1ST QUARTER 2013 ISSUE 18 R29.95
current affairs finance & business development & education travel & TOURISM TRADE & INVESTMENT
The future of food Environmentalism out of tune Greening your business MINE LAKE AQUACULTURE Debt Review Tough Times Ahead
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Editors note Charlene Heyburgh
BY THE NUMBERS
STATE OF THE NATION A brief overview
STATE OF THE NATION A brief overview
Securitisation 10 questions explained
Switch off and switch over for Earth Hour 2013
The Mining Indaba From small beginnings
Ngalang Boodja mine lake aquaculture project
GREENING YOUR BUSINESS
Vodacom goes green with solar panels
ESKOM Tariff Hikes
FINANCE BASA & the NCR
DEBT REVIEW Tough times ahead
The future of food
Environmentalism out of tune
Beyond basic recycling
Can citizen activism drive service delivery?
Charities at risk New Bill that will directly affect NGO’S and NPO’s
Some of my best friends are unicellular
Water is life
The Importance of groundwater management in South Africa
Higher Education Regulating learning institutions
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Green building courses
SKILLS & TRAINING Green career training
South Africa’s energy efficient future
Spray cans and cricket bats get youth off the streets
Self-doubt in a time of transition
Rural Health An injection of hope
COLONISING THE RED PLANET Can humans live on mars?
TECHNOLOGY Sustainability after the suicide of Aaron Swartz
CAR REVIEW BMW X6
DIARY OF EVENTS
South Africa’s rhino management plan
Namibia shows responsibility through cultural and community tourism
EDITORS NOTE CREDITS
e all waited with bated breath to hear the outcome of the budget speech and whether government would recognise the growing need for more input on their behalf into green industries. They did exactly that by allocating an extra R300 million into the Green Fund on top of the R800 million that was previously allocated to it. In addition to that, government is continuing to direct spending towards environmental programmes and addressing acid mine drainage. The Department of Environmental Affairs has also just launched its Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Programme where 4 Nissan Leaf electric cars, fully powered by solar energy, will be tested by the department over a period of 3 years. Denmark has also agreed to help fund renewable energy by providing financial support and assistance to South Africa as we embark on our clean technology trajectory. These are exciting times for South Africa on our path to a sustainable future. In this edition of Beyond, we take a closer look at the Ngalang Boodja Mine Lake Aquaculture Project in Australia, a first of its kind in the world, and how it has breathed new life into the huge bodies of water that have turned into uninhabitable environments for aquatic life due to the high levels of acidity and dissolved metals. This could well be a possible solution in helping us with the huge acid mine drainage problem facing Johannesburg due to unsustainable mining practices in the past. The first quarter of the year is off to a bumper start with South Africa hosting the 5th BRICS Summit at the end of March in Durban. The summit aims to seek common ground on areas of importance in the 5 major economies which make up BRICS. To celebrate World Water Day (22 March) and National Water Week (18-24 March) and to raise awareness of the worldâ€™s most critical resource, we take a look at the importance of groundwater, the water that exists in the pore spaces and fractures in rock and sediment beneath the Earthâ€™s surface, and the management thereof. South Africans have a rich history of acting together for a better future and more people and businesses are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint and adopting more energy efficient behaviour so I am sure that every one of us will be supporting the annual symbolic act, Earth Hour, on the 23rd of March which gives us an opportunity to reflect on our impact on the environment and renew our commitment to protecting the planet. Enjoy the read.
Managing Director TB Mabecha Editor Charlene Heyburgh PROJECT MANAGER Jerome Dyson Sales ExecutiveS Jerome Dyson Anthony Botha Emile Polman Linda Schady Laurenda Hagglund Wendy Scullard Shalako October Roman Ross Robert Sakanyi Noel Sands Traffic Controller Kiara Hagglund Accounts ExecutiveS Laurenda Hagglund Office Administrator Carmen Puma DESIGN Aerspacestudios, firstname.lastname@example.org Junior Designer Kieron Hagglund PRINTING
Beyond Publishing CK 2008/187319/23 25 Voortrekker Road, Unit 29 Goodwood, 7460 Tel: 021 592 5725, Fax: 021 592 5714 Email: email@example.com www.beyondpublishing.co.za The opinions in Beyond are not necessarily those of the publisher. COPYRIGHT MABECHA PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior permission from the publisher.
BY THE NUMBERS R1.85 MILLION 28%
At least 28% of schoolgirls across the country are HIV positive
R1.6 million 5
schoolgirls fell pregnant in 2011
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson is suspected of spending R1.6-million of public funds on lengthy stays at lavish hotels
Five men in Vietnam have been arrested for allegedly digging up a grave and holding its skull to ransom, authorities said
R886 MILLION 200
Four Central African soldiers were killed in an attack on a key southern town blamed on Seleka rebels
Three people were killed as robbers invaded Lagos International Airport
EVRAZ Highveld Steel and Vanadium saw a headline loss exceeding R1bn in the year ending December, from a loss of R15m the year before
$4.2 BILLION 1/5 TH
R886 million of the human settlements budget was likely to remain unspent by the end of the fiscal year and be surrendered to the Treasury
About 200 regional court magistrates will receive training in South Africa on the Sexual Offences Act and Child Justice Act
Merafong local municipality was duped into paying R1.85-million into a fake account in November 2011, believing that it was held by the Gauteng department of roads and transport
China National Petroleum Corp., the countryâ€™s largest oil producer, will buy a 28.57 percent stake in Eni SpA (ENI)â€™s East Africa subsidiary for $4.2 billion
A fifth of adults are so bad at maths that they struggle to perform basic mental arithmetic, a survey has revealed.
Scientists from Illinois have found a rare, 600-yearold Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda
South Africa and Germany go into new energy partnership
South Africa to test Nissan Leafs in Green Car Project South Africa rolled out its Green Car project as part of the government’s effort to build a green economy and create jobs. Four Nissan LEAF test cars will be placed at the Department of Environmental Affairs disposal for use and testing in the initial phase of the project, to be run over three years, said Minister Edna Molewa. The first automaker to introduce a 100 percent electric vehicle into the country, Nissan will begin sales of the LEAF in South Africa later this year. Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said at the Pretoria event that the Green Car Project is part of the government’s pledge to reduce South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020. The Green Car Project will be fully powered by solar energy rather than by power from the national grid. To charge the four test cars, Molewa said her department has completed the first installation of a 15 kilowatt solar tracking device at its new premises where a green building is now under construction. “This solar tracker produces enough energy to charge the 14 12
electric cars as well as provide excess clean renewable energy into the grid to offset the carbon footprint of the construction of its green building,” said the minister “Any carbon footprint of the vehicles is thus neutralized through the use of free solar energy generated by the tracker,” she said. “Where charging is required overnight this is offset by the excess energy that the trackers produce during the day.” The amount of electricity used for charging and running the vehicles will be monitored, logged and offset against the amount of electricity generated by the solar tracker. Installation of solar-powered charging stations is planned for transportation and commuter hubs, government precincts, Gautrain stations and the OR Tambo International Airport, as well as key commercial centers and business districts. “Together with the renewable energy charge stations, the e-cars will be raising awareness of carbon neutral transportation in South Africa,” Molewa said.
The German and South African governments signed a memorandum of understanding on a new energy partnership to promote friendship and cooperation between the two countries. This memorandum aims to enhance the bilateral dialogue and practical cooperation between them in the energy sector by establishing an energy partnership, which builds on and further enhances the ongoing successful cooperation programmes and dialogue between them in the energy sector. The main objective of the energy partnership is improving and developing a sustainable energy infrastructure, in particular through the increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both countries acknowledge activities under various existing bilateral and multilateral dialogues and take note of the recent advancement in renewable energy efficiency technologies, the available renewable energy resources in South Africa and the consequent opportunities for their widespread applications. They recognise that the creation of appropriate market environments for the increasing role of private sector involvement, along with an enabling framework for strong publicprivate partnerships, is very important for successful commercial applications and for the long term availability of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This energy partnership complements the existing Declarations of Intent for the “South African – German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate” (November 2010) as well as the “South African Renewables Initiative (SARI)”. The Declaration of Intent on the “South African – German Cooperation in the Area of Energy and Climate” sets out the specific areas of cooperation, goals of joint activities, and competent authorities.
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WOOLWORTHS & WWF FORM SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIP
DENMARK TO HELP FUND SA RENEWABLE ENERGY Denmark has committed to help South Africa meet its future goals of a low carbon economy and reducing the growth of greenhouse gases through the deployment of low carbon technologies in the country. An agreement signed between the two governments will see Denmark providing financial support to South Africa to invest in wind based electricity generations while the Danish will also give technical support to Eskom to integrate renewable energy into the electricity supply. While the full financial details of the agreement were not immediately available, Deputy President Kgalema Motlante told reporters in Pretoria that the contract will provide much needed assistance as South Africa embarks on its clean technology trajectory. It’s understood that the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) will make available an interim grant of DKK40 million to South 16 14
Africa. Some of the money will be used to further develop the Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA2) in order for the country to pursue and invest in windbased electricity as opposed to power generation using fossil fuels. Denmark, which hosted the United Nations climate change summit in 2010, has announced that by the end of this decade, it will produce a third of its energy from renewable sources - wind power and solar power in particular. The Danish government has also, ambitiously, set a goal of running the entire country on renewables by 2050. Motlanthe said trade relations between South Africa and Demark had not been reflective of the “good friendship” the two countries had been enjoying. Motlanthe hoped the energy agreement will further strengthen these trade relations between Pretoria and Copenhagen.
In a first for African retail, the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWFSA) and Woolworths have announced a broad-based, multifaceted partnership to drive greater sustainability through selected Woolworths products and operations. The collaboration is timely, reflecting a trend that recognises that the private sector and the non-governmental sector can work together on common interests. The 3 year partnership aims to achieve conservation outcomes by helping Woolworths suppliers to produce more sustainable products and creating awareness about these products among Woolworths customers. The partnership recognises the growing congruence between WWF-SA and Woolworths interests in, among others: conserving energy, freshwater ecosystems, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and protecting fish stocks. This partnership brings together significant technical expertise, research capabilities, industry insights and networks. Commenting on the partnership, Justin Smith, Woolworths Head of Sustainability, said: “One of the things we’ve learnt since we launched our Good Business Journey in 2007 is that, together with customers, suppliers and business partners, we can deliver greater sustainability, to benefit both the environment and the people we support through our business. Partnerships have helped us achieve 80% of the 5 year targets we set in 2007. Through this partnership, Woolworths opens itself up to holistic accountability and transparency on every level of its Good Business Journey.
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STATE OF THE
NATION Writer Kendal Brown
A BRIEF OVERVIEW
To create more jobs a growth rate in excess of 5% is required! To meet this target a number of obstacles remain to be removed. The president has promised to engage business, labour and other social partners in pursuit of solutions. He admits that no single force acting individually can achieve the objectives they have set for themselves. Successes highlighted Naturally, areas of project success or progress were highlighted. These included the construction of the first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation, the construction of the bulk water distribution system for the De Hoop Dam, the shift of the transportation of coal from road to rail in Mpumalanga, in order to protect the provincial roads and preparatory work has commenced for the Government signed contracts to the construction of the Umzimvubu value of R47 billion in the renewable Dam to begin next year which is viewed as critical for rural energy programme. This involves livelihoods. In addition, 28 projects in wind, solar and small government signed contracts to the value of R47 billion in the hydro technologies. renewable energy programme. This involves 28 projects in wind, solar and sectors to do and meet the call for more jobs. small hydro technologies, to be developed in The problem is that while this is no doubt the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern an important factor that was raised, it was Cape and in the Free State. clearly noticeable that details as to how the Priorities challenges should be met were sadly lacking. President Zuma looked at, at what he termed The blame for lack of progress in meeting five priorities, being education, health, the the goals of supplying to all South Africans fight against crime, creating decent work as with water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, well as rural development and land reform. housing, public transport, adequate Something touched on but certainly worth nutrition, education, social protection, further ventilation, is the growing unease quality healthcare, recreation and a clean about the amount of tender fraud. To quote environment according to the aims of the the president, “We are cracking down on National Development Plan, was laid at corruption, tender fraud and price fixing in the door of the continuing global economic the infrastructure programme.The state has recession. The euro zone bore the brunt of collected a substantial dossier of information that blame as it is a major trading partner on improper conduct by large construction absorbing approximately 21% of South companies.” Scant mention made of African exports. cronyism or nepotism but they may be caught The achievement of these goals has proven in ‘ unfriendly fire’ of bringing corrupt to be difficult in the recent past, due to the companies to book. There is no doubt that global economic recession. Last years GDP corruption long ago reached unacceptable of 3.1% is sadly expected to shrink to 2.5%. t’s unlikely that any president making a state of the nation address is going to admit to anything that reveals any semblance of chaos or even slight lack of control in maintaining the status quo. Challenges will likely be acknowledged but always within a fingernail of being reigned in at any moment by a vigilant regime. And so, President Zumas’ state of the nation address made good of the opportunity to recount the “successes” of his government and whet the appetite of the work starved nation with promises of commitments to spend more state money in various areas. He did however concede that a gargantuan effort was going to be needed to effectively turn the economy in a positive direction and that this would require a united effort from all
levels and must be a seriously deleterious contributor to the state of the nation. On a more positive note a strong lesson has been learned in that coordination, integration and a focus on implementation is bringing rewards. BBBEE remains a government focus going forward with the development of black owned enterprises and black industrialists being prioritised. How that prioritisation will be executed remains to be seen of course and whether it will create employment on an acceptable scale also remains to be seen. An encouraging aspect certainly is that Government has several programmes of supporting small business. A key project for the Presidency currently is to get government departments to pay SMMEs within 30 days. Departments are required to submit monthly reports so that they can monitor progress in this regard. A decision has been taken that accounting officers, who fail to execute this directive, should face consequences. Great for small businesses who need their cash flow! The continuing challenge of job creation for youth remains a priority for government with numerous incentives and joint projects focusing on alleviating this crisis. Mining and tourism still prevail as leaders in South African income generation and no doubt will continue to do so for decades to come. Education, crime and land redistribution continue as a challenge as well as lifestyle diseases being a cause for concern. Good, bad or indifferent? The state of the nation then is very much like the curates egg, good in parts. There is a lot of promise but also the need to act quickly and decisively in certain areas if South Africa wants to truly go in the direction it really wants to take.
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BUDGET SPEECH A brief overview Writer Kendal Brown
inister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, chose the middle of the road for his budget speech. Conservative but a bit risky perhaps when you can get hit by traffic coming in either direction. Those who will be pleased are individual tax payers who will receive tax relief of seven billion rand! It means Individual tax payers will only start paying tax at an annual income of R67,111 (R63,556 last year) for people younger than 65, R104,611 (R99,056 last year) for persons between 65 and 74 and R117,111 (previously R110, 889) for those over 75. If your taxable income is from a single employer and is less than R250,000 for the 2012/2013 tax year, you won’t be required to submit tax returns. As usual its drink and cigarettes that got nailed with an increase but it’s hardly worth discussing as it’s expected every year and isn’t going to stop most indulging in their preferred choice of indulgence. An area which is of interest to quite a large number in this country is of course social grants, where an increase of between four and five percent will see the old age grant for people over seventy-five set at R 1280 while those younger will receive R 1260. The disability grant will be R1 260, foster care R800, care dependency R1 260 and child support R290. Respecting fuel price increases, the blame was naturally laid at the door of the weaker rand which is settling in at R8.50 and R 9.00, which makes imports more expensive of course. So come April, there will be fuel cost hikes as general fuel levy is increased and the road accident fund levy. In trying to tempt firms into employing youth, a youth employment tax incentive is to be tabled in parliament. Watch this space, especially if you’re a youth or seeking tax benefits as an employer! Infrastructure Infrastructure has been allocated a huge budget and so it should be! Over the next three years R827 billion will be spent on building new infrastructure and upgrading already existing infrastructure. Local governments will benefit to the tune of some 5.2 billion which is to be used to aid smaller municipalities developmental requirements. Some saving measures include *Spending cuts of R10.4bn over the next three years in response to tight fiscal conditions; *The contingency reserve reduced by R23.5bn
over the medium term. Minister Gordhan drew attention to the fact that the President had said in the State of the Nation address that “we should put South Africa first. All of us have a patriotic duty and responsibility to build and promote our country.” He further said “The National Development Plan provides a perfect vehicle for united action precisely because it has the support of South Africans across the political and cultural spectrum. Leaders in every avenue should be ready to rise above sectional interests and with great maturity, pull together to take this country forward.” The outlook Gordhan pointed out that ‘South Africa’s economic outlook is improving, but requires that we actively pursue a different trajectory if we are to address the challenges ahead.’ He reminded us that as pointed out in the 2012 Budget, global economic uncertainty will remain with us for some time. What is interesting to note according to the budget speech is that South Africa’s economy has continued to grow, but at a slower rate than projected at the time of the 2012 Budget. GDP growth reached 2.5 per cent in 2012 and is expected to grow at 2.7 per cent in 2013, rising to 3.8 per cent in 2015. Inflation has remained moderate, with consumer prices rising by 5.7 per cent in 2012 and projected to increase by an average of 5.5 per cent a year over the period ahead. However, our trade performance is holding us back. Exports grew by just 1.1 per cent in real terms last year, while imports increased by 7.2 per cent. The deficit on the current account of the balance of payments was 6.1 per cent of GDP. This means, in simple terms, that expenditure in the South African economy exceeded the value of production and income by about R190 billion last year. This is partly a consequence of the disruption of mining sector activity and the structural reduction in mineral exports due to lower demand. For things to improve though the minister called for a significant increase in private sector investment and competitiveness in the wider economy: agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, communications – every sector has to play its part in expanding trade, investment and job creation. So it’s more shoulder to the wheel stuff and hanging in there till the world economy improves!
Respecting fuel price increases, the blame was naturally laid at the door of the weaker rand which is settling in at R8.50 and R 9.00, which makes imports more expensive of course. So come April, there will be fuel cost hikes as general fuel levy is increased and the road accident fund levy.
10 questions explained Published on behalf of NewEra www.newera.org.za
1. Am I indebted to the bank right now? Obvious question, right? Wrong. In fact, your bank may well refuse to answer it. Here’s why: If your loan has been securitised, then you are no longer indebted to your bank. If you are not indebted to your bank, then in our opinion, the bank cannot take judgement against you. A recent judgment in the US (one of many similar judgments since 2008) has ordered banks to pay out US$8.5billion to consumers because of banking fraud. This is almost identical to what NewERA is seeking. In the case of securitisation, your legal position with the bank has changed. Did your bank disclose securitisation to you? Do you even know what it means? Probably not. Therefore, you should therefore seek recourse and together with NewERA we may follow the success of other countries. Also, if the bank does answer “yes” to this question, and it turns out that your loan has been securitised, then it is our opinion that the bank has placed itself in a position of fraud and quite possibly perjury. This could lead to criminal action against the bank and possible recourse for you. 2. Please confirm that the bank actually possessed the money they claim to have lent me, prior to my loan being granted. In other words, did the bank physically have the money they lent me, prior to the money
appearing in my account? It is unlikely that your bank will answer this question. However, they may try to disguise the answer by using clever language, so read their answer very carefully. If your loan was securitised, then the bank’s money was not used to fund the loan. Therefore, a legitimate loan between you and the bank may not exist. The bank could never admit this, because to do so would be to admit that there could not possibly be a loan agreement with you. Even if your loan was not securitised, then the bank still cannot answer this question. Why? Because the bank did not loan you their own lawful money. Something you need to know about banking: banks do not “loan” money in the ordinary sense of the word. This is a tricky concept, and works like this: Banks do not make loans. Instead, they “advance” or “extend” something called “credit.” This simply means that a magical facility is created that provides you with “money” that is made out of thin air. As hard as it is for you to accept this, the money loaned to you was simulated (ie virtual). To illustrate: A customer deposits R100 into their bank. The bank then quickly makes nine photocopies of that R100. They lend those photocopies to nine people, charging interest on each of those so-called loans. Then, if the loan is not paid back with interest, they take away the assets pledged as security. In reality banks do
not use a photocopier, they use a computer. The loan amount is typed into the computer and, hey presto, “magical” money is created out of thin air. You think that this money is a loan, or debt so you feel obligated to pay it back. However, it was never actually lent to you in the first place. 3. Would the bank be prepared to amend the credit agreement as follows: “We, the bank, did in fact possess the money we loaned you, prior to the loan being approved.” If NewERA was wrong, then the banks would have no problem complying with this request. However, see for yourself: they will not agree to amend the contract. If your loan has been securitised, your original agreement is no longer with the bank! A bank loses all right and title to the loan agreement once it has been sold into a securitisation scheme. One cannot amend an agreement when they are no longer legally entitled to it, nor do they have it in their possession. Furthermore, any indebtedness to the bank would have been settled as a result of the sale of the asset. Put simply, no matter what the situation, the bank did not possess the money it loaned you, and never did. They are fooling you and participating in a fraud of monumental proportions. The fraud is that they cannot take away your assets without disclosing the truth to both you and the Court.
