WARNING! Fake Coca-Cola UK Lottery winning certificates trick South Africans

Does this image look familiar? South Africans are been duped out of thousands of Rands as a wave of false Coca-Cola lotto winning certificates hit the country.

Phishing scams involving the misuse of the Coca-Cola name is on the rise warns Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev: local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company’s products in the Western and Northern Cape).

PenBev urges consumers to be on the look-out for short message service (SMS) or e-mail messages from individuals claiming to be from Coca-Cola, saying that they have won money in lotteries. PenBev encourages consumers to notify the authorities and Coca-Cola South Africa’s consumer affairs department immediately before responding to the crook.

Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Manager at PenBev, Denise Behrens has confirmed that, “There have been reports recently of fraudulent e-mails to consumers notifying them they have won money in a UK Coca-Cola lottery. One such case that is currently being investigated is a Western Cape man who lost over R119 000 as a result of the scam.”

Behrens reiterates, “Coca-Cola is not associated with SMS’s or emails requesting personal information such as bank accounts and ID numbers from consumers for purposes of redeeming prizes. We would like to urge everyone not to give out their personal details when approached to do so but instead contact our call centre and report these fraudulent requests.”

Coca-Cola runs a number of legitimate promotions during the year. Here is how consumers can tell if they are truly a winner or have been contacted as part of a scam:

  • PenBev and Coca-Cola contact their winners telephonically to notify them of their winnings, never via SMS or e-mail.
  • PenBev and Coca-Cola would never ask for any fees to be paid for winners to receive the prize, such as Legal fees, admin fees, clearance fees, delivery fees, packaging fees etc. as this is given free of charge.
  • If customers haven’t entered a competition, then Coca-Cola would not contact them.

Bahrens concludes, “An important thing to remember is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Coca-Cola South Africa’s consumer affairs at ccsainfo@afr.ko.com or contact Tel: 086 011 2526.

Africa in need of sustainable agricultural production

Africa is in dire need of transforming its agricultural sector. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, agricultural production needs to increase 60% by 2050 to keep up with the expected demand for food*. These pressing issues will be discussed at the thought-provoking and highly anticipated Food Security Seminar taking place on 24 June 2015 during Sustainability Week at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

Political instability, limited access to resources and funding, poverty, skills shortages and a changing climate are just some of the challenging factors impacting food security in Africa. The lack of interest in farming among young rural people is also a risk to consider when it comes to Africa’s agricultural landscape. Thought leaders and experts in the field of food security, agriculture and fisheries will share the latest thinking and best practice in the changing face of this industry during Sustainability Week, which will take place on 24 June 2015 at the CSIR.

Four interactive sessions will contribute to the formulation of consensus on the best course for African countries in the food security, agriculture and fisheries sectors. The first session will focus on climate change mitigation and adaption where Inge Kotze, Senior Manager for Sustainable Agriculture at the World Wide Fund for Nature – South Africa’s (WWF-SA) will define the issues of climate change and agriculture. The session will close with a panel discussion addressing key actions to mitigate primary causes of emissions and how to adapt to inevitable changes in the sector.

“There is an urgent need for the world’s farmers to be empowered to produce more food per unit of land, water and agrochemicals, while confronting widespread physical resource scarcity, a changing climate, and rapidly increasing input costs,” says Kotze.

Biodiversity and productivity in land use will be the theme for the second session where Jan Coetzee Project Extension Officer at The South African Breweries (SAB) will enlighten attendees with a case study on better barley, better beer. This session will ultimately address the big question of whether intensive farming work can co-exist sustainably with the local biodiversity to ensure conservation and the ongoing supply of ecological services.

During the household food security session, freelance science writer Leonie Joubert will shed light on what food security really means. Paul Barker from Here We Grow Again will speak about the direct impact food gardens have on food security. The panel discussion will round off this session by framing the required policy and infrastructure foundations to enable broad-based urban farming.

The final compelling session will address rural poverty by stimulating the rural economy. Speakers will explore how to convert subsistence farmers into successful commercial farmers to extract the economic potential of land. The session will also delve into Afrocentric labour intensive approaches to improve productivity and uplift rural communities.

