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Rwanda‬, ‪Namibia‬ add ‪‎Green‬ Building to their skyline

Green building is gaining rapid momentum in Africa with office buildings in Rwanda and Namibia both receiving 6-Star Green Star ratings.

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In Kigali, Rwanda, the Nobelia Office Tower has achieved the very first Green Star rating in the country – a 6-Star Green Star SA-Rwanda – Office v1 Design rating for shell and core.

While in Windhoek, Namibia, Emcon Consulting Group’s offices received a 6-Star Green Star SA-Namibia – Existing Building Performance Tool v1 rating, becoming the second Green Star certified building in the country, and the first to attain a 6-Star rating.

Commenting on ratings, Brian Wilkinson, CEO of Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), says: “The pace of green building in Africa is accelerating, not only in South Africa but across the continent. Green building is a growing global movement, but its implementation varies widely by country and region, including the rate of growth in green involvement, triggers and obstacles impacting that growth and even the degree of benefits noted.”

He adds: “Africa has already made great strides in green building, and these are only its first steps in the significant green building journey of a continent bearing the brunt of the negative effects of climate change.”

The GBCSA’s own story shows the tremendous impetus gained by South Africa’s green building movement and paints an exciting picture of a greener built environment in Africa’s future.

Founded in 2007, GBCSA certified just one green building project in its first year of operation. In April 2014, it celebrated a milestone of 50 certified projects and, only one year later, that figure had doubled. Today, it has awarded 161 Green Star SA certifications, and the World Green Building Trends 2016: Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth – SmartMarket Report’ predicts that South Africa could become a leader in the green building sector in the next three years.

The Nobelia Office Tower in Kigali, Rwanda has set its sights on being a leading green building in Rwanda and the wider Central East African region. The 19 storey tower will have 16 floors dedicated to office space, adjacent to commercial, residential, recreational and retail zones. It is constructed on previously developed land to prevent urban sprawl.

Manfred Braune, GBCSA’s Chief Technical Officer, reports: “This project scored very high results in key areas of its rating, including energy consumption, water management, emissions and transport. It boasts several impressive sustainable building features.”

This includes the building’s ability to provide dehumidified fresh air, solar panels and on-site water treatment. Its façade is a tribute to the building’s green inner workings, with mesh that allows for plant growth and shading. The building’s waste management plan even includes an on-site composting facility to improve on soil, plant growth and biodiversity.

In Namibia, Emcon Consulting Group is leading by example. As an African consultancy firm that operates in the energy, electricity, building services and project management sectors, it set lofty green goals for its own office in the heart of Klein Windhoek.

Previously a private residence, Emcon’s office building’s green performance was boosted with a solar power plant, more natural light with daylight control, and an energy efficient evaporative cooling system that provides 100% fresh air – cooling and humidifying the hot, dry Windhoek air. This has helped make it 79% more energy efficient than the industry average. It has an intelligent energy and water monitoring system, a live on-screen energy and water usage display, and a Xeriscape Garden with an artificial turf putting green.

Wilkinson says: “The Green Star certified projects showcase world-class, innovative implementations that benefit people, planet and profit. Results in the USA, Australia and now Africa clearly show there is no significant difference between the costs of green buildings compared to conventional buildings. However, green buildings show the potential to achieve better investment returns and higher valuations.”

As the market becomes more aware of these benefits, the GBCSA expects green building to gain even more traction in Africa.

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Source: africapropertynews


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Green building accelerates in Africa

With office buildings in Rwanda and Namibia both receiving 6-Star Green Star ratings, certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), green building is gaining rapid momentum in Africa.

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In Kigali, Rwanda, the Nobelia Office Tower has achieved the very first Green Star rating in the country – a 6-Star Green Star SA-Rwanda – Office v1 Design rating for shell and core. While in Windhoek, Namibia, Emcon Consulting Group’s offices received a 6-Star Green Star SA-Namibia – Existing Building Performance Tool v1 rating, becoming the second Green Star certified building in the country, and the first to attain a 6-Star rating.

