Category: <span>Climate Change</span>

15 May 2023 Media Release: Indaba to reflect on invasive alien plant management and control scenarios

Media Release: Indaba to reflect on invasive alien plant management and control scenarios

For Immediate Release
15 May 2023

“In February 2023 academics from Nelson Mandela and Stellenbosch Universities co-hosted a workshop with knowledgeable experts on the subject in order to share thoughts and experiences on the impact and possible solutions when dealing with invasive alien plants on a large scale.  It is quite clear that invasive alien plants remain one of the biggest risk factors facing the Southern Cape in terms of severe wildfire disasters, damaging floods, water security as well as loss of biodiversity,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“Dr Romain Pirard who holds a PhD in Environmental Economics from Université Lyon presented at the workshop. Dr Pirard is seconded to the School for Climate Studies at Stellenbosch University which, as part of the South Africa – France scientific cooperation, develops research on the economics of land use for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and he provided some leading answers to the question:- Can value-added industries support the control of invasive trees in South Africa and beyond?”

Meiring added that “Because of its favourable climate and it is a high rainfall area, the Southern Cape is a hotspot for a host of invasive alien plants and trees, and their presence is on the increase with more species becoming visible as they spread over the landscape.  Pampas grass as a prime example of an alien invasive plant (there are many more) which was introduced as a garden plant in this region in the last fifteen to twenty years is now firmly established throughout the Garden Route landscape, especially in river beds and seep- lines where conditions are ideal for seeds travelling in the wind, and the spread is prolific.”

“Due to costs associated with eradicating and controlling invasive alien plants in general, landowners and land managers are constantly looking for options to mitigate the expense of dealing with IAP’s, which include options in the clean energy sector, soil enrichment as well as bio-char and stock feed mixes. Invasive trees such as pine, wattle and eucalyptus make for fine timber, but finding suitable trees in large quantities is not sustainable, and difficult to come by and harvest before they can reach sawmills. Supply is also finite throughout the region as there are no structured replanting nor harvesting regimes in place.”

“The charcoal and firewood industry in South Africa and Namibia is a multi-million rand industry, but as demand grows, those in the industry have to reach further and further away from the market to source sufficient supplies.  Areas of the Southern Cape and the Overberg have large areas covered by Rooikrans, Port Jackson, wattle and pine and that is where large-scale harvesting is currently taking place. Despite the potentially viable option to clear the land of unwanted plants and trees by selling the biomass to contractors looking for firewood, some landowners who allow harvesting entities access to their land often complain that harvesting contractors cause more harm than good when working with invasive species on their land. This can lead to aggressive regrowth when there is no methodology applied, and increased wildfire risk from dry debris left behind provides an exponentially high volume of fuel load for wildfires”.

Nevertheless, the search for solutions for the viable use of large volumes of biomass that can be harvested from landscapes badly affected by IAP’s must continue, and Dr Pirard will be delivering a presentation on the topic at the GREF Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba which will be hosted at Nelson Mandela University on 29 June 2023.

“The GREF 2023 Indaba theme is Creating climate-smart, resilient landscapes in the Southern Cape.”

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform and climate change think tank for all those in the Southern Cape involved in active and ongoing conservation and environmental management efforts to meet up, interact and showcase what they are busy with and what they are doing in terms of planning ahead.

ENDS

Photo caption: The Southern Cape is a hothouse for invasive alien plants such as pampas grass, pine and eucalyptus which is now seen all over the Garden Route
Photo: Pamela Booth
Contact: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

Indaba sal indringer-uitheemse plantbestuur- en beheerscenario’s bespreek

Akademici van Nelson Mandela en Stellenbosch Universiteite het onlangs ‘n werkswinkel gereël om die impak en potensiële oplossings vir die hantering van indringerplante op groot skaal aan te spreek. Cobus Meiring van die Tuinroete-omgewingsforum het beklemtoon dat IAP’s aansienlike risiko’s vir die Suid-Kaap-streek inhou, insluitend ernstige veldbrande, skadelike vloede, watersekuriteitskwessies en verlies aan biodiversiteit. Dr. Romain Pirard, ‘n kenner van omgewingsekonomie, het by die werkswinkel ‘n voorlegging gelewer waar hy sy insea gedeel het oor of waardetoegevoegde industrieë die beheer van indringerbome in Suid-Afrika en verder kan ondersteun.

