for October 2006
Feedback from our readers
Pedestrian-friendly at last!
Rashid Seedat: Vision for Joburg
Mafikeng: Reluctant capital
ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND DESIGN
Towards greener parking
WASTE AND POLLUTION MANAGEMENT
Reaping environmental rewards
At Wastecon 2006 in September, I carefully considered the reasons for including a section
on waste and pollution management in this journal and realised its importance to planning
and development practitioners.
Also at the
conference, deputy minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabudafasi spoke
about South Africas drive towards zero landfill and difficulties due to
the law of diminishing returns. Other speakers acknowledged the issue and campaigned for
multipronged solutions to waste management and minimisation.
undoubtedly involve urban managers and planners, and residents and residents associations.
Files approach to waste and pollution management is to integrate it into urban
planning and management.
the principled approach of sustainable development is the fact that everything is
connected. One of my favourite quotes comes from futurist Olaf Helmer: To state it
in only slightly exaggerated form, everything depends on everything else. In our
section on waste and pollution management, we try to serve the planning practitioner and
the waste practitioner with accurate information by covering the connection, joint
interests and mutual effects of waste management and urban planning.
edition, our waste and pollution article looks at municipalities extracting landfill gas
as a very promising, sustainable solution. Our cover story touches on a crucial aspect of
our private vehicle-driven urban environment: How are we to ensure that parking is
provided in a sustainable manner (see page 32)?
similar issues confronting waste management and urban planning, Steve Lee, chief executive
of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management in the UK, has identified the following
barriers to progress in terms of sustainable solutions:
development: We need to align climate change, energy, waste and resource policies.
and science: How much is being discarded? Where?
Planning for all
resources: Without this, a concept like one planet living is just a convenient
Changing beliefs and attitudes at local level will take years of co-ordinated work.
David Stedman, chairman, Benoni Agricultural Holdings Association
Readers respond to Urban Green Files visit to Clarens and draw attention to landfill
challenges in the Ekurhuleni metro.
your article Life after Linbro (Urban Green File August 2006), I represent the
Benoni Agricultural Holdings Association (BAHA), which is fighting the Ekurhuleni metro
municipality over a proposed dump-site at Zesfontein, outside Benoni. We recognise the
need for landfill sites but we are taking issue over the magnitude (524 ha).
features and differences compared to the northern Joburg dump site:
The areas around
Dainfern and the northern suburbs have a municipal water supply. Around the proposed
Zesfontein site, the locals depend predominantly on borehole water.
Joburg has to
handle 850 t/day of general waste while the Ekurhuleni municipality has to handle 1 041
I do not know what
geological structures are beneath the Joburg site but the proposed Ekurhuleni site
is over dolomite structures.
The Zesfontein dump
will completely surround a sensitive wetland (as declared by the Gauteng Department of
Agriculture Conservation and Environment) and there is a registered conservancy (GCA039)
on the site.
The South African
National Roads Agency and Ekurhuleni are competing for the same piece of ground (actually
owned by the Ekurhuleni municipality).
municipality wants to put the PWV 3/PWV 17 intersection there too. The only space for the
intersection is right through the wetland, according to the planning of the dump. We would
like to contact any committees involved in Joburgs dumps either the
existing one at Linbro Park or the proposed site.
Louw van Biljon, town planning consultant and Clarens resident
have written is an accurate reflection of what is happening in Clarens.
has been said to you and what transpires on the ground is not quite the same thing. For
instance, the ROD prohibits the planting of alien trees but plane trees are being planted.
The town is
not united with a common vision. There are two, opposing camps within Clarens. The first
consists mainly of the business community, which advocates the tourism and
development vision with the avid support of the municipality and tourism
authorities. What is never added publicly, is the at whatever cost view point
of these advocates. Anyone not subscribing to this vision is seen as a knee-jerking
environmentalist or rich, antidevelopment elitist.
camp (of which I am obviously a member) is concerned that too much development, too
quickly, will destroy exactly the qualities that draw tourists. We also believe (based on
experience) that development does not benefit the local poor to the extent that is hoped.
Work opportunities will be created, yes, but that is unskilled employment, such as
domestic and gardening, and semiskilled, such as waiters and kitchen staff.
also not be naïve about the political mileage gained from estate developments: it looks
very good on annual municipal reports and carries a lot of weight at a party indaba. There
is therefore not much incentive for a council to be too concerned about the downstream
impacts of such projects. Unfortunately political aspirations and expected economic
fallout dilute diligent town and environmental planning. In short, however hard appointed
consultants may try, good planning is not the end result in a politico-economic
environment where estate development is seen as the holy grail of tourism,
social upliftment and a better life for all.
Clarens situation, I am of the opinion that the strategic environmental assessment and the
spatial development framework will do very little to mitigate the impacts of suburban
developments around the town and the number of farm sub-divisions in the valley.
Yes. The valley is unfortunately being changed for the worse by estate developments and
the authorities cannot control it even if they say they do.
the biennial conference and exhibition of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern
Africa in Somerset West, Western Cape, from September 5 to 8, 2006, outgoing president
Hennie Neethling highlighted new EIA regulations, the viability of zero landfill waste,
greener production, the waste management bill and carbon credits issues discussed
during the conference.
environmental assessment (SEA) is underway at Vredefort Dome between Parys and
Potchefstroom proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2005. Management of this area is
complicated as it falls within the North West and the Free State provinces. The SEA, due
for completion at the end of 2006, will be used to draft a development and management plan
for the benefit of tourism and to relieve development pressure along the Vaal River.
botanical gardens in Thohoyandou, within the Vhembe region of Limpopo, are being turned
into a tourist attraction and environmental centre, including a new picnic site and
environmental awareness boards; tagged indigenous trees; and staff trained in greenhouse
began in June 2006 and is expected to be completed in time for the festive season in
were established 26 years ago to protect indigenous plant species for study purposes,
research and medicinal use by western and traditional doctors.
