Tuesday, January 19, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.
Making headlines today:
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti says that the country will seek highly indebted poor country (HIPC) status to have its 6-billion-dollar international debt cancelled to help spur economic growth.
Zimbabwe's unity government, formed last year by bitter foes President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to end an economic crisis, has failed to attract much-needed foreign aid, partly due to huge debts.
Zimbabwe has enlisted the support of the African Development Bank to draft a debt relief plan that will unlock access to international finance, which is seen as crucial to revive the economy after a decade of decline.
To qualify for HIPC status, a country's debt has to be considered to be beyond its ability to repay from its own resources. The country is also expected to commit to sound economic management and institute broad reforms.
Gautrain spokesperson Dr Barbara Jensen says that the Gautrain rapid-rail project will start full system trial operations on the section between Sandton station and the OR Tambo International Airport in March.
The operator, Bombela, is expected to complete its ten-week trial run for this section in May.
Commuters traveling between Johannesburg, the airport and Pretoria have already witnessed the various train sets undergoing testing on certain parts of the route.
Although the contractual completion date for the project's first phase is June 27, Bombela and the Gauteng provincial government are negotiating to see whether it can be wrapped up by May 27, so that it will be finished in time for the World Cup kick-off in June.
Also making headlines:
South Africa officially joins the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Former Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig defends himself against allegations of nepotism.
The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers says that steep power tariff hikes will lead to illegal connections.
And, the Kagiso purchasing managers index reveals that the South African manufacturing recovery is well under way.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.