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Applications for new R1.5bn steel incentive open on June 1

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel released details on Thursday of a new R1.5-billion incentive for downstream steel manufacturers, which would be implemented from June 1. The incentive, officially named the ‘Downstream Steel Industry Competitiveness Fund’ is to be administered by the... 

Applications for new R1.5bn steel incentive open on June 1
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Brown to set up Eskom corruption probe headed by retired judge

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has announced that she will institute a “broad scope” investigation into allegations of corruption currently hanging over State-owned electricity producer Eskom. The terms of reference and form of the investigation were still to be finalised, but Brown... 

Brown to set up Eskom corruption probe headed by retired judge
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

DTI to reveal list of incentive beneficiaries by end-July

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday said it would, following a request for information from a number of stakeholders, release a list of beneficiaries across its incentives programmes at the end of July. The list will be made available along with an incentive report that details... 

DTI to reveal list of incentive beneficiaries by end-July

MEC Vadi frustrated with slow pace of BRT, aerotropolis developments

By: Irma Venter     25th May 2017 Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi has expressed his concern with the slow pace of development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in Gauteng, as well as the delay in rolling out the Aerotropolis project, in Ekurhuleni. Speaking at an Intelligent Transport Systems South Africa (ITSSA) forum in... 

MEC Vadi frustrated with slow pace of BRT, aerotropolis developments
Photo by Duane Daws
Dr Ismail Vadi

New-vehicle sales growth possible in 2017, 2018, says Naamsa

By: Irma Venter     25th May 2017 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) believes it is still possible for the new-vehicle market to grow in 2017, despite “prevailing political and economic uncertainties”. The sales projections for 2017 and 2018, put forward by the association in its newest... 

 New-vehicle sales growth possible in 2017, 2018, says Naamsa

Competition Commission approves Denel buy of local aero-engine company

By: Keith Campbell     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on Thursday.  

South Africa's govt wants Sinopec to retain refinery capacity

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 South Africa is in talks with China's Sinopec over its take-over of Chevron Corp's Cape Town refinery and will look to ensure that production capacity was retained and enhanced, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday. Sinopec will pay almost $1-billion for a 75% stake in... 

GEPF assures its funds are not used to bail out troubled SAA

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2017 The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) on Thursday assured that it was not funding the recapitalisation of ailing national airliner South African Airways (SAA), nor had it been approached to contribute. Speculation emerged last week that the GEPF’s assets will be used, through its fund... 

Hazelton Pumps, Weir Minerals win big at Seifsa Awards for Excellence

     25th May 2017 Family-owned Hazelton Pumps and engineering solutions provider Weir Minerals were the big winners at the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa’s (Seifsa’s) Awards for Excellence. Almost 100 guests representing small and large companies in the metals and engineering sector... 

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned

     25th May 2017 The African Utility week saw an important and welcome announcement. Eskom’s Chief nuclear officer revealed that Eskom was reconsidering the Pebble Bed Modular reactor (PBMR). For whatever reason, work on this ground-breaking project was stopped by the South African Government in 2010. The latest... 

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned
Rob Jeffrey

CompCom approves AMSA’s buyout of Thabazimbi mine

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 The Competition Commission has recommended the Competition Tribunal approve ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) proposed acquisition of the Thabazimbi mine, in Limpopo. Kumba Iron Ore in February agreed to transfer the mine to AMSA. Until 2014, the mine was a captive mine owned and run by Kumba... 

‘Onerous’ Northern Aqueduct project impacts Esor’s FY17 results

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Losses of R102-million incurred on the Northern Aqueduct water pipeline project, in KwaZulu-Natal, severely impacted on JSE-listed Esor’s profitability for the year ended February 28. The nonrealisation of the R50-million Franki agterskot in terms of the three-year earn-out clause under the sale... 

SARB holds repo rate on inflation concerns

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 South Africa's central bank kept its benchmark repo rate steady at 7% on Thursday, as expected, citing concerns about the inflation outlook, even though it cut its growth forecasts. Governor Lesetja Kganyago said consumer inflation is now within the bank's target of between 3% and 6%, but the... 