“A company such as BASF can play a defining role in addressing the challenges facing our planet, including those of energy and food resources, as well as urban living,” says Joan-Maria Garcia-Girona, Vice-President and Managing Director of BASF South Africa and Sub-Sahara.  “In 2050, the world’s population will reach nine billion with 70% of the people living in cities. Resources are already scarce and we have only reached almost seven billion people. To feed nine billion people in 2050, we will need twice as much food as today. Innovation in agriculture is vital to address the gap between food demand and supply. We at BASF have a 150 year legacy of providing farmers with innovative solutions to protect crops and improve sustainable agricultural production.”

The Food Security Seminar, sponsored by Nedbank and BASF forms part of the larger Sustainability Week, organised by alive2green, which runs from 23 to 28 June 2015. Associate sponsors of the Food Security Seminar include: Participate Technologies, Massmart and Backsberg Estate Cellars.

For more information on Sustainability Week and to register, visit www.sustainabilityweek.co.za.

* http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-Road-to-Food-Security-in-Africa-20150416

Gala fundraiser sheds light on children with autism

One hundred and ten compassionate Capetonians attended the annual SNAP (Special Needs Adapted Programme) Autism Ball gala fundraiser this past weekend at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands to support and raise awareness for children diagnosed with autism. Four talented performers from Zip Zap wowed the crowd with incredible acrobatics and comedy which resonated with this year’s theme, ‘extra-ordinary’, emphasising that children with autism can become quite extra-ordinary with the right intervention.

In 2014, the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that a staggering one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism, and an increase of 500% has taken place over the past five years! To create awareness and raise funds for children with autism, SNAP hosted a prestigious gala fundraiser with the help of their friends at Zip Zap whose compassion for disadvantaged communities by empowering people through skills development and training made the collaboration a perfect fit.

“The SNAP Autism Ball complemented our vision of developing young people through extra-ordinary measures and we are delighted to have been part of such a cause,” shares Laurence Estéve, Co-founder of Zip Zap.

Master of ceremonies Peter G set the bar for a fun filled evening by entertaining guests. Four young Zip Zap performers dazzled the crowd with an ‘extra-ordinary’ challenge of performing in a confined space very different to their usual high ceiling venues suitable for a flying trapeze. Their 20 minute performance left guests in awe while they were treated to a delicious 4-course meal.

“Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, resulting in a developmental delay, ranging from very mild to severe. Some of the common characteristics of abnormal behaviour are difficulty with social interaction, communication, reasoning and sensory processing,” shares Annalies van Rijswijk, Managing Director from SNAP. She added that autism can be detected as early as two years old and that’s why creating awareness is so important. Early detection of autism can improve attention and learning behaviours through various interventions. Adults can also suffer from autism; the more people know about it, the sooner they can seek help. Funds raised will go towards providing the right interventions that trigger extra-ordinary abilities and talents of children affected by autism.

“Taking part in this initiative gave us another opportunity to continue helping children ‘dare to dream’ and to make their dreams a reality by overcoming any social or developmental barriers. Autism should not be a life sentence for children but rather an opportunity for them to express themselves freely and creatively, “concludes Estéve.

For more information about Zip Zap, visit www.zip-zap.co.za or find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus and for more on SNAP, visit www.snap.org.za.

 

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

World Environment Day is around the corner with a catch-phrase that will make you think – ‘Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care’. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) shines light on South Africa’s waste activities and urges residents to start seeing the value in what they would generally throw away.

Celebrated annually on 05 June, World Environment Day is the United Nations’ main initiative to encourage awareness and global action for a better and cleaner environment. “World Environment Day is a fantastic initiative where global discussions are made to foster more conscious actions globally. These actions should however, not be in isolation but part of everyone’s daily activities,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA).

Oelofse indicates that South Africa’s landfill airspace is fast running out, and it is up to residents and organisations alike to assist in reducing waste to landfill. “Recycling is often viewed as being filthy, time consuming and inconvenient while disposal to landfill appears cheaper. It may seem that the gains associated with recycling does not justify the effort, but South Africa’s landfill tariffs are not a true reflection of the full costs of landfilling. The value of waste as a resource and what it could mean to the South African economy is not understood nor appreciated,” highlights Oelofse.

