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Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 1 hour ago Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler confirmed on Monday that the energy and chemicals group made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with its request for information (RFI) on possible emergency electricity solutions that could be “grid-connected in the shortest time at... 

Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler on the need for a culture change at the company following major cost overruns at its US project. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’ 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 2 hours 13 minutes ago Energy and chemicals group Sasol has indicated that its capital expenditure (capex) will continue to taper during its 2020 and 2021 financial years as the group seeks to deleverage a balance sheet that reached “peak gearing” of close to 65% in the six months to December 31, 2019. Sasol’s gearing... 

Sasol CFO Paul Victor on how capex will be tapered as it seeks to navigate its 'peak gearing' phase. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

Industry strongly opposed to further tariff increases for Eskom

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 1 hour 27 minutes ago The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Monday hosted the last of its public hearings on Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) application for the 2018/19 financial year, with various organisations having expressed their opposition to the granting of further tariff increases... 

Mboweni’s budget unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk

By: Bloomberg     Updated 7 hours ago Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s budget this week is unlikely to convince Moody’s Investors Service that he has a credible plan to rein in government debt. Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce

By: Sane Dhlamini     Updated 6 hours ago The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry labelled the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ plan to save ailing power utility Eskom using Government Employees Pension Fund funds as immoral. Cosatu recently suggested saving Eskom by using R250-billion from the Public Investment Corporation,... 

Cosatu’s plan on Eskom is immoral – Cape Chamber of Commerce
Photo by Supplied by Cape Chamber
President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs

SAB calls for ‘clear process’ on self-generation licence applications

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 5 hours ago South African Breweries (SAB) on Monday published a call for a clear process to be implemented with regard to generation license applications above 10 MW, which it says will assist the company in achieving its sustainability vision. The company welcomed the government’s commitment in this year’s... 

Amplats throws light on PGM substitution, electric vehicle prospects, community dividends  

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 46 minutes ago The platinum industry could very easily experience an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) switching from palladium to platinum in the short term, platinum group metals (PGMs) were unlikely to be used in battery electric vehicles soon and communities are sharing considerably in the latest... 

Amplats CEO Chris Griffith responds to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Photographs: Donna Slater. Video: Kutlwano Matlala; Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Quality assets underpin Liberty Two Degrees' solid 2019 performance

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 5 hours ago Sustainable trading density growth of 3.6% for the year ended December 31 was reported for South Africa-focused retail-centered real estate investment trust (Reit) Liberty Two Degrees’ (L2D’s) retail portfolio, with Sandton leading at 9%, up from 4% in 2018. This, the company said on Monday, was... 

Group launched to tackle Compensation Fund issues

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 29 minutes ago A council of concerned industry leaders, the Injured Workers Action Group (IWAG), was launched on Monday, over concerns about what it says is the “technological collapse” of the R60-billion Compensation Fund that is legally mandated to cover the medical bills and disability pensions of workers... 

Fund gives public healthcare sector's human resources a boost

By: Yvonne Silaule     Updated 59 minutes ago About 100 doctors and 34 research graduates, the vast majority of them hailing from severely under-resourced areas, have been absorbed into the public healthcare system as a product of the Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF). PHEF chairperson Dr Stavros Nicolau pronounced during the PHEF CEO’s... 

Fund gives public healthcare sector's human resources a boost
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize

EIB commits to continue supporting African investment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 1 hour 44 minutes ago Lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB) expects to significantly increase engagement in both sub-Saharan and North Africa and to provide €4-billion to support public and private investment across the continent this year. This will include increased support for infrastructure that... 

Solar energy storage demand drives LoggerV2 sales

By: Tracy Hancock     24th February 2020 Interest in affordable energy-storage monitoring amid current power constraints and the green energy drive has been exponential in driving the uptake of the LoggerV2, says local lithium-ion battery storage solutions manufacturer Solar MD. “Demand is increasing for Solar MD’s energy-storage... 

Solar energy storage demand drives LoggerV2 sales

Ethiopia plans to release interim jet crash report as probe continues

By: Reuters     24th February 2020 Ethiopia plans to release an interim report into a deadly Boeing 737 MAX crash, which killed 157 passengers and crew, ahead of the first anniversary of the accident next month, according to an official speaking on Saturday. "We are not ready to release the final report and so we are releasing an... 

