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Aveng Strabag Joint Venture to appeal ruling on calling of Mtentu bridge bonds 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2019 The Aveng Strabag Joint Venture (ASJV) reported on Friday that it would appeal the dismissal of an urgent application, lodged by the ASJV in February, seeking to prevent the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from making a call on the bonds relating to the Mtentu bridge... 

Aveng Strabag Joint Venture to appeal ruling on calling of Mtentu bridge bonds

Intellidex cuts South African growth forecast as load-shedding woes continue  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd March 2019 Capital markets research firm Intellidex has cut its growth forecast for South Africa’s economy for this year further to 1%, from the previous estimate of 1.2%. In a statement on Friday, it highlighted a strong risk scenario of negative full-year growth, as a result of load-shedding. 

Intervention needed to protect South Africa’s infrastructure projects 

By: Nadine James     22nd March 2019 Urgent intervention is needed to protect infrastructure projects, investor confidence and the safety of professionals in the built environment, Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) member Yunus Bayat said on Friday, in response to reports of widespread “construction mafia” and... 

Intervention needed to protect South Africa’s infrastructure projects

Gauteng launches 2019 travel survey to assist with transport planning 

By: Irma Venter     20th March 2019 The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (DoRT) has launched a general household travel survey (GHTS) to assist it in determining travel needs and patterns within the province. The last survey was conducted in 2014. 

Gauteng launches 2019 travel survey to assist with transport planning
Photo by Dylan Slater
Dr Ismail Vadi

Brics Bank to lend Eskom up to $780m 

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2019 The New Development Bank (NDB) plans to lend as much as $780-million to Eskom for infrastructure projects this year as the ailing power utility battles to keep power supply steady. Eskom, which on Wednesday entered a seventh day of controlled power cuts, is contending with operational and... 

Boiler-tube leaks playing big role in rise of unplanned losses to over 12 000 MW 

By: Terence Creamer     20th March 2019 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has confirmed that boiler-tube leaks are significant contributor to unplanned losses of more than 12 000 MW across its coal fleet. The underperformance of the coal fleet, including those units in commercial operation at the Medupi and Kusile projects, is... 

Boiler-tube leaks playing big role in rise of unplanned losses to over 12 000 MW
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Eskom to seek special procurement dispensation to help it address ‘crisis’ 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2019 Crisis-ridden power utility Eskom is approaching the Auditor-General and the National Treasury to seek approval for a special procurement dispensation that will allow it to accelerate the purchase of critical goods and services required to address ongoing breakdowns of its coal fleet. The... 

Eskom to seek special procurement dispensation to help it address ‘crisis’
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Hulamin reviews extrusions business, rolled products reaches record volumes 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2019 JSE-listed aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin’s rolled products division reported a “superb” manufacturing performance for the year ended December 31, 2018, increasing its sales by 6% to 228 000 t. This third consecutive year of record sales volumes from rolled products helped to offset... 

Hulamin reviews extrusions business, rolled products reaches record volumes

No escaping the move to electric, says Jaguar as it launches new I-Pace 

By: Irma Venter     19th March 2019 A third fully electric vehicle has made its debut in South Africa. The new Jaguar I-Pace adds to the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 already available in the local market. 

No escaping the move to electric, says Jaguar as it launches new I-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace

Public-Private Growth Initiative identifies 18 ‘priority projects’ to unlock growth 

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2019 The Public-Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), an evolving sector-based collaboration between government and business, has earmarked 18 projects across various sectors of the South African economy for priority implementation in the coming months. Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma... 

Public-Private Growth Initiative identifies 18 ‘priority projects’ to unlock growth
Minister in The Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks, while Dr Johan van Zyl, Mpumi Mpofu and Roelf Meyer listen

The BioCycle aims to turn human waste into lubricants, biodiesel 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2019 The BioCycle plans to have completed the design of its first South African commercial scale facility by the end of 2020, to be followed by a global rollout of the technology, says MultiCycle director Marc Lewis. The BioCycle aims to develop commercially viable and scalable processes for the... 

The BioCycle aims to turn human waste into lubricants, biodiesel

Zimbabwe currency crisis robs Bell of record year 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2019 A new currency regime in Zimbabwe robbed Bell Equipment of a record financial year, giving the company a R87.4-million “ankle-tap that went straight to the bottom line”, said CEO Leon Goosen on Monday. “It happened right at the end of the year. It’s incredibly sad.” 

