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ISSUE 1 •  2015


based in NATURE



1 SG

TOP 20 UNDER 25 2015



Lessons in disruption from inspiring young South Africans






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World-changing solutions from Nike, Facebook, Google, Slack, L’Oréal and more INDEX Design Award winners SA EXCLUSIVE





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Why SA’s brilliant expats are bringing their skills home

I T IS MORE THAN A M AG A ZINE, IT'S A MOV EMEN T The Digital version of Fast Company South Africa is now available on Apple iPad and Android tablets


The Intrepid Explorer


Live the life of adventure

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A getawa Branson’sy at Richard Private Ulusaba worth a Reserve who R51 100!pping



The war to save our wildlife

STILL WATERS RUN DEEP Into Belize’s Great Blue Hole WIND BENEATH THEIR WINGS Paragliding with vultures over Nepal


or visit to download the link


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• ROUGH STUFF – The gruelling Expedition Africa race • WHITE-WATER WONDERLAND – India’s Malabar River Festival • CHANGING COURSE – Craig Harrison finds adventure at the South Pole • WILD RIDE – Ivan Zimmermann completes 12 000km Tour d’Afrique • THROUGH THE LENS – Best of the 2015 Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium • 2nd Quarter Edition 2015

Live the life of adventure

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Traversing 45 countries to Rugby World Cup

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Tribute to Dr Ian Player


Hiking Iceland’s volcanoes


Lessons and laughter in the Kruger


The official Cape Union Mart magazine

• WIN! A five-night stay for two at Kurland Hotel, worth R23 100! • LIVIN’ IT UP IN L.A. – Hiking and cycling in the City of Angels • IN THE LINE OF FIRE – The heroes of the Volunteer Wildlife Services • SHARK SPOTTERS – Keeping both swimmers and sharks safe • LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY – Our beacons of life and death • EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED – Unearth the gems of the Northern Cape

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


ican Afr ited uth Lim e So ies Th er Brew

News 10 General 14 Bio Pyramid 28 Energy 52 Motoring 87 Conservation 102 Awards

Energy 18 Good news for planet Earth

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

23 Energy in Africa 24 Solar rewarded 25 Renewables take lead 26 Look up to energy 35 SAWEA 36 Does local innovation support? 38 Windaba 40 Waste not, want not 42 V&A waterfront project

Publisher Robbie Sammers

Project Manager Kyle Villet

Editor Chris Erasmus

Design Kevin Rule

Creative Director Silke Erasmus

Issue 1 • 2015

Volume 8 No.1 •




48 Tesla X

68 Ocean Spiral 70 Ratings tool takes off 74 Thatch

97 Conscious cooking 98 Based in nature

Office 60 Transform business, change the world 64 How green is your business? 66 Just paper

Conservation 82 Small scale farming 85 Blue flag beaches 92 Book reviews

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

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

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

ISSN 1998-1309

Flagship Member

5 SG



Well, amazingly, the year is nearly done already. Anyone else out there having 'time distortion issues'? Of course, time - or, more accurately, the apparent lack of sufficient time to do everything - is not the only issue we are dealing with. As we prepare to bring you this relaunch issue of Simply Green (more on that below), we are also hoping that sense will prevail in Paris a month or so hence when the various heads of state, government functionaries, scientists and NGO officials involved in climate change and coping with what that brings, meet to discuss the state of the planet at COP21. Hope along with us, by all means, but don't hold your breath. There are many vested interests opposed to any kind of cut-back in CO2 emissions and expecting something dramatically relevant from people whose election campaigns have been funded in large measure by 'Big-Business-As-Usual' is foolishly naĂŻve. On that score alone, we can expect the Americans and perhaps the Australians and some other countries to simply dig in their heels - again. Meanwhile, we continue consuming more than a planet-and-a-half's worth of resources (plus about 2-3% more per annum) while raw resources of everything are in decline and toxic outputs, from carbon dioxide and methane, continue to spew into the atmosphere, along with all sorts of nasty effluent flowing into our rivers, dams and oceans. Don't let the drop in commodity prices - including oil - fool you. These temporary falls are a reflection of the slowing of Asia giant China's economy, rather than any deeper fundamental shift away from consumerist economic models. The world's leading economists still hold to the theory of 'endless growth' matched by 'endless consumption' to equal 'endless rising revenue'. One may add to that equation, 'growing inequality' and 'decreasing access to resources by the great majority'. But let's not go down the economic theory rabbit hole, and rather keep our focus on the 'green zone', which is what Simply Green is all about. We are very sorry for the hiatus in publishing since last year, but it really was not our fault - we were dealing with the machinations of some devious types which took several grueling months to resolve. Once that was handled, we moved quickly and we are delighted to announce that we have forged a new bond with Insights Publishing, under the visionary leadership of Robbie Stammers, which has taken on Simply Green with a view to growing this already award-winning title into the international player it deserves to be. On which score, by the way, our last publication of 2014 drew well over 167,000 views/reads - so much for people who say that online publishing doesn't work. Now, with our new partners behind us, we are striving to continue producing for you, our most cherished readers, a magazine of the highest quality, filled with accurate, readable and interesting news and information to help you navigate your way to a greener, cleaner future. We look forward to taking that journey with you.

Green greetings Chris & the Team

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This quote from Albert Einstein is not only apt, as the subject of energy is synonymous with the green technology and economy of today and tomorrow, but it is also because we, at Insights Publishing, are very happy to be involved with the energy of Simply Green and the relaunch of this award-winning title under its new banner. After many meetings, in both boardrooms and minds, we are thrilled at this acquisition. It opens the door to a wide range of cross-platform and cross-title optimisations, both for Simply Green and for Insights Publishing's existing titles, with natural synergies between the respective concerns of each of the titles' target audiences. With Simply Green's established credibility and track record, we are looking to grow the title's reach and influence in collaboration with its new sibling titles. Among projects under development are an annual 'best of' edition, which will be a prestige print edition, and an annual edition aimed at the world's most influential business, government and NGO leadership events such as are present at COP and similar eco summits. Simply Green is a multi-niche publication, serving the needs of a range of parties and stakeholders concerned with greening and sustainability, from consumers, through emergent green businesses to large corporate entities and governmental bodies, both local and international. I am truly looking forward to working with the founders of Simply Green, Chris and Silke Erasmus, and have no doubt that together we will take the title to even higher echelons. Simply Green is about transforming the ecosystem for the future, creating a new mind-set, and using technology to its fullest extent. If we achieve this, we can change the way people work, live, play, and learn. Enjoy this edition keep following us, thanks.


'Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be transferred from one form into another'

Robbie Stammers Publisher: Insights Publishing

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ADVISORY BOARD Contributors SG 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Johan van den Berg is the CEO of the South African

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

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

Dave Crombie, civil engineer at GIBB consulting engineers, with 41 years’ experience, specialised in water and sewage treatment processes and plant design. The need for power for desalination led to considerable experience being gained from an ongoing involvement with renewable power generation projects. An innovative approach has earned several awards. Italian by nationality, Arianna Baldo moved to South Africa in 2008 to work in sustainable agriculture, trade and consumption. Since 2014 she has been managing Fairtrade South Africa, the local arm of the international Fairtrade system – an ethical certification that works with over 1.5 million farmers in 125 countries. Petra Vandecasteele is a seasoned traveller and mother of two children, Enya & James. She combines homeschooling with a full-time job and loves it. Starting Kids of Nature six years ago was how she decided to honour her priorities. As the main focus of her job is family travel and mindful living for families, her children accompany her on nearly all her trips. Her goal is to take what she learns on her trips and help other families to spend more quality time together in nature, and to live more mindfully. Liesel James is the founder and main action woman at Creating Change NPC. Inspired by seeing the massive impacts of nursing her daughter back to health by embracing nutrition and natural remedies, she started Creating Change with the objective of empowering children to understand and experience fully the benefits of a nutritious diet as well as how to grow food.

Carole Knight has over 20 years experience as an environmental photojournalist. Her focus is primarily on sustainability, globalisation and emerging trends, a passion expressed in her book, Miracles of Hope: Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century. She has had more numerous tabloid supplements published on environmental issues for Independent Newspapers, and many features that have been published internationally.

to view all our previously published maga z ines online clic k here www . simplygreen . co . z a 9 SG

N ews

Solar-powered water purification system a huge success in Mexican village

Nedbank Green Wine Awards A substantial number of Cape producers continue to lead the way globally, actively conserving part of their land and minimising their agricultural footprint while making enjoyable – and often impressive – wines. The organic route is part of this choice and forms a category in the Nedbank Green Wine Awards. Other categories include the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) and the Best Farming Practices which assesses and rewards those who are responding to environmental challenges in meaningful and successful ways.

The remote jungle village of La Mancalona on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico has gone from a place where clean water was scarce, bottled water expensive and soda much cheaper to a place where they have a reliable source of purified water and a profitable business in just two years. This positive change is thanks to an MIT-designed solar-powered water purification system that the village was the first to take for a test drive. The reverse osmosis system consists of two photovoltaic solar panels that power a set of pumps that push both brackish well water and collected rain water through semiporous membranes that filter and purify the water. The system produces about 1 000l of clean water a day for the village's 450 residents.

Aside from the wines, the Best Farming Practice category remains a key part of the competition and continues to promote sustainable farming and conservation of the Cape winelands. This year saw a change to the award of Best Farming Practice to a nominated award. The award for Best Farming Practice was bestowed upon a farm that has been voted as the winner by their fellow peers, through a nomination and motivation process. Fifteen top achievers were announced at this year’s awards function held recently in Cape Town. Org De Rac La Verne MCC 2012 took top honours in the Best Wine Overall in the Made from Organically Grown Grapes category (the wine was also the Bloggers’ Choice Award). Sijnn White 2013 scooped the Best Integrated Production of Wine Overall (the wine was also the IPW Best White). Wildekrans was named the Best Farming Practices Overall Winner. Wine enthusiasts will be able to sample the winning wines from the 2015 Nedbank Green Wine Awards in Cape Town and Johannesburg in November. More information on these tasting events can be found at greenwineawards. com/tasting-events. For all the results click here.

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El Gamma's Touching Tribute To Mother Nature Performaing Arts crew El Gamma Penumbra use the big stage to deliver a heart-warming tribute to Mother Nature at this year's Asia's Got Talent.

THE PLASTIC AGE We all talk about the Stone Age, the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, but what era are we living in right now? People are starting to refer to us as the – far less romantic – Plastic Age. We make 288 million tons of plastic a year, and unlike paper, metal, glass or wood, it does not oxidise or biodegrade, instead much of it ends up in our oceans, making the ratio of plastic to plankton 100:1. The way to make use of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Bionic yarn. Co-designed by Pharrell Williams, G-Star’s RAW for the Oceans collection is the world’s first denim line created from plastic that has been fished out of the big blue and recycled. Find out how we can pick 700 000 tonnes of plastic up off the sea floor in The Plastic Age documentary, made possible by G-Star. Click the image below to watch the full documentary.

Morgan Freeman's Powerful Climate Change Short Film Morgan Freeman narrates this hopeful, must-watch short film about the need to solve the climate change problem.

SEA LEVEL WARNING FROM THE EXPERTS In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels. Written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, along with 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields, the study concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 3m in as little as 50 years. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate. Hansen, who is known for being 'alarmist' and also right, acknowledges that his study implies change far beyond previous consensus estimates. In a conference call with reporters, he said he hoped the new findings would be 'substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.' To come to their findings, the authors used a mixture of paleoclimate records, computer models, and observations of current rates of sea level rise, but 'the real world is moving somewhat faster than the model,' Hansen says. The implications are mindboggling: In the study’s likely scenario, every coastal city on the planet may only have a few more decades of habitability left. That dire prediction, in Hansen’s view, requires 'emergency cooperation among nations'. Click here for the full story. 11 S G

N ews United States • North America leads the world in terms of recently announced energy storage projects. • Residential solar sees continually dropping prices across the country • Energy storage to grow 10-fold in five years • California pushes for 50% renewables by 2030

LEADING CHANGE Good things are happening all over the world for renewable energy. Solar energy capacity is increasing all over the world, wind power is expanding in water and on land, and battery storage technology is increasing at a rapid rate, ensuring that the renewable energy that is created is being stored well. Here are some of the highlights of renewable energy expansion from the beginning months of 2015 and the previous year: South Africa • 100MW concentrated solar project in progress • 3 new solar PV plants planned • Solar and wind projects helped save $69 million dollars in 2014

world’s first 100% solar-powered airporT

Cochin International Airport in India just became the world’s first solar-powered airport. The facility has installed 46 150 solar panels on its grounds, generating between 50 000 to 60 000 units of electricity for its everyday use, which means that it is now able to claim the impressive title 'absolutely power neutral'. The airport has a history of leaning toward sustainability, but this is on a whole new level. The site installed its first solar panel on the Arrival Terminal Block in 2013, putting Cochin ahead of its time in the state of Kerala. Today you can find most of its roofs covered in panels, as well as 45 acres of space on its cargo premises. The latest addition is a 12MW solar plant, which was announced just this week and has already been making waves. The project was installed by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt Ltd and equipped with the SCADA system, which allows for remote monitoring of the plant. The system is not only saving energy and cost for the airport (and the planet) now, but estimates impressive figures for the future. Over the next 25 years, the airport will save the environment from 300 000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by switching from coal to solar power. That is the equivalent of planting 3 million trees This upgrade will hopefully be inspiring to other high energy-producing facilities, including more airports around the globe. S G 12

Germany • Electricity output from renewables has grown eight-fold in Germany since 1990, and the latest data further highlights the dramatic shift towards clean energy taking place in Europe’s largest economy. • Germany announces they will abandon all nuclear power by 2020 • New 150MW ground-mounted solar field announced • Germany invests 30 billion Euros into offshore wind energy projects China • After smog reaches insanely dangerous levels, China caps coal • Installed 5.04GW in the first months for 2015 • China’s offshore wind surges in capacity by almost 500% • 5GW of distributed solar to be available in 2015 For more info click here.

WORLDBEING: The app that plans to make you more aware of your personal carbon footprint Layer Design Studio, founded by British designer Benjamin Hubert, have just launched a crowd sourcing campaign for the new wearable and app system Worldbeing. The system was created in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, and offers consumers the potential to gain a better understanding of their personal carbon footprint, along with suggestions and incentives for changing behaviours. The Worldbeing system monitors users' carbon footprint by tracking their transport choices, food and shopping choices and sets this against a personalised benchmark. The wearable unit is made of recycled e-waste, of which the human race creates up to 50 million tons per year. For the time being the Worldbeing system only exists as a prototype while Layer instigate a crowd-speaking campaign to raise awareness and gage how much the product resonates with the public. Layer will then use feedback from the campaign to refine and develop the product. You can add your voice to join the campaign to bring Worldbeing to life by signing up to the Worldbeing Thunderclap, which aims to send out a unified message rallying people to join in the fight against climate change.

TRUTH IN PICTURES 'When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realise That You Cannot Eat Money.' This prophecy is becoming a more and more brutal reality. But, even today, not every person is aware of the horrible effects our lifestyles have on nature. recently published a series of evocative photographs that will leave your speechless. We will share a few of them over the next few editions.

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BIO-PYRA The ‘Bio-Pyramid: Reserving Desertification’ proposal won an honorable mention in the 2015 eVolo Skyscraper Competition and was designed by David Sepulveda, Wagdy Moussa, Ishaan Kumar, Wesley Townsend, Colin Joyce, Arianna Armelli, and Salvador Juarez. The team drew inspiration for the design from Egypt, a country that is not only part of the Sahara Desert, the largest non-polar desert in the world, but is also home to one of the major ancient civilizations founded on early agriculture. We take a quick look.

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esertification, the degradation of land into

Condensation traps, gray water recycling, and

desert, is spreading at an alarming rate

other water harvesting systems replenish the water

across our world. In a bid to reverse


one of today’s greatest environmental problems,






a US-based design team proposed an ambitious

cultivated microclimates to sustainably support

solution: the Bio-Pyramid. The non-conventional

vertical farming, water purification, clean energy

skyscraper design builds on the footprint of Egypt’s

creation, and more.

existing ancient pyramids and encloses them

'Our project ‘Bio-Pyramid’ proposes that we throw

inside a pyramidal greenhouse-like bio-sphere that

away the status-norm on historic preservation/

functions as a 'living machine.'

tourism and create a super-hybrid of re-activating

The 1  280-foot-tall 'living machine' skyscraper proposal is fed by an underground water reservoir

areas that truly make a global difference,' writes the design team.

that is pumped up through the center of the structure.

For the full story click here.

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ncreased load shedding and endless electricity price hikes continues to haunt South Africa. A recent statement by the Democratic Alliance (DA) estimates that, since 2008, load shedding has cost the country R300bn and 1 million jobs. 'The sad reality is that the current situation will get a lot worse, before we see any improvement,' says Ryan Steytler, energy expert and Director, The Sungrid Group. Involved in portable (solar) power, The Sungrid Group are focused on providing viable and alternative solutions to the South African consumer. '80 years ago, the concept of harnessing the sun’s energy hadn’t been imagined. Today, we are putting the sun’s energy in your pocket,' continues Steytler. Its latest offering, Solsave, offers consumers a full range of alternative energy choices comprising both smaller and heavier portable off-grid power options. Its flagship offering, the Solsave My-Powa, a solar power bank making use of the latest Sun Power Cell (SPC) technology, is able to quickly generate power with a

world record efficiency panel. A mere 10 hours of direct sunlight provides enough power to charge all essential devices including

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phone, tablet, camera, MP3 player, eReader, GPS, action cameras and smart watches. 'But the real beauty is that for those who choose, Solsave’s my-powa can also be charged via a conventional wall plug (USB wall charger) for maximum convenience,' says Steytler. With this year's launch of Solsave, a global brand with local roots, the range (available in 1 000 to 3 000 Watt options) comes with both on- and off-grid capability and offers an answer to South Africa’s energy crisis across home, office, outdoor and emergency use. 'South Africa is looking for solutions,' continues Steytler. 'While we are passionate about portable solar power, consumers also want the comfort of something familiar.' See ad below for more info.

We have TWO Solsave chargers to give away. Simply send your full contact details to to stand a chance to win.

