Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s true legacy: a free and prosperous South Africa

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 09 April 2018 – Following her passing at age 81 in a Johannesburg hospital on Easter Sunday, Brand South Africa highlights the important role that heroine of freedom, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, played in helping South Africa transition peacefully from apartheid to a stable democracy in 1994. Madikizela-Mandela’s courage to speak her truth and dedicate her life towards fulfilling a vision of an equitable, prosperous, better future for South Africa is what made her a truly powerful icon of freedom. A true patriot, Madikizela-Mandela faced untold hardships during the apartheid years, yet she confronted each with an inner strength and fortitude. It is her courage and bravery as well as fearless commitment to fulfilling the dream of economic and political freedom which will remain her ultimate legacy. “Her spirit, her passion…her courage, her wilfulness: I felt all of these things the moment I saw her,” said former South African President Nelson Mandela of the woman he would later marry.Her dedication to the resistance movement meant she had to push many of her personal goals aside. The first black professional social worker in South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela had been married to Mandela for just a few years, when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1962. Like many black women of her generation, she was forced to become a single mother to her two small daughters and was thrust into the limelight as a ‘political widow’. “We were hardly a year together when history deprived me of you,” she wrote in a letter to Mandela while he was in prison in 1970, published in her autobiography 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69. Madikizela-Mandela took up the challenge of continuing to resist the racism and sexism that defined her generation with a maturity beyond her years.  It was thanks largely to her, that international attention remained focused on the story of Nelson Mandela and the fight against Apartheid while he served out his prison sentence. “Your formidable shadow which eclipsed me left me naked and exposed to the bitter world of a young ‘political widow’. I knew this was a crown of thorns for me but I also knew I said, ‘I Do’ for better or worse. In marrying you I was marrying the struggle of my people,” she wrote to Mandela in 1977, in a letter also published in her autobiography. It was when she was arrested by the apartheid police and taken away from her two daughters, then aged just nine and ten years old, that she was forced to bear the true weight of personal sacrifice for her people. She spent 491 days in detention, much of this in solitary confinement under unimaginably brutal conditions.  Two trials later, she was finally released. “She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists,” noted Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate after her passing. Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, once part of the legal team who defended Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said she had an “incredible ability to be able to take on injustice and soak up pain in a way that is not immediately describable.” Madikizela-Mandela traded what could have been a simple life of motherhood and marriage for an active political life.  Instead, she became fondly known as the “Mother of the Nation”, serving as a mentor and mother to many of South Africa’s young activists, including Fikile Mbalula, current chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on elections and Malusi Gigaba, now Minister of Home Affairs, both of whom who lived with Madikizela-Mandela as young members of the party’s Youth League. “Mam’ Winnie lost her innocence because of a struggle she actually didn’t choose, the struggle entrusted upon her by the husband she chose and the people she identified with – the vulnerable people who were discriminated because of apartheid,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in tribute to her. Actress Terry Pheto who played Madikizela-Mandela in the BET drama Madiba, said she grew up looking up to Winnie, because her mother did as well.  “I was very aware of her journey, her struggles and her fights. Because of that, it was important for me to see this role as I’ve always seen her; an important and necessary figure in our time,” Pheto said in an interview in 2017 with HuffPost. Although separated for 27 years while Mandela was in prison, the couple communicated through a series of emotion-filled hand-written letters. In one, also published in 491 Days she wrote: “As you say, our goal is [a] free Africa, my love I have never had any doubts about that.”  It was this vision that inspired the couple to dedicate their lives to fulfilling their dream of a free South Africa. Madikizela-Mandela came to represent the hopes and dreams of millions of oppressed South Africans. “Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in tribute to Madikizela-Mandela. As South Africa mourns the loss of a brave, courageous leader. We also celebrate her sacrifices and achievements over a lifetime of dedicated service to and making the dream of a free and prosperous South Africa a reality. Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela, who lived with Madikizela-Mandela after her husband Nelson Mandela’s release from prison expressed his sadness saying “It is truly with great sadness to have lost the Mother of the Nation. We are forever grateful for the role she played in securing our freedom. We indeed need to celebrate her legacy.”Hamba Kahle Mama. Please contact Tsabeng Nthite on +27 76 371 6810 if you would like to interview any of the following people about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: Brand SA CEO, Dr Kingsley MakhubelaFikile Mbalula, Chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on electionsMalusi Gigaba, Minister of Home AffairsSello Hatang, CEO of Nelson Mandela FoundationDikgang Moseneke, Former Deputy Chief Justice, Terry Pheto, Actress who played Winnie Madikizela-Mandelalast_img read more

