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

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 2 hours 54 minutes ago 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’

Electric truck refrigeration manufacturer looks to global market

By: Irma Venter     Updated 1 hour 39 minutes ago 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

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

By: Irma Venter     Updated 1 hour 35 minutes ago 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

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

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 2 hours 23 minutes ago 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... 

100 MW Kipeto wind power project connected to Kenyan grid

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 2 hours 22 minutes ago 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

MMC condemns rampant cable theft in Joburg

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 50 minutes ago 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     Updated 52 minutes ago 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     Updated 1 hour 30 minutes ago 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... 

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa

By: Thabi Madiba     Updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago 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     Updated 1 hour 59 minutes ago 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... 

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... 

Redefine Properties resolves not to declare full-year dividend

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2021 The board of real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties has resolved not to pay a dividend in respect of the 2020 financial year, in the face of ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty. The board explained in a January 22 statement that it had considered the needs of all stakeholders in the... 

‘Comply with Political Party Funding Act’ – Pityana urges business, politicians

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd January 2021 With the Political Party Funding Act expected to come into effect from April 1, Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana has called on political parties and business to urgently comply with the legislation. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the signing of the Act, on Friday, paving... 

‘Comply with Political Party Funding Act’ – Pityana urges business, politicians
Busa president Sipho Pityana

AfCTFA to help drive continent’s economic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd January 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can help drive the continent’s economic recovery from the deadly coronavirus pandemic and spur transformation, says Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) regional integration and trade division director Stephen Karingi. He says that, given that... 

Extraterrestrial oceanography sees scientists probing the depths of Titan’s largest sea

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2021 Astronomers at Cornell University, at Ithaca in the US state of New York, have used radar data to determine that the biggest sea on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is, near its centre, at least 300 m deep. The sea is named Kraken Mare, and it is estimated to have a surface area of some 400 000... 

Extraterrestrial oceanography sees scientists probing the depths of Titan’s largest sea
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of the Kraken Mare

Tito Mboweni asks for more time for Treasury report after missing first deadline

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise asking that the legislature grant National Treasury an extension for the submission of its annual report and financial statements, while it irons out differences with the office of the Auditor General. The letter... 

Tito Mboweni asks for more time for Treasury report after missing first deadline
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Hamburg plans green hydrogen plant with Shell, Mitsubishi, Vattenfall

By: Reuters     22nd January 2021 Hamburg is planning to generate green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable power, at a plant it will develop with energy firms Shell, Mitsubishi and Vattenfall, the city state said on Friday. Hamburg's municipal heating company has signed a letter of intent with the three companies to... 

Tribunal issues order for interim arrangement in GovChat, WhatsApp and Facebook matter

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd January 2021 The Competition Tribunal has released an order for an interim arrangement until it issues its decision in the interim relief application against WhatsApp and Facebook by Government’s WhatsApp-based citizen engagement platform. The order, which will regulate the arrangements between GovChat,... 

Manica Namibia completes first use of new hopper, bagging system

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2021 Logistics and marine services provider Manica Group Namibia recently invested in an advanced mobile hopper and bagging system and has successfully completed the first use of this equipment. The bagging plant allows for products to be shipped in bulk and bagged at the destination, quayside. The... 

Manica Namibia completes first use of new hopper, bagging system
Nectar hopper and bagger system

South Africa’s widening budget gap may drive up tax targets

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2021 South Africa may be forced to revise its tax increase targets as its budget shortfall is set to breach wartime levels for a second consecutive year. The budget deficit will reach 11% of gross domestic product in the fiscal year through March 2022, according to the median estimate of 13 economists... 

Saice welcomes new construction industry umbrella body

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd January 2021 The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) has welcomed the establishment of the newly formed construction industry umbrella body, the Construction Alliance South Africa (Casa). Saice CEO Vishaal Lutchman says the institution “looks forward to playing an active role in creating a... 

France is enthusiastic about hosting upcoming summits focused on Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2021 The French Embassy in Pretoria has reported that France was looking forward, with much anticipation, to the Africa-France Summit and the International Financing Summit for Africa, which would both be held in the country during this year. The Africa-France Summit was scheduled to take place at... 

Barloworld restructures its Motor Retail business in R947m deal 

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 Barloworld has entered into an agreement with NMI Durban South Motors (NMI-DSM) to dispose of its Motor Retail business as a going concern for R947-million. NMI-DSM is a joint venture of the Barloworld group, in which Barloworld holds a 50% interest alongside the Akoo family.  

