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Despite Covid-induced demand slump, load-shedding surpasses 2019 levels and risk of more cuts rises 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 3 hours ago The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reported on Wednesday that load-shedding during 2020 had already surpassed that of 2019, which had hitherto been the country’s worst-ever year for load-shedding. In addition, it again warned that, absent urgent action, the risk of... 

Despite Covid-induced demand slump, load-shedding surpasses 2019 levels and risk of more cuts rises

Transnet CEO expects subdued commodity prices to weigh on recovery from Covid 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 7 hours ago Transnet CEO Portia Derby warned on Wednesday that the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and the rest of Africa was likely to be negatively affected by still-subdued commodity prices and the serious deterioration in public finances across the continent, which had resulted in... 

Transnet CEO expects subdued commodity prices to weigh on recovery from Covid
Transnet CEO Portia Derby

Naacam, Proudly SA launch portal for face shield producers 

By: Irma Venter     Updated 3 hours ago The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) has joined forces with Proudly South Africa (SA) to launch a Web portal to list the manufacturers of locally produced face shields and visors. A similar portal was launched for face mask producers in May. 

South African team launches non-invasive breathing system for early-stage intervention

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago In response to the Covid-19 public health emergency and an impending ventilator shortage in South Africa and other parts of the world, a team of experts have designed the first-ever Non-Invasive Breathing System (NiBS) in South Africa. The makers of the NiBS comprise a team of engineers, an... 

Zutari recognised as the best in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th August 2020 Newly rebranded consultancy Zutari, formerly Aurecon Africa, has come first in the Top 225 International Design Firm Rankings for Africa, published by US magazine Engineering News-Record (ENR). Zutari CEO Dr Gustav Rohde says this is probably the most credible ranking organisation globally for... 

Zutari recognised as the best in Africa
Zutari CEO Dr Gustav Rohde

Business confidence recovering, says Sacci

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 5 hours ago The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) business confidence index (BCI), which dropped to 70.1 in May, has since recovered to 81.4 in June and to 82.8 in July. However, the BCI for July was still 9.2 index points below the level of 92 of July 2019. 

SAA business rescue process has four elements, reports Public Enterprises

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 7 hours ago The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on Wednesday assured that it was “working around the clock” to implement the business rescue process for the State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA). The implementation conditions for the airline’s business rescue plan were met... 

Vinpro calls for end to alcohol ban

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 4 hours ago The South African wine industry, including wine tourism, is in a state of disaster and urgent intervention is needed or else one of the oldest agricultural industries in the country will not survive, says wine industry body, Vinpro MD Rico Basson. “Many wine businesses have already closed down... 

Western Cape forum speaks out about deeds office, enviro process concerns

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier recently called on Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza to urgently intervene in the repeated and at times unnecessary closure of the Cape Town Deeds Office. The Western Cape Property... 

Total oil, gas drill rig arrives in Cape Town

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has welcomed the arrival of the DeepSea Stavanger oil and gas drill rig, in Cape Town, which has been commissioned by petrochemicals company Total. Total and its partners will drill the Luiperd prospect in Block 11B/12B off the Mossel Bay... 

Port of Ngqura pilot notches new record for vessel movements

By: Donna Slater     Updated 3 hours ago Port of Ngqura marine pilot Ziggy (Siegfried) Duwe (62) has notched up more than 4 000 ship movements in the last 12 years – the first marine pilot with this accomplishment in Algoa Bay, according to State-owned harbour operator Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) records. Skills like that... 

Port of Ngqura pilot notches new record for vessel movements
Port of Ngqura marine pilot Ziggy (Siegfried) Duwe

Sephaku reports loss as demand dwindles

By: Simone Liedtke     12th August 2020 With the buildings materials industry having been impacted by the continued decline in demand, as both public and private infrastructure investments decrease, Sephaku Holdings (SepHold) reported a headline loss a share of 7.97c for the financial year ended March 31. It also posted a loss a share... 

