Crocworld Conservation Centre in proud association with the African Snakebite Institute will be hosting a Snake Awareness, First Aid for Snakebite and Venomous Snake Handling Course on Saturday, 9th June 2018. The hugely informative course, which will run between 09h00 and 16h00, will be hosted by internationally renowned author and herpetologist Johan Marais. Marais has published A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa, Snakes and Snakebite and First Aid for Snakebite, and has over forty years of experience in his field. Marais is the leading snake expert for the Tygerberg Poison Centre and the Red Cross Poison Centre, as well as advisor to various hospitals and clinics throughout Africa. “Southern Africa has over one hundred and seventy-one different types of snakes, of which the black mamba is the most dangerous because of its size and neurotoxic venom. Seventy-two of these are not venomous and fifty are mildly venomous but not dangerous,” said Marais. “This course is useful for people who want to learn more about snakes, or those who often encounter snakes in their surroundings. Although it is very informative for adults, I have often had children as young as twelve attending,” added Marais. The course will cover a variety of subjects, including snake awareness, identification, behavior, myths and legends, first aid for snakebite, scorpion stings and spider bites, as well as teaching delegates how to safely capture and relocate venomous snakes. The African Snakebite Institute is the leading training provider of snake awareness, first aid for snakebite and venomous snake handling courses in Africa. The course is endorsed by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for CPD points. Crocworld Conservation Centre manager Martin Rodrigues said, “Johan Marais is one of the most highly experienced specialists in the field of snakes, and we are pleased that . . .
Discerning investors looking for a quality-finish mature lifestyle village that offers a holistic, outdoors’ lifestyle in a modern, open-plan design, offering endless coastal views, can expect to find every desire met at Renishaw Hills’ Phase 4 development, launching this June. Situated on some of the estate’s premium sites, Phase 4 will include nine 3-bedroom freestanding homes as well as 14 two-bedroom maisonettes all with expansive sea views. These units will continue the architectural design that denotes the environmentally-conscious Renishaw Hills, with the unique style and earthy materials selected to complement the natural surroundings, encouraging a seamless interior-exterior flow. Residents can make full use of the enviable South Coast environment while also being afforded privacy through the innovative use of architectural techniques. “Each unit has been designed to optimise the stunning South Coast lifestyle,” explained Phil Barker, managing director of Renishaw Property Developments. “Quality underscores every design and construction decision. This has resulted in high-end build finishes and immaculate indigenous gardens which open into the coastal forest, grasslands and wetlands, all home to a diverse array of wildlife and birdlife.” The maisonettes, priced from R1.54m, are available in four configurations with the units on upper and ground-floor levels ranging in size from 123m2 to 169m2. All these open-plan, vertically-attached maisonettes have direct road access, mitigating any need for stairs, and there is a selection of one, one-and-a-half or two bathrooms, as well as single and double garage options. The upper-level units have an expansive balcony, built-in braai and chimney while the lower-level units open onto an indigenous garden. The freestanding homes in Phase 4 will consist of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan living area, veranda, double garage and indigenous garden. Each spacious home at Renishaw Hills has been . . .
Plastics|SA is proud to be partnering with Let’s Do It! Africa, and providing resources towards the biggest global cleanup that the world has ever witnessed. On 15 September 2018 five percent of the globe’s population will be mobilized to pick up trash as World Cleanup Day starts in New Zealand when the sun rises and moves around the globe with the time zones until it sets, ending in Hawaii 36 hours later. 150 countries globally are committed to the Let’s Do It! campaign – 60 of those in our own continent Africa and proudly South Africa is one of them! It is estimated that each year, 8 million tonnes of litter end up in the environment - causing a serious threat to people, wildlife, soil, water and air. The World Cleanup Day is a call to action for the public, decision makers and all citizens alike, to take real action in solving the waste problem. For the past 22 years, Plastics|SA has been partnering with Ocean Conservancy by coordinating South Africa’s involvement in the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day – one Saturday in September when thousands of volunteers are encouraged to help collect and remove litter from our waterways as part of Cleanup & Recycle SA week. This year it will take place from 10-15 September 2018, culminating in the first World Cleanup Day. “This is the biggest positive civic action the world has seen, and we are fortunate to be part of this global movement that hopes to inspire change in human behaviour,” says Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director of Plastics|SA. Steyn acknowledges that packaging is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to pollution. However, as one of the first signatories of the Marine Debris Declaration, whereby 74 plastics associations from around the world have committed themselves to fight marine litter, Plastics|SA actively supports projects in six key areas aimed at contributing to sustainable solutions, namely education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics . . .
