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Cover Story

Fourteen airport rail links planned in Africa, including two more in SA

By: Irma VenterThere are more than 7 000 airports indexed at the International Air Transport Association (Iata), with 600 of those handling more than 1-million passengers a year. Around 150 of these 600 airports have rail access directly to the terminals, with only 23 of the 150 featuring dedicated,... 

Fourteen airport rail links planned in Africa, including two more in SA

Editorial Insight

Difficult, but important year

By: Terence CreamerFew South Africans are likely to look back on 2016 with much fondness. Nevertheless, it has arguably been an important year for the country and the evolution of democracy. The greater assertiveness of civil society, which made its presence felt in 2015, was consolidated in 2016, warts and all.... 

Difficult, but  important year

News & Insight

Absent growth SA’s junk escape may be short-lived

By: BloombergSouth Africa’s chances of repeating its escape from a junk credit rating in 2017 are in the balance as focus intensifies on tepid economic growth and simmering political tensions. 

Bank says new-vehicle sales may fall again next year after 12% 2016 slump

By: Irma VenterNew-vehicle sales in South Africa will drop by around 12% in 2016 compared with 2015, says First National Bank (FNB) senior industry analyst Jason Muscat. The same forecast model used to determine this decline suggests that sales in 2017 may drop another 5%, as a worst case scenario, he adds. 

Bespoke hybrid power system for outdoor telecoms sites

By: Schalk BurgerThe eSite x10 hybrid power system aims to provide outdoor telecommunications sites, such as cellular towers, with high uptime and low power costs. The system is purpose built to outdoor telecommunications equipment standards for such sites. The sealed tamper-proof unit with passive convection... 

Brown says updated electricity plan should guide capacity additions

By: Terence CreamerPublic Enterprises Lynne Brown says that South Africa is currently adding electricity capacity to the grid at rate higher than what is required and argues that the “current trajectory” could be detrimental to consumers. She asserts, therefore, that it is “critical that the Integrated Resource... 

Engineering solutions provider showcases manufacturing capabilities

By: David OliveiraEngineering solutions provider Ansys earlier this month hosted investors and media on a tour of its technology investment business unit Parsec’s manufacturing facility, in Irene, Gauteng. Ansys CEO Rynier van der Watt highlighted that the facility is dedicated to the manufacture of high-end... 

Fast-dissolving sugar to help reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%

By: Schalk BurgerA new fast-dissolving sugar developed by Swiss food multinational Nestlé will help it to reduce the amount of sugar used in its chocolates by 40% by 2018 without reducing the sweetness of the chocolates, says Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Catsicas. “Using only natural ingredients,... 

Fast-dissolving sugar to help  reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%

First new PRASA train sets to enter service

By: Irma VenterThe first trains delivered in the R51-billion rolling stock acquisition programme for Metrorail operations are gearing up for service, says the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The agency says the testing and commissioning of the units “have progressed well in the past six months,... 

Funding secured for metered taxi owner-driver scheme

By: Irma VenterSA Taxi has secured R300-million in funding from Futuregrowth Asset Management, which it will use to provide financing to the company’s Zebra Cabs owner-driver scheme.  SA Taxi is South Africa’s largest financier of minibus taxis. It acquired Zebra Cabs metered taxis in 2015, motivated by the... 

Key components of Lesotho Highlands Water Project to be awarded by mid-2017

By: Terence CreamerLesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) reports that the engineering design contracts for the two main water-transfer components of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II will be awarded by mid-2017 and that construction should begin 18 months thereafter. The R23-billion binational... 

Lilongwe Water Board mulls plan to draw water from Lake Malawi

By: Marcel ChimwalaMalawi is mulling over a $400-million project to draw water from Lake Malawi to supply the capital city, Lilongwe. The project's implementer, the Lilongwe Water Board, intends to approach international organisations for finance, with the Malawi government acting as the guarantor. 

