Tag Archive for: Environment

The City of Cape Town has launched its first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station, situated in the parking area of the Bellville Civic Centre.

This is the first of two solar-powered EV charging stations that will be offered free-of-charge for the first two years to members of the public, the city said.

The sites were chosen because of their convenient, safe and visible locations and the chargers were donated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

“Transport is the second biggest contributor to the carbon intensity of Cape Town’s economy. This is exacerbated by urban sprawl and the long distances freight has to travel over a country as large as South Africa.

“Increased congestion and inefficiencies not only increase the city’s transport-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), largely driving climate change, they worsen air quality and contribute to adverse health impacts on residents,” the city said.

How it works:

  • A motorist with an EV drives up to the charging station. Depending on the car, reversing into the space may provide the best access to the charger;
  • Limitless charging is offered and the car’s charge card will be required to start the charge;
  • Using their own cable, users will connect the cable to the charger and then to the car. This initiates the charge. Users can then simply lock their car and attend to other business. The system will be secure and the cable cannot be released. Unlocking the car will stop the charge and release the cable;
  • The length of charge required will depend on the car and charge cable. But it takes roughly three hours to charge the battery from close to 0% to 80% for this particular 22 kW Dual AC charger;
  • How long a charge lasts will depend on the car and driving style. A three-hour charge can last roughly 150km depending on which vehicle one uses;
  • The charging stations will be closed at night.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the devastating economic impact that global crises can have and has shown that planning for climate resilience and reducing emissions is increasingly important,” said the city’s Phindile Maxiti.

“This kind of proactive response to climate change will also assist our city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as the green economy offers new opportunities for businesses and jobseekers.

“It also helps to ensure that the local economy can continue to trade competitively in a global world that is rapidly rejecting carbon-intensive goods and services.”


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

This year, as part of Graebel’s 2020 Partner Alliance Excellence Awards, Relocation Africa has received their 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award.

Based on submissions, the award is given to the partner who demonstrates a unique commitment to sustainability innovation.

In our submission, we highlighted our accomplishments with and towards our paperless office, water saving, solar energy system, community outreach via the GOLD charity, vegetable garden, recycling efforts at our head office, and ongoing, team-driven CSR initiatives. We also spoke about our online Consultant training, moving towards a digital (online) portal instead of physical welcome packs, flexible work hours and work from home systems for our team members, remote meetings to reduce our carbon footprint, and integrating sustainable practices into the way we do business with our clients.

We hope that our efforts inspire other companies to take environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices into account for their own operations, and implement ongoing CSR initiatives in their workplaces, as if we work together, we can make the world a healthier place for future generations.

For highlights from the conference, click here.


Graebel Companies, Inc. is a leading provider of global talent and workplace mobility solutions for Fortune 500 and Global 1000 firms and their employees in 165 countries. Since its founding in 1950, Graebel has evolved, innovated and grown to deliver excellent service and results for clients, all while remaining family-owned and focused on its duty of care. With custom technology solutions, Graebel develops and implements mobility strategies that help companies attract and retain talent; respond faster to global market trends; and maximize return on mobility programs. The company addresses every part of the mobility lifecycle for employers and employees, including services for departure and move management, destination, settling-in and ongoing assignments. For more information, visit Graebel.com. Here’s to the world ahead ®.



For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Intro to CSR

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, also known as Corporate Sustainability, and Corporate Conscience, is a familiar one these days. However, for those who aren’t aware, CSR is an initiative that a firm volunteers to take, aimed at furthering social good.

These actions go beyond mandatory things such as following the rule of law, and seeking a profit. They are guided by a company’s ethical policies, and are there solely to benefit stakeholders and the environment, outside of the standard reasons for a business’ existence.

At Relocation Africa, we have been expanding our CSR initiatives over the 26 years we have conducted business across Africa.

GOLD Charity

For the past 5 years, we have supported a local charity called Generation of Leaders Discovered (or GOLD). GOLD believes that Africa’s greatest resource is its youth. The charity exists to support youth education, through peer education programs, and assist in creating the leaders of tomorrow.

One of the Directors at Relocation Africa has sat on the board of GOLD for numerous years, providing consistent knowledge and insight to support their growth strategy. In this way, supporting youth empowerment has become a cornerstone of our CSR focus. We are currently in the process of developing new ways to help GOLD youth, such as hosting them at our head office for mock interviews, to help in preparing them for entering the working world.


We maintain a continuous drive to recycle at our head office in Cape Town. This includes motivating team members to separate their waste and recycle whenever possible, as well as having dedicated recycling bins and signs around the office. We take our recycling to Oasis Recycling Depot, close to the office. The Oasis Association, which runs the depot, uses its income to support those in South Africa with mental disabilities. They do so through support workshops, day centers, and group homes. We are proud to be a part of this initiative to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, while also having a positive impact on reducing waste to protect our natural environment.

Water Saving

Throughout 2018, and to a lesser degree to this day, the City of Cape Town implemented strict water restriction policies for residents and businesses, due to one of the worst droughts the region has ever experienced. With far lower than average annual rainfall, our dams almost emptied, and everyone had to come together to avoid what was eventually called “Day Zero”, where we would run out of water and have to queue for rations of trucked in water supplies. Fortunately, this did not happen, and we’re enjoying normal winter rain at present, however we came close.

And coming that close reinforced our water saving policies at Relocation Africa. We have signs around the office, in kitchens and bathrooms, encouraging our team to use water sparingly. We also set up a clever rainwater storage and pump system, which, with the turn of a lever, can supplement our draw from City water.

