! So often it seems one problem is just replaced one by another. What about natural gas? Mostly composed of methane, it’s a clean burner giving off a fraction of the carbon of petrol and no sooty, particle carrying smoke - like diesel. As a result engines require less maintenance. Another advantage is that natural gas is available in abundant supply and is relatively inexpensive. Disadvantages? Conversion is expensive and refuelling is frequently required. And there we saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Another obstacle when it comes to alternative fuels is how easy it will be to find a service station that supplies your kind of alternative. Secondly will service stations stock such fuels unless they are sure there is going to be a market for them? Classic chicken and egg situation. Other alternatives Swedish customs officers used to pour alcohol confiscated from smugglers “down the drain.” Now such contraband is “helping fuel the country’s public transport system,” says an Associated Press report from Stockholm. Nearly all the 185,000 gallons [700,000 L] of liquor seized in 2006 was converted into biogas, an alternative fuel, and “used to power buses, trucks and a biogas train.” This fuel is “good business,” explains the report, “because the material
to make it is free.” It is also good because using it helps reduce Sweden’s greenhouse emissions. I’d love to know how much we could obtain this way locally. Way back in 1989 an American senator said that getting cars to average 15km/L would save 660,000 barrels of oil a day by the year 2000. Over 30 years (the expected life of an oil field) it would save more than all the oil likely to be found in Alaska, some 7.8 thousand million barrels. We all know 15km/L is easily obtainable. What we might not know is that certain European manufacturers were decades ago able to manufactures engines and cars with stronger, light weight, more aerodynamic bodies that could get 30, 31, 36 and up to 52km/L. But they don’t manufacture them. They are waiting for oil prices to rise before introducing them as “crisis cars”. And they’ve been waiting for the last quarter of a century. Why? I hear you whisper incredulously. “World Watch magazine notes that most U.S. auto manufacturers don’t even have “crisis cars” waiting in the wings and are not investing in new fuel-saving technologies. Why? World Watch answers: “The consensus seems to be that part of the problem is a preoccupation with quarterly profits and stock prices at the expense of new product development.” Making money now, in other words, matters more than averting a crisis later. What really is the alternative? All of the above mentioned involve a trade-off. Are we prepared to make the sacrifices needed to save our children or our children’s children from this looming catastrophe? Looking at the bigger picture i.e. “what is being done to seriously try and resolve the situation” one can only come to the conclusion that the answer is “Profit is everything, who cares about the next generation.” More than alternative fuel we need an alternative state of heart and mind. One that will put into place the many practical answers that already exist but are not all that convenient or profitable. The ones that require selfsacrifice on everyone’s part. Do you see that happening? Ah, well, there’s always Shank’s pony.
Biodiversity and waste management Writer Lee-Anne Richards As South Africans we can boast the fact that our country is rich in biodiversity. We are rated as the third most biologically diverse country in the world. The three globally recognized biodiversity hotspots that we have are: the Cape floristic, the Succulent Karoo and the Maputaland-Pondoland regions. In addition, South Africa’s seas straddle three oceans, and provide a range of habitats from cool water kelp forests, to tropical reefs and deep ocean abysses. Unfortunately, due to various pressures, many eco-systems are in trouble: 34% of terrestrial systems, 82% of river signatures, 65% of marine bio zones and 8 estuarine types are threatened.* Mining has been identified as one of the major sectors impacting on biodiversity; the other significant pressures being agriculture, afforestation, urban and industrial development, extractive fishing, alien invasives, household waste and climate change. International attention to biodiversity and waste management is growing. Companies and citizens alike are increasingly expected to demonstrate effective management of biodiversity risks and opportunities. Worldwide, countries are promoting the sustainable use of living and natural resources and have signed up with the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims to strengthen international cooperation in this regard. Regular international meetings are convened to share knowledge and ideas on the implementation of the Convention and its ratifications. South Africa has signed a number of treaties and conventions protecting species of wild 42
fauna and flora, wetland conservation, climate change challenges, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, movements and disposal of hazardous waste and conservation of biological diversity. One of the main legislations that cover many of the above is the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) in South Africa. Furthermore, the Integrated Pollution and Waste Management Act represents a paradigm shift towards an integration of environmental, social, political, and development needs and the rights of all sectors, communities and individuals. This is Act is aimed at: Prevention and minimisation of waste and pollution at its source, Management and minimisation of the impacts of unavoidable waste from its generation to its disposal, Ensuring the integrity and sustained “fitness for use” of all environmental media (i.e. air, water, and land), Remediation of any pollution of the environment by holding responsible parties accountable. South Africa is also one of the first countries enlisting JSE companies to financial as well as sustainable reporting. The sustainability report aims to offset costs against waste management strategies and the impact industries have on the environment. It further goes on to address how waste management processes were employed to curtail impact on the environment. This type of reporting compels companies to think about the location of their business, e.g. if it is located near a dam or river are they responsible for dumping or pollution and how does this affect the fauna and flora of the area. What
can the ordinary person do to ensure that we live in harmony with the biodiversity that exists around us? • If you work in an administrative environment, do you use lumps of paper to communicate, or is there a more sustainable method of getting your ideas across. Just remember the amount of trees that need to be cut down to compensate for a ream of paper. • Look at the supply chain of the products that you sell or purchase and how this process impacts the environment. For example, the pesticides that you use at home, does it affect the air quality? The paper that you use to print your invoices on, was it recycled? • How do you manage home composting? Do you turn the compost regularly to ensure that you’re not contributing to the release of harmful emissions into the earth, such as methane nitrous oxides or ammonia? By turning the heap regularly, it allows for oxygen to combat these harmful emissions. • Using your old washing machine that is not as efficient and effective as before, could lead to increased or unnecessary energy consumption and gives off loads of carbon dioxide. Biodiversity, simply put, is the relationship between all living organisms. We cannot place enough emphasis on why it is important to preserve the natural balance of nature, it is our and our children’s future that is at stake. *Joanna Kuntonen-van ‘tRiet(2007) Strategic Review of the Status of Biodiversity Management in the South African Mining Industry
A practical, proven path to green energy Writer Kari Liukko, Honeywell Process Solutions The marketplace for renewable fuels has received significant attention in recent years, with increased focus on technologies that provide fuel flexibility and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Recent legislation in many parts of the world, most notably the policies for Renewable Energy Sources and Renewable Energy Directive in the EU have increased the level of attention on new technologies that enable the sustainable production of renewable fuels. To lessen reliance on petroleum based fuels, governments around the world are calling for the development of “tomorrow’s biofuels” 44
as soon as possible. How does two seconds sound? That’s the time it takes Envergent Technologies’ RTP® rapid thermal processing technology to convert non-food biomass into pyrolysis oil. And RTP is a proven process that is sustainable, virtually carbon neutral, and in production in Canada and the U.S. today. Pyrolysis Oil and Envergent Pyrolysis oil is a light, pourable, cleanburning liquid produced from biomass feedstocks that do not compete with food crops. It is easily adaptable for a variety
of energy applications, including heat and electrical generation, and shortly pyrolysis oil will be upgradeable to green transportation fuels. It also is used to produce specialty chemicals. One of Envergent’s parent companies – Ensyn Technologies – invented RTP in 1984 as a method to convert biomass to pyrolysis oil. RTP is the world’s only rapid pyrolysis process operating on a long-term commercial basis and today is used by seven plants in Canada and the United States to convert biomass to pyrolysis oil. That resulting pyrolysis oil is then used in the manufacture of more than 30
to 1,000 bone dry tonnes (metric) per day accommodate virtually any application. RTP can also handle a wide range of readily available feedstocks – forestry and agricultural residuals, post-consumer, wood-based construction and demolition materials as well as sustainable energy crops such as poplar and willow, miscanthus and switchgrass. On an energy basis, it is about 40 percent less expensive for businesses to produce and use pyrolysis oil than to purchase #2 fuel oil for heat generation. RTP Technology The RTP process begins with readily Pyrolysis oil can also be used to generate available biomass (wood chips, straw or green electricity in a specialized turbine at an other cellulosic material) that is rapidly approximate cost of $0.10 per kWh. The ability heated in a reactor with a circulating fluidized to produce electricity from pyrolysis oil in bed design. Hot gas enters the bottom of the slow speed diesel engines, which is currently reactor with hot sand, creating a whirlwind under development, will reduce the cost with a temperature of 500 to 525 degrees further due to increased electrical efficiency. Celsius. Upon contact with the sand, biomass Pyrolysis oil has also been upgraded to green particles are pyrolyzed, producing gas and transportation fuels in the laboratory, using solids. After the gas leaves the reactor, it is UOP hydroprocessing technology to generate high-value, renewable, green gasoline, rapidly quenched to produce pyrolysis oil. The solids that remain are a combination diesel and jet fuel. These fuels are virtually of sand and char, which are redirected to a indistinguishable from their petroleum-based counterparts and can be used in today’s refining infrastructure and To lessen reliance on petroleum based fuels, governments around vehicles without modification. This technology is expected to be the world are calling for the commercially available in 2012. commercial products, from food flavorings to adhesive resins. Envergent’s other parent company, Honeywell’s UOP, has been a leading developer of refining technologies and products for almost a century. Drawing on their individual strengths, and their desire to accelerate the commercialization of biofuel technologies, Ensyn and UOP formed a joint venture in 2008 to create Envergent Technologies.
development of “tomorrow’s biofuels” as soon as possible
second vessel. In the reheater char is burned with the introduction of air. This provides the necessary heat to bring the sand mixture to temperatures required for pyrolysis in the reactor vessel. This is a key factor in increasing the net energy balance, and consequently the greenhouse gas reduction, of the end product. Unlike slow pyrolysis, which can take hours, fast pyrolysis, like the RTP process, produces fewer emissions and offers maximum liquid production. RTP’s particular advantage is that it offers uniform and instantaneous heat transfer to the biomass, and the ability to quickly quench the gas into liquid, producing higher quality pyrolysis oil. Additionally, the RTP process is more efficient at keeping char out of the final pyrolysis oil product. Making Green Energy Practical Aside from its many environmental advantages, RTP is also very practical. Minimal utility and infrastructure requirements make RTP ideal for either remote or existing facilities. Compact, modular equipment minimizes installation costs and takes up relatively little space. And it’s highly scalable – designs from 100
transportation fuels. With global energy demand expected to double by 2030, traditional petroleum products will not be able to keep pace. Clearly, biofuels that use existing infrastructure and don’t compete with food, land or water, are the answer to growing global energy demands. With its proven, practical RTP process, Envergent is part of the solution – a solution that is available today. Kari Liukko, Biofuels Business Leader, EMEA, Honeywell Process Solutions. Kari joined Honeywell in 2007 and he is based at Honeywell Finland, Espoo. He works as a Biofuels Business Leader at Honeywell Process Solutions, EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). Prior to Honeywell Kari was employed by M-real Oyj and SAP AG where he held management positions in Corporate IT, Fibre supply & quality and ERP sales to global accounts. Kari holds a M. Sc. and Ph.D. in Forest Sciences from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. email@example.com
The Future Biomass energy conversion is particularly appealing to industries with supplies of residual biomass and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint. With a ready supply of sawdust and wood chips, the forest industry is a natural fit. The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) recently unveiled a blueprint for reinvigorating Canada’s forest industry by integrating technologies like RTP offered by Envergent with mill operations. The study showed that RTP technology was rated as fully ready for commercial deployment and would offer the highest return on capital employed. FPAC predicted that fast pyrolysis technology would turn Canada’s forest industry into an engine of growth for the country – producing jobs and clean energy to power mill operations, heat homes, or provide green fuel for vehicles. The United States Department of Energy recently awarded a grant to Envergent’s parent UOP for the construction of a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuel. The unit will produce pyrolysis oil from a variety of biomass residues, including woody biomass, algae, agricultural residues and energy crops like switchgrass and high-biomass sorghum, which will then be upgraded into green 45
Pandoras Ranch P
andora’s Ranch is an a eco-friendly Ranch approximately an hour to an hour and a half’s drive from Pretoria or Johannesburg on the N1
towards Polokwane with easy acess from the highway. An ideal hideaway for all gay men and woman who want to spoil their loved ones with an out of the ordinary quality time together and to re-connect spiritually. Unlike the usual gay venues in South Africa Pandora’s pride themselves on being a upmarket lodge with no nudity.
This is not the place to go looking to meet
someone special, but instead it is the perfect place to spoil the special person currently in your life or reconnect with those you have grown apart from. Pandora’s is situated on the slopes of the Waterberg mountain range and is a nature lovers paradise featuring some of the best bushveld habitat and views from the mountain top. Here we have created a 5-star boma experience with sundowners, 6 course meals and other indulgences, as you lose yourself in the beauty of this venue and the spectacular vistas al around. The area is world-renowned for its high concentration of game viewing and nature venues. Pandora’s is nestled in the middle of a wide variety of extraordinary experiences in day trips. These include watching one of 46
South Africa's largest private primate collections
featuring 38 different species, also a large number of beautiful, exotic birds and predators such as white lions, bengal tigers at a wildlife park close by. A relaxing day at the Spa or one of the mineral baths that is at the heart of the local town of Warmbaths is also an option. Since no two people have the same needs and expectations when it comes to planning a holiday, this is the best reason why Pandoraâ€™s should be seen as the ideal holiday destination! We specialize in couple retreats as well as functions, weddings, corporate functions, small conferences, birthday parties and anniversaries, Enjoy 5-star wining and dining in our eco-friendly environment in the beautiful foothills of the Waterberg mountains in the Limpopo province. Pandora's staff is totally passionate about service to you. Owner Hennie Robertse with his hands-on managerial style ensures a jovial atmosphere. The dedicated staff works tirelessly at maintaining the immaculate overnight facilities that offers a royal stay at Pandoraâ€™s Ranch. Hennie is not just the host of this ranch but is also the head Chef. He enjoys treating his guests to a sumptuous meal while entertaining and interacting with them, ensuring that their stay is memorable one. Contact us for you reservations +27 (0)82 417 8875 +27 (0)71 608 0972 http://www.pandorasranch.co.za firstname.lastname@example.org
South Africaâ€™s unsung rocket scientist superhero Siyabulela Xuza Writer Farah Abdurahman and Steve Rosenberg
“I really hate being called a rocket scientist or the rocket guy. I’d rather be called the energy guy!”
elatively small events can spark a series of reactions which can have world changing effects. At the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain ordered his exhausted and outnumbered troops to charge the oncoming Confederate forces. That order changed the course of the American Civil War. In 1994 a Cessna airplane drops election pamphlets over a field in Umtata inspiring a young boy to dedicate himself to science. That young boy goes on to develop a cheaper and safer rocket fuel. While he may not have changed the world just yet, Siyabulela Xuza’s enthusiasm for science and technology and his innovative and questing mind certainly stand him in good stead to effect real change. “I really hate being called a rocket scientist or the rocket guy” Siya tells me. “The fuel... the energy was the key. The rocket was just the way to demonstrate it. I’d rather be called the energy guy!” he explains.
A born innovator, Siya began experimenting with rocket fuels in his mother’s kitchen. Soon he had to move his experiments to the garage after a couple of unexpected reactions left the kitchen and his mother steaming. His passion turned into a serious science project that culminated in him developing a cheaper and safer rocket fuel at the age of 18. Siya’s science project won gold at the National Science Expo and the Dr Derek Gray Memorial award for the most prestigious project in South Africa. This led to an invitation to the International Youth Science Fair in Sweden in 2006, where he presented his project to the King and Queen of Sweden and attended the Nobel prize ceremony in Stockholm. His project was then entered into the world’s biggest student science event, attracting about 1 500 students from 52 countries - the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in the US. He won the two grand awards. His credibility was further endorsed by the Nasa-affiliated Lincoln Laboratory, which was so impressed by the young engineer’s achievement that it named a minor planet after him. Planet 23182, discovered in 2000, is now known as Siyaxuza and is found in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. In 2010 he was elected as a fellow of the African Leadership Network, a premier network of those individuals poised to shape Africa’s future over the next 10-20 years, consisting of the most dynamic, influential and successful leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa and its Diaspora. He travelled to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to engage in discussions on creating prosperity for Africa. In 2011 he became a fellow of the Kairos Society: a global network of top student and global leaders using entrepreneurship and innovation to solve the world’s greatest challenges. He was invited to the United Nations and the New York Stock Exchange, in recognition for being one of the world’s emerging business leaders and to offer strategies for solving the world’s energy crisis. Siya is currently studying energy-engineering at Harvard University. He has a real passion for harnessing the power of the sun for clean affordable energy. He conducts research
geared towards making cheaper solar cells and assessing the commercial viability of solar technologies. After completing his studies, Siya intends to combine entrepreneurship with renewable energy to foster sustainable African development. We were fortunate enough to chat to him during his recent return to South Africa. Siya, your focus on renewable energy has been mostly in the fields of alternative fuel and solar energy. Do you believe that these are the only viable options? One thing you always have to ask is what has the potential for the greatest return. Which technology can one choose, that will not only surpass others in terms of technology, but that is most easily scalable? There are so many technologies like solar, wind and geothermal, but what we really need is a stable system that is scalable and affordable. So those are the criteria I have chosen. Most solar based energy collection or generation is terrestrial and large scale. Some companies are now looking to space as the answer to solar energy. What do you foresee as the future of solar energy? I think that energy needs a total revolution. My idea comes from a very different perspective. I want to make energy personal. We live in an era of personalisation. From the beginning of the 20th Century you’ve had guys like Henry Ford who personalised transportation, Bill Gates who personalised computation or even Steve Jobs who personalised music – really the iPod is like your personal music station. No one has personalised energy yet. The current energy model is large-scale and grid tied. We don’t have a system that turns your home or small business into a personal power plant. The traditional model, taking a huge land mass and building large-scale solar energy collection and generation and then transmitting it just won’t work in the African context. Here’s why. We have a landmass of 302 million kilometres, that’s the first point, it makes grid transmission extremely expensive. The second point is affordability of the technology. Solar technology is still expensive and fairly inefficient. This is where my research comes in. 49
could be viable. But we need to look at this as an energy system.
We live in an era of personalisation. So let’s personalise energy!