My Powa! Solar Power Bank For Cellphone Charging With Super Bright Adjustable LED Light - SOLSAVE uses the latest SUN POWER CELL (SPC) technology to quickly generate power with a world record efficiency panel - It is a must have in the modern world to alleviate the stress of dead batteries and power failures - Also charges via a wall plug for MAXIMUM convenience - It is compatible with all (small) phones - Ensures security so that you’re never stranded without power or light again - Includes handy hook that has a clip with which you can stand, hang or hook - perfect for charging and positioning the LED light - 1 Year Warranty

solsave is a product from


Good news for planet Earth 18 Look up for energy 26 News 28 Does local innovation get support? 36 Windaba 38


Good News for U

A most significant gathering of people at a recently held South African International Renewable Energy Conference hosted by the Department of Energy reflected with satisfaction on the success to date of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Purchase Program (REIPPP). The Minister of Energy Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson made several appearances at the conference, along with many

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Us & Planet Earth

representatives from the international community. Dave Crombie, of GIBB consulting engineers, was there, and came away greatly encouraged by the presentations of the implementation of renewable energy projects, current action, and the plans in place for the future. This is his report for Simply Green on where SA is going with its renewable energy program. IMAGE: Jeffrey's Bay Wind Farm

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he remarkable achievements of the South African REIPPP were presented by the program leader Karen Breytenbach, Head of the

Department of Energy's IPP Office. The renewable

energy projects awarded so far (6  327Mw) will provide about 5% of the overall electrical energy to South Africa. Of this, 1 827Mw is already providing electrical power using the wind, the sun and the flow in rivers to provide electrical power. Next year will see further tenders for renewable energy being invited. A very important component of the REIPPP, socio-economic development, has also had a significant impact, with R76.7m already making a positive difference to communities in near the renewable energy projects. Some R19.2bn is committed to such community-based projects over the next 20 years. There is a further positive impact of the construction of renewable energy power generation facilities on the taxpaying citizens of South Africa. The power provided by the operational projects already completed under the REIPP program saved R4bn over the past year by providing power that would otherwise been generated using expensive diesel powered plants in avoiding blackouts. This saving already covers the increased cost of the power generated from the first renewable projects. Put another way, it has cost us nothing, so far, as a country to go green, and only helped communities and saved money and time. Tobias




The power provided by the operational projects already completed under the REIPP program saved R4bn over the past year. It has cost us nothing so far as a country to go green, and only helped communities and saved money and time.


Manager, showed at SAIREC that even more significant is that the latest tenders for providing large-scale

be used into the evening too, and at a competitive

electrical power using renewable energy, and which


have been accepted, will provide electricity into the

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grid at a cost that is less than power from any other

Metroploitan areas

newly-constructed source.

The City of Cape Town presented how energy is

The biggest news of all is that it is now cheapest

used in the metropolitan area. The most significant

for individual households to provide for many of

component of energy use is for transportation

their needs – specifically, hot water using solar

of people and goods. The focus of reducing this

geysers, and using photo voltaic (PV) for electrical

is to provide an attractive public transportation

power. Used wisely, PV can work for most household

system, building on the MyCiti network, as well

applications including running appliances such

as working with MetroRail to integrate the overall

as fridges and freezers, and making their cups of

service. The possibility of the MyCiti busses, and

(green, obviously) tea.

other modes of public transport, being powered by

In the near future, the addition of cost-effective

renewable sourced electrical energy, and possibly

batteries, and the already-installed energy-efficient

biogas, is being considered. The City is also

lights (CFLs and LEDs) will enable the sun's energy to

investigating ways of diversifying the power supply

South African Power Generation GWh per year Coal

206 515


10 643


2 628

Pumped Storage

2 628


5 387

These tables are derived from Eskom published data. Sources: Eskom Generation DivMap REV8, Supply Status, Integrated Report

227 801

The renewables are made up:

Mid 2015 feed into grid

By end 2018

GWh per year Onshore wind

2 857

7 940

Solar PV

2 012

4 417

Solar CSP


1 314

Landfill gas




Small Hydro



5 387

14 147



by integrating renewable energy electrical power

At the end of the conference, some 3  600

generation projects that have been developed in

delegates from 82 countries adopted a declaration

the metropolitan area, while still meeting with

expressing their conviction that the increased

regulatory requirements.

deployment of renewable energy will have a direct

South Africans now have two electric car

impact on improved global energy access, improved

options, both of which were on display at the

energy security, on mitigating greenhouse gas

SAIREC exhibition, along with motorcycles and

emissions and on climate change and sustainable

electric delivery and transport vehicles, providing a

economic development.

look into the future when a wide range of electric cars will become available. It is now cost-effective


to run an electric car, even though the purchase

South Africa has supported this declaration with

price is high. This investment goes a very long

action. Our Renewable Energy Independent Power

way to covering the cost of fuel for the life of the

Producer Program is demonstrating to the world how

car, and once paid, running costs are reduced to

a well-run regulatory environment and tendering

maintenance (also reduced) and a small amount

program can take advantage of falling hardware

for the electrical energy used (about 20% of the

prices to secure the best value for money, and

cost of petrol).

also at the lowest cost. In addition, South Africa

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supported the SAIREC declaration by committing to at least annual allocations for additional renewable energy power generation projects. This







announcement of 10 preferred bidders for 'Small Projects' (between 1Mw and 5Mw). There was also an indication, as a further inducement to independent power producers, of a plan to simplify the procurement process. The expanded role of independent power producers (IPPs) was affirmed, together with the desirability of extending the success of the renewables procurement program to technologies such as coal and gas.

Engineering News reports that the IPP Office has been heralded locally and internationally for having ensured a material expansion in the contribution of renewable energy over the past four years. Following four bid windows, the office had procured over 6 300Mw of renewables capacity since 2012, nearly 2 000Mw of which is already operational. But even Eskom is admitting that the only way to bridge the current and looming yet greater gap between capacity and peak demand is to turn to renewables, likely supplied by independent producers. Andrew Etzinger, senior GM at Eskom, emphasised that the only way forward for the state-owned utility was to prioritise the plans for connecting renewable energy generation sources to its transmission grid. In an address to delegates at the conference, he highlighted that the contribution from renewable energy producers and the first unit at Medupi, as well as better performance from the power stations, are the reasons there has not been load shedding in the past two months. Independent





Medupi's first unit coming on line was a help, along with better performance from Eskom's other major utilities, the real key lay in the rapid development of the renewable sector, as driven by independent power producers. According to Gibb (Pty) Ltd spokesperson, Dr Urishanie Govender, Gibb had been integrally involved with a number of the projects discussed at the conference in their roles as engineers, environmentalist, planners and lender advisers.

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Tobias Bischof-Niemz CSIR Energy Centre Manager

Half of drivers planning to buy or lease a new car in the next few years are considering an electric or hybrid vehicle, according to a new report. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) said its study reveals a ‘dramatic’ growth in interest in alternative fuelled vehicles. The professional body for the retail motor sector said its survey of 2 000 car owners shows demand looks set to ‘race ahead’ in the next two years. The IMI raised concerns about skill shortages in electric vehicle and hybrid maintenance. Chief executive Steve Nash said: ‘We have always expected demand for electric and hybrid vehicles to increase gradually over time as the cars become more sophisticated and the public become aware of their quality. The level of demand shown in this survey is astonishing and requires a response from Government. We need a licence to practise for technicians to reassure the public and to protect the employers who invest in the skills required to take care of the next generation of vehicles and their owners.’ Source

Energy in Africa

According to recent research, two out of every three Africans – that's some 620 million people – do not have access to modern (electrical) energy, a key constraint to development in Africa. We take a look.

T Goals

he UN's response to energy and other forms of global inequality has been

Energy efficiency Ideally, for this approach to be most effective,

to adopt 17 Sustainable Development








buildings and





architecturally make


important step in synthesising solutions that

energy-efficient. In many places in Africa, this

go beyond one sector.

is too much to expect, but under virtually any

With the advent of the SDGs, there following possibilities




conditions, buildings can be made to be fat


less grid-dependent and can be taken entirely

sustainable energy; building resilient and

off the grid (to cater for energy outages which



are common through much of Africa) or for

universal health care, education and nutrition;

core functionality, whether they are far-flung

and generating opportunities for economic

or centrally located. Buildings without any

prosperity and community empowerment.

main grid electrical support can be made


Among efforts to move Africa towards

self-sufficient but at greater initial cost since

these SDGs is one by Mark Booth, Senior

more PV and support equipment is necessarily

Lecturer in Epidemiology, Durham University,

required for less energy-efficient buildings.

et al, known as the Universal Sustainable Habitat Development (USHD), which considers how




Many solutions There is for Africa no one-size-fits-all solution

buildings like schools and hospitals could be


designed and built to provide many of the

geographically fragmented populations, plus a

resources required for sustainable, healthy

huge variability on one-the-ground conditions.

communities. Readily available technologies

So each installation requires its own set of

for the model include: solar panels for heating,

solutions and support systems. Technologically,

lighting and powering electrical devices and

almost buildings and concentrations of people,

equipment; rainwater harvesting for collection

whether rural or urban, can be provided with

and storage of water; and anaerobic digestion

the necessary energy from a variety of sources

for conversion of organic waste into energy

or more likely in each case of combination

and fertiliser.

of sources (PV, battery array, plus wind and/






or small hydro and such). The real problem is

is considered the most critical. The UK's

funding. The success of schemes like the EU's

Department for International Development has

Electrifi project, which encourage the private

recently endorsed solar as a key technology for

sector into providing sustainable energy for

reducing poverty.

all, may determine how this global effort to











electrify Africa's energy-less poor will unfold.

fundamental issue of electrifying hard-to-reach

But South Africa's roll-out of renewables

communities because it can work entirely off

under it REIPPP scheme, with the involvement

grid. It also offers a real alternative to costly

of a variety of private sector roleplayers, may

and unreliable energy based on fossil fuels.

prove to be a useful model to add to the

Preliminary calculations indicate that by

various options now being undertaken by the

attaching solar panels to a large building,

UN and its various agencies, as well as other

off-grid energy can be supplied to the building

projects under the auspices of institutions

for all its energy needs – at a relatively low

such as the World Bank.

running cost.



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SOLAR rewarded S G 24

With Eskom having its back to the wall with regard being literally on the limit of power production versus demand on a daily basis, it is not surprising that the Department of Energy is making the most of announcement of new projects coming on line.










that has not supported the development of


small and local South African IPP and EPC


5.8Mm Adams and 5.8mW Bellatrix

businesses up to now.

solar projects which are the first Independent

The implementation of the Small Projects

Power Producer projects in the DoE's program

IPP procurement program was meant to

that will be locally developed, designed,

address this criticism. Along with a cap

funded, constructed and operated.

on project size of 5mW (roughly R110m

The projects are being sponsored by the

in capex), it also requires that 60% of the

Aurora Power group, founded in Cape Town

ownership of the projects be in local hands

in 2009 by engineering brothers Simon and

and 15% owned by small-medium business

Chris Haw. It has no relationship with the

enterprises. The department announced the

embattled mining company of similar name.

preferred bidders during the recent SAIREC

SOLA Future Energy, a locally-owned solar

conference in Cape Town, 11 months after

PV engineering and construction firm, will

the projects were submitted in November

design, construct and operate the plant. The


Industrial Development Corporation of South

'Despite the delay in announcement, we

African (IDC) and local black-owned company

are delighted to have received the formal

Mergence Investment Managers have signed

appointment as a preferred bidder and we are

an agreement to cover the cost of the project

progressing to financial close,' says Simon


Haw, Director at Aurora Power Solutions.

'We're very excited to finally have a

'Going forward we hope that the process

completely locally controlled, financed and

timeframes are adhered to as smaller projects

constructed project,' says Chris Haw. 'Up to

of this nature are sensitive to delays.'

now our participation has been limited by

Bidding the project requires years of

the size of the projects and the competition

preparation in order to obtain the necessary



land use and environmental approvals.

IPP companies. Although we've developed

Compiling a bid requires detailed completing

245mW of successful IPP projects with

and submitting of more than 15 000 pages

excellent partners over the previous rounds

of relevant material relating to each project.


of bidding, we have had to sell or partner






with larger international companies to meet

approximately 190 million 'carbon-free' kWh

the requirements of lenders and the market.

over the life of the plant, enough to power

Most of the engineering and construction

1 000 middle income households. As well as

has been done through foreign companies,

creating around 50 local jobs the projects

despite us having the requisite skills and

will be providing a certain percentage

experience. Now everything is being done

of the revenue towards local community

by local firms, which means all the benefits

socio-economic benefits.


remain in South Africa.' With the larger projects in the IPP program tending to be controlled or constructed by

For more information please contact: SOLA

foreign companies, the Department of Energy

Future Energy or Chris Haw, Aurora Power

has been criticised for designing a program

Solutions, 076 612 4221


ccording to analysis by Bloomberg

Bloomberg reports: 'For the first time,

New Energy Finance (BNEF), wind power


is now the cheapest electricity source

effectively lowering the capacity factor for

in Germany and the United Kingdom, even

fossil fuels. That's because once a solar or

without government subsidies. This milestone

wind project is built, the marginal cost of

has never before been reached among the G7

the electricity it produces is pretty much

(the advanced economies known as the Group

zero – free electricity – while coal and gas

of 7).

plants require more fuel for every new Watt

Renewable energy is becoming more cost-competitive – and less risky – in the US,





produced. If you're a power company with a choice, you choose the free stuff every time.'

too. BNEF reports that wind power became the

This is a self-reinforcing cycle. As more

cheapest electricity to produce (when also

renewables are installed, coal and natural

factoring in subsidies) for the first time last

gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are


used less, the cost of using them to generate

The falling prices and growing adoption

electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas

of renewables are having a big impact on

power rises, more renewables will be installed.

the 'capacity factor' of coal and gas plants,

According to BNEF, the lifetime cost of

which Bloomberg defines as, 'the percentage

implementing new gas and coal initiatives has

of a power plant's maximum potential that's

risen in every major region across the world

actually achieved over time'. In the past, coal

in the second half of 2015, while the cost of

and gas plants have had high, predictable

renewables has fallen.


capacity factors. But that's changing due to the success of renewable energy.


Recent announced long-term remuneration contract prices for renewable power (eg preferred bidders, PPAs or FITs) to be commissioned over 2015-2019

Image source

renewables take lead

Thanks to the plummeting price of solar and wind energy, fossil fuels might be going the way of the dinosaurs. Affordable renewables could be a costly tipping point for dirtier energy sources – and we may have just reached it.

This map is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

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Look up for energy IMAGE

The African Climate Reality Project says it’s time for South Africa to look up and not down for its energy solutions. In an apparent state of conflict over its energy policies, South Africa flounders as a victim of load shedding in the grip of Eskom’s continued reliance upon coal and now also must seriously review its ‘intended nationally determined contribution’ (INDC) and declare a commitment to reducing carbon pollution ahead of the climate change conference in Paris this December (COP21).

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ust as a huge defeat for ‘big oil’ was

Added to this is the fact that wind energy saved

scored when Shell, in bowing to mounting

Eskom around R300m in expenditure on diesel

opposition, pulled out of its controversial

and coal during the same period.

drilling operation in the Alaskan Arctic this past

Most regions in South Africa receive more

week, the indicators are that consumer pressure

than 2 500kW/h of sun energy per square metre

could really help bring about a universal

per year, making the country’s potential for

review of how we derive our energy. Shell was

solar energy one of the highest in the world.

‘surprised’ and apparently caught off-guard by

But SA is only tenth on the chart of countries

the force and scale of the opposition it met –

that are effectively harnessing the sun’s energy.

and, meanwhile, the case for wind and solar

Germany’s at the top of the list with 1.5 million

energy is becoming ever more plausible and

solar plants (small to large rooftop and utility


scale) that yield an installed capacity of 40gW;

According to CSIR, in the first six months of 2015, renewable energy contributed R4bn

whereas SA produces one gigawatt of installed utility scale solar capacity.

worth of benefit in savings for SA. Six years

Solar is also an ideal solution for delivering

ago, the price of wind-generated electricity cost

power to the fifteen percent of South Africans

a third of coal power (62c compared with 168c/

without access to electricity. By providing

kW hour for coal). To build a wind farm, it costs

homes, townships and entrepreneurs with

half that required to develop a new coal power

small, portable solar panels and solar kits,

station and it only takes 18 months to establish

South Africa could be empowering people with

a wind farm – Eskom’s Medupi Power Station

affordable electricity right now.

has been ten years in production and is still not operational.

Eskom currently generates 95% of South Africa’s electricity. Its crumbling plants house

According to Greenpeace Africa, renewable

outdated technology that will continue to

energy will create around 80 000 jobs annually

age, and in turn increase the risk, frequency

while coal will lose 10 000 jobs. To date, the

and severity of load shedding. Load shedding

solar industry alone has created 20  000 and

is a symptom of larger environmental and

is set to contribute an estimated R2.9bn to

economic issues. In South Africa, electricity

socio-economic development in rural regions

insecurity is our daily reality, and it’s paralysing

over the next 20 years.

our economy. One former Eskom advisor has

Everyone knows that Eskom cannot cope

predicted that load shedding will occur until

with the country’s energy demands and that its

2023. Patching up old plants is just a temporary

load shedding programme is having a crippling

fix, tantamount to slapping a plaster over

effect on the economy and causing widespread

a gaping wound. Meanwhile, South Africa’s

stress and discomfort to all South Africans.

power sector is responsible for nearly half

The African Climate Reality Project (ACRP), which works closely with the Energy Centre of

the country’s carbon emissions because of its reliance on coal.

the CSIR, says that wind and sun are far more

Phasing out unsustainable coal plants and

valuable as inexhaustible resources than the

replacing them with wind, solar and other

minerals we’ve been digging up out of the

clean energy technology has to be the best

ground for energy.

way for South Africa to step into the light of

South Africa has enough wind potential

a low-carbon energy future, one that provides

alone to generate more than South Africa’s

clean, affordable energy for all South Africans

current energy needs, according to a study

and protects the environment and climate for

conducted by the CSIR’s Energy Centre. And

future generations.

wind has already protected us from shedding; wind energy helped to avoid more than 200

South Africa needs and deserves an energy revolution.


hours of load shedding in the first six months of 2015 alone, an equivalent value of R1.5bn.

For more info visit

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Africa's largest solar farm gets to work The Jasper solar farm, located near Kimberley in South Africa, is now the continent's largest solar power project. Construction was completed in October, and it is now fully operational (you can read that in the Star Wars emperor's voice). With a rated capacity of 96Mw, Jasper will produce about 180 000Mw/h of clean energy annually for South African residents, enough to power up to 80 000 homes. South Africa has a goal of having 18 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, so projects like this are definitely steps in the right direction. What makes this even better is that Japser won't stay the biggest solar project for long. In the same area, in South Africa, near the 75Mw Lesedi project that came online last May, a 100Mw concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) project called Redstone is also under construction. The Jasper Project generated about 1 million man-hours of paid work during construction, peaking at over 800 on-site construction jobs. The project was developed by a consortium consisting of SolarReserve, the Kensani Group (an experienced empowerment investment player in South Africa), and Intikon Energy (a South African developer of renewable energy projects). Financing came from local and international sources, including Google and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Intikon Energy, Kensani Capital Investments,, the PEACE Humansrus Community Trust, and SolarReserve with Rand Merchant Bank.

Nuclear Fusion Reactor not far off The dream of harnessing a power source like our sun to provide the people of Earth with free energy has had a difficult run thanks to the readily-available (and fast-depleting) sources found on Earth such as petroleum, coal, and nuclear reactors. But, a 'small, modular, efficient fusion plant' designed by a team at MIT promises new hope for growth in the fusion industry. The MIT affordable, robust, compact (ARC) reactor uses the same tokamak (donut-shaped) architecture as the ITER plant (the world's biggest nuclear fusion reactor project), but applies much stronger magnets based on commercially available, rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconductors. The stronger magnetic field contains the super-hot plasma, a mass of gases in which hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium (yes, the party balloon gas that gives you a squeaky voice), in a much smaller device. This reduces the diameter to half of ITER's, making building it quicker and more economical. Read more here.

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Concentrated sunlight By combining designer quantum dot light-emitters with spectrally matched photonic mirrors, a team of scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect blue photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded. This breakthrough paves the way for the future development of low-cost solar cells that efficiently utilize the high-energy part of the solar spectrum. Click here for the full story.

