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AMSA warns of big 2019 loss, as it sheds more than 1 000 jobs

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2020 JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) warned on Thursday that it would swing back into a large lossmaking position following an “exceptionally difficult” 2019 financial year, which the company described as the most challenging for the steel industry since the Global... 

AMSA warns of big 2019 loss, as it sheds more than 1 000 jobs
Photo by Creamer Media
Wind-down of Saldanha Works (pictured) anticipated to be largely completed by the end of the first quarter

Sustainability, investment and digitalisation top agenda at 2020 Indaba

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 30 minutes ago The organising team of the 2020 iteration of the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba notes an increased appetite for engagement within the African mining sector, particularly for discussions around sustainability. Media company Hyve Group content head Tom Quinn says this is evidenced by the... 

Sustainability, investment and digitalisation top agenda at 2020 Indaba

Recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, despite stabilising 

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd January 2020 The recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, even though it has stabilised, with the slowdown in the US and China expected to be more than offset by improvement in some of the large emerging markets, the UK and the Euro region, says integrated insurance solutions provider Alexander... 

Recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, despite stabilising
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
(Left to Right) Lebo Thubisi, Isaah Mhlanga and Gyongi King

South African CEOs expect slower global economic growth 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd January 2020 A mere 14% of South African CEOs were very confident about their 12-month revenue prospects this year, compared with 18% last year, while 27% of CEOs globally said they were very confident in their own organisation’s growth prospects. This aligned with the view of 44% of South African CEOs that... 

Bailout delay leaves SAA on brink of collapse

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2020 South African Airways said “time is of the essence” for the government to provide a pledged cash injection if the loss-making national carrier is to continue flying. The National Treasury agreed last month to give the airline R2-billion as part of the terms of its bankruptcy protection, but has... 

Bailout delay leaves SAA on brink of collapse

Eskom, Treasury seek renewal of $1bn loan facility

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2020 Eskom Holdings and South Africa’s National Treasury are in talks with banks to renew a R15-billion government-guaranteed loan facility that the indebted state power utility announced in February last year. While the lenders are reluctant to renew the facility given the parlous state of Eskom’s... 

South Africa improves in corruption index but still has serious problems – report  

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd January 2020 Despite its score advancing a notch in the Corruption Perceptions Index, from 43 to 44, South Africa still ranks among countries that are deemed to have a serious corruption problem. Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said this year’s report highlighted the importance of the... 

South Africa improves in corruption index but still has serious problems – report
Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis

Cable ship en route to fix damaged undersea cables

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 Cable ship Leon Thevenin departed Cape Town Harbour on Wednesday night and will sail to offshore Angola where the first steps of the physical repair on damaged undersea cables – South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS) – will begin. The... 

Wind sector calls for IRP 2019 to be implemented

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) says the wind industry supports government’s plans to reconsider how energy is supplied in South Africa, so that the electricity generation system can evolve and adapt to fit the country’s rising energy demand. However, it asserts that the... 

CDC unveils $100m trade finance agreement with Absa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 Impact investor for Africa and South Asia CDC Group has announced the signing of a $100-million trade finance loan agreement with financial services provider Absa Bank. The fresh injection of finance will be deployed by Absa and its affiliates in 12 countries to support trade transactions... 

East London port increasing in popularity

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 South Africa’s only river port, the Port of East London, is increasing in popularity as a cruise port with 14 cruise liner calls this season – the most calls it has ever received in a single season. The growth this season is mainly driven by the addition of the AIDAmira, which is on her first... 

East London port increasing in popularity
AIDAmira

Blue Label expects half-year earnings improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd January 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label is optimistic of a more than 20% increase in half-year earnings. Basic, headline and core headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended November 30, 2019, are expected to improve by 2.52c, 3c and 2.28c. 

SA water situation improves slightly

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd January 2020 South Africa’s water situation is starting to see improvement as rains boosted overall dam levels from 60.2% last week to 61.2% this week. A weekly report by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) shows that dam levels in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape have improved from 46.4% last week... 

