Machine-to-machine is changing transport, logistics

M2M can optimise the logistics of route planning and the different deliveries a fleet must accomplish, says Val Moodley, acting GM and head of Cloud Portfolio at MTN Business SA

The transport and logistics industry could improve its operation systems should it consider entering the telemetry market and embracing machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, says Val Moodley, acting GM and head of Cloud Portfolio at MTN Business South Africa.

The steady growth of the M2M industry has been triggered by the need to improve operation systems and delivery of services in a manner that would catapult the industry into the next level of quality assurance. This can be achieved through tracking goods in transit, monitoring and maintaining vehicle and driver safety, and increasing the reliability and efficiency of fleets, Moodley says.

“The success of the recent MTN Business Mind2Machine Challenge highlights some of the opportunities available for various industries to save on operational costs and to capitalise on potential growth,” she says.

Entrepreneur Moses Joseph Mayimela was one of the winners of the challenge, with his prototype monitoring system that allows for the tracking of perishable and non-perishable goods that are being stored in fridges and transported by vehicles over long distances. The system provides an early warning prompt to help ensure the goods arrive at their intended destinations in good condition.

According to Frost & Sullivan, South Africa’s vehicle telematics will grow at a yearly rate of 12.5% from 2014 to 2021, with the telematics market penetration projected to reach 17% by 2018. KPMG believes that technology is not embraced in the logistics space in South Africa and this is one of the challenges facing the industry. The company advises that measures should be put in place to strengthen the links in the logistics where deficiencies are uncovered.

“If embraced and implemented properly, M2M has numerous abilities to provide South African fleet managers with useful information regarding fuel usage, routing, and vehicle diagnostics, thereby saving fuel, lengthening vehicle lifespan and increasing efficiency – all of which reduce operating expense,” says Moodley.

“M2M can optimise the logistics of route planning and the different deliveries a fleet must accomplish, ensuring that the loads are transported in a timely manner with the fewest kilometres driven,” says Moodley. “Fleet managers can also monitor vehicle performance and handle vehicle maintenance scheduling, ensuring that all vehicles are being driven in good condition and reducing maintenance costs and breakdowns.

“With the continent attracting international investment interest, the spotlight continues to shine on the machine-to-machine solutions that drive sustainable growth and capitalise on the power of a bold new digital world,” Moodley concludes.

Source: itweb

Sandton cycle lanes to proceed

All existing cycle lanes for Sandton will go ahead.

This is the word from the City of Johannesburg after the Sandton Central Management District sought clarity on the issue of cycle lanes following the city’s new mayor, Herman Mashaba, saying he would reallocate a R70 million budget set aside for bicycle lanes around Joburg, for projects in Alexandra township.

Lisa Seftel, Executive Director of Transport for the City of Johannesburg, has confirmed that cycle lanes from Alex No 3 Square to Sandton Central are still going ahead, including several routes within Sandton Central itself, such as parts of Maude and West Streets.

She also confirmed that construction of the pedestrian and cycling bridge from Alexandra to Sandton is continuing, except for the section over the M1 highway, which is pending Department of Labour approval as the investigation into last year’s scaffolding collapse is ongoing.

The Joburg Development Agency also advised that improved mobility and pedestrian safety would continue along a route between Sandton and Rosebank, although this route has yet to be finalised. This decision is expected by mid-2017.

In the meantime, cycling in Sandton Central is becoming more and more commonplace.

An electric bike share pilot project set up with 20 bikes at two Sandton Central sites by Growthpoint Properties and GreenCycles has reached a landmark 1,000 bike trips in a five-month period.

Based on the success of the project, both Growthpoint and Greencycles have committed to keeping it running for at least a year, to facilitate the growth of this catalyst project.

“With this innovative initiative, a greater cycling culture is being created in Sandton. Cycling is a healthy, more affordable and more environmentally friendly way of getting around,” says Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager for Sandton Central Management District.

