Service Issue 85

Service magazine addresses key issues related to government leadership and service delivery in South Africa.

Service magazine addresses key issues related to government leadership and service delivery in South Africa.


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ISSUE <strong>85</strong><br />

MAR/APR/MAY 2024<br />

L E A D E R S H I P I N G O V E R N M E N T<br />






Pinagare Mogodi, CEO,<br />

Matsapa-A-Botshelo Group<br />



education<br />

The crucial role of postgraduate<br />

education in governance<br />

and management<br />

In the dynamic landscape of governance and management, pursuing postgraduate education is a pivotal gateway to<br />

capacitating the public and other sectors. As societies evolve and global challenges become increasingly complex, the<br />

need for well-equipped leaders in these fields becomes more evident.<br />

S<br />

By Kemantha Govender<br />

T<br />

The Wits School of Governance offers postgraduate diplomas in<br />

Management, Master of Management and PhD studies. Our students<br />

are taught by academics who offer a diversity of experience and a<br />

broad range of sectoral focus including:<br />

• Health, social security, humanitarian assistance, higher education<br />

and governance<br />

• Socio-economic and development research<br />

• Anti-poverty, civic education and good governance programmes<br />

• Monitoring systems and programme evaluation<br />

• Unemployment, vulnerability, economic empowerment and the<br />

green economy<br />

• Public policy, African security, international relations, foreign and<br />

security policy<br />

Our students learn leadership development by honing essential skills<br />

such as critical thinking, strategic planning and effective decisionmaking.<br />

They are exposed to real-world case studies, enabling them<br />

to analyse and synthesise information to create sustainable solutions.<br />

A Wits School of Governance (WSG) alumnus and current security<br />

student, Brigadier General Molefi Hlalele, said that he was taught<br />

by some WSG academics who have been in the field and understand<br />

operational challenges.<br />

“This makes learning robust and fascinating. We can also debate<br />

and explain to the academics who may not have been on the field<br />

We host public events with dynamic speakers on current and<br />

pertinent issues.<br />

The governance and management landscape is continually<br />

evolving, influenced by technological advancements, geopolitical<br />

shifts and socio-economic changes. The WSG has the Tayarisha<br />

Initiative, which focuses on digital governance. It is a hub for<br />

teaching, research, policy dialogue and outreach on the challenges<br />

and opportunities presented by digitisation in the public sector,<br />

society and industry in Africa. In October 2024, the School and the<br />

National Department of Public <strong>Service</strong> and Administration will host<br />

the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic<br />

Governance (ICEGOV), under the theme, “Trust and Ethical Digital<br />

Governance for the World We Want”.<br />

Investing in postgraduate education becomes not only a<br />

personal endeavour but a societal imperative for progress and<br />

sustainable development.<br />

“We produce internationally competitive and locally relevant<br />

scholarship on governance and related fields. You will leave Wits<br />

School feeling a bit tired but empowered and proud. You will get<br />

to know yourself better because our scholarship is a life-altering<br />

experience. As a student, you will gain and create new knowledge.<br />

Still, you will also need to develop soft skills to work in groups<br />

and to manage time and yourself,” said Wits School of Governance<br />

Academic Director, Kambidima Wotela. S<br />

Investing in postgraduate education is a societal<br />

imperative for progress and<br />

sustainable development.<br />

the realities of our work so that there is a balance between academic<br />

knowledge and practicalities.<br />

“We grow our research skills and understand the importance of<br />

feasibility studies. We are used to working on an operation level but<br />

here at Wits we learn the other side of what we do, which puts us in<br />

a position to do consulting work,” added Hlalele.<br />

Our students also benefit from engaging with a diverse cohort of<br />

experienced professionals. Collaborating with peers from different<br />

backgrounds and fields of work fosters a rich exchange of ideas,<br />

experiences and perspectives. These networks extend beyond<br />

the classroom, providing a foundation for future collaborations,<br />

partnerships and a global community of like-minded professionals.<br />

Associate Professor Kambidima Wotela, Academic Director at<br />

the Wits School of Governance.

S<br />

contents<br />



The crucial role of postgraduate<br />

education, by Wits School of<br />

Governance<br />

IN THIS ISSUE | SERVICE <strong>85</strong> | MARCH/APRIL/MAY 2024<br />


News and updates<br />


The plastics industry responds to<br />

SONA 2024<br />


<strong>Service</strong> speaks to CEO of the Matsapa-<br />

A-Botshelo Group, Pinagare Mogodi<br />

1<br />

4<br />

8<br />

10<br />

SONA 2024<br />

By President Cyril Ramaphosa<br />


THE WALL<br />

Azola Mayekiso, CEO of the NHFC,<br />

speaks to <strong>Service</strong><br />


The current state of local government<br />

in South Africa<br />


The Spar Group helping to alleviate<br />

poverty<br />

16 18 20<br />


Buying local can boost our<br />

economies<br />

24<br />


The beneficiation of minerals is back<br />

on the African agenda<br />

26<br />


Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s is a pumps<br />

and valves specialist in South Africa<br />


By Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and<br />

the Environment, Barbara Creecy<br />


A wealth of business opportunities<br />

28<br />


The Blue, Green and No Drop reports<br />

30<br />



Needed for SA’s economic growth<br />

32<br />


<strong>Service</strong> speaks to Yershen Pillay, CEO<br />

of CHIETA<br />

34<br />


Limpopo Province is a thriving hub of<br />

innovationand investment<br />

36<br />


Head and shoulders above: Cape Town<br />

39<br />

40<br />

2 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine<br />

44<br />


editor’s note<br />

S<br />

The State of the Nation<br />

I<br />

In his 2024 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Rhamaphosa<br />

reminded us of the words of Former President Nelson Mandela,<br />

who said that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there<br />

are many more hills to climb. He said, “I have taken a moment here<br />

to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look<br />

back on the distance I have come.<br />

“But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes<br />

responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”<br />

While we have come far, we have a long way still to go.<br />

Government has laid a foundation for growth through far-reaching<br />

economic reforms, an ambitious investment drive and an infrastructure<br />

programme that is starting to yield results. Companies continue<br />

to invest, thousands of hectares of farmland are being planted, new<br />

factories are being opened and production is being expanded.<br />

Ramaphosa attests that government is on track to resolve the most<br />

important constraints on economic growth by stabilising our energy<br />

supply and fixing our logistics system. As these obstacles are removed,<br />

the true potential of our economy will be unleashed (page 16).<br />

In the past year, we have witnessed a truly commendable<br />

transformation within our municipalities. The latest evaluation of local<br />

governance, in the form of the State of Local Government Report, reflects<br />

a substantial improvement in the overall condition of municipalities<br />

nationwide (page 20).<br />

The Department of Water and Sanitation recently released its 2023<br />

Blue Drop Report, which provides an assessment of drinking water<br />

quality, and the No Drop Report, which focuses on water losses and<br />

non-revenue water in all municipalities in the country, as well as the<br />

While we have come far, we have a long way<br />

still to go.<br />

Green Drop Progress Assessment Report to provide an update on<br />

the performance of wastewater management systems at municipal<br />

level (page 36).<br />

Minerals beneficiation is back on the South African and wider<br />

African mining agenda. While the goal of adding value to mineral<br />

resources is laudable, it is a farce if it is hindered by power and logistics<br />

problems (page 28).<br />

Matsapa-A-Botshelo Group is set to become one of the largest coal<br />

exporters in South Africa. Its vision extends beyond mere business<br />

success; it encompasses a commitment to creating lasting opportunities,<br />

driving economic growth and fostering positive change. <strong>Service</strong><br />

magazine interviews CEO, Pinagare Mogodi on page 10.<br />

Minister Barbara Creecy reports that through the South African<br />

Plastics Pact and other forms of government action, our country is<br />

making progress in addressing plastic pollution (page 32).<br />

On page 40, <strong>Service</strong> speaks to Yershen Pillay, CEO of the Chemical<br />

Industries Education and Training Authority, about building an<br />

innovative and employable workforce for South Africa.<br />

Enjoy this issue.<br />

Alexis Knipe<br />

Editor<br />

Editor: Alexis Knipe | Publishing director: Chris Whales | Managing director: Clive During | Online editor: Christoff Scholtz | Design: Monique Petersen<br />

Production: Sharon Angus-Leppan | Ad sales: Venesia Fowler, Tennyson Naidoo, Graeme February, Tahlia Wyngaard, Mandenkosi Dlamini, Shiko<br />

Diala and Vanessa Wallace<br />

Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg, Kathy Wootton | Distribution & circulation manager: Edward MacDonald | Printing: FA Print<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine is published by Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd | Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07<br />

Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales | Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700<br />

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No portion of this book may be reproduced without written consent of the copyright owner. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine, nor the publisher, none of whom accept liability of any nature arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of this book. The<br />

publishers would like to express thanks to those who Support this publication by their submission of articles and with their advertising. All rights reserved.<br />

Member of the Audit Bureau<br />

of Circulations<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 3

S<br />

snippets<br />



President Cyril Ramaphosa has under section 49(2) of the Constitution of<br />

the Republic of South Africa, read with section 17 of the Electoral Act of<br />

1998, determined 29 May 2024, as the date for the 2024 General National<br />

and Provincial elections.<br />

The president has also in line with section 17(2) of the Electoral Act 73<br />

of 1998, consulted with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the<br />

election date. Furthermore, the president convened a meeting with all nine<br />

Provincial Premiers and the IEC to discuss the state of readiness for the<br />

general elections.<br />

The 2024 elections coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years<br />

of freedom and democracy. Therefore, Ramaphosa calls on all eligible<br />

voters to fully participate in this important and historic milestone of our<br />

democratic calendar.<br />

“Beyond the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming<br />

elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination<br />

of the future that we all desire. I call on all South Africans to exercise their<br />

democratic right to vote and for those who will be campaigning to do so<br />

peacefully, within the full observance of the law. We also urge unregistered<br />

voters to use the online registration platform to register,” said Ramaphosa.<br />


In his SONA speech, Ramaphosa correctly identified governance failure as a<br />

reason for the poor performance of many South African municipalities. Poor<br />

governance may lie at the heart of the failure of service delivery – to turn<br />

that around, you need to appoint the right people in leadership positions, says<br />

Professor Parmi Natesan, CEO, IoDSA.<br />

“The president indicated that moves are afoot to professionalise the civil<br />

service which, if they bear fruit, will go a long way to solving the service<br />

delivery crisis we are facing,” she says.<br />

King IV urges councils to ensure they have access to “professional<br />

independent guidance on corporate governance and its legal duties” and<br />

that they appoint competent municipal managers. Specialised and in-depth<br />

governance expertise is required to ensure that any entity’s authority fulfils<br />

its primary aim of ensuring the organisation operates ethically.<br />

Principle 7 of King IV states: The governing body should comprise the appropriate<br />

balance of knowledge, skills, experience, diversity and independence for it to<br />

discharge its governance role and responsibilities objectively and effectively.<br />

In its “Consolidated General Report on Local Government Audit Outcomes:<br />

MFMA 2021-22”, the Auditor-General shows how ineffective governance lies<br />

at the heart of municipal dysfunction. It leads to defective financial reporting<br />

and a lack of accountability. The Auditor-General has frequently noted that<br />

municipal audit committees lack the skills needed to oversee the council’s<br />

finances properly.<br />

Inefficient use of information technology is also cited as a problem.<br />

Given technology’s role in promoting efficiency and cost-effectiveness,<br />

its governance has become a key agenda item for governing bodies,<br />

including councils.<br />

“One of the key problems faced by the public sector is the appointment<br />

of unqualified individuals. The state must adopt best practices and appoint<br />

individuals who are fit and proper to serve, but who also have the right level<br />

of skills, including proper governance knowledge,” Professor Natesan says.<br />

The IoDSA has constantly warned that appointments made on political or<br />

other improper grounds are the root cause of the challenges hamstringing<br />

the state at all levels.<br />

4 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

snippets<br />

S<br />



In 1994, we had a dream of forging a new nation. We imagined a country<br />

that worked for everyone and offered people a chance to live their dreams.<br />

Together we have built a new society from the ashes of a system that sought<br />

to entrench racial and economic discrimination and oppression.<br />

The dream of 1994 lives on in the determination of South Africans to build<br />

a better tomorrow and in the change brought about by the work of successive<br />

administrations since 1994.<br />

The milestone of 30 years of freedom, which we celebrate this year, is an<br />

opportune moment to reflect on our past and how far we have come.<br />

Today, citizens have access to improved healthcare, and we continue to<br />

work towards the implementation of universal healthcare for all. We have<br />

succeeded in ensuring a healthier population.<br />

Enrolment for children of compulsory school-going ages increased from<br />

51% in 1994 to well over 90% at present. In universities, it has increased<br />

from 494 356 in 1994 to over one-million now, edging closer to the NDP<br />

target of 1.6-million enrolments by 2030.<br />

The number of people in employment has doubled from about eight-million<br />

in 1994 to over 16.7-million now.<br />

Despite these notable advances, there is still much more work to be<br />

done. Poverty, unemployment and inequality still define the lives of millions<br />

of our people.<br />

As we seek to rebuild and overcome these challenges, we will need the<br />

help and support of all South Africans. Our history since 1994 has shown that<br />

we are at our strongest when we are united and focus on a common goal.<br />

Former President Nelson Mandela once said, “Sometimes it falls upon a<br />

generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness<br />

blossom.” The success of our country rests in our hands and by working<br />

together and harnessing our collective strengths we can become the<br />

generation that seeks to address our past in a manner that builds our future.<br />

As government, we are aware that we lost much during the state capture era<br />

but having emerged from one of the lowest moments in the post-democratic<br />

era, we now have a chance to rebuild our nation, while also ensuring that we<br />

address the weaknesses and vulnerabilities in our system.<br />

We have embarked on a new path defined by a fierce determination that<br />

we build back better and stronger and ensure that we leave no-one behind.<br />

However, we cannot do it alone; we need the help of individuals and<br />

communities to drive the change we want to see. In isolation, single actions<br />

might seem insignificant but they are key in driving social and societal change,<br />

and when multiplied across communities they can morph into an unstoppable<br />

force for change.<br />

By Gill Price, Director: Communication Resource Centre, Government<br />

Communication and Information System<br />


Government is expected to establish a Climate Change Response Fund to address<br />

the devastating effects of the phenomenon on vulnerable areas in South Africa.<br />

“This will bring together all spheres of government and the private sector in a<br />

collaborative effort to build our resilience and respond to the impacts of climate<br />

change,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.<br />

Ramaphosa explained that furthermore, through reforms, government is<br />

positioning the economy for “future growth in a world shaped by climate change<br />

and a revolution in green technologies”.<br />

“In the last three years, our country has seen an increase in extreme<br />

weather events, often with disastrous consequences. This is why we are<br />

implementing a just energy transition, not only to reduce carbon emissions<br />

and fight climate change<br />

but to create growth and<br />

jobs for our people.<br />

“We will undertake<br />

this transition at a pace,<br />

scale and cost that our<br />

country can afford and in<br />

a manner that ensures<br />

energy security.<br />

“With our abundance of solar, wind and mineral resources, we are going to<br />

create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, green hydrogen, green steel,<br />

electric vehicles and other green products.”<br />

Electric vehicle manufacturing<br />

The president highlighted that green hydrogen and electric vehicle manufacturing<br />

are receiving particular attention.<br />

“We are going to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Boegoebaai<br />

port to drive investment in green energy. There is a great deal of interest from<br />

the private sector to participate in the boom that will be generated from green<br />

hydrogen energy projects.<br />

“We have decided to support electric vehicle manufacturing in South Africa to<br />

grow our automotive sector, which provides good jobs to thousands of workers.<br />

We have decided to give special focus to regions like Mpumalanga to enable<br />

the creation of new industries, new economic opportunities and sustainable jobs.<br />

“In the past year, we have increased the financing pledges for our Just<br />

Energy Transition Investment Plan from around R170-billion to almost<br />

R240-billion,” he said.<br />

SAnews.gov.za<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 5

S<br />

snippets<br />



The Department of Home Affairs has created a one-stop shop for business more easily. This will happen while we continue to observe and respect existing<br />

applications to give effect to the recommendations of its visa reform initiative. immigration laws,” said Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.<br />

The one-stop shop, known as the Trusted Employer Scheme, was created The TES brings the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the<br />

with the view to streamlining the visa regime and a speedy processing of visa Department of Employment and Labour and the Department of Home Affairs<br />

applications. To qualify for membership, an employer, investor or business under a single system to finalise applications for companies that apply for<br />

needs to demonstrate that it has the financial strength to employ a foreign critical skills through the TES.<br />

national, that it runs training programmes for South African citizens and that All local applications will be processed through the Corporate Accounts<br />

it is a good corporate citizen.<br />

Unit which was established in February 2010 to facilitate work visa<br />

It is one of the latest developments in the review and streamlining of applications for large companies and corporations. Applications submitted<br />

South Africa’s visa regime to attract skills for the South African economy abroad will also be expedited due to the reduced requirements.<br />

and to promote tourism.<br />

“With the Trusted Employer Scheme (TES), the 22 weeks average visa<br />

process will be reduced to an average of 20 days thereby making it easier for<br />

employers to plan their recruitment and on-board expats into local operations<br />

within a shorter time. This is one scheme that will allow South Africa to attract<br />

skills and manage immigration, particularly in the processing of applications<br />

for senior executives, technical personnel, corporate employees and investors<br />


The North West Province has experienced unprecedented levels of<br />

development in the last 30 years, with the number of households increasing<br />

from 591 145 in 1996 to over 1.14-million in 2022.<br />

When delivering the State of the Province Address, Acting Premier Nono<br />

Maloyi revealed that this depicts an upward trend of 88% of formal housing<br />

in the province.<br />

Since 2019, the provincial government has built over 19 000 houses. In<br />

2023 alone over 2 700 were handed over to beneficiaries. Acting Premier<br />

Maloyi maintains the focus will now be centred on eradicating mud houses.<br />

“R198-million has been allocated to eradicate 1 356 mud houses in the<br />

province, with 579 of these units already delivered,” he said.<br />

Furthermore, efforts to eradicate mud houses have been strengthened by<br />

the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the provincial government<br />

and the Chinese National Import and Export Corporation to build gas-toelectricity<br />

power stations in the province.<br />

The Chinese have committed to investing further resources to assist in<br />

eradicating mud houses in the province by building 500 houses every year,<br />

for the duration of the project. The project is expected to create a minimum<br />

of over 10 000 jobs.<br />

Providing an update on the Deelpan Floods intervention programme, Acting<br />

Premier Maloyi announced that the provincial government has cleared all the<br />

hurdles that delayed the project and that 104 houses will be completed by<br />

the end of March 2024.<br />

A further 317 houses will be built following the donation of land by Kgosi<br />

Kogodi Molete of Bakolobeng and his Traditional Council.<br />

In addition, the provincial government will be launching the R2.6-billion<br />

N14 mixed development project in Ventersdorp. This development will see<br />

the installation of bulk services for 4 000 sites and create over 600 jobs for<br />

local people through the construction of Breaking New Ground, social housing<br />

and bonded stock.<br />

Acting Premier Maloyi added that the provincial government will continue<br />

to ramp up the title deeds restoration programme by handing over title deeds<br />

to rightful owners. To date, 6 283 title deeds have been handed over to<br />

beneficiaries across the province.<br />


Our future as South Africa is intrinsically linked to Africa’s stability, unity and<br />

prosperity. Let us embrace and partner with our fellow Africans residing in South<br />