4. Was the loan funded by assets belonging to the bank at the time the loan was granted? Either way, please describe in detail the accounting process used to create my loan. If everything is legitimate and above board, then banks should have no problem explaining how your particular loan came into being. However, banks will not reveal this to you. When you ask your bank these questions, you will see for yourself. You need to know something else about banking: Banks do not deal with actual, physical “money.” Instead, they operate with promises to pay. For example: if a bank promises to pay you R10,000, that would equate to a R10,000 deposit into your account. This deposit is reflected on your statement as a promise of the bank, to you, for R10,000. In other words, it looks like you have R10,000 in your account, but actually this number merely represents R10,000 worth of promises made by a bank to you. The words “money” and “deposit” are therefore misleading. The banks redefined these words so they sound the same in everyday use, but mean something very different to the legal and banking system. Another word being misused is the word “transfer.” A transfer is not a transfer of money. It is simply a case of the bank shifting their promise to pay A to a promise to pay B. This is only an illusion of a transfer. Do you remember when you first took out a loan? You gave the bank a promise, in writing, to make payments every month, with interest. This written promise to pay money to the bank becomes the money they used to lend you! Therefore, you actually created your own loan. 5. Did the bank record my promissory note / negotiable instrument as an asset on its books? If yes, how was my instrument used to create my loan, and where is my valuable promissory note / negotiable instrument now? This question is designed to trick the banks. You want confirmation from your bank that they deal in negotiable instruments (promises). Once admitted, it will confirm most of what NewERA is saying. Remember, real money (gold and silver, or notes that represent gold and silver) no longer exist. The illusion of money (known as “credit” or “bank promises”) quietly replaced real money so that the banks could fund their own business empire by creating money out of nothing, then charging interest on it. Negotiable instruments (promissory notes 28
and bills of exchange) serve, in effect, as money. So, when you give the bank a promissory note (a written promise to pay back a loan), they convert your promise into their promise. Their promise = so called “money.” So you gave them the money they loaned you. 6. Does the bank participate in a securitisation scheme whereby debts / promissory notes are bundled and then sold-on to a third party/parties via special purpose vehicles, entities or alike processes? This question is plain and simple: we want the banks to admit the obvious. We know they engage in securitisation, but once they admit this to a customer, then the customer would naturally have the right to ask a crisp follow-up question: “well then, has my specific loan been securitised?” Remember, if your loan has been securitised, then the whole game changes. This is ultimately what we want the banks to tell us. South African banks are securitising around R30billion per month so there is a very good chance that your loan has been securitised. You need to know the truth, which is why you MUST persist in your demand for the answers. 7. With reference to point 6, has my loan securitised? If so, please send me all details regarding its securitization. It is your right to know about securitisation. If you don’t get answers, then work with NewERA to obtain recourse. The one institution that answers this question in detail is SA Homeloans. This is because SA Homeloans is not a bank. They explain securitisation openly and transparently. Now contrast the answers from SA Homeloans with those of the banks who go dead silent when you ask them this question. In some cases, banks will reply by stating that your loan has not been securitised. This is quite rare – usually they just ignore the question. They certainly won’t tell if you if your loan has been securitised. Read the links below for more on securitisation – this is very important. 8. Does the bank have a legal right to collect money it claims I owe it? If so, then where does this legal right come from, assuming the loan has been securitised? The bank only has one counter argument to this: there is a contract between you and the bank. However, if your loan has been securitised, the contract is sold! It’s gone.
The bank no longer has the contract, nor does it have the right to that contract. What part of this do the banks not understand? If a bank alludes or pretends they have it, then we believe that they are committing fraud. The contract between you and the bank could conceivably say anything it wants to. The fact is that it has been sold and the bank has lost all rights to it. In our opinion, the bank cannot legally, ethically or morally claim back the debt from you because they have already been paid and profited. 9. Has my loan with the bank been settled by a special purpose vehicle, insurance policy, or by any other party? This is going to shock you, so be warned. When a loan is securitised, your loan gets bundled with other loans and then sold to a third party. If you default (miss a few payments), then the third party (called an SPV – Special Purpose Vehicle) carries insurance. They get paid out if you default! This needs to be emphasised: If you get sick or lose your job, or you cannot meet your repayment obligations, then the secret third parties who trade in your loans get paid out. They are protected against your default. So then… where is your protection? Nowhere. You have no protection because to protect you would mean to inform you of the game and once you know the game, the game is over. And one more thing... if the SPV is insured so they get paid out if you default... and the bank was paid for your loan right up front when the loan was securitised. So then... how and why are they able to foreclose on your assets? And where does the money go from the sale on the Sheriff’s auction? This is precisely what NewERA is fighting to expose. 10. Regarding the security given to the bank by me, has this security been sold on or given as security / surety to another party? This is the final nail in the coffin. Put simply, we want the bank to admit that they no longer have your security. If they do not have your security, then they cannot foreclose. The banks will never admit this because it means admitting that trillions of Rands in foreclosures of assets over the past two decades would have been illegal. This would lead to the biggest class action lawsuit of all time... which is happening now, so join NewERA!
Small Scale Mining and Beneficiation Division
Mintek’s effort to rehabilitate and fertilise the soil Mintek’s Small Scale Mining and Beneficiation Division (SSMB), has developed Biomin; a low-cost soil ameliorant made from a combination of minerals and various biological waste products. Biomin has the ability to rehabilitate and re-mineralise the soil. Having realised that a productive and sustainable agricultural system is key to the wellbeing of a country, SSMB developed the Biomin product with the intention to achieve rapid mobilisation of the nutrients essential for plant growth, which are combined with other organic materials to enhance the properties of the soil.
Field before Biomin treatment
This is as a result of the soil being over-exploited in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, hence the restraints in agricultural production. Correspondingly, small-scale farmers in remote areas in South Africa cannot afford to buy fertilisers because of the high cost of transportation. So far, the Biomin product has been applied to soil in several places in South Africa and already various farmers see an increase in yield over the control plants. Meanwhile, the fertilised soil is still flourishing because of Biomin’s gentle release of nutrients. Biomin treated soil
More so, when applying Biomin to the soil, the added micro and macro nutrients lead to increased plant growth – which growth leads to decreased soil erosion , the organic matter that adds to the biological activity in the soil improves and the pH of the soil and its ability to retain water increases. Apart from crop production, the product also has the ability to rehabilitate soil in coal mines and re-mineralise acid damaged soils.. A Biomin pilot plant has been set up at the Lyttleton Dolomite Mine in Marble Hall in the Limpopo Province where it is run by young members of the local community. SSMB supplies the required training and technical support, as part of its mandate to create jobs and skills development in rural and marginalised communities.
Biomin plant set up in Marble Hall Limpopo
Biomin ready for market
The Biomin programme is relevant in the context of the global food crisis, sustainable development, sustainable livelihoods and mine rehabilitation. Mintek’s Small Scale Mining and Beneficiation Division relies heavily on support from sponsors to be able to offer these programmes as well as to assist Companies to realise their CSI goals buy engaging communities to be involved in programmes such as Biomin. Mintek believes that entrepreneurship development is a crucial component in overall economic development. Companies investing in these projects not only enlarge their corporate social responsibility footprint, but also makes a serious contribution to economic development and poverty alleviation. The SMME Business Incubator provides support and guidance to the small enterprises to ensure survival, growth and sustainability. Support includes: • • • • •
Skills development (Unit Standard Training) Design and product development Production support Marketing support Business Skills
For further information on these CSI interventions kindly contact Robert Malatsi, Senior Technician e-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 709 4363 or Dr Anna Soares, Head – Technology Development and Training E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 709 4683. Website: www.mintek.co.za Address: 200 Malibongwe Drive
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BUILDING WITH PRIDE
Switch off and switch over for Earth Hour 2013
s the countdown to Earth Hour 2013 continues, WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) is calling on everyone to switch off their lights for one hour and switch over to more sustainable ways of living, and doing business, beyond the hour. In South Africa, the majority of fuel and electricity used comes from “dirty”, nonrenewable sources such as coal, oil and gas. We all depend on energy, from lighting and heating our homes, to charging our mobile phones or getting from place to place. “We must become aware of the kind of energy we use every day and the need to switch over to clean, renewable energy sources such as sun, wind and water,” says WWF-SA CEO, Dr Morné du Plessis. “If we embrace the power of nature rather than act against it, we can ensure a more sustainable
energy supply into the future. In addition this will help preserve the health of the planet on which we depend.” Du Plessis explains that first and foremost, we all need to aim to be energy efficient. This means using the stairs instead of the lift, switching off the lights when you leave a room and unplugging appliances when not in use. It also includes switching over to more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions such as energy-saving light bulbs, renewable energy sources such as solar-water geysers and solar panels, and reducing our transport energy consumption by carpooling, walking or cycling where possible. Currently, we are using the equivalent of 1.5 times the planet’s natural resources to support consumption patterns. Much of this overshoot relates to the Earth’s inability to keep up with storing excess carbon. For this
reason, we cannot afford to ignore the critical environmental challenges we are facing, especially from the use of dirty fossil fuels. “Our small positive actions all add up. Together we must find the energy to turn the inspiration of one hour into the actions of every hour,” explains Du Plessis. “We encourage all South Africans to unite with millions of people around the globe for the world’s largest mass participation event for the environment by switching off your lights and celebrating Earth Hour in whatever ways best honour the planet.” This annual symbolic act takes place on Saturday, 23 March 2013 from 8:30-9:30pm and gives all of us an opportunity to reflect on our impact on the environment and renew our commitment to protecting the planet.
from small beginnings Writer Kendal Brown
The event aims to bring foreign investment to African mining. It includes all role players in mining such as government, service providers, construction, heavy equipment, logistics, transportation and of course mining houses.
he mining Indaba had its small beginnings nineteen years ago as the previous regime came to its end and the new regime took hold of the governmental reigns of South Africa. It was instigated by a lady with a very keen sense of the times. Seeing the large scale changes coming, Sandy Morris took the entrepreneurial bull by the horns and established the Mining Indaba in 1994 with a view to bringing investments to South African mining. Using her connections in mining and government, she launched the Indaba and every year since then it’s grown incrementally. Starting with a mere two hundred and fifty people it grew steadily each year attracting about a thousand delegates after ten years. But then, in 2010, it exploded! From three thousand that year it leapt to six thousand in 2011. Fifty countries were represented in 2010. In 2011 that figure ballooned to ninety-eight! 2012 saw seven thousand delegates attending, and this year (2013) an approximate fifteen per cent increase saw seven thousand seven hundred delegates throng the exhibition halls of the Cape Town International Conference Centre. Without a doubt this is the worlds’ largest mining investment conference! The amazing growth is of course very gratifying from a marketing perspective, attracting global international coverage. The logistics of managing close on eight thousand people presents a massive challenge. The ten American team members handling the strategic and tactical aspects are supported by a further seventy-five locally, predominantly from Cape Town, to manage the event. Word is that their contribution goes a long way to making the Indaba the world class event that it is! The event aims to bring foreign investment
to African mining. It includes all role players in mining such as government, service providers, construction, heavy equipment, logistics, transportation and of course mining houses. The Indaba provides a platform to bring people from all the different sectors together to exchange ideas, share products and make known the latest mining advances. That the Indaba is achieving its aims is shown by the growing number of delegates and the enthusiastic response of those delegates to what they term ‘ a world class event’ and the ‘pathway to investment in African mining’. Refreshingly, managements’ idea of growth doesn’t hinge on getting more and more delegates to the Indaba. Rather, their aim is to make sure that the Mining Indaba continues to be relevant. That means getting the right people to the Indaba to grow the value and the content of the event. A welcome spinoff of growth is the amount of cash flow generated for the tourism industry in and around Cape Town, with restaurants, golf courses, taxis and others involved in the hospitality trade benefitting from the influx of delegates with purchasing power, with something in the area of thirtysix million rand over the last six years being spent locally by the visitors. Any fears of moving the Indaba are unfounded with next years’ date and venue already set. In fact the CTICC are being encouraged to move ahead quickly with their expansion plans as the Mining Indaba is already struggling space wise in this huge edifice! When it first began no one imagined the Indaba would develop into what it is today. This year though the global press coverage has put African mining in a global context in no uncertain terms. The unprecedented success of Mining
Indaba as a brand has led to the launching of a similar event in Asia just last year focusing on mining opportunities on the Asian continent. It’s not a case of taking the Africa Indaba to Asia at all. The two Indabas are aimed at benefiting the continents that they represent. Asia has a wealth of mineral riches but does not take as sophisticated an approach as Africa. As such, there is huge scope for mining entities to work together to develop and grow the mining industry there. The Indaba will provide Asia with the necessary platform. And who knows which continent will be next to benefit from a Mining Indaba? A highlight this year was the introduction of a bursary programme which saw two first year mining students at the University of Pretoria each being awarded a ten thousand dollar bursary to help them finish their studies. Who’d have thought that from such small beginnings, the Mining Indaba would grow to such a prominent position in the world mining sector?
Ngalang Boodja mine lake aquaculture project
ining operations in Africa are often located in areas that suffer from low rainfall, which puts pressure on communities that rely on agriculture as their main source of income. By utilizing the treated water from mine lakes for aquaculture could lead to many opportunities in food security and training and employment in remote communities. In Australia there are currently over 1800 mine lakes that are seen as environmental liabilities by the mining companies and receive negative attention from various stakeholders. These mine lakes are huge bodies of water that due to a number of chemical processes turn into inhabitable environments for aquatic life due to their acidity and high levels of dissolved metals. The Ngalang Boodja Mine Lake Aquaculture Project - the first of its kind in the world provided a cost-effective and proven means of transforming a liability into an asset, at the same time offering training, education and job opportunities to indigenous people in an area of high unemployment
and socio-economic deprivation. It also created a sustainable enterprise for the local Indigenous community, the Noongar community in Collie, Western Australia. The project showcased how aquaculture could successfully link with mining operations to deliver tangible benefits to regional and remote communities by applying leading water treatment technologies to the rehabilitation and commercial use of mine voids. Treated mine lake water is being used to grow a local freshwater crustacean, marron, in 22 farm ponds built alongside a mine lake situated on an existing mining lease. After an initial development period, during which the project was managed by a joint Indigenous/non-Indigenous Leadership Group with a range of knowledge and skills, the farm is now being operated by local Noongar workers and managed by a Board of Directors comprising local Noongar leaders. NBE has been operating out of two mine lakes with a pH of 3.4 and considerably high in several metals. A water treatment plant has been designed where we pump the 3.4 pH water from the mine lake where it passes through a low cost fluidized limestone bed
and within a 3 minute contact time raising the pH to 7. Metals then flocculate out and after a period of time the water is deemed suitable to be then used for aquaculture. The treated water then passes through 22 high nutrient ponds stocked with Crayfish and returns back to the mine lake improving the chemistry and health of the lake. In 2009 Premier Coal was awarded the 2009 Corporate Business Leading by Example Environment Award for their contribution to the creation of the Ngalang Boodja mine lake aquaculture farm. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the project has been the social capital generated through project activities. The farm has been used as a resource for a series of VET training programs. The project has been a source of immense pride for the local community and has made a significant contribution to the increasing engagement of Aboriginal people in Collie in civil affairs. The 2nd most important cultured aquatic species world wide is Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) which offers phenomenal growth rates at temperatures between 26 -30 C. Nile Tilapia is the
most cultured sp. in West, Central and East Africa due to their near optimal year round temperatures. Unfortunately from an aquaculture perspective, Nile Tilapia is currently seen as an invasive species in SA and therefore is not yet an option for Aquaculture. Mozambique Tilapia (O. mossambicus) which is SA indigenous sp. and Red Tilapia which is based on O. mossambiicus with many attractive attributes are becoming increasing popular for farmers in South Africa due to genetically improved strains, more reliable seed, improved system design and management. Most Tilapia farms in SA use intensive raceway systems, which are contained in green houses that raise temperatures of up to 10C, which extends the growing and breeding season allowing tilapia farming in SA to be a viable option. This is the most common system design in Egypt, which has a very similar climate to northern parts of SA. Egypt is the second largest tilapia producer after China. NBE currently has personnel in Africa exploring opportunities for partnering with an African mining company to develop a tilapia farm. NBEâ€™s objectives in Africa 1. Engage with a mining company, government agencies and the local community to build an integrated aquaculture business that would produce tilapia using the latest and best farming practices current as well as provide facilities for subsistence farming by the local community members 2. Build the capacity of the local community members for employment and enterprise through education, training 3. Develop a successful tilapia business that is a stand alone enterprise after three years, owned and operated by the local community: This project will provide the mining company with the opportunity to pioneer this technology in Africa and position itself as a leading innovator in mine lake rehabilitation, also improve their social licence to operate by increasing employment, training and food production in the area. The company will also improve labor and government relations and potentially avoid high reclamation cost associated with mine pit closure. The project can also be included in the annual sustainability reports and enjoy the international recognition for initiating a long sighted, visionary project, which takes a waste product from a mining operation and turns it into a commercial asset. Contact Richard Clark at r_clark30@ hotmail.com for the prospectus
2/26/2013 1:21:59 AM
GREENING YOUR BUSINESS
AfricA’s wAste expo & conference
Wastex Africa is Africa’s dedicated waste management, recycling, sustainability and environmental protection expo Waste Indaba is a two-day conference at Wastex Africa. The indaba has a policy and business tracks and features speakers from government and industry
WHEN? 29 - 31 MAY 2013
hether you run a homebased business or a brickand-mortar retail business, there are simple, easy things you can do to go green. And operating a green business is not only good for the environment but good for your business’s bottom line because conserving resources and cutting down on waste saves money. Below are ten easy-to-implement ideas for running a green business that you can put into practice right now to make your business a more environmentally friendly place. Go green by: 1. Turning off equipment when it’s not being used. This can reduce the energy used by 25 percent; turning off the computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50 percent. 2. Encouraging communications by e-mail, and reading e-mail messages onscreen to determine whether it’s necessary to print them. If it’s not, don’t! 3. Reducing fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a
computer, without requiring a printed hard copy. 4. Producing double-sided documents whenever possible. 5. Not leaving taps dripping; always close them tightly after use. (One drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year.) 6. Installing displacement toilet dams in toilet reservoirs. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet’s reservoir will displace about 4 litres of water per flush - a huge reduction of water use over the course of a year. 7. Finding a supply of paper with maximum available recycled content. 8. Choosing suppliers who take back packaging for reuse. 9. Instigating an ongoing search for “greener” products and services in the local community. The further your supplies or service providers have to travel, the more energy will be used to get them to you. 10. Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It’s less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
Convention Centre WHERE? GallaGher Johannesburg south africa
Estelle Hunt Cell: 0027 (0) 82 824 2338 email@example.com Waste Indaba
Asanda Bukula Cell: 0027 (0) 76 758 0658 firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 0027 (0)11326 4082 www.wastexafrica.co.za
Proudly endorsed by:
Vodacom recently became a voluntary signatory to the energy efficiency leadership network, which aims to improve energy efficiency in South Africa.
Vodacom goes green with solar panels
outh African mobile communications company Vodacom has joined the country’s renewable energy drive by unveiling the largest array of solar panels on a single building in Africa at its offices in Century City in Cape Town. The installation forms part of the firm’s mission to reduce its energy consumption and is expected to contribute up to 75% of the electricity required during peak production. “The electricity produced will feed into the two main distribution boards and a display
panel, installed in the reception area of the building, and will display instantaneous power produced (yield), energy yield and carbon emission savings,” Vodacom said in a statement. Vodacom recently became a voluntary signatory to the energy efficiency leadership network, which aims to improve energy efficiency in South Africa. It is one of 58 members of the network from the mining and energy, commercial, industrial and manufacturing sectors, business associations and government departments. “This commitment complements our
existing environmental and sustainability efforts to reduce carbon emissions within the organisation by 5% per annum until 2014,” said Vodacom’s chief officer of corporate affairs, Maya Makanjee. “Through this particular project Vodacom aims to demonstrate that business can take the lead in promoting renewable energy solutions, thereby stimulating the green economy.” Local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) installed the panels as part of the company’s policy to improve socioeconomic development. Skills transfer also formed part of the project and a German engineer involved in the project provided on-the-job training to local construction workers. The roof tiles that were removed to make way for the panels were also all donated to a community centre project in Delft. This latest project to improve energy efficiency follows others such as the retrofitting of base stations with free cooling and the construction of what is regarded as the greenest building in the country, its Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. The building was awarded six stars for its water, energy and emissions efficiency by the Green Building Council of South Africa in October 2011. “Through this initiative and other energy saving projects, Vodacom intends taking the lead in trying to reduce dependency on conventional energy sources and it is our hope that other companies follow suit,” Makanjee said. “We also want our customers to learn from our example and to become more aware of their own carbon footprint.”
