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Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 5 hours ago If the world economy fails to recover rapidly from the Covid-19 crisis and if efforts to curb emissions are moderately accelerated, it is possible that global fossil-fuel demand peaked in 2019, a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis shows. The analysis models the future demand for coal, oil... 

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report

By: Irma Venter     Updated 3 hours ago The number of safety features on entry-level vehicles remains low in South Africa, although there have been some positive developments. This is according to the 2020 Automobile Association (AA) Entry-Level Vehicle Safety (ELVS) report, which assesses available safety features on entry-level... 

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report

Denel 'studying' Labour Court judgment, assures it will meet its staff obligations

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 5 hours ago Financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel has confirmed that it has received the judgment against it by the Labour Court, handed down on Tuesday. The case had been instituted by two of the unions representing workers at Denel. The court ordered the group to pay its... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 2 hours 35 minutes ago Shareholder activism organisation Just Share has described the ‘Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ report published by Investec in May as having set a new benchmark for South African banks in climate-risk disclosure. The Just Share analysis has been released ahead of Investec’s August 8... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

Opinion: Highlights of upcoming code for embedded generation

Updated 49 minutes ago In this article, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association board member Frank Spencer offers insight on the upcoming SANS 10142-1 standards for embedded generation installations 

Opinion: Highlights of upcoming code for embedded generation

Liquid Telecom revamps positioning, identity

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 7 hours ago Communications solutions provider Liquid Telecom South Africa has rebranded to Liquid Intelligent Technologies in a strategic repositioning to advance South Africa’s digital future. In 2018, the group embarked on a journey to adapt its operating model as it started the transition towards becoming... 

Microsoft invests R40m into South Africa’s agricultural sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 7 hours ago Microsoft South Africa plans to invest up to R40-million to bolster the use of technology as an enabler to tackle the challenges facing South Africa’s agriculture sector. The investment aims to drive sustainability in the agriculture sector for South Africa’s smallholder farmers, which have... 

Parliamentary committee welcomes new Secretary for Defence

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 3 hours ago Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Defence and Military Veterans Chairperson Cyril Xaba has welcomes the appointment of Gladys Sonto Kudjoe as the new Secretary for Defence. She is the first woman to hold this post, which is the senior civilian public service position within the Department of... 

Nmisa establishes expert platform as forehead thermometer accuracy is questioned

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 4 hours ago Businesses are questioning the reliability of the measurement results obtained from forehead infrared thermometers being used in South Africa, owing to several factors influencing the accuracy of the measurement results, says the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (Nmisa). Nmisa says... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response

By: Yvonne Silaule     Updated 4 hours ago The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed 43 global senior experts to South Africa to assist the country with its Covid-19 response, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday. Seventeen experts will touch down in South Africa on Wednesday and will complete a period of... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Astral Foods says chair, CEO have recovered from Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     Updated 3 hours ago Poultry producer Astral Foods reports that its chairperson Dr Theuns Eloff and CEO Chris Schutte have both recovered from Covid-19. The company announced on July 16 that Eloff and Schutte had contracted the disease, following which Eloff self-isolated and received medical treatment. 

Penguin guano seen from space leads to discovery of new colonies

By: Bloomberg     Updated 51 minutes ago Satellite-mapping technology that detects stains on the ice from penguin droppings has revealed there are nearly 20% more Emperor colonies than previously identified in fast-warming Antarctica. Eleven new colonies of the species were found, taking the census to 61 across the polar continent,... 

Gauteng High Court rules in favour of government on localisation matter

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 22 minutes ago The Gauteng High Court recently ruled in favour of government in a matter involving procurement conditions applicable to electrical transformers. The challenge arises from a government decision to refuse an exemption from a localisation condition to enable imports of electrical transformers on... 

Seed companies join forces to form Limagrain Zaad South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 23 minutes ago Three of South Africa’s agricultural seed companies, Link Seed, Klein Karoo Seed Marketing (K2) and Seed Co South Africa, have joined forces to create a joint venture (JV) company − Limagrain Zaad South Africa − to provide multi crop alternatives for farmers in Southern Africa. K2 offers an... 

Covid-19 trends in Africa informed by various factors

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 25 minutes ago The Covid-19 pandemic has not been as significant a public health issue in some parts of Africa as it has been in other parts of the world, University of Birmingham International Development Department head Dr Jonathan Fisher said during  an Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group webinar on... 

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains 

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 Despite positive indications, such as seen in various recent Purchasing Manager’s Indices, Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth is urging South Africa to take hold of the opportunity presented by Covid-19 in becoming less reliant on global value chains and single-source... 

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains
Photo by Creamer Media
Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth

Absa revises GDP forecast on better-than-expected data

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Based on better-than-expected data arising from the first and second quarters of the year, financial services company Absa has revised down its forecast for the gross domestic product (GDP) contraction this year from 9.7% previously, to 8.3%. However, Absa notes that taking into account the... 

Alcohol industry welcomes positive response from Treasury on excise tax deferment

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 The alcohol industry has welcomed the positive response from the National Treasury to its request for a deferment of excise tax on alcoholic beverages. In response to the industry’s request, Treasury has proposed a 90-day deferral for the payment of excise taxes on alcohol to be made in August... 

Consol halts R1.5bn expansion project amid low demand

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th August 2020 Manufacturer Consol Glass has indefinitely suspended construction of a new R1.5-billion glass manufacturing plant in Nigel, Gauteng, owing to the reduction in demand for glass products. The company attributed this reduced demand to the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s actions to slow its... 