Let’s Mine Our Landfills

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia. The car tires were abundant and easy to spot. As were newspapers, made from trees with tough cell walls. Then there were tons of soil, aged and packed with decomposed garbage from the 1980s, when Madonna belted out “We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl,” and Star Wars brought us a future that didn’t seem to include trash cans anywhere. At the closed Perdido Landfill in Escambia County, Florida, they’re digging into the past to eliminate old garbage that could contaminate groundwater and to clear space for future trash. In the process, they’re also mining for any treasure that could help offset the cost of doing so. During its first phase, which ran from 2009 to 2011, the dig uncovered a copious amount of soil that was then used to cover up new trash, a practice required by federal and state regulations.RELATED ARTICLESLandfills Can Make Great Building SitesLandfills Are a Big Methane ProblemLandfills Have a Huge Greenhouse Gas ProblemGarbage Disposal, Compost, or Landfill?Are We Recycling Too Much of Our Trash? The project, which will start Phase 2 in 2019 or 2020, is a classic case of landfill mining — an intriguing idea to address multiple growing problems worldwide: increasing population, depleting natural resources, and climate change. “I’m a big proponent of mining landfills,” says Mark Roberts, vice president of engineering consulting firm HDR and project manager for the landfill mining work at Perdido. “Garbage real estate is really valuable.” The biggest challenge to make landfill mining work is economics, experts say. The cost of excavating trash, sorting out valuable materials such as metals, and then reburying the rest tends to exceed the revenues from selling recovered materials. “Resource recovery alone can’t justify these projects financially,” says Joakim Krook, associate professor in the Department of Management and Engineering at Linköping University in Sweden. “They need to have alternative benefits.” However, if alternative benefits — such as the value of preventing pollution, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the need to mine new materials, and making room at an old dumpsite for modern, more environmentally friendly waste disposal — are factored in, landfill mining in some cases becomes an attractive option. Making room Landfill mining can be traced back to a 1953 project in Israel to find fertilizers for orchards by scooping up soil from decomposed trash. Few other projects were reported until the 1990s when, in an effort to prevent groundwater contamination and other pollution, new regulations in the U.S. required landfill owners to use plastic liners and soil to sandwich the garbage like a layer cake. The national effort to modernize garbage dumps shut down many old landfills and required 30-year monitoring of closed dumps for groundwater contamination and methane gas production. It also forced communities to look for new space for landfills. Digging up closed landfills to make room for new ones has been one of the goals behind some of the landfill mining projects that have sprung up since the 1990s. Other goals include eliminating a potential source of pollution, reclaiming valuable materials, and acquiring waste to burn to generate steam and electricity, says Jeremy O’Brien, director of applied research at the Solid Waste Association of North America, an industry trade group. The U.S. has seen sporadic projects scattered across the country with a variety of primary goals. For example, the main goal of a 1989 project in Connecticut was to move waste from an unlined cell to a lined one, and a 2000 effort in Iowa aimed mainly to protect groundwater and recover space. Costs and benefits The costs and benefits of landfill mining can vary so widely that projects that aren’t deemed cost-effective in one place could be considered worthwhile elsewhere. The city of Denton, Texas, for instance, scrapped a project to excavate a 30-acre site last year after determining that it wasn’t going to generate nearly as much revenue from selling recyclable materials, such as metals and plastics, and creating new landfill space as had been anticipated back in 2015. In southern Maine, on the other hand, a four-year reclamation work that began in 2011 created an estimated $7.42 million worth of recovered metals, according to Travis Wagner, professor of environmental science and policy at the University of Southern Maine and co-author of a study of the project that was published in the journal Waste Management. A private scrap-metal company contracted with Ecomaine, the nonprofit owner of the landfill, to mine metals from the site. The project dug up 34,352 metric tons (37,867 tons) of metals at an estimated cost of $158 per metric ton. In addition to the value of the metals, Wagner pegged the economic value of the newly created landfill space at $267,000. The landfill wasn’t your typical garbage pile, however. It was a space reserved for the ash created by a nearby incinerator that vaporized trash from the regular landfill onsite, such as auto parts and mattress springs, to produce electricity. The process creates the ash with a concentrated amount of metals. The ash also contains metals that are uniformly distributed in the pile. The metals included steel, silver, copper, and aluminum. “At a regular landfill, the metals aren’t uniform, and to get to the metal, you have to get rid of a lot of nasty crap and rocks. It’s expensive to process that waste,” Wagner says. “If you want to mine something, you want to know exactly what the