South Africa: Minister Edna Molewa Announces Imminent New Waste Management Plan


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa announced that South Africa will soon have a Paper and Packaging Industry Plan, which will bring a significant change in the current waste management regime.

“Through this plan we hope that we can commence with separation at source from household levels. This will not only minimise the amount of waste going to landfills but will also unlock the economic potential of this waste stream,” Minister Molewa said during the official launch of the Ekurhuleni Clean City Programme at Tsakane Stadium yesterday, Saturday 24 October 2015.

The Paper and Packaging Industry Plan will follow the Waste Tyre Management Plan which has seen 31% of waste tyres are being diverted from landfill for re-use, recycling and recovery purposes, while approximately 3 000 jobs and 200 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises and Cooperatives have been established through the implementation of the waste tyre management plan.

It is through such Industry Waste Management Plans that the government continues to work towards realisation of the right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and wellbeing of people in South Africa.

The Waste Information baseline study that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) conducted in 2011, revealed that approximately 108 million tons of waste was generated, of which 97 million tons were disposed to landfill. Only 10% of the generated waste in South Africa was recycled in 2011.

Minister Molewa urged all spheres of government to uphold the environmental right by adhering to the prescripts of relevant legislation, particularly the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) (NEMWA). “The general duty of government with regard to upholding this environmental right as contained in the Waste Act is that all relevant organs of state must put in place measures that seek to reduce the amount of waste that is generated and ensure that waste is reused, recycled and recovered in an environmentally sound manner before being safely treated and disposed of,” she said.

The NEMWA has been enacted to amongst other matters give a clear division of roles, responsibilities, and mandatory obligations for the three spheres of government, private sector and civil society. This legislative alignment governing waste demonstrates the government’s ambition for a clean environment and a healthy society in South Africa.

It is therefore not only the responsibility of government to create a clean environment, but the society is also equally responsible to protect and sustain the cleanliness of the environment. “The Act has further placed a general duty to citizens to ensure that they avoid the generation of waste, but where such cannot be avoided, they should minimise the toxicity, promote re-use, recycle and recover the waste. This should be done in the context of achieving sustainable consumption and production pattern, thereby shifting towards a resource efficiency trajectory. It will further promote our green economy initiatives as outlined in a set of legislations and strategies that we have put in place,” said Minister Molewa.

In an effort to fast track effective implementation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) (NEMWA), the DEA has developed the National Waste Management Strategy, which promotes waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste. It is in accordance to this strategy that at least 77% recyclable waste is diverted from landfill sites by 2019.

“The implementation of an industry plan for the paper and packaging waste stream will put value to this waste stream and facilitate the establishment and operation of businesses within this sector. In doing so we hope we will in future not see all this waste in our streets as it will move from being “waste” to being a “resource,” said Minister Molewa.

As such, government and waste industry are exploring the notion of recycling economy, which is an exciting approach that will not only eliminate threats to environmental quality and its integrity, but also positively contribute to the growth and development of South Africa’s economy.

Minister Molewa commended the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality for initiating the Clean City Programme, and called upon other municipalities throughout the country to embark on a similar journey to ensure that the right to a clean environment is extended to all South Africans.

Source: allafrica

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South Africa: Environmental Affairs and Isimangaliso Wetlands Park Celebrate World Rhino Day


The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, has paid tribute to local communities and the youth for their commitment to combating rhino poaching.

Deputy Minister Thomson said the youth, as the moral, economic, political and thought leaders of tomorrow are key in the battle that is being fought.

“They are the future conservation leaders and are the generation that will influence the continued existence of legal and illegal wildlife markets, thus contributing to a decline in the consumption, and demand, for rhino horn,” she said.

“We rely on communities, nationally and internationally, to support us in neutralising the threat posed by organised transnational criminal syndicates involved in the illegal wildlife trade. It is only through working with communities that sustainable solutions to the problem can be found,” said the Deputy Minister.

The Deputy Minister led the World Rhino Day 2015 celebrations, hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs in partnership with the iSimangaliso Wetland Park at St Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal today, 22 September 2015.