Generating energy is only a part of the puzzle though. One of the biggest challenges is storing energy. What new developments have been made in energy storage? Well there are two main mechanisms: batteries and fuel cells. You know a significant amount of research has been done, but to be honest with you our current energy storage technology cannot provide an efficient means of storage. There are two big problems with fuel cells. Firstly, they use platinum as a catalyst, which makes their cost prohibitive. Secondly, they operate at very high temperatures. We’re talking in the region of 600 - 800°C. One of the approaches being used with regards to fuel cell development is proton exchange membrane. Once again we’re applying nano-technology to the problems. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells operate at a lower temperature “I think that energy will be everybody’s which is half the battle. Now we’re looking at business. The bottom line is that alternatives to platinum companies spend a significant amount as the catalyst. We’re also taking a modular approach of their expenditure on energy. With something like energy it makes so much to fuel cells.
With that in mind, what role do you see predominantly capitalistic markets and mega-corporations playing in the roll out of renewable energy? I think that energy will be everybody’s business. The bottom line is that companies spend a significant amount of their expenditure on energy. With something like energy it makes so much sense for each company to have access to their own sources of energy. I can’t foresee someone coming up and trying to squash personalised energy, like they did with the electric car in the past. We’re talking about something far bigger than the utility. If we can create a model that delivers energy so cheaply and so efficiently no one will be able to stop it. I think companies should be cautious when it comes to energy. They shouldn’t just wildly throw money at the problem. Rather, they should allow and encourage entrepreneurs to come up with solutions.
Ultimately my vision within the next five years, is the development of an entire energy system using nano-technology. We are using a bottom-up approach, in other words we are working with atomic precision on an extremely affordable and efficient solar material. I’ve coupled that with a storage system based on fuel cells. Some think it’s a crazy idea, but I think it will lead to what we will call a personal energy system. The idea is that we’ll be able to walk into a store, the same way you walk into a store to buy a computer, and be able to buy a customised energy system. When you buy a computer you don’t just buy a CPU, you need a monitor, a harddisk and memory etc. Unfortunately in energy we don’t have that yet, and that has precluded the idea of personalisation. In energy we have a grid and a utility that tells us how much energy will cost. I believe that everyone in the country, on the continent, all over the world has a very specific and quantifiable energy need.
sense for each company to have access to their own sources of energy. I can’t foresee someone coming up and trying to squash personalised energy, like they did with the electric car in the past.” Using nano-technology we can manipulate matter at a more fundamental level and this will hopefully lead to the development of personalised energy systems. We’ve been studying plants and how they convert and store energy in the hopes of artificially mimicking their processes. What nano-technology has opened to us, with our research, is the development of a proprietary material or substance. The majority of today’s commercial solar cell technologies are based on silicon, which is very limited in terms of light absorption. The labs that I am affiliated with will soon be publishing a paper demonstrating the bottom-up approach that we’ve taken. This should create a platform not only for more affordable, efficient solar cells, but essentially the ability to customise a solar cell atomically, layer by layer. With the right funding and vision this 50
Renewable energy has been touted as a messiah by politicians and scientists. Do you think that an infinite source of renewable energy will really change the world? I definitely believe that. You know it’s not the gold or the dollar that drives the world. It’s the joule. It is the unit of energy that drives the world. Behind every dollar, behind every transaction – even in day to day things like the computer you use, the shoes you wear they all required energy to produce. All major modern conflicts come down to energy. I think people jump onto the green energy bandwagon as a political tool. Very few people take the approach I propose. Instead of saying “let’s adopt green energy for its own sake” they should look at green energy as the most viable route to sustainable economic growth. Energy and economic development are fundamentally tied together. This is also where my views differ from the norm. Most approaches have been large scale, super expensive and politically motivated. I don’t believe in that.
You’ve won a number of accolades for your accomplishments thus far, how do you think these have affected you? Well, they have definitely inspired me. I’m not the kind of person to sit back and rest on past achievements. If anything it just sets the bar that much higher. They used to say to me “Siya, the sky is the limit.” Well I overcame the sky. As long as my body and mind can keep up with my imagination, I don’t think there is a limit. If there is one thing I would like to achieve it is simply to inspire more kids to study science and technology. That would make me really happy.
Dr T Ramontja - CEO
The Council for Geoscience (CGS) is one of the National Science Councils of South Africa and is the legal successor of the Geological Survey of South Africa, which was formed in 1912 by the amalgamation of 3 former Surveys, the oldest of which - the Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope - was founded in 1895. Today, the Council is a modern institution, with approximately 100 geoscientists, boasting excellent facilities and expertise, ranking among the best in Africa. The main National functions of the CGS can be summarized as follows and addresses all the diﬀerent subdisciplines of the geosciences: • The systematic documentation of the surface of the Earth within the boundaries of South Africa. • Geoscientiﬁc research on the rocks, ores, minerals, geological formations, fossils, etc. of South Africa and publication of research results. • Collection and conservation of all geoscientiﬁc data and information on South Africa in national databases. • Provision of geoscientiﬁc services and advice to the National-, Provincial- and Local Government, the South African Mining Industry and the public. In addition, the CGS is also involved internationally in various activities, including: • Geoscience projects ﬁnanced by the Word Bank and the African Development Bank • Geological- and Metallogenic mapping and Geochemical surveys. • Geoscience database- and GIS applications. • Seismic hazard assessments. • Geohydrological and Geophysical surveys. • Engineering Geological investigations. 52
• Geological, geophysical, metallogenic, geotechnical and geochemical mapping, surveys, and services; • Mineral resource data collection, evaluation and assessment; • Engineering geological site investigations; • Seismic hazard assessment; • Groundwater Investigations; • Coastal erosion studies; • Marine geology; • Environmental impact assessments; • Isotope geochemistry and geochronology; • Analytical services (wet-chemical determinations; atomic absorption spectroscopy), optical- and electron microscopy; petrographic descriptions, mineralogy, X-ray diﬀractometry; X-ray ﬂuorescence; • Palaeontology; • Geographic Information System development and spatial database design; • Data analysis; geoscience database design, development and management; • Data integration, processing and the creation of customised products; • Cartographic services; • Information management and dissemination; Library services; Promotion of public awareness on the impact of geology on daily human activities; • Compilation and publishing of geoscientiﬁc maps and publications in various formats; • Collections management (Museum, core library, scientiﬁc collections); graphic design and exhibitions.
Products • Geoscience Maps, including: • Geological, geophysical, geochemical, metallogenic and engineering geological (geohazard) maps at various scales. • Geoscience information; • Digital data including geological, geophysical, seismological, engineering geological and metallogenic datasets; • Geoscience publications, including Bulletins, Memoirs, Map explanations, Seismological catalogues and Handbooks; • Specialized map products; • Geoscience and GIS databases and specialized queries; • Geoscience library; • Fossil collection; • Borehole core library.
Earthquakes Writer Sara Booley of Japan adopt a more expansionary fiscal policy in a post-quake Japan to maintain inflation, in an effort to combat deflation completely. arthquake-prone zones have been Chile has also been rattled by several hard-hit in the last 2 years, with earthquakes since last year’s most disastrous Japan’s being one of the most quake on 27 February, with a magnitude disastrous at a magnitude of 8.9. of 8.8, killing 524 people. Seismic activity New Zealand and Chile, both located seemed to follow this year when another along the “ring of fire”, an area earthquake hit the same region, this time at which is most susceptible to seismic magnitude 6.6. Chilean president, Sebastian activity, also experienced the dire effects of Piñera announced that the damage caused by massive earthquakes. Each of these countries the quakes will take years to repair. It will has suffered a great deal due to the impact require an adjustment to the country’s budget. of such large-scale disasters. Their loss is Public spending will decrease and money will measured not only in terms of human fatality, instead be spent on reconstruction projects. but also in terms of economic loss. The However, Chile’s sound macroeconomic aftermath of such disasters is often felt in the policies have enabled a We might think we are far removed from savings fund of around US$15-billion which the risk in South Africa, think again! will be used to fund the recovery with immediacy, saving Chile from spending in deficit. There short-term stagnation of economic growth. have been disruptions in many industries This being due to disruptions in production as a result of the quakes, such as the retail, and the destruction of infrastructure, while a service and agricultural industries. Copper country is at a standstill trying to contain the mining has also come to a halt in areas where situation. power outages have resulted in the closure Japan’s earthquake brought the world to of several public and private-owned mines. a halt as the finale of the three disasters, In contrast to the post-quake economies not only because of the terror it caused for of Chile and Japan, New Zealand faces a thousands of civilians, but also because promising recovery, according to finance Japan is considered the production capital minister Bill English. A quake with a of the world. Indeed, production lines were magnitude of 6.6 shook New Zealand disrupted in almost every manufacturing (Christchurch) on 22 February, only 5 months plant, due to rolling blackouts as a result of after the same area was hit by a 7.1 quake. several nuclear reactors being shut-down. English pointed out that despite disruptions The entire Japanese economy is likely to in production, New Zealand’s commodity be affected by the disruption in production, export prices remain strong, especially given that the supply chain in Japan is agricultural commodities which make up tight. Deficit spending seems to be the more than half of the country’s exports. That most promising solution for Japan’s road to together with the fact that interest rates and recovery even though its negative impact lies inflation remain relatively low, as well as the in increasing taxation and may ultimately upcoming Rugby World-Cup which is to be lead to hyperinflation and a diminishing value held in New Zealand should help the country of the Yen. However, according to Edward overcome its short-term economic losses. Lincoln, a New York University professor However, while the recovery stage is fragile who directs the school’s Centre for Japandue to the earthquake back in September last US Business and Economics, the quake has year, the Treasury Department estimated marked the end of deflated prices and instead a 1.5% drop in economic growth for New caused inflation. He suggests that the Bank
Chile, New Zealand, Japan, Spain... Who is next?
Zealand for the year 2011. Even areas outside of the “ring of fire” have been affected. Think back to the mass devastation caused by the 7.0 in Haiti (January 2010), the 6.1 in Turkey (March 2010), the 6.9 and 5.4 in China (April 2010 and March 2011 respectively), the 6.8 in Myanmar, Burma (March 2011) and the 5.2 in Spain earlier this month. So where will the next “great earthquake” hit? Just type “next earthquake” into Google and you will get thousands of results. Traditionally, California has been thought of as one of the high risk zones. However, Professor Mian Liu of the University of Missouri suggests that the Midwest (USA) is more likely to be hit. His prediction is somewhat supported by the website quakeprediction.com. It says that the cities of Martin, Tennessee and Fulton, Kentucky are two of the highest risk areas. These cities sit very close to the New Madrid Fault system, which extends nearly 200kms through the heart of the USA. The fault system is active, averaging more than 200 measured events per year. In 2009 The US Geological Service published an article in response to the rising fear of earthquakes. In it they discredited the idea that there is an increase in high magnitude earthquakes. They attribute the reporting of more earthquakes to an increase in the number of seismograph stations and an improvement in global communications. The article concludes with this statement: “According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.” We might think we are far removed from the risk in South Africa, think again! We recently experienced a 4.3 magnitude quake at Leeugamka - 151 km South of Beaufort West and another 3.1 in the Katlehong area in East Rand. Ian Saunders, Project manager of the National Seismograph Network said that these tremors were fairly normal, though he commented it was difficult to speculate on the causes. Buckle up South Africa, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 55
South Africa’s master energy plan Writer Dominic Goncalves, Frost & Sullivan
he Policy Adjusted IRP, South Africa’s 20 year master energy plan, was released in March 2011 after months of planning and comment. A number of changes have been made since its draft form. The predicament is how these changes will impact electricity tariffs. Nuclear development has been approved, despite public concerns for nuclear safety after the Japanese crisis. Capital costs for nuclear have been increased by 40% in the Policy Adjusted IRP to allow for more
realistic cost projections based on recent international projects. Medupi and Kusile, the two coal-fired power plants, will proceed as planned with additional coal capacity brought forward. Alterations to the Policy Adjusted IRP include a decrease in imported hydro from 3,300MW to 2,600MW, indicating fewer co-operations with South Africa’s neighbours. This will result in a decrease of large scale hydro opportunities in these countries, which is detrimental for this region considering the dire electricity
situation in Mozambique and Zambia particularly. These countries require sizeable energy investment for projects to meet pressing local demand. A further alteration involves the increased allocation of efficient combined cycle gas turbines, which has been granted 2,400MW instead of 1,900MW, by 2030. Although this allows for the development of gas infrastructure in South Africa, it is paramount that cautious steps be taken to do this in an environmentally acceptable manner.
Overall, Frost & Sullivan is of the opinion that the Policy Adjusted IRP will have positive outcomes for South Africa and its energy crisis.
Open cycle gas turbine technology conversely will be decreased from 5,800MW to 3,800MW due to its high operational cost. This indicates that policymakers believe there will be sufficient base load power to reduce stand-by peaking power infrastructure. By far the largest adjustment however, is renewable energy. The allocation has increased from 11,400MW to 17,800MW, to account for 42% of total new installed generation capacity by 2030. Renewable technologies have been streamlined to specifically target wind, solar PV, and solar CSP. Wind, previously 4,500MW, now accounts for 8,400MW by 2030. The first batch of wind (300MW) is targeted for 2013, and a steady 400MW each year is planned to rollout beyond 2019. Solar technologies, previously lumped together, have been disaggregated. PV now accounts for 8,400MW, the same portion as wind, while CSP has been allocated 1,000MW. “The draft IRP was initially criticised for its seeming exclusion of the Upington solar park from its allocations,” states Frost & Sullivan Energy Analyst Dominic Goncalves. “The solar park, which would use a mix of CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) and PV (Photovoltaic) technologies, is a proposed 5,000MW. The new policy adjusted IRP incorporates the likelihood of this concept.” PV’s allocations have also increased due to the inclusion of learning rates, and increasing competitiveness due to the decreasing cost of PV. PV has a distinct advantage in its modularity and rapid potential to rollout. As such, the Policy Adjusted IRP entails a rollout of 300MW a year of PV from 2012. CSP was given 1,000MW, significantly less than PV and wind, due to the longer lead times of CSP and its relatively higher capital cost. The first 100MW of CSP has
been curtailed to 2016. This increase in RE allocation, as well as a 40% rise in the cost of nuclear technology, could have significant effect on the electricity price path, despite contrary claims by the DoE. Frost & Sullivan believes this is a misrepresentation of the facts and that further examination needs to be conducted to ensure the price path holds true. The document has stated that the carbon emissions targets set under the revised balance scenario (RBS) still stand, thus eradicating more coal-fired power stations at this stage. Electricity imports have been permitted, however, entailing the possibility of coal imports, potentially from the revival of Mamambula in Botswana. Interestingly, increased energy efficiency initiatives were not included in the Policy Adjusted plan. Even if energy efficiency potential could be increased from 3,420MW to over 6,000MW, the new IRP cautions that failure to meet these targets could have detrimental impacts. Overall, Frost & Sullivan is of the opinion that the Policy Adjusted IRP will have positive outcomes for South Africa and its energy crisis. However “a tight course needs to be taken between a low carbon and low cost future. If the electricity price path hikes significantly, this will have severe detrimental effects on job creation, investment and economic growth,” states Goncalves. The current price path with the Policy Adjusted IRP requires examination in more detail. Without reassuring evidence of the price path’s stability, large energy users and investors, who essentially drive the economy, could feel particularly uneasy about the situation. Despite an increase in renewables allocation, a reduction in the RE feed-in tariffs has been suggested by NERSA. This would naturally
reduce investor interest in solar and wind, yet since an overshoot of interest already exists, this would bring the RE feed-in tariffs closer to market potential and would issue a fairer price to the buyer, and therefore the public as an end-user. One primary reason for this suggested tariff reduction is an exchange rate adjustment (the first phase of the REFIT was pegged at R10 to the dollar). The other primary reason is that the REFIT was considered generous by several key experts. In terms of absolute REFIT decreases suggested by the proposed reduction, PV and CSP would decrease in absolute terms, yet wind would actually slightly increase in attractiveness. A reduction of the REFIT before the first power purchase agreements (PPA’s) are even signed certainly does not aid investor confidence; however, this decrease in attractiveness could streamline the proposals in line with the allocations, and would provide a more favourable price to the public, while still maintaining reasonable returns. The decision on this change will be made on May 26 2011. Opportunities abound for renewable energy, particularly solar PV and wind projects, even with the decrease in tariffs. Such a scale of renewables will entice global firms to set up manufacturing facilities locally and will thus augment job creation. The most crucial aspect is now to finalise the legislative aspects of IPP integration and set up the Independent Systems and Market Operator (ISMO) to allow for implementation.
Ntingwe Tea Estate Story A story as inspirational as its flavour From the majestic rolling hills, lush with the indigenous greenery & the thickest most natural Forest ever found in South Africa, to the zigzagged puzzles of rivers that run endlessly, forming beautiful pathways in between the rolling greens, there is no doubt that Nkandla is one of the most beautiful places in South-Africa as it lies untouched in its most natural form, this is where you find Ntngwe Tea Estate. The cool acidic soils and high altitudes in these picturesque hills, provide the slow growth conditions conducive to producing the world class tea. Development of Ntingwe Tea Estate was initiated in 1991 by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation (Ithala), at the request of the Provincial Economic Planning Committee who was desirous of the initiation of a tea project in a deep rural impoverished area of the province to create employment. The project imperative is to provide employment, facilitate the general socio-economic development of the surrounding areas, enable
its eventual privatization to achieve BEE and the development of small holder tea producers in the long term, by developing a viable commercial tea estate producing the highest quality teas. Ntingwe lies in the midst of an impoverished rural area with high unemployment. It is the only significant employer in the deistrict and, by employing eight hundred local villagers, is the mainstay of the local economy. The Ntingwe Tea Estate is an integral part of the socio-economic development fabric of the deep impoverished rural community it is located within. As such it plays a lead role in the upliftment of the community. Ntingwe has directly and indirectly been actively involved in community development since inception. Contributions have been made to the following projects and initiatives: Vutshini Community Water Supply Scheme, project serving 10,000 people in 12 villages; Road development; Clinic development; School and crĂ¨che development; Establish
a Computer Section at Ntingwe School; Community gardens; Tea Out Grower project. Ntingwe Tea Estate produces both Black and Green teas of premium quality. The single-origin pure tea boasts a proud heritage of excellence, authenticity and community upliftment. By selecting tea from this single estate, you are guaranteed a cup that is of a consistently high standard. Ntingwe has a reputation as one of the finest producers in the world and, some might say is ‘The Connoisseur’s Choice’. The connoisseurs around the world recognize this tea for its rich, full bodied flavor. Ntingwe Pure Green Tea is high in anti-oxidants and low in caffeine. As a green tea it is known for its calming effects and health benefits but its fresh, light flavor is uniquely Ntingwe. Ntingwe produces freshly made green tea from the high Japanese technology. By purchasing and enjoying Ntingwe’s premium teas, you also realize the potential that lies in the future of this community!