Bank competition, sponsored by Spier Holdings, has entered its second phase, having
short-listed six finalists in the adjudication of Phase 1. The project must provide
residential accommodation for 2 000 to 3 000 people with facilities for arts production
and performance of an international standard in a setting defined by ecological
conservation. The winner will be announced in December 2006.
competition calls on architects and designers to define and apply new spatial approaches
to creating a community that will serve as a model for sustainable living in Africa and
Serengeti on the
The Acu Dev
group is developing the 840 ha Serengeti golf estate beside the R21 highway just 7 km
north-west of Johannesburg International Airport (set to be renamed OR Tambo International
Airport). The minimum stand size is 1 000 m² and the site will include a 340 ha
conservation area with free-roaming game.
Construction began the earthworks and services contracts for the first two phases of the
700-home residential component at the end of August 2006.
The NY 43
park in Gugulethu, Cape Town, has not only been equipped with standard playground
equipment, it also includes facilities for indigenous games and a stage for informal
opening took place in July 2006 with a tree-planting ceremony.
Pedestrian-friendly at last!
interventions put pedestrians first. Is this the beginning of a new trend?
Could it be
that Johannesburg is slowly making amends for its hostility towards pedestrians? Few
cities are as badly planned when it comes to catering for pedestrians than the City
of Gold. For first-time visitors, the myth that the sidewalks are paved with gold is
quickly dispelled by the reality of dusty, unpaved walkways.
apartheid era planning does not help the huge buffer strips between
neighbourhoods, once reserved for different races, make a marathon out of a leisurely
is a car city. Without a car, one has to depend on very unreliable public
transport in the form of minibus taxis or the notoriously erratic bus service.
Walking to a
taxi rank or bus stop is simply unpleasant.
To make it worse, many new roads are being
built without proper provision for pedestrians. Even more alarming is that developers
destroy pavements when they put up new shopping centres, offices, apartments and houses. But
could this be changing? Urban Green File has taken note of two interventions in the urban
environment each making a bold statement: pedestrians are important users of city
infrastructure and should be catered for in design and planning.
outside the Nasrec Expo Centre and adjacent to Soccer City and the new headquarters for
the South African Football Association to be used by the Fédération
Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for the 2010 Soccer World Cup a wide
pedestrian-friendly pavement is in the making.
futuristic and sporty street lights, this is a positive development that bodes
well for the development of the precinct as the venue for the 2010 final.
Killarney, the developer of the Splice apartments has made an effort to provide a properly
constructed, well-lit and treed sidewalk for pedestrians.
Johannesburg Development Agency and the developer of Splice should be commended for this
The use of
indigenous trees, combined with stone packing, ground cover and a wide walkway is, in
Urban Green Files opinion, truly inspirational!
contrast to the inspirational approach to public space, one of Johannesburgs major
monuments remains locked away behind a fence.
globe, a structure like the War Memorial in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, would be proudly
displayed on a central traffic island (think Arc de Triomphe) or it would be accessible in
a pedestrianfriendly public square or park.
But not in
Johannesburg where a high-security fence keeps admirers out. What makes it more astounding
is that the memorial was carefully positioned by its original designer on a round point
where various tree-lined avenues and vistas meet. Yet the view is blocked from all
directions. Perhaps this is an apt reflection of South African culture: putting a fence,
or a 10-foot wall, around anything of value. Is there no respect for public space and art
in our society?
memorial, also known as the winged Mona Lisa, was designed by Sir Edwin
originally erected by the Rand Regiments Memorial in memory of British soldiers who died
in the 1899-1902 Anglo Boer War and rededicated in 2002 on the centenary of the war. It is
those who lost their lives in the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902. To the combatants: Boer and
Briton, black and white South Africans and other nationals. To the non-combatants: men,
women and children who died as a result of the fighting, or during the sieges or in the
is in the grounds of the South African Museum of Military History, beside the Johannesburg
Seedat: Vision for Joburg
some of the initiatives and undertakings may seem ambitious on the part of the
authorities, they are undoubtedly evidence of a positive, proactive attitude to the
development of Johannesburg.
Seedat is palpably enthusiastic about, and dedicated to, making Johannesburg a better
place for all residents, and moving it forward to becoming an African city of world-class
of the central strategy unit (formerly the corporate planning unit) in the office of the
executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Seedats undertakings are considerable.
Essentially, his team has three responsibilities: the vision and long-term strategy for
the city; the integrated development plan (IDP) of which the spatial development framework
(SDF) is a component; and performance management, including the service delivery and
budget implementation plan (SDBIP) in conjunction with the budget office.
also been intimately involved with evolving the growth and development strategy (GDS),
which was launched after the elections on May 18, 2006.
is our long-term perspective for the future of Johannesburg our vision and
strategy, he said. It brings the long-term focus for the city together in an
integrated, comprehensive approach, in a single document, explained Seedat. Everything
that we have been looking at over the years is related and the GDS pulls all the layers of
plans and strategies together.