Die Suid-Kaap, met sy gunstige klimaat en hoë reënval, is veral vatbaar vir ‘n verskeidenheid van indringer uitheemse plante en bome. Spesies is alreeds teenwoording en neem toe en versprei drasties. Pampasgras het byvoorbeeld stewig gevestig in die Tuinroete-landskap, veral in rivierbeddings waar windgedraagde sade ideale toestande vir voortplanting vind.

Die uitwissing en bestuur van IAP’s is duur, wat grondeienaars en bestuurders aangespoor het om kostedoeltreffende opsies te soek. Hierdie alternatiewe sluit in die ondersoek van geleenthede in die skoon energiesektor, grondverryking, en voorraadvoermengsels. Dit bly egter ‘n uitdaging om volhoubare en volop alternatiewe vir indringerbome soos denne, wattel en bloekom te vind, aangesien daar geen gestruktureerde herplant- of oespraktyke in plek is nie.

Die houtskool- en vuurmaakhoutbedryf in Suid-Afrika en Namibië is ‘n winsgewende sektor, maar die vraag na voorrade het gelei tot verkryging van verre plekke. Grootskaalse oes van indringerspesies, soos Rooikrans, Port Jackson, wattel en denne, vind tans in gebiede van die Suid-Kaap en Overberg plaas. Terwyl die verkoop van biomassa aan kontrakteurs wat vuurmaakhout benodig lyk na ‘n lewensvatbare opsie, spreek sommige grondeienaars kommer uit dat oeskontrakteurs meer skade as goed kan veroorsaak. Onbehoorlike metodologie kan lei tot aggressiewe hergroei, en droë takke ens. wat agtergelaat word, verhoog die risiko van veldbrande deur oorvloedige brandstof te verskaf.

Ten spyte van die uitdagings, moet die soeke na oplossings om groot volumes biomassa van IAP-geaffekteerde landskappe te benut, voortduur. Dr. Pirard sal ‘n aanbieding oor hierdie onderwerp lewer by die GREF ‘Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba’, wat geskeduleer is om op 29 Junie 2023 by die Nelson Mandela Universiteit plaas te vind.

Die tema van die Indaba is “Die skep van klimaatslim, veerkragtige landskappe in die Suid-Kaap.”

GREF dien as ‘n platform en dinkskrum vir natuurbewaarders en omgewingsbestuurpraktisyns in die Suid-Kaap streek, wat interaksie fasiliteer, deurlopende pogings ten toon stel en toekomstige beplanning bevorder om klimaatsverandering en omgewingsuitdagings aan te spreek.

24 April 2023 Media Release: Preparing for a changing climate indicates that all is not bad news for the Southern Cape

Media Release: Preparing for a changing climate indicates that all is not bad news for the Southern Cape

For immediate release
26 April 2023

“A battered economy and several high profile local and global challenges such as continued power outages and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine grips South Africa’s socio- political attention and at the same time  divert vital focus away from the growing impact a of a changing climate and the challenges it already pose,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“Despite these challenges there are positive signs of sincere efforts to plan ahead, and GREF wishes to keep a clear view on climate change and the impact it has already  bestowed on the Southern Cape over the past decade, including unimaginable wild fire disasters in June 2017 and 2018, persistent drought and slow but measureable sea level rise resulting in coastal degradation, and as rainfall patterns change, the advent of episodic rain storms resulting in flash floods destroying millions of rand worth of often irreplaceable infrastructure.”

“ The present and predicted impact of climate change is well known and solutions to lessen and mitigate its impact are well chartered, but more often than not targets are difficult to achieve as government spending required to act pro- actively is subdued as a result of a shrinking local economy and a myriad of urgent socio- economic issues to address, including the needs of impoverished jobless communities, unsustainable rates of urbanization and the deterioration of South Africa’s vital infrastructure backbone including power, water, roads and railways and falling behind the global curve in modernization and technology.”

“ Despite all  the challenges mentioned,  positive progress is being made as South Africa and its citizenry does show a clear understanding of the challenges it has to prepare for, and with the private sector and private landowners investing on an unprecedented scale in ensuring their own future survival in terms of green and sustainable energy options and by putting water security measures in place, including fresh water harvesting , water evaporation prevention and reducing the presence of invasive alien plants on their land, topped by significant foreign investment packages such as western financial funding aid to assist the country towards a just energy transition are major positive strides and is setting a platform for a more sustainable future.”

