“This collaboration is envisioned to unlock solutions that not only address issues such as e-waste but also creates a value chain that speaks to SMMEs and the informal sector through the creation of a circular economy,” added Prof Sinha.

New Gauteng e-Waste Project Launched

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Gauteng Department of e-Government (GDeG) today 1 March 2022, launched the newly established Gauteng e-Waste Management System, to tackle the province’s mounting e-waste.

e-Waste refers to the disposal of electrical and electronic gadgets. The e-waste management system is being implemented as a solution to help improve the collection, recycling, and safe disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in the province. Gauteng is regarded as ‘the hub of the South African economy’ due to the various industrial economic activities that take place in the province. This has, however, resulted in the accumulation of e-waste, caused by the high use of technological products, such as, home appliances, mobile phones, computers, etc. by residents. South Africa experiences about 360,000 tons of e-waste each year and Gauteng accounts for about 55% of the national e-waste quantities.

Professor Saurabh Sinha, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, represented the university on behalf of Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala.

“The 4IR, which is fundamentally shifting every aspect of society through intelligent technologies, has been touted as the key to finding solutions to many of our deep-seated issues. Simply put, the digitisation of government speaks to the implementation and development of urban services through the use of digital technology, which is a representation of 4IR in action,” he said, adding that UJ’s partnership with the GDeG is representative of the commitment to the 4IR. Read the press release here.

 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may be harmful to the environment depending on how they are produced.

How NFTs Impact the Environment

You may have heard something about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how they impact the environment. Even though NFTs themselves do not cause any environmental impact, the impact on our climate is linked to how an NFT is produced.

The way that NFTs are created is highly energy-intensive. Most NFTs are minted using the proof-of-work operating method, which uses large amounts of electricity. Any energy-intensive process, crypto-related or otherwise, can exacerbate climate change by adding to the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide emissions. However, there are other more environment-friendly ways to mint NFTs, in particular, methods using proof-of-stake. Investopedia has more.

 

It costs billions to capture, purify and shift water in one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. Yet, on average, at least 40% of South Africa’s water still goes down the drain every year due to leaks, non-payment and other factors. How can this be fixed?

New Agency to Fund, Fix and Expand SAs Water Infrastructure

National Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has revived plans to establish a national water infrastructure agency to refurbish and expand the country’s critical water infrastructure.

Mchunu, who took over the water and sanitation portfolio in August, acknowledges that sourcing new water and protecting existing resources will cost a fortune. But with regard to old or dysfunctional infrastructure, the country could only “slide to backyard status” if efforts did not start immediately.

“There will be expenses of course … it’s already very expensive. It requires billions of rands. But it’s still better to tackle the problem now rather than waiting for any other time when it gets more expensive,” he told Our Burning Planet in an interview.

Where will this money come from?

While some would come from his department’s own trading account, it was also planning to set up a new National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency which would be built around the existing Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA). The TCTA is a state-owned entity set up in 1986 to finance and build the South African section of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, but its mandate was later expanded to fund other water projects.

Mchunu said one of the new agency’s main duties would be to attract new investment by packaging major water infrastructure projects. Read more in the Daily Maverick.