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Education & Skills Development News

Education institutions struggling with connectivity

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Amid water, electricity and basic infrastructure challenges at various education institutions, the lack of Internet connectivity has also been a challenge, states wireless connectivity firm Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. 

More engineers needed to support local projects

By: Robyn Wilkinson     28th July 2017 As part of its drive to promote and support the engineering profession at multiple levels, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is establishing an intervention programme that will focus on accrediting engineering academies for training candidates for the purposes of registration within... 

More engineers needed to support local projects
SIPHO MADONSELA Developing and sustaining a relevant, transformed, competent and internationally recognised engineering profession is critical in meeting South Africa’s socioeconomic goals

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Irrespective of the considerable amount of money invested in the South African education system, engineering consultancy WSP Africa head of people, culture and engagement Elaine Porter, states that the number of high-school graduates with good results in higher-grade mathematics and science is... 

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates
NECESSARY FOUNDATIONS Mathematics and science abilities cannot suddenly be learnt, without foundations in analytical skills

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen their partnership at country level and jointly contribute to $2-billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact
Photo by Duane Daws
JOINT CONTRIBUTION The banks’ contribution will finance projects in areas, such as agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises and human development

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 US-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and supplier Agco is directing a large portion of its future growth potential into Africa, specifically South Africa, as a key market going forward.  

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth
FUTURE FARM One of Agco’s Future Farm’s responsibilities is to teach aspiring tractor technicians how to service Agco-distributed tractors

Training facility to improve skills deficit in artisan industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Industrial rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists aims to bridge the rope access skills deficit in the artisan industry through offering training at its Midrand-based facility, states Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn. 

Training facility to  improve skills deficit  in artisan industry
Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn gives a tour of their training facility, in Midrand. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Enterprise open-source software company SUSE has released what it calls software-defined storage which supports schools using free open-source software (FOSS), says SUSE client executive Derek Rule. 

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool
DEREK RULE The global community of open-source software users and developers provides a constant stream of updates and improvements

Coega IDZ preferred location for the gas to power programme

By: Nica Schreuder     28th July 2017 The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has initiated an environmental impact study for South Africa’s gas-to-power programme, and has strategically explored the IDZ’s full potential beyond its gas power plant’s current allocation of 1 000 MW. “The foundation of South Africa’s readiness... 

Coega IDZ preferred  location for the gas  to power programme
Photo by Duane Daws
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY The construction and operation phases to accommodate a gas economy in South Africa will provide job opportunities and economic growth

Calls for more investment in science infrastructure in Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th July 2017 Researcher Professor Kelly Chibale has called for a deep commitment to investing in world-class infrastructure and skills for scientists to succeed on the continent. The founder and director of Africa’s only integrated drug discovery and development centre, H3D, at the University of Cape Town... 

Telkom injects R200m into educational programmes

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2017 Telecommunications giant Telkom has pledged R200-million over the next five years towards a scalable three-phased strategy to deploy educational programmes in high schools in disadvantaged communities. Through the group’s Connected Schools Programme (CSP) and Supplementary Teaching Programme,... 

Majority of new Barloworld technician apprentices are women

By: Dylan Slater     21st July 2017 Women now represent more than 80% of apprentices enrolled for construction equipment manufacturer Barloworld Equipment’s rigorous apprentice training class of 2017.  

Majority of new Barloworld technician apprentices are women
CLASS OF 2017 Women constitute more than 80% of this year’s intake of Barloworld Equipment apprentice technicians

Illegal mining threatens infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Failure to adequately regulate illegal sand mining in KwaZulu-Natal is increasingly becoming a threat to the mining and construction sectors in the region, says Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) director Nico Pienaar. 

Illegal mining threatens infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal
NICO PIENAAR Aspasa is taking steps to ensure a well-run and compliant aggregate and sand producing industry in KwaZulu-Natal

‘Durban’s best kept secret’ honoured for technical excellence  

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa was awarded the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Durban branch’s prestigious technical excellence award last month for the design and construction of Main Road 577 (MR577), with SAICE calling it... 

