Every great symphony starts with the perfect composition and when it comes to interior design, Van Dyck Floors has created the masterpiece in carpet tiles – the latest Mozart Collection. This innovative range of darker shaded carpet tiles combines the latest in interior trends with comfort, style and affordability.
“Van Dyck Floors has always prided itself in meeting market needs with truly on-trend, versatile carpet tile options that are suited to a variety of commercial interior requirements,” said Berndde Smedt, Sales & Marketing Director of Van Dyck Floors. “The latest Mozart Collection is available in a range of three colours in six different designs that provide a really upmarket, trendy look and feel that will certainly remain classy and contemporary for many years to come.”
The incredible versatility and practicality of carpet tiles in various contract applications has been proven over the years. They are manageable and easy to install because of their size, and this extends through to replacement of worn or soiled carpet sections. Rather than having to remove an entire floor because of a damaged section, carpet tiles require the replacement of only a fraction of carpet section, saving on costs and time. Replacing carpet tiles is also dust-free and quiet, which is an added bonus in open plan offices and big floor spaces.
Van Dyck Floors knows there is no one-size-fits-all for workspaces, and the new Mozart Collection will certainly resonate with most medium commercial environments as they are available in six contemporary designs and three colour ranges. There is further choice for the client in the laying of the carpet tiles in different directions – monolithic, tessellated (quarter–turn), ashlar or brick-bond – creating varied patterned effects.
The Mozart Collection comes standard in 50 x 50cm size, however other shapes and sizes such as 60 x 60 cm and 100 x 100 cm squares and 25 x 100 cm planks will be manufactured on request – because the clients’ needs always come first. In addition, these six new design ranges from the Mozart Collection complement other Van Dyck Floors carpet tile ranges already on offer, providing even further selections for customised styles or tastes.
As a member of the Green Building Council SA, Van Dyck Floors always manufactures their products meeting the requirements for Green Star Rating. Because of this environmental consideration, the Mozart Collection is manufactured at Van Dyck Floors’ Durban factory, accredited with both the ISO 9001 quality management accreditation and ISO 14001 environmental management certification. The bitumen used in creating these carpet tile ranges consists of more than 40% recycled material and, because of their lasting durability, can be re-used for the secondary market at the end of their eventual lifespan. In addition, the bitumen backing contains no PVC’s and is very low on VOC.
“We’re a quality brand that has been tried, tested and trusted since 1948, and we are certain that the Mozart Collection is the ideal choice for anyone looking for an innovative, stylish, practical and durable designer floor,” concluded De Smedt.
According to the US Geological Survey, more than 99.7% of the Earth’s water is unusable by humans and most other living things, either because it is saline or trapped in glaciers. This leaves a tiny portion of accessible freshwater for humans to use. To add to the pressure, South Africa is a semi-arid region with a mean annual precipitation of 497mm per year, just over half the global average of 860mm per year making it the 30th driest country in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. In addition, research has indicated that total precipitation in the region has declined, and southern Africa’s water resources are likely to decrease further as a result of climate change and rapidly increasing population growth and urbanization The current water crisis in Cape Town is testimony to this with Day Zero still looming for the city into 2019, and water security very much in the balance. Enter Zero Mass Water’s SOURCE Hydropanels: a world-first technology which uses sunlight and air to make safe, pure drinking water.
Powered entirely by solar, SOURCE extracts pure water vapour from the air and converts it into liquid water similar to distilled. This water is mineralised with magnesium and calcium before being delivered directly to a tap. Completely infrastructure-independent, SOURCE makes water without any external electric or water input. This significant advancement in drinking water access is made possible through the combination of thermodynamics, materials science, and controls technology.
Developed by Zero Mass Water founder and CEO Cody Friesen, a materials scientist and associate professor at Arizona State University, SOURCE utilises an ultra-absorbent material that collects water from the air around it in even arid conditions. Producing an average of 3-5 litres of water per panel per day, the Hydropanels are built in arrays designed to meet the drinking water needs of each application. For developers and architects incorporating smart-home technology into their designs and offerings, SOURCE is a differentiating feature of any modern home. Providing drinking water security and quality without any environmental consequence, SOURCE Hydropanels are vital for every resilient home and community.