World Rhino Day – 22 September – was launched by the World Wildlife Fund-South Africa in 2010 to celebrate the five different species of Rhino. The Day has since grown to become a global event to draw attention to the impact of poaching on the continued survival of the species.

South Africa has a proud conservation record, having brought the rhino back from near extinction in the 1960s to a healthy estimated 20 000 black and white rhino by the end of 2013. The country has been described as the only remaining hope for the world in terms of rhino conservation.

The World Rhino Day event at iSimangaliso included the handing out much-needed equipment to some of the 185 entrepreneurs supported through the World Heritage Site’s Rural Enterprise Programme. So far, equipment to the value of R 5.9 million has been awarded to participating enterprises. iSimangaliso is also investing in skills for the future – 67 students are being supported to study at University in the fields of conservation and tourism to develop skills.

Year-on-year the land care and infrastructure development programmes, funded through the Department of Environmental Affairs, have employed community-based contractors creating over 50 000 temporary jobs in the last 10 years. Training programmes in tourism, hospitality and tour-guiding have included local people in the growth.

“These new partners benefit directly from conservation and in this way the Park’s outstanding heritage values have become tangible,” said the Deputy Minister ahead of World Heritage Day to be marked on Thursday, 24 September 2015.

The Deputy Minister also signed the World Youth Wildlife Declaration through which youth have demanded that their voices be heard stating that they do not want to be the generation to tell their grandchildren that they did nothing about rhino poaching or wildlife crime.

“Public awareness is pertinent in achieving the department’s priorities aimed at building a culture of environmental awareness and instilling a sense of responsible citizenship using social marketing tactics,” said the Deputy Minister.

The Department of Environmental Affair, has been leading the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa, which was approved by the Cabinet in August 2014. The four key aspects of the programme are the management of rhino populations, compulsory or pro-active anti-poaching interventions, national and international collaboration and long-term sustainability measures, which include the inclusion of communities in all initiatives aimed at ending rhino poaching.

Among the measures in the approach bearing fruit has been the deployment of the Department’s Environmental Management Inspectors, better known as the Green Scorpions, at the O R Tambo International Airport to make sure that non-compliance with the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) and its Regulations are enforced. The main aim is to detect the trafficking of wildlife products.

As part of the national roll-out of this initiative, we are in the process of deploying Green Scorpions to KwaZulu-Natal. These inspectors will be based at King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) and service Durban harbour, the Airport and the Golela border post.

The Deputy Minister called on communities to blow the whistle on rhino poaching, and wildlife crime.

“By blowing the whistle on rhino poaching and wildlife crime you are not only contributing towards saving a species for future generations – our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – to enjoy and benefit from, you are also contributing to a safer society,” she said. “I would again like to appeal to all of you here today, to become the eyes and ears of the police – to report rhino and wildlife crime, and to state clearly: Not on our Watch!”

Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs

Source: allafrica

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South Africa: Environmental Affairs Investigates Solid Waste Technologies’ City Deep Facility


The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) can confirm that the Green Scorpions executed a search warrant at the Solid Waste Technologies’ City Deep, Johannesburg, processing facility on 31 August 2015.

The company has been prosecuted in the past for failure to comply with conditions of its permits as well as contraventions of the Waste Act. These contraventions took place in 2012 and the court convicted and sentenced the company to a fine of R200 000 on 30 April 2015.

The execution of the search warrant this week follows an inspection conducted by waste specialists from the DEA last week. The waste specialists noted serious concerns in relation to the manner in which anatomical and infectious waste was being stored. It was found that tonnes of healthcare risk waste (medical waste) was not being treated and/or stored properly, which is in contravention of the conditions of the waste management licence that was issued to Solid Waste Technologies.

The investigation and execution of the search warrant has also uncovered serious violations of the Waste Act by some of the major healthcare groups whose waste is being stored at the facility. Criminal charges against these healthcare groups are also being investigated, as the ultimate legal responsibility lies with the waste generators to ensure that the waste is treated and disposed of correctly.

Spokesperson for the Department Albi Modise said: “This criminal investigation further emphasises the Green Scorpions’ zero tolerance approach to unlawful activities as far as health care risk waste is concerned”.