China & Pakistan are building the world’s largest solar farm in the Punjabi desert

Pakistan and China are on their way to building the world’s largest solar farm, with the completion of a 100Mw, 400  000-panel pilot power project, the first solar power plant ever built in Pakistan. Spread out over almost 500 acres of flat land in the Punjabi desert, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park cost $130m and took just three months for Chinese company, Xinjian Sunoasis to build. According to Chinadialogue, when the project is complete in 2017, the site could see a total of 5.2 million photovoltaic cells producing up to 1 000Mw of electricity – or enough to power about 320 000 homes. Critics say the project will create new environmental problems while it solves others, as well require costly investment in grid infrastructure and maintenance.

'Kirigami' panels collect up to 30% more energy Using the Japanese art of kirigami, researchers at the University of Michigan have created lattice-like strips of solar cells that can stretch to follow the sun throughout the day, collecting up to 30% more solar energy than conventional panels. Kirigami strips are able to stretch and follow the contours of the sun’s path as opposed to tradition panels that remain static. Click here for more.

Korean's develop most efficient solar cell to date A Korean research team has achieved record level efficiency in solar cells, using a new formula for mixing perovskite structures. Perovskite is an inexpensive, abundant mineral, and the researchers have found ways to make it even more efficient for solar power applications. The new solar cells are measured at 17.9% efficiency, which could mean very big things for this clean alternative energy source. scientists have continued to try to make silicon based cells more efficient, but have begun to run out of ideas. That has led to a search for other materials, one of which are perovskite structures (materials with the same structure as calcium titanium oxide) – they offer good power output from low cost materials and can be used in a simpler processes. Over just the past half decade, scientists have increased the efficiency of cells made using them from just 3.8% back in 2009, to the new current record set by the team in Korea of 17.9%. Click here for more.

2014 was the hottest year on record According to Discovery News, the ranking was issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which is one of four major global keepers of temperature records for the planet–and the first to release its data for the year just gone by. The average temperature in 2014 was 1.1°F above JMA’s average for the 20th Century, and 0.1°F above 1998; the former record holder for the hottest year ever. What makes the heat of 2014 so significant is that it wasn’t coupled with an El Nino, as was the case in 1998 when a “super El Nino” caused a temperature spike on its tail end. The record heat of 2014 was instead caused by record temperatures in some parts of the Pacific, and was the hottest year on record in places like Europe, Australia, and California. Click here for the full story.

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How realistic is a 100% solar future? According to recent estimates, all known fossil fuel resources could be totally spent within the next 100 years. However, studies also suggest that if we stray away from destructive energy sources, there is a large possibility of achieving a 100% solar world. The infographic on these pages show all the ways that solar power is the way to go, and how we can go about making it a reality worldwide. Click here to view the hi-res version.

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Trina Solar PV Award Trina Solar Limited, a global leader in photovoltaic modules, solutions and services, announced today its modules are powering the 2015 Norman Foster Solar Award winning Plus Energy Building (PEB) building, the headquarters of Cavigelli Ingenieure AG in Ilanz, Switzerland. The jury of the Swiss Solar Prize, organised by the Schweizer Solar Agentur, granted the award. The 'Monolith' building which houses Cavigelli Ingenieure AG in Ilanz, Switzerland hosts a 26.8 kWh east-west oriented PV system. The systems features Trina Solar PC05A polycrystalline modules, produces 30 000kWh per year and forms a key part of this innovative example of modern solar architecture.

A call for Climate Change All across the world people will be coming together on November 29 just hours before the most important climate summit of the decade decade. Last year, almost 700 000 people took to their streets and created the largest mobilisation on climate change in history. This year looks set to be even bigger. If hundreds of thousands of climate change enthusiasts join events in cities and towns across the globe, the leaders meeting in Paris will be shown that there is a movement that cannot be ignored that want nothing less than an ambitious climate deal with a global commitment to 100% clean energy. Click the image below to find an event near you.

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Gas crucial to SA growth Natural gas must play a major role in SA’s future energy mix, according to a new report from Econometrix. 'Gas is necessary for South Africa to meet its target growth rates and political, economic and social objectives,' says Econometrix MD Rob Jeffrey. 'There should be a national plan to substantially increase the use of gas.' Creating a natural gas sector would unlock billions of rands of investment while stimulating new industries and skilled job creation. Combined with the right policies, an additional 8 600mW of electricity from gas could see GDP grow by R645bn, with the creation of up to 1 720 000 jobs, according to the Econometrix report: ‘The future role of gas in SA’s power and industrial development mix’. The report was commissioned by Delta Natural Gas, a gas company started in 2014 by South African industrialist Aldworth Mbalati who says, 'Power generation with gas is a proven technology which contributes to improving grid stability whilst reducing South Africa’s carbon emissions.'

Global decarbonisation rate doubles in 2014 Price Waterhouse Coopers' (PWC) annual analysis finds the steepest decline in carbon intensity since 2000. Despite ambitious national emission reduction targets report warns that business needs to build carbon costs and regulation into business decisions, with the power, transport and finance sectors particularly affected. For South Africa, the 3.2% gap between business as usual carbon intensity (1.5% per year) and the target line (4.7%) is ambitious, and it is starting from a very high base (the highest of the G20). Among other initiatives, changes to South Africa’s energy mix will have a positive impact on future carbon intensity. Jayne Mammatt, PwC South Africa sustainability and climate change director, comments: 'What we are seeing is the first signs of the decoupling of growth from carbon. The trend in Chinese emissions looks like it’s starting to turn, and renewables are on the up. But we’re not there yet. And the Paris pledges don’t get us there either. The real tipping point is when renewables hit cost parity with fossil fuels.'

Powering the national grid The ground-breaking Sishen solar plant and the recently completed Gouda wind plant delivered by infrastructure group Aveng and its partner, Acciona Energia of Spain, are collectively contributing approximately 212mW of power capacity to South Africa’s national grid, thus helping alleviate the over-strained Eskom energy grid. The 138mW Gouda wind facility in the Western Cape can generate enough power for 200 000 homes a year. The Sishen plant in the Northern Cape can produce the equivalent electricity to the consumption of around 100 000 South African homes a year.

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St Helena gets connected Going forward, the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean will now be able to supply more than a third of its energy needs from renewable sources. SolarWorld has provided the modules for the two largest solar power plants on the island and, following the installation of the photovoltaic modules, the island now has the highest proportion of wind and solar energy feeding into the grid out of all regions in the UK. Due to increased energy costs and a high dependency on imports, the local utility company Connect Saint Helena Ltd (CSH) started to convert electricity generation from diesel to renewable energy resources. Approximately 2  300 SolarWorld modules will now produce clean solar power on the island which will also save 300 000l of diesel each year. Like many small islands, St Helena has mainly relied on diesel

generators for power generation in the past. The long term solar initiative was launched three years ago: In 2012, one of SolarWorld’s partners, Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd (SPS), an engineering, procurement and construction company, was appointed by CSH to design and install the first solar power plant as part of a pilot project on the island. In 2013 and 2014, further projects followed, including a rooftop system, which supplies the local power station. This year, Sustainable Power Solutions was appointed by CSH once again to design and build a large ground-mounted system using SolarWorld modules, adding another 500 kWp of renewable energy to the grid.

Flow battery to smooth irregular wind and solar power supplies Scientists in the US have developed an alkaline flow battery that they hope will help to tackle the tricky problem of storing energy from renewable power sources such as wind and solar. The new battery’s performance is similar to current commercial flow batteries but uses cheap and non-toxic organic molecules to store energy. By contrast, conventional flow batteries use expensive and hazardous transition metal solutes. Solar and wind energy resources are a growing issue for utilities as they try to match fluctuating consumer demand for electricity to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation. In order to stop energy companies from resorting to established coal and gas infrastructure to prop up the electricity grid, many see long term energy storage as a way to effectively integrate renewables into national energy strategies. Batteries are one technology that offers an answer to

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this problem, but the market is flooded with different products, from lithium–ion to lead–acid cells, that are costly, potentially hazardous on an industrial scale and unable to store energy for extended periods. But, it seems these new flow batteries, which closely resemble a fuel cell, may be a viable alternative.

WINNING WITH WIND SAWEA CEO Johan van den Berg talks about the issues around grid

connection and how they can be addressed by the wind industry.


nitially and up to now, the sophisticated wind

At a strategic level, potential wind and solar

developers have chosen sites where there is a

projects can sometimes be dependent on the same

confluence of good wind, negotiable logistics,

grid access. Some tactical decisions will need


to be taken about how such opportunities are

possibility to evacuate the power (grid availability).

approached. Given that wind generally has a higher

This has been very successful but over time will

capacity factor, a lower cost and has a lesser ability

become more complex as easy grid access sites

to follow the load (electricity demand) than solar,

are extinguished/utilised. From that point on, we

it can be argued that wind projects should have

will need a framework that allows for the grid to

preference. It seems clear that wind should be built

be developed strategically to anticipate the places

where the wind blows and solar both where the sun

where new wind farms with the other three factors

shines but also where the electricity load is.             

will need to be built. There are lead times implied

The above are obstacles that the industry must

in this and to have strategic grid expansion at scale

tackle and there are many discussions and actions

ready by say 2025, we need to take decisions and

going on in the background to ensure that these

start executing now.

hurdles are overcome and do not detract from the





In the interim we are likely to proceed with

success and achievements of the wind industry

a mixture of Eskom-build and self-build. It is

in South Africa. Since 2012 we have gone from

increasingly prevalent in the country that developers

just eight to 301 turbines in operation and the

use the self-build option. This is usually where

numbers are ever-increasing as construction is

good wind sites are close to grid but some work

completed on more wind farms. The government

needs to be done to facilitate power evacuation.

has ensured the market has a clear, long-term

We need to work on the regulatory framework

pipeline to stimulate investment and enable a

regulating all of this. Eskom’s cost recovery for

stable and secure environment for development.

expenses incurred needs to be resolved, and

Ours is a global success story and we remain

developers that create grid capacity through an

confident our triumphs will continue.


‘own-build’ that later projects can utilise, likewise need to have a fair and equitable cost recovery mechanism.

For more visit

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Does local innovation get E support?

Gareth Burley recently attended the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) held in Cape Town

where Renewable Energy (RE) generation was proclaimed as a key driver of growth in SA over the next few decades. Leaders committed themselves to find solutions to our energy and emissions crisis and to ways to thrive from our natural resources. This is his report. nergy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has said that 'renewables are a massive success story for South Africa. It is our belief that renewable

energy provides a significant opportunity to improve energy access and security, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, ensure sustainable development and significantly improve socio-economic development.'

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Yet with so much positive news being shared

Its good news stories like hers that are not often

there was one area that locals felt needed more

heard but will launch South Africa to be a global and

attention at SAIREC. Innovation and support for local

innovative competitor.

manufacturing. Why?

While innovation will always need to continue

At the event the State of Renewable Energy in

redeveloping and growing, the challenge now

SA report was released as a comprehensive update

sits with the consumer to ask for and buy local

of what is happening in the region stating that SA

innovation to support the South African story and

is well on its way to achieving a goal of 30% clean

innovators like Michaela. This will ensure that the

energy by 2025. But curiously a local company

money and jobs stay in South Africa instead of

that has been the leader in Inverter and Regulator

rather benefitting another nation.

manufacturing with 25 years experience was not

We will need to engage more with role players to

included. I found this to be quite baffling with a

ensure that local products made in South Africa for

seeming disconnect as to what is happening in the

South African conditions continues to be known and

innovation and manufacturing industry in South

in the forefront of local innovation and job creation.


But, we have the skills. We have the ability. Now

Innovation is a key driver for our nation’s

we need to buy quality local products and back our

economy and development. Take the success

team believing that we as South Africans are making

story of local Inverter and Regulator manufacturer,

world class products that are as good as the rest of

Microcare. They employ a young lady from a

the world.

disadvantaged background named Michaela who

Microcare is determined to echo the words of

starts out with no technical skills but a passion for

our energy minister in flying the innovation flag and

innovation. Years later after training and support

lead the way in keeping the money and skills in the

she is the lead technician in manufacturing Charge

country to benefit #TeamSA.


Controllers and Regulators and is head hunted by one of the nation’s top automotive manufacturers.

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wind power wins The Department of Energy's Mike Roussow has highlighted the true value of wind energy to SA, which he says is still under-represented, despite the many successes the industry has shared over recent years. He urged the industry to promote the full scope of benefits it

IMAGE: Klipheuwel Wind Farm, 2008

brings to the country. We take a look.

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t Windaba 2015's opening session, attended






the Head of the Independent Power

SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation

Producer's Office, Karen Breytenbach, presented

representing the wind industry in SA.

a number of statistics showing the widespread

Its members include both national and

benefits of wind energy, including the huge

international entities active in the entire

savings to our precious water resource brought about by renewable energy. 'For each kilowatt hour of renewable energy that displaces fossil fuels in the national grid, 1.2l of water will be saved. At full operation of the entire portfolio the programme will save 52

wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory

million litres of water per annum – another fact

framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy

that cannot be ignored.'

between the growth of the industry and the

She added that misplaced concerns over the

achievement of the broader socio-economic

availability of wind energy could be put to rest

aims of government (including training, job

as she reported that 'of wind energy's overall

creation and localisation); to disseminate

contribution to electricity generation, 15% of

information; and to act as a focal point for

that has come during peak hours over the last

discussion between members, government,

six months and will continue to play a key role

the media and the public.

as the installed capacity grows, filling our peak hours with clean energy'. SA Wind Energy Association chairperson

industry specialists debating the key global and

Heather Sonn detailed the value renewable

local issues. More of the industry's successes

energy brings to the economy when she

were celebrated at Windaba's Gala dinner and

announced that the 92 projects selected as part

awards ceremony where the Minister of Energy

of the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy

Tina Joemat-Pettersson presented the winners


with their trophies.





programme (REIPPPP) have attracted R193bn in private sector investment totalling a contribution of 6  327MW of capacity to the national grid. Some 28% of this total comes from foreign investment – R53.2bn. This equals 85.8% of

Windaba is the official wind industry event hosted by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). For more:

total direct foreign investment in South Africa last year. These projects have also committed more than R90bn to community development initiatives. Other facts and figures about the benefits of wind energy were shared with delegates, including that REIPPPP will have created 32 041 job-years between Rounds 1-4 – with this figure set to grow exponentially as capacity allocation increases. Once fully procured, the REIPPPP will see 45 million metric tons of carbon emissions displaced annually, offsetting 9.67% of our national emissions (as calculated in 2010). The conference, themed 'Powering the winds of change', featured an impressive programme of

'For each kilowatt hour of renewable energy that displaces fossil fuels in the national grid, 1.2l of water will be saved. At full operation of the entire portfolio the programme will save 52 million litres of water per annum – another fact that cannot be ignored.'

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S ustainability

Waste not want not A

rising proportion of the planet's growing

neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed

human population will, over the next couple

from one state into another. In other words, what

of decades, enter the middle class and

is perceived as waste is a goldmine of resources

live in mega-cities where they will demand meat,

waiting to be used, and reused – in some cases

dairy products, gadgets, clothes and cosmetics.

more or less endlessly, as with glass. Business

To satisfy this seemingly insatiable trend, demand

models and economies emulating this cycle are

for production inputs such as minerals, metals,

slowly aligning themselves with the genius and

chemicals, and water will increase accordingly.

near-perfect efficiency of nature. Those who are

Most of these products will last from a few minutes

embracing this circular economy see the world

to a few years, swiftly joining the millions of tons

through the lens of abundance rather than scarcity.

of waste added to landfills, landscape or oceans, every day. It is easy to think that this story will be one

disposal, as well as regulated producer responsibility

of increasing scarcity. The resources embedded

for all waste – down to the tin can – businesses are

in waste are being taken 'out of the system'

asking how to close the loop on their waste. In many

and therefore indeed exacerbating this resource

cases, they have been able to reduce landfill waste

scarcity issue. At the same time, space to dump

even while increasing production.

ever-increasing amounts of throughput is itself

The 'lowest hanging fruits' are so low it is almost

becoming scarce. And in both cases, prices are

absurd that some companies still do not see them.

already reflecting this. If the current linear model

A chemical by-product of company A's production

of make-take-dispose continues, then a story of

process, for example, is often the very input

scarcity it will certainly be. It will more likely be a

valuable to B's. 'A' pays increasingly exorbitant

story of collapse.

prices to dispose of this waste while it could rather

Circular economy

be paid for it. In addition, various waste exchanges

But that is not the future we envisage. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can

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South African businesses are starting to see through this lens. Driven by rising costs of landfill

exist to facilitate this process – some of them for free.

By 2030, to the best of our knowledge, the world will have 8.4 billion people. The implications of this vast and increasingly urbanised population for our resource-stretch planet are profound. Kevin James, of GCX, takes a look at one simple approach which should help a lot.

MODERN alchemy

Other fruits are being newly created through innovations in waste beneficiation. The term beneficiation – most commonly referred to in mining – describes the process of separating a composite substance to extract its more valuable components and/or transforming these components into more valuable products. In simple terms, it refers to the process of turning something useless into something useful. Waste beneficiation, then, is the 21st century alchemy. Western Cape-based AgriProtein is using fly larvae to turn 100 tons of organic food waste into cakes of high-protein animal feed. The by-product is

Where farms are struggling under pressures of water stress and parched land, a process of pyrolysis gasification can turn water-guzzling alien vegetation (or any other biomass waste) into biochar, or activated carbon – the miracle cure for soil.

natural soil fertiliser – and impressive profits. The meat industry is realising that while waste from abattoirs was previously riddled with risk of disease, contamination and environmental

Know your waste

emissions, the process of anaerobic digestion turns

The list will go on. As landfill and resource costs

animal waste into methane-based energy.

continue to rise, the efficiency gains from a circular

Where farms are struggling under pressures

economy will continue to turn into profits.

of water stress and parched land, a process of

For businesses wanting to get a grip on this trend,

pyrolysis gasification can turn water-guzzling

the starting point is to simply know your waste.

alien vegetation (or any other biomass waste) into

Know the different waste streams it comprises, its

biochar, or activated carbon – the miracle cure for

chemical makeup, and its calorific value. And then


know that this is an asset.


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S ustainability


solar's worth Sustainable Power Solutions' V&A Waterfront project proves solar energy can generate brand value as well as clean, affordable, low-maintenance, sustainable electricity. We take a look.


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witched-on facility managers and others

story, bolster its reputation and add value to the

tasked with the performance of infrastructure



A case in point is the project underway at

efficiency is no longer a nice to have, but an essential

Cape Town's landmark V&A Waterfront, at which

element of a company's long-term feasibility and

Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS) is installing solar





credibility. Not only does progressing to sustainable

PV plants on eight rooftops of the key buildings, as

solar energy result in reduced electricity bills, it also

part of the iconic property's sustainability strategy

leads to a lifetime of low maintenance costs.

to switch to sustainable energy.

A further spin-off is that a roof-mounted solar

SPS was awarded the tender as the project's

installation provides highly visible demonstration

Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC)

of a company's commitment to sustainability. Such

company. The successful EPC chose SolarWorld

social proof can help shape a company's brand

Africa as the Photovoltaic Module Supplier.