She points out that besides the environmental benefits of cycling instead of driving a car, the e-bike charging stations in Sandton Central are solar powered. Plus, the robust e-bikes are well suited to the hilly topography of Sandton.

“Bike share schemes have become a standard feature of leading cities worldwide. This corporate e-bike share scheme for Sandton Central ensures that South Africa’s financial hub continues to be well positioned to attract business, investment, shoppers, tourists, workforces and residents, with its availability of easy, sustainable, and affordable personal transport,” notes Jack.

The next step is rolling out the Sandton e-bike initiative to other corporate sponsors, which will ensure their staff component enjoy free access to the scheme at all its locations in the neighbourhood and help expand the location station network. In addition, there are multiple branding opportunities.

What’s more, the initiative also creates jobs. All stations have dedicated Station Masters which are placed in the position through a partnership with Harambee, a youth employment accelerator which also provides skills development.

“The new cycle lanes in Sandton respond to a growing number of cyclists on our roads while connecting Sandton to Alexandra and improving the connections within the business node itself,” says Jack.

Released on behalf of:

Sandton Central Management District

Elaine Jack

City Improvement District Manager, Sandton Central Management District

Tel: Tel: +27 11 911 8018

Addressing climate change through mitigation, adaptation activities in Namibia

By Dr Moses Amweelo

According to Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) 2001, mitigation refers to an anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.

These include the use of renewable energy sources and efficient technology among many other actions.

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Namibia developed a national climate change strategic and action plan 2013-2020 and two themes under mitigation namely: sustainable energy and prioritised low carbon development and transport.

Under these themes, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has developed a programme called Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) and it refers to any action that reduces emissions in developing countries and is prepared under the umbrella of national governmental initiatives.

They can be policies directed at transformational change within an economic sector, or actions across sectors for a broader national focus.

National appropriate mitigation actions are supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity building and are aimed at achieving a reduction in emissions relative to business as usual emissions in 2020.

Namibia’s NAMA is focused on rural development in Namibia through electrification with renewable energy.

The NAMA programme presents an opportunity for sustainable development for Namibia, and, at the same time, an opportunity for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposed programme was designed to support Namibia in achieving its strategies for rural electrification and to complement on-going activities in this field.

The programme’s overall target is to support Namibia in achieving the goal defined in the off-grid energisation master plan namely, to provide access to appropriate energy technologies to everyone living or working in off-grid areas.

In respect of transport, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in collaboration with the City of Windhoek has developed a project proposal on low carbon transport in Windhoek.

The project aims at providing the necessary means for the development of a low-carbon city (that can be replicated to other towns in the country).

Windhoek is rapidly developing and so this project will set Windhoek city as a role model for sustainable transport in southern Africa.

The project would contribute to climate change mitigation through increased access to public and non-motorised transport and avoid increasing congestion and thus reduce Namibia’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Target actions would include construction of public transport, walking and cycling facilities, raising awareness of low-carbon transport options and vehicle fuel efficiency, strengthened institutional and regulatory systems for climate responsive planning, integration of climate change into land-use plans and renewal of the existing public vehicle fleet.

The project will be submitted to the Green Climate Fund, an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was adopted by 195 Parties at the end of 2011.

Its primary purpose is to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries that are vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

The fund is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise climate finance of US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Regarding adaptation activities in Namibia, climate change will affect everyone, all sectors and at many levels and it will have a profound impact on the entire chain of livelihood, economic growth and ecosystem.

This is proven by scientific modelling and prediction for the factor that the country is characteristic with most arid climate in southern Africa; hence our economy is already exposed to difficult and harsh conditions with water accessibility a serious threat.

Prolonged drought, although considered normal to some extent, has devastating impacts on livelihood, food availability, health and wellbeing in many of our rural communities.

Namibia has placed more focus on adaptation that is currently implemented under four key critical themes, that is, food security and sustainable biological resources; sustainable water resources base; human health and wellbeing; and infrastructure development.