Even without a case, Africa may be a big victim of coronavirus

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Even without a single confirmed case, sub-Saharan Africa may be the region hardest hit outside of Asia by the spread of the coronavirus. The outbreak has shut down entire swathes of the Chinese economy, threatening world economic growth and curbing appetite for oil and metals that are the... 

Sasol holds back on dividend as it reports big H1 earnings slump

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reported a 72% slump in earnings to R4.5-billion in the six months to December 31, 2019, compared with the prior period. Headline earnings a share, meanwhile, decreased by 74% to R5.94 when compared with the prior period. The board also decided not to declare an... 

Sasol holds back on dividend as it reports big H1 earnings slump

No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom

By: African News Agency      24th February 2020 No load-shedding is expected on Monday, as the power generation outlook is positive, with four generation units returning to service, Eskom said. "With the planned return of four generation units, as well as adequate emergency reserves, Eskom does not expect to implement rotational load-shedding... 

 No load-shedding expected on Monday as outlook is positive, says Eskom

Time for govt to consider new strategies to get economic growth going, says Baxter 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 In what has been the longest economic downturn for the country since 1945, it has become necessary for government to consider alternative strategies and change various policies to allow business to grow the economy, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said during a media briefing on... 

Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter discusses the mining industry's contribution to the economy and what measures the council hopes will be announced in the upcoming National Budget to boost South Africa's economic growth. Video: Kutlwano Matlala; Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Solar power for mines under consideration – Assore 

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2020 A scoping study is under way into the self-generation of electricity for Assmang’s mines – but not its smelters, Assore CEO Charles Walters said on Friday, when the company reported interim results that were negatively affected by weaker chrome and manganese prices, and lower shipments of... 

Solar power for mines under consideration – Assore
Photo by Assore
Assore's mines and logisitcs routes

Nigeria clears hurdle for Africa’s second-biggest hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2020 Nigeria will build the second-largest hydroelectric plant in Africa after the government settled a legal dispute that was delaying the project, Power Minister Sale Mamman said. “We have now overcome the major problem stopping this project and it is nearly over,” Mamman said in an interview in... 

Busa warns electricity tariff increases will hold industry back 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st February 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has said it broadly opposes Eskom’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) application for 2018/19 and any future RCA applications that would result in electricity price increases excessively beyond those already granted by the National Energy Regulator of South... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 As South Africa prepares to restart its electricity procurement programmes, following a five-year hiatus, the global popularity of competitive auctions as the preferred instrument for procuring renewable energy has again been highlighted in a newly released report. Published by the International... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions

Commercial aviation activity in South Africa seems to be recovering

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 The latest edition of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa's Commercial Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) shows an upward trend, reported the index's author, independent economist Dr Roelof Botha. But he warned that caution was still necessary. "Aviation activity is quite... 

Court declares major Gupta-era coal contract with Eskom invalid 

By: News24Wire      21st February 2020 The Special Investigations Unit has secured a high court order setting aside a contract worth R3.7-billion between the formerly Gupta-owned mining group Tegeta Exploration & Resources and State power utility Eskom, according to Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services. According to the... 

 Court declares major Gupta-era coal contract with Eskom invalid

South African economy is benefitting from a 'Ramaphosa effect'

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 Independent economist Dr Roelof Botha on Friday highlighted the existence of a very real "Ramaphosa Effect", not to be confused with the superficial "Ramaphoria" which followed directly after President Cyril Ramaphosa's election, which is already benefitting the South African economy. Botha was... 

South African economy is benefitting from a 'Ramaphosa effect'
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

By: News24Wire      21st February 2020 Eskom says that stage 2 load-shedding will continue until 6 am on Sunday morning due to a loss of additional units. "While we expect three generation units to return to service [on Friday], we lost a further two units last night to unplanned breakdowns," the utility said in an power update.... 

 Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

Jungle Oats opens new Oat Mill in the Western Cape

21st February 2020 JSE-listed Tiger Brands has officially opened its new Oat Mill for its first and oldest product – Jungle Oats – in Maitland, Cape Town. Speaking at the opening event on Friday, unit manager Rees de Villiers outlined some of the advanced features of the new mill. 

Adam Boehler named executive chairperson of Prosper Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st February 2020 US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler has been selected by US President Donald Trump to serve as executive chairperson of Prosper Africa, a US government-led initiative that aims to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa. He will lead... 

Invest SA says business registration portal is working well

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Invest South Africa (Invest SA) on Thursday lauded the Department of Trade and Industry’s Biz Portal application. Invest SA head Yunus Hoosen said the application had ensured that a business can be registered in South Africa in less than one day, where it previously took more than a month’s... 

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Between April 2019 and January 2020, 354 227 m of overhead cables on rail lines had been stolen. State-owned freight utility Transnet and its Transnet Freight Rail subsidiary say the theft of overhead cables on rail lines had reached unprecedented levels, with, on average, 21 trains being... 

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled

Eskom’s survival cannot be based on continuing tariff increases, says Minerals Council

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 The Minerals Council South Africa has reiterated the significant job losses that may result from power utility Eskom being granted the additional R27.3-billion in revenue it is seeking. In a media release issued ahead of a submission at public consultations held by the National Energy Regulator... 

Eskom’s survival cannot be based on continuing tariff increases, says Minerals Council
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven

Glencore to harness heat energy from residual flare gas to generate electricity at Lydenburg smelter  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Glencore Operations South Africa (GOSA) on Tuesday signed an energy conversion service agreement with clean-tech company Swedish Stirling. Swedish Stirling will install, operate and maintain an estimated 9.9 MW facility at GOSA’s Lydenburg ferrochrome smelter.  

Glencore to harness heat energy from residual flare gas to generate electricity at Lydenburg smelter
Glencore's ferrochrome smelter, in Lydenburg

Electricity sector developments 

21st February 2020 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest developments in South Africa’s electricity sector, with Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe having announced this week that the Section 34 Ministerial Determinations required to... 

Electricity sector developments

Price-hit Assore half-year earnings down, interim dividend upheld 

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2020 JSE-listed base mineral and metals miner Assore, which on Friday reported net cash at a lower level of R8.1-billion, has declared an interim dividend of R7 a share for the half-year. Headline earnings for H1 FY20 decreased by 28% to R2,1 billion, compared to R2,9 billion for the H1 FY19. Assmang,... 

Price-hit Assore half-year earnings down, interim dividend upheld
Photo by Creamer Media
Charles Walters

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Africa can meet its major sustainable energy and development goals without becoming more energy intensive, as it has a unique opportunity to use renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency to meet its development needs and provide reliable and modern energy services. This is the... 

New energy paradigm can drive Africa’s development

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st February 2020 Creamer Media’s readers continue to be part of the mobile revolution.  Over 20% of Creamer Media’s online readers view the websites on their mobile devices. To cater for this growing mobile readership Creamer Media offers an Engineering News Online app for iPhone and Android users.  These apps... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

FutureSmart, P101 earn Anglo $4.7bn

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2020 The smart technology and efficiency enhancing programmes of diversified mining company Anglo American have netted the company $4.7-billion so far. FutureSmart Mining (TM) programmes deliver additional value from equipment and processes and P101 uplifts the performance of existing operating... 

FutureSmart, P101 earn Anglo $4.7bn
Photo by Anglo American
Playing precisely to the demand for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable world.

Anglo’s earnings margins poised to strengthen – Cutifani 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2020 The strong 2019 earnings margins of Anglo American are poised to strengthen further in 2020, CEO Mark Cutifani said on Thursday. The 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) margins of the London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining company ranged from... 

Anglo’s earnings margins poised to strengthen – Cutifani
Photo by Anglo American
Anglo American calculates that these earnings margins will increase in 2020.

Patel highlights areas of progress in South African industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 In response to the State of the Nation Address debate this week, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has highlighted in a letter to the President where South African industry has progressed in the last year. He started by pointing out that, last year, the Investment Conference had brought... 

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