Africa and elsewhere on the continent. Together we can work towards a stable<br />

continent to ensure prosperity for our region and the rest of Africa.<br />

In realising the goals of Agenda 2063, we can transform the nations of the<br />

continent into democratic, peaceful and innovative powerhouses that will aim to<br />

be global players in the next 50 years.<br />

One of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, which harnesses the combined<br />

strength of the continent is the acceleration of the implementation of the<br />

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA makes doing business<br />

in the continent easier and presents an unprecedented opportunity for African<br />

countries to diversify their exports, attract foreign direct investment and grow<br />

their economies. It holds the potential to boost intra-African trade by over 50%<br />

and can inject $450-billion worth of investments into the African economy.<br />

South Africa is a strong supporter of the free trade area which has the potential<br />

to act as a catalyst to South African economic growth and bolster the country<br />

in addressing its triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.<br />

Our entrepreneurs, including medium to small businesses, will benefit through<br />

the free trade area. It is in our national interest to grow the South African<br />

economy by creating jobs, providing basic services and ensuring equal access<br />

to opportunities.<br />

South Africa remains committed to Africa’s advancement and as the most<br />

industrialised economy on the continent, we are actively working to facilitate<br />

intra-Africa trade, enhance skills development, foreign direct investment and<br />

international cooperation.<br />

Dr Ntombifuthi Nala is Director: Research, Government Communication and<br />

Information System<br />

6 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine




S<br />

waste<br />

Plastics industry responds to President<br />

Ramaphosa’s 2024 State of the Nation Address<br />

The impact of the nation’s challenges is felt by the plastics industry.<br />

Government states that it has taken steps to address the youth<br />

unemployment challenge in the country. Despite this, our<br />

unemployment rate is the highest it has ever been.<br />

“The plastics industry was identified as a priority sector for the<br />

South African economy as it employs 60 000 people. However, the<br />

recent economic downturn, energy crisis and labour challenges are<br />

forcing many plastics manufacturers and recyclers to downscale<br />

their operations and risk the jobs of many workers. Immediate<br />

and drastic measures are needed to protect and restore the entire<br />

manufacturing sector, but especially to revitalise the competitiveness<br />

of the plastics sector,” Anton Hanekom, executive director of Plastics<br />

SA said. He also urged government to extend the RAF fuel rebate<br />

offered to food manufacturers on diesel for generators to include<br />

plastic packaging manufacturers.<br />

“Because we recognise the need for a skilled and trained workforce<br />

that can add value in each sector, we continue to provide cuttingedge,<br />

hands-on training in the latest manufacturing and leadership<br />

techniques that not only address our unemployment crisis but also<br />

help to stimulate economic growth and ensure our competitiveness<br />

on a global stage,” he added.<br />


Plastics play a crucial role in modern infrastructure, offering<br />

versatility and cost-effectiveness in various construction applications.<br />

Explains Hanekom: “In infrastructure projects, plastics are utilised<br />

in numerous forms, including pipes, cables, insulation materials<br />

and roofing membranes. High-density polyethylene (HDPE)<br />

and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are commonly used for water<br />

distribution and sewage systems due to their corrosion resistance<br />

and longevity. Plastics such as polystyrene and polyurethane are<br />

employed in insulation, enhancing energy efficiency in buildings.<br />

The lightweight nature of plastics facilitates easier transportation<br />

and installation, reducing labour costs and environmental impact.”<br />

The Department of Water and Sanitation aims to enhance water<br />

resource management by initiating infrastructure projects to secure<br />

water supply and diversifying water sources to reduce dependence on<br />

surface water. In addition, government has committed to increasing<br />

the construction of infrastructure through innovative funding<br />

mechanisms. The industry eagerly awaits the commencement of<br />

these infrastructure projects to provide products that will contribute<br />

to cost effectiveness, durability and a low carbon footprint.<br />

“Plastics plays a crucial role in the country’s infrastructure and food<br />

security. However, we need government support and political will<br />

to revitalise the manufacturing sector, support local businesses, and<br />

combat the influx of cheap imports coming into our country and<br />

eroding our markets,” Hanekom urged.<br />


Finding solutions to South Africa’s pollution problem and protecting<br />

the environment continue to be a key focus area for both government<br />

and the plastics industry worldwide. Hanekom reiterated that<br />

plastics have an important role to play in combatting climate change.<br />

“Numerous studies and lifecycle analyses have proven time<br />

and again that when plastics are collected and recycled as part of<br />

a circular economy, they have a smaller environmental footprint<br />

compared to other packaging materials. They can be reused many<br />

times over. Plastics that have a one-time purpose can be recycled into<br />

useful applications with long-term use, for example, water bottles<br />

are recycled into duvets,” he explained.<br />

For this reason, Plastics SA is relentless in its efforts to promote<br />

and educate end-users about recycling, supporting the industry with<br />

the development of end markets and working with local and national<br />

government to improve waste management and collection systems<br />

throughout the country.<br />

Over the last few years, government has had to confront the<br />

effects of climate change, and in this year’s address, the president<br />

highlighted their plans to invest in green energy. He invited the<br />

private sector to participate in the expected boom that will be<br />

generating green hydrogen energy projects.<br />

“Hydrogen is viewed as a promising alternative to fossil fuel, but the<br />

methods used to make it either generate too much carbon dioxide or<br />

are too expensive. It is exciting to note, however, that researchers have<br />

recently found a way to harvest hydrogen from plastic waste using a<br />

low-emissions method that could more than pay for itself and could<br />

provide a win-win solution for us,” Hanekom said.<br />


Numerous other areas of focus and investment were singled out<br />

by the president where plastics have an important role to play. Says<br />

Hanekom: “Whether it is stabilising the country’s energy supply,<br />

fixing logistical problems or boosting electric vehicle manufacturing,<br />

plastics have a role to play in every area”.<br />

It is important to recognise the crucial role that plastics play in<br />

the future of South Africa. With proper waste management and<br />

recycling initiatives, these issues can be effectively mitigated, allowing<br />

for the continued utilisation of plastics in various sectors. The<br />

industry’s willingness to support national objectives underscores the<br />

potential for positive change. However, political will and decisive<br />

action need to align with these efforts to steer the country and<br />

its economy towards growth and prosperity. By addressing plastic<br />

pollution, while harnessing the benefits of plastics responsibly,<br />

South Africa can forge a sustainable path forward for generations<br />

to come. S<br />

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mining and energy<br />

Efforts in life to make things happen<br />

Matsapa-A-Botshelo Group is set to become one of the largest coal exporters in South Africa. Its vision extends beyond<br />

mere business success; it encompasses a commitment to creating lasting opportunities, driving economic growth and<br />

fostering positive change. <strong>Service</strong> speaks to CEO, Pinagare Mogodi.<br />

Your career shows a trajectory of entrepreneurial achievement.<br />

Please tell us the story behind your success.<br />

My first milestone was born out of necessity during my second<br />

year at university when financial constraints threatened to derail<br />

my education. Unable to rely on external support, I turned to<br />

what I loved: construction, mining and trucking – industries that<br />

were already familiar to me through my family’s business ventures,<br />

spearheaded by my uncle and mentor, Oupa Mphomane.<br />

Witnessing Mphomane’s dedication to hard work and his<br />

commitment to helping others, I aspired to emulate his success and<br />

become a pillar of support for my community. Driven by the desire<br />

to create a better future for myself and those around me, I immersed<br />

myself in the world of construction, mining and trucking. Every<br />

achievement reached was fuelled by the determination to honour<br />

my mentor’s teachings and to build my legacy.<br />

Consistency in achievement stems from a deep-rooted belief in<br />

the value of hard work, integrity and perseverance. Mphomane<br />

instilled in me the importance of earning success through diligence,<br />

rather than simply aspiring to material possessions. His lessons<br />

taught me to appreciate the journey, to never envy others for their<br />

accomplishments and to remain focused on my path.<br />

Please tell us about the MAB Group.<br />

The MAB Group is a dynamic company with a multifaceted<br />

approach to business, specialising in construction, mining and<br />

trucking services. What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment<br />

to creating opportunities and making a positive impact, not only for<br />

ourselves but for everyone deserving of a chance.<br />

The name “MAB” holds significant meaning, representing the<br />

ethos of our company. “Matsapa-A-Botshelo”, which translates to<br />

“efforts in life to make things happen”, encapsulates the determination<br />

and resilience that drive us forward, no matter the challenges we<br />

face. Founded with the sole purpose of helping my mother overcome<br />

her struggles and extending that support to others in need, MAB<br />

embodies the spirit of empowerment and upliftment.<br />

Our journey from humble beginnings to a thriving enterprise<br />

has been a testament to our relentless hustle and dedication to our<br />

mission. What started as a personal endeavour has evolved into a<br />

driven organisation, propelled by a team of professionals with over<br />

60 years of combined experience. Our track record speaks for itself,<br />

with a proven success rate across all divisions and a reputation for<br />

excellence in everything we do.<br />

What was MAB’s initial objective? And going forward?<br />

MAB’s initial objective was deeply personal – to alleviate my<br />

mother’s struggles and extend support to others in need by creating<br />

opportunities for employment and partnership. I am grateful to say<br />

that we have fulfilled this objective, as MAB has become a beacon<br />

of empowerment.<br />

Our objective remains rooted in our commitment to growth and<br />

impact. We aim to expand our influence by becoming a listed company.<br />

By taking this step, we not only solidify our position in the market but<br />

also open new avenues for investment, expansion and collaboration.<br />

Becoming a listed company will enable us to access additional resources,<br />

forge strategic partnerships and further our mission of creating<br />

opportunities and driving positive change in our communities.<br />

Please share some of MAB’s milestones. What do you owe your<br />

company’s success to?<br />

Some of MAB’s latest milestones include successful ventures into<br />

export coal and iron ore, with regular shipments via Panamax to<br />

Capesize vessels each month. Additionally, we are making significant<br />

strides in infrastructure development, including the construction of<br />

new wash plants and involvement in mega-projects in partnership<br />

with government.<br />

Our success can be attributed to several key factors. Our<br />

commitment to integrity has enabled us to build strong partnerships<br />

and earn the trust of our clients and stakeholders. Our dedication<br />

to innovation and continuous improvement has allowed us to adapt<br />

to changing market conditions and seize new opportunities. Our<br />

focus on sustainable growth and social responsibility ensures that<br />

our business practices are both ethical and impactful, contributing<br />

positively to the communities in which we operate.<br />

Our employees are the driving force behind our achievements,<br />

and their expertise, passion and commitment are invaluable assets to<br />

our company. It is the combination of our commitment to excellence,<br />

innovation and sustainability as well as the talent and dedication of<br />

our team that has propelled MAB to its latest milestones and will<br />

continue to drive our success in the future.<br />

Is diversification a means to survive this volatile world or is it<br />

MAB’s key to success?<br />

Diversification plays a pivotal role in MAB’s strategy, serving as<br />

both a means to navigate the volatile world and a key driver of our<br />

success. By diversifying our operations across multiple sectors such<br />

as construction, mining and trucking, as well as expanding into new<br />

ventures like export coal and iron ore, we can mitigate risks and<br />

capitalise on opportunities in various markets.<br />

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, diversification<br />

provides resilience against economic downturns, industry-specific<br />

challenges and market fluctuations. By spreading our investments<br />

and revenue streams across different industries, we are less vulnerable<br />

to the impacts of any single event or sector downturn. This enables<br />

us to maintain stability and sustain growth even in turbulent times.<br />

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Consistency in achievement stems from a deeprooted<br />

belief in the value of hard work, integrity<br />

and perseverance.<br />

Diversification is not just a defensive strategy for survival; it is also<br />

a proactive approach to unlocking new avenues for success. By<br />

venturing into diverse sectors and exploring new opportunities,<br />

we can leverage our expertise, resources and networks to drive<br />

innovation, expand our market reach and capture emerging trends.<br />

This allows us to stay ahead of the curve, remain competitive and<br />

continuously grow our business.<br />

Please outline MAB’s diversified multiproduct production.<br />

MAB’s diversified multiproduct production locally refers to our<br />

ability to produce multiple commodities within the mining sector.<br />

Specifically, we are engaged in the extraction and production of coal,<br />

iron ore, manganese and chrome. We have operations across various<br />

mining sectors, allowing us to extract, process and supply a diverse<br />

range of minerals. However, our primary focus and major product<br />

within our portfolio is coal. Coal extraction and supply constitute a<br />

significant portion of our business activities, making it a cornerstone<br />

of our operations.<br />

Our diversified approach to mining enables us to capitalise on<br />

opportunities across different commodities, diversify our revenue<br />

streams and mitigate risks associated with market fluctuations or<br />

disruptions in any single sector. By engaging in multiple product<br />

lines, we can leverage our expertise, infrastructure and resources to<br />

optimise production and overall operational efficiency.<br />

Is it the company's strategy to diversify to commodities that<br />

support decarbonisation?<br />

Yes, MAB’s strategy to diversify into commodities such as manganese,<br />

lithium, chrome assets and iron ore aligns with a broader effort to<br />

optimise its product mix and tap into higher-value segments. While<br />

the primary focus remains on traditional commodities like coal, the<br />

investments in these alternative resources reflect a strategic move<br />

towards diversification and positioning the company for future<br />

growth and sustainability.<br />

As the world seeks to transition towards cleaner energy sources,<br />

the demand for minerals and metals used in renewable energy<br />

technologies, energy storage systems and electric vehicles is expected<br />

to surge.<br />

Commodities like manganese and lithium are essential<br />

components in the production of batteries for electric vehicles and<br />

energy storage systems. Chrome is used in various applications,<br />

including in the manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines.<br />

Additionally, iron ore is a key ingredient in steel production,<br />

which is vital for infrastructure development, including renewable<br />

energy projects.<br />

By diversifying into these commodities, MAB is positioning itself<br />

to capitalise on the growing demand for materials that support<br />

decarbonisation efforts. This strategic move allows the company to<br />

leverage its existing infrastructure, expertise and market presence to<br />

tap into new markets and opportunities.<br />

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mining and energy<br />

How has decarbonisation affected your coal export business?<br />

Our current reach in the global coal market is significant, with our<br />

coal export business playing a vital role in supplying coal to various<br />

international markets. We have established strong partnerships and<br />

distribution channels that allow us to export coal to destinations around<br />

the world, including Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our commitment<br />

to quality, reliability and customer satisfaction has enabled us to build a<br />

solid reputation as a trusted supplier in the global coal market.<br />

Decarbonisation efforts have indeed impacted our coal export<br />

business, as there has been a growing shift towards cleaner energy<br />

sources globally. This transition has led to increased scrutiny and<br />

regulation of coal use, particularly in developed economies, where<br />

governments and industries are setting ambitious targets to reduce<br />

carbon emissions and phase out coal-fired power plants.<br />

We have observed a decline in demand for thermal coal, especially<br />

in regions where decarbonisation policies are stringent. This has<br />

prompted us to adapt our business strategies and diversify our<br />

product portfolio to include higher-value commodities that are less<br />

affected by decarbonisation trends, such as metallurgical coal for<br />

steel production.<br />

We are actively exploring opportunities to invest in renewable<br />

energy projects and transition towards cleaner energy sources<br />

ourselves. While the decarbonisation of the coal market presents<br />

challenges, it also presents opportunities for innovation and<br />

growth in alternative energy sectors. As a responsible corporate<br />

citizen, we are committed to navigating these changes responsibly<br />

while continuing to meet the evolving needs of our customers and<br />

stakeholders in the global energy landscape.<br />

How does regulation such as the EU’s carbon border adjustment<br />

mechanism (CBAM) that penalises carbon-heavy imports,<br />

affect MAB?<br />

Regulation has significant implications for MAB and its operations.<br />

As a company engaged in the export of coal, which is a carbonintensive<br />

product, MAB may face challenges and increased costs<br />

associated with compliance with such regulations.<br />

The implementation of CBAM could lead to additional costs for<br />

MAB, as it may be required to pay carbon taxes or tariffs on its<br />

coal exports to the European Union. These costs could affect the<br />

competitiveness of MAB’s coal exports in the European market,<br />

potentially reducing demand and impacting the company’s revenues.<br />

CBAM may necessitate changes to MAB’s operational practices<br />

and investments in emission-reduction technologies to mitigate the<br />

carbon footprint of its coal exports. This could require significant<br />

investments in cleaner production methods, carbon capture and<br />

storage technologies or renewable energy alternatives, which may<br />

increase operating costs and impact profitability.<br />

To navigate the challenges posed by regulations like CBAM, MAB<br />

may need to adopt a proactive approach by investing in sustainable<br />

practices, improving energy efficiency and diversifying its product<br />

portfolio to include lower-carbon alternatives. Additionally, engaging<br />

in dialogue with regulatory authorities, stakeholders and industry<br />

partners to advocate for equitable treatment and exploring potential<br />

exemptions or incentives may also be essential strategies for MAB to<br />

mitigate the impact of such regulations on its business operations.<br />


Pinagare Mogodi (“Pina”) is the co-founder and managing<br />

director of MAB. He comes from a family with a long history of<br />

construction, mining and trucking projects in the North West. He<br />

expanded this into a well-established mining and construction<br />

company which now boasts a management team with over 60<br />

years’ collective experience in the industry. Mogodi holds a<br />

bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Eduvos<br />

(Institute), has completed a project management and Pastel<br />

accounting short course and has a certificate in tactics: strategic<br />

planning and management.<br />

Please discuss your perception of coal’s longevity in South Africa.<br />

Coal has historically played a significant role in South Africa’s energy<br />

landscape, serving as a primary source of electricity generation and<br />

driving economic growth. However, the country is now facing increasing<br />

pressure to transition towards more sustainable energy sources as part<br />

of the Just Energy Transition (JET). Considering this transition, coal’s<br />

longevity in South Africa is likely to be influenced by several factors:<br />

Environmental regulations. Stricter policies aimed at reducing<br />

carbon emissions are expected to impact the future of coal-fired<br />

power generation. Compliance with these regulations may require<br />

significant investments in emissions-reduction technologies or the<br />

gradual phase-out of coal-fired power plants.<br />

Renewable energy expansion. The rapid growth of renewable<br />

energy sources, such as wind and solar, presents an alternative<br />

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MAB is deeply committed to empowering the next generation<br />