The ideal waste management option according to the international accepted waste management hierarchy is firstly prevention and reduction. This is when fewer materials are used in the manufacturing process or innovative ideas are implemented to prevent waste from being generated in the first place. The next stage is reusing materials followed by recycling initiatives including home composting systems. The fourth stage involves other recovery steps which includes anaerobic digestion, incineration or gasification. The last and most undesirable stage is landfilling.

“When looking at this hierarchy, landfilling is the last resort. As stressed in the Waste Road Map published in March 2014 by the Department of Science and Technology*, the benefits of moving waste up the hierarchy contributes to a green economy as it re-introduces resources back into the economy, contributes to economic growth and job creation and reduces social and environmental costs,” explains Oelofse.

According to the Waste Road Map report* the resource value of waste, if 100% of recoverable materials are recovered and recycled, would be in the order of R25.2 billion per year.  Currently, only about R8.2 billion per year of this value is realised with a recycling rate of 10% (as at 2011 baseline).

“There is a lot of value in our waste, which is currently being sent to landfill sites. The value of this waste will be optimised if it is clean and well sorted for recycling purposes. Residents should start being proactive with what they throw away and contribute to the larger picture of waste recovery. Start separating waste at source and take it to your nearest recycling station – a little goes a long way!” concludes Oelofse.

To find out where your nearest waste recycler is, visit www.mywaste.co.za.

For more information on the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa).

* http://www.wasteroadmap.co.za/download/economic_value_sa_waste_rep.pdf

Finding inspiration in everyday designs: tips from leading SA designer

CAPTION: DIY signage for informal exhaust pipe repairs. These often unnoticed designs inspire principal designer and manager, Thorsten Deckler of 26’10 south Architects with the work that he does in the architecture industry. Deckler will be a speaker at this year’s Architecture ZA 2015 (AZA2015) set to take place in Johannesburg from 24 to 26 September 2015. He will share where he draws his inspiration from for conceptual design.

The unusual structures made from old exhaust pipes that identify informal exhaust repair services next to the road are an excellent example of everyday design practice that can inspire creativity, says Thorsten Deckler co-founder and principal of 26’10 south Architects. “There are many ordinary citizens, who often under difficult circumstances make sophisticated design decisions which are often not recognised by trained designers,” says Deckler. The esteemed architect will share many more of his own design inspirations at the highly anticipated Architecture ZA 2015 (AZA2015) event, set to take place in the heart of Johannesburg – The Sheds @ 1 Fox in Newtown, from 24 to 26 September 2015.

Deckler’s advice for young designers is to “look around you and treat your surroundings as your primary resource.” Unfortunately designers are often inundated with too much visuals resulting in an overload, which can leave one blind to immediate surroundings.

As a leader in the South African design scene, Deckler is quick to point out that design trends are constantly changing and that it is difficult to really identify who is a trendsetter worth watching. “Trends are like styles – most of them come and go.”

For young hopefuls Deckler says that it all depends on a lot of hard work. “Doing the work sets you apart from the rest. Hard work unlocks inspiration from within a project and although it is a mostly unglamorous struggle it means a young designer can complete a key learning cycle – namely trying, failing, reflecting, adapting and succeeding. This full cycle is repeated throughout one’s profession and can continue to serve and define your ultimate success in the industry.”

Deckler shares four more tips for young architects and designers:

  1. Learn to embrace complexity: Although individual parts add up to the whole, the whole is complex and not simple. “A problem cannot be reduced to one reading or solved by one idea alone,” says Deckler. “If you don’t understand this concept, watch all episodes of The Wire series.”
  2. Draw, draw and draw some more: “The inaccuracy of a hand drawing often helps you to ‘lie a little’, to pursue ideas, rather than technical solutions.” Picasso once said that “Art is the lie that enables us to realise the truth.”  It is in drawing, Deckler explains, that there is a more direct connection between your hand and brain which allows you to develop ideas and react to them quickly.
  3. Know how things work: “If you do not know how things work, make a point of finding out,” says Deckler adding that “there is no excuse not to do this.”
  4. Integrity is key: “Don’t try to be nice or to be liked by your contemporaries – be tough but fair and act with integrity,” advises Deckler. While this applies to most aspects of life, like parenting, it also holds true to the trench warfare-like experience of building a building.