Economic growth and development
Seedat, the citys approach to economic growth aims to link up to national governments
new economic development agenda, the accelerated and shared growth initiative of South
Africa (ASGISA). This approach is underpinned by two intentions:
most significant is to make Johannesburg a more attractive place to do business by
reducing the cost of doing business. For example, if we make it a safer city, the
security costs that accrue to businesses (security guards and alarms, among others) are
reduced; by becoming more efficient in the services we provide, the cost of delivering
these services to businesses becomes less; and if we deal effectively with public
transport and reduce congestion, the efficiency of businesses is improved, Seedat
highly experimental at this stage, the city is also looking at the possibility of demand
for goods and services providing a stimulus for economic growth. The important objective
here is to move more people to the middle strata of society, Seedat pointed out. From
a city strategy point of view, we are looking at how we can work with the business
community to open up opportunities around goods and services, for example, by creating
access for the working poor to credit facilities, financial institutions and
retail centres, he explained. We are also looking at accommodating the needs
of cross-border traders with markets and storage facilities because Joburg is a
gateway city for wholesale trade in Africa. But there are risks involved like people
getting into serious debt, Seedat warned.
by enabling people to lead well-rounded lives that are not just about surviving, their
dependence on the state is reduced and economic growth is stimulated.
growth and development strategy incorporates a vision for the city, broken down into 12
and community development
form and urban management
12. Corporate and
The City of
Johannesburg believes that, by growing the economy, poverty is addressed and people are
empowered; by delivering services, people are further empowered to find jobs and access
education; and environmental issues and sustainable growth of the city are also taken in
Rashid Seedat, the significance of 2010 is about focusing the mind and setting an
inflexible deadline. Public transport, for instance, should be sorted out by then so that
only consolidation and maintenance may be required thereafter.
believe that its important to provide a social package of services that will ensure
that most residents of Joburg are protected from the ravages of poverty and
unemployment, said Seedat. Progress is being made in this direction.
The aim is
to ensure that everyone has access to the full spectrum of community services, including
schools, clinics, fire stations, community centres, libraries, sports and recreation
centres support mechanisms that make well-rounded individuals, believes Seedat.
intention is to accelerate the process to ensure that these services become accessible
everywhere in the city.
also aims to make certain that every household has full access to water, sanitation,
electricity and refuse removal.
intention is to increase service levels to be higher than the national norms and
standards, Seedat pointed out. For example, national norms specify one
standpipe within 200 m of every household we want to increase this until eventually
there is a yard connection for every household.
The idea is
to progressively move towards free basic services for each eligible household 200 l
of water free-of-charge every day; 50 kWh of electricity a month (enough for lighting and
some appliances); and weekly-round collection of refuse.
inevitable that the more successful Joburg is, the more migrants it will attract
this applies to cities worldwide, continued Seedat. We need to manage
this process in a humane manner by finding a way of absorbing these people into the
mainstream and ensuring that they dont become marginalised; we have to manage the
process of urbanization and the intention is to provide basic services for everyone while
they are in this city.
The vision for infrastructure and basic services, according to the growth and
development strategy, is: A city with a backbone of efficient and well-maintained
service infrastructure, extended to all, so that all citizens and stakeholders can access
an expanding package of innovative, safe, reliable and affordable services.
strategic interventions planned for the delivery of these services include eliminate of
all backlogs in access to basic services; progressive increase in the share of the
population with access to higher levels of services (taking account of affordability and
environmental conditions); and solving the non-account holder problem to
ensure that all eligible households have access to an agreed package of free basic
Phakama is working towards:
a single revenue
management value chain across all relevant business units (Johannesburg Water and City
Power, among others);
establishing a single
customer interface value chain across all relevant business units;
ensuring both value
chains are supported by a single integrated IT system across all business units; and
establishing a new
customer service and revenue organisation, rebuilt from bottom up.
By transforming open tracts of land into usable public spaces, the green
lung of the city is expanding, particularly in previously-deprived areas.
In any urban environment, the impacts of water, air and land pollution need to
pointed out that the City of Johannesburg is undertaking a number of initiatives to
address these environmental issues, including monitoring and testing air and water
quality, and enforcing bylaws relating to pollution of the atmosphere and water courses by
business and industry. Decision makers are also examining ways of lessening dependence on
fossil fuels, such as coal, by broadening access to electricity and experimenting with
alternative technologies such as smokeless cooking devices. As far as land pollution is
concerned, the most obvious would be to keep the city clean, Seedat pointed out.
As municipalities go, Johannesburg is relatively well-endowed but we do
not have unlimited resources, Seedat said.
the medium term we feel we can mobilise sufficient resources to be able to do at least the
basics and possibly undertake some additional projects, he continued. Before
2000, our record was problematic but, over the last five years, we have pursued our major
priorities and have been successful in achieving a number of these.
In terms of
capacity, Seedat said Johannesburg would continue to pursue separate business entities
stipulated in the iGoli 2002 process now including Johannesburg Water, City Power
and Pikitup with distinct advantages in terms of establishing a culture of service
delivery and attracting appropriate social skills, and it is a more transparent model from
a financial point of view so that it is apparent when the city steps in to subsidise one
of the business units.
Growth and development
According to the City of Johannesburgs GDS and IDP for 2006/11, the GDS
presents the citys understanding of the longer-term strategic direction it should
take and future efforts, undertaken jointly with social partners, needed to accelerate
economic growth and enhance development in a way that benefits all residents of
Johannesburg, and contributes to the further transformation of South Africa as a whole.
strategy is supported by nine investment programmes that have influenced the outcome of
capital budget allocations:
of marginalised areas;
infrastructure investment plan;
programmes are intended to provide a set of specific actions to address a number of issues
around the provision, upgrading and maintenance of development and infrastructure.
implementation of these programmes and projects will be the responsibility of the citys
members of the executive committee and core departments.
