(PATENSIE) – AS the drought gripping large parts of South Africa’s Western and Eastern Cape bites harder, farms handed down from generation to generation are teetering on the brink of collapse. Already many farmers in the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape have reduced the production of vegetables – a core employment opportunity for many in the area – due to the shortage of water. Compounding this is the bleak outlook for rain over the coming months, making the allocation of water resources a matter of life and death for many and a critical responsibility for the Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB). “The seasonal forecast, which works in three-month blocks and ends in July, does not look good,” said SA Weather Service spokesman with the Port Elizabeth office, Garth Sampson. “It shows ‘normal to below normal’ rainfall. We need above-normal. “We need widespread rain of 50 millimetres or more to make any difference to our main storage dam levels. But it must be widespread and not, say, 55mm in Joubertina, 15mm in Kareedouw and 2mm in Patensie. It must be over 50mm throughout the region.” The region’s biggest supply dam, the Kouga Dam outside Patensie, is sitting at 10.5% capacity (as of 16 April). In June, Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB) and Department of Water Affairs officials must decide how to allocate the limited water ahead of the 2018/19 water year, which starts on July 1. Rienette Colesky, GIB financial and HR manager, expressed concern about forthcoming water quotas. “We will have our annual session with the Department of Water Affairs and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in June to understand how much water is available in the Algoa system and what will be allocated to whom,” she said. For farmers, the crippling drought is taking its toll. Marthinus Colesky was forced to stop producing vegetables in February. He inherited his farm, Skone Uitsig, from his grandfather who, like his father before him, was bought up prepared to shed “blood, . . .
(Uitenhage) – SOUTH Africa’s organised agriculture has reiterated its stance against land expropriation without compensation, instead highlighting an alternative, progressive approach to land reform. This during a roadshow led by a high-profile delegation of representatives from farmers’ organisation Agri South Africa in the Eastern Cape this week. Land reform and other burning issues such as increasing incidents of farm attacks were discussed during the three-day roadshow, hosted by Agri EC, which culminated in Uitenhage on Thursday (April 12), after stops in Komani (Queenstown) and Graaff-Reinet. Rural safety was one of the most important and emotional issues for farmers – and also posed an economic risk to the sector – according to Agri SA director of corporate liaison and marketing, Kobus Visser. “It’s not just our farmers and their families who are affected, our farm workers are also traumatised by rural crime,” said Visser, who advised farming organisations to strengthen their working relationships with the local police, establish farmwatch systems and become more involved in the police reservist system. Visser said there had been a 22% increase in farm-related crimes and a 27% increase in farm murders in 2016/17. But, he said, this was a reflection of what was happening in the wider South African landscape and was not just limited to the rural areas. Agri SA president Dan Kriek said he had noted “a progressive attitude” among the almost 500 farmers who attended the roadshow. “Agri SA confirms our stance against [land expropriation without compensation]. We will defend the Constitution as we believe there are many better alternatives – such as black economic empowerment and functional public-private partnerships,” said Kriek. Agri SA head of land affairs, Annelize Crosby, said Section 25 of the Constitution was not the impediment to land reform, citing other issues such as an insufficient budget, wasteful expenditure and the slow pace . . .
For the last six years, Bay Harbour Market has set the benchmark when it comes to the ultimate weekend outing by turning the very idea of a market on it’s head. Subsequently, it’s become a ‘must do’ destination in one of the World’s top voted cities to visit as sited by TripAdvisor. But what’s even more impressive is that for years, Bay Harbour Market has also led the way with its sustainability policies – it holds a three-star accreditation from Thrive and is completely plastic free. Thrive Hout Bay is the local green advocate and non-profit organisation which, in November 2017, launched it’s For the Good of our Hood campaign. Aligning local establishments with environmental sustainability, the campaign awards restaurants according to a green rating system, with three stars being the top accreditation a venue can receive. Amongst the list of criteria to qualify you will find sending waste for recycling, sending food waste for composting and buying locally or growing your own fresh produce. “We are very proud of our local community when just a few months after launch, 31 of the 65 restaurants in Hout Bay have already received accreditation,” says Thrive’s Nontsikelelo Martel, “and some restaurants have even gone beyond the call by introducing water-saving measures as well.” Whilst Bay Harbour Market was one of the first destinations in the area to receive a three-star accreditation, it’s green journey started years ago. Today, walking around the market, it’s evident that the team is passionate about educating the 25 000 strong visitors a month about recycling, and how it’s done. Furthermore, one would imagine that housing 125 traders under one roof would seem like an impossible task with regards to compliance. But it works! “When we set out to create this awesome market, one of our key concerns was the impact on the local environment and the community surrounding us”, says market co-owner, Anthony Stroebel, “and throughout the years it’s been paramount . . .