A start-up using satellite imagery to substantially cut crop insurance costs for South African smallholder farmers will be receiving a major boost from global social impact programme Expo Live, run by organisers of the next World Expo, Expo 2020 Dubai. More than 90 per cent of smallholder farmers in South Africa do not carry adequate crop insurance because of prohibitive costs, leaving them badly exposed to risks of natural disaster. Mobbisurance CEO Kudzai Kutukwa said costs were higher than necessary because traditional insurers typically bundled unnecessary coverage into packages and also required physical validation of claims. He said: “One of the biggest risks facing farmers is adverse weather that can result in total crop loss. When a farmer loses their crop, they lose not only their potential income, but also their dignity as they slide further into poverty. “While we cannot control the weather, we can control the effect it has on smallholder farmers who are responsible for producing 80 per cent of the food we consume.” Mobbisurance focuses solely on the twin main threats to most farmers: flood and drought. It uses satellite imagery and weather data supplied by the South African National Space Agency to validate insurance claims instead of physically visiting sites. The company recently launched a pilot scheme with 736 farmers. Kutukwa continued: “Through the Expo Live grant we intend to expand the pilot to at least 5,000 farmers in South Africa, and to expand into neighbouring countries. “The grant will also enable us to pilot a smart crop insurance platform and further reduce costs.” Expo Live is Expo 2020 Dubai’s innovation and partnership programme and has an allocation of USD 100 million to back projects that offer creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives or help preserve the world – or both. Organisers are looking for projects that would not reach their full potential without its . . .
A record 2.15 billion plastic bottles, weighing in at 93 235 tonnes, were recycled by the South African PET plastic industry in 2017 – saving 578 000m3 of landfill and creating 64 000 income-generating opportunities in the process. This is according to national industry body PETCO, which is responsible for fulfilling the sector’s mandate of extended producer responsibility (EPR). The figures equate to a post-consumer bottle recycling rate of 65%, representing a 3% year-on-year increase in tonnage despite tough trading conditions and a 13% fall in the total PET market, which was affected by economic volatility and industrial strike action in 2017. PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz said the organisation was thrilled with the latest figures, which puts South Africa on par with international recycling rates. “Our partnerships with industry players, who demonstrate a keen and genuine commitment to recycling, is what makes results like these possible,” said Scholtz. “Through the remarkable network of people, companies and organisations we work with, 5.9 million PET bottles were collected for recycling across South Africa every day during the course of 2017, creating thousands of income-generating opportunities for small and micro-collectors, and changing their lives and those of their families in immeasurable ways.” Scholtz said PETCO members paid a voluntary recycling fee on every tonne of raw material purchased, which funds their efforts and supports a sustainable recycling industry. Since the organisation’s incorporation in 2004, a total of R2.3 billion has been paid by contracted recyclers to collectors for baled bottles, with a total of 609 306 tonnes of PET recycled to date. This has saved more than 900 000 tonnes of carbon and almost four million cubic metres of landfill space. Nokubonga Mnyango, who owns Uthando Solutions and Trading in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, is one of the many PET collectors who have contributed to these . . .
Plastics|SA has released a series of new radio and television adverts in which it addresses the issue of plastics litter found in the marine environment. “Never before has the issue of plastics in our oceans received so much attention on a global scale. Plastics|SA, the umbrella organisation representing the entire South African plastics value chain, signed The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, also known as the “Joint Declaration” in 2011. According to this declaration, we are committed to doing everything in our power to help protect our marine life from plastic and other packaging materials which are threatening their natural habitats and therefore also their survival,” explains Plastics|SA’s Marketing & Communications Executive, Monya Vermaak. According to Vermaak, The Blue Planet II inspired the new campaign – a nature documentary series on marine life in which naturalist Sir David Attenborough highlighted the growing problem of litter found in the oceans. Throughout the adverts, the beautiful sounds and images of whales, dolphins and seagulls take centre stage while the narrator explains that not everything in the sea is as beautiful as the creatures who live in it. “Carelessly discarded plastic breaks down into small particles that look like food. When eaten, they harm sea creatures from tiny fish to large whales. Be responsible. Don’t let plastics end up in the ocean,” the Attenborough-like voice warns. The adverts will broadcast on various DSTV channels and selected radio stations over the next few months to ensure maximum coverage. The campaign has also been adapted for printed media and will be shared on Plastics|SA’s various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Marine litter is a global problem that needs to be tackled on a global scale. Effective solutions that prevent all types of litter from entering the oceans, need to be developed. Our results of the latest . . .
