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May 19, 2010

Weekly podcast – May 19, 2010

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Construction|Port|Africa|Aircraft|Denel|Export|Industrial|rail|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|SEW Eurodrive|SEW-Eurodrive|Transnet|transport|Africa|Automotive|Energy|Logistics|Maintenance|Manufacturing|Steel|Iron Ore|Iron-ore|Power
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This podcast is brought to you by SEW Eurodrive - Leaders in the field of drive technology.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.

Making headlines this week:

South African transport unions have reached a proposed wage deal with logistics group Transnet. If the deal is accepted by union members, it will end a strike that paralysed rail and port traffic.

United Transport and Allied Trade Union, or Utatu, president George Strauss said on Wednesday that there was a settlement agreement that the union is going to take to its members. However, he was unable to disclose the details of the agreement.

Utatu is the biggest union at Transnet and with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union represents 85% of Transnet's 54 000-strong workforce.

The strike, now in its second week, has dented exports of metals, fruit and wine to Europe and Asia and hit imports of automotive parts and supplies of fuel. Two-thirds of Transnet's workforce have been on strike since Monday last week.


South Africa could sell its stake in ArcelorMittal's South Arica unit if competition authorities find the company raised steel prices without good reason.

On Tuesday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies asked the Competition Commission to investigate an increase in steel prices by the South African unit of the world's largest steel maker, which followed a price dispute between the firm and its iron ore supplier Kumba Iron Ore.

Davies reiterated the view that, in the event of a finding that the Competition Act had been breached, the most vigorous remedies should be pursued.

Davies said earlier that while the iron ore supply dispute was a commercial matter, higher steel prices did have implications for Africa's biggest economy as it sought to build its manufacturing and export base with a new industrial policy.


Preliminary results from a recently commissioned study showed that 300 000 jobs could be created in South Africa's renewable energy sector over the next ten years, of which 20 000 is achievable in the next two years.

However, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says that South Africa's green economy role players must move with speed, as there are many other countries competing to get a slice of the global green economy.

The green economy plays a key role in South Africa's shift to a new growth path, with the government focusing on more labour-absorbing industries.

These jobs will be in energy generation and in the construction, manufacturing, operation and maintenance of power plants in solar, biofuels, small hydro and pyrolysis.


Also making headlines:

There are thousands of vacancies at South Africa's cash-strapped State-owned enterprises.
A decision is possible this year on a partner for Denel's missile unit.
Airbus plans to bid for another South African Air Force new aircraft requirement.
And, South African dealers are much more positive about the outlook for the new vehicle market than in January this year.

That's a round up of news making headlines this week.

 

Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
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