High-flying, dividend-talking RBPlat going into second half with tailwinds  

By: Martin Creamer     4th August 2020 High-flying platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) is going into the second half of this Covid-hit year well-positioned with stockpile, upper group two (UG2), lower capital and gold-streaming tailwinds. RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri told a half-year results... 

Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Trade union wins salary case against defence group Denel in court

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel has been ordered to pay its workers their salaries, the UASA trade union reported on Tuesday. This was the outcome of a virtual hearing by the Labour Court. “Presiding Judge Andre van Niekerk in his findings noted that Denel had... 

PwC says pandemic forces a relook at remuneration policies  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2020 It has been a year that has exposed the vulnerabilities of lower-level workers and, coupled with the context of job insecurity and food insecurity in South Africa, there have been increasing calls for executive pay cuts. Consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in its latest 'Executive... 

Two PwC executives discuss the changing landscape for remuneration amid Covid-19

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has completed its involvement in the launch of the Mars 2020 spacecraft, which has now started its cruise through interplanetary space. It is the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (Nasa’s) latest probe to... 

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe
Photo by Nasa/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
A computer-generated image of the Mars 2020 spacecraft en route to Mars

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Federal Aviation Administration, America’s civil aviation regulatory body, released a document on Monday detailing changes it wants made to Boeing’s 737 MAX single-aisle airliner before it will allow it to resume commercial operations. The aircraft has been grounded since March 2019, as a... 

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 in flight

Cell C defaults on repayments on $184m bond

By: Reuters     4th August 2020 Blue Label Telecoms said on Tuesday that Cell C, in which it is the largest shareholder, had defaulted on the payment of capital on its $184-million note, which was due on Aug. 2. Cell C, a mobile carrier, also defaulted on interest and capital repayments related to the respective bilateral loan... 

SACP calls for arrests and recovery of Eskom funds

By: Sane Dhlamini     4th August 2020 The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Tuesday said while it welcomed the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) move to recover funds from former Eskom executives, former board members, members of the Gupta family and their associates, it called for the arrests of all those implicated in... 

SACP calls for arrests and recovery of Eskom funds

Cashbuild acquires Pepkor's The Building Company

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th August 2020 Southern African building materials retailer Cashbuild has reached an agreement with Pepkor Holdings, subject to conditions precedent, to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of its wholly-owned subsidiary The Building Company (TBC), as well as the shareholder loan claims of Pepkor against... 

Jobs Fund raises R271m from partners to support up to 70 000 beneficiaries

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 With unemployment ballooning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jobs Fund has reiterated its commitment to fighting unemployment, with its partners having committed R271-million to Covid-19 support interventions. The Jobs Fund is a multiyear R9-billion fund administered by the National... 

Western Cape government welcomes decongestion efforts at the Port of Cape Town

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Following urgent action and interventions to decrease congestion and improve operations at the Port of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government has welcomed action taken through its ongoing engagements with Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) management. The Western Cape government states that... 

Kenya on course for $5bn nuclear plant to power industry

By: Bloomberg     4th August 2020 Kenya’s nuclear agency submitted impact studies for a $5-billion power plant, and said it’s on course to build and start operating the facility in about seven years. The government plans to expand its nuclear-power capacity fourfold by 2035, the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency said in a report on... 

July new-vehicle sales decline by 30%

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2020 Total South African new-vehicle sales declined by 29.6% in July, to 32 396 units, compared with the 46 042 vehicles sold in the same month last year. The new-passenger-car market fell by 35.8% to 18 905 units. 

July new-vehicle sales decline by 30%

DPE welcomes Eskom’s move to recoup lost funds

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has welcomed State-owned power utility Eskom’s steps to recoup funds lost to State capture corruption. Eskom and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) announced on August 3 that a set of summonses have been issued in the North Gauteng High Court to... 

Volkswagen adds Ghana to its list of African assembly plants

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2020 Volkswagen has cut the ribbon on a new vehicle assembly facility in Accra, the capital of Ghana. This makes Ghana the fifth Volkswagen vehicle assembly location in sub-Saharan Africa, with the other plants in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. 

Volkswagen adds Ghana to its list of African assembly plants

Reduced oil, oil product demand to last for six months – Absa

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 The current reduced demand for oil and refined products as a result of national lockdowns in South Africa and across sub-Sahara Africa could persist for at least six months, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) natural resources head Shirley Webber says. She explains that national... 

Nzimande opens 2021 NSFAS applications

By: Yvonne Silaule     4th August 2020 Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande officially opened applications for the 2021 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) cycle, on Monday. This year, the NSFAS application cycle will run for four months starting from August 3 to November 30, and applications... 

Nzimande opens 2021 NSFAS applications
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects 

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol intends issuing, during its current financial year, a request for proposals (RFP) for wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW having received a strong response to a market-testing request for information (RFI) issued in May.... 

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol's Secunda complex stands in the background with power lines in the foreground

UIF will continue to process new claims

By: Sane Dhlamini     4th August 2020 The Department of Employment and Labour together with the  National Economic Development and Labour Council social partners have announced that the Unemployment Insurance Fund will continue processing new claims for April and May until a cut-off date is announced.  A 14-day notice window will be... 

UIF will continue to process new claims
Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi

Eskom initiates procurement process for first large-scale battery energy storage system 

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Electricity utility Eskom has called for bids for the design and construction of a battery energy storage system (BESS) to be installed at the Skaapvlei substation at Vredendal, in the Western Cape, where the group’s 100 MW Sere wind farm is located. The system should have a minimum power... 

Eskom initiates procurement process for first large-scale battery energy storage system
The substation at the Sere wind farm in Vredendal

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