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Eskom approaches court to have R23bn equity injection added back this year 

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom will make the case later this month for the immediate execution of a High Court order stipulating that an amount of R23-billion stripped unlawfully from its allowable revenue in 2019 by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa be added back during its... 

Eskom approaches court to have R23bn equity injection added back this year

SA plans three renewable energy rounds over coming year 

By: Reuters     26th January 2021 South Africa plans to launch three procurement rounds for 6 800 MW of renewable energy over the next year, as well as a combined 5 000 MW of new coal, gas and storage, a presentation by the governing African National Congress (ANC) showed. The presentation, made at a three-day meeting of party... 

SA plans three renewable energy rounds over coming year
Wind turbines outside Caledon in the Western Cape.

Bloodhound project up for sale 

By: Irma Venter     26th January 2021 The UK’s Bloodhound land-speed record (LSR) project is looking for a new owner to take the team through to its world land-speed record attempt in 2022.  In 2019, the Bloodhound team deployed to South Africa to conduct high speed testing, with the car hitting a peak speed of 1 011 km/h, thereby... 

Bloodhound project up for sale

Transitioning fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors critical for ‘clean, just energy transitions’

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2021 The chair of a new global commission established to offer governments guidance on making their energy transitions more “people-centred” says that the creation of green jobs and the transitioning of existing fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors will be “key factors for a clean, just energy... 

Transitioning fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors critical for ‘clean, just energy transitions’

Release excess vaccines you have hoarded – Ramaphosa to rich countries  

By: Thabi Madiba     26th January 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa pleaded with richer countries, on Tuesday, to release their excess Covid-19 vaccines to countries that have yet to receive doses, voicing his concern about “vaccine nationalism”. Virtually, addressing the World Economic Forum, he noted that richer countries have acquired... 

Release excess vaccines you have hoarded – Ramaphosa to rich countries
President Cyril Ramaphosa

AfCFTA holds ‘immense potential’ for Africa, says WEF report

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds “immense potential” for the social and economic development of Africa, as renewing the rules of trade will facilitate better cooperation to boost growth, reduce poverty and broaden economic inclusion, says the World Economic Forum (WEF) .... 

Ford Resource and Engagement Centre awards grants to small businesses

By: Irma Venter     26th January 2021 The Ford Motor Company Fund is awarding the first grants from the Booth Schoch Future Success Fund to budding entrepreneurs at the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) in South Africa.  The winners are all FREC programme graduates who will share $10 000 in grants to advance their businesses.  

Ford Resource and Engagement Centre awards grants to small businesses

Death of diesel looms as carmakers accelerate to electric future

By: Reuters     26th January 2021 The world's biggest diesel engine factory in Tremery, eastern France, is undergoing a radical overhaul - it's switching to make electric motors. From less than 10% of output in 2020, electric motor production at Tremery will double to around 180 000 in 2021, and is planned to reach 900 000 a... 

Shipping container crunch shows signs of easing, index shows

By: Bloomberg     26th January 2021 A global shortage of shipping containers that’s sent ocean freight rates skyrocketing shows signs of easing, according to an index that tracks the steel boxes used to transport 90% of the global trade in goods. The Container Availability Index developed by Hamburg, Germany-based Container... 

Rolls-Royce on course, but warns of greater near-term market uncertainty

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th January 2021 UK-based global industrial technology group Rolls-Royce issued a trading update on Tuesday. It covered the group’s 2020 unaudited results and its preliminary expectations for this year. (Full year results for 2020 will be released on March 11.) “Trading in December was broadly in line with... 

UK awards contract for advanced uncrewed fighter aircraft prototype

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th January 2021 The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed a £30-million contract with a consortium of aerospace companies, led by Spirit AeroSystems Belfast (a British subsidiary of major US aerospace group Spirit AeroSystems), for the development of an advanced technology high-speed uncrewed fighter aircraft... 

Salba asks for transparency on alcohol ban

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th January 2021 Industry organisation the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has called on government to be “transparent” in the reasons for its continued ban of formal alcohol sales, claiming also that Covid-19 cases are declining. “Government justified the current alcohol ban based on the... 