When looking for design inspiration, who does Deckler follow with a keen eye? “The people I respect and admire are not really trendsetters, their work sets them apart from trends by addressing more primary or universal aspects of architecture like scale, light, materials, proportions, habitation and occupying the landscape.”

Although hesitant to mention specific names, Deckler does list veteran South African designer, Gawie Fagan – who is soon turning 90 – as a personal inspiration. Architect duos like Ilze and Heinrich Wolff offer inspiration because of the multifaceted approach they have developed. “They curate, write, build, research, and teach in order to continuously expand their understanding of the discipline.”

AZA2015 will be a melting pot for ideas as local and international design experts share experiences and best practice. The event is not just a conference; there will be master classes, workshops and multitude of public events. It is an opportunity for interested participants from non-design disciplines to share in the future of South Africa’s cities and be part of the regeneration of major urban life, right in the heart of Johannesburg.

Registrations for AZA2015 are now open. To register, visit http://booking.architectureza.org/. AZA2015 is proudly sponsored by PPC Ltd. For more information about AZA2015, visit http://architectureza.org/. AZA2015 is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/architectureza).

Local Cape Town NGO combats rise in teenage pregnancy

Caption: The Department of Basic Education recorded 20 000 school pregnancies in 2014, 223 of which were primary school learners.* To actively contribute to the fight against this concerning rise in teenage pregnancy in South Africa, Mustadafin Foundation launched a teenage pregnancy awareness campaign at its community centres in Tafelsig and Delft which will run during May 2015.

It is estimated that one in three girls in South Africa have given birth by the age of 20 and with the high rate of HIV infection, this concern has been intensified.* The latest national survey recorded 16% of pregnant women under the age of 20 tested HIV positive, not to mention other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).* It is also stated that this shocking number of teenage pregnancies are directly linked to gangsterism, coercion and substance abuse – a key discussion point in Mustadafin Foundation’s teenage pregnancy awareness programme.

Mustadafin Foundation launched its first teenage pregnancy awareness campaign on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at its community centres in Tafelsig and Delft, which will run throughout the month. In addition to this campaign, these centres also run programmes that council women dealing with abuse, exploitation and oppression.

Anel Annandale, a psychologist based in Cape Town who works with children between the ages of two and 21, believes that teen moms are more likely to suffer from Post-Natal Depression because of the large amount of situational anxiety that they experience; leaving them with a feeling of isolation.**

“Education is pivotal when it comes to teenage pregnancy, especially to children who live in disadvantaged communities where they don’t have the necessary support structures at home,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone, Director at Mustadafin Foundation. The non-profit organisation has various health programmes that help educate community members about issues such as HIV/Aids, TB and other diseases.

“During our teenage pregnancy awareness campaign we will provide teenagers with sex education, teen development awareness, communication skills, lifestyle workshops and counselling,” explains Johnstone.

Salmah***, a single mother abandoned by her husband to raise her child alone has received tremendous amounts of help from Mustadafin Foundation. Although not a teenager, Salmah became all too familiar with the struggles one faces when adjusting to a new lifestyle; balancing work and her other responsibilities while experiencing Post-Natal Depression, hormonal imbalances and sleep deprivation.

Salmah admits that motherhood is difficult enough without having to fend for yourself and your baby as a result of being a single mother.  “I don’t think that the youth are informed as to what the actual day-to-day challenges are when it comes to having children.  They are not aware of what pregnancy does to your body, how it impacts your health, how it can contribute to chronic fatigue, how it becomes difficult to mentally focus on your work or studies when you can’t get enough sleep and how it affects relationships and the way we behave,” she explains.

“A sex education / awareness campaign for the youth is a priority in combating this problem and working towards prevention. In order to address teenage pregnancy holistically it is imperative to engage all stakeholders. When everyone understands their role at home, in the community and at school, it is possible to realise the desired change.  In addition to community-based interventions, adolescent-friendly health services and access to information and support can help combat the high rise in teenage pregnancy. Prevention is better than cure. Female and male teenagers need to know the process and responsibility of being pregnant and raising a child, which is exactly what we are addressing in the awareness campaign,” concludes Johnstone.

