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Planning commission outlines case for Eskom split in new energy document

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 The National Planning Commission (NPC) has released a new discussion document on the energy sector, which reinforces the National Development Plan’s (NDP’s) “explicit” requirement for the system operations, planning, power procurement, purchasing and contracting functions within Eskom to be... 

Planning commission outlines case for Eskom split in new energy document

Study launched into economic impact of possible EV transition in South Africa

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 A macroeconomic study into the impact of a possible transition in the South African transport market from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) has been launched. Initially proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the study is backed by the South... 

Study launched into economic impact of possible EV transition in South Africa

Public Protector finds Brown 'inadvertently' misled Parliament about Eskom-Trillian

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 The Public Protector has found that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown misled the National Assembly when she denied there were engagements between power utility Eskom and the Gupta-linked company Trillian Capital Partners. This is according to a report issued by the Public Protector Busisiwe... 

 Public Protector finds Brown 'inadvertently' misled Parliament about Eskom-Trillian
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 Trade union Solidarity warned on Friday that its members at State-owned defence industrial group Denel were ready to start protesting at the company. This follows the response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to a recent urgent letter to her from Solidarity about, in the union’s words,... 

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel
Photo by Keith Campbell/Creamer Media
Various Denel products on display at the Group’s Head Office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. From front to rear, a portable launcher for the Ingwe missile, an Ingwe missile, a Badger infantry fighting vehicle, a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle (largely obscured), and a Casspir mine protected vehicle.

Fitch says South Africa's budget partly reverses fiscal deterioration

By: Reuters     23rd February 2018 South Africa's budget reverses some of last year's fiscal deterioration but poor finances of state-owned companies remain a major risk to fiscal targets, ratings agency Fitch said on Friday. In a budget announced on Wednesday, the Treasury said value-added tax would be raised for the first time... 

Tax increases likely to shrink market, says auto industry bodies

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2018 The substantial increase in ad valorem vehicle excise duty rates announced in the National Budget this week – with the maximum duty for motor vehicles rising from 25% to 30% – together with the increases in value added tax (VAT), emissions taxes and the fuel levy, “will compromise vehicle... 

Tax increases likely to shrink market, says auto industry bodies
Andrew Kirby

Big ticket items in Budget were more miss than hit - Jamine 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2018 The Budget tabled on Wednesday had a number of misses, with one of the biggest being the failure to cut government's public servant remuneration, which was set to grow by 7% a year over the medium term, economist Dr Azar Jamine said on Friday. "It is earmarked to carry on growing as fast as it... 

Econometrix economist Dr Azar Jamine speaks on the Budget. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 23.2.2018

VAT increase shouldn't have major impact on business-to-business transactions

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd February 2018 The one percentage point increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate, from 14% to 15%, should not have a major impact on business-to-business transactions, says auditing firm KPMG COO Andrew Cranston. During a post-Budget discussion on Friday, he explained that the so-called “regressive effects”... 

Accéntuate aims for recovery as political power changes hands

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2018 Flooring, water and chemicals specialist Accéntuate experienced a tough six months to December 31, 2017, with the company moving from a R3.5-million profit in the same period in 2016, to a loss of R1.78-million. Accéntuate said on Friday that its business had suffered on the back of depressed... 

Green shoots seen in construction industry, despite tight conditions 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2018 The South African construction sector is still facing "very tough and difficult" conditions, with the 2.5% inflation rate creating an even tighter environment, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jamine said on Friday. Speaking to industry representatives during an Afrisam-hosted post-Budget... 

Econometrix economist Dr Azar Jamine and AfriSam CEO Rob Wessels. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 23.2.2018

South Africa to pilot first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery

By: Nadine James     23rd February 2018 Aim-listed miner Bushveld Minerals’ 84%-owned energy subsidiary, Bushveld Energy, will be commissioning its first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for testing by State-owned power utility Eskom in May, says Bushveld Energy CEO Mikhail Nikomarov. Nikomarov notes that the... 

South Africa to pilot first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery

Competition Commission prohibits Airlink-Safair merger, companies to challenge ruling

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 The Competition Commission on Friday said that it prohibited the proposed merger between SA Airlink and Safair Operations because the transaction was likely to result in a substantial prevention of competition. SA Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in southern Africa and operates... 