Focus on Soweto
From a spatial perspective, the City of Johannesburg has concentrated on
developing Soweto to improve quality of life and to attract investors from the public and
Strategic public transport network
The negative environmental and social impact of not having a good, affordable and
efficient public transport system is obvious excessive use of individual vehicles,
congestion, difficulty accessing places of work and education (as evidenced in the school
bus drivers strike) and a generally poorer quality of life. It is necessary to first
address these issues from the institutional side, the domain of the Metro Transport
authorities, across municipal boundaries and within the context of the broader urban
region of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane so that at least the core part of the
larger Gauteng urban region is accommodated. The strategic public transportation network
for Johannesburg a concept closely associated with the citys spatial
development framework to develop dedicated public transport corridors between
peoples residences and work. At the moment, work on the Regina Mundi link
through to Parktown is almost complete and it will continue north to Sunninghill,
explained Seedat. Later, there will be an east-west link as well from Alexandra to
Roodepoort, he added. The idea is to make it more efficient for public
transport operators to function by reducing travelling time and fuel costs, and to address
the negative impact of transport on the environment.
Rashid Seedat qualified with a bachelor of arts, higher diploma in development
planning, and masters in public and development management from Wits University in
Johannesburg. He was awarded a fellowship to attend the Local Government Centre at Warwick
University in the UK between 1992 and 1993, and also studied at the Development Planning
Unit of University College of London in 1993.
working for the City of Johannesburg, he was employed as a senior specialist in local
government at Planact, a progressive non-governmental organisation, during the transition
from apartheid to democracy. He was also active in a number of student, youth, community
and political formations between 1980 and 1994 during the struggle against apartheid.
worked for the city for more than 11 years in various capacities. He is now responsible
for strategic planning (including the formulation of the IDP), strategic policy
development and performance management. Intimately involved in the citys
transformation process (iGoli 2002), Seedat has also been part of the development of the
The reluctant capital
the City of Goodwill, is emerging from its post-Bop slumber and is
on its way to asserting itself as the capital city of the North West Province.
cities throughout the world usually have a strong identity. The appearance of prosperity
and a monumental building style are commonplace, even in so-called Third World
countries where poverty is actually the norm.
a long history as a capital city. First it was the capital of Goshen, which was a Boer
republic established in the early 1880s (the name probably refers to the desert-like
nature of the place, perhaps similar to the valley of Goshen where Moses and the
Israelites once lived in Egypt). Then Mafikeng, strangely enough, served as the
administrative capital of the Bechuanaland protectorate (present-day Botswana), probably
the only administrative capital that was located outside of its territory.
In 1977, it
became the capital of the former homeland of Bophuthatswana, under the reign
of the controversial Lucas Mangope. More recently, it was made the capital city of the
North West province of South Africa.
capital cities across the world are designed to reflect a certain image think of
Chandigarh (India), Brasilia (Brazil) and Canberra (Australia). However Mafikeng seems to
be a reluctant capital. Although wealth is evident in the extensive government
buildings, there are,
said, extremes that are depressing and ripe with unintended irony. Mafikeng
appears unrooted. Buildings relate badly to one another on the barren landscape on
which they seem thrown down almost by chance rather than by any conscious intelligence,
What is in a name?
Originally the name of the town was Mahikeng, which means place among the
rocks in Setswana. When the area was colonised, it was renamed Mafeking and, in
1977, the name changed again to Mafikeng to resemble the original name of the settlement.
Mafikeng now incorporates Mmabatho (Setswana for mother of the people), the
former Bop capital.
Typical of the independent homelands, Mafikeng also has its fair share of
white elephants. Probably the most striking example is Independence Stadium.
Apparently its construction was accompanied by profligate corruption. The Israeli investor
who profited most fled the homeland.
Retail nodes are located in the Mafikeng CBD and the former Mmabatho. As
capital city of Bop, Mafikeng experienced large-scale construction of public buildings.
The Cape to Cairo railway line, envisaged by Cecil John Rhodes, reached
Mafikeng in 1884. Evidence of this colonial past can be found everywhere.
Mmabatho and Mafikeng
The part of Mafikengs history that probably had the biggest impact on the
spatial layout of the town happened in the last half of the previous century when the
Tswana Territorial Authority declared its area the independent state of Bophuthatswana
(Bop). Mmabatho was established as Bops seat of government on the western side of
the railway line while Mafikengs historical CBD remained on the eastern side of the
A town once divided
Mafikengs historical CBD remained on the eastern side of the Mafikeng
faces a number of challenges the most obvious being the spatial disjuncture of the
town of Mafikeng has been racially integrated since 1980 (when Mafikeng opted to be
included in Bop), which has given the city a unique multi-cultural flavour and social
fabric by South African standards. There are people who live in the city from all over the
world, many of whom arrived during the homeland era to teach at the then University of
Bophuthatswana and other Bop institutions and to engage in the lucrative government
contracts of the erstwhile Bophuthatswana. Today, the laid-back way of life and its
friendly townsfolk have earned Mafikeng the name City of Goodwill.
general elections were followed by an era of uncertainty: residents and investors were not
sure whether or not Mafikeng would be the capital of the North West province.
provincial offices were relocated to Potchefstroom and Rustenburg. This was the post-1994
flight, according to Milton Mogape of the Central District Municipality. Investment
was scarce up until about a year ago. Roger Groenewald of the Mafikeng Local Municipality
said there has been an economic boom over the past year. Some residents believe that it
can be partially ascribed to improved provincial governance. Two prominent and widely
discussed projects are the proposed Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone (MIDZ) and the
Mafikeng bio-diesel project (see page 30).