ESKOM Tariff Hikes Writer Rishqah Roberts
013 will see an ESKOM tariff increase of 8%. Think it’s a lot? Well, this is half of the initial proposed increase of 16%. So consider this a consolation prize, which betters the position we would have been in had the initial proposal; of a 16% increase been approved. South Africans had better get used to the increases as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has approved the annual ESKOM tariff increase of 8% for the next five years! This will mean that by the year 2017 electricity alone would have increased by a whopping 40%. Currently electricity rates are 61 cents per kilowatt hour; with the proposed increases, by 2017/18 we will be paying 85 cents for the same amount of electricity. This may seem a lot, but again it is better than paying R1.10 for a kilowatt hour, which is what we would have been paying had the initial proposed increase been approved. This increase will undoubtedly impact on everything and will bring about other increases with it, which will surely lead to negative social and economic effects. A great concern that the increased electricity tariff brings with it, is the threat to food security. Johan Pienaar, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Agriculture Trade Association AgriSA Africa, is concerned that the increased tariff, together with the looming increase in water tariffs, the increasing cost of diesel and the expected 15% increase in farm workers wages (after their strike in the Western Cape) he says the food industry will not be able to survive all these increases. The Agricultural sector, among others, says that the increase would undermine the South African Development Plan. This is to create one million jobs by 2030, which would simply not happen together with the increases. There simply will not be enough finances available to allow for both. Professor Raymond Parsons, of Business Unity South Africa, says that we are at a tipping point and must therefore avoid
unnecessary increases. Thus the actual increase of 8%; as opposed to the initial proposed increase of 16%, should perhaps be viewed with a grateful attitude. In support of his statement, Parsons presents a comprehensive guide of how ESKOM could cut through costs which would lead to more efficient planning and lower the need for such drastic increases. His recommendations are supported by the Chemical and Allied Industries Association. But there is not really anything the South African consumers can do about the increase. Except to, simply accept it, says Trade Union Solidarity. Due to the monopolistic structure of the electricity market it is impossible to know whether the proposed price increases are appropriate, notes Researcher, Paul Joubert, who suggests that independent electricity regulators be allowed into the energy market. The fact that this has not already been done has been to the detriment of the South African consumer, due to the lack of competitiveness amongst electricity suppliers. ESKOM proposes the five year increase to ensure predictable, longer term price structure. This sounds like it is their attempt to get their customers more accustomed to the price increases. And although consumers are generally aware that prices are always on the rise, instead of coming down, does not at all mean that we are particularly fond of the idea, in fact our feelings towards this fact are more the exact opposite. My question is: why the increase and are they really necessary? The 8% increase accounts for an increase from the tariff rate revenue and the environmental levy charge revenue for all tariff’s combined. I wonder if any of this profit driven to benefit ESKOM? Logically it should not be, because government as the sole shareholder should be more than satisfied with the VAT income from electricity sales. And with the looming increasing tariff rates VAT is soon to be the fastest growing source of revenue for government.
It is said that all Eskom’s profit stays within ESKOM to finance their capital expansion programme and that they need to earn a profit to generate a rate of return equal to cost of capital; and must at least cover their debts. Increases in the electricity tariff is not a foreign concept to consumers, as the tariff has been increasing for the past six years; this is clearly noted when the price of a kilowatt hour in 2007 is compared to what it is now. In 2007 we paid just under 20 cents for a kilowatt hour, currently we are paying 61 cents for a kilowatt hour, therefore we have already seen a more than 300% increase in the past six years. According to Anton Eberhard, the National Planning Commissioner, these increases were necessary, because the tariff was below sustainable levels for too long. Eberhard notes that if the electricity tariff prices had increased annually by the rate of inflation since the 1990’s, there would have been a smooth and steady price path forged since then. This is clearly not the case and as a result, no matter what the reason, consumers are left flabbergasted at the drastic increases. Consumers can however take comfort in the thought that price projections are often thought to be meaningless; as the real prices often differ from those that were originally applied for by ESKOM and determined by NERSA. This has already proven to be true when we think about the initial proposed increase of 16% and the 8% increase that had been approved. The current price determination for electricity in South Africa does not work and government should assist NERSA in this regard by drafting an acceptable price path over the medium term; this is thought to be one that is internationally competitive; ensures that ESKOM is able to cover all its operational and maintenance costs, and that they meet their costs of capital over the long term.
BASA & the NCR Writer Zak King
ince its inception, the National Credit Act (NCA) has focused on balancing the rights of creditors with previously unprotected consumers. Some would go so far as to say that the NCA leans towards the consumer. The intention was to try to establish a semblance of balance between large creditors, with all their resources, and the lowly consumer. The Act sought to address issues such as the granting of credit to consumers who could not make the required repayments. This practice has been named “Reckless Lending”. The NCA also looked at unscrupulous collection practices which had been common such as creditors taking consumers ID books or bank cards to ensure repayments. In the past, many consumers were unable to make heads or tails of contracts which were thrust in their faces in a language they were little familiar with. The Act sought to address this issue forcing creditors to take steps to ensure this sort of abuse would stop. Who would regulate implementation of the NCA? It seemed obviously unwise to ask the various creditors to regulate themselves. Thus the National Credit Regulator (NCR) was put in place through the Act to regulate the industry. As time went by the NCR swooped down on a few tiny creditors and made an example of them. They proudly announced these victories to the press. It was Debt Counsellors who asked the hard question: “What about the large creditors, those members of the Banking Association of South Africa who make up such a large part of the credit industry?” In the years since the inception of the NCA, Debt Counsellors have faced extreme opposition to the process and have fought an uphill battle to get creditors to cooperate with the requirements of the Act. While leadership at the banks has publicly pledged support for the process (which was set out in the Act so they could not refuse anyway) resistance at the product
house level was intense. During this time BASA had helped create an entity called the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA). This entity attempted to make “rules” for Debt Counsellors to use. They even started to help “mediate” agreements between consumers and their members. Unfortunately according to the NCA a creditor (or agent of a creditor) cannot offer debt review. The NDMA, being largely ignored, faded into obscurity. Then just last year, a new project spearheaded by the NDMA came to the fore. This proposed voluntary debt mediation project once again offered debt review approved by the big banks. Once again the larger debt counselling community spoke out and called on the NCR to intervene. This they did, shutting the project down. Many pointed to the changed leadership at the NCR for being prepared to take on BASA, whereas in the past nothing would have happened. In the wake of Marikana, the NCR finally took a very public stance in regard to illegal practices by creditors and for the first time expanded their investigations into larger creditors such as Capitec and African Bank. When the NCR announced that they were referring African Bank to the National Credit Tribunal with a recommendation of a R300 million fine relating to conduct such as “reckless credit” many were amazed at this new fearless NCR. It seemed that the days of tiptoeing around the larger creditors were over. At first the actual process of debt counselling came under attack. When that did not work, an effort was made by creditors to control the process. The NCR shut that down and even began to investigate BASA members. Now it seems that the NCR are facing BASA’s wrath for meddling where they previously had not dared. Not too long ago a need was perceived for what has been called a twin peaks model of regulation of the financial sector. The intention is to split regulatory duties
Grow Debt Counsellors and consumer rights activists are happy to see the big banks finally under the microscope.
to further protect the market and ensure stability in line with international standards. In a joint statement between BASA and the Treasury, BASA have thrown their support behind the Financial Service Board (FSB) taking the reigns from the NCR in regard to the credit market. In fact, Cas Coovadia has gone so far as to criticize the NCR, saying that it has not been implementing the NCA effectively, that it could do more and should focus on non banking creditors. At the same time BASA have been complaining that the NCR are picking on them by investigating their conduct. The NCR disagree and Debt Counsellors and consumer rights activists are happy to see the big banks finally under the microscope. BASA’s recommendation, if used, will see regulatory duties split between the Reserve Bank and the FSB. It has been pointed out that neither have a particular focus on consumer rights. The NCR would then no longer be able to “pick” on BASA and it could be business as usual. Sadly, if implemented it might be the consumer who suffers as the intent of the NCA is watered down to suit the new setup. Opposition is once again mounting against this latest BASA move and court interdicts and protests (such as that seen in regard to E Tolling) might appear in the near future. What now remains to be seen is if the NCR will stay the course in regard to the big banks, or if they will back down in an effort to relieve pressure from BASA.
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Recent statistics show that on average not only are South Africans not saving at all, but out of the money they have left at the end of the month (after paying for food, shelter and transport) they are using around 75% of their money to pay off their existing debt.
Debt Review Tough times ahead Writer Zak King
hile December last year saw a lower than normal amount of consumers applying for debt review, the first few months of 2013 have seen a huge jump in applications for help. It is quite normal for optimistic consumers to see December and bonus time as a chance to get their financial situation under control and then to go out and blow any extra cash on gifts and parties. Thus the January and February rush on debt counselling services is seen as an industry norm. Expectations have however been exceeded showing just how over indebted consumers really are. It looks as if the number of applications should stay high this year as more and more consumers tire of fighting a losing battle in trying to balance their income and expenditure. As mentioned in the budget speech for 2013, the year ahead will be similar to last, with slow economic growth and increasing financial pressure from higher electricity, transport and food costs. This is no surprise. Growth has been slow, increases 48
in salary lacklustre and consumers have already borrowed almost as much as they can afford. Indeed the various banks are now facing the challenge of trying to find more customers for their credit facilities. With the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and Debt Counsellors keeping an eye on reckless credit, various credit providers have once again had to curb their lending spree. That or face penalties such as those suggested to the National Credit Tribunal by the NCR in regard to African Bank (ABIL) after their investigation into bad lending practices by the bank. R300 million is not to be sneezed at and shows the NCRâ€™s intention for credit providers to beware of making a troubled situation worse. Last year saw scary statistics which revealed that many consumers were accessing short term credit simply to buy food. These consumers are clearly not in control of their finances and need urgent assistance. However it is often these consumers who are trapped in a cycle of taking payday loans and borrowing more and more from the same creditor in an effort to cover not only
their living costs, but also their existing loan repayments. Too often consumers feel they have no way out. They live in fear of answering the phone when they see numbers they do not recognise. They go to extremes like moving houses to avoid letters and collection agents. They lie awake at night worried and live in a world dominated by their debt. For some, the pressure grows so much, that they act out against others (like at Marikana) or sadly themselves. In a country where half the credit active consumers are behind on payments by up to 3 months, thank goodness we have the National Credit Act with its provision of debt counselling. What is of concern, is that with millions of consumers in need of help, more consumers are currently in the hands of attorneys using garnishee orders (EAOâ€™s) to such detriment that it got a special mention in the budget speech than debt review. Minister Gordhan begged employers to not simply go ahead and cooperate with EAOâ€™s but to question their validity and see if they could not assist their own staff to manage their debt. Many companies are turning to Debt Counsellors to do so. Hundreds of thousands of South Africans have used the debt review process to take financial control back and to fight that feeling of helplessness. Now with employers seeking help for their workers we may see significant numbers of consumers enter the process. A process which, unlike garnishees, takes the consumers monthly needs into consideration and has no collection fees for creditors. This means creditors recover more of their funds and that will help them to weather the tough times ahead.
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FUTURE OF FOOD Writer Cris Robertson
roposition 37 would have been an influential reference point in confronting the disaster that is our global food system. A proposed law in California, it would have enforced the labelling of foods with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). It gained massive support within the States and from the rest of the world, but corporate pressure blocked its momentum. Proposition 37 was an opportunity to address the integrity – or lack thereof – in the global market. Given the response it received, the issue will now root itself in the public consciousness and slowly grow to define the future of food. So, what could we have expected from a vote in favour? And what can we expect to come? Let’s stop for a moment and begin with an introductory question: Why do we have to label GMOs anyway? Well, ideally we would not have to worry about GMOs at all, but the global economic system is one that encourages fast food that goes further and stays on forever – a package that GMOs fit into nicely. But there are unavoidable risks and irregularities in eating geneticallyengineered food. The tests done last year by Russians scientists on the effects of GMOs on rats, however wickedly ironic, have proven this and helped catapult this issue into the public arena. In the previous issue of this magazine, I wrote about Africa’s battle to defend itself from the plans of GMO giants, Monsanto. So, there are also risks and irregularities that come when a food system opens its gates to such a force. But besides from the technical reasonings of why to label GMOs, there is a much simpler answer: because we deserve to know. As consumers, we deserve the right to know what we are putting into our bodies and what kind of product we are supporting. It is also a responsibility. We have to know. We need to be able to inform ourselves and make those decisions. And we need institutional support, like labelling. As a society, we are so detached from our food, from what we eat. We need to see our work in the crop fields, not as maximum yields, not as means to an end, but as a relationship. We can’t play dumb any longer; we have to engage with the complexity and the bigger picture at hand. The failure of Proposition 37 was, unfortunately, not a surprise. It was a close call, however, but consider this: the financial support in favour of Proposition 37 received around $9 million, whereas the financial support against it amounted to $46
million. Their top funders included CocaCola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Bayer and Dow Sciences, DuPont and, you guessed it, Monsanto. Ever heard of the saying, ‘follow the money’? These powers argued an effective rhetoric against the “deceptive food labelling scheme”. It was somewhat mystical and full-on reductionist. They argued that the costs incurred would hurt consumers and the state, even though it was a bill aimed at producer packaging. And they argued that it would take away consumer choices and restrict the market, even though this was all about freedom of choice in the first place. It was well-funded and well-rewarded: a classic case of multinational corporations keeping their grip on global markets. But, rather than dwell on the death of hope, we must take excitement in the celebration of life. This is a topical issue that isn’t going anywhere. Proposition 37 has switched on a light in the public consciousness. We can’t escape the ‘what if?’ What if the most powerful nation on this earth required it’s producers to label their geneticallyengineered products? It’s a growing theme in the European Union and a growing practice throughout the world. But GMO-labelling in the United States of America would have completely changed the game. Let’s be serious, the home of Hollywood has centred itself in global media and politics. If the rest of the States followed through with such a bill, not only would it score the superpower some credibility points, but it would significantly impact the global market and global consciousness, effectively shaping global food system. However, knowing our corrupt ways and resistance to change, this ‘light’ will probably start off only as a flicker. Our excitement should be supported by a determination; a commitment to that excitement. We won’t stop hearing about the injustices and absurdities of our global food system, and we won’t stop hearing about calls to make it the better. In some way, Proposition 37 is already a reference point. Even in its failure, it is part of the story of change. The more we are exposed to hidden complexities within our flawed system, the less we can avoid the responsibilities of change. If we believe we can be better, we must keep on believing in change. We must keep on talking, and there will always be more to talk about.
We won’t stop hearing about the injustices and absurdities of our global food system, and we won’t stop hearing about calls to make it better.
Writer Cris Robertson
Environmentalism Out of Tune
of aiming their crosshairs at the problems and the people that made them advocates and activists in the first place. So, is it a ‘movement’ at all? There seems to be no togetherness in environmentalism. But environmental ethicist Bryan Norton says we are looking in the wrong place – we need to be focusing on common goals and objectives. Surely what we share is that we are looking to restore the skewered relationship between mankind and the ecological systems that have given us life? The fact is this: we can’t remedy our relationship with the world if we can’t even remedy our relationships within environmentalism. We need to come together again, and not There is something inherently just pursue our personal passion wrong with this ‘movement’, and projects. If we cannot agree we only have ourselves to blame. on this, we might as well be in Where is the unity that once defined a house on fire, arguing what caused the flames. environmentalism? Here is an analogy that might seem inappropriate and one that the finger. There is something inherently I will probably immediately regret: the wrong with this ‘movement’, and we only environmental movement is like a boy-band have ourselves to blame. Where is the unity that has split up ... Let me elaborate and don’t that once defined environmentalism? let your music taste put you off. Also, if the Morally, we deserve a pat on the back. We feminist in you is raging, just replace ‘boy’ have stood up and fought for that which with ‘girl’. Right then. Say, for instance, a has no voice in our markets and courts of bunch of kids from different walks of life law: nature. However, we are not achieving come together with the common aim of enough – it seems like we are only slowing making music. Now, let’s not be cynical and the rate of collapse. This is like one of those jump to the conclusion that boy-bands are ‘quantity versus quality’ arguments: we there just for the money – imagine there was can have as many environmental policies still integrity in the music industry. Anyway, and plans as we want, but if there is no so these kids form a musical group and write consistency in our actions and attitudes then beautiful songs that are heard and supported we’re doomed. When environmentalism lost by everyone. But as time moves on there its glue, it lost its structure. And now it is in are bitter arguments and disagreements – disarray. the struggles of success – and the boy-band As a movement, it comes across as idealistic breaks up. Each kid goes their separate ways. and bigoted, far-fetched and narrow-minded. There are no longer any pleasant harmonies There isn’t even a consistent language – we between them. Some of them are forgotten, confuse each other with our own metaphors even though they are musically-talented, and and concepts, and as a result, misunderstand one or two others jump on the monopoly each other completely. Advocates and of their initial success. Are you seeing the activists are at each other’s throats instead et’s break bread and reflect. Every now and then, we need to look at where we’ve come from and ask how we’re doing, because we’re always doing something wrong somewhere. The modern environmental movement has come a long way since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and its philosophical penetration into the public sphere in the seventies. Environmental issues are in the headlines more than ever. The facts and statistics continue to grow and are available to a wider audience. Yet, almost everything is still in crisis, and all we are doing is pointing
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connection? As long as you get the idea, I guess. The movement of environmentalism began with many issues being brought together with the general concern for reestablishing a harmonious relationship with the natural world. It gained momentum and made some ground – influential individuals voiced their support and influential organisations were set up. However, as academic and institutional disciplines remained isolated, a battle for funding and priorities ensued. And this is where we are today. This is no basis for environmentalism. Everything is connected and our efforts should be too! Considering this disunity in environmentalism, I believe that we need to look for space where we can talk. We need to concentrate on our common goals and concerns – our common ground. Of course, there will be disagreements, but this opens up conversation and that is how solutions are formed. The environmental movement is one that should acknowledge the interconnectivity of our earth systems, and thus, should always be vigilant in fighting any fractures and cracks that form when working towards a better human-nature relationship. The boy-band needs to get back together. There needs to be a reunion. If we’re doomed, then let’s go down hand-inhand – let’s leave on a high note.
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Murray Burger, Group Engineer of Three Cities Hotels
The Three Cities team proudly show off their National Energy Barometer Survey status.
Energy Barometer gives direction to portfolio managers
he top performers in the National Energy Barometer Survey for the 2011 utility year have received confirmation that their buildings’ energy efficiency investments are paying off when compared to others in the same sector. Central Energy Fund (CEF) House, for a second consecutive year, is the winner of the Head Office category, runner-up is Exxaro Corporate Centre and in third place, Anglo Gold Ashanti. Categories assessed in the 2011 survey included Head Offices, Hospitals, Hotels, and Motor Car Dealers, however due to non-disclosure agreements not all winners in all categories may be announced. Three Cities Group of Hotels had three hotels that performed top of the Group and took 1st to 3rd place, whilst Mediclinic in the Hospital category entered purely to assess its own internal portfolio to assist them in making informed energy efficiency investment decisions. Optimising a building envelope through standards and regulations is only a step in the right direction. The National Energy Barometer Survey encourages companies to become aware of their energy consumption levels when operating a building and to assist them to optimise their energy usage. The results improve profits, contributes to the national economy, whilst providing a platform for comparison and learning.
