New statistics from recycling company Petco have revealed that more polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are being recycled than are sent to landfill, with about 4.7-million bottles recycled every day.
This resulted in 112 000 t of carbon emissions, as well as 461 000 m3 of landfill space, being saved.
Noting that South Africa was winning the battle of recycling plastic bottles, the company said 52% of post-consumer PET plastic bottles, or around 74 000 t, were collected for recycling last year.
This is expected to increase to 54% for 2016.
Meanwhile, Petco said that about 50 000 sustainable employment opportunities have been created, with R275-million having been invested in support of recycling projects.
About R1.2-billion was paid to PET collectors by recyclers with Petco playing a catalytic role by investing R1-billion in infrastructure development.
The organisation further facilitated R3.5-billion of value into the downstream economy.
CEO Cheri Scholtz said the company was delighted that, for the eleventh consecutive year, the post-consumer PET bottle-recycling rate had increased.
“Recycling PET bottles over the last 12 years has saved a total of 651 000 t of carbon [emissions] and avoided using 2.7-million cubic meters of landfill space,” she added.
Pretoria — South Africa’s mining industry has plenty of opportunities that young people from diverse backgrounds and educational qualifications can access.
The Deputy Director General of Mineral Regulation, Joel Raphela, at the Department of Mineral Resources on Tuesday said government supports youth upliftment programmes aimed at improving young people’s participation in mining.
“We continue to reach the youth through the departmental Learner Week Programmes, where we create mining awareness by organising mine visits around the country.
“We also provide learnerships and internships to learners and graduates as part of bridging the work experience gap needed in the employment market,” said Raphela at the Youth in Mining Summit held in Johannesburg.
The summit comes as South Africa commemorates the 40th anniversary of June 16. The entire month is used to focus on matters of youth development.
Delegates at the summit on Tuesday included youth formations, captains of industry and young entrepreneurs. Raphela said there are numerous opportunities young people can tap into through the department’s state entity Mintek, a research and development organisation specialising in all aspects of mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related technology.
Mintek has been helping young people, who may not have higher education qualifications, find sustainable mechanisms of generating income while also creating jobs for others in jewellery making, glass bead manufacturing and pottery.
“Urban mining presents numerous opportunities for young people to use urban waste to manufacture saleable products, without necessarily having a higher education qualification. The glass bead manufacturing process is a great example of this.
“Mintek provides training in the crushing of glass bottle waste using particular techniques and turning the crushed glass into beads that are then used to make products such as household decoration items and costume jewellery,” said Raphela.
Mintek has further assisted the provincial government of the Northern Cape by setting up two training and beneficiation centres in Upington and Prieska, which provide practical training for making jewellery from semi-precious stones – especially the tiger’s eye that is mined in the province.
Participants are also assisted to develop skills for grading semi-precious gemstones using simple techniques that are easily acquired, so that they can manufacture products that are of good quality for the market.
Last year, Mintek provided practical training to 148 students, in partnership with the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) and the Department of Science and Technology. Thirty-six of these students have been placed in numerous foundries across the country, where they gain practical skills for melting metals and casting them into aluminium or cast iron products.
The Department has also recently appointed 38 learner inspectors after they successfully completed a two-year training programme. Forty-two percent of the inspectors are women.
This programme was initiated by the department, in collaboration with the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA), Sibanye Gold and AngloGold Ashanti.
Unemployed graduates were recruited from previously disadvantaged groups and given practical experience in the field of occupational hygiene, surveying, mining, electrical and mechanical engineering.
High-profile keynote speakers include the likes of South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and chairperson of the Africa Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
We interviewed Liz Hart, managing director of Infrastructure Africa, to find out what some of the highlights are at this year’s conference, and what the general sentiment of investors doing business in Africa is right now.
As always, content is king. Our content sets us apart from other infrastructure events because those setting the programme and agenda for Infrastructure Africa 2016 are Africa’s leading infrastructure investors. With this year’s African Development Bank (AfDB) partnership, we are hosting the Africa Inclusive Infrastructure Forum (AIIF) during the conference which focuses on empowerment of women in the infrastructure space. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the AfDB Special Envoy on Gender, and several of her high profile colleagues will present the case for inclusive infrastructure. In addition, with the challenges being faced by South Africa’s economy, there is a big focus on regional opportunities for South African businesses and a call to action for South Africans to look beyond our borders for new business opportunities.
How has the conference been developed since last year’s event?
The event is now in its fifth year and continues to grow year-on-year. This year welcomes the partnership of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other partners include the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), and the NEPAD Planning & Coordinating Agency (NPCA). We continue to have many corporate sponsors. We have the highest level of endorsement of any infrastructure event on the continent. It has become the go-to event for infrastructure players on the continent and it plays an important role in networking and catalysing new business opportunities across Africa.
What is the general sentiment of investors doing business in Africa right now?
Although growth in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) has relatively slowed, two-thirds of the region’s economies are still growing at rates above the global average and SSA remains the second fastest-growing region in the world in the foreseeable future. Africa is actually one of only two regions in the world in which there has been growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects over the past year.
What are some of the bottlenecks for infrastructure development in Africa?
