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Cover Story

Uber mulls new South African services as it expands African footprint

By: Irma VenterThere is “huge scope” for Uber to grow in South Africa, says Uber sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits. “My wife and I have one car. I Uber to work every morning and I always drive past all of these cars in traffic with single occupants. I want each and every one of these drivers to switch to Uber.” 

Uber mulls new South African services  as it expands African footprint

Editorial Insight

Can Eskom sustain plant recovery?

By: Terence CreamerIn its most recent presentations on the performance of its power stations, Eskom has pointed to improvements in the energy availability factor (EAF) from its coal-fired power stations over the past few months as evidence of a solid operational turnaround. The State-owned utility shows, for... 

Can Eskom sustain  plant recovery?

News & Insight

$1bn Nigeria power plan delayed on scarce gas

By: BloombergTransnational Corporation (Transcorp) of Nigeria has suspended plans to build one of the nation’s biggest power plants as a local gas shortage makes it difficult to obtain fuel and a downturn in Africa’s largest economy hinders efforts to raise funds for the project. The company in 2014 said it... 

Anaergia takes over as manager of SA’s first commercial biogas plant

By: Irma Venter The day-to-day management of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant have shifted to biogas expert Anaergia Africa, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, as from July. Anaergia Africa will manage the plant in a two-year contract. 

Australian energy firm rolls out home battery solution

By: BloombergA revolution in south Australia is wresting power from utility-owned grids and putting it inside batteries installed inside the homes of electricity consumers. Billed as the world’s biggest “virtual power plant”, AGL Energy is installing 1 000 batteries in and around Adelaide at a cost of about... 

Broadband opportunities and challenges for Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter By Kuseni Dlamini In a global economy increasingly characterised by information, broadband networks are the essential pathways along which the information content, services and applications travel. Broadband network infrastructure has transformed economic activity in much the same way as the... 

Budget airline ponders going regional as it adds to domestic network

By: Keith CampbellSouth African low cost airline FlySafair is pondering whether it should add international flights, to other Southern African countries, to its currently all-domestic route network. “We are looking at it,” reports company CEO Elmar Conradie. “But it’s in its infancy, at the due diligence stage.... 

Carbon offset regulations could have major financial implications for businesses

By: Dylan SlaterDraft regulations on carbon offsets, which were published for comment by the National Treasury on June 20, under the Carbon Tax Bill, are due to come into effect in early 2017 and could have significant financial implications for businesses in South Africa, according to legal services firm Cliffe... 

China’s Silk Road revival plan could touch 4.4m people

By: BloombergChina's ambition to revive an ancient trading route stretching from Asia to Europe could leave an economic legacy bigger than the Marshall Plan or the European Union’s (EU’s) enlargement, according to a new analysis. Dubbed 'One Belt, One Road’, the plan to build rail, highways and ports will... 

Cognitive computing removes human bias, augments decisions

By: Schalk BurgerCognitive computing systems help to remove human biases and augment decisions owing to the breadth of information they use, says technology and software multinational IBM Cognitive Solutions GM Jay Bellissimo. Cognitive systems understand content in context, reason with purpose, learn at scale,... 

Consulting firm warns of ‘vicious cycle of defection’ from Eskom, municipalities

By: Mia BreytenbachThe rapid decline in renewables pricing, large-scale battery production and new technologies reducing the price of storage, which will make renewables feasible on a larger scale within 15 years is putting State-owned power utility Eskom at risk of losing electricity demand to the... 

Consulting firm warns of ‘vicious cycle of defection’  from Eskom, municipalities

Contractor for Mpumalanga power lines EIA named

By: David OliveiraEngineering and environmental consultants Jones & Wagener announced earlier this month that it had been appointed to undertake an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed construction of two loop-in and loop-out 400 kV power lines to connect the approved KiPower independent power... 

Engineering firm’s appointments highlight the importance of innovative design

By: David OliveiraEngineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon global director Dr Kourosh Kayvani appointed eight design directors to the firm, last month, in a move to continue increasing the company’s investment in design as a source for a competitive advantage. As the world becomes increasingly complex,... 

Games stimulate development of problem-solving skills, Intel avers

By: Schalk BurgerGames offer effective methods for students to engage with and master problem-based learning, and stimulate critical thinking and active learning, says Intel Middle East, Turkey and Africa director of innovation Hitendra Naik. The use of games in education is still in its formative stages, but... 

Games stimulate development of problem-solving skills, Intel avers

Google SA partners with enterprise developer to tutor entrepreneurs

By: Schalk BurgerThe South African division of technology giant Google has partnered with enterprise and supplier development agency Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) to train local entrepreneurs using research conducted by Google internationally, says Google Africa human resources head Smadar Weisman. The aim of... 

Govt may target pension funds as next source of funding, says economist

By: Irma VenterThe promises of politicians are always greater than the South African taxpayer’s capacity to deliver, says Efficient Group chief economist Dawie Roodt.   He says the current ANC/Cosatu/South African Communist Party tripartite government has become ideologically confused, scripting contradictory... 

