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Eskom’s role and outstanding generation plan key to nuclear RFP delay

By: Terence Creamer     30th September 2016 The issue of Eskom’s role in the procurement process for South Africa’s nuclear new build programme is said to lie at the heart of Cabinet’s surprise decision to delay the release of the controversial nuclear request for proposals (RFP), which was due for dissemination on September 30. However,... 

 Eskom’s role and outstanding generation plan key to nuclear RFP delay
Photo by Duane Daws
Statue at Eskom's head office in Johannesburg

High Court backs blocking of broadband tender

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 A South African court on Friday upheld the government's decision to block a tender for R12-billion ($850-million) of high-speed mobile broadband licences issued by the telecoms regulator. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) took the industry by surprise in July when... 

High Court backs blocking of broadband tender
Telecommunications Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele

Gauteng promotes trade potential, investment attractiveness

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th September 2016 The Gauteng City Region (GCR) is continuing its efforts to grow trade and investment in South Africa’s most populous province and stimulate national economic growth. “The GCR is strategically located on the African continent, this makes it a key investment destination for the rest of the world... 

South African growth 'woefully inadequate' – Mminele

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 South Africa's flat-lining growth won't deal with problems facing Africa's most industrialised economy and government needs to stabilise policies to reassure investors, deputy central bank governor Daniel Mminele said on Friday. The reserve bank is close to ending its monetary policy tightening... 

South African growth 'woefully inadequate' – Mminele
Photo by Bloomberg
Reserve Bank governor Daniel Mminele

South Africa's trade balance swings to a R8.6bn deficit in August

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 South Africa's trade balance unexpectedly swung to R8.56-billion deficit in August from a revised R5.04-billion surplus in July, data from the national revenue agency showed on Friday. Exports decreased 5.5% to R90.235-billion on a month-on-month basis, while imports rose 9.2% to R98.736-billion,... 

Movement, at last, to extend WiFi into unconnected communities

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th September 2016 WiFi is starting to shift into the limelight as the disruptive technology that is increasingly a critical element of the ‘always-on’, connected society; however, townships and citizens in the living standards measure (LSM) five and below category are, for the most part, being sidelined. New... 

Movement, at last, to extend WiFi into unconnected communities

Petrol price hike announced

By: News24Wire      30th September 2016 The Department of Energy announced on Friday that as from Wednesday October 5 the retail price of petrol (93 octane) will increase by 44 cents a litre and that of 95 octane by 43c a litre. The wholesale price of diesel (0.05% sulphur and 0.005% sulphur) will increase by 23c a litre, while the... 

Petrol price hike announced

SA Express won’t table results after failing auditor’s test

By: News24Wire      30th September 2016 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she won’t table the SA Express annual report for the 2015/16 financial year by the deadline on Friday as the airline failed to satisfy the auditor general's solvency and liquidity test. In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete on Thursday,... 

Monsanto opens revamped plant breeding centre 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2016 Sustainable agriculture company Monsanto on Friday opened its R15-million renovated breeding centre, in Petit, near Benoni. The breeding centre is located on a 300 ha maize farm and hosts new offices, which are more than double the size of the original office, and an audiovisual boardroom that... 

Monsanto South Africa breeding leader Kiru Pillay speaks about the new centre

Debt set to remain on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa – Fitch

By: African News Agency      30th September 2016 Sovereign debt levels and debt servicing costs would continue to rise steadily in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2016 and 2017, Fitch Ratings agency warned on Friday. It said the median general government debt-to-GDP ratio for the region rose from 30.2% in 2011 to 49.7% last year. 

Sanral appoints new CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2016 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has appointed Skhumbuzo Macozoma as CEO, to succeed Nazir Alli, who has been in the position since 1998. Alli, who is retiring, has been asked by the Sanral board to extend his retirement numerous times while it was seeking a suitable... 