One of the more obvious challenges facing the town is its former homeland
heritage. Mmabatho was established as Bops seat of government on the western side of
the railway line while railway. When you enter the town, its mechanics are not really
are on the table to promote the Mafikeng CBD as the main business district and the
Mmabatho area as a regional node. Another regional node is proposed for the area
surrounding the relatively recently developed The Crossing shopping complex. It is not
clear whether or not a decision was made to opt for a multi-nucleus development model but
in some way it seems inevitable.
disjuncture of Mafikeng is further highlighted by inconsistencies in the urban fabric.
According to the most recent spatial development framework (SDF), only a quarter of the
greater Mafikeng urban system consists of formally proclaimed areas that were planned
according to a traditional grid pattern. The remainder consists of traditional villages
established on tribal land with very few urban elements that could improve the legibility
informal-like areas are also often subject to poverty. The official statistics state that
Mafikeng has a 68% unemployment rate. According to Groenewald, these areas are also not
always easy to develop as the majority of the land is tribal.
significant portion of the land is owned by the province so developers experience some
difficulty with land transfers.
Mafikeng is dominated by government-related activities including education
(North West University Mafikeng Campus and the International School of South Africa) and
the options for conventional investment are somewhat limited. Industrial activity is
practically non-existent there is one existing cement quarry and plans to establish
a tractor assembly plant. According to Groenewald, efforts have been made in the past to
rezone sites from light industrial to commercial in order to
attract other types of investment. Other initiatives include incentive schemes, special
interest rates and the like. The former aerodrome area is also a proposed mixed land use
area. But none of these initiatives have really taken off.
hope that the proposed MIDZ will provide a platform to launch additional economic
the banks of the Molopo River and situated 20 km from the Botswana border, Mafikeng has
strong trade links with Botswana, something the proposed MIDZ also hopes to exploit.
Hoping to unlock the opportunities of the recent economic boom, the SDF for the
Mafikeng local municipality was completed as recently as July 2006. According to Dawie Bos
of Maxim Planning Solutions, this SDF has been informed by national and provincial
planning guidelines (a topdown approach) while the consultative process and stakeholder
involvement represent development from below.
system of directing development along activity corridors and nodes, it is intended to
realise the long-term vision of the municipality:
make Mafikeng Municipality a socioeconomic hub by striving for sustainable development and
service delivery through public participation and optimal use of resources.
The spatial development framework (SDF) plans to establish a clear activity
corridor through the CBD on the way to Botswana. Activity spines will link regional nodes.
Growth is envisaged to take place primarily in a north-westerly direction, enhanced by the
Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone. Urban containment is another issue raised in the
Two major projects in Mafikeng hold promise for the town.
An industrial development zone (IDZ) is defined as a purpose-built industrial
estate that is linked to an international port containing a customs secure area designated
for the purposes of encouraging export manufacturing. The Mafikeng Industrial Development
Zone (MIDZ) was registered on June 25, 2001 and is wholly-owned by the North West
provincial government through the provincial Department of Finance and Economic
its chief executive officer Ithumeleng Ditlhoiso, an application for the provisional IDZ
operator permit has been submitted through the mechanisms set in place by the national
Department of Trade and Industry. Access to land, development rights, bulk infrastructure
and municipal utilities form an integral part of the application for a provisional IDZ, as
well as determining its viability.
approval has not yet been granted, the MIDZ is going ahead with the servicing of 50 sites
that would be developed as Phase 1 of the project.
adjacent to the Mafikeng airport, which has two commercial flights per day to and from
Johannesburg, the MIDZ hopes that the airport will regain its international status
(transferred to Pilanesburg).
investment theme of the MIDZ is to become a world-class hub for the manufacture of hi-tech
electronic components, wireless tracking and tracing equipment and systems, mineral
beneficiation and the processing of agricultural products. Import and export of game and
cattle are also planned and Ditlhoiso is very excited about the establishment of a dry
port and gateway for import and export transactions. Goods can be transferred from
Walvis Bay in Namibia to South Africa via Mafikeng, saving lots of time and money by not
importing through the busy ports of Durban and Cape Town.
will also include the establishment of a minerals cluster building within the IDZ for the
beneficiation of minerals and the production of jewellery.
One of the anchor projects of the MIDZ is the Mafikeng bio-diesel project.
May 2005, it aims to set up a manufacturing plant in Mafikeng within the next four years
(to have the plant fully operational by the end of November 2008).
the projects website claims that altogether 60 000 ha will be utilised for the
production of bio-diesel while an additional 13 000 jobs will be created over a period of
10 years. The Barolong Boora Tshidi tribe has made 45 000 ha available for this project.
labourers will be contracted to establish the infrastructure. There will also be a
recruitment drive to employ as many of the local people as possible in the day-to-day
running of the manufacturing plant.
the company intends to produce in the region of 13 000 t of bio-diesel per annum. The
project will be designed to produce up to 100 000 t of biodiesel with additional refinery
units, depending on the availability of raw material (seeds), the availability of land and
market demand. A number of different species of plant-based oils are being considered for
this bio-diesel initiative.
investment theme and designation of the Mafikeng industrial development zone are
complemented by a structured land-use plan.
plants, including Moringa oleifera, Pappea capensis and Ximenia caffra are being
cultivated on a trial basis for the Mafikeng bio-diesel project.
ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND DESIGN
Towards green parking
makes a parking area green? Simply reducing allocated space, for one, but also
implementing environment-friendly measures for stormwater management, temperature control,
durability and pollution control.
planning manuals refer to parking areas as hard open spaces but they need not
be just that. Green parking techniques can be applied to reduce the total
impervious surface of a site. Green parking refers to several techniques applied together
to reduce the contribution of parking lots to the total impervious surface of a site.
There are many aspects to sustainable or environment-friendly design. The provision of
systems in harmony with nature to regulate the heating and cooling of buildings, minimize
stormwater runoff and reduce waste creation are all part of this bigger picture.
interventions include reducing the number of parking lots created, minimising the
dimensions of parking lots, using alternative pavers in overflow areas, bio-retention for
the treatment of stormwater, shared parking and economic incentives for structured
benefits to be enjoyed down the line include:
pollution at source;
removal of pollution
before runoff is discharged;
control of discharge
rates of stormwater
a pleasant experience
for all users.
There is a growing need to address the impact of hard open spaces on the
environment in terms of influence on stormwater and therefore soil erosion and flood
1. Stormwater management
From a stormwater perspective, the application of green parking techniques in
correct combination can dramatically reduce impervious cover and consequently the amount
of stormwater runoff.
A basic rule
is that the natural flow of water may not be obstructed. While this may fall under the
jurisdiction of a local authority, it is subject to provincial and national policies such
as the National Water Act, which requires all South African township development plans to
show 1-in-100 year flood lines. A distinction is made between stormwater attenuation
(designed to buffer the volume of stormwater run-off before releasing it to the natural
watercourse) and stormwater detention (with a much more immediate function like emergency
containment of stormwater run-off in places like parking areas, sports fields and upstream
of road embankments).
Popular for controlling stormwater as an open drainage channel designed to
detain, treat and/or infiltrate stormwater, the swale may or may not be vegetated.
definitions describe it not as a channel but rather as a water-holding recess a
ditch on the contour that does not direct water but holds it and allows it to gradually
infiltrate the soil downslope of it.
water run-off are caught in the swale, which becomes a fertile area. Gradual infiltration
of water and nutrients and the dead roots of plants growing in the swale slowly improve
soil structure downslope. When used in urban planning, swales may take various shapes and
sizes being commonly constructed concrete channels for run-off water. When vegetated, they
generally have engineered soil layers in combination with geotextile mats.
For treating stormwater in a parking lot, these differ from swales in
construction. Urban swales use engineered soil layers in a concrete channel. Bioretention
areas are not constructed over concrete but over natural ground so that retained water can
infiltrate. The run-off filters through the bed and is infiltrated into the subsurface or
collected into an underground drain pipe and discharged into a stream or other stormwater
facility. The uppermost layers may use geotextiles or other filtering media (such as
lattice or honeycomb-shaped plastic grids) to ensure surface soil retention. These
facilities can be attractively integrated into landscaped areas and maintained by
commercial landscapers. Pollutant removal rates of bio-retention areas have not been
directly measured but considered comparable to a dry swale, which removes 91% of total
suspended solids, 67% of total phosphorous, 92% of total nitrogen, and 80% to 90% of
metals. Green parking lots are also restricted to areas with naturally sandy soil allowing
water to drain. If built over clay-based soil, the lot could be damaged as clay expands
Alternative pavers are only recommended for overflow parking because of the
considerable cost. These include gravel, cobbles, wood mulch, brick, grass pavers, turf
blocks, natural stone, pervious concrete and porous asphalt, and generally require more
specialised installation and maintenance than conventional asphalt or concrete. Permeable
pavement is a multi-layer construction material allowing stormwater to drain through to
the soil rather than allowing stormwater to become run-off with potential to contaminate
soil and water with pollutants.
geotextile fabric is spread over a base layer of gravel to keep it stable but allow water
to pass through. A top layer of sand and a concrete or plastic lattice grid complete the
pavement. Spreading grass is finally planted for additional stability and texture.
in the Brickfields development, Johannesburg, are arranged around a central courtyard and
parking space. Rather than specifying traditional paving blocks for the parking area, the
architects opted for Congrass, which is a hard-lawn paver from Concor Technicrete, with
openings for top soil and grass to be planted.
2. Pollution control
There is a fair amount of oil on our roads and parking surfaces in South
Africa. Be it due to ageing or poorly maintained vehicles, the concentration of oil is
expected to be higher in areas where these vehicles park. Unlike overseas, South African
legislation does not appear to require runoff from parking areas to be filtered before it
is discharged into the storm water system. One method widely applied internationally, but
which cannot be proven effective, is the use of oil-grit separators on the storm water
outlet from parking areas.
this method uses a three chamber settling principle to allow sedimentation of particles,
which are removed from the device by periodic cleaning. This method is not suited to clay
conditions and it has not been proven to remove pollutants like heavy metals found in oil
from run-off water. While its best to prevent pollution at source, it may be prudent
to install grease and sediment traps upstream of storm water outfall. Theres room
here for a design suited to local conditions.