High Court dismisses applications to have power interruptions declared unconstitutional

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 The Pretoria High Court this week dismissed applications by AfriForum and other businesses to have Eskom’s scheduled electricity interruptions to defaulting municipalities declared unconstitutional, confirming the parastatal’s right to do so. “Astral, Bridgestone, AfriForum and Mediclinic had... 

High Court dismisses applications to have power interruptions declared unconstitutional

Data costs to be subject of market inquiry

By: African News Agency      25th May 2017 A market inquiry into high data costs in South Africa is on the horizon. “We will also in the budget speech, note that I will be making request to the Competition Commission to conduct a market inquiry into the high cost of data,” Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said during a media... 

Cabinet approves revised National Radio Frequency Plan

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Cabinet on Wednesday endorsed the revised National Radio Frequency Plan (NRFP) 2017, submitted by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, which aims to ensure the most efficient use of radio frequency spectrum. The Independent Communications Authority of South... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy
Bokpoort CSP

Political developments mar Massmart’s first-half performance

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 Massmart CEO Guy Hayward on Thursday said the company expected to report “disappointing” results for the first half of the year, as any green shoots in the economy – the drought ending, a stronger rand, potentially lower interest rates, and improvements in the Reserve Bank’s leading indicators –... 

Tiger Brands interim profits up as prices increase

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 JSE-listed fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer Tiger Brands on Thursday reported a 10% increase in its operating income from continuing operations to R2.2-billion for the six months ended March 31, driven by higher pricing. Operating income in the domestic business grew by 15% to R2-billion,... 

Jasco acquires majority stake in Reflex

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2017 JSE-listed Jasco Electronics has acquired a majority 51% stake in Johannesburg-based information technology (IT) managed services group Reflex Solutions for R39.8-million. The acquisition of Reflex, which recently expanded into fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) solutions, adding to a portfolio of hosted... 

JRA spends R14.4m on bridge joints

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th May 2017 The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has, over the last year, invested R14.4-million in the replacement of 42 bridge expansion joints on 16 bridges across the city, including on Buccleuch drive and the M1 near the Joe Slovo bridges. The repair and replacement of bridge joints forms part of JRA’s... 

JRA spends R14.4m on bridge joints

Cape Town water supplies will last until August – city official

By: News24Wire      25th May 2017 The City of Cape Town has enough water to last until August or September at current consumption levels, an official has said. Any rainfall in the coming weeks would change this projection, but there was "significant uncertainty" over the rain forecast for June and July, mayoral committee member... 

Nigeria oil Minister says not opposed to eventually joining output cuts

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on Thursday that conceptually Nigeria was not opposed to joining Opec production caps but would have to wait and see if production came back to acceptable levels. "We are targeting that by the end of the extension period (9 months) we are trying to... 

Implats launches dual convertible bond offerings

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2017 Platinum mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) on Thursday launched dual convertible bond offerings to enhance the company’s short-to-medium term liquidity and maintain its strong financial position. Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Implats, headed by new CEO Nico Muller, is offering up to... 

Implats launches dual convertible bond offerings
Photo by Duane Daws
Implats CEO Nico Muller

Ford’s R1m offer a slap in the face, says Reshall Jimmy’s family

By: African News Agency      25th May 2017 The family of Reshall Jimmy, who died after his Ford Kuga burst into flames in December 2015, revealed on Thursday that they had felt deeply insulted by the company’s offer of another Ford vehicle, valued up to R1 million. Renisha Jimmy, Reshall’s sister, said outgoing Ford sub-Saharan Africa... 

Nelson Mandela Bay water crisis drops to disaster status

By: African News Agency      25th May 2017 Nelson Mandela Bay was formally declared a water disaster by Executive Mayor Athol Trollip. Th mayor formally declared the metro a disaster area on Monday after major storage dams dropped to 38.5%. At a media briefing on Wednesday, Trollip said the city faced a severe drought and had been... 