The Energy Barometer process poses no risk to a participant as they will never be ‘named and shamed’ and companyspecific information remains confidential. It is up to each participant to decide what may be disclosed. The Energy Barometer is a useful tool to steer energy managers in the right direction and is being used by many companies to decide which buildings in their portfolios will deliver the most significant impact from energy management perspectives. One of the participants, Three Cities Hotels’ Group Engineer, Murray Burger, said: “The Energy Barometer Survey offered the rare opportunity to effectively gauge the hotel management company’s understanding of energy management, and clearly identified shortfalls whilst offering some interesting insight into current consumption profiles”. This peripheral benefit seems to be echoed as significant by many participants with medium and large property portfolios where the Energy Barometer is being used so that internal energy strategies and policies can be formulated. When considering embarking on the energy efficiency road, the question usually asked is “Where do we start?” With building portfolios, the Energy Barometer is the answer to benchmark a portfolio of buildings against each other so that the building with the most potential to deliver energy savings can be identified as a starting point. “At
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Beyond basic recycling Writer Michelle Nel
Picture a simple, throwaway item such as an orange mesh bag. Many people toss these in the bin without a second thought. Yet it is an incredibly useful product. It can be turned into shade cloth, frost protection, a rough sieve or an exfoliating bath loofah and soap preserver (pop a bar of soap into the bag, tie shut, enjoy a rough scrub, then hang up after bathing or showering so the soap dries out and lasts longer). Another orange bag can be the bath scourer. A third becomes a pet scrubber. A fourth can be a floor cloth. It is excellent as a manure tea bag; holding manure or herbs while steeping in a vat or bucket. After three weeks, toss the bag under a fruit tree and water your pot plants with the liquor diluted in water. How about 101 uses for a plastic bottle? Cut in half, the bottom half, with a hole in the bottom becomes a planter. The top becomes a cloche which protects seedlings from drought and pests. It confuses plant-munching birds, insects, chickens and rodents. A plastic bottle can be made into a good fly trap. Once again one has to cut the bottle in half and insert the top upside into the bottom half. The bottom bit must be filled with a smelly liquid (perhaps some meat festering in water) with a little dishwashing liquid added to kill the flies. The downward pointing mouth of the bottle is raised above the smelly liquid so that flies fall in and drown. The trap can be hung from a branch or placed among pots. Each time a piece of ‘junk’ becomes a useful item, landfill space and virgin materials are saved. But what about food waste? If you keep rabbits or chickens, discarded food can be converted on site into clean fertiliser pellets, manure for manure tea, eggs and meat. If you don’t, you have to call in the micro-army. According to the US think-tank Worldwatch Institute, 40% of all food produced is either lost or wasted between the stages of production and consumption. In developing countries, postharvest crop losses (crops that spoil before reaching the market) contribute to malnourishment and food insecurity, which stymie both human wellbeing and economic development. In all countries, food waste (food that is purchased and thrown away) contributes to global methane emissions, which are 20 times more environmentally harmful than carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although food waste is a global concern, it occurs primarily in high- and mediumincome countries. In China, for example,
over 200 billion Yuans (US$32 billion) worth of food is thrown away annually, even as 128 million Chinese live below the poverty line. And in the United States, consumers generate enough food waste annually to satisfy “every empty stomach” in Africa, according to the UN World Food Programme. In addition to its humanitarian implications, food waste has a sizeable environmental footprint. According to the EPA, food waste is the number one material in US landfills, which are in turn responsible for 34% of national methane emissions. Wasting food also means wasting the resources that were used to produce it, such as land, water, and fossil fuels (for farm machinery, transportation, and the production of fertilizer). This unnecessary resource consumption contributes to environmentally harmful outcomes, including deforestation, water scarcity, pollution, and climate change. Enter ‘Bokashi’ which is ramped-up Japanese compost which is a foolproof method for convenient conversion of food waste into powerful fertilizer. All you need is bokashi bran mix. This mix contains microorganisms which digest the food. It derives from the practice of Japanese farmers centuries ago of covering food waste with rich, local soil that contained the microorganisms that would ferment the waste. After a few weeks, they would bury the waste and shortly thereafter, it became rich, loamy soil. Most practitioners obtain the microorganisms from the product ‘Effective Microorganisms’ (EM), often made by fermenting fruit and first sold commercially in the 1980s. The EM include natural lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria. Once a starter culture is made, it can be used to extend the culture indefinitely, like yoghurt. To make bokashi mix, EM is mixed with a carbon base (sawdust or bran) that it sticks to and a sugar for food (often molasses). To compost food waste into fertiliser, the mixture is layered with waste in a sealed container. The fermentation of food waste is crucial to the process. Not only does this stop rotting (and thus smells) it also pre-digests the food waste so that it can be quickly and easily composted or trenched. The fermentation process also releases amino acids thus enabling faster uptake of nutrients by plants. After a few weeks, the fermented food waste should be removed and buried. Recycling food waste reduces landfill loads, reduces methane and improves soil health. “You should remove the liquor before burying the waste,” advises Gavin Heron of Earth Probiotic (based in Johannesburg). He sells special bokashi bins that come with a tap that make draining the juice really easy.
Both the liquid and solid ‘products’ of the bokashi process are powerful natural fertilisers loaded with microbes and nutrients. bokashi juice is acidic and should be diluted at a rate of 1:300 parts water which can be used to fertilize your pot plants or garden. Remember to use the juice within 24 hours as it contains living bacteria. Use undiluted to keep the drains clean and odour free. It is also useful in preventing sludge build up in septic tanks. Besides obtaining products for free, feeling virtuous and saving landfill space, perhaps the most important part of being an active recycler at home, is it gives you a whole new perspective on the lifecycle of products. How much does it cost to make products? How much does it cost to throw them away. The day you catch yourself thinking twice before throwing anything away, you know you have reached the next level.
We know about computers but what about stoves? Although most people think of electronic waste as old computers, it also includes kitchen appliances. Some recyclers will take those white goods too. The e-Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA) was established in 2008 to manage the establishment of a sustainable environmentally sound e-waste management system for the country. Since then the non-profit organisation has been working with manufactures, vendors and distributors of electronic and electrical goods and e-waste handlers (including re-furbishers, dismantlers and recyclers) to manage e-waste effectively. If you visit the eWASA website you will find lists of recyclers throughout South Africa. Lyn Scheibe who runs a wildlife jobs recruitment agency says she gave her old computer equipment to an organisation called “Out of the Box” which teaches skills to the unemployed – one of which is computer repair. What bits they don’t re-use they send to an e-waste collector. Deon Thomas store manager at Hirsch’s home appliance store in Meadowdale says old appliances are removed from customers after delivery of a new appliance. If they can be repaired, they are donated to charity. If not they are dumped. He was open to being supplied with a list of white goods recyclers to deal with goods that could not be repaired.
Can citizen activism drive service delivery? When our government lets us down, we can riot and break things, or we can take the matter to court. What gets the best results? Asks Michelle Nel
o you remember the radio advertisement, circa 2005, in which Phumi (or Jane or Joe) teleported herself to her destination? The only problem was her dog, Neil, was changed into a billiard ball in the process. If only Phumi had waited for SANRAL to launch its freeway improvement plan... What the ad didn’t tell us was that to collect money for the improvements, we would have to collect twice as much, so that almost 50% could go to foreign and local vultures (without a trace of irony, there is a toll plaza 58
named just that). Besides the twee bird names for the plazas, for a whole year during construction, commuters had to run the gauntlet of road works, narrowly escaping the stupid driving of fellow road users as we negotiated concrete barriers in the pitch dark. By the time the roads were complete, I felt SANRAL owed us some free and easy commuting. If the advertisement had mentioned the disruption, danger and frankly devious use of the toll collection to enrich a few chums, we could have raised objections from the outset. We could have avoided the embarrassment,
delays and legal fees. As it is, some courageous people have put their money and energy on the line, to speak on our behalf. In law, this is called ‘locus standi’ or standing. This is where a party demonstrates to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged, to support that party’s participation in the case. The legal battle is being waged by a group called Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) chaired by Wayne Duvenhage, former ceo of Avis South Africa, a car rental corporation. “Industry is battling with the tolls as well. I used to work for Avis. It’s not
One BRT station is worth more than a gantry. Pic by Michelle Nel
a personal battle. It’s about equitable public funding of the roads,” says Duvenhage. “Government simply doesn’t want to listen,” Duvenhage insists. He used to serve as general manager at SAVRALA (SA Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association) but it appears that he had to plunge into the abyss to stand by his principles. “The car rental industry has been leant on heavily and is now supporting the tolls. That’s why OUTA is still fighting. The costs bill against us is being appealed. It is unfair because by ordering punitive costs against a small, citizen organization, government discourages locus standi. In Sasolburg, residents had to riot before they were listened to. We are at least trying to do things the legal way. But huge obstacles are being put in our way. Do we have to burn gantries before they will listen?” And well Duvenhage may ask. According to Richard Pithouse who teaches politics at Rhodes University and writes for the South African civil society website, SACSIS, South Africa confronted by popular protest has a set of choices. It can make carefully calibrated reforms, or it can try to repress dissent with violence. Violence could be the vertical use of armed force by police and army or ‘horizontal violence’ through party structures. It can try to co-opt leading protestors into the party, state or bureaucratic processes. Or it can try to capture popular anger and redirect it against a vulnerable scapegoat (such as foreigners, women, homosexuals or whining whitefolk). As Pithouse argues, experts and authorised representatives of elite organisations are often given much more access to voice in discussions about protests than protestors themselves. And the, as in the case of e-tolls, government continues regardless. Government did, however, take some notice when its tripartite alliance partner, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), threw its weight behind the protest. Some public statements from COATU head Zwelinzima Vavi, and several go-slow motorcade protests, and the tolling has been put on hold. And our friends, the gun toting taxis? They’re exempt from tolling, of course. The OUTA court case still has to run its course and one hopes wise decisions are made. Civil disobedience (such as refusing to pay for roads at all) is not healthy in a cohesive democracy, neither is government deception and bullying. “OUTA supports the upgrading of all our cities freeways and highway infrastructure, throughout our country, which need to keep
pace with the traffic demands and maintained to be safe,” says Duvenhage. “OUTA supports paying for roads. It simply does not support the method, namely e-tolling. “( In this OUTA is the voice for thousands of commuters who support the cause both in spirit and financially). E-tolling is inefficient – effectively taking between 30% and 50% in administration, management and operating costs to collect money for the GFIP capital and interest, when a simple ring-fenced addition to the fuel levy would negate this huge cost. OUTA believes a court challenge is justified because SANRAL and the government have not acted in the best interests of the citizens by promoting e-tolling is the best solution for GFIP funding. SANRAL’s consultative process was dismal and showed scant regard for the people whom their work is meant to serve. OUTA contends that SANRAL has not been transparent with the figures and funding models being applied in the e-toll process. “For years now, we have not been able to establish the actual costs relating to the e-tolling process without success,” says Duvenhage. Alternative routes and public transport infrastructure is hugely inadequate, thereby making e-tolling punitive to its citizens. By contrast, the fuel levy could be raised slightly to cover the new highways. The fuel levy was initially introduced in the 1970’s to support road maintenance and construction. Over time, the ring-fencing of the fuel levy was abolished to allow this lucrative source of funding to be channeled to other government needs. However, government could reintroduce ring-fencing going forward to specific projects such as GFIP. Ring-fencing is commonly used for a number of other applications such as the Road Accident Fund, the Inland Fuel Pipeline and so on. According to OUTA, through e-tolling we will spend R6,5bn to collect R14bn. A new Rea Vaya route, employing the Bus rapid transit (BRT) system in which buses run in a dedicated lane along the middle of the road, could be established for around R1,5 billion (Noordgesig, near Orlando in Soweto, to Parktown in the Johannesburg CBD cost around R1.2-billion). So for the toll collection fee we could have four new BRT routes. A handful of wealthy people versus safe, environmentally friendly transport for thousands of Gauteng commuters. Which do you prefer?
BRT benefits environment Considering that traffic volumes are escalating by 7% per year in the economically active corridor between Johannesburg and Tshwane, the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System is the largest ever climate change project the City of Johannesburg has undertaken to deal with congestion, pollution and greenhouse gases. • Environmental impact studies revealed savings of 382 940 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions as a result of Rea Vaya. • Operation of a Rea Vaya system through to 2020 was estimated to save 1, 6 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. • Air quality of the city of Johannesburg will improve by replacing smoky old buses with hundreds of buses running on cleaner fuel and up-to-date pollution reduction equipment.
E-tolls for dummies SANRAL stands for the South African National Roads Agency Ltd responsible to maintain national roads. It is a company that is owned 100% by government reporting to the Minister of Transport. The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) is the upgrade of the various main highways surrounding Johannesburg and on the way to Pretoria. OUTA stands for Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance. It is an association of other bodies, largely involved in the motoring and transport industry, who share a common view about the wrongs of urban tolling. Interesting points to note A. How may KM were improved? 185km B. How many toll gantries were built? 49, average spacing is 185km/49=3.77km C. How many lanes were added? Effectively 1 extra lane D. Was this a new road? No – it was merely an upgrade and maintenance of existing road.
Charities at risk New Bill that will directly affect NGO’S and NPO’s Writer Rishqah Roberts
ince the depletion of the apartheid era and the emergence of democracy and the new South Africa, one would think government’s main aim would be achieving equality for all. However, with the new government proposal threatening to ruin charities, it seems that this is the complete opposite. Government has adopted a new proposal which could ruin charities if it is followed through with. The proposal is that companies would lose their BEE points if they donate to charities that do not have 100% black beneficiaries. In my opinion, such a proposal is totally unrealistic and naturally assumes that everyone in need of assistance from charities automatically has to be black, which not only is not logically true, but makes no sense. With this as an indirect consequence of the bill; I wonder how the proposal for the Bill even got this far? As it goes against our Constitution and everything it stands for, especially equality, it’s basically saying, if you are any other race, besides black, you are too good for charity assistance. According to the new legislation companies who donate to charities who do not have 100% black beneficiaries will not be able to claim points for their BEE scorecard. This scorecard is used by government to measure a company’s BEE compliance. Companies that are more BEE compliant do business more easily with other companies that are similarly BEE compliant. By engaging with one another these companies put themselves in a “win, win” situation. Firstly, they increase their scorecard rating and secondly, they are favoured by government in all aspects of business. This will undoubtedly affect the amount of financial assistance received by charities, upon which they heavily rely, and will clearly sift through companies who are genuinely giving to assist the charities and doing so with sincerity; and those who are merely doing it lower their tax expenditure and benefit themselves at the end of the day. Karen Hatton-Jones, of the retail giant,
Spar, who donates annually to charities, orphanages and NGO’s, a considerable amount of cash and food, said she is “disgusted and distressed” by the proposed bill. She also says “it is not going to change what we do. Since when do we put colour to those in need?” Currently the legislation allows charities to assist all races, and nothing is mentioned about not being able to claim points if the charity does not assist only black people. However, mention is made only of lower points being scored if companies assist charities where less than 75% of the recipients are black.
This will undoubtedly affect the amount of financial assistance received by charities, upon which they heavily rely, and will clearly sift through companies who are genuinely giving to assist the charities and doing so with sincerity; and those who are merely doing it to lower their tax expenditure and benefit themselves at the end of the day. Although the current legislation may have an effect on who companies decide to fund, the reins are not being pulled as tightly as they would be if the proposal goes through. Because, companies would be more hesitant to fund charities assisting even one party who is not black. This means that; charities that assist where race is not an issue, such as Child Line, would be severely affected. Joan van Niekerk, of Child Line, says that BEE laws have gone from difficult to ridiculous. She points out that the race of a child calling them for assistance is immaterial and says; it is inappropriate to ask “are you black and how black are you?” This is a different kind of apartheid it seems, where the blacks are
given preference over the whites, instead of the democracy and new South Africa that was struggled for. Van Niekerk, notes that charities are more concerned with practical results than theories and principles; meaning that they will be more concerned by the fact that their already sparse funding will be cut should they assist people who are not black, than they are concerned about those from other races. The new bill is bound to affect majority of the existing charities, as almost all of them already have at least one white, or non-black, beneficiary. This will mean that even these charities, with just one non-black member, will either receive no corporate donor funding; or reject their white and other nonblack members. Segregated facilities are predicted as a result of the new bill. With some charities assisting only blacks, and enjoying company funding while they do so; and other charities that will assist people irrespective of their race and continue their struggle in seeking the financial assistance to continue. We are yet to see what is to become of the proposed bill; which would have disastrous effects on our charities, which to many offer a bit of light amid the darkness of their lives. Should the bill be accepted; the indirect effects that it will lead to for non-black South Africans would be huge if they are, or are ever in need of any assistance from our charities. As the bill being accepted would mean that these South Africans are at risk of being turned away from charities, which may refuse to assist them for fear of losing their corporate funding.
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Some of my best friends are unicellular Are we declaring war on ourselves with anti bacterial products? Asks Michelle Nel
am never alone. Everywhere I go, a trillion tiny hitchhikers come along. I am like a one-person nature reserve. And so are you. The human microbiome (or human microbiota) is the aggregate of microorganisms that reside on the surface and in deep layers of skin, in the saliva and oral mucosa, in the conjunctiva, and in the gastrointestinal tracts. They include bacteria, fungi, and archaea (simple creatures that can live in inhospitable places such as salt pans). Some of these organisms perform tasks that are useful for the human host. However, the majority have been too poorly researched to understand the role they play. At the same time, medical science may be forced to abandon the one-microbe model of disease, and rather pay attention to the function of a group of microbes that has somehow gone awry. In 2012 some 200 researchers from 80 research institutions comprising the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium have used advanced DNA-sequencing to identify and catalogue the thousands of microorganisms co-existing with humans It is estimated that 500 to 1000 species of bacteria live in the human gut and a roughly similar number on the skin. Bacterial cells are much smaller than human cells, and there are at least 10 times as many bacteria as human cells in the body (approximately 1014 versus 1013).[ The mass of microorganisms are estimated to account for 1-3% total body mass. Though members of the flora are found on all surfaces exposed to the environment (on the skin and eyes, in the mouth, nose, small intestine), the vast majority of bacteria live in the large intestine. So how do we live in harmony with our little friends? Jane MacKinnon, South African physiotherapist with an interest in natural therapies, says she no longer uses standard ammonia-based or chemical antibacterial cleaning products in her home. “I began using
natural alternatives because I was looking for something that was safe for my children. If they happened to stray into the cleaning cupboard and took a swig of some fluid, they would not end up in the emergency room.” MacKinnon uses an array of Triple Orange (a gel concentrate made of orange peels that cleans dishes, clothes and surfaces). She also uses some Golden Products mixtures and a microfibre cloth that can clean dirty surfaces such as the stove without requiring chemicals. MacKinnon has a natural antibacterial spray for the toilets. She finds that her holiday house in Lydenburg with its septic tank requires such products because they do not interfere with the natural working of the tank. MacKinnon was inspired by reading ‘Cleaning Yourself to Death’ which explores everyday cleaning products in our cupboards: what they contain and how we overuse them. Author Pat Thomas begins her campaigning book with comprehensive information about the skin and respiratory systems and how they absorb chemicals. Many cleaners contain toxic chemicals which can cause hormone disruption, mood swings, birth defects and even cancer. Not everyone is so careful. Today, more than three-quarters of soaps contain an antibacterial ingredient. What’s more, there are now antibacterial chemicals in toothpaste, socks, plastic kitchenware, and even toys. Yet, ordinary soap is just as effective in washing away bacteria. Soap has two main functions: Decreasing water’s surface tension and binding to dirt, oil and bacteria. When the grime adheres to the soap’s fatty acids, it becomes encapsulated in droplets of water. Dirt, oil and bacteria are easily washed away in this suspended state. The antibacterial components of soaps (usually triclosan or, less commonly, triclocarbon) need to be left on a surface for about two minutes in order to work. Who washes for
a whole two minutes? Who would have any skin left on their hands if they did? And to top it all, many common infectious diseases are viral. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibacterial soaps are not necessary, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published reports showing no link between a specific consumer antibacterial product and a decline in infection rates. Some scientists theorise that bacteria may develop a resistance to bactericidal agents over time. Dr. Stuart Levy, a microbiologist at Tufts University, writes that “The lack of an additional health benefit associated with the use of triclosan-containing consumer soaps over regular soap, coupled with laboratory data demonstrating a potential risk of selecting for drug resistance, warrants further evaluation by governmental regulators regarding antibacterial product claims and advertising.” In America, about three-quarters of adults and children older than six had detectable levels of triclosan, according to Antonia Calafat, PhD, lead research chemist at the CDC National Centre for Environmental Health. People in higher income brackets had the highest levels, Could a daily dose of triclosan cause health problems? Experimental studies show that triclosan can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics in test tubes. So far, no one knows whether that leads to the same result in hospitals or homes. The bottom line is that ordinary soap works adequately for hygiene. Antibacterials may interfere with ‘good’ bacteria. Anyway, what have the little critters ever done to us to elicit such vehement bactericide?