To date, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism – which is responsible for planning, formulating and coordinating all climate change-related initiatives – has initiated notable interventions that aim to embrace national government/development plans towards a resilient nation.

The following programmes were initiated to address climate change adaptation namely: scaling up community resilience to climate variability and climate change in northern Namibia, with a special focus on women and children.

This project aims to strengthen the adaptive capacity to climate change and reduce the vulnerability of 4,000 households (80 percent of which are female headed) and children in 75 schools, to drought and floods in northern Namibia by scaling up the most promising adaptation pilots from Namibia’s community-based adaptation (CBA) programme and a Green Climate Fund project previously implemented as well as developing a response plan for the identification and prioritisation of technologies to address water scarcity in Namibia.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has developed a response plan for climate change adaptation technology that allows the country transition to sustainable water security.

The response plan was submitted to the Climate Technology Centre and Network, which is one of the arms of the UNFCCC responsible for facilitating and assisting the non-annex countries such as Namibia with relevant technologies to address impacts of climate change and advocacy on climate change awareness campaign.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation and Desert Research Foundation of Namibia are conducting the public awareness workshops on climate change issues, to ensure that the information is disseminated to all interested and affected parties’ country wide.

Awareness raising efforts are a key feature of attaining the goals of our national climate change policy.

As such, cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as this collaboration, are of great importance to support education and public awareness for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change and continuing to oversee the implementation of these activities in line with the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

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Futuristic cities that will take Africa’s tourism industry by storm

Inspired by the need to provide sustainable living for her people, including access to sustainable energy, transport and housing; Africa is seen to take up the tech challenge by investing billions of dollars in the development of tech futuristic cities. The continent is surely making a global mark with its avant-garde innovations, from cutting edge cities to mobile money payment technologies; a move that has attracted the attention of global innovators such as Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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While almost every sector of the African economy is set to benefit from the innovations, the tourism industry will no doubt have a big share from the developments. Sprouting tech cities will become major tourist attractions; if not for the magnificent beauty, for proof to many that Africa is not about desolation but rather of absolute determination to overcome all odds and stand tall in the face of the world.

Visitors will also be attracted to other destinations in the continent, to experience the beautiful naturalistic existence between man and nature. For instance, during his recent tour of Africa, Zuckerberg not only visited various technology hubs in Nigeria and Kenya, but also “got to see amazing natural beauty and wildlife from around Lake Naivasha” as he posted on his Facebook page. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online hotel booking portal, lists 5 budding futuristic cities, that are set to boost the continent’s tourism industry.

1. Konza Technology City – Kenya

In its official website, Konza is described as a sustainable green city with smart technology that will attract 17,000 jobs, $400 million in annual wages and generate $1.3 billion in GRP in Phase 1. This world class technology hub is considered a major economic driver for Kenya, that will help the country attain middle-income status by 2030. Located on a 5,000 acres of land 60 kilometers South of Nairobi in Machakos, the multi-billion dollar ‘Silicon Savannah’ will be a software development hub as well as a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub, with a vibrant mix of amenities. Konza is set to complete in a span of 20 years and its ground was broken in March this year.

2 . Hope City – Ghana

H ope to mean “Home, Office, People and Environment”, Hope City was launched in March 2013 by President John Mahama and is considered Ghana’s Technopolis; and will become one of the tallest skyscrapers in Africa at 270 meter high. Located approximately 30 minutes West of Accra in Prampram, Hope City sits on about 1.5 million square meters’ area and is set to transform Ghana into West Africa’s tech hub. Once completed, Hope City will provide business, leisure and residential space for about 25,000 inhabitants and aims at creating a whooping 50,000 jobs; including in the hospitality industry.

3. Eko Atlantic City – Lagos, Nigeria

This ambitious project in Lagos Nigeria is built on the reclaimed land from Atlantic Ocean off Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island and will host approximately 250,000 residents while creating job opportunities to about 150,000 others. Eko Atlantic City which is expected to use self-sustaining green energy sources for power, aims at enhancing Nigeria’s status as a stronger tech and financial hub in Africa. It is set for completion this year.