Members of the public are also urged to report any environmental incidents and tip offs to the 24 hour toll free anonymous number 0800 205 005.

Source: allafrica

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SA sites approved as Unesco reserves

Cape Town – The United National Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has approved the designation of the Magaliesberg and Gouritz cluster ecosystems as Biosphere Reserves.

The two biosphere reserves add to the existing portfolio of six biosphere reserves in South Africa, bringing the total of these important protected ecosystems to eight.

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs confirmed that the designation of the Biosphere Reserves was approved at the 27th Session of the Unesco Man and Biosphere (MAB) International Coordinating Council in Paris, France, on Tuesday. The Council is being held from June 8 to 12.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa said: “South Africa is proud about the additional sites that have just been listed and the government, as the designation of these areas, supports national efforts of expansion of the conservation estate in addition to supporting the achievement of government’s development objectives”.

The Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve straddles the Gauteng and North West provinces and falls within the Bushveld Bakenveld terrestrial priority area, which has been identified as a priority area for conservation action. The site is at the interface of two great African biomes, namely, the Central Grassland Plateaux and the sub-Saharan savannah with the remnants of a third biome, the Afro-montane forest.

The Magaliesberg Reserve covers approximately 360 000 ha and was located between the Pretoria and Johannesburg in the east and Rustenburg in the west, with approximately 262 000 people living within the designated area.

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In addition, the area is endowed with scenic beauty, unique natural features, rich cultural heritage value while it is also of high archaeological interest as it includes the Cradle of Humankind, which is part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa World Heritage site with 4 million years of history. The area contains rich floral biodiversity, a number of faunal species, and over 45 percent of the total bird species of Southern Africa.

The second newly designated site, the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve area covers an area of more than three million hectares and straddles the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces. The area is globally unique as it is the only area in the world where three recognised biodiversity hotspots — the Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Maputoland-Tongoland-Albany hotspots — converge.

The entire biosphere domain falls within the Cape Floristic Kingdom which is the smallest, but one of the richest of the six floral kingdoms in the world, and the only one found entirely within the boundaries of one country.

The Gouritz Reserve is home to high levels of endemic plant species, threatened invertebrates and butterfly species. It also provides a migratory route for large mammals and serves as a nursery for marine species. Due to its immense historical significance, the biosphere reserve includes three components of the internationally renowned Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

The existing Biosphere Reserves in South Africa are:

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (Western Cape Province, designated 1998)

Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (Western Cape Province, designated 2000)

Waterberg Biosphere Reserve (Limpopo Province, designated 2001)

Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere Reserve (Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga, designated 2001)

Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (Western Cape Province, designated 2007)

Vhembe Biosphere Reserve (Limpopo Province, designated May 2009).

“The government will continue to manage its growing portfolio of biosphere reserves in collaboration with land owners, communities and other partners to ensure that we meet Unesco standards and our own national goals of sustainable development,” Molewa said in a statement on Wednesday.

Molewa indicated that the implementation of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve management plan would create a number of alternative community opportunities in partnership with the private sector and mitigate negative industrial impacts in pursuit of sustainable tourism and cultural heritage development.

Molewa added that the designation of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, which was South Africa’s biggest biosphere reserve, “will enhance South Africa’s status as the third most biodiverse country in the world and enhance our effort to conserve the world renowned Cape Floral region”.

Launched in 1970 by the Unesco General Conference, the Intergovernmental Man and Biosphere Programme aims to improve human environments and preserve natural ecosystems. The Programme promotes research and capacity building with the main objective of reducing the loss of biodiversity and addressing the ecological, social and economic aspects. The Unesco network of biosphere reserves connects people around the world who were pioneering a positive future for people and nature.

The South African delegation was being led by the Acting Deputy Director General for Biodiversity and Conservation in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Skumsa Mancotywa, who was supported by the Heads of Departments for Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Thandeka Mbasa and North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development, Dr Poncho Mokaila.

