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Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 A growing economy makes more rapid transformation possible, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan argued in a 2017 Budget address set against the backdrop of sluggish economic performance, ongoing rumours about his dismissal and President Jacob Zuma’s call for “radical socioeconomic transformation”.... 

Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Treasury agrees, in principle, to substantial capital injection for SAA

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 The National Treasury on Wednesday announced it had agreed, in principle, to a substantial capital injection into troubled South African Airways (SAA); however, it could not confirm the amount or timeline for the capital injection. Treasury confirmed in the National Budget that, during 2017/18,... 

Treasury agrees, in principle, to substantial capital injection for SAA

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top personal income bracket of 45% for taxable incomes above R1.5-million in his 2017 Budget address as part of tax proposals designed to raise the additional R28-billion required to sustain the fiscal consolidation framework promised in previous... 

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

Group Five reports R383m loss, CEO Eric Vemer resigns

By: Irma Venter     22nd February 2017 Group Five CEO Eric Vemer has unexpectedly announced his resignation – “within the next few weeks” – from the JSE-listed construction group. Vemer took over from Mike Upton on December 1, 2014, and spent less than three years at the helm of Group Five. 

Group Five reports R383m loss, CEO Eric Vemer resigns
Photo by Duane Daws
Eric Vemer

Murray & Roberts posts H1 loss

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2017 JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) on Wednesday reported an attributable loss of R60-million for the six months ended December 31. Revenue and profit from continuing operations were R10.7-billion and R119-million respectively for the period. 

Seifsa welcomes R95m steel development fund

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s R95-million allocation towards the establishment of a Steel Development Fund in the 2017 National Budget. The fund will be controlled by the Industrial Development... 

IPP programme identified as imperative for boosting investment

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Eskom’s delay in signing power purchase agreements with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) whose bids were approved by the Department of Energy could result in manufacturers going out of business, National Treasury warned in its 2017 Budget Review. “Lack of clarity on Eskom’s... 

Continued support for renewables IPPs an economic boost – Sarec

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the confirmation by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that the continuation of South Africa’s independent power producer (IPP) programme was imperative, given the need to boost investment in the short term. In a statement following... 

Nuclear deal – The calm before the storm?

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 National Treasury’s 2017 Budget Review and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s speech kept a wide berth from mentioning nuclear energy, following President Jacob Zuma’s cue in his 2017 State of the Nation Address.As anti-nuclear energy protesters chanted "no, no nuclear power" outside Parliament on... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more than anticipated in 2016, National Treasury revealed in its 2017 Budget Review on Wednesday. Even as Eskom’s financial performance improved in 2015/16 as a result of a 12.7% tariff hike and a revenue increase by R10.5-billion to R161-billion, it... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more

Revised Carbon Tax Bill to be tabled by mid-2017

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 The National Treasury on Wednesday said it expects to provide further clarity on the Carbon Tax after Parliament considers the proposed environmental tax on the emission of carbon dioxide, and its date of implementation, this year. A revised Carbon Tax Bill, which has been in the pipeline for a... 

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 South African consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks are set to feel the impact of the proposed sugar tax later this year as the relevant legislation is finalised for Parliamentary approval. The National Treasury on Wednesday confirmed a proposed tax rate of 2.1c/g of sugar content in excess of 4... 

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax

German firm buys 25% stake in South Africa's Murray and Roberts

By: Reuters     22nd February 2017 South Africa's Murray and Roberts (M&R) said on Wednesday that Germany's ATM Holding GmbH has acquired a 25% shareholding in the engineering and construction group. ATM, which is now the largest shareholder, is owned by private investment holding company ATON GmbH, which invests in the mining,... 

German firm buys 25% stake in South Africa's Murray and Roberts

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 As the National Treasury allocates a further R5-billion to support financially-strapped students, new ways are being examined to develop a clear roadmap to mitigate the magnitude of the student funding challenge faced by young South Africans. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said... 

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

Adcock Ingram geared for growth after positive H1 results

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2017 Each of JSE-listed Adcock Ingram’s business units had posted “solid performances” in the six months to December 31, achieving good growth in turnover and good cost control. The group on Wednesday reported a 70% increase in earnings a share and a 49% increase in headline earnings a share for the... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding the fee collection for the much-contested e-tolling of certain Gauteng freeways by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury believes investor confidence has returned to the agency following the conclusion of two... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

Agriculture outlook positive, says Gordhan

By: African News Agency      22nd February 2017 Agriculture output is expected to increase as South Africa recovers from a crippling drought, which National Treasury is hoping will boost job creation in the sector. According to the 2017 budget review tabled by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday, two successive seasons of drought had... 

Agriculture outlook positive, says Gordhan

Budget makes room for more housing opportunities

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Government is to spend R29.8-billion on housing, according to the National Budget. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered Budget 2017 in parliament on Wednesday. He said it was important to have intergovernmental cooperation between the different spheres to improve delivery of services such as... 

Budget makes room for more housing opportunities

Electrifying rural areas offers opportunity for skills development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 African governments’ growing implementation of minigrids to electrify rural areas creates the opportunity for innovation and skills development to operate these grids, Emergent Energy renewable-energy consultant Adele Boadzo says. In a panel discussion on skills development in the energy sector... 

SKA SA, Agri SA partner to benefit Karoo communities

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2017 Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) and Agri SA have signed an agreement to ensure that local communities of the Karoo benefit from the SKA project. The SKA project is an international effort to build the world's largest radio telescope. 

Chamber notes Gordhan’s bemoaning of Section 54 stoppages

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2017 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa has described Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as having done an effective job of maintaining fiscal discipline with a budget deficit of 3.1% in these most trying of times. The chamber comments that the 2017/18 Budget demonstrates the truism that sustaining and... 