Green technology boost for African mining 

By: Martin Creamer     26th January 2021 The key to unlocking value of Kabanga Nickel and enabling the full beneficiation of new era metals in Tanzania is an environment-friendly hydrometallurgy process that eliminates smelting and thus slashes the need for electricity. The Kabanga Nickel Hydromet process – which takes ore to refined... 

Green technology boost for African mining
Kabanga Nickel's value unlocked by innovative technology.

US plans entry ban for most non-citizens from South Africa

By: Bloomberg     26th January 2021 The US will ban entry to most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa in response to the new Covid-19 strain there, according to a White House official familiar with the plan. It’s unclear how long the restrictions will continue. The Biden administration will also continue... 

Biden signs 'Buy American' order, pledges to renew US manufacturing

By: Reuters     26th January 2021 President Joe Biden vowed on Monday to leverage the purchasing power of the US government, the world's biggest single buyer of goods and services, to strengthen domestic manufacturing and create markets for new technologies. The Democratic president signed an executive order aimed at closing... 

Biden signs 'Buy American' order, pledges to renew US manufacturing
US President Joe Biden

Climate change is melting ice in every continent, new study shows

By: Bloomberg     25th January 2021 Melting on the ice sheets has accelerated so much over the past three decades that it’s now in line with the worst-case climate warming scenarios outlined by scientists. A total of 28 trillion metric tons of ice was lost between 1994 and 2017, according to a research paper published in The... 

TNPA to consolidate offices at Ngqura port

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has announced plan to consolidate its various corporate offices into one at the eMendi administration building, Port of Ngqura, in Port Elizabeth, by the end of March. The State-owned entity currently has corporate offices split between Johannesburg and... 

University of Johannesburg scientist’s work boosted by astronomical observation data

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2021 A model to predict gamma ray burst (GRB) behaviour, developed by a team headed by University of Johannesburg Centre for Astro-Particle Physics director Prof. Soebur Razzaque, has been strongly supported by observational data. The data came from observations of a GRB detected on April 15 last year... 

University of Johannesburg scientist’s work boosted by astronomical observation data
Photo by European Southern Observatory
NGC 253, the Sculpture Galaxy, whose central region was the source of the GRB 200415A burst

Opinion: District Development Model must embrace science to achieve inclusivity

25th January 2021 In this opinion article, Bongani Mankewu explores the factors that could improve District Development Model outcomes. Policy is a product of science and politics. This structural definition borrows from the fundamental work of Francis Bacon (1974) and appreciates that while the utilization of... 

Opinion: District Development Model must embrace science to achieve inclusivity

Huge Group aims for secondary listing on Aim

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th January 2021 JSE-listed Huge Group is planning a secondary listing on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) of the London Stock Exchange. In an update to shareholders on January 25, the group said that the board of directors have resolved to make application for admission as a secondary listing. 

Moody’s upgrades Enel’s long-term credit rating

By: Donna Slater     25th January 2021 Credit rating company Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term rating of energy company Enel to Baa1, from the previous level of Baa2, with a stable outlook. The ratings agency has also affirmed the Prime-2 short-term ratings of the subsidiaries Enel Finance International and Enel... 

FDI flows likely to remain weak in 2021 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) reports that global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, decreasing by 42% to an estimated $859-billion, compared with about $1.5-trillion in 2019. FDI finished the year more than 30% below the trough after the global... 

Kia unveils new corporate name, strategy 

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 Kia has revealed a strategy it says will see the Korean car maker reach beyond vehicle manufacturing to “sustainable mobility solutions”. Signalling this break-away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has also announced a new corporate name and slogan. 

Kia unveils new corporate name, strategy 
Kia CEO Ho Sung Song

Eskom confirms tropical storm has ‘not had any major negative impact’ on operations

By: Simone Liedtke     25th January 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has confirmed that tropical storm Eloise has, at this stage, not had any major negative impact on its operations. The utility, however, says power lines in some parts of the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal provinces did experience localised outages... 

Zirk Botha halfway in rowing voyage

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 The 59-year-old rower Zirk Botha on January 22 reached the halfway mark in his transatlantic ocean journey from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro. The transatlantic crossing requires him to row completely unassisted for about 90 to 100 days, over about 7 000 km, or 3 800 nautical miles, in often... 