Telephone 0358338000/1/2 Email email@example.com
WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE Emilie Marchand Writer Lee-Anne Richards
reen Entrepreneur, Emilie Marchand, General Manager of OLI South Africa (PTY) Ltd was born in France in 1980 and moved to South Africa when she was still young. She matriculated from Bracken High School and went to study towards a diploma in the field of Graphic Design. She did not feel that the graphic design field challenged her enough and soon decided that it was time to move on. Emilie started her own business called CFE along with her business partner, the late Michael Black, at the age of 21. CFE was involved in importing bulk handling equipment from the WAMGroup of Companies in Italy. The construction industry was at an all-time high, however since the recession they had to look at other markets. Lucky for them, the WAM Group
was also moving into new sectors. Emilie is still engaged in running CFE, which sells to end users, however in the meantime she opened up two wholly owned subsidiaries of WAM Group. Three years ago she started with OLI South Africa, which is responsible for the distribution of industrial vibration technology components. More recently she introduced WAM. WAM and OLI are sister companies; however there is a huge OEM market for them in South Africa. WAM, a screw conveyor and bulk handling equipment manufacturer, is the mother company. OLI supplies industrial vibrators. Emilie was appointed as MD for both subsidiaries. â€œAs a subsidiary of worldwide operating WAMGROUP, OLI South Africa is responsible for the distribution of industrial vibration technology components in South Africa. In engineering and manufacturing, sister company, OLI South Africa, from the
northern Italian town of Medolla looks back on more than four decades of experience. Established in 2009 OLI South Africa is rated as a competent supplier of Industrial Electric, Pneumatic and Hydraulic Vibrators, as well as Frequency Converters and Vibrators for the building and construction industry.” Emilie believes the current market to be in is renewable energy. Innovations in “hydroscrew generator” design and technology has opened up new doors for her company. “Renewable energy is the way of the future,” she says, adding “and that future starts NOW!” The Hydro-screw is of high interest within the Eskom circles. As a part of their Demand Side Management project (DSM) Eskom has to pay out a rebate of R5.2 mil per megawatt of electricity saved by their customers. This rebate programme could cut the cost of acquiring and installing a hydro-screw by upwards of 50%. The subsequent energy savings make this a highly attractive product. This means that Eskom customers such as mining groups will have to look at using less power or at least taking 10% of their energy consumption off the grid, so to speak. Emilie is of the opinion that the availability of electricity is a key factor in green-lighting new metals projects, especially for power hungry smelters producing aluminium and ferrochrome. Based on the above economic situation, OLI South Africa and WAM are faced with huge market potential in alternative energy supply The project that OLI is currently involved in is Roncuzzi’s (part of the WAM Group) hydrodynamic screws that are designed 62
for the production of electrical energy. The machine works based on the different points in water flow. Water, thanks to a drop from the highest point of its natural flow, is used by the rotor (which transforms the energy) then flows back in its bed. The limit of these machines is reached with a head of more than 10m and flow rates higher than 5500 l/s. This hydrodynamic screw is environment friendly, going as far as to be fish friendly. It also has higher efficiency than water wheels or small turbines. As well as being inexhaustible, renewable energy generated by hydrodynamic screws has ZERO impact on the environment. It does not produce any GHG or polluting slag for disposal. Hydrodynamic screws generate clean hydroelectric energy from water as a natural resource, which South Africa has plenty of. Roncuzzi’s manufacturing house in Italy builds the hydro-screw and supplies them to their 53 subsidiaries worldwide. Emilie believes that the hydro-screw has a huge potential in South Africa in many sectors. She would like to target, not only large scale industry, but also rural areas which still do not have access to electricity. A great proponent of electricity as a constitutional right for every person! She comments “First is to get a big market share, and when the demand becomes as we want it (which it will), we would look to invest in a production plant locally - producing all our big lines here in SA.” When it comes to the future of renewable energy in South Africa, Emilie feels that Eskom is not able to sustain the energy requirements of today and coal power plants
are not eco-friendly. She would like to be remembered as a person who was able to offer South Africa an alternative energy solution (on a much smaller scale of course). She wants to offer a product that would not only help alleviate the energy problem in South Africa, but that is also GREEN - A product that would not bear any environmental cost. As much as she wants to help the people of South Africa have power in places where it does not exist, she would not want it at any cost to the environment. “We as people have destroyed this planet enough,” Emilie tells me in conclusion, “and as much as people are of importance, I see the planet being of far greater importance. If I can contribute to this even in the smallest way, then I have done my job”.
Distinguished Gentleman Devapala Chetty Writer Ryan Jared Ali
t the heart of the energy problems of Southern Africa we have individual men who are trying to address the issues. Internationally we face a serious re-think when it comes to energy generation and consumption. The road to a sustainable and environmentally balanced energy sector will be defined by strong leadership and a keen understanding of the industry, now and in the future. We sat down with Mr. Devapala Chetty, MD of EQtech Africa, to find out what he sees in the future of the energy sector and how he got to a point to influence it.
before taking on a position as a Project Coordinator in Western Distribution. About a year into the position, I was given a role to project manage the Supply of Electricity to the Saldanha Steel plant. This was a 2 year project and following this I was promoted to Construction Manager. I held additional portfolios as Regional Risk Manager for about a year, as well as Outage Planning and Facilities Management roles. One of the key success projects that I led at Matimba was the Investigation and Implementation of solutions to eliminate the impact of Lightning Strikes on the Ash Plant Communication systems.
Can you tell us a bit about your career at ESKOM and the Different departments and projects youâ€™ve been involved in during your time there? I started my career at Matimba Power Station as a Control and Instrumentation Engineer. I spent just under 2 years at Matimba
I understand you had a role in the construction of the Saldahna Steel Substation which was a major project and was one of the largest Distribution Substations in the Western Region... The supply of secure power to Saldanha Steel was a project that involved the erection of
an addition 400kV line from Koeberg power station to Aurora Transmission substation, two double circuit 132kV lines from Aurora to Saldanha and the construction of a GIS substation at Saldanha Steel. I was the Project Manager accountable for delivery of the Distribution Substation. The project was on a tight schedule and was driven by Eskom corporate. After leaving ESKOM you started your own business. What was your vision? EQTECH AFRICA was borne out of a need for a professional service provider within the Electricity Supply Industry. Electricity is a key commodity for growth and development within the modern economy. In a country and continent where the challenges are enormous, our vision is to position as a formidable development leader. We begin by utilising our key competencies to build an organisation that can meet some of the pressing needs prevalent within the industry. 65
The current bottlenecks within the public sector are preventing projects from being delivered timeously
There are currently maintenance backlogs in the order of about R30 billion in the municipal environments, demand to supply margins are tight and scarce skills prevail within the industry. The latter aspect creates enormous problems where the need for skilled and competent persons is required in order to find and implement smart, creative solutions. Our training division recognises that Training and Development is a strategic issue and many of the other challenges will not be solved if we do not solve the chronic skills problem. We need to be thinking beyond our own immediate needs and create the opportunities for personnel to grow to the best of their ability as well as become leaders within their respective fields.
value and provision of the energy needs. While protectionism and nationalisation persist, the best solutions and cost will not be the outcome. If you had an unlimited budget to work on one project of your choice to improve the energy industry’s sustainability, what would you do? Actually, this does not require lots of money. What it needs is simply the commitment to improve our collective energy situation. If the best young talent could work together with key industry decision makers in understanding, developing and implementing cutting edge solutions – that would address our key challenges within the industry currently.
What were some of the challenges involved in developing a culture of creating new skills and fostering skills transfer? First, the skills base has been substantially eroded within the country. Secondly, new entrants are generally impatient and are more interested in position hopping or moving to higher level positions as soon as possible. The lack of sufficient investment in time and energy within the respective fields does not allow for high calibre individuals within their respective fields. Decent skills transfer can only happen if there is sufficient commitment at all levels, including management, trainee, trainer, coach and mentor. Decent programmes and alignment of objectives by both public sector and private sector is still far off the mark. Unfortunately, there are still aspects of so called “turf protection”, misaligned leaders and power plays that erode the fundamental development of much needed skills within the industry. We need visionary leadership both in the private and public sector and the common understanding that collectively we can address the challenges that exist.
You have also embarked on some interesting projects involved in developing turnkey infrastructure development, how did that come about? The current bottlenecks within the public sector are preventing projects from being delivered timeously. Internally there exist capacity issues and levels of unaccountability. Within the public sector officials always have some reason for nonperformance. Turnkey is merely an offer to outsource the complete package. The private sector is driven by the bottom line, we either make it work or go out of business. I do not see this as a challenge to the public sector – but an offer to assist in delivery.
How do you foresee South Africa sustainably moving forward in the energy security and delivery industry? The industry needs to be open to market forces and to allow simple economics to drive 66
How do you see renewable energy fitting into the South African energy solution? Renewable energy is a must! The planet cannot sustain us at the current net “take” situation – we need more innovative means to encompass renewable technologies as part of our daily life. More importantly, it has to integrate with providing sustainable living for people especially the poor. We have an abundance of natural resources and need to make better use of it. While there is a need to bulk solutions, it is equally important that individual or localised solutions be sought through non-grid solutions – however the challenge is to make these affordable.
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Jimmy vs Trevor = no difference Writer Walter Majosi
an the real Jimmy please stand up? No! No! He is the real Jimmy. He speaks his mind. He is controversial at times and most of the time he does think before he says something. “I now know who Nelson Mandela was talking about when he said from the dock that he had fought against white domination and that he had fought against black domination. Jimmy, he was talking about fighting against people like you.” Trevor Manuel. Shot on Trevor! Go for the kill! This is a moment in history that cannot be missed. I know that you have an agenda too Trevor, but for now your intervention is paramount for the future of a true democratic and non-racialist South Africa. You cannot deal softly with racism. Those of you that lived during the dark days of apartheid (and did something about it, unlike arm chair politician, Jimmy Manyi) will know better. Perhaps you can teach Mr. Manyi something. He is invited to the HF Verwoerd high school in Orania. They have a special programme on racism. Their main idea is to teach learners that racism is an essential part of any society, even if we don’t like it. They use case studies all over the world, the US, Europe and South Africa. They have now advertised for a new post at the school, a lecturer on black racism. Guess who is the only applicant for the post? The profile of Mr. Manyi does not say much, apart for the fact that he has over 20 years corporate experience, spokesperson for the government and President of the Black Management Forum. He also serves on a few company boards as a non-executive director. But does he know the freedom charter like Trevor Manuel does? Let us turn the radar to Trevor. Minister in the Presidency, in charge of the National Planning Commission, Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009 (by the way, he did a sterling job). The man
has impeccable struggle credentials. Like Jimmy he is concerned that the ANC cannot make sufficient strides in the Western Cape to become the dominant party. They want the ANC to lead in the whole country, including the Western Cape. The so-called coloureds in the Western Cape have two choices, the Jimmy’s prawn solution or the Trevor Manuel car solution. Which ever one you choose, you will land up in the ANC restaurant with “waiter Zuma” as your main entertainer. It is exactly at this point that the head of state is called upon to intervene! The Trevor/Manyi debacle is heating up and we have deathly silence from the ANC. Why? Nobody knows. After a while we got a response from France. The President “assures that the government will not do anything that undermines the spirit and the trust in our constitution... or do anything that reverses our collective achievement against our racial and painful past.” Zizi Kodwa, Spokesperson for the Presidency. AHA! What a significant response that says nothing to the issue at hand. This reminds me of some people I know that talk a lot but say nothing. What does this mean for the so-called coloureds in the Western Cape. You are encouraged, or let me say you are strongly encouraged, to look for better opportunities elsewhere in the country - just not in the Western Cape. You can still vote for the party of your choice wherever you are... as long as you don’t do that in the Western Cape. Why can’t you just suffer in silence under African domination in the post-apartheid era – you know - just like you suffered under white domination during Apartheid? Is it not true that the degree of discrimination was more severe for African blacks compared to that of coloured folks? Forget about the Freedom Charter, this event took place almost 55 years ago and the majority of those who wrote it are already dead. You need to take control of your own future. Viva Ashley Kriel! Viva!
EDUCATION Civil unrest in the Middle East, the move towards renewable energy Writer Lee-Anne Richards
t the end of 2010 civil unrest, protests and revolts broke out in the Middle East and North Africa. This was largely due to frustration with social, political and economic conditions. It began in Tunisia with a fruit vendor setting himself alight in protest of the treatment he received from his local authority. This escalated in public outrage and unrest and spread to Egypt, where the twenty three year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was overthrown by the people. This encouraged the citizens of another dictatorship, Libya, to protest their conditions as well. The unrest is ongoing. So what does this have to do with renewable energy you may ask? OIL and FOSSIL FUELS! Even though all the countries mentioned above are not rich in oil, besides Libya, civil unrest in neighboring countries may have a significant impact on stability for the oil producing countries. Translation: it affects the West’s secured energy access. While Libya accounts for only two percent of the global supply of oil, the market impact of such a supply disruption can go beyond volumetric loss. The unrest in Libya has already created significant impact on the world economy, leading to therise in oil prices and ultimately affecting the cost of petrol, transport and food. Even though an increase in the petrol price is not good for our pockets, it could serve as a catalyst to get people thinking about other sources of energy and how better to access these. Beyond all of this, the debates and arguments for renewable energy have surfaced in a much stronger position in developed nations, given the uncertainty and volatility of the oil and fuel situation. Some of the ongoing debates
around energy security at world economic forums are based on the following areas: Oil and other fossil fuel depletion; Reliance on foreign sources of energy; Geopolitics (such as supporting dictatorships, rising terrorism, “stability” of nations that supply energy); Energy needs of poorer countries, and demands from advancing developing countries such as China and India; Economic efficiency versus population growth debate; Environmental issues, in particular climate change; Renewables and other alternative energy sources. Many fear that the world is quickly using up the vast but finite amount of fossil fuels. Some fear we may have already peaked in fossil fuel extraction and production. So much of the world relies on oil, for example, that if there has been a peak or if a peak is imminent, or even if a peak is some way off, it is surely environmentally, geopolitically and economically sensible to be efficient in its use and invest in alternatives. Some may argue (ideologically) that markets will solve this problem. However, markets are good for making profit and allocating resources efficiently for that purpose. But that does not always translate into what is good for the environment or for society. Industrialisation and population growth is on the rise and along with that the demand for energy resources grow exponentially, thereby depleting the natural resources of the earth. The earth is not able to replenish what is being taken out at the same rate. So what does this mean for renewable energy? Some argue that the next alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power, it is “efficient and environmentally friendly”. But as witnessed in the recent past with the Japanese disaster, it seems more unfriendly as the cost of accidents for both humans
and the environment could end up being disastrous. Solar power and wind energy may initially be more expensive, but in the long run they will no doubt prove to be cheaper sources of energy than nuclear power. Hybrid and solar powered cars are part of the new developments by auto manufacturers to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint. The batteries for these cars are made with lithium, which is longer lasting and more efficient. Renewable fuels like biodiesel, which is made from fatty acid methyl esters derived from vegetable oil, animal fats or waste grease, is displacing petroleum. Fossil fuel alternatives can be created by ordinary citizens on a much smaller and cheaper scale. This poses a threat to the developed nations and their greed for profit – they view it as undercutting the large international financial “muscles” and could lead to massive political changes to the balance of power. Every nation needs a transition, from an economy which uses fossil fuels for energy supply to one in which all energy comes from either renewable or low carbon sources. The only problem with that is, assuming we had all the technologies available and a market hungry for their deployment, the process of global de-carbonization will still take a very long time to be achieved physically. The most significant markets around the world are simply not that interested. Green energy is expensive and the free market has consistently shown that the cheapest approach is to dig up fossil fuels and burn them. We need to do something about our earth – global warming and climate change are on the increase. It is our responsibility!