For the hospitality sector, SOURCE adds value when built into scalable arrays. The SOURCE Hydropanels are modular and can be aggregated to meet the drinking water needs of a hotel, lodge or office building. “With the high-cost and environmental damage of bottled water, hotels and attractions need a better choice for their guests. Our system provides a daily supply of delicious, high-quality drinking water while offsetting the carbon footprint of bottled water.
With renewable water made on-site, SOURCE offers an infrastructure-free and cost-saving alternative to bottled water, without the hassle or logistics of purchasing and delivering it,” says Friesen. With the technology installed for emergency situations, in municipalities that have failing infrastructures, and homes for families looking for a better drinking water choice, the scope of applications for SOURCE Hydropanels in South Africa is seemingly endless, and will certainly go a long way to ensuring water security for all.
As dam levels in the Western Cape hover at around 20 percent, the water crisis in the Eastern Cape deepens and KwaZulu-Natal continues with its own water restrictions, home owners and businesses need to completely rethink their lifestyles and water usage habits for the long term, according to Herve (Trigger)Truniger, the national accounts manager for Easigrass South Africa.
As one of the Western Cape residents counting down to day zero when the taps run dry in the Mother City, he believes that South Africans will never look at water the same way again.
As day zero looms, residents have been urged to reduce their water usage from the already low 50 litres (13 gallons) of water per person, per day in an effort to secure what little reserves are left.
According to Truniger, in contrast, the average American uses 378 litres of water per day. That means 90 second showers, one toilet flush, one tooth brushing and two bottles of water to drink for Capetonians. Their US counterparts can indulge in 20 minute showers, flush the loo five times, brush their teeth at least twice and drink a minimum of five bottles of water.
Even in Canada and Europe, people are using eight times as much water has those living in Cape Town.
There’s no mention of luxuries like landscaping and gardening.
Yet, he believes it’s still possible to enjoy living in a beautiful urban environment in a water scarce country – provided that gardeners realise that there could be further day zeros to come if they don’t change their habits.
“We believe that drought friendly landscaping is critical when it comes to saving water. Many municipalities are still imposing stringent water restrictions with massive penalties for those overstepping their water usage allowances. In Cape Town, we have already been told to prepare for similar water constraints next summer, especially if there is not adequate winter rainfall. Droughts are cyclical and, in a country where water is in short supply and the population is growing, dry periods are likely to return more and more often,” he warns.
He admits that it has been alarming to watch lawns and plants dying and looks forward to both homeowners and businesses being able to replant and restore green areas.
“However, in the green space, landscapers and homeowners must seek alternatives such as laying artificial turf rather than replanting water guzzling lawns which they will need to replant again and again as droughts return. Artificial grass is not only aesthetically pleasing but means you can keep pace with inevitable water tariff increases, reduce overall garden maintenance costs whilst still saving water. It’s a win win,” he says.
Easigrass, the world’s leading artificial grass brand, is based in the United Kingdom and has been researching, developing and designing artificial grass for over 30 years. Recognized by horticultural and design associations across the world, it’s the geo-friendly alternative for gardens, playgrounds, sports facilities, balconies, rooftops, pools or interiors.
On home soil, Easigrass is backed by Van Dyck Floors which applies the same high international standards when it comes to quality, design excellence, product back up and guarantees.
Because European and South African grasses are completely different, Easigrass South Africa has researched, designed and launched nine artificial grasses that resemble popular local varieties. This means that Easigrass blends with indigenous and drought tolerant plants to produce attractive contemporary outdoor areas.
Although switching to Easigrass means an upfront investment, this will quickly be offset by reduced water bills and savings on garden services, mowing, fertilisers and weed killers. It will also ultimately provide safe and healthy areas for pets and children to play whilst improving drainage and layout of your garden.
Easigrass is fully perforated and, if installed with the correct base work, the water will drain through and penetrate the soil through the crusher dust base which is made from organic material and compacted. Easigrass is also fully recyclable.
“Your Easigrass investment, if installed correctly, will last you 15 to20 years. Two years ago, breakeven was within four to five years. The current water tariffs have upped this period to just one to two years,” explains Truniger.
Meanwhile, as people in Cape Town and beyond struggle to cope with drought conditions, here are some tips on keeping gardens alive from Easigrass:
- Rather than wasting water on lawn, rather keep precious supplies for your shrubs and trees , this in turn helps the birds and the bees.