Malawi hoping to woo shipbuilding investors to Lake Malawi

By: Marcel ChimwalaMalawi is looking for investors to establish shipbuilding and repair facilities on the shores of Lake Malawi. Ministry of Transport and Public Works marine services director Laston Makudzula says potential investors have indicated their interest. 

Negative vehicle sales trend continued in November

By: Irma VenterNovember new-vehicle sales provided little festive cheer ahead of the holiday season, continuing the negative trend evident throughout this year by dropping 9.6%, to 46 413 units, compared with November last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that November... 

New decoder promises ultra-high definition viewing experience

By: Schalk BurgerThe video and broadband equipment multinational Arris set top boxes – including the latest DStv Explora 2 decoder in South Africa being made for video entertainment company MultiChoice, will form a part of increasingly connected homes by providing new video compression for broadcast and streaming... 

Northern Cape wind farms receive main transformers

By: David OliveiraThe Northern Cape-based Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms announced last month that they had received their main transformer, which were transported by road from Johannesburg. The 160 MVA transformers are to be housed in substations, from where all the generated power from the wind farms will... 

Outlook for renewable-energy IPPs in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) has been successful in contracting over 6 000 MW of additional generation capacity in four rounds since 2011. Given the need for additional generation capacity in sub-Saharan Africa generally, as well as... 

Outlook for renewable-energy IPPs in sub-Saharan Africa

Rate of growth in social investment by SA corporates stalled in 2016

By: Dylan SlaterPrivate sector companies and State-owned enterprises in South Africa spent R8.6-billion on social development during 2015/16, representing a 6% increase in nominal growth from the previous year, according to corporate social investment (CSI) and sustainability consultancy Trialogue.  

Rate of growth in social investment by SA corporates stalled in 2016

Road-rail vehicle firm tailors new offering to rail maintenance market

By: Dylan SlaterA new 20 t Crane road-rail vehicle (RRV) was launched to the South African market last month by Olifantsfontein-based rail systems manufacturer RailPro, and is intended to meet domestic requirements of rail infrastructure construction and general rail-related maintenance.  

Road-rail vehicle firm tailors new offering to rail maintenance market

South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator hosts international nuclear mission

By: Keith CampbellAn Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited South Africa from December 5 to December 15. The purpose of the IRRS mission was to examine South Africa’s nuclear regulatory system and compare it with the IAEA’s safety standards and... 

Umkhonto missile export programme now in its final stages

By: Keith CampbellSouth African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced at the end of last month that extensive testing of the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto (“Spear”, in English) naval surface-to-air missile, for an export customer, would take place early next year. The Umkhonto forms part of the armament... 


2016: Year of Orwellian manipulation

By: Aubrey MatshiqiWe must declare 2016 the year of Orwellian manipulation. For the purposes of this article, Orwellian manipulation is about presenting falsehoods as truths, and truths as falsehoods. The aim is to distort political reality and, thereby, change the political environment to the disadvantage of... 

2016: Year of Orwellian manipulation

The great autocrat

By: Keith CampbellOne of the highest points of my career as a journalist happened, back in 1994, when I interviewed then Cuban President Fidel Castro, in Pretoria. He was attending the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela. Castro was unquestionably a very impressive man. And there can be no doubt that, love... 

The impending trade facilitation agreement

By: Riaan de LangeTwo years ago, December 12, 2014 to be exact, my last column for the year was simply titled, ‘Trade facilitation’, and now again, my final column for 2016 is devoted to trade facilitation - the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that is. This time around, however,... 

The importance of reading comprehension

By: Kelvin KemmWhen I was at school, during English language classes, we used to have an activity called ‘reading study’.  We also had the same activity in Afrikaans classes, and it was called begripstoets,  The term begripstoets translates as ‘comprehension test,’ which is a much better term than ‘reading... 

Wishing for drug busters of yesteryear

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoyI grew up in the 1970s. The hippy movement started in the late 1960s, so I was well poised to be a hippy. I wasn’t one. The hippy movement was based on “drugs and sex and rock ‘n’ roll”, but most of this passed South Africa by. It was the time of the National Party government. The National Party... 

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