Former office cleaner goes against all odds in the waste industry

Caption: Starting out as an office cleaner, Sanki Nkosi (above) has proven her worth by working her way up the corporate ladder in the waste industry. This dedicated mother is now the Central Branch Manager at the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA).

It’s often a challenge for women and mothers to believe in themselves and to strive for a better future following their circumstances in life. Sanki Nkosi did not let her conditions get in the way of her ambition, and her tenacity is what lead her to one of the most intricate environments – the waste industry.

With only a matric certificate to her name, the Free State born Nkosi found herself between jobs as a helper and a cleaner. Little did she know that eleven years later she would become an inspiration to many by being determined and dedicated to learn.

This driven woman joined the IWMSA as a part-time cleaner in 2003. She was offered a permanent position as an Administration Assistant in April 2010, after her potential was discovered by Gail Smit, Executive Officer at the IWMSA. Nkosi’s corporate career started off by performing some day-to-day duties at the IWMSA’s Central Branch. This gave her more insight of how the office operates and allowed her to interact daily with different people and assist them with their queries.

“Through my journey of working as a cleaner then becoming an Administration Assistant, I was exposed to different learning opportunities within the waste industry by attending various accredited and non-accredited waste management training programmes hosted by the IWMSA,” says Nkosi. Nkosi’s training opportunities did not end there as she went on to obtain a General Administration Certificate at INTEC College in 2012 and attended several business etiquette courses through the IWMSA.

Nkosi was appointed as the IWMSA’s Central Branch Manager in January 2014. “Helping others makes me feel like I’m giving back and I get to learn more about the waste industry in the process. One of the highlights of being the Central Branch Manager is arranging the waste management training for all our stakeholders. I’m reminded every day of just how much I love my job,” says Nkosi. The accredited waste management training programmes offered by the IWMSA covers an array of issues ranging from how to separate, handle, store, treat and dispose of waste.

As a Central Branch Manager, Nkosi intends to further her studies in waste management in the near future. This is motivated by her love for the environment and how keeping it clean is key. “By understanding recycling and waste management, we can all help keep the environment clean. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities the IWMSA has given me, and look forward to my journey with them,” says Nkosi.

“It is very important for us to invest in people who show interest and dedication in the waste industry. By reaching out and providing opportunities, we can slowly but surely start building a nation that wants to protect our environment,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA.

For more information about the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. IWMSA is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Middelpos Primary School and boarding house receive much-needed support

Caption: Middelpos Primary School and boarding house in the Northern Cape welcome the repair work, installations and new transport vehicle to the school. Principal Carin Steenkamp addresses the learners next to the schools new transport vehicle.  

Many small communities in South Africa are in dire need of support but are often not known to businesses looking to invest their corporate social investment funds. One such town is Middelpos in the Northern Cape where the Primary School and boarding house were in desperate need of repair work.

Middelpos Primary School accommodates approximately 164 learners in the area and is often the only place where the children receive a meal. Koelbly Edms Beperk (local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Northern Cape) met with the schools’ Principal, Carin Steenkamp, to see how they could help.

Over the past few months, Koelbly in partnership with Namaqua Engineering, has installed solar panels at the boarding house to help reduce energy costs, computers, a portable proxima, cutlery and crockery as well as general repair work to the school and sport facilities. The company also surprised the school by donating a much needed transport vehicle to enable the learners to be able to visit areas outside of Middelpos.

PenBev’s Corporate Communications Manager, Denise Green, says, “When we visited the school earlier in July, we were pleased that we could assist the school with the repair work and in that way support the teachers that help the learners of the Middelpos area.”

Green continues, “As education is vital to grow learners into self-sustaining adults and future leaders of our country, we as Coca-Cola are fortunate to be able to support many educational initiatives.”

With their new facilities, the learners at Middelpos Primary School are now more empowered to focus on their education and reaching their dreams.

For more information about PenBev contact 021-936-5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za. Join PenBev’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PenBev

Cape Flats pupils explore the wonders of the ocean

Caption: The wonders of the ocean were enjoyed by 160 learners last week (21 October 2014) when Mustadafin Foundation took their Educare pupils from Khayelitsha and Delft to an exciting excursion to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. For many children, this was their first trip to the aquarium and the young ones thoroughly enjoyed themselves while being educated on the environment.

The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town was a flutter with giggles and excitement as Mustadafin Foundation’s 160 Educare children, aged between three and six, learnt all about life under the sea. “This excursion to the aquarium forms part of our annual planning aimed at the children who live in the disadvantaged areas we operate in and is part of the educational programmes we run. We currently support 22 programmes and run the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Khayelitsha and Delft,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone, Director at Mustadafin Foundation.