‘Durban’s best kept  secret’ honoured for  technical excellence
Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa provide an overview of the MR577. Video courtesy: RoyalHaskoningDHV

Otis relaunches training academy to build skills, expertise in industry

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st July 2017 Elevator and escalator manufacturer Otis South Africa earlier this month relaunched its training academy in line with its skills development programme, which is designed to create technical and functional expertise in African markets. “Building skills and expertise through the Otis training... 

Otis relaunches training academy to build skills, expertise in industry
ESCALATED OFFERING The training academy will now offer programmes that include service and maintenance, installations, as well as quality, environment health and safety

Numsa has no desire to avoid strike action – Saefa

By: Anine Kilian     20th July 2017 Responding to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa’s) alleged intention to take industrial action to “shut down” the country’s engineering sector, the South African Engineers and Founders Association (Saefa) feels that the trade union has no desire to avoid strike action,... 

Solidarity seeks out govt collaboration on solution to high winter power rates

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th July 2017 Trade union Solidarity has requested industry players, government and State-owned power utility Eskom to convene a solution-seeking roundtable to discuss winter’s high power rates and the negative impact it has on the steel and chrome industry. Under the Save Our Steel Campaign, Solidarity metal... 

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry

By: Dylan Slater     14th July 2017 To meet the needs of the rapidly expanding drones market, a new retail and aftersales support, repair and training network has been established through a partnership between technology support company weFix and drone training service provider Drone Racing Africa (DRA).  

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry
SCALING INDUSTRY A partnership between weFix and Drone Racing Africa aims to increase legal operations and improve after sales support

Solidarity ready to pursue bilateral talks to avoid metals sector strike

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2017 Trade union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would pursue bilateral talks with employer organisations in the metals and engineering sector in a bid to break a three-week deadlock in wage negotiations. Talks at the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) broke down on... 

Solidarity ready to pursue bilateral talks to avoid metals sector strike

Seifsa and Neasa in war of words as metals sector strike looms

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has described suggestions that it is only representing the interests of large employers in the metals and engineering sector as malicious “propaganda”, arguing that it “fights hard” to represent both small and big... 

Seifsa and Neasa in war of words as metals sector strike looms

AMSA unveils first phase of incubation hub to support emerging industrialists

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th July 2017 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) on Friday unveiled the completed first phase of its new 1 600 m2 steel industry incubation hub, in Vanderbijlpark, which has been set up to help develop industrialists to be absorbed into its procurement supply chain. The R30-million Matlafatso... 

Numsa warns of imminent metals, engineering industry strike

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th July 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Friday warned of an imminent strike in the local metals and engineering sector, after the latest round of negotiations reached a deadlock on Thursday. The union is demanding a two-year 15% wage increase across the board, based on the... 

JSE’s cost savings drive to result in 60 job cuts

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th July 2017 The JSE plans to reduce its technology operating expenditure by a minimum of R70-million over a two-year period, which will also result in the stock exchange reducing its staff complement by 60 people. Noting that the plans form part of its ongoing cost optimization drive, JSE CEO Nicky... 

Locally produced engineering steel declining

By: Nica Schreuder     7th July 2017 It has become cheaper to import finished products manufactured  overseas  than to manufacture engineering steel in the country, which has resulted in more than half the country’s foundries closing down, laments specialised steel and industry expertise company Special Steels MD Byron Ferguson. He... 

Locally produced engineering steel declining
HIGH PROFILE Hydraulic cyclinder components being cut from a 300 mm carbon steel plate at Special Steels

New-generation Sentient hand-held unit for gas detection

7th July 2017 The new generation Ingress Protection 68 rated Sentient handheld unit is widely regarded as the most cost effective, sophisticated and low maintenance gas detection device in the mining industry today. 

New-generation Sentient hand-held unit for  gas detection
GAS DETECTION SYSTEMS This instrument was developed by Booyco Electronics, specifically to improve safety in any confined spaces

Driver report programme enhances total service offering

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2017 Fleet management company MiX Telematics (MiX) last month announced the relaunch of its MiX ReportMyDriving programme, previously offered by a division of MiX, Compass Fleet Management, after an incremental development period to ensure key improvements to the reports offered to clients, as well as... 

Driver report programme  enhances total service offering
MIX REPORTMYDRIVING MiX Telematics Journey Management Centre provides road users with a platform to report traffic incidents or driver offences of subscribed fleet vehicles

Nigerian university expansion project receives AfDB loan

By: David Oliveira     7th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) last month signed agreements for a corporate loan to finance the expansion of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. The expansion project consists of the construction of new facilities – including a 400-bed teaching hospital, an industrial... 

