5-in-5: Your monthly good news round-up in 5 minutes | Infrastructure news

South Africa is overwhelmed with bad news. From high inflation to loadshedding and most recently – the suspense from ANC’s electoral committee. Here are five good news stories to come out of the month of November.

  1. France and Germany extend €600 million in financing to support SA’s transition from coal
France and Germany have signed a loan agreement for the two European nations to each extend €300 million in concessional financing to South Africa to support the country’s efforts to reduce its reliance on coal through a just transition to cleaner energy sources.

The loans are provided by the French and German public development banks, AFD and KfW, directly to the South African government via its National Treasury.

The financing agreements were acknowledged and welcomed by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic and Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, at a ceremony held at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) currently taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The signing represents a significant milestone in the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) announced at COP26 in November last year.

France and Germany extend €600 million in financing to support SA’s transition from coal | Infrastructure news

2. Turning the tide on South Africa’s water crisis

South Africa’s water crisis could be reversed by changing the paradigm of water as a finite resource, and bringing together political will, science and capital to change the way water is managed.

This is according to Prof Anthony Turton, a scientist and consultant specialising in water resource management as a strategic issue.

Prof Turton says that while South Africa is undeniably experiencing a water crisis, this situation could be reversed by changing the paradigms around water management. “In the past, water was seen as single use stock, and the solution to scarcity was to create dams and inter basin transfers,” he says.

This approach was the foundation of huge industrial growth around the world, but had unintended consequences, he notes. Now, areas of the country that once thrived on a foundation of dammed water face economic ruin.

Turning the tide on South Africa’s water crisis | Infrastructure news

3. Waste sector income and plastic recycling on the up

More than 40 local, district and provincial municipalities countrywide have benefitted from strategic sustainability partnerships in 2021/2 – not just improving waste collection and PET plastic recycling rates, but also creating much-needed income opportunities in the sector and helping develop South Africa’s circular economy.

One such drive involves the Zonda Insila Programme (ZIP) which was launched in Breyton in 2019 with only four projects and now boasts 14 projects supporting 240 community members spanning the Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni district municipalities in Mpumalanga.

Waste sector income and plastic recycling on the up | Infrastructure news

4) Can planks and paper packaging help solve the climate crisis?

A new report – The growing role of forest products in climate change mitigation – launched at COP27, highlights that sustainable forestry operations and forestry policies vary across the globe and suggests that forestry and harvested wood products (HWPs) should not be overlooked as key drivers of a climate-resilient planet and green economic growth.

“Policymakers seem to miss the boat when it comes to the role of the global forestry and forest products sector in climate change mitigation,” says explains Jane Molony, executive director of PAMSA.

Forestry critics assert that all types of trees should be kept in the ground, regardless of their type and purpose, and perpetuate the myth that wood production causes deforestation. This is not the case. Many countries subscribe to certified and sustainable forestry practices to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Can planks and paper packaging help solve the climate crisis? | Infrastructure news

Heineken South Africa has taken a bold step toward reducing carbon emissions in all its operations and reaching its 2030 net-zero goals.

Heineken South Africa has taken a bold step in moving closer to reducing carbon emissions in all its operations, by launching a solar power plant at its Sedibeng, Midvaal brewery. The solar power plant was built as part of the company’s Brew a Better World initiative and will contribute to the group’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

Heineken is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including the global flagship brand Heineken, Windhoek, Amstel, Strongbow, Sol and Soweto Gold. Not only does the brewer strive to be an employer of choice, firmly rooted in South Africa, but its ambitious net-zero goals set it apart within the beer industry.

HEINEKEN is brewing a better world | Infrastructure news

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