The children were mesmerised by the various fish in the sea. One learner commented that Nemo was alive and she was very happy about that. They were even treated to a puppet show featuring Sally the Penguin who taught them not to litter and to take care of the environment. Mustadafin Foundation kept the young bellies full during the day with porridge in the morning, delicious ‘vetkoek’ for lunch and snacks throughout the day.

“It is very important for us to introduce our children to the environment, teach them the wonders it has to offer and that it is our responsibility to take care of it,” concludes Johnstone.

For more information contact Mustadafin on 021-633-0010 or visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

Atlantis school makes it to the COPA Coca-Cola National Football Finals

Caption: The soccer stars of Robinvale Secondary School receive a champions send-off this week as they make their way to Durban for the finals of the COPA Coca-Cola National Football Tournament.

Robinvale Secondary School in Atlantis has beaten 140 schools in the Western Cape to make it to the finals of the COPA Coca-Cola U15 National Football Tournament. Around 340 schools across the country took part in the esteemed tournament which began in May this year, and Robinvale Secondary School is one of nine schools who made it to the finals.

The finalists will show off their talent at King Zwelithini Stadium in Kwa-Zulu Natal from 17 – 19 October 2014.

The COPA Coca-Cola u15 National Football Tournament is known as one of the best platforms for talent identification in South African football development structures. The aim is to create the world’s largest and most inclusive football grassroots program. Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local Western and Northern Cape bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products) is tasked with implementing the COPA Coca-Cola tournament in the Western Cape.

PenBev’s Marketing Activation Manager, Dan Davis comments, “We are so proud of Robinvale Secondary School for making it to the finals. As a national tournament, competition is fierce so well done guys for making it!”

Davis continues, “We invest in our local young sporting talent to help them reach their goals and dreams. We hope that with our support, South Africa’s rising stars are given the chance to shine.”

For more information about PenBev contact 021-936-5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za. Join PenBev’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PenBev

South African industry and retail companies lagging behind in hazardous chemical compliance

Toxic and reactive substances can cause great harm if not dealt with properly. These hazardous chemicals and products must be managed in compliance with global standards to reduce the potential of human injury and environmental degradation. The Responsible Packaging Management Association of South Africa (RPMASA), an industry body dedicated to compliance throughout the supply chain, is concerned by the large number of South African companies who do not comply with the global requirements when dealing with hazardous chemicals throughout the supply chain.

When dealing with hazardous materials, companies should adhere to the latest global regulations. “We are aware of a lot of companies who deal with hazardous chemicals that are currently not aware or compliant with the latest regulations in the supply chain. Anything from implementing the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labeling of chemicals (GHS) to having a designated 24/7/365 helpline are requirements not being met,” says Liz Anderson, Executive Director at RPMASA.

The GHS is the new global requirement for chemical classification, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and product labels aimed at protecting and informing people. Anderson mentions that the requirements are global standards and South African industry and retail companies that export their products are missing out on trade opportunities due to non-compliance. Another consequence of non-compliance is that companies bear the financial responsibility if an accident or incident occurs.

“A lot of companies, particularly in the retail industry where staffing is tight, have no designated person to keep up to date with new regulations and drive compliance. Many organisations are unaware that the products they produce, pack, label and transport need to comply with strict regulations throughout the supply chain,” says Anderson. ”There are many products with a chemical component such as pool chemicals, aerosols, personal products, paints, household cleaning products etc. The chemical components need to be classified into one of the nine transport classes as well as the GHS classes and be clearly marked on all labels and packaging, as well as on the transport vehicle. Companies also need to produce a SDS for products, and distribute it to all parties involved in the supply chain, from the factory workers and packers of the products, to the drivers of the delivery vehicles,” warns Anderson.

Another regulation that is currently not well implemented, is a designated 24/7/365 helpline that all companies who use chemical components in their products, must document in their SDS, and product labels. The helpline is intended to offer assistance to those, who have been involved in or witnessed a chemical spill or have been exposed to chemical products. “The staffing alone for such a helpline is expensive, which forces companies to use a general office hour’s customer service number as an alternative. This often results in inadequate assistance when a major problem occurs,” adds Anderson.

RPMASA’s services include chemical management supply chain solutions for companies dealing with hazardous chemicals. The Association offers basic and advanced training in GHS, and they have set up a 24/7/365 call centre hosted by TrenStar, and Toll free number that companies can use on their product packaging, labelling and transport vehicles. This is available to members and non-members. The company’s SDS is uploaded and updated seamlessly onto the cloud-based REACH Delivery UK system which is accessed by the call centre, and provides up-to-date product and transport information. The REACH Delivery system produces a receipt for the uploaded SDS, which is then used as proof of compliance.