- Use river pebbles and rock under shrubs and trees to stave off the heat and keep the ground damp. There are great advantages in using pebbles or rock as opposed to normal mulch which absorbs a huge percentage of your precious water.
- Water at the stem of the plant.
- Rainwater and grey water harvesting is now a must. When you do not have to water your garden at all, your harvested rainwater and grey water will go a long way. Harvested rainwater can also be used to clean patios and outdoor areas.
- Add a filter to your rainwater system and run it over dripline irrigation. This is the best form of irrigations as there is no water wastage and it sits underneath the mulch / pebbles / rock in your garden.
- ry not to use brick paving or bitumen surfaces as they are often harsh and hot. Rainwater flows away as it cannot seep into the soil beneath.
- Pots remain a great element to add to your garden as they retain water and nutrients very well. Prepare pots correctly. Use pre-fertilised potting soil, in your pots knowing that the nutrients will not leech away as when used open soil. Use pebbles on top to retain the moisture. Three or four large pots, planted with colour, will quickly brighten up your garden.
- When planting new plants add products that absorb water, such as hydrogel, to your soil. This will absorb the water and release it over time.
- Use boreholes and well points sparingly. The next trend will be to use this water as drinking water. There is however, not an infinite supply through these sources.
- When choosing plants always be water wise. Although it is good to look for indigenous plants, they are not always water wise. Therefore, be vigilant when making your plant choses. Aloes and succulents have become hugely popular. Mixed with water boulders and water wise trees this combination can create a lovely garden.
Source: Leadership Magazine
Innovation is the standout quality that differentiates design resolutions and helps define architecture as special and appreciated by one’s peers. Innovation in sync with context provides the delight factor permitting architectural design to compete comfortably on the world stage. Technical skill, the ability to create memorable form that draws one in while treading softly on our planet is what puts the finishing touches to sustainable architecture. South African architecture continues to take positive strides also demonstrating an extra creative dimension unique in a country where the shaping of the urban landscape requires an appreciation of the complexities of creating an inclusive built environment.
This was said by Dirk Meyer, managing director of Corobrik, ahead of the 31st Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, which are held annually to acknowledge and reward outstanding talent in South Africa.
The competition involves the country’s eight major universities where the best architectural students are identified based on their final theses and presented with awards at regional events. The winners of each of the regional competitions then go on to compete for the national title at the 31st Corobrik Student Architect of the Year Awards in Johannesburg in April 2018
Ockert Van Heerden Corobrik Sales Director presented prizes to the winners from University of the Free State.
Su-Elna Bester won first prize of R8 000, second prize of R6 500 went to Wim Boshoff and third prize of R4 500 was presented to Jani Schreuder. An additional prize of R4 500 for the best use of clay masonry was awarded to Jacques Steyn.
Su-Elna Bester’s thesis is entitled, ‘The M.CAC / Multi-Cultural Centre of Dubai.’ She says, “The Multicultural Centre is situated next to the famous Dubai Creek. Forming part of the traditional desert like vernacular architecture creating a special vibrant pedestrian waterfront & cultural hub. The centre is home to all different cultures & communities. The MCAC waterfront forms a setting for self-expressions alongside others to affectively build a sense of cultural diversity.
The MCAC & park flowing into the existing city fabric, becomes a place for celebration and transforms according to its needs. Personal interaction is celebrated with its vibrant, fluid walkways, desert plants, water and trees, merging open Gallery & exhibition spaces. The building is sunken into the ground with planted roofs allowing for panoramic views. The restaurant creates an urban environment featuring multiple uses, forming cohesive public spaces. The theatre forms part of the heart of the creek. This encourage visitors to sit alongside the pedestrian designed park to eat together, socialize & explore the middle eastern culture & diverse ex patriate community.
Space belongs to those who can make place of dwelling for themselves within their context. Architecture can act as a tool to form a platform for dialogue between different groups; to create one supportive community that functions culturally alongside each other. This establish a sense of community and place in which both can exist to create a shared cultural experience.
