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SA’s polystyrene recycling growth disproves its ‘unrecyclable’ status

Polystyrene recycling in South Africa showed increased growth in 2016, contrary to international reports that suggest the material has been “challenging to recycle”, or in some instances, is unrecyclable.

The reprocessing of expanded and high impact polystyrene increased by 106% between 2013 and 2015, according to the Polystyrene Packaging Council’s (PSPC) director, Adri Spangenberg. This increase was as a result of two reasons: more end-markets were developed and knowledge of successful polystyrene recycling spread.

“We are still awaiting the official recycling figures for 2016, but early indications show that approximately 3,600 tonnes of recycled polystyrene was added to the traditional recycling figures – making this our best year to date,” Spangenberg said.

“We have managed to prove that polystyrene can successfully be recovered from households and industries by working closely with waste management companies and municipalities,” she added.

Polystyrene is widely being used by spaza shops, take-away vendors, cafeterias and supermarkets around the country.

Once recycled, new items are created, and in turn, boosts job creation in many different industries.

Project Build

“Last year alone, 2,036 tons of polystyrene was successfully recycled for use in lightweight concrete through our Project Build,” Spangeberg said.

These projects use recycled, post-consumer polystyrene for large commercial and residential construction projects around the country.

Décor industry

Another area that has seen considerable growth in the amount of recycled polystyrene is the home décor industry.  More than 1,377 tonnes of expanded and high impact polystyrene was recycled last year for use in picture frames, cornices and curtain rods through the PSPC’s Project Dècor.

“Apart from the fact that it helped divert polystyrene from landfill, we are particularly pleased that this is another market where jobs and products were manufactured locally as opposed to relying on cheap imports from the far East that have a detrimental impact on our own markets,” Spangenberg said.

Plans for 2017

Looking ahead at 2017, the PSPC said it will continue to promote the use and recycling of polystyrene to South African industries.

“The Davos World Economic Forum gathering released their report in which they called for strategies to dramatically increase recycling of plastic packaging from the current 14% to 70%,” Spangenberg said.

Spangenberg believes that plastic material is also worth a lot more when used in infrastructure applications, and should therefore be re-used and recycled into building projects that will benefit many generations to come.

Recycling polystyrene is also key to reclaiming useful carbons and reusing valuable resource, the PSPC said.

Spangenberg concluded by emphasising that polystyrene recycling helps create jobs, revenue opportunities and opportunities to innovate new products “in a true, circular economy model”.

Source: infrastructurene

Uganda: Young Hoteliers to Get Training From Sheraton

At least 20 young entrepreneurs working in the hospitality industry are set to benefit from a deal signed between Sheraton Kampala Hotel and mentorship firms, Youth Business International (YBI) and Enterprise Uganda, which will improve their skills and raise their business profiles.

According to details of the one-year mentorship pact signed on Wednesday, Sheraton will host four selected local youth hotel entrepreneurs or managers every month for hands-on training and experience in handling customers.

Dubbed the Sheraton Enterprise Experience (SEE), trainees will also get managerial tips during the course of practical trainings and internship at the five-star hotel.

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Officials are optimistic that lessons from the trainees’ experience shall be transferred to their businesses to boost growth, services and profits.

Speaking after the signing of the deal, Charles Ocici, the executive director of Enterprise Uganda, said the mentorship programme is tailored towards nurturing young entrepreneurs and managers into world-class hospitality industry players. He explained that trainees will have to apply and must be youths below the age of 35 years.

Ocici said such mentorship programmes could empower more Ugandans and cut down on the dominance of Kenyan and South African experts in the local hospitality service sector. He added that Kenyans and South Africans have more experience in the hospitality industry because of their success in the tourism sector.

The mentorship deal was one of the outcomes of the global ‘Promise of Youth Event’ hosted in Kampala from April 5 to 7. The two-day conference, supported by YBI, attracted youth entrepreneurs and managers from Kenya, India, Sweden, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and donor representatives.

Apart from recognizing successful entrepreneurs and sharing experiences, officials discussed the challenge of unemployment.

Uganda is one of the countries grappling with unemployed youth. According to official statistics, 400,000 graduates join the search for jobs every year, yet only 9,000 vacancies are available in the formal public employment sector.

It is against such background that officials urged private sector-led initiatives such as mentoring programmes to encourage youth create their own jobs instead of seeking employment.

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Source: allafrica


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‘Botswana is Africa’s best-kept secret’

Gaborone – The International Tourism Bourse (ITB-Berlin) has described Botswana as “Africa’s best kept secret” and selected the country to be the first-ever Southern African official partner of the 2017 ITB travel and trade show set to take place in the German capital next year.

According to the ITB-Berlin, the agreement to make Botswana the 2017 official partner of the world’s leading travel and trade show was signed in Berlin on March 9 between Botswana Tourism minister Tshekedi Khama and ITB-Berlin chief executive officer of Messe Berlin.

In a statement released after the signing ceremony, ITB-Berlin head David Ruetz said Botswana was selected because of its successful implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives, and would benefit from the show by being placed on the spotlight as a leading global tourism destination.