“We urge all organisations, big and small, to participate in RPMASA’s GHS training programmes and Supply Chain Services to assist them comply with the global standards. These programmes are offered throughout the country,” concludes Anderson.

The next GHS training dates are 05 – 07 November 2014 in Durban. For more information about RPMASA contact 032 947 1145 | 032 947 1956, or visit www.rpmasa.org.za.

About RPMASA

RPMASA is an industry association providing a focal point for organisations (industry and retail) involved in the llife cycle and supply chain of chemicals, chemical products and hazardous articles, which are regulated. It provides members with supply chain compliance solutions tailored to their company needs, and is a registered Non-Profit Organisation so subscriptions etc. are tax deductible.

The Association provides members with information, specialist knowledge, training, audit and consultancy opportunities, as well as new services to aid compliance in the supply chain. Information on chemical classification, packaging and labelling, handling, storage and transport, including Risk Assessments. RPMASA participates in various government fora for new Legislation and Regulations as well as International and National Standards.

It is the only Industry Association from Africa with a seat on the UN Committee of Experts for transport of dangerous goods and the UN GHS – Globally Harmonised System of classification and labeling of chemicals. It is thus uniquely placed to provide members with up to date international information, as well as new, and coming legislation for local and export markets, to assist them be pro-active with timeous compliance.

Global Hand Wash Day helps create awareness for alternative hygiene techniques

Above: children learn to use the new hand wash ‘squeezy bottles’ donated by Peninsula Beverage Company to help create hygiene awareness.

With Global Hand Wash Day this week (15 October, 2014) and the diarrhoea season coming up (November to May), the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Health office is on hygiene alert. As water is a scarce resource for many South Africans, practising cleanliness is a luxury especially when there is limited access to clean running water.

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottler and distributer of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape) in partnership with The City of Cape Town, is helping to combat the risk of illness as a result of the lack of sanitation, by donating approximately 4 000 of the 2 litre plastic bottles to be distributed to crèches, clinics and informal settlements in Mitchells Plain, Phillipi, Phillipi East, Browns Farm and Crossroads areas.

The bottles are being transformed into mobile hand wash units which can be squeezed, then water pours out from a long tube giving community’s access to clean water and creating awareness about hygiene issues.

Corporate Communications Manager, Denise Green, comments, “Diarrhoea as a result of the lack of hygiene is a worrying issue in local communities and settlements. We are thrilled we are able to help by donating the bottles which are used to educate communities about the importance of keeping their hands clean, which in turn helps prevent the spread of diseases.”

This initiative forms part of PenBev’s community programmes which assist in uplifting the communities in which they operate in.

For more information about PenBev contact 021-936-5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za. Join PenBev’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PenBev

The Coca-Cola Amateur Cup Finals 2014 a huge success!

Caption: Winning teams Silver Spur (above left, men’s) and Vasco da Gama (above right, women’s) take home their trophies at this years’ Coca-Cola Amateur Cup at Athlone Stadium on Saturday, 11 October 2014.

Soccer fans around the Cape flocked to Athlone Stadium this past Saturday (11 October, 2014) to catch the finals of the Coca-Cola Amateur Cup 2014. Crowds were treated to sporting talent as U17s Ajax Cape Town and Masidlale took centre stage at 10:00. Ajax Cape Town beat their opponent 2 – 0 as Luthando Mateza scored both goals.

Next up was a heated match between the womens’ teams Vasco da Gama and RV United, both scoring no goals but Vasco da Gama won on penalties 4 – 2. The final and much-anticipated game of the day saw the men’s teams Silver Spur and Bluegum United battle it out to an enthusiastic crowd. Silver Spur was victorious as Nizaam Miller scored all three goals against the Bluegum United’s nil.

PenBev’s Marketing Asset Manager, Matthew Jewell comments, “Once again, the talent in the Western Cape soccer communities is outstanding and we are fortunate enough to help these teams demonstrate their skills through our sponsorship. We look forward to seeing what next years’ tournament holds…”

The Coca-Cola Cup tournament is in its 19th year with SAFA Cape Town spearheading the games. The 2014 tournament began in mid-May with 446 men’s teams, 306 U17 teams and 24 women’s teams taking part.

For more information about PenBev contact 021-936-5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za. Join PenBev’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PenBev

South Africans urged to be ‘Wired for Waste’ at WasteCon2014

Caption: The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s flagship biennial waste management conference – WasteCon2014, officially opened yesterday at the NH Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West, Western Cape. Dr Suzan Oelofse (above), President of the IWMSA opened the event, which boasts over 450 delegates and 70 exhibitors. The conference promises to share ideas and best practices in the waste industry to ultimately be ‘wired for waste’.