ESG matters at the fore in M&A transactions, says law firm

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters rapidly rose up the corporate agenda in 2019, such that ESG is now a mainstream issue across all areas of corporate life, including in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills states in a new report, entitled ‘M&A... 

GEC launches programme to accelerate reform for a green economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 The global economy is not fit for purpose and is a direct cause of social and environmental breakdown, the Green Economy Coalition (GEC) warned on Thursday, as it launched a programme in Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is being held, to assess and accelerate policies for reform... 

Auto industry seen consolidating as falling demand, higher costs bite

By: Reuters     23rd January 2020 The auto industry faces further consolidation and jobs will migrate to lower-cost countries as companies struggle to develop cleaner vehicles in an economic downturn, European Auto Industry (ACEA) president Mike Manley said on Wednesday. Tighter emission rules introduced in the wake of... 

Opinion: Is land a constraint to a renewables-led energy system in South Africa?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     24th January 2020 When the question arises as to what South Africa’s most abundant source of energy is, the usual answer is coal. South Africa has built almost its entire electricity system, as well as a good portion of its liquid-fuels industry, on the back of its plentiful reserves of coal. Furthermore, it is... 

Opinion: Is land a constraint to a renewables-led energy system in South Africa?
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

RBCT coal exports decline again 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd January 2020 South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal on Wednesday reported a decline in coal exports for the second consecutive year. The private-sector-owned terminal, which works hand in glove with the State-owned Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet National Ports Authority, exported 72.5-million tonnes... 

RBCT coal exports decline again
Photo by RBCT
The Richards Bay Coal Terminal in KwaZulu-Natal

Electricity shortfall worse than previously thought 

23rd January 2020 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about a new report released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research that shows that the country’s electricity supply shortfall for the next three years is likely to be worse than previously expected... 

Electricity shortfall worse than previously thought

SA cannot dodge a downgrade this year, says Alexander Forbes 

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2020 South Africa will not be able to dodge a credit rating downgrade from Moody’s this year, because the changes it has promised to make are difficult, and it’s not even displaying a concerted effort to achieve them, Alexander Forbes chief economist Isaah Mhlanga said on Thursday. The country’s... 

 SA cannot dodge a downgrade this year, says Alexander Forbes

Angola closes in on Africa’s richest woman with Sonangol inquiry

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2020 Isabel dos Santos has been named as a suspect in an investigation over alleged mismanagement during her time as chairwoman of Sonangol, Angola’s State oil company, a position she was appointed to by her father, ex-President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Four others were also named on state TV late... 

Struggling GDP growth, policy uncertainty top concerns for pessimistic South African CEOs – report

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2020 South African CEOs are far more worried than their international peers about uncertain economic growth, policy uncertainty and social instability, according to a new report by PwC. The results stem from PwC's 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, which included interviews with 1 581 CEOs from around the... 

Struggling GDP growth, policy uncertainty top concerns for pessimistic South African CEOs – report

Government struggling to convince banks to loan SAA billions 

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2020 Government is struggling to borrow R2-billion from reticent banks, with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan saying members of his ministry are working their “backs off” to ensure the airline survives. At the weekend, the African National Congress national executive committee agreed to keep... 

 Government struggling to convince banks to loan SAA billions

SAA business rescue adds to SA Express financial woes – court papers

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2020 The fact that national carrier SAA has been placed in business rescue is risking the viability of another State-owned airline, SA Express, according to court documents filed last week. Transport and logistics company Ziegler has filed an urgent court application to place SA Express under business... 

SAB, AB InBev ahead of renewable energy target for 2020 

23rd January 2020 AB InBev and SAB procurement and sustainability VP Taryn Rosekilly started off by giving Engineering News and Mining Weekly a bit of insight into the company’s plans for 2020 in the lead up to its renewable energy goal. 

SAB, AB InBev ahead of renewable energy target for 2020

Over 400 jobs at risk at Weatherly Namibia copper mine – union

By: Reuters     22nd January 2020 More than 400 jobs are at risk as Africa-focused copper miner Weatherly, weighed by some $140-million in debt, is set to halt operations at its Tschudi mine in northern Namibia at the beginning of March, a union official said on Wednesday. "(Weatherly) are looking at an alternative investor,... 