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Civil engineering into the future Writer Marie Ashpole, South African Institution of Civil Engineering Passion, a love for South Africa and an unbridled optimism in its future are the characteristics that drive the leadership and members of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), inspiring them to innovate, motivate, create and energise programmes and initiatives that affect every aspect of public and private life, reaching from government and decision-makers to communities and learners. One of the demonstrations of SAICE’s concern for South Africa, the SAICE Infrastructure Report Card for South Africa 2011 (IRC) was released in April 2011. The IRC provided grades for the condition of our nation’s drinking water systems, sanitation, 74
roads, airports, railways and harbours, electricity reticulation, hospitals, clinics and schools. Sam Amod, SAICE President of 2006 and the then project coordinator for the first SAICE Infrastructure Report Card for South Africa, published in 2006, was in charge of this project. He says, “To measure is to know! The report card will again be of interest and value to all tiers of government, business, industry and the general public.” The public in general, as well as many civil engineering professionals have expressed concerns about the state of our infrastructure over the past years. Amod explains, “SAICE feels that if government is aware of the
profession’s opinion on where maintenance or replacement is most needed, such as where infrastructure is ageing or approaching obsolescence, better-informed decisions can be made. This thinking is in line with government’s National Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy. “In America, a similar report card is referred to as ‘A Voter’s Guide to Renewing America’s Infrastructure’, and is a means of empowering citizens to lobby government to address infrastructure issues. Having the facts at hand could lead to closer collaboration between civil society and the various tiers of government.” Infrastructure and its maintenance underpin quality of life and economic development. If these are inadequate it will impede social and economic growth in South Africa – something our country simply cannot afford. SAICE, which has more than 9 000 individual members in government, contractors, designers, education and other fields, is the largest non-profit professional society in the built environment profession. SAICE is thus well positioned to provide impartial professional advice, to the national benefit. The Infrastructure Report Card is available from SAICE national office on +27 11 805 5947. The central theme of all SAICE activities is involvement. SAICE
members do not believe in sitting on the side lines. They have a keen eye for the current environment - its risks, challenges, threats and opportunities, and they draw on their 108 years of existence to prepare for and build the future. SAICE aims to reach, inspire, mentor, guide, support, teach and serve as many people as possible. SAICE and its members are not only aware of the many challenges facing our nation, but we identify and develop the solutions and get involved in implementing them. “The challenges are familiar to all - skills shortages, educating our youth, maintenance of ageing infrastructure, building new infrastructure, sustainability and the environment, limited resources, alarming loss of institutional knowledge in public and private bodies, the global stage and the need to keep abreast with technology, serving a vital profession in South Africa itself as well as in Africa and the world beyond,” said former SAICE executive director, Dawie Botha. Considerable emphasis is laid on partnerships with government at all levels and much of the success achieved is due to the tireless efforts of the leadership teams and SAICE networks. SAICE’s water lobby, for example, has in the past been called on to facilitate a better understanding of the many issues related to water, and two civil engineers, Mike Miller and Trueman Goba, serve on the National Planning Committee. SAICE has a vast network locally and internationally which is contained in what is called ‘The World According to SAICE’. Annually this network is published in the November issue of ‘Civil Engineering’, SAICE’s PICA Award winning magazine. This is a priceless compendium of knowledge concerning the “Who’s Who” in the world of engineers - statutory bodies and associated structures, discipline-specific bodies and international bodies. It provides explanations of all acronyms and abbreviations relevant to the engineering environment, illuminating diagrams illustrating SAICE national and international network and activity, statutory councils for the built environment, associated statutory bodies, civil engineering-specific organisations and multi-disciplinary engineering and associated bodies, providing websites and contact addresses. An important aspect of SAICE’s activities lies in maintaining standards to global levels. Standards have to be adhered to wherever civil engineers are involved. Potable water remains potable water wherever you are in the world; a bridge must carry people and traffic wherever it is situated. In a global village, we have to function accordingly and we have an important role to play on
the world stage as we can add considerable value to Europe and the developed regions from a developing world perspective through our initiatives and solutions applicable in the developed world. This philosophy lies at the heart of SAICE’s international partnerships. The most recent initiative is the Africa-UK Engineering for Development Partnership led by the Africa Engineers Forum (a SAICE initiative), the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE ) and the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) to strengthen the capacity of the African engineering profession and promote mutually beneficial links between engineers in Africa and the UK. Information on professional development, on documents and standards are shared with guests and lectures across borders and successful programmes are replicated in different countries to create an environment in which the engineering institutes are recognised, can grow and ultimately start serving the profession more effectively in each country. SAICE makes highly respected and valued contributions to activities of numerous international bodies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the ICE, RAE, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), presenting papers, contributing to policies and promoting collaboration, to the significant benefit of SAICE members and to South Africa’s own development. They on their part also make a significant contribution towards good and best international practice for South African civil engineers to adjust and implement. The World Federation of Engineers’ Capacity Building Guideline 2010 co-authored by Botha and edited by Dr Kevin Wall, is available from the SAICE bookshop. It was launched in Argentina in October 2010 at the World Engineering convention. The publication involves the whole value chain of capacity building and can be applied in any country and initially identifies some 60-70 capacity building programmes. The idea is to spread and share the news and invite others to make their own programmes available. SAICE has a number of competitions and initiatives that promote and attract young people to the engineering profession: The International Bridge Building Competition, AQUALIBRIUM, the SAICE-TCTA Schools Water Competition, Youth in Construction Week with other role-players, SAICE Young Members Panel, Science Expos, open days, visits to schools and universities, as well as the well-received civil engineering career DVD, “The road to your future” – a joint
venture with the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. The DVD encapsulates the passion of roleplayers, the remarkable range of career opportunities, the excitement and challenge of a profession which creates and leaves a lasting legacy and the fulfilment of building for the future and making a difference to the lives of individuals, societies and countries. SAICE is currently rolling out the groundbreaking programme on anti-corruption training countrywide. The group from SAICE’s Young Members Panel has already performed in Tanzania and has received invitations to Zimbabwe and other prominent institutions. SAICE’s Civils Masakheni Section 21 Company runs numerous outreach programmes. The director, Allyson Lawless’ Candidate Academy, which prepares young graduates for registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa in a reasonable period, is being presented countrywide. Outreach Officer, Marie Ashpole explains, “Young graduates can follow training modules to assist them to register in three to four years, where it is currently taking nine to eleven years for young graduates to register.” SAICE’s new CEO, Manglin Pillay, explains, “While we embrace transformation in South Africa, we need to simultaneously preserve the admiration and respect that the civil engineering profession has gained over many years. Civil engineering and civil engineers are central to the sustainable economic and social development of our nation. SAICE is therefore more than just a business. We are a service organisation. We serve civil engineers. We have an excellent and commited team at SAICE, and we want to continue creating a home for civil engineers.” In conclusion it can be said that South African engineering is alive and well as demonstrated in the delivery of world class facilities for more than a hundred years, of which the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup infrastructure, the Gautrain, airports, harbours, freeways and transport facilities, energy generation and developing products, from cars for Japan to astronomy facilities in the Karoo, are merely a few examples. The civil engineering industry is able and willing to deliver, operate and maintain the much needed basic infrastructure to sustain everyday life and to ultimately provide a better life for all, provided they are allowed the space, resources and tools of the trade and most of all, within a system of political will and goodwill. www.saice.org.za
African Childrens Feeding Scheme, picture courtesy of the Anglo American Chairmans Fund
Enterprise development will fail without CSI Writer Tracey Henry
t the heart of enterprise development (ED) is the desire to address the high levels of unemployment, poverty, inequality and skills shortage in our country. This is no easy task and there are no silver bullets when it comes to ED, or other forms of development for that matter. The critical thing to bear in mind is that successful enterprise development doesnâ€™t
come from nowhere. It is an integral part of the overall development continuum. Our own experience at Tshikululu Social Investments is that success in the continuum is not only about the application of money. Rather, it is about identifying, and working with, things that are themselves real and that result in long-lasting and positive empowerment of people. Itâ€™s about being in for the long haul, and knowing that liberation is a process, not
Prisoner small farming training of the Hlumelelisa Project Leeuwkop Prison, picture courtesy of the Anglo American Chairmans Fund Joburg Child Welfare, picture courtesy of the Anglo American Chairmans Fund
an event. The continuum can be likened to one’s progress up a ladder. On the first rung of the economic ladder there are those people marginalised from the socio-economic mainstream. Their needs are very basic and immediate, focusing on family livelihoods, health, basic education and skills. The response at this first level is often to provide basic skills training, with the hope that this will lead to some form of employment. But too often we have encountered training programmes that have been “imposed” upon vulnerable communities, who out of desperation will accept anything, however inappropriate, that seemingly holds the
promise of a better life. Sadly, such initiatives inevitably lead to disappointment once it is realised that the skills offered are not matched to the surrounding economic needs and that training is simply being offered for its own sake. A basic principle of any sustainable development work, and enterprise development, is to ensure that what is being provided is what the community first and foremost requires and wants and, that it is in response to a tangible need. It is then also important to distinguish between basic welfare or development objectives versus commercial goals. In many instances it is important to first assist communities to address basic needs such as food security, housing, securing identity documents, accessing social grants, schooling and primary health care before we are able to move along the continuum towards economic self-advancement and job creation. There are many examples of successful training programmes. These include programmes that focus on street children, who are offered a safe living environment in conjunction with skills training focusing on basic skills, such as baking or bead making. A major part of working with such beneficiaries must also be in the proper provision of lifeskills training, often using innovative means. These interventions not only address a social need for security, hope and acceptance but in some instances lead to future employment in the formal economic sector. The next tier up the ladder is that of self-help groups, often comprised of unskilled women in rural areas, who produce goods in limited quantities to supplement social grants needed to eke out a living. These groups are rarely made up of the sort of aspirant entrepreneurs required to run structured businesses, fix production quotas, or put together sophisticated marketing strategies. But they do provide a way – albeit modest – to supplement income and they should not be overlooked when they are effective. They are critical in the very important developmental facets of providing ways for people to believe in their abilities and potential, accept that they can affect their circumstances for the better, and give greater meaning to their lives. Many groups simply want to operate at a very basic level in order to meet a basic need and this has a social benefit in itself. We should never discount the often harsh realities that people face in simply surviving. Indeed, often the very survival of such groups represents a major achievement by
the individuals concerned. Enterprise development takes place further up the ladder. There are various initiatives that corporates are engaged in through micro-enterprises, small and medium-sized ventures, micro loans, and similar forms of enterprise development. Simply put, you cannot respond to need alone. You need to back champions! In selecting an enterprise development partner there are a few obvious partners you could consider such as business hubs, incubators or individual entrepreneurs. However, a sector that is often overlooked in the ED space is made up of non-governmental organisations that, for many years, have been at the coalface of providing skills training and employment opportunities for often the most vulnerable communities in our country. As with any investment, you need to manage your risks upfront. Developing enterprises and creating employment is no easy task and there are no quick fixes. Lastly, we should not create false divisions between enterprise development and social development in general. So we need to be asking: • How can we encourage ED and job creation when our matric pass rates are abysmal? • How can we encourage an entrepreneurial mindset among women when the majority are unemployed and, sadly, in many communities the rights of women are disregarded? • How do we ensure that the future workforce can make informed career choices and have access to proper vocational and life skills training? and • How do we ensure that the 15 million South Africans who are chronically vulnerable to food insecurity have access to basic services as a step on their journey to independence? These are all critical building blocks to reducing poverty, increasing our country’s skills base and creating opportunities for employment or self-employment. ED should not be seen by business as a stand-alone initiative, but rather as integral to its overall development strategy. Often, ED and CSI departments do not have formal working relationships and operate oblivious to what the other is doing. A greater understanding of their respective approaches could assist in identifying areas of synergy and programmes that should complement each other. Tracey Henry is CEO of Tshikululu Social Investments www.tshikululu.org.za
SITA integrates Limpopo Government’s ICT systems
ITA’s flagship project IFMS, reached another very important milestone on 1 March 2011 when the Asset Register module of IFMS went live in three more departments in Limpopo. IFMS is a strategic project which was initiated by Cabinet in 2005 to transform the existing Supply Chain Management (SCM), Human Resources (HR), Finance and Business Intelligence systems into new, technologically advanced system. The project is categorised as a multi-stakeholder initiative including the National Treasury, DPSA (Department of Public Service and Administration) and SITA (State Information Technology Agency). Upon completion, the IFMS project will replace the current legacy transversal applications that include the Basic Accounting System (BAS), the Personnel and Salary System (PERSAL) as well as the Logistics Management System (LOGIS). The IFMS seeks to achieve: Improving the back-office efficiency of the public service; Making fraudulent transactions more difficult; Providing a richer set of tools for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the Public Service; Supporting the recruitment processes and the capacitating of the Public Service. The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) will ultimately be at the heart of all future eGovernment systems. IFMS is continuing to reach new frontiers in Limpopo by enhancing the Asset Register Module 1.1 and conducting successful implementations of the system. The first module of IFMS to be completed was the Asset Register and Limpopo was selected
for the first provincial pilot implementations which were done during 2009/10 by installing the Asset Register module at Limpopo Provincial Treasury. A decision was taken to simultaneously roll out the system to three more departments in Limpopo, under an accelerated implementation program. The Department of Agriculture, Department of Local government and Housing and the Department of Roads and Transport were selected for implementation of the AR module which went live in the first quarter of 2011. Implementation took place over a period of 10 months, with teams from SITA Limpopo and from SITA national working closely together to ensure success. This was by no means an easy task as huge sets of data had to be cleaned before it could be imported into IFMS. Approximately 65 000 assets spread over at least 21 separate spreadsheets, of differing configuration and standards were processed. In addition to data cleanup SITA also provided: Training, Support, Infrastructure assessment, Business process management, Implementation support. It took dedication and hard work, but in the end SITA can proudly say that the implementation was a success, the module can now, with confidence, be implemented in other government departments. Government departments have already indicated that they want the module implemented as soon as possible. This is a clear indication that the departments value SITA’s approach towards system implementation and project management. SITA is now standing on the edge of a new era, an era where IFMS will become a buzz word in Government.
For more information on IFMS implementation in Limpopo contact: Edwin Mashau: Provincial Manager, SITA Limpopo email@example.com. SITA is the lead ICT agency for government, mandated to provide:
Private Telecoms network (Act 7(1))
Transversal system (Act 7(1))
Data Processing (Act 7(1))
IS Security (Act 6(a))
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UKTI Climate change meets commerce
he South African Government has made it clear that foreign investment is welcome in South Africa, and investor-friendly policies support the public pronouncements. This is good news for the UK/South Africa trade relationship; firstly with bilateral government agreement to double trade following President Zuma’s State Visit to the UK in March 2010, and since trade and investment has been identified by the UK Government as one of the key pillars for economic recovery and future growth. The figures speak for themselves and prove just how strong the trading relationship is. South Africa is the largest market in subSaharan Africa and one with which the UK has enjoyed a long and healthy trading relationship of around R90 billion annually. Several sectors have been identified by both governments where increased cooperation and trade would be mutually beneficial. These include infrastructure, higher education and skills, energy, natural resources, ICT, financial services and health. The biggest opportunity for mutual partnership comes from South Africa’s planned R1trillion infrastructure programme which focuses on power generation, roads, rail, water, hospitals and schools over the next three years. These are long-term investments in the future of South Africa, and increase the capacity of the economy to grow and create jobs for generations to come. The UK has much to offer in sharing best practice in PPPs, skills transfer, opening up the power sector, supporting infrastructure development, promoting investor confidence and developing renewable energy sources. In the 2008/9 the UK low carbon,
environmental goods and services industry was worth over R1 trillion and employed nearly 1 million people – that’s almost 3% of the UK’s working population in an industry still very much in its infancy. Not only is the sector growing but it’s proving particularly resilient to the current economic downturn as well. Corin Wilson, from the UK’s business development agency UK Trade & Investment in South Africa said, “It’s not hard to see that a similar green economy here would make a significant, sustainable contribution to South Africa’s plan to create five million jobs by 2020, as well as boosting the economy.” Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa was recently quoted as saying that the South African Government would ‘step up to the plate’ to ensure that climate change policies would take into account the nature of South Africa’s economy and its impact on businesses. What better model to look at to achieve this than the UK? That said, some commentators would disagree and point to the fact that for example the UK only gets 2% of its current energy needs from renewable energy. However, with a target to increase this to 15% by 2020 it is just the sort of model South Africa could look at to see how such rapid growth can be achieved – through public, private and a combination of both sectors working together. Similar to the way that the UK came to South Africa to learn from the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the staging of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UK’s ‘green’ model is an ongoing opportunity to learn from what has gone before, both the successes and the challenges, and apply them to the South African landscape via expert partnerships. There is no question that government plays a key role. In the UK over R100 billion
has been invested publically in the low carbon economy between 2009 and 2012. Renewables Obligation Certificates and Feed in Tariffs have also played a key role in generating incentives to develop new, cleaner technologies for generating energy – an issue particularly topical in South Africa at present. A R30 billion Green Investment Fund to kick-start innovation and entrepreneurship and leverage five times that in private sector funding will create even more jobs as well as continue to place the UK as one of the leading ‘green’ economies. The results are evident - the UK has the largest installed capacity of off-shore wind generation in the world –estimated at 12GW by 2020. Bio-energy currently accounts for more than half of the UK’s renewable energy generation. Solar, not something commonly associated with the UK, particularly during summertime, has grown exponentially as a supply chain industry in the UK, specifically in areas of thin film solar and organic photovoltaics. Carbon capture and storage, something South Africa has great potential to develop, has seen huge development both through research at UK universities and the growing number of demonstration plants. The UK has developed an environment that has led to 81% of the world’s carbon trading taking place in London and over R20 billion in renewable related capital being raised on London’s Stock Exchange. In the year when South Africa hosts COP17 in Durban the British High Commission, with its commercial arm UK Trade & Investment, is more than ever looking to bring together both countries in the area of low carbon economy where climate change meets commerce for the benefit of both. www.ukti.gov.uk
BORAINS BRAINS Foreign Investment in South Africa Writer Nic Borain
oreign investment is a good thing, right? Especially ‘bricks and mortar’ foreign investment, better than the short term flows of ‘hot money’ that flood in and out of our markets, destabilising almost any financial instrument you could name. Direct foreign investment helps redress the fact that our national books do not balance with the rest of the world’s, basically there is more money, goods and services flowing out of our country than flow back in. It’s called BOP (unbalanced balance of payments). Foreign direct investment (FDI) shows local and domestic investors that: the rest of the world trusts the country; global corporations believe they can make a profit here; that the legal regime is stable and that their assets and personnel are safe enough to justify the investment. FDI brings technology and skills into the country and it exposes our domestic industry to best-practice competition, systems and management. Doesn’t it? So why has the government come out in such stern opposition to the Walmart acquisition of a controlling stake in Massmart (the holding group of such well know domestic brands as Macro, Game and Builders Warehouse)? In November 2010 Walmart announced plans to buy 51% of Massmart in a transaction worth about R16.5bn. The Competition Commission approved the deal without conditions. But since then, government in the form of the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Trade
and Industry as well as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has raised serious objections. The government argues that the Commission is obliged to weigh the “public interest” of the deal and that there are no significant balance of payment benefits because Massmart is already 72% foreign owned. Government argues along lines almost identical to those used by Cosatu and community groups that have strongly opposed the deal (although government submissions are less hyperbolic and sentimental). The government asserts that: historically, the net effect of Walmart’s entry into any domestic economy is a reduction in total employment and wage levels, especially in the retail sector; the manufacturing sector gets hollowed out as Walmart sources the cheapest Asian goods. Cosatu is more strident, arguing that Walmart is guilty of a number of inhuman employment practices, including “wage theft” forcing employers to work overtime if they want to keep their jobs. Walmart has defended itself on most of these counts, denying that its average wage is below the retail norm in the US and asserting that there is no evidence that the company is an abusive employer. They countered that job loss is unlikely (Walmart plans to create 500 000 jobs in the next five years) and that studies have shown that launches of Walmart branches have no statistically relevant impact on the number of small businesses or self-employed Americans.
