Daily podcast – February 1, 2010

1st February 2010 By: Shannon de Ryhove - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia

Monday, February 1, 2010.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.

Making headlines today:

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says that hosting the Square Kilometre Array telescope in South Africa will boost the development of high level skills and cutting edge technology infrastructure.

Zuma said that if South Africa won the bid to host the radio telescope, other parts of Africa would also reap the benefits.

He said that hosting the SKA will underscore Africa's capability in science and innovation, adding that investment in infrastructure would also contribute to economic growth in the region.

South Africa and Australia are competing to host the multi-billion rand telescope, which will allow astronomers to peer back in time almost to the birth of the universe.

Power utility Eskom has set up a work group with fellow State-owned enterprise Transnet to interrogate rail logistics solutions as part of a long-term coal-supply strategy for its power stations. Long-term road and conveyor options are also being pursued.

Currently, only its Majuba facility, in KwaZulu-Natal, has rail-offloading facilities, but work is also under way on a range of other possible developments, including a containerised rail solution for the Camden plant, which is being returned to service.

The utility has, in recent years, been sourcing increasing quantities of coal through short-term contracts from mines that aren't tied to its power stations; and trucking the coal has undermined the quality of road surfaces, particularly in the Mpumalanga province where many of the group's power stations are clustered.

Also making headlines:

JSE-listed aviation company Comair denies price collusion allegations.
Zimbabwe's economic recovery will be further entrenched this year but it remains very fragile.
ArcelorMittal rolls over prices for the third month running.
And, President Jacob Zuma says that the Reserve Bank mandate needs debate.

That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.