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Monday, 27 June 2016 00:00

Msunduzi Industry event highlights: The value of sustainable manufacturing

Industry event highlights value of sustainable manufacturing

In the wake of rising energy costs and water restrictions, the Msunduzi Municipality, Pietermaritzburg, collaborated with the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) to host an industry breakfast held on 21 June 2016.  The event brought together industry, local government and industry associations to discuss the importance of industrial competitiveness in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

The event was opened by Eunice Majola, Councillor Msunduzi Municipality, who said that business had the will to adopt sustainable practices and promote job creation, and lauded initiatives such as the NCPC-SA to provide expertise and support to industry.  

Highlighting the importance of the event, Dr Ray Ngcobo, Deputy Municipal Manager: Economic Development Msunduzi Municipality, agreed that resource efficiency was key to promote growth and development in its manufacturing sectors, especially in agro processing, pulp and paper sectors.

An overview of the NCPC-SA programmes and services with a special mention of the soon to be launched Industrial Water Efficiency Project was shared by Kevin Cilliers, Regional Manager KwaZulu-Natal NCPC-SA. Lindani Ncwane, Project Manager NCPC-SA encouraged companies to participate in the Centre’s programmes and notably mentioned the assistance provided for plant assessments, and the training courses available to enhance capacity building in companies.

Hulamin, producers of aluminium semi-fabricated rolled products and extrusions, were invited to share how their company benefited from resource efficiency and cleaner production (RECP) implementation.  

Debra Jackson, Chemical and Environmental Specialist, and Hendrik de Villiers, Engineering Manager, shared how the rising prices of energy, lack of water, had an impact on Hulamin’s ability to compete globally.  Energy and water savings projects identified through RECP assessments have already yielded significant savings potential.  The training courses, offered by the Centre, have also boosted the team’s skills development in energy management systems, and energy system optimisation.

Bongani Ngobese, Special Projects Champion Msunduzi Municipality said that he would roll out an implementation plan to encourage the adoption of resource efficiency best practices throughout the municipality and its industry. Melanie Veness, CEO Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, shared her support for the initiative.

The industry event is part of the Centre’s awareness raising activities to share resource efficiency practices and to promote the adoption of RECP methodologies.