Mozambique minister's sacking will not affect gas project decision – Eni

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 The sacking of Mozambique's energy minister will not affect Italian oil firm Eni's final investment decision on an offshore gas project there, Eni CE Claudio Descalzi said on Friday. Energy Minister Pedro Couto was sacked by the president on Thursday, a month before Eni is due to finalise its... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th September 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

In wake of digitised reality, DeepMarkit provides niche gamification platform

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 4 hours ago A Calgary, Alberta-based upstart technology firm DeepMarkit Corp has identified a gap in the market for digitised marketing campaigns by the underserved small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) sector. DeepMarkit has created an online platform that allows SMEs to create mobile phone video games... 

In wake of digitised reality, DeepMarkit provides niche gamification platform
Photo by DeepMarkit Corp
DeepMarkit has recently launched its beta stage FetchBot platform, developed as a white label, cloud-based system gamification creation platform

Nuclear on hold as government mulls putting Eskom in charge of the project 

By: African News Agency      29th September 2016 Government will not be issuing a call for proposals for its nuclear power expansion programme on Friday to allow for more time for consultations, which could mean shifting responsibility for implementation of the project from the Department of Energy to Eskom, Minister in the Presidency Jeff... 

Nuclear on hold as government mulls putting Eskom in charge of the project
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe

DTI to launch latest industrial park revitalisation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 The first phase of the R49-million Isithebe Industrial Park revitalisation in Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal will be launched on October 4. Isithebe is one of ten industrial parks that has been prioritised by the Department of Trade and Industry for upgrading under its Industrial Parks Revitalisation... 

Eskom, IDC to collaborate on validating use of vegetable oils in utility transformers

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2016 Power utility Eskom and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement at a technical workshop at the Eskom Academy of Learning, in Midrand, to complete feasibility studies to enable the adoption and use of natural esters, or vegetable oils, as... 

SAA offers more flights to Mauritius

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Embattled South African Airways (SAA) has added capacity on its Mauritius route, with the introduction of the bigger Airbus A330-200. From October 1, the airline will use the new aeroplane, which adds extra capacity of 200 seats a week, operating flights SA190/SA191 on Mondays, Wednesdays and... 

SAA offers more flights to Mauritius

Twenty Home Affairs officials arrested for fraud, corruption

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Twenty Home Affairs officials, and six civilians, were arrested in Bloemfontein on Thursday on grounds of fraud and corruption, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced. The crackdown formed part of government’s Operation Bvisa Masina, launched in July last year. Prior to Thursday’s... 

Productivity SA suspends CFO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Productivity SA has suspended CFO Bheki Dlamini following alleged irregularities pertaining to the management of funds provided by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for employment growth. Since 2010, the UIF has provided the government entity, tasked with employment growth and productivity... 

Gas shortages turn Nigeria's Dangote to coal to power cement

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 Nigeria's Dangote Cement has turned to locally-mined coal to power its plants in a bid to end disruptions caused by gas shortages and lower its production costs. "All our cement plants have been converted to coal," Aliko Dangote, the company's billionaire majority owner and chairman, told a... 

Mozambique's Energy Minister sacked ahead of huge gas deals

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 Mozambique Energy Minister Pedro Couto has been sacked, the Presidency said on Thursday, a month before Italy's Eni is due to finalise an offshore gas project worth tens of billions of dollars. No reason was given for the dismissal of Couto, who had held the energy portfolio since January 2015. 

Competition Commission extends LPG market inquiry completion date

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 The Competition Commission has amended the completion date for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market inquiry to December 20, to allow sufficient time for it to finalise its report outlining the findings. In August 2014, the commission issued the terms of reference for the market inquiry,... 

S Africa's political uncertainty, reform of State firms a concern – S&P

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 The slow reform of South Africa's state-owned firms and the upheaval swirling around the Finance Minister pose risks to the country's investment grade credit rating, an executive from Standard & Poor's said on Thursday. "We have said before that we take comfort from the targets set by the... 

‘Slipping’ South Africa contributes to Africa’s big 2016 growth downgrade to 1.6%

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2016 The World Bank has lowered its 2016 growth forecast for Africa to only 1.6%, a dramatic downward revision from the 3% figure projected in April. The new forecast represents the lowest level of growth for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in over two decades and is also below expected regional population... 

