The arid areas of South Africaare resource poorand small rural towns have fragile economies and face serious viability challenges. Poverty levels are high, there is increasing unemployment and an unsustainable growing dependence on social grants.
Declining underground water reserves, prolonged droughts and already severe water constraints are likely to be intensified by climate change during the next decades.
Environmentally harmful fossil-fuels are our primary energy source and there is a great need for clean, sustainable energy generation.
Food security is national security; this should become the first concern of government as climate change and rising food prices threaten our future.
Job creation is of prime importance in South Africa, where one in four employable adults are unable to find work.
This has heightened the need to make urgent active and wide reaching interventions across the country.
Turning problems into resources
Sewage and waste disposal are rightly seen as polluting problems but can instead become major resources. Landfills may contribute significantly to global warming by releasing biogas into the atmosphere whilst organic wet waste such as sewage, manure, food and abattoir waste can create major problems when not managed properly, which is the default situation in many municipalities in South Africa.
Biodigestion of sewage and problematic wet waste is a green alternative to conventional wastewater treatment and can form the basis for job creation and contribute to the regeneration of rural towns, in a closed cycle process, in which nothing gets thrown out into the environment, but is instead used as part of a further process.