Water is life
ater is the world’s most critical resource. It sustains life, and thus the global food chain. It powers industrial production, and thus the global economy. Freshwater is perhaps the most important natural resource for human survival. But, it is also highly limited and currently under severe stress. Less than 1% of the world’s water is readily available for direct human use and for the goods and services that sustain us in our daily lives. According to United Nations agencies, one-third of the world’s population live in countries that are experiencing moderate to high water stress. More than one billion of these do not have access to clean freshwater. Three billion do not have adequate sanitation services and the annual death toll from water-borne diseases is estimated at more than three million. Furthermore, pollution and the effects of climate change are creating additional pressures that are rapidly impacting on what little freshwater supplies we have left. We are now witnessing one of the world’s most significant and underreported public health, development and economic challenges – water insecurity. The situation for South African’s is no less dire. South Africa is a water stressed country, increasingly dependent on water sources outside our borders. We have a legacy of mining and industry driven pollution, 66
Writer Timony Siebert Talbot & Talbot combined with aging water treatment and distribution infrastructure. A conservative estimate tells us that demand for water will exceed available supply by 2025. More recent statistics project that South Africa is likely to experience a 17% gap between water demand and supply by 2030, equating to a water shortfall of 2.7 billion m3 . With an emerging economy and a rapidly growing population (and consequent standard of living) that will place tremendous stress on resource needs, critical challenges lie ahead for managing our finite local freshwater resources and ecosystems. Not only do ecosystems rely on water for optimal health, but they offer valuable ecosystem services by enhancing water provision and purification and providing adaptive capacity to climatic changes. In recognition of this, South African’s across the country have been gearing up to celebrate National Water Week (18 - 24 March 2013), ahead of World Water Day on 22 March 2013. Under the theme ‘Water is life- Conserve it, Respect it, Enjoy it’, this annual campaign aims to raise awareness about the role of water in social and economic development and encourage citizens to take ownership of natural water resources by becoming more conscious users. The campaign emphasises the importance of water conservation as a key intervention towards securing future water supplies for the country and hopes to highlight the centrality of water as a resource
for the well being and functioning of both the environment and its people. But despite this critical role and its growing scarcity, water continues to be undervalued in society, and is often incorrectly thought of as being ‘free’. South African’s therefore need to stand up and take collective responsibility of our water use and learn to become more water efficient. Through our choices and actions we can significantly impact how water resources are used and allocated, and help to influence whether or not our resources are being sustainably managed. More than that, as a country, we need to invest in technology and behavioural change to either reduce the demands placed on our limited water supplies or implement strategies to recycle and re-use our water. In this way we can help create alternative sources of this precious resource to replenish natural ecosystems and supply local communities. Fortunately, many individuals, groups and businesses are responding to this water challenge and are working together to try reduce the pressure on water resources, and encourage sustainable water stewardship. Whether water is a core ingredient or plays a supporting role in producing a final product, it is vital to the operation and growth of almost every business. So when water is scarce, not replenished at the same rate it is used, or otherwise inaccessible due to pollution or quality issues, the effects of local water scarcity have ramifications on a much larger scale. Specialist companies such as Talbot & Talbot are embracing this challenge and partnering with leading corporations in exploring alternatives to ensure more efficient and sustainable (re)use of water where possible. By properly accounting for water use and wastewater discharge, companies can identify obstacles, risk areas and potential solutions for improving water use and even take steps towards replenishing the water used in the production of their products. When seen against a backdrop of a projected national water crisis, the case for urgent action is compelling. Solving the water crisis in its many aspects may be one of the biggest challenges facing humankind in this third millennium, and one that is too large for any one sector to tackle alone. But collaborative efforts and management initiatives between public and private groups (businesses, government regulators, policy makers, NGO’s, local communities) that continue to fuel new investment into water stewardship will go a long way towards delivering change and helping to secure and sustainably manage South Africa’s precious water resource.
Ntshongweni Clinic - Front View Ntshongweni Clinic - Front View
Nshongweni Clinic - Side View Storm water crossing Nshongweni Clinic - Side View 900mm 900mm Storm water crossing Surve Sur
Images of some of our completed projects and on progress
Photos taken during the progress of past projects are presentedImages in the table ofbelow: some of our com
INGCWETI PROJECT MANAGEMENT Ntshongweni Clinic - Front View
ngweni Clinic - Front View
Nshongweni Clinic - Side View
Nshongweni Clinic - Side View
Dlangamandla brick paving Dlangamandla brick paving
ngamandla brick paving
900mm Storm water crossing
D168 ready for marking
Dlangamandla brick paving complete
Survey (storm water cros
Photos taken during the prog
Dlangamandla brick paving Dlangamandla brick paving complete complete
Surfacing D168 with chip&spray
Dlangamandla brick paving
900mm Storm water crossing
Survey (storm water crossin
Mseleni Hospital Access road Mseleni Hospital Access road
Concrete V-Drains on D168
Mseleni Hospital Access road
Mseleni Access road
Ntshongweni Clinic - Front View
Mseleni Hospital Access roadSurfacing D168 Mseleni Access road with chip&spray
Dlangamandla brick paving complete
LimeMhlupheki stabilizing on D168 Stabilizing G5 layerJo Steel fixing-Nkwali Reservoir UMzinyathi Concreting-Nkwali Lizwi High School P SchoolReservoirNshongweni High School Clinic -High Side View Mhlupheki School 900mm
High School UMzinyathi P School Clinic - Front View IngcwetiLizwi is a civil, structural, projectNtshongweni management and construction
Nshongweni Lizwi High School UMzinyathi School - Side View Mhlupheki High School StormJozini tshongweni Clinic - Front View 900mm water Highcrossing School stri supervision engineering company, which was incorporated in 1998 PClinic footing
and founded by Mduduzi Cyril Ntuli. The main purpose of this entity is to create an arena to engage in engineering skills and qualifications to express excellence.
Lizwi High OURSchool PURPOSE
UMzinyathi P School
Mhlupheki High School
Bulk Earthworks on P68/1
Steel fixing-Nkwali Reservoir
Dlangamandla To deliver in a professional (Ingcweti) manner, the building and works to public and private of the users. The word ‘Ingcweti’ in isiZulu means “one who does things the right way or with perfection”. OUR PROJECT APPROACH Aug-12
Jozini High School strip
Earthworks in progres footing D brick paving
Planning around Existing clientsElectrical that meetservice the expectations
Ingcweti Project Management cc
Ingcweti Project Management cc Mselen Dlangamandla brick paving We are responsiveAug-12 to clients needs. Dlangamandla brick paving ug-12 Ingcweti Management cc cc complete Aug-12We develop customised solutions that meet Ingcweti Project Management each client’sProject peculiar circumstance. We promotes health and wellbeing of the people ,communities and the environment which it delivers itsMseleni services. Hospital Access road Dlangamandla brick for paving Dlangamandla brick paving Sub-soil drainage We comply with all government relevant legislation. complete We provide all the services the client needs for the supply of their facilities. In case we cannot supply a service ourselves we ask a member of our network of trusted partners (one stop shopping).
Ingcweti Project Management cc
Integrated project services Facility Planning Traffic studies Project management Contract management/supervision Structural Engineering services Civil Engineering services Lizwi High School Quantity Surveying
Lizwi High School Lizwi High School
UMzinyathi P School
UMzinyathi P School
Mhlupheki High School
No. 13 Bauhinia Drive, Glen Anil, 4051 PO Box 36175, Ntokozweni, 4066 Tel 031 569 1818 Fax 031 569 4534/086 638 6499 Email email@example.com Ingcweti Project
The Importance of groundwater management in South Africa Writer Vanessa Talbot
outh Africa is a water-stressed country. Being semi-arid with limited annual rainfall supply and a lack of perennial streams, the future implications of population growth combined with the uncertainty of climate change are likely to have significant financial, human and ecological impacts on already scarce water resources.
Much of South Africa’s water supply originates from groundwater sources. These occur widely and geographically and almost two thirds of South Africa’s population depend on it for their domestic water needs . On a global scale, groundwater is an essential freshwater resource for both socio-economic and environmental systems, and forms a critical buffer during periods
of drought. This makes the protection of groundwater supplies (management, pollution control and remediation) essential, particularly in developing countries where groundwater management is neither strongly emphasized in national water legislation, nor implemented where it is needed. Groundwater is water that exists in the pore spaces and fractures in rock and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface. It is naturally replenished by surface water from precipitation or snow, and then moves through the soil into the groundwater system where it recharges the water table. Groundwater sources are generally extracted through the construction and operation of extraction wells or bore holes. In areas where rural infrastructure is minimal, rural communities will often rely on more informal, traditionally developed groundwater sources such as hand-dug wells, springs and sand abstraction. Currently, South Africa’s groundwater resources supply approximately 15% of the total volume of water consumed nationally . Of this, almost 64% is used for agricultural irrigation purposes, while exploitation for mining and domestic consumption constitutes 8%. Despite our reliance on groundwater, it has remained a poorly understood and managed resource, most likely due to its ‘hidden’ nature and the lack of adequate
Groundwater is water that exists in the pore spaces and fractures in rock and sediment beneath the Earthâ€™s surface. It is naturally replenished by surface water from precipitation or snow, and then moves through the soil into the groundwater system where it recharges the water table.
knowledge and physical data pertaining to aquifer characteristics and behavior such as recharge, discharge, base flow and aquifer dependent ecosystems. Most groundwater quality and quantity problems in South Africa are related to human activities such as industry (e.g. infiltration of chemicals and toxins) and mining (e.g. acidification and increased metal content), urban development (e.g. salinisation, eutrophication, microbial effects) and the intensification of agricultural practices (e.g., sedimentation, infiltration of agro-chemicals and salinisation through irrigation return flows). Deteriorating standards in wastewater treatment, agricultural drainage, land use patterns and waste disposal intensify the problem. Contaminants either seep through the soil to reach the water, are washed into the ground by rainfall or surface run-off, or leach from contaminated landfills and other buried hazardous wastes, all of which affect both human well-being and ecosystem functioning. Millions are spent every year on control and remediation measures even though remediation is difficult and extremely costly. Remediation of soil and groundwater is usually carried out by government agencies, or environmental companies, with the first step being the identification of the contaminants. The analysis and
classification of the pollutant(s) is critical in that it enables identification of appropriate solutions for remediation. Analyses are performed by internationally recognised environmental laboratories that can provide expert interpretative data to consultants who are then able to make recommendations on and implement remediation measures. Reliable data is vital for making informed decisions. Once identified, the contaminant is either physically removed to a landfill site or subjected to chemical oxidation methods, which remove the pollutant from the soil before it is reintroduced back into the environment. Specialised mechanical techniques in the form of pump-andâ€“treat methods are used, or the area is rehabilitated in-situ with the use of microorganisms. Although groundwater is a vital source of water for many and has given rise to several short and medium-term socioeconomic benefits, the additional pressure on the resource has put many aquifers at risk due to high extraction rates. Until 1998, groundwater was considered a privatelyowned asset (under the traditional riparian system). However, after the promulgation of the new National Water Act, groundwater was declared a public resource with shared entitlements to use, therefore exposing the resource to further exploitation. Although provision was made for the management of
groundwater resources under the Department of Water Affairs, the motivations behind the regulations and guidelines have been difficult to account for and implement on a regional level and subsequently are largely overlooked or neglected . Thus, there are still many challenges to overcome to achieve the sustainable management, appropriate allocation and protection of South Africaâ€™s groundwater resources. Perhaps the most significant challenge is education and awareness, and the collaboration between stakeholders on the importance of sustainable and efficient groundwater use (and monitoring). Greater awareness and understanding, as a first step, will allow for the timeous assessment of the occurrence and extent of pollution and assist with the proactive management of groundwater pollution in South Africa.
Natural erosion has always occurred under a variety of conditions, but ultimately in a state of balance. Originally the activities of mankind on earth were of little consequence Â– until as recently as about 10 centuries ago.
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Higher Education Regulating learning institutions Writer Reagan Adams
o discover that your higher learning certificate is not accredited can be detrimental to your career success. Annually, the South African student enrolment grows at an approximate average of 4.2%. In 2012, according to a labour market analyst, about 600 000 university graduates were spending languid days at home, not being able to find themselves a job to apply what they have learned. With enrolments growing steadily and increasingly, the unemployment rate amongst graduates will have the same effect. As its description suggests, unaccredited institutions of higher education are colleges, trade schools, seminaries, and universities which do not have formal educational accreditation. It does not necessarily mean that these institutions are running illegal. However unethical, when not disclosing it non-accredited status. A learning institution may not obtain or maintain accreditation for one of several reasons. Accreditation processes often require several yearsâ€™ work and a new
institution may not yet have completed the initial accreditation process. Longestablished institutions may have lost accreditation due to financial difficulties or other factors. Other institutions, like some Bible colleges, opt not to participate in the accreditation process because they view it as an infringement of their religious freedom. Higher learning institutions are regulated by the 1997 Higher Education Act and the 2001 National Plan for Higher Education. In 2010 the Department produced the Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Bill and a Strategic Plan 2010-2015 in order to clarify the roles and responsibilities of all parties within this new departmental structure. It is clear that continuous work is done in this area to ensure that learning happens ethically and fairly. In South Africa, universities are autonomous institutions. However, the higher education system is under increasing pressure to ensure that the sector produces the skills the economy needs and is efficient, affordable and accountable. In each of these areas the
Minister has called universities to book and it is likely that the sector will come under increased examination. This will decrease the likelihood of having learning institutions and study programs that are not accredited. A quality assurance system was introduced in South Africa in 2004. Quality assurance is the responsibility of the statutory advisory body, the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The Policy also defines how higher education qualifications fit into the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which covers all levels of education and registers all qualifications. There is increased pressure for learning institutions to provide qualifications that are relevant and in demand but there is also an increased chance of corrupt practices. There are 114 private higher education institutions operating legally in South Africa, including 84 that are fully registered and 30 with provisional status. It is then arguable, looking at the number of provisionally registered institutions,that most non-accredited programs will be in this area. However,
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it is encouraging that the Department of Education is aware of these and that the efforts students put into the studies, will not necessarily fall by the wayside. Presently, higher education in South Africa comprises three types of institutions: ‘traditional’ research-focused universities, universities of technology and comprehensive universities that combine academic and vocationallyoriented education. Following is a list of 25 higher learning institutions in South Africa. Universities: University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, University of Pretoria, University of the Free State, University of Fort Hare, North-West University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo, University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University, University of the Witwatersrand. Universities of Technology: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology 21. Comprehensive Universities: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 26 123, UNISA, University of Johannesburg, University of Venda, University of Zululand, Walter Sisulu University. National Institutes: Mpumalanga Institute for Higher Education, Northern Cape Institute for Higher Education. The South African higher education faces many challenges. There have also been many achievements. Over the past several years, the South African government has been requesting higher education to play a greater role in the development of the country. Through a range of initiatives that are intended to accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty and supply scarce skills, the government is calling on higher education to assist as a real partner. While still respecting the autonomy of our institutions, government has become highly sensitised to the role that the university plays within society. With so many institutions to choose from, the value is choosing the one which will provide every student with the qualification they desire to put forward their dream career and so create their dream life. As much as it is the Regulatory bodies’ responsibility to monitor and evaluate higher learning institutions, it is each individual’s responsibility to ensure that proper choices are made when selecting a college or university.
There is increased pressure for learning institutions to provide qualifications that are relevant and in demand but there is also an increased chance of corrupt practices.
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KommunityDesk IQ Business and KommunityDesk give disadvantaged children new education tools
Q Business and KommunityDesk joined forces in an effort to help uplift education in disadvantaged schools. A division of Kommunity Education, The KommunityDesk Company offers a proven, portable product solution to the prevailing challenge of classroom desk shortages in African classrooms. As MES (Metro Evangelical Services) is one of the IQ Foundation’s beneficiaries, we decided that this initiative would be greatly valuable to them and so we chose to donate 120 lapdesks to the learners at the MES After-School Programme, in the heart of Johannesburg. “We are extremely excited to hand over these lapdesks, which we believe will ensure these learners have the opportunity to learn regardless of their classroom situation. It is an absolute privilege to be able to invest in these children’s lives and to be a part of empowering them” explained Adam Cracker (CEO, IQ Business). The handover ceremony was hosted on the school MES After-School grounds in Johannesburg. On arrival the IQ Business representatives were greeted with warm welcomes and a buzz of excitement from the children. During the ceremony, IQ Business representatives distributed the desks to the
children, and explained how to use and care for their new education tool. They were invited to sit amongst the learners with lapdesks to experience the tool, just as one of the learners would. The CSR entity of IQ Business, The IQ Foundation, is excited about this collaboration and will continue to look out for opportunities that can add value and change the lives of South Africa’s children for the better. About KommunityDesk The KommunityDesk lapdesks are portable school desks manufactured from a proprietary blend of child - proof materials that sits comfortably on a child’s lap, ergonomically designed to fit the shape of the human body. The child can hold it against his / her body creating a proper working surface, which can comfortably accommodate both a notebook and a textbook. About IQ Business At IQ Business we are redefining management consulting to be more responsive to our client challenges. Whether these challenges can be tackled by leveraging research from IQ Business and our partners, assigning IQ
consulting teams to design and implement solutions, or contracting point expertise to fill a skills gap, we will ensure our clients overcome their business challenges. About IQ Foundation The IQ Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility entity of IQ Business. Its vision is to harness the passion of every IQ employee to build a better South Africa. Its mission is to embody the values of IQ Business through active participation and support of sustainable socio-environmental initiatives. About MES MES is a social development organisation that facilitates professional services to vulnerable or at risk individuals, families and communities empowering them through a holistic service model to become independent and sustainable. Their vision is to change the heart of our cities by empowering people holistically to live independent, sustainable and meaningful lives.
Green building courses The months of April and May will see the next round of official accredited green building courses being held in Johannesburg and Cape Town by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). Green Star South African Accredited Professional Course The GBCSA’s signature course and core offering that introduces the Green Star rating tools and is the first requirement for obtaining status as a Green Star SA Accredited Professional will be taking place in Johannesburg on Thursday 04 April and in Cape Town on Wednesday 08 May 2013. The Green Star Accredited Professional course gives a comprehensive overview of the Green Star SA building rating system and trains industry professionals on each category and credit within the rating system (Management, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Land Use & Ecology, Emissions, Innovations, Integrated Design). After attending the course, an optional exam may be written online, earning the successful candidates the designation of “Green Star SA Accredited Professional”. The course is of relevance to anyone involved in the building and development sector, whether developers, architects, engineers, property managers, product manufacturers and contractors - it is becoming increasingly essential to acquire the relevant knowledge and qualifications on green building, rating systems and accreditation. As an Accredited Professional you will be better positioned and equipped to join a Consulting team who apply for a Green Star SA building certification. This course is validated for 1 CPD point in category one from CESA and SAIA. Green Star South African Project Certification Workshop This compelling course, taking place in Cape Town on Tuesday 16 April 2013, is about sharpening your pencil to submit an application for a green building certification. The Green Star SA Project Certification Workshop is an advanced course suitable for anyone who has either completed the Green Star SA Accredited Professional
course (recommended) or is familiar with the Green Star SA certification procedure. The course is aimed at those who wish to gain greater insight into the certification process and the compilation of high-quality Green Star SA submissions for formal certification. The course is designed to teach participants about the process of registering a project, collecting and compiling documentation, ensuring appropriate documentation quality, optimising electronic submissions and the assessment process. The aim is to ensure that participants learn how to make the certification process as streamlined, cost effective and time effective as possible for their projects and clients. Participants will also benefit from a smaller classroom format with group discussions and the combined expertise of a multidisciplinary group. This course is highly recommended for the lead Accredited Professional on a Green Star SA project as well as other members of the project team. CPD accreditation: 0.4 point in category 1 with CESA and SAIA. Green Star SA Simulations and Submissions Seminar Another course to build on your Green Star SA knowledge, the Simulations and Submissions Seminar is a one day course that looks at 3D computer modelling as a tool for demonstrating and then improving the performance of your building through design. The course, which is taking place in Johannesburg on Wednesday 03 April 2013, explores the various types of software available, demonstrates how it can be used to show compliance with relevant credits in the Energy and IEQ categories and works through a case study. This course is validated for 1 CPD point in Category one from CESA and SAIA and prior attendance of the Green Star SA Accredited Professional course is recommended.