Zirk Botha halfway in rowing voyage
Zirk Botha on his Row2Rio voyage

Investment firms offer help to recapitalise Ascendis

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 JSE-listed pharmaceuticals company Ascendis Health has advised of Blantyre Capital and L1 Health's interest to have the company be recapitalised, instead of it continuing to pursue a divestment strategy. The divestment strategy was effected to reduce the highly-leveraged position of Ascendis... 

MMC condemns rampant cable theft in Joburg

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 City of Johannesburg Environment and Infrastructure Services MMC Councillor Mpho Moerane has expressed concern about the increase in electricity cable theft incidents across the city.  Since the start of the current financial year, cables worth over R14-million have been stolen. 

Salba calls for alternate measures as alcohol sales ban continues

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 The South African alcohol industry has once again voiced opposition to the continued ban on alcohol sales. Trade association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says the unintended consequences, such as illicit liquor production and distribution outweigh the pros. 

Boeing airliners to be able to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel within a decade

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2021 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has committed itself to ensuring that its commercial aeroplanes will be certified and able to fly using 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) by 2030. The group has already successfully carried out test flights powered entirely by SAF. This is to meet the... 

Digital Key Plus technology with ultra-wideband technology coming to the BMW iX.

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 German car maker BMW says it will continue with the development and popularisation of its digital key feature. In line with this goal, the group says it will introduce the Digital Key Plus, which allows BMW drivers to unlock and start their vehicles without taking their iPhones out of their bags... 

Digital Key Plus technology with ultra-wideband technology coming to the BMW iX.
BMW iX with UWB key

Electric truck refrigeration manufacturer looks to global market 

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 South Africa’s Maxwell and Spark is ready to go global, says CEO Dr Clinton Bemont. Maxwell and Spark is a Durban-based lithium-ion (li-ion) battery and systems manufacturer, responsible for producing the world’s first li-ion  truck refrigeration unit ­– called the Fridge.Li. 

Electric truck refrigeration manufacturer looks to global market

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa reinforced, on Monday, the importance of keeping South Africans informed of vaccine acquisition developments, adding that government must be held to account for all decisions made around the vaccine. Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly column to the nation that South Africa... 

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Mavuso stresses importance of implementing structural reform

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 Everyone, from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to organised labour can see what must be done to get the country back on a growth trajectory, but little seems to change, CEO Busi Mavuso says in the latest newsletter from Business Leadership South Africa. She welcomes SARB governor Lesetja... 

100 MW Kipeto wind power project connected to Kenyan grid

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 Renewable energy company Kipeto Energy (KEP) has connected the Kipeto wind farm to the national grid and will start generating power in the next week. KEP has connected a 17-km-long 220 KV high-voltage transmission line, linking the facility to the national grid at the Isinya substation, and... 

100 MW Kipeto wind power project connected to Kenyan grid
Kipeto wind farm

UFS to undertake trial to determine efficacy of Ivermectin for treating Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 University of the Free State (UFS) clinical research company FARMOVS, together with several medical and scientific experts at the university, is in the process of preparing a clinical trial protocol to determine the efficacy of Ivermectin for treating Covid-19 in a randomised, controlled study... 

Evaluation of emergency-power bids ‘by February’, with renewables bidding to open in ‘first quarter’ 

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2021 The evaluation of the 28 bids received under South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) is anticipated to be concluded by February 2021, the IPP Office has confirmed with Engineering News. The preferred bidders, it adds, will be announced as soon as... 

Evaluation of emergency-power bids ‘by February’, with renewables bidding to open in ‘first quarter’

Iodine used as a spacecraft propellant for the first time

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2021 In what could very well prove to be a major development for space technology, a satellite has used an iodine propellant to alter its orbit around the Earth. This is the first time that iodine has been used as a propellant on a spacecraft.  The iodine thruster was fitted to a commercial research... 

After pandemic, oil firms even less willing to cover $3.9bn cost of South Africa's clean fuel plan 

By: Reuters     22nd January 2021 After being hit by the pandemic, oil companies in South Africa are unlikely to upgrade refineries to cut sulphur emissions unless the government allows them to pass the costs on to consumers or offers other support, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) says. New rules... 

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