Government’s strategy is risky Walmart is not a bunch of Girl Scouts coming here to sell us cookies. It is right and fitting that government should keep an eye on employment and manufacturing impacts in a deal like this one and any conditions that it is able to extract from Walmart will be welcome. But there is a very thin line that gets walked here. There is a growing impression of an overall hostility of this government towards business, foreign and local. I do not think government has successfully argued that Walmart is any better or worse than the domestic retail sector and therefore its lining up with Cosatu is discomforting. Walmart employment practices and the consumerism the company is associated with is a fashionable cause, not without good reason, of left-wing groups, social movements and trade unions internationally. It is fine for Cosatu to play hardball with the wily and powerful Walmart even to try and keep it out of our economy on (shaky) assumptions that the local yokels are easier to beat at the industrial bargaining game. But government should be wary of being a cheerleader for one social player in the contest that is the modern capitalist economy. Global and domestic business is starting to see our leaders as instinctively suspicious of foreign investment and business in general. This is not an impression we can afford to give the world.
JOB CREATION The green sector Writer Kendal Brown
uring his Budget Speech in February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the R9-billion jobs fund announced by the President would co-finance innovative public and private-sector employment projects over the next three years. Of that R9 billion, R800-million has been set aside for “green economy” initiatives over the next three years. It sounds like a lot but it’s less than 10% of the total of R9 billion! More encouraging though is the R2.2-billion allocated to environmental employment programmes over the medium term period. Job Potential There are claims that going green may create 78,000 jobs by 2030. A nice claim but most of us will agree that 78,000 is a drop in the ocean of unemployment. For those who get the jobs though, it will be very welcome and no-one begrudges them that. What we’re asking is: is enough being done and is all that money that’s been budgeted going to be put to best use? Of course all over the world governments and a multitude of other agencies are striving to be green. It’s an unenviable task given the challenges that transitioning towards a low-carbon economy brings. The pace of green job creation has to accelerate rapidly. It needs to do so with immediate effect! Green job creation is catching on in both the rich countries and, pleasingly in some of the major developing economies as well. Where to look It’s been mooted that one of the quickest ways to create long-term and sustainable jobs is through the renewable electricity industry. For instance Green Peace Africa recently suggested in a report that tens of thousands of new jobs could be created over the next twenty years if governments acted with foresight. SAWEA (South African Wind Energy Association) feels that the jobcreation potential of renewable electricity projects, such as wind farms and solar parks, is significant. They say that if 25% of SA’s electricity is of a renewable nature by 2025, about 40,000 jobs can be created. Most unskilled and semi-skilled jobs would be created, during the construction stage while
during the development and operational stages of the projects diggers, machine operators, environmental personnel, civil technicians, civil engineers, and drivers would find employment .The operational stage of a wind farm would require skilled personnel such as turbine technicians, highvoltage/electrical engineers, IT specialists, and book-keepers. And as most projects will be in the vicinity of small towns in rural areas the local economies will benefit greatly. Learning from others It came as a great surprise to me to learn that Germany is the global leader in the solar energy industry. In fact its renewable energy sector employs 273,700 people. Solar energy leader? In Northern Europe? Hello sunny South Africa! How to do it? Well maybe we can take a lesson from Toledo in Ohio. They maximized their regional strengths. Apparently it’s important to examine community assets in the quest to boost green job development. Known as Glass City, Toledo lost a one-third of their manufacturing jobs since 2000 because it is/was a major glass manufacturer. They redirected their expertise and became a solar manufacturing hub. They did this by forming alliances on federal, state and local level. Solar advances at the University of Toledo’s Wright Centre for Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization, along with corporate cooperation, and government grants allowed this market to flourish. South Africa is blessed with many, many natural resources and when it comes to sunshine and wind we certainly do not lack. Imminently renewable, there is no longer any question as to where to turn to create a new industry that will supply gainful employment while at the same time giving our earthly home some time to recover from past abuses. What needs to be looked for in creating green jobs is innovation, cooperation with industry leaders, government and other interested parties. Lots of thinking out of the box and definite short term goals, something like six to twelve months rather than 30 years. We don’t have that much time left.
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Skills & Training Recycling your staff Writer Lee-Anne Richards
s your company ready and geared towards exponential growth, sustainability and competitiveness? The twenty-first century company is smart, sassy and embraces change. Change in terms of how we did things in the past and change towards embracing the new technologies and systems that may make our lives much easier. To do all of this, we need to have the correct calibre of staff and a visionary corporate strategy. The underlying questions to ask is: “Are your employees as productive as you would 86
like them to be and are they ready to assist you to face the new corporate challenges?” Some people define their career by working in the same role and field for their entire life. They are happy with the climate controlled office, doing the same task over and over again and not doing anything outside of their comfort zone. This is so even amidst the many technological and other changes that are happening around them. If you decide to computerise processes, they may be the first to become demotivated and negative towards the process – change is hard to
accept. Enough of the dark ages, we need to move on and equip our companies for the twenty first century. A good place to start is by “recycling” our staff. Some may think it is not an apt way to talk about their employees – are we now comparing them with paper and plastic? Yes, but in a positive way! Recycling paper or plastic is good for the environment and adds to the sustainability of the earth. This can be directly compared to your company and its viability. Let me explain. It starts at the recruitment stage: we employ staff into positions that they are not always best suited for. For example, a BCOMM graduate who majored in investments is employed in a financial organisation as a call centre clerk. This is a good entry point for the graduate as they may not possess any work experience. The manager observes, through the work that the graduate delivers, that he/she is a keen researcher and would do well in the company’s research department. Despite this observation no action is taken to move the employee, even though he/ she could be more effective and efficient in another department. The graduate becomes bored and decides to seek employment that offers them the opportunities that they want. This could be detrimental to the company in the long run. If they “recycled” the graduate –gave him/her the opportunity to job-shadow and then up-skill with the necessary skills and competencies – the company gains an employee of more value, motivation and efficiency. They have just increased their output and competitiveness in the market. All this through getting the person, with the right skill set in to the right job. Another recycling opportunity is opened up when a company strategically decides to engage in succession planning and talent development. This means that employees are trained for succession. If a senior employee resigns, then their position could easily be filled from within the company. Succession can also mean lateral moves of employees to other departments. This ensures that staff members do not become bored and complacent with the roles that they are fulfilling. Talent development on the other hand ensures that you earmark the correct talent within your business for future leadership. This assists with continuous growth of staff who can be utilised across the company to research better methods and efficiencies. This, in turn, leads to better operational success and competitiveness. By recycling your staff, your company stands a better chance of remaining relevant and your staff continue to grow in all areas, giving them a greater understanding of the entire business.
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Is Schooling 2025 the way forward? Writer Libby Norton
e tend to beat systems that have failed to death, especially when they must once have been lauded into existence. Our former system of education, OBE, has been called “weak and superficial, unrealistic and lacking in specific objectives,” by the Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. One of the former proponents of Outcomes Based Education (OBE), Graeme Bloch, declared it “a disaster from get-go, overly optimistic and too complex...“ Opposition parties are hopeful that “Action Plan 2014 (AP14) : Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025” will be a success, having long railed against the government with good reason; half of OBE learners dropped out not making it to matric. Of those remaining only 60% managed a passing grade.
Bizarrely, the former curriculum made the assumption that all pupils had access to research facilities such as the Internet, libraries and newspapers and demanded considerable learner research from such sources. The system introduced in 1998 is not however being scrapped, but modified. AP14 entails a reduction in the number of projects for learners and doing away with the need for portfolio files of learner assessments. The common tasks for assessment (CTAs) for grade nine learners are also discontinued. Bloch stated that OBE reinforced a tendency to top-down edicts, saw poor training and development for teachers, and a host of form-filling and compliance rituals. The reduction in the mountain of paperwork was good news to Mzupha Ntoni, a teacher from Motherwell near Port Elizabeth. He
said OBE had placed an enormous burden on him - and his pupils. “We do not have enough books in our small library and we do not even have a computer at our school,” he said. A teacher, we’ll call Lola, in Grabouw welcomed going back to basics: “…basics means repeat, repeat, repeat, use flashcards and teach timetables in maths. If the educators are as optimistic as I am, I’m sure we can overcome this disastrous past 12 years or so...” The call from many quarters for the reopening of teacher training colleges is addressed by expanding education sites and the addition of a new university in Mpumalanga. Government is intent on producing more than 12 000 new teachers and lecturers a year by 2014. In addition, a highlevel Planning and Delivery Oversight Unit is being prioritized to unblock bottlenecks to ensure success for the new education system. The Teachers’ Union, SADTU, was pleased to see the new curriculum placing emphasis on literacy and numeracy and assessments for each subject and grade with concise curriculum. This may however mean little without a radical change to teacher mindsets. Martin Prew, the executive director of the Centre for Education Policy Development, warns that if the proposed teacher training fails to inculcate an attitude of professionalism, pouring money into curriculum development is not going to help. ACDP’s MP, Cheryllyn Dudley, speaking in Parliament put her finger on a problem with the unions: “The one thing no-one wants to talk about is... the ‘superior rights’ of unions. We will never have the teachers and managers needed if a union stronghold is allowed to prevent a culture of dedication and hard work.” This may also be an influence in the department’s disinclination to take disciplinary action against non-performing teachers or those who commit serious crimes like child-abuse and fraud in school. Educator Michael Rice concurs saying unions resist any attempt to enforce standards of professional behaviour or competence. “Their contribution to undermining the profession’s ethos and moral authority cannot be underestimated.” Martin Prew calls for a national debate saying we need to know what we want from our education system and the skills and values we want our children to learn. Schooling 2025 appears to have cleared up many curricula obstructions but before real education is successful, teacher attitudes will need a spring clean too.
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If people are weighing up the cost of credit more these days why are so many people up to 3 months behind in repaying their credit accounts
Creating sustainable credit consumers since 2007 Writer Zak King With so many consumers months behind on their debt repayments, some wonder if the credit industry will manage to weather the current financial storm. In some parts of the world, even banks have come crashing down and many large corporations that have extended credit to consumers have folded under the strain of the worldwide economic “down turn”. However since consumers will no doubt continue to want instant gratification, the “play now, pay later” nature of credit will undoubtedly remain popular. The truth is that few consumers really weigh up the true cost of buying on credit. These days, the onus lies on credit providers to help consumers weight the cost before they can extend credit to them. For most consumers, the simple exchange of having what they want now and not having to pay the full cost right away is as far as they think. Little thought is given to the long term cost of credit including the interest portion. No wonder that with the new National Credit Act it became mandatory for credit providers to inform consumers not only of the monthly obligations they will have to cover but also the total cost of credit including all fees etc. This has been a real eye opener for some, and has made them think twice about buying on credit with all the extra costs and fees as opposed to saving. However, for most consumers this has been weighed against the convenience of having items right now. Most 92
are prepared to cover the extra cost. At least they are better informed and understand that buying on credit will cost them more in the long run. Amazingly not all consumers were aware of this in the past. If people are weighing up the cost of credit more these days why are so many people up to 3 months behind in repaying their credit accounts (almost half of credit users have this problem at present)? Often a major issue is the range of credit products that one consumer has access to at one time. For instance a consumer may have a bond and car to repay along with an overdraft and several credit cards and a loan. “Wow” you say, “that’s a lot of credit”. It may be so, but with regular income and a little planning, many are able to make these repayments. It’s when these same consumers face unplanned for expenses that they then begin to use their store cards and credit facilities to cover emergency repairs or impulse purchases. They soon fall into the tricky situation where they are using one credit facility to repay another. For example: using their credit cards to repay their clothing accounts. What starts small soon escalates into consumers having to take loans to make repayments on their bonds and cars. Once the consumer is in this position it is just a matter of time before this house of cards comes crashing down. Eventually account and interest charges push their accounts to the maximum limits and the
consumer can no longer even manage to rob Peter to pay Paul since Peter simply does not have any more funds. For many in this position, debt counselling has been a real help. Not only do these consumers get help with their credit providers in making a long term repayment plan (often with reduced interest rates from credit providers to assist consumers) but these consumers are also helped to use a monthly and annual budget. They start to look at all aspects of their monthly spending and learn to prioritise and plan for annual expenses. Many people forget about their annual car and TV license fee for example. Not so with those under debt review. These consumers have to adjust to a life style without access to credit, while they go about paying off their current credit. What this means is when the consumer has repaid all of their debt or paid up enough of their debt that they no longer need debt counselling and are ready to re-enter the credit market, they are much better prepared to count the cost of credit than the average consumer. Thus they will borrow more responsibly and be sure to make regular debt repayments in a reliable manner. Since debt counselling came into effect in 2007 not many consumers have been rehabilitated as yet but those that have are better credit consumers for having been through the process.
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Some insight into keeping it green Writer Brent Smith
rogressive automotive hybrid technology - primarily petrolelectric - has recently led to the introduction to market of a number of models by various manufacturers. One of the latest offerings is from Honda in the form of the secondgeneration Honda Insight 1.3, a five-door family hatchback which, at first glance, very closely resembles Toyota’s Prius.
Launched in 2009, the Insight gained immediate popularity in its homeland, becoming the first hybrid to claim topselling vehicle status in Japan for the month of April the same year. Internationally it is billed as the cheapest available hybrid, with more than 143 000 units having been sold worldwide in its first year. However it’s necessary to note that the Insight is intrinsically not for petrol heads. In
other words, let’s get one or two potentially sore points out of the way before moving on to the good stuff... Weighing in at 1 196 kg, the Insight is powered by a 1.3-litre i-VTEC in-line fourcylinder engine with an output of 65 kW at 5 800 rpm and 121 Nm at 4 500 rpm, which is increased by an integrated electric motor, raising it to a more respectable 73 kW at 5 800 rpm and 167 Nm at 1 000-1 500 rpm. So with a total of 61kW per tonne, the Insight will take you from standstill to 100 km/h in 12.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 182 km/h. You’re unlikely to knock the socks off your passengers when opening up on the freeway, especially with the added carriage weight. You may get a few laughs though, thanks to the automatic transmission system. Honda has fitted the Insight with a constantly variable transmission, or CVT, which boasts impressive modern technology, but comes with a price. Put your foot down as if you mean it, and the revs pick up rapidly, leaving performance trailing. Throughout
any purposeful acceleration, engine noise and forward motion don’t quite seem to team up, giving the impression of a slipping clutch. Nevertheless, as most, if not all, hybrid enthusiasts are unlikely to fall into the ‘power junky’ category, and hence would not attempt to consistently get maximum response out of the vehicle, the sound of the CVT under duress shouldn’t be an issue. Nevertheless, when it comes to general driveability and handling a renowned American auto magazine selected the Insight as their preferred hybrid because of its superior handling, steering and braking. This can be attributed largely to Macpherson struts in the front, an H-shaped rear torsion beam and antilock-controlled disc brakes all round. Now let’s move on to what the Insight is really all about - efficiency and practicality. While not claiming a spot in the ‘sports car status’ category, the Insight’s engine very cleverly uses additional power from the onboard electric motor when needed, such as overtaking or climbing a hill, which
dramatically reduces fuel consumption. The electric motor is then recharged using energy derived from deceleration and braking, therefore never requires a recharge from an external supply. Further fuel efficiency is obtained each time you stop in traffic with your foot on the brake - the car’s management system shuts off the combustion engine, leaving the car standing silent while you wait at the traffic light, and then instantly and quietly restarts as the brake pedal is released. That’s not all - you can activate an ECON switch on the dashboard, which instructs the engine management system to adopt certain settings, further improving fuel consumption. The result is an impressively low consumption of 5.6 litres/100km (Honda claims a very optimistic 4.6). Put simply, you’ll get 700km of combined driving out of the 40-litre tank! Carbon emissions are also low at a mere 108 g/km. Along with a comfortable and surprisingly large interior, the Insight is extremely well equipped with a long list of standard
convenience and safety features, including cruise control, park distance control, paddle shifts behind the steering wheel enabling quick gear changes, climate control, auto headlights, auto rain wipers and vehicle stability assist. In addition, the console is dramatically decorated behind the speed display with an ambient arc-shaped light meter which glows blue during aggressive acceleration and green during light-footed economical driving, further drawing attention to minimal consumption. Honda’s primary aim when designing the Insight was to make hybrid technology available to a bigger market by developing a family car that was more affordable. At a price of R259 900, which includes a threeyear or 100 000 km warranty and a fiveyear or 90 000 km service plan, they have effectively achieved their goal.
Crossover to hybrid luxury Writer Brent Smith
exus has established itself as a serious contender in the premium vehicle category, with models across the range standing out for their elegance, refined styling and exceptional value offerings of high standard specification. Along with the rest of the Lexus core model line-up composed of medium to grand saloons, their SUV range (dubbed RX) has made a substantial impact on the SA motoring industry. Of the two derivatives available locally, the RX450h, a majestic and robust third generation petrolhybrid five-seater SUV, is of special interest. Lexus employs an aesthetic philosophy it
calls ‘L-Finesse’, which the RX embodies with its fastback profile, low-set grill and sharp angular elements. These combine to give it a coupé-like stance that makes it stands out from other SUVs. The RX450h competes convincingly against V8 and turbo-diesel SUV rivals by combining performance with fuel economy and low emissions. The 3.5-litre V6 DOHC VVT-i petrol engine, which produces 183kW at 6 000rpm and 317Nm of torque at 4 800rpm, features a number of clever innovations to optimise fuel efficiency. The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system reintroduces cooled exhaust gas into the
combustion chamber, reducing the engine’s operating temperature. Exhaust Heat Recovery (EHR) involves using exhaust gas to warm the engine coolant at start up, thereby reducing the time the engine takes to warm up. Regenerative braking converts the heat produced while braking into electric energy, which is then stored in the NickelMetal Hydride battery and powers the secondary motors. The petrol engine is assisted by front and rear electric motors that form a full hybrid system, allowing the vehicle to operate on petrol or electric motors alone, or by combining both. However, electric-only mode works
at speeds of up to a maximum of 48km/h over short distances. The rear motor, which gives the RX its four-wheel drive capability, provides 50kW of power and 139Nm of torque, while front electric power delivery is 123kW and 335Nm. A power control unit manages the two electric motorsâ€™ seamless high-speed interaction. Total power output comes to 220kW, which launches the twoton SUV from standstill to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds. Lexus claims a combined driving cycle petrol consumption of 6.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 148g/km. The RX holds the road well for a vehicle of its size and gives a comfortable, quiet, smooth and luxurious drive, thanks to an independent rear suspension and plenty of sound insulation that effectively isolates passengers from outside noise. During slow stop-start driving, electric power is utilised frequently, continuously stopping and starting the engine, however, this is smooth and imperceptible. The drive train itself is almost silent during normal driving but becomes a little rowdy at full throttle.
