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Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 3 hours ago Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

Used-car market value climbs 3.8% to more than R100bn, says AutoTrader

By: Irma Venter     Updated 3 hours ago AutoTrader’s new yearly used-car industry report, launched on August 3, shows that South Africans used the country’s largest digital used-car trading portal to conduct 401-million online searches from July last year to the end of June this year.  This is an all-time record and an almost 40%... 

Used-car market value climbs 3.8% to more than R100bn, says AutoTrader

Treasury invites comment on Itac metal export tax rates recommendations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago The National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) have published, for public comment, the various draft taxation documents, including the proposed introduction of an export tax on scrap metals. This follows after Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel issued a... 

Absa’s July PMI inches down, but remains above neutral 50-point mark

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 2 hours 13 minutes ago The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for July declined to 51.2 index points, from 53.9 in June, but stayed above the neutral 50-point mark for a third consecutive month. Absa and the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), which compiles the PMI on behalf of Absa, say this suggests that official... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

DBSA disburses R4.5bn to Johannesburg, Tshwane for infrastructure

By: Donna Slater     31st July 2020 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has made available R4.5-billion in loans to two Gauteng metropolitan municipalities to fund large-scale infrastructure programmes. The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) will receive R3-billion and the City of Tshwane (CoT) R1.5-billion, the development... 

DBSA disburses R4.5bn to Johannesburg, Tshwane for infrastructure

Bushveld Minerals advances plans to support VRFB development

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 2 hours 11 minutes ago Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals has advanced the acquisition of Austrian group Enerox by acquiring a further 65.1% of the investment vehicle’s share capital through Enerox Holdings Limited (EHL). EHL is a newly incorporated investment vehicle formed by a consortium of investors, including Bushveld... 

Renergen spuds first well as expected

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 2 hours 12 minutes ago The drill rig at emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s Virginia gas project production hub, in the Free State, is preparing to spud the first well in the programme. The upcoming programme of inclined wells target the gas productive fracture systems at the project. 

Crop nutrients have double potential of coal being exited – Anglo

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 4 hours ago Covid-19 notwithstanding, diversified mining company Anglo American will this year be spending the $300-million that it forecast on the Woodsmith polyhalite project in the UK, which gives it entry into the crop nutrients business at a time when fertilising is being hailed a godsend to ease global... 

Crop nutrients have double potential of coal being exited – Anglo
Photo by Anglo American
Anglo American is developing a crop nutrient mine.

SpaceX’s first crewed mission ends successfully with safe splashdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 3 hours ago The first ever commercial crewed spacecraft mission ended successfully on Sunday when the Crew Dragon capsule plashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the US state of Florida. The spacecraft, designed, developed, owned and operated by private-sector company SpaceX, was carrying US... 

SpaceX’s first crewed mission ends successfully with safe splashdown
Photo by Nasa
Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour moments before splashdown

MTN says Shuter to head up BT Enterprise, expects higher half-year earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN said on Friday that its succession process for group CEO was on track and that it would make an announcement in the next four to eight weeks. This comes as outgoing CEO Rob Shuter has been appointed CEO UK-based telecoms firm BT Group's Enterprise division. His... 

MTN says Shuter to head up BT Enterprise, expects higher half-year earnings
Outgoing CEO Rob Shuter

New-vehicle pricing increasing sharply, shows TransUnion index

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 The South African car market experienced record lows in the second quarter of the year, as the combination of minimal trading owing to the Covid-19 lockdown and the depressed economy saw a 71% decline in the number of new and used cars financed over the same period in 2019. This is according to... 

New-vehicle pricing increasing sharply, shows TransUnion index

Business for South Africa issues call to action on local procurement

By: Donna Slater     31st July 2020 Business for South Africa (BSA) has issued a call to action for corporate South Africa to undertake four actions to assist local procurement during the Covid-19 pandemic. The BSA, an alliance of the main business groups, is calling on companies to review their procurement practices and to give... 

Eskom to cancel R14bn contract after probe findings

By: Bloomberg     31st July 2020 Eskom Holdings plans to cancel a contract to buy as much as R14-billion of fuel oil from Econ Oil & Energy, after a probe it commissioned found Econ’s fees had been inflated, a person familiar with the situation said. Nothemba Mlonzi, a director at Econ Oil, declined to comment because she said... 

Lower selling prices for intermediate goods put metals and engineering under further strain

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 The drop in the selling prices of domestic intermediate products will put a further strain on companies in the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, given the direct implications of these prices on their margins and profits, says Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa... 

Wits researchers achieve major leap forward in secure quantum communication

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) scientists have achieved a major advance in the field of secure quantum communications, the university announced on Friday. The team, led by School of Physics Professor Andrew Forbes, has had its research paper published online by Laser & Photonics Reviews.... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      31st July 2020 Strategic partnerships in science, technology and innovation will play an essential role in economic recovery, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said. Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande delivered the president's speech on his behalf during the National Summit on Science... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SpaceX and Nasa inaugurate new era in crewed spaceflight

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 On May 30 history was made when, for the first time ever, astronauts were carried into orbit in a spacecraft that had been designed and built, and was owned and operated, by a private-sector company, in fulfilment of a commercial transport contract. Technically, it was a demonstration flight to... 

SpaceX and Nasa inaugurate new era in crewed spaceflight

Solidarity Fund ramps up farming, food assistance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 South Africa’s national Solidarity Fund has ramped up its efforts to bring relief to those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund has been focusing its efforts since its inception in March on humanitarian efforts, as well as medical supplies, but food relief and gender-based violence... 