Those interested in volunteering and assisting the youth, please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021 633 0010. For more information on Mustadafin Foundation, visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

* http://www.hst.org.za/news/teenage-pregnancy-figures-cause-alarm

** http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/zuma-s-teen-mom-suggestion-ludicrous-1.1830898#.VVLMRvmqpBc

*** Name has been changed to protect the woman’s identity

Argon Asset Management celebrates its tenth anniversary

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene congratulated Argon Asset Management as a firm leading transformation in the financial sector at its tenth year celebration in Johannesburg last Friday night.

CAPTION: Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene gave a key-note address at Argon Asset Management’s ten year celebration. Nene said that Argon were “the embodiment of transformation” in the financial sector. Photographer: Monique De Paiva

In a key-note address Nene called for increased transformation. “It is important that more black fund managers make real strides in transforming the financial sector.”

“Transformation of the financial sector is an important part of Government’s vision,” said Nene who added that he knew he was “preaching to the converted” at Argon. “I salute and congratulate you on your achievements and wish you many more decades of success.” He said that wealth creation should not be reserved for the privileged few and called for transparent, fair and ethical behaviour among financial managers.

Treasury’s intention to transform the retirement industry was a priority, said Nene who raised concerns over the automatic default in South Africa to withdraw pension when changing jobs. “South Africans do not save sufficiently for retirement or for the long haul,” said Nene. He said that new, young, dynamic and transformed asset managers had a role to play in creating a financial market that is “more inclusive.”

Nene congratulated Argon on a “stream of accolades,” describing the firm as “the embodiment of transformation.” Argon won Best Investment Management Company in Africa at the Global Banking and Finance Review Awards in February this year and has been nominated in four of the 2015 Batseta Imbasa Yegolide Awards categories to be announced on 01 June 2015 (Best Equities Manager, Best Bond Manager, Best Absolute Return Manager and Most Responsible Investment Manager).

Ten years since its inception Argon now manages R27 billion in client assets. The firm which offers listed strategies in equities, fixed income and the multi-asset class is also expanding into the retail space.  It also offers global strategies in association with its venerable global investment management partner, Schroders Investment Management.

Argon Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Mothobi Seseli reflected on the past decade: “I had a vision of building a black owned and managed firm that could become a force for good in our country.” Seseli said that establishing Argon in an extremely competitive environment had not come easily. “It has been incredibly challenging to break down traditional barriers to entry however we have built a strong track record and worked really hard to achieve excellence for clients who have confidence in us,” said Seseli.

“Custodians of wealth should not be exclusive, as in the past. In fact, for meaningful change, they need to be more inclusive and representative of our society today,” said Seseli who emphasised the importance of upholding values of ethical behaviour and establishing trust relationships with clients.

The glittering celebration, with entertainment from artist Busisiwe Mawelele, was attended by Executive Chairman of Shell SA, Bonang Mohale and government officials including Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa and Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. Kganyago described Argon as an example of “global best practice” and said that the evening was a “celebration of black excellence.”

UN Women Executive Director and Former Deputy President, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka conveyed her best wishes to Argon. “Mothobi, you stand head and shoulders above your counterparts in the financial sector.” Michael Dobson, CEO of Schroders – Argon’s international partner which was founded in 1805 – congratulated Seseli on leading Argon through its first ten years. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Argon,” said Dobson.

 

For more information about Argon Asset Management, please contact 021 670 6570 or email info@argonasset.co.za or visit the website www.argonassetmanagement.co.za

Cape Town market making positive strides in waste reduction

Caption: The Cape Town Market based in Epping is actively working towards zero waste to landfill with extensive measures in place to reduce food waste. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA’s) Waste Minimisation and Recycling Interest Group (WMRIG) held a very informative and interactive ‘Waste = Resource Tour’ on 06 May 2015 where 27 attendees were shown the intricacies of the market’s onsite composting system.

The IWMSA’s WMRIG ‘Waste = Resource Tour’ enlightened attendees on how waste is being managed in the Western Cape. The first stop was the Cape Town Market, one of the oldest and largest fresh produce markets in South Africa that services 50% of the Western Cape.