3. Temperature control
Trees and canopies are successfully combined to reduce the heat island effect
caused by reflection from cars. This technique is easily applied and effective as soon as
young trees are tall enough to provide shade. The choice of trees is important: while good
planning recommends deciduous trees on the north side of a building to allow more sun in
winter, the same doesnt hold true for parking areas.
Africa, parked vehicles always get hot so tree varieties that do not shed their leaves in
winter are better.
is an aspect that affects parkades more than open lots. New technologies are making the
design and monitoring of these areas more effective. Natural ventilation is always
applicable but detailed study is required in some areas and types of parking garage design
to determine effectiveness. Shielding from the ingress of external water, such as rain,
must also be taken into account.
Durability affects most decisions regarding the surfacing of parking areas.
Asphalt is predominantly used to carry typical traffic loads, requiring an aggregate layer
of 80 mm to 100 mm. Using permeable surfaces requires an aggregate layer twice as thick to
carry the loads. Coupled with penetrable surfaces, which replenish groundwater, this
strongly supports green parking.
But it must
be stressed that these permeable surfaces are not intended for high traffic volumes and
heavy vehicles. Porous pavements may be used with the dual benefit of improving
infiltration of water while reducing traffic noise but they are meant for low-traffic,
low-speed lots. Driving fast over a permeable surface would feel like driving over a
attenuation dam on a parking lot at the Carlswald lifestyle centre in Midrand,
between Johannesburg and Pretoria, was designed to be a water feature.
innovative solution in the parking lot at Siemens Park in Midrand: canopies provide shade
but there is space for indigenous trees to grow.
small parking lots, as in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, is relatively easy and not
5. Reducing the surface
A shared parking arrangement could include the use of the same parking lot by
an office space with peak parking demand during the week and a church, for example, with
week-end and evening parking requirements.
projects with a shared parking arrangement, there is often full garage occupancy. And this
could have the additional benefit for the garage owner and community at large
of eliminating empty night garage syndrome.
parking may be necessary to cut costs but building upwards or downwards could help
minimise surface parking.
specifies the number of spaces for parked automobiles. The designer must work within local
codes in order to satisfy these requirements.
Steps to green parking
1. Determine the
infiltration rate of the native soil.
2. Determine the direction
of stormwater flow and where it needs to be collected.
3. Determine opportunities
for incorporating permeable pavement and natural drainage landscapes:
drainage area being directed to each natural drainage landscape area flow should be
distributed to multiple landscaped areas; and
pavement in areas where appropriate, especially in overflow parking areas, fire lanes and
other low-use areas, determining how this reduces the total impervious surface area and
adjusting the total area required for flow control and the treatment of stormwater.
4. Determine the required
dimensions for natural drainage landscape areas and ensure that the receiving area is
practical and sufficient. In certain areas of the USA, there are guidelines to determine
the ratio between height of vegetation and the depth of water quality treatment.
5. Identify areas of
overflow and where a structure is to be connected to the storm sewer.
parking in mixed-use areas and structured parking are also green parking techniques that
can further reduce the conversion of land to impervious cover. The emphasis is very much
on design in building a new facility or in the refurbishment of an existing structure.
considerations in creating parking space are the surface area to be covered and the nature
of traffic it will accommodate.
alternative surfaces are not well suited to high-volume or heavy-vehicle traffic.
WASTE AND POLLUTION MANAGEMENT
Reaping environmental rewards
landfill waste generates mostly methane gas, which could be lucrative for municipalities
and beneficial for the environment. Is South Africa reaping the rewards?
often shrouded in controversy, landfills are integral as part of the urban fabric.
Maintaining air quality in the vicinity of landfills remains an ongoing issue. However
commercial extraction of methane from landfill sites is a tried-and-tested technology with
literally hundreds of examples in the UK and USA alone. The technology is so mature that
companies offer packaged plants, which can literally be delivered to site and connected to
produce electricity that can be fed back into the local grid. What initiatives are
underway to ensure that South Africa plays an active role in this global initiative to
combat climate change and simultaneously realise opportunities for sustainable
The state of the nation
Ekurhuleni is the latest of our metropolitan municipalities to forge ahead with
landfill gas exploitation. The eThekwini metro is a case in point where vision,
determination and lobbying seem to have paid off. Cape Towns initiative seems to be
taking a nap while analysis paralysis prevails. Much good work has been done
in the creation of clean development mechanisms by farsighted officials and engineers but
the Cape Town landfill gas train seems temporarily, one hopes, to have run out of steam.
landfill operator EnviroServ has been quick to exploit its potential reserves at the
Chloorkop landfill near Kempton Park in Gauteng. In October 2005, the company signed an
agreement with Japan Carbon Finance for the extraction of 1-million tons of greenhouse
gases over seven years. With certified emission reductions (CERs) of between US$4 to US$8
each, these CERs or carbon credits realise a profit when sold on the international market.
Matthew Havinga, regional operations manager for EnviroServ, the final environmental
impact assessment document for the development of Chloorkop is with the Gauteng Department
of Agriculture, Conservation and
and a final record of decision was expected at the time of going to press. Other sites
operated by EnviroServ are under investigation and feasibility studies are underway but no
definite projects apart from Chloorkop have been concluded.
setting the pace
Strachan, project manager for the eThekwini metros Durban solid waste department and
champion of efforts to exploit landfill gas, told Urban Green File that, in Durban, more
than 25% of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to landfill sites.