'We are committed to ensuring our environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of all our business practices. We believe that this project enables us to deliver world-class standards that can be measured against responsible business practices.' - V&A Waterfront's Executive Manager of Operations, Colin Devenish SPS is one of the market-leading commercial

sector EPC companies in Southern Africa, with

daily – enough energy to supply one day's worth of electricity to 310 average-sized households.

projects in all South African provinces, in Namibia,

Said MD of SPS, Axel Scholle: 'It is a privilege to

and as far as Saint Helena Island. Total installed

be a part of this flagship project. We pride ourselves

power capacity to date is over 5.5MW. A further

on our focus on quality components and I am most

2.3MW is under construction and will go online

satisfied that our professional team of engineers is

before year-end.

on track to deliver this project on time and within

The ground breaking project spanning more than 7 500m2 of roof space will produce an estimated 1

budget, particularly as we are working on a live site and are rolling out projects in parallel.'

640  000kWh (units of clean energy) and reduce

It takes some doing to deliver work in compliance

the V&A's carbon emissions by 1 610 tons per year.

with their ISO 9001:2008 certification, without

This system will produce on average 4  495kWh

disrupting Africa's most-visited destination.

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The V&A Waterfront's Executive Manager of Operations,

V&A Waterfront Case Study

Colin Devenish said, 'We are committed to ensuring our environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of all our business practices. We believe that this project enables us to deliver world-class standards that can be measured against responsible business practices.'

The V&A Waterfront project was unique and presented those involved in its energy provision and management with some unusual and difficult challenges.

Through this ambitious project – as with their other 5.5MW installations – Sustainable Power Solutions has

Project design

endeavoured to deliver an asset that will produce consistent

The V&A solar PV initiative spans over multiple roofs, with multiple utility feeds, each site with its own unique challenges – ranging from logistical challenges where cranes are required to hoist materials to the roof and roads are not large enough to handle the required cranes; to the more technical issues such as an over whelming sea gull population, which perch on solar modules causing soiling and shading. Additional challenges include: • Ensuring the systems are correctly sized for the sites own consumption and the specific utility feed. • Optimising solar PV orientations to maximise yield • Designing around shading objects such as satellite dishes, aerials, skylights, air conditioners and vents. Besides these technical and logistic issues the V&A Waterfront is one of the busiest sites in South Africa, where besides the tourists and visitors to the site there are numerous conference centres, residential complexes, offices blocks, shops and the Aquarium. All of which can be impacted during the installation of a solar PV plant.

and predictable monthly bottom-line savings as well meeting environmental objectives. Through careful planning, customer focussed design, sensible engineering and astute procurement, the SPS team is proving once again that the correct choice of end-to-end (turnkey) EPC can indeed help turn a facility around – from being an endlessly draining cost centre into an environmentally responsible, low-maintenance value-generator.

See ad on following page for more on Sustainable Power Solutions.


Scope of the project The installation at the V&A Waterfront, spans over eight sites, with 10 buildings and 12 separate feed-in points for the different systems, each building with a unique design and structural requirements. Once this phase of the project is complete, the V&A will have a peak Solar PV Generation capacity of almost 1.1MW (1100kW) which is a significant undertaking relative to most roof-top solar PV plants.

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Costing & repayment The appointment of an EPC contractor for the V&A Solar PV Plant was based on a highly competitive tender process. SPS won the tender for the full EPC scope of works, based on the highest quality, while maintaining a cost-effective solution. Based on the numerous features and unique sites remaining cost competitive was a challenge. SPS was however able to offer a solution which married quality and cost efficiencies, and to-date we are confident that the project will be completed on-time and in budget.


Job creation/man hours The installation at the V&A consisted of numerous teams working in parallel, on multiple sites to achieve the necessary milestones and timing parameters as set forth by the V&A. At any given point there were up to seven teams ranging from three to 15 personnel each working in parallel. Besides the installation of the systems, the different PV plants will be monitored and maintained to ensure optimal efficiency and production.

What this project means It shows everyone how the market and feasibility for solar PV Plants, and renewable, self-generation is becoming increasingly feasible in the South African setting where Utility prices are increasing annually and the demand is constrained.

The next 1, 5 & 10 years The financial feasibility of solar PV is improving constantly as material costs are becoming more competitive, solar PV modules are becoming more efficient and the consumer understanding and interest is increasing exponentially. As such with the constrained utility capacity, more companies and consumers will look towards renewable energy generation sources, to not necessarily become independent of the grid, but rather offset the ever increasing utility energy costs.

500 kWp solar PV plant at Bayside Mall, Tableview. Produces 2 100 kWh daily, enough to supply 150 average households every day.

While the cost of electricity from the utility provider continues to climb, the price of solar alternatives has dropped dramatically. Now, more than ever, it makes perfect sense to offset your company's electricity bill through the installation of a solar energy plant at your premises - either roof or ground mounted. Solar means clean, sustainable energy. A long-term, lowmaintenance, eco-responsible solution. A visible demonstration of your company's green credentials. And a saving you'll see on your electricity bill month after month. Contact us for info, arrange a visit by an engineer or view our latest work (including the iconic 1093.8 kWp V&A Waterfront project under construction) on

Tel: +27 (0)21 851 6308 ISO 9001:2008 certified Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd specialises in the Engineering design, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants for commercial and industrial companies. The leading South African PV EPC, with a 5 MW proven track record throughout SA and in Namibia for commercial, predominantly roof-top, grid-connected systems since 2010, and with 2.3 MW under construction. Led by a professional engineer. ECSA registered. SANAS accredited. BBBEE Level 3 contributor. Member of SAPVIA and GBCSA. CIDB Level 5 EP rating.

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Africa Surge The Africa Surge Wonder plug is a proudly South African product that, when connected to devices, saves your appliances during load shedding or lightning strikes. It also checks the wiring and makes sure your earth, live and neutral are connected in the right manner as to guard against avoidable accidents taking place in the home.


he product has gained a reputation and some of the biggest brands have now made it a requirement that their products be fitted with this plug. Some of these brands include Ciro and Konica Minolta, to mention just a couple. This proudly South African invention is highly relevant against the backdrop of a constant threat of power cuts - and also because of the approaching lightning season. The company behind this device started with humble beginnings, with only one product, the Wonder Plug without surge protection, originally made in a garage and on a home kitchen table. Due to the simplistic and crude original design, it was very difficult to make and reject rates were very high, so many were scrapped before they reached the customer. Jason Roper, as the designer and original patent holder of the Wonder Plug, met with a very successful and talented businessman by the name of John Mashall. John had started a company that is better known today as Conlog or Control Logic in Durban. He later sold Conlog to Anglo American. He had suggested adding more value to an already fascinating product by looking into surge protection. Jason immediately went to work and learnt all there was to know about lightning surges and surge protection. With his back ground in electronics, he soon developed and expanded the range of products to include surge protection. As business grew, money became available to make his own tooling. This made it easier to produce the surge protectors and reduced reject rates out of the ‘production line’. Soon the production requirements were too large to handle alone, so the handicapped society was approached to assist with production. Much training was required by an astute management team at the institute, who were able to devise a good system that ran the production of the Wonder Plug Surge Protection range for several months. Reject rates were lower than previously, but still too high for normal production standards. The product was still very labour intensive, even with the new and improved modified tooling.

Avoiding havoc Power failures and lightning storms cause havoc with electronic equipment and can cause severe damage. The inconvenience and trouble caused by both power outages and lightning strikes can be avoided with good quality surge protectors. Surge protection devices are therefore your answer to these phenomena. Although the threat of power outages has eased slightly of late, there is no controlling naturally-occurring lightning and thunderstorms, which are still some of the most spectacular natural events occurring on this planet. For instance, a single lightning strike can deliver the equivalent energy of a 1-kiloton nuclear explosion. That’s powerful. Scientists have tried for years to harness these powerful events, but have yet to succeed, mainly because we have not developed a way to control the strike zone and produce a device to capture the energy. So when does a lightning strike become a surge? Quite simply, the moment the lightning bolt we see in the sky hits the ground or building, it becomes a surge. If electrical equipment is plugged in and operating, the surge could easily travel through electrical cables, telephone lines or other connections, causing extensive damage to your devices. Therefore by definition, an in-line lightning protector is like a lightning pole (or similar device) such as you may see near a thatched-roof house, and is designed to ‘take the heat’, rather than leave your expensive devices in smoking ruins. The surge protector is specifically an electronic device designed to protect equipment from any power surge that might travel along wired connections to which your devices may be attached, such as electricity cables, telephone lines and TV or satellite cables. And a properly constructed surge protector will prevent virtually any known cause of damage by power surges, whether they are associated with power outages, lightning strikes or any other cause.

For more info visit

motoring TESLA X 48 NEWS 52

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All-electric Model X

is fab

The world's first high-end luxury all-electric SUV is just fabulous, say those who've seen it up close and personal. We take a look at the future of motoring.

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nce again, Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors are redefining the electric vehicle and the future of motoring. It's been years in production, with its Model S predecessor already having proved

itself a hit. But the new Model X with 'flacon' doors – so described because when open the car seems to be 'flying' – seems to have been more than worth the wait. Recently, and after some delays, Musk and his team handed six happy new customers the keys to their hot-off-the-production-line Model Xs. It was a real wow moment, hoped for by every motor manufacturer when unveiling a new line or 'breakthrough' model, but seldom actually achieved. Costing $130 000 this electric vehicle beats all previous production models with an impressive 400km range. Don't even ask what it will cost when the first one finally gets to SA shores, especially given that hopeful

customers look like they will be standing in line for their Model Xs for many a month to come. More, it can carry an impressive seven people, and pretty comfortably at that, and haul enough 'stuff' to take all seven on an extended camping trip. This thing is the real deal – and it's also an unmistakable signpost of an electric motoring future that is not just coming, it is right on top of us. Although the Model X shares much of its engineering and architecture with the Model S sedan, in many ways it eclipses that exceptional general purpose car. It's not just the design, which is 'fabulously futuristic', as one wannabe owner put it, its performance simply thrashes the competition, largely because of the electric power unit. Remembering that until recently it was routine for petrol-heads to deride electric power trains as 'milk carts on go-slow', this one is beyond swift, with typical electric power train instant full-torque delivery. Cry your hearts out Porsche et al, but once finished, get to work on your version of something as good – if you can manage it, that is. The vehicle has been designed 'from the ground up', as motoring industry types like to say (which is a weird thing to be saying, when you think about it, because who wants their car literally on the ground, except of course for its tyres) to be an integrated expression of Musk's soaring vision for a future in which we reach for the stars, take our holidays in space and we all own electric cars like this one. 'The mission of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,' Tesla CEO Musk said at the car's debut at the company's

'The mission of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,' Tesla CEO Musk said at the car's debut at the company's factory in Fremont, California. 'It's important to know that any kind of car can go electric.'

factory in Fremont, California. 'It's important to know that any kind of car can go electric.'

The future Following the success of the Model S, the Model X shows that Musk means what he says. But the Model S's success did not come easy – initially it was much scorned by petrol-heads, and only subsequently grudgingly acknowledged for its sleek design, advanced electronics and general appeal.

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Now the Model X takes things to the next level. It's designed, among other things, to show that Tesla is more than a one hit wonder, and to act as a breathtaking prelude to the Model III, also an EV and projected to sell 'to the masses' for around $35,000, once in production in 2017. But who's looking for the Model III when you have a Model X to look at. It's simply a delight to the eyes – and the engineering is, well, nearly out of this world. Its most amazing features are its push-you-into-your-seat acceleration, beautiful and visionary design, and some near extraordinary passenger doors. Tesla calls them 'falcon' doors, because, as already indicated, they lift like the wings of a bird and it's a much cooler sounding descriptor than the DeLorean's now mundane-sounding 'gull wing' door design. Of course, the problem with such style of doors – the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS has them too – is that they require a lot of room to open, so

you're always going to be worried about hitting something, or even someone, since who's expecting a door to swing up rather to one side. Tesla's engineers have dealt with the problem by double-hinging the Model X's doors, and fitting each with an ultrasonic sensor, with a third on the roof. All three sensors scan the area around the vehicle to determine how much space there is, then adjust the 'span' and open accordingly, avoiding any nearby objects that a less sophisticated car's door would hit. It sounds and is very complex, but it works like a dream. Tesla's engineers say the Model X's doors can open with as little as 30cm on each side of the vehicle. Despite being put between two other vehicles during the launch, with a mere hand's span between the Model X's flying doors and the neighbouring cars, the doors opened perfectly and without hitting anything. Sensors in the edges of each door see obstacles within five to 10cm, so you don't have to worry about a descending door hitting you in the head or crushing your fingers. It's all remarkably clever but also practical, which is typical of Musk's vision of electric motoring for all. The car's internal volume has been described as 'vast', which may seem an exaggeration but in relative terms really isn't. One engineer told motoring writers at the vehicle's launch that you could carry a sheet of plywood in it while others said the Model X would 'swallow a surfboard' along with enough planking to complete a small deck. It can also haul a rear tow load of around 2 200kg.

Monopost design The second-row seats – two if you get the six-passenger model, three if you get the seven – each sits on its own chrome-plated 'monopost'. That makes each seat exceptionally adjustable and still leaves more than enough room for everyone's legs and feet. The designers drew inspiration from high-end office chairs and, as with the car's doors, making them work properly was apparently more than a mere challenge. But they do, so it has been worth the effort. The Model X also boasts a 'panoramic' windshield, which extends

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back over the front seats, providing not merely an exceptional view but one unique to this type of production vehicle in any configuration. Tesla claims it is the largest windshield ever installed in a production car. From head-on the massive swept-back windscreen makes the car look like it has a glass roof and from the inside the effect is almost the same as being in an open convertible with the obvious added advantage of not being at the mercy of the weather and wind. Inside, the Model X is as futuristic as it appears from the outside but its hi-tech is sleek and sophisticated, and thereby avoids looking like a disco on steroids. And then there is the massive 43cm touchscreen

Model X specs Performance All-Wheel Drive

• 400km (EPA est) • 3.8 seconds 0-100km/h • 3.2 seconds with Ludicrous Speed Upgrade

• 259hp front, 503hp rear motor power

in the dash along with a sound system, which could actually be from

• 250km/h top speed

a disco on steroids, boasting 560 Watts of oomph blasting from an

All-Wheel Drive

amazing 17 speakers (if you are ever lucky enough to climb into a Model

• 411km range (EPA est.) • 4.8 seconds 0-100km/h • 259 hp front, 259 hp rear motor

X yourself, see if you can find all the speakers – it's like playing Where's Wally except without all the clues). The car is very much the next generation on from the Model S with a clear styling heritage but is somewhat taller and it's a bit heavier, as you might expect, weighing in at some 336kgs more than the Model S. From a sporting point of view, the fact that a Porsche Cayenne and a BMW X5 were in the launch venue's parking area for comparison says a lot about Tesla's confidence that this car will more than stand up to these two popular production vehicles when it comes to their respective speed, acceleration and handling abilities.



• Falcon Wing rear doors with built-in sensors, which automatically adjust to the optimal opening arc in confined spaces or small garages.

• Automatically deploying rear spoiler

The Model X comes standard with a 90kWh battery and dual motors, dubbed the 90D. For another US$10,000 more you can get the P90D variant, which is the performance model with its 'ludicrous mode' – that's Tesla's actual name for this mode of driving, which is again typical of Musk's amazing ability to exceed expectations and still make some fun of himself and his team's creations while doing so. In this mode you get to 100km/h in a hair over 3 seconds, which really is ludicrous and as good as any existing sports model on the market – with more than enough top-end speed (around 250km/h) to get you instantly arrested on any South Africa road. Underneath the stylish and futuristic outer skin, the Model X is nearly identical to the Model S, with the same lithium ion battery, drive motors (259 horsepower at the front, 503 at the rear), and identical software in control. And the vehicles share the same semi-autonomous capabilities. The two vehicles can also both 'quick charge' at one of Tesla's recharge stations in 30 minutes. In South Africa, where recharging stations are still a long way off, that statistic is currently irrelevant – but clearly it won't always be so. Beyond all other considerations, however, this car is profoundly practical and it is that statement alone which marks it out as being a forerunner of an age of electric motoring which is already upon us, whether we know it and like it, or not.


• 250km/h top speed


For more on the Model X Tesla click here.

• Maps and navigation with real time traffic updates

• Daytime running lights • Power-folding and heated side mirrors

• Front trunk with room for luggage, strollers or two golf bags

• Full size rear cargo area for your gear

• Free long distance travel on Tesla's expanding Supercharger network

• 8 year, infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty

• Automatic keyless entry, with automatically opening front doors

• GPS enabled Homelink • Parking sensors, blind spot warning and side collision avoidance

• Automatic emergency braking to assist in avoiding collisions, even at highway speeds

• Seating for up to seven adults • Four LATCH child seat attachments, two in each passenger row

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Motoring News

Volvo's first fully electric car 3D-Printed Building Powered will arrive in 2019 by a Car Volvo's been bullish about self-driving vehicles, but it's much more coy when it comes to electric cars. The company's latest XC90 has a hybrid edition, and there's an existing V60 plug-in, but nothing fully electric. Finally, the Swedish auto-maker is ready to go all in, confirming an all-electric vehicle will go on sale in 2019, plus plans to offer hybrid versions of every car in its range, alongside a new 'series 40' range of smaller electrified cars. That's still quite a wait for the full EV, and the hybrids might not show up until 2017, but as the Wall Street Journal suggests, Volvo might have been spurred on to make the announcement by the recent VW scandal around diesel engines. There aren't many details about what the planned all-electric Volvo would look like, but reports suggest a saloon, similar in size to the S60, with a range of over 300 miles – putting it up against Tesla's 2016 Model 3. However it turns out, Volvo's chief executive, Hakan Samuelsson, seems confident people are ready for more than a little spark in their Scandinavian wagons, predicting 10% of Volvo sales will come from 'electrified' version over the next 24 months.

Nissan Leaf extends its range Nissan recently announced that the 2016 Nissan Leaf will now have the availability of a larger 30 kWh battery that will see the electric car gain an additional driving range of 107 miles – 27& more than the standard battery. The estimated 107 mile driving range now means that the Leaf has the longest driving range of any other electric vehicle in its class.

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The US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) today unveiled a 3D-printed building designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) in collaboration with ORNL researchers. The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration features a building that is powered by a 3D-printed vehicle developed by ORNL. The mobile power source combined with the structure’s highly energy-efficient design and rooftop renewable energy photovoltaics showcase possibilities for future off-the-grid human shelter. The 3D-printed structure’s high level of insulated solid surfaces (79%) to glazed areas (21%) results in an efficient energy-conserving enclosure. Its photovoltaics will work in tandem with a natural gas powered generator, located in the DOE-created vehicle, to supply energy for lighting, and the GE-developed central microkitchen that incorporates advanced digital display screens, inductive cooking surfaces, waste filtering faucet and sinks, and an undercounter refrigerator. For details click here.

The Toyota Prius gets a facelift The fourth-generation Prius that Toyota recently unveiled in Las Vegas marks an evolutionary leap for the hybrid by incorporating Toyota’s 'New Global Architecture' – an 'integrated development program for power components and vehicle platforms' that will improve resource efficiency as Toyota develops future vehicles down the line. Takeaways from this new design approach include the 2016 Prius’ lower centre of gravity and more rigid body, which is more responsive in cornering and stronger in collisions. Under the hood, an overhauled drivetrain provides 10% better fuel economy – expect to see an EPA combined mpg rating of around 55 mpg. The next-gen Prius is outfitted with smaller, lighter hybrid components, higher energy density batteries, and a new combustion engine with over 40% thermal efficiency. The new Prius will be availablestarting in Japan by the end of 2015, but is still being investigated for a release date for South African consumers. For details click here.