Adrian de Villiers from Cape Town Market explains, “The market has extensive plans in place to assist with the reduction of organic waste going to landfill. Products that are unfit for sale but still fit for consumption are diverted to the FoodBank, which is located onsite and who distributes donated items to beneficiary organisations. Foods that are unfit for consumption are either diverted to pig farms or to the market’s onsite composting system managed by Y-Waste. During March 2014 to February 2015, only 1.8% of all produce delivered was unfit for sale. This was due to no market demand, poor handling, decay or low grade quality.”

After the Cape Town Market tour, the waste enthusiasts were taken to the Athlone Refuse Transfer Station (ARTS) and Vissershok Landfill to experience, first-hand, how waste is managed by the City of Cape Town. Where distances for refuse collection vehicles are too great to access disposal, they make use of a transfer station to offload waste. At transfer stations, the waste is compacted into containers of approximately 20 tons each and transferred via rail or road to a landfill site. Approximately 50 containers of compacted waste are transported every night via rail from ARTS to the Vissershok landfill site.

At the Vissershok Landfill, the attendees were taken to the working face, rehabilitated cells and the leachate treatment plant where leachate generated by the site is biologically treated to meet the Department of Water and Sanitations Special Limit effluent standards.

“South Africa is running out of landfill airspace and we all need to do our part to reduce waste going to landfill. The aim of the tour was to track a waste product from cradle to grave/cradle and introduce solution providers that are doing their part to reduce waste going to landfill,” says Quinton Williams, committee member of the IWMSA’s WMRIG group.

There are various solution providers that provide waste minimisation services.  For those that would like to start separating waste at source and be part of the solution, please consult the MyWaste website (www.mywaste.co.za).

For more information on the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa).

Africa’s first bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant opens its doors in Wadeville

The first Bottle-2-Bottle recycling plant in Africa, with an investment of R75 million and the capability to produce resin that will be suitable for the carbonated drink sector, was officially opened today by Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa in Wadeville, Johannesburg. She was joined at the opening ceremony by notable guests from government and the PET industry including Therese Gearhart, President of Coca-Cola Southern Africa, the Joint Managing Director of Extrupet, Chandru Wadhwani and PETCO, the industry body for PET recycling in South Africa.

The plant, installed by Extrupet, is the first on the continent to use a Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market.

The 3000m2 PhoenixPET plant, equipped with Starlinger technology, will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting its target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015.

Cheri Scholtz, PETCO CEO lauds the milestone for the PET industry and says, ‘PETCO and its shareholders are proud to congratulate Extrupet on the opening of the new plant. We believe it will benefit the local value chain and will ensure the long term viability of post-consumer PET recycling in South Africa’.

She adds, ‘The cooperation within the PET industry to reach a common goal of integrating recycling into product life cycles is showing very notable results:  we have reached a point where 49% of all post-consumer PET bottles are currently recycled – no less than 1.5 billion bottles were recycled in 2014 supporting 44 000 informal income opportunities in PET collection’.

Wadhwani attributes the project’s success to their loyal customers, their shareholders continued commitment as well as the long standing relationship with PETCO and says that the facility has the capability to provide a level of quality assurance to meet the growing local and regional demand in the bottle and thermoforming industry for environmentally-friendly and sustainable packaging. ‘PhoenixPET is to be viewed as a bench-mark for other recycled polymers as well as packaging mediums aspiring to attain a cradle-to-cradle solution for sustainable packaging’.

The Chairman of PETCO and Franchise Technical Director of Coca-Cola Southern Africa, Casper Durandt concurs, ‘We are extremely excited about the fact that South Africa will be the first country on the continent to use rPET for Coca-Cola products. We have made every effort to ensure that we maintain the highest quality standards. We thank our partners in PETCO, who represent the full value chain: virgin resin manufacturing, converters, bottlers, brand owners and the retail sector, for ten years of sustained support that has brought us this far. We also thank Extrupet for a great partnership’.