Wim Boshoff’s thesis is a Cinematic Arts Centre, an urban activation through breaking the wall. He says. “This dissertation is designed around the exploration of breaking ‘walls’ or boundaries in a dormant place to reveal transformation and connectivity within a CBD urban level and how it can contribute towards a design synthesis. It proposes a film Centre in Bloemfontein’s extensive network of educational institutes. The aim is to design a meaningful place of learning, by achieving connectivity through the investigation of movement and the breaking of boundaries.
Jani Schreuder’s thesis is entitled “A Dual Education Centre for Woman and Infants.” She proposes an education centre for single mothers and an early development centre for their children. This is aimed at addressing the topical issue of education shortage within our society. It includes a housing scheme to facilitate the re-appropriation of city space into a livable community. The proposal is located within the CBD of Pretoria and was chosen as the dissertation topic because of its social relevance and possible reach.
Jacques Steyn’s Urban Recycling Centre in Bloemfontein won the award for best use of clay brick. His thesis proposed a new age of recycling process within the 21st century city. Steyn says in Bloemfontein, like in most modern South African cities, waste can become a big problem with many pedestrians that occupy the CBD. The choice in design was to create a space within the city (Hoffman Square), where people can drop of their waste but also become part of the process of recycling. He incorporated clay brick into the design to become part of the surrounding buildings, but also allowing a design that would be durable.
Van Heerden said that all the winners had shown a close affinity with their subjects and that their designs both enhanced and integrated with the communities in which they were sited.
Speaking about trends in the profession Van Heerden said that Corobrik had noticed a resurgence both internationally and locally in the appreciation of clay brick as a material with important flexibility in design and yet with intrinsic sustainable qualities so appropriate for advancing the affordability of government building projects.
“Whilst clay brick has always been well represented in high end commercial projects, we are seeing more of it being specified for public schools, hospitals, clinics and affordable housing because of the multiple benefits the material brings to a construction project,” Van Heerden said.
“Life time aesthetics, durability and thermal efficiency are just three of the attributes of clay masonry which ensure low lifecycle costs and satisfy sustainability needs, in addition to allowing flexibility for innovative and aesthetically appealing design. These are important attributes which enable architects to create memorable and relevant additions to the built environment in South Africa using clay brick.”
Van Heerden said that the winners in the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards had shown outstanding maturity, innovation and technical skill in their designs which were a credit to the profession in both local and global terms.
Caption: Su-Elna Bester from the University of the Free State is this year’s regional winner of the Corobrik Architectural Student Awards. Her thesis is entitled ‘The M.CAC / Multi-Cultural Assimilation Centre of Dubai. She is pictured with left Ockert van Heerden of Corobrik, Henry Pretorious and Jan Smit from the University
3958; Su-Elna Bester is this year’s regional winner from the University of the Free State for the regional Corobrik Architectural Student Awards. She is pictures with her thesis model.
A moral based decision, valuable for the environment
South Africa has been hit by a severe drought that the authorities recently declared a national disaster. The situation in Cape Town is particularly harsh. But South Africa Tourism says the government has taken steps to mitigate the impact on residents and tourists alike.
Faced with a severe drought, that has been classified as one in 1,000-year occurrence, tourism related establishments across South Africa and notably Cape Town, in collaboration with the authorities, have put in place a number of preventive initiatives to ensure adequate water supply for residents as well as tourists’ essential daily needs.
“The tourism sector supports approximately 300 000 jobs across the Western Cape and it is vital to preserve these jobs. During peak season (November – January), international tourists only add 1% to the population of the Western Cape. Majority of tourism establishments have rolled out measures to ensure their water usage is controlled, while many have developed plans for alternative supplies,’’ says Kim Emmanuel, Communication Officer at the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association.
The drought has been due to insufficient rainfall which led to a severe drop in the water stored in the dams. The South African Tourism officials say that due to extensive media coverage of the drought, there are several fears amongst the tourists, but which are completely misplaced. Most of the travellers worry about the ‘Day 0’, concretely the date when Cape Town’s taps are expected to run dry. Currently, Cape Town is fed by six dams catering to its 4 million inhabitants.
Among the steps taken by the hotels and civic authorities in Cape Town is the advice to limit shower time and not use bath. But the decision is moral based and is valuable for the environment, Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager, Asia/Australasia/Middle East, South African Tourism, told India Outbound at a recent event in New Delhi. “South Africa and Cape Town are open for business. Tourism activities are happening. There are certain things we need to be competitive on, and there are certain things that are a moral duty. And even if it rains buckets, we are still going to tell people to be more responsible when it comes to usage of water !’’ she added.