Elon Musk says Tesla striving for a 600-mile range electric car by 2017 Currently, the Tesla Model S surpasses any other electric vehicle on the market with its 265-mile driving range, but the automaker isn’t stopping there. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla may be able to increase that range to 600 miles as soon as 2017 and by 2020, the driving range could climb even higher to around 725 miles on a single charge. During an interview on Danish television, Musk stated that the increased driving range could arrive within a year or two. He also revealed that Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous driving technologies are currently undergoing beta testing, but some of the technology could arrive as soon as next month. The first technology will reportedly be a new automated passing function.

Could computer giants Apple be working on an electric car? As many of the world's leading companies are paving the road to a greener future, it seems that one more giant business will be introducing it's own electric vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal who speculated that Apple has 'hundreds' of people working on a super-secret project, code name 'Titan'. The project is reportedly expected to last several years and produce an electric minivan. Click here for the full story.

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Motoring News

Beijing takes 5 million cars off the road, residents see blue skies for the first time in ages For Beijing’s largest military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II, Chinese authorities decided to set the stage with an extraordinary clear blue day. The act took weeks of preparation, which involved seriously cutting down on the city’s massive pollutants that normally cause Beijing to be smoggy and grey. Officials began temporarily shutting down hundreds of pollution-producing factories across the region in order to help 'clear the air'. The usually pollution-ridden city enjoyed two blissful weeks of clear blue skies thanks to the car ban, but sadly the smoggy skies returned last Friday as the usual traffic resumed. For the whole story click here.

Nissan fastest rising automotive brand Nissan has been named one of the world's most valuable brands for 2015, according to Interbrand, the world-leading brand consultancy. In the Best Global Brands Study, released today by Interbrand, Nissan ranked 49, up from 56 in 2014 and 90 with a brand valuation of $3.819B from the company’s inaugural appearance on the list in 2011. Nissan is the fastest-rising automotive brand in this year’s study. 'Nissan’s rapid ascent in five short years from place 90 to now 49 shows we’re playing in the right spaces and engaging with consumers while always remaining authentic', said Roel de Vries, Nissan Corporate Vice President and global head of Marketing and Brand Strategy. 'Growing a global brand that’s exciting and innovative is an integral part of our company’s success.' The study applauded Nissan tapping into sponsorship opportunities to reach younger audiences, including the UEFA Champions League activation in 2015 and NBC’s The Voice. It also highlighted the company’s customisation and personalization of products, citing the new US Juke Color Studio and innovative new ownership schemes for LEAF buyers in Europe as relevant ways to connect with today’s consumer. For details click here.

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'Brown' the new 'green' for UK Bus The vehicle called the ‘Bus Hound’ has set a speed record for a regular service bus with a top speed of 123.5k/h. What's different and interesting about this innovative vehicle is that it runs on biomethane produced by the anaerobic digestion of cow poo in a bioreactor. After the methane is compressed and liquified it is stored in a series of tanks fixed to the inside of the bus’s roof. For details click here.

Lego car runs on air Lego enthusiasts Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida have constructed a life-sized hot-rod made almost entirely out of LEGO bricks that runs on air.

World’s fastest hybrid The newly unveiled Koenigsegg Regera may prove to be a game-changer for supercars. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the 1 500 horsepower supercar blasts through from 0-249mph in under 20 seconds, and Koenigsegg calls it the 'fastest accelerating, most powerful production car ever'. So, what is it exactly that makes this hybrid such a beast? The Regera is a hybrid update to Koenigsegg Agera, and pairs the Agera’s 1 000hp 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with three electric motors and a liquid-cooled 9.27kWh battery pack which provide an additional 700hp. s means that when all systems are running, the Regera receives a boost of over 1 500hp. Of the electric motors, one sits over each rear wheel, and the third is positioned at the internal combustion engine’s crankshaft. The strange thing about the Regera is that it has no conventional transmission, meaning it is, in effect, a single speed vehicle with the electric powertrain taking the place of the gearbox.

World Green Car Award 2015 The BMW i8 was declared the 2015 World Green Car at a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone Corporation, and Autoneum. This is the second year in a row that the BMW Group has won the World Green Car title and the third time since 2010. Ulrich Kranz, Director BMW i Model Line said, 'We feel extremely honored, receiving this prestigious World Green Car award for the BMW i8. Together with the 2014 World Green Car Award for the BMW i3 it just confirms the rightfulness of our purpose-built strategy when it comes to electric cars. BornElectric instead of conversion is the way to go.

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Motoring News

With 8 million units sold, Toyota proves hybrids have staying power Toyota is proud to announce that it has now sold over 8 million hybrid vehicles worldwide, with just 10 months between this and the last million-unit milestone. In South Africa, Toyota recently delivered a fleet of 30 Auris and Yaris hybrid vehicles to The City of Johannesburg. The City has recently bought a fleet of thirty Auris and Yaris hybrid models for their "Gone Green" campaign. This campaign is in support of their goal of creating a green city. "We appreciate our fleet owners sharing our vision to reduce carbon emissions and creating a cleaner, greener environment. Purchases like these are testament to that commitment. The eight million milestone is a significant one and we hope to continue increasing hybrid sales in this country," concludes Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM). TSAM offers the largest range of Hybrid models in the local market. The Hybrid range extends across multiple segments, including the Premium and SUV segments with the Lexus CT200h, ES300h, GS450h and the RX450h. With the proliferation of our hybrid technology across the range, TSAM has successfully made hybrid technology more accessible to a wider audience, for example the Yaris hybrid in the B-segment. Within the Toyota line-up, hybrid power also extends to the striking Auris hatchback which blends an ultra-stylish exterior with superior efficiency. The range is rounded off with the pioneering Prius, which continues as Toyota's Hybrid flagship. It might be hard to get a sense of what the number 8 million might mean for the environment and for hybrid owners. For a bit of context, Toyota calculates that as of July 31, its hybrid vehicles have resulted in approximately 58 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. Toyota also estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 22 million kilolitres of gasoline compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar sizes. The message is clear: having found homes in driveways around the world, hybrids have staying power. Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has been gradually adding hybrid models throughout its range, from the compact Yaris Hybrid to the ultra-luxurious RX Hybrid. As of this month, Toyota sells 30 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 markets.

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Nissan spotlights crossover leadership in technology showcase Nissan, one of the global pioneers in crossover vehicles recently highlighted the range of technologies in its popular Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail at an event in Johannesburg. Drivers were able to experience first-hand the wealth of cutting-edge technology, more commonly found in high-end luxury vehicles, that Nissan is offering throughout its crossover family. 'First-time Nissan buyers are often surprised by the level of technology that is available in our crossover range. Many of these technologies are considered high-end luxury items associated with premium brands, but are available at affordable prices in our Nissan crossover range. We are particularly proud of the seamless integration of these technologies into the driving experience,' says Nissan South Africa General Manager for Marketing Communication, Graeme Birch. Nissan South Africa has grouped its leading technologies into three main categories, namely Safety, Driving Aids and In-car Entertainment. Modern vehicles, especially vehicles with top safety ratings such as the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, all feature a comprehensive range of vehicle safety equipment. These ­­­ usually include Vehicle Dynamic Stability Control (VDS), Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), along with six or seven airbags. All of these features are standard fitment to every Nissan crossover model, but they are further enhanced by a range of grade-specific safety equipment that is included as part of Nissan’s Driving Assistance offering. Nissan combines a host of advanced electronic vehicle management technologies with Chassis Control, which is controlled from the cockpit and is displayed on the Advanced Drive-Assist Display (ADAD). These technologies include Active Trace Control, Active Engine Braking (for the automatic automatic models) and Active Ride Control. Chassis control is available on all Qashqai and X-Trail models. With All Mode 4x4-i the driver has the option of selecting 2WD AUTO, or 4WD from inside the cabin. All Mode 4x4-i can distribute up to 50% of the engine’s power to the rear of the vehicle during on- or off-road driving. The system includes the Hill Start Assist, which prevents the vehicle from rolling back when the driver pulls away on an incline. Nissan has included Hill Decent Control (HDC) in the X-Trail’s range of features. HDC controls vehicle braking on a steep decline, which frees the driver to focus on steering inputs. The XTRONIC CVT automatic gearbox, available on the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, was also designed to optimise engine performance at the lowest possible fuel consumption levels. Lastly, Nissan has added a range of vehicle configuration features to all crossover models. These features include the ability to adjust steering feel and vehicle display features on all models, a special enviro-friendly ECO setting on the Qashqai and X-Trail and a range of driving options on the Juke. The Nissan Dynamic Control System borrows vehicle diagnostics from its sports-car brothers to allow the driver to measure and store all types of driving inputs, including cornering and acceleration G-force, mileage and fuel economy.

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BIZ Transform business Change the world 60 How green is your workspace 64 Just paper 66 59 S G

B usiness

Transform business change the world If you transform businesses, you change the world. This is the premise of The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which works with businesses around the world to encourage transformation that will create a sustainable and inclusive global economy and deliver lasting benefits to all people, communities and markets. We take a look at how this notion is being applied in the local context.

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erhard Fourie, Chief Director of the Green Industry Unit at South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), concurs: 'Ten

years ago, "green" solutions were nice-to-haves. Now, they have become business imperatives and form a part of companies' overall business strategies. Industry can no longer afford to ignore the initiatives that lower their carbon footprint, ensure good water and power management, and use products that can be recycled. 'It's not just about complying with new laws and regulations either,' he continues. 'Consumers are demanding that business and industry do their bit to assist with reducing the power crisis and a looming water shortage in many places.' This applies equally to SMEs and start-ups, says Fourie, highlighting the drive being undertaken by the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP). 'GCIP, co-implemented in South Africa by TIA and UNIDO, is a global initiative that aims to promote

clean technology innovation and support SMEs,' he says, adding that the programme is looking for local innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, and water efficiency. GCIP combines a competition and a business






extensive mentoring, training, access to investors, and opportunities to showcase their innovations to the media and the public. Participants in GCIP can win cash, as well as business support awards – along with a trip to Silicon Valley in California to participate in the Cleantech Open Global Forum. GCIP for SMEs focuses on enhancing emerging

clean technology start-ups by fostering a local entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports, promotes and de-risks participating enterprises.

Best Cleantech SMEs As the best Cleantech SMEs progress through the programme, they are continuously trained, mentored and assessed on their business models, investor pitches, communication and financial skills in order to develop a marketable product

Technology & Innovation Focus The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), was established in 2008 in terms of the TIA Act, with the objective of stimulating and intensifying technological innovation in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans by developing and exploiting technological innovations. TIA's core business objective is to support the development and commercialisation of competitive technology-based services and products. The Agency primarily uses SA's science and technology base to develop new industries, create sustainable jobs and help diversify the economy. It invests in the following technology sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Industrial Biotechnology, Health, Natural Resources, Energy and ICT. TIA was formed through merging seven Department of Science and Technology entities previously tasked with supporting and promoting innovation in the country. These entities included the Innovation Fund, Tshumisano Trust, Cape Biotech Trust, PlantBio Trust, LIFElab, BioPAD Trust, and the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS). The Agency seeks to achieve its mandate by providing financial and non-financial support to its stakeholders, namely, science councils, public entities, higher education institutions, private research institutions and entrepreneurs. Its vision is to be a world-class technology innovation agency that stimulates and supports technological innovation to improve the quality of life for all South Africans and its mission is to facilitate the translation of SA's knowledge resource into sustainable commercial opportunities. Financially, it supports the development and demonstration of technology-based products, processes and services, while also supporting the commercialisation of technology innovations, with the overall aim of developing an enabling environment for technological innovation and commercialisation in SA.

that is attractive to investors. 'South Africa's increasing commitment to sustainable development has grown over the last 20 years,' says Fourie. 'We have developed our own

For more on TIA, its aim, objectives, methodologies, projects & partnerships:

national framework to support the shift to a green

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‘It’s not just about complying with new laws and regulations either,’ he continues. ‘Consumers are demanding that business and industry do their bit to assist with reducing the power crisis and a looming water shortage in many places.’ - Gerhard Fourie economy. We have great innovators in the country who often lack sufficient resources to bring their ideas to fruition. GCIP aims to ensure that "green" is competitive industry-wide, across a broad range of sectors.' Recognising the importance of such an approach, the DTI, notes Fourie, works with companies and NGOs to turn sustainable, Cleantech businesses into viable investor propositions.

Industrial Competitiveness There is no doubt that industrial competitiveness is becoming more dependent on how industry deals with environmental issues, particularly from the investment perspective. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which pioneered the only global disclosure system for companies to report their environmental impacts and strategies to investors, indicated in its 2013 report (click thumbnail, left, to view the PDF) that the South African private sector had invested R80bn in renewable energy projects in the last few years. 'In educating entrepreneurs and SMEs in complying with "green" regulations while seeking environmentally sound solutions, we see great potential for partnerships between SMEs and corporates, government and civil society,' says Fourie.


Visit for more


UNIDO The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability The mandate of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries and economies in transition. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in three thematic priorities, each of which represents different aspects of ISID: - Creating shared prosperity - Advancing economic competitiveness - Safeguarding the environment Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation. In carrying out the core requirements of its mandate and mission, UNIDO has more than doubled its technical cooperation delivery over the past ten years. At the same time, it has also substantially increased its mobilization of financial resources, testifying to the growing international recognition of the organization as an effective provider of inclusive and sustainable industrial development services. This increase in services has been accomplished with virtually stable staff levels and an essentially unchanged regular budget for much of the past 15 years. For more on UNIDO, its mandate, projects and partnerships:

GCIP | TIA | Carbon Disclosure Report | UNIDO

The feature has been made possible with S G 62

kind assistance of TIA & GCIP

The South Africa of tomorrow needs answers that last. That’s why we’re building them today, with customers all over the country.

It’s why we’re designing our technology to last longer and use fewer resources. It’s why we’re helping our customers to improve their energy efficiency and increase their productivity. And it’s why we’re pioneering new answers with one of the world’s largest environmental portfolios. Yet, we’d never claim to have all the answers. That’s why we’ve been working with customers in South Africa for more than 150 years.

We’re helping develop South Africa’s infrastructure, promoting skills development and ensuring sustainable economic growth through projects across the country. In energy, industry, infrastructure and healthcare. We’re working with South Africa today to create answers that last for the South Africa of tomorrow.

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anks, listed property funds, developers and certain government departments seem to be leading the charge. Nedbank was the first, back in 2009,

with the launch of their Sandton head office extension, and FNB, ABSA and Standard Bank are following suit.

Growthpoint and Redefine have both stated that all their new buildings will conform with GBCSA's minimum Green Star SA rating, with Attacq and Tower also striving to differentiate themselves in terms of green. Rabie has had many of their Century City buildings certified green, and key government departments are following suit, including the departments of Environmental Affairs and Public Works, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and Ethekweni Municipality. Anthony Manas, Chief Executive for Cube Workspace, a premium advertising-agency-styled serviced office space for business and entrepreneurs in South Africa, is enthusiastically pro-green. 'In May this year, we launched our fourth serviced-office-space building in two years,' he says, referring to what was previously a private home that he renovated into a stunning R40-million

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Going green in the commercial property sector is certainly gaining momentum. Since 2009, the total number of green-building projects certified by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has increased by 121%, with aspects such as energy, water, waste management, transport, emissions and indoor-environment quality all taken into account. We take a look at where green office space is going.

serviced-office-space facility in Bryanston. "Each property is designed and furnished with some practical, easy-to-apply green thinking, with roofs solar panelled, insulation in the concrete, LED lighting throughout, gas cooking in the communal cafĂŠ-dining space, recycled materials for the tables, chairs, desks and carpets, and chemical-free paint on the walls." Manas points out that some green measures are easy and quick to implement at both design and building stages. Photovoltaic (PV) panels can be used for solar power, LED lights and light-switch timers can be installed, insulation can be incorporated into floor slabs and roofs, and double-glazing can be used for windows; recycled material should be considered for furniture and finishes such as carpets. He adds that a business's choice of suppliers can







environmentally friendly. Cube Workspace recently appointed a bottle-recycling company to provide branded bottled water throughout their properties. "The beauty of a supplier like Bottleworx is that not only do they use the PET manufacturing process, which is inert and BPA-free, but the upcycled product is used to build classrooms, clinics and houses in previously disadvantaged communities," says

About Cube Workspace Anthony Manas, an interior designer with 23 years of industry experience, founded Cube Workspace in March 2013. Cube Workspace provides fully serviced office space for businesses and entrepreneurs in South Africa. Their advertising-agency-styled state-of-theart-offices have controlled access, the very latest in conferencing technology, plush meeting lounges, 24-hour security, undercover parking, in-house Cube CafĂŠ restaurant and on-site catering. There are currently four Cube Workspace branches in South Africa: in Kyalami and Bryanston in Gauteng, and on the Foreshore and in Rondebosch in Cape Town. Cube Workspace offers flexible office space options that range from around 10m2 to 40m2 and can be modified to best suit clients' specific business needs. Click here for more.

Manas. With no fewer than 100 initiatives designed by the GBCSA to score "green" in their Green Star SA rating tool for new buildings, business in South Africa is not only waking up the social prerogative, but also seeing the better investment return that green buildings can hold for their owners. "Future-proofing your assets, but also mitigating the onslaught of increased utility costs through energy, water and waste savings, is an imperative," says Manfred Braune, GBCSA's Chief Technical Officer. In August, the Investment Property Bank (IPD) along with GBCSA released the South Africa Annual Green Property Indicators 2014 which indicate that energy-efficient buildings held a greater net-income growth and capital value per square metre, with higher occupancy levels, compared to their less energy-efficient counterparts.

mould, poor lighting and the use of materials with toxic chemicals can all contribute to poor health. Manfred says that the top five measurements to consider in an informal green-audit of a building are: your total annual energy consumption (and sub-meter your larger energy users such as HVAC, lighting and power), your total annual water consumption (and sub-meter your larger water users such as HVAC and irrigation), your annual operational waste production (and determine how much of this can be recycled), your staff comfort levels through surveys of aspects such as lighting, acoustics and thermal comfort, and your office equipment kW load to see whether some equipment (computers, fridges, copiers) can be replaced with more energy-efficient versions.


Aside from the investment merits that an environmentally friendly building offers, Braune says that they can improve the wellbeing of their people too. Issues such as recirculated air, dust,

For more info on green buildings and the GBCSA please visit to

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INNOVATETRADITION A traditional office product has been given a face-lift. Bulk copy paper supplier Justpaper recently introduced an innovative new method of packaging its 500 sheet reams of A4 white paper in recyclable plastic resulting in a cost saving for the consumer and the opportunity for personalised branding. We take a look.


hen reloading the office photocopier

smart plastic technology. The plastic covering the

machine, you’re probably used to finding

sheets guarantees that the paper stays dry during

the next ream, tearing off the thick paper

transportation and storage and does not gather

wrapping and then promptly discarding that now

dust. 'It’s important for consumers to see the

useless packaging into the bin before loading the

product they purchase. With the clear packaging

empty tray. It’s not sustainable or environmentally

we are able to convey our honest promise of quality

friendly but it is what we have become used to.

that what you see is what you get,' says Rosenbaum.

