Water biggest issue in Karoo ‘fracking’ debate
THE moratorium on the exploration of the Karoo for gas needs to be lifted so that further studies on the process can be done. This is according to Dr Danie Vermeulen, director of the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State.
Afghan civilian massacre sparks calls for early US exit
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The massacre of 16 villagers by a U.S. soldier has triggered angry calls for an immediate American exit from Afghanistan as Washington tries to negotiate a long-term presence to keep the country from sliding into chaos again.
Kariega rhinos all dehorned
IN a delicate and controversial 20-minute procedure, wildlife officials surgically dehorned the remaining horned rhinos at the Kariega Private Game Reserve in an attempt to deter poaching.
PE book fair to promote reading
THE Eastern Cape’s matric results are deteriorating year after year partly because the province lacks a “culture of reading”.
Another attack at festering Arlington
ANOTHER knife attack has occurred at Arlington Waste Disposal Site. The attack, which took place on Saturday afternoon, comes amid calls by the DA for an investigation into the chaotic state of the site and questionable swopping of contractors.
Schoenies otter takes fishing lessons
IT’S one of the iconic wild animals of the metro’s open spaces, but it’s not often seen – certainly not clambering onto the rocks right under your feet. But that was the experience of fishing buddies Gavin Curtis and Stuart Duckenfield who were trying their luck with light tackle and pilchards at Schoenies yesterday (August 10 2011).
Cause and effect of climate change explained
SO HOW to communicate the complexity and magnitude of climate change to youngsters from a little school in Zwide? The kids, in grades six and seven at Mzimhlophe Primary School, were given the answer to this question during their visit to the SA Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Samrec) yesterday (August 03 2011).
R1.5-million farming venture will fit Eastern Cape to a tea
THE Eastern Cape government has set aside R1.5-million to kick-start an expanded honeybush tea industry that could be ramped up to produce a turnover of R100-million a year and hundreds of new jobs. The good news follows on the results that have emerged from a study of the honeybush industry, commissioned by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on behalf of the provincial economic development and environmental affairs department.
Snowed-in guards airlifted to safety
NINETEEN stock-theft guards stationed on the top of the Drakensberg have been plucked to safety as heavy snow presses in on their lonely outposts. The guards are housed alone or in pairs in 10 shipping containers, at key points along the Lesotho border with the north-eastern Eastern Cape, in the Rhodes area.
Algoa Bay the best monitored in all of Africa
ALGOA Bay is now “the best monitored bay in Africa” with millions of rands worth of equipment installed below the surface measuring a wide range of environmental conditions. That was the proud revelation yesterday (July 28 2011) from SA Environmental Observation Network (Saeon) co-ordinator Shaun Deyzel, who was speaking at a marine science symposium hosted by SA National Parks, at the Addo Elephant National Parks.
Mantis in new Nigeria deal
PORT Elizabeth based tourism group Mantis Collection has announced a bold expansion into West Africa with a landmark, multi-million US dollar deal signed in PE yesterday (July 25 2011) to roll out a sumptuous suite of boutique hotels in Nigeria. Mantis founder Adrian Gardiner signed the deal at Shamwari Townhouse in Summerstrand with highly respected Nigerian businessman Nze Chidi Duru, who is the chairman of Abuja-based Grand Towers Plc. The Nigerian company has interests in the pension, banking, retail, communications, IT and hospitality sectors.
Surf event sets greening benchmark
BILLABONG Pro J-Bay is setting a benchmark for international surfing contests with a comprehensive programme to protect the local environment and combat global climate change.
Karoo farmers take their fracking probe to Jo’burg oil summit
A SMALL Karoo farmers’ association is so concerned about fracking, and damning new evidence out of the US, it is funding the R10000 bill demanded for a four-day oil and gas conference in Johannesburg, to allow one of its members to attend.
Swell job for man with decades of experience
WITH the small waves prevailing yesterday (Sunday July 17 2011) for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, all surfing mojos are focused on the second week of the contest and the swell that, it is hoped, will still set things on fire. The man with un-paralleled expertise in this department is contest director Eric Stedman, 54, who has been scanning synoptic charts, fiddling with barometers and assessing wind direction since he was a grommit back in East London in the 1960s. It also helps that he began surfing Jeffreys Bay 43 years ago.
New official whale watching operator launch in the bay
ALGOA Bay’s first boat-based boat-based whale-watching operation in a decade has been officially launched – and already some exciting sightings are being reported. Lloyd Edwards of Raggy Charters, the company awarded the boat-based whale watching (BBWW) license for Algoa Bay, said yesterday (July 14 2011) he spotted the cow and calf pair of southern right whales off Algorax earlier this week.
Super surf contest starts at J-Bay
THE latest edition of one of the great global surfing contests, built around an iconic right-hand point break, was launched in Jeffreys Bay last night (Wednesday July 14 2011).
Unique source of Bay water
HOW many cities in the world can say they get their water from a World Heritage Site? Very few, I bet. Yet, that’s the case with Port Elizabeth and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and in fact the Gamtoos River Valley vege farmers.
Bayworld raggies returned to the ocean
THE biggest baddest pair from Bayworld’s de-commissioned aquarium, two bulky raggedtooth sharks, were released yesterday (July 26 2011) back into the sea. It was a sad day for the oceanarium, where they have lived for nearly two decades, inspiring awe in hundreds of thousands of visitors – but it is good news for the species, as the pair are now part of a research project aimed at securing our waters as one of the few safe havens in the world for raggies.
Dairy farm could close soon
BUSHY Park Dairy Farm, a flagship “proudly Port Elizabeth” business and a much-loved feature of the metro for the past 20 years, is facing closure. The shock news was confirmed yesterday (June 21 2011) by managing trustee Puffer Hartzenberg, who was responding to unconfirmed reports about the matter.
Unique study of great whites
A UNIQUE study into the abundance, distribution and movement of great white sharks in Algoa Bay, sponsored by the metro, has been launched. There has never been a fatal shark attack in Algoa Bay, but the metro has committed the R800000 grant as a pro-active step, taken in line with their marketing of Port Elizabeth as “the watersports’ capital of Africa”, researcher Dr Matt Dicken explained yesterday (June 21 2011).
Refurbished Skead book published
A NEW book aimed at celebrating our natural heritage and guiding sound future conservation policy has been published in Port Elizabeth. Historical Incidence of the Larger Land Mammals in the Broader Western and Northern Cape (including the Eastern Cape as far east as Sundays River) is a complete re-furbishment – with summaries, maps, illustrations and two new chapters – of the original work of the same name by legendary naturalist Dr Jack Skead, who died in 2006.
Co-op sponsors two farmers on US mission
TWO Karoo farmers have flown out of PE on a ground-breaking mission to the US, to get the low-down on fracking, in the country where it all began.
Link Refit to electric cars proposal
IF WE CAN link Refit with electrical motorcars – then we could really be onto something. Speaking to The Herald yesterday (June 14 2011), department of environmental affairs deputy-director general for climate change, Peter Lukey, said the scheduled launch this month of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (Refit), will likely lead to significant positive change.
Exciting reforestation project underway in Transkei
AN UNUSUAL re-forestation and carbon sequestration project is underway in the heart of the old Transkei, where savage erosion is a common feature. The R7600000 project is being run as a partnership between the Congress of Traditional Leaders’ of South Africa (Contralesa), the national department of environmental affairs and a Johannesburg-based company called Carbon Worx.
EC investment boost to counter climate change
EASTERN Cape economic environment MEC Mcebisi Jonas yesterday announced significant new green economy investment to boost green economy skills in the province.
Branch recalls fascinating career
FOR world-renowned reptile and amphibian expert Dr Bill Branch, who retired this week from Bayworld after 32 years employment there – it all began in 1969, on the shores of a lake in East Africa.
Green electricity programme set to launch this month
GOVERNMENT will this month launch the long-awaited Refit programme that will make funding available to pay private energy entrepreneurs who will generate their own green electricity and sell it to the grid.
EC leads climate change battle
THE Eastern Cape government has declared its intention to lead from the front in the war against climate change, with a landmark multi-benefit project agreement signed at the Eastern Cape Climate Change Conference in East London yesterday (June 08 2011).
Climate change conference
EVERYONE change – a milestone Eastern Cape climate change conference, featuring senior political leaders and climate change experts, is set to start in East London today (Wednesday May 8). The Eastern Cape Climate Change Conference will focus on the strategy document that has been prepared by local role-players, and will look towards the UN’s Cop17 summit, the international climate change indaba in Durban in December
‘Plenty of power for smelter,’ says CDC
BLACK-out fears notwithstanding, there is more than enough electricity for the megawatt-hungry Coega manganese smelter, according to the Coega Development Corporation (CDC). CDC communications’ chief Senzeni Ndebele was responding this week to concerns expressed about the power demands of the smelter and how this will affect Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality residents and existing businesses.
Motherwell eco-schools big recipients
TWO Motherwell “eco-schools” were the recipients this week of tens of thousands of rands worth of equipment and furniture to help them learn better. The 26 maths and reading software packages, 100 desks and 200 chairs were donated by ABB after the power and automation giant participated last year in a Wessa eco-schools’ workshop in PE.
Pollution plume off the beachfront raises concerns
A STRANGE-looking plume of discoloured water has been appearing sporadically in the bay between Shark Rock Pier and Humewood Beach, resulting in a number of calls from concerned residents, Following an initial report on May 20 by Humewood resident Elize Pretorius, and then disappearing for several days, it reappeared again this week, prompting further calls.
Put the environment on agenda of new councils
Concerns over Ngqura oil leak ‘unfounded’
CONCERNS have been raised that the oil and gas exploration rig in Port of Ngqura could be leaking oil into the bay. Both the Norwegian company that owns the ultra-deepwater drilling rig and the harbour authorities have rejected as unfounded the concerns raised by environmental group Ocean Messengers.
Ball of fire not the beginning of the end.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Was it a comet hurtling to Earth in delayed fulfillment of Harold Campling’s doomsday prophesy? Well, no. In fact, it was the International Space Station (ISS) and space shuttle Endeavour, catching the last rays of the setting sun.
Ngqura a fish magnet
THE Port of Ngqura has become an extraordinary magnet for marine life, and could point the way to an important new role for harbours, according to Bayworld marine biologist and shark specialist Dr Matt Dicken.
Stately emperor pays family a flying visit
THERE are moths and there are moths – and then there is the pine tree emperor, one of the giants of the insect world. Gorgeous yellow in colour and “easily the size of a man’s hand”, one of these moths swooped into a Seaview home the other night.
Endangered forest clearing probed
A SWATHE of critically endangered forest and new generation legislation formulated to combat climate change are at the centre of a confrontation in Deer Park. The forestry department has slammed as “reckless and malicious” the clearing of the area, which is over 100m long by on average 4m wide.
Male in search of good life turns up at beachfront
HE WAS a prickly customer – but in the end he came quietly. It was Patrick Mange, the cleaner and gardener at beachfront flatblock Bandle, next to the Beach Hotel, who found him.
EC operators performs strongly at Indaba
THE Eastern Cape has fared well at the Indaba tourism conference and expo in Durban, taking gold in two different categories in the main Welcome awards and only just falling short in the Eteya emerging tourism operators’ awards. The Welcome Awards winners are both from PE and are both family-owned businesses: the Plantation, the wedding, functions’ and accommodation venue on the Sardinia Bay road, and Economic Cars and Bakkies, the 20-year-old Walmer-based car rental firm.
NMMU microscope a global break-through
NMMU has been catapulted into the forefront of nanoscience research with the arrival of a state-of-the-art custom-built microscope from Japan. The high resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) is the first of its kind that has been sold commercially outside of Japan and the last of a suite of four electron microscopes, costing a total R90-million, that have arrived in the past week from Tokyo manufacturer JEOL and a second manufacturer in The Netherlands.
‘Port guards like the Stasi’
FOREIGN tourists yesterday compared guards at the Port Elizabeth Harbour to the dreaded Stazi security police of East Germany, following an incident in which their driver was manhandled, forcibly detained and then bundled off to Humewood Police Station. The incident happened yesterday morning as the tourists, a group of five Russians and a Belgian, were about to enter the harbour at its southern entrance, headed for a day diving excursion in Algoa Bay with local dive company Expert-Tours.
Dad’s call following son’s death
SIMON Swart started drugging in his early teens and he had been through 15 rehabilitation centres before he died, alone in his room in a backpacker lodge in Central, a fortnight ago. But there was much more to this young man.
How to rejuvenate Baakens River Valley
I WAS chatting to permaculture activist and leading member of Transition Network PE Naomi Suzane the other day, and she came with a great idea of how to secure, rejuvenate and celebrate the Baakens Valley. We kicked her idea around, and this is how it turned out.
Nuclear moratorium call
THE concern group challenging the Thyspunt nuclear reactor has called on government to place a moratorium on all nuclear development in South Africa until the full extent of the Fukushima disaster is known. The call by the Thyspunt Alliance – a broad coalition of residential, cultural, environmental, tourism, fisheries, business and surfing interests in the Oyster Bay, St Francis, Humansdorp and Jeffrey’s Bay area – co-incides with the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl, the historic nuclear melt-down in Ukraine.
Major show jumping event scheduled for PE
PORT Elizabeth has been named as a host city for a world show-jumping championship qualifier event, sparking great excitement in the show-jumping fraternity, and the promise of an energising mid-Winter injection of tourist revenue. The event will be attracting the country’s top jumpers, so it is being celebrated in horsey circles – but it is much more than that, event co-ordinator Tanya Radke said yesterday.
Oceanarium seals readied for departure
HOW do you transport eight seals to Pretoria? That’s the preoccupation right now of Bayworld’s oceanarium team, as the relocation of their animals moves ahead.
Chumming fines co-incide with issuing of whale permit
NELSON Mandela Bay Municipality has issued four fines to marine tourism operator Lloyd Edwards related to the controversial chumming incident off Humewood Beach last month. The issuing of the fines at the Port Elizabeth beach office on Friday co-incides with the issuing this week of the long-awaited boat-based whale watching (BBWW) license for Algoa Bay – to Edwards.
Farewell (for now) to Bayworld oceanarium
BAYWORLD’S oceanarium is set to close at the end of this month to prepare for the de-commissioning of the 43-year-old dolphin pool and the transfer of 24 penguins and nine seals to Pretoria Zoo. It’s all part of “operation stop the bleed” in which Port Elizabeth’s much loved museum and oceanarium complex has had to make some tough decisions in order to deliver, hopefully, long-term bounty.
Get out the Karoo, farmers tell Shell
ANGRY residents of the Middleburg area have called for Shell to “get out the Karoo” after the company failed to guarantee the security of their water if fracking goes ahead. Addressing Shell representatives at a hall in Middelburg’s Grootfontein Agricultural College in a hall packed with farmers in T-shirts saying “Don’t Frack with our Karoo,” members of the audience asked repeatedly if the multi-national could “guarantee no risk to our water”.
Nieu Bethesda farmers count flood costs
IT COULD take some farmers in Nieu Bethesda a decade to get back to where they were before the flood that hit them Saturday. That’s the word from the mountainous catchment area north of Graaff-Reinet, where well over 100mm of rain fell in 24 hours, flooding the Gats River and all its tributaries, flattening stock fences, stripping roads to bedrock and bursting farm dams.
Article source: http://www.peherald.com/news/article/5344