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Rolfes posts strong interim results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     Updated 12 minutes ago Chemicals group Rolfes on Monday reported a R37-million increase in operating profit to R97-million for the six months to December 31, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation also increased by 58% to R103-million. The strong performance came on the back of its... 

African Utility Week Industry Awards include new gas, small scale and ICT categories to reflect evolution of energy and water sectors

     Updated 6 hours ago Nominations are open for top industry professionals and projects   “I know the energy revolution is powering up and ready to take off. We should embrace energy trade with each other”.  With these words Mr Kandeh Yumkella, UN Under-Secretary-General and Former Special Representative of the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector, which has been struggling to shed the ‘deindustrialisation’ mantle for the past three decades, despite vocal support for the sector from government, is unlikely to experience a dramatic turnaround in 2017. However, there are some signs of resilience and even... 

Acquisitions help bolster logistics group in ‘difficult’ market

By: Irma Venter     17th February 2017 Logistics group OneLogix has, for the six-month period ended November 30, reaped the benefit from recent acquisitions and property infrastructure developments. The group reported a 12% increase in revenue compared with the same period in 2015, to more than R1-billion. The jump came as a result of... 

Expansion project to support economy and create job opportunities

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2017 Professional and technical services firm AECOM will oversee the construction of the Tema Port expansion project in Ghana for Meridian Port Services (MPS), operator of the container terminal at the existing adjacent port. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 0.5% this year and by 1.2% in 2018, according to data from economic analysis and forecast provider FocusEconomics. Financial institution Barclays’ latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released earlier this month indicates that the... 

Unemployment rate improves to 26.5%  

By: Anine Kilian     14th February 2017 South Africa saw positive growth in the job market in the fourth quarter of 2016, with employment increasing by 235 000 and the number of job seekers declining by 92 000, resulting in the official unemployment rate improving to 26.5%, from the 27.1% recorded in the third quarter of the year.... 

Revised IRP to go back to Cabinet by early spring – energy department

By: African News Agency      14th February 2017 The Integrated Resource Plan should be finalised by August or September, depending on Cabinet’s reception of the energy blueprint, the director-general of the department of energy said on Tuesday. “It will not be before June this year, but it might be by July, August. But then if Cabinet says go... 

Rise of robotics and AI discussed at Davos 2017

     13th February 2017 The hot topic of the rise of robotics and its impact on global workforces was again discussed at the latest Davos WEF this year. As Brexit and the US presidential inauguration emphasized the increased volatility of a world in economic and political flux, leaders have highlighted the pursuit of... 

Zokwana, FAO to visit farms hit by fall armyworm

By: News24Wire      13th February 2017 Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana will visit farms in Limpopo with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Monday in an effort to bring the fall armyworm plague under control. The pest, which causes massive crop loss, has been nibbling through South African crops as producers try... 

Minimum wage results in certainty for agriculture sector – AgriSA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th February 2017 South Africa’s agriculture sector will, as from March this year, start paying its labourers R15.39 an hour, as per the long-anticipated new national minimum wage that was announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week. “This brings certainty for agriculture regarding the remuneration... 

Verde Agritech stock leaps on Brazil enviro licence approval

By: Henry Lazenby     10th February 2017 The TSX-listed stock of plant nutrient project developer Verde Agritech nearly doubled to a new 12-month high late on Thursday, after it announced that the Minas Gerais State Environmental Agency had issued an environmental licence for its Cerrao Verde project. "With this long-awaited... 

Those who cannot do . . . talk

By: Riaan de Lange     10th February 2017 You may well be acquainted with the adage 'He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches' from George Bernard Shaw’s 1903 play, Man and Superman, Maxims for Revolutionists: Education. But it no longer holds true for South Africa for several reasons, the most prominent being that I do not know of... 

IFAT Africa 2017: Finding ways out of the water crisis

     9th February 2017 Messe München GmbH Messegelände 81823 München Deutschland Southern Africa suffering under severe drought Pipeline projects worth billions planned Greater use of groundwater and seawater in the future From September 12 to 14, 2017, local and international representatives from the environmental... 

Enterprise-Class Drones Now Available Online

     9th February 2017 South Africa's first online portal dedicated to the disruptive application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) across key economic sectors; including agriculture, security and energy; has been unveiled by TeleEye SA. The company is a leading provider of sensing and imaging technology and is now... 

Unpaid stipends, no certificates, Carletonville youth up in arms

By: African News Agency      8th February 2017 More than 100 Carletonville youths – who completed a three-month courses in practical skills that included upholstery, sewing, clothing, agriculture, jewellery and cabinet-making – are up in arms because the Gauteng department of education has not given them certificates. All in all about 115... 

Chamber calls on mining to renounce its apartheid past

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2017 Mining is the foundation of the South African economy. Much of the manufacturing and services sectors exist because they were initiated to service and provide inputs to the mining industry since the second half of the 19th century. However, mining was also one of the foundation stones of South... 

South Africa confirms presence of invasive pest that infests maize

By: Reuters     6th February 2017 South Africa's department of agriculture said on Friday that scientific tests have confirmed the presence of the invasive fall armyworm in the maize belt, the first time the crop-damaging pest has been detected there. Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on agricultural... 

Armyworm outbreak damaging crops in southern Africa – FAO

By: Reuters     3rd February 2017 A suspected outbreak of armyworms has spread to Namibia and Mozambique and is causing "considerable crop damage" in southern Africa, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Friday. Suspected outbreaks have already erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. 