'Packaging is seen as a necessary evil to protect

The new packaging will allow clients to place

a product but it shouldn’t be an additional and

their own brand on the reams making the ream

excessive cost to the consumer. Why should one

part of their ‘in house’ range of stationery. Large

overpay for what you don’t use?' asks Nicole

suppliers have already signed orders for the new

Rosenbaum, Director and Product Manager at

packaging, including MassCash who will provide

JUSTpaper which opened for trading in January

JUSTpaper nationwide in their Back to School

this year. 'We wanted to modify the packaging and

2016 range, Stationery Dock and Multimart among

found that we could improve the shelf-life storage


quality of the product, customise the packaging for

'It was a risk for us to change the packaging

bulk orders and offer a stabilised price with a faster

of such a traditional office product that has been

production line and lower input costs,' she said. 'We

wrapped in paper for years, however we are seeing

are also able to reduce wastage as the new plastic

that customers are opting for the new technology

packaging is recyclable.'

because of the benefits,' concludes Rosenbaum. S G

The new packaging production line began operating earlier this month and is the first of its kind in the country. The machinery designed by JUSTpaper and an engineering firm employs

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For more info on JUSTpaper and to have your A4 copy paper packaging customised for your company visit

BUILDING Ocean Spiral 68 Rating tool takes off 70 Thatch 74 News 77 67 S G




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ccording to Shimizu Corp, the Ocean Spirals would include a spherical

structure with a diameter of about 500m floating near the water’s surface. It will have a spiral path underneath that will connect it to the excavation research center on the ocean bed, approximately 3-4km below. The spiral path would be about 15km long, they said. Humans will live inside the 500 meter pod, and the spiral paths, which would carry resources from deeper down, would also guard the Ocean Spirals from being influenced by strong currents, Mr. Noguchi said. The design for the buildings was determined jointly with researchers from University of Tokyo, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the government’s Fisheries Research Agency. Shimizu Corp said that Ocean Spirals will use temperature differences in ocean water to create energy and produce desalinated water using hydraulic pressure. Fish farms would be built around the structure, the company said. 'The ocean has an infinite amount of possibilities' and the Ocean Spiral could help mankind put them to practical use, Shimizu said. While the construction giant doesn’t have a schedule for when it will actually build the Ocean Spiral at this point, it said that research aimed at building one should help them develop new technologies.


For all the details regarding Ocean Spiral click here.

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ratings tools TAKE OFF

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With the spurt of interest and activity in the building sector related to sustainability in all its aspects, the need for and interest in rating tools has become increasingly significant. We take a look.


ecently, Redefine Properties pioneered new benchmarks for the green property sector by developing, in conjunction with the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA), a Green Star

SA Custom Industrial Rating tool for industrial developments.

Redefine Properties starts construction early next year on Golf Air Park near Cape Town International Airport, and this development will be among the first to be assessed with the industrial rating tool. 'Up until now, it's unlikely that industrial developments in South Africa have generally thought about sustainability in the larger context. This tool will lead to developers thinking about sustainability in the industrial development space. Redefine is the true market leader in this instance,' said Nick Gorrie, of Agama, the consulting engineering company assisting in developing the industrial rating tool. While the commercial property industry has been able to attain Green Star certification for several years, this is the first time that industrial developments will be rated according to their level of sustainability. Industrial developments and buildings will be certified as 4, 5 or 6 Star Green Star depending on their target criteria. The Golf Air Park development, although still in the design phase, has already set targets for its GBCSA custom industrial certification. These include ensuring that all building services – such as mechanical, wet and electrical services – are commissioned in accordance with Charted Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) standards, that all industrial spaces will be switchable to

have their lighting turned down to 30% of maximum power, that there is a waste and recycling management plan and that more than 95% of all building facades are designed to be disassembled to allow for the reuse or easily recycling of the building materials. Golf Air Park will also have rainwater harvesting for flushing of toilets and urinals as well as irrigation supply. The development will encourage employees to cycle to work by providing bicycle racks, showers, changing rooms and cycle routes throughout the site.

Design rating While most major building development rating tools have been focused largely on the buildings themselves, there are other aspects to the built environment which can and should be rated – such as their socio-economic impacts. A good example would be the Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office project, which was the first project in SA to successfully achieve a Green Star SA Socio-Economic Category (SEC) PILOT Design rating. The intention of SEC is to reward projects for achieving performance-based objectives and for adopting policies and procedures to improve a projects socio-economic impact. The following outlines which Green Star SA (GSSA) Socio-Economic

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Category (SEC) PILOT credits were targeted and

the growth and development of small, micro – and

achieved for the Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office

medium-sized enterprises through interventions in

project for the GSSA Design rating:

the design, construction and operational phases

Employment Creation

and services and enterprise development support

The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise

programmes. Within this, Karl Bremer is targeting

developments, that create employment opportunities

three different criteria.

through design decisions, and construction practices

One is compliance with CIDB standard for

that include facilities for micro-enterprises, targeted

enterprise development. The project intends to

employment for priority groups and labour-intensive

comply with the CIDB 'Standard for Indirect Targeting

construction methodologies. Within this, Karl Bremer

for Enterprise Development through Construction

is targeting employment for priority disadvantaged

Works Contracts', in that it meets a minimum


contract participation goal (CPG) of 5% of the total

The target for the project is that at least 10% or

project value on selected contracts to be undertaken

more of labour (including subcontractors) employed

by joint-venture partners or to be sub-contracted

during construction are disadvantaged persons

to developing contractors that are also to be

who are collectively from the target groups of

beneficiaries of enterprise development support

youth, women or disabled persons, as measured by

from the main contractor.

percentage of cost of the contract value.

Economic Opportunity The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise

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of a building. This includes procurement of goods

The project intends aiming at a minimum percentage of the contract value for procurement of project-specific goods and services during the construction




that constitutes either 30% procurement from the

Contract Skills Development Goal (CSDG) by providing

minimum value of total contract value by any

different types of workplace opportunities (including

SME business, or from any SMEs which are 25%

mentorship) for occupational and professional

'black-owned' or 'black women-owned' (combined).

learning and skills development over the project

The project also intends targeting for a minimum of 70% of the contract value for materials, products

period which leads to recognised qualifications.

and services (including labour) that are produced or

Safety & Health

generated within the borders of SA.

The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise

Skills Development & Training

action taken to improve the primary health of construction workers, and to promote better safety

The aim of this credit is to encourage and reward

practices and understanding in the construction

the skills development, training and provision

industry and among design teams. In targeting

of practical work experience opportunities for

this credit, the contractor has to adhere to a set of

people employed in the categories of unskilled,

requirements which are over and above standard

semi-skilled, skilled, supervisory, technical and


design team graduates who are part of the design

The above Socio-Economic Category credits

and construction project. Within this, Karl Bremer

outline what the project team (including the

is targeting compliance with CIDB standard for

contractor) is committed to targeting and has

developing skills.

achieved in the design submission.

The contractor is to comply with the CIDB 'Standard




The Socio-economic Category (SEC) PILOT is an


additional category available to interiors and all new

Infrastructure Contracts', in that it meets a specified

building tools. It recognises the socio-economic achievements and initiatives of green building

Redefine Properties starts construction early next year on Golf Air Park near Cape Town International Airport, and this development will be among the first to be assessed with the industrial rating tool.


SEC Qualifiers The SEC applies to developments or projects which qualify for any of the existing Green Star SA tools – Office v1 and Office v1.1; Retail Center v1; Multi-Unit Residential v1; Public & Education Building v1 or Interiors v1. (See the eligibility criteria for each tool). The SEC Pilot category is available for a separate SEC certification and individual credits can also be used as innovation points. Projects wishing to register for SEC Pilot category certification with their Green Star SA certification should register their interest with the GBCSA via Projects wishing to target any of the SEC Pilot credits under the project's Innovation category should prepare project submission documents with the Round 1 and Round 2 submission process as per usual GBCSA submission process. The development of the

Industrial rating tool was done in conjunction with Solid Green Consulting.


Resources GBCSA Fact Sheet • •

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That super-green solution According to building sources, South Africa is lagging well behind many more forward-looking countries when it comes to adopting and adapting the latest thatching systems for use in today's built environments – and this is particularly regrettable as thatch is so admirably suited to the growing call for sustainable eco-friendly 'green' building systems. We take a look.

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'We were introduced to a whole range of new tools and to systems in which the compaction of the thatch, the quality of the final product and its impermeability to wind are greatly improved. We were also shown how thatch can be made highly suitable for vertical walling and be given such extras as gutters – something we have as yet virtually never seen in South Africa.' - Jason Lucas


he International Thatching Society has

was that certain of the countries represented –

recently concluded an eight-day convention

notably Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Japan and to a

in Sweden where the latest developments in

lesser extent the UK and the USA – have developed

thatching from around the world were showcased

technologies that not only make thatching more

and discussed by professionals working in the green

versatile and adaptable, but which also enhance its

building sector and using this material.

longevity and durability.

In all, some 14 countries, including South Africa,

'We were introduced to a whole range of new

were represented by a variety of stakeholders, with

tools and to systems in which the compaction of

just over 100 master thatchers in attendance.

the thatch, the quality of the final product and its

What impressed itself most forcefully upon

impermeability to wind are greatly improved. We

Jason Lucas, CEO of Jason Lucas Master Thatchers

were also shown how thatch can be made highly

(not to be confused with Lucas Quality Thatchers),

suitable for vertical walling and be given such extras

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'Thatch is by far the most natural product to use on your roof as it is harvested off the land and used without going through processes to create an actual roof covering. With the high thermal values of thatch there is no need for any other products to create insulation.'

as gutters – something we have as yet virtually never

buildings, said Lucas, is Namibia, where he has

seen in South Africa. Furthermore, it became clear

been contracted by the government to build a

that many of the new techniques can be applied to

R30m college for trainee thatchers who, under his

existing roofs to upgrade them.'

guidance, will be trained to master thatcher level.

Repeating what he has emphasised on several

Two further such colleges are also on the planning

previous occasions and particularly at seminars for

boards, with the aim of the Namibian government

architects which Lucas Quality Master Thatchers

apparently being to train two or three men from

occasionally organise, Lucas said that while it is

every village in Namibia.

true that the tough woody thatching reeds grown in

Although at least one South African municipality

the Albertinia, Riversdale and Bredasdorp districts

has shown interest in initiating a similar training

are almost certainly the best thatching material in

project, so far the proposals made have not got

the world, many other parts of Southern Africa have

much beyond the discussion stage and interest

grass suitable for thatching.

appears to be waning, said Lucas.

Also, this can be the ideal roofing material,

'The fact remains, however, that thatching is a

not only on the more expensive homes but also

skill ideally suited to many people in South Africa

on low-cost housing. The large labour input that

and it is a tragedy that, with the exception of a few

thatching requires, added Lucas, is a bonus in a

companies, we are not training them in this skill.'

country with such a serious unemployment problem. One of the Southern African countries that

For more info:

has appreciated the huge potential for thatched

Jason 071 177 5660 • Liesl 081 705 5014 • Info email

This article has been made possible with the kind assistance of Jason Lucas Master Thatchers, a member of the South African Thatchers Association S G 76

ď Ť 5

B uilding


the greenhouse of the future This is not an e-book written by a single person or even several - but a whole team. Their goal is to provide, as the subtitle says, 'Abundance and Energy Autonomy'. Covering, in short order, the whole array of reasons for going for a new style of high-efficiency greenhouse, the authors are soundly based in research into how best to grow edible plants, even in highly challenging environments, and with the least cost and highest level of efficiency. Even if you have your own existing 'standard' greenhouse, you are bound to get some great hints and tips to getting the most productivity out of it from this great book. And if you are going to launch into a greenhouse veggie growing campaign, you have no better place to start than with this one, which covers growing foods in conditions from desert to icecap. A must have for every true 'greenie' out there. For more info and trailers click here.

We have FIVE copies of The Greenhouse of the Future to give away. Simply send your full contact and address details here to stand a chance of winning.

3D PRINTING GOES URBAN Chinese real estate developing company ZhuoDa recently unveiled a two-story 3D-printed Module Villa that was 'built' in less than three hours using materials that are being kept a secret for now while their patenting process is being completed. According to the company, the new 3D modular homes are 90% fabricated within a factory similar to how smaller products such as phones or shoes are made – complete with interior decoration, wiring, plumbing, kitchen sanitary ware, furniture and other facilities already installed for the new homeowner. 'Thanks to our special materials, our rate of assembling houses is really fast,' Zhuoda group vice president Tan BuYong explained. 'Since 90% of the houses we build are completed in a factory prior to the actual on-site construction, we only need to do on-site follow-up work to complete a build. This not only avoids the pollution caused by traditional construction

sites, but also dramatically reduces construction costs by thinking about houses as a traditional manufactured product.' Traditional villas can take more than six months to construct, but this 3D module can take just 10 days from the beginning of production at the factory to the final assembly at a specific site. Truly this can usher in a new, eco-friendly manner to build cheap housing for many impoverished areas. For more on this story click here.

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B uilding


Townhouse Hotel receives Fair Trade Tourism certification

The Green Building Council of South Africa's office has been awarded a 4-Star Green Star SA Interiors rating after achieving 46 points during a round 1 submission. This is a very significant achievement for the council, as well as being the first Interiors rating in South Africa. They can now proudly walk the talk and welcome members to their space which highlights green building principles and practices.

The Townhouse Hotel, one of Cape Town's favourite stay for people on the go, is proud to announce that it has been awarded its Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) certification. After a rigorous auditing process, which assessed, among other criteria, their business practise and HR, community resources, cultural heritage and environmental practise, the hotel has now joined a select group of establishments and tour operators in the country to carry this honour. Over recent years, the hotel has promoted sustainable practices under its ‘Living Green’ banner and has committed to responsible hoteling throughout all areas of operations. Initiatives currently underway include the installation of energy conserving devices and adherence to strict recycling protocols, with sustainable and ethically-sourced food items being served in the hotel’s restaurants and extensive conferencing facilities. Delegates also help contribute to local greening projects, including Greenpop, as the hotel donates a percentage of their conferencing fees to this cause. Says General Manager of the Townhouse Hotel, Jacqui Williams, 'There is a misconception that Fair Trade Tourism only focuses on taking care of the environment. During this process we had an independent auditor conducting various meetings with our health and safety committee and numerous workers – through this we have learned that this certification places perhaps even more emphasis on the social initiatives in place and how well our team is cared for.' The hotel's selection as an FTT-certified business, travellers are not only assured that their holiday benefits local communities and economies, and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, but that they will also have a more fulfilling holiday experience.

GBCSA office gets a rating

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SELF-REPAIRING CONCRETE For the past several years, Dutch scientists have been testing a new kind of concrete capable of healing itself. Microbiologist Henk Jonkers and concrete technologist Eric Schlangen from Delft University of Technology added limestone-producing bacteria (from the Bacillus genus) and nutrients (calcium lactate) to concrete enabling it to self repair cracks. The spores remain dormant inside the concrete until rainwater works its way in, activating the bacteria and food, producing limestone and healing the cracks. Click here for more on this story.

FLOATING ECO-HOME: The Waternest 100 After years of research, EcoFloLife has developed the WaterNest 100 eco-friendly floating housing unit, exclusively designed by the renown Italian architect Giancarlo Zema. The use of materials and sustainable production systems make this unit recyclable up to as much as 98%. In addition, thanks to a sophisticated system of internal natural micro-ventilation and air conditioning, it is classified as a low-consumption residential habitat. Made of recycled and sustainable materials, the unit is 98% recyclable and can be positioned in any large and calm body of water.


These six enterprising people refused to accept the fact that a comfortable, eco-friendly home has to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rather than wait years to be able afford a traditionally-built home, these folks took matters into their own hands, building amazing yet efficient homes for $20,000 or less. THE TINY HOUSE FAMILY: After their award-winning restaurant was forced to close due to the economy, Hari and Karl bought a piece of land and built a 98m2 home using salvaged materials.

Steve Areen: Constructed using locally-made concrete bricks, this dome house is capped with a beautiful grass roof and the bathroom is filled with plants and completed with subtle touches such as a bamboo faucet.

LaMar Alexander: Powered by a 580W solar system and a 400W wind power system, this cabin includes a rainwater and gray water harvesting system, a solar composting toilet, propane-heated shower.

Rural Studios: The Alabama studio along with university students have already built 12 houses, the last of which featured passive heating and a safe-room in the shower in the event of tornados or hurricanes.

Macy MilleR: Designed and built by Miller herself, this small home features a composting toilet, a recycled, 4-burner, small oven and gas stove, under floor electric radiant heat system, and siding repurposed from old wood pallets.

Derek Diedricksen: Diedricksen is a well-known designer of tiny houses, and his work has been featured and duplicated all over the world. One of his most recent creations was this Gypsy Junker micro-cabin.

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Save both at Destroy your environment, destroy yourself. Save both at

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CONSERVATION Small scale farming 82 Blue flag beaches 85 News 87 Reviews 92 81 S G

F arming

Farming's future S G 82


becoming more professional and sustainabilitysavvy can have a significant impact not only on food security, but also on the well-being of our environment and the economy. In South Africa, the value of empowering rural farming communities is still fairly underestimated, while the growth in the sale of Fairtrade labelled products shows that consumers want to support farmers that are local and that use sustainable farming methods. And where there is demand, there will be supply.

Is small scale-farming the answer to a greener, more food-secure future? Arianna Baldo, Executive Director of Fairtrade Label South Africa, reports.

Fairtrade certifies small-scale farmers against internationally recognised Fairtrade Standards, which promote both socio-economic and environmental development. Fairtrade's environmental principles focus on adopting sustainable farming practices, in so doing, protecting producers' health and safety, maintaining soil fertility and conserving water resources. In essence, Fairtrade places small-scale farmers into the area of agro-ecological farming, which links ecology, culture, economics and society in a way that sustains farming production, healthy environments and viable farming communities. Last but not least, it bans the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and dangerous chemicals. According to UNCTAD's report, the productivity benefits achieved through the use of GMOs are largely lost when compared to agro-ecological practises. Another consideration around GMO farming is the prevalent use of the herbicide known as glyphosate, which is also used as a weed killer in cities. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recently classified glyphosate as 'probably

carcinogenic to humans'. These concerns, recently backed by the World Health Organisation as well,


have led Fairtrade International to seriously consider ccording to the 2013 UN Commission on

the inclusion of glyphosate in Fairtrade's Prohibited

Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) report

Material List. The revision process is currently in

entitled 'Trade and Environment Review:

the consultation stage, and advice is sought from

Wake up before it's too late', a key element of future

both farmers and industry experts such as the

food security may rest with small-scale farming,

Pesticide Action Network. While opinion on the use of

which needs to be an integral part of the solution to

chemicals such as glyphosate is still divided, if there

the environmental impact of industrial agriculture.

is a way to empower small-scale farmers and improve

The overwhelming majority of coffee, cocoa and sugar production in developing countries – three

food-security, the environment and the economy without the use of GMOs. Why not invest in it?

of the main products Fairtrade certifies – is grown

Agro-ecological farming methods, as commonly

on small-scale farms, and a report by the German

used in small-scale farming, are shown to generate

Agency for International Co-operation confirms that,

higher yields, grow plants that are more resilient

globally, 500 million small-scale farms feed about

to stress, and make farms less dependent on

two billion people. Empowering such farmers into

fossil-fuel-derived energy.