July new-vehicle sales show ‘dramatic’ slump

By: Irma VenterNew-vehicle sales “slumped dramatically” in July, serving as a reflection of the “current difficult economic conditions” in the country, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that sales... 

Kenya gears up to award contract for new Mombasa oil import facility

By: John MuchiraAfter a delay of more than three years, Kenya is finally set to start constructing a modern oil importing facility in the coastal city of Mombasa. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) announced earlier this month that it is in the process of identifying a contractor to $116.3-million terminal.  The... 

Lanseria in midst of expansion, upgrade programme

By: Keith CampbellSouth Africa’s biggest and busiest privately-owned aerodrome, Lanseria International Airport, continues to expand and upgrade its facilities to meet rising demand for both domestic and international services. These increases embrace passenger numbers and the numbers of scheduled commercial... 

Microjobbing can help graduates gain professional experience – M4JAM

By: Schalk BurgerEmployers want practical, work-based experience, which graduates often do not have prior to entering the workplace, so graduates often cannot gain employment owing to the lack of experience, says microjobbing platform Money for Jam (M4JAM) CEO Richard Dunn. This chicken-and-egg problem can... 

Research identifies barriers, suggests new approach to building black industrialists

By: Mia BreytenbachThe South African economy requires a new approach to regulation, competition and industrial policy to open the economy for greater participation, particularly for black industrialists, according to research released last month by the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development... 

Russian group is first with new-generation nuclear reactor

By: Keith CampbellRussian State-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom has announced that it has started operational trials with the world's first Generation III+ nuclear reactor. This is the group's VVER-1200 (AES-2006), designed and developed by its subsidiary OKB Gidropress. It puts the Russian group ahead of its... 

Rwanda plans $85m petroleum products depot

By: John MuchiraLandlocked Rwanda plans to build a $85-million petroleum products depot as it seeks to increase the country’s strategic fuel reserve from 70-million litres to 150-million litres by 2018. “Maintaining adequate fuel reserves is one of the key measures towards safeguarding national security and... 

Siemens CEO sees political upheaval threatening orders

By: BloombergFresh from raising the earnings outlook for a second time this year, Siemens AG CEO Joe Kaeser struck a more cautionary tone for the German engineering company, saying rising political uncertainty in countries like the UK and Turkey is clouding prospects for keeping the order books full.... 

Singapore consultancy acquires SMEC in $400m deal as it seeks to have a global presence

By: Dylan SlaterSingapore-based urban development consultancy Surbana Jurong acquired 100% of Australia-based major infrastructure consultancy firm SMEC on August 1, in an acquisition valued at about S$400-million.  

Singapore consultancy acquires SMEC in $400m deal  as it seeks to have a global presence

Uber mulls new South African services as it expands African footprint

By: Irma VenterThere is “huge scope” for Uber to grow in South Africa, says Uber sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits. “My wife and I have one car. I Uber to work every morning and I always drive past all of these cars in traffic with single occupants. I want each and every one of these drivers to switch to Uber.” 

Uber mulls new South African services  as it expands African footprint

WTO confirms SA’s cold-rolled steel safeguards probe

By: Terence CreamerThe World Trade Organisation (WTO) has confirmed that South Africa has notified its committee on safeguards about the initiation of a safeguard investigation on certain cold-rolled steel products. In the notification, dated July 29, the International Trade Administration Commission of South... 

Photo of the Week

POWER MOUNTAIN

By: Creamer Media Reporter The Ingula pumped-storage project in the lower Drakensberg, on the Free State-KwaZulu-Natal border, is late and over budget. However, as an engineering feat the peaking power station remains impressive. Ingula’s four 333 MW units – one of which is in commercial operation – are located 350 m... 

POWER MOUNTAIN

Columns

Implications of this year’s local government elections

By: Aubrey Matshiqi     Updated 5 hours agoIn electoral terms, South Africa is a new country. The South Africa of the day before the local government elections, in relation to the South Africa of the day after the elections, is a country that is foreign to the African National Congress (ANC). As former treasurer-general of the ANC Mathews... 

Implications of this year’s local government elections

It’s all very taxing for small engineering firms

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoyMy friend hates paying income tax. He is also one of those people who did not do well at school. Nonetheless, he has a very acute mind. When he went into business, he got into trouble with the tax people all the time. Finally, he went to see them and, in particular, he went to see a Mr van Zyl... 

It’s brain power that is the winning element in sport

By: Kelvin KemmWatching the Lions rugby team playing in the final games of the Super Rugby was fantastic. They played like real stars. What struck me particularly was that the reality of rugby at that level is that it is a case of brains rather than brawn. The Lions used brains.  Very visible was their fast... 

Tussling over islands

By: Riaan de LangeOne of my first memories when I first came to Pretoria many years ago is that of Fook Island. I recall that my cousin’s boyfriend stayed in a commune just off Atterbury road and, just up the road from the commune, at the corner of Mackenzie street and 20th street, was a house with extracts of the... 

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