GREF will be hosting its Annual Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba on Thursday 29 June at the Nelson Mandela University George Campus.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform and climate change think tank for all those in the Southern Cape involved in active and ongoing conservation and environmental management efforts to meet up, interact and showcase what they are busy with and what they are doing in terms of planning ahead.

Photo caption: Critically endangered biodiversity in the Garden Route is under threat from climate change and rapid urbanization – Image – Cobus Meiring.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring: Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Cell: 083 626 7619

Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

13 October 2022 Media Release:  GRDM Disaster Management Section developed a GreenBook to plan for future climate change

Media Release:  GRDM Disaster Management Section developed a GreenBook to plan for future climate change

13 October 2022
For immediate release

As part of International Disaster Risk Reduction Day (IDRR), the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) focused on Climate Change adaptation. According to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, new risks will be prevented, and existing risks will be reduced. The document outlines seven targets and four priorities for action, including:

  • Understanding disaster risk;
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  • Investing in disaster reduction for resilience; and
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Head of Disaster Management: “As part of a partnership with Santam and CSIR, GRDM recently launched a Greenbook, which is an open-access tool to support municipalities in planning climate resilient communities”.

“GRDM forms part of a national climate change adaptation initiative that has been launched in three provinces in South Africa,” said Otto.

The purpose of the Greenbook is to encourage resilient, sustainable, and liveable settlements by incorporating climate change adaptation into municipal development planning. The Greenbook provides an overview of current and likely future trends to the year 2050, related to settlement dynamics, climate hazards, and impacts that climate change will have on South African towns and cities. The tool is capable of linking every settlement risk profile to customizable adaptation actions also known as risk reduction initiatives that can be integrated into local strategies, programs and projects.

Furthermore, the GRDM recently updated its Disaster Risk Assessment and is able to use the tool to identify areas in need of urgent intervention. Not only does the tool provide an extensive overview of priority risks (current and future trends), it also provides disaster risk reduction initiatives recommendations to be considered and their likely impacts if implemented correctly.

In order to achieve the seven targets and the four priorities outlined in the Sendai Framework, the Greenbook has been launched. You can access it at http://greenbook.co.za/ .

All local municipalities in the region will be trained to incorporate climate change adaptation and promote climate resilient communities into their future development planning processes.

-End-

11 August 2022 Public Notice: Comment – Public Participation for the Garden Route Coastal Management Programme – Closing 20 August 2022

Public Notice: Public Participation for the Garden Route Coastal Management Programme

The Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme was reviewed and updated, in terms of Section 48 of the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Act (Act No 24 of 2008). As per the provisions of the ICM Act, any amendments that are made to the existing Coastal Management Programme must be subject to the public participation requirements in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act, prior to being Gazetted.

Notice is hereby given that the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for review and comment from 20 June 2022 to 20 August 2022. The draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for viewing at the following Places:

  1. Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George;
  2. Mossel Bay Public Library, 99 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay;
  3. Hessequa Public Library (Gouritsmond Library), 9 Kerk Street, Gouritz;
  4. Albertinia Public Library, 2 Horne Street, Albertinia;
  5. Still Bay Public Library, Main Road, Still Bay West;
  6. Riversdale Public Library, Van Den Berg Street, Riversdale;
  7. Hessequa Municipal Office, Mitchell Street, Riversdale;
  8. Plettenberg Bay Public Library; Saringa Way, New Horizons, Plettenberg Bay;
  9. Knysna Public Library, Memorial Square, 2 Main Street, Knysna;
  10. George Public Library, Corner Caledon and Courtenay Streets, Camphersdrift, George, and;
  11. Garden Route District Municipality website: www.gardenroute.gov.za/documents/

The District Municipality hereby invites comments from interested and affected parties on the draft reviewed Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme. Any comments and inputs submitted will be considered during the finalisation of the draft document for final approval and Gazetting.

Written submissions may be directed to the Municipal Manager using the following address:
Garden Route District Municipality, Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, 54 York Street, George or Private Bag 12, George, 6530 or via email to info@gardenroute.gov.za on or before 20 August 2022.