Sappi completes sustainability measurement at Cloquet mill

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago JSE-listed packaging and paper company Sappi has completed a sustainability performance measurement for its dissolving pulp brand, Verve. Sappi supports the sustainability drive by the textile value chain through its Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) membership and through the use of the... 

Cassava, Liquid Telecom launches Sasai WiFi Finder

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2020 Cassava Fintech International (CFI) and Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) have teamed up to develop a service aimed at accelerating digital and financial inclusion in Africa. Through the newly launched Sasai WiFi Finder, the duo plan to establish an expansive network of data access points across Africa... 

PPE waste poses contamination risk to others, Averda warns

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 5 hours ago Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was already battling plastic pollution and the reckless dumping of waste. The United Nations declared plastic pollution a global crisis two years ago and the waste burden is likely to grow amid the rapid rise in the use of Covid-19-related personal... 

Nestlé launches initiative to tackle youth unemployment

By: Donna Slater     Updated 3 hours ago Food and beverage company Nestlé is offering 100 young people an opportunity to join its newly established virtual internship programme as part of the organisation’s ongoing interventions aimed at reducing youth unemployment, across the East and Southern Africa region (Esar). The virtual... 

PwC, Unicef collaborate to boost the skills of the youth in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 2 hours 50 minutes ago Professional services firm PwC and the United Nations Children's Fund South Africa are collaborating to help prepare young people with relevant skills to enter the workforce. This is part of a three-year global collaboration between the two entities in support of Generation Unlimited, a... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads

By: Reuters     12th August 2020 Mauritian volunteers fished dead eels from oily waters on Tuesday as they tried to clean up damage to the Indian Ocean island's most pristine beaches after a Japanese bulk carrier leaked an estimated 1 000 t of oil. The ship, MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and operated by Mitsui OSK... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads
Photo by Reuters
The MV Wakashio which struck a coral reef on Mauritius' southeast coast is leaking oil

Airbus space-based radar undergoes key deployment test

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 3 hours ago Airbus Space Systems, part of Airbus Defence and Space (itself part of the Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus), reported on Tuesday that the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) antenna that it had developed for the Sentinel-1C satellite had been successfully deployed for the first time in one... 

Airbus space-based radar undergoes key deployment test
Photo by Airbus
The deployed Airbus Space SAR antenna for Sentinel-1C in the Friedrichshafen test facility

Ramaphosa prepares to ease lockdown restrictions

By: Bloomberg     Updated 2 hours 57 minutes ago South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is preparing to ease lockdown restrictions, including the possible scrapping of an alcohol sales ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The country will move to so-called alert level 2, although details of which curbs will be retained are still... 

Eskom again warns of constrained power system

By: Donna Slater     Updated 4 hours ago State-owned power utility Eskom on August 12 reported that the national grid was, once again, severely constrained as the result of seven units being offline for various reasons. The utility noted that five of its units that were due for a return-to-service had been delayed, while a further two... 

Eskom again warns of constrained power system
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom's Kusile power station

Competition Tribunal confirms another settlement in maize cartel case

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 5 hours ago The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and GWK Farm Foods, in which the company admits to its involvement in a maize milling cartel and agrees to pay an administrative penalty of R10-million. This is the fourteenth settlement agreement to... 

Why so much world trade passes Mauritius’s pristine beaches

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 The bulk carrier Wakashio was 11 days into a month-long voyage to Brazil when it hit a reef off Mauritius causing it to spill fuel into the island’s crystal clear waters, endangering baby turtles and unique plants in a nearby nature reserve. Given the vastness of the Indian ocean, why was the... 

South Africa nears the point of no return

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 DCD Wind Towers should have been a South African success story. When DCD opened its doors in the Eastern Cape in 2013, it was the first factory set up to take advantage of the country’s abundant wind-power resources. Government policy was fueling a clean-energy bonanza, and DCD brought valuable... 

High-flying Barrick Gold opens up exploration front in Japan 

By: Martin Creamer     11th August 2020 High-flying Barrick Gold has established a gold exploration joint-venture front in Japan. “Japan has opened up its mining and exploration legislation for the first time since the war,” Barrick Gold CEO Dr Mark Bristow told Mining Weekly on Tuesday. 