In our yard, we have what’s commonly called a Jojo – a large storage tank that collects rainwater from the guttering. It then stores the water, and we can pump it up to our restrooms in the office, thereby using less of the City’s water, which is often constrained. Our plants outside are also watered using a conservative drip irrigation system, rather than with high pressure hoses. Considering how much of an impact global warming is having on the climate, we consider this supplementation an essential part of helping the environment and future generations.

Solar Electricity

Another area of infrastructure constraint in South Africa is energy supply. Most of our residential and commercial electricity comes from our national utility company, Eskom. Eskom is responsible for generation and supply, and has, for many years, been unable to properly keep up with demand, and maintain a profit.

This has unfortunately resulted in what we know as load-shedding, across the country, every few years. Neighborhoods are divided up into energy sectors, and electricity supply is shut off on rotation for a few hours, so that a total blackout doesn’t occur. This happened most recently just a few months ago, and we are not beyond it occurring again soon.

To protect our office, reduce strain on the national electricity grid, and give back to the environment, we have installed a sophisticated solar power generation system at our head office. Since early 2014, our office has featured 25 photovoltaic panels on its roof, positioned to harness the most sunlight possible during daylight hours. These panels are connected to a smart charge controller, and the power is distributed throughout our building. Electricity usage can be monitored via a mobile app, which provides us with usage history, so that we can track our conservation efforts.

In addition to this, we also have battery units that keep the solar system running. In the event of a power outage, the batteries will keep our essential systems running. To date, we have converted 40.7 MWh of solar energy into usable electricity. Making use of clean energy is part of the environmental section of our overall CSR initiative.

Paperless Office

Another area where we try to reduce our impact on the environment is through the goal of a paperless office, which we are gradually working towards. We encourage team members to avoid printing whenever possible, rather making use of digital minutes and notes, and saving and sharing documents in the cloud. As part of this, we have begun using Google Drive and Dropbox Paper. The physical paper that we do end up using naturally feeds into our recycling drive.

Veg Garden

We are lucky enough to have a team member who is responsible for maintenance, who has very green fingers. As a result, we have a rooftop vegetable garden that puts out organic, seasonal produce for our team to use if they wish. This not only results in our planting more flora, but also reduces our buying packaged goods at the store.

Litter Cleanup

We recently decided to start a monthly litter pick up drive, whereby we plan to get any interested team members together and go for a walk around our area to collect any litter lying around. By doing this consistently, we will be doing our part to keep Cape Town neighborhoods clean, and perhaps if we’re noticed, others will join in. We also encourage our team members to take their families out over the weekend to pick up some litter, as a bonding activity, and to help the environment. The Municipality does a good job of keeping our streets clean, but they can only cover a certain area every so often, and there’s nothing quite like a bit of community engagement to help out and save costs.

Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual celebration of the legacy of Madiba, with events taking place in South Africa and elsewhere. Each year, on the day, South Africans are encouraged to give back to their community through 67 minutes of community service, representing the 67 years former President Mandela fought for social justice.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to make an impact. At Relocation Africa, we make sure to take part in this important form of civic engagement every year. In years past, we have handed out food to the homeless in our area, as well as partnered with local charities. In 2019, we decided to split into two teams, and do two different things.

We made soup and handed it out with rolls to those in need in the area around our office, which was especially well received considering the rain on the day. We also went out in teams to pick up litter in the area. We plan to continue this form of annual community service going forward, and develop new ideas to help out as a group.

Future Plans

We recently decided that our next step to grow our CSR initiative will be to support U-turn, an organization registered with the UK Stewardship and American Fund for Charities, to further help those in need in South Africa. We will be buying vouchers from U-turn and leaving them at our reception, for team members to take and hand out to the homeless. These vouchers can be taken to U-turn outlets around our city and exchanged for food or clothing, as per the individuals’ needs.


Whether it be water saving, clean power, sustainable food, going paperless, recycling, city cleanups, or supporting local charities, at Relocation Africa, we’re determined to do our part.

These initiatives come together to form our overall CSR strategy, which, as a whole, is aimed at operating sustainably, preserving our natural environment, and giving back to our local community whenever we can.

We hope that sharing this with you has taught you a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes at Relocation Africa, and perhaps even inspired you to take on some CSR initiatives of your own. Even if they’re small, collectively we can make a big impact.

Graebel Recognition

Recently, Graebel recognized all these efforts by giving us a Certificate of Appreciation as part of their 2019 Environmental Stewardship awards.

We aim to continue to make giving back to the community, and operating in a sustainable manner, focuses at our head office, and across Africa.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: RawFilm [1], [2].

China has begun to collect an environment tax, aimed at better protecting the environment and cut pollutant discharge, as the country’s Environmental Protection Tax Law took effect on January 1, 2018.

The introduction of the tax called an end to the ‘pollutant discharge fee’ which China had been collecting for nearly 40 years.

This is China’s first tax clearly designed for environmental protection, which will help establish a “green” financial and taxation system and promote pollution control and treatment of pollutants, said Wang Jinnan, head of the Chinese Academy For Environmental Planning under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

China had collected a ‘pollutant discharge fee’ since 1979, however, some local governments exploited loopholes and exempted enterprises that were otherwise big contributors to fiscal revenue. For years, regulators had suggested replacing the fee system with a law.

Under the Environmental Protection Tax Law, which targets enterprises and public institutions that discharge listed pollutants directly into the environment, companies will pay taxes for producing noise, air and water pollutants as well as solid waste.

Tackling pollution has been listed as one of the “three tough battles” that China aims to win in the next three years. The areas of focus were discussed at the recent Central Economic Work Conference, an annual meeting held in China, convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, which sets the national agenda for the Economy of China and its financial and banking sectors.

China’s parliamentary elections are currently underway, having begun in October 2017, and will conclude in March 2018.


Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. Image source: [1].