Any person who is unable to write can submit their input verbally to the Council’s offices where they will be assisted by a staff member to put their comments in writing.

Click here to download the Official Notice and Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme.

Enquiries can be directed to Dr Nina Viljoen at 044 803 1318 or e-mail to nina@gardenroute.gov.za.

M Stratu
MUNICIPAL MANAGER
GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY

20 June 2022 Media Release: Environmental management and climate change under the spotlight at Garden Route Indaba

Media Release: Environmental Management and Climate change under the spotlight at Garden Route Indaba

For Immediate Release
20 June 2022

The Annual GREF/Garden Route Environmental Management and Climate Change Indaba will be hosted by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) in Wilderness on 23 June 2022.

The theme for the event is:  Preparing the environment for a changing climate.”  The Garden Route has been feeling the brunt of climatic changes during the past few years, manifesting in the form of unprecedented wildfire disasters and prolonged drought, in especially, the northern parts of the district as well as severe flooding in some coastal areas in November last year. In order for the GRDM to better prepare the region for what lies ahead in terms of climate change, stakeholders will gather to share experiences and ideas.

The Annual Garden Route Environmental Management and Climate Change Indaba in George is an institutional arrangement, and it continues to provide a strong and valuable platform for cooperation and communication between all entities on matters central to sustainable environmental management and climate change.

Environmental management under the spotlight following the Durban flooding disaster

“For years to come Durban and the surrounding countryside will suffer from, and personally experience the deadly and destructive impact of the 2022 floods. Government, as well as landowners and resident communities, will do well to learn and act from what happened, and that set of impacts also apply to the flood-prone Southern Cape and areas elsewhere along the coast and the interior of South Africa,” says Cobus Meiring, programme director for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) event.

“Besides substantial and traumatic loss of life in Durban, the damage to the environment and hard infrastructure is significant and will require enormous amounts of money and human resources to recover and rebuild from scratch.”

“History proved many times over that KwaZulu-Natal is prone to flooding and should have been better prepared to deal with these events as and when they occur, but this time around, nobody could have foreseen the severity of the recent flooding.”

Says Meiring: “In hindsight, however, there were several actions and interventions that could have made a significant difference in nurturing and better managing the surrounding natural infrastructure (rivers, wetlands, catchments and feeder streams) in order to soften the blow to the city and environment. Many lives could have been saved and billions of rand damage to infrastructure and the significant knock-on effect to the already battered economy could have been prevented.”

“There are obvious and practical ways to better prepare any city for flooding and dramatically reduce the impact of severe flooding, such as ensuring that stormwater systems are permanently clean and free of obstructions. More often than not the dire state of many of our rivers, streams, catchments and wetlands detrimentally reduce their ability to deal with floods and the critical function they deliver.”

“Perhaps because of the costs associated with eradication and clearing, the destructive effect of invasive alien plants (IAPs) on natural infrastructure must be understood.”

“River systems clogged up by IAPs cannot fulfil their basic role which is to channel rushing waters and prevent damage to riverbeds and riverbanks. When invasive alien plants replace indigenous vegetation, rivers cannot keep soil structures intact and assist with recovery following floods. Vast amounts of invasive plant biomass washed away by flooding rivers in Durban accumulated en masse against infrastructure such as bridges, stormwater channels and culverts, and in the process caused their total destruction resulting in even more severe downstream devastation.”

According to Meiring, the function and ability of wetland systems to dramatically reduce the impact of flooding waters are still misunderstood. “Their unfortunate destruction over time – through channelling and draining the water they retain and release to make way for development and farming – and invasive alien plant encroachment worsened the Durban flooding exponentially.”

“Thousands of tons of litter and plastic washed down by flooding rivers are sure signs that rivers and catchments are used as dumping sites, and in the process lead to riverbank and hard infrastructure destruction. By reducing illegal dumping this effect can be reduced,” says Meiring.

“Illegally built structures along riverbanks, steep slopes prone to landslides and structures in low-lying areas prone to flooding will increasingly become a death trap as the likelihood of severe flooding increases with changes in rainfall patterns and as the impact, driven by climate change, take effect.”