“The need of the moment”
In the past few years, South Africa has emerged as the preferred destination for Indian tourists in Africa. Indian leisure visitors numbers to South Africa surged 21.7% last year to close at an arrivals total of 95 377 and 42% of the total tourist arrival from India is return.
“While our guests have expressed concern regarding the water situation in Cape Town, they do understand that water is a very precious resource and must be used with thought and care. Since water scarcity is a global issue the situation in Cape Town brings it to the forefront and hopefully, encourages people to be more aware and governments to be proactive in taking corrective measures,’’ added Smita Srivastava, Director of Chalo South Africa, a TO based in Delhi, adding that the drought has had practically no impact on the tourism traffic from India to South Africa.
South Africa is not an isolated case in terms of facing water scarcity. California, Australia and Sao Paulo have faced similar issues. “We are learning from them. As citizens of planet earth, this is the need of the moment,’’ added Slabber.
Perhaps very appropriately, Cape Town is hosting, in May this year, the world’s largest water loss conference where 500 participants, from more than 50 countries are expected. Innovation and good practices should come out from the global meeting. By then, the locals hope that the rain gods would have showered their blessings on the city as it heads into the winter.
According to a Plastics SA Survey, mechanical recycling of plastics has increased by 5, 9% domestically from 2015 to 2016. Polyco Chief Executive Officer, Mandy Naudé, is pleased by this result but feels that more can be done over the festive season.
“It’s great that more South Africans are playing an active part in recycling. The more individuals who recycle and share their tips, the brighter the future.”
Here are some easy recycling tips for the year ahead:
Let’s get one thing clear:
The first step to recycling responsibly is understanding what is recyclable and where your recyclable items should go. Recycling is as simple as separating your waste into one of two bags: black refuse or clear refuse bags. Clear refuse bags are used in order to differentiate the recyclable waste from the organic waste or non-recyclable items.
‘Tis the season for consumption:
From a tub of ice cream to a bottle of soda or a cheeky snack; whatever your pleasure, remember that most of these packaging items can be recycled. A simple trick to assist recyclers is to wash used food packaging items out in your used dishwashing water (to get rid of excess food or liquid), ensuring a seamless journey from collection to waste conversion. Remember to be water-wise if you’re in the Western Cape!
Cracking the code to recycling:
Products made from plastic are safe, versatile and affordable, but did you know that there are seven different types of plastic? Better yet, did you know that most of these types are recyclable? Remember to look out for these recycling codes on the packaging.
- Code 1: PET (made of polyethylene terephthalate) is used in a range of food and household packaging items, but it’s your soda and water bottles that need to go into the clear refuse bag for recycling.
- Code 2: HDPE (made of high-density polyethylene) is used for strong and rigid packaging such as milk bottles, juice bottles and household cleaning bottles.
- Code 3: PVC (made of polyvinyl chloride) is predominantly used in the building and construction industries, as well as the healthcare environment (such as syringes). It is used in very small quantities in packaging items and therefore currently not recycled in SA, so do not throw it into your clear refuse bag.
- Code 4: LDPE (low-density polyethylene) is the most widely recycled plastic material in South Africa. LDPE can be found in plastic food wraps, plastic shopping bags, frozen food bags and bread bags.
- Code 5: PP (polypropylene) can be found in your favourite yogurt container, bottle caps and medicine bottles.
- Code 6: PS (polystyrene) is used in take-away containers, as well as in your fruit, meat and vegetable containers.
- Code 7: Other refers to any other – or multi-layered – material used. Some examples include soup packaging and chip bags. These are currently not recycled in SA and therefore should not be included in your clear refuse bag.
Recycle me not:
Whilst recycling can be simplified, it is also important to be aware of what cannot be recycled. Be sure to toss soggy and wet items (from food or liquid) into your black refuse bag so that they do not contaminate the recyclable material, which would then make it much more difficult to recycle. Watch this video to learn more about what cannot be recycled: https://youtu.be/hT7oxOgFJJk
Where to next?
Once your recyclables bag is full, simply leave it on the pavement outside of your home on the days that your municipality collects the waste. If your municipality does not collect recyclables, visit www.mywaste.co.za and find the nearest drop off point or recycling depot.