JV to be completed by end of Q1 2017

By: Victor Moolman     3rd February 2017 The transaction regarding the joint venture (JV) between Barloworld Handling South Africa’s local materials handling and agriculture business, and German agricultural trading, building materials and energy specialists BayWa AG (BayWa) is set for completion by the end of the first quarter this year. 

SA fly-farming venture receives funding for global expansion

By: Irma Venter     3rd February 2017 Cape Town-based waste-to-protein producer AgriProtein says it has secured $17.5-million of further capital from its key strategic partners to fund the company’s expansion into Europe, North America and Asia.   The new investment values the fly-farming venture at more than $117-million.   The new... 

South Africa seeks agriculture boost in post-Brexit trade deal

By: Bloomberg     3rd February 2017 South Africa sees opportunities to sell more of its agricultural produce to the UK under a post-Brexit trade agreement, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. 

Congo's economic growth to average 5% In 2017/18 – World Bank

By: Reuters     2nd February 2017 The World Bank expects Democratic Republic of Congo's economy to average five% growth in 2017/18, compared with 2.7% in 2016, thanks to stronger commodity prices and expanding agriculture and services sectors, it said in a report. Congo, Africa's top copper producer, has seen its economy battered... 

South Africa registering pesticides for use against maize-attacking armyworms

By: Reuters     2nd February 2017 South Africa's agriculture ministry is registering pesticides for use against the fall armyworm in the event that tests confirm the presence of the Central American pest in the country's maize belt, a spokesperson said on Thursday. "We don't have any registered pesticides for the fall armyworm... 

Barclays PMI off to strong start in 2017, moves above neutral 50-point level

By: Anine Kilian     1st February 2017 The seasonally adjusted Barclays Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.9 in January, up from 46.7 in December. “This was the first time since July 2016 that the index edged above the neutral 50-point mark, suggesting that the manufacturing sector started the year on a relatively solid... 

SADC-EU EPA opens up opportunities for South Africa’s fisheries sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st February 2017 The new Southern African Development Community (SADC)–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to bolster South Africa’s muted fisheries sector and open up value-addition in a sector that holds much promise. The new SADC-EU EPA framework, which became effective... 

Mobilising youth, greater entrepreneurship key to unlocking job creation in Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st February 2017 With the continent facing a significant unemployment rate and with millions in need of jobs, local governments need to strengthen their relationships and build alliances within Group of 20 (G20) economies, but without sole reliance on its capital resources. During a South African Institute of... 

EU rebuffs South African claim of chicken imports being cause of industry distress 

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2017 The European Union (EU) is strongly contesting arguments that its chicken exports to South Africa are the main cause of the current distress in the industry, asserting that “structural” problems in the South African industry are the main reason for its lack of competitiveness. Ambassador Marcus... 

From seeds to markets, maize alternatives face challenges in Zimbabwe

By: Reuters     31st January 2017 After years of bad maize harvests as a result of worsening drought, farmer Dorothy Chihota switched a few seasons back to growing sorghum, millet, cowpeas and groundnuts on her 50-acre farm in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district. Since then she has had only good harvests, she said – but that doesn’t... 

Rio unit born in Death Valley is retooled for battery boom

By: Bloomberg     31st January 2017 During the financial crisis,  Rio Tinto Group needed cash and tried to unload its oldest mining business – one that began in 1872 hauling borates salts by mule from Death Valley to make US laundry soap. The company gave up on a sale because no one would pay the asking price. A decade later, the... 

ANC wants government to bail out poultry industry

By: African News Agency      31st January 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday, said it had resolved that government should buy struggling but productive poultry farms in a bid to save jobs and increase food security and production. South African chicken producers, including Rainbow Chicken, are set to retrench more than 3,500... 

South Africa signs social economy MoU with Flanders, ILO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th January 2017 The Department of Economic Development on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Flanders and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), aimed at advancing South Africa’s social economy. Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Economic Development Minister... 

Poultry task team makes progress in finding solutions to sector challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 A poultry sector task team established by the South African government to deal with the challenges facing the domestic poultry industry has made “significant progress” across various work streams, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Friday. Domestic poultry producers continue to... 

Strong developmental flavour to Africa’s tentative adoption of IoT solutions

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th January 2017 The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to penetrate Africa, where adoption, albeit patchy and hesitant, is underpinned primarily by a developmental agenda, as well as efforts by firms to bolster productivity and efficiency. The continent’s unique socioeconomic and business... 

Acquisition boosts prospects for top steam and boiler suppliers

     27th January 2017 Two reputable and successful South African companies operating in the local industrial and commercial steam power market have joined forces to work together growing their businesses to better serve the market’s needs. Cape Town-based Energy Partners – Steam & Combustion, a member of the listed... 

Strong developmental flavour to Africa’s tentative adoption of IoT solutions

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th January 2017 As the Internet of Things (IoT) embeds its early-stage unique shape across Africa, one thing is certain: the continent cannot afford to fall behind as it approaches the adoption of the interconnected way of life in its own way to drive growth and development. Despite an initially slow, hesitant... 

Why the future need not be so bleak

By: Saliem Fakir     27th January 2017 Sometimes environmental dystopia can obscure progress. As the global climate negotiation process moves along, it is interesting to see how the climate change and fossil fuel debate is beginning to reshape our world. Change may happen faster and more disruptively than we may think. Here is a... 

AfDB says gives Comoros $20m for road network

By: Reuters     26th January 2017 The African Development Bank is giving Comoros a $20.4-million grant to help it improve and expand its road networks, a move that will boost its agriculture and tourism sectors. The islands have few natural resources and largely rely on exports such as cloves and vanilla, remittances from... 

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