“Lastly, in high-risk areas, local and regional authorities should invest in early warning systems and evacuation procedures. It is also critical to consider awareness creation and public consultation to ensure that community safety becomes a bigger priority,” adds Meiring.

Feature image: Biomass from uprooted invasive alien plants in rivers and catchments during floods has a devastating impact on infrastructure and the environment.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring: Programme Director for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) Climate Change Indaba Event
Cell: 083 626 7619
Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

 

17 June 2022 Media Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought: Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline Project

Media Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought: Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline Project

For Immediate Release
17 June 2022

The Greater Oudtshoorn region continues to be plagued by ongoing droughts, and alternatives have had to be found to ensure water security for the region. Since 2018, the water supply from the Raubenheimer dam was under severe pressure as the amount of water available from the dam, exceeded the amount that could be relied upon with a 98% degree of assurance. The future and ongoing supply of water in the Oudtshoorn area is severely constrained and drastic measures had to be planned to address the situation urgently.

Furthermore, the Vermaaks Rriver boreholes near Dysseldorp are used to maximum capacity and the Huis River, which supplies De Rust with water, is unreliable during the summer months, which holds negative implications for the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply System (KKRWSS).

The Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline is a project that was started in 2001 to investigate and develop alternative and additional water supplies for the Oudtshoorn area. Nine deep, and three monitoring boreholes were drilled in the Blossom’s wellfield, which were monitored and tested for 13 years. The test was completed in 2014, and it was concluded that the boreholes yield enough groundwater to supplement the water supply from the Raubenheimer Dam. It was determined that 60l/s (5Ml/day) can be supplied from 5 existing boreholes within the C1 Blossoms wellfield. The test also found that the impact on the environment would be minimal.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) approved a license for the total yield of 8 million m3/a for the ultimate full development of the Blossoms wellfield and gave the nod for the construction to commence. Originally, the project was intended as a medium to long-term bulk water augmentation intervention but given the current water crisis in the Oudtshoorn area, it will be implemented soon.

Funding for the current phases of the project, which started in February 2022, comes from the Municipal Disaster Relief Grant, which allocated a total of R47 million. To date, more than R150 million was spent, which was co-funded by DWS and Oudtshoorn Local Municipality. The current phase of the project is expected to be completed by March 2023.

ends

 

14 June 2022 Public Notice: Notice of Public Participation for the Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme

Public: Notice of Public Participation for the Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme

The Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme was reviewed and updated, in terms of Section 48 of the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Act (Act No 24 of 2008). As per the provisions of the ICM Act, any amendments that are made to the existing Coastal Management Programme must be subject to the public participation requirements in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act, prior to being Gazetted.

Notice is hereby given that the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for review and comment from 20 June 2022 to 01 August 2022. The draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for viewing at the following Places:

  • Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George;
  • Mossel Bay Public Library, 99 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay;
  • Hessequa Public Library (Gouritsmond Library), 9 Kerk Street, Gouritz;
  • Plettenberg Bay Library;
  • Knysna Library;
  • George Library; and
  • Garden Route District Municipality website.

The District Municipality hereby invites comments from interested and affected parties on the draft reviewed Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme. Any comments and inputs submitted will be considered during the finalisation of the draft document for final approval and Gazetting.

Written submissions may be directed to the Municipal Manager using the following address:
Garden Route District Municipality,
Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu,
54 York Street / Private Bag 12
George
6530 or/
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za on or before 01 August 2022.

Any person who is unable to write can submit their input verbally to the Council’s offices where they will be assisted by a staff member to put their comments in writing. Enquiries can be directed to Dr Nina Viljoen at 044 803 1318 or e-mail nina@gardenroute.gov.za

M Stratu

MUNICIPAL MANAGER
GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY

Click here to download the Official Notice and Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme.

13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.

During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.

During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.

To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation.  There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.

The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.

The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.

CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.

The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.

Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.

13 January 2022 Weather Advisory for the Western Cape and Namaqualand Region

13 January 2022

Weather Advisory for the Western Cape and Namaqualand Region

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

Alert level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Advisory Breede Valley, City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, Kannaland, Knysna, Laingsburg, Langeberg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert, Stellenbosch, Witzenberg 13/01/22 01h00 17/01/22 00h00

Discussion: Very hot conditions will result from predominantly northerly wind flow over the interior parts of the Western Cape. Temperatures reaching 40 and above is likely to occur.