Commenting on these landmark ratings, Brian Wilkinson, CEO of GBCSA, says: “The pace of green building in Africa is accelerating, not only in South Africa but across the continent. Green building is a growing global movement, but its implementation varies widely by country and region, including the rate of growth in green involvement, triggers and obstacles impacting that growth and even the degree of benefits noted.”

“Africa has already made great strides in green building, and these are only its first steps in the significant green building journey of a continent bearing the brunt of the negative effects of climate change,” he adds.

Adapting Green Star SA tools for specific local contexts

The GBCSA’s Green Star SA rating tools were developed specifically for the South African context but are also a natural touch point for green building movements and councils in other parts of Africa. The GBCSA, therefore, seeks to work with other green building councils and structures like the African Network of Green Building Councils to adapt Green Star SA tools for specific local contexts – this has been done through what the GBCSA calls a Local Context Report.

So far, Local Context Reports have been developed for Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia, Mauritius, and Uganda with the GBCSA working in collaboration with the relevant Green Building Councils to certify buildings in these countries.

In this way, the GBCSA is clearing the path for fledgling green building industries, like those behind the new Green Star certifications in Rwanda and Namibia.

The Nobelia Office Tower in Kigali, Rwanda has set its sights on being a leading green building in Rwanda and the wider Central East African region. The 19 storey tower will have 16 floors dedicated to office space, adjacent to commercial, residential, recreational and retail zones. It is constructed on previously developed land to prevent urban sprawl.

Manfred Braune, GBCSA’s chief technical officer, reports: “This project scored very high results in key areas of its rating, including energy consumption, water management, emissions and transport. It boasts several impressive sustainable building features.”

This includes the building’s ability to provide dehumidified fresh air, solar panels and on-site water treatment. Its façade is a tribute to the building’s green inner workings, with mesh that allows for plant growth and shading. The building’s waste management plan even includes an on-site composting facility to improve on soil, plant growth and biodiversity.

Lofty green goals

In Namibia, Emcon Consulting Group is leading by example. As an African consultancy firm that operates in the energy, electricity, building services and project management sectors, it set lofty green goals for its own office in the heart of Klein Windhoek.

Braune says what makes this project even more remarkable is that Emcon’s 6-Star Green Star Existing Building Performance rating submission was led by first-time Green Star Accredited Professional (AP), Emcon’s own Carina Muller, who achieved this in the first round of what is typically a two-round process.

Previously a private residence, Emcon’s office building’s green performance was boosted with a solar power plant, more natural light with daylight control, and an energy efficient evaporative cooling system that provides 100% fresh air – cooling and humidifying the hot, dry Windhoek air. This has helped make it 79% more energy efficient than the industry average. It has an intelligent energy and water monitoring system, a live on-screen energy and water usage display, and a Xeriscape Garden with an artificial turf putting green.

Wilkinson says: “The Green Star certified projects showcase world-class, innovative implementations that benefit people, planet and profit. Results in the USA, Australia and now Africa clearly show there is no significant difference between the costs of green buildings compared to conventional buildings. However, green buildings show the potential to achieve better investment returns and higher valuations.”

As the market becomes more aware of these benefits, the GBCSA expects green building to gain even more traction in Africa.

“Green building presents a compelling business case. Our partners, associates and Green Star certified projects have already started reaping the rewards of their green investments through lower operating costs, higher returns on their assets, minimised churn and increased productivity – all while doing their bit for the environment,” Wilkinson says.

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Water in Mining 2016 will cover water sustainability issues in mining.

The 5th International Congress on Water Management in Mining, Water in Mining 2016, creates a space to identify trends, better practices, methodologies and technologies that are used in the water management in mining.

November 13 2015

The 5th International Congress on Water Management in Mining, Water in Mining 2016, that will take place from May 18-20 in the Hotel Grand Hyatt, Santiago, Chile, will focus on the development of a much more sustainable water management in the mining cycle.

The Conference will address topics relating to integral water management throughout the mining life cycle:; desalinization and seawater use; alternative water supply; efficient water use and water recycling; water accounting; mine dewatering; acid rock drainage prediction, prevention and treatment; water footprint and cost-effective water management.

