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Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects

By: Irma Venter     Updated 1 hour 10 minutes ago The four major rehabilitation and expansion projects on the South African side of the N4 Toll Route are back on track, says toll road manager Trans African Concessions (Trac). All sites were officially opened in the second week of May and are fully operational. 

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom aims, within the coming months, to seek authorisation from its board and government to initiate a formal bidding process for the repurposing and repowering of the Camden, Komati, Grootvlei and Hendrina coal-fired power stations using lower-carbon generation... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations

Public Enterprises reports nearly all unions have withdrawn objections to SAA packages

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has announced that all but one of the unions representing staff at South African Airways (SAA), plus the representatives of the non-unionised staff, have now stated that they would not object to the DPE or SAA offering voluntary severance packages (VSPs)... 

Tongaat, Barloworld appoint third party to check for material adverse change

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 2 hours 55 minutes ago JSE-listed companies Tongaat Hulett and Barloworld have appointed Rothschild and Co South Africa as the independent third party to evaluate whether a material adverse change (MAC) had occurred in the sale and purchase agreement terms between the companies. The sale and purchase agreement... 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

2nd July 2020 For the duration of South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown period, Creamer Media is providing free digital access to our flagship Engineering News & Mining Weekly news magazine. Click now to read our latest edition. 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

MTN maintains best network status in lockdown, rain hit by incorrect spectrum

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 3 hours ago Telecommunications giant MTN has, once again, been named South Africa’s best mobile network for the second quarter of 2020. The MyBroadband Insights quarterly Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN has a network quality score of 9.94 during South Africa’s lockdown, higher than its first... 

SAPVIA elects new board members

By: Donna Slater     Updated 3 hours ago Solar energy industry body, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has announced the names of its new board members. This follows their election during a recent annual general meeting.  

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’

South African govt initiates process of developing societal hydrogen roadmap  

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2020 South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has initiated a process, with other government and industry stakeholders, to develop a roadmap that will lead South Africa towards a hydrogen society, Mining Weekly can today report. The aim is to create a policy document that will inform... 

South African govt initiates process of developing societal hydrogen roadmap
South African government initiates development of societal hydrogen roadmap

Renergen believes Virginia project could relieve global helium shortage woes

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen says its Virginia project, in South Africa’s Free State province, has the potential to be the answer to the world’s helium shortage woes following a recent helium prospective resources report, which confirms that the project has undiscovered gross... 

Renergen believes Virginia project could relieve global helium shortage woes
The compression station at Renergen's Virginia gas project, in the Free State.

UJ engineers develop 3D-printed ventilator that supports multiple patients 

By: Irma Venter     7th July 2020 An engineering team from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has designed and developed a portable 3D-printed mechanical ventilator that has a customisable base plate to treat multiple patients. The ventilator, named Aura Imprimere – meaning a breeze of air provided by printing – also allows... 

UJ engineers develop 3D-printed ventilator that supports multiple patients 
The UJ team with the ventilator

Public Enterprises calls on unions to agree among themselves on SAA’s future

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises has urged unions representing employees of financially-embattled State-owned airline South African Airways to hold bilateral meetings among themselves to establish an agreed future for the carrier. SAA was under business rescue and its creditors were scheduled... 

Mazda unveils new BT-50, supplied by Isuzu

By: Irma Venter     7th July 2020 Mazda Motor Corporation has lifted the veil on its all-new Mazda BT-50 bakkie.  Fully redesigned for the first time in nine years, the new BT-50 is supplied by fellow Japanese manufacturer, Isuzu Motor Limited.  

Mazda unveils new BT-50, supplied by Isuzu
The new BT-50

Omnia more than halves debt as stabilisation plan is concluded

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings reports that it achieved solid results for the financial year ended March 31, noting that this reflected the finalisation of the group’s stabilisation plan which included the successful recapitalisation of the business. Omnia’s balance sheet... 

South Africa's consumer confidence crashes to lowest level since 1985 

By: African News Agency      7th July 2020 Consumer confidence in South Africa plunged to its lowest in about 35 years during the second quarter of 2020, dragged down by the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent severe restrictions to almost all non-essential economic activity, a survey showed on Tuesday. The First National Bank/Bureau of... 

South Africa's consumer confidence crashes to lowest level since 1985

Tongaat's starch sale receives competition approval, but MAC dispute still unresolved

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved, without conditions, the disposal of JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett’s starch business to fellow-listed Barloworld. However, the transaction still awaits approval from the competition authorities in Indonesia, while a third-party investigation into a material... 

PRASA appoints acting chief procurement officer

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has appointed Willie Mathebula acting group chief procurement officer, with effect from July 7. He assumes the position which has been left vacant by the departure of previous incumbent Keabetswe Mpane.  

New science, tech policy book focuses on transformative policy making

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A new book authored by a host of international scientists and policy advisors sets out the theories, approaches and lessons for how science, technology and innovation (STI) policy making should be developed to ensure the intended benefits of research, development, innovation, progress and... 

Gauteng Covid-19 visualisation platform enables monitoring, prediction

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A visual analytics tool allows Gauteng Government users to visualise prediction models provided by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to see predicted active Covid-19 cases, as well as predicted bed availability over time. This can help determine where to focus resources ahead of when... 

Committee concerned about impact of new budget on electrification backlog target

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 While still in the process of reviewing the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s revised budget for the 2020/21 financial year, the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has noted its revision to R7.8-billion, from R9.3-billion previously. The revised budget follows after... 

