(Good) Environmental Facts about South Africa

If you haven’t heard of them, you should do yourself a favour and check out SA Good News. They’re the only local news agency that report on the positive stories happening around our countryside.

A little while ago, SA Good News put together a list of environmental facts about South Africa, proving that it’s not all doom and gloom. (Although, there is always room for improvement).

  • At the end of 2014, South Africa entered the world top 10 of countries harnessing renewable energy from the sun, with 15 solar plants contributing 503 MW to the country’s electricity grid.- (Eighty20)
  • In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to provide full protection status for the Great White shark within its jurisdictional waters. Countries including USA, Australia, Malta and Namibia followed suit later.
  • Cape Town has the fifth-best blue sky in the world according to the UK’s National Physical Laboratory.
  • South Africa is the only country to house an entire floral kingdom (Fynbos), one of only 6 on the planet.
  • The Vredefort Dome (Vredefort crater) in the Free State, is the largest verified impact crater on Earth at between 250km and 300km in diameter and is estimated to be over 2 billion years old.
  • SA ranks 18th in terms of biggest emitters of CO², 9th as a proportion of GDP and 27th in terms of CO² per person. (Economist).
  • South Africa has the highest level of international certification of its tree plantations in the world. Over 80% of South African plantations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • All paper in South Africa is produced from plantation grown trees, recycled paper or bagasse (sugar cane fibre). Fibre is not sourced from the wood of rainforests, indigenous or boreal trees. This is a myth, often wrongfully perpetuated by e-mail footnotes. This according to Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa.
  • The proportion of the South African population using improved drinking water sources was 94% in 2013, up from 83% in 1990. (WHO/UNICEF, March 2012)
  • SA’s renewable energy programme is the fastest growing in the world. Private sector investment in renewable energy generation will reach R193bn following the announcement of another 13 preferred bidders for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.
  • 359,000 South Africans have returned in the past five years, according to SA Homecoming Revolution.
  • South African high net worth individuals are found to be the second most financially generous nation behind the US, and fourth most generous in giving their time after Ireland, India and the USA. – (Eighty20)
  • 320 major dams in South Africa supply 32,400,000,000 cubic litres of water per annum.



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