Standard safety equipment is certainly not lacking... from antilock disc brakes, brake assist, traction and stability control, front and rear seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and dual front knee bags, to an Adaptive Front Lighting System which pivots the headlights in the direction the vehicle is turning. One of the RXâ€™s most popular safety features is Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which integrates steering, braking, stability control and traction control, providing optimum response during emergency situations. As one would expect from a Lexus, the interior of the RX not only excels in quality and refinement, but is loaded with standard luxury specification far beyond the SUV norm. Among the significant features are leather upholstery and wood inlays, electrically adjustable heated front seats with lumbar support and 40:20:40 split rear seats with individual recline adjustment, park distance control with a reverse camera, dual zone climate control, electro-chromatic rear view mirror, HDD navigation and privacy
glass. Additionally, the range-topping LXE comes with seat air-conditioning, electric sunroof, power-operated tailgate and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson Sound system, as further standard features. The unique asymmetrical dashboard design contains a multimedia information screen with Remote Touch - a mouse-like joystick on the centre console that fits naturally into the driverâ€™s hand, making it easier to use than touching a button. The on-board computers, climate control, satellite navigation and audio systems are all accessed with this feature. In this segment of the car market, where competition is currently growing at a rapid rate, the RX450h holds its own as a worthy contender. Priced at R751 000 (R789 300 for the LXE), it comes standard with a 4-year/100 000km maintenance plan and a 3-year/100 000km warranty. The Lexus Hybrid Drive battery has a life expectancy of 10 years, and is covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty.
Hardlife Marisa’s frozen bike project
The real deal Writer Hardlife Marisa
Practical Diploma project which Hartley completed was the cold room with heat recovery
once read an article that tried to define what a good technician is. The writer said “Theory is when you know everything but nothing is working. Practical experience is when everything is working but no one knows why. A combination of theory and practical experience make a good technician” I find this is so realistic. I got into refrigeration starting from the theoretical point of view. I started at school unlike the majority that attends school already knowing terms and having put their hands to tools. When I left OTTC for my first job after an interview with my boss at UNITEC REFRIGERATION, I was full of determination. I was happy with the exposure I had at school and the theoretical and practical training. It gave me confidence and it was luck that my boss wanted to throw me in the deep end and I had to see myself out. The first jobs I did presented situations I never discussed in class, that is heights (Ladders) weights) 65 HP Compressor), Lights (Switching everything off and the room gets dark). Despite all these odds and “Big” things, one reality will always stay; the principal is definitely the same. Still
even with this realization some situations put magnifying glasses on your face and everything will end up looking too big and untouchable. The only thing I said to myself was, welcome to the real world of refrigeration. This is the real deal. Being new in the field requires a lot of guts to keep going, with a good theoretical background I still needed good guidance as I never wanted a single mistake, because its costly sometimes. I would refer back to my theory and ask my boss every time I got stuck. There is this one thing I love about tony, what he says when you tackle the seemingly impossible, “stick with me and I will make you famous”. He’s so satisfied getting a plant to run properly and get the client to call you the next morning to say thanks and they are happy. A good theoretical training background is good because it prepares you for any situation in the field. One truth is “NO MASTERS FALL FROM THE SKY” with this realization we ought to treat each day as a new learning day. Knowledge is something we will embrace from different situations day in and day out.
Does space hold the key to renewable energy? Writer Ryan Jared Ali
he world is consuming energy at an increasingly rapid rate. Projections indicate that by the year 2100 we will require 60% more energy than what is currently being produced. When we link that up to the depletion of fossil fuel resources at an equally rapid rate, we realise that new solutions need to be found. The US
government is acutely aware of this issue and in 2006 the US Air Force published a document â€œWar Without Oil: A Catalyst for true transformation.â€? What it did was look at the issue of the depletion of hydrocarbon energy resources and painted the picture of what could result in a world war over the last remaining sources of non-renewable energy. The National Security Space Office of the
Pentagon took the findings to heart and began looking at how to prevent a resource war. Finding reliable, renewable energy sources was on the top of their list of ways to mitigate future conflicts. Thus was born Space Based Solar Power (SBSP). In order to come to a proper conclusion and analysis the Pentagon compiled a report which included contributions from some 170 academic, scientific, technical, legal and business experts from around the world. The conclusion of the report published in 2007 was clear: Space Based Solar Power is possible, the promise is enormous and the time to start: immediately. Demand for fossil fuels increases while resources dwindle. Oil and coal fields that 10 years ago were deemed uneconomical are now being mined. An example of this are the Canadian oil sands which hold approximately 7 trillion gallons of oil previously deemed too expensive to mine. For every 2 tons of material excavated would only yield 1 barrel of oil. So the amount of energy required to generate just one barrel is enormous. At the turn of the century it took only one barrel of oil to get a hundred out the ground, today in Saudi Arabia it takes one barrel to
get twenty. In the Canadian oil sands it takes one barrel to get five. The cost involved in harvesting current non-renewable energy sources is becoming prohibitive. Enter renewable energy. The hurdle for renewable energy, such as SBSP, has been that of cost. Now however, it is reaching the point where it may be cheaper to explore these alternate solutions. Even if there were a limitless amount of hydrocarbon resources available there is another issue looming. What in the past was only a question, namely the impact of fossil fuels on our environment, is now abundantly clear. Reliance on traditional energy sources is simply not sustainable for our environment. The human race as a whole has to decrease its dependency on fossil fuels to mitigate the degradation of our environment. The alternative is an environment not suited to sustaining human life. It seems drastic and melodramatic, but if the Governments are concerned then we should be too. The US government, unlike many of its international counterparts, does not have a National Energy Policy which favours renewable energy. However at a state level some are moving aggressively to address the issue. Californian Governor Jerry Brown signed the 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard. This requires the state to procure at least 33% of its energy from renewable sources which include solar, wind and other clean sources by no later than 2020. Moves like these are now paving the way for industry to invest in developing these technologies. But how is industry responding? Go back to December 2009, a landmark deal was made between Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), who provide almost sixty percent of the energy requirements to the State of California, and Solaren Corporation. Solaren are contracted to supply PG&E with 200MW of space based solar power by June 2016. It might sound like science fiction to you, but the ability to harvest energy in the space and transmit it to the earth is quickly becoming a reality. The individual technologies involved are tried and tested, proven in industry. Solar power collection, even in space, has been done for decades for orbiting satellites. Transporting satellites or other objects into space is cheaper than ever before. Hence the cost of getting these solar power stations into space is viable. The costs are further set to decline over the next few years as more and more corporations become involved in the space industry. The real science fiction idea lies in transmitting the energy from space to earth. Or so it would seem. In fact it is a proven and well understood technology. Communication
satellites are already completing this function on a daily basis making use of safe microwave, radio wave or laser technology. In 2008 a long range power transmission test was conducted between two Hawaiian Islands, the distance of the transmission was 148 kilometres. The test far out performed what would be necessary, strongly demonstrating the feasibility of the technology. Is the technology safe? In a word: yes! The frequency and potency of power transmissions would be at similar levels to that of cell phones or wireless internet which according to studies by NASA are safe to humans and animals in proximity. The stage is set! The technology has been sitting in the wings for nearly 50 years and now seems poised to deliver on our requirements for renewable energy. Companies like Solaren and Space Energy inc. are racing to get their prototypes launched. We need wait only a few years for space based solar power to become a reality. This is more than an energy solution, if successful SBSP is set to secure environmental and political stability and improve the quality of life on earth.
Demand for fossil fuels increases while resources dwindle. Oil and coal fields that 10 years ago were deemed uneconomical are now being mined
Aion APPLIANCE The Aion, designed by Antoin Lebrun, is a multi-functional cooking and cleaning appliance which might find its way to market by 2017. It utilizes specialised plants for their filtering and cleaning properties to provide a renewable supply of clean water and vegetable soap. When cooking, the plants act as a filtering hood.
Dyson Air Multiplier
Paper Log Maker
Is it magic? The Dyson Air Multiplier is a bladeless fan able to produce cool, energy efficient air flow using air inducement and entrapment. Yes, itâ€™s magic!
Got too many newspapers? Soak them in some water, put them in the Paper Briquette Log Maker and voila! No more need for wood with these long burning paper bricks.
Belkin Surge Strip Say goodbye to stand-by. Most devices still use electricity even though turned off. With the Belkin Conserve EnergySaving Surge Strip you can turn off all your devices with the touch of one button.
Biodegradable Pint If you’re concerned about wasting plastic try out Biopac’s Biodegradable Pint Tumblers. The tumblers are constructed from a corn starch derivative which only starts to degrade when subjected to heat, moisture and bacteria.
Philips Eco TV
There’s no need to carry bulky rechargers or extra batteries with the Jetyo HDV-T900 Solar Powered Camcorder. The camcorder features builtin solar panels to recharge its battery when required. Retails at about R900.00.
The Philips Eco TV recently won Best in Show at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Green features include lead-free components, very low levels of mercury and recycled packaging. The only possible downside is that it achieves its low power consumption by adjusting the backlight depending on dark or light scenes which can cause flickering. 103
Sony Xperia X8 Writer Mark Rosenberg
The Xperia X8 is a more affordable version of its higher-end brother, the Xperia X10. It has the same design as the X10, but features a more compact footprint. The phone runs Android 2.1 as opposed to the newer Android 2.2 software, that said, the X8 is still one of the more stylish and affordable Android smartphones on the market today. In terms of size, the Xperia X8 sits between the bulky Xperia X10 and the petite Xperia X10 mini. It has a 3-inch 320x480pixel touchscreen, three hardware slots for Menu, Home and Back, and a convex backing. The X8 comes in white by default, although you do get an additional cover. This comes in a different shade with a gradient finish. A power/keylock button, flanked by a micro-USB port and 3.5mm audio jack, sits on the top edge of the phone. You can lock the handset by pressing this, but you’ll still need to swipe across the display to unlock the phone. The volume rocker and camera shutter are on the right, while the camera and built-in speaker are on the back. The microphone and lanyard loop are The Sony Xperia X8 is a on the bottom. well priced entry-level Given the lower price point, the X8 doesn’t offer all the features Android smartphone of the X10. Aside from a smaller display, it also has a lower-resolution 3.2-megapixel camera. The X8 initially shipped with Android 1.6 and has since been upgraded to Android 2.1, which is still a little behind other Android phones. Sony Ericsson’s custom interface for Android features four customizable quadrants for placing applications at each corner of the home screen, but there are some limitations with the display. It doesn’t support multi-touch, so you either long-press the screen, then slide your finger up or down, or tap twice, to zoom in the Gallery. The 3.2-megapixel camera while a slight improvement over most of its counterparts comes without autofocus and flash. It’s very simple to use with almost nothing to configure except switching between four different scene modes. The picture quality is also nothing to get excited about. The X8 captures VGA videos at 25fps. The 1,200mAh lithium-polymer battery is rated for 4.8 hours of talktime and about 18 days of standby time. In reality, it will last only a day or two with a Gmail account on push, regular checking of Twitter and Facebook, as well as average use of text messaging and calls. The Xperia X8 is not the most technologically advanced phone on the market but if a well-priced entry level Android smartphone is what you are looking for you can’t go wrong.
Gateway Metalworks is a leading manufacturer of top quality metalwork - balustrades, fencing & gates and we pride ourselves in subscribing to the good practice, principles & requirements of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation. We are classified as a black-owned business in terms of BEE legislation with 100% of the equity being held by a black male & female, putting us in a stronger position when tendering both private and public.
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Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard Writer Andreas Wolf
stability usually affect wireless devices, however the keyboard can finally got my green wireless keyboard from Logitech. I am not even be used from such a distance that you can no longer see what talking about the colour of the wrapping or the colour of the is on your screen. The installation was very easy, although you do keyboard. I am talking about a new technology, about the first need an internet connection during the setup and registration. It’s solar powered wireless keyboard produced by Logitech. The great as simple as plugging a dongle into a USB port. The installation thing about this keyboard is that you no longer have to hassle happens automatically and after a few seconds the keyboard is ready with wires. There is also no need to change batteries anymore. to use. The keyboard itself is very solid. It provides Just plug in the receiver, switch it on and use fantastic spacing between the keys. Every key is it. The smart, ergonomically designed keyboard is There is also no need surrounded by a firm support frame. The individual powered by light. It features two photovoltaic solar to change batteries key presses are quiet, without those annoying, strips above the keys which recharge the battery. anymore loud clicking sounds as you type. The underside of At first I doubted that it would work properly. I the keyboard sports six rubber feet, so it doesn’t move on the table. thought it might only work properly outside, where there is sufficient Bottom line: The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard is a solid, ready sunlight. However, If you’ve ever tried working on a laptop outside to use keyboard which provides a good example of how renewable in the blazing sun you will know that it is near impossible to see energy and technology have merged to save power. Now all we need anything on your screen. Fortunately the Logitech Solar Powered is a whole PC or notebook, including its peripherals, to be driven by Wireless Keyboard works perfectly indoors. Even after sunset, even solar energy. with electrical light alone - the keyboard works perfectly. Range and
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Can technology help to solve the world’s impending energy crisis? Writer Marc Ruwiel
ver since the industrial revolution, technology has resulted in an exponential increase in the world’s energy consumption. Over the last century, technology has completely changed the way we live and has improved living standards in countless ways. These changes have come at a cost of huge environmental impact however. The notion that we will one day deplete the world’s resources is something that we have only started to grapple with over the last few decades. It took the earth millions of years to manufacture natural resources like oil, coal and gas. At the current rate, we will deplete these resources in a miniscule fraction of that time. The rate of increase in energy usage is simply staggering. According to the US Energy Info Administration more than half of the total energy that we have consumed since the industrial revolution in the 1800’s, has been consumed in the last two decades. This is despite advances in efficiency and sustainability. BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy published in 2009 states that in 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (474×1018 J=132,000 TWh). This is equivalent to an average annual power consumption rate of 15 terawatts (1.504×1013W). It is almost impossible to fathom these kinds of numbers, so it is easier to see it in historical perspective. Our energy consumption now is approximately 5 to 6 times more than in 1950. Scientists can debate how much longer non-renewable resources will last, but one thing is clear: they will run out.