The Executive Committee of Waterinmining 2016, will be preceded by Mauricio Gironás, Concentrator and Port Manager, Candelaria and Ojos del Salado Mines, Lundin Mining; while Neil McIntyre, Director of the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry, (SMI), The University of Queensland; and Virginia Ciminelli, Director of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Mineral Resources, Water and Biodiversity, INCT-Acqua, Brazil, will participate as Co-chair.

Water in Mining 2016 is organized by the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry, Sustainable Minerals Institute (CWiMI), University of Queensland; the National Institute of Science and Technology on Mineral Resources, Water and Biodiversity; and Gecamin.

The last version of Water in Mining that took place in 2014, brought together over 440 participants from 21 countries and there were more than 60 presentations.

Source: gecamin


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Water Management Is Highly Energy Consuming — But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Water management is essential to maximizing the resources that we have. But water management demands a lot of energy. Energy costs money and increases the greenhouse-gas emissions. Water- and wastewater-treatment facilities are normally the single-largest electricity consumer for a municipality. Typically water- and wastewater-treatment processes account for 25-40% of the municipality’s electricity bill — energy that can be saved and money that can be freed up and put to better use elsewhere. The answer lies in understanding that the technology and knowledge is available to make water-management systems energy neutral.

So why is water and wastewater management so energy intensive? The high consumption is related to the energy-intensive processes but also its continuous-operation cycle, 24/7 and 365 days annually. When clean water is distributed to consumers, it is pumped through the pipework at high pressure. The pressure corresponds to the pressure needed at the furthest end or highest altitude of the system. If the system is not divided into sections, the initial pressure has to be very high. The high pressure strains the pipes to the extent that the United Nations highlights that leakage rates of 50% are not uncommon in urban-distribution systems. Here we are talking fresh water — one of the scarcest resources we have, just pouring into the ground!

Once utilized, the water, now wastewater, is pumped through a separate piping system from the consumer to the treatment facility. Here is it treated, and the cleaned water re-entered into the natural-water cycle. All this pumping and treatment requires energy. However, it is possible to reduce energy consumption, maximize energy production, manage leakages and reduce maintenance and replacement of pipes. It is possible to the extent that the whole system can become energy neutral.

By managing the pressure in the drinking-water pipework by dividing it into sections that are individually controlled, leakages can typically be reduced by 30-40%. This is achieved by using technologies like Danfoss variable-frequency drives to control the pressure in the pipes. This not only saves precious drinking water, but also saves energy.

In Aarhus Water Ltd, we supply water and purify wastewater from more than 300,000 customers in the Danish city of Aarhus. We have transformed the Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant from an energy consumer to an energy provider. In traditional wastewater-treatment plants, the energy that is produced is nowhere near enough to actually run a wastewater-treatment plant. But here in Aarhus it is. The plant is now in fact a power station — a bio refinery where energy is produced from wastewater. Good news for our local budgets but also for an increasingly energy-hungry world.

Production of energy from wastewater is no new invention. However, it’s new that a wastewater-treatment plant can produce as much as 192% energy — based on normal household wastewater. Hopefully this ceases to be a novelty. Because scaled up, it means that the huge energy consumption from water and wastewater facilities could be avoided, turning the single-largest electricity consumer in municipalities into an energy-neutral party.

The 192% comes from combining:

· 130% electricity production (30% excess electricity)

· Excess heat production of about 2.5 GWh/year (used in local district-heating system)

The wastewater-treatment plant now produces enough energy to cover 94% of all the energy used for the whole water cycle, from water production, water distribution over wastewater pumping to wastewater treatment in the 200,000-persons catchment area.

In the very near future, the expectation is to get above 100% and so have made this highly energy consuming industry completely energy neutral.

Naturally this has grabbed the attention of many around the world, and we in Aarhus Water are pleased to share. As an example we are working with a delegation from Chicago to achieve similar results in their city. The hope is that many more will follow, because lack of water and climate change are among the top three global risks, according to the World Economic Forum. Energy scarcity is a global challenge we have yet to solve. However, pioneering solutions that can help meet these challenges are ready to be replicated.

