Women in Waste – how they are changing the field

Caption: Generally dubbed a ‘man’s world’, the remarkable women who serve on the council for the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) are showing how influential and much needed women in waste are. Prof Suzan Oelofse (left picture) is the President of the IWMSA and serving alongside her are Margot Ladouce (middle picture), Chairperson at the IWMSA Western Cape Branch and Nomakhwezi Nota (right picture), Chairperson at the IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch. With a vision to better the country as a whole in the way waste is dealt with, these incredible women are laying the foundation.

These three noteworthy women have over 44 years’ combined experience in the waste management field. Prof Suzan Oelofse, Research Group Leader for Waste for Development at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Natural Resources and Environment Operating Unit, joined the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) in early 2006 and has been the non-profit’s President since 2013. Margot Ladouce, Head of Research and Development – Solid Waste Disposal at the City of Cape Town has been a long-standing member of the IWMSA since 2005. Nomakhwezi Nota, Managing Director at AMN Environmental Pty (Ltd) realised her passion for the waste industry in 2008 when she joined the CSIR, hitting its full potential in 2013 when she started environmental consulting in East London.

“Women are much needed in the waste industry and with more and more women pursuing careers in waste management – on every level – I envisage a radical shift over the next few years towards an ethical, innovative and compliant industry,” says Oelofse.

Since joining the IWMSA in 2014, Nota took the initiative to spread the IWMSA’s involvement in more Eastern Cape towns, other than East London and Port Elizabeth. She and her team achieved great success with an approximate 10% increase in membership from organisations and individuals with a hunger to learn more about waste management.

In the Western Cape, Ladouce took on the challenge of organising the IWMSA’s flagship conference, WasteCon. WasteCon2014 proved to be a huge success with over 450 delegates in attendance. The conference attracted key players in the waste management industry, ultimately facilitating dialogue and participation between government and industry players.

Value in Waste

Frequenting industrial sites early on in her career, Oelofse describes how she could not understand why the heaps of waste could not be used for something else. “The thought that all waste generated is in essence the result of consumer demand and consumption, made me realise how unsustainable human activities are and thus my passion for waste management was born”, says Oelofse.

Ladouce adds by explaining where South Africa’s waste industry is heading towards, “Waste should be seen as a resource. Through proper management and processing, waste can add value and can be used to beneficiate and make a noticeable difference to the GDP of South Africa. This can be done through implementation of waste to energy, anaerobic digestion and composting technologies. It is also a vehicle to create opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

Nota mentions that although waste management was not explicitly mentioned in the initial presentation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the targets and indicators identified for the MDGs clearly show important links between waste management and the MDGs. “These links are indicative of how better management of waste can lead to improvements and poverty reduction aimed at achieving the set MDGs. Significant proportions of populations depend on waste management for their livelihood, and there are opportunities for more employment generation as services extend to cover the rapidly-growing populations globally. Proper waste management has a significant impact on the lives, health and surroundings of humans and the environment,” explains Nota.

Promotion of dialogue with all industry stakeholders

The IWMSA continues to strive to be at the forefront of waste management practices, as well as to support entrepreneurs and encourage young professionals to embark on a career in waste management.

“I love encouraging young professionals to ensure that we are able to sustain what we have initiated through proper engagement with our up and coming young scientists and engineers,” mentions Ladouce.

Nota adds that as a developing country, the increasing population demographics require more innovative thinkers in the waste industry as more waste will be generated in future – a fantastic opportunity for young waste enthusiasts.

Commenting on her role as President, Oelofse says, “Being the President of the IWMSA provides me with the opportunity to influence the strategic direction of the IWMSA to ensure that we remain relevant and that we continue to make a difference in the waste management community.” Establishing a working relationship with the Department of Environmental Affairs has been an achievement that Oelofse is most proud of since having joined the IWMSA team.

The IWMSA encourages the public to help with its plight in preserving the country by getting involved in recycling initiatives. The IWMSA is hosting two thought-provoking conferences this year namely Landfill2015 in the Western Cape and The Road to Zero Waste conference in the Eastern Cape.

For more information on the IWMSA, Landfill2015 and The Road to Zero Waste, visit www.iwmsa.co.za or contact 011-675-3462. The IWMSA is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).

