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Cover Story

Growing appreciation for the economic and environmental contribution of South Africa’s waste pickers

By: Megan van WyngaardtWaste pickers, or street surfers, have become as ubiquitous a sight across urban South Africa as the minibus taxi and few would argue that they control their home-made carts with just as much dexterity. To many motorists these informal workers are seen as little more than another hazard on the... 

Growing appreciation for the economic and environmental  contribution of South Africa’s waste pickers

Editorial Insight

Green shoots

By: Terence CreamerIn a September 22 statement, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) reiterated the “grave concern” it had expressed in an earlier open letter to Preside Jacob Zuma about ongoing threats to charge, or even arrest, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. However, it also used the statement to urge... 

Green shoots

News & Insight

Accéntuate wraps up big fraud case against employee

By: Irma VenterAccéntuate has wrapped up the fraud case that saw R70-million disappear at the JSE-listed flooring, water and chemicals specialist. CEO Fred Platt says the guilty party – a director at its East London operation – has been charged and found guilty of fraud and theft. Sentencing is imminent. In... 

African airlines body believes air traffic liberalisation inevitable

By: Keith CampbellThe liberalisation of the African air transport market seems certain to happen, and will benefit those of the continent’s airlines able to take advantage of it. Thus affirmed African Airlines Association (AFRAA) CEO and Secretary-General Dr Elijah Chingoso at the recent Aviation Industry Growth... 

African value chains key to building economic resilience, Davies avers

By: David OliveiraIntercontinental trade in Africa was key to provide impetus for industrialisation and more resilient economic growth, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies noted during the the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI’s) presidential consultative group meeting in Johannesburg... 

Amid cracker rivalry, Sasol says multiasset model gives Lake Charles project an edge

By: Terence CreamerThe skyline associated with Sasol’s $11-billion ethane cracker project in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is starting to change fundamentally as the plant’s large steel structures are installed on a portion of the vast 890 ha site, where the South African energy and chemicals group is creating a new... 

Completion of Ethiopia to Djibouti rail project ‘a major milestone’

By: John MuchiraEthiopia and Djibouti will this month commission a major railway project that has been touted as a game-changer in facilitating trade between the two Horn of Africa neighbours. The $3.4-billion 700 km Addis Ababa–Djibouti railway project was implemented by Chinese companies China Railway... 

Concern raised over Kenyan plan to run portion of rail through national park

By: John MuchiraPlans by Kenya to construct the last kilometres of a 472 km standard-gauge railway (SGR) line across a major national park in the capital city, Nairobi, have met with stiff opposition from environmentalists. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), which is constructing the line, which stretches from... 

CSIR high-throughput screening system to accelerate local malaria research

By: Schalk BurgerThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Biosciences unit is using an automated robotic liquid handling system to dramatically increase the throughput of its screening for viable medical compounds as part of its research into malaria in its human-hosted stages. The Janus machine,... 

Cutting solutions company celebrates 60 years of operations

By: Dylan SlaterBenrose-based capital equipment, cutting consumables and precision measuring tools company First Cut celebrated its sixtieth year of existence in the South African industry, highlighting continued customer support and meeting customer needs as being core to survival.  

Cutting solutions company  celebrates 60 years of operations

DoE expects R40bn coal IPP projects to reach financial close in early 2017

By: Terence CreamerEnergy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson confirmed on Monday that the 557.3 MW Thabametsi and the 306 MW Khanyisa coal-fired power station projects had been selected as preferred bidders following the first bid window of South Africa’s Coal Baseload Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme... 

Dutch team breaks record by completing 4 716 km in 2016 solar race

By: Irma VenterDutch team Nuon, from the Delft University of Technology, won the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge, with the 2012 winner, from Tokai University, in Japan, in second place, at 4 533 km. Nuon also won the 2014 distance-based event. 

Energy Minister says Eskom to fund nuclear as new procurement framework is unveiled

By: Kim CloeteEskom’s balance sheet will be used to leverage funding for government’s anticipated multibillion-rand nuclear build programme, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced on Tuesday. She told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy that the National Treasury would not be funding the... 

Eskom confident it can raise funds for nuclear build

By: Kim CloeteEskom says it is confident that it can raise funding and operate the multibillion-rand 9.6 GW nuclear new build programme. “Eskom has turned the corner. We’ve turned our operations around. We’ve tucked in our shirts. Today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today,” said... 

Eskom, IDC study use of vegetable oils in utility transformers

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

Ethiopia’s controversial hydropower scheme now feeding 800 MW into grid

By: John MuchiraEthiopia’s controversial Gilgel Gibe III hydropower dam is now feeding 800 MW into the national grid, following the recent switching on of the sixth of its ten turbines. When completed, the $1.8-billion hydropower scheme will generate 1 870 MW. Completion was initially scheduled for June this... 

Fuel cell field trial providing detailed technical data on rural microgrids

By: Schalk BurgerA methanol-based fuel cell rural electrification field trial by JSE-listed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) with support from the departments of Mineral Resources, Energy, Science and Technology and Trade and Industry, Eskom and the Moqhaka Municipality has provided detailed data on the use of... 