metals are and their concentration.” Soil and space The Escambia County project dug up mostly soil made from decomposed organic materials mixed with dirt used to cover the garbage. Roberts says the soil is valuable because it could be used to cover trash in the adjacent, active part of the landfill. Reusing the soil reduces the need to buy and truck in soil from elsewhere. The ability to rebury unwanted trash in the newer section of the landfill also helped to lower the project’s cost. “A lot of the economics of it is due to transportation — you don’t have to haul mined garbage across the county,” Roberts says. Even so, the soil was only the second-most valuable item recovered. First was the room for more garbage. “The value is not necessarily in the recovered materials. It’s the air space you will gain — that’s worth a fortune,” he says. The first phase of the project cost $2.7 million in mining and processing the long-buried waste, and another $3 million to build new landfill space of 2.8 million cubic yards (2.1 million cubic meters), Roberts says. That new space will bring in $60 million in fees charged to haulers. Overall, the return on the investment is at least fivefold, he says. Similarly, a 2015 project in Washington State didn’t generate a lot of money from recovered metals, mostly unidentifiable rusty pieces, but it cleared out space for a new stormwater detention pond and created a new landfill space, or cell, in the pond’s former location. “It was not a spectacular success in terms of recovering resources. However, we did successfully relocate the waste into a modern cell to mitigate risk to the environment,” says Pat McLaughlin, director of solid waste division for King County, which operates the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. “We were able to upgrade our stormwater detention system and increase landfill capacity in the new cell.” The project took place in part of Cedar Hills that began burying trash in the 1970s, next to an area built to modern standards. The project provided good lessons for the county to experiment with excavating and relocating old garbage, an undertaking that could be under consideration in the future, McLaughlin says. Shifting the balance Currently landfill mining projects are few and far between. However, some see that the situation is due to change. A good number of academic and government-funded research projects in Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany, are working to shift the cost-benefit balance of mining materials from landfills by bringing down the sorting costs and factoring in the value of the environmental benefits that can be gained. Projects range from improving the technology for sorting and recovering materials to calculating environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, from using previously mined materials, says Krook. Available landfill space plays a role, too. Trash generation is rising globally and projected to increase by 70% and reach 3.4 billion metric tons (3.7 billion tons) per year by 2050, according to the World Bank. The upward global trend is echoed in the United States, which has seen the amount garbage from cities and counties grow from 217.3 million tons (197.1 million metric tons) in 1995 to 262.4 million tons (238.0 million metric tons) in 2015, the most recent data available, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Right now, I would generally say that there’s a lot of landfill capacity out there. When supply starts to dwindle then you will see more interest in this,” O’Brien says. While landfill mining can create values beyond pure profits, for now the waste management industry is paying more attention to solving sustainability problems through promoting recycling and other efforts that divert trash from landfills. “It always seems silly that we put in all this energy to produce these materials and goods, and then we dispose of perfectly good materials,” Wagner says. “Meanwhile, we are mining and producing more virgin materials.” O’Brien echoes the sentiment. “Once we stop new materials from reaching landfills, then we can focus on reclaiming old ones,” he says.   Ucilia Wang is a California-based environment and technology journalist.last_img read more

MPC Container Ships to Buy Feeder Fleet for USD 130 Mn

first_imgzoom Oslo-based boxship owner MPC Container Ships entered into a commitment to acquire a fleet of feeder container vessels on November 24.The vessels in question have a total purchase price of USD 130 million.The move was made only a day after the company closed its private placement raising a total of USD 175 million, with plans to use the funds “to pursue future investments in container vessels and general corporate purposes.”The private placement of 30.25 million new shares was announced on November 22 and completed at a subscription price of NOK 47.5 (USD 5.8) per share.MPC Container Ships informed that the completion is subject to approval by an extraordinary general meeting of the company which is expected to be held on or about December 4, 2017, the company said.Established in April 2017, the company manage to quickly collect a fleet of 26 second hand vessels, the latest of which was added in early November.last_img read more

Some calling for Metis Nation president to resign

first_imgAPTN National NewsIn-fighting within the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan saw a rally outside of their offices Wednesday.They are outraged and calling for the president to resign over improper spending and the way the organization is managed.APTN’s Chris Stewart has the story.last_img