Re-skilling, up-skilling and skills transference at the FP&M SETA Skills Development Summit 2015

There are 829 800 unfilled positions for high-skilled workers across a wide range of occupations in South Africa,* forcing employers to select new staff from a small pool of skilled people. Professionals from different industries will address the skills gap question at the ninth annual Skills Development Summit on 04 and 05 August 2015 at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Tshwane. The Summit, brought to you by the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA), offers a not to be missed opportunity to participate in interactive workshops and training programmes.

A lack of skills, talents or the ability to do something well is the driving force behind South Africa’s wavering economy. Adcorp reported that categories suffering the greatest skills shortages are senior management, professions in medicine, engineering, accounting and law as well as agriculture and technical occupations with specialised artisanal skills.*  The 2015 Talent Shortage Survey conducted by Manpower Group reported that there is a 31% skills shortage in South Africa. This is 7% less than the reported global percentage.**

Human capital is an important element in every organisation because it affects the impact business has on clients. Technology is evolving faster than the skills developed within organisations and tertiary institutions, forcing businesses to adapt to these technological changes by empowering employees to keep up with changing times.

“The 2015 Skills Development Summit is set to establish an exciting new pace at which we train and empower people for the work that still needs to be done. The Summit brings South Africa’s skills shortage ever closer to a successful resolution,” shares FP&M SETA CEO, Ms. Felleng Yende.”The FP&M SETA Skills Development Summit 2015 offers a pragmatic vision of skills development that integrates the need to develop skills, create jobs and grow the economy within a framework of inclusivity and social transformation against a background of international competition. This is the workshop in which the future will be forged,” adds Yende.

This year’s Summit, hosted by SABC News Anchor and Producer Peter Ndoro, will include interactive workshops to get the most out of participants in skills training programmes across the board. Top trainers and other experts will share insights to ensure that participants who complete skills training courses are equipped with the know-how and expertise required to make a meaningful contribution to the workplace and, by extension, to the South African economy as a whole. In short, delegates will receive insights that will enable them to develop a more empowered workforce and capitalise on opportunities denied to the inflexible and unskilled.

“As both economic turbulence and opportunity increase apace worldwide, especially in the more fluid developing markets, Human Resources has jumped from being a backroom discipline, often viewed dismissively or just as a nice-to-have, to an indispensable practice ever more implicated in strategic decision-making,” says Greg Penfold, Head of Events Division, Cape Media. “Think of what HR meant to the mining sector in the 1980s and compare that to now where together with large data files, HR has become an invaluable diagnostic tool for performance and competitiveness. Just as the calculated value of HR has escalated, so too has the broader focus of skills development become a critical focus point,” adds Penfold. “The strategic HR mind-set needs to be applied and expanded from corporation to country and continent view. This requires an honest, principled, creative conversation between multiple social, political and economic stakeholders. The Skills Development Summit is the perfect platform for this conversation,” says Penfold.

The first day of the event will focus on the foundation of skills, leadership roles and strategic sustainability of skills. The day will end off with Achiever Awards where influencers will be recognised for their impeccable contribution in different industries. The second day will focus on education institutions, business case studies and enterprise development success stories.

“Everyone from industry and businesses who is interested in skills development should not miss this event,” says Penfold.

To attend the conference, become an exhibitor or an event sponsor; contact Beverley Stone – Summit Manager | +27 (0)21 681 7000 | beverley@capemedia.co.za. Skills Development Summit page is on Facebook: Skills Summit and on Twitter: @Skills_Summit. To read more on the event and the sponsors, visit http://www.skillssummit.co.za.

Braam Malherbe and Scott Ramsay to judge children’s wildlife art competition

On 27 July 2015 a magnificent collection of children’s wildlife art will be judged at the Vineyard hotel by respected conservationist and business leader, Braam Malherbe, and conservation photojournalist and K-way ambassador Scott Ramsay.

This is the third annual wildlife art competition hosted by the Cape Leopard Trust (CLT). This year’s theme encompasses all predators of the Cape. The main objective of the competition is to educate learners to acknowledge the role that predators play in natural systems.