Strike would threaten MEIBC's continued existence – Solidarity

By: Samantha Herbst     6th July 2017 With wage negotiations in the metals and engineering sector coming to a standstill, Solidarity fears that if a strike is the result it would jeopardise the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), the trade union said on Thursday. Trade unions and employers reached a deadlock... 

Strike would threaten MEIBC's continued existence – Solidarity
Solidarity deputy general secretary Marius Croucamp

South Africa, Canada partnership awards C$1m to new research initiatives

By: Anine Kilian     4th July 2017 The South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Trilateral Partnership Initiative announced on Tuesday that it would award C$1-million to two new trilateral research chairs, including a South Africa-Canada-Kenya collaboration and a South Africa-Canada-Uganda collaboration. In addition, the South... 

Zuma awaits higher education report on fees

By: Sashnee Moodley     30th June 2017 The deadline for the Presidential Commission report on the feasibility of free higher education and training coincided with the opening of African National Congress’ (ANC’s) fifth National Policy Conference on Friday. President Jacob Zuma delivered the opening address to more than 3 000 delegates... 

Zuma awaits higher education report on fees
Photo by Reuters
President Jacob Zuma

Business holds small-business funding line, despite serious postreshuffle trust deficit

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th June 2017 It is now well documented how President Jacob Zuma’s March 31 Cabinet reshuffle, which saw South Africa’s highly-regarded Pravin Gordhan removed as Finance Minister, seriously undermined trust between government and its social partners, including business. The controversial move also placed the... 

Business holds small-business funding line, despite serious postreshuffle trust deficit

Women in energy efficiency look to expand mentorship programme

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th June 2017 Following the initial success of the Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency (Safee) mentorship programmes in the past year, Safee’s potential objectives are to establish the mentorship programme in other provinces, as well as host Safee chapters at various tertiary institutions in the... 

Short- and long-term options for ailing supply

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 Although South Africa’s current dam infrastructure setup is reliable, sustainable consulting in the built and natural environment provider WSP Africa Structures senior engineer Peter Townshend says there are a number of short- and long-term solutions that South Africa can pursue to augment water... 

Short- and long-term options for ailing supply
Photo by Duane Daws
DAMNING STATE Dams in South Africa are under pressure to meet a growing water demand

Consulting engineering industry must become resilient

By: Robyn Wilkinson     30th June 2017 A key focus that arose out of discussions at this year’s International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ Group of African Member Associations (FIDIC GAMA) Conference, and which will be further explored at the FIDIC International Infrastructure Conference in October, is the need for resilience... 

Consulting engineering industry must become resilient
Photo by Bloomberg
GOOD BUSINESS SENSE The only way to develop sustainable infrastructure in Africa is through partnerships between international and local companies

Partnerships key to sustaining consulting engineering sector

By: Robyn Wilkinson     30th June 2017 Cultivating partnerships between larger, established firms and smaller organisations in the various sectors, is the best way to drive sustainability in South Africa’s consulting engineering industry, says consulting engineering firm Malani Padayachee & Associates (MPA) CEO Malani Padayachee-Saman. 

IEA recognises ECSA for a further six years for Washington Accord

By: Anine Kilian     27th June 2017 The International Engineering Alliance (IEA) has recognised the Engineering Council of South Africa’s (ECSA‘s) standards and processes for the Washington Accord for an additional six years. “The recognition of ECSA by the IEA reaffirms that ECSA conforms to global engineering education and... 

Numsa reiterates demands as it prepares for further negotiations in metals, engineering sector

By: Anine Kilian     27th June 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has confirmed it will participate in further meetings with employers in the metals and engineering sector to resolve a wage disputes. Further negotiations will take place on June 28 and 29, and again on July 5 and 6. 

Formal jobs decline by 48 000 in Q1 – Stats SA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th June 2017 Jobs in the formal nonagricultural sector declined by 48 000, or 0.5%, to 9.64-million in the quarter ended March 31, Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA’s) Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) report has revealed. This was mainly driven by trade and finance and business services, which lost 32... 

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