of professionals and actively contributes to skills development<br />

through various initiatives, including learnerships and internship<br />

programmes. These programmes are designed to provide valuable<br />

knowledge to young individuals entering the workforce, equipping<br />

them with the expertise needed to succeed in their careers.<br />

The programmes offer participants the opportunity to gain<br />

practical experience in their respective fields, whether it be in<br />

construction, mining, trucking or other areas of our business.<br />

Through mentorship, training and on-the-job learning, MAB strives<br />

to nurture talent and cultivate a skilled workforce for the future.<br />

MAB believes in empowering our employees at all levels with<br />

the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. This<br />

includes providing ongoing training and development opportunities<br />

for office staff, where the focus is on imparting essential skills<br />

such as document management, tender preparation, company<br />

registration processes and legal compliance.<br />

By investing in skills development, MAB strengthens the overall<br />

capacity and competitiveness of its workforce. The company<br />

is proud to play a role in shaping the future of its industry by<br />

empowering individuals with the tools they need to thrive in the<br />

workplace and make meaningful contributions to society.<br />

to coal for electricity generation. South Africa has abundant<br />

renewable energy resources and investments in renewable energy<br />

infrastructure are increasing contributing to the diversification of<br />

the energy mix.<br />

Economic considerations. The declining cost-competitiveness<br />

of coal relative to renewable energy alternatives, coupled with the<br />

potential for job creation and economic development associated with<br />

renewable energy projects, may further accelerate the transition<br />

away from coal.<br />

Social impacts. The JET seeks to minimise social impacts of<br />

the shift away from coal, particularly on communities and workers<br />

reliant on the coal industry. Efforts to ensure a fair transition<br />

may involve retraining and reskilling programmes, investment in<br />

alternative industries and support for affected communities.<br />

South African taxpayers currently benefit from allowances<br />

which reduce carbon tax liability. However, the second phase of<br />

carbon tax implementation starts in January 2026. What then?<br />

South African taxpayers may experience changes in their carbon<br />

tax liability and the benefits of tax-free allowances. The specifics<br />

of these changes will depend on the details of the second phase<br />

regulations, but some potential implications could include:<br />

Reduced tax-free allowances. It’s possible that the second phase<br />

of carbon tax implementation could entail reductions in taxfree<br />

allowances for carbon emissions. This could result in higher<br />

carbon tax liabilities for businesses and industries exceeding their<br />

allocated allowances.<br />

Increased carbon tax rates. The second phase may introduce<br />

higher carbon tax rates or adjustments to existing rates, aiming<br />

to further incentivise emissions reductions and promote cleaner<br />

energy practices.<br />

Stricter compliance requirements. With the maturation of carbon<br />

tax regulations, the second phase may introduce stricter compliance<br />

requirements and reporting standards for affected entities. This<br />

could involve enhanced monitoring and verification processes to<br />

ensure accurate carbon emissions reporting and taxation.<br />

Expansion of coverage. The coverage of carbon taxation could<br />

be expanded to include additional sectors or activities not previously<br />

subject to carbon tax obligations. This expansion may reflect a broader<br />

commitment to addressing carbon emissions across the economy.<br />

What is your strategy in terms of iron ore?<br />

As higher-grade production of iron ore becomes increasingly valued<br />

due to its compatibility with decarbonisation initiatives, we aim<br />

to position ourselves strategically to capitalise on this trend. This<br />

involves a focus on:<br />

Higher-grade production. We prioritise the production of highergrade<br />

iron ore to meet the growing demand for quality materials<br />

in decarbonisation technologies such as hydrogen production. By<br />

focusing on higher-grade ores, we can command a premium in the<br />

market due to their suitability for green technologies and reduced<br />

environmental impact.<br />

Technology and innovation. We invest in innovative technologies<br />

and processes aimed at enhancing the quality of our iron ore products<br />

while optimising production efficiency. This includes adopting<br />

advanced beneficiation techniques and process improvements to<br />

maximise the yield of higher-grade ores from our operations.<br />

Market diversification. We explore opportunities to diversify<br />

our market reach and customer base, both domestically and<br />

internationally, to capitalise on demand for higher-grade iron ore.<br />

By expanding our market presence, we aim to leverage favourable<br />

pricing dynamics and market conditions to enhance the profitability<br />

of our iron ore operations.<br />

Sustainability considerations. We integrate these considerations<br />

into our iron ore production processes. This includes implementing<br />

responsible mining practices, reducing carbon emissions and<br />

minimising environmental impacts associated with ore extraction<br />

and processing. By adhering to high ESG standards, we aim to<br />

enhance the long-term viability and acceptance of our iron ore<br />

products in the market.<br />

Through targeted investments in technology, market<br />

diversification and sustainability, our goal is to position ourselves as<br />

a leading supplier of high-quality iron ore products that contribute<br />

to the global transition towards a more sustainable future.<br />

Most chrome ore mined in South Africa is exported in raw form<br />

rather than beneficiated domestically. Please share your opinion<br />

of beneficiation?<br />

Beneficiation of chrome ore in South Africa presents a significant<br />

opportunity for economic development. While the country is a<br />

leading producer of chrome ore, most of it is currently exported in<br />

Diversification plays a pivotal role in MAB’s<br />

strategy, serving as both a means to navigate the<br />

volatile world and a key driver of our success.<br />

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mining and energy<br />

raw form, resulting in lost potential for local value creation and job<br />

opportunities. Key points regarding beneficiation in South Africa:<br />

Economic diversification. Investing in chrome ore beneficiation<br />

facilities can help diversify our economy by adding value to its<br />

mineral resources. By processing chrome ore domestically, the<br />

country can unlock additional revenue streams and reduce its<br />

reliance on exporting raw materials.<br />

Job creation. Establishing beneficiation plants and downstream<br />

industries creates employment opportunities across various sectors,<br />

including manufacturing, engineering and logistics. This can<br />

contribute to skills development, particularly in regions where<br />

mining activities are prevalent.<br />

Value addition. Beneficiation adds value to raw materials by<br />

upgrading them into higher-quality products with enhanced<br />

market value. For chrome ore, beneficiation processes can involve<br />

concentration, smelting and refining to produce ferrochrome, which<br />

is used in stainless steel production and other industrial applications.<br />

Industrial development. A robust beneficiation industry fosters<br />

the growth of ancillary sectors such as equipment manufacturing,<br />

technology development and infrastructure investment. This can<br />

stimulate overall industrial development and economic growth.<br />

Export revenue maximisation. While beneficiation may initially<br />

require investment in infrastructure and technology, the longterm<br />

benefits can outweigh the costs. By producing higher-value<br />

products domestically, South Africa can maximise export revenues<br />

and mitigate the risks associated with commodity price fluctuations.<br />

associations, to understand their concerns regarding the potential<br />

implementation of an export tax. Collaboration between government<br />

and industry can help ensure that any tax policy is effectively<br />

implemented and achieves its intended objectives. S<br />

A chrome ore tax could generate billions of rands in revenue for<br />

government. What is your view on this?<br />

Implementing an export tax on chrome ore could have several<br />

implications for the South African chrome industry and the broader<br />

economy, such as:<br />

Price advantage. An export tax would give domestic chrome<br />

producers a price advantage over foreign competitors, particularly<br />

Chinese firms. This could incentivise local beneficiation and value<br />

addition, as domestic producers may find it more profitable to sell<br />

processed or beneficiated chrome products domestically rather than<br />

exporting raw ore.<br />

Revenue generation. A chrome ore export tax has the potential<br />

to generate significant revenue for the South African government.<br />

The revenue generated from such a tax could be directed towards<br />

infrastructure development, social programmes or other priority<br />

areas, contributing to economic growth.<br />

Competitiveness. An export tax could also affect the<br />

competitiveness of South African chrome ore in the global market.<br />

Higher export prices resulting from the tax could make South<br />

African chrome less attractive to international buyers, potentially<br />

leading to decreased demand and market share.<br />

Balancing revenue generation. Policymakers would need to<br />

carefully balance the revenue generation potential of an export<br />

tax with its potential impact on the competitiveness of the chrome<br />

industry. Any tax policy should be designed in a way that minimises<br />

negative effects on industry competitiveness while maximising<br />

revenue generation for government.<br />

Stakeholder views. Policymakers need to consult with industry<br />

stakeholders, including chrome producers, exporters and trade<br />


I am a dreamer who firmly believes in the power of hard work. I<br />

understand that while dreaming is free, achieving those dreams<br />

requires relentless hustle and dedication. I do not believe in<br />

handouts; instead, I advocate for the value of earning one’s success<br />

through diligent effort. Central to my ethos is a deep commitment to<br />

helping others, a trait for which I am known. I prioritise philanthropy<br />

and strive to make a positive impact wherever I can. As a leader, I<br />

am dedicated to nurturing and empowering my team and supporting<br />

their growth and development. I lead by example, adhering to<br />

simple yet profound beliefs that fully honour God.<br />

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Building for a brighter future<br />

Matsapa-A-Botshelo is a general construction and mining group committed to building a<br />

stronger South Africa through a commitment to reliability and high standards.<br />

MMatsapa-A-Botshelo has two main divisions covering coal (domestic<br />

supply and export) as well as construction and trucking. MAB<br />

started as a construction company and then added to its portfolio,<br />

mining and trucking departments in 2016. What started as a humble<br />

building block, has now become a powerful brand that has created<br />

several milestones in its areas of operation.<br />

The MAB Group CEO and executive head of coal operations is<br />

Pinagare Mogodi. The executive chairman is Setene Ketlele, who<br />

brings to the company considerable knowledge of the property<br />

management environment as a property manager and investor, with<br />

experience in arranging financing and administration.<br />

MAB COAL<br />

MAB supplies coal to Eskom (on medium-term contracts) and Kelvin<br />

Power Station (a privately operated facility in Johannesburg) and is<br />

one of South Africa’s largest emerging exporters of thermal coal.<br />

The company’s goal is to produce 36-million tons by 2028. The<br />

biggest proportion of MAB’s current saleable mix is local power-station<br />

coal (36-mpta), followed by export thermal coal (8-mpta) and semisoft<br />

coking coal (1.2-mpta). Products include duff, peas, small nuts and<br />

semi-coke. MAB Coal is strategically positioned for both domestic and<br />

export coal markets, currently exporting to countries such as India,<br />

China, Hong Kong and Israel. The company is exploring opening<br />

offices in India in support of its export operations.<br />

MAB is the most diversified multiproduct producer in terms of<br />

sized product at mine/DMS wash plant level and export product<br />

mix at Richards Bay Multi-Purpose Terminal and Richards Bay<br />

Coal Terminal. Our newest largest contract is a five-year coal<br />

export contract for 150 000 tons with three different clients. Our<br />

strategic partner is Clarksons, one of the world’s biggest shipping<br />

services providers that offers strategic maritime consultancy<br />

and shipping solutions in 23 countries. MAB is in the process of<br />

optimising its product mix to supply higher-value segments and<br />

to customers.<br />


Established in April 2010, with its main priority being to curb the high<br />

rate of unemployment in the metropolitan region of the city of Tshwane,<br />

Matsapa-A-Botshelo is the original building block of the company and<br />

continues to be committed to providing a reliable service in projects,<br />

construction and quality management. MAB has since grown to become<br />

one of the largest black-empowered and diversified construction and<br />

mining companies in South Africa. The company operates facilities<br />

and offices in South Africa and has made mining acquisitions in other<br />

African countries. MAB’s offering spans engineering and construction<br />

activities throughout the built environment.<br />

The trucking division works with a mix of sub-contractors and<br />

trucks working directly under the company.A total of 688 trucks are<br />

working to deliver goods as sub-contractors while 150 leased vehicles<br />

are the sole responsibility of MAB.<br />

MAB’s construction capabilities span a broad range of industries:<br />

building, concrete structure, road and rail, environmental, heavy<br />

industry, mining; water reticulation, housing/township development,<br />

infrastructure and other related projects. Clients include<br />

governments, parastatals and local authorities, major mining houses,<br />

leading industrial and other corporations, financial institutions and<br />

property developers.<br />

Among MAB’s clients are the Rustenburg Local Municipality, the<br />

Kruger National Park and the Moses Kotane District Municipality.<br />

Since 2010, projects to the value of R2.5-billion have been dealt with<br />

efficiently by MAB.<br />


MAB offers the finest quality design, site preparation, cost estimates,<br />

construction, repair and alteration to clients needing large-scale<br />

construction services, whether it is office buildings, warehouses, large<br />

apartment complexes or public works.<br />

• Earthworks<br />

• Civil works<br />

• Refurbishment<br />

• Water systems S<br />

(010) 447 3799<br />

info@m-a-b.co.za<br />

enquiry@m-a-b.co.za<br />

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nation<br />

President Cyril Ramaphosa: 2024<br />

State of the Nation Address<br />

Key takeouts of the 2024 SONA held in February.<br />

AAs government, we have taken steps to address the youth<br />

unemployment challenge. Three years ago, building on the success<br />

of the Expanded Public Works Programme, we launched the<br />

Presidential Employment Stimulus. Through this programme, we<br />

have created more than 1.7-million work and livelihood opportunities.<br />

We have, working together with the National Youth Development<br />

Agency, set up several initiatives to provide opportunities for<br />

young people including the National Youth <strong>Service</strong> and the Youth<br />

Employment <strong>Service</strong>.<br />

We have laid a foundation for growth through far-reaching<br />

economic reforms, an ambitious investment drive and an infrastructure<br />

programme that is starting to yield results. Companies continue<br />

to invest, thousands of hectares of farmland are being planted, new<br />

factories are being opened and production is being expanded. We are<br />

on track to resolve the most important constraints on economic growth<br />

by stabilising our energy supply and fixing our logistics system.<br />

As these obstacles are removed, the true potential of our economy<br />

is unleashed.<br />

We set out a clear plan to end loadshedding, which we have been<br />

implementing with a single-minded focus through the National<br />

Energy Crisis Committee. We have delivered on our commitments<br />

to bring substantial new power through private investment onto the<br />

grid, which is already helping to reduce loadshedding.<br />

In 2023, we implemented a major debt relief package, which will<br />

enable Eskom to make investments in maintenance and transmission<br />

infrastructure and ensure its sustainability going forward.<br />

Since we revived our renewable energy programme five years<br />

ago, we have connected more than 2 500 megawatts of solar and<br />

wind power to the grid with three times this amount already in<br />

procurement or construction. Through tax incentives and financial<br />

support, we have more than doubled the amount of rooftop solar<br />

capacity installed across the country in just the past year. We have<br />

implemented sweeping regulatory reforms to enable private<br />

investment in electricity generation, with more than 120 new private<br />

energy projects now in development.<br />

We are going to build more than 14 000km of new transmission<br />

lines to accommodate renewable energy over the coming years. To fasttrack<br />

this process, we will enable private investment in transmission<br />

infrastructure through a variety of innovative investment models.<br />

Last year, we tabled the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill<br />

to support the restructuring of Eskom and establish a competitive<br />

electricity market. As we undertake these reforms, we are positioning<br />

our economy for future growth in a world shaped by climate change<br />

and a revolution in green technologies.<br />

With our abundance of solar, wind and mineral resources, we<br />

are going to create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, green<br />

hydrogen, green steel, electric vehicles and other green products.<br />

While we have come far, we have a long way<br />

still to go.<br />

The Northern Cape, with its optimal solar conditions, has already<br />

attracted billions of rands in investment. We are going to set up a<br />

Special Economic Zone in the Boegoebaai port to drive investment in<br />

green energy. There is a great deal of interest from the private sector<br />

to participate in the boom that will be generated green hydrogen<br />

energy projects. We have decided to support electric vehicle<br />

manufacturing in South Africa to grow our automotive sector, which<br />

provides good jobs to thousands of workers. We have decided to give<br />

special focus to regions like Mpumalanga to enable the creation of<br />

new industries, new economic opportunities and sustainable jobs.<br />

In the past year, we have increased the financing pledges for our<br />

Just Energy Transition Investment Plan from around R170-billion<br />

to almost R240-billion.<br />

To address the persistent effects of global warming, which<br />

manifest themselves through persistent floods, fires and droughts,<br />

we have decided to establish a Climate Change Response Fund. This<br />

will bring together all spheres of government and the private sector<br />

in a collaborative effort to build our resilience and respond to the<br />

impacts of climate change.<br />

To deal with severe inefficiencies in our freight logistics system,<br />

we are taking action to improve our ports and rail network and<br />

restore them to world-class standards. We have set out a clear<br />

roadmap to stabilise the performance of Transnet and reform our<br />

logistics system. Working closely with business and labour, we have<br />

established dedicated teams to turn around five strategic corridors<br />

that transport goods for export purposes. Transnet has appointed<br />

an international terminal operator to help expand and improve its<br />

largest terminal at the Port of Durban.<br />

We completed the auction of broadband spectrum after more<br />

than a decade of delays, resulting in new investment, lower data<br />

costs and improved network reach and quality. These reforms have<br />

a profound impact on a society in which access to the Internet<br />

has risen dramatically over the last decade. Less than half of<br />

all households had Internet access in 2011, compared to 79% of<br />

households in 2022.<br />

To support growth in the mining sector, we are moving ahead<br />

with the modernisation of our mining rights licensing system and<br />

are launching an exploration fund to support emerging miners and<br />

exploit new mineral deposits.<br />

Black ownership stands at approximately 39% when compared<br />

with 2% in 2004. Investment in infrastructure is gaining momentum.<br />

New and innovative funding mechanisms will be used to increase<br />

construction of infrastructure. The Department of Water and<br />

16 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

nation<br />

S<br />

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2024 State of the Nation Address.<br />

Sanitation aims to enhance water resource management by initiating<br />

infrastructure projects to secure water supply and diversifying water<br />

sources to reduce dependence on surface water. Bulk water projects<br />

are under construction across the country to improve water supply<br />

to millions of residents in villages, towns and cities.<br />

In the past five years, the South African National Roads Agency<br />

Limited, which manages nearly 25 000km of roads, has awarded<br />

more than 1 200 projects to the value of R120-billion. In November<br />

2023, Cabinet approved a framework for high-speed rail, focusing<br />

initially on the Johannesburg to Durban corridor.<br />

Our basic education outcomes are steadily improving across a range<br />

of measures. The latest matric pass rate, at 82.9%, is the highest ever.<br />

The National Health Insurance (NHI) will provide free healthcare<br />

at the point of care for all South Africans, whether in public or<br />

private health facilities. We plan to incrementally implement the<br />

NHI, dealing with issues like health system financing, the health<br />

workforce, medical products, vaccines as well as technologies and<br />

health information systems.<br />

Too many municipalities are failing on governance, financial and<br />

service delivery measures. These constraints affect every aspect of<br />

people’s daily lives. We have started the implementation of several<br />

measures to address this problem by providing support to local<br />

government, including professionalising the civil service and ensuring<br />

that people with the right skills are appointed to key positions.<br />

The Presidency, National Treasury and the Department of<br />

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs are working<br />

together to enhance technical capacity in local government and to<br />

improve planning, coordination and fiscal oversight.<br />

Through the presidential izimbizo that has been held across the<br />

country, we have seen how the District Development Model (DDM)<br />

has brought together all spheres of government and key stakeholders<br />

to address the service delivery challenges in communities. The DDM<br />

has proven to be an effective instrument to enhance cooperative<br />

governance and collaboration. We will continue to broaden and<br />

deepen this process.<br />

Tackling crime and insecurity is a key priority.<br />

We launched the new Border Management Authority in 2023 to<br />

improve the security of our borders and have already stopped over<br />

100 000 people who tried to enter South Africa illegally.<br />

We will use our foreign policy to pursue our development goals.<br />

During our leadership of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South<br />