This post is part of a “Nordic Solutions” series produced by The Huffington Post, in conjunction with the U.N.’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris (Nov. 30-Dec. 11), aka the climate-change conference. The series will put a spotlight on climate solutions from the five Nordic countries, and is part of our What’s Workingeditorial initiative. To view the entire series, visit here.

Source: huffingtonpost


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The No. 1 Green Building Benefit: Lower Operating Costs

The building industry is rapidly developing new technology to manage emissions and improve energy efficiency and water management, while also lowering operating expenses.

“Commercial and industrial property owners who oversee green buildings will see a significant savings across energy, trash, water and maintenance costs,” says USGBC spokeperson Leticia McCadden. “Over the next four years (2015-2018), the green construction industry is expected to save $2.4 billion in energy.”

This was evident the US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2015 last week. And according to a new green building trends report previewed at the event about 70 percent of survey respondents cite lower operating costs as the greatest benefit of green building.

“Green buildings are better for the environment, better for business and better for the people within them,” says John Mandyck, United Technologies Corp. chief sustainability officer. “Green building activity continues to accelerate, with growing awareness of occupant and tenant benefits, speaking to the fact that the real, tangible benefits of green buildings are becoming more widely recognized.”

Green Building Doubling Every Three Years

United Technologies Corp co-funded the World Green Building Trends 2016 report by Dodge Data & Analytics. It surveyed 1,000 building professionals from 69 countries, building on 2008 and 2012 research, and found respondents across all regions studied projected that more than 60 percent of their projects would be green projects by 2018, with a doubling from current projects across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The largest percentage of green building activity continues to be in the commercial building segment, comprising 46 percent of respondents’ future green building projects. Activity in institutional buildings — schools, hospitals and public buildings — is expected to surpass green building projects in existing buildings (38 and 37 percent respectively) by 2018.

The full findings of the report, which will be available in 2016, reaffirm 2008 and 2012 research that green building is doubling every three years.

Forty percent of respondents noted client demands as a driver for green building activity, followed by environmental regulations (35 percent). Both categories increased over 2008 and 2012 responses. From an environmental perspective, reducing energy consumption (84 percent) and reducing water consumption (76 percent) topped the list as important.

Water Management an Emerging Focus Area

Benjamin Freas, Navigant Research senior research analyst, said at Greenbuild he heard more interest in water management as well as how buildings fit into smart cities. Water management in buildings is an area Navigant continues to watch as well.

“Water has historically been too cheap to worry too much about in commercial buildings,” Freas says. “Increased focus on water scarcity and declining prices of control hardware is starting to unlock the water management market.”

Another area for growth is in building controls. As HVAC, lighting and other equipment become increasingly efficient, future efficiency gains will rely on managing how the equipment operates, Freas says.

Green Building Challenges

“The biggest change in building controls is the continuing convergence of IT and building technology,” he says. “This is enabling better integration between building systems and providing more data to building systems. In turn, with more data, buildings can operate beyond the scope of optimized local systems to improving operation on a building level.”

While an “unprecedented level” of green building technology has emerged to keep occupants comfortable while reducing operating expenses, the challenge to building owners and operators is the cost-effective implementation of this technology, Freas says. Big data allows buildings to run more efficiently and these high-tech features help building owners better attract and retain tenants.

“The biggest opportunity comes from how to deliver this functionality,” Freas says. “It will be an internet of things platform. But, will it be traditional building controls companies adapting their offerings to the internet? Will it be IT infrastructure companies pulling building networks into their purview? Will it be consumer electronics manufacturers leveraging the ubiquity of mobile devices to provide meaningful data to building systems?”

Role in Climate Change

James Cameron weighed in on climate change and green building at the US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2015.

A keynote speaker at last week’s event, the director of films including “Avatar,” “Titanic” and “The Terminator,” told the Washington Post that growing populations mean massive building in cities globally. “If all those buildings are constructed the way we’ve traditionally constructed buildings it will be an enormous spike in greenhouse gas emissions,” Cameron said.