Source: iol

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Recycling key to meeting goal of zero plastics to landfill by 2030

Industry body Plastics South Africa (SA) believes that its sustainability objective, dubbed ‘Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030’, which was launched in February last year, is both realistic and achievable. The organisation says the goal, which will be pursued in phases, will rely heavily on improved access to solid waste streams, with separation at source viewed as increasingly critical to bolstering recycling rates.

Plastics SA executive director Anton Hanekom says the rising cost of landfill space places recycling at the top of the agenda for all packaging streams and that its sustainability initiatives are, thus, focusing on developing strategies that will enable the plastics industry to increase recycling rates.

Government is also supportive, but Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa believes that waste as a resource remains neglected, notwithstanding rising volumes and advances in technology.

Speaking during the National Waste Manage- ment Summit in March, the Minister argued that current waste management practices were inadequate and urged stakeholders to pursue innovative ideas to improve waste management systems and drive the recycling economy.

Molewa said the country should move towards implementing Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) policies and waste management strategies, which had been designed to encourage reuse, recycling and recovery, with disposal of waste at landfills being a last resort.

The DEA was working with provinces, municipalities and industry to ensure that the economic benefits emanating from recycling waste were realised and that the country moved away from dumping recyclable waste at landfill sites.

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Plastics SA hopes that higher recycling rates will positively affect the economy, resulting in the initiation of programmes that will enhance locally manufactured plastic goods, create employment, in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), and increase consumer partici- pation in the recycling process.

Key Drivers

Plastics SA has identified seven key aspects of improvement and development to align the plastics industry’s objectives with the sustain- ability objective of the NDP.

These areas are: developing an effective infrastructure across the value chain, ensuring ongoing research and development into new technologies and markets, establishing credible data sources and information sharing across the value chain, developing skills to enable technology and infrastructure, changing and improving consumer understanding and behaviour regarding recycling and waste disposal, developing industry collaboration towards the outcomes envisioned by Plastics SA, and ensuring constructive and effective engagement and collaboration between industry and government.

To achieve these goals, Plastics SA has envisioned a phased development of the initiative to 2030 – the foundation-setting phase (2014 to 2017), the building and innovation phase (2018 to 2020) and the optimising phase (2020 to 2030).

During the foundation-setting phase, Plastics SA’s objective is the uniform operation of the plastics industry and the provision of infrastructure guidelines that need to be followed by all stakeholders, as well as the establishment of a research and development plan, and the development of a mixed plastics recycling technology that will foster the

Additionally, the phase will include the development of an industry statistics tool and a government engagement plan; life-cycle assessments of plastics; the implementation of a skills map and government training for stakeholders; recycling labels on plastic products sold to get consumers involved; and the initiation of clean-ups.

The building and innovating phase will aim to put waste-to-energy solutions in place, trigger the building of recycling centres, provide statistics and life- cycle assessments to inform industry of the progress of the initiative, foster ongoing collaboration with government, increase collaboration to include other packaging companies and designate trained waste-management officers appointed by government to different recycling centres.

The optimising phase will greatly emphasise the recycling rates and put solutions in place for all remaining waste, implement recycling campaigns across the country, and optimise government and industry collaborations.

Recycling Initiatives

To further strengthen the initiative, recycling company Petco’s largest contracted recycler, Extrupet, has aligned itself with the Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030 initiative following the launch of its Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling Plant, in Wadeville, Germiston, last week.

The new facility will supply an additional 14 000 t of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin a year to the PET packaging industry and will eventually divert an additional 22 000 metric tons of postconsumer PET bottles a year from landfills. In this way, jobs can be created and landfill space can be saved, which is in line with the Waste Amendment Act’s objective.

In the last decade, Petco has increased PET recycling rates in South Africa from 16% in 2004 to 49% by the end of 2014. This rate is set to rise in 2015, with a target of 50% being chased.

Moreover, the facility will also allow Petco to meet its recycling target of 70% by 2022, which is an estimated growth amounting to 170 000 t of PET bottles being recycled.

Acknowledging the facility as being a milestone in the drive towards increasing the recycling rate, Hanekom draws on statistics released by the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation last year on behalf of Plastics SA to emphasise the need to continue recycling initiatives in order to reach the 2030 target.

