Dec 09, 2011
Brasilia|Engineering|Expertise|SECURITY|Africa|Australians|Brazilian National Bank Of Social Economic|Engineering News|Ghana|Mining Weekly|Platinum|Security|State-owned Development Bank Of Southern Africa|Water|Africa|Angola|Australia|Brazil|Ghana|Mozambique|South Africa|COP|Security|Automotive|Benign By-product|Clean Electricity|Electricity|Electricity Grid|Energy|Energy Security Challenges|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Fuel Cells|Mining|Product|Products|Security|Services|CYNTHIA CARROL|Cynthia Carroll|Gillian De Gouveia|Martin Creamer|Minerals Susan Shabangu|Paulo Protasio|Peter Stossel|Power|Security|Water|Engineering News|Fuel Cells
© Reuse this
De Gouveia: There is some news coming through from Anglo American in terms of job creation with an interesting twist. Tell us a bit about that.
Creamer: A very interesting twist. Anglo American says that hundreds and thousands of jobs can be created in South Africa from developing fuel cells. We have been talking about fuel cells in South Africa for a long time. Why? Because hydrogen fuel cells require platinum.
We are the biggest producers of platinum in the world and Southern Africa is the biggest producer by far of platinum. Platinum is green and it is green in this era of COP 17 and people looking for zero emission power.
Here, Anglo American’s Cynthia Carroll is saying to the world at COP 17 that South Africa has a window of opportunity. This window is wide open to create hundreds and thousands of jobs over the next 30 years by manufacturing fuel cells in this country and maintaining fuel cells and getting a global march on this. What are you doing? You beneficiating your metals and minerals and you are also reducing carbon.
This is what the world is crying out for at the moment. What other country has this opportunity to kill those two birds with one stone? We have this platinum, which is green and we have the opportunity to create a product that generates electricity.
It generates clean electricity, so it is like an answer to a maiden’s prayer. We have got the liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen with the platinum catalyst and you get electricity and water. You couldn’t have a more benign by-product and you get heat. Already there are demonstration plants all over the country, as Anglo American reported. They are using demonstration models of fuel cells in vaccine fridges in rural clinics and they are providing heat and power in hospitals.
Right at COP 17, in front of our eyes, they were generating the power for COP 17, from their fuel cells. So, we see there is potential there and it can meet our existing energy security challenges, particularly in rural areas, without any expansion to our national electricity grid.
Gouveia: Is government hearing this?
Creamer: Government is hearing this very clearly. Sitting right next to Cynthia Carrol the CEO of Anglo American as she was announcing this to her COP 17 function, was our Minister of Minerals Susan Shabangu, who immediately said that this is a fantastic option because it means that you beneficiate and you reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. What other opportunity is there for that? And you can create all these jobs.
Gouveia: Well it sounds pretty amazing.
Moving on to a different topic. Brazil and South Africa now focussing more on the rand and the real rather than the dollar and the euro. That sounds quite interesting.
Creamer: What happens is the dollar devalues and then these currencies like the rand and the real, they revalue. They put you into a less competitive position if you do all your trading using them. So there has been a meeting of the minds between the South Africans and the Brazilians, the south-south thinking.
South Africa’s State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has held talks in Brasilia with the Brazilian National Bank of Social Economic Development. Their conclusion is that they should try and do much more trade using their own currencies. Why should we have to use the euro, why should we have to use the dollar if we are trading.
Trading must benefit both of us. We mustn’t be unhappy with our trade, we should be happy with our trade, so why not do it in our own currency when it is advantage to do that. Why not use these two developmental banks as a structure and a conduit for doing this.
So these talks were quite hot as the South Africans spoke in Brasilia and then the Brazilians swept through Southern Africa. With them was Peter Stossel, the Brazilian Minister of Development and Industry, and also Paulo Protasio, from the Brazil-South Africa Chamber of Commerce. They not only visited South Africa, but also Mozambique and Angola.
Obviously there is a big trade and charm offensive as they come through, but they are talking of being rational with the use of the currencies and using local currencies, which are more suitable, they say, to existing trade conditions.
De Gouveia: The local manufacture of the minibus taxi is back. Of late we have been hearing a lot in terms of these campaigns to buy local goods, manufacturing needs to be done on a local level and that also falls squarely in line with the Proudly South African campaign that says ‘buy local, make use of local services, so that we can help to create jobs’.
Creamer: That is not only South Africa that is doing this. If you go to Australia, you will see that they are trying to force Australians to buy Australian.
Even if you go to Ghana, you see that they have got their programmes. Everybody is looking inward at the moment, because of the turmoil in the world. It is a time that we are now looking inward to a point saying all these taxis that pass us, the Quantums, we are importing them.
Why don’t we make these taxis locally? Toyota stopped making the Siyaya taxi in 2007, because it was going for large volume production of other products, so it decided to import the Quantums.
The government has come along and said we are not going to do anything under the Automotive Production and Development programme for you, but we want to do something specially tailored for locally manufactured minibus taxis.
This has completely charmed Toyota who says now that they want to go back into the local assembly of taxis in South Africa. Of course, it has also created some competitive juices, because we see Nissan saying the same thing. Within the next two years they might be developing minibus taxis and assemble them locally.
We also see Volkswagen, which has had its toe in this with the Crafter, which is a 16 to 23 seater taxi. Now it says that it wants to come through with something cheaper, maybe a 14 to 16 seater. But, the word is local, local manufacture, local content and we see that coming into our vocabulary daily.
De Gouveia: Most definitely. And we eco what the Proudly South African campaign says as well, buy local and make use of those local services. Well, Martin, unfortunately it is my last interview with you, but it certainly has been a pleasure doing these interviews with you. I am certainly going to miss them, but I will be listening every Friday to the Coalface as you continue to share your insights and your expertise with AMLive.
Creamer: Gillian, thanks very much for all your help and go well in your new career.
De Gouveia: Thank you so much and I really appreciate it Martin. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he’ll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 35 minutes ago Much like South Africa was seen as an automotive hub, white appliance manufacturer Defy aimed to establish the country as a hub for the export of white appliances, Koc chairperson Mustafa Koc said on Monday. As Koc subsidiary Arcelik Group leveraged its $324-million...
Updated 39 minutes ago South African radar company Reutech Radar Systems (RRS) is planning to develop new products next year, while remaining focused on its core businesses. "This is to maintain our momentum in both the defence and commercial markets," RRS CEO Carl Kies told Engineering...
Updated 57 minutes ago The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour would, this week, interact with steel- and mineworkers on the national minimum wage during the second leg of its public hearing process. The first leg of hearings took place in the Western Cape earlier this month where...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.