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Small vs big So, does the future of successfully sustainable, low-impact agriculture lie with the small-scale farmers? Well, in Africa it certainly could. According to Dr Pieter Mulder, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 85% of all farms in Africa are smaller than 2ha, compared to only 4% in other parts of the world. If we take sugarcane farming in South Africa as an example, there are approximately 22 000 small-scale farmers who grow cane on plots of 1.2ha, on average. Whereas they account for only 8% of the total South African sugar production (the remaining 92% being produced by the 1 413 registered large-scale growers), their cane is of higher quality (higher sucrose content) and their land delivers better yields than large-scale growers.

Fairtrade is an ethical certification whose main aim is to promote more equality and sustainability in the farming sector. Fairtrade is not a charity or an aid system, but rather an innovative business model based on ethical values. The model is devised to promote sustainable farming practices while providing a dignifying, long-term solution to poverty in the farming sector. Fairtrade, internationally, is a non-profit organisation and is currently the world's largest ethical certification for food products, with more than 90% brand recognition in leading markets in Europe. It launched in South Africa in 2010 and enjoys today 11% brand awareness in

What's the benefit?

target consumer segments. Fairtrade only

Firstly, we cannot ignore the benefit to the small-scale

farmers that farm for the needs of their family

farmers themselves and the outlying communities. Investing in these small businesses can increase their productivity, thereby providing more income for rural communities and ultimately making their farms more professional and profitable. In a developing country with high unemployment and poverty, this benefit cannot be ignored. Secondly, by educating small-scale farmers in sustainable environmental management and better agricultural practices, farms become more productive; the communities and the farmers themselves are protected from potentially harmful chemicals; and, in our ever-increasing resource-restricted world, there is an overall positive impact on ecological well-being. Fairtrade Environmental Standards cover all those areas. Lastly, South Africa spends billions and clocks up tons of carbon emissions on importing produce and food, which could be drastically reduced by increasing the outputs of produce farmed locally. In August, Tiger Brands signed an agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stating that it would purchase certain crops from local, small-scale farms. If South Africa's largest consumer foods maker can see the long-term benefits of investing in small-scale farmers, other brands are sure to follow suit. It's more of this action that is needed to ensure that small-scale farming is seen as an investment in a greener, more food-secure future.

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About Fairtrade


certifies small-scale farmers, which are those and have a cash-crop for income and do not employ full-time labour. Fairtrade works with 1.5 million small-scale farmers in the world, 64% of them located in Africa, which produce commodities such as coffee, cocoa and sugar. The Fairtrade business model includes a voluntary certification system based on internationally recognised labour and environmental standards, which focuses on improving working and living conditions and on farming in a way that is sustainable for both people and the environment. Additionally,





labelling scheme, as it grants the use of the Fairtrade logo on certified products, thus encouraging consumer recognition and providing consumers with a tool to directly invest in ethical and sustainable farming practices. For every Fairtrade product sold, smallholder farmers and workers receive a Fairtrade Development Premium to invest not only in education, health and community development, but also in increasing their productivity and commercial viability.

C onservation

Blue Flag hits


Twenty-four of the top South African beaches that have achieved Blue Flag status for the forthcoming 2015/16 season have also received special recognition for their sustained commitment to marine and coastal conservation through their long-term and continuous participation in the international Blue Flag Programme. We take a look.


he commendable achievements of the

Flag programme in South Africa. This respected

stakeholders responsible for the success of

eco-label has been implemented by WESSA since

these beaches were formally acknowledged

2001, with the support of coastal municipalities and

with the presentation of awards at the launch event

conservation parastatals.

for the 2015/16 Blue Flag Season. The new Blue

A remarkable 24 beaches have been on the

Flag season opens officially on 1 November and

programme for more than five consecutive years,

the launch event took place at Grotto Beach in

and two of these have participated for all fifteen

Hermanus in the Overberg region today.

years that the programme has been running

The new long-term achievement awards have

locally. The awards also acknowledge and celebrate

been introduced to mark the 15 year anniversary

the sustained partnerships that WESSA has built

of the implementation of the international Blue

with key municipalities around the country, who

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have recognised the value of Blue Flag not just to

Eastern Cape.

All of the sites that applied for Blue

the environment but also to tourism, economic

Flag status underwent a rigorous approval process

development and job creation.

involving both local and international assessments.

This year’s launch event was hosted by the

What is particularly remarkable about the 2015

Overstrand Municipality and was attended by Minister

international jury results is the number of Pilot

of Tourism Derek Hanekom, Overstrand Municipality

Status beaches participating on the programme.

executive mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie, WESSA CEO

WESSA has broadened the programme’s reach this

Dr Thommie Burger and WESSA Blue Flag Programme

year by encouraging more Pilot Status applications

Leader Vince Shacks. The attendance of the Minister

from new beaches, and then working closely with

of Tourism at the event for several years running is

coastal municipalities to provide support during this

confirmation of government’s strong support for the

important 'incubation period'


term goal of achieving Full Status for these beaches.

towards the longer

Speaking at the event Minister Hanekom stressed

This support includes training in the maintenance

how important the Blue Flag programme is to South

of the Blue Flag standard, as well annual workshops

Africa, as we have 3  200km of coastline with an

in which municipal managers are given exposure to

amazing variety of coastal marine life.

each other’s programmes and to best practice.


to Operation Phakisa, the ocean economy and

Another noteworthy aspect of this year’s Blue Flag

job potential around our coastline, the Minister

programme is the focus on the private, recreational

said that he believes the job potential of tourism

boating sector, where boat owners have been

underestimated and underrated in South Africa, and

encouraged support their municipality’s commitment

added that it is the beaches that attract tourism and

to making a positive contribution to marine and

that create jobs. He believes that the vision for the

coastal conservation by also joining the programme.

Blue Flag should be that it becomes the norm for South Africa’s beaches to have Blue Flag status.

WESSA aims to strengthen the implementation of

the Blue Flag eco-label in this important branch of

Minister Hanekom announced that WESSA and the

marine and costal tourism by subjecting participating

Department of Tourism are entering into a formal

private and eco-tourism boats to the same control

partnership with a coastal job creation project,

visits and audits as for beaches and marinas. The

which will involve 200 people working on Blue Flag

criteria for participating boats have become more

beaches all around the country.

This project, to

stringent such that responsible interaction with

be managed by WESSA, will create employment for

marine wildlife, better environmental management

people living along our coastal areas who will work

and education are all required.

to help beaches maintain their Blue Flag status, to

The success of WESSA’s Blue Flag programme

keep the environment healthy and to improve the

would not be possible without the support of coastal

experience of beach-goers. This will in turn lead to

municipalities and conservation parastatals. WESSA is

more tourism, new industries and more jobs.

grateful to the Department of Environmental Affair’s

The decisions of the international Blue Flag jury

'Working for the Coast' Programme that contributes

for the upcoming 2015/16 South African season

to the successful operation and upgrade of many

were announced at the launch event. These are

Blue Flag Beaches. The assistance of the Ford

that 39 beaches, nine boats and six marinas have

Wildlife Foundation, who make a vehicle available

achieved Full Status, and a further 30 beaches have

for WESSA’s coastal conservation work, is also greatly

been awarded Pilot Status, which is an important


developmental state for potential Blue Flag sites. The jury results include 49 Blue Flag sites in the Western Cape, 19 sites in KwaZulu-Natal and 16 sites in the

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For further info about the Blue Flag Programme please visit

Conservation news Fungus killing keurbome in Western Cape contained A destructive fungus that killed nearly half of the 91 native keurbome in and around the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens near Betty’s Bay in the Western Cape, has been identified and the outbreak contained. The fungus, a new species of Diaporthe, was identified by Ms Netsai Machingambi as part of her research for an MSc-degree in Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University. Diaporthe species are common all over the world and some of them are known to cause plant diseases. The new Diaporthe virgiliae, however, is a very destructive species and it seems to only attack keurbome. It is believed the new, and probably non-native Diaporthe fungus, may have moved to the Harold Porter National Botanic Garden by means of infected soil from an as yet unknown source.

SASSI STORIES This month’s SASSI story is about the bold efforts of Brad Ball, an executive chef who changed his signature dish which included a SASSI orange-listed species (prawns), to feature a green-listed species instead. His story shows how one person can affect change positively when it comes to the health of our oceans. For years Ball served prawns as his daily special. They were popular and profitable. But after talking to SASSI and learning about sustainable seafood, he removed all Orange-listed options from his menu. Braving ridicule and reduced turnover, he vowed to only bring them back once he could find suppliers committed to improving their sustainability. Visit to see more stories and to share your own.


SA's Geoff Dalglish has gone from Petrolhead to Pilgrim and on 7 July 2011 he began walking with a message about treading more lightly and lovingly upon the Earth. He is one of the many to be part of 'Walking Water', a three-year Californian pilgrimage that is following the waterways – natural and manmade – from Mono Lake to Los Angeles. Follow Geoff's blog here. 87 S G

Conservation news


VulPro, The Vulture Conservation Programme of South Africa, faces its busiest season with rescue and rehabilitation when young inexperienced vultures get themselves into potentially fatal situations as they start to experience the freedom of African skies. Tragically, for too many, what should be an exciting start to their lives ends in disaster, injury and death.


oung vultures have not yet learnt of the threats

inside their garden and electric fencing creates the threat

that civilisation and modern developments create

of electrocution, wire cut injuries and even death as the

for them. Power lines and poisonings contribute

vulture attempts to escape.

to the greatest number of fatalities and injuries.

water-logging a vulture's plumage, with the added

freedom and sometimes their lives before they have ever

weight and the lack of functionality of their wet feathers,

truly experienced them. Power line collisions often result

they are unable to fly. A young vulture may not yet have

in various broken bones and permanent disabilities,

enough body weight and condition to enable them to

meaning a life lived at VulPro contributing to the

survive cold and wet for a sustained period.

species survival in the Captive Breeding, educational and

Saving the vulture

research Programmes.

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Heavy rains and swimming pools can end up

Sadly some of these young vultures will lose their

Other threats that these young vultures face are small

Power line collisions and electrocutions are the biggest

high fenced or walled gardens, swimming pools and

threat and cause of vulture declines around the

reservoirs, dogs, unsafe food sources and ignorance or

Magaliesberg mountains in and around the Hartbeespoort

a lack of empathy from people. Vultures are large, heavy

Dam vicinity. The Magaliesberg is home to the fourth

birds and require significant space in order to be able

largest breeding colony of Cape Vultures globally and

to take off and fly. Small gardens often prevent them

currently there are under 4 000 breeding pairs left with

from being able to take off again, once on the ground.

a population of just over 320 breeding pairs in the

Dogs may worry or kill a grounded vulture if it is trapped


On 18 June 2015, in response to urgent appeals by VulPro (currently the largest vulture centre known in Africa) and its volunteers, the City of Tshwane has agreed to work with VulPro in mitigating some of the identified dangerous structures and to fit flappers to the lines surrounding VulPro in order to make the area safer to our free-flying vultures visiting, roosting, foraging and breeding around the VulPro centre. The bird flappers that will be fitted to the Tshwane power lines will serve as a deflector to help the Vultures see the lines and thus avoid colliding into them. By fitting these lines with bird flappers, the vultures are able to see the movement of the flappers on the lines and thus the lines themselves, preventing direct contact and injury to the birds. These particular bird flappers are small round discs about 30cm in diameter and have reflective stickers in the centre with a strong clasp to attach them onto the line. The flapper itself moves with the wind and that attracts the attention of the flying bird, however the clasp itself is fixed and unmovable

Crows feeling the heat – and loving it! With their noisy banter and untidy nests, crows can be inconvenient for people. But people are convenient for crows, a scientific study by University of Cape Town researchers has found.

preventing this device from detaching or moving from

Across much of South Africa the pied crow benefits from

its placement on the line.

modern infrastructure – in particular electricity pylons

The long-term goal of this project and first phase

– and warming temperatures caused by climate change,

will be to have all the surrounding power lines

according to a study by the Percy FitzPatrick Institute

fitted with bird flappers and then to also have all

of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town.

the structures mitigated to be vulture-safe against

Electricity pylons have provided useful nesting sites in

electrocutions and collisions.

South Africa's steadily warming western scrub-land – where traditional tree nest sites are a scarce commodity – much

Leading the way

to the crow's satisfaction. The net result is an increase in

VulPro has recently been rewarded for breaking new

the regional pied crow population, says the study that was

ground in conservation in SA, by being responsible for

published recently in the international journal Diversity

the release of the first captive bred Cape vulture parent

and Distributions.

raised chicks in South Africa. VulPro was rewarded for

'Pied Crow numbers have increased in response to

their hardwork, dedication and innovation by winning

climate warming, with their spread facilitated by electrical

the prestigious PAAZA (Pan-African Association of Zoos

infrastructure in south-western South Africa,' the study

and Aquaria) conservation award for their vulture


conservation work which culminated in the successful

Significantly, it is the combined effect of climate change

release of their captive-bred chicks.

and electrical infrastructure that has fuelled the increase,

Vultures are indicators of the health of our

the study shows, and not any single factor.

ecosystem. Positioned at the top of the food chain,

Findings were based on an analysis comparing two bird

they are an indicator of the health of the environment

atlas surveys, conducted 20 years apart, which were then

below them – and dependent for their survival on

matched with geographic and climate data.

a healthy environment. Due to this the benefit of

Although the impact of climate change alone explains

VulPro’s work is felt far beyond just the survival of

some of the increase in pied crow populations between

our vultures.

the two surveys, these increases can be better explained







integrated, multidisciplinary fashion, by combining education and good science, with networking,

when looking at the combined effect of climate change and power-line density. The work was funded by DST-NRF Centre of Excellence

capacity-building and knowledge-generation.

funding to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of

Visit for more info.

Cape Town and the paper can be found by clicking here. 89 S G

Conservation news

The longest swim In an attempt to inspire people to work together to combat climate change for the benefit of future generations, Ben Lecomte is all set to take on the 8 800km challenge (which would set a new world record) of swimming across the Pacific Ocean. Lecomte is no stranger to vast, open water swims, as he was the first to traverse the Atlantic Ocean in 1998

Shell quits the Arctic After three years and $7bn, oil company Shell failed to find what they had been looking for so have packed up and abandoned their Arctic project.

without a kick board – a trip which took 73 days. He

This is a landmark victory, say Greenpeace, which has

hopes the notice gained from this accomplishment will

only been possible with the support of millions around

bring more attention to his current cause, explaining

the world who have rallied the cause. The Guardian

that, 'rather than just an event, my swim is a platform to

reports that on top of rising costs, 'Shell has privately

get people’s attention about growing environmental and

made clear it is taken aback by the public protests

sustainability issues, mobilise fans with emotion, and

against the drilling which are threatening to seriously

inspire them to become full-blown advocates'.

damage its reputation.'

Lecomte still hopes to begin this staggering task in

Drilling in the Arctic has become a global conversation

2015, starting from Tokyo and ending in San Francisco,

with much momentum as the nations of the world

by completing the epic journey swimming eight hours

gathers in Paris in December to negotiate the future

a day, seven days a week, with a total of 180 days in

concerning climate change. By keeping the conversation

the ocean burning an estimated 8 000 calories per day.

going and the actions strong, it appears that Shell will

Simply Green wishes him best luck. Make sure to visit his

not return to the Arctic.

website to stay updated:

Swan song of thank you While rescuing injured birds the swan wrapped his neck around the rescuer's neck. Usually swans are very territorial and don't like human company, but Richard Wiese experiences a moving and wonderful moment during a rescue operation executed with several of his friends from a foundation aiding and rescuing injured birds in England. This is how he describes this moment: 'I lifted him, gently pressed on his chest so that he felt confident and safe. After a few moments the swan stopped resisting and literally wrapped himself around my neck. I could feel his heart beating besides mine. I wanted to shut my eyes in order to enjoy this moment completely. It's really a wonderful feeling when you sense a true connection and mutual trust – when an animal realises you mean him no harm.' S G 90

Commemorating sustainability The South African Mint is playing its part in the planet’s biodiversity and sustainability with the launch of the first-ever commemorative coin series as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme. Currently based in more than 650 biosphere reserves in 120 countries, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme was created in 1971 as part of greater consciousness of how humans have interacted with nature over the past 50 years. The programme aims ‘to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources’. The new series forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage International Coin Program which was launched in 2012, and celebrates UNESCO’S activities and achievements

Seven orphaned rhinos saved Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, has announced that it has adopted seven orphaned rhinos that are being safeguarded at a rhino sanctuary in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.

through the production of coins and medallions in

This comes ten months after the team at Konica

the organisation’s member states. Following the Man

Minolta South Africa announced ‘The New Equation

and the Biosphere: Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve coin

in Conservation’, a forward-thinking public-private

series, another seven biosphere series will be created

alliance that culminated in the opening of the bizhub

by the South African Mint over the next seven years.

Conservation Academy, a conservation training centre

South Africa’s other biosphere reserve can be found at

located at the Goodwork Foundation’s Hazyview Digital

the Cape West Coast, Waterberg, Kruger to Canyons,

Learning Campus (HDLC). As a practical extension of the

the Cape Winelands, Vhembe, Gouritz cluster and the

bizhub Conservation Academy’s theory-based learning,


the company has now entered into a partnership with Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. The sanctuary rescues abandoned, injured or orphaned infant rhinos, providing the facilities and necessary expertise to stabilise and rehabilitate these animals so that they might later be released back into the wild. As part of the partnership, Konica Minolta South Africa has adopted seven of the sanctuary’s orphaned rhinos, covering all maintenance costs relating to food, shelter and medication. The company will continue to contribute a percentage of every bizhub sold to this exciting new initiative.

Join the Animal Voice

Animal Voice Magazine is a voice for the voiceless. It exposes the truth behind animal injustices in South Africa, as well as shines a light on the brave activists who make a difference to the lives of animals. Animal Voice is the only national magazine in South Africa dedicated to achieving better lives for farmed animals through consumer awareness and their buying power. Visit for more 91 S G

natural pools: How to Retrofit your Conventional Swimming Pool Kevan and Karen Zunckel

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK: Questions And Answers Chris van der Linde

BEHAVIOUR BRIEFS Chris & Mathilde Stuart

Struik Nature • 978 1 7758 4014 5

Another Chris and Mathilde

There have been many books

Stuart offering, this booklet of 40

From the under-pinning legislation

written about Kruger over the

pages is clearly aimed at tourist

through the mechanics of

years, but none like this new Struik

who are making their first visit

retrofitting, best materials and

Nature offering. Although it has

to reserves, and need a quick

every other aspect of 'how-to',

the usual sections covering history,

reference to identify animals. It

including landscaping around your

nature activities and tourism, the

has one big advantage in that it

newly refurbished natural pool, this

major part of the book is devoted

covers Southern and East Africa,

e-book will provide everything you

to answering maybe thousands of

so it includes the species a tourist

might need to know to turn your

questions typically asked about the

would see in, for instance, Kenya.

old-school swimming pool into a

primates, carnivores, herbivores

For the overseas visitor on their

natural refuge in the suburbs.

and the smaller animals, reptiles

first safari, this inexpensive

With clear graphics to help you

and birds of the park. Questions

booklet is all they need.

figure out all the technical bits,

such as how much does an

plus links to relevant regulations,

elephant drink, where to find wild

resources and information, there

dogs, and what do Nyala eat, will

is really nothing left out of this

all be answered. A thoroughly

excellent piece of work. And, aside

enjoyable this read, this the book

from the pleasing esthetics and

to keep with you on bush visits. At

much-reduced running costs, your

a retail price of only R160, this is a

new natural pool is going to be

must for the Kruger fanatic or even

the envy of every visitor who lays

the casual visitor.

eyes on it - it's like bringing a piece of nature into your own garden. A must-get if you are planning on doing away with the old chemicalintensive style of swimming pool for something a bit more eco-friendly.