King was kept illegally as an exotic pet in a Paris apartment International wildlife charity, Born Free, has launched an urgent appeal to re-home King – a tiny lion cub with a mighty name - to its big cat sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. King made international headlines in October 2017 when he was found half-starved and cowering in a dirty cage in an abandoned apartment in Paris. Just a few months old and kept illegally as an exotic pet, he had been beaten and kicked by his owner who then posted videos of the abuse on social media. King was rescued by French animal rescue charities Fondation 30 Million d’Amis and Refuge de l’Arche and given a temporary home at Natuurhulpcentrum rescue centre, in Belgium. Born Free Co-Founder and Trustee, Virginia McKenna OBE, said: “Have we learned nothing over the years? How can we not understand that keeping wild animals in cages is not just cruel, but shameful? Lions are known as kings of the jungle. This little king, sadly, will never wear his crown, but at least we can give him love and respect and a natural environment to roam and rest in. That is the least he deserves, and I hope people will help us write a happy ending to this story.” Born Free plans to transport King from Belgium to South Africa where he will be given a permanent home at their long-established big cat sanctuary at Shamwari. The sanctuary is already home to 16 lions and leopards rescued from appalling captive conditions. King will be given lifetime care in a spacious, safe and natural environment, surrounded by the beautiful sights and sounds of Africa. King’s new life at Born Free’s big cat sanctuary will be a world away from the Paris apartment in which he was discovered. Shockingly, an increasing number of wild animals are kept as pets worldwide. Born Free opposes the keeping of wild animals as pets because they have complex social, physical and behavioural needs and are, therefore, . . .
Renishaw Hills, the stunning new mature lifestyle village on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, has just launched the third phase of its maisonette options which have proved extremely popular with discerning investors countrywide. “The maisonettes offered in Phase 2 sold quickly with buyers attracted to the quality construction, incredible value for money and exquisite location,” said Phil Barker, managing director of Renishaw Property Developments. “The entire Renishaw Hills development is premised on an understanding, with all our investors, that we care about their quality of life. This is fundamental to every decision made on the estate and results in a thriving development with happy residents.” Based within the lush Mpambanyoni Conservation Development, these luxurious two-bedroom maisonettes offer stunning sea, forest and valley views, and are the ideal lock-up-and-go choice for any retiree. Incorporating modern design, every vertically-attached unit makes innovative use of space and boundaries with an open-plan design which maximises natural light. Owners can select from a range of finishes to suit individual taste and style. In addition to the beautifully constructed homes, residents also enjoy state-of-the-art security, indigenous nature trails, home-based care options, as well as sports’ and recreational facilities. There are currently seven of the 12 two-bedroom maisonettes still on offer in Phase 3, available in four configurations. Priced from R1.54m, the units are on upper and ground-four levels ranging in size from 123m2 to 169m2. All these quality-built, open-plan units have direct road access, resulting in no need for stairs, and there is a selection of 1, 1.5 or 2 bathrooms as well as single and double garage options. The upper-level units include an expansive balcony, a built-in braai and chimney and incredible sea and forest views while the lower-level units open onto a lush garden. “The architectural design of all our Renishaw Hills . . .
Architects and contractors often have a difficult time convincing clients that vinyl products are eco-friendly, sustainable and non-toxic. Despite industry experts and insiders recognising modern vinyl’s value and significant benefits and the decision taken in 2011 by Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) to withdraw the Mat-7 PVC Minimisation credit from the Green Star SA rating system, doubt regarding the environmental credentials of vinyl-type products, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plastic continues to linger. Assessing the environmental impact “When assessing any product (including flooring products) from a sustainability point of view, it is very important to start by asking the right questions. When measuring the environmental impact of a floor as a stand-alone product, you therefore need to understand the cradle-to-grave impact of that product, the manufacturer’s contribution to the sustainability of its people and the surrounding community and the manufacturer’s economic sustainability,” says Tandy Coleman, Chief Executive Officer of Polyflor SA. From cradle: The raw material components of vinyl flooring Vinyl is essentially made up of 57 % salt chlorine and 43 % oil (ethylene), salt being one of the world’s most abundant natural resources. All raw materials used in the manufacture of Polyflor vinyl flooring are responsibly sourced from the closest possible suppliers and purchased in bulk to minimise the transport impacts. “Polyflor floorcoverings predominantly use sustainable materials. As an example, our homogeneous range of products use up to 85 % sustainable materials (with the average being 71 % across the range). All plasticisers, stabilisers, inks and pigments are REACh compliant and free from harmful substances such as formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium,” Tandy says. tbl vinyl floor coverings two Both Polyflor and their suppliers are ISO 14001 certified and therefore meet all legal and policy . . .
