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Air transport supports 490,000 jobs and contributes $12bn in GDP for SA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released new data showing that the air transport sector in South Africa provides immense value to the people and economy of the country supporting some 490,000 jobs including tourism-related employment and contributing $12 billion or 3.5% to the country’s GDP.

These findings are among the highlights of ‘The Importance of Air Transport to South Africa’ study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of IATA.

“The study confirms the vital role of air transport in facilitating over $110 billion in exports, some $140 billion in foreign direct investment and around $9.2 billion in inbound leisure and business tourism for South Africa. With the country now in a recession it’s time to re-double efforts to promote South Africa as a destination for business, trade and tourism,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa, who is making his first visit to Africa in his new capacity.

According to executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum for the study, South Africa’s transport infrastructure quality score places the country 1st out of 37 African countries surveyedand 48th globally

South Africa ranks 19th out of 37 African countries for visa openness

It ranks 17th out of 37 for cost competitiveness in the air transport industry, based on air ticket taxes, airport charges and VAT

Around 390,000 aircraft land and take off from one of South Africa’s main airports every year. Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport is the country’s busiest in terms of passengers with over 18.5 million travellers passing through the airport in 2014.

“Affordable, safe and reliable air transport is crucial to economic growth. It promotes skills development and is a catalyst for jobs. We urge the South African Government to remove any impediments, including unnecessary red-tape and policies that hinder air connectivity and the trade, investment, tourism and job opportunities it facilitates and stimulates,” added Albakri.

During his visit to Johannesburg, Mr. Albakri is meeting key industry stakeholders from South Africa’s government, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Airports Company South Africa, Air Traffic Navigation Services, IATA member airlines in the country and IATA’s sub-regional sister organization, the Airlines’ Association of Southern Africa.

Source: defenceweb

Gold rises as oil price slump boosts safe haven demand

BENGALURU – Gold prices rose for a second straight day on Thursday as risk averse sentiment amid weaker oil prices drove up the demand for the metal, with a softer dollar and weakness in US Treasury yields also lending support.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1 252.41/oz at 0812 GMT. It rose 0.3% in the previous session, its largest intraday percentage change since June 6.

US gold futures for August delivery rose 0.6% to $1 253.30/oz.

“A softer US dollar and a risk-off bias following the recent declines to crude saw gold turn higher during Asian hours on Thursday,” MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin said in a note.

Oil turned lower on Thursday after posting gains earlier in the session as traders look ready to test new lows for crude prices with worries persisting over a global glut. [O/R]

“The uncontrolled oil price spill in the futures markets may have seen some traders pushing the risk aversion button and buying gold,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“The primary driver appears to be the flattening of the longer-dated US Treasury curve.”

The US Treasury yield curve flattened to almost ten-year lows on Wednesday as investors evaluated the impact of hawkish Federal Reserve policy on the economy even as inflation measures are deteriorating.

US home resales unexpectedly rose in May to the third highest monthly level in a decade and a chronic inventory shortage pushed the median home price to an all-time high.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates and yields, which increase the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding assets such as bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

“Investors are waiting for any clues on whether the timing of the next rate hike is September or December,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

Spot gold may bounce more into a range of $1 257 to $1 261/oz, as it has cleared a resistance at $1 251 according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, retreated from a one-month high of 97.871 set on Tuesday.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.04% to 853.98 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver gained 1% to $16.61/oz. Platinum touched its highest in a week during the session and was up 0.6% to $929.20/oz, while palladium slipped 0.8% to $880.99/oz.

Source: engineeringnews

Should you join the charge and buy an electric car?

Green motoring is becoming financially attractive thanks to a drop in leasing prices and lower running costs

Is now the time to buy an electric car? Falls in financing costs mean that switching to a zero carbon-emitting vehicle won’t just help the environment, it can be cheaper than buying and running a conventional car.

When Guardian Money last looked at electric cars, the price premium for most models meant they made most financial sense to central London drivers keen to avoid the £11.50-a-day congestion charge – but for other motorists the case for going electric was less obvious. However, a drop in leasing costs, plus much lower running costs, have made the financial package much more attractive.

The popular Nissan Leaf, with a large 30kWh battery, can now be leased for about £240 a month with a deposit of £2,000. This is just £70 a month more than the larger, petrol-engined Nissan Juke and many supermini class vehicles.