On a global scale, green buildings can play a key role in helping manage climate change, says the US Green Building Council.

As the COP21 climate talks in Paris approach, the USGBC has joined with other councils around the world to advance the green building sector by 2030 and achieve by 2050 two major goals: net-zero-carbon new building in addition to energy efficiency and deep refurbishment of existing stock. For the first time, COP will feature a Buildings Day to highlight the importance of green buildings as a critical piece of the climate change response. And USGBC has committed to, in the next five year, scaling up efforts to support certification of a projected over 5 billion square feet of green building with LEED and EDGE.

Source: environmentalleader


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Johannesburg named the country’s ‘greenest’ metro

The City of Johannesburg, whose environmental policy innovations include an integrated waste management plan that covers all relevant environmental legislation, has been named the country’s most environment-friendly metropolitan municipality in the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA’s) fourth Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC).

The Mogalakwena municipality, in Limpopo, was named the winner in the local municipality category, boasting waste management efforts that included discouraging the use of bottled water and exploiting digital media to communicate with the public.

The City of Johannesburg and the Mogalakwena municipality would each receive R3.5-million in prize money, which would be used for projects and activities that enhanced the DEA’s green agenda, were aligned with the aims of the GMC and were implemented in terms of the Expanded Public Works Programme.

First runner-up in the metropolitan municipality category, Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape, was awarded R3-million, while second runner-up, Buffalo City, in the Eastern Cape, would receive R2.5-million.

In the local municipality category, first runner-up Umhlathuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, was awarded R3-million, while second runner-up Nkomazi, in Mpumalanga, would receive R2.5-million.

Announcing the winners of the yearly competition at an award ceremony in Limpopo, on Wednesday, EnvironmentalAffairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson said the competition, which was first introduced in 2001, aimed to raise awareness on issues around environmental protection, social upliftment and economic growth.

The competition accommodated developments within the greening movement and considered elements such as energy efficiency and conservation, water management, landscaping, tree planting and beautification, public participation and community empowerment, leadership and institutional arrangements.

“The reality of the matter is that actions to fight and curb [climate change and human-induced climatic conditions] should start at local government level. If the municipalities’ integrated development plans incorporate measures to address this, we can be assured of tackling the problem successfully in the end, no matter how long it takes,” Thomson commented

Source: Engineering News


 

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Thirsty SA on brink of water crisis

Durban – South Africans use 235 litres of water each a day compared to the international average of 173 litres – which is pushing the country into a water crisis that will, within a decade, rival the electricity catastrophe.

This is coupled with ageing infrastructure and a backlog of water delivery to communities because not enough money is being pumped into infrastructure.

This is the picture painted by the Institute of Security Studies in a report called “Parched Prospects: The emerging water crisis in South Africa” which was released last year.

The ISS focuses on all aspects of human security including poverty, development and resources.

The report said high use, coupled with waste, poor planning, abuse, and looming climate change, was creating the predicament.

In an interview Dr Jakkie Cilliers, a co-author of the report, told The Mercury that 60% of the 223 river ecosystems were threatened and 25% were critical.

“If we don’t start dealing with the water problem, we are going to get into a situation where the margins are going to get really tight and water restrictions will be severe.”

Cilliers said water management needed to be made a priority as there was insufficient capacity to build enough dams.

“Low and unpredictable supply coupled with high (and growing) demand and poor use of existing water resources make South Africa a water constrained country.”

With evaporation levels that are three times more that the low annual rainfall, South Africa is already the 30th driest country in the world.

He was doubtful about the policy interventions proposed in the latest National Water Resource Strategy. These included improving planning and management and increasing supply to meet growing demand.

“Unfortunately the government’s current plans to address our water inefficiency are not sufficient. There’s strong evidence of years of underinvestment in water infrastructure. As a result there is a backlog of communities who don’t have access to clean water coupled with the issue of ageing infrastructure,” said Cilliers.

Environmentalist Di Jones said the target for all South Africans to have access to clean water by 2030 would only be realised if water management was made a priority.