With the Bottle-2-Bottle expansions, it is estimated that an additional 15 000* income opportunities will be created for the informal sector collecting additional material to supply the plant. This supports the green job creation goals entrenched in the National Waste Management Strategy and the Department of Science and Technology’s National Waste Research, Development and Innovation Roadmap.

For more information about the Bottle-2-Bottle initiative contact: Chandru Wadhwani at Extrupet on 011 865 8360.

* Figure based on the recovery opportunities created in collecting the additional 22 000 tonnes (with an average recovery of 1.45 tonnes of material per selective waste picker per year).

South Africa becoming a leader in renewable energy

South Africa is on its way to becoming a renewable energy leader with billions being invested in creating clean and efficient energy. A recent study revealed that renewable energy including wind and solar benefited South Africa by as much as R5.3 billion in 2014.* A zero carbon scenario, grid autonomy and wheeling will be some of the fascinating talking points for energy industry experts who gather at the Sustainable Energy Seminar. This two day conference takes place on 24 and 25 June 2015 during the annual alive2green Sustainability Week at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

The process of adding electricity to the grid in one place and taking it out at another, commonly known as wheeling, has been dubbed a potential catalyst for South Africa’s transition to renewable energy – could this approach open the flood gates? As energy producers gain direct access to end users by wheeling their clean energy through the Eskom grid, the market begins to open up, allowing market forces to push efficiencies up and prices down.

The possibilities opening up for gas generation, both at the utility and on site scale and the prospect of reducing national Green House Gas emissions is beginning to look highly possible, if not probable. Strategies to achieve grid autonomy through efficiency and on site generation will be discussed at this year’s Sustainable Energy Seminar, a not-to-be-missed event, attracting the country’s leading experts in sustainable energy.

“There is an urgent need to reduce fossil fuel dependency, reduce our carbon footprint and diversify the energy mix and supply. Renewable energy is an attractive solution to many problems, the most important of these being security of supply, because resources are abundant and sustainable with the advantage of relatively quick implementation times, creation of work opportunities and a lower long-term impact on the environment,” says Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot, Centre Manager for the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). Surridge-Talbot will share insights from SANEDI’s flagship projects at the Seminar.

South Africa has one of the best solar regimes in the world and the question is how best to harness this renewable energy resource. Dr Chris Haw, Director of Aurora Power Group and the co-founder of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association will discuss solar energy for commercial energy users with helpful case studies from his experience at SOLA Future Energy.

Valuable insights about redox flow batteries will be shared by Mulilo project engineer, Tim Crombie and Etienne Gerber, technical head at Mitochondria Energy Company (Pty) Ltd will discuss hydrogen fuel cells. Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz from the CSIR will speak about the council’s integrated energy initiative and opportunities for renewables in South Africa.

The Sustainable Energy Seminar will include riveting discussions on renewable energy generation potential versus the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) programme, wheeling, natural gas as an alternative energy source in South Africa, autonomy from Eskom – going off the grid and sustainable energy at city scale. Each session in the Sustainable Energy Seminar will begin with an expert panel of 20 minute presentations, followed by a question and answer session with input from the audience.

“We have a crucial role to play in enabling the transition from a carbon-intensive economy to more efficient low-carbon alternatives. The reduction of electricity consumption and increased rollout of renewable energy alternatives is a critical aspect of this transition,” says Dr Marco Lotz, Sustainability Carbon Specialist of Nedbank Group.

The Sustainable Energy Seminar, sponsored by Nedbank, SANEDI, UNIDO, BASF, Massbuild and Participate Technologies forms part of the larger Sustainability Week, organised by alive2green, which runs from 23 to 28 June 2015. Affiliated partners of the Sustainable Energy Seminar include: PIESA, SESSA, SAEE, REEEP, TAPPSA, SAAEA and NBI.

Sustainability Week is hosted by the City of Tshwane which has a vision to become a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient city by 2055. Executive Mayor of Tshwane Councillor Kgosientso Ramogkopa said, “Sustainability Week is a vital gathering for experts and leaders alike to champion urban sustainability for future generations. Energy efficiency is at the heart of this challenge – it cannot be overlooked.”

For more information on Sustainability Week, visit www.sustainabilityweek.co.za.

* http://www.saee.org.za/news_item.aspx?Id=775