When you consider that someone who uses their car to commute each day could easily be spending £70 on petrol a month, the green option is starting to look as good for your wallet as for the environment. The cost of an overnight charge that delivers a typical 100 miles of driving is about £3-£4 depending on your electricity tariff. To go the same distance in a petrol car would typically cost £15 – more if your journeys are all around town. This in part is why there are now 100,000 electric cars on UK roads, and 2m worldwide.

“Once you’ve got used to living with an electric car, most people say they’d never go back to a conventional one. You are driving the future,” says Melanie Shufflebotham who runs NextGreenCar, a website dedicated to low-carbon vehicles. An enthusiastic Nissan Leaf owner, she says improvements to the charging infrastructure, a greater awareness of the benefits of going electric in cities, and the fact that the technology is now proven have all allowed electric cars to move into the mainstream.

“Range anxiety is largely a thing of the past. The newest Renault Zoe, with its bigger battery, now offers a range of about 180 miles from a single charge – more than enough for most users who drive to and from work or similar,” Shufflebotham says. “I wouldn’t necessarily want to drive to Edinburgh, but I regularly drive my Leaf from Bristol to London with one fast 30-minute recharge at one of the Ecotricity charging points on the motorway network. For that I pay £6 – a fraction of the cost of filling a tank with petrol.”

Although electric car technology is proven to be reliable, she says her website recommends that users lease their electric car as at the end of the term they can simply hand them back. If there were a breakthrough in battery technology that brought down the cost of new models, older electric car values would likely plummet.

Shufflebotham says one of the things holding back electric vehicle take-up is the fact that you need a space close to the house to charge it at night. People living in terraced houses and relying upon on-street parking are currently scuppered unless they have a regular charging option at work.

Lamp-post recharging points and more workplace and on-street charging options will eventually cure this, but widespread rollout will take some time. If people want electric vehicle charging points on their street they should put pressure on their local council, she says.

Other points to consider are that while insurance is generally pricier, annual servicing is cheaper – £99 a year is typical. There is no oil to change and any significant problems should be covered by the warranty. With a government grant, home-charging points cost about £300 to install, while several manufacturers provide them as part of the sales package. Choose a car that allows fast charging and consider having a faster charger installed at home. It’s also worth noting that your car’s range will go down significantly in cold weather.

So which electric cars should you go for? The Renault Zoe may have the longest range (only outdone by the hugely expensive Teslas), but they are relatively expensive and buyers have to pay at least £59 a month to lease the battery.

For the best all-round package the Nissan Leaf is hard to beat, says Shufflebotham. The BMW i3 is another to consider but is significantly more expensive – on lease from £346 a month for four years with £2,076 up front. The new Hyundai Ionic or recently updated VW e-Golf are also worth considering.

Another to bear in mind is the Kia Soul EV. This all-electric Korean car is set to be a bestseller, according to Adam Kemp of Drive Electric, which specialises in electric car leasing. His firm, which currently has 1,000 electric cars out on lease, offers one for a competitive £222 a month with £1,332 up front. Auto Express gave the Kia Soul EV four stars when they tested it.

Kemp says one thing to consider as a private buyer is whether you can persuade your employer to offer you the chance to buy the car via a salary sacrifice scheme, which can bring the cost down hugely if you are a higher rate taxpayer.

The ZapMap website and app will direct you to your nearest public charging station. There are more than 4,000 locations and 12,000 points in the UK.

Kerry lawyer Tim O’Leary and family junked their gas-guzzling SUV for an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

“I can confirm that owning and driving an electric car is low-cost, no-guilt driving in a car that reverses all the clichés.

“People often ask me: ‘What happens when you run out of electricity?’ The answer is: ‘I don’t know because I never have.’ Range anxiety seems to exist with people who don’t have electric cars. Everyone who has them, like me, raves about them.

“There is a gauge that tells you your available range and you quickly get used to what it can do, which is most of your driving. Our family – we have four children – does about 13,000km a year with no problems. Nearly all our charging is done at home overnight. Longer trips do take a bit of planning but all public chargers in Ireland are free. It can also be fast-charged in about 20 minutes to 80% battery.

“I have also been asked: ‘Can you overtake in such a slow car?’ It is actually very quick as you have something like maximum torque available instantly and there are no gear changes.

“It is also low cost to run. A full charge gives you a realistic range in my car of about 60 to 80 miles and costs about £2 of night-rate electricity. There is nothing to service, bar brake pads and tyres, and it is reliable as there is basically a big battery and a small electric motor to drive the front wheels. It’s solid on the road.