Africa (BRICS) last year, we witnessed a new chapter for the BRICS<br />

family of countries.<br />

We will build on the progress we have made in establishing the<br />

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will transform<br />

South Africa’s economy and that of the continent by creating new jobs<br />

and increasing economic participation.<br />

As we mark the 30th anniversary of our freedom, we are reminded<br />

of the words of President Nelson Mandela, who said that after climbing<br />

a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.<br />

He said:<br />

“I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious<br />

vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.<br />

“But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes<br />

responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not<br />

yet ended.”<br />

While we have come far, we have a long way still to go.<br />

Like Madiba, we must keep moving, always forward, always<br />

onward, towards the country of our dreams. Always believing that<br />

victory is certain. S<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 17

S<br />

housing<br />

Not just another brick in the wall<br />

Azola Mayekiso, CEO of the National Housing Finance Corporation, speaks to <strong>Service</strong> about the importance of establishing<br />

a one-stop shop for all human settlement financing needs.<br />

Azola, in March 2024 it will be your first anniversary as CEO of<br />

the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC). Please share<br />

your career trajectory up to this point.<br />

I completed a Bachelor of Business Science degree, an MBA and an<br />

MA. After working for more than 15 years as an investment expert<br />

and fund manager, I devised a turnaround strategy for Vunani’s<br />

asset management business that proved to be a huge success. When I<br />

was seconded into the subsidiary in 2010, it was a R6-billion business,<br />

but by the time I left it had more than doubled with assets under<br />

management to the value of R15-billion.<br />

During the three years after I left Vunani in early 2016, I served<br />

as CEO of Sanlam Investment Management. When you are in these<br />

jobs, they are demanding and, at some point, in order not to lose<br />

yourself, you need to just get yourself completely out of it and do<br />

something completely different, right?<br />

I decided to take a sabbatical of sorts, handing over the reins of<br />

CEO of Sanlam Investment Management in exchange for the chance<br />

to take a bit of a break. To find myself, recharge and get ready for my<br />

next big opportunity.<br />

In March 2020, lockdown threw my plans completely out. I ended<br />

up working for my daughter and being actively involved as one of the<br />

moms in the play school that she attends. Then I got an opportunity<br />

to pursue an entrepreneurial role because I’m quite multifaceted<br />

and I get bored if I don’t occupy my time with many different things.<br />

Soon after, an opportunity to step into the role of CEO of<br />

the National Housing Finance Corporation presented itself<br />

unexpectedly… and it was too good to resist.<br />

What are your objectives for the NHFC?<br />

• Grow the implementation and roll-out of First Home Finance<br />

subsidies to the gap market (households whose monthly incomes<br />

are between R3 501 and R22 000).<br />

• Attract more partnerships for investment purposes in various<br />

forms ranging from private equity to donor funding, thereby<br />

creating more opportunities and social impact.<br />

• Embed a high-performance culture within the NHFC that will<br />

make us more effective as an organisation across the board.<br />

• Drive transformation in the human settlements ecosystem<br />

through our funding activities and provision of technical support<br />

to emerging developers.<br />

• Make improvements to our internal processes such that we use<br />

the right tools to evaluate transactions and adopt adequate risk<br />

mitigation measures to safeguard the sustainability of the business.<br />

Please outline the NHFC’s vision, mission and purpose.<br />

Vision: To be an apex financing partner of choice within the<br />

affordable housing value chain.<br />

Mission: To create an enabling environment where there is access<br />

to housing finance for low-middle income families through strategic<br />

partnerships and promoting the sustainability of the human<br />

settlements ecosystem, using our strategic pillars below:<br />

• To maximise the development impact<br />

• To transform the human settlements sector<br />

• To achieve sustainability<br />

• To contribute beyond what is available or provide that which is<br />

otherwise absent from the market<br />

What is the NHFC’s mandate?<br />

The NHFC’s mandate is to create affordable housing opportunities,<br />

through the provision of affordable housing finance while mobilising<br />

the private sector’s involvement in the facilitation and development<br />

of sustainable human settlements.<br />

How does the NHFC achieve its mandate?<br />

The NHFC achieves its mandate through the implementation of<br />

various programmes, each with its respective strategies through<br />

partnering with our stakeholders and leveraging our resources to<br />

ensure the delivery of our mandate.<br />

As a development finance institution, we have various approaches<br />

to ensure the achievement of our mandate. The NHFC is positioned<br />

as a catalytic partner striving to mobilise the private sector as<br />

partners to be involved in the delivery of affordable housing.<br />

Please provide an overview of the financial services that you offer.<br />

The NHFC financial products and services target a range of housing<br />

structures including:<br />

• Private rental aimed at developing or improving rental<br />

accommodation; including student accommodation.<br />

• Social housing is regulated and facilitated by the NHFC’s sister<br />

company, the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, while the<br />

NHFC provides 10% to 30% of funding as secured debt towards<br />

the project finance required to deliver it.<br />

• Affordable and subsidy housing bridging finance for developers<br />

and contractors operating in the affordable housing and<br />

18 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

housing<br />

S<br />

Looking ahead, I am energised by the<br />

possibilities that will be brought about by the<br />

emerging high-performance culture<br />

within the NHFC.<br />

subsidy housing space and have contracts from either public<br />

or private sector entities for building facilities for the benefit<br />

of communities.<br />

• Incremental housing finances micro-lenders who on-lend to end<br />

users who want to build additional living space (house extensions)<br />

or build their houses incrementally.<br />

• First Home Finance (formerly known as FLISP) is a housing subsidy<br />

for first-time home buyers that fall in the gap-market income<br />

bracket. These low to middle income earners are encouraged to<br />

buy or build homes of their choice and affordability. Once granted<br />

a mortgage/loan from their preferred financial institution, they<br />

then apply for the once-off grant from the NHFC.<br />

• Strategic investments encompass capital that is deployed in<br />

strategic partner entities that play in the same market as the<br />

NHFC to extend the scope of the NHFC’s impact. Through<br />

these equity and equity-like instruments, we aim to also support<br />

emerging entrepreneurs in the gap market segment with an<br />

ability to inject the required equity to make the transactions they<br />

bring to us financially viable.<br />

What is the NHFC’s history, including its major milestones?<br />

The NHFC was established by the National Department of Human<br />

Settlements in 1996, with the mandate to finance contractors,<br />

developers and micro-financiers in urban areas and provide access<br />

to finance for housing development.<br />

Three development finance institutions within the human<br />

settlements market consolidated their operations, clients and fund<br />

alliance partners. The 2018 merger saw the Rural Housing Loan<br />

Fund, the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency<br />

and the NHFC, along with their assets and liabilities, embark on<br />

an ambitious journey aimed at the development of the Human<br />

Settlements Development Bank.<br />

The NHFC has facilitated the delivery of more than 800 000<br />

housing units since its inception.<br />

Please discuss the government subsidies that you offer.<br />

Currently, there is only one government subsidy that the NHFC is<br />

implementing which is targeted at the gap market – households and<br />

individuals that are earning between R3 501 and R22 000 per month.<br />

The NHFC acts as an agent of the National Department of Human<br />

Settlements to distribute the First Home Finance grant to qualifying<br />

beneficiaries across South Africa. It is a once-off housing subsidy<br />

targeted at first-time home buyers. These low to middle income earners<br />

are encouraged to buy or build homes of their choice and affordability.<br />

In closing, I am immensely grateful for the trust and support of<br />

the shareholders, dedicated team members, stakeholders and our<br />

esteemed partners. S<br />

Azola Mayekiso, CEO, National Housing Finance Corporation.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 19

S<br />

local governance<br />

Municipal support and intervention:<br />

insights into the current state of local<br />

government in South Africa<br />

Takeouts of address made by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembisile Nkadimeng, at the<br />

end of 2023.<br />

I<br />

In the past year, we have witnessed a truly commendable<br />

transformation within our municipalities. The latest evaluation<br />

of local governance, in the form of the State of Local Government<br />

Report, reflects a substantial improvement in the overall condition of<br />

municipalities nationwide.<br />

Reflecting on the years before, 2021 painted a varied picture: 64<br />

municipalities were categorised as dysfunctional, 111 at medium<br />

risk, 66 at low risk, and 16 deemed stable. However, in the most<br />

recent assessment for 2022, there’s reason for optimism. While<br />

there has been a marginal increase in the number of dysfunctional<br />

municipalities to 66, the truly remarkable aspect lies in the positive<br />

transformation observed across the other categories.<br />

The number of medium-risk municipalities has slightly<br />

decreased to 107, reflecting focused efforts towards improvement.<br />

Collaborative effort will strengthen our collective<br />

ability to address the intricacies of<br />

local governance.<br />

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S<br />

Flickr<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 21

S<br />

local governance<br />

Similarly, the count of low-risk municipalities now stands at 54,<br />

indicating a significant consolidation of stability in these regions.<br />

Most notably, a substantial leap of 30 municipalities now proudly<br />

sits in the stable category, signifying a leap forward in effective<br />

governance and operations.<br />

This progress is due to the collaborative efforts, innovative<br />

strategies and dedication of various stakeholders working towards the<br />

betterment of local governance. It highlights a promising trajectory<br />

for more robust, accountable and responsive local government systems.<br />

This positive trend inspires confidence and underscores the potential<br />

for continued growth and development in our local communities.<br />


Hence, following the principles outlined in Section 154 of the<br />

Constitution, and as a response to the multifaceted challenges that<br />

municipalities face, we have engaged in collaborative efforts with<br />

provinces, the National Treasury, SALGA and various partners to<br />

introduce substantial legislative and policy reforms. These initiatives<br />

aim to empower municipalities in effectively executing their duties<br />

and mandates.<br />

Key reforms and their implications<br />

Municipal Structures Act Review (2021). This comprehensive review<br />

established the groundwork for delineating powers between the<br />

executive and legislative branches of municipal councils. It reinforced<br />

the Code of Conduct for Councillors, recognising the vital role of the<br />

Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPAC), and introduced the<br />

position of the council whip in all municipalities.<br />

Municipal Systems Act Review (2022). This review reintroduced the<br />

amendments made in 2011 under the Municipal Systems Amendment<br />

Act, which had been nullified by the Constitutional Court in 2019.<br />

Introduction of Municipal Staff Regulations (2021). This initiative<br />

laid a robust foundation to professionalise local government by<br />

setting essential standards. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to<br />

finalise revised competency assessment batteries, further enhancing<br />

the professionalisation initiatives.<br />

Circular 88 Introduction (2017). CoGTA, in collaboration with<br />

National Treasury, introduced Circular 88 aimed at harmonising<br />

planning and reporting tools using specific municipal performance<br />

indicators. This circular aligns with the Municipal Systems Act (MSA)<br />

and the MFMA requirements, ensuring coherence between planning<br />

and reporting instruments such as the Integrated Development<br />

Plan (IDP), the <strong>Service</strong> Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan<br />

(SDBIP) and the Annual Report. The current pilot of Circular 88<br />

encompasses all eight metropolitan municipalities, with plans for<br />

broader implementation across all municipalities to streamline<br />

reporting procedures.<br />

CoGTA has set up the Results Management Office to house<br />

experts in various fields (infrastructure, finance, energy and<br />

governance) and provide an additional layer of support, particularly<br />

in dysfunctional municipalities<br />

The minister designated MISA to champion the development<br />

of Infrastructure Asset Management Plans, Schedule 6b, the<br />

deployment of more experts and trainee artisans as well as<br />

supporting the implementation of the CWP programme (particularly<br />

the municipal services aspects).<br />

These reforms reflect a concerted effort to address the challenges<br />

and intricacies faced by local governance structures. They represent<br />

a commitment to enhance the capacity, professionalism and<br />

effectiveness of municipalities in delivering essential services to<br />

our communities.<br />

Forthcoming interventions<br />

Intergovernmental, Monitoring, Support, and Interventions<br />

(IMSI) Bill. This Bill, designed in alignment with constitutional<br />

sections 100(3) and 139(8), aims to provide targeted support to<br />

provinces and municipalities requiring assistance. The Bill sets the<br />

stage for monitoring provinces and municipalities, ensuring their<br />

compliance with executive obligations as dictated by the Constitution<br />

or legislation. It outlines alternative steps for interventions to induce<br />

compliance and grants the power to the national or provincial<br />

executive to appoint administrators in cases of intervention.<br />

“Coalitions Bill”. Proposed amendments to the Municipal<br />

Structures Act are underway. Among the various changes, the<br />

amendments seek to transform municipalities with a mayoral<br />

executive system, wherein no party secures a majority of seats, into<br />

a collective executive system. These changes propose that municipal<br />

office-bearers can only be removed from office after a two-year<br />

tenure or under prescribed grounds. Another significant inclusion<br />

in this Bill is the provision for binding coalition agreements in<br />

municipalities where no single party holds a majority of seats.<br />

General Laws Amendment Bill. This Bill intends to introduce<br />

amendments to multiple pieces of legislation impacting local<br />

governance. The aim is to solidify good practices, address any<br />

regulatory “vacuums” and eradicate or mitigate detrimental<br />

practices. This comprehensive amendment seeks to streamline and<br />

fortify the legal framework governing municipalities, promoting<br />

more effective and transparent governance.<br />

These interventions are strategically designed to address various<br />

critical aspects, ensuring compliance, effective administration and<br />

stronger collaborations within municipalities. As these Bills progress,<br />

we remain committed to engaging stakeholders and refining these<br />

initiatives to foster a more resilient and efficient local government<br />

system for the benefit of all citizens.<br />


Despite all the support programmes by both national and provincial<br />

governments, some municipalities remained dysfunctional and this has<br />

resulted in them being placed under section 139(7) of the Constitution.<br />

Capacity-building programmes<br />

MISA is actively investing in the upskilling and re-skilling<br />

of municipal officials. Through a comprehensive suite of<br />

capacity-building programmes, MISA is actively shaping a futureready<br />

cadre of professionals. One of MISA’s initiatives is the<br />

implementation of technical short courses in collaboration with<br />

the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE). These<br />

courses provide invaluable knowledge and skills to municipal<br />

officials, equipping them with the technical expertise necessary for<br />

effective infrastructure management. By fostering partnerships<br />

with industry experts, training programmes remain relevant and<br />

of the highest quality.<br />

22 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

local governance<br />

S<br />

More than 6 000 training opportunities have been provided to<br />

municipal officials. These opportunities extend beyond traditional<br />

classroom settings, emphasising a hands-on, practical approach that<br />

aligns with the real-world demands of infrastructure management.<br />

MISA does not stop at empowering existing municipal officials; it<br />

extends its reach to unemployed youth from previously disadvantaged<br />

backgrounds. Bursary opportunities, enable aspiring individuals to<br />

pursue technical disciplines and trades. This initiative contributes to<br />

creating a diverse and skilled talent pool for the future.<br />

The infrastructure-related skills development programmes, such<br />

as learnerships and candidacy plans, further exemplify MISA’s<br />

commitment to nurturing talent. Over 5 000 opportunities have<br />

been provided to unemployed youth, aiming to produce a new cohort<br />

of municipal officials with the necessary technical qualifications.<br />

Collaborations with the Local Government Sector Education and<br />

Training Authority (LGSETA), Technical and Vocational Education<br />

and Training Colleges (TVETs) and universities amplify the impact<br />

of these initiatives.<br />

Infrastructure condition assessments serve as the bedrock for<br />

informed decision-making, influencing capital project planning<br />

and annual maintenance funding allocations as well as ensuring the<br />

structural and functional integrity of assets.<br />

To date, MISA has successfully conducted assessments on the<br />

bulk water and sanitation infrastructure of 117 out of 144 Water<br />

<strong>Service</strong> Authorities (WSAs). These assessments go beyond being<br />

mere evaluations; they serve as blueprints for future action.<br />

The comprehensive assessment reports, coupled with actionable<br />

recommendations, are not gathering dust on shelves but are actively<br />

being implemented.<br />

These reports play an important role in project identification<br />

and funding prioritisation, shaping the landscape of infrastructure<br />

development. Our commitment to empowering municipalities<br />

extends beyond traditional funding channels. While own funding is<br />

a key component, MISA has successfully engaged the private sector<br />

and leveraged conditional grants such as municipal, water services<br />

and rural bulk infrastructure grants.<br />


The State of Local Government Report has been instrumental in<br />

identifying key issues, ranging from governance failures to<br />

outstanding debts and vacancies in critical positions.<br />

We are not oblivious to the fact that challenges faced by the local<br />

government sector are multifaceted, disproportionate and impactful,<br />

but not insurmountable, and we will illustrate the work we are doing<br />

as CoGTA to turn the situation around.<br />

The commitment to fostering resilient, efficient and accountable<br />

local government systems remains solid. We extend our appreciation<br />

to all stakeholders, for their continued engagement and support. The<br />

path ahead may be challenging, but with sustained collaboration and<br />

dedication, we are confident in the potential for continued growth<br />

and development within our local communities.<br />

A collaborative effort will strengthen our collective ability to<br />

address the intricacies of local governance and contribute to the<br />

enhancement of service delivery across municipalities. This will<br />

ensure that strategic conversations move from isolated, departmental<br />

or organisational silos to effective cross-segment collaboration. S<br />

Minister of CoGTA, Thembisile Nkadimeng, Parliament,<br />

Cape Town.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 23

S<br />

agriculture<br />

Inclusive agricultural sector<br />

needed to alleviate rural poverty<br />

In South Africa, effective small-scale farming, arguably a means to combat rural poverty, stands as the cornerstone to<br />

establishing new and sustainable agricultural value systems.<br />

By Max Oliva, CEO of The SPAR Group Southern Africa<br />

LLarge commercial farmers dominate the local agricultural and food<br />

system, which limits the participation of smaller producers, creating<br />

a dualistic farming system. Additionally, most major supermarkets<br />

and food manufacturers prefer working with a small number of<br />

larger suppliers who can meet stringent requirements. This leaves<br />

many small rural producers excluded and marginalised since they<br />

cannot meet the quality or consistent volume requirements for large<br />

corporations to consider dealing with them.<br />

Small-scale producers struggle to overcome these limitations,<br />

primarily due to a lack of access to funding, technical and business<br />

support, food safety expertise and compliance as well as the<br />

infrastructure and logistical resources, or capabilities, needed to<br />

enter formal value systems.<br />

Poor farm infrastructure and farm inputs are often the root cause<br />

of inconsistent crop yields and quality. Addressing these intricate<br />

issues necessitates a collaborative approach involving a diverse<br />

range of stakeholders.<br />

these being the corporate sector. The retail industry must play a<br />

central role in helping close gaps in food security and market access.<br />

In The SPAR Group’s own experience, just by including farmers in<br />

a rural hub skills transfer and empowerment concept in 2016, we<br />

are now seeing between 30% to 60% of these farmers’ monthly<br />

output purchased by us and brought to the market (under our<br />

Freshline and Country Value labels) through distribution centres in<br />

key locations. We plan to increase the support from SPAR to 80%<br />

in 2024/25.<br />

While The SPAR Group remains their primary customer, some of<br />

the grade one produce is also sold to aggregators who then on-sell<br />

And this needs to happen now. According to the World Bank, Sub-<br />

Saharan Africa is feeling the brunt of “the perfect storm” – a food,<br />

fuel and fertiliser crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, scarring<br />

effects from the Covid-19 pandemic, soaring inflation, rising debt<br />

and extreme weather.<br />

No priority is more pressing than addressing food insecurity to<br />

safeguard the calorie and nutrition needs of Africa’s one-billion<br />

people and protect their human development. At least one in five<br />

Africans goes to bed hungry and an estimated 140-million people<br />

in Africa face acute food insecurity, according to the “2022 Global<br />

Report on Food Crises 2022 Mid-Year Update”.<br />

As the United Nations astutely observes, climate change does not<br />

respect boundaries, hence African countries and abroad must work<br />

together to build resilience. In South Africa, it is also critical that a<br />

comprehensive church of stakeholders play their role, pivotal among<br />

Max Oliva, CEO, The SPAR Group Southern Africa.<br />

24 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

agriculture<br />

S<br />

security), as well as collaboration with various stakeholders, including<br />

government and industry partners.<br />

Those taking steps in the direction of developing food programmes<br />

must sign up as a signatory to the Consumer Goods Council of South<br />

Africa’s (CGCSA) Voluntary Food Loss and Waste Agreement. I also<br />

see the United Nations’ sustainable development goal of halving per<br />

capita global food waste by 2030 as one that all organisations should<br />

aspire to, and it should be included in their strategic intent. As an<br />

example, The SPAR Group has committed to transparently reporting<br />

on our annual quantities of food waste – to halve this by 2030 – and<br />

to the redistribution of edible, surplus food for human consumption.<br />

Working with Food Forward SA, our redistribution partner, we<br />

ensure food safety is maintained across the redistribution supply chain.<br />

the produce to other food retailers. Many farmers continue to grow<br />

private crops for their communities.<br />

Projects like this are key to improving food security and the health<br />

and well-being of people in rural communities. As our farmers<br />

graduate from the programme over the next three to five years and<br />

move on to farm sustainable and profitable enterprises, they will no<br />

longer require our support – which is the end goal. Plans are underway<br />

to scale up to include additional farmers and products in 2024.<br />

At a time when food security is so critical, this all helps to<br />

guarantee a market for farmers, reduces delivery distances<br />

through strategically located rural hub packaging facilities,<br />

The retail industry must play a<br />

central role in helping close gaps in<br />

food security and market access.<br />

Food waste and loss are unjustifiable, especially when considering<br />

the thousands of South African men, women and children facing<br />

hunger daily. Whenever possible, The SPAR Group donates<br />

surplus, safe food to local charities and community feeding<br />

schemes, and many of our independent SPAR retailers follow suit.<br />

At a practical level, I am pleased to report that The SPAR Group<br />

operates six waste management sites, with three diverting food waste<br />

to composting or animal feed facilities. In KwaZulu-Natal, food<br />

13<br />

waste is processed in BiobiN’s® containment and processing units,<br />

initiating composting to reduce odours, bacteria and pathogens.<br />

In the Western Cape, a specialised waste management company<br />

converts food waste into compost and biogas.<br />

As one of South Africa’s leading consumer brands, we are<br />

committed to making a positive impact and will continue to<br />

support initiatives aimed at driving an inclusive agricultural sector,<br />

maximising food production and ensuring food security. S<br />

cuts transport costs, and benefits the environment by lowering<br />

emissions. But quality assurance goes beyond logistics; it demands<br />

sustainable farming methods. So, any solution to South Africa’s<br />

rural development challenges must include the implementation of<br />

regenerative farming practices and comprehensive training in farm<br />

management and food safety.<br />

Food safety is non-negotiable. In this regard, I believe safety<br />

programmes must be benchmarked against global standards, like<br />

full GLOBALG.A.P certification, and packaging facilities must meet<br />

GFSI Global Markets standards. Again, increased collaboration is the<br />

key ingredient to success in closing gaps and stimulating growth that<br />

is so critical to South Africa’s food sector. This collaboration should<br />

take place among all relevant stakeholders, including farmers,<br />

communities, government bodies, food manufacturers, input<br />

suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, financial institutions and funders.<br />

