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Minister Edna Molewa to open 2015 Lights on Lightning Conference

09 November 2015

 

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa will officially open the 2015 LIGHTS on Lightning Conference, on Thursday, 12 November in Pretoria.

The LIGHTS on Lightning Conference is hosted by the South African Weather Service in association with the Lightning Interest Group for Health Technology and Science. The South African Weather Service is an entity of the National Department of Environmental Affairs. 

This annual conference aims to bring together researchers, students, government and various industries to engage on the multifaceted impact of lightning on socio-economic imperatives. The conference further serves as a platform for lightning researchers to share their relevant research within the broader African lightning community.

The timing of the 2015 LIGHTS Conference comes at an opportune time in the Environment calendar as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change gears up for the Conference of Parties (COP21) which will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France.With climate change, the country is likely to experience an increase in severe weather; including lightning.

South Africa is adversely affected by lightning. It is noted that the country holds one of the highest lightning death rates in the world, with approximately 100 people perishing and 700 people being injured from lightning- related incidents on an annual basis. According to Dr Ryan Blumenthal, Chairperson of the LIGHTS Committee, “almost all lightning-related mortality and morbidity is preventable through effective communication and awareness-raising of the findings of the research undertaken.”

The conference will conclude with the launch of the South Africa Lightning Website, which is poised to be a national repository for lighting information and research, news, events and weather forecasts.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs will also officially launch this website.

Members of the media are hereby invited to the conference and website launch as follows:

Date: 12 November 2015

Time: 08H00 – 17H00 (conference)

18H00 – 20H00 (website launch)

Venue: Casa Toscana Lodge, Lynwood Manor, 5 Darlington Road, Lynnwood Manor, Pretoria

RSVP:                   

Lebogang Maseko
E-mail: LMaseko@environment.gov.za
Tel: (012) 079 276 3223 or

Nokuthula Dhlamini
Nokuthula.Dhlamini@weathersa.co.za 
Cell: 083 883 4744

Enquiries:             

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

Issued jointly by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Weather Service (SAWS)