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Struik Nature • 978 1 7758 4019 0

'Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.' - George Eliot


• ON TRACK • TRACKS & SIGNS Chris & Mathilde Stuart

Struik Nature • 978 1 7700 7957 1

Struik Nature • 978 1 9205 7253 2


Most of us are avid whale watchers,

& 978 1 7700 7360 9

Struik Nature • 978 1 9205 7241 9

and this 120 page booklet gives

These two Struik nature series,

& 978 1 4317 0120 9

you all you need to know about

by well known authors Chris

Birders will remember in past years

where, when and how to whale

and Mathilde Stuart, aim to give

the popular Southern African Bird

and dolphin watch. With chapters

readers an insight into animal

Calls on tapes by Len Gillard, and

on evolution, communication, and

tracks and tracking. The first is a

now Doug Newman has updated

migration, the booklet goes on

40 page short introduction to the

the idea with a CD and covering

to provide detailed identification

subject, and gives you enough for

books. The first is of the 76 best

and behavioral information. There

the layman who has an interest in

known animal and bird sounds,

are far more whale and dolphin

the tracks seen in our many parks.

with pictures of each and some

species in our South African waters

It covers most of the mammals,

background. This is probably

than most of us have ever heard

common birds and even snakes

enough to keep the average bush

of. Most importantly, perhaps, it

you are likely to come across in

visitor happy, and start them

has detailed indications for where

your bush travels. It may not turn

identifying animals and birds

to watch whales and dolphins

you into a competent tracker,

by their sounds. The 500 calls

and at what time of the year. The

but this little book will give the

edition is a reference work for

photographs include some great

amateur enough to enjoy his

the 500 bird species covered. For

underwater shots, and this is a

hobby. Tracks and Signs is nearly

each bird there is a description

booklet for all who feel the special

500 pages of detailed information,

of the song to back the CD, as

whale affinity.

enough for the serious amateur

well as information on habitat and

and the professional guide.

similar sounding songs from other

Coverage is truly amazing,

species. Truly a tour de force for

covering tracks, droppings, feeding

the dedicated birder.

signs, nests and much, much more. If you are really into your bush life, this is certainly a book you will want to have on your shelf.

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THE ART OF THE HUSTLE Hot on the heels of the craft beer revolution, a sharp new cider brand is bringing its slick Afropolitan street cred to Mzansi just in time for summer.


lobally, cider sales are booming. Production in the United States has tripled since 2011 and countries including Australia and South Africa are seen as the new frontier for handcrafted cider. Key to the growth in cider sales is a surge in demand from younger, affluent drinkers with an eye for a trend; a perfect fit for this edgy home-grown brand. Unlike mass-produced commercial ciders Sxollie embraces the same principles as craft beer, using quality ingredients and time-honoured methods to create a memorable drinking experience. Unlike the handful of other craft cider producers on the market, Sxollie is also unique in offering single-varietal ciders. While the ciders may have their roots in rural orchards, the brand's heart and soul is in the city. The blend of global trend and home-grown hustle is perfectly encapsulated in the striking Sxollie bottles,

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the elegant 330ml size adding a touch of urban sophistication. The eye-catching 'X' mosaic emblazoned across the bottle was inspired by pottery designs synonymous with southern Africa, yet also offers a nod to the brand's Afropolitan roots in the urban jungle. It's unashamedly African, yet with an eye on the horizon. A cider brand crafted in Mzansi, but ready to take on the world. A brand ready for a hustle, with the cheek to take a chance and an eye on the prize. The proof? Take a look at that free-floating X heading swiftly towards the neck of each and every Sxollie bottle. SXOLLIE is available at premium liquor outlets nationwide, and at selected bars and restaurants in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. For more visit

LIFESTYLE Conscious cooking 87 Based in nature 98

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GREEN MONDAY Green Monday is a global initiative promoted by Humane Society International to encourage healthy, environmentally friendly living in South Africa. It's about making a difference one meal at a time. By pledging to eat plant-based meals every Monday you will be munching your way towards a healthier body, a more sustainable planet and a more conscientious approach to eating. You will also be helping to create a marketplace that provides food that enchants the palette, promotes better policies for animal welfare, and lessens our environmental footprint. Green Monday is a perfect solution to those three goals. By creating a more sustainable, animal-friendly, and waste-friendly marketplace, businesses will prosper, public health will improve, and there will be a decrease in the number of animals suffering on factory farms. When South Africans sign on to Green Monday, they make a statement about the kind of world they want to live in and leave to their children. That world is much healthier, cleaner, and more humane. Visit for details, recipes and more.

Joostenberg Joostenberg is a family owned and managed winery situated in Paarl, South Africa. Organic farming and traditional winemaking methods are used in order to produce high quality, authentic wine. Chenin Blanc 2014: The wines from this vintage have a refreshing quality are elegant and display a good combination of fruit and mineral flavours. 'Die Agteros' Chenin Blanc 2014: Joostenberg's oldest Chenin Blanc vineyard was used to make this wine. Fairhead 2013: Every year Joostenberg make a small batch of white wine honouring the tireless efforts of their current matriarch and gardener extraordinaire, Gillian Fairhead.

FOUR readers stand the chance to win a hamper from JOOSTENBERG of the three wines featured here. Simply email with 'Joostenberg' as the subject, along with your name and address in the email to stand a chance of winning.

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Chicken-free nuggets via

Conscious Cooking The most basic connection human beings share with each other and the earth is food. Buying delicious, locally and humanely raised food is the righteous way to save our health and our planet. This is the first in a series of Liesel James' cooking column in which she offers practical advice about shopping and cooking for human health and the health of the planet.



It avoids artificial additives and saves money.

Conscious Principals to assist you in your daily lives

1. Eat less meat and only Free-Range, grass-fed and hormone free meat. This is the industry with the highest carbon and water foot print. 2. Cook more food from scratch and limit take-outs. Food made with love tastes better and is much healthier.

utrition-focused topics are being discussed

3. Choose sustainable fish – SMS name of fish to:

everywhere from local councils to government

079 499 8795 and you will receive one of the following

cabinets and dominate magazines and on the

answers: Tuck in; Think Twice; Avoid completely.

news. Through documentaries and public campaigns we

4. Eating Seasonal – Fresher food and in abundance

are more aware about the link between food and physical,

is so much cheaper and low carbon footprint as it is not

mental and environmental health issues and sustainable


eating is a concept that has become more mainstream.

5. Organic (Naturally Grown) – These are whole foods

Here is a link to a series of documentaries launched

that has been produced without the use of chemical

earlier this year.

pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Embodies the simplest

Feeding ourselves sustainably is a choice we make and by changing how we shop, cook, eat and drink, means helping to save the planet at least three times a day if not more. By eating less meat and buying fresh local produce has a far more positive contribution in fighting climate change and more effective than replacing your fossil fuel car for a hybrid electric car. Consciously sourced and cooked food is healthier, fresher and tastier than processed, factory farmed, chemically grown and fast food alternatives. From belief to practice may take some guidance and time. Start by setting small everyday steps that make sense for your busy and budget-challenged lives.


For more contact Liesel:

and most nutritious fundamental human needs and it comes in their own natural packaging such as a peel or skin which can be composted 6. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Avoid at all cost. It's killing our bees, soil and it has been scientific proven causing cancer in animals. 7. Local – Locavores refer this to their food-shed which is food grown, gathered hunted or raised within a 160 km radius. This also supports small-scale farming and keeps money circulating within the local economy. 8. Start composting and reduce methane gas at land fill. 9. Start a kitchen garden. Sprouting and micro-greens are much easier, cheaper and much more nutritious food to grow in urban areas.

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L ifestyle

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based in

nature Many parents are afraid to travel into nature with their children.

The fear of getting hurt through falling or being attacked by animals, the risk of catching diseases carried by insects and not knowing what to do in case of an emergency prevents many a parent from spending quality time in the wilderness with their children. Safety too, is often a major concern when travelling in Africa, let alone in the bush. Petra Vandecasteele poses the questions of wether travelling as a family in the wilderness is an exhilarating adventure or perhaps a parental irresponsibility.

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ho in their right minds would take their

that nature is a dangerous place. We are nature.

children – let alone toddlers – on an

Perhaps we are afraid of ourselves, afraid that we

adventure into the African wilderness?

will not be able to look after ourselves once we are

I would. In fact, I've been doing it since my children

away from a structure that takes care of our material

were old enough to stand upright on two legs, and

needs, but which in essence also robs us from our

were not quite out of nappies yet. I don't see why

confidence and, as a result, disables us. Let's face

I wouldn't. Spending time in nature is essential to

our fears and free ourselves from our mental blocks.

the wellbeing of children (and adults alike), and

Spending more free time in nature is a must, and I

there is no better way than travelling in nature to

cannot stress this enough: do it as a family. Relax,

literally expand a child's horizons, so that it not only

travel, explore, enjoy and reconnect in nature.

becomes familiar with the surrounding world, but

Family travel in the wilderness is a truly

also boosts its confidence. Yet, all too many parents

exhilarating adventure with long-lasting benefits,

cringe at the thought of taking their loved-ones into

as much for the children as for the parents. Ask

the wilderness. Why is this?

an expert in nature-based family travel to help

Going on an adventure in nature – as a family – is one of the most effective ways for parents to invest in the wellbeing of their children. This is why

wilderness. Your family will love it, stress free :)

Kids of Nature's lifestyle initiative to help families

Real fear versus perceived fear

reconnect with nature, and with themselves. We

Fear is often caused by the unknow. I find that our

help parents to create their own adventures in the

day-to-day stresses and anxieties make us more

African wilderness, not only by sharing our very best

prone to feeling fearful about travelling in nature.

family experiences, but also by putting a safety net

Have you ever noticed how everything around you

in place for peace of mind.

feels less threatening the more you are relaxed?

nature-based family travel is one of the pillars of

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you create your next (or first.) adventure in the

I'm a single mom and often venture off into the

It's the same with nature. Give yourself a chance

wilderness with my children, so I understand the

to relax – just be and do nothing – and you'll

risks and fears of travelling on your own to remote

quickly start to worrying less about the 'what ifs' of

areas with the people who matter the most to you.

venturing out into the unknown. Before leaving on

I understand what it's like to feel vulnerable. But,

a trip, I tend to worry about medical emergencies,

am I going to let fear stop me from living great

but once I've hit the road, these worries melt like

adventures? I don't think so. It's just a perception

snow under the sun, because I look at this from a

more relaxed perspective instead of a perception distorted by constant stress. I travelled through Africa for four years, overland from Brussels to Cape Town. The only medical emergency I had was when I arrived at destination and crossed the road to drop a postcard in the mailbox... I was knocked over by a car. Unreal, isn't it?

Nature is dangerous There's a predator lurking behind every tree. Look at it this way: what are the odds that you will be assaulted in the middle of the desert compared to

'Spending more free time in nature is a must, and I cannot stress this enough: do it as a family. Relax, travel, explore, enjoy and reconnect in nature.'

the centre of the city? The bottomline is that we have alienated ourselves from nature, our very own 'terroir' and place of origin, the very essence of what we are.

ability, and other 'What if's' that make you feel insecure. Plan your family holiday in the wilderness with an expert who understand your needs, someone


with first-hand experience in nature-based family

Build-in a safety net based on your family's needs



and concerns, such as medical requirements, road assistance taking into account your level of DIY

For more see ad below.

Lifestyle & Travel Company | Nature-based family holidays... in Africa

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African winners of 2015 Green Talents Award join Germany’s sustainability elite

Leading young scientists from 20 countries are meeting Germany's sustainability research elite from 19 to 30 October 2015 and two South African winners are among the group. South African PhD graduate Dr Kapil Moothi, whose field of interest encompasses Sustainable Technology and Nanotechnology Waste Water Treatment, and PhD candidate Ms Geraldine Brennan, whose area of expertise encompasses Clean Production and Management, Humanities and Climate Change, were both selected by a high-ranking jury of experts as up-and-coming international scientists. In total 27 winners were selected by the jury, out of more than 550 applications from over 90 countries. The Green Talents Award, held under the patronage of the German Research Minister Dr Johanna Wanka, is providing a platform for the seventh time to young talents to share their views on green concepts and to make our world a better place. Their prize is one of the treasured tickets to the 'Green Talents - International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development'. The 27 'Green Talents' will be honoured during a festive awards ceremony attended by representatives of participating institutions, jury members and other distinguished guests. The awards ceremony was held on 30 October 2015 at the German Federal Ministry in Berlin. The winners will return to Germany for a fully funded research stay (up to three months) at an institution of their choice in 2016.

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Engen Chemicals sponsors SAPRO Recycled Product Awards

Engen Chemicals, a supplier of plastics and other polymers, was a gold sponsor of the Recycled Product of the Year awards, hosted by the SA Plastics Recyclers’ Organisation (SAPRO) on 18 September at the Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. 34 Products in four different categories made it to the finals of this year’s competition that was hosted by the SAPRO and Plastics|SA – the umbrella body of the local plastics industry. The aim of the competition is to acknowledge products that are made from recycled materials and to encourage brand owners and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice. 'We surely had high hopes when we launched our first Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards in 2010. Ambitious and optimistic as we were at the time, we had no idea just how impactful and prestigious this SAPRO initiative would become in later years. Each year that we host this competition, it is proven over and again that talent runs broad and deep in our country and that the plastics recycling industry has an important role to play in South Africa,' said SAPRO Chairman, Jaco Breytenbach. The City of Cape Town and Mpact Plastic Containers were awarded the SAPRO Trophy for the Recycled Product of the Year for their Fifty/50 Wheelie Bin that was entered in the Recycled Content Category. PICTURED FLTR: Ruben Brandt, Janine Charters, Loutjie de Jongh and Lance Kallis of Mpact Containers with the SAPRO Trophy for the Recycled Product of the Year Award.

City of Joburg awards winners in R5m startup challenge for green entrepreneurs

Counsellor Ruby Mathang, MMC Economic Development, recently announced the winners in The Green City Startup, a R5m competition aimed at unearthing creative green entrepreneurs whose ideas could help boost Jozi's green culture. This initiative of the Green Challenge Fund, was developed by The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle – the University of Johannesburg’s technology commercialisation company and incubator. The challenge began early in 2015 when the City sought ideas that could change the world and accelerate innovation in the city. Some 86 proposals were reduced to eight. Each of the eight finalists received R250 000 to build a prototype of their idea and were offered in-depth technical support to improve their ideas and help them present their pitches. These finalists presented their prototypes and business to a panel of judges including an independent team of entrepreneurs and technical experts earlier this month. Says Ravi Naidoo, Executive Director: Economic Development, 'We were looking for ideas that were immediately scalable and entries were open to start-ups, SMEs and partnerships in the areas of energy, waste, water, transport or buildings. Due to the success of this initiative, we will run it again in 2016.' Among the winners were Paseka Lesolang from WHC won R1m for his 'Leak-Less Valve' which prevents up to 30% of the water loss in the case of a toilet leak. Taking home R500 00 was Sean Moolman from PowerOptimal whose management technology helps reduce peak power demand by 30% to 50%, with very little impact on activities.

8 th SA Innovation Summit

The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) partnered with the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town to offer the 28 GCIP-SA semi-finalists the opportunity to present

their technologies to an expert panel of judges for feedback and advice, helping them to perfect their investor pitches. Among all competitors, the three winners of the Pitching Den were GCIP entrepreneurs who shared R220 000 grant prices in green technology awards sponsored by Climate Innovation Centre. First Place, R100 000: Adrian Padt (The Rocket Works). In the GCIP-SA waste beneficiation category, Rocket Works Pty (Ltd) is a small Durban-based company focusing on designing, developing, and manufacture one of the cleanest burning natural draft wood stoves in the world. The Rocket Works ZaMa-ZaMa Wood Stove is a high-efficiency biomass fuel stove that reduces harmful emissions and fuel usage by up to 87%. Second Place, R70 000: In the GCIP-SA energy efficiency category, ZingCO, based in Pretoria aims to turn the electric vehicle market on its head and capture significant market share by attacking niche markets at a price point well below the traditional big players. The ZingCO Electrical Vehicle features a battery-swopping solution that enables instant battery swopping services instead of recharging, enabling quick and efficient car sharing opportunities in South Africa. Third Place, R50 000: In the GCIP-SA renewable energy category, Solazela is a start-up team from Bloemfontein, focusing on the development and commercialisation of alternative solar water heater systems to be offered to residential households. The solar water heater made of polymer materials, is designed, developed and manufactured in South Africa and has a high local content.

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Engen Chemicals sponsors SAPRO Recycled Product Awards

Engen Chemicals, a supplier of plastics and other polymers, was a gold sponsor of the Recycled Product of the Year awards, hosted by the SA Plastics Recyclers’ Organisation (SAPRO) on 18 September at the Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. 34 Products in four different categories made it to the finals of this year’s competition that was hosted by the SAPRO and Plastics|SA – the umbrella body of the local plastics industry. The aim of the competition is to acknowledge products that are made from recycled materials and to encourage brand owners and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice. 'We surely had high hopes when we launched our first Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards in 2010. Ambitious and optimistic as we were at the time, we had no idea just how impactful and prestigious this SAPRO initiative would become in later years. Each year that we host this competition, it is proven over and again that talent runs broad and deep in our country and that the plastics recycling industry has an important role to play in South Africa,' said SAPRO Chairman, Jaco Breytenbach. The City of Cape Town and Mpact Plastic Containers were awarded the SAPRO Trophy for the Recycled Product of the Year for their Fifty/50 Wheelie Bin that was entered in the Recycled Content Category. PICTURED FLTR: Ruben Brandt, Janine Charters, Loutjie de Jongh and Lance Kallis of Mpact Containers with the SAPRO Trophy for the Recycled Product of the Year Award.

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SAB Environmental Media and Media Environmentalist of the Year 2015 Winners The South African Breweries (SAB), together with a panel of renowned judges within the media industry, recently announced the winners of the annual SAB Environmental Media and Media Environmentalist of the Year awards at Summer Place in Sandton. The Awards, in their 27th year, aim to recognize the excellence of South African journalists who are reporting on and creating awareness of environmental issues. 'The annual Awards have grown over the years and we are especially pleased with the calibre of entries we received this time round,' says Robyn Chalmers, Head of Corporate Communications at SAB. Written Media Award (Print and Online) Sheree Bega, Saturday Star Photography Award (Print and Online) Stefan Heunis, AFP Video Media Award (Television and Online) Hermien Roelvert, 50/50 Nick Steele Memorial Award for the Enviromentalist of the Year John Masson, LBD Biodiversity 'We at SAB would like to congratulate all the entrants who submitted work that grabbed the attention of their readers and our panel of judges. We also wish our winners congratulations on their amazing achievement,' says Chalmers.

Simply Green - Issue 1, 2015  
Simply Green - Issue 1, 2015