Many businesses think of countries or regions in Africa as single-driver opportunities, which when buoyant, offer great short-term opportunities, but when depressed, signal the time to leave. But sub-Saharan Africa’s mining and energy belts that were initial drivers of development have opened up support infrastructure opportunities that offer growth prospects in the longer term. The years ahead will be challenging, not because the opportunities are not there, but because the opportunities are likely to be more uneven than before and will require a long-term investment view.
What trends are currently driving Africa’s infrastructure sector?
Low commodity prices have tempered the desire of many companies to involve themselves in Africa, but this is, arguably, the best time for those with longer-term ambitions to integrate their operations into key development nodes.
There is an evolution of infrastructure development that takes place over the longer-term and the underlying drivers will be highlighted at the Infrastructure Africa 2016 conference on 9 and 10 June 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre. With discussions on specific project development opportunities from infrastructure players operating on the ground, the Infrastructure Africa offers businesses the opportunity to set their regional strategies for long-term growth.
In which African countries are we seeing the most progression? What’s driving this development?
In Tete, Mozambique, for example, coal and infrastructure projects have slowed, but there are agri-industrial and support infrastructure opportunities. There is also a much broader regional, national and sub-national opportunity that is unfolding from Southern to East Africa, which is becoming an energy corridor.
How important are public-private partnerships in developing Africa’s infrastructure sector?
In the face of growing international competition in sub-Saharan Africa, South African-based companies need to take a long-term strategic view of the region. Companies need to develop a local presence and integrate their strategies with the evolving economies and underpinning infrastructure in the region. A local presence does more than wave a flag: it demonstrates commitment to the future, it allows for in-country intelligence gathering and goodwill (and ultimately contracts) from project developers and government. Without the presence of private sector companies in the region, there will be no partnerships with governments and therefore no development.
What is the most critical sector for infrastructure development in Africa? Why?
The importance of digital infrastructure in leapfrogging Africa’s economies cannot be overestimated, but without physical infrastructure that provides access to water, food, electricity and healthcare, the continent cannot attain the quality and standards of life set out by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). So all sectors of infrastructure are critical for life whether it be water, transport, power and then ICT & telecommunications infrastructure which are necessary for job creation and remaining globally competitive.
The Department of Tourism in partnership with SANParks and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) celebrated the International Tourist Guides Day celebrations from 18 to 19 February 2016 in Skukuza, Kruger National Park- Mpumalanga.
The two-day event included activities and programmes ranging from presentations, motivational talks, excursions and workshops. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Building a Successful and Sustainable Tourist Guiding Sector” with the aim to capacitate tourist guides on sustainable tourism trends within the adventure, nature and cultural sub-sectors of guiding. The theme also emphasise the opportunities for integration across these sub-sectors which could contribute to a more self-sustainable guiding sector.
The Deputy Director General, Ms Morongoe Ramphele on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Tourism, said that as we celebrate International Tourist Guides Day, we need to continue being the biggest proponents of our brand in order to move South Africa forward. That in turn will of course bring more tourists to our country and boost our economy.
“We would also like to commend the significant growth that Tourist Guiding has shown in the past few years. “It is worth noting that the number of registered tourist guides increased over the years from 8 657 in 2009/10 to 11 367 by the end of 2013/14 financial year which represents a 31% increase”.
“The steady improvement in terms of transformation in the tourist guiding profession is notable given that the proportion of registered tourist guides from previously disadvantaged backgrounds increased from 2 502 in the 2009/2010 financial year to 3 875 guides by the end of the 2014/15 financial year. This represents an increase of 55% during the said period” said Ramphele.
Ramphele noted that it is essential that efforts are made by government and other tourism partners to enhance the levels and quality of tourist guiding that are offered across the country, not only will this ensure integrity of the tourism sector but it will also result in higher levels of tourist satisfaction whilst ensuring the sustainability.
In terms of the legislative programme of the department, draft Regulations has been developed and will be published for public comments during February 2016. Planned consultations will be held in each province to solicit as much inputs from the guiding sector as possible. Tourist guides were encouraged to participate in these consultation process.
“Tourist Guides form a pivotal part of the value chain and the Department of Tourism is committed to fulfilling its mandate by extending further opportunities to increase market access and employment opportunities”, Ramphele concluded.
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Thousands of the 455 753 matric learners qualifying for admission to tertiary institutions this year are in dire need of financial support in order to access one of the various post-school system opportunities available to them. Prospective students can look to the Shoprite Group, who still has approximately R8 million available for financial assistance from their extensive bursary programme.
Bursaries are awarded for scarce skills programmes such as Pharmacy and Chartered Accounting, along with qualifications such as Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Information Technology, Industrial Engineering, Hospitality, Retail Business Management and Marketing.
With limited space available at tertiary institutions, prospective students who achieved an average of more than 70% in matric, are urged to apply for one of the remaining bursaries by applying online or contacting their training institution’s bursary office for assistance.
Candidates may qualify for a bursary of up to R70 000 per annum which allows for registration fees, tuition, textbook and accommodation fees depending on the course of study and institution. Each bursary granted is linked to a work back agreement with Shoprite and in this way a bursary holder is assured of career prospects with South Africa’s largest private sector employer.