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NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is facing a shortfall on its funding for this year and it has, therefore, been unable to confirm funding eligibility for first-time university students. This does not apply to returning NSFAS beneficiary students who meet the academic and other relevant... 

NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students

Online vehicle searches jump to a record high – AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2021 The latest bi-annual AutoTrader Car Industry Report shows that online vehicle searches on AutoTrader have reached a new record. Covering the period from July 1 to December 31, 2020, the report notes that 276-million searches were conducted on AutoTrader, which is 54.1% growth year-on-year.  

Online vehicle searches jump to a record high – AutoTrader

Suzuki sets yet another monthly sales record, sells 100 000th car 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2021 Suzuki Auto South Africa ended February with total sales of 2 142 units.  This is a new record for the brand since the Japanese car maker entered the South African market in 2008, and only four months since Suzuki broke through the 2 000-barrier for the first time ever. 

Suzuki sets yet another monthly sales record, sells 100 000th car
The S-Presso

Mines anywhere, everywhere can go green – Hydrogen Optimized 

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2021 Owing to the ubiquity of the world’s sun and the wind, all mines have the opportunity to generate their own green electricity no matter where they are located in the world, Hydrogen Optimized CEO Andrew T Stuart emphasised during last week’s Fasken online panel discussion on hydrogen. In this... 

Mines anywhere, everywhere can go green – Hydrogen Optimized
Photo by Creamer Media
Fasken panel that discussed hydrogen.

South Africa's court halts spectrum auction

By: Reuters     8th March 2021  South Africa's high court on Monday ordered telecoms regulator Icasa to halt the auction of radio frequency spectrum licences pending another related court matter, further delaying the process which was expected to begin this month. As part of the order, the Independent Communications Authority... 

Mavuso lauds reform implementation progress on public service

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 The last week has brought about a boost in confidence for Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso in government’s ability to start delivering on reforms. She says in the organisation’s latest newsletter that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s weekly letter had fostered optimism, since... 

Mavuso lauds reform implementation progress on public service
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Sappi offers €350m senior notes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 JSE-listed paper and packaging giant Sappi has announced a €350-million senior notes offering, due 2028, by its subsidiary Sappi Papier Holding (SPH). The offer aims to improve the company’s debt maturity profile and will be used to redeem all of SPH’s outstanding senior notes due 2023.  

Amie says antidumping duties will cost consumers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 While many organisations have advocated for antidumping duties on chicken imported from certain countries, the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (Amie) has questioned why the local industry pursues protectionism despite the increases in prices to the consumer. The association explains... 

Amie says antidumping duties will cost consumers

RCL on drive to make plant-based foods more accessible in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 Consumer goods company RCL Foods and US plant-based food company LIVEKINDLY Collective have established a local plant-based joint venture (JV) called LIVEKINDLY Collective Africa. This comes amid a growing consumer interest in plant-based foods and more sustainable living globally.  

RCL on drive to make plant-based foods more accessible in sub-Saharan Africa

Massmart stabilises business, strengthens e-commerce focus

By: Schalk Burger     8th March 2021 Mass retailer and wholesaler Massmart's performance has stabilised over the past 18 months and the company has shifted focus to the Southern African Development Community region and e-commerce, CEO Mitch Slape noted during a presentation of the company's results on March 8. Slape said the company... 

MTN Group appoints new executive to drive its strategic repositioning

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th March 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has appointed Chika Ekeji as executive for strategy and transformation, effective March 15. This forms part of MTN’s plans to further bolster management capacity to accelerate its strategic ambitions, which focuses on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding... 

Saldanha Terminal invests R1.2m in additional dust suppressing canons

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The Saldanha Bulk Terminal, in South Africa, has invested R1.2-million in two additional dust-suppressing cannons that will be used on ship loaders as cargo flows from the chutes to the vessel hatch. The investment is said to be a continued commitment to ensuring a clean operation on the West... 