“Most Leaf drivers will tell you it starts off as a second car but usually becomes the first car in the house, and it does 90% of the driving in our house. When I was doing exams, 90% was an A grade.

“My next one’s a Tesla!”

A car club that aims to have a fleet of electric cars across London is to be expanded, and will soon have 50 cars available for rent in the capital.

Owned by the same company that offers 4,000 electric cars for instant use in Paris, Bluecity has been offering the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham the chance to hire an electric car for as little as 20 minutes. The scheme, which started as a trial in April with 30 cars, aims to have cars all over London. It works in a similar way to the Santander bike scheme or purchase-by-the-hour car clubs such as Zip Car.

Once you have signed up, users log on to their phone to book a car, which they pick up from their nearest location with the swipe of a smart card. When they’ve finished they return it to the charging station nearest to their end destination and plug it in to recharge.

Residents of Hammersmith and Fulham, Merton and Hounslow are being offered a 12-month free subscription and free rental hours to encourage them to try. For others, membership is free for the first month and then £5 subsequently. Users pay 17p a minute for the duration of a rental. It means an hour-long drive would cost £10.20 (there is a 20-minute minimum charge) and insurance is included.

The cars should do close to 100 miles before they need to be recharged and can be dropped off at any of about 400 charging points across 16 boroughs. It’s a good option for anyone who wants to try out an electric car, or for those who might need a cheap car for short periods.

If you crash you have to pay the first £200 of a first claim, £450 of the second and £750 if you’re unlucky enough to have a third accident.

Anyone with a driving licence and a bank card can use the service, making it great option for 18-year-olds.

Source: theguardian

Charting a new vision for energy efficiency

As part of its rebranding, the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation is redefining its purpose and vision. We take cognizance of our current recession with its uncertainties and the constraints on investment and growth. Whilst businesses are struggling to survive and consumers are looking for opportunities to cut costs, we believe that Energy Efficiency remains core to our sustainable growth and prosperity as a country and continent. Not only does the focus on energy efficiency assist in mitigating the impending rising costs in energy, but it also will save money for businesses to survive and grow. This will foster growth and investment for the greater good and prosperity for all.

Admittedly energy efficiency is not the only sustainability solution, however, it does unlock the nexus with other energy solutions, water, food, climate change mitigation and social development. At the same time, where businesses are struggling to survive or thrive, we are looking at ways for the Confederation to be the recognised link to partnerships, addressing challenges and finding solutions that will serve the needs of its members.

At the recent United Nations Conference in Trade and Development, (UNCTAD) seminar, in which we participated, the South African achievement in energy efficiency and climate change were applauded. These achievements were a collaboration between the South African private sector and with government Other African countries also attended. However, there is still much to be done and hence the SAEE Confederation envisions being the recognized link to policies, partnerships and programmes that support energy efficiency.

The UNCTAD seminar revealed that investors are interested in the promotion of green industries, and companies who integrate some of the 17 Sustainable Development (SDGs). For more about the SDGs, CLICK HERE. As part of charting its new vision, the SDGs which bear particular importance for the Confederation are: Affordable and Clean energy; Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure; Responsible consumption and production and Climate Action. Enablers to reaching these goals include amongst others, SDGs such as Quality Education; Gender Equality and Partnerships for Goals. With both the national and global context in mind, the SAEE Confederation is in the process of implementing the following actions:

Information sharing: Rebuilding its digital platform to promote ease of access to information that will support successful implementation of Energy information and best practice. Through its annual conference and other events, the SAEE Confederation will continue to profile cutting edge information, knowledge and engagement on key issues and innovation in the industry.

Capacity Building and Networking: The Confederation is planning various platforms with government and other partners to support capacity building and networking for an improved drive towards a skilled and measurable impact on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. Promotion of Energy Services: The Confederation is promoting the development of the Energy Services Companies’ Association (ESCOs) to build the human resource, technical and job creation opportunities required to implement energy efficiency in both the public and private sectors.

Empowerment of women: Through its South African Females in Energy Efficiency division, (SAFEE), the Confederation recognizes that a pipeline of young women need to be mentored and supported to promote inclusivity of young people and women in particular, in various roles that promote energy efficiency. It also recognizes the pivotal role played by women in social development and growth of the economy and therefore, the need to increase participation, management and ownership levels in this sector.