Until the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, Nuclear power was commonly seen as the only practical answer to the world’s energy conundrum. The ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant has highlighted the real dangers associated with nuclear power. This has resulted in many countries re-evaluating their existing and planned nuclear generation plants. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an innovative method for obtaining natural gas that exists in shale, has increased dramatically over the last decade. Estimates are that, if extractable, there is potentially enough to supply the world’s current energy needs for over a century. Fracking has a high environmental cost however. It may be potentially polluting underground water tables with a mixture of chemicals and carcinogens that are used in the extraction process. The South African government has very recently placed a moratorium on explorations so that these environmental risks can be properly evaluated. In terms of renewable energy, solar energy has the largest potential to generate energy. If the world’s land mass is covered with solar panels, it is estimated that solar could generate 1600 EJ (444,000 TWh). Wind power could generate a maximum of 600 EJ (167,000 TWh) throughout the world. Both solar and wind power have a serious drawback however: they cannot function alone. They can only operate in addition to other, more constant power sources. Alternatively, a portion of the power they generate needs to be stored and released
when they cannot function. In decreasing order of potential, other types of energy generation that are classified as renewable, include, geothermal energy 500 EJ (139,000 TWh), biomass 250 EJ (70,000 TWh), hydropower 50 EJ (14,000 TWh) and ocean energy 1 EJ (280 TWh). For every type of energy generation, even so called renewable energy, there is a downside. The flip side of the coin is that we simply have to use less energy. Awareness, attitude and conservation will help a lot – walk or cycle to the shops, turn off lights when not in the room, turn down the geyser – all of these are basic principles that we need to start living by. Can technology help us to save energy, rather than using more though? Numerous technological interventions exist to reduce our energy consumption. In our homes, a number of these have gained prominence and acceptance over the last few years. Some are hi-tech, while others have been around for years. Solar water heating has started to gain acceptance in South Africa, primarily due to Eskom’s subsidies – not to mention serious price increases. If ever there was a perfect example of carrot and stick approach this is it! Other, low-tech interventions that should be commonplace, but are not, are properly insulated homes, double glazing, geyser blankets and insulated warm water pipes. CFL’s In terms of lighting, using compact fluorescent lights (CFL) instead of incandescent lamps has also been encouraged by Eskom. Many CFLs are designed to replace incandescent lamps and, conveniently, can fit into most
The rate of increase in energy usage is simply staggering
existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescents. In addition to the direct cost savings CFLs bring, they also tend to last much longer than traditional lights. The average rated life of a CFL is between 8 and 15 times that of incandescents. Of course, CFLs are more expensive. However, while the purchase price of an integrated CFL is typically 3 to 10 times greater than that of an equivalent incandescent lamp, the extended lifetime and lower energy use will more than compensate for the higher initial cost. One issue, however, is that typical CFL’s cannot be dimmed. Attempts at making dimmable CFL’s have not yet been 100% successful, with complaints of high pitched buzzing when dimming. It appears that this technology still has to mature. LED’s LED (Light emitting diodes) technology has also made great strides in development over the last few years. LED’s are many times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. LED’s are also more suited to replacing power hungry 12V down lighters than CFL’s, but attempting to do so without replacing the power supply as well, may not be successful. LED’s can be dimmed, but once again only with dimmers that are suited to them. Currently cost is a major impediment to LED technology taking over the lighting world. Watch this space... Home Energy Monitor This is a device that does not actually save any energy itself, but probably has more potential to effect energy savings than all the sum of all the other devices on this list. The home or remote energy meter is a device
that displays the current energy consumption of the home as well as the resultant cost. The unit should be placed in a prominent or easily visible position, and it allows the home owner to see how much energy he or she is using. Knowledge is power, and in this case, one will instantly know what one’s energy consumption is costing. With the radical electricity price increases that the South African home owner has faced over the last few years, this is something that should really be a necessity rather than a luxury in every home. Self-powered Devices Although not in the energy saving league of solar geysers, this is an interesting concept in sustainability. The intent here is that, through some type of human energy transfer, an electronic device can power itself. Commercially available examples include the well-known wind-up radios invented by Trevor Bayliss and manufactured by Freeplay. Other examples include torches that work once they have been vigorously shaken. There is even a remote control device that can be “wound up”. Generate It Yourself Taking the idea of self-powered devices one step further, Ideso is currently developing a home exercise device that can power a number of devices. Rather than merely wasting all those kilojoules, the device stores the energy in a large battery, which can then be used to charge any device like a mobile phone, rechargeable batteries for toys or remote controls, even an electric toothbrush. Stand-by Power Scavenger Many devices in the modern home have a
“stand by” mode. The device, like a TV or DVD player is effectively in sleep mode, but is still using a small amount of power. Stand-by scavengers monitor this and then switch the power off at the plug. It is a small saving for each household, but when added up over all households countrywide it has a huge potential. Estimates done in the UK show that an entire power station’s energy is used merely to keep all the country’s standby devices powered up. From the examples mentioned, it can be seen that technology does not only have to add to energy usage. Only a few examples are mentioned here, but technology can help manage and minimise energy usage immensely and provide us with a more sustainable future. About the author: Marc Ruwiel is the head of design and owner of Ideso, one of South Africa’s leading Industrial Design Companies. He qualified with a B.Eng in industrial engineering at the University of Stellenbosch in 1988 and received NHD in industrial design (cum laude) from the Cape Technikon in 1996. Since founding Ideso in 1998, the company has designed over 400 products for clients ranging from entrepreneurs to global corporations. For more info, visit www.ideso.co.za
ART Recycled Writer Zak King
oes the art of a society reflect its values or rather does it help shape its values? It’s an old question. These days more and more artists are turning to recycled materials to produce their work. The thought of using recycled materials in ones art is not a new one. Since the first guy who walked down a beach and found a piece of drift wood and thought “I can use this to decorate my home”, artists have been using items (a second time) in new ways to produce works of beauty for our pleasure. However, as the world begins to feel the import of
recycling, there has been a growing trend among the art world to show us how this can be done. Sometimes the work is tongue in cheek like that of Laura Ann Jacobs “Bound by Beauty” who used old lobster shells and reshaped them to resemble a bra (no this was not designed for Lady Gaga) in a commentary on how uncomfortable women’s fashion can be. Sometimes it is like that of Philip Starck and company’s R1920 project where they reused the legendary oak posts used by Venetian gondoliers to moor their vessels, transforming them into stunningly designed
furniture. As with all art, it’s what you do with your materials that determines whether or not it expresses the artist’s vision and appeals to others. Some artist’s recycle, not only materials but even artistic concepts. Take photographic artist Chris Jordan. Chris feels passionately about the way man is dumping waste into the oceans. To help you share Chris’s dismay it is estimated that 2.4 million pounds of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every single hour. Now, while the oceans are huge and deep this constant barrage of garbage is beginning to show. In the Pacific a strange phenomenon has occurred. In that ocean the one thousand mile wide Gyre ocean current, which turns clockwise like a slow motion whirlpool, has been concentrating tons of the worlds garbage into what is known as the Pacific Garbage Patch - visible from space. In an effort to bring this matter to peoples attention Chris took the famous art work of Japanese artist Hokusai, namely his “Great Wave off Kanagwa” (which many people feel represents the all to recent tsunami tragedy in Japan so aptly) and gave it a whole new spin. Instead of painting a similar image however, Chris used 2,4 million tiny pieces of plastic to create a visual collage similar to that of the “Great wave”. In another artistic flash of genius the pieces of plastic used in the
gigantic collage were actually all collected from the Pacific Ocean itself. Looking closer at the collage one can see all sorts of strange and wonderful items from plastic toothbrushes to buttons and combs. The items where sorted into colour groups and used in Chris’s artistic vision. Viewed from a distance the image, which he named Gyre after the ocean current, is beautiful. It is only once you learn more about the materials used and the story behind the art work however, that the full power of this piece is revealed. Other artists look to the streets and dumps closer to home to find inspiration and material to recycle. Reskate is a project by a collective called Nube who rescue abandoned skateboards and transform them into stunning pieces of art. Here they sand down the boards removing any previous images and use them as their blank canvas giving these decks a second life as art rather than fire wood or trash. Some claim that “green design” or “eco art” as it is also known will save the world. Well, regardless of whether this is true or not recycled art is definitely bringing the issue to the attention of more and more people. It is helping us see that many of the materials needed to produce magnificent art are already all around us. Maybe, just maybe, we can save the planet... one pinchy bra at a time.
Tsitsikamma Village Inn This magical hotel is situated in the quaint village of Storms River and was originally established in 1946. This privately owned and managed country hotel consists of 49 village-style rooms, where each cottage is individually decorated to match its specific colonial building style. Enjoy a drink in our famous Hunters Bar, indulge in al fresco dining at CafĂŠ Bacchus or select from our extensive a la carte menu at our De Oude Martha Restaurant. The Hotel is popular both with incentive and conference groups. Close to the Tsitsikamma National Park, the Big Tree, many forest hikes and numerous other activities. The Hotel is renowned for its good food, old world charm and has been a favourite for many a year!
Darnell Street, Storms River, Tsitsikamma, Garden Route, South Africa Reservations & enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org / phone +27 (0)42 2811 711 GPS co-ords 33 58 25.83 S / 23 53 11.46 E
Green tourism Writer Natasha Braaf
he International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines and declares the principle of Green tourism as: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people.” Martha Honey, Co-director of the Centre Eco-tourism & Sustainable Development, describes the characteristics of ecotourism as the: conservation of biological and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection; promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local population; sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous peoples by having their consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises; tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being the primary concern; affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury; local culture, fauna and flora being the main attractions; local people benefit from this form of tourism economically more so than mass tourism.
The concept of ecotourism has been around for a while; in fact it said that the term was coined in 1965 by American, Claus-Dieter Hetzer as he led the world’s first eco-tours in Yucatan, Mexico. Since then terms like, responsible tourism, jungle tourism and sustainable development has been the “in” thing and green tourism became the fastest growing sub-sector in the tourism industry. Regrettably, the term is also widely misunderstood and is often used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that relates to nature. This often consists of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem. There are also companies who advertise themselves as “Green Tourism-establishments” when in fact they are not. It is the onus of the traveller to ask the right questions, like: Is the environment being looked after? Is the local community being uplifted and protected? Does the travel build environmental awareness and respect local cultures? Are resources remaining for future generations? So what does South Africa have in place to demonstrate our commitment to Green Tourism? South African Tourism (SATOUR) markets South Africa’s scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, kaleidoscope of cultures and heritages, the great outdoors, sport and adventure opportunities, ecotourism and conference facilities. The Strategic Framework for Tourism Development in South and Southern Africa, compiled by SATOUR and the Development Bank of SA, emphasises the values of equitable socioeconomic benefits for all participants and communities, community involvement in decision making and responsibility, and sustainability, which
requires balanced management of potentially renewable tourism resources. There is a growing awareness of environmental responsibility among the members of the tourism industry. National and Provincial parks, as well as private game reserves, are now including the concept of involving and benefiting local communities in their mission statements. South Africa still uses the star system, where one star ensured the basics while five stars secured you true luxury. Lately travellers want to ensure their journey is ethical, responsible, socially uplifting or ecofriendly. Tourists can now choose between a small number of highly respected South African tourism accreditations. In 2003, the Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa trademark (FTTSA), a still-unique IUCN (World Conservation Union) initiative that recognises certain special tourism ventures for their efforts at sustainable tourism, was established. Most Fair Trade destinations employ, train and empower people from local communities. They have ethical business practices, respect the environment, and promote local tourism attractions. By using the services of a FTTSA-certified establishment, tourists are assured that their travel benefits local communities and economies and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially environmentally responsible manner. More information on FTTSA-certified establishments is available on www.fairtourismsa.org.za. South Africa offers an array of green destinations, so let’s start right here and right now!
AFRICAN IVORY ROUTE
Your true adventure destination!
African Ivory Route (AIR) By far the most adventorous and diverse route which covers vast expenses of natural bush and mountains ranges with breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and cultural richness. This is an ideal destination for the safari, adventure and cultural enthusiast. The route includes attractions like Lake Fundudzi, where legend has it that the python rules the underwater spirit world, the holly forest where ancestors guard the Venda traditions, the Thatshingo potholes and the Thate vondo dam and tea estate. AIR-factor! Besides excellent birding opportunities, the exquisite localities of 10 African Ivory Route camps make relaxation intimate and exclusive and allows for a very personalized experience where camp schedules can be customized to suite guestsâ€™ preference. Friendly staff attends to the needs of guests, who usually leave as friends and sure to return. Accommodation along the route is available in 10 scenically situated camps comprising safari tents and cultural camps with communal kitchen facilities. Ablution facilities are en-suite or communal. The camps accommodate only 10 guests at a time. All camps are self-catering.
For more information please call +27 15 295 3025 / +27 15 295 2829 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.africanivoryroute.co.za 115
Hospitals using renewable energy Writer Kendal Brown
ospitals in the United States dump approximately 1.8 billion kilograms of refuse every year. They’re second only to the food industry, would you believe? Maybe it would be good to know just how much refuse South African hospitals are dumping. Better still, what are they doing to alleviate the situation? In January this year Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that five new tertiary hospitals are to be built across the country, costing more than the World Cup stadia. That’s phenomenal! But one has heard very little as to how green they will be, if at all. In America it’s been recommended that recycling medical equipment could save hundreds of millions of dollars each year while in addition protecting the environment. Hospitals dispose of things like surgical gowns, towels, blood-oxygen meters, compression sleeves, and other surgical devices in great numbers, after one use. Reprocessing could reduce needless waste and the cost of recycled devices can be up to half that of new equipment. Some may not relish the idea of having a previously used surgical instrument used on them, however, reprocessing is of such a nature, given medical technological advances and FDA oversight, that the US government has no patient concerns. If reprocessing used equipment isn’t possible or desirable, millions can be saved by reprocessing items that were unpackaged in preparation for a procedure but were not used during surgery. Usually these are disposed of as they may have been accidentally exposed to contamination. Further steps to “green” hospitals would be to
switch, at least in part, to cleaner, renewable energy sources. Hospitals are very energy hungry and the benefits of using clean energy involve much more than cost savings. Public health as a whole benefits by the reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Proactive health care! Given that South Africa lags far behind developed-economy standards in its adoption of green-building practices, it’s comforting to note that the government and private sector are conscious of the need for environmentfriendly building practices. Hopefully all future hospitals will incorporate the idea of building with sustainably in view. In the South African context one has to take into account more than just the energy efficiency and environmental impact issues. Social equity, involving skills training, employment, transfer of skills, economic prosperity and local procurement is also of prime concern. Spire Property Services MD Bruce Kerswill summed it all up nicely when he said, “There is no rocket science involved in green building and eco-design. We have vast amounts of information and knowledge available on the subject; now all we need is a body to facilitate growth and adoption of these principles in South Africa, where green building is still the exception rather than the rule. Common misconceptions such as green building being a costly exercise are not necessarily true, as there is a great deal that can be achieved simply by using good design.” Here are six principles, developed for green architecture, in a manifesto drawn up by Cape Town architect Andy Horn. 1.Socio-economic principle: or the promotion of social, economic and cultural
upliftment; 2.Land principle: ensuring use that is respectful and in symbiosis with the local environment and its resources; 3.Water principle: affirming the protection, conservation, efficiency and reuse of water; 4.Energy principle: guaranteeing the conservation, efficiency, and renewable use of energy; 5.Health principle: focusing on non-polluting environments and healthy materials; 6.Holism principle: ensuring the use of holistic principles and intrinsically recyclable processes and materials. So what sort of things can be done? 1.Passive cooling, which uses only 10% of the energy needed by a similar conventional cooling systems can be incorporated; 2.Photovoltaic cells and thermal solar panels can be installed to generate energy; 3.Solar water heating systems help reduce energy requirements; 4.Movement-sensitive, low-energy lighting saves energy by only lighting parts of the building that are in use; 5.Underground water tanks, that stores runoff water from the roof area, can be used to provide water for irrigation and ablution; 6.Use of locally procured, recycled materials and/or materials minimising pollution helps to reduce the carbon footprint. The benefits of adopting the 6 principles for Green Architecture should be self-evident. The results are a lower impact on the environment, curbing of emissions, lower operating costs due to reduced water and electricity demand. On the other hand you avoid sick building syndrome due to the abundance of fresh air, natural light and lower toxin emissions from building materials. Healthy, green hospitals can result in earlier patient discharge and increased productivity among staff. Hadn’t thought of that one had you! Mr Health Minister it would be a really good PR exercise if you let us, the public and possible patients in these new hospitals, know what is being done to make these new hospitals as efficient and green as possible. While we’re at it, what about older hospitals? What about the private sector? Some people say the last place to get well is in a hospital. Will going greener improve perceptions? Or is it only a perception that we’re going greener?
Scuba Dives and Courses Discover the thrill of scuba diving in Marine Protected Tsitsikamma. Dive Experiences, Guided Dives and Scuba Courses available. Prefer to Snorkel? Learn the skills of snorkelling on guided Snorkel Trips, showing you the secrets of Storms River Mouth’s underwater world!
Kayak and Lilo Trip Experience the pristine beauty and majesty of Storms River Mouth up close and intimate as you paddle between high cliffs and relax on Inflatable Lilo’s as you wade through narrow passages and long still pools deep into Storms River Gorge.
Teambuilding Packages Combine fun, laughter and adventure in Tsitsikamma with key lessons on teamwork, personal growth and company values; tailored to suit your organisations’ specific needs.
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E: email@example.com W: www.untouchedadventures.com C: (+27) 73 1300 689 or (+27) 78 871 1952
National Health Insurance Writer Rishqah Roberts
less fortunate, as the more elite portion id you know that South Africa of the population are able to afford more has a National Health Insurance comprehensive medical aid and hospital (NHI) scheme, whose goal it is cover, complete with private hospitals. to ensure that all its citizens and The aim stated by the Ministerial Advisory permanent residents receive equal, Committee of the NHI is to ensure access quality health care? Congress of South African Trade The scheme is to take a Unions (Cosatu) President, Sidumo Dlamini, stated that community-centric approach and the NHI will help make quality focus rather on local primary care health care affordable for many. networks, rather than large-sized However, being state supplied the NHI will only meet the bare hospitals minimum requirements and thus to healthcare based on need, instead of the attract mostly the poverty stricken portion capability to pay therefore, as is currently of the population and those whose living the case at institutions with the best available expenses do not allow them to care for their medical care: private hospitals. This NHI, medical expenses. Although not expressly which is to be implemented by 2012, is stated anywhere the NHI is directed at the 118
meant to be funded by dedicated new taxes. KwaZulu-Natal premier, Zweli Mkhize, confirmed that the health department estimated that it would need an approximate additional R11-billion in the first year alone. Initial estimates indicate that R100 billion per year will be needed to fund the NHI, a 40% increase in the health budget. “Every single South African is going to be making a contribution,” said Olive Shisana, the chair of the ministerial advisory committee dealing with implementing the NHI. National Health Insurance is long overdue for South Africa, at the moment we are spending approximately 8% of our GDP on health care. Most of these funds are consumed by the private healthcare system, despite the fact that as large a majority as 64% rely on the public healthcare system. The NHI Scheme is the ANCs plan to command universal access to health care for all the nations’ citizens. This bold claim has met with marked scepticism seeing that the 2012 roll out would focus mainly on rural communities. Many feel that “everyone will be paying” for something they will have no access to. The scheme is to take a community-centric approach and focus rather on local primary care networks, rather than large-sized hospitals. The smaller groups will allow for better care and more attention to be paid to those in need. This way the NHI will achieve one of their goals by bringing medical services to those in areas with little or no access to quality healthcare. The NHI’s immediate objectives include investing in and rebuilding the country’s public health infrastructure, developing human resources programmes to fill the national shortage of qualified health workers and establishing a national health fund that would be ensconced in the Ministry of Health but operate autonomously. The plan is for the scheme to be implemented for a 14 year period and guarantee a full range of healthcare services to all South Africans. This should indirectly allow for some currently private-sector facilities to become available to those who are at the moment being denied access to private hospitals. The proposed NHI scheme is meant to be of benefit to all. ANC Spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu has been quoted saying “If there is one organisation that likes to have people involved in what it does, that’s the ANC. We welcome your contributions on this matter.” This implies that we should all feel “welcome” to voice our concerns regarding the imminent roll out of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
FILM & THEATRE THE KINGS SPEECH Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham-Carter, Guy Pearce & others. Genre: Historical Drama Based on a true story and winner of 4 Oscars. The year is 1925, an unorthodox, wildly eccentric and largely selftaught Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue, helps future King George VI of England, known to his family as Bertie, overcome a debilitating stammer. The heartfelt friendship that develops between the two during extremely tense situations in Europe leaves one with a rather pleasant feeling. With a witty script and flawless performances from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, The Kings Speech can rightly be called one of 2011â€™s Best!
Pirates of the Caribbean : ON Strange TIdes Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane Genre: Action Adventure The anticipated return of the audacious Jack Sparrow is here in the new 122
swashbuckling, sea fairing adventure. On Stranger Tides has our hero escaping the clutches of the King of England only to embark on a race to reach the fountain of youth. His old friend Barbossa is back too. The journey on the fearsome Captain Blackbeardâ€™s magical ship is riddled with zombies and mermaids. The illustrious Penelope Cruz joins the cast as Blackbeards daughter and a past friend of Sparrow. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides is the fourth chapter in the blockbuster Disney film franchise.