“Since 2009, the amount of [plastic products] manufactured in South Africa has increased by 34% to 1.4-million tons a year. In 2013, 20% of the plastic waste produced was recovered and recycled either locally or internationally. This amounts to 280 000 t of plastic being diverted from landfill, which reflects a 4.1% increase on the previous year,” he says.

Moreover, Hanekom points out that almost 80% of plastic waste recycled in South Africa during 2013 was derived from plastic packaging, resulting in an 8.9% increase from 2012. However, the industry failed to reach its 40% recycling rate target in 2013, which, he notes, was as a result of the economic recession in 2013.

This has also led to a 10.6% decrease since 2012 in formal employment created through plastic recycling. Of the 4 510 formal jobs supported by the plastics recycling industry in 2013, 7.7% were contract workers. These workers were involved in the sorting of waste on a full-time basis and were paid for their output and did not earn a set wage for time spent on the job.

Additionally, the research indicates that the amount of plastic waste collected from households and businesses in 2013 increased, with recyclables sourced from landfills and other postconsumer sources also having increased from 59% in 2012 to 66% in 2013.

Economic Benefits

The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) says that exploring ways in which plastics can create a circular economy through collaboration between the public and private sectors can assist the plastics industry in reaching its target.

“By involving all stakeholders, government and the private sector, the Redisa tyre industry circular-economy model is working,” says Redisa director Stacy Davidson.

She adds that tyre manufacturers and importers are taking responsibility for their waste without losing sight of focusing on their core business; unemployed people are finding gainful employment as small, medium-sized and micro- enterprises are being developed and supported by the Redisa integrated industry waste-tyre management plan (IIWTMP); and the significant environmental threat that waste tyres represent is effectively being addressed.

The Redisa IIWTMP, approved by Molewa in 2012, states that tyre producers (manufacturers and importers) are charged a waste management fee of R2.30, excluding VAT, on every kilogram of new tyre rubber produced. The funds collected are then used to develop and support the collectors, storage depots, recyclers and secondary industries that manufacture other products from recycled output.

Davidson indicates that the principle of recycling and reusing waste is a solution for not only waste tyres but also other waste streams, such as packaging and general waste. “This can help Plastics SA to deal with the plastic waste issue.”

Moreover, the Minister indicated during the summit that the National Environmental Waste Amendment Act of 2014 aimed to increase institutional capacity for managing waste streams and put mechanisms in place for the proper pricing of waste.

“This amendment outlines the method for the pricing of waste streams to ensure that funds are collected to promote the recycling economy. We all agree that diverting waste from landfill sites requires infrastructure, which must be funded,” she stated.

Therefore, Molewa noted, government had to intervene to put mechanisms in place for the provision and coordination of this infrastructure and ensure that South Africa started to capitalise on the benefits of waste management.

Promoting Local Market

Plastics SA sustainability director Douw Steyn mentions that the plastics industry is also considering the stimulation of economic growth by increasing exports and replacing imported plastic products with locally manufactured products that can be manufactured from recycled and reused plastic waste. This will not only be in line with the goals of the NDP but also promote the local plastics industry.

“South Africa has a relatively small plastics market with no strong ‘Buy Local’ drive from consumers. Therefore, we are working on increasing exports into Africa as part of our regional integration strategy, which will enable the plastics industry to take advantage of markets,” he explains.

Steyn points out that, over the past 15 years, plastic imports from Asia, particularly China, India and South Korea, have increased signifi- cantly, resulting in the closing down of local plastics manufacturing businesses, such as medical syringe manufacturers.

He says imported plastic products from Asia are significantly cheaper, but lack the quality of and are of a lower standard than those manufactured locally.

However, Steyn says, because consumers are under financial pressure, they often select the cheapest option, which impacts on the local industry, as more imported products result in fewer jobs in South Africa.

Owing to the increase in plastic imports, Plastics SA is also focusing on improving innovation and skills development in the industry.

“We need to be more creative with regard to the type of products we manufacture in South Africa,” he states, adding that most plastic products are commodities, such as bottles and bags, and that there is a lot of local competition regarding the manufacturing of these products.

