Extra Extra: Read all About the Latest in South African Sustainable Developments

The value of sustainable development is ever increasing and should make the transition from being a buzzword to being an active pursuit in all aspects of organisational and personal life. Cabinets around the world specifically employ ministers with a strong focus on sustainable development and improving our relationship with the environment. In South Africa, where we continuously endeavour to accelerate such development, there are plenty of initiatives focussed on environmental upliftment and presently we have a number of major projects on the go. Here are just a few:

Branching Out

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed just last week between South Africa and Germany in agreement to promote cooperation on energy issues and to partner on developing sustainable energy infrastructure. The newly defined cooperation will support an agreement that was conducted between the two countries just over two years ago, which focussed more on the South African-German cooperation in the area of energy and climate. The new MoU seeks to increase dialogue and cooperative action with respect to energy infrastructure and investment in the development of renewables. The Department of Energy explained how the partnership will address the promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency, financial investment in renewable energy and new carbon market instruments.

Fun in the Sun

There may not be any jungle gyms or see-saws, but the development of a new Solar Park in Rustenburg is sure to bring smiles to plenty of faces. The juwi group has just entered the construction phase of their first engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project in South Africa. The development takes place just south-east of Rustenburg, and the first solar park in the North West Province will – with its 7MW capacity – not only provide clean and sustainable electricity to over ten thousand households, but will create more than 200 jobs throughout the lifespan of the project, which will surpass twenty years.

Cars with a Conscience

The Nissan Leaf is the only electric car in the world to have been mass produced and the South African Environmental Affairs Department has teamed up with Nissan South Africa in a pilot project that will see the car tested out under South African conditions. Four of the vehicles will be allocated to the department and will undergo a testing phase that will last three years. The initiative sets out to establish an awareness of the efficiency that environmentally friendly electric vehicles can provide. With the pending hike in carbon emissions taxes that will be imposed in South Africa starting 2015, the need to convert to electric transport is becoming ever more pressing. Our reliance on the importing of oil is also an issue that will be somewhat disarmed thanks to the collaboration with the Environmental Affairs Department. Naturally the whole project will also serve to encourage job creation across multiple sectors. An example would be the implementation of battery charge stations, not yet confirmed but speculated to be setup at various Nissan dealars and designated public spaces. We live in a world where environmental consciousness is essential for optimal living and although these examples are all large-scale developments, something as small as installing LED lights in our homes contributes the global impact of sustainable development.