4 . Safari City – Tanzania

This satellite city located in Mateves, Arusha, Tanzania, offers this East African country an opportunity to provide sustainable living to its citizens. As its name implies, Safari City will also give safari tourists a chance to stay in world class accommodation while touring Tanzania’s northern parks and the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro. This will go a long way in boosting the country’s tourism and hospitality industry, gaining more confidence from both local and international tourists.

5 . Centenary City – Abuja, Nigeria

Another one from Nigeria, Centenary City will boast of an inter-connected urban center with cutting edge technology characterized by various amenities including world-class hotels and resorts. While it is expected to serve as an economic and political tool to secure foreign investment for Abuja and Nigeria as a country, the technopolis will also be a major attraction for both local and foreign visitors; due to its luxurious touch of style. This will boost revenue inflow from the tourists and a ripple effect will be witnessed in the entire tourism and hospitality industry in the country.
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Paving road for women in transport is challenging

In recent years, major studies have shown that having more female leaders, board members, managers and supervisors leads to better business outcomes including higher levels of productivity, safety and improved financial returns.

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More specifically, research referenced in the 2009 Women in Supply Chain report demonstrated that improving the proportion of women leads to higher financial returns for logistics companies. This insight was supported by the PwC Transportation & Logistics 2030 report, which stated that companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least by 16 percent in return on sales, and by 26 percent in return on invested capital. These studies make a compelling business case for gender diversity and inclusion, which in previous decades has been largely ignored and under appreciated among the higher echelons of leadership.

The studies consistently indicate that women have stronger communication and negotiation skills, bring a different perspective to understanding and solving problems, and are more meticulous in their approach to work. They also tend to score higher on tests of emotional intelligence. These qualities also make women strong collaborators, and their enhanced ability to communicate and connect with others is vital in a marketplace defined by complexity, disruption and change.

Based on the growing body of evidence and the strong link to enhanced competitive advantage, a growing number of companies in South Africa and abroad are taking concrete steps to increase the number of women in key roles. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is also being undertaken as a business imperative in the wake of increasing pressure to promote an inclusive economy, whereby the benefits of economic growth accrue to all who contribute. Increasingly, young entrants in the economy are also more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Key challenge

The transport and logistics industry is typically described as a “non-traditional” employment pathway for women. This prevailing view, documented in the 2015 South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) report, is supported by a perception that because the majority of employees in this industry are men, most work in this industry is stereotypically “masculine”.

Moreover, in the transport and logistics industry, women are predominately employed in support functions and occupy managerial roles in the areas of finance, information technology, communications, human resources, business development, procurement, and quality and risk management. Men, on the other hand, are predominantly employed in the technical, operational and “physical” roles.

Encouragingly, several market developments are creating viable opportunities to include women in “non-traditional” roles in the industry. These include advances in technology such as automatic gearboxes and hydraulic lifting equipment, the retirement of existing workers, increasing levels of education and improved technical training among new entrants.

As it stands, the number of women in the transport and logistics industry remains low. According to the PwC Transportation & Logistics 2030 report, the number of women participating in the industry is as low as 20 percent to 30 percent. In addition, less than 10 percent of employees in management positions are women.

Another major hurdle to consider is that within road transportation, there is a dearth of skilled drivers. This shortage is amplified when it comes to female drivers, who are even harder to find due to historical biases and the often-unfavourable working conditions – including time away from family, safety issues in long-haul routes, sleeping alone in the truck at night at rest stops with no security, and sometimes having to load and offload cargo.

There are other reasons why it remains difficult for women to be employed in the industry beyond road transportation. For one, some training and accommodation facilities are not designed to accommodate women and need gender-sensitive upgrades. In addition, the safety of women (and all employees) travelling across long distances cannot be guaranteed in any circumstances, despite preventative measures that companies put in place.