Kenya aims to mobilise private capital for grid expansion

By: John MuchiraKenya is banking on public–private partnerships (PPPs) to mobilise a staggering $6.5-billion to implement the country’s electricity transmission plan, which will involve the construction of 18 000 km of high-voltage power lines by 2030. Says Energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge: “Every year,... 

National Nuclear Regulator building itself up to meet future challenges

By: Keith CampbellSouth Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) is busy strengthening the country’s nuclear regulatory framework, in anticipation of the planned construction of a fleet of new nuclear power stations (NPPs). “As part of strengthening our capacity we recently launched a Centre for Nuclear Safety... 

New SADC body set up to strengthen groundwater management

By: Mia BreytenbachThe Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI), a new organisation that will work within 15 SADC member States to collaboratively strengthen the management and development of groundwater for social and economic development in the region through the... 

New SADC body set up to strengthen groundwater management

Rail Road Association to hold inaugural career expo

By: Mia BreytenbachIn support of Transport month, the Rail Road Association (RRA) of South Africa will host an inaugural career expo day this month for all rail industry players to meet learners and youth to expose them to the opportunities in the industry. According to RRA officials Trevor Mohlala and Mesela... 

Rail Road Association to hold inaugural career expo

Recessionary conditions in new-vehicle market intensify

By: Irma VenterThe recession in the domestic new-vehicle market “accelerated significantly” during September, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that September new-vehicle sales declined by 14.3%,... 

Renault South Africa plots fresh budget market assault

By: Irma VenterRenault South Africa (SA) is set to launch a fresh attack on the country’s budget market in November, when it introduces the A-segment Kwid. The India-made Kwid should be priced below Renault SA’s current entry-level Sandero. 

SA manufacturer eyes growth in aerospace composites market

By: Dylan SlaterSomerset West-based aircraft and automotive component manufacturer AAT Composites is increasing its reach into the aerospace component industry by producing specialist parts that are lighter and less costly than conventional metal or plastic parts.  

SA manufacturer eyes growth  in aerospace composites market

Sacci calls on members to play part in averting ratings downgrade

By: David OliveiraSouth Africa’s current economic growth does not reflect the country’s potential and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) members must help build the economy and steer the country to success, says the chamber’s president Vusi Khumalo. Addressing delegates at the Sacci... 

SA’s science policy to be reviewed but global cooperation will remain

By: Keith CampbellSouth Africa is to review its policy and plans regarding science, technology and innovation. This was stated by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Ministers Responsible for Science and... 

South Africa eyed as potential African production hub for Datsun cars

By: Irma VenterSouth Africa is the ideal place to produce Datsun vehicles for Africa, “but not today”, says Datsun global head Vincent Cobee. Africa as a continent, with its rapidly growing middle class, is every consumer product company’s dream, he notes. However, it is also a highly complex market, made up of... 

South Africa reaffirms commitment to air transport liberalisation

By: Keith CampbellSouth African Deputy Transport Minister Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga reaffirmed the country’s support for opening Africa’s aviation markets. “South Africa supports the liberalisation of air transport in Africa,” she said in her keynote address at the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s Aviation... 

South African engineer’s geotechnical contribution recognised

By: Mia BreytenbachMulti-disciplinary engineering consultancy Gibb senior associate and geotechnical engineer Ron Tluczek has been recognised internationally for his contribution to the geotechnical engineering sector by being appointed as the vice-animateur for Working Group 2 Research at the International... 

South African engineer’s geotechnical  contribution recognised

Voltage optimisation solution punted as way to cut energy costs

By: Mia Breytenbach     Updated -1609 minutes agoA deal by South African energy efficiency specialists Rhino Lighting and Powerstar South Africa (SA) has signalled the nationwide roll-out of a globally patented Powerstar range of voltage optimisation systems for local industry, which has resulted in energy cost-savings of more than 25% in some... 

Voltage optimisation solution punted as way to cut energy costs

Photo of the Week


By: Terence CreamerSpeaking in Parliament last week, Eskom group executive: generation Matshela Koko expressed supreme confidence that growth-sapping power cuts would not return to haunt South Africa. “Load-shedding is a thing of the past and is no longer part of our vocabulary,” he said. For a city such a... 



Mere tweaks are all that’s needed to update energy plan

By: Kelvin KemmThere has been a bit of comment in the media about the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of the Department of Energy.  The plan is currently used as the planning base is the 2010 IRP. Comment now is that the plan needs updating. That, of course, is quite correct. Any plan needs updates from time to... 

R300bn-a-year climate change war chest could electrify all of Africa

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoyThe joke goes like this: a Frenchman and a German meet in a bar just after the end of the Second World War. Initially a bit wary, they start talking after a while. They have both just been discharged from their respective armies. They discuss what they are going to do when they get home. “Oh,”... 

Transforming to Re-De

By: Riaan de Lange“Re-De” pronounced as “ready”. A telephone directory, I have been told, is a book that is bursting with characters but does not offer much in the line of a story. If anything, present-day South Africa is awash with characters, but, given the absence of a lead character, there is not much of a... 



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