Energy plan put to Exco

2011-10-14 00:00

FORMER eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba has embarked on a business venture he is presenting to various municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal — a project to convert waste to energy.

Yesterday he and his team made a presentation to the Msunduzi Municipality’s executive committee (Exco) about their idea to generate revenue and preserve landfill sites, which they say will greatly benefit local residents.

In March Mlaba made headlines when Durban newspapers linked him to a company in which he allegedly had shares and which was nearly awarded a R3 billion tender to convert eThekwini’s waste to energy.

This controversy led to the ANC putting pressure on the MEC for Co-operative and Traditional Affairs, Nomsa Dube, to investigate Mlaba and his team.

Dube was quoted as saying the forensic probe would begin immediately.

Yesterday Mlaba, who is the executive chairman of CleanC Energy Africa, in association with MMA and his team presented an extensive proposal to the municipality.

He promised that if the municipality approves the proposal, the project, the first of its kind in Africa, would provide Msunduzi with a cleaner environment, new jobs, fuel and electricity.

A director of CleanC Energy Africa, Sicelo Duma, said the project does not require money from the municipality; all it needs is access to the landfill site.

“Our project will rapidly reduce the uncontrollable methane emissions that cause global warming and climate change,” he said.

Duma said the technology is South African and it has been commissioned by China and Australia. He admitted that it is not a new idea as Sasol and PetroSA are already using this form of energy. However, CleanC Energy Africa’s project is unique in that it converts waste to energy, while Sasol converts coal to oil.

He boasted that his compnay can produce cleaner diesel and electricity. “All we need from the municipality is a letter of intent and permission to do environment impact assessment studies,” said Duma.

Mlaba said he has been given a platform to make a presentation to the Cop 17 climate change conference.

“Our company was registered in 2009, but could not start operating because I was still involved in eThekwini, but we have presented to local municipalities like Ladysmith/Emnambithi, Umhlathuzana [Richards Bay, and Msunduzi was the third,” he said.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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