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“Botswana is Africa’s best-kept secret. Two contrasting natural features characterise this country: the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Basin with its many animal species, large forests, and innumerable streams that empty into small lakes. Particularly during the rainy season, visitors on trips and safaris can marvel at the unique fauna and flora.

“The diverse cultural heritage of the country, the warm hospitality shown by its people, as well as sustainable tourism make Botswana an unrivalled holiday destination in southern Africa.

“The fact that almost 40 percent of the country’s surface area has been declared a national park, wildlife or nature reserve is testimony to the exemplary efforts undertaken to actively preserve nature,” Ruetz said.

In his remarks, Khama said as the country’s premier tourism marketing authority, the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) would seize the opportunity offered by the country’s prestigious status as the official partner of ITB-Berlin 2017 to share its nature conservation achievements and consolidate the country’s position as a top global tourism destination.

“The Botswana Tourism Organisation has taken the opportunity to become the partner country of ITB Berlin 2017 in order to share Botswana’s nature conservation achievements with the rest of the world and to raise general awareness of this country.

Botswana’s role as the partner country of the world’s largest travel trade show will ensure the long-term attention of the global tourism industry.

“It will not only place the spotlight on Botswana’s tourism successes but will also focus attention worldwide on our potential for economic development. In the past Botswana has achieved great success that has remained largely unnoticed around the world. Botswana will also benefit from this year’s fiftieth anniversary of ITB Berlin.

“Numerous activities and events will give us the opportunity to market and promote our country as a tourism destination and to improve our returns on investment,” Khama said.

In 2015 a total of 10 096 companies and organisations from 186 countries across the globe exhibited their products and services to 175 000 visitors at ITB-Berlin.

Of these, 115 000 were trade visitors. The annual showcase routinely include a trade exhibition that is run concurrently with networking and business conferences.

Botswana participated at the just-ended 2016 showcase, which was the 50th edition of ITB-Berlin.

The Bushcamp Company was also featured in this awards. In SA, Grootbos was named alongside two other proudly South African lodges.

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Source: iol


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S. Africa Mines Dispute Extended by Empowerment Case Delay

A South African judge postponed a case on whether mining companies are compelled to permanently ensure their assets are at least 26 percent black owned, heightening uncertainty in an industry that accounts for almost half of South Africa’s exports.

High Court Judge Pierre Rabie reserved judgment in Pretoria on whether Malan Scholes Inc., a Johannesburg law firm, will be allowed to consolidate its case with that of the Chamber of Mines, which has taken the Department of Mineral Resources to court. Malan Scholes wants the Mining Charter, which includes the empowerment clause, declared unconstitutional.

The chamber “does not want to see the charter destroyed,” said Chris Loxton, senior counsel for the mining group. “Scholes wants to put it to the sword,” which will create a conflict between the two groups, he said.

The case pits the need to decrease racial inequality 22 years after the end of apartheid against shareholder rights as the DMR’s clause would increase shareholder dilution. South Africa’s push for increased black ownership of the mining industry is part of an effort to address the legacy of whites only rule that deprived the black majority of economic opportunities.

The chamber planned on presenting its arguments about the issue of black shareholding on Tuesday, Roger Baxter, the chief executive officer of the chamber, said after court proceedings.

“The delay is obviously something that does affect us,” Baxter said. “This is a critically important issue and our focus is on resolving the issue around uncertainty.”

Irrelevant findings

The chamber brought the case against the Department of Mineral Resources by mutual agreement after the two parties couldn’t agree in negotiations on whether the DMR’s 2010 addition to the charter that the empowerment requirement was permanent was legally enforceable. The two sides have been in dispute over that clause for six years.

 Malan Scholes seeks a consolidation of the cases because a ruling in its favor “could make a lot of the findings in the chamber application” irrelevant, Leon Bekker, senior counsel for the law firm, said in court. “If the charter is taken away,” then the relief that the chamber is looking for won’t be necessary.

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a legal group based at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, was admitted to the case as an amicus, or friend of the court as it argues that Scholes’ position is not transformative.

“CALS intervenes in the public interest and in pursuit of its objectives to highlight the importance of transformation in the extractive industry which it deems a constitutional imperative,” said Nomonde Nyembe, an attorney for the organization.

Serudomo SA Rona, a community-based organization, was also admitted as an amicus. It is represented by the Legal Resources Centre and supports the DMR’s viewpoint.

South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum and manganese and Africa’s biggest coal, chrome and gold producer. The world’s three biggest platinum companies are based in the country and Glencore Plc, South32 Ltd. and Anglo American Plc have assets in the country.

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Source: bloomberg


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Civil Engineering Bursaries 2016 – Jones & Wagener

Civil Engineering Bursaries 2016 –  Jones & Wagener

Closing Date: 31 July 2015
Jones & Wagener is offering civil engineering bursaries to students studying at South African Universities. This bursary will coverAccommodation, University tuition fees and Book allowance

Who can apply?

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Grade 12 students and  tertiary students can apply

How to apply?

Download the Bursary Application Form

– URL: http://goo.gl/UKWpn6. The completed forms must be sent to the Bursary Administrator at the Jones & Wagener postal address or by email to bursaries@jaws.co.za

Source: tshwaneline


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