Greening the Inside: Commercial Interiors This workshop explores the key issues for greening commercial interiors and how to integrate best-practices into our design process and project implementation. This is an exciting offering in light of the forthcoming development of an interiors rating tool by the GBCSA that will address tenant interior fit outs across different market segments. Michelle Ludwig, commercial sustainable interior architect and expert green design consultant will be facilitating this fascinating and interactive in Cape Town on Thursday 09 May 2013. “This workshop explores how we create enjoyable spaces whilst still minimising our environmental impact,” explains Ludwig. “For both new construction and retrofits, applying green principles to interiors has many benefits – health, productivity, resource savings, certification and increased marketability.” According to Ludwig the course also highlights issues relating to initiating a ‘green’ project: layout, choices in materials, IAQ (indoor air quality), energy efficiency in lighting, water conservation, client benefits, and how these relate to Green Star principles and rating systems. The course is suitable for anyone involved in building selection, brief development, consultant engagement, project design and delivery, supervision or construction of interiors projects. No green building knowledge or experience is required and attendees will earn 0.3 CPD points in category 1 from both SAIA and CESA. For more information on these courses, or to book visit www.gbcsa.org.za/events.
SKILLS & TRAINING Green career training
he green industry will create 250,000 jobs in the next 5 years and 450,000 in the next 12 years according to an IDC study. Terra Firma Academy offers the training to become part of this industry. The founders of Terra Firma Solutions, a cutting edge environmental efficiency consultancy, established Terra Firma Academy. It employs engineers and environmental specialists who are leaders in their industry and boast a wealth of knowledge and handson experience. Learners can be assured that
the knowledge they are gaining is considered to be best practice in each specific field. The courses are given face-to-face and will provide learners with the knowledge and skills required to affect changes within their work or home environment by improving their resource efficiency; finding ways to reduce costs; starting the journey to environmental sustainability and living a greener lifestyle. The practical exercises, videos, images, examples and in-depth case studies will create an interactive learning experience. Our graduates are some of the most successful people in the environmental field. They are living inspired lives and helping to spread environmental knowledge in their businesses and communities. Many of them work for large, multi-national companies and have gone on to inspire their leaders and colleagues to make changes that truly benefit
the bottom line and their companyâ€™s longterm survival. Others inspire people through their own environmental consultancies and have had a positive impact in their own communities. We have also heard stories of parents who teach their children through their own lessons! The courses are split into 3 different categories, namely corporate skills development, behaviour change and residential improvements. The corporate skills development courses are key to building internal capacity within your organization or to get the skills needed to differentiate yourself from your peers. They are filled with practical exercises and case studies to ensure that participants will learn the skills needed. The facilitators themselves are experienced Terra Firma Solutions engineers with years of collective experience to share. We currently offer 7 different courses. Environmental Policy and Strategy Development is designed to give managers and executives the processes, knowledge and tools required to develop a world-class environmental policy and strategy for their organisation. Energy Efficiency Management will teach you how to systematically assess problematic energy areas within a small to medium-sized business environment and to recommend appropriate technological and behavioural solutions. Carbon Footprint Analyst will teach you how to conduct a carbon footprint assessment in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064 with a focus on clearly explaining each step required when conducting a worldclass carbon footprint for an organisation. Solar PV Feasibility Assessment is a hands on practical course that shows how to conduct a solar PV feasibility study including how to get an initial cost, energy yield and financial model using modelling software and climate data. Introduction to Carbon Projects and Markets simplifies this highly complex area to facilitate good decision making for carbon credit project development and gives an understanding of the carbon markets. Water Efficiency Management will allow you to advise businesses on how to measure and reduce their water consumption immediately
and extend skill-sets in order to implement an in-house water management strategy. Office Eco Manager is for sustainability team members and consultants who want to offer a comprehensive environmental service to offices and their managers. Often the most cost effective and environmentally beneficial thing you can do in your organisation is awareness and behaviour change! Our behaviour change courses have been created to do exactly this. They are a fundamental start for any organization to start their journey to environmental awareness and sustainability. Energy Behaviour Change has specifically been designed to raise energy awareness and correlating behaviour change can save energy costs quickly. Water Behaviour Change supports to raise water awareness and similar to energy behaviour change can save water costs quickly. Green Your Office will teach you about the environmental impact of all areas in an office environment, correct maintenance practices and green technology retrofits. Our residential courses will teach participants how to reduce their utility bills immediately and at the same time create an eco-conscious lifestyle. The courses have been written by Martina Gluckman, who is regarded as a thought leader in residential eco-consulting with 7 years experience. All courses are hands-on and face-to-face to ensure the best learning results and skills transfer. Residential Eco Consultant will teach you how to assess and identify problems and solutions across all areas across the residential environment. Residential Energy Assessor will allow you to build a career advising households on how to reduce their energy consumption. Green Your Home / Guest House helps you to acquire skills needed to live a greener lifestyle (without compromising existing lifestyle) while saving money in the process. All in all, our courses will help you make an impact on your work or home environment by giving you the skills needed to understand the most cost effective and meaningful way you can affect change.
energy efficient future 80
n March 2011, Eskom launched its 49M initiative to encourage all South Africans to cut their energy consumption by 10%, aiming to inspire and rally the country behind a common goal to save electricity and create a better future. 49M, referencing the 49 million population, has signed over 8,600 of the nation’s residents to date. Alongside these residents, over 70 partners have signed on including AngloGold Ashanti, Nedbank, Santam, MTN, Samsung, MassMart, Standard Bank, Food & Trees for Africa, Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers, and all eight South African State-owned companies, to name a few. The most recent addition to the 49M initiative is business exhibitions company Terrapinn, who will be hosting 49M ambassadors at their upcoming Sustain & Build Africa event held 9th and 10th April at the Sandton Convention Centre. Gina Bester , MD of Terrapinn South Africa said the 49M pledge signing was a natural step for the company, as the initiative’s objectives formed a large part of the company’s overall corporate responsibility goals. “We are delighted to be joining the 49M initiative and to give back to our country through this energy saving drive,” she said. Sustain & Build Africa, collocated with Africa’s largest power and energy showPower & Electricity World Africa, will be highlighting the latest developments in the design, construction and built environment sectors. Bringing together regional and international property developers and owners, architects, project developers, facilities managers and retail, the exhibition will feature on-floor seminars focusing on Intelligent Building and Lighting, Practical Architecture, and 49M Ambassadors. Case studies from Nedbank, Samsung and Food & Trees for Africa will be presented on-site along with other 49M ambassadors to highlight the energy efficiency measures being taken by various companies in South Africa. Kim Frankental, project director for the show, stated “With energy efficiency
strategies coming to the foreground and the rise of renewable energy here in South Africa, we are in a prime space for bringing together key leaders in the industry.” Joined by Eskom as Diamond Partner and Samsung as Diamond Sponsor, this year is proving to be the most successful yet for the event. Solar and wind projects taking off South Africa is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. However its aging energy infrastructure is unable to meet the rapid growth in demand for electricity. Currently Eskom generates about 95% of South Africa’s electricity by means of coalfired power stations; nevertheless there is a tremendous amount of pressure being placed on the grid. As such, the approval and construction of the renewable energy projects from the first window of the IPP procurement programme have been greatly welcomed. These projects translate into a smarter grid and a more reliable electricity supply. Projects include a 138MW wind energy plant by Mainstream Renewable Power in Jeffreys Bay and SunEdison South Africa’s 28MW solar plant in Limpopo. The R1.2bn Soutpan project in the Blouberg municipal area, is to be followed by a 30MW project in Witkop, near Polokwane (valued at R1.4bn). The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm alone is expected to supply enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes in turn it will eliminate more than 300,000 tons of carbon emissions each year. These are just a few of the projects that contribute to the 3,725 MW of mandated renewable energy projects by 2016; adding significantly to the improvement of South Africa’s energy mix. According to the DoE’s Integrated Resource Plan for electricity, renewable energy will account for 42% of new electricity capacity by 2030. Leaders in the renewable energy sector will be gathering at the 16th annual Power & Electricity World Africa event to discuss the best strategies to tackle the projects and energy challenges facing the region.
Eskom’s initiative for IPP’s According to Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, the Department of Energy (DoE) plans to procure 7,761 MW of baseload capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) between 2012 and 2025. There has since been an overwhelmingly positive response from developers, investors and suppliers that hope to have a stake in these tenders. After a lengthy first round bidding process, the agreements have since reach financial closure, marking the commencement of the first large scale renewable energy projects in South Africa. Some of these projects should begin development as soon as 2014. The first round bids alone represent an investment value of around R47- billion. Eskom executive Kannan Lakmeeheran said the signing ceremony was “a significant milestone for South Africa,” adding that the “state power utility could not meet the country’s energy requirements on its own”. Lakmeeheran went on to say that, “The electricity industry, as we increasingly see, will be one of a hybrid nature, with Eskom still retaining a significant position but a vibrant private sector developing too.” As keynote speaker at Power & Electricity World Africa, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters will be presenting an overview of South Africa’s energy future by outlining the key drivers of the African energy agenda. Alongside the Minister, Eskom, Diamond Partner of the event, will be speaking at the conference, discussing how to tap into these opportunities. Pre registration is now open for the Sustain & Build Africa event. Register your attendance now to learn more about the latest developments in the design, construction and built environment sectors. To learn more about renewable energy and the constant projects and developments in the sector, attend the Power & Electricity World Africa four day conference and come away with ideas to innovate your offering in the current market.
Open Trade Training Centre Why get a Trade at OTTC Embark on a career in the technical field of refrigeration air-conditioning Ammonia and heatpump systems, secure yourself a slice of a booming future. Humankind’s attempt to preserve food goes back to prehistoric times, where ice was harvested in the mountains and stored in caves in order to preserve food over the warm season. It took until the middle of the 19th century that technology finally made it possible to manufacture ice wherever, whenever it was required. From the early 20th century on, with the invention of synthetic refrigerants and the miniaturised vapour compression cycle, almost everybody had access to simple cooling devices by means of domestic refrigerators.
Today there are many other applications to enrich the quality of life of the society. Worth mentioning are car air-conditioners, large air-conditioning systems in office buildings and shopping centres, transport refrigeration units on trucks, trains and ships, refrigeration systems in supermarkets, ice skating stadiums as well as process cooling in the industry. Based on the principle of extracting and rejecting heat, the array of applications can be extended to heat-pump systems for heating buildings and pool water and heat recovery units.
Todays South African State Of Art Ammonia Plant
In order to be able to build and maintain such systems and to acquire a fundamental understanding in thermodynamics, the student is required to undergo a specialised training, which includes both practical and theoretical components. On the practical side, the student is going to get involved in learning tools skills, which include the manufacturing of components from metal, as well as conducting copper pipe work installations, electrical board installations and commissioning of plants. The theoretical side covers various aspects, starting from the thermo dynamical basics up to the design of complex systems, which enables the technician to choose work in a broad field of applications, even overseas, or to start an own business. At OTTC you will learn how refrigeration and airconditioning works. Over time you will develop your skills in refrigeration, air-conditioning, electrical engineering, plumbing and other sub categories of the trade. You can achieve the requirements for the Trade Test and any of the OTTC Diplomas with an international and South African Qualification.
Energy saving Edeka Supermarket in Bad Krotzingen, Germany. The secondary cooling system using CO 2 Refrigerant
Consider a future in this trade and be one of the few who would most likely never be unemployed ever again.
OTTC Diploma Qualification’s includes merSETA and IAO Accreditation Enquiries to: (27) 011-8162580 mailto:email@example.com http://www.ottc.co.za
on uti s l fo so r n o Africa i t a g i r Ir Africa’s pivot of success
COMPANY PROFILE SENTER 360 is a South African company. We have a simple policy of doing business with the highest standards of integrity. We therefore pride ourselves on not merely selling a product, but building long term relationships. Designed and built in South Africa in 1994, SENTER 360 centre pivots are known for their superior construction quality and strength – above industry standards, and we as a company are renowned for excellent sales and after-sales service. We have been in the irrigation industry for more than 20 years, specialising in surveying, system design, installation and commissioning of irrigation systems. We have growing business interests in South Africa, Africa and internationally and offer a turn-key project development service from feasibility study phase to implementation and project management. One of our recent achievements has been the allocation of an international tender for the supply of more than 50 centre pivots to the South African Government for the Taung irrigation scheme.
KEY ADVANTAGES OF SENTER 360 • The most effective way of irrigating large areas • Ensures constant high yields • More than 96% water distribution accuracy • Manufactured with high quality materials to very high standards of accuracy • Only the best quality heavy-duty drive train components are used to cope with terrain and ensuring years of reliable service • Senter 360 has the strongest centre pivot span structure available today • We carry high levels of stock to be able to supply when you need it
Tel: +27 (18) 469–1331 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.senter360.co.za
Africa’s pivot of success Since 1994
Spray cans and cricket bats get youth off the streets Johannesburg is inspiring youngsters through sport and art, Michelle Nel discovers
n the 50s in Fietas (the once vibrant, mixed-race suburb of Pageview near downtown Johannesburg) sport was played from morning to night through the ‘eternity of childhood’ waxes a website devoted to this area. There were cricketers and soccer players who became local heroes including Dooley Rubidge, Gasant Salie, Issie Maal, Soppie Omar, Ossie Latha, and Sam Bulbulia…to name a few. The streets of Fietas were much safer for children than today. The area was much like that cultural icon Sophiatown and sadly, 84
also bulldozed during apartheid. Today, the streets of Fordsburg and Newtown are harsher. Unemployment and drugs are the chief threats so Sammy Bulbulia has put his trading career aside to concentrate on providing healthy leisure for youngsters. In December last year he opened the Gladiator Cricket indoor action cricket arena in Newtown. The building is freshly renovated and tattoed with graffiti by well known artists. Once you pass the vigilant security there is a list of rules: “No alcohol. No smoking. No racism. No vulgarity. No betting” and so on. It’s
probably a good thing. The patrons are all men; mostly youngsters with a sprinkling of bearded elders in traditional Muslim garb. The men are speaking Hindi and Urdu. A few are watching sport on big flat screen TVs but most are participating in the cricket matches scored by both an electronic umpire and a human one. The pitch is made of Astroturf and netting covers the area of play all round and overhead. This means you can watch a fast game quite safely from the sidelines. The walls of the building are covered in FIFA world cup paintings which Sammy
Gladiator Action Cricket is making a colourful splash in Newtown. Photo by Michelle Nel
Unemployment and drugs are the chief threats so Sammy Bulbulia has put his trading career aside to concentrate on providing healthy leisure for youngsters. In December last year he opened the Gladiator Cricket indoor action cricket arena in Newtown.
commissioned in Taiwan. One painting says, “One game changes everything.” This could well be the motto for Sammy’s emporium. “With sports come discipline,” says Sammy’s wife, Nura. “Sammy is a level 2 cricket coach. He spends lots of time teaching and coaching cricket. We are open every day from 11am to 11pm to keep the youth off the streets. I have got four growing kids (aged three, four, five) and newborn. God help them to survive today’s societal ills. That’s why Sammy and I are sacrificing our time for the children.” Would I like a drink, she asks. “Masala tea?” I ask hopefully. “Sorry, just cooldrinks.” There is also food at the ‘BBQ 2nite’ food bar inside the emporium. I can choose from affordable, down-home options: wors roll R15, pap and wors R20, and so on. Sammy has created a field that will not only be used by the teams in a league but can also host soccer and netball and even be used for social sporting events. Sammy has a facebook page to attract youngsters to join the league and channel energy into healthy actvities. As in Newtown where stagnant light industrial areas are being revived with art, old factories and warehouses in Jeppestown are being repurposed. The best known development is the Maboneng Precinct with its flagship project, Arts on Main. Old warehouses have been converted into galleries, shops, theatre spaces, a bioscope, clubs, restaurants, a hotel, an inner city spa and residential spaces. Maboneng, a Sotho word meaning “place of light”, is thus a fitting name for a district that has moved from grimy to shining. Arts on Main is not just a project for the rich to play in. It offers networking and outlets for aspirant artists and also a safe haven for street children when they come along to skateboard on the pavements or take part in
organized actvities. In 2008, developer Jonathan Liebmann ceo of the Propertuity development team, bought old construction offices and warehouses dating from the 1900s. He collaborated with acclaimed sustainable architect Enrico Daffonchio in transforming the industrial space into a cultural oasis that is now Arts on Main, one of Maboneng’s two main building complexes. Daffonchio & Associates was nominated for a ‘World Architecture award’ for its work on Maboneng. The firm is currently building its new offices on the third floor of Fox Street Studios in the Maboneng Propertuity and has also included sustainable environmental design in its projects. For one, the old buildings were retained for their heritage value and also their ‘embodied energy’ (all the energy that went into the building process which is lost when buildings are demolished). Old bricks, girders and other materials have been extensively recycled and re-used on site. Arts on Main has retained its industrial aspect, with concrete-coloured walls and a metal fire escape that rises up to the second level of the building. The complex includes advertising agencies, retail space, art galleries and private studios. World-renowned South African artist William Kentridge was one of the first tenants to buy a space in the building. Other resident organisations are the Goodman Gallery and Goethe Institute, as well as local design brand Love Jozi. It opened its doors to the public in 2010. The top floor of Main Street Life is taken up by the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel, where each individually designed room represents one of the past 12 decades of Johannesburg’s history. Besides the hotel, Main Street Life also includes apartments, a rooftop events venue and retail stores. On the ground floor, Johannesburg’s independent cinema, the Bioscope, screens local, international and
classic films that don’t usually make it to the mainstream cinema circuit. The Bioscope, which opened in June 2010, is a unique cultural tourist attraction – it screens local films and showcases talks and live music performances. The Maboneng district recently breeched the commissioner street ‘barrier’. And now, as if in call and response, a far-sighted Belgian couple have converted a building near Ellis Park into ‘King Kong’, another arts venue offering studio, gallery and performance spaces. King Kong has hosted two Goethe Institute events; the most recent a musical improvisation workshop featuring experimental bassist Carlo Mombelli and his ‘Prisoners of Strange’ band, collaborating with other artists including a singer from Berlin and visiting Nigerian students of jazz. The event was free of charge and the audience comprised all ages and nationalities. Aspiring artists, musicians, performers and students of arts rubbed shoulders with established photographers, musicians, journalists and visual artists. It was an excellent opportunity for networking. Guy Daens and his partner Gerda Vergauwen were born in Belgium but enjoy spending most of their time in South Africa. “South Africa still offers exciting opportunities.” Now to keep convincing the youth and mobilise their energy in a positive direction.
Lighting your way to profitable, sustainable Energy supply Every day the sun sends us 10,000 times more energy, than all of earth‘s population can use. As global player in solar project development, it is our profession to find a solution for anyone who wishes to harness this available energy, save on their electricity bill and create a livable and sustainable environment for our future generations. Individual Projects Soventix has realized more than 2,000 projects worldwide. That is why we know exactly what it takes to find the ideal solution for each customer. From domestic roof installations to commercial and industrial solutions, solar carport integration to utility scale solar farms. Soventix stands by its core values in providing a solid, reliable and professional service by its team of highly experienced staff.
Service from A-Z Our customers will receive a complete turnkey solution, from the very first concept to the planning, construction and operation of the system. With a single point of contact, you have the guarantee that we know every detail throughout all phases of the project. As each project is as unique as the client it is designed for, we take great care in calculating the specific layout and yield data to ensure that the system always achieves the maximum efficiency, thereby maximizing the return on investment. There are also a number of different financial options available. There is hardly any other place on earth that receives more solar radiation;
Right from top: 50 kWp vineyard installation Commercial roof-top installation in Germany, supplying over 80% of the energy used during daytime. The system cost is amortized after only 10 years, but continues to produce energy for over 30 years.
South Africa has unparalleled potential for renewable energy, and we believe that (PV) photovoltaic modules are the most effective way to produce clean energy at minimum costs. Wherever there is appetite for electricity, solar energy can be adapted to suite the application; from off-grid solar water pumping systems and remote area electrification, to grid connected energy supplementation; the possibilities are endless. Although most systems are paid for at one‘s own cost, Soventix can offer dwdjwdwdw
Soventix South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Unit D31 | Olive Grove Industrial Estate Ou Paardevlei Road | Somerset West | SOUTH AFRICA Tel: +27 (0) 21 852 7333 | www.soventix.co.za | email@example.com
to build a solar system on your land that doesn‘t cost you a single Rand. Obviously, there is Obvious certain criteria that needs to be met, but in essence you can benefit from either a regular leasing income, or through a Power Purchase Agreement, Pu the use of solar energy at a price below that of ESKOM. ESKOM has tabled an average tariff increase of 8% for the next 5 years, effectively taking the cost of power to R0.90kWh by 2018. Can you afford not to consider solar energy? The time is now!
lighting the way Whether for a private home, a commercial business or a wine farm, you can draw smart energy from the sun for less.
