Friday, July 30, 2010

DoE Drafting Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010

The Department of Energy (DoE) is drafting the second Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP2010 and the final draft is expected to be published in September. Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, left, has noted that consultations have been completed with working groups, and discussions would need to be held with the InterMinisterial Committee on energy before decisions are finalized. The document would then be sent to the Cabinet, and if accepted, only then would it be made public.

The DoE is spearheading the IRP2010, which would determine South Africa's current and future energy requirements for the next 20 years. Once decisions are published as to what percentage of energy was to be derived from which specific resources, it was expected to accelerate investment by the private sector. (Engineering News, 7/30/2010)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tenth Commission of Employment Equity Annual Report

The Tenth Commission of Employment Equity Annual Report (July 2010), published by the Department of Labour, indicates that white males still dominate the top echelons of South Africa's workplace, yet they are in the minority. The picture on training and development is no different, where white males continue to benefit the most. The Department says that this report is discouraging because it shows very slow progress on transformation and potential to erode the insignificant achievement made to date.

10th CEE Annual Report: Part 1

10th CEE Annual Report: Part 2

(Engineering News, 7/29/2010)

Friday, July 9, 2010

COCA-COLA Sponsors HBCU Students Trip To South Africa


Twenty-one HBCU students spent five days in South Africa soaking up the local culture and experiencing the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The students were winners of the Coca-Cola “Open Happiness Tour,” a video competition that sought creative and inspirational answers to the question: How does the Coca-Cola RAIN program inspire you? The Coca-Cola RAIN “Water for Schools” initiative helps provide safe drinking water for schoolchildren in Africa and around the world.

Lael Clark and Justin Smith at the Argentina vs. Mexico World Cup match

Funbi Oluwole at the Nelson Mandela House

Lael Clark, Funbi Oluwole, Tatianna Mosley, Sherron Douglas and Edifon Ette at the Greenfields primary and secondary school

Alicia Routh, Tatianna Mosley, Lael Clark, Cherish Rush and Theresa Scales on Safar

Saturday, July 3, 2010

South Africa's Nuclear Weapons Program - The Early Years

The Republic of South Africa is the first and only nation to have successfully developed nuclear weapons, and then voluntarily relinquished that capability. The decision to completely destroy weapons related technology and information was to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the black-led government.

In a 24 March 1993 speech, President de Klerk not only revealed that South Africa had produced nuclear weapons, but that the arsenal had been destroyed before 10 July 1991, when South Africa joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Not only have the weapons themselves been destroyed, and the fissile material recast into non-weapon ingots, but all design and production information has been destroyed as well. Of course, it is very easy to get this information today.

A secret project was begun by the Atomic Energy Board (AEB) in the early 1960s to develop a unique uranium enrichment technology. Initially the project was housed in a small warehouse in Pretoria, but was later moved to Pelindaba. The technology was nozzle or vortex enrichment, achieves separation by generating a near-sonic speed vortex of a mixture of uranium hexafluoride and hydrogen gases in a narrow stationary tube. The centrifugal forces caused by the high speed rotation concentrate heavier U-238 at the periphery and lighter U-235 at the axis, so that axial and peripheral out take tubes can extract isotopically enriched and depleted materials respectively, a process analogous to that produced by the spinning rotor of a gas centrifuge.

The strategic implications of Soviet involvement in Africa - either direct or by proxy - weighed heavily on South Africa's leaders and was a chief motivation for the later actual manufacture of nuclear weapons to provide a hedge against Soviet-sponsored aggression. The strategy then was to use these weapons as leverage with Western powers - demonstrating their existence, and then threatening to resort to nuclear attack if assistance was not provided, should outside assistance prove necessary.

(Original Article)