- PPC declares its eagerness to build environmentally smart cities
- Admits cement industry is a key polluter
- PPC is already de-carbonising by using fly ash from Morupule
Leading multinational producer of building materials and solutions in Botswana and across sub-Saharan Africa, PPC Botswana, says it is committed to playing its role in de-carbonisation and development of smart cities in Botswana.
Speaking at a recent masterclass event that was facilitated by the cement manufacturing company, the Head of Business Unit at PPC Botswana, Tuelo Botlhole, said smart cities have been proven to unlock new value frontiers that can create a stable and sustainable economy. “Botswana stands to gain a strong position within Africa and the world as a ‘smart society,’” Botlhole said. “This will result in improved quality of life for Batswana, business opportunities and a governance model that engages better to serve Batswana.
“The goal of smart cities is to make everyday life a bit easier for the people but also to help cities run in an economically and environmental way. This means that we need to look for ways to ensure use resources efficiently and make cities sustainable.” Botlhole revealed that the cement industry is among the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide primarily because of the high carbon intensity of the cement production process.
However, PPC intends to be a contributor to climate change solutions by reducing its carbon footprint mainly through evaluating new construction methods holistically rather than solely from a carbon-intensity perspective. “Over the past years, PPC Botswana has reduced the CO2 emission by implementing measures including the use of waste such as fly ash from Morupule Coal Mine as raw materials in the production process of cement,” he said.
“We also optimise and modernise existing plants by installing state-of-the-art automation, which we have at our respective plants, process control technology and auxiliary equipment, and improving grinding technologies, resulting in reduced power consumption and therefore reduced emissions by the power sector.” Botlhole emphasised that PPC is capable of being a driver in building smart cities, noting that research shows that a smart city’s main strategic element is sustainability to look for participation drivers, create better consumption habits and better energy management, and use renewable energies for preservation of natural resources and environmental care.
“As it has been said in previous years, PPC Botswana has played a role in building some of the iconic structures in the country, such as the Mohembo Bridge, Boatle-Game City Road, iTowers and the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium,” Botlhole noted. “Therefore, PPC Botswana is capable of being a driver in building these cities as we have done in the setting up of infrastructure.” Officiating at the masterclass, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Halakangwa Mbulai, said the PPC masterclass dovetails into “a very ambitious agenda” set by the Botswana Government.
“Because to dare is to do, we set our sights on a Botswana yet unseen; a Botswana who leads the continent in the digital space as a high-income economy delivering services to her citizenry in the richness of our growing wealth from the fruits of our labour,” she said. “For us, the Reset Agenda, from a digital standpoint, enhances better living for Batswana and their environment and resources through accelerating the 4IR.” Mbulai noted that Smart Botswana and Vision 2036 paint a vivid picture of what the current potential of Botswana can be in the African continent and global rankings.
“Smart Botswana goals include connecting the whole country in a citizen-centric approach from public service with no one left behind, provision of knowledge and tools to compete and build a knowledge workforce, building a trusted citizen experience integrated in digitization, and co-creating data-driven products and services for possible exploration into the rest of the continent,” she said. “This is how our ideas can compete in the global economy.” Held under the theme “DecarboniSation and Building Smart Cities: A New Value Frontier for Economic Diversification,” the masterclass brought together multiple industry leaders who deliberated on key issues, including the role of estate in the development of smart cities and national digital transformation and building smart cities, among others.