“As a result, we need to think about how niche products can be created so that they can be exported. In so doing, value is added on the locally produced product, which is linked to skills development,” Steyn explains.

Although the industry will consider recycling as the first choice of dealing with plastic waste, Plastics SA has also considered the waste-to-energy recovery option, which can help save natural resources, he says.

“Also, this can support the objectives of saving landfill space, reducing litter, saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” he concludes.

Source: engineeringnews

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Bursaries for Nature Conservation SA

Nature Conservation is all about protecting our earth.  Students will learn about caring for all animals, the natural environment and how to protect it.  Conservationists are constantly working in the field surrounded by nature and animals, tracking them, transporting them and caring for the injured or ill.  There are a couple of bursaries awarded yearly to South African students to provide skilled workers in a scarce field.

Here are some of the most common study fields if thinking about a career in nature conservation:

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  • Nature Conservation – National Diploma
  • Nature Conservation – Btech
  • Conservation Biology
  • Conservation Planning
  • Marine Science
  • Biological Science
  • Zoology
  • Biodiversity

Bursaries for these fields of study will be awarded to successful candidates that have the following requirements:

  • Candidates ought to be a South African citizen with a valid ID Book / ID Card.
  • Candidates must prove the need for financial assistance for further study.
  • Candidates must show a strong academic record.
  • Candidates must prove their dedication and eagerness to follow these fields.
  • Candidates must prove registration and acceptance at an Institute of Higher Learning.
  • Provide a letter motivating why they ought to be selected.
  • Only candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds will be considered

There are great companies providing bursaries for these fields of study and you can find more information about these bursary programs here with the following institutes:

There are also bursaries made available by ‘Environmental Affairs’ for these fields of study and students can also apply at the ‘South African Wildlife College’. SANBI also offers Post graduate Bursaries for MSC and PhD Honours in nature conservation.

Students in these fields can also follow Game Ranger or Forester career paths.  There are a number of institutes within South Africa always looking for new talent in tourist information centre advisor, conservation educators and more, international opportunities are also plenty.  One can also become a lecturer or tour guide with these studies.  Working with animals can lead you to game or nature reserves or even working for a zoo.

Do you see yourself as being a nature lover?  Do you find the environment interesting and would love to aid in its preservation?  Can you handle extreme weather and daily challenges?  Do you fit in anywhere and play best as part of a team?  Do you love all animals?   Well then, you should have a look at Nature conservation as a career path.

Source: bursaries-southafrica

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Molewa’s emission reprieve criticised

Two environmental groups on Wednesday condemned Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa’s decision to grant several companies, including Eskom, a reprieve from complying with minimum emission standards.

“The decision taken yesterday… is a clear disregard for the people of the already heavily polluted areas of the Highveld and Vaal,” the Highveld Environmental Justice Network’s Nomcebo Makhubelo said in a joint statement with the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance.

“We have been opposed to these applications because they meant that industries, in particular Eskom, are ultimately seeking permission to continue destroying the health and lives of ordinary people in the Highveld.”

Eskom and other companies applied for temporary exemption from meeting deadlines to cut emissions, in terms of the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act.

“We received 37 applications from a range of facilities, namely Eskom, Sasol, Anglo American Platinum, PPC, and a number of refiners,” Molewa said on Tuesday.

“Of these we have processed 35 applications and are still awaiting additional documentation from two applicants.”

In terms of the new law, companies could apply for postponements for their plants to meet current air quality standards by April 1, 2015, and stricter standards for “new plants” by April 1, 2020.

Eskom applied for postponements for 16 of its power plants to meet standards in terms of three pollutants — particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen.

Makhubelo said the Highveld and Vaal were air quality priority areas and that specific interventions were supposed to bring the ambient air quality in line with air quality standards.

“The postponements are a direct contradiction of this goal,” she said.

“Lethabo power station is one of the biggest polluters in the Vaal Triangle… Not only has Eskom been granted postponements, but so has the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the country, Sasol. The people of the Vaal will continue to suffer from dirty air,” Makhubelo said.

Source: Engineering News



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