City of Johannesburg invites tech startups to submit Covid-19 mitigation ideas

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ’s) Smart City Office has invited startup technology companies to submit proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and innovative ideas on how we can go into the future together. “The lockdown protocols have ignited new... 

Massmart warns up to 1 800 Game employees could be retrenched

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Retail firm Massmart has started consultations with organized labour and other relevant stakeholders, with respect to the possible retrenchment of up to 1 800 employees in its Game stores in South Africa. The consultation process forms part of the firm’s opportunities assessment to improve Game... 

Rain doubles Pargo pick-up points for Sims

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th July 2020 Data network provider rain and Pargo have more than doubled the number of pick-up points available for rain’s fourth-generation (4G) Sim cards amid a growing demand for the data-only Sim cards. There are now 260 Pargo pick-up points at selected Clicks stores across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the... 

Cement sector welcomes Sidssa commitments, urges increased local content

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st July 2020 The South African cement industry, represented by industry organisation, The Concrete Institute (TCI), has welcomed the outcomes of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (Sidssa), held last week.  The symposium was convened by Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa, head of the... 

Solar energy offers benefits for airports

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 Airports in Africa have the opportunity to implement solar energy projects that will have various benefits, ranging from environmental to financial, speakers said during an Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA-hosted) webinar on July 7. Barrett Energy principal Stephen Barrett said solar... 

Kenya Airways plans to cut back to meet Covid-19 crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2020 An internal Kenya Airways memo from its CEO, Allan Kilavuka, dated July 3 and leaked to the Reuters news agency by July 6, stated that Kenya’s national flag carrier was going to have to downsize in order to survive the crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya halted all commercial air... 

Kenya Airways plans to cut back to meet Covid-19 crisis
A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner of Kenya Airways

Emirates continues to restore its SkyCargo network

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2020 Air cargo operator Emirates SkyCargo, part of the Emirates airline group, has announced that it is this month resuming operations to another 14 cities around the world. This will take the total number of cities it serves to 100. The 14 additional cities that will now be served are Accra, Algiers,... 

GreenCape partners with Swiss foundation to promote cleantech companies

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 Green economy solutions company GreenCape has entered into a collaboration agreement with Solar Impulse Foundation through the International Cleantech Network (ICN). GreenCape will help the foundation to find, select and promote 1 000 clean and profitable solutions that contribute to protecting... 

Stenprop makes further acquisitions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 UK multi-let industrial (MLI) property company Stenprop has acquired a further 43 500 ft2 of MLI property across four adjoining warehouse units in Stretton Business Park, in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. The £3.75-million acquisition reflects a net initial yield of 6.9% and a capital value of... 

CDC Group backs Helios IV with $100m commitment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 UK development finance institution CDC Group has committed $100-million to Helios Investors IV, the fourth private equity fund raised by Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private equity firm. The pan-African generalist fund will invest in and build companies across the continent. 

First 1 100 foreign mineworkers scheduled to cross back into South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 1 hour 45 minutes ago The first batch of 1 100 foreign mineworkers was scheduled to cross back into South Africa on Tuesday, Mining Weekly can report. This is part of a total of 12 500 gold and platinum workers returning from Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini, formerly Swaziland. 

First 1 100 foreign mineworkers scheduled to cross back into South Africa
Mineworkers being transported in response to Covid-19.

Getting it right: Kogi Iron

By: Creamer Media Reporter      Updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago Mining Weekly incorrectly reported on July 7 that ASX-listed Kogi Iron had received a large investment from European funds management company Torridon Investments Research to develop its Agbaja cast steel project, in Nigeria. However, Torridon, which is a European funds manager with billions of... 

Tribunal fines Dis-Chem R1.2m for excessive pricing of face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has ordered pharmacy group Dis-Chem Pharmacies to pay an administrative penalty of R1.2-million for allegedly charging excessive prices for surgical face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. The tribunal says Dis-Chem contravened Section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act in... 

Covid death toll on mines rises to 21, positive cases at 3 119 

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2020 The Covid-19 death toll in the mining industry has risen to 21, Minerals Council South Africa recorded on its website on Tuesday, with the number of Covid-positive cases totalling 3 119. Platinum mining, which employs the most people, continues to have the largest number of Covid deaths so far at... 

Covid death toll on mines rises to 21, positive cases at 3 119
Photo by MINERALS COUNCIL SOUTH AFRICA
Mining industry's Covid statistics.

Correction: Kogi Iron

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 Mining Weekly incorrectly reported on July 7 that ASX-listed Kogi Iron had received a large investment from European fund management company Torridon Investments Research to develop its Agbaja cast steel project, in Nigeria. However, Torridon, which is a European fund manager with billions of... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 A collaboration between the chicken industry and nonprofit organisations (NGOs) WeCan and Atterbury Trust has delivered hope to 222 vulnerable families in Pretoria in the form of food parcels. According to principal Erich Cloete, several of the families whose children attend Westerlig Primary... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

Cleaning company fined R250 000 following 2016 Sassa tender collusion

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has, after requesting and receiving further submissions from involved parties, confirmed a consent agreement whereby corporate cleaning company Quintax Cleaning Services has admitted to collusion in 2016 with regard to a South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)... 

ECSA chief says ‘new normal’ involves putting expertise together for greater good

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) CEO Sipho Madonsela says the manner in which business operates has shifted and the need to heed the call for a “new normal” is now. His statement comes amid the continuing spread of Covid-19 throughout South Africa and while the measures taken to try... 

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