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Construction News

86 MW Prieska solar plant enters commercial operation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2016 The 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska solar photovoltaic (PV) project, in the Northern Cape, has officially started operating commercially, following 17 months of construction. The R1.3-billion project, which is located on a 125 ha site 50 km south-west of Prieska, comprises 275 000 PV modules,... 

Richards Bay IDZ poised for investment, jobs boost

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th July 2016 The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) on Monday opened its R16-million Phase 1A Customs Control Gate Complex. This was followed by a sod-turning event for the zone’s Techno Hub. 

Itac seeks input on steel duties after HRC probe finds imports causing ‘serious injury’ 

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2016 The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) has concluded that the domestic steel industry is “suffering serious injury” as a result of a surge of imports of hot-rolled coil (HRC). However, it has decided not to impose provisional measures until it has received... 

Itac seeks input on steel duties after HRC probe finds imports causing ‘serious injury’

Lafarge denies allegations of ‘union bashing’

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th July 2016 Local construction materials company Lafarge on Monday refuted claims by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) that the company was engaging in union bashing. Last week, Cosatu, together with the community and Tribal Authority of Bodibe, in the North West, marched to Lafarge’s... 

Arrowhead seeks to acquire Emira

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th July 2016 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Arrowhead intends to acquire the majority or all of the issued share capital of fellow listed Reit Emira. Arrowhead plans to implement the proposed transaction by way of a scheme of arrangement, in terms of which Arrowhead will offer 1.67 Arrowhead... 

Sanral will start construction on Eastern Cape bridges in 2017 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd July 2016 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) says construction will start on the Msikaba and Mtentu river bridges, on the N2 Wild Coast Toll road, early next year. The agency has concluded a two-day briefing session with prequalified bidders and site visit for the Msikaba and Mtentu... 

Lafarge dismisses 150 employees over illegal work stoppages 

     22nd July 2016 Lafarge South Africa has dismissed about 150 employees at various operations, including its cement plant in Lichtenburg, following several illegal work stoppages over the past few weeks. The workers were issued with letters of dismissal on July 8 after they illegally downed tools to demand the... 

Davies to launch Phase 1 of revitalised Polokwane industrial park

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd July 2016 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will next week launch the revitalised first phase of the Seshego Industrial Park, in Polokwane, which is aimed at promoting industrialisation, job creation and economic growth. The revitalisation is being implemented in phases focusing on various areas,... 

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges 

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 One hundred of Africa’s most innovative youth gathered at the Brightest Young Minds (BYM) 2016 summit, held in Johannesburg last month, to discuss and find innovative solutions for Africa’s socioeconomic challenges. “BYM is a nonprofit public-benefit organisation aimed at providing a platform for... 

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges
Absa corporate and investment banking CEO Stephen van Coller and Brightest Young Minds (BYM) CEO Dhiren Govender discusses the 2016 BYM summit. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Dedicated truck highway could improve logistics services

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 A truck rapid transit (TRT) system, with dedicated road infrastructure similar to that provided for the bus rapid transport system being rolled out in many South African cities, could provide the impetus to improve the country’s anaemic economic growth. During petrochemicals group Shell’s Rimula... 

Public transport operators need to do ‘more with less’

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2016 South African public transport operators need “to do more with less” as the economy contracts and the national fiscus faces increasing financial pressure, says National Treasury intergovernmental relations deputy director-general Malijeng Ngqaleni. She notes that the current system of public... 

Rosebank office awarded top green rating

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 Green-focused architecture consultancy Solid Green Consulting’s Rosebank offices were recently awarded 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification for the incorporation of ecofriendly aspects into their offices.  

Rosebank office awarded top green rating
GREEN CERTIFICATION Solid Green Consulting’s new Rosebank office has 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2016 Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in South Africa generally have lower passenger demand, poorer financial performance and higher subsidy requirements than initially forecast, says Professor Christo Venter of the University of Pretoria’s Centre of Transport Development. One cause of poor passenger... 

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

Tanzania gets $7.6bn loan from China's Exim Bank for railway

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Tanzania has secured a $7.6-billion loan from China's Export-Import Bank (Exim) to build a railway line that will link it to its neighbours, President John Magufuli's office said on Wednesday. Tanzania wants to profit from its long coastline and upgrade its rickety railways and roads to serve... 

South Africa unpacks new possibilities for Habitat III agenda

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2016 As South Africa prepares to present its position at the United Nations’ (UN’s) upcoming third Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), several stakeholders have moved to unpack the key questions from the ten policy papers published by the UN ahead of the adoption of... 

Africa to stand as a collective at upcoming Habitat III – Human Settlements official

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2016 Standing together as a continent will ensure a stronger position at the United Nations’ (UN’s) upcoming third Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). Discussing the common position and shared vision to be adopted by Africa, Department of Human Settlements (DHS)... 

South Africa gears up for Habitat III; needs to be active in global New Urban Agenda

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2016 South Africa is preparing to showcase its position at the United Nations’ (UN’s) upcoming third Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), where the ‘New Urban Agenda’ on human settlements and urbanisation will be adopted for the next 20 years. The country is... 

South Africa gears up for Habitat III; needs to be active in global New Urban Agenda

IDC, AFD sign €60m credit agreement for green projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has signed an agreement with France's development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for a €60-million credit line aimed at local small-scale green projects. The facility, a collaboration under the Sustainable Use of Natural... 

