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Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2016 The decision by Eskom not to sign any new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) beyond those selected in the latest competitive bidding round could have a “chilling” effect on investment and undermine industrialisation efforts under way in the green economy,... 

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation

AMSA seeks more protection as it warns of bigger H1 loss

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) warned on Friday that its loss for the six months to June 30 could be up to 64% higher than the loss of 28c a share reported for the same period in 2015. However, the interim loss of between 42c and 46c a share represented a significant improvement... 

AMSA seeks more protection as it warns of bigger H1 loss

South Africa waking up to entrepreneurship, but coordinated strategy still lacking

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd July 2016 Amid fiscal constraints, political uncertainties and extremely weak economic growth, South Africa is finally placing increasing emphasis on enterprise development and cultivating an entrepreneurship culture. Epitomising this shift in emphasis, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said... 

South Africa waking up to entrepreneurship, but coordinated strategy still lacking

Rosatom, partners to trial small hydropower plant at Lonmin site

By: Anine Kilian     22nd July 2016 Russian nuclear giant Rosatom will begin work on a $40-million 2 MW hydropower plant for South African platinum producer Lonmin in August. It will be the first time this type of technology is used in a mining application in South Africa. 

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... 

Data the new voice as Telkom shifts focus

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2016 Gigabytes are becoming more important than voice minutes when it comes to mobile networks structuring their phone contracts, says an expert. On Thursday, Telkom unveiled its new mobile contracts. 

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,... 

Cele warns of further food price hikes as drought continues

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2016 Ongoing drought in South Africa has disrupted food production and threatens to push food prices up, agriculture deputy minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday. He said recent rain has not helped improve water levels in the country’s dams and as a result farmers were unable to produce enough food to... 

WTO head says China accession deal must be fully applied in market status debate

By: Reuters     22nd July 2016 China's World Trade Organization accession deal must be fully applied, the head of the trade governing body said on Friday, after the European Commission said it would adopt a new method to assess whether China's exports are priced unfairly low. The European Union has been debating whether to... 

An update on the state of the electricity system 

     22nd July 2016 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer tells Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst about Eskom’s latest media briefing. 

An update on the state of the electricity system

Illicit flows could have funded Africa’s development

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2016 Africa would not have needed any financial assistance if illicit financial flows had remained on the continent, economic research firm Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies, or Tips, executive director Saul Levin said on Thursday. Africa had lost about $854-billion to illicit financial flows... 

Natural gas market to boom, but comes with volatility

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 As liquefied natural gas (LNG) plays an increasingly significant role in the transition to a low-carbon world, the market will become more volatile and risky, believes audit consultancy PwC’s strategy consulting business Strategy&. In a new analysis titled ‘Navigating the transformation of the... 

Edible fats producer fined R35m for anticompetitive behaviour

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a consent agreement between edible fats and oils producer Sime Darby Hudson Knight and the Competition Commission, in terms of which Sime Darby agreed to pay a R35-million fine for anticompetitive behavior between 2004 and 2013. The commission had received a... 

SAA steps back from BnP Capital agreement 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st July 2016 National carrier South African Airways (SAA) has announced it is terminating the services of BnP Capital as a financial services provider, both as a transaction adviser and as a fund sourcing middleman, to the State-owned airline. It also took a decision to arrange debt consolidation, debt review... 

SAA steps back from BnP Capital agreement

Soaring DRDGold adds R14bn a year to economy as it turns waste to gold  

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2016 By taking material that has been dumped as waste and turning it into gold, DRDGold is adding R14-billion worth of value a year to the South African economy and unlocking scarce real estate for gainful development, a visiting media contingent heard on Thursday. “[That is] R14-billion rands worth... 

DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius spells out Ergo’s multi-billion-rand economic contribution to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer. 21.7.2016

Brics looks back at first year of NDB

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 A South African delegation, led by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, was party to discussions on the New Development Bank’s (NDB) five-year strategy at its first annual meeting in Shanghai, China last week. The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-, or Brics-, led institution used the... 

No change in rates amid uncertainty

By: News24Wire      21st July 2016 In line with the consensus among economists, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Lesetja Kganyago on Thursday announced that there would be no change in the interest rate. This means that the repo rate, which is the interest rate at which the Sarb lends money to commercial banks, remains... 

No change in rates amid uncertainty
Photo by Duane Daws
Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago

Vodacom revenue rises y/y in Q1

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2016 JSE-listed Vodacom’s year-on-year performance has been sustained in the first quarter of the new financial year. While quarter-on-quarter growth declined, the telecommunications giant on Thursday posted year-on-year group service revenue growth of 7.3% to R16.8-billion for the three months to... 