Saldanha Terminal invests R1.2m in additional dust suppressing canons
Dust Suppresor 1

SABS tasked to eliminate technical barriers to trade

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has taken part in a virtual seminar with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to discuss the national regulatory organisation’s responsibilities around the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement’s Transparency Framework. The seminar discusses the... 

Acsa reports successful issuance of preference shares

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th March 2021 State-owned Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) reported on Monday that it had finished issuing ‘A’ preference shares, to increase its liquidity. The majority purchaser of the new shares was the South African Department of Transport, which acquired them for R2.324-billion. The issuance was one... 

Airlink announces date for resumption of services to Lesotho

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th March 2021 South African private-sector regional airline Airlink announced on Monday that it was going to resume daily scheduled flights to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, on March 29. This is the result of the mountain kingdom’s reopening of its borders. The country had imposed travel restrictions in an... 

Covid-19 impacting females more, notwithstanding Rwanda being a beacon on gender equality

By: Donna Slater     8th March 2021 Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented challenges, its initial consequences have had a ripple effect on all socioeconomic sectors and has threatened to bring nations and communities to a standstill, as well as negatively impact women and girls more than men and boys,... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 A decade into the creation of South Africa’s renewable energy sector, it has become apparent that it is still lagging in gender diversity, which is why South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli says the industry is actively giving attention to adjust and improve the... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

Report finds majority of extractive commodity traders lack ESG disclosure

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 Swiss research organisation RMF finds in a new report that companies involved in oil, gas, metals or minerals trading score on average only 23% on environmental, social and governance (ESG) due diligence. The report, titled 'ESG Due Diligence and Transparency Report on Extractive Commodity... 

Total to take steps to mitigate environmental impact of Uganda, Tanzania projects

By: Reuters     8th March 2021 French energy giant Total on Monday detailed steps it would take to mitigate the environmental and human impact from its Tilenga project in Uganda and a multibillion-dollar pipeline carrying oil from the country to Tanzania. Total and its partner China National Offshore Oil Corporation plan to... 

Merafe loss decreases, electricity risk remains, logistics challenge intensifies  

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2021 Although the loss suffered by ferrochrome company Merafe Resources decreased in 2020, its electricity risk remains and its logistics challenges are intensifying. Merafe’s revenue and operating income is primarily generated from the Glencore Merafe Chrome Venture, which has a total capacity of... 

Merafe Resources results presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Germany's Bosch to open automotive chip factory in June

By: Reuters     8th March 2021 German technology group Bosch said on Monday it would open an automotive chip factory in Dresden in June to build on its leadership in sensor chips that will boost the electric car industry. The €1-billion plant will produce sensor chips to be installed in electric and hybrid electric vehicles.... 

Shock new numbers show how South Africa’s train service went off the rails – even before Covid hit

By: News24Wire      8th March 2021 The total number of daily train commuters in South Africa has dropped to its lowest level on record since the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), compiled by Statistics SA, was first introduced in 2003. The latest study shows that travelling by train is by far the least popular mode of... 

Taxpayer loses as multimillion-rand investment collapses amid allegations of fraud, mismanagement

By: News24Wire      8th March 2021 The KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund (KGF), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and private investors have burnt their fingers and lost more than R330-million in an ill-fated cookware-manufacturing plant which has now been liquidated. INSA, in which the KGF, IDC and private funders had invested... 

Egypt gets $440m World Bank loan to support rail network

By: Reuters     8th March 2021 The World Bank has approved a $440-million loan to modernise signalling and upgrade track on 763 km of Egypt's 5 000 km rail network, the bank said in a statement. Egyptian National Railways (ENR) will put $241-million into the project on the Cairo-Giza-Beni Suef section of the network, bringing... 

Egypt's Sisi ups pressure for Ethiopia dam deal on Sudan visit

By: Reuters     8th March 2021 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on Saturday for a binding deal by the summer on the operation of a giant Ethiopian hydropower dam, as he made his first visit to neighbouring Sudan since the 2019 overthrow of Omar al-Bashir. Egypt also signalled support for Sudan in a dispute with... 