Over 700 Green Desks, made from 2,700 kgs of recycled plastic waste collected from both the 2017 Comrades and 2017 Two Oceans marathons, are being delivered to over 40 schools in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. This impactful #GoGreen project is part of a collaborative campaign between Polyco, WILDLANDS, and Old Mutual. According to WILDLANDS, there is a shortage of 300 000 school desks in South Africa, and this initiative aims to tackle the shortage head on. On 15 February 2018, 20 of these desks were delivered to Axios School of Skills in Eerste River in the Western Cape, and 20 more were delivered to Nobanda Primary School in Sweetwaters, KwaZulu-Natal. The deliveries were met with great excitement. “It’s wonderful that South Africans can help to address the lack of desks in schools, and secure a brighter future for the younger generation, simply by recycling their plastics,” says Polyco’s Chief Executive Officer, Mandy Naudé. Naudé also believes that this is an important lesson for the learners. “This is our opportunity to show children the power of recycled plastic, all while they’re sitting at their Green Desks. Currently only 5% of South Africans recycle plastic, and we’re hoping these desks will help fuel learners’ curiosity and lead them to ask questions about the power of recycling.” The latest drop-off occurred at Lalelani Primary School in Nthshongweni, KwaZulu-Natal which is a beneficiary of the ROBINHOOD Foundation. On 14 March 2018, a total of 47 double green desks were handed over to the Grade 1 class, who were extremely excited to receive their new and much needed desks. Through the #GoGreen campaign, Polyco, WILDLANDS, and Old Mutual hope to educate and enlighten young South Africans about the true power of recycling plastic, one Green Desk at a time. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) has broken its ties with Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) following the announcement of the organisation’s captive wildlife criteria. “We feel that the recently introduced FTT captive wildlife criteria are not strict enough, they are open to interpretation, and don’t sufficiently address the interest of captive wildlife,” says Tony Blignaut (CEO SAASA). “However, we are fully committed to continue following the other FTT principals in our business model, as we believe these represent best practice in the industry.” The four SAASA wildlife sanctuaries (Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani and Monkeyland KZN) put the welfare and the needs of their animals above all else and believe that they have an intrinsic right to be treated respectfully. Hence, they have always prescribed to a complete hands-off rule when it comes to their sanctuaries and have adopted a “no grey areas” policy. “It’s the grey areas where the disagreement lies. FTT based their captive wildlife criteria mostly on the widely accepted ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines. However, the latter still allow for some human-wildlife interaction and feeding of wildlife, as long as a thorough risk assessment has been undertaken,” explains Blignaut. Blignaut furthers that SAASA would like to see the FTT certification standard for captive wildlife to be made more stringent and adopt the Dutch ANVR Addendum of Unacceptable Practices Regarding Animals in Tourism. “The ANVR have taken a firm stance against for example walking with any big cats, as well as using birds of prey for display and falconry, where birds are tethered.” “We don’t allow any hands-on interaction in any of our sanctuaries, regardless whether we deal with lions, lemurs or budgies,” says Lara Mostert, Marketing Manager for SAASA. “We do understand the need for businesses to be financially viable in order to look after those same animals in a sustainable manner. However, every business needs to . . .
Calling all kids - carers of our planet! On 23 March the West Coast National Park launched their recycle programme – The Swap Shop, which aims to create environmental awareness by instilling the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – amongst the children in the Langebaan community. The Swap Shop is a local project where the West Coast National Park is encouraging the children of the Langebaan community to get involved and do their bit for the environment. They ask all kids to gather all recyclable materials and bring them to The Swap Shop in exchange for tokens. Once enough tokens are collected, they can swap them out for an item of their choice in The Swap Shop. Calling all kids- carers of our planet! The Swap Shop Langebaan Country Estate (LCE) has partnered with SANparks in aid of The Swop Shop and have donated a container, racks, stationery and a signature board to the value of over R50 000. Craig Scott, CEO of Langebaan Country Estate, says that “Langebaan Country Estate is delighted to be part of The Swop Shop project and looks forward to working with SANparks. It is important to create awareness about the impact of pollution in our town, parks and seas and keep them clean for future generations. I also feel his project has great synergy with the project we launched 6 months ago where LCE employs 2 staff members to clean up the roads and public spaces within Sea View Park.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
With so much litter being overlooked and causing harm to wildlife, marine life and in turn, our own human lives, it is time to be proactive and start correcting our littering habits. In association with uMhlanga UIP, Granada Square have donated R5000 towards cleaning up the environment and, in specific, making uMhlanga Rocks a cleaner place for all. With the donation, uMhlanga UIP have committed to actively rolling out 5 projects all focused on cleaning and greening. As with many projects it is difficult to action work without compensation, therefore a large majority of the funds will be used to pay for the staff needed to get the work done. The funds will also be allocated to equipment such as bags / gloves / plants etc, all of which are needed for a successful clean-up. The following dates and times are scheduled to complete the projects. Save the date if you are wanting to get involved as a volunteer. Wednesday, 21st March - The uMhlanga promenade Dune rehab from 09h30 – 11h30. Thursday, 22nd and Friday, 23rd March - Alien vegetation removal on the uMhlanga promenade from 09h30 to 15h00. Saturday, 24th March – uMhlanga Lagoon area clean-up from 09h30 – 12h30 Sunday, 25th March – uMhlanga Lagoon Nature trail clean-up from 09h30 – 12h30 Tuesday, 27th March - The uMhlanga promenade gum cleaning from 09h30 – 12h30. For more information for those wanting to be volunteers, contact Dewet Geldenhuys (uMhlanga Rocks precinct manager) by emailing email@example.com, or visit www.umhlangauip.co.za.The meeting point is the uMhlanga UIP security office – next to the clinic on the Village green (cnr Lagoon Drive and Lighthouse Rd). CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .