Cleaner production training for state officials

Cleaner production specialist, and NCPC-SA director, Ndivhuiho Raphulo.
Cleaner production specialist, and NCPC-SA director, Ndivhuiho Raphulo.

The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) has the best training programme in the state sector.

NCPC-SA won the 2016 Public Sector Training Programme category, at the Skills Summit in Pretoria.

The award recognises the raising of scarce and critical skills, in support of the country’s transition to a greener economy.

The centre is a national state programme that promotes the implementation of Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) methods, to assist the waste industry to lower costs through reduced energy, water and materials usage, and better waste management.

It is managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.

NCPC-SA director, Ndivhuho Raphulu, said they had established the skills development programme as part of an Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project, launched in SA by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in 2010.

The UN initiative is part of the global drive towards greater energy efficiency. It was done in partnership with the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); the UK Department of International Development (UKAID /DFID); the SA Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

A new environmental management qualification

“As a key industrial sustainability programme of the DTI, the NCPC-SA has enjoyed strong support from the department in its efforts to introduce solutions to scarce and critical skills needs not provided for through existing qualifications,” says Raphulu.

A key objective of the NCPC-SA has been skills development for a direct and measurable impact in industry, in the form of financial savings, and significant reduction in energy consumption, carbon emissions, and waste generation.

“Energy savings achieved in industry plants over the past five years, primarily as a direct result of the NCPC-SA’s expert-level training, amounted to 2140 GWh; enough to power 297 000 middle-income homes for a year,” said Raphulu.

This translates into R1.76-b in financial savings, or 1.7-m tonnes in terms of CO2 savings.

Energy management courses

Training offered by the NCPC-SA includes end-user, and expert level courses, in energy management systems (EnMS), RECP, and energy systems optimisation (ESO).

The NCPC-SA also has a strong focus on the youth through an internship programme offered in partnership with industry.

“The programme involves the placement of unemployed engineering graduates in industry plants to identify and implement actual savings opportunities under guidance of expert mentors.

“Interns gain valuable experience and a sought-after discipline, thus increasing their employability,” said Raphulu.

Necsa chairman Dr Kelvin Kemm demonstrating the growth in power usage in developing countries (red bars), while electricity usage in developed countries remained stable (blue bars). Other graphs demonstrate that kWh usage per person correlates directly to relative wealth, with north American countries at the top of the curve, and some African countries at the bottom. "There is no way to increase wealth, and decrease health and environmental impacts, without nuclear power." However most environmentalists believe that some African energy usage is wasteful, and some production is inefficient, leading to waste, pollution, and unsustainable impacts on health and environment.
Necsa chairman Dr Kelvin Kemm demonstrating the growth in power usage in developing countries (red bars), while electricity usage in developed countries remained stable (blue bars).
Other graphs demonstrate that kWh usage per person correlates directly to relative wealth, with north American countries at the top of the curve, and some African countries at the bottom. “There is no way to increase wealth, and decrease health and environmental impacts, without nuclear power.”
However most environmentalists believe that some African energy usage is wasteful, and some production is inefficient, leading to waste, pollution, and unsustainable impacts on health and environment.

Environmental professional body formed

NCPC-SA plays a leading role in the establishment of a professional body that will set qualification standards in the green industry, that would be recognised by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

The new body will have powers and authority to assume responsibility for qualification development and quality assurance.

Special initiatives are undertaken to increase the number of women in the broader field of resource efficiency and cleaner production, include free training for women registering during Women’s Month and recruiting and training female engineers, environmental scientists and natural scientists.

Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production definition

RECP can be defined as a systematic and integrated approach to managing energy, water, environmental and financial resources; as well as eliminating or minimising waste and emissions to the environment on a sustainable and cost-effective basis.

  • Sources; CSIR. NECSA. Sheqafrica.com.
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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.