Of the many beautiful pieces of unique art, 12 will be selected to make up the 2016 Cape Leopard Trust calendar. The artworks will also be framed and displayed at the Trust’s annual fundraiser in August 2015. The young artists will each win a spot to attend an exciting a Cape Leopard Trust camp in the Cedarberg Mountains.

“I am honoured to be a judge alongside Scott in this fantastic initiative. Without educating our children about the vital role that animals play in our ecosystems, there will be little respect not only for animals but also for the importance and significance of ensuring wilderness areas remain pristine for generations to come. Our children are tomorrow’s leaders and unless we show them how intrinsically linked all of life is, we will continue on this dreaded path we have created for ourselves. We must show our children that greed and over-consumption of our natural resources will not only be the demise of so many species, but ours as well,” says Braam Malherbe.

Malherbe continues, “I am proud to be the official ambassador for the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme who support the Cape Leopard Trust. When I was at the South Pole with the MyPlanet flag I said ‘if we do not have good education, how can we respect and look after our villages, and indeed, our planet?’ The Cape Leopard Trust not only protects our leopards but also takes children on wilderness camps in the magnificent Cederberg mountains. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of outdoor environmental education and the priceless value it can bring to a child, as a future leader and global citizen.”

“One of our Big Five, the rhino, is already in danger of extinction. Thanks to the MyPlanet Rhino Fund we are now raising over R200 000 per month for best practices in rhino conservation. Elephants and lions are also being threatened. What an indictment on humanity if we lose one or more of our Big Five! The role that organisations like the Cape Leopard Trust play in education and protection of species such as the leopard (also one of the Big Five) is to be applauded,” concludes Malherbe.

For more information about the Cape Leopard Trust, please visit www.capeleopard.org.za. For more information about Braam Malherbe, visit www.braammalherbe.com.

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Learners from Nebo Primary return to find a new library at their school for Mandela Day

 

Caption: Before and after pictures of the library room at Nebo Primary School with the PenBev and Expro teams who transformed the room for Mandela Day.

Over 350 children from Nebo Primary in Ravensmead Cape Town were pleasantly surprised to find a brand new library when they returned to school today after the winter holiday.

In celebration of Mandela Day, Peninsula Beverages (PenBev – Coca-Cola’s bottling partner in the Western and Northern Cape) and Expro joined forces to refurbish an old classroom at Nebo Primary into a colourful library with books, puzzles and games.

The classroom revamp included painting of the walls, installing shelves, carpeting and repairing broken windows. The new library was stocked with books, puzzles and games collected by PenBev and Expro. The two companies situated in Ravensmead, also encouraged their employees to spend their 67minutes for Mandela Day cleaning and arranging the books in the library.

Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Manager at PenBev, Denise Behrens comments, “Nebo Primary is in dire need of support as they are often without basic facilities due to vandalism at the school. As educating our youth is vital in developing future leaders in South Africa, creating a library for the children for Mandela Day was an easy choice to allow the children to learn and have fun.”

As the children returned to school, they were treated to soup, bread, Minute Maid and crisps during their first lunch break.

School Principal, Karin Williams comments, “We are so thankful to PenBev and Expro for their continued support over the years. It’s amazing what has been achieved at the school. The learners are mostly Afrikaans speaking and they desperately needed English material to further their education. With the new library, many of the books are English and this will go a very long way in their education.”

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit www.penbev.co.za or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev.

Architecture for the body, mind and soul

Caption: Johannesburg – are you ready for the most spectacular site specific dance performance? Nimrod Freed/Tami Dance Company will transport attendees at the ArchitectureZA 2015 (AZA2015) event to another world as they perform the world-renowned ‘PeepDance – the body is the last space for freedom’ (above) on 24 September 2015. AZA2015, proudly hosted by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), will take place at the trendy The Sheds in Johannesburg from 24 to 26 September 2015 – an urban culture and design festival not to be missed!

Themed ‘The body is the last space for freedom’, PeepDance is a new, unexpected and mind-blowing contemporary dance performance which will inspire and take your breath away. In a world where we are constantly being looked at, PeepDance is challenging freedom and the reality of culture by exploring perspectives and different ways of expression.