Measurement and Verification: In order to track progress in reaching Energy Efficiency targets and facilitating access to incentives and investments based on Energy Efficiency performance, the Confederation will continue to promote the Measurement and Verification sector.

Building Sectoral Competitiveness: Through its affiliate: Thermal Insulation Products and Services SA (TIPSASA), the Confederation encourages a sectoral approach where associations work together to optimize opportunities. Working synergistically through their value chains will enhance the competitiveness of the entire sector. The Confederation welcomes the membership of other associations who support such a common purpose.

Recognition of Excellence: Through its Energy Efficiency Awards which link to the international awards such as the Clean Energy Ministerial Awards and the American Energy Engineers Awards (AEE), the Confederation has extended its range of awards and intends enhancing the prestige of these awards in order to showcase best practice, leadership and acknowledge the hard work of those who champion continuous improvement of resource efficiency and competitiveness. CLICK HERE for more information on the awards.

If you are not yet a member of the SAEE Confederation we’d like to leave you with this quote:“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell

Source: saee

Polyco Launches a Movement to Make Waste Work

About 177,000 tonnes of polyolefin plastics, such as milk and detergent bottles, bread bags and assorted food containers, were recycled last year – contributing approximately R1.7 billion to the country’s GDP and creating over 14,000 jobs. However, 363,000 tonnes were not, meaning that South Africa is missing out on potential GDP growth and much-needed employment opportunities.

These figures were revealed at Polyco’s recent fifth Annual General Meeting (AGM) by Chairman, Jeremy Mackintosh. Polyco was established in 2011 by polyolefin packaging producers, to reduce the amount of polyolefin waste going to landfill by providing funding to increase the sustainable collection, recycling, recovery and beneficiation of polyolefin plastics.

At the AGM, it was announced that the non-profit company (NPC) – which is focused on making waste a valuable resource that works for the economy – would be rebranding to Polyco+, creating a movement designed to change mindsets and behaviours around recycling.

Mackintosh said that while the polyolefin packaging market grew by 3.3% in 2016, recycling volumes remained at the same level as the previous year. The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation confirmed this, with its General Manager, Annabe Pretorius, stating: “The demand for recyclate (raw recyclable material) is still at an all-time low – which has been the case for more than 14 months. This low demand can be attributed to the general economic slump, which has specifically affected commodity market applications for recyclate.”

Polyco Chief Executive Officer, Mandy Naudé added: “We, as South Africans, are facing a national crisis, with a recent Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) study noting that only 5% of our population recycles. Over and above slowing economic development and withholding employment opportunities from thousands, the consequences of this lack of responsibility when it comes to our waste has resulted in unsightly and harmful plastics filling our natural environment – both marine and land-based.”

Polyco+ has been launched to broaden the company’s capacity in addressing these problems. Naudé explained: “Polyco+ is an engagement platform that collaboratively finds solutions to the national crisis that affects us all. Through it, we will continue to work with municipalities and industry sectors, supporting their operations and taking the necessary action to recover from the challenging economic conditions of the past year. We will also be joining forces with like-minded industry partners such as packaging converters, brand owners, retailers, collectors and recyclers to implement sustainable, long-term solutions with the ultimate aim of improving the management of polyolefin waste. In addition, we will be engaging with consumers to shift their perception of recycling because, unless we secure their support, we will not win the battle to clean up our environment.”

The platform also aligns with the NPC’s role in implementing the polyolefin Industry Waste Management Plan (IWMP) that will provide polyolefin waste solutions to both metro and rural areas whilst bolstering enterprise development, job creation and transformation opportunities within the sector.

Polyco+ aims to create a society where litter is minimised and the value of waste is maximised through recycling. The strategy for achieving this is underpinned by three key pillars – Celebration, Collaboration and Activation.

Elaborating on these, Naudé said: “In terms of the Celebration component, we will be developing and recognising innovation and potential successes in the sector. With regards to Collaboration, we will work alongside various industries and partners to create a unified voice and take action to tackle the problem of plastic waste recycling – making waste work, together. At the crux of our strategy is Activation – the implementation of our project funding model, education and awareness campaigns along with the launch of innovative solutions to transform consumers’ attitudes towards recycling and bring about real world change.”

She concluded: “We believe that through Polyco+, we can make our vision of a cleaner and more sustainable South Africa by 2030 a reality for all.”