Kyoto Protocol came into effect, the utilisation of landfill gas was not economically
viable as the cost of Eskom-generated electrical power was distinctly cheap at
12c/kWh compared to 22c/kWh from landfill gas generation, according to Strachan.
eThekwini project involves harvesting methane gas at the metros sites on Bisasar
Road, in Mariannhill, and at La Mercy.
landfill-gas-to-electricity-generation project could produce 10 MW of green power.
The project will use proven technology, feeding the landfill gas into purpose-built,
spark-ignition engines, each with a 500 kW to 1 MW electricity-generation capacity,
Strachan explained. Planning for a Durban landfill-gas-to-electricity clean development
mechanism (CDM) project began in 2002 and the metro signed a memorandum of understanding
agreement with the World Banks prototype carbon fund (PCF) in 2003. The PCF was the
first of its kind for the purchase of carbon emission credits at the time.
later, the mayor signed an emissions reductions purchase agreement (ERPA) in Cologne,
Germany, with the PCF as the funding mechanism of the World Bank for Carbon Finance. In
terms of this agreement, eThekwini agreed to develop a landfill-gas-to-electricity
project, which will deliver emission reduction credits for sale to the PCF. The agreement
involves the sale of a total of 3,8-million tons of carbon credits at a value of
however, there are several other purchasers of carbon credits with several linked brokers
in South Africa. This development within the carbon market has caused the metro to
reconsider its options.
purchase offer was US$3,95/t or per CER credit whereas the international price for
CDM-derived CERs is trading as high as US$8.
eThekwini metro has decided to continue with the World Bank agreement on a smaller
component of the CDM project, and to open the larger component (the Bisasar Road landfill)
to other purchasers of CERs. This decision could increase revenue by R80-million. The
metro has the option of going to the CDM world market.
comprises 700 000 t on Component 1 (Mariannhill and La Mercy) and 3,1-million t on
Component 2 (Bisasar), according to Strachan. It will draw additional revenue from
electricity sales to the value of about R91,4-million.
of the 2 MW potential Component 1 with gas recovery wells and pipes to deliver gas to a
power-generation system is set to begin before the end of 2006. Construction on the
Bisasar Road landfill was scheduled to begin in July 2006 but bureaucratic issues have led
of this project is high the metro has been approached by several other cities
worldwide seeking technical assistance with landfill gas utilisation CDM projects.
Officials at eThekwini have even assisted with proposed projects in Maputo (Mozambique),
Kampala (Uganda), Tehran (Iran) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). But in spite of all this
knowledge, virtually no requests have been received from any South African municipalities
while much reinventing of the wheel and politicking is taking place, Strachan lamented.
The Ekurhuleni project began on Johannesburgs East Rand with
a small-scale pilot project, including two to four wells and a 300 Nm³/h flare at each
site in 2004.
were pumped for gas and the yields monitored over a six-month trial period.
stage will be the design and development of a full-scale gas extraction and flaring
project on the four waste disposal sites within the metro. After six to 12 months of
experience with gas flaring, the project will move to the use of the extracted gas to
derive energy where this is found to be technically and financially viable.
estimates indicate that the project could reduce between 1,6-million t and 3,2-million t
of carbon dioxide equivalent over six years. This equates to the same number of credits.
The value of these credits to Ekurhuleni could be at least R60-million. The implementation
of the CDM project and the sale of carbon credits is a specialised and extremely complex
process. The metro has therefore engaged a specialist consulting group for advice on
developing and implementing the CDM project. In order to realise the sale of carbon
credits, project consultant
Development Group, has suggested a specific bidding process. The bid for the sale of CERs
has been advertised locally and internationally, and the closing date for the submission
of bids was September 12, 2006. According to Riana Becker of Ekurhuleni, nine prospective
buyers submitted bids and the project team is in the process of evaluating the
bid proposals that have been received.
Landfill gas utilisation has been tried with very limited success in South
Africa due mainly to our low electricity costs and the absence of tax breaks or other
government incentives to develop alternative sources of energy. But this hasnt
stopped entrepreneurial municipal engineers from developing and refining systems.
nutshell, landfill gas extraction wasnt financially viable on its own but the
Protocol has levelled the playing field by creating the carbon credits market incentive,
which specifically favours developing countries and those that can show meaningful
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
is well placed to exploit this market and some municipalities have responded quickly by
not only placing their carbon credits on the market but also generating viable electricity
at costs less than they could sell it to domestic consumers.
So all the
factors seem to be in place:
plentiful supplies of
free methane fuel;
demand for energy,
either electrical or fuel;
disposal of problematic gas;
vastly improved air
a carbon credit scheme
affording payment from countries and agencies wanting to buy credits.
potential win-win situation offered up on a platter, and the widespread availability of
mature technology, it is difficult to understand why landfill gas extraction is taking so
long to become a reality.
Like so many
issues of a similar nature, the reinvention of this particular wheel is neither necessary
Durbans landfill-gas-to-electricity-generation project could produce 10
MW of green power. The Bisasar Road landfill could generate 6 MW to 8 MW of
sustained power for about 10 to 12 years while the Mariannhill and La Mercy sites could
afford 2 MW of renewable energy power.
In 2004, the Ekurhuleni municipality began a pilot project to extract landfill
gas from four of its large landfill sites Weltevreden, Rooikraal, Rietfontein and
Simmer & Jack. Test flares were installed to determine the quality and quantity of
Decaying landfill waste generates a cocktail of nasty gases. Methane is by far
the largest component. Unless tapped, these gases simply dissipate into the atmosphere
where they contribute to the problem of poor air quality, foul smells and the greenhouse
effect, which was first discovered and understood in the early 1970s.