For more top tips on responsible recycling over the festive season, visit www.polyco.co.za
When he isn’t fighting the war on waste or designing waste management infrastructure, the President of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), Jan Palm, enjoys riding around the country on his Harley Davidson.
Palm is a Civil Engineer by training, but he explains what makes his job slightly different to that of his peers. “Most civil engineers design infrastructure for mankind to live better whereas in waste management we design infrastructure to protect the environment from mankind’s footprint.”
Long before it became ‘trendy’ to recycle and think about one’s environmental impact, Palm saw the need to develop infrastructure to manage waste: “In 1987 I read about the concept of landfills as bioreactors. This sparked my interest and I told my boss that we should explore the field of waste management as a future engineering opportunity. After some debate, I was allowed to ‘look into it’.”
Palm, who was designing sewage treatment projects for the engineering firm GFJ Inc at the time, certainly ‘looked into it’, and his foresight back then to specialise in this exciting and growing field has paid off.
In 1988 Palm established the Solid Waste Division of GFJ, and later rose to the position of Associate and shareholder before becoming a Regional Director of the company in 1995. The Western Cape offices of GFJ became Entech Consultants in 1996, and he left Entech and formed JPCE in 2003. Throughout his career Palm has specialised in designing engineering infrastructure for waste management.
Amongst the noteworthy projects he has been involved in, Palm mentions the first landfill using geosynthetics for the town of Windhoek in Namibia in the early 1990s. “The Windhoek landfill project was innovative in its design and opened up a whole new field of geosynthetics,” says Palm. He is currently working on a state of the art Waste-to-Energy project for the Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape.
Palm says each project has been fascinating in its own way, and adds that he finds great satisfaction in helping clients to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and thereby move up the waste hierarchy. He is also aware of the unique aspects of designing waste management plants in Southern Africa: “We have to ensure that our designs balance out mechanical efficiency with the socio-economic need for jobs,” says Palm.
The biggest change in the field of Waste Management has been surrounding legislation, says Palm. “The changing legislation has opened many opportunities for environmental scientists and engineers to improve the level of design and quality of the infrastructure, leading to reduced risk to the environment.” The problem, however, says Palm is when legislation is not enforced.
Looking ahead Palm explains what worries him about landfills. “I am concerned about the pollution burden that poorly located, poorly designed and poorly managed landfills still place on our environment.” He adds that local political will to resolve these challenges appears to be lacking in many municipalities, and that the cost of legal compliance with norms and standards is often used as an excuse to do nothing.
Despite his concerns, the people in the field of Waste Management give Palm hope for the future. “Their enthusiasm, innovation and drive astonishes me,” he says, adding that he is excited about the innovative approaches being followed to reduce our environmental footprint, making green living more affordable.
While Palm seeks to add value in the industry through the various training courses and networking opportunities offered by the IWMSA, his personal dream is to tour around countries on his Harley Davidson motorbike with his wife. “Having done Route 66 in the USA, other countries that come to mind are New Zealand and Scandinavia,” concludes Palm.
For more information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa visit www.iwmsa.co.za. You can also follow IWMSA on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).
Africa will remain turbulent because it is poor and young, but also because it is growing and dynamic. Development is disruptive but also presents huge opportunities. The continent needs to plan accordingly.
Levels of armed conflict in Africa rise and fall. Data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the Global Terrorism Database and others indicate that armed conflict peaked in 1990/91 at the end of the Cold War, declined to 2005/6, remained relative stable to 2010/11 and then increased to 2015, although it peaked at lower levels than in 1990/91 before its most recent decline.
Armed conflict has changed. Today there are many more non-state actors involved in armed conflict in Africa – representing a greater fracturing of armed groupings. So it’s not a matter of “government vs an armed group” but a “government vs many armed groups”. Insurgents are often divided and sometimes even fighting amongst themselves. This greater fragmentation complicates peacemaking.
Terrorism has also increased, but depending on how one defines it, it has always been widely prevalent in Africa both as a tactic to secure decolonisation as well as between and among competing armed groups. The big question for 2017 is: is violent political extremism going to move from the Middle East to Africa? Put another way, is it in Africa that Al Qaeda and the Islamic State will find solid footage as they are displaced from the Middle East?