Another pressing issue within the food supply and retail chain in<br />

South Africa is food waste. Of the approximately 31-million tons of<br />

annual food production, nearly 10-million tons go to waste.<br />

Recognising that most food waste occurs at farms, it is critical<br />

to actively work with producers to reduce these volumes through<br />

internal food buying and sales incentive policies, the buying and<br />

selling of “imperfect” produce (where it makes sense for food<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 25

S<br />

economy<br />

Buying local is critical to<br />

economic growth<br />

Deputy President Paul Mashatile says buying South African made products and supporting the small businesses which<br />

produce them can lead to a much-needed boost in local economies and stimulate national economic growth.<br />

T“This is because every local transaction has a ripple effect that<br />

extends beyond our comprehension. By purchasing locally produced<br />

food and other goods, consumers support their local economy,<br />

families, communities and promote the culture of entrepreneurship.<br />

“Moreover, supporting local businesses can stimulate the local<br />

economy, since it redirects funds back into the community rather<br />

than into the coffers of ambiguous national chains and corporations,”<br />

he said.<br />

Mashatile highlighted local production’s critical role in the<br />

domestic economy.<br />

“We cannot have economic growth without localisation. [A] study<br />

commissioned by Proudly SA and done by Dr Iraj Abedian’s PAIRS<br />

outfit, confirms the link between localisation and economic growth<br />

and the different steps that the private and public sectors need to<br />

take in this area.<br />

“Some of the most important points in the report are the positive<br />

effects of domestic manufacturing investment on the GDP, fiscal<br />

revenue, real wages and consumer inflation. Moreover, the report<br />

showed that the South African economy could benefit from an<br />

increase of just 10% in investment spending in the manufacturing<br />

sector,” he said.<br />


The deputy president highlighted that government has committed<br />

to supporting local businesses.<br />

“Government, during the 2018 Presidential Summit, together<br />

with our social partners, reaffirmed the commitment to localisation.<br />

We need to ensure that we support the investments being made<br />

in the country by improving the uptake of those products and<br />

services that will flow from these investments in new and existing<br />

production plants.<br />

“By encouraging the use of local products in government<br />

contracts, we can create jobs in areas critical to economic growth,<br />

such as manufacturing and agriculture, which have historically been<br />

vital to economic progress. We support local businesses because<br />

they offer the most significant untapped potential for growth and<br />

economic transformation,” Mashatile said.<br />

He assured local producers of government’s dedication to ensuring<br />

that the policy of local procurement is implemented at all levels.<br />

“We are making a concerted effort to ensure that we remind all<br />

procurement authorities and decision-makers in the public sector<br />

of this dynamic. As part of this effort, we ask them to maintain local<br />

content standards in their preferential procurement policies.<br />

26 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

economy<br />

S<br />

We cannot have economic growth<br />

without localisation.<br />

Turning to the current electricity challenges facing the country, the<br />

Deputy President laid out government’s ongoing work to address<br />

both issues.<br />

“As we all know, businesses rely on a consistent supply of energy to<br />

run their operations, and the availability of electricity is a significant<br />

element in determining where companies choose to invest.<br />

“To address this issue, the government is investing in reliable<br />

energy infrastructure, such as renewable energy sources, to give<br />

businesses the electricity they need to grow.<br />

“President Cyril Ramaphosa presented solutions in the 2023 State<br />

of the Nation Address. They included declaring a national state of<br />

disaster and creating a ministry within the presidency to accelerate<br />

the implementation of the agreed-upon strategy to reduce and<br />

terminate loadshedding,” he said.<br />

“While the grid’s energy constraints threaten businesses and<br />

regional development, they also present an opportunity. This<br />

pertains to the production of wind turbines, solar panels and other<br />

forms of energy storage, among other things.<br />

“By producing domestically, we may avoid paying import taxes<br />

on similar machinery, and the current energy crisis presents an<br />

opportunity to expand employment opportunities in a field with<br />

significant demand,” he said. S<br />

“If we keep moving in this direction, our economy will reap the<br />

rewards not just in terms of new jobs, but also in terms of new tax<br />

income collected from citizens and the businesses that stand to gain<br />

from increased local procurement by the public and private sectors,”<br />

he added.<br />

Article courtesy of SAnews.gov.za<br />


Mashatile acknowledged that organisations still face several<br />

challenges in doing business in the country and that government<br />

is working hard to ensure that regulatory challenges are resolved.<br />

“[Urgent] work is being finalised by government to create an<br />

enabling regulatory framework, attract foreign investment, reduce<br />

red tape and improve the ease of doing business.<br />

“Further, the Red Tape Reduction Team, which resides in the<br />

Office of the President, has made headway in reducing complex<br />

regulations, procedures and processes that impede economic growth<br />

and job creation in important sectors of the economy,” he said.<br />

Deputy President Paul Mashatile.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 27

S<br />

mining<br />

For better or worse, the “beneficiation” of<br />

minerals is back on the African agenda<br />

Minerals beneficiation is back on the South African and wider African mining agenda. While the goal of adding value to<br />

mineral resources is laudable, it is a farce if it is hindered by power and logistics problems.<br />

By Ed Stoddard<br />

TThe word “beneficiation” hardly rolls off the tongue, and its usage<br />

is limited. The Oxford English Dictionary says it has “0.09 occurrences<br />

per million words in modern written English”, a rarity which perhaps<br />

explains why I have yet to find a spellcheck that recognises it.<br />

But in South Africa, it is used more frequently, and for better or<br />

worse, it is back on the agenda.<br />

Depending on the source consulted, the term broadly refers to<br />

the process of treating ore to prepare it for smelting. Some take it<br />

further and see it as “adding value” to mineral products beyond the<br />

material that emerges from the smelter.<br />

In South Africa, it has been “beneficiated” to a grade where it<br />

means that rather than exporting platinum group metals (PGMs),<br />

you build catalytic converters here. Or an entire car from scratch.<br />

President Cyril Ramaphosa raised the subject when he delivered<br />

the ANC’s annual 8 January statement in Mbombela, saying<br />

the party’s youth league had made it clear that “we are tired of<br />

being a country that exports all our mineral resources… without<br />

beneficiating them. And they have said, ‘Please let us beneficiate<br />

our minerals’.”<br />

Ramaphosa was providing a summary of the statement, which –<br />

surprisingly – did not use the word “beneficiation”.<br />

“Too many of our natural resources are still exported in raw<br />

form and then imported back into South Africa as manufactured<br />

goods. The jobs and profits involved in manufacturing these goods<br />

are passed on to other countries, yet we need these here in South<br />

Africa,” it reads.<br />


We’ve heard this routine before. But it is now being performed on<br />

a stage featuring a new scramble in Africa for the “critical minerals”<br />

and “green metals” needed for the energy<br />

transition. And it has a regional cast.<br />

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana<br />

said in a brief interview recently that<br />

critical minerals would be high on his<br />

radar at the annual World Economic<br />

Forum in Davos.<br />

The minister said he had<br />

a planned meeting with<br />

his counterparts from the DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe to discuss a<br />

regional critical minerals strategy.<br />

“We need to cooperate with them in such a manner so that<br />

we, together, influence the direction… in terms of development,”<br />

Godongwana said.<br />

“The use of these minerals must be done in SADC.”<br />

There are merits to this strategy. Africa is the poorest continent<br />

globally a reflection, in part, of the fact that it is also the least<br />

industrialised.Yet the region also boasts fabulous mineral and<br />

hydrocarbon wealth which it has mostly failed to translate into<br />

wider prosperity, a state of affairs dubbed in some circles as the<br />

“resource curse”.<br />

One plausible way to break the spell is to process the extracted<br />

commodities further instead of exporting the raw material and then<br />

using it to build stuff here.<br />

Zimbabwe is blazing a path of sorts and is an example Godongwana<br />

pointed out. Zimbabwe banned the export of raw lithium, a crucial<br />

battery metal for electric vehicles (EVs), in 2022 in a bid to curb artisanal<br />

mining and extract more value. If you want to invest in a Zimbabwean<br />

lithium project, you need to pony up for some processing as well.<br />


Well, Reuters reported in late 2023 that Zimbabwe earned<br />

$209-million from lithium exports in the first nine months of that<br />

year, nearly triple the previous year’s earnings.<br />

This is because Chinese companies have spent more than<br />

$1-billion during the past two years in Zimbabwe’s lithium space to<br />

develop projects, including some processing.<br />

Zimbabwe is still not quite at the stage where it’s building EVs.<br />

According to Reuters, most of the Chinese companies involved<br />

“have built processing plants… and are shipping lithium concentrates<br />

to China for further processing”.<br />

Still, adding some value presumably creates some jobs while<br />

spurring “industrialisation”.<br />

And the region may be in a position to make “beneficiation” demands<br />

of investors.<br />


Research group Wood Mackenzie recently produced a white paper<br />

exploring the idea of creating a “minerals super region” comprising<br />

Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, saying it<br />

“would make a huge contribution to a successful energy transition”.<br />

It underlined the point that Africa’s potential on this front<br />

was “unrivalled”.<br />

28 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

mining<br />

S<br />

Tailings mining, South Africa platinum group metals (PGM).<br />

Article courtesy of Daily Maverick.<br />

Too many of our natural resources are still<br />

exported in raw form and then imported back<br />

into South Africa as manufactured goods.<br />

“In terms of the minerals essential for a successful energy transition,<br />

Africa is a clear global leader. With 79% of global cobalt reserves,<br />

44% of global manganese and 21% of global graphite as well as<br />

sizeable resources of many other minerals including copper and tin,<br />

the continent’s potential is unrivalled,” Wood Mackenzie says.<br />

This gives African governments some leverage to dictate the<br />

terms of investment into the region’s critical minerals at a time when<br />

potentially critical shortages are seen looming.<br />

Wood Mackenzie estimates that “approximately $400-billion in<br />

capital expenditure is required for mining, refining and smelting of<br />

critical minerals by 2030 to bridge the supply-demand gap and limit<br />

global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.<br />

But Africa is constrained by, well, its relative lack of industrial<br />

capacity, making the whole “beneficiation” and “industrialisation”<br />

debate a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. Which needs to come first?<br />

“Africa’s undeveloped financial ecosystem, underdeveloped<br />

infrastructure and a reluctance to invest in many African countries,<br />

means that the continent has provided strong headwinds,” Wood<br />

Mackenzie notes.<br />

South Africa, with its relatively developed financial ecosystem<br />

and infrastructure, and its significant reserves of critical minerals<br />

such as manganese, should be the best-placed country in the<br />

region to benefit from any beneficiation drive linked to the<br />

energy transition.<br />


But South Africa is de-industrialising and losing its capacity to make<br />

stuff – or to “beneficiate”. The power and logistics crises have forced<br />

the country’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal South Africa, to shut<br />

down its long steel operations.<br />

So, the likes of Kumba Iron Ore will see an already small domestic<br />

market for its product evaporate, leaving exports as its only option.<br />

But Kumba has had to curtail production for export because it can’t<br />

move all its product to port by rail in the face of Transnet’s meltdown.<br />

As noted before, policy blunders by the Department of Trade,<br />

Industry and Competition – such as a new preferential pricing<br />

system for scrap, a 20% export duty and a ban on scrap exports –<br />

have also undermined intensive steel operations.<br />

The ANC statement also said: “Our manifesto will outline<br />

industrial policy measures to ensure more of what is consumed by<br />

us is produced by us.”<br />

Yet its policies have led to de-industrialisation, and power and<br />

logistics failures.<br />

You also need to extract minerals before you “beneficiate”, and the<br />

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy can’t seem to finalise<br />

mining rights applications.<br />

At this rate, South Africa in a few years will be lucky if it can<br />

process ore Zimbabwe-style to ship to China for further processing.<br />

And the factory jobs will remain in China. S<br />

Rustenburg, Sibanye-Stillwater.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 29

S<br />

mining<br />

In pursuit of quality<br />

Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s supplies compressor valves and related equipment nationally, focusing on the mining, chemical,<br />

fuel and process plant food industries as well as Eskom power stations.<br />

MMpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s places a high priority on customer<br />

satisfaction and meeting customer requirements. It pays particular<br />

attention to its ability to provide cost-effective and professional<br />

solutions, deliver efficient services and utilise streamlined processes<br />

for managing its customers.<br />

The company has inculcated into its ethos the conviction that topquality<br />

client service and the capacity to deliver to client demands<br />

are non-negotiable and critical to its continued success. To ensure<br />

that clients receive a level of service and delivery that surpasses those<br />

offered by competitive companies, Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s has<br />

adopted a client-centric strategy that embodies the elements that<br />

our clients believe are important to their business. These elements<br />

are service, price and product. The result is a value-adding service.<br />

Even though Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s is a young company<br />

in comparison to its competitors, it has a strong foundation in<br />

its directors who have experience and knowledge in pumps and<br />

valve supply. The strong business acumen of the company ensures<br />

that Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s is a value-adding contributor<br />

to the client value chain. We believe our clients are the experts in<br />

businesses; all we are doing is strengthening their expertise with<br />

quality products and an industry-leading service drive. S<br />

Tel: 060 369 0431<br />

073 794 5070<br />

Address: 13 Hektaar Street, Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province<br />

Email: mpumalangavalveservices@gmail.com<br />


- Strip and access<br />

- Refurbishment of valves<br />

- Repack on glands<br />

- Replacement of gaskets<br />

- Unblocking of lines<br />

- Camera inspection<br />

- Pressure testing<br />

- Assist with plant maintenance on valves<br />

- Standby valve experts on call 24/7<br />


- To establish good relationships with our clients and stakeholders<br />

- We provide high-quality services and products<br />

- We promote high standards of customer service<br />

- To create a working environment for our employees that<br />

promotes their growth and development<br />

VISION<br />

To build a successful business that is renowned for quality<br />

services and products. In addition, we envision contributing to<br />

skills transfer and sustainable community development through<br />

employment creation.<br />

SUPPLY<br />

- Valves<br />

- Gaskets<br />

- Packings<br />

- Bolts and nuts<br />

- Metal-flex gaskets<br />

- O-rings<br />

- Viton gaskets<br />

- Mechanical spares<br />

30 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

mining<br />

S<br />

Pump and valve supply specialist<br />

Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s is a pump and valve supply company in South Africa with a focus on the mining sector. <strong>Service</strong><br />

speaks to CEO, Tshepo Mabona.<br />

Please tell us about Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s.<br />

Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s started as an idea that manifested itself<br />

into reality. The name is not just a name; it is a symbol of hope to<br />

many of our employees. Behind the name is a group of individuals<br />

who wake up every day and wear their uniform with pride and joy<br />

to make a difference in their lives. To add to that, Mpumalanga Valve<br />

<strong>Service</strong>s is a valve refurbishment company in pursuit of quality and<br />

customer satisfaction.<br />

What is the company’s mission and vision?<br />

To build a successful business that is renowned for quality services<br />

and products. In addition, we envision contributing to skills transfer<br />

and sustainable community development through employment<br />

creation. To provide high-quality services and products. We<br />

promote high standards of customer service. To create a working<br />

environment for our employees that promotes their growth and<br />

skills development.<br />

Please give an overview of your offerings.<br />

My offering is the biggest skill that I possess namely that of<br />

refurbishing valves together with my communication skills and the<br />

systems and processes that I have put in place to make sure that the<br />

company flourishes. However, it’s not only my contribution but also<br />

each and every one who wakes<br />

up every day and puts on their<br />

uniform with pride and joy.<br />

What benefits do you offer<br />

the mining industry?<br />

We offer quality services and<br />

products at reasonably low<br />

prices. We constantly innovate<br />

brilliant ideas to make the<br />

means of production more<br />

efficient. We hire qualified<br />

people to get the job done.<br />

How can Mpumalanga Valve<br />

<strong>Service</strong>s help government?<br />

We are already helping the<br />

government through our CSI<br />

initiatives. We currently assisting<br />

a disability centre in Middelburg<br />

and will be assisting a less<br />

Tshepo Mabona, CEO,<br />

Mpumalanga Valve <strong>Service</strong>s.<br />

privileged school in Doornkop. We push CSI initiatives as much as we<br />

push production on-site. We, as businesses, need to take accountability<br />

and give back to the societies we operate in. We<br />

create employment through our enterprise<br />

development by assisting startup businesses.<br />

The startup business will employ two or more<br />

people. We intend to train TVET students<br />

who want to pursue mechanical engineering<br />

careers. We also offer bursaries to students.<br />

Please discuss the opportunities and<br />

challenges that your sector is<br />

facing currently.<br />

There is a lot of competition in our sector,<br />

which also results in driving prices down<br />

to stay in business. Shortage of highly<br />

skilled and qualified workers. Some of our<br />

competitors use inferior materials during<br />

production, and some of them do not have<br />

the required tools or equipment and as a<br />

result their services are cheaper.<br />

There are opportunities in this sector<br />

especially since we are a BBBEE level one<br />

company but you can’t just sit and hope for<br />

an opportunity, you need to get up and chase<br />

the opportunity. S<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 31

S<br />

waste<br />

The South African Plastic Pact<br />

Opening remarks by Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment at the South African Plastic Pact<br />