New Joburg–Musina passenger train service launched

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 South African transport minister Joe Maswanganyi on Friday launched a new passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina for long distance-travelers to commute directly between Gauteng and Limpopo. At the official launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Maswanganyi said that the intention... 

More Gupta-owned companies apply for business rescue

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 More Gupta-linked companies have filed for business rescue, company documents show. This comes shortly after the family's Optimum mines filed for business rescue earlier this month. This leaves their creditors holding a particularly busy bag of cats. 

More Gupta-owned companies apply for business rescue
Atul Gupta

Portfolio Committee asks DMR to intervene at Optimum mine

By: Anine Kilian     23rd February 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has called on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to intervene at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine and “establish with certainty” the future of the mine. Power utility Eskom late on Thursday confirmed that the mine, which supplies coal to its... 

Portfolio Committee asks DMR to intervene at Optimum mine

Richards Bay Coal Terminal, port win top global excellence awards

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2018 South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) and Richards Bay Port won global recognition at the Global Ports Forum awards ceremony in Dubai on Thursday. The winners of these prestigious international awards by the ten-year-old Singapore-launched Global Ports Forum are finalised by a judging... 

Richards Bay Coal Terminal, port win top global excellence awards
RBCT GM Operations Jabu Mdaki, extreme left, and RBCT CEO Alan Waller, extreme right, in Dubai award ceremony.

Airline safety in Africa getting better and better

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported “strong progress” in airline safety in Africa last year. This was part of a world-wide improvement in safety, revealed in the global airline industry representative organisation’s 2017 safety performance data, released on Thursday.... 

Airline safety in Africa getting better and better
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
There were no jet hull losses and no fatal airline accidents in Africa in 2017

Jasco acquires Ramm Technologies stake to bolster technology offering

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd February 2018 JSE-listed Jasco Electronics has acquired a 51% stake in Ramm Technologies for R30.6-million in a deal that will allow it entry into asset-tracking markets through Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, as well as provide further growth in new sectors and several cross-selling opportunities. Ramm,... 

Tanzania internet users hit 23m; 82% go online via phones – regulator

By: Reuters     23rd February 2018 The number of internet users in Tanzania rose by 16% at the end of 2017 to 23-million, with the majority of those using their handsets to go online, the telecom industry regulator said on Friday.    Mobile phone use has surged in Tanzania and other African countries over the past decade, helped... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd February 2018 Creamer Media’s readers continue to be part of the mobile revolution.  Over 20% of Creamer Media’s online readers view the websites on their mobile devices. To cater for this growing mobile readership Creamer Media offers an Engineering News Online app for iPhone and Android users.  These apps... 

Engineering News iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

Northam Platinum to create 6 500 new jobs in growth thrust 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2018 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Northam, which is in a strong organic and acquisitive growth phase, will be generating 6 500 new mining jobs in the next four to five years, which dovetails with President Cyril Ramaphosa's 'sunrise' aspirations expressed in his well-received State of... 

Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne presented financial results covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

NUM says members not paid at Gupta-owned Optimum mine

By: Reuters     23rd February 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday that its members had not been paid on time at the Optimum coal mine, which is owned by the Gupta family, and would not return to work at the operation which has started business rescue proceedings. "The guys were not paid and they want a... 

Ramaphosa must fire Brown 'immediately' – DA

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday said it was vindicated by the Public Protector's finding that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was guilty of misleading Parliament after she failed to disclose business dealings between Gupta-linked Trillian and Eskom. Natasha Mazzone, DA public... 

Ramaphosa must fire Brown 'immediately' – DA
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Tribunal confirms Plasser’s R8.43m settlement with Competition Commission

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an R8.43-million settlement agreement between railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa and the Competition Commission.    On February 2014, the commission initiated a complaint against Lennings DEC Rail, a subsidiary of Aveng Africa,... 

Jabu Moleketi nominated as PPC chairperson

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 South African cement producer PPC said Jabu Moleketi has been nominated for the position of chairman of the board to succeed its current chairman Peter Nelson, as it aims to align the board with its strategic priorities. Moleketi is currently chairman of mobile phone network operator Vodacom... 