Furthermore, the existing opportunities for more women to work in the industry are often thwarted by the attitudes and behaviours of most men who maintain unfair gender discrimination practices in the workplace. These practices perpetuate barriers to entry for women.

Sadly, these conditions present an unattractive image of the industry to many women seeking meaningful and rewarding employment. Also, several employment surveys indicate that most women do not know much about logistics in general. However, that is not to say that women lack an interest in transport and logistics.

According to the SAFC report, women have the desire to pursue educational qualifications in transport and logistics, and on average, achieve higher education levels than their male counterparts.

The importance of workplace culture cannot be under-emphasised – and without doubt, gender and diversity are key components of any supportive company culture. Indeed, a KPMG Women’s Leadership Study states that today’s most successful enterprises are those that bring diverse perspectives and experiences to each new challenge, and that along with being the right thing to do, diversity and inclusion lead to strategic advantage.

This is no different in the transport and logistics industry, whereby male and female employees can, through equal opportunity and a success-oriented mindset, co-design innovative solutions that enhance customer service, increase employee satisfaction and engagement, improve financial returns and enhance profitable growth.

It is, therefore, critical to foster a workplace culture whereby constructive dialogue about the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusion can take place between men and women. Changes in culture require strong leadership and a clearly articulated strategy that is supported by commitment and demonstrable action. Simply employing more women in the industry is not enough – cultural and structural barriers must be removed.

We have taken a clear and strategic approach to incorporate diversity and inclusion as among our Vision 2020 strategic focus areas, with a goal to maintain and enhance our competitiveness, credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of all stakeholders by leading in diversity and inclusion across all of our businesses. This is closely linked to the group’s people strategic focus area to attract, develop and retain the people and skills required to deliver on our strategies and create shared value.

Driver learnership

In line with these commitments, the group has implemented several initiatives to attract, train, mentor and coach – as well as employ – women in transport and logistics. For example, we have established a professional driver learnership for 40 women within Barloworld Transport, a business unit of Barloworld Logistics.

The programme supports 45 women who are completing the National Certificate in Professional Driving. The participants come from all walks of life – most of them were unemployed, many had never driven a vehicle before.

To date, 18 participants now have a Code 14 licence, while others are able to successfully manoeuvre and reverse a truck around the yard, with some already starting on-road training.

Notably, Barloworld Transport has also been successful in recruiting and employing female crane operators.

As Barloworld Logistics continues with these pioneering initiatives, the company is aware that as an employer seeking to gradually transform the industry, it is critical to foster a fair and equitable workplace that effectively addresses male and female attitudes and needs.

Credible global research on diversity and inclusion, and particularly gender equality, has made a significant contribution to business by demonstrating that the meaningful inclusion of women at all occupational levels leads to better business outcomes. As previously noted, this includes higher levels of productivity and safety, better customer service, greater employee satisfaction and engagement, higher financial returns and more profitable growth.

These findings certainly carry over to the transport and logistics industry, and thus present a unique opportunity for the industry to embrace this potential strategic advantage in the local market. Also, developments in technology, shifting demographic patterns and customer requirements play an important role, whereby the industry can actively leverage emerging opportunities to attract and employ women.

Industries such as mining, engineering and construction have also recognised the importance and value of diversity and inclusion and are making promising progress in this regard.

To be clear, paving the road ahead for women in transport and logistics comes loaded with challenges and opportunities. Indeed, transforming the image of the industry, gender stereotypes and unfair workplace practices is not an easy task. However, with strong leadership commitment and action, it is possible to gradually remove barriers that prevent the broader participation of women in the industry.

Our vision and strategic focus areas, as well as Barloworld Transport’s professional driver learnership for women, are tangible examples of commitment – at the highest levels – to promoting gender equity in the industry.