High-flying Barrick Gold opens up exploration front in Japan
Dr Mark Bristow

Study finds remote working does not decrease output

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th August 2020 Being allowed to spend time with children during the work day is a major success factor for remote working, a study conducted by World Wide Worx, on behalf of Cisco, has found. The 'Remote Working in South Africa 2020' study was compiled using insights from information technology decision-makers... 

DeepMind grants first postgraduate AI scholarships at Stellenbosch University

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2020 London-based artificial intelligence (AI) research and application company DeepMind has awarded eight scholarships for postgraduate studies in the fields of applied mathematics, statistics, electrical and electronic engineering and computer science at Stellenbosch University (SU). The DeepMind... 

Seifsa urges companies to buy from local suppliers as manufacturing struggles continue

By: Donna Slater     11th August 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has reiterated the devastating impact of the national lockdown on the country's manufacturing output. Seifsa chief economist Dr Michael Ade says the Statistics South Africa data published on August 11, which reflects a... 

TNPA works to quickly resolve congestion problems at Durban port following incidents

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 State-owned Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) reports that the Durban Bayhead Precinct had been affected by severe truck traffic congestion on August 10, after a truck capsized along Bayhead road. While the port was attending to the resulting backlog at the Durban Container Terminals, a... 

Trade union to institute contempt of court proceedings against Denel

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th August 2020 The Uasa trade union announced on Tuesday that it was instituting legal proceedings against financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel for contempt of court. This followed Denel’s failure to implement an order of the Labour Court to pay Denel employees their salary... 

Cape Town ordered to settle IPP dispute with Minister, but case can be re-enrolled if talks fail 

By: Terence Creamer     11th August 2020 The City of Cape Town, which approached the High Court in 2017 for an order allowing it to procure renewable energy from independent power producers (IPPs) without first securing the consent of the Energy Minister, has been directed by the court seek a settlement with the Minister and the... 

Cape Town ordered to settle IPP dispute with Minister, but case can be re-enrolled if talks fail

Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal loads over 15Mt of ore despite restrictions

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2020 Despite operating under Covid-19 restrictions, Transnet Port Terminals’ (TPT’s) Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal (IOT) loaded 15.6-million tonnes in the first four months of the 2020/21 financial year, meeting 76% of their contractual obligations. Suring the same period last year, and using a full... 

Busa calls for swift action against corruption, theft

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th August 2020 Crime and corruption harm vulnerable citizens the most, says Business Unity South Africa (Busa). It, therefore, calls for swift action against corruption and theft. 

BLSA’s Mavuso laments lack of investment in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2020 While there are talks of mobilising more investment to kickstart the South African economy post-Covid-19, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso laments that current developments are showing the opposite, as projects and investments have either been cancelled or delayed. In her... 

Rolls-Royce reports minor wear problem in a few of its older Trent XWB aeroengines

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th August 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that, during routine inspections, it had found “indications” of wear on a small number of Intermediate Pressure Compressor (IPC) blades in a few of its Trent XWB-84 turbofan engines. The engines concerned had all... 

EU liquor trading partner puts pressure on South African govt to lift alcohol ban

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 In a statement, the liquor industry of South Africa has acknowledged the concerns raised by SpritsEurope around imbalances in trade between South Africa and the European Union (EU), owing to the continued ban on alcohol sales. The EU is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and the economic... 

NUM’s Paris Mashego dies

11th August 2020 The National Union of Mineworkers national energy sector coordinator Paris Mashego has died, the union said on Tuesday. He served as the union’s Highveld regional secretary, mentored younger shop stewards in NUM and was chief negotiator at State-owned power utility Eskom. 

NUM’s Paris Mashego dies

New duties another dose of 'slow poison' to steel industry, says Neasa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has reiterated its dissatisfaction with government's approval of an extended 8% safeguard duty on hot rolled coil, bringing the total duty payable on this product to 18%. This follows after Neasa launched an urgent application in the... 

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