Zimbabwe currency crisis robs Bell of record year

WRC, DWS launch new satellite earth observation project 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th March 2019 The Water Research Commission (WRC), the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Department of Science and Technology on Friday released a report showing the potential of a new project to monitor cyanobacteria blooms and eutrophication in South Africa's fresh waterbodies. The... 

WRC, DWS launch new satellite earth observation project

PRASA places four execs on special leave 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2019 The State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has put company secretary Lindikaya Zide, chief information officer Chris Mbatha, corporate real estate solutions CEO Tara Ngubane and suspended enterprise risk GM Tumi Mohube, on special leave, in light of continued allegations of... 

PRASA places four execs on special leave

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner 

By: Irma Venter     15th March 2019 Port Elizabeth-based e-coating specialist, Electrocoat, wishes to sell at least 51% of the business to a black investor. Businesses that are successful in implementing major transformational changes will secure a sustained competitive advantage under the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035,... 

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner

Manufacturing output up 0.3% y/y in January 

By: Reuters     14th March 2019 South Africa's manufacturing output barely grew in January, rising by 0.3% year-on-year after a flat reading of 0% in December, the statistics agency said on Thursday. Economist polled by Reuters had forecast a rise of 1.2% year-on-year in January. 

Eskom technical review team to deliver preliminary report in four weeks 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2019 The Eskom technical review team, appointed by the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board on March 4, will produce a preliminary report within four weeks, Cabinet said in a statement released on the same day, March 14, that Eskom resumed load-shedding. Cabinet said the team... 

Eskom technical review team to deliver preliminary report in four weeks

Turkey, Romania operations bolster Metair’s operating profit growth in FY18 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th March 2019 JSE-listed energy storage solutions and automotive components manufacturer Metair saw a strong contribution from its overseas acquisitions in the energy storage vertical, while also being supported by good volume throughput from the automotive components vertical in the year ended December 31,... 

Turkey, Romania operations bolster Metair’s operating profit growth in FY18
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Metair MD Theo Loock

Business confidence falls to almost two-year low  

By: Bloomberg     13th March 2019 South African business confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years in the first quarter, with more than two thirds of respondents dissatisfied with current conditions. A gauge measuring sentiment declined to 28 in the first quarter from 31 in the final three months of 2018,... 

Business confidence falls to almost two-year low

Mpact says rising power prices will place pressure on margins 

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2019 South African paper and plastics packaging group Mpact is forecasting further improvements in the operating performance of its paper business in 2019 as recent capital projects are optimised and fruit volumes improve following the recent Western Cape drought. In the short term, however, the group... 

Mpact says rising power prices will place pressure on margins

Growthpoint warns of ‘little to no growth’ in its South African portfolio 

By: Simone Liedtke     13th March 2019 South African real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties expects its international investments to contribute most of its growth in the 2019 financial year. Reporting on its results for the six months ended December 31, 2018, the company on Wednesday said property fundamentals in... 

CEF's challenges exposed in Parliament 

By: Kim Cloete     12th March 2019 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy has accused the Central Energy Fund (CEF) of moving far too slowly to transform, following a litany of problems in the beleaguered group. Committee chairperson Fikile Majola on Tuessday accused the CEF management and board of directors of merely "marking... 

AMSA says contingency plans in place as Numsa strikes over ‘labour brokers’ 

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it has introduced contingency plans at its various plants to minimise the potential impact on production of a National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) strike. The union indicated on Tuesday that a strike had been declared, owing... 

AMSA says contingency plans in place as Numsa strikes over ‘labour brokers’
Photo by Creamer Media
AMSA's Vanderbijlpark steel mill

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2019 The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business. Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder. 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential
Photo by Merafe
South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.

Group Five shares suspended as it enters business rescue 

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2019 Trade in the shares of embattled construction group Group Five has been suspended after the company’s board resolved to place the group, as well as Group Five Construction Proprietary Limited (G5 Construction), into business rescue. Group Five announced in a note to shareholders that it would... 

Group Five shares suspended as it enters business rescue

Petrochemicals and jet fuel to underpin oil growth as gasoline slows 

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2019 Petrochemicals and jet fuel have emerged as key drivers of oil growth, with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest market forecast indicating that the two sectors will account for more that 30% of global growth in the coming five years, as gasoline demand slows as a result of efficiency... 