Vodacom revenue rises y/y in Q1
Photo by Duane Daws
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2016 News of Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson – seeking clarity on the approach the utility should take to contracting in future with independent power producers (IPPs) – sent shock waves through the private power community, which is only just starting to find its feet in a... 

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane

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

Vibrating equipment supplier commissions moulding system, begins local manufacture 

     21st July 2016 Screening and vibrating equipment supplier Aury Africa hosted a media launch and factory tour to celebrate the commissioning of its newly installed gravity-pour polyurethane system. which allows the company to begin manufacturing its own polyurethane panels, liners and wedges. Nadine James tells... 

Vibrating equipment supplier commissions moulding system, begins local manufacture

Uranium is the dirty underbelly of nuclear – scientist

By: News24Wire      21st July 2016 Antinuclear sentiment tends to focus on nuclear waste or operational risks, but more focus should be on the “dirty underbelly” of uranium mining, according to a science adviser. “Whenever people get excited about nuclear power stations, they kind of forget where the actual uranium comes from,” Dr... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2016 Global engineering firm Siemens says it is committed to South Africa’s renewable-energy revolution and supports the country’s imminent procurement of gas-to-power infrastructure.  Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Power-Gen Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg,... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential
Siemens CEO Sabine Dall'Omo

Samsung Heavy in talks with Eni to build Mozambique LNG platform

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Samsung Heavy Industries, France's Technip and Japan's JGC are in advanced talks with Eni to supply a floating liquefied natural gas platform to the Italian firm's project in Mozambique, Samsung said on Thursday. Samsung Heavy's share of the contract was $2.5-billion and it expected to receive... 

EgyptAir expects to receive first of nine new Boeing jets in December

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 EgyptAir expects to receive in December the first of nine new Boeing 737-800s ordered as part of plans to upgrade its ageing fleet, its chairperson Safwat Mosallem said on Wednesday. The airline announced last week it had ordered nine Boeing 737-800 planes in a deal valued at $864 million at... 

SABMiller sales hurt by economic volatility in Africa

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Brewer SABMiller, in the process of being bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev, reported lower quarterly revenue on Thursday, hurt by tough conditions in some African markets. The maker of beers such as Castle Lager, Peroni and Grolsch said group net revenue fell 4% in its first quarter, ended June 30,... 

Zimbabwe regulator turns down power tariff hike request

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Zimbabwe's energy regulator has turned down an application by the state-run power distributor to raise electricity tariffs by nearly 50 percent because it would hurt a struggling economy, it said on Thursday. The southern African nation has experienced a devastating drought that has left millions... 

SAB takeover getting more expensive by the day

By: News24Wire      21st July 2016 The takeover of SABMiller by Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev is looking increasingly expensive, a merger and acquisition expert said on Thursday. Warwick Business School Professor John Colley’s pessimism comes as “various competition authorities exact a heavy price to approve the deal”, he said on... 

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... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st July 2016 Creamer Media’s readers continue to be part of the mobile revolution.  Over 20% of Creamer Media’s online readers view the websites on their mobile devices. To cater for this growing mobile readership Creamer Media offers an Engineering News Online app for iPhone and Android users.  These apps... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

SA's progress depends on local government – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      21st July 2016 South Africa's progress depends not only on an effective local government, but the ability of municipalities to work with all spheres of government, African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said. "Our municipalities, much as they are sometimes seen [in a] bad light, have... 

SA's progress depends on local government – Ramaphosa
Photo by Reuters
President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

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... 

Global steel production down 1.9% y/y in H1

     20th July 2016 Global steel production was flat month-on-month at 136-million tonnes in June, but production for the six months ended June 30 was down 1.9% year-on-year at 794.8-million tonnes. The World Steel Association on Wednesday reported that production by the Commonwealth of Independent States increased... 

Global steel production down 1.9% y/y in H1

Astral weighs job cuts as drought, imports hurt poultry producers

By: Reuters     20th July 2016 South African poultry producer Astral has to cut jobs, it said on Wednesday, under pressure from high feed prices due to drought and from an over-supplied domestic market. Maize prices in South Africa have hit record highs as an El Nino triggers the largest rainfall shortages in over a century,... 

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)... 

Datatec sees boost in gross margins, despite tough economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 Dual-listed information and communications technology group Datatec on Wednesday reported that its gross margins for the quarter ended June 30 were 13.8%, up from 12.8% in the comparable period of 2015. The group described the quarter as “a sound trading start to the year”, despite tough global... 

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

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Gas gensets a sustainable power alternative

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Eskom moves to raise exports as it closes in on 80% plant-availability goal

Another ratings decision looming for South Africa

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