Johannesburg, May, 02, 2018 Tetra Pak to develop paper straws for its portion-size carton packages: Tetra Pak aims to launch a paper straw suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year, as part of a broader programme to help address the issue of plastic straw waste. Straws play an integral role for portion packages that must be consumed on-the-go but they are also a part of the plastics waste problem. Tetra Pak has been working to encourage consumers to push straws back in the pack once they have consumed the contents so they can be collected along with the rest of the package. Now work is under way to develop a paper straw that is suitable for use on its portion-size carton packages. “It sounds simple enough,” says Charles Brand, Executive VP, Product Management & Commercial Operations, “but in reality there are a number of significant challenges to producing a paper straw with the required properties.” “That said, our development team is confident they can find a solution, and that we’ll have a paper straw alternative ready to launch by the end of the year.” Tetra Pak packages are, on average, 75% paperboard. Paper straws would be another important step towards the company’s long-term ambition of offering a completely renewable portfolio. ABOUT TETRA PAK Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 160 countries. With over 24,000 employees around the world, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business. Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™," reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. More information about Tetra Pak www.tetrapak.com CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. More Info on Tetra Pak to . . .
President Cyril Ramaphosa has earmarked 2018 as the year to take decisive action to realise the economic potential of the agricultural sector. In the second and third quarters of 2017, agriculture made the biggest contribution to the growth of the economy and forecasting shows that agriculture presents one of the greatest opportunities to significantly grow the economy and create jobs. Currently, agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other sector and the NDP estimates that agriculture could potentially create 1 million jobs by 2030. In order for the agricultural sector to deliver on its growth potential, government recognises the role that Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) have to play in job creation and economic growth in that sector. To this effect, the NDP has set a target of 90% of new employment opportunities to be created by 2030 to come from SMMEs. Government has also set aside at least 30% of public procurement for SMMEs. At the 2018 edition of the Vision 2030 Summit, Land Bank is sponsoring a topical breakaway session entitled, "SMMEs, key to future growth, transformation and job creation”. Land Bank has prioritised the transformation of the agricultural sector as a main driver of its finance offerings. The facilitation of entry of black emerging farmers, women and youth into the mainstream agricultural value chain is of paramount importance in order to deracialise the sector. The session will look at the at the role that SMMEs play in being viable models to bring about positive growth in the agricultural sector to ensure that the agricultural sector reaches it maximum potential and in turn grow the economy, create sustainable jobs and bring the country closer to reaching its NDP goals. For TP Nchocho, CEO of Land Bank, this collaboration to facilitate greater support for SMMEs in the agricultural sector could not be timelier. ‘We at Land Bank have been working to ramp up the participation of emerging commercial . . .
(Port Elizabeth) – HIGHLIGHTING the solutions to issues of marine and land-based pollution in South Africa this week were national industry body for PET plastic recycling, PETCO, and the African Marine Waste Network. Extrupet, Africa’s leading PET and HDPE bottle recycling company, joined forces with PETCO, the industry body responsible for PET recycling in South Africa, and the Kenton-based African Marine Waste Network, to donate nine desks and 36 chairs to Lake Farm Centre. The furniture was manufactured by Extruwood, using the caps and labels of plastic bottles recycled at Extrupet. Janine Basson, stakeholder relations manager for PETCO, highlighted the important role that partnership initiatives like this play in sustainable waste management. “At PETCO, we believe that plastic bottles are not trash; when they are recycled, they are made into new bottles for water or beverages or recycled into new and useful products such as polyester fibre for duvets and pillows, or jeans and t-shirts,” said Basson. “Similarly, the manufacture of these desks from recycled bottle tops and labels demonstrates that, when there is an end-use for recycled plastic, we can ensure it is kept out of our environment and within the circular economy.” African Marine Waste Network director, Dr Tony Ribbink, said that he was heartened by the proactive approach being taken by key players in the plastics industry. “PETCO and Extrupet are taking a leadership role in conservation and community support. They are helping to keep plastic out of the ocean, and putting it to good use on land instead,” he said. DONATION BENEFITS LITERACY: The donation to Lake Farm went a long way to benefit the centre’s literacy programme, according to volunteer Marjorie Moore. “The [literacy] classes instil a sense of pride and self-worth and promote independence and life skills while developing healthy attitudes,” she said. “Having proper desks and chairs creates more of a classroom . . .
(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, . . .