Anti government turbulence has also increased in recent years. In Africa, this has led to disaffection and violence around elections that are often rigged rather than free and fair. Generally this is because governance in many African countries present a facade of democracy but don’t yet reflect substantive democracy.
Seven relationships lie behind patterns of violence on the continent, and provide insights into whether it can be managed better.
Relationships explaining violence
Internal armed conflict is much more prevalent in poor countries than in rich ones. This is not because poor people are violent but because poor states lack the ability to ensure law and order. The impact of poverty is exacerbated by inequality, such as in South Africa.
Updated forecasts using the International Futures forecasting system indicate that around 37% of Africans live in extreme poverty (roughly 460 million people).
By 2030, 32% of Africans (forecast at 548 million) are likely to live in extreme poverty. So, while the portion is coming down (around 5% less), the absolute numbers will likely increase by around 90 million. It’s therefore unlikely that Africa will meet the first of the Sustainable Development Goals on ending absolute poverty on a current growth path of roughly 4% GDP growth per annum.
Democratisation can trigger violence in the short to medium term, particularly around elections. Recent events in Kenya are an example. Where there is a large democratic deficit, as in North Africa before the Arab spring, tension builds up and can explode.
And a democratic deficit – where levels of democracy are below what can be expected when compared to other countries at similar levels of income and education – often leads to instability.
Instability is also fuelled by the manipulation of elections and constitutions by heads of state to extend their stay in power. Examples include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda.
The nature of the governing regime is another structural factor. Most stable countries are either full democracies or full autocracies. But most African countries have mixed regimes with some elements of democracy mixed with strong autocratic features. They present a façade of democracy but lack its substantive elements. Mixed regimes are inherently more unstable and prone to disruptions than either full democracies or full autocracies.
Africa’s population is young, with a median age of 19. By comparison, the median age is 41 in France (a relatively young country by European standards). So 22% of adult French are in the youth bulge of 15-29 years compared to 47% of Africans.
Young countries tend to be more turbulent because young men are largely responsible for violence and crime. If young people lack jobs and rates of urbanisation are high, social exclusion and instability follow.
A history of violence is generally the best predictor of future violence. Countries such as Mali, Central African Republic and the DRC are trapped in cycles of violence. This is very difficult to break. It requires a huge effort and is very expensive, often requiring a large, multi-dimensional peace mission that only the UN can provide. But, scaling peacekeeping back rather than scaling it up is the order of the day at the UN.
A bad neighbourhood
Where a country is located can increase the risk of violence because borders are not controlled and rural areas not policed. Most conflict in Africa is supported from neighbouring countries. Violence spills over national borders and affects other countries while poorly trained and equipped law and order institutions generally cannot operate regionally.
Slow growth and rising inequality
Africa is quite unequal, so growth does not translate into poverty reduction. In addition, the world is in a low growth environment after the 2007/8 global financial crisis, with average rates of growth significantly lower than before. Africa needs to grow at average rates of 7% or more a year if it is to reduce poverty and create jobs, yet current long term forecasts are for rates significantly below that.
Opportunity amid challenges
These seven related factors indicate that the notion that Africa can somehow “silence the guns by 2020”, as advocated by the African Union as part of its Agenda 2063 is unrealistic. Violence will remain a characteristic of a number of African countries for many years to come and Africa should plan accordingly.
In the long term only rapid, inclusive economic growth combined with good governance can chip away at the structural drivers of violence. It is also clear that middle income countries are making progress in attracting foreign direct investment but that poor countries will remain aid dependent.
Much more international and regional cooperation will be required as part of this process, including substantive and scaled up support for peacekeeping.
– Jakkie Cilliers is Chair of the Board of Trustees and Head of African Futures & Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies and Extraordinary Professor in the Centre of Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.
Construction work has started on Deloitte Africa headquarters at Waterfall City, Midrand with a sod-turning ceremony onsite.
The project is set to cost in excess of 1 billion South African Rand.
The 42,500m2 ultra‐modern offices are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, and Deloitte plans to begin operating from its new base from April 2020.
Atterbury, a leading South African property investment and development business, and JSE‐listed premier property company, Attacq, are co‐owners in a 50/50 joint venture on the development of the new Deloitte premises.
