27 July 2006Ever felt like holding your breath when the car in front of you is emitting foul-smelling, dirty black smoke from its exhaust?One of the major causes of that noxious smoke is the sulphur content in diesel fuel, but with South Africa tightening its legislation around air quality, the country is seeing more of its big polluters taking innovative steps to reduce toxic atmospheric emissions.In some cases they are going a step further, offering products that fall below the minimum emissions now permissible, as is the case with BP, which has launched a new ultra-low-sulphur diesel fuel containing 50 parts per million of sulphur.The standard cleaner diesel fuel currently allowed by law has a sulphur content of no more than 500 parts per million (ppm).However, South Africans are likely to see this level gradually reduced to a point where even less sulphur emissions are permissible, says Peter Lukey, chief director of air quality management at the Department of Environmental Affairs.The National Environment Management Air Quality Act of 2004 tightens up the conditions under which emissions that reduce air quality are permissible.The government has set up a timetable for reductions in the sulphur content of diesel, with further reductions on the cards as South Africa gradually brings its standards in line with those around the world.BP Cleaner Diesel 50“[I]n reality all new-technology diesel vehicles are designed for European standard diesel with a sulphur level of 50ppm, which is why we launched BP Cleaner Diesel 50,” BP’s Sipho Maseko said at the launch of BP’s Cleaner Diesel 50 product in Cape Town on Wednesday.The company’s new product is currently available only in the coastal regions of Cape Town and Durban, but will be available in Gauteng in a few months’ time. BP Cleaner Diesel 50 The move has been welcomed by the government, with Lukey saying there was “no doubt that a reduction in sulphur [in diesel fuel] will have a dramatic impact on our air quality”.Clearing the ‘brown haze’Lukey said the government would continue encouraging industry’s compliance with its air quality standards, and a list of “controlled emitters” would soon be published in a move to reduce air pollution.One of the first controlled emitters the government would looking at was motor vehicles, Lukey said, noting that air pollution studies had found that the major cause of the “brown haze” covering the country’s cities was vehicle emissions.Ivan Bromfield, a health manager at the City of Cape Town, said one particular study had found that diesel vehicle emissions caused about 48% of this “brown haze”, followed by petrol vehicles with 17% and industry emissions with 13%.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Graduate School of Journalism atColumbia University in New York.(Image: Columbia University)MEDIA CONTACTS • Elizabeth FishmanAssociate dean for communicationsColumbia University Graduate Schoolof Journalism+1 212 854 firstname.lastname@example.org• Department of JournalismWits University+27 11 717 email@example.comThe Department of Journalism at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has announced a new dual-degree programme with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York, allowing students to study and receive degrees from both institutions.The programme, which the Wits department says “reflects the global nature of journalism in the 21st century”, kicks off in August 2010 and will offer students top-tier training from both an African and an international perspective. It will aim to encourage mastery of journalistic techniques and offer the opportunity to develop a career with an international background.“This arrangement will enrich our university experience,” says Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism and head of Wits Journalism.“Our students will gain a wider perspective on the world and on journalism, and will bring this vision back to Africa. I am confident, too, that the knowledge and experience of Africa that the Columbia students will gain will be equally enhancing.”Students who participate in the programme will be selected by a joint committee made up of two representatives from each school to select a maximum of five students a year from each institution for the exchange programme.“We are delighted to form a partnership with Wits University, one of Africa’s leading academic institutions,” says Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia’s Journalism School.“Wits shares our belief in the value of graduate-level university professional education for journalists and in the importance of giving journalists an international perspective.”While in Columbia, Wits students can add a Masters to their Wits Honours degree or get a Columbia Masters alongside their Wits one.The initial agreement will last for three years. Students will be responsible for covering the cost of tuition with the understanding that the host institution will try to offer some financial assistance.
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J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s remarks on Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti sparked a row on Wednesday, with all major regional parties accusing him of “crossing the line”.“Elections are round the corner (in J&K), her (Ms. Mufti’s) party is breaking up. It’s in a bad shape. She had come to power by stirring anti-India sentiments. Nobody should take her statements seriously,” said Mr. Malik in Jammu.The off-the-cuff remarks came after Ms. Mufti sought Mr. Malik’s intervention in a case of thrashing of a civilian in Pulwama allegedly by an Army officer. She also labelled both the BJP and the Congress as “political forces driven by Hindutva agenda”, while referring to the Madhya Pradesh government’s move to slap the stringent National Security Act on three persons held on charges of cow slaughter.“Political lines are getting blurred and its difficult to differentiate between the Congress and the BJP as Hindutva drives realpolitik in modern India,”she added.PDP, NC take umbrage Ms. Mufti said the Governor’s remarks “saddened” her because “a constitutional authority has taken sides so brazenly”.PDP spokesman Rafi Mir accused the Governor of “unreasonably interfering in politics”. “He is influencing the elections and the electorate against the PDP. It speaks volumes about his integrity and the leftover sanctity of the office he holds. He must desist from exceeding his jurisdiction,” said Mr. Mir.Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also joined Ms. Mufti in criticising Mr. Malik. “Governor sahib, it’s an unacceptable statement and an unnecessary interference in politics. At this rate it won’t be long before people stop taking Raj Bhavan seriously, so please consider the office you occupy before you give statements,” said Mr. Abdullah. Ms. Mufti, who visited injured civilian Tawseef Wani in a Srinagar hospital on Tuesday evening, had said: “An Army Major has allegedly beaten him up so ruthlessly that he had to be hospitalised. The irony is that his brother serves in the Army.”She referred to the Army Major, who had killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger last year after taking up challenge to engage him in a gunfight in Pulwama, as the officer behind the incident. Later, the PDP chief spoke to the Army’s Corps Commander to register her protest. According to the family, Mr. Wani was picked up by the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles unit from Pulwama’s Achgoza village on February 4. “He was asked by the Major to pose with a gun or else get killed in an encounter,” claimed Mr. Wani’s relatives at the hospital.Mr. Wani’ brother is among three soldiers detained by the Army in the kidnapping and killing case of another soldier, Aurangzeb, which took place on the eve of Id on June 14 last year.