Petrochemicals and jet fuel to underpin oil growth as gasoline slows

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market 

By: Irma Venter     11th March 2019 By his own admission Desmond Soekoe is not a traditional business man. Rather heavily tattooed and not fond of a suit and tie, he runs Soekoe Bicycle Company, a fledgling bicycle manufacturer based in Germiston. Soekoe is perhaps better known as the former MD of materials-handling company Deebar... 

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market

Construction index improves in Q4, but 2018 average is below year before 

By: Simone Liedtke     11th March 2019 A recovery in the 2018 fourth-quarter Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) has failed to lift the index to a higher level than the year before, but economist Dr Roelof Botha is optimistic that construction sector activity could improve in 2019. The ACI, which Botha compiles on behalf of JSE-listed... 

Construction index improves in Q4, but 2018 average is below year before

Novo Energy launches R130m gas compression facility in eMalahleni  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2019 Energy solutions company Novo Energy on Friday launched a R130-million large-scale natural gas compression facility at the Highveld industrial park, in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. The facility provides cleaner, more reliable and cost-effective energy, compared with coal and other petroleum products. 

Novo Energy launches R130m gas compression facility in eMalahleni

New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2019 New-vehicle exports from South Africa to the rest of Africa have improved by 9.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, “following a number of years of sharp decline”, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business review. Export sales to... 

 New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018

By midyear, R3bn Leonardo will eclipse Carlton as SA’s tallest skyscraper 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2019 The view from the top of the Leonardo is quite spectacular, says Legacy Group development director Jamie Hendry. “It really is a 360-degree experience. On a clear day you can see the Magaliesburg mountains and the Voortrekker Monument, in Pretoria, from the north side of the building, and OR... 

By midyear, R3bn Leonardo will eclipse Carlton as SA’s tallest skyscraper

MTN posts significantly higher FY18 earnings 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th March 2019 JSE-listed telecommunications giant MTN on Thursday posted a 85.2% increase in its reported headline earnings per share (HEPS), from 182c in 2017 to 337c during the year ended December 31, 2018. While a significant jump on the prior year, HEPS could have reached 565c apiece; however MTN had to... 

Energy Regulator sanctions 13.82% Eskom tariff hike for 2019 

By: Terence Creamer     7th March 2019 South Africa’s Energy Regulator has granted Eskom allowable revenue of R206.38-billion for 2019/20, which will translate into a tariff increase of 9.41% from April 1, exclusive of the 4.41% hike sanctioned following an adjudication, in 2018, of three Eskom regulatory clearing account (RCA)... 

Energy Regulator sanctions 13.82% Eskom tariff hike for 2019
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Nersa CEO Chris Forlee, Nersa regulatory member for electricity and piped gas Nomfundo Maseti, Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise and Nersa communications head Charles Hlebela

SARB says unrealistic to target specific employment level 

By: Reuters     7th March 2019 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said on Wednesday that it is unrealistic for central banks to target specific employment levels, after the country's governing party said the bank should broaden its focus. The African National Congress (ANC), which is trying to woo... 

SARB says unrealistic to target specific employment level
Photo by Reuters
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago

Denel aiming to access contingency fund, confident about future despite ratings cut 

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th March 2019 State-owned South African defence industrial group Denel is preparing an application for funding from the R13-billion contingency reserve announced by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his 2019/20 Budget speech. “We know that [the] government is cognisant of the fact that Denel is in need of... 

Denel aiming to access contingency fund, confident about future despite ratings cut
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
One of Denel’s signature products, the 6x6 G6 155 mm self-propelled gun, on display at the group’s head office

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 The government’s support for the national platinum strategy is encouraging, says Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri. In an interview with Mining Weekly Online after reporting before-tax profit of R316-million in a presentation of turned-around 2018 financial results, Phiri expressed... 

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat
Photo by Minerals Council South Africa
South Africa's platinum group metals mines

SARB still sees 2019 growth at 1.7% 

By: Reuters     6th March 2019 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) still expects the economy to grow by 1.7% this year and 2% in 2020, governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Wednesday after the latest fourth-quarter data showed an annualised growth of 0.8%. Kganyago said rising fuel and electricity prices posed a domestic risk to... 

SABS to invest R300m in laboratory infrastructure as part of turnaround  

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2019 The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which is currently in administration, has initiated a process of renewing its laboratory infrastructure as part of a broader turnaround plan under way at the organisation. The SABS was placed in administration by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob... 

SABS to invest R300m in laboratory infrastructure as part of turnaround
Photo by Creamer Media
SABS Acting CEO Garth Strachan
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