Talia Freed, Art Director and Designer at Nimrod Freed/Tami Dance Company explains, “Three to five dance pieces take place inside ‘peep’ cells, which are performed at the same time. The audience walks around these cells and ‘peep’s through the holes to experience contemporary dance at a whole new lens.”

The PeepDance performance compliments this year’s AZA theme of ‘Future City’ where elegant solutions will be discussed to address the challenges future cities face.

“In a society where technology and media have a tendency to invade our personal realities, it should not mean that we are being controlled. Private and public spaces are changing and it is how we look at these transformations that create our realities. PeepDance will highlight just that where every individual will have their own experience while being part of a collective audience,” says Daniel van der Merwe, Architect and Marketing at PPC and President at the Gauteng Institute for Architects (GIfA).

The Student Architecture Festival Committee has secured sponsorship from the generous local architecture fraternity to bring the Spanish director of the award-winning documentary, The Competition, to Johannesburg. The film will enjoy its African premiere at AZA2015 on 24 September 2015. Architect Angel Borrego Cubero’s film grapples with the inner workings of some of the world’s most prestigious architectural firms to present the best proposal for the National Museum of Art of Andorra. The film follows design giants Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid to win this prestigious competition. With an after-film Q&A with the director, Borrego Cubero, this is a must-see during AZA2015!

The architecture packed event will end off with riveting urban tours on Saturday, 26 September 2015. Delegates and the public can choose from the Open Spaces Walking Tour, Chinatown Walking Tour, Johannesburg Heritage Walking Tour, Soweto Apartheid Museum Concourt, Western Edge to Gandhi Square Tour or Liliesleaf Freedom Park.

AZA2015 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.

AZA2015 is proudly hosted by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and sponsored by PPC Ltd. Affiliated partners include: the Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIfA) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ.) For more information about AZA2015 and to book, visit http://architectureza.org/. AZA2015 is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/architectureza).

A Market with a Difference: Creativity in Action

Tired of the same type of market every weekend? Come and experience a market with a difference at the first ever Market on the Edge, 28 – 29 August 2015 at Cape Town Stadium.

Born from a passion for innovation and inspiration, Market on the Edge promises to be a sensory sensation for the whole family – an indoor market to get inspired, eat, shop and play!

Market goers can expect scrumptious food and beverages, over 80 innovative products including Lego robotics, electric cars, gadgets and more. Relax in the chill zone and enjoy local music and entertainment while leaving the children to play in the kids entertainment areas. Visitors can experience innovation intelligence in a truly sensory way – by seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and feeling innovation.

Also on display at Market on the Edge is the Inventor’s Garage and Pitching Den:

Inventor’s Garage 2015

Winners of the Inventor’s Garage competition will showcase their prototypes and technologies at the Market on the Edge – a must see for all!

PwC Pitching Den Competition 2015

The search is on for South Africa’s brightest minds in innovation at this year’s annual Pitching Den competition. Don’t miss the Pitching Den where entrepreneurial entrants will showcase their ideas and technologies to a well-rounded panel of judges, and gain access to expertise, advice and – potentially – capital to take their inventions to market.

Market on the Edge forms part of the 8th SA Innovation Summit where South African, African and global innovators come together and showcase their exceptional talents, innovations and ideas.

Entrance to the Market is just R50, under 12s are free.

Sponsors of the SA Innovation Summit include SABS, City of Cape Town, FNB, PwC, TIA, IDC, GCIP and SAB Foundation.

For more information on the 2015 SA Innovation Summit, please visit http://www.innovationsummit.co.za or email info@innovationsummit.co.zaor call +27 (12) 844 0674.

From till packer to ECD principal – one woman’s inspiring story

Caption: Despite a very difficult start to life, Fahiema Kruger (above picture, on the right) has an inspiring story to tell this Women’s Month, thanks to Western Cape non-profit organisation, Mustadafin Foundation. The Principal of the Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre in Khayelitsha is a shining example of a woman who has overcome life’s hardship and turned it into a success.