The Nutcracker The Imperial Russian Ballet Company return to South Africa to perform for 3 nights only in The Nutcracker. The Ballet is based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. in 1891 Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the score for the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker will grace our Artscape Theatre in Cape Town during July. The Russian troupe will be joined by South African children from ballet schools in the various cities they perform. Definitely a beloved premier ballet not to be missed!
BOOKS & MUSIC
Onion Tears Author: Shubnum Khan
I have always had an acute ear for movie soundtracks. To name but a few that I favour TRON: Legacy, Eat Pray Love, A Good Year and Empire Records. Have you heard of Glee? Set in Ohio, a high school Spanish teacher becomes the director of the schools Glee club (singing and dancing). The show is a biting musical comedy that has quickly become a culture phenomenon. With over 200 well performed songs featuring music from various artist like Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nix. The Glee soundtracks have been a hit on my ipod for months now! They will rekindle your love for melodies that have sadly been forgotten. You might even find yourself singing along to Cee-Lo Green or Lady Gaga.
She has become known as the characterful London blueswomen with the ability to emote. When she’s angry, she burns. When she hurts, she bleeds. 21 is the second release by Adele who writes and produces her own songs at the age of only 21. Her honest lyrics have a genuine depth and sincerity. Her first single off the album “Rolling in the Deep” has already topped charts the world over. Take a listen to the soul stirring music of Adele.
A tale of 3 generations of Muslim women living in suburban South Africa. Khadeejah Bibi Ballim is a hard-working and stubborn first-generation Indian who longs for her beloved homeland and often questions what she is doing on the tip of Africa. At thirty-seven, her daughter Summaya is struggling to reconcile her South African and Indian identities, while Summaya’s own daughter, eleven-yearold Aneesa, is a girl who has some difficult questions of her own. Gradually, the past merges with the present as the novel meanders through their lives, uncovering the secrets people keep, the words they swallow and the emotions they elect to mute. For this family, faintly detectable through the sharp spicy aromas that find their way out of Khadeejah’s kitchen, the scent of tragedy is always threatening. But will it bring this family together?
Paragliding in the Garden Route
Tandem flights Instruction Sales www.saparaglidingadventures.co.za
072 199 0622
072 612 8168 firstname.lastname@example.org
RESTAURANT REVIEW La Mouette Writer Mark & Roxy Rosenberg
ne cold autumn night Mark and I paid a visit to 78 Regent Road Sea Point where the old Europa Restaurant once lived. The tudor style house, built in the 1930’s, is now home to a place of superb cuisine offering excellent value for money. La Mouette, meaning seagull in French, was named after the seagulls so often seen riding the breeze in Sea Point. They offer modern French cuisine with a Mediterranean flair, imitating the climate and produce of Southern France. The beautiful courtyard is a great lunch venue on a summer’s day. However given the chilly weather in our city of late, we were seated inside one of the rooms near a crackling fire. We have learnt that it serves to your advantage to know the layout of a restaurant before booking a table. Ask to be kept away from the entrance, doorways or waitron stations, too much foot traffic can spoil a romantic evening. Chef Henry Vigar was hosting a “two for one” 6 126
course tasting menu @ R240, accompanied by an additional wine paring @ R160 per person, which is a great way to compliment the flavors. As you may know by now, Mark is charmed when fresh hot bread is served. La Mouette had him asking for more of their deliciously crispy, warm, round bread-cake with fresh herbs. So we were already off to a good start. First on the tasting menu was a ‘Bloody Mary’ which took the form of spiced tomato jelly, finely chopped celery, tomato espuma (which is the Spanish word for foam or froth) and black pepper. This was paired with a sparkling Brut. Next we were served the most delicious morsels whose flavor lasted long after they were over. Cheese and truffle croquettes with a tomato and basil dressing, an eruption of cheese in a crisp light shell paired with a Chenin Blanc. A butternut-squash soup followed, served with Pinot Noir. A good winter warmer. Perfectly roasted angelfish served on a bed of crush potatoes, baby spinach
and sauce vierge (a fresh sauce made from olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and basil) came next. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich, creamy texture counter balanced by the sharpness of the vierge. Mark and I preferred this to the 5th course of Confit lamb shoulder cassoulet, roasted vegetables and basil pesto. What I found impressive about the staff, was their swift and stealthy presence at the end of each course to scoot our empty dishes to the kitchen. Efficient, helpful and friendly without being overwhelming. The restaurant was filled by 20h30 with both young and old enjoying the warm cozy surroundings. The evening ended with a delectable, flavourful ‘Cappuccino’. Well it looked like a cappuccino, only in solid form. What we found in our cup was delicious coffee ice cream with finely chopped crispy bits and milk foam served with warm French doughnuts. Delicious! We left feeling satisfied and immediately began planning our return.
Recycle your wardrobe Writer Stacey Metcalfe
his is the time of year that many of us sit and assess our wardrobe for the upcoming winter season. We take note of what is needed and pull out the clothes we no longer wear or have just worn out. We might takeout some old favourites which need some tender loving care to be revived. Luckily for us what is old is also new again for winter 2011, giving us a chance to recycle old looks. If you take the time to sift through old family pictures, admiring your mother’s style, you will realise that we are simply reinventing her looks through the latest trends. Now that you are in the “assessing” frame
of mind, ensure that you have the basics to start with! This season is all about reinventing the classic basics, with all their stunning simplicity. These basics can be recycled year after year as they can be teamed with any trend to make up a completely fresh and new look. Ensure you have your crisp white shirt, your sheer blouse, your perfect fitting black pants, a pencil skirt, skinny jeans, your ultimate blazer and your winning coat. If one building block is missing, this is where you start in your winter shopping. Season trends are now your next step. Winning pant shapes are the peg-leg trouser, the part harem pant, part tapered ankle grazer. This trouser is roomy on
the hip then nips in just above the ankle to create a whole new silhouette. You can team this with all your basics, add heels and cinch in your waist and you’ll have this look nailed. Before running out to buy this item think recycle! Try looking in the old family wardrobe to find this classic trend in your mother’s collection. Long and longer are the words that better describe this season’s skirt trends. A 1950’s style skirt, full pleats being very trendy, can totally save any outfit from being casual without losing its sophistication. This type of skirt can be matched with loose sweaters and a classic belt. Another way to easily renew a winter wardrobe is by incorporating some of your summer favourites into winter looks. The idea of wearing our seasonal pieces, even if it’s unseasonal, is growing. There is no reason to ditch your shorts in the winter. Sweater tights, or anything with texture are a must underneath to keep you warm. Something with matching or similar colours is preferable to elongate the leg. Over-the-knee socks and boots are also a trendy statement. Any summer blouse can be teamed with this seasons coat or easy knit. Military floor sweeping coats are massive, yet the easiest way to recycle last year’s favourite coat is
simply to change the buttons. Change from your flat self-colour to an interest brass or antique silver military motif button, and voila! Your whole coat is renewed! Accessories are also an easy and cost effective way of updating your look. A beautiful scarf in a chunky loose knit is also an easy way to transform a simple look. Boots are always a necessity for winter. Don’t get rid of those thigh-high or ankle boots from last year, they are still as hot as ever this winter. Fur boots are being seen everywhere, so if you are looking to trend your outfit then go this route, or stick with something classic to last a few seasons. If your old garments simply cannot be renewed or your winter wardrobe needs a complete make-over, rather recycle old favourites by donating them to charities or second hand clothing shops. Failing that you might adopt the newest old craze – hosting a clothes swopping party. My advice though, keep them in your collection. Vintage is always the hottest trend!
How green is your environment?
outh Africa has been on the back burner for a number of years when it comes to going green, in comparison to the rest of the world. Recent drives for renewable energy, carbon footprint reduction and healthier living have promoted South Africa to the Going Green playing fields. However, lack of understanding and personal sentiment towards environmentalism A.K.A Going green leaves a lot to be desired. A recently published Business Day article, emphasized the fact that “In many parts of Africa, “going green” is translated as regression and it is associated with the peasantry. So the question we put to you is, do you feel the same way? If not, what are you doing about it? Or do you know how to go about making a difference? Above all the obvious Green initiatives widely advocated by those in the know, Pest Control is commonly overlooked. Pest control refers to the regulation or management of a species defined as a pest, usually because it is perceived to be detrimental to a person’s health, the ecology or the economy. (Wikipedia definitions)… How ironic is that? How often do we haul out that canister from under the kitchen sink and feel like “Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry” blasting everything in sight to oblivion. The mentality of; the more you spray the quicker they die creeps in. This is “PEST CONTROL”! Have you ever stopped to consider the potential side effects? Even better have you even taken the time to read what is written on the can? Do you realize the damage you doing to your health, the ecology and the economy?
Ever tossed rodent bait up into the roof, or even better out in the garden without thinking of the what if’s? What if the rodent eats the poison and dies in the roof or cavity wall? are you going to let it rot, or are you going to get up there and hopefully find it and get rid of it? What if a cat or dog eats it, or even worse a child, ever think of hospital bills…? Think about it, when last did you see a pesticide/poison advertised on TV.? Ever thought why? In today’s busy lifestyle we seek quick, simplistic solutions to our problems; most of us fail to even consider the implications of our actions. Do your bit to reduce the use of pesticides and poisons in your home and business… Plugging in a pest free, does your bit toward the environment, whilst allowing you to focus on all your other day to day responsibilities. For R599.00 including vat and delivery, 1 PEST FREE unit will cover 250 sq meters. That works out to R5 a month over the lifespan of the unit... Compare that to what you spend on pesticides at the supermarket. Plug-In Pest Free, making your home and business a NO-GO ZONE for pests… the GREEN way. “Pest Free… Offering you an easy, hassle free way of CARING for your environment without going to the ends of the earth.”
MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR THE WORLD AND FOR OUR CHILDREN! Start giving back towards a healthier environment, now and for generations to come. Before you spray or put out poison, consider the damage you are doing to you and your familiesâ€™ health, the ecology and the economy. If your kitchen cupboard contains a can of pesticide... your HOME should contain a
EVENTS Writer Rishqah Roberts
ne quarter has past and the year thus far has been filled with sporting excitement. Now it’s time to see what the next three months have in store for us and plan accordingly, to ensure that we do not miss out on any of the fun! Between Sunday the 5th and Monday the 6th of June Cape Town will be hosting the Africa Village by Women at Ratanga Junction, Century City. This is the first time the Annual Arts & Culture festival will be celebrating leading Women of Africa, by launching Africa Village by Women. Dr Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Zambia, fully supports this event and is ready to champion yet another noble African cause to boost economic empowerment for women. The festival is to include an EXPO, gala dinners, executive breakfasts and events celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of Africa, together with music concerts, fashion shows and art exhibitions. For those of you interested in this event, please contact 132
+27 (0)21 551 9929. The dates for the festival are still to be confirmed. Durban comes alive in July with the annual Vodacom Durban July. This year the entertaining sporting event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, the 2nd July. “Durban Nights” has every right to get excited, they wait the whole year to host Africa’s greatest horseracing event. They expect 56,000 guests at Greyville to witness the best of South Africa’s thoroughbreds charge down the home straight to a R2 million finish. There is still plenty of time to make your reservations and get your bets in. More information is available from Greyville Racecourse. We have not forgotten about the Jo’burgers for the next quarter! The Johannesburg Wine Show is scheduled between Friday the 5th and Sunday the 7th of August in Randburg. Organisers of this food and wine weekend are expecting it to be a huge success, as they are currently being submerged with queries from potential exhibitors. John Woodward, the organiser, explains that exhibitors are
convinced that the show delivers a large enough return on their initial investment, while allowing access to a highly lucrative audience of wine drinkers. 130 Estates will be showcased, top wines tasted and plenty of food and snacks enjoyed! More information is available from The Wine Show Jo’burg +27 (0)21 888 8800.
Why are you waiting... go out South Africa! Explore and enjoy, but above all do it safely and responsibly!
â€œNo problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created itâ€? ~ Albert Einstein
Power to the people Why decentralized renewable energy should become the main source of power and bring electricity to every household in South Africa
offline for more than 7 months, resulting in widespread load shedding. Recent trends in the United States of America propose mainstreaming decentralised power generation, or distributed generation, defined as electricity produced locally from dispersed small-scale generators (20 megawatts or less), situated close to the point of electricity consumption. Eskom has already bought into decentralized power generation through its Solar Home System (SHS), however these systems are so small, that they generally do not meet the needs of the power users. The most cost effective way In South Africa, “over four million of “generating” electricity households do not cook with electricity is to reduce energy demand and two million households rely on – Eskom’s rebate system to promote the installation candles for lighting,” according of solar-powered geysers, to the study by Citizens United for swopping incandescent Renewable Energies and Sustainability light bulbs for compact (CURES). The study, released in March fluorescent lamps, and the incentive schemes where 2009, states that there are 2,5 million electrical heaters and households in South Africa without stoves could be exchanged electricity. for gas equivalents, has illustrated South Africa’s ability to quickly solve energy challenges. against nuclear energy, demonstrated in the Critics say that this is true of Eskom as streets of Tokyo, as the effects of nuclear long as they are being pressurized. South fallout started to be felt. Africans need to be courageous and move Developed nations such as Japan and France, towards a “hybrid energy mix”. This starts typically have a heavy reliance on nuclear with understanding one’s energy need, and energy generation. However, recent failures then matching this with suitable renewable to guarantee the delivery of clean safe power energy sources and delivery mechanisms. to homes and industries has put a spotlight on One such example is being pioneered by the risks associated with centralized energy Specialized Solar Systems in George, “mega-generation”. Closer to home, a single where they install “micro grid electricity 8cm “loose bolt” which found its way into generation systems” at a household level the rotor of Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear in rural areas. These micro-grids meet Power Station Unit 1 in November 2005, a significant portion of the load demand cost R150 million to repair and took the Unit orldwide interest in renewable sources of energy is at an all time peak since the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. German voters elected the Green Party to power during the same month, and civil society protested in the streets against nuclear energy, demanding leaders support the development of renewable energy resources. Last month, the normally docile Japanese took up the call
and buy time for larger electrical supplies to come on stream. The next phase is at a village-scale micro-generation, where every household participates in saving electricity, as well as generating electricity, with rooftop photo-voltaic panels, supplemented with strategically placed wind turbines, bio-gas digesters and / or hydro-electric generators. A number of factors favour decentralized generation of electricity above remote, centralized energy development: Increasingly cost-effective: Continuous decline in the cost of technology such as PV panels, and lower transmission costs due to proximity; Help meet the country’s renewable energy targets and carbon credits; Provides local, equitable economic benefits: Stimulate local economic development and create clean energy jobs; Minimized environmental impact: Re-use of existing roof structures, use of disturbed and fragmented lands, minimal transmission lines required. Generation can be brought on line quickly: No need for new transmission lines, simple financial models (public-private partnerships), small-scale installed in months rather than years. Increased energy security: Deployed close to electrical demand, widespread distribution with less risk of disruption, and resulting stable electricity prices. Fears that energy utilities could lose their valuable income stream are allayed by the fact that these systems can be metered. Even at the smallest scale, pre-paid meters are installed to control the activation, deactivation thus securing income streams for investors, local municipalities and utilities. For more information contact Nik Wullschleger at BolandEnviro 023 347 0336.
BROW BEAT Renewable you!
he new buzz words – renewable, sustainable and not forgetting; delectable are on the cards. What does this have to do with you, you may ask? Should you use these words to be politically correct, as it is after all voting season, or will it subtract a few kilograms that you have been trying to lose for so long and ensuring that it stays off? Neither here nor there, I suppose these words can be used interchangeably depending on where you find yourself. For example, when you are invited to a “green” event, where you have to display you’re environmental prowess, knowing the meaning of these words and speaking with confidence about the ozone layer, the greenhouse effects and the like may stand you in good stead for a follow up invitation. Using the same words, when describing the painstaking diet that you followed for more than 3 months may be an apt description and explanation of your motivation to starve yourself for “beauty” and health. No pain, no gain will be the order of the day! Let’s look at the lighter side of renewing
Writer Brow Beat
yourself. Imagine the scenario: you are reaching your forties; wrinkles are threatening to appear in the most visible areas; the threat of contracting some of the life-long illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension and others loom. You still want to appear sexy and desirable and want to avoid all of this. What do you do? Renewing yourself should have started at an earlier age. Your attempts are a little bit too late; be that as it may, let’s examine the eleven tips given by Mr Stay Young. 1 When middle age beckons, put if off by ignoring that it is coming; 2 If wrinkles appear on your face, wear a mask to camouflage it! 3 Look in the mirror on a daily basis and say, “I am young, I will not get older. Whoever says to the contrary obviously needs spectacles!” 4 In the event where you are forced to get spectacles, ensure that the lenses are rose coloured and that the frames are adorned with objects that will force people to admire your spectacles and not ask about your eyesight. 5 When visiting a doctor, explain that you like taking regular check-ups to confirm that you are still in good shape, don’t allow yourself to be told otherwise. 6 If asked
about your age, redirect the conversation and speak about your achievements. 7 The doctor diagnosis you with diabetes, explain to others that you are such a “sweet” person that the doctor wants you to tone down somehow. 8 Never allow yourself to be told that you are old or becoming older, if this should happen, break out in a rap song and show them how it’s done! 9 Make regular appearances at youth events and challenge them to an arm wrestling match. 10 Ensure that your circle of friends is kept abreast of your latest challenges and achievements and steer clear of discussing anything to do with age. 11 Allow for compliments on how you look and how toned you are, if you are not, ascribe it to your genes and the fact that you are on this earth for greater things. Renewing yourself is important in this day and age. Notwithstanding the “tips” above, one must make a concerted effort to constantly ensure that you are eating correctly and that you are following a routine exercise plan. This will ensure that you sustain long life and stay delectable for many years to come. Stay happy and renewable! Till Later!
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Caring for the environment makes a difference in South Africa. That’s why ArcelorMittal South Africa has invested in ‘Collect a Can’,