This year celebrates the 22nd WasteCon with key leaders and experts sharing ideas and knowledge to ultimately instil a culture of sustainability in the waste industry. “We are very proud to host WasteCon2014 in the Western Cape this year. We all need to work together to overcome the challenges of waste. WasteCon2014 is a wonderful platform for industry leaders to come together and share best practices. Prepare to be stimulated, challenged and empowered at WasteCon2014,” says Margot Ladouce, the WasteCon2014 Chairperson.

“It is very important for us to realise where we are going with waste management,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Wired for Waste: Value*Grow*Sustain’. “In order for us to get wired for waste, we need to acknowledge the value of waste, the growth opportunities and of course the sustainability element in waste,” urges Oelofse.

“Industry players alike need to start realising the intrinsic value that is available in waste and start maximising on it. We must think about waste to energy and that it only extracts once-off value, whereas recycling has a value-add in multiple ways. By looking at the value of waste, we can ultimately contribute to bettering the South African economy,” adds Oelofse.

“Growth means investment. We need to invest in alternative waste management options – landfilling waste is not going to be acceptable anymore. However, these actions need to be sustainable. Sustainability will only be possible when waste management systems are integrated, well planned and maintained through skills development, capacity building and continued awareness creation,” adds Oelofse.

Another exciting aspect of the conference is Qurio, a website-based quiz software programme that aims to enhance engagements at WasteCon2014. Qurio, sponsored by Jeffares & Green, is used in all seminars and workshops to enhance delegate interaction and to ultimately share knowledge and insight. The Qurio quiz is taken during sessions and provides instant results.

WasteCon2014 is on until Thursday, 09 October 2014. The Resource Innovation Tours will take place on Friday, 10 October 2014, which will showcase sustainable waste management practices.

For more information on WasteCon2014, please visit www.wastecon.co.za. The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information on the IWMSA visit www.iwmsa.co.za.

Easy tips to ‘extinguish’ the Cape Town fire season

As Cape Town’s dry season approaches, Mustadafin Foundation urges all residents to be fire-conscious.  Capetonians are urged to do their bit in reducing the number of fires and help keep their community safe. Mustadafin Foundation, a local disaster relief non-profit organisation, actively helps communities in need when disaster strike and provides easy tips for preventing fires this season.

“Fires in Cape Town have become a major risk especially in informal settlements. The strong winds associated with summer can cause great havoc when citizens are careless and don’t monitor flammable objects. Heat-based objects should always be attended to and properly monitored. Residents in these communities should be properly informed on what to look out for and how they can prevent a fire from starting in the first place,” explains Ghairunisa Johnstone, Director at Mustadafin Foundation.

Mustadafin Foundation offers these fires prevention tips this summer:

  1. Check flammables – Monitor all flammable objects carefully. Candles, cigarettes, matches, lighters and appliances can all cause great harm if left unattended. Also ensure that no curtains or flammable textiles are near an open flame. “Fires can be extinguished by pouring water over it or by covering it with sand or clothing. However, the best advice is to not to leave these objects unattended or in the hands of children. Make sure candles are blown out before going to bed and that heating devices are properly switched off. Also, don’t throw cigarette stumps out of vehicles or windows as this can cause fires,” says Johnstone.
  2. Monitor electrical equipment – If you have electrical devices in your home, make sure that they are properly serviced to ensure there are no faults. Do not overload your electrical extension with more than four plugs in one unit. “It is also advisable that you switch off all appliances on the wall when you are leaving your home,” advises Johnstone.
  3. Be informed about the dangers of paraffin – “Paraffin appliances are the most commonly used heating devices in our community and also one of the most dangerous if not handled correctly. Keep children away from paraffin and use with caution, even when unlit. Make sure paraffin appliances are on a clean, dry and firm surface with no blankets, clothes or cloths nearby. Especially for those using paraffin appliances a lot, it is highly recommended that you have a bucket of sand nearby to extinguish a fire quickly,” recommends Johnstone.
  4. Build firebreaks around your dwelling – If you live near the bush or open fields, make sure you have firebreaks around your home to minimise the probability of veld fires entering your property. “Small precautions can save your home and maybe even your loved ones. Pick up all leaves, twigs and litter around your home that can potentially fuel fires,” guides Johnstone.
  5. Invest in a fire extinguisher – Keep a fire extinguisher in your house and know how to use it. A good alternative is to have a garden hose in close proximity for in case a fire occurs.
  6. Educate your children about fires – Fire spreads very quickly and can cause destruction within minutes. It is very important that children are not left alone with open fires, but they should be educated on what to do should a fire occur when they are alone.

Mustadafin Foundation is actively involved in destitute communities. If you would like to give your time or donate please contact them on 021 633 0010 or visit their website at www.mustadafin.org.za.