Kruger was three years old when she and her brother were fostered. At the age of 13 her family were forced to relocate from District Six to Hanover Park. Four years later, while in Grade 10 at the age of 17 she fell pregnant and dropped out of school. Disgraced at her pregnant daughter, Kruger’s foster mother threw her out of the house. Kruger moved in with an aunt to provide for her new born baby. Although Kruger did not live at her foster parents anymore, her foster father was supportive of her and did not judge her circumstances. She started working as a till packer at the local supermarket and then became a cashier. At 20 Kruger got married and had three more children but her husband exploited her financially to fund his drug habit while subjecting her to constant verbal abuse and infidelity.

“At times I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I felt alone and angry with the world. There was a time when I believed the words my husband said to me were true. I kept asking myself, ‘What is wrong with you Fahiema? Why are you are always defensive and angry?’ My life was a hell,” recalls Kruger.

She was an emotional wreck and lost her spark and confidence which meant she could not care for her children who were also traumatised and angry.

“Women must know that they need not settle for abusive relationships, they are valuable and should be valued,” said Ghairunisa Johnstone, Mustadafin Foundation Director. “At Mustadafin Foundation we empower women with self-confidence so that they can say no to abuse, be it physical or emotional.”

After 25 years of an abusive marriage, Kruger divorced her husband. Her life turned around when she got involved with Mustadafin Foundation as a volunteer cook. Three years later she became a full time cook at the non-profit’s Delft Centre which provides hot meals for disadvantaged members of the community.

Despite her own financial struggles, Kruger felt at home within the Mustadafin community. There she participated in practical training workshops on parenting, beautification of womanhood, crowd control, fire prevention and First Aid. Kruger regained her confidence and saw potential for a bright future. She dreamt of doing more than just cooking food at the Foundation and started studying Education. Kruger moved to work at the Foundation’s Khayelitsha Centre where she met her current husband. “Mustadafin Foundation uplifted me when I was down from my first marriage and carried me through those years of struggling,” reflects Kruger. Last year she took on the new role as Principal of the Early Childhood Development Centre in Khayelitsha and also keeps herself busy with Level 5 Education Studies.

“Being the only non-Xhosa person in Khayelitsha made me feel out of place at first,” says Kruger, referring to the communication challenges she experienced when moving from Delft. However, Kruger recognises the privileged position she holds of living across two distinct cultures. “It is a gold mine for me because I have a lot of opportunities to inspire the people. I’m community oriented with people in Delft and now also in Khayelitsha, but I’m more stable here in Khayelitsha. I’m here to stay. This is my second home,” concludes a very happy Kruger.

“Fahiema is one woman with a rousing story. Her life was on a downward spiral when I met her in 2000 but it has literally turned around and is a shining example to others of what is possible. There are many more women who need the same support Fahiema received so that they can also tell their own stories,” concludes Johnstone.

For more information on Mustadafin Foundation, visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

 

Rethinking the way we plan our children’s diaries

As schools reopen for the second half of the academic year, parents will once again be forced to make decisions about what extramural activities their children will take in Term 3. Be it horse riding, piano, rugby, tennis, gymnastics, squash or choir – their carefree winter holidays will soon become a distant memory.

“It’s time to rethink the way we plan our children’s diaries,” says Edublox Director of Educational programmes, Susan du Plessis. “Too many children are busy going from one afternoon activity to the next, every day. They hardly have enough time to enjoy unstructured play or complete their homework, let alone succeed academically.”

Parents take great pride in their children’s busy schedules without considering the effects, says du Plessis. “They sign their children up for private coaching sessions while ignoring the average school results on their children’s report cards. The likelihood of one’s child representing South Africa at the Olympics, for example, is very small, while educational success is an absolute requirement for their future.”

Without excellent school results, a child’s employment opportunities are severely limited. Of 100 learners who start school, only 50 will make it to Grade 12, 40 will pass, and only 12 will qualify for university.* Of those entering university only 15 percent will get a degree or diploma.** “One cannot emphasize enough the importance of academic success for a child’s future prospects,” says du Plessis.

Du Plessis said some parents also fill their children’s diaries excessively because they feel guilty that their child is not excelling in the classroom and their afternoon activities are a pleasant distraction. “There is a very long list of nice to have activities but if a child’s academic performance is of concern, this needs to be resolved first. If one doesn’t address foundational educational problems early on they only become more pronounced the longer they are ignored.” The cost of postponing learning support intervention is both financial and emotional if a child must repeat a grade.