Tel: +27 (0) 21 852 7333 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.soventix.co.za
Soventix SA (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of Soventix GmbH in Germany is involved with the development and realisation of roof top and carport solar photovoltaic plants from residential to agricultural as well as large scale solar farms. Whether you finance the solar plant yourself or sign a power purchase agreement, Soventix will ensure youâ€™re protected from the rising costs of energy for the next 30 to 40 years. Not only will you be saving on your energy bills, but youâ€™ll also be contributing to a more sustainable environment. Renewable energy is the future and is more affordable than energy from non-renewable sources. becoming mo 87
Self-doubt in a time of transition Writer Cris Robertson
ustainability is too hard, there’s nothing I can do!” It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and just give up. The plight of rising prices and rising risks makes ‘saving the world’ seem like a job left for superheroes. It’s a common excuse. But that’s all it is: an excuse. It is not a fact and it is not a justification to carry on blindly. Of course, it is a fair question to ask whether one person can really do anything to make a better world, but let that not be the end of your questioning. Do not let the scientific disbelief suppress your artistic faith. No-one asked you to make a difference, but you want to, don’t you? I want to urge you to engage
with that restlessness you feel, and to follow that desire to do good. The game of sustainability doesn’t seem like a game we can win. This is true. Things seem to be getting worse, wherever we look. But why? It’s not like we don’t have the technologies – we do! And it’s not like we don’t want to either – why else would be complaining so much? I think it is because we have decided to not face up to the challenge. We have acknowledged the difficulties and have given up. It’s quite pathetic. The whole thing about sustainability is that it is unreachable, so get over it. No-one knows what a perfect relationship between nature and society looks like. However, that doesn’t
mean we can’t get better. We can, and so we should never settle. We may never win, but we can certainly lose – if we quit. Self-doubt comes from being overwhelmed by the complexity at hand. Everything seems bigger and out of control – out of reach. This knowledge of the world comes across as something new and chaotic, but it has always been there. If you don’t confront it, it can confuse you and complicate things that are already complex. Chances are you’ve been thinking too much. And as a friend often says to me, ‘with over-analysis comes paralysis’. Complexity is a beautiful thing, but at some stage we are going to have to put a frame on it. We are going to have to take the chance
and back what we believe is the right thing to do. Taking that risk will be the most responsible thing that you have ever done. Once we get exposed to these complex things – these twisting and turning interconnections and interactions, these rich relationships between structures and systems – we cannot escape the ethics of our decisions. So let’s be positive. Give in to intuition! We are still so hung-up on glorifying rationality and reason and rules and all that rubbish. Well, it’s not rubbish, obviously, but on its own and without a bit of individuality and feeling, these are things that are not adequately matched in our forever-changing world. When we wrestle with the complex conflicts that we face in times of transition, our moral codes may not apply – what we once thought was Godly and absolute, may turn out to be just religious and absent. There’s no denying the multiplicity of perspectives and procedures when it comes to things like addressing food security or education. But, after your worries have relaxed, what does your intuition tell you? Let your heart balance out what’s going on in your brain. Let’s start engaging more with our consciousness. Let’s exercise our soul. Albert Einstein is always a good person to quote when arguing these kinds of things. He said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Sounds about right. The world is changing, our societies are changing, our whole global systems are changing, and if we don’t embrace this then, well, we die. There are two things to remember from this. One, we cannot let apathy get the better of us, so let empathy take over for a bit. Surely, we would want to be remembered for taking on these crises in a positive light? If you don’t want to make a change, you will find an excuse, but if you do, you will find a reason. So let’s! And speaking of reason, this brings us to our second point. We will continue to rationalise things – this is how we make sense of the world, this is how we make meaning. However, it takes a lot of energy. So give this a break every now and then and just let your thoughts flow and feelings follow. Don’t underestimate your imagination. Where do you think all our rules come from? From experiments that were guided by intuition, perhaps? It’s just a hunch.
SUPPORT MEANS EVERYTHING
We are a global company with a strong commitment in Africa. United by our professionalism and desire to collaborate, we offer expertise within the property, transport, industrial, environmental and energy sectors. Contact us on 011 361 1300 for further assistance or visit our website: www.wspgroup.co.za
WSP_JB06042 1/3 vertical.indd 1
Sabre Full Time and Attendance Solution through to payroll included Sponsored hardware and software - for all Government Departments Installation, software registration costs excluded 36 month remote technical support contract mandatory – includes job creation program and skills transfer – R 500 per month ex VAT Unlimited replacement of hardware due to vandalism or theft, and extended hardware warrantee for full contract period Inkunzi Group is looking for representation in all provinces CONTACT INKUNZI GROUP TODAY TO FIND OUT MORE!! 086 1101738 WWW.INKUNZIGROUP.CO.ZA
INKUNZI GROUP BIOMETRIC FINGERPRINT TIME BOOK ACHIEVABLE SUSTAINABILITY!!
That's the exciting message emanating from the Inkunzi group h.q. in Kwa-Zulu Natal. After years of self-belief, hard work and support from many quarters, including government and business, this enthusiastic up- and- coming young entrepreneurial company specialising in biometric time and attendance solutions, has now seriously laid down the gauntlet to all the big guns in their industry. The Inkunzi Group have found sponsors for their uniquely tailored biometric fingerprint time book system, who are prepared to commit to supplying free hardware and software, on the proviso that the client commits to only a minimum monthly investment of R 500 for the 36 month period to ensure that the system is sustainable and reliable. This philosophy lays the foundation for not only providing internet and telephonic technical support in the language of choice, Mondays to Fridays, 8 am to 4 pm, but also for an extended warrantee on hardware, insurance for unlimited replacement of devices during the contract period, in the case of theft or vandalism, and also that extremely important subject- sustainable employment. Clients are wittingly or unwittingly forced to support an initiative, the outcome of which will result in skills training and knowledge transfer to thousands of young men and women in the biometric and I.T. related fields. Inkunzi Group M.D. Mthandeni Mchunu, said recently at a young businessman's breakfast, "our philosophy from the start, was that our business would not rely on 'now money', based on hardware products and profit-driven items, but rather on technical support and training which is forever". Biometric time and attendance systems marketed and designed by Inkunzi are not limited to schools, but can be used in all government departments, municipalities, and the business sector - basically, wherever there are people "timing is everything". Inkunzi Group can be contacted by prospective clients or small entrepreneurial companies or individuals wishing to know more, by phoning technical director Nhlakanipho (Wiseman) Mlambo on 031 7015135, 0861101738, or contacting Mthandeni Mchunu on email email@example.com
Rural Health An injection of hope Writer Libby Norton
ou don’t have to go far to find accounts of South Africa’s sick public health system. Stories abound with accounts of corruption and incompetence and our public health sector has been described as being among the worst in the world especially in the rural areas. Since 1994 it has lurched from crisis to crisis. Is there any hope for recovery? Rural doctors bewail that a great rural health plan without a budget means nothing; that the Department of Health (DoH) is not likely to receive an increase in the 2013/14 budget,
let alone funds for specific rural strategies. Financing entities explore ‘innovative financing’ for South Africa to raise more cash for health, yet every year government gives more than 100 billion rand (US$13.3 billion) to the health system. It’s one of the biggest expenditures on such services in the developing world. But money appears to be neither the problem nor the solution. Former Minister of Health Barbara Hogan, reported in 2009 the glowing health of Madwaleni hospital,in very rural Transkei. It was presented as a shining example of financial investment and good healthcare
with 10 doctors and a pharmacy, radiology, nutrition and rehabilitation health professionals. By 2012, however, Madwaleni was limping by on a skeleton staff of only one doctor and one health professional. The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, is praised for his acknowledgment of the disastrous state of the sector and for his efforts to remedy the situation. In rural areas, often highly trained medical staff are plagued by a weak or non existent support service; waiting for ambulances costs lives, they run out of the most basic of items from antibiotics to medical apparatus;
Financing entities explore ‘innovative financing’ for South Africa to raise more cash for health, yet every year government gives more than 100 billion rand (US$13.3 billion) to the health system. It’s one of the biggest expenditures on such services in the developing world. But money appears to be neither the problem nor the solution.
many facilities have no room for corpse storage so patients are in the presence of the dead for hours and many hospitals have no sluice room to clean faeces from linen before being laundered allowing infection to run rampant. The euphemist term “management constraints” shows a service characterized by lack of oversight, administrative inefficiency and poor planning, particularly in budgeting, procurement and human resources with some support staff accused of being downright obstructionist. In an unprecendented action at the beginning of this year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Doctors Without Borders, was authorised by the national health department to intervene at the Mthatha Medical Deport crippled with a myriad of problems threatening the lives of thousands of rural patients. Within two weeks a relatively small team and a low financial investment managed to turn the situation around. Rural doctors have looked with expectation to a United Nations initiated worldwide Positive Practice Environments (PPE) Campaign to improve medical working conditions and environments. However, before this can be effectively implemented, at last the crucial requirement for good management skills appears to be coming into focus in the DoH microscope. In the year 2000, Dr Ian Couper and Prof Jannie Hugo of the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Medical University of Southern Africa (Medunsa) came up with solutions from a management study of rural health establishments as applicable then as it is today - for not only rural and national health, but just about every other dysfunctional government department as well. They studied well-functioning rural hospitals
from a qualitative perspective, listening to those involved in their management, and came to the conclusion that leadership development programmes for management are absolutely crucial. Beyond this, the key issues they saw were the development of teams in facilities, teams with a unified vision of giving patients priority, respecting each other as well as patients, and working with the community to achieve optimal health care. Twelve years later government may have grasped the dock leaf for their nettle. In November government announced the launching of an Academy for Leadership and Management in Healthcare. It is aimed to equip hospital CEOs with the necessary expertise to run health institutions efficiently. Government aims to use the Academy to set the benchmarks, norms and standards so called for in the sector. At the launch, The Minister said that hospital CEOs were key to addressing problems and that he expected that no person would become a hospital CEO or manager without first having attended the academy. The department sees that strategic solutions to backlogs in the sector had to be found before pouring in financial resources. “Our 10-point plan (for the improvement of the health sector between 2010 and next year) starts with leadership, not with money,” Dr Motsoaledi said. “Where the quality of service and attitude to patients at your hospital is rotten I take it as a reflection of the CEO and not the workers.” A total of 102 CEOs were invited to take part in the orientation week, and rural health workers wait in anticipation. May this be the powerful injection of hope needed to revive the ailing health service and reach the extremities of rural South Africa.
COLONISING THE RED PLANET Writer Reagan Adams
CAN HUMANS LIVE ON MARS?
hat men are from Mars and women from Venus have for many moons been a topic of discussion. In essence it aims to explain how and why men and women are so different. To make matters worse, a Dutch not-for-profit organisation has managed to gather 1000 volunteer astronauts for their mission to colonise Mars by 2023. While both genders have been inhabiting earth for millennia, I’m not so sure taking women to Mars will go so well with the ladies. Be that as it may, and jokes aside, Mars One intends to fund a decade-long endeavour, involving the whole world as their audience. They are planning an interactive, televised broadcast of every aspect of the mission, from astronaut selection, to their arrival and lives on the Red Planet. Bear in mind that this is a one way trip certainly not my idea of fun - humans are unable to live on this geologically dead planet although interestingly, it has an atmosphere, wind, clouds and even the days are similar in length to earth. You have glanced over a very important phrase and for your benefit I am reiterating that this will be a one way trip. The volunteer astronauts will never be able to come back! A certain headliner, Stuck in Space. Is it really possible is the question at the back of my mind. While Mars One is not the first and only mission to inhabit the Red Planet, they believe their mission will succeed because the central point of this mission is the emigration of the human astronauts. Emphasis on emigrate. Mars will become their new home, where they will live and work for most likely the remaining years of their lives. Another reason is because Mars One is apolitical in its mission. Its only concerns are the quality of the products they use and the fairness of the cost involved in making this mission possible. To survive in such a mission, one needs to be a very special kind of person. Unbelievably long and arduous, the trip there will take six to seven months. Showering, explained to be a luxury, will not be an option instead the astronauts will use wet wipes. Canned and dry frozen food will be the only option. To me it sounds a lot like camping, except for
the frozen foods part I suppose - torture I tell you! Yes, I admit that camping has evolved over the last decade or so. Back to Mars, it sounds like living there will be less torturous. Once arriving on the Red Planet, the astronauts will begin making use of their relatively spacious living units; over 50 square metres per person, and a total of more than 200 square metres combined interior space. On the inside, the settlement contains bedrooms, working and living areas and a ‘plant production unit’, where they will grow greenery. Fortunately, they will also be able to shower as normal, prepare fresh food (grown and harvested by themselves) in the kitchen, wear regular clothes, and in essence lead typical daily lives. The one thing that most of us enjoy and a luxury astronauts will not have on Mars, is the fresh open air, nature and the oceans. Not being able to breathe in the open space of Mars, the astronauts must wear a Mars Suit if they want to leave the settlement or living unit. All living areas, however, are conveniently connected by passageways so that the astronauts can move freely from one end of the settlement to the other. Mars One is confident that it will not be long for the astronauts to find routine in their new life. Like me, you have probably never given life on Mars a thought and right now it sounds like a fantasy. Science and the scientific approach evolves to find new ways of being and becoming better than we are - at work, at play and at living. It is a fact that our lives improve when science develops an antivirus or a cure to a pandemic. You might then also be like to know that in the next 500 years, earth will no longer be able to sustain human living. For those of us who are extremely conservative in the way we go about assessing this world, we can count ourselves lucky that in 500 years we will definitely not be roaming earth. Spare a thought for our grandchildren’s children’s children. By then I suppose living there would be like a South African emigrating to Australia - just another part of life. I will not be easily convinced into undertaking such an adventure but this may be your idea of a holiday.
Once arriving on the Red Planet, the astronauts will begin making use of their relatively spacious living units; over 50 square metres per person, and a total of more than 200 square metres combined interior space.
TECHNOLOGY Sustainability after the suicide of Aaron Swartz Writer Cris Robertson
n a mind-blowing interview with Chicago Public Radio, a programming whizz-kid called Aaron Swartz spoke confidently about intricate computer theory and (accurately) predicted the future of the internet. He was 14. Years later, as a hacker-activist and political commentator, he was releasing public records and academic journals to the world, and crowdsourcing support to shut down the invasive SOPA and PIPA bills in their tracks. But in the beginning of this year, after being driven to depression from political pressure, he hung himself. He was 26. So, what does the death of an internet genius have to do with sustainability? Nothing personally,
are punished for believing and dedicating themselves to this ‘internet freedom’ – to the extent that they are so traumatised that they kill themselves – we, as a society and keepers of our futures, we are both shooting ourselves in the foot and stabbing ourselves in the back. Aaron Swartz represented the zeitgeist of our time: the youth are fed up, voicing their opinions and ‘we’re not gonna take it’. Internet activism – or hacktivism – is now a common way of resisting oppression and the stagnancy of power hierarchies. We have seen this with the Arab Spring and we have seen this with Anonymous. Yet, as we can expect, the politicians that have been bought
When ensuring a sustainable future, fighting corruption and dirty politics is as important as fighting the extractive industries that are destroying our ecosystems. I would think. It is, rather, the culture of political oppression which surrounded his death that is worrying. So, put differently, what does internet freedom have to do with the consolidation of a sustainable future? ‘Internet freedom’ is a term I am using loosely. I would like to think that I know much more about ‘freedom’ than I do the ‘internet’. However, when it comes to the sad story of Aaron Swartz and how it relates to sustainability, what I am referring to is this: we have the means to freely share information and knowledge with the whole wide world, namely through the internet, which can help us as a global community come up with suitable solutions to fight the crises of our times. When ensuring a sustainable future, fighting corruption and dirty politics is as important as fighting the extractive industries that are destroying our ecosystems. So, when young idealists
out by lobbyists and the so-called ‘captains of industry’ – those that are seemingly unaccountable – they will do everything they can do to destroy anyone and anything in their way. The SOPA and PIPA bills argued to protect intellectual property and privacy, but were in fact crude attempts to keep secrets hidden from the public. These bills would have also made it possible to suppress any internet freedom fighters that wanted to expose these secrets. After the initial victory over SOPA, Aaron Swartz commented that “we won this fight because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom.” But Swartz’s heroism would be made an example of, as was openly stated by the USA government. The tragedy of his death represents exactly what is wrong with the world today, and what prevents us achieving a sustainable future.
This kind of political oppression is not unheard of, unfortunately. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have shared a similar fate because of their support for ‘internet freedom’. Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has had his movements completely restricted after literally being cornered and trapped inside England’s Ecuadorian embassy. Manning, the soldier that leaked the ‘collateral murder’ video – showing the brutal massacre of Iraqi civilians by American forces – has since been detained, without charge, for over 1000 days. What kind of culture is this that punishes those that confront injustices? What message are we sending out to the other young idealists out there? In South Africa, we are also continuously challenging our own government’s aims to keep secrets from the people. The freedoms of our people are currently jeopardised by the controversial inconsistencies of the Info Bill. Are we living in an autocracy or a democracy? The bad memories of apartheid censorship and political secrets should be long gone. We should be celebrating a democratic culture – one consistent with the Constitution. Our nation has so much potential that is being delayed by our government’s efforts to keep us numb, dumb and uninformed. And we don’t have the time. Africa has leapfrogged the world in terms of the mobile phone market, and given the rise of smartphones, internet access will only increase. If this is Africa’s century, we need to use this to our advantage. We need to use this to help build a sustainable future based on the free and open access of knowledge and information. We need another Aaron Swartz, another Bradley Manning, another Julian Assange. What we don’t need is another questionable suicide.
Thirty luxury chalets are spread out in U-formation on either side of the lodge, offering excellent views of animals approaching the waterhole from the opposite bank. The lodge has a 5 star rating and chalets are equipped with both air-conditioning and ceiling fans, mini-bars ,tea and coffee facilities.
Responsible tourism atTau Game Lodge
n the far Northern border of South Africa lies a beautiful area known as the Groot Marico and it is in this spectacular setting, in the malariafree Madikwe Game Reserve, that privately owned Tau Game Lodge is situated. Thirty luxury chalets are spread out in U-formation on either side of the lodge, offering excellent views of animals approaching the waterhole from the opposite bank. The lodge has a 5 star rating and chalets are equipped with both air-conditioning and ceiling fans, minibars ,tea and coffee facilities. Each chalet has its own wooden deck, which allows one to experience the bush in privacy and is equipped with an en-suite bathroom and open-air shower. Since its inception, the Tau Foundation, driven by Tauâ€™s director, Clifford Green, has implemented a number of impressive projects in the local Supingstad community and we are proud of what the Tau Foundation has achieved so far. The social responsibility programme is delivering tangible results at the various local schools. This includes the fencing and safe keeping of the school properties and upgrading of the school sports fields and play grounds, as well as the renovation of school buildings and facilities, setting up of vegetable gardens, computer rooms, creating 98
a borehole and installing guttering and water tanks and toilets with running water at the high school. Guests visiting the lodge are offered the opportunity to visit the Supingstad schools, some traditional historical sites or they can contribute to the soup kitchen which Tau arranges at the schools. These tours are led by our community officer, Itumeleng Michael Senne. The Tswana traditional singer-dance group, Ditshepe tse di Tshetlhana, was formed in January 2004, in the nearby village of Supingstad, under the leadership of Sacky Suping. The group was formed to add flair to the growing tourism in the area and help existing programmes for community development. Our guests play a critical role in supporting the Tau Foundation by integrating local and international travellers and rural people to their mutual benefit. The Tau Tree Fund The Tau Tree Fund was started to allow visitors to the Tau Game Lodge the opportunity to plant protected tree species and to learn a little about the trees that they are planting, thereby playing an active role in conservation. Information supplied to the guests includes the medicinal purposes, African folklore, natural habitat, ecology, animal and plant relationships, etc. of their
chosen tree. As an alternative project to assist in sustainability of the Mmasebudule community project, the task of supplying trees to lodges in the Madikwe Reserve was initiated. This project was designed to teach the community to collect seeds and germinate indigenous trees for resale both within and outside of the game reserve. They have been supplying trees to a number of lodges in Madikwe, who in turn have either planted them, or in our case, have also sold them to guests who have then planted them, with all profits then going towards the Tau Foundation. We are working closely with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and our supplying nurseries, so that from time to time when the trees seed, they are able to collect seeds for further regeneration During Arbor week this year, Tau pledged to plant a tree each day of the first week of September and staff members of each Lodge department were involved with this on a daily basis For any additional information, please feel free to contact us on +27 11 314 4350 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.taugamelodge.co.za
Take a break in Brenton The early morning breeze is sea-fresh and frisky. The waves crash on sharp-edged rocks below. To be or not to be, to stay in bed or get out and enjoy this romantic setting, that’s the question. Set on the spectacular edge of Knysna’s western ‘Head’, Brenton on Sea is everything you want in a quality break-away destination. Close enough to Knysna when you want to be part of the action, yet far enough to truly escape, the sea-side resort offers kilometres of unspoilt beach, some interesting activities and its very own protected butterfly.