‘Slipping’ South Africa contributes to Africa’s big 2016 growth downgrade to 1.6%

National Treasury developing contingency plans for possible Brexit effects on S Africa 

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2016 The National Treasury is busy discussing the possible impact on the South African economy of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), known as “Brexit” for short. At the moment, it is not at all clear what the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU will look like. The UK is... 

National Treasury developing contingency plans for possible Brexit effects on S Africa

Datatec reports H1 earnings contraction

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th September 2016 JSE- and LSE-listed Datatec on Thursday reported double-digit drops in earnings for the six months to August 31; however, a rally in the second half of the year is expected to boost earnings for the full financial year above that of the prior year. The group, which would release its interim... 

25th school bridge building competition demonstrates value of hands-on engineering training 

     29th September 2016 From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. Sashnee Moodley: The South African Institute of Civil Engineering has held its 25th yearly school bridge building competition, which sees pupils from across Southern Africa competing and aims to get children to apply engineering... 

25th school bridge building competition demonstrates value of hands-on engineering training

Astrapak strategy bears fruit as interim profit rises

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Packaging company Astrapak on Thursday reported a 25.4% year-on-year increase in its profit of R27.6-million for the six months ended August 31, while its revenue rose 15.2% year-on-year to R734-million. The increases came on the back of the company having exited all noncore businesses and... 

Astrapak strategy bears fruit as interim profit rises
Photo by Duane Daws
Astrapak CEO Robin Moore

Western Cape dam levels still low

By: African News Agency      29th September 2016 Despite recent spring rainfall, dam levels in the Western Cape have only increased marginally, Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said on Thursday. Bredell said he was concerned because as of Monday dams were 61.4% full compared to 90.9% at the same time last year. 

Edenville raises £500 000

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th September 2016 Aim-listed Edenville Energy has raised £500 000 through an oversubscribed placing to new and existing shareholders to advance commercial mining operations at its Rukwa coal-to-power project, in south-west Tanzania. The raising will also be used to continue the project’s technical and regulatory... 

Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi in final talks to merge nuclear units

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are in final talks to merge their nuclear fuel businesses as early as spring, the Nikkei business daily reported. The merger is expected to keep the nuclear operations of these companies afloat, even though most of Japan's nuclear reactors remain... 

GBCSA reaches 200 certifications in ten years, eyes 2 500 certifications

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th September 2016 As the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) achieves a milestone of 200 Green Star South Africa certifications, the now ten-year-old organisation is targeting 2 500 commercial green building certifications and 10 000 residential green building certified homes by 2020. Currently, green... 

Construction confidence rises back above 50 in Q3

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th September 2016 Despite soft growth in the construction industry, the First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau of Economic Research Civil Confidence Index gained 11 points to 52 in the third quarter, 24 points higher than the first quarter of this year. This indicates that slightly more than half of respondents are... 

AMSA insists R2.27bn empowerment deal meets highest governance standards

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has unwrapped its long-awaited R2.27-billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) transaction, which chairperson Mpho Makwana insists meets the highest standards of probity and governance. An earlier 2010 attempt by the JSE-listed company... 

AMSA insists R2.27bn empowerment deal meets highest governance standards
AMSA's Wim de Klerk and Mpho Makwana with Likamva's Noluthando Gosa and Leslie Maasdorp

PPPFA to be repealed

By: Anine Kilian     28th September 2016 The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) will be repealed in favour of a Public Procurement Act owing to various shortcomings in the existing Act, President Jacob Zuma has said. Speaking at the Black Business Council Awards in Johannesburg, this week, he said that in the past... 

Wescoal secures long-term coal export business

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2016 Coal mining and marketing company Wescoal has finalised a series of coal contracts in line with its stated intention of supplying a million tonnes of coal a year into the export market. The coal purchase confirmations, which involve the supply of more than five-million tonnes of coal from... 

Wescoal secures long-term coal export business
Photo by Duane Daws
Wescoal CEO Waheed Sulaiman

York lifts FY Ebitda by 22%

By: Anine Kilian     28th September 2016 By opening up new market channels, strengthening its wholesale division and focusing on service delivery to its existing client base, JSE-listed York Timbers has achieved a 22% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda). Ebitda increased from... 

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