Looking forward, the inclusion of women in the transport and logistics industry is not only a business imperative, but is increasingly part of a global push to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.
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Maritime shipping enables carbon efficient growth in Africa

The climate change challenge cannot be isolated from the on-going need for economic development in Africa, and the aim should be to reduce CO2 emissions whilst increasing trade and economic opportunities for the growing population on the continent.

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Jonathan Horn, Maersk Line Southern Africa Managing Director is shedding light on the environmental challenges that lie ahead, and aims to show that substantial reductions in CO2 are possible while still enabling trade and development across Africa.

Horn explains that in order to create a sustainable low carbon economy, an efficient shipping sector is critical.

“Maritime shipping is the most carbon-efficient method to transport goods – far more efficient than road or air transport. For example, transporting one ton of goods for one kilometre by air or truck emits 560 grams and 45 grams of CO2, respectively. If the same quantity of goods is transported by one of Maersk’s energy efficient Triple-E vessels as little as three grams of CO2 is emitted,” he says.

About 90% of global trade by volume travels by sea and trade is crucial in the pursuit of creating development opportunities. According to the World Bank, no country has significantly increased per capita income the last 50 years without greatly expanding trade.

Horn therefore highlights the need for a more sustainable and efficient trading environment in order to effectively reduce the environmental impacts of trade, still enabling growth.

“The choice of transportation method plays a significant role in the level of CO2 emitted during the transport process. We are committed to further accelerating growth on the African continent while at the same time raising the bar on carbon efficiency. Our commitment is long-term, as is our history in Africa,” adds Horn.

Since 2007, the Maersk Group’s shipping company, Maersk Line, has proven that shipping can decouple growth and fossil fuel consumption, already having reduced emissions per container moved by 42% by end 2015 from a 2007 baseline.

“Maersk Line has driven energy efficiency improvements across the company, pioneering initiatives ranging from network design and speed optimisation, to technical upgrades and the deployment of new and more efficient ships in its network, such as the Triple-E vessels.”

Despite CO2 emissions remaining relatively low in Africa, when compared to other more developed regions, severe consequences can be felt throughout the continent. According to the 2016 Climate Change Vulnerability Index, eight out of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change are in Africa. The continent is suffering from increased climate-related ‘shocks’, such as the extreme drought that has persisted across Southern Africa, exacerbated by an exceptionally strong El Niño weather pattern.

“Reducing our carbon footprint remains at the core of our commitment. The Maersk Group is pursuing energy efficiency across its entire portfolio and have set a target to improve CO2 efficiency across the group by 30% by 2020, compared to the 2010 baseline. By the end of 2015, Maersk Group had achieved a 23% improvement,” he says.

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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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South Africa: Subsidies in Transportation Sector Favour Gautrain, Committee Hears

The Portfolio Committee on Transport is concerned to hear that Gautrain will receive a subsidy three times bigger than that received by the Passanger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, said she failed to understand how Gautrain will get the largest subsidy when it transported the least number of people. She wanted to know if the National Treasury had been consulted on this issue.

“You should be able to tell the Committee the things you require so that the Committee can assist you. This (subsidy issue) is the elephant in the room. What do we do?” Ms Magadzi asked. She also wanted to know if Gautrain still has plans to expand into Soweto.

Prasa board member Mr Williams Steenkamp told the Committee that Prasa was also perplexed by the subsidy allocations. “Prasa in the Western Cape enjoys around 60 to 67% of the market share and yet the subsidy allocation is skewed towards the bus service. The subsidy allocation compared to the ratio of consumers is grossly unfair,” Mr Steenkamp said.

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He said the rail allocation does not take into consideration the burden Prasa bears to maintain rail infrastructure, while bus companies did not have to maintain the roads. He said the subsidy issue needed to be addressed holistically, and that a discussion on the matter is most welcome.
Prasa Chief Executive Officer Mr Nathi Khena said Prasa’s funding model raises the issue of subsidies. “The subsidy needs to be looked into if one wants trains to be the backbone in the strategy in the movement of people,” Mr Khena said.