Tribunal approves sale of Genrec to Southern Palace

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved Southern Palace Group’s (SPG’s) acquisition of Genrec from Murray & Roberts (M&R). M&R in October last year agreed to sell Genrec to SPG for R185-million. 

Afrox rises above weak environment, achieves strong FY17 results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2018 JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) on Thursday reported yet another year of strong results, with revenue for the 12 months to December 31 up 6% to R5.69-billion. Headline earnings a share rose by 32.3% year-on-year to 201c and basic earnings a share by 30.7% to 203.6c. 

Afrox rises above weak environment, achieves strong FY17 results
Photo by Duane Daws
Afrox CEO Schalk Venter

Koko says he is 'moving on', despite Eskom court victory

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 The Labour Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of controversial former Eskom executive Matshela Koko, but he said it was too little too late and that he has already moved on. Judge Graham Moshoana ruled that Eskom’s attempt to fire Koko, based on a directive from then Deputy President Cyril... 

Koko says he is 'moving on', despite Eskom court victory
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko

AfriForum, WSSA implement emergency water plan in Cape Town

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2018 Civil rights organisation AfriForum and Water Shortage South Africa (WSSA) have teamed up to implement an emergency water plan – the establishment of emergency water points in Cape Town to ensure the vulnerable have access to water should Day Zero occur. Three water points are planned across the... 

Sars vows to collect on R2.6-billion additional revenue target

By: African News Agency      22nd February 2018 Tom Moyane, the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (Sars), on Thursday committed the revenue authority to achieving an increased revenue target for the 2017/18 financial year. This comes after finance minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday increased the anticipated revenue that has... 

Sars vows to collect on R2.6-billion additional revenue target
Photo by Duane Daws
Sars commissioner Tom Moyane

Froneman calls for collective action towards zero harm in fatality-plagued mining business 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2018 A strong call to action was made by Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman on Thursday for a common purpose towards zero harm in South Africa's mining industry, where rising fatality numbers are causing great concern. Froneman said a point had been reached where management on its own could not make... 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman presenting half-year results covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Mining Weekly Online. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded 22.2.2018

Altron says independent investigation finds no DTT collusion

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2018 An Allied Electronics- (Altron-) commissioned independent investigation has cleared the group’s subsidiaries of alleged collusion in the 2015 set-top box (STB) tender for government’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) project. Altech UEC had failed in its bid for the DTT tender in 2014;... 

UCT civil engineering graduate wins national award for waterless urinal study

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2018 University of Cape Town (UCT) civil engineering graduate Tinashe Chipako won the 2018 South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) National Investigative Project Showdown for his research project on the feasibility of implementing waterless urinals on UCT’s upper campus. The Western... 

Western Cape drought will severely test govt, says provincial premier Zille

By: African News Agency      22nd February 2018 The immense challenge of the province's longest drought on record will test the capabilities at all levels of government to their limits, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said during her state-of-the-province address on Thursday. Addressing the provincial parliament, Zille said: "While addressing... 

 Western Cape drought will severely test govt, says provincial premier Zille

Blue Label posts higher earnings on acquisitions

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2018 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms on Thursday posted a surge in earnings for the six months to November 30, following the acquisitions of 45% of mobile operator Cell C and 47.37% of 3G Mobile. The group’s earnings per share and headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 110% to 167.43c and 109%... 

Blue Label posts higher earnings on acquisitions
Photo by Duane Daws
Blue Label joint CEO Brett Levy

Ratings agencies applaud South Africa's budget – Treasury

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 Ratings agencies Fitch, Moody's and S&P's Global all applauded South Africa's budget where the National Treasury raised value added tax for the first time in over two decades and announced plans to dramatically reduce its debt, a senior official said on Thursday. "We engaged with Fitch and... 

Ratings agencies applaud South Africa's budget – Treasury

EU warns it will retaliate if hit by US trade curbs

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 The European Commission said on Tuesday it had expressed its concern to Washington about possible measures to curb imports of steel and aluminium and warned that it was ready to react if its industry was hit. "We have made it clear to the US administration at the highest level that we would be... 

Industry, business welcomes tough Budget, but warns govt to implement promised changes

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2018 Although Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has faced sharp criticism following the tabling of the 2018 Budget on Wednesday, particularly from opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, industry bodies and business organisations have welcomed the... 

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