Telephone: +27 (0)44 381 0082/3 Facsimile: +27 (0)44 381 0026 Email: email@example.com 100
Take a break in Brenton
he early morning breeze is seafresh and frisky. The waves crash on sharp-edged rocks below. To be or not to be, to stay in bed or get out and enjoy this romantic setting, that’s the question. Set on the spectacular edge of Knysna’s western ‘Head’, Brenton on Sea is everything you want in a quality break-away destination. Close enough to Knysna when you want to be part of the action, yet far enough to truly escape, the sea-side resort offers kilometres of unspoilt beach, some interesting activities and its very own protected butterfly. Things to do in and around Brenton: Whether you have no intention of dragging yourself further than the beach with a book, or can’t wait to go out and explore, you have come to the right place. Walk on the beach – The 5km walk from Brenton on Sea to Buffalo Bay is beautiful, relatively easy and rewarding. A pleasant walk will get you there in just over an hour. Golf – Three top class golf courses in Knysna, and another 11 within easy reach. Fish – The wild water off Brenton is home to prolific sea life and is a well-known rock and shore angling spot. Sunset and cocktails – Drinks on the deck at Nautical South Restaurant . Paraglide – The adrenaline is totally worth the view! A tandem paraglide flight over crashing waves and fragrant fynbos will remain in your memory long after your feet have touched back on solid ground. Knysna Waterfront Quays – Restaurants,
shops and activities on Knysna’s picturesque marina. A stroll with a view – Despite its fishy name, Fisherman’s Walk is a really pretty cliff top trail with endless views over the Indian Ocean. Featherbed Nature Reserve – Take an unforgettable ferry trip across the Knysna Lagoon to this privately-owned nature reserve. Paddle Cruiser – This Mississippi-style cruiser combines the best of Knysna: delicious food and an unique lagoon setting. Lake Brenton – Just down the road, on the lagoon-side of the western ‘Head’ of Knysna, lies Brenton-on-Lake. The distinctly more mellow waters offer launch facilities for boats and a wide range of related activities including skiing, angling, snorkeling and more. Brenton Blue – Named for its habitat, the Brenton Blue butterfly is one of the rarest butterflies in the world and indigenous to a very small patch of fynbos which grows on these shores. Look out for its blue and brown wings in the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve. Permits available at CapeNature Conservation in Knysna. Garden Route Activities: Brenton is only 10 minutes’ drive from the N2 between Knysna and Sedgefield, offering access to the Garden Route and Klein-Karoo, an endless array of activities and attractions, including: Knysna Elephant Park, Knysna Forest, Wild Oats Community Farmers Market,
Plett Puzzle Land, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, Bramon Wine Farm, Bloukrans Bungee, Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch, Shark Diving and more. Stay: Brenton on Sea Cottages, with breathtaking sea views, is the perfect base for everything the Garden Route has to offer. Elegantly yet comfortably furnished by one of Knysna’s top decorators, the three-star self-catering log and thatch accommodations are within sight of the sea. Self-catering Chalets – Catering for up to six people, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom chalets are ideal for families and have fullyequipped kitchens and built-in braais outside. Semi self-catering Cabins – ideal for couples, each cosy wooden cabin has its own balcony, one double bedroom or twin beds, an en-suite bathroom and semi self-catering kitchen with a small fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, portable braai and deck chairs. Honeymoon Suite Chalet – Romantic, luxurious and cosy with a spa bath. Brenton on Sea Cottages boasts a swimming pool, additional outside braai facilities and covered parking. Nautical South Restaurant and Brenton on Sea Shop are conveniently within walking distance. Contact us for an unforgettable holiday and magical sunsets! www.brentononsea.net
Ntlakohlaza Travel Agency
Travelling made perfect, anywhere, anytime
Ntlakohlaza Travel Agency focuses on ensuring a professional, prompt and continuously improving travel and tourism arrangement service that exceeds clients’ expectations due to service perfection and availability Equity & Management Ntlakohlaza Travel Agency is a 100% black owned establishment, currently composed of a 100% black – female member’s interest. This is quite evident of the HDI progress in meeting our economic goals amd realizing the upliftment of HDI’s and youth in business. Management: 100% HDI. Personnel: Male: 33% - Female: 76%. BBBEE LEVEL 1 Services Offerings We offer an end to end local and international travel service that is modern, complete and competitive thus being the best of services provided by our industry. Air Travel Accommodation, Vehicle Rental/Hire, Group Tours, Meetings, Conference & Events Venues, Leisure Arrangements
INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC BOOKINGS Telephone 043 709 8400 Facsimile 043 743 6629 AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY 072 670 0066 OR 079 890 2740 firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer Charlene Heyburgh
Everyonesâ€™s Guide to the Consumer Protection Act Author Clive Gibson & Geoff Hull Publisher Random House Struik Price R220
The Management Bible Author Neil Flanagan & Jarvis Finger Publisher Random House Struik Price R290 What makes The Management Bible special is that all the knowledge you need on management has been encapsulated in one comprehensive, handy volume. Covering topics such as managing yourself, staff relationships, office crises, interpersonal conflict and skills building, the book offers step-by-step solutions to over 300 common management
challenges and problems. Packed with practical, no-nonsense advice, The Management Bible is informative, authoritative and a wonderful survival manual for managers at all levels.
Whether you want to buy a television or a car, provide a service, file a consumer complaint or return an item to a seller, you need to know your rights under the new Consumer Protection Act. The CP Act has given every South African rights and obligations that up until now have not been an issue, and ignorance of the law is not a defence. This easily accessible guide explains how, among other things, the CP Act aims to: Promote and protect the economic interests of consumers, Improve access to, and the quality of, information that is necessary so that consumers are able to make informed choices, develop effective means of redress for consumers, and promote and provide for consumer education.
The Keys to Persuasion Author Gert J. Scholtz Publisher Zebra Press Price R220 Why is it so important for each and every one of us to acquire the skill of persuasion? The answer is simple: every day of our lives, we need to persuade someone of something, whether in the workplace or in our personal lives. Whether you are convincing a colleague to buy into a new initiative, pitching an important deal to a client or trying to convince your five-year-old to go to bed, you are persuading someone in order to get the best results. And although we all persuade in one way or another, very few of us excel at it or are master persuaders. This book reveals the ten most effective keys â€“ and the one golden key â€“ that can turn you into a master persuader who can influence and change the minds of others. It explores the psychological bases and reasons why the keys work, and contains many examples of how to use them.
3/1/2013 2:33:30 AM
CAR REVIEW BMW X6
t’s hard to talk about the BMW X6 without getting something off my chest first: I think its SUV Coupe type design is stupid. Now, why would anyone walk onto a BMW lot and buy a large SUV that is based on the X5 , but without the cargo space and a bigger price tag...when the X5 is sitting right there next to it. By giving the X6 a coupe like rooflinewhich in my opinion is the only thing differentiating it from the X5- BMW has also given the X6 poor visibility through the narrow rear window, which is approximately four feet off the ground, making low lying obstructions impossible to see and making parking extremely difficult. The blind spots at the rear quarters are big enough to hide a small family car in- I know because I almost drove over one while changing lanes on the highway, despite two over - the - shoulder checks and multiple mirror checks. If BMW 106
insists on building a car with such horrendous behind the driver visibility, the optional rear camera should be standard, but it’s not, and blind spot monitoring isn’t even an option on the X6. However, a SONAR parking distance monitor is standard, which displays proximity warnings in form of a heat map on the standard LCD. The X6 also has dramatically less rear seat head room than the X5, storage space behind the front seats is also down. There is still enough space back there to toss a bike, if you don’t mind it lying on its side, but two bikes are out of the question. Combine that with the high load height and you have the perfect vehicle for people who don’t like to help their friends move. One thing I noticed about the X6, whether on a back road or on the freeway, people tended to get the hell out of the way. Even if I wasn’t driving very aggressively, slower
Writer Jerome Dyson drivers would always pull aside to let the X6 pass, which by the way, felt great. Maybe I was going faster than I thought which is often the case in tall SUV’s, or maybe it was the awesomeness of the full LED headlights filling their rear view mirrors, or perhaps the shear bulk of the X6 bearing down upon them was intimidating, whatever the reason, rite of passage was granted. The BMW’s interior may be small, but its very well made and well equipped. It only seats four, which is very unusual for an SUV, and it costs a lot more than many SUV’s that offer more cargo and passenger space. The biggest highlight however is under the bonnet-featuring a 3.0 litre, six cylinder unit, which produces 225KW (306ps) at 4400rpm and 600nm of torque at 1500rpm with a top speed of 236k/ph using 7.5 litres per 100km and a 0-100 time of 6.5 seconds.
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DIARY OF EVENTS CLEAN POWER AFRICA Johannesburg 14 - 15 May 2013, Cape Town International Convention Centre Clean Power Africa is the premium event where major stakeholders in the clean power energy generation sector get together to network and do business. The event, co-located with the 13th annual African Utility Week, will facilitate information exchange at the highest level and will explore clean energy options for smarter generation as a feasible solution to fulfil Africa’s generation capacity needs. This is Africa’s largest meeting place for power generation and energy experts that attract the full clean power generation ecosystem under one roof! Previously known as Hydropower Africa and Solar Energy Africa, which have successfully been running for over 6 years, Clean Power Africa 2013 will give you an exclusive look at hydro, wind and solar projects and opportunities across the African continent. By co-locating the event with the 13th African Utility Week, a global and market leading event that delivers over 80 African Utilities and provides unprecedented access to every emerging market in Africa, we further strengthen our position in the market to deliver and event that presents the full spectrum of the African clean power industry. www.clean-power-africa.com
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THE SOLAR SHOW CAPE TOWN 9 - 10 April 2013 Sandton Convention Centre The Solar Show is Africa’s largest solar forum bringing an unequalled level of excellence and abundance of decision makers. It is the only African event that attracts regional and international developers, power producers and utilities, industry, government and large energy users - year after year. Over 100 free technical seminar sessions will take place covering the following: Solar power, Power generation, Large energy users, Smart T&D, Wind power, Billing and revenue management. The Solar Show Africa includes a one day seniorlevel stream. It stars industry pioneers and thought-leaders from Africa and around the world. The Solar Show Africa conference will be themed around the following: Realizing Africa’s solar potential, Regional updates, Project showcase, Policy and regulation www.terrapinn.com
3RD ANNUAL WASTE MANAGEMENT & RECYCLING CONFERENCE CAPE TOWN 18 - 19 April 2013 Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, Gauteng The conference objectives are to follow up on current trends and developments within the waste management sector. It will seek to find solutions to the challenges faced in the waste disposal and tyre recycling industries. It also seeks to assess the level of adherence of the regulations and standards of the waste and recycle management policies firstname.lastname@example.org
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South Africa’s rhino management plan sanews.gov.za
he Biodiversity Management Plan for South Africa’s black rhinoceros aims to ensure the survival and sustainable growth of the country’s rhino population in the face of a changing environment and the ongoing threat posed by poaching. Gazetted by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, the plan envisages the continued existence of the global black rhino population through the continuation of viable populations of the two indigenous black rhino subspecies in natural habitats throughout South Africa. The short-term, 10-year goal is to achieve
an average South African meta-population growth rate for the two subspecies of at least 5% per annum, so as to achieve metapopulation sizes for the two subspecies of 3 060. The plan states that effective law enforcement, improved relations between neighbouring countries, effective criminal investigations and prosecutions, and the securing and monitoring of rhino horn stockpiles, remain key to minimising losses from poaching. Human resources should also be developed so that there are sufficient skills available to protect and manage black rhinos, while
sustainable political and social support for rhino conservation efforts should be encouraged. Strict hunting guidelines are included in the plan to ensure proper control over the removal of animals from breeding populations, and to combat illegal hunting. The plan “will contribute significantly to the management and conservation of black rhino, presently under threat from poachers,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday. The Conservation Plan for the Black Rhino, which forms the basis of the Biodiversity Management Plan for the black rhino, was jointly developed by South African members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Rhino Management Group. The South African Rhino Management Group, which functions under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Rhino Specialist Group, is to manage the implementation of the plan, including the legally required approval of management plans submitted by rhino conservation bodies for adoption by the government.
Writer Chantal Matthee, Namibia Tourism Board
Namibia shows responsibility through cultural and community tourism 116
raditionally known as the land of contrasts, Namibia shows its true colours as it endeavours to give back to the local culture and community through its local tourism opportunities. Namibia tour operators are continuing to include cultural aspects of Namibiaâ€™s diverse population groups into their itineraries and educating visitors about its wide and fascinating cultural diversities. Visitors are taken on guided tours, often trained by local guides, visit traditional homesteads and learn about various differing lifestyles while buying locally manufactured crafts and artwork. An example of this would be the town of Okahandja which is well known for the extensive display of handiwork there, mostly from the north and north-east of Namibia and sold and displayed there. More hand produced products such as the jewellery, baskets, wild silk, cotton, handcrafted puzzles, various belts and bracelets as well as paper are produced and marketed across the country through many well run and organized projects, assisting the local communities in bettering themselves and making use of the passing tourism trade to make a living. A well known example of cultural tourism in Namibia would be the Katatura Township tour that runs daily in Namibia. Approximately 10km from central Windhoek lies Katatura, a bustling suburb housing many different Namibian cultures. Along with a tour guide, the history, development and people of Katatura will be explained and explored. A visit to the local market, a shebeen, local cafĂŠ and womanâ€™s craft market are also usually included in this tour which takes approximately three hours. Learn about Namibia by stepping back in time and experience something truly special on your visit to a Himba Village. Here, the latest cell phone or toys are not of importance to these indigenous people, rather providing a healthy, peaceful environment in which to raise their children is of utmost importance to them. The traditional Himba village consists of a series of round huts made from bent mopanetrunks, held together with dung and clay. Thatched roofs provide both shelter and shade. The men make a living by tending their herds while women make jewellery to sell to visitors. Be sure to take along a gift of maize
meal, tobacco, sugar or tea for this tranquil people who so willingly share their lifestyle with visitors. The local communities in Namibia are also able to assist in providing much needed accommodation. Gone are the days where the old community campsites were rather avoided due to their poor standards and equipment. Nowadays community campsites throughout Namibia but especially in the north east and north west have modern stylish designs, most boasting flush toilets and hot water with a kitchen area for meal preparation. Some of the campsites provide a base from where to enjoy and explore the surrounding area and other highlights of the beautiful Namibian landscape where others provide the opportunity to meet the various and interesting ethnic groups of Namibia, enjoy local cuisine, visit local homesteads and experience new cultures. Local craft initiatives give the neighbouring craftsmen the outlets to market and sell their wares, ranging from baskets and jewellery to beautiful handmade paper. Here tourists have the opportunity to support the local economy while simultaneously buying authentic Namibian crafts. So before settling for a second best boring drab gift from the corner souvenir shops, think out of the box, think endless horizonsâ€Śthink Namibia and its wide range of community projects! For further information regarding Namibia and its community based tourism and cultural tourism projects, contact the Namibia Tourism Board on (011) 702 9602 / (021) 422 3298 or visit their website on www.namibiatourism.com.na
Ensuring development of energy and water skills
Errol Gradwell – EWSETA’s CEO
he Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) is one of 21 SETAs currently operating as a statutory body according to the terms of the Skills Development Act. Before 2010 it was known as Energy SETA (ESETA) but changed to its current format with the addition of the water services sector to its portfolio. EWSETA’s current CEO Errol Gradwell says, “It is our vision to be a leading skills development authority, facilitating internationally acclaimed skills development and workplace learning for economic growth and social development in the energy and water sector.” Gradwell, although new to EWSETA, brings much experience from the educational and financial sectors. He says, “As CEO, I am here to get things done through people. People are the most important resource available to me. I believe I will not only be judged on the results I achieve, but also on the level of competency attained and applied in getting the results.”
EWSETA mandate EWSETA addresses the four sub-sectors of electricity, nuclear, renewable energy and water, and waste and sanitation. It has the overall responsibility to implement and manage skills planning, quality assurance and skills delivery in these sectors. EWSETA executes its mandate within the context of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III). EWSETA is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to perform all relevant quality assurance functions including provider accreditation, qualifications development, assessor registration and certification of learners. “As such we coordinate, facilitate and assure quality sector-relevant skills development programmes for our stakeholders in line with national skills development priorities.” It is also responsible for determining grant disbursements to stakeholders such as FET colleges. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has recently promulgated new grants called Pivotal Grants. “The SETA will focus allocation of grants to Pivotal Programmes, which are primarily full qualifications such as learnerships. These trades and qualifications are offered mainly by further and higher education and training institutions and include internships, experiential learning and work experience within their syllabus.” Central to the objectives of the NSDS III is the placement of students and graduates especially from Further Education and Training (FET) Institutions and Universities of Technology. “The SETA has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with these institutions, and employers in the sector, to form a platform for greater collaboration and success.” In an attempt to curb unemployment and attain appropriate skills EWSETA must encourage and support learners from schools to pursue careers in the sector through career guidance. This can be in the form of exhibitions and career guidance booklets. They must provide an enabling environment for the pipeline of learners from schools to FETs or universities, and finally to the workplace.
Greater accountability Similar to all other SETAs, NSDS III aligns the EWSETA’s strategies with the development strategies and macro-economic policies of government and industry. These include the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa (HRD-SA), New Growth Path (NGP), Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and rural development strategies. “The EWSETA remains committed to NSDS III and its eight goals, with a particular focus on ensuring that transformational imperatives are adequately addressed and measurable impact is achieved. Transformational imperatives include gender, race, youth, class, age, disability and most importantly rural development.” The Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO), a coded occupational classification system, makes provision for green occupations. “These are intended to support several key national initiatives including the development and adoption of renewable sources of energy, reducing consumption of energy, fossil fuels and raw materials, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing waste and pollution, recycling materials and preventing loss of biodiversity and restoring ecosystems.” EWSETA has completed its Strategic and Annual Performance Plan for the 2012/13 to 2016/17 period and submitted it to the DHET. The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training recommended that the strategic plan should clearly address how the rural development issues, government policies, water quality and inaccessible clean water challenges and overreliance on private training consultancy industry, will be tackled. Notable outcomes are the National Skills Accord (NSA) signed by the minister of the DHET with representatives from organised business, organised labour and civil society structures on 13 July 2011. In the years leading up to 2015 the EWSETA will be ensuring that Sector Skills Plans (SSPs) are annually updated as prescribed by law. The minister of higher education and training has requested Gradwell and EWSETA to develop
a National Skills Development Strategy for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency. “In assisting the EWSETA to achieve this objective, I have engaged and signed a MoU with the German Community for International Cooperation (the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit or GIZ). The deliverables of this project are well researched and the EWSETA skills strategy on the green economy will resume shortly. This outline will include global, regional and local trends and initiatives.” In order to ensure skills are being developed in the correct areas and money is not being squandered, the organisation plans to employ continuous monitoring and evaluation. “We analyse information gathered and benchmark it with the information received through the workplace skills plans and annual training reports and make amendments where necessary.” According to Gradwell, management has the responsibility to keep the national strategy and all relevant national imperatives in mind. “This will enable management to be relevant in its strategic planning and alignment with NSDS III. Most importantly management plays an instrumental role in the development of the sector skills plans which incorporate all these imperatives relevant to the sector.” l
This article was commissioned by EWSETA – the Energy and Water Sector Education & Training Authority. For more information visit www.eseta.org.za
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35 th International Geological Congress 27 August to 4 September 2016 Cape Town South Africa
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Saving Private Rhino is an initiative established after 2 rhino where brutally killed and dehorned on the Aquila Private Game Reserve. The initiative has been set up to ensure the future conservation of Africa’s rhino and wildlife heritage. For information on how you can help visit www.savingprivaterhino.org www.facebook.com/savingprivaterhino