Sustainable Development

Sustainability development makes sound commercial sense and is the key to future success. It has become an inherent part of the culture of the company if it is to thrive over the long term, in support of universal environmental and social principles.

Commercial will strive to comply with the supply of the domestic and international demand for carbide, thereby ensuring the long-term sustainability of SA Calcium Carbide as a global player.  Ensuring the company’s long term survival will ensure that the company will be able to employ and develop it’s sustainable development and social responsibility towards the community.

SACC recognises its role in society in terms of social development. Concerted effort and planning annually to contribute towards social upliftment. We have supported a local orphanage and schools, as well as the local SPCA. Our aim is to continue making such contributions and be involved in community development and sustainability.

SA Calcium Carbide (Pty) Ltd is one such company and is approached by various stakeholders in the community for support, particularly by schools within the Amajuba district. At SACC we understand our responsibility and role, we want to have a hand in improving our local community. SACC contacted the local Department of Education (D.O.E) and requested a list of the most underprivileged schools in the Amajuba district. A committee selected a school to support, namely, Emfundweni High School.

Emfundweni High school is a community built school located in a remote rural area near Dannhauser, which is approximately 30km from Newcastle. Observed was a strong sense of learning and teaching from both educators and learners. There appeared to be strong leadership, order and structure in this school environment. The school is an old institution having been established in 1961. The school has an enrolment of 1034 learners; this is the highest in the school’s history and 34 staff. There is a feeding scheme for learners, for some it is the only meal for the day. There is no laboratory; library; infrastructure is in a very poor condition hence basic needs are challenged daily. Despite undue trials and tribulations, the school shows good matric results, ranging from 50% -  92% pass rate in the past five years. SACC was inspired by the sheer determination and commitment from the staff, leadership and learners; this motivated the Shareholders to support the school.

This year SACC has proposed to build a new laboratory for the school, this initiative was warmly received by the Principal. Plans are already in place to assist the school with this project. SACC intends, together with the school’s leaders to develop this school in the hope of building a relationship in future to enhance the process of teaching and learning.

Empowering young minds is the key for future role players in our society; SACC recognises this and is willing to participate. 

The company was approached in December 2016 to assist the local community in the Ballengeich area affected by severe hail storms. Management investigated the affected areas in Ballengeich, rooves and homes were destroyed, some occupants were left without shelter. The home of nine orphans was ruined by this devastating storm. It was heartsore to see children living temporarily in a small hut with all their belongings. SACC stepped in and offered to restore the home of the orphan children, this lead to a complete rebuild. We worked closely with a local contractor to give a new home to deserving individuals in early 2017. SACC is a role player in its shared responsibility towards community upliftment.

Environmental awareness - SACC Cogen plant, a Green Solution!

The SACC gas to energy project is a GREEN PROJECT that is registered and approved as a CDM project at the United Nations and the South African department of Energy (see references below).

The SACC submerged electric arc closed furnace generates waste gas that was traditionally flared prior to release into the atmosphere as part of the business-as-usual calcium carbide production process.  This gas typically contains between 25 to 30% hydrogen (H2) and between 55 to 65% carbon monoxide (CO) by volume, which, through the Cogen plant, is utilised as a gas fuel source for electrical generation.  The installed electrical generation capacity is 6 MW/h (1.5MW/h per machine).

In case of the SACC project, all the electricity to be generated by the project is to replace electricity which is currently obtained from the national grid prior to the start of the project.  The generated electricity is fed back directly to the SACC Carbide furnace thereby reducing SACC’s electrical power demand from the local municipal grid.  The self-generated electricity from the Cogen plant provides approximately 15% of the total power demand of the Calcium Carbide furnace.

The electricity generated by SACC will displace coal derived electrical power from the national utility Eskom, effectively cutting carbon demand and CO2 emissions with an estimated 34700 tonnes of CO2 e 1 per annum over at least the next 10 years.

Awards and Accolades:

On April 9th 2012, the Africa Energy Awards took place at the Sandton Sun in Johannesburg, South Africa. One of the key categories up for an award was “Most Innovative African Co-Generation Project” award. 

Nominees were judged on:

  • Innovation in technology
  • Ratio of self-generated power versus purchased power
  • Taking pressure off the grid

The SACC co-generation project has won this award.  It is the first co-gen project for an closed Calcium Carbide furnace and the project was implemented on schedule, contributing to the cost saving aspect.

The SACC gas to energy project is a GREEN PROJECT that is registered and approved as a CDM project at the United Nations and the South African department of Energy: 


  1. United Nations CDM documentation and registration: , PDD document, page 32, table 2
  2. PDD document at Department of Energy:


SACC is an ISO14001:2008 certified company and prides itself to have been certified since 2009. SACC believes that being environmentally compliant and responsible is assurance for future sustainability. Other than the Cogen plant, who has an impact on the carbon footprint, SACC has embarked and completed a zero effluent project where water is recycled and re-used in the production facility. No effluent, other that storm water, leaves the production facility at the Newcastle plant.

On the Ballengeich facility, SACC re-habilitated an old lime settling pond and got approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs for project completion and closure.

In order to stay on the environmental forefront, SACC is currently busy with the implementation of the revised ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System. Being ISO14001 certified gives SACC a competitive edge due to the proof of being environmentally responsible and legally compliant.

Another sustainable development project that SACC has embarked on, is the possible production of bricks from the waste products. This project is in the beginning stages, and should the laboratory studies into brickmaking prove to be successful, the projects will be further rolled out.  This project might also be considered as a social upliftment project with possible participation by the local communities.


SACC also ensure sustainable development in being certified in the ISO9001:2004 Quality Management System. Being ISO9001 certified is a requirement from certain export customers, and the risk of rejected shipments are a reality without the certification. SACC will start with the implementation of the revised ISO9001:2015 standard in 2017.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

OHS plays a huge role in sustainable development, as SACC regards their employees as their single most-biggest asset. Although the production and processing of calcium carbide takes place in a robust environment, SACC has adopted a risk based approach in handling OHS.

SACC has also started with the implementation of the OHSAS18001 system to replace the current NOSA safety system, but has stopped with this process due to the roll out of the ISO45001 Safety and Health Management Standard in 2017. This will be a priority for implementation once the standard is rolled out and live.

SACC has a well-entrenched OHS system in place, as well as an updated legal Health and Safety register, and always strive to adhere to the auspices of the OHSACT.