JRA working to improve asphalt plant's performance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th March 2021 The Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) is taking steps to improve the performance of the asphalt plant it launched in 2018. The agency notes that the plant has been experiencing operational challenges in terms of human resources, supply of materials and challenges related to procurement to sustain... 

IMF says will continue talks with Zambia, progress made

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that headway had been made in three weeks of talks over a programme for Zambia and discussions would continue, though a number of challenges remained. The southern African copper producer became the continent's first pandemic-era sovereign... 

Resilience, natural resources become key as global food security deteriorates slightly

By: Schalk Burger     5th March 2021 The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) showed a deterioration for the second year in a row in 2020, with the affordability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience categories deteriorating, with only the availability category showing marginal improvement, says economic research... 

Nasa awards key propulsion contract for the future Mars mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th March 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) on Thursday awarded Northrop Grumman Systems, a unit of major US aerospace group Northrop Grumman, the contract to develop and support the Mars Ascent Propulsion System (MAPS), which is an essential element for the planned Mars Sample... 

R2.3bn to be spent on Burnstone gold project – Sibanye-Stillwater 

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2021 Capital of R2.3-billion will be spent over 14 years on the Burnstone gold project in Mpumalanga, where two-million ounces of gold are to be mined over 21 years, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman told the BMO conference this week. JSE- and ADR-listed Sibanye-Stillwater acquired the Burnstone... 

R2.3bn to be spent on Burnstone gold project – Sibanye-Stillwater
Photo by Creamer Media
Earlier mining activity at the underground Burnstone gold mine, where R2.3-billion is now being invested.

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2021 A list confirming which South Africans will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination when the ‘Phase 2’ roll-out begins in late April or early May will be published in the “next week or two”, Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay reported on Friday. Phase 2 will focus on the... 

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon

CSIR launches new centre to support 21st century industries in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th March 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) officially launched its new Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) on Friday. The new facility is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and is the fifth DSI-funded facility at the CSIR.  Photonics is usually associated... 

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department 

By: News24Wire      5th March 2021 Eskom CEO André de Ruyter told Parliament on Friday morning that the suspension of the power utility's chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, will not compromise Eskom's ability to stay on top of its procurement deviations and expansions. Tshitangano was suspended for poor performance. On... 

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Mpact delivers strong performance in 2020, despite challenges  

By: Simone Liedtke     5th March 2021 By delivering its proven strategy of securing leading market positions and focusing on customers and performance, paper, packaging and recycling company Mpact delivered a strong financial performance with record cash flows from operations of R1.9-billion and a reduction in net debt to... 

Mpact CEO Bruce Strong speaks to Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke about the company's latest set of results. Video & Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Civil tenders awarded, hardware sales positives in the construction industry – Metelerkamp 

By: Irma Venter     5th March 2021 There are some positives to be found in the South African construction market, despite the Covid-pandemic, says Industry Insight senior economist David Metelerkamp. This first positive lies in the resilience of the civil engineering sector, where there was a 12.7% increase in civil tenders... 

Civil tenders awarded, hardware sales positives in the construction industry – Metelerkamp

Germany charges former Steinhoff managers with balance sheet fraud

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 German prosecutors have filed charges against three former managers at South African retailer Steinhoff for balance sheet fraud, three years after the company first revealed holes in its accounts. The Oldenburg prosecutor's office said on Thursday it had filed charges against the trio for... 

UIF opens applications for Covid-19 TERS benefit extension

By: Donna Slater     5th March 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has signed an updated Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Directive, which was gazetted on March 4, laying the foundation for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to process claims for the new TERS extension. The new Directive is... 

Renewables procurement to resume  

5th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's plans to resume the procurement of renewable energy after a six-year stall, what commitments have been made by government and the potential for industrialisation around the programme?   

Renewables procurement to resume

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