CEO Engagement Breakfast, Cape Town.<br />

T<br />

“The United Nations Environment programme tells us that around<br />

the world, one-million plastic bottles are purchased every minute,<br />

while up to five-trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In<br />

total, half of all plastic produced is designed for single-use purposes<br />

– used just once and then thrown away.<br />

A recent Business Day article said that by 2050 there will be so much<br />

plastic in the sea that its volume will equate to 33-billion elephants!<br />

Plastics including microplastics are now becoming part of the<br />

earth’s fossil record and a marker of the Anthropocene, our current<br />

geological era. They have even given their name to a new marine<br />

microbial habitat called the “plastisphere”.<br />

Globally pressure has increased to secure multilateral efforts on<br />

tackling plastic pollution. In 2022, the Fifth Session of the United<br />

Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5) decided that a legally<br />

binding instrument should be developed to coordinate global efforts<br />

to end plastic pollution.<br />

Through the South African Plastics Pact and<br />

other forms of government action, our country is<br />

making progress in addressing plastic pollution.<br />

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee<br />

met in 2023 to consider the zero-draft text of this instrument. One<br />

of the key obligatory measures proposed by the zero draft-text of<br />

the legally binding instrument is the reduction of problematic and<br />

avoidable plastic products, including short-lived and single-use<br />

plastic products and products with intentionally added microplastics.<br />

I have been briefed by the South African negotiators that were<br />

in Nairobi (INC-3) that although South Africa and other member<br />

states called for intersessional work to exchange information on<br />

problematic and avoidable plastic products, consensus could not be<br />

reached at the third meeting.<br />

This is disappointing news and reflects the difficult road which lies<br />

ahead for effective action at a global level to combat plastic pollution.<br />

I am, however, pleased to say today that through the South African<br />

Plastics Pact and other forms of government action, our country is<br />

making progress in addressing plastic pollution.<br />

Four and a half years ago when I was appointed to this ministry,<br />

I was lobbied to ban short-lived and single-use plastics. At that time,<br />

I had to weigh up the consequences of this action for the plastics<br />

industry and the likelihood of such a ban being enforceable.<br />

Having weighed up the issues I concluded that a combination of<br />

voluntary approaches to the plastics industry coupled with improved<br />

household and community waste disposal and the creation of<br />

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes was a better option.<br />

Through this approach, I am pleased to say that the South African<br />

Plastic Pact has already identified unnecessary and problematic<br />

plastic products and is committed to eliminating unnecessary and<br />

problematic plastics; ensuring that 100% of all plastic packaging<br />

is reusable, recyclable or compostable and that 70% of plastic<br />

packaging is effectively recycled. It is also committed to using 30%<br />

of average post-consumer recycled content in plastic packaging.<br />

From the side of government in 2020 we adopted the National<br />

Waste Management Strategy, which prioritises three strategies:<br />

• Support and strengthen municipal waste management services to<br />

prevent plastic from leaking into the environment.<br />

• Increase waste diversion from landfill through various approaches<br />

including EPR schemes to collect, reuse and recycle plastic waste<br />

to promote a circular economy in the plastic industry.<br />

• Promote public awareness and clean-up campaigns to remove<br />

plastic waste from rivers, wetlands and beaches. Enforcing<br />

compliance is also an area of focus.<br />

In 2020, government also introduced the Extended Producer<br />

Responsibility regulations which called for EPR schemes for plastic<br />

32 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

waste<br />

S<br />

packaging and electrical and electronic equipment among other<br />

prioritised products. This circular economy and EPR initiatives<br />

have resulted in the formation of five registered extended producer<br />

schemes that support plastic waste collection and recycling.<br />

Our EPR regulations aim to influence product design to take<br />

environmental considerations into account and are currently being<br />

implemented for paper, packaging and some single-use products,<br />

lighting, electrical and electronic products.<br />

These efforts have removed 368 600 tons of plastic waste from the<br />

environment and they have supported between 60 000 and 90 000<br />

waste reclaimers and created 7 500 formal jobs.<br />

In 2023, government put a restriction of a minimum of 50%<br />

recycled content as part of the product design measures for plastic<br />

carrier bags. The intention is that by 2027 plastic carrier bags and<br />

black refuse bags should be made from 100% recycled material.<br />

Because we share industry’s concerns regarding the contribution<br />

illegal dumping makes to the leaking of plastics into the environment,<br />

we recently launched the Municipal Cleaning and Greening<br />

programme. This partnership with provinces and municipalities targets<br />

clearing 7 251 illegal dump sites, by creating more than 37 000 work<br />

opportunities under our public works programme.<br />

I am confident that with the acceleration of the cleaning<br />

programme, 100% of the identified hotspots will be cleared by the<br />

middle of 2024.<br />

The workers clean daily and educate their communities on how to<br />

dispose of waste responsibly.<br />

Through the Top 40 programme, government has prioritised<br />

40 municipal landfills for improved compliance through a public/<br />

private partnership model currently championed by Infrastructure<br />

South Africa. Together with CoGTA and National Treasury, we have<br />

revised the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Policy so municipalities<br />

can purchase waste collection and landfill management fleet, also<br />

known as yellow fleet, to improve household collection and improve<br />

landfill management.<br />

Since the initiation of this programme, our department has<br />

processed applications for specialised waste management vehicles<br />

from over 100 municipalities across the country. In the last two years,<br />

we have spent over R164-million to buy 44 waste collection vehicles<br />

and 21 landfill management waste vehicles for 58 municipalities.<br />

As we collectively assess the contributions our voluntary work<br />

has achieved, we will need to evaluate the role of regulation and<br />

enforcement in taking forward our collective effort to reduce plastic<br />

pollution. Our experience in the extended producer schemes is that<br />

the Green Scorpions have an important role to play in targeting free<br />

riders (those trying to benefit without making an effort) and those<br />

refusing to comply.<br />

Going forward we now know that if we do not address problematic<br />

plastic products, they threaten the reputation and hence the future<br />

of all plastic products. Consequently, we will need regulatory<br />

instruments to ensure greater compliance in removing problematic<br />

plastics from our ecosystem and ensure those who have refused to<br />

join the Plastics Pact also comply with the systematic changes we are<br />

trying to implement.<br />

Let me take this opportunity to thank you all for the work we have<br />

done together thus far. Because our journey is long, we will need to<br />

continue together, because together we can lead the change both<br />

people and nature need from us.” S<br />

The Municipal Cleaning and Greening initiative will be<br />

implemented in 14 prioritised municipalities across the nine<br />

provinces through the Department’s EPWP mass employment<br />

in-house model, which allows it to implement and manage<br />

projects using its own staff.This initiative is dedicated to<br />

combating environmental degradation and eliminating litter<br />

and illegal dumping throughout our nation. The programme’s<br />

core focus is to achieve these goals through extensive public<br />

employment, emphasising empowering women, youth and<br />

individuals with disabilities.<br />

Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and<br />

the Environment.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 33

S<br />

ocean economy<br />

Ocean innovation and<br />

the blue economy<br />

The world’s oceans and seas, critical in the broader climate change<br />

discussion, also offer a wealth of new, sustainable business opportunities.<br />

T<br />

Torsten Thiele, founder of the Global Ocean Trust, believes Africa<br />

has an opportunity to leapfrog more developed regions in the blue<br />

economy space. The blue economy, defined by the UN as a range<br />

of sustainable and socially equitable economic activities related to<br />

the oceans, seas and coastal areas, offers immense opportunities to<br />

investors, entrepreneurs and communities.<br />


“In Africa, the opportunity is vast,” Thiele says. “Because there is<br />

less traditional infrastructure in place, there is room to build a<br />

new blue economy, faster. Per dollar invested, the returns to be<br />

achieved in a blue economy are larger in Africa than they are in<br />

more developed countries.”<br />

Thiele says, “Seaweed alone is a great sector, for example. You can<br />

eat it, use it to replace plastic, for biofuel, fertiliser, cosmetics and<br />

more.” The World Bank estimates that 10 emerging global seaweed<br />

markets have a potential growth of up to $11.8-billion by 2030.<br />

Nassim Oulmane, acting director of the technology, climate<br />

change and natural resource management division at the UN<br />

Economic Commission for Africa, believes one of the most<br />

promising opportunities in Africa’s blue economy lies in blue<br />

carbon development and the trade of related credits, particularly<br />

in mangrove, seagrass and tidal marsh ecosystems. He says, “These<br />

ecosystems have a remarkable capacity to sequester carbon and<br />

greenhouse gases, surpassing even tropical forests in efficiency.<br />

The related carbon credits are in high demand across global<br />

markets, offering a significant incentive for increased investment<br />

in ecosystem conservation.”<br />

Oulmane says a notable success story is the “Mikoko Pamoja”<br />

project in Kenya, which exemplifies the potential of blue carbon<br />

initiatives. “These ventures not only combat climate change but also<br />

foster the sustainable livelihoods of local communities, including<br />

youth and women employment and educational opportunities.<br />

Additionally, they contribute to the development of water treatment<br />

facilities, aligning with Africa’s commitments to the Paris Agreement,<br />

the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Sustainable Development<br />

Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2063 and more,” he says.<br />

“Furthermore, innovative approaches that enhance the protection<br />

and conservation of seagrass and mangroves hold substantial promise.<br />

For instance, by increasing seagrass protection, it is estimated that the<br />

world could save 650-million tons of CO2 annually [World Bank].<br />

Similarly, bolstering mangrove conservation efforts could prevent<br />

flooding for six-million people and help countries avoid losses of<br />

productive assets valued at approximately US$24-billion [World Bank].”<br />

However, the degradation of the oceans is such that we need to<br />

accelerate our efforts and move to a much larger scale. That’s why the<br />

Great Blue Wall initiative, led by IUCN and UNECA in partnership<br />

with other actors such as OceanHub Africa, is a real innovation.<br />

This initiative, championed by several coastal African countries,<br />

focuses on cooperation in the fields of the blue economy, ocean<br />

regeneration, maritime safety and the sustainable management of<br />

marine resources in general. It aims to establish a first-of-its-kind<br />

connected network of seascapes to benefit people and nature. The<br />

initiative presents innovative approaches to safeguarding the oceans<br />

while promoting economic development and providing a blue<br />

response to climate change and its negative consequences.<br />


Thiele says guided investment is needed to grow natural capital.<br />

“Instead of building the economy with a capital-intensive approach,<br />

a science-based approach should be taken to build innovative African<br />

startups, which requires less capital and delivers greater returns over<br />

the longer term.”<br />

He notes, “The traditional venture finance model is one of ‘winner<br />

takes it all’ so investors tend to run with ones which have really large<br />

returns. However, project finance is more appropriate for the blue<br />

space, to help build sustainable, solid blue businesses. It is a longerterm<br />

approach, the way we used to build businesses.”<br />

Thiele says financing flows for blue economy projects remain a<br />

hurdle. “Large investors don’t always see the pathways to get the<br />

money to the investments. We need to construct the pathways.” He<br />

notes that the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)<br />

drives investment into coastal and ocean natural capital through<br />

finance and insurance products that reduce risk. “The Alliance helps<br />

to develop guarantee facilities and build the support mechanisms.<br />

It’s a very dynamic conversation and it may sound complex to<br />

investors. It’s a constant handholding argument. However, we have<br />

been encouraged to see that large financial institutions are showing<br />

interest – particularly through their sustainability divisions.”<br />

Thiele believes forums such as the Ocean Innovation Africa<br />

Summit offer an important opportunity for multiple sectors across<br />

blue economy value chains to share ideas.<br />


“A challenge for ocean-focused networks is they don’t have<br />

connectivity into other sectors. We need collaboration across value<br />

chains, including stakeholders in terrestrial climate, business,<br />

technology and finance. All sectors need to consider the world’s<br />

34 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

ocean economy<br />

S<br />

largest under-tapped resource. Even landlocked states are relevant<br />

players in the ocean context because their goods will be shipped by<br />

sea,” Thiele says.<br />

Oulmane highlights several challenges and threats that must be<br />

addressed: “First, there is a considerable capacity gap in unlocking the<br />

potential of blue carbon initiatives. Building the knowledge and skills<br />

necessary for effective conservation and credit trading is essential.<br />

“Secondly, a substantial public-private investment gap exists in the<br />

blue economy sector. The ocean, often viewed as a public good with<br />

inherent risks, requires a shift in perception. Advocacy, awarenessraising<br />

campaigns and training on the opportunities available in the<br />

blue economy are needed to attract private sector investment,” he says.<br />

“A stark disparity in investment is evident when comparing<br />

terrestrial protected areas to marine natural capital investments.<br />

Investment in terrestrial protected areas amounted to about<br />

US$23-billion, while marine natural capital investments were only<br />

US$980-million [UNEP]. To address these challenges, increased<br />

support from the Green Climate Fund for Small Island Developing<br />

States (SIDS) in the Eastern and Southern Africa region is crucial.<br />

Such support can help bridge the investment gap and unlock the<br />

immense potential of Africa’s blue economy.”<br />


Oulmane highlights some noteworthy innovations in terms of<br />

financial tools: “Seychelles, Gabon and Cabo Verde have pioneered<br />

debt-for-nature swaps that allocate funds to blue economy and ocean<br />

conservation. These innovative financial mechanisms address both<br />

debt relief and environmental sustainability.”<br />

In addition, Seychelles made history by issuing the world’s first<br />

Sovereign Blue Bond. This innovative financial instrument raises<br />

capital for sustainable fisheries and marine conservation projects<br />

while aligning with the country’s debt management.<br />

He notes: “The Cabo Verde Stock Exchange’s Blu-X initiative<br />

serves as a regional platform for listing and trading sustainable and<br />

inclusive blue financial instruments. Through four bond issuances,<br />

it has attracted domestic, regional and global investments in Cabo<br />

Verde’s blue economy. At the policy level, innovations such as the<br />

Blue Economy Valuation Toolkit and the development of Blue<br />

Economy Satellite Accounts help quantify the economic value of<br />

marine resources and ecosystems. These tools inform sustainable<br />

policymaking and investment decisions.<br />

“These examples showcase the innovative spirit within Africa’s<br />

blue economy sector, where nations are actively exploring novel<br />

financial instruments, collaborative approaches and data-driven<br />

tools to ensure that ocean conservation and economic development<br />

go hand in hand, contributing to a sustainable and resilient future.”<br />


Loreley Picourt, executive director of the Ocean & Climate Platform,<br />

will also be among the international experts travelling to South<br />

Africa for the event.<br />

She says, “One challenge is reconciling blue economy opportunities<br />

with sustainable practices. We need to be realistic, respectful and<br />

mindful of how we manage the ocean while also taking into account<br />

cultural, indigenous and local knowledge and practices. We have an<br />

opportunity to reinvent how we govern, to be inclusive and mindful<br />

of how we share the benefits.<br />

“We have an opportunity to acknowledge that the ocean connects<br />

us all, instead of dividing us. It is not just ecosystems – it’s the blue<br />

lung of the planet. In terms of geopolitics, it also brings us together,”<br />

she says.<br />

She points to the new BBNJ/High Seas Treaty signed by<br />

representatives from over 80 countries, which aims to cover critical<br />

gaps in ocean governance and protect the biodiversity of the High<br />

Seas and deep sea, as a sign of progress. “This is a groundbreaking<br />

treaty – it will address issues of access and equity. It will define who<br />

has access to the wildest place on earth and how the benefits, new<br />

knowledge and resources are equitably shared,” she says.<br />

Picourt notes that governance is a complex field. “We know it is<br />

critical to protect and restore nature, but we also need to develop<br />

sustainable green and grey infrastructure adapted to withstand<br />

extreme weather events. Thus, we need to better understand how the<br />

threat of sea level rise will be integrated into different strategies. The<br />

world is at risk of sea level rise, erosion, floods, drought and other<br />

coastal hazards. We must work on long-term strategies to anticipate<br />

the impacts, rather than just responding to them.” S<br />

Mangroves.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 35

S<br />

water<br />

The quality of South Africa’s water<br />

The Department of Water and Sanitation recently released its 2023 Blue Drop Report, which provides an assessment of<br />

drinking water quality, and the No Drop Report, which focuses on water losses and non-revenue water in all municipalities in<br />

the country, as well as the Green Drop Progress Assessment Report to provide an update on the performance of wastewater<br />

management systems at municipal level.<br />

T<br />

The Blue, Green and No Drop Certification programmes are<br />

aimed at improving municipal drinking water quality, wastewater<br />

management as well as water conservation and demand<br />

management. The reports keep the public and stakeholders<br />

informed and updated with credible data and information about<br />

the state of water and sanitation services in the country. Water<br />

services institutions that achieve excellence in providing such<br />

services are recognised. Owners of the infrastructure are provided<br />

with advice and guidance as to how to improve their water and<br />

sanitation services. The presentation accompanying the reports<br />

outlines the interventions that are being put in place to strengthen<br />

regulation and support to those municipalities struggling to<br />

provide services to national norms and standards.<br />

As the water sector regulator in terms of both the National<br />

Water Act and the Water <strong>Service</strong>s Act, the Department of Water<br />