Insurers' offer in Covid claims fight too little too late for some

By: Reuters     31st July 2020 South African small businesses fighting rejected coronavirus-related claims said insurers' offers of relief are too little too late for many and could leave some already struggling to survive with nothing at all. Insurers around the world have argued Covid-19 lockdowns were not covered in... 

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st July 2020 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Professor Shabir Madhi has uncovered that immunising pregnant women with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine could prevent pneumonia in babies. Madhi is leading Africa’s first coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial. 

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

Airbus reports big impact on first-half results from Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus on Thursday published its results for the first half of calendar 2020 (1H20). The group reported that its consolidated revenues for this period came to €18.9-billion, in comparison with €30.9-billion in the same period last year (1H19). 

Results show Boeing hit hard by both Covid-19 and continued 737 MAX grounding

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 Giant US aerospace group Boeing has reported that its revenues for the first half of this year (1H20) were 26% down on those for the same period last year (1H19). In numbers, 1H20 revenues came to $28.72-billion as against $38.67-billion in 1H19. It suffered a net loss of $3.04-billion in 1H20... 

Montego says solar plant investment yielding returns

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 Pet food manufacturer Montego Pet Nutrition's R22-million investment in a dedicated solar energy plant last year is yielding returns. Marketing manager Wilfred Cawood says that, as a result, the company's carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 300 t to date this year. 

V&A Waterfront to launch food incubator

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 The V&A Waterfront will develop the Makers Landing, a local food incubator for South African flavours and culture, as part of the Cape Town Cruise Terminal. This is expected to be completed by September and open to the public by December. 

Ctrack Transport & Freight Index shows some positives

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st July 2020 Vehicle tracking, fleet management and insurance telematics solutions provider Ctrack’s Transport & Freight Index for June shows that South Africa’s transport and freight volumes increased by 20.6% month-on-month across all sectors. The Ctrack headline change, however, declined by 23.2% for the... 

Proof of concept for sharing rare disease data cross border completed

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 The World Economic Forum's (WEF's) precision medicine team's Breaking Barriers to Health Data pilot project has produced a proof of concept that outlines how countries can share rare-disease data safely and anonymously across borders using pre-existing datasets of coded and de-identified patient... 

More German expertise to reactivate South African industry on its way

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 12 minutes ago The German Embassy in South Africa expects further technical experts from that country to arrive in South Africa, subject to the approval of the South African government. The first contingent of these experts, sent to help reactivate and upgrade German-owned factories and service companies in... 

Nedbank inks partnership to enable homeowners to leverage loans to install solar PV

By: Donna Slater     Updated 31 minutes ago Financial services provider Nedbank has partnered with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) through its PV GreenCard accreditation in an effort to increase access to and the affordability of installing renewable energy solutions for homeowners. Through the partnership,... 

Bell Equipment dismisses takeover offer rumour

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Listed industrial group Bell Equipment on Friday dismissed rumours that it had received an offer for a shareholding in the company. Bell was responding to an article that appeared in financial daily Business Day, which reports that the group had received a takeover offer from Chinese firm... 

Sithole to assume PIC office on August 1

By: Simone Liedtke     31st July 2020 Newly-appointed Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Abel Sithole will assume his duties from August 1. Sithole’s appointment was announced on May 27, following Cabinet approval. 

South Africa trade surplus swells to record on weak imports

By: Bloomberg     31st July 2020 South Africa’s trade surplus swelled to a record after eased lockdown restrictions allowed more exports, while demand for imports weakened. The positive trade balance widened to R46.6-billion last month from a revised R19.7-billion in May, the South African Revenue Services said Friday in a... 

SKF targets full carbon-neutral manufacturing by 2030

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Bearing manufacturer SKF is aiming to have its factories carbon neutral by 2030, the Swedish group has announced. The company has already decreased its manufacturing carbon footprint by 36% since 2015 and is operating two carbon-neutral factories.  

Non-pharmaceutical interventions to be intensified in fight against Covid-19

By: Yvonne Silaule     31st July 2020 Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that government would strengthen non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce new Covid-19 infections. Speaking during the national Covid-19 virtual conference hosted by the Department of Education on Friday, Mkhize said interventions would require... 

Non-pharmaceutical interventions to be intensified in fight against Covid-19
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Rand recovers from three-week low, remains vulnerable

By: Reuters     31st July 2020 South Africa's rand halted its slide against the dollar early on Friday, as worries a recovery in the US economy would be hampered by the country's struggle to stem the coronavirus epidemic weakened the US currency. At 07:05 GMT, the rand traded at 16.7425 a dollar, near is close of 16.7500 on... 

Glencore’s strong first-half positions it for top-end marketing earnings 

By: Martin Creamer     31st July 2020 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has delivered an overall strong  first-half operating performance amid the unprecedented challenges presented by  Covid-19. “This reflects both the ability and dedication of our teams to adapt to these difficult conditions,” said Glencore CEO Ivan... 

Glencore’s strong first-half positions it for top-end marketing earnings

GroundWork approaches court over IRP

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Environmental organisation GroundWork has launched new court proceedings against the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). GroundWork stresses that decisions about South Africa’s energy future must be made in a... 

Opinion: Could Eskom be repurposed to become training ground for the energy transition?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     31st July 2020 One of the most common remedies proposed for addressing Eskom’s financial and operational problems is that of reducing jobs at the state-owned utility. The argument is premised on the view that Eskom is massively overstaffed and that its headcount should, thus, be reduced to help lower costs and... 

Opinion: Could Eskom be repurposed to become training ground for the energy transition?

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