“I’m not against desalination and building of new dams, but I think we should first look at less costly measures to stretch the litres that we already have, and consumers must start saving water in their homes.”

Jones said upgrading the ageing infrastructure had to be a priority as it crippled the economy with millions of litres lost through leaks.

“Our dams need to be desludged to maximise capacity… Hazelmere Dam is said to be 37% full, but that’s not true because about 15% is sludge,” said Jones.

She suggested that industries and agriculture start using grey water instead of potable water.

A decline in demand is expected after 2035, but only in industry, thanks to the onset of renewable energy production which does not require water for cooling.

The municipal and agricultural sectors would increase demand because of rural-urban migration and the government’s plan to increase irrigated land by 33%.

To mitigate the strain on water systems, Umgeni Water has budgeted R5 billion for the next five years for six augmentation projects including raising Hazelmere Dam’s wall.

Also under construction is the R2bn Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme.

“We are also looking into desalination, and feasibility studies have been conducted for two sites, in Lovu and Seatides (Tongaat),” said Umgeni’s Shami Harichunder.

Cilliers said desalination was costly at first and probably less viable because of the energy crisis. However, it would be beneficial to coastal areas and less expensive with new technology in renewable energy in the future.

Angela Masefield of the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation conceded that some river systems were under strain.

“We are constantly monitoring demand to ensure that we can give citizens, industries and agriculture assurances that they will have water in the future.”

Besides climate change, Masefield’s other concern was the high level of non-revenue water lost through leaks, waste and theft.

In 2013 the WRC released a report on a study, conducted on 132 municipalities, which said about 36.8% of water use brought in no revenue. Of this, 25.4% was lost to leaks. This was similar to the estimated world average of 36.6% but was high in comparison to other developing countries.

“We sometimes find that even those who can afford to pay for water choose not to pay and then there are those who are ‘luxurious’ with water, resulting in the household usage being higher than it should be. This, coupled with illegal connections, results in the system being unstable,” said Masefield.

Source: IOL News

 

#cocreateSA Fund awarded to nine South African-Dutch sustainability projects

Nine projects addressing sustainability issues including water management, healthcare, solar energy and transport have been awarded over half a million Rand as part of the #cocreateSA Fund. An initiative of the Dutch Consulate General, the fund is the legacy of its World Design Capital 2014 programme, Department of Design.

“With Department of Design we took a valuable step toward introducing South African and Dutch partners who can work together to find solutions for local challenges,” said Dutch Consul General, Bonnie Horbach. “With this fund we show our commitment to strengthening those relationships.”

Awarded projects include a partnership between the City of Cape Town and the Dutch Water Research Institute to implement water management programmes and improve service delivery. South African start-up EWIZZ and Dutch companies SANEC and SolarSwing were awarded for their programme to create an affordable, zero-emissions transport for students.

An initiative to develop solar lighting solutions for the communities of Witteklip, Shamrock and Fitches Corner in the Eastern Cape also received funds, as a collaboration between Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development and Dutch technology firm Solar Works.

Merging healthcare, design and technology, a co-create health initiative between the Cape Craft and Design Institute and Dutch company Philips aims to use design-thinking to build relationships between local health departments, healthcare workers and a range of social scientists and designers.

The Dutch World Design Capital programme, Department of Design was held over three weeks in July in Cape Town. It brought together South African and Dutch partners in design and sustainability for workshops, roundtables and keynote events. It was attended by locals, and community members including Premier Helen Zille and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

A commitment to strengthening the relationships that began at Department of Design, the #cocreateSA Fund was open to applicants from South African-based projects that involved collaboration with a Dutch partner and addressed issues covered during the programme.

Further strengthening the #cocreateSA legacy, Horbach has announced a second round of funding to be available from 2015. This brings the total investment from the Netherlands in #cocreateSA to more than R5m, making it the largest foreign contributor to World Design Capital 2014.

The Netherlands is South Africa’s third largest EU-trading partner and second largest investor in terms of stock after the United Kingdom. It is also the largest importer of goods from the Western Cape, worth R6.8bn and the third largest investor in that area totalling R2.7 billion.

Source: Cape Business News