Equites to develop a R1.3bn warehouse for Pepkor

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust Equites Property Fund will develop a 122 734 m2 logistics warehouse facility in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu‑Natal, for JSE-listed retailer Pepkor. The indicative total cost of the development is R1.3-billion, which includes the cost of the land of R281-million. 

Dynamic, inclusive global economy essential to meeting 2030 Agenda – UN 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd January 2020 The broad-based deterioration of global economic prospects may cause setbacks in the pursuit of the United Nation’s (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN’s ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects’ report has found. According to the report, which was discussed with media on... 

Plus Economics research director Dr Kirsten Thompson speaks to Engineering News about what to expect in the UN's report, and gives us a little more insight into South Africa's economic position. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

AfDB president says LSE offers opportunities for Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2020 Opening the LSE on Wednesday, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina indicated that this marked the beginning of a “new, exciting, strategic and impactful engagement” between the bank and the stock exchange to jointly expand wealth creation in Africa and the UK. Adesina... 

SepHold to raise R37.5m through rights offer

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2020 JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings (SepHold) intends to raise about R37.5-million by way of a partially underwritten, renounceable rights offer. This decision follows a detailed review of the company’s capital requirements; and an announcement in December 2019 that the company intends to raise about... 

Pityana appointed to WEF’s Africa Regional Stewardship Board

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2020 Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana has been appointed co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF's) new Africa Regional Stewardship Board (RSB). The RSB is a multi-stakeholder group that will provide strategic advice to shape the WEF’s regional programme in Africa. 

Pityana appointed to WEF’s Africa Regional Stewardship Board
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sipho Pityana

SOEs take centre stage at ANC NEC meeting, Lekgotla

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd January 2020 The African National Congress National Executive Committee has revealed that it was presented with detailed reports on the country’s State-owned Enterprises during its meeting last week and its Lekgotla this week, with the NEC deliberating on how to ensure that SOEs deliver their respective... 

SOEs take centre stage at ANC NEC meeting, Lekgotla

SAB hopes to use first electric truck by 2022

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2020 South African Breweries (SAB) and AB InBev Africa sustainability VP Taryn Rosekilly “dreams” of having a light-duty electric truck (etruck) operational within the beer maker’s South African fleet by 2022. She says SAB is keen to use etrucks as their value is increasingly being proved in markets... 

SAB hopes to use first electric truck by 2022
The eCanter

Uganda says refinery investor group nearing final decision

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2020 The General Electric-led group picked to build a $3.5-billion refinery in Uganda is close to making a final investment decision for the project, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. The decision requires the start of work on the infrastructure connected to the... 

‘Significantly enhanced' shareholder scrutiny to be expected, Eskom’s De Ruyter says

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2020 Eskom’s new CEO is not overly troubled by the prospect of shareholder intrusion in the State-owned electricity utility, saying that a high level of shareholder scrutiny is to be expected given the current crisis at the organisation. The only way to ensure that the shareholder does not assert its... 

‘Significantly enhanced' shareholder scrutiny to be expected, Eskom’s De Ruyter says
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Fierce Eskom critic appointed as spokesperson

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2020 Seasoned financial journalist Sikonathi Mantshantsha has been appointed to one of the trickiest position in the country, that of spokesperson for struggling national power utility Eskom. Mantshantsha, a fierce critic of Eskom in recent years, has become known in journalism circles for his probing... 

Fierce Eskom critic appointed as spokesperson

Prize-winning edible straws

By: Debbie French     22nd January 2020 A passion for environmental sustainability recently bagged a second-year Chemical Engineering student at Stellenbosch University (SU) a massive cash prize. Moved by a Facebook post of a sea turtle with a plastic fork stuck in its nose, 19-year old Leila Siljeur felt she had to do something to... 

Prize-winning edible straws

Telkom starts retrenchment consultations

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd January 2020 Telecommunications group Telkom on Wednesday kicked off the consultation process with organised labour that could see up to 3 000 workers retrenched. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration will facilitate the Section 189 process, which was announced last week as the JSE-listed... 

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