Safe disposal of asbestos is vital to protect people and the environment

  South Africa’s incidence of mesothelioma, a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers most of your internal organs, is ranked among the highest in the world. This cancer stems from over a century of asbestos mining and production. Since the 1930s, medical science has recognized the potential dangers of asbestos. Asbestos is friable, which means that the ‘fibrils’ which form its fibrous crystal structure can break off and be released into the atmosphere following abrasion or agitation. Inhalation of these toxic fibres can…

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Aluminium price surge hits SA manufacturers

The price of aluminium surged to $3 000 (~R43 800) per ton this week, breaking a 13-year record – with a knock-on effect on some SA manufacturers who felt the impact of hiked prices in higher production costs. The increase was driven, in part, by a rise in commodity prices, sparked by supply concerns after a coup in Guinea – which is a major producer of bauxite, a source of aluminium – as well low Chinese input. The US’s reporting record high inflation led to worry that its Federal Reserve would have to…

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What honeybees in South Africa need from people: better managed forage

Honeybees are often in the news. Research constantly updates what’s known about their importance to the environment, biodiversity, economies and food security. In South Africa, managed honeybees support livelihoods in various ways, such as honey production. In the last decade or so, pollination services to agriculture have also become a huge revenue area for beekeepers. It is estimated that honeybees pollinate over 50 crops in South Africa. In just one province, the Western Cape, about 91,000 hives are currently required to serve the deciduous fruit industry. And this number is expected to increase…

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How special soil observatories in China are helping to create more sustainable agriculture

All over the world, agriculture is threatened by degraded soils. Stripped of carbon from intensive farming, soils erode more easily, host fewer microbes and hold less water and nutrients. Fertilisers and pesticides applied to improve crop yields can leach beneath the soil and pollute the surrounding environment. Soil degradation is a particularly big problem in China, where enormous pressure on natural resources from industrial-scale farming is accelerating the rate of soil erosion. Looking for ways to make agriculture more sustainable can be difficult because the subject is so vastly complex, and…

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How the South African government can boost its credibility in the agricultural sector

  Governments can build credibility over time through consistent commitment to implementing policies efficiently and effectively. South Africa hasn’t done well on this score. As a result of the poor record of policy implementation, investors and the general public have become sceptical of government policy pronouncements. Recent examples of this credibility gap include its handling of two major policy initiatives. The first is the National Development Plan launched in 2012. The second is the National Treasury’s 2019 economic policy paper titled “Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa”. Neither was…

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Civil construction confidence improves marginally

  But there is continued pessimism in the sector, justified by ‘underlying indicators relating to activity and profitability’ – economist. By Roy Cokayne 22 Sep 2021  00:01 The industry is suffering, as is the country’s long-term agenda for employment, equity and poverty eradication. Image: AdobeStock Confidence in the civil construction sector improved marginally in the third quarter of 2021 but more than 80% of respondents to the FNB-Bureau for Economic Research (BER) civil confidence index are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. The index, which has been hovering around the 20-point mark since the…

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PFERD: WORKING WITH STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless steel (INOX) is often a first choice material to work with because of its corrosion resistance, longevity and cost-effectiveness. Working with INOX, however, does pose some challenges—especially if incorrect tools and processes are used.   As part of their service to customers, PFERD South Africa offers guidance on working with stainless steel and ensure customers benefit from everything this versatile material has to offer.   Marius Steyn, Training Manager at PFERD South Africa explains, “The South African stainless steel and steel industries are well established in the supply of…

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SA grants Turkey’s Karpowership licences for floating power generation

Nersa confirmed in a statement that it had approved a total of seven power generation licences for preferred bidders, including three for Karpowership. By Wendell Roelf, Reuters 22 Sep 2021  07:22 Image: Supplied South African energy regulator Nersa has granted Turkey’s Karpowership three licences to generate power on floating gas ships at ports, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirmed in a statement that it had approved a total of seven power generation licences for preferred bidders, including three for Karpowership. . Karpowership has faced…

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Sustainable appliance brand Beko launches in South Africa

Consumers will benefit from eco-friendly, energy efficient home appliances. Environmentally conscious consumers in South Africa will soon be able to choose from among the world’s most sustainable appliances when Beko, as a brand under the Arçelik umbrella in South Africa after Defy and Grundig, launches its home appliance range with stand-alone stores in Johannesburg and Durban. Beko is the the leading freestanding home appliances brand in Europe in the white goods sector and no.1 large home appliances brand in the UK and France, and is sold in more than 140…

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SA is Africa’s third most attractive investment destination – report

South Africa was ranked as Africa’s third most attractive investment destination, according to the Where to Invest in Africa 2021 report from RMB. The report showed that Egypt is Africa’s top investment destination with Morocco following in second place. Rounding up the top five are Rwanda and Botswana in fourth and fifth positions respectively. The positive global sentiment that saw the year 2020 in was short-lived when Covid-19 and lockdown legislation demanded a new sociological construct that chanes the work-life balance. The pandemic brought into sharp focus the vast disparities…

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