While sporting activities are recommended for physical wellbeing, du Plessis said that a balance is required. “When planning after-school activities, parents need to act in the best interests of their child, even if this means temporarily withdrawing their child from compulsory school sport activities in favour of educational intervention support.”

“A coach is naturally interested in winning the next match and a teacher’s main concern is to ensure that a child passes the grade at the end of the year. Parents however have the responsibility to consider the long-term future for their child and that is to help them have as many future career choices as possible with excellent school results.”

Educational intervention programmes that help children improve academically need not be life-long. “Most children need only 240 hours, or ten 24-hour days to resolve their learning problems. If this time is split over an 18-month or two-year period, it is manageable but it requires a careful look from parents at priorities and what is important and urgent,” said du Plessis. She added that as little as 100 hours of extra educational support could also transform an average student from passing comfortably to scoring well above 80%.

Five practical steps for parents who want to prioritise their child’s academic success

  • Review your child’s after-school schedule and prioritise what is urgent and important above what is a ‘nice to have.’
  • Ensure your child has enough time for free play outdoors.
  • Seek a successful learning intervention programme based on substantial proof of improved school results.
  • Include your child in the process. Explain why an academic intervention programme will help them in the long term.
  • Inform everyone including the class teacher, grandparents and sports coach exactly how you are prioritising your child’s academic success and ask them to support you. This is very important, especially if parents have divorced, that both agree to support this process.
  • Reward and recognise your child’s efforts to improve academically.

Edublox are leading specialists in cognitive development with 22 reading and learning clinics across Southern Africa. Edublox offers multisensory cognitive training, aimed at developing and automatising the foundational skills of reading, spelling and Mathematics. For more information about Edublox visit www.edublox.co.za.

* South Africa’s Education Crisis: Report commissioned by Centre for Development and Enterprise. Author Nicholas Spaull.
** http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/papers/2013/stats2011.pdf

Local Cape Town communities get a boost in business

Caption: Small business owners in local disadvantaged communities in Cape Town are receiving much needed business training thanks to the combined efforts of Coca-Cola’s bottling partner, Peninsula Beverages (PenBev) and KPMG. Left: PenBev’s EduBus training bus. Right: Mfuleni business owners receiving business training.

Small businesses are an important contributor to the country’s economy and entrepreneurial skills development is essential to ensure these businesses remain sustainable, continue to grow and contribute to the economy.

Many small business owners in communities don’t have the necessary business knowledge to ensure their success. Acknowledging their plight and eager to make a sustainable difference to their businesses, Coca-Cola’s bottling partner, Peninsula Beverages (PenBev) under the Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative has partnered with KPMG to provide business skills training to entrepreneurs in communities and to empower those who need it most.

In a recent three hour business training programme in Mfuleni, nine local business owners including ‘spaza’ shop and Bed & Breakfast owners, attended the workshop on PenBev’s EduBus – a bus transformed into a mini classroom with training facilities for 12 people.

The training was facilitated by KPMG’s Zohra de Villiers, along with three of her colleagues. De Villiers comments, “The training takes the form of a ‘game’ whereby participants are grouped into teams. There are four stages in the game, each demonstrating various challenges one may face when running a small business. These include product selection, pricing of products, record keeping, listening to what customers want and budgeting.”

A month after each training programme, each attendee is visited by KPMG at his/her business premises for a follow-up mentoring session.

PenBev’s Channel Manager, Bulelani Calana comments, “We are fortunate to be able to assist small business owners, many of whom have supported us over the years. We truly believe that these training initiatives help their businesses to thrive.”

The Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative aims to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs by 2020. Specifically, that means the small businesses the company works with in over 200 countries around the world. In South Africa the company aims to empower over 90,000 women by 2020, focusing on the local and traditional business.

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit www.penbev.co.za or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev.