Barloworld restructures its Motor Retail business in R947m deal

Spotlight on emerging markets a boon for South Africa's private equity to build another Rain or SweepSouth

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 Fund managers, who are backing startups, SMEs and other business ventures that banks don't ordinarily touch, are expecting a bumper year in 2021 after Covid-19 disrupted most of the fundraising initiatives last year. The private equity and venture capital industry, which in South Africa was given... 

Thales' challenge to racketeering charge it faces with Zuma dismissed - paving way for trial to start  

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has dismissed with costs French arms company Thales' bid to challenge the racketeering charge it faces along with former president Jacob Zuma. The case brought by Thales, which is being represented by Oscar Pistorius' former defence advocate Barry... 

Craft Craze app to boost craft beverage manufacturers’ reach

By: Donna Slater     22nd January 2021 A mobile application (app) – Craft Craze – has been developed to further the market reach and ease of access to South African-made craft beverages, including the growing craft beer market. Prototype app development started in March 2019, after which Craft Craze presented the concept to breweries... 

Craft Craze app to boost craft beverage manufacturers’ reach
A selection of craft beers typically found on the Craft Craze app

Regulatory, policy constraints continue to bedevil SA's distributed generation market 

22nd January 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the fact that South Africa is still experiencing load-shedding, but remains slow to open up the market to distributed energy projects, as well as about what could be done to realise this pent-up potential. 

Regulatory, policy constraints continue to bedevil SA's distributed generation market

Forrest paves the way for green steel

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd January 2021 Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has pledged iron-ore major Fortescue to a green energy future, unveiling plans for green steelmaking in the Pilbara. In the first ABC Boyer Lecture for 2021, which will be aired over the weekend, Forrest in a recorded message stated that Fortescue would build... 

Forrest paves the way for green steel
Photo by Bloomberg
Fortescue founder and chairperson Andrew Forrest

Positive and passionate Kim Pratley passes away

By: Schalk Burger     22nd January 2021 South African industrial chemicals and supplies manufacturer Pratley has announced the passing of  CEO and MD Kim Pratley on January 19. “As a company, we mourn the passing of our beloved father, dedicated MD, mentor, friend and colleague. His passing leaves a deep hole in the lives of everyone... 

Positive and passionate Kim Pratley passes away
Kim Pratley

African tech startup funding passes $700m in record-breaking 2020

By: Schalk Burger     22nd January 2021 New funding records were set over the course of 2020 as 397 technology startups raised $701.5-million. These figures have increased substantially compared with the previous year, with the number of funded startups having increased by 27.7% compared with 2019, while total funding grew by 42.7%,... 

2021 poised to be significant year of transition for SA’s energy and minerals sectors 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2021 This year could prove to be game changing for the long-term prospects and resilience of South Africa’s energy and minerals sectors. The electricity sector, which together with Eskom has sapped confidence and growth from the South African economy for more than a decade, should begin its slow... 

2021 poised to be significant year of transition for SA’s energy and minerals sectors

Busa pays tribute to Mthembu

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st January 2021 Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) says organised business mourns the passing of Jackson Mthembu, who was "one of South Africa’s hardest-working Ministers and a reliable social partner to engage with". Mthembu passed away this week from Covid-19-related complications. 

Japan and the UK partnering on robotics for use in nuclear facilities

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2021 Japan and the UK are partnering to develop and deploy new automation and robotics techniques for use in both the decommissioning of nuclear plants and the development of nuclear fusion energy. The project, designated LongOps, will receive £12-million in funding and will run for four years. The... 

Reserve Bank keeps rates on hold at 3.5%

By: News24Wire      21st January 2021 The Reserve Bank has decided to keep rates unchanged at 3.5%, in line with the expectations of economists. Governor Lesetja Kganyago made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, following the bank's Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) first meeting for the year this week. Two of the MPC's five... 

Pandemic management, vaccine to shape economies in 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 Three factors will determine the trajectory of the global economy in 2021, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu chief global economist Dr Ira Kalish has said. Speaking during a virtual executive conference hosted by professional services organisation Deloitte on January 20, he said the path of the pandemic... 

Satellites successfully used to count wild elephants

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2021 A team of scientists from British and Dutch universities have, for the first time, used satellite imagery combined with ‘deep learning’ (data processing artificial intelligence) to successfully count large animals in complex and varied terrestrial landscapes. Previously, this approach had been... 

As South Africa veers from NDP jobs and poverty goals ‘course corrections’ proposed 

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2021 With the National Development Plan’s (NDP’s) goals of achieving full employment and eliminating poverty by 2030 already out of reach ahead of the onset of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, which has since obliterated the plan’s objectives entirely, the outgoing National Planning Commission (NPC) has... 

As South Africa veers from NDP jobs and poverty goals ‘course corrections’ proposed

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