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Gauteng Business 2022/23

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The 2022/23 edition of Gauteng Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Gauteng Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, a special feature on the growth and significance of the green economy is included in this edition. Every sector from agriculture to transport and logistics is referenced, with several Gauteng companies taking the lead in the field of creating a more sustainable future for themselves and for their clients. The fact that mining companies and others are starting to build facilities to generate power is significant for the country as a whole. Gold Fields’ 40MW solar project at its South Deep mine is one of the first of its kind and it is certainly a precursor of what we can expect to see a lot more of in the future. The unexpected fall from power in the province’s three big metropolitan municipalities in 2021 of the political party that is in charge at provincial and national level, the African National Congress, is noted in the Regional Overview. Whether this presages a change beyond the borders of Gauteng in elections to come remains to be seen, but the huge budgets which now fall under the control of coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni will certainly serve to sharpen the focus of ANC election planners for national elections in 2024.


SPECIAL FEATURE sophisticated water and underfloor heating systems have all contributed to massive energy savings. The bank estimates that the power it generates is 70% cleaner than that provided by the national grid. The rooftop solar installation at Absa’s Pretoria office provides 17% of its electricity needs and the bank intends to continue rolling out solar solutions in addition to investigating battery solutions in pursuit of what it calls “net zero offices”. Many energy-intensive companies and institutions are generating their own power. In Johannesburg, the Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, the largest of six wastewater plants serving the city, has its own electricity source in a 1.1MW biogas plant. It produces electricity using cogeneration (combined heat and power) and is helping the city to reduce expenditure on its water treatment works, which used to run to R100-million per year. A landfill site at Robinson Deep in Johannesburg has started generating 3MW of gas. This is one of five renewable energy projects that Energy Systems SA is running in Johannesburg and is the first landfill gas generation project to fall under the REIPPPP. In agriculture, there is urban and hydroponic farming, improved soil maintenance, better use of water and recycling and organic methods. The agricultural sector is also another source of organic waste which is being used to provide power. With thousands of cattle farmed near big cities to provide beef and dairy products, biogas is a useful byproduct. The Bronkhorstspruit Biogas Plant, run by Bio2Watt, has an installed capacity of 4.6MW which it produces from annual feedstock of about 120 000 tons of organic waste. The plant is located in the Tshwane Metropolitan area on the premises of Beefcor, one of South Africa’s largest feedlots. The company has plans to roll out small plants for farmers or agriprocessors who want to produce power for themselves. At the Cavalier abattoir in Cullinan, biowaste conversion company ibert provides about a quarter of the power that the abattoir needs to function, at a competitive rate. In the process, all of the facility’s biowaste is disposed of. In construction and property, the green movement is growing apace. Apart from green building certification (administered by the Green Building Council of SA), there is now an even higher standard which developers and architects are striving for, Living Building Challenge, in which a building goes beyond being net zero to being regenerative (ie, producing more water and power than it uses). A recent headline, “Govt launches drive to green state properties” indicates that the state is moving in the green direction too. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure recently launched an Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP). Transport and logistics Eskom has announced that all staff cars will be EV in future. Companies in the transport and logistics sectors are moving quickly to prepare for a greener future. Another recent headline announced, “Sasol and Imperial logistics partner to reduce carbon footprint”. In this regard, gas is seen as important in helping South Africa transition to renewables The solar PV rooftop system at the Mall of Africa was the largest in the southern hemisphere when it was installed. Credit: Waterfall City GAUTENG BUSINESS 2022 12

Recycling is a big part of the circular economy. Credit: PAMSA and away from carbon fuels. Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA) and Sasol and organisations like the Council for Geoscience are working in these areas and logistics fleets are looking to use gas as well. Gauteng fleet entities such as Bulk Hauliers International Transport (BHIT) and SAB (which runs a massive national fleet of trucks) have signed agreements for gas suppliers from Renergen, the company running a big gas project in the Free State. Glass manufacturer Consol has also signed with them and TotalEnergies will establish a national distribution network. Energy efficiency is a growing interest for government and the private sector. The Department of Energy has an Energy Efficiency Directorate and there are other organisations such as Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC); South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI); Productivity SA and the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC). Water is one of the key sectors where saving, reuse, recycling, filtration, storage, efficiency (nonleaking pipes) and new solutions are vital to progress towards a greener future. Rand Water’s environmental brand, “Water Wise”, attempts to make users aware of the need to value water and to use it wisely. In terms of recycling and reuse, the packaging sector and many companies and industry associations connected to plastics, rubber and paper are trying to mitigate harmful side-effects arising from the manufacture and use of their products. One of the supporters of CleanCitySA, an organisation aiming to clean up Johannesburg, is Plastics SA. Fibre Circle (the producer responsibility organisation for the South African paper and paper packaging sector) is working on compliance with national government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Fibre Circle aims to improve the recovery and recycling of paper and paper packaging and to develop products from recycled paper fibre that are commercially viable in their own right. It wants to get packaging products off the streets and away from landfills. The organisation reports that 46% of locally-produced paper products contain sustainably-sourced virgin fibre and that 54% of local paper products contain recycled fibre. The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) reports that many paper and pulp mills are using byproducts from the chemical pulping process as a biomass fuel to drive the mills. Examples include tree residue and “black liquor”. ■ 13 GAUTENG BUSINESS 2022

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