Energy, land and law: This year, it’s personal

world on fire

By Kevin Bloom If history brings insight and insight brings clarity, 2020 must be the year humanity responds with effective action to the greatest threat it has ever faced. From Rockefeller’s Standard Oil to Exxon Mobil and our own coal sector, the fossil fuel industry has consistently beaten the lawmakers — now our world is on fire. But with rich nations like Australia suddenly on the climate frontlines, the courts may be ready to push back. For South Africans, who’ll be directly affected by a raft of climate-related cases set…

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Sick Building Syndrome addressed with breakthrough engineering

Monitoring devices, able to detect high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), had been introduced to the local market, with the aim of detecting poor air quality leading to sick building syndrome (SBS). SBS is a medical condition affecting people in a specific building, whether commercial or residential. The syndrome is marked by symptoms such as headaches, respiratory problems, skin irritations and non-specific hypersensitivity reactions. The symptoms are often attributed to factors in the environment, such as poor ventilation and appear to be exasperated when windows and doors are kept closed. …

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STROOP wins 26th film award

The multiple award-winning wildlife crime thriller, ‘STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War’ received its 26th award this past weekend when the documentary’s filmmakers, Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod were honoured with the SANParks Kudu Award for Best Television Journalism for 2018/2019. Hosted annually, the Kudu Award is one of the country’s top conservation prizes given by the South African National Parks (SANParks) to recognise conservationists including SANParks staff, NGO partners and the media. According to Fundisile Mketeni, SANParks CEO, “Awareness of conservation issues is of vital importance…

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Kruger Park roads temporarily closed for demolition of Kanniedood Dam

THE Kruger National Park (KNP), in conjunction with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would demolished the remaining part of Kanniedood Dam south east of Shingwedzi Camp. The remaining section of this dam would be blown up on in sections from today (Friday, Nov 29) to December 6. It is part of the rehabilitation process of the Expanded Public Works, Biodiversity Social Programme. To ensure safety of tourists, all roads in the areas would be temporarily during this time.A Affected roads are the S50 gravel road which would be…

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By April 2020 – SA’s nuclear waste space would be full

  Empty casks to store the annual 32 tonnes of nuclear fuel waste at Koeberg are available, but the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has to give the go ahead to use this. However, with 95% of available space already filled to capacity, the NNR seems to be taking time in providing the go ahead. These casks cost almost USD 14 million three years ago. Storage of this increasing  high-level radioactive waste is a major  concern in the region, especially in the vicinity of Cape Town’s beautiful beaches. The used radioactive…

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Poachers nabbed close to Malalane in KNP

Three suspected poachers were taken into custody after the carcasses of two rhinos were found close to the Malalane area of the Kruger National Park (KNP). A rifle, ammunition and various items used for poaching were found in their possession. A KNP ranger found the hidden carcasses over the weekend. More rangers were called in to assist and the men were accosted in a Combi in the Park. One of the suspects tried to shoot at the rangers, but the suspected culprits were no match for the KNP’s rangers. The…

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Concourt stops Wakkerstroom coal mine

The Constitutional Court had ruled against Atha-Africa Ventures proposed coal mining project in the ecologically sensitive Mabola district near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. The 3-year court fight fight between various conservation entities in South Africa and the Indian mining company finally resulted in Concourt’s ruling that the application for a coal mine “bears no reasonable prospects of success. The mine, which had been given the okay from the South African government, would have seen the potential destruction of 70 000 protected grasslands in Mpumalanga and destroyed its natural bird life. Mark…

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SA no stranger to tornadoes – interesting facts from SAWS

As many as 16 tornadoes were recorded in South Africa over the last decade. This year alone,  tornadoes made landfall in Bainsvlei outside Bloemfontein in May, while a small tornado was reported in Sedgefield, the Western Cape, in September. According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), especially the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Eastern Cape are prone to these weather phenomenons. SAWS told the media that a tornado is a “violently rotating storm of small diameter” developing from a thunderstorm. Most damage is usually caused by winds which could reach speeds…

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Mpumalanga water shortage getting worse

MPUMALANGA is facing a serious water shortage. Dam and river levels are dropping and the situation is fast deteriorating. Dr Tendai Sawunyama, a senior employee at the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA) told  NewsHorn recently. “The situation is getting worse as we are not expecting serious rainfall any time soon. That is why we are calling the public to use water wisely. There was no enough rainfall last month,” Sawunyama said. He said the water situation in the Crocodile and Sabie-Sand catchment area was still below normal, in comparison to…

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Breakthrough archeological find in Mpumalanga

A routine excursion in the mountains of Mpumalanga led to an unexpected discovery for a a team of South African and international scientists and researchers. According to a media statement it “shone a light on an unimaginable and turbulent past in prehistoric South Africa (SA)”. Fossilised body parts of humanoids and other creatures were found. The SA Antiquities Research Institute (SAARI) said it could turn out to be one of the mostly critical archaeological finds ever in SA. The ribs, hearts and legs have been found to date back 100…

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