Atterbury CEO Louis van der Watt believes that their deep understanding of Deloitte’s operational business needs will ensure the project’s success in the years ahead.
“Deloitte’s new offices will see them enjoy an excellent position in the sought‐after location of Waterfall, Gauteng. Here, they will consolidate their operations in the region in a central location. This development will not only provide Deloitte with room to grow as a business, but also be an asset that supports them in attracting new talent and continuing to serve their expanding market,” said Mr Watt.
Mike Jarvis, chief operating officer at Deloitte Africa, said they were excited about their new custom-designed headquarters for Deloitte Africa in what is clearly a sought-after corporate destination.
“This new centre of operation gears our Africa Firm to attract the best talent, serve our expanding market, and consolidate approximately 3700 of our people to make an even greater impact with our clients and communities,” Jarvis said.
Deloitte Africa headquarters features
The building, which will enjoy prime positioning alongside the Allandale interchange of the N1 highway, has space capacity for close to 5,000 people and promises Deloitte prominent highway frontage at the eastern side of Waterfall City as well as its clients and talent easy and quick access to its premises.
The Deloitte Africa headquarters consists of a ground floor with six stories of offices and four basement parking levels including nearly 2,000 parking bays.
Architecture practice Aevitas designed the new Deloitte headquarters to comply with a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Rating on completion.
Image source: atterbury
Each piece of waste has the potential to pollute the environment in a different way, which is also the reason why there is no single suitable waste management approach to address all types of waste. The waste management hierarchy1 ranks waste management options in order of preference according to the type of waste, and therefore the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) recognises the importance of putting emphasis on the hierarchy in its upcoming its flagship conference, WasteCon 2018.
“It is important that the cycle of waste, from consumer to final disposal is governed by the internationally accepted waste hierarchy, which through its successful application can have several benefits, such as pollution reduction, resource conservation, and job creation,” says Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA. “The application of the waste hierarchy most often starts in households with consumers,” Palm adds.
Household waste can be separated into three parts: solid waste that can be recycled, organic waste (food and garden), and non-recyclables; each type requiring different recovery, treatment and/or disposal methods. Recyclables are repurposed for commercial use, while organic waste should not be landfilled, but rather used to make compost or biogas. Non-recyclable waste is either landfilled or sent to a Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facility to be thermally treated to produce electricity.
“One of the primary waste management challenges today is ensuring that the different types of waste are adequately sorted so that it can be subjected to the correct recovery, treatment or disposal processes,” says Palm. “By being mindful at home and separating waste into its correct category, you are helping to prevent waste from ending up where it does not belong; contaminating the natural environment,” adds Palm.
Have you ever wondered how good South Africa is at sorting and recycling their waste? Looking at a common consumer item, the plastic bag, which is quickly becoming known as South Africa’s unofficial national flower, is one of the biggest environmental burdens posed on coastal and ocean environments. The Ocean Conservancy’s 2017 Coastal Clean-up report2 indicates that during the 2016 effort to clean-up South Africa’s coastlines, plastic bags ranked as the fifth most picked up item. Four out of the top five items picked up all include plastics (plastic bags, food wrappers, beverage bottles and caps), most of which could have been recycled. “Another challenge is that once these items are picked up off beaches during clean-ups most recycling depots are reluctant to accept them as they are dirty and require further sorting and cleaning before they can actually be recycled,” says Palm.
“As we [IWMSA] continue to monitor the waste situation in our country, I would like to encourage all consumers to prevent waste where possible and to give upcycling a try,” encourages Palm.
The topics of ‘zero waste lifestyle’ and upcycling are trending more than ever on social media platforms nowadays. Living a zero waste lifestyle may seem like a challenge, however it can be a great opportunity to cut out short term use items such as plastic bags and bottles, and replace them with environmentally responsible reusable items. By doing this you have just taken a personal step up the waste management hierarchy.
If you feel like you need some guidance on your waste management have a look at the IWMSA’s training schedule, or register for WasteCon 2018 which will provide a wealth of insight into applying the waste management hierarchy. To submit an abstract to be considered to present a paper at WasteCon 2018, visit the Abstracts page on the WasteCon 2018 website.
For more information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa visit www.iwmsa.co.za. You can also follow IWMSA on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).
Released by Reputation Matters