Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Apr 2013

WATER: Joint Project to Assist Municipalities with Water Pollution


Recent Gauteng Business News

Black owned artisan training academy, Artisan Training Institute (ATI) – a level 1 BEE contributor - and the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA), have launched a joint project to raise millions of Rands to assist South African municipalities with water management and pollution.

Said Sean Jones, a director of ATI: “It is commonly understood that water will become an increasingly scarce resource as man continues to impact the environment through population growth, coupled with the ever-increasing pollution of waterways.

“This impact is devastating biodiversity as well as increasing the cost of producing fresh water for human consumption. To this end ATI and WESSA have joined hands to tackle this problem constructively, launching a water sustainability project with the objectives of creating awareness and competence within the technical delivery arms of the local government municipalities within South Africa.”

To achieve these objectives ATI and WESSA will approach industry to fund this campaign through corporate social investment budgets.

Jones said the project aims to raise between R5 – R10 million. “This will take buy-in from local communities and businesses, but we are hoping that R5 million will be at the low end of what we eventually raise.”

He said water pollution is, unfortunately, not high on the agendas of many municipalities – many of whom are cash-strapped and “are battling to deliver basic services as it is”.

Jones said ATI will be offering two to three week courses to the staff of municipalities to train them on water issues, including how to prevent water pollution. The training courses will include a very strong environmental module, he said.

“At the end of the day,” said Jones, “businesses could do a lot more to assist with their environment. Water pollution is just one of many issues we are facing. With water being such a scare commodity, however, this is a vital issue. In decades to come water shortages are going to be one of the biggest scourges facing South Africa – and the rest of Africa. It is a monumental problem.”

Mugg and Bean uses a new solution to improve food wastage

Commenting further, Jones said there are, however, other areas where businesses could do more. One is in the management of food wastage.

“Food wastage is another huge environmental issue. But, forward thinking companies are finding ways to manage this problem – and at the same time save themselves some money.”

He said Mugg and Bean in Lonehill, Johannesburg, for instance, is using a solution called Bokashi Bran to manage their food wastage.

“Mugg and Bean are saving the environment by managing their food wastage, as well as saving themselves R4000 on monthly waste disposal and collection costs. This shows that thinking about the environment, and acting proactively, does not necessarily have to cost businesses money – it could save them money.”

After months of trials and tests - and then independent analysis by the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria (ARC) - Bokashi Bran was registered and is growing in popularity as people discover this exciting product and the environmental advantages it offers.

The bokashi bucket solution is said to be a practical and convenient way for transforming food waste into nutrient rich compost. This

form of recycling uses bokashi to create the ideal conditions

for airtight (anaerobic) composting.

The bokashi bucket and Bokashi Bran eliminate the odours and unpleasantness associated with putrefaction and decay as found in traditional composting.

But, Jones pointed out, this is just one of many ways in which businesses can contribute to saving the environment.

He said the municipality-focused water project being championed by ATI and WESSA is “but one of a slew of initiatives” that could be undertaken by local businesses.


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