and Sanitation (DWS) introduced these incentive-based regulation<br />

programmes in 2008. In 2014, DWS stopped the programmes. The<br />

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, reintroduced the<br />

programmes in 2021. In 2022, DWS released a full Green Drop<br />

Report and Blue Drop and No Drop progress reports.<br />

36 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

water<br />

S<br />

Fundamental reform is required to arrest and<br />

turn around the decline in municipal water and<br />

sanitation services.<br />


The Blue Drop report is a comprehensive assessment of the state of<br />

all 958 water supply systems (WSS) in each of the 144 water services<br />

authorities (WSA) in the country. For each WSS, assessments are<br />

carried out of the condition of the infrastructure; whether the<br />

required maintenance is being done on the infrastructure; the<br />

infrastructure is operated correctly; proper treatment processes are<br />

followed; proper monitoring and controls are in place and staff have<br />

the necessary skills and qualifications.<br />

Twenty-six water supply systems scored more than 95% and<br />

qualified for the prestigious Blue Drop Certification. In 2014, 44<br />

WSSs were awarded Blue Drop status. This indicates an overall<br />

decline in excellence between 2014 and 2023.<br />

Of the 958 WSSs, 277 (29%) located in 62 WSAs were identified to<br />

be in a critical state of performance. In 2014, 174 WSSs in 33 WSAs<br />

were found to be in a critical state of performance. This indicates<br />

that there has been an overall increase in the number of systems in<br />

a critical state of performance between 2014 and 2023.<br />

Drinking water systems in the major metropolitan areas are<br />

performing well in terms of the Blue Drop key performance areas.<br />

Gauteng has the highest percentage of drinking water systems with<br />

excellent or good performance (62%), followed by the Western Cape<br />

(50%). (The water supply disruptions which have been experienced<br />

in Gauteng in recent months are caused by the demand for treated<br />

water occasionally exceeding the available supply of treated water.)<br />

The Northern Cape has the highest percentage of drinking water<br />

systems with poor or critical performance (87%). This has deteriorated<br />

from 48% in 2014. The percentage of drinking water systems with poor<br />

or critical performance in the Free State has also deteriorated markedly<br />

between 2014 (31%) and 2023 (59%).<br />

Based on water quality tests carried out by municipalities<br />

themselves during the 2021/22 municipal financial year, 54% of<br />

water supply systems achieved excellent or good microbiological water<br />

quality compliance, and 46% achieved poor or bad microbiological<br />

water quality compliance. In 2014, 5% of water supply systems achieved<br />

poor or bad microbiological water quality compliance. This indicates<br />

a severe regression in drinking water quality between 2014 and 2023.<br />

Drinking water quality is good in the major metropolitan areas.<br />

When the tests carried out by a municipality indicate that<br />

drinking water poses a health risk, the municipality is obliged by<br />

law to inform its consumers that the quality of the water that it is<br />

supplying poses a health risk. DWS has sent non-compliance letters<br />

to the municipalities with systems which scored poorly or badly in<br />

terms of drinking water quality in the 2023 Blue Drop Report.<br />

These letters require the municipalities to inform their residents<br />

should they still have poor or bad compliance. The public can<br />

safely consume water from their taps if their municipalities indicate<br />

that the water being provided is being tested and meets the legal<br />

requirements – residents should check with their municipalities if<br />

this is the case. The department provides monthly water quality<br />

data received from municipalities on its Integrated Regulatory<br />

Information System webpage.<br />

The Blue Drop assessment found that <strong>85</strong>% of drinking water<br />

systems were in an average or better infrastructure condition.<br />

This indicates that non-infrastructure factors such as a lack of<br />

skilled staff or a lack of proper process controls are as important<br />

as infrastructure conditions, if not more important, as contributors<br />

to poor performance. The assessment found that Gauteng has the<br />

lowest shortfalls of qualified staff and that the Northern Cape has<br />

the highest shortfalls.<br />


The No Drop Programme assesses the degree to which the drinking<br />

water distribution systems of municipalities supply water efficiently,<br />

without wasting water. Four WSAs scored more than 90% and<br />

qualified for the prestigious No Drop Certification.<br />

The assessment found that national non-revenue water (NRW)<br />

increased from 37% in 2014 to 47% in 2023. This is caused by physical<br />

losses, for example, water leaking out of pipes above or underground,<br />

poorly functioning or non-existent water meters, illegal connections<br />

and poor billing and revenue collection. The international average for<br />

non-revenue water is 30%.<br />

Average per capita water consumption nationally is approximately<br />

218 litres/capita/day compared to the international average of 173 l/c/d.<br />

This is an anomaly given that South Africa is a water-scarce country.<br />

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 37

S<br />

water<br />

To reduce non-revenue water, municipalities need to improve<br />

operation and maintenance of their infrastructure; repair<br />

leaks; improve metering, billing, revenue collection and debtor<br />

management; improve pressure management; and engage in<br />

community education and awareness; among other measures.<br />


The Green Drop Progress Assessment report focuses on wastewater<br />

treatment works (WWTWs). It found that 64% of WWTW are at<br />

high or critical risk of discharging partially treated or untreated<br />

water into rivers and the environment. The number of WWTWs in<br />

the high- and critical-risk categories has increased since 2013. This<br />

has negative environmental implications and poses risks to human<br />

health, for example, cholera outbreaks are normally associated with<br />

wastewater pollution of water resources.<br />


The Blue and No Drop Reports indicate that there has been a<br />

decline in drinking water quality and an increase in non-revenue<br />

water since the last reports were issued in 2014. The Green Drop<br />

Progress Assessment Report also indicates a deterioration in the<br />

performance of municipal wastewater treatment systems.<br />

DWS has requested WSA with water or wastewater systems in<br />

a critical state to submit detailed corrective action plans to DWS<br />

and are offered support to produce these plans. The minister and<br />

deputy ministers of Water and Sanitation spend most of their<br />

time crisscrossing the country visiting those municipalities with<br />

severe challenges with water and sanitation services, and DWS<br />

and Water Boards are supporting many of the municipalities to<br />

implement improvement plans agreed to by the ministry and<br />

municipal leadership.<br />

DWS works with CoGTA, the Municipal Infrastructure Support<br />

Agency, the Department of Human Settlements and National<br />

Treasury to provide support to the worst-performing municipalities,<br />

including allocating infrastructure grants worth more than<br />

R20-billion per annum to municipalities, providing technical and<br />

engineering support and assistance, capacity building and training,<br />

as well as financial management advice and support.<br />

However, despite all the support being provided to municipalities,<br />

the drop reports indicate that water services continue to decline and<br />

that fundamental reform is required to arrest and turn around the<br />

decline in municipal water and sanitation services. In this regard,<br />

DWS has recently gazetted the Water <strong>Service</strong>s Amendment Bill for<br />

public comment. The Water <strong>Service</strong>s Act distinguishes between the<br />

roles of Water <strong>Service</strong>s Authority (WSA) and Water <strong>Service</strong>s Provider<br />

(WSP) in municipalities.<br />

The WSA is the part of the municipality that is responsible for<br />

ensuring that water services are provided according to national<br />

norms and standards and the WSP is the part of the municipality<br />

which is responsible for providing the service. The Bill introduces<br />

a compulsory operating licence system for WSPs, to be managed by<br />

DWS as the national regulator. This will enable WSAs to ensure that<br />

WSPs have minimum competency, capability and performance levels<br />

in future.<br />

The national reports and detailed provincial reports are available<br />

for download on www.dws.gov.za. S<br />

38 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

telecommunications<br />

S<br />

South Africa’s economic growth<br />

requires a holistic approach to<br />

telecommunications development<br />

Following the SONA, where President Ramaphosa briefly spoke about telecommunications, several key points emerged.<br />

These included the provision for additional spectrum, emphasising the importance of Internet connectivity infrastructure<br />

development, addressing challenges such as loadshedding and the imperative of alleviating unemployment.<br />

By Praveen Govender, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at DFA, a subsidiary of Maziv<br />

A<br />

A comprehensive strategy is needed to harness the full potential<br />

of telecommunications in driving economic growth and societal<br />

progress. The principal takeaway is the need for a holistic view of<br />

technologies as not competing but complementary, and that can<br />

collectively serve the people and stimulate economic growth. With<br />

the rollout of 5G and the imminent arrival of low-orbit, low-latency<br />

satellite broadband, there is even more opportunity for the creation<br />

of innovative products and solutions, leveraging the strengths and<br />

price benefits of fit-for-purpose technologies.<br />


The provision of additional spectrum for telecommunications has<br />

been a priority, and Maziv is glad to see that this has continued<br />

with the plans to auction off more high-frequency spectrum. The<br />

spectrum availability will allow more flexibility for mobile operators<br />

and licensed Wireless Internet <strong>Service</strong> Providers (WISPs) to fasttrack<br />

Internet coverage to underserved regions of the country.<br />

This should be viewed in tandem with the pending move to shut<br />

down 2G and 3G services. We predict this will significantly impact<br />

many South Africans who use feature phones as their primary (or<br />

only) connectivity device. We support the decision to delay this action<br />

while we gather more data and roll out additional infrastructure to<br />

ensure that we don’t leave anyone behind.<br />

Current estimates indicate that about 60% of South Africans still<br />

use 3G devices, and about 4% are on 2G devices (based on 2022 data<br />

from research company Omdia). This means that potentially just<br />

under 36-million people could be affected by the change.<br />

We recommend an approach that ensures that the loss of legacy<br />

services is substituted with accessible alternatives. For example, while<br />

2G devices are not likely to be Wi-Fi enabled, at least some 3G devices<br />

will be able to make use of Wi-Fi delivered over fibre, fixed-mobile or<br />

satellite. This consideration is crucial. The revised dates for switching off<br />

2G and 3G, between June 2025 and December 2027, will allow for more<br />

robust discussion while also protecting the secondary industries related<br />

to these legacy devices, such as device resellers and repairs and secondhand<br />

markets so that we preserve indirect micro-economies and jobs.<br />


The sustained and increased loadshedding has had a devastating<br />

effect on the telecommunications industry, necessitating the rapid<br />

deployment of power solutions to maintain consistent services.<br />

This includes a combination of generators, inverters and batteries,<br />

significantly increasing operating costs for infrastructure operators.<br />

These costs will inevitably be passed on to resellers and service<br />

providers, and ultimately to consumers.<br />

Market analysts predict a surge in mobile data prices, driven by<br />

the rollout and maintenance of power backup solutions, along with<br />

the increasing trend of theft and vandalism. This reinforces the<br />

importance of offering complementary technologies to consumers,<br />

allowing them to tailor their use according to their needs and<br />

budget. For example, fibre to the home remains the cheapest<br />

solution for high-speed, high-volume broadband consumption.<br />

However, consumers should also have access to broadband while not<br />

at a fixed location, where they need it. We must allow technologies to<br />

complement each other, at accessible price points, for this to happen.<br />

The provision of reliable, affordable power solutions to service<br />

providers is also key to allowing the consumer to have affordable<br />

access to multiple broadband options.<br />


Although there was a slight decrease in unemployment reported<br />

by the president from 45.3% to 43.4%, these numbers remain<br />

concerning. There is no doubt that we need to address this. As Maziv,<br />

one of our imperatives is the rollout of connectivity infrastructure to<br />

enable businesses and stimulate underperforming local economies<br />

to promote job creation. Large-scale digitalisation is likely to help<br />

many small businesses become more professional and involved in the<br />

broader national and global economy.<br />

We predict that accelerated growth in the telecommunications<br />

sector, strategic partnerships and rapid deployment could potentially<br />

create and protect thousands of jobs. Government’s support and<br />

participation in the telecommunications industry are critical. S<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 39

S<br />

skills development<br />

Bridging the digital divide<br />

CHIETA is a sector education and training authority that accelerates skills development in the chemical industries sector<br />

and ensures that skills needs are identified and addressed. <strong>Service</strong> speaks to Yershen Pillay, CEO of CHIETA, about building<br />

an innovative and employable workforce for South Africa.<br />

What is the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority’s<br />

(CHIETA) mandate?<br />

CHIETA is a statutory body that was established by the Skills<br />

Development Act in 1998. CHIETA’s role in the sector is to facilitate<br />

skills development as well as to ensure that skills needs are identified<br />

and addressed through various training initiatives in the chemical<br />

and manufacturing industries.<br />

As a trusted partner in skills development and training for the<br />

chemical sector, CHIETA funds the industry for various occupational<br />

programmes as well as certain Technical Vocational Education and<br />

Training (TVET) sector and higher education programmes.<br />

Our mission is to facilitate skills development, education and<br />

training through innovative solutions for sustainable livelihoods.<br />

How do you empower South Africa’s youth?<br />

CHIETA offers learnerships and other youth programmes<br />

to unemployed youth to promote employability in line with<br />

government policy as per the National Skills Development Strategy<br />

(NSDS III) objectives.<br />

CHIETA has entered into partnerships with various parties to<br />

drive innovation, skills development and training in Africa. Our role<br />

includes sourcing corporate entrepreneurs in the chemicals sector<br />

to upskill them and identifying programmes linked to the Fourth<br />

Industrial Revolution (4IR). The impact of this is that it will help<br />

provide youth with skills to combat unemployment.<br />

We offer a wide range of discretionary and mandatory grant<br />

funding directed towards women, youth and people living with<br />

disabilities.<br />

Numerous bursaries flow into learning support and programmes<br />

for retrenched employees, a fundamental way CHIETA supports the<br />

Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).<br />

Through its various programmes, including the upcoming<br />

discretionary grant funding windows and working with corporations,<br />

CHIETA provides potential opportunities for 615 internships, 1 0<strong>85</strong><br />

40 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

skills development<br />

S<br />

We want to impact 100 000<br />

livelihoods by 2025.<br />

learnerships, 1 395 skills programmes and 1 2<strong>85</strong> TVET students for<br />

Work Integrated Learning.<br />

CHIETA offers unique training programmes providing practical skills<br />

for matric graduates’ employability. Please tell us more.<br />

CHIETA offers graduates or students looking for workplace<br />

experience, work exposure or work-integrated opportunities in<br />

the chemical sector. It also has iniatives such as work readiness and<br />

job preparedness programmes, entrepreneurship development<br />

programmes, mentorship and market access programmes to<br />

support employability.<br />

Please provide an overview of the learnerships and apprenticeships<br />

that you offer.<br />

CHIETA will also continue to support fundamental skills focus areas<br />

including artisan training, learnerships, work-integrated learning<br />

and coherent skills training programmes (also known as partqualifications)<br />

that allow for immediate job mobility while leaving<br />

the door open for candidates to further enhance their learning to<br />

obtain the remaining parts of the qualification incrementally using<br />

the lifelong learning principle.<br />

The apprentice career fields include boilermaker, draughtsman,<br />

electrician, fitter and turner, industrial machinery mechanic, instrument<br />

mechanic, millwright occupational instructor, refrigeration mechanic,<br />

rigger, truck driver and welder.<br />

Learnerships are directly related to occupations in the various<br />

fields of science, engineering and business.<br />

Talk to us about CHIETA’s industry collaboration.<br />

The organisation has adopted a partnership mode informed by<br />

the four strategic pillars: innovation, collaboration, digitisation,<br />

and transformation. The strategic value of this approach is the<br />

contribution of these partnerships towards consolidating the<br />

organisational capacity to deliver stakeholder value and achieve the<br />

desired social impact.<br />

TVET college sector partnerships and Community Education &<br />

Training College (CET) partnerships play a critical role in the supply<br />

of skills:<br />

Coded Welding (pilot project) with TVET colleges. A pilot<br />

project on blended learning to explore e-learning using the Coded<br />

Welding Skills Programme to curb youth unemployment, improve<br />

livelihoods and support economic development. The lessons and<br />

best practices would be shared towards the implementation of<br />

e-learning in the chemical sector.<br />

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. CHIETA<br />

funded Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University to partner<br />

with pharmaceutical companies to offer work-integrated learning<br />

for undergraduate students who are studying pharmaceuticalrelated<br />

qualifications.<br />

Trade unions in the chemical sector. Reskilling of the chemical<br />

industry’s retrenched workers.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 41

S<br />

skills development<br />

CHIETA/CHEMIN Innovation Hub. The<br />

programme supports entrepreneurs in<br />

developing ideas into profitable businesses<br />

through incubation programmes.<br />

CHIETA /UJ Multi-SETA Project. Grow<br />

collaboration among SETAs (envisioned<br />

partnership with EWSETA, ETDPSETA,<br />

<strong>Service</strong>s SETA, AgriSETA and INSETA).<br />

The collaboration with the other SETAs for<br />

cross-sectoral SMME development will enable<br />

competitiveness and increased productivity of<br />

SMMEs participating in this programme for<br />

them to survive in the ever-changing business<br />

environment. These SMMEs will be the catalyst<br />

of job creation and economic growth.<br />

CXI African Strategic Projects and Youth<br />

Media Movement. The digital skills gained<br />

from these projects will provide the youth with<br />

an opportunity to enter occupations in high<br />

demand and contribute significantly to the<br />

digital revolution and economy in South Africa.<br />

China Europe International Business<br />

School (CEIBS). Support for corporate<br />

entrepreneurs within the chemical sector to<br />

grow the economy.<br />

Smart Skills Centres in all nine provinces.<br />


on strategic projects that are aligned with the<br />

organisations’ mandates and will contribute to:<br />

• Economic empowerment<br />

• Youth employability<br />

• Food security<br />

• Entrepreneurship and business support<br />

• Digitisation and 4IR<br />

The SETAs are partnering to identify the priority research areas<br />

and conduct research to support the CHIETA, INSETA and MICT<br />

sector skills plans.<br />

CHIETA uses innovation in its training initiatives. How?<br />

We not only use and encourage the support of e-learning and<br />

blended learning methods as we forge ahead, but it is imperative<br />

to strengthen our existing partnerships with both the private and<br />

public sectors. Concomitantly, we must cement new and lasting<br />

partnerships that will allow us to put the chemical industry on<br />

the fast track to adopting 4IR and to continue to innovate in our<br />

quest to eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and spur the economic<br />

development of the country.<br />

We aspire to be a fully digitised, innovation-driven SETA that is<br />

not just about skills development, but about sustainable livelihoods<br />

and improving the quality of life. We want to support the end-to-end<br />

value chain of sustainable livelihoods.<br />

We conduct virtual reality-based training and the use of AI in<br />

education and training. We want to impact 100 000 livelihoods by 2025.<br />

What is CHIETA’s perspective on tackling unemployment?<br />

We can improve the agility of educational and training institutions.<br />

When the economy needs new skills, how fast can the country’s<br />

training providers react?<br />

An essential pillar of CHIETA’s vision is to overcome the difficulty<br />

that many communities in South Africa, predominantly in rural<br />

areas, have in accessing digital skills and opportunities. Therefore,<br />

bridging the digital divide is crucial if the country is to address the<br />

challenges around skills.<br />

The impact of upskilling people in 4IR-linked programmes is that<br />

it will help provide youth with skills to combat unemployment.<br />

What are some of CHIETA’s success stories that illustrate the<br />

tangible impact of your initiatives?<br />

CHIETA received a clean audit, met 100% of its targets and grew<br />

levy income year-on-year from R592-million to R621-million.<br />

CHIETA is determined to continue making a difference and<br />

working on the hydrogen economy for which it has gained a growing<br />

reputation as a leader in the green economy.<br />

We take comfort from the fact that we are putting resources<br />

behind dozens of young girls interested in science – at least 217 last<br />

year – with positive results to boot.<br />

The Eastern Cape Department of Education recognised hardworking<br />

matriculant Liyabona Ncanywa as one of the province’s top<br />

achievers in the 2023 national senior certificate examinations. CHIETA<br />

assisted her with tuition and school fees through its science, technology,<br />

42 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

skills development<br />

S<br />

Bridging the digital divide is crucial if the<br />

country is to address the challenges around skills.<br />

engineering and mathematics (STEM) fund that supports 1 000<br />

learners nationwide.<br />

Please discuss CHIETA’s role in addressing high unemployment<br />

rates among the Class of 2023.<br />

In the past year, CHIETA supported the Economic Reconstruction<br />

and Recovery Programme of the government through three<br />

programme initiatives, namely:<br />

• Occupationally directed programmes<br />

• The STEM programme to grow the number of women and<br />

people with disabilities entering the chemical industry<br />

• Support programmes for cooperatives, SMMEs, non-government<br />

organisations and community-based organisations in both rural<br />

and urban areas<br />

training we don’t want to train for the sake of training and contribute<br />

to employment. Our broader goal is to improve the quality of life<br />

by focusing on sustainable livelihoods. We focus on reskilling and<br />

upskilling people to ensure they can have sustainable livelihoods. As<br />

industries like ours and others digitalise, we see a demand for what<br />

one could call cross-over skills, skills that are as valuable in mining or<br />

retail as they are to our industry, which means that we must broaden<br />

how we interpret our remit. S<br />

These have yielded positive strides and evidence of success since<br />

inception.<br />

CHIETA’s role in the implementation of an innovation, skills<br />

development and training programme in Africa, includes sourcing<br />

corporate entrepreneurs in the chemical sector to upskill them and<br />

identifying 4IR-linked programmes.<br />

One major programme launched during 2023 is the Smart Skills<br />

Centres, in which rural learners are taught digital skills to keep<br />

abreast with artificial intelligence developments. CHIETA intends<br />

to establish these centres in all nine provinces.<br />

Another project that stands out is the AlgoAtWork Robotics<br />

Academy in Richards Bay, in which children are taught essential<br />

skills for an AI-driven workplace in the future.<br />

How do we start building an innovative and employable workforce<br />

for South Africa?<br />

We can improve the agility of educational and training institutions.<br />

As an innovation leader in education, skills development and<br />

Yershen Pillay, the Chief Executive Officer of CHIETA.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 43

S<br />

provincial focus<br />

Limpopo Province: the portal<br />

to Africa<br />

Limpopo Province is the cultural calabash of South Africa, boasting three national parks, lush forests and amazing flora and<br />

fauna where the Big Five can be seen roaming. The province is a melting pot of diverse cultures and different traditions and<br />

a thriving hub of innovation, mineral wealth and investment.<br />


Limpopo Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha reports on successful infrastructure projects and invites investors to participate<br />

in growing the regional economy.<br />

T<br />

The Provincial Socioeconomic Recovery Plan is anchored in our<br />

intention to promote the industrialisation of the province through<br />

mega-projects in the agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors.<br />