General Motors rebuffs allegations of acting in bad faith

By: African News Agency      25th May 2017 General Motors (GM) on Wednesday rebuffed allegations that it had acted unilaterally without consulting trade unions about its disinvestment from South Africa and the resulting imminent retrenchments. This comes after GM announced last week that it was disinvesting from South Africa and that it... 

Drought already cost Western Cape grape farmers R500m – MEC

By: News24Wire      25th May 2017 Western Cape Agriculture MEC Alan Winde has said the ongoing drought in the province will cost grape producers an estimated R500-million. "We’ve seen a decline in the volume of wine grapes harvested, in part due to a lack of irrigation water," Winde said in a statement. 

Djibouti opens new port as part of $7bn/y free-trade zone plan

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Djibouti has formally opened one of four new ports designed to cement the tiny Horn of Africa nation's position as a continental hub, a statement from the ports authority said on Wednesday. Doraleh Multipurpose Port has been substantially upgraded as part of a Chinese-backed plan to establish... 

Côte d'Ivoire to build 25 MW solar power station

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Côte d'Ivoire plans to build a 25 MW solar power plant in the north of the country as it seeks to bolster a strained power grid with renewables, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The 23.6-billion CFA franc ($40-million) plant will be built by Korhogo Solaire, a subsidiary of Morocco's... 

AfriBusiness calls for abolishment of racially discriminatory procurement legislation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th May 2017 AfriBusiness has launched an application against Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to request the court to set the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) regulations aside and declare it invalid. The business watchdog said on Wednesday that the PPPFA restrictions placed upon... 

Koeberg Unit 2 restarted after maintenance shutdown

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2017 Koeberg nuclear power station’s Unit 2 has reconnected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s national electricity grid following a 36-day planned maintenance outage. The outage, dubbed Outage 222, as it is the twenty-second outage on Unit 2, has become the second shortest outage performed in the... 

Oliphant on two-day visit to Vedanta zinc operations

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 South Africa’s Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant on Wednesday ended a two-and-a-half day visit to Vedanta Zinc International’s Black Mountain complex in the Northern Cape where he was able to take a detailed look at the developmental, operational and social components of the... 

Oliphant on two-day visit to Vedanta zinc operations
Photo by Duane Daws
Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant

Mgojo elected president as chamber heads for new beginning, new name, rebranding

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 It is an organisation that is more relevant today than it has ever been in its 128-year history. Its role is so much more than mining. It operates in a changing environment and needs to contemplate its own new identity and name. 

Mgojo elected president as chamber heads for new beginning, new name, rebranding
Photo by Duane Daws
New Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo

Govt, industry agree on way forward for State-owned wireless network

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2017 As the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) spends the next few months developing the implementation plan for the recently tabled National Integrated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy, Telecommunications Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele on Wednesday assured... 

Vukile to actively pursue opportunity in Spain, sees through ‘momentous’ year

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th May 2017 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Vukile, which on Wednesday posted a 7.1% year-on-year increase in its dividend to 156.75c a share for the year ended March 31, is actively evaluating opportunities in Spain to diversify its earnings stream and enhance its high-quality portfolio. CEO... 

Vukile to actively pursue opportunity in Spain, sees through ‘momentous’ year
Vukile Property Fund CEO Laurence Rapp

Denel contradicts Gigaba’s reported stance on VR Laser Asia

By: African News Agency      24th May 2017 Denel on Wednesday contradicted reports that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had ordered the State-owned arms manufacturer to dissolve its controversial joint venture with VR Laser Asia, a company linked to the Gupta business empire, and withdraw its litigation against National Treasury for... 

IDC approves R218m loan for development of Free State natural gas project 

By: Terence Creamer     24th May 2017 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has approved R218-million in loan finance to support the further development of a natural gas resource in the Free State through the creation of a 107-km pipeline network and associated gas processing facilities. The funding,... 

IDC approves R218m loan for development of Free State natural gas project
Photo by Duane Daws
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

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