Senwes to save from completed solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 The installation of 2 392 solar panels at South African agribusiness Senwes’s head office, in Klerksdorp, will save a projected 1 172 t/y of carbon emissions, equivalent to 270 running cars or 481 t/y of coal. CEO Joe Maswanganyi says the project, which was completed in June, will save about 1 kg... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2016 State-owned electricity producer Eskom expects to finalise commercial terms with the New Development Bank (NDB), of the Brics grouping, for a $150-million facility in the next quarter, CFO Anoj Singh reports. A term sheet has been signed with the NDB and Singh reports that, once consummated, the... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2016 The Pele Energy Group (PEG), which is owned and managed by a group of 30-something black professionals, is making strides in its stated objective of evolving from an energy investor into a fully-fledged independent power producer (IPP) and, ultimately, a private utility company. Headquartered in... 

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP
The five PEG founders

Rea Vaya to reach Sandton central by 2018

By: Irma Venter     18th July 2016 The City of Johannesburg aims to bring its Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system to Sandton central within the next two years. Rea Vaya started operations in 2009, and already runs between areas such as Parktown, Doornfontein and Soweto. 

Rea Vaya to reach Sandton central by 2018
Sandton Central Management District city improvement district manager Elaine Jack

Building green not as costly as once thought – study

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th July 2016 A new report published on Friday by industry associations has revealed that the cost premium of building “green” was only an average of 5% above the construction of traditional buildings, much less than previously thought. The first edition of the ‘Green Building in South Africa: Guide to Costs... 

Building green not as costly as once thought – study

Dawn year-end results hemorrhage owing to tough year

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th July 2016 The sharp slowdown in the domestic economy and slower government spending on water projects, which resulted in losses in a number of JSE-listed Distribution and Warehousing Network’s (Dawn’s) businesses, led to a loss before taxes, interest, impairments and derecognitions of R23.9-million for the... 

Mandela children’s hospital to open in December

By: African News Agency      15th July 2016 Construction of the much anticipated Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital has been completed, with its official opening set for December. Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund CEO Sibongile Mkhabela said the building in Parktown, Johannesburg was completed last month. 

Mandela children’s hospital to open in December

Acquisition ensures lean manufacturing expertise at all operation stages

     15th July 2016 Project management consultancy Turner & Townsend acquired UK-based operational consultancy Suiko in June, to position the company as the first independent construction consultancy to offer lean expertise at all stages of capital project delivery and operations. 

Acquisition ensures lean manufacturing expertise  at all operation stages
COST FORECAST Turner & Townsend provides cost forecasting to various large projects like power stations

Chinese firms continue to increase African investment footprint

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 Despite talk that the Chinese economy is in trouble and that China’s investment in Africa has subsided, investment by Chinese companies in Africa is, in fact, on the rise. China has indeed seen its economy slow down from 9% growth to 6% or 7%, but it is “still robust by any account”, says Goldman... 

Company strengthens ties with African country

     15th July 2016 Global engineering, project management and construction company Bechtel has extended its partnership with Gabon, which it has been working with since 2010 to create and implement a $25-billion national infrastructure plan. 

Company strengthens ties with African country
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Construction of infrastructure across Gabon will continue under Bechtel supervision

Electronic bike hubs piloted in Sandton business district 

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement

     15th July 2016 Wind energy developments project management company Kipeto Energy, is one step closer to delivering additional clean energy to the people of Kenya following an announcement that it formally signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power last month. 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
ENERGY UPGRADES The increase in energy production forms part of Kenya’s Vision 2030

Infrastructure firm secures new contract

     15th July 2016 Global infrastructure firm AECOM, announced last month that it has been selected as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the electric utility company Alliant Energy’s Riverside Energy Center expansion project. 

Infrastructure firm secures new contract
Photo by Duane Daws
ROAD MAINTENANCE Aecom has been contracted by Sanral to upgrade several roads across South Africa

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized building contractors

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th July 2016 The 2016 Interbuild Africa, Africa’s largest building, building services and construction exhibition, will predominantly target the small and medium-sized building contractor companies, as this market remains fairly resilient, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio... 

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized  building contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
TARGET MARKET While some construction majors had struggled in in the past year, market growth is expected to stem from smaller industry players

Transport projects study under way in the UK

     15th July 2016 Project management and development company Mott MacDonald has been commissioned by Solihull metropolitan borough council, in the UK, to undertake a comprehensive integrated transport study. 

Transport projects study under way in the UK
TRANSPORT NETWORK The transport network will be upgraded to link several railways and airports together

Waterfall management agreement changes unveiled as Attacq refreshes brand

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th July 2016 Coinciding with the launch of JSE-listed capital growth property fund Attacq’s refreshed brand, which includes a new logo in red and grey, the company on Tuesday announced that it would accelerate the internalisation of the Waterfall development management function to enable Attacq to take full... 

Waterfall management agreement changes unveiled  as Attacq refreshes brand
BUSINESS STRIDES In addition to launching a refreshed brand, Attacq had concluded two strategic property transactions for light industrial and commercial developments

SolarAfrica, Aquion Energy install offgrid solar system in Kenya

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2016 Solar energy services firm SolarAfrica on Thursday said it had, along with Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries and energy storage systems manufacturer Aquion Energy, completed the installation of an offgrid microgrid at the wildlife research and ecotourism hub Loisaba Conservancy, in Kenya. The offgrid... 

New rail loop adds coal export capacity for Waterberg mines

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2016 The capacity of South Africa’s coal export corridor to transport material mined in the Limpopo province’s Waterberg coalfields has been increased with the completion of a new 1.8 km passing loop at Matlabas, Transnet reports. The loop, which enables 100-wagon trains to cross without disrupting... 

New rail loop adds coal export capacity for Waterberg mines

Private investment key to rejuvenation of world cities, including Joburg

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2016 Private sector participation is the “single most crucial component” in rejuvenating decaying urban areas, a new World Bank report, which includes Johannesburg as a case study, shows. Published in conjunction with the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility during the World Cities Summit,... 

Private investment key to rejuvenation of world cities, including Joburg
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