Pan African CEO accuses union of ‘blatantly false’ safety statements 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2017 The CEO of the London Aim- and Johannesburg-listed precious metals and coal mining company Pan African Resources on Wednesday accused the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of making statements that were “blatantly false” on safety practice at the Evander gold mine in Mpumalanga. “I will not say... 

Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on results presentation of Pan African Resources by CEO Cobus Loots. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

2017 Budget 

     22nd February 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the highlights of the 2017 Budget that was presented by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday. 

Camera and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Transnet exec suspended after tender report

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 A senior Transnet executive has been put on special leave following a News24 report on a R10-million tender the State-owned company awarded to the executive's former boss. Transnet confirmed on Wednesday that Sandile Simelane, the head of Transnet Freight Rail's (TFR) corporate affairs... 

Group Five CEO resigns

By: Reuters     22nd February 2017 South African construction firm Group Five said on Wednesday its group chief executive Eric Vemer will be resigning in the next few weeks. "Eric and the board will be working towards transitional arrangements which will result in the identification of a suitable replacement candidate," Group Five... 

Group Five CEO resigns
Photo by Duane Daws
Eric Vemer

Pan African ups earnings, pays record dividend

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2017 Precious metals and coal producer Pan African Resources on Wednesday announced higher earnings and revenues, and a record dividend pay-out of R300-million, despite lower gold production in the six months to December 31. Earnings per share increased by 33.4% to 16.58c a share and the board... 

Pan African ups earnings, pays record dividend
Photo by Duane Daws
Pan African CEO Cobus Loots

Coordination key to successful nuclear new build programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2017 There is a pressing need for a clear definition of the roles different governmental departments, power utility Eskom and other industry participants will play in the nuclear new build programme, as there is a currently “chaos around who is doing what job”. This was the overall theme that emerged... 

$1bn earmarked for AngloGold’s deep-but-cheap Mponeng mine

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2017 A big capital investment is on the cards for AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng gold mine, the world’s deepest underground operation. The former Western Deep Levels Number One operation was on the receiving end of a surfeit of comment when AngloGold Ashanti presented cash-rich results on Tuesday.  

$1bn earmarked for AngloGold’s deep-but-cheap Mponeng mine
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold Ashanti executive VP Graham Ehm

Ewseta, DUT launch EnergyDrive to create awareness of alternative energy sources

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2017 The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday launched the EnergyDrive initiative, to educate rural communities on climate change and alternative energy sources. A custom-designed truck equipped with ten solar... 

Ewseta, DUT launch EnergyDrive to create awareness of alternative energy sources

Set top box policy amendment matter back in Constitutional Court

By: African News Agency      21st February 2017 Advocate Wim Trengove SC told the Constitutional Court on Tuesday that a decision on the amended set top box (STB) policy was unnecessary as it would have no legal binding effect. Trengove, who is acting for Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, was quizzed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and... 

Restructured Imperial continues disposal spree

By: Irma Venter     21st February 2017 A new-look, restructured Imperial Holdings has, since 2015, disposed of, or is busy disposing of, 42 businesses with a total revenue of R11.9-billion and operating profit of R937-million. These disposals include Regent Insurance’s non-South African operations, as well as Jurgens Caravans and... 

Restructured Imperial continues disposal spree
Photo by Duane Daws
Mark Lamberti

Sacci outlines Budget expectations

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st February 2017 With Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan preparing to deliver his 2017 National Budget speech on Wednesday, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) weighed in on its expectations at a time when South Africa is experiencing subdued economic growth. Amid the Reserve Bank having... 

Downstream steel industry not supportive of AMSA’s lobby for tariff protection – Neasa

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2017 The National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) on Tuesday requested that steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) withdraw its plea to the downstream steel industry to join it in a united lobbying effort for higher levels of tariff protection on both primary and value-added... 

Gibela worried over impact of Duduza unrest on Dunnottar plant construction

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2017 Gibela Rail Transport Consortium has expressed concern over ongoing community unrest in Duduza, in Ekurhuleni, which is impacting on construction activities at its R1-billion Dunnottar train manufacturing plant. It said on Tuesday that the disruption to the time-sensitive construction work at the... 

Germany shares its renewable-energy lessons

By: Kim Cloete     21st February 2017 Germany is on an all-out campaign to decarbonise its energy system, with plans to slice carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80% to 90% by 2050. It has identified hydrogen as an essential part of decarbonising its energy system. 

Ending mine fatalities most pressing 2017 priority – AngloGold

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2017 The first and most pressing of AngloGold Ashanti’s key 2017 priorities is to put an end to mine fatalities by improving workplace conditions and bettering legal compliance, AngloGold Ashanti chief operating officer South Africa Chris Sheppard said on Tuesday, when the company posted stunning... 

Ending mine fatalities most pressing 2017 priority – AngloGold
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold COO South Africa Chris Sheppard

Aveng to seek shareholder backing for sale of Grinaker-LTA stake to Kutana in March  

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2017 Construction and engineering group Aveng will seek shareholder approval before the end of March for the sale of a 51% beneficial interest in Aveng Grinaker-LTA to Kutana Construction, a black economic empowerment company. Aveng has also decided to include Aveng Water in the transaction, along... 

Aveng CEO Kobus Verster in conversation with Terence Creamer on group's performance and outlook, as well as the impending sale of 51% of Grinaker-LTA to Kutana. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.2.17

Outa to take Eskom to task at Competition Commission

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has requested the Competition Commission to investigate the possibility of fining State-owned power utility Eskom and called for the unbundling of the utility into two entities to break its monopolistic control. The civil society group this week lodged a... 

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