African Capital cities sign declaration of intent focused on sustainability

Caption: Ideas were formulated and set in motion at this year’s annual City of Tshwane Sustainability Week, which took place from 23 to 25 June 2015. The three day conference was hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre. The inaugural African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (top, left picture) opened the conference and set the tone for the eleven stimulating seminars. The Sustainable Infrastructure Seminar was one of three new seminars introduced in 2015 (top, right picture). Sustainability Week 2015 boasted 128 gripping speakers, 33 exhibition stands (bottom, left picture) and three networking events that added up to make this year’s event the most successful yet. The Green Home Fair at Brooklyn Mall ended the event in style on 27 and 28 July 2015 (bottom, right picture).

The African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum brought together 39 African capital city mayors and dignitaries from Angola, Benin, Comoros, DRC, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritanie, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The mayors and dignitaries congregated to sign a declaration of intent that is the first of its kind on the continent. The declaration’s focus is to elevate the social, economic and environmental imperatives African cities need to adopt in order to develop society and the economy without adverse impacts on the environment.

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, emphasized that future cities must be authentic African cities focusing on the sustainability of the continent’s greatest resource, its people.

The mayors made a commitment to convene every year to assess progress and find collaborative ways to consolidate their vision for urban sustainability. These include green building methods; waste management; reduction of poverty; transport efficiency; technology; and making the best use of human resources to help facilitate the changes.

Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa, explained that the future of Africa depends on effectively managing integration and migration; sustainability and resilience; economic growth and job creation. Elong Mbassi emphasized that all of these contribute towards making Africa sustainable and self-sufficient. He added, “One of the daunting and demanding issues of global development is whether cities are an engine of growth, and whether this growth is sustainable and resilient.”

Mbassi also pointed out that, “Cities should resist the temptation to copy the unsustainable consumption pace of natural resources as other cities of the developed world”.  As Africa is the continent with one of the youngest populations, the sustainability of its economic, social and environmental resources should be a pressing matter on the agenda of the continent’s leaders.

Sustainability Week highlighted that the core indicators of a country’s sustainable success are energy and water management, waste management and manufacturing ventures. Another indicator is identifying where partnership opportunities are that can ensure funding for projects that will benefit a wide variety of people. These issues were at the centre of the dynamic week of seminars, networking events and exhibition. The interactive exhibition space connected non-government organisations with local government representatives, product innovators and technical solution providers.

Following the three day conference, the Youth and Green Economy event took place on 27 June 2015 at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). The Green Home Fair hosted from 27to 28 June 2015 at Brooklyn Mall marked the end of the eventful week. Lively discussions took place where 27 exhibitors offered the public a chance to be ‘green’ and environmentally conscious at home. Energy from the sun, home food gardening and general tips on becoming more energy efficient and resourceful at home made for practical engagement with residents.

Delegates had the opportunity to interact with colleagues and potential business connections. This promised for real time response between presenters and the audience enabling greater interaction on key topics such separation at source to reduce landfill, methods available to treat waste water and save water by better use of it in agriculture.

Green building architects and developers congregated to discuss innovation in building methods and responsible tourism was also on the agenda – a topic that is much on the minds of South Africans who are feeling the results of the recent drop in tourism.

“Communication is the key to helping all stakeholders understand what the sustainability issues are and where the solutions will come from. The conference’s aim of ‘putting ideas into motion’ has activated the new wave of thinking around sustainability from a city perspective. The event provided unprecedented opportunities to collaborate and find solutions as the city sets its goals to secure a sustainable development path,” said Gordon Brown, Director at alive2green, organiser of Sustainability Week.

This was the second year that alive2green and the CSIR International Convention Centre opened its doors to Sustainability Week (23 – 25 June 2015) hosted by the City of Tshwane. The conference was attended by 1474 delegates with foot traffic of over 2000 deleagtes over the three conference days, showing significant growth and interest in matters relating to the sustainable development of society.

Sustainability Week’s sponsors and partners include: City of Tshwane, BASF, Nedbank Group, Lafarge, Builders, NCPC, UNIDO, AECOM, NRF, Participate Technologies, Backsberg, REDISA, SANEDI, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Brooklyn Mall, The Star, Pretoria News, NRF SAASTA.

For more information on Sustainability Week and to review any of the presentations, visit www.sustainabilityweek.co.za. For information on next year’s Sustainability Week, please contact Gordon Brown at gordon.brown@alive2green.com. For City of Tshwane enquiries, please contact Dorah Nteo at DorahN@Tshwane.gov.za.