Impact: In an extremely hot environment, the most serious health and safety concern is heatstroke. Heatstroke can be fatal if medical attention is not available immediately.

Instruction: Avoid prolonged direct exposure to the sun as far as possible and drink plenty of water. Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated. Never leave kids in the car unattended. Make sure your animals have access to enough water.

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

 

13 July 2021 Media Release: Development of a strategic framework for an alien and invasive biomass economy

Media Release: Development of a strategic framework for an alien and invasive biomass economy

For Immediate Release
13 July 2021

Announcement and invitation to participate: Development of a strategic framework for an alien and invasive biomass economy in RSA 

A new initiative to develop a strategic framework for an alien and invasive biomass economy was initiated in June. The purpose of the initiative is to identify and unlock the opportunities of an invasive and alien biomass economy in South Africa that targets problematic alien and invasive woody biomass through ecosystem rehabilitation.

The clearing of alien and invasive woody biomass provides opportunities for developing green value chains that will support the restoration of ecosystems for climate change adaptation and mitigation, catalyse private sector financing and provide energy alternatives, amongst other uses. The initiative will support the uptake of an economy around the biomass use with the aim to support the creation of jobs.

“Every day, thousands of South Africans set out to the countryside, town and city perimeters to harvest significant amounts of invasive alien plant biomass in order to transform it into something useful which can be marketed and sold on any scale and format, or to simply utilise as firewood at their households,” says Cobus Meiring of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI).

“But exactly how big is the industry dependent on invasive alien, as well as invasive but indigenous bush encroachment biomass in South Africa? How deep and valuable is the market for products derived from these plants and trees? How do we go about giving the alien and invasive biomass industry a voice and assist it in growing in order to be more sustainable and to make an even more meaningful contribution to the fast-emerging green, circular and climate-ready economy.”

“To get a better understanding of these questions, SCLI, with support from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and its partners, is embarking on a process aimed at developing a strategic framework for the purpose of advancing the biomass industry in South Africa. The ultimate aim is to come up with a strategic framework and action plan, and a roadmap to the establishment of a National Biomass Industry Platform in the country,” says Meiring.

SCLI invites all who work directly and indirectly with invasive alien plant/tree material to support the initiative and join the series of national dialogues on the biomass economy.

Stakeholders in the biomass economy value-chain include entities or individuals involved in related research, the biomass-to-energy industry, timber manufacturers for the building and woodwork industries, companies manufacturing wood chips and shavings for example, for the poultry industry, manufacturers of sawdust, and companies producing charcoal from wattle and other types of invasive infestations. Businesses in the biochar, industrial-scale composting, harvesting equipment and transport services sectors are all encouraged to join in and provide critical input within the next few months, seeing that the baseline study will be concluded in October 2021.

Other stakeholders include South Africa’s national, regional and local authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), water boards, water catchment agencies, mining companies, agricultural bodies and the forestry industry.

“Groups and individuals are encouraged to list their interests and concerns, make suggestions and make their voices heard,” says Meiring.

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, the standard public participation processes, including extensive face-to-face interaction and meetings countrywide used to develop a strategic framework such as the biomass industry is just not feasible and for this purpose, a series of virtual dialogues is planned for those interested. The virtual dialogues will take place between August and September.

The final topics/themes for virtual participation by interested and affected parties will be announced in due course and will be made available to all relevant stakeholders who are registered on the biomass economy strategic framework database.

To register as a stakeholder/participant, interested or affected party, please send an email with your full contact details to Louise Mare, email: louisamare@gmail.com or contact her by sending a WhatsApp message to 082 078 1629 during office hours.

For more information, please follow the link: https://www.scli.org.za/announcement-and-invitation-to-participate/

Photo/s:

High-volume manufacturers, industrial-scale companies, and small-scale businesses in the invasive alien plant biomass value chain are invited to contact the biomass economy study group through SCLI to register on the database for further engagement. Stakeholders can include invasive alien plant contractors, entrepreneurs creating products by making use of invasive alien biomass as base material, and landowners making available biomass for biomass harvesting on their land, be that indigenous or to reduce bush encroachment. (Photo: SCLI) 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring, Chairperson, Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) 

Cell: 083 626 7619

Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za