http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/weekly-podcast-may-26-2010-2010-05-26

Weekly podcast – May 26, 2010

Published 26 May 10
This podcast is brought to you by SEW Eurodrive - Leaders in the field of drive technology.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Schalk Burger.

Making headlines this week:

The Gautrain team has announced that it will cost between R16,50 and R100 to use the Gautrain first-phase service between the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton.

These services will be operational from June 8. These include a train service linking the stations at Sandton, Marlboro, Rhodesfield and the OR Tambo International Airport, bus routes from the Sandton and Rhodesfield stations, as well as selected parking facilities.

The system will open with two train services: the airport service will link Sandton with the OR Tambo International Airport, while the commuter service links all the stations, with the exception of the airport.

Commuters who combine a bus trip or parking use with a train journey will enjoy reduced rates on the bus and parking components.


Power utility Eskom was granted an urgent court interdict late on Tuesday preventing union members from participating in industrial action from May 26 onwards. But the State-owned enterprise has stressed that contingency plans are in place to ensure security of electricity supply should a strike take place.

Eskom said in a statement that the business is classified as an essential service and that it was, threfore, unlawful for its employees to participate in industrial action.

However, it emerged earlier that members of the powerful National Union of Mineworkers, the largest recognised union at the utility, had indeed embarked on an unprotected strike, citing a long-simmering grievance over housing allowances as the chief cause.

Eskom insists that it has sound relations with its trade unions, and that they had recently recommitted to the prescribed processes and forums for the resolution of labour-relations disputes.


Striking South African transport workers have called for possible sympathy stoppages, including at the national airline, while electricity workers have also threatened to strike less than three weeks before the World Cup.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, which represents strikers in a pay dispute at State-owned logistics group Transnet, said it had issued notices for sympathy actions at other transport and shipping firms.

These would start next Tuesday if the dispute with Transnet is not resolved. The strike is now in its third week.

The Transnet strike already is affecting ports and railways, and has held up exports of metals, cars, fruit and wine to Europe and Asia, as well as imports of vehicle parts and fuel supplies in Africa's biggest economy.


Also making headlines:

Civil engineering group Esorfranki beats the recession blues with a 37% jump in profit.
The South African economy picks up speed with 4,6% first-quarter growth.
The World Cup return on investment isn't guaranteed.
And, private equity firm Citadel Capital opens a 67-million-dollar plant to generate power for a cement factory it controls in Sudan.

That's a round up of news making headlines this week.