He indicated that a meeting with Gautrain and another with the Gauteng MEC for transport regarding expansion towards Soweto had taken place. “We made it clear to Gautrain that we do not see why they want to service an area that Prasa is currently servicing. If they are getting the money for that they should pass that to us,” Mr Khena said.

Ms Magadzi wanted to know if vandalism and criminality on trains are having an effect on commuter numbers. She also asked if there is a relationship with the bus rapid transport systems and the taxi industry. “We cannot talk about an integrated transport system if rail is not involved and talking to other role players. The road role players should be feeders to the trains. That would make your work easy,” she said.

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Miners urged to secure ISO certification before April 30

LOCAL MINING companies’ operations may be suspended if they fail to meet the April 30 deadline to secure an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 environmental management certification, the head of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said on Monday.

“There will be no exemption unless the deadline is extended on meritorious ground to be evaluated by the MGB and EMB (Environmental Management Bureau), like when due to force majeure,” Leo J. Jasareno, director of MGB, told reporters.

Last April 30, 2015, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 2015-07, requiring all metallic mining companies to secure an ISO 14001 environmental management certification within one year from the date of the order. The order covers all holders of valid and existing mineral agreement or financial or technical assistance agreement.

“The extractive nature of mining necessitates a greater degree or standards to ensure that any adverse impact on the environment is properly remediated in accordance to the norms of responsible mining… The requirement for mining contractors to undergo ISO certification will help achieve sustainable growth by the development of an effective environmental management system,” the order read.

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Mr. Jasareno said the Philippines is the lone country that mandates mining firms to be ISO-certified. In other countries, companies voluntarily apply for such certification.

Of the 40 mining companies, only Apex Mining Company has requested an extension through a letter sent to the MGB last January.

The MGB chief said most companies are currently undergoing the process of securing an ISO 14001 environmental management certification, which usually takes at least a year.

Under the AO, the MGB can suspend a mining company’s environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and can withhold the issuance of ore transport and/or mineral export permit, if the miner fails to comply with or maintain the ISO 14001 certification.

Michael Drake P. Matias, officer-in-charge/chief of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Division, said without an ECC, a company cannot conduct exploration activities.

Ore transport or mineral export permits, which are validated by the MGB, allow a firm to transport and export its mineral ores.

Three companies, namely SR Metals, Inc., OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc., and Philex Mining Corp., have already received ISO 14001 certification, prior to the issuance of the AO last year.

Mr. Jasareno said GreenStone Resources Corp. has also recently received its ISO 14001 certification.

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Source: bworldonline

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New train manufacturing site in South Africa to deliver 3,480 coaches over next decade

Developers Alstom have claimed its new train manufacturing site will deliver 3,840 coaches over the next ten years

The 60,000 sqm site in the town of Dunnotar, close to Johannesburg, is currently under construction through the developer’s joint venture company Gibela.

Construction of its new manufacturing site which began on 4 March, is in order to build 580 suburban trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

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Its site was opened in the presence of the South African Minister of Transport, Minister Dipuo Peters, the executive Mayor of the local Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Mondli Gungubeleand, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom chairman and CEO and Mr Marc Granger, Gibela chief executive Officer.

Building is expected to take 18 months and will be delivered in phases, with the very first South African-manufactured train to be completed by the end of 2017.

Alstom claim around 1,500 people will be employed at the manufacturing, assembly and testing facilities.

They say the site will include an academic training centre, large workshops, office buildings, as well as a test track and test facility required for the new trains.

Alstom Chairman and CEO Henri Poupart Lafarge said Alstom was pleased to have reached another milestone for the project.

He added, “This new factory will be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the rail industry in South Africa through local manufacturing, high local supply level, employment creation and skills development. Alstom is proud to be involved in this new era of rail in the country”.

Alstom has been present in South Africa for many years and was awarded a PRASA contract worth around US$4.3 bn in October 2013, the largest contract in the history of the company.

The contract also includes a 19-year service agreement.

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Source: africanreview

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