Over the next five to 10 years, we expect more than 48 000 jobs to<br />

be created as investments and interventions are ramped up to a total<br />

projected amount of R170-billion. We are committed to the Musina-<br />

Makhado and Fetakgomo-Tubatse Special Economic Zones (SEZs),<br />

each of which will attract different types of investors.<br />

More than 6 000 jobs will be created with the implementation of<br />

the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme in all five provincial<br />

districts. The Critical Infrastructure Programme has approved<br />

R49.9-million for refurbishing Seshego Industrial Park.<br />

Central to these recovery efforts is positioning Limpopo as an<br />

investment destination of choice for domestic and foreign investors.<br />

This will enhance the much-needed creation of employment,<br />

particularly for young people.<br />

Several projects point to the priority that we have allocated to<br />

the Limpopo e-Government Strategy Implementation Plan. Fibre<br />

The municipalities of the Limpopo Province.<br />

and satellite technologies have been employed to connect more than<br />

50 sites to the network. The provincial government’s first projects<br />

to digitise administration will be in the healthcare, education and<br />

transport sectors.<br />

Through the Musina-Makhado SEZ (MMSEZ), we aim to be a<br />

leading producer of energy through the production of coking coal<br />

found in huge reserves in Musina. We are ready to move with speed<br />

in the implementation of this project. At the Fetakgomo Tubatse<br />

SEZ, several investors, such as Mintek, have committed to take sites.<br />


Sesotho, Xitsonga and Tshivenda. English is widely used in<br />

business and government.<br />


By John Young<br />

In Polokwane, construction of the 488-bed Limpopo Central<br />

Hospital, which National Treasury approved plans for, has started<br />

and will become one of South Africa’s five<br />

academic hospitals.<br />

In the Sekhukhune District, at GaMalekane,<br />

Steelpoort, a long-awaited multi-lane steel<br />

bridge will replace the old single-lane one.<br />

In the north of the province, several tourism<br />

projects have been launched in the last 18<br />

months with a few more in the pipeline.<br />

Eight mining companies in the Eastern-<br />

Limb Cluster in the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local<br />

Municipality have contributed to constructing a<br />

new road bridge at the intersection of the D2219<br />

and R555. Roads Agency Limpopo is managing<br />

the project for which R127-million has been<br />

budgeted. A total of 12 partnerships between<br />

the Limpopo provincial government and various<br />

mining houses has a value of R1.1-billion.<br />

In the Lephalale region, Exxaro has partnered<br />

with government to operate a satellite office in<br />

support of small business.<br />

Another investment being made in the<br />

Limpopo mining sector is the expansion<br />

44 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

provincial focus<br />

S<br />

Olifants River flows through the Kruger National Park from<br />

west to east roughly half way up the game reserve.<br />

project at Northam Platinum’s Metallurgical Complex which has<br />

linked increased volumes with better and cleaner environmental<br />

efficiencies.<br />

Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe in the north and Marakele in<br />

the Waterberg are run by South African National Parks (SANParks)<br />

and attract large numbers of tourists every year. The combined<br />

land area of Limpopo’s national, provincial and private reserves is<br />

3.6-million hectares. The provincial government has committed to<br />

enhancing the value of Limpopo’s two UNESCO World Heritage<br />

Sites, Makapans Valley and Mapungubwe. This is a priority<br />

programme in the National Tourism Sector Strategy. The Waterberg<br />

Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO-protected site. Some nature<br />

reserves will be commercialised using private-public partnerships,<br />

starting with Masebe, Rust de Winter and Lekgalameetse. The<br />

Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and<br />

Tourism is responsible for 53 provincial nature reserves.<br />

links the province to Botswana to the west and Mpumalanga to<br />

the east.<br />

- Most of South Africa’s major logistics operators have established<br />

hubs in Polokwane and Musina.<br />

- Limpopo has a sophisticated rail network which Transnet Freight<br />

Rail aims to expand, primarily to haul the province’s vast reserves<br />

of coal away to the coast at Richards Bay.<br />

- The province is home to the University of Venda and the<br />

University of Limpopo as well as seven TVET colleges. The<br />

Turfloop Graduate School of Business is in Polokwane.<br />

- The Polokwane International Airport, almost equidistant from<br />

Johannesburg, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique,<br />

has been refurbished to position itself as a cargo hub for the region.<br />


Tomato producer, ZZ2, has entered the avocado category to diversify<br />

its product range. A joint venture between ZZ2, Mission Produce and<br />

Criterion Africa Partners will see more than 1 000ha of avocado<br />

orchards developed.<br />

The National Empowerment Fund will support Lebowakgomo<br />

Abattoir, a provincial government poultry project, in the amount<br />

of R32-million, to assist small-scale farmers and broiler producers.<br />

Farmer production support units provide clusters of services,<br />

including livestock auction facilities, mechanisation services and<br />

training centres for farmers in Sekhukhune (grain and cotton);<br />

Mopani (vegetables); Waterberg (red meat) and Capricorn (potatoes).<br />

Since the initiation of Koba-Tlala Production Brigade Project<br />

in 2022/23, the South African Defence Force has procured over<br />

R1-million worth of fresh produce from the farmers involved. An<br />

additional 32 collection points have been established to allow smallscale<br />

farmers near military centres to sell their products.<br />

Cotton growing is experiencing a renewal in the province. The<br />

provincial government’s programme for revitalising irrigation schemes<br />

is helping. In Ephraim Mogale Municipality, 345 hectares of cotton<br />

have been planted which will benefit 74 local small-scale farmers.<br />

The contribution of Limpopo agriculture to national agriculture is<br />

7.6% although its contribution to provincial GDP is just 2.3%. Agroprocessing<br />

has enormous potential to expand in every subsector.<br />


- Polokwane is the capital of Limpopo.<br />

- The province’s 125 754km 2 covers 10% of South Africa’s land<br />

mass and is home to about 10% of the country’s population.<br />

- The N1 highway which plays a vital role in the nation’s logistics<br />

sector passes through Limpopo from the south to the border<br />

town of Musina and on to Zimbabwe and its neighbours in the<br />

Southern African Development Community. The N11 highway<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 45

S<br />

provincial focus<br />

Limpopo’s fruits and vegetables form an important part of South<br />

Africa’s export basket. In response to this demand and the potential<br />

of the Chinese market, almost 1 000ha per year of new land is being<br />

planted with avocados and another 1 000ha with macadamias.<br />

Limpopo grows three-quarters of South Africa’s mangoes and<br />

two-thirds of its tomatoes. The Waterberg District produces large<br />

quantities of red meat while Capricorn has potatoes in abundance,<br />

and Vhembe in the north specialises in citrus and subtropical fruits.<br />

The world’s largest avocado grower, Westfalia, part of the Hans<br />

Merensky Group, produces significant quantities of mango, litchi,<br />

citrus and macadamia and has three agri-processing plants in the<br />

province. Greenway Farms supplies about 45% of the fresh-market<br />

carrots consumed in Southern Africa under the Rugani brand.<br />

VKB Milling has eight silos and 29 retail outlets in Limpopo.<br />

ENERGY<br />

The province that has huge reserves of coal is paying serious<br />

attention to renewable energy. Provincial and municipal bodies are<br />

encouraged to promote energy-production projects.<br />

The draft 2023/24 Integrated Development Plan of the Waterberg<br />

District Municipality refers to the Nalane Green Solar Energy<br />

Project, which is implementing its R5-billion investment plan.<br />

Samancor intends to build a 60MW solar PV plant to help power<br />

its Tubatse ferrochrome smelter complex in the Sekhukhune District<br />

Municipality. A battery energy storage system will form part of the<br />

energy installation.<br />

Ivanhoe Mines is building its own 5MW solar plant and has<br />

signed an offtake agreement with Renergen to access the electricity<br />

generated by that company’s gas and solar plant in the Free State.<br />

Both SEZs in Limpopo are entering the green hydrogen market.<br />

MMSEZ has also signed an agreement with a Chinese company<br />

for the first phase of a project that will supply 1 000MW of solar<br />

power to support the SEZ’s metallurgical complex. The two local<br />

municipalities in the area have been allocated R147-million by<br />

provincial government for infrastructure upgrades, including<br />

electricity. The Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ also has intentions of<br />

attracting green power.<br />

A public-private planning exercise, the Impact Catalyst, is working<br />

on focus areas that include biofuels and intends to prepare the<br />

province for the emergence of new sectors such as renewable energy.<br />

Exxaro’s coal mine at Grootgeluk (which supplies Eskom power<br />

plants) will be the site of an 84MW solar project and Northam<br />

Platinum is building a 10MW solar plant at its Zondereinde smelter.<br />

At Northam’s Eland Mine, a PV solar project serves the dual<br />

purpose of keeping engines cool in the car park while producing<br />

energy from PV panels. The solar farm will generate approximately<br />

1 800MWh of power yearly (4% of annual electricity demand).<br />

The concentrator of the Mogalakwena mine run by Anglo<br />

American Platinum (Amplats) relies on a constant electricity supply.<br />

Implats uses natural gas to supply its refinery in Springs. In Phase<br />

One of the project, 20 Doosan fuel cells generate 8MW of power.<br />

The long-term goal is to generate 30MW.<br />

MINING<br />

The region’s soils are rich in PGMs, coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron<br />

ore, nickel, rare earth minerals and tin. The province contributes 4%<br />

of coal mining nationally, but within the next three decades, it will<br />

likely supply about half of South Africa’s coal.<br />

Waterberg coalfield is estimated to contain about 75-billion tons of<br />

coal. Exxaro’s two coal mines in the Waterberg represent three-billion<br />

tons of measured coal resources and 1.8-billion tons of indicated coal<br />

resources. This is where Exxaro operates its giant Grootegeluk Mine.<br />

Nine plants serve a 4km-long and 120m-deep opencast mine on a 1<br />

200ha site. Originally intended to supply the nearby power plants,<br />

Exxaro is now eyeing the export trade with Ethiopia, Egypt and<br />

Pakistan as potential markets.<br />

Mineral beneficiation is a key component of the MMSEZ and coal<br />

is needed for manufacturing steel. The Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ will<br />

focus on the beneficiation of PGMs, magnetite, vanadium and chrome.<br />

Palabora Copper, a subsidiary of Palabora Mining Company,<br />

produces about 45 000 tons of copper annually, most of which is sold<br />

domestically. It runs a smelter and a refinery and mines magnetite,<br />

vermiculite, sulphuric acid and nickel sulphate.<br />

Venetia Mine.<br />

46 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

provincial focus<br />

S<br />


Largest diamond mine in South Africa: De Beers Venetia Mine<br />

Biggest copper mine in South Africa: Palabora Mining Company<br />

Vastest open-pit platinum mine in South Africa: Anglo<br />

America’s Mogalakwena and the biggest vermiculite mine in<br />

the world.<br />

The province has 41% of South Africa’s PGMs, 90% of South<br />

Africa’s red-granite resources and approximately 50% of the<br />

country’s coal reserves. Antimony, a highly strategic mineral<br />

found in large quantities in China, is another major asset. The<br />

province has projected a total investment from mining of<br />

R36.3-billion in the period to 2025.<br />

is invested in a project where the equity partner, Sedibelo, is<br />

assembling R1-billion to upgrade resources.<br />

African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) purchased the Bokoni PGM<br />

mine for R3.5-billion. Bokoni is located near ARM’s Modikwa and<br />

Two Rivers PGM mines and gives the ARM more palladium to mine.<br />

Glencore (with a 79.5% stake) and Merafe Resources jointly<br />

own chrome mines on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous<br />

Complex (Helena, Magareng and Thorncliffe), the Lion smelter<br />

complex near Steelpoort and the Lydenburg smelter.<br />

WATER<br />

The Department of Water and Sanitation has undertaken several<br />

large infrastructure projects in Limpopo, including the raising of the<br />

Tzaneen Dam wall, Olifants River Water Resources Development,<br />

bulk water supply for the MMSEZ and the Nandoni Water Treatment<br />

Works. Supplying water for the MMSEZ is a critical issue in an area<br />

where that resource is not plentiful.<br />

Limpopo’s rivers are threatened by the damaging effects of the<br />

mining industry, power stations, chemicals used in agriculture and<br />

sewage treatment in catchment areas. Opportunities exist in this<br />

sector for innovative solutions.<br />

The water and sanitation services branch of Polokwane<br />

Municipality operates five water-purification plants and three<br />

sewage-purification plants.<br />

Polokwane provides water to the residents of the rural areas<br />

of Mothapo, Mothiba and Makotopong. The Capricorn District<br />

Municipality funds a water-testing laboratory on the University of<br />

Limpopo campus.<br />

Phase 2B of the multi-year Olifants River Water Resources<br />

Development Project is under discussion by project manager, Trans-<br />

Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), which is looking at funding<br />

options with the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The project<br />

will entail building a 70km pipeline from Flag Boshielo Dam to<br />

Pruisen near Mokopane and would improve water supplies for<br />

mines and domestic users. S<br />

Implats smelter.<br />

De Beers Group started production at its Venetia Mine in 2023. The<br />

$2.3-billion conversion of the diamond mine to an underground<br />

one began in 2012 and will extend the life of the mine to 2045 or<br />

beyond. The mechanised underground operation will deliver up to<br />

seven-million tons of kimberlite ore per year to produce four-million<br />

carats of diamonds. Construction of the mine, which employs 4 300<br />

local people, is now 70% complete.<br />

Langpan Mine, which reportedly has a chrome and PGM reserve<br />

statement of 2.17-million tons and a valuation of R<strong>85</strong>1-million, has a<br />

processing plant which forms chrome concentrate from the ore. The<br />

by-product has a high concentration of PGMs.<br />

The R1.2-billion Sefateng chrome mine under development in<br />

the Sekhukhune District created 350 jobs during the construction<br />

phase and will provide long-term employment for 600 people once<br />

production begins.<br />

Corridor Mining Resources, wholly owned by the provincial<br />

government through the Limpopo Economic Development Agency,<br />

Premier of Limpopo, Stanley Mathabatha.<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 47

S<br />

good news<br />

Head and shoulders above:<br />

Cape Town’s success could become<br />

a key issue in 2024 elections<br />

The apparent contrast between the level of services in Cape Town and the collapse of services in other metros could become<br />

a big political issue ahead of the polls.<br />

By Stephen Grootes<br />

W<br />

With all of the recent movements at the local government level<br />

and the proximity of the national and provincial elections, certain<br />

parties may now want to start campaigning on their track records<br />

in councils. This issue is likely to resonate strongly with voters – it is<br />

entirely rational to assess a party’s suitability for national office based<br />

on its record in local government.<br />

At the same time, the situation in many councils is now so bad<br />

that many voters will feel completely disillusioned with most of our<br />

parties. Except for the situation in the City of Cape Town.<br />

In press release after press release, the City of Cape Town is<br />

making progress.<br />

Last year, it announced it would be buying electricity from<br />

residents with rooftop solar installations, to add to its current<br />

mechanisms that stave off two stages of loadshedding.<br />

Residents in middle-class areas talk about how well their city works<br />

– there are anecdotes about power lines being repaired within hours,<br />

and potholes are a foreign concept.<br />

Some mention huge construction projects, a sign that investors<br />

believe the city has a strong future. There are also some indications<br />

that it is getting a bigger share of foreign direct investment than<br />

other areas. As some companies are leaving Durban, money is<br />

flowing to Cape Town.<br />

To listen to them is to hear a story of a city with infrastructure that<br />

works, an African city which is, in fact, world class.<br />

Success leads to success, so if your infrastructure<br />

works, you will get more investment.<br />

However, assessing the quality of life for a particular person or<br />

family in a particular area can be perilous.<br />

The commentariat in South Africa is usually focused on the<br />

middle-class life experience because that is the water in which it<br />

swims. And given our racialised inequality, it may be harder to<br />

conduct an objective assessment than in other societies. Simply put,<br />

in South Africa, your individual circumstances may matter much<br />

more than where you live.<br />

The more important question may be whether life for people in<br />

Khayelitsha is better than it is for people in Diepsloot. And even<br />

here, comparisons are very difficult.<br />


For example, it is true that people in all areas of Cape Town suffer<br />

less loadshedding than in other cities and are probably likely to<br />

experience it even less in the future if its plans to procure power<br />

from independent power producers are successful. It should be<br />

mentioned that a part of its success here is simply down to luck,<br />

as the DA cannot claim responsibility for the construction of the<br />

Steenbras hydro pump station in the 1970s.<br />

This is an obvious difference which can be objectively assessed.<br />

But there are also other data which can be used. For example,<br />

Statistics South Africa has confirmed that life expectancy in the<br />

Western Cape is higher than it is in other provinces.<br />

If it is true that Cape Town is doing better on important metrics<br />

than other councils, this will likely continue for some time.<br />

There will be much to ask about why it is that Cape Town is<br />

making progress.<br />

Those in its middle classes may point to its administration and the<br />

fact that it’s been run by the DA for 16 years. They may also suggest<br />

that the DA simply governs more effectively than the ANC or any<br />

other parties.<br />

Those in other parts of the city may disagree; they may point<br />

to the eviction policy followed by the city and suggest it is simply<br />

effective in keeping poor people away from the suburbs.<br />

But the fact that there has been consistency and stability in the<br />

city must matter. If you are confident of governing in an area for a<br />

48 | <strong>Service</strong> magazine

good news<br />

S<br />

decade, you can make plans that will take 10 years to complete. The<br />

official who drew up a 10-year plan for a project would know they<br />

are likely to be there when it is finished.<br />

And for the moment, there is no serious opposition to the DA<br />

there — it won more than 58% of the vote in the 2021 local elections.<br />

The next biggest party was the ANC with just under 19%.<br />

Article courtesy of Daily Maverick<br />


Over time, this will start to have an important effect: success leads to<br />

success, so if your infrastructure works, you will get more investment,<br />

and more investment leads to better performance overall, which<br />

yields yet more investment.<br />

This can create momentum and allow a city to “pull ahead” of<br />

other areas in a troubled country.<br />

Meanwhile, other metros appear destined for a future of<br />

mismanagement, corruption and decay.<br />

The lack of investment in infrastructure over many years<br />

is now having an impact on all other metros – one can feel vital<br />

infrastructure in our big metros has reached a tipping point and is<br />

on the verge of collapse.<br />

There is also likely to be more instability in those metros over the<br />

next few years. In the short term, several may be about to change<br />

mayors again. But in the longer term, likely, voters will not give any<br />

single party a clear majority.<br />

This could lead to a long period of political instability and make<br />

the already sharp difference between Cape Town and everyone else<br />

even more obvious.<br />

And yet, what is clear is that the kitchen table issues around local<br />

government are receiving much more attention than in the past. S<br />

<strong>Service</strong> magazine | 49






The funding instruments can be segmented into two categories being<br />

development/project finance and funding through retail intermediaries to the<br />

The funding instruments can be segmented into two categories being<br />

following type of entities:<br />

development/project finance and funding through retail intermediaries to the<br />

following<br />

Social<br />

type<br />

Housing<br />

of entities:<br />

Institutions (SH ls)<br />

Other Delivery Agents (ODAs)<br />

Social Housing Institutions (SH ls)<br />

Developers<br />

Other Delivery Agents (ODAs)<br />

Contractors<br />

Developers<br />

Micro Finance Institutions (MFls)<br />

Contractors<br />

Co-operative Finance Institutions (CFls), Community Based Organisations (CBOs)<br />

Micro<br />

and<br />

Finance<br />

Housing<br />

Institutions<br />

Co-operatives<br />

(MFls)<br />

Co-operative Finance Institutions (CFls), Community Based Organisations (CBOs)<br />

We provide Project Management services to assist Municipalities.<br />

and Housing Co-operatives<br />

We provide Project Management services to assist Municipalities.<br />

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