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Scientists advised Cabinet to go to Level 1, govt chose middle ground - Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      Updated 6 hours ago President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that scientists who are advising government on the response to the coronavirus crisis recommended that South Africa could move to Level 1 of the nationwide lockdown, as it had become a "blunt tool" in curbing the spread of the pandemic in the country. But the... 

Scientists advised Cabinet to go to Level 1, govt chose middle ground - Ramaphosa

Pupils will now return to school on June 8, says basic education department

By: African News Agency      Updated 6 hours ago Pupils will only return to school on June 8, the basic education department said on Sunday night. The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) met on Saturday to assess the state of readiness for reopening schools, the department said in a statement. 

PRASA not ready to resume commuter operations under Covid-19 level 3, says Mbalula

By: African News Agency      Updated 6 hours ago While the Gautrain will resume its OR Tambo International Airport service when the coronavirus (Covid-19) level 3 regulations come into effect on June 1, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is not yet ready to resume Metrorail commuter services, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula... 

Phased reopening of air travel to start with main airports under Covid-19 regulations and directives

By: African News Agency      Updated 6 hours ago Commercial aircraft movement, subject to the coronavirus (Covid-19) level 3 lockdown regulations as of June 1, will start with OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International, King Shaka International, and Lanseria International in phase 1 of three phases, Transport Minister Fikile... 

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 Cabinet’s economic cluster sought to offer assurances on Friday that significant preparations had been made to facilitate a safe transition to a Level 3 lockdown from June 1, which opens the way for the return to work of eight-million more people. The easing of the lockdown is expected to... 

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

28th May 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

Covid-19 pall hangs over Nampak’s recovery prospects  

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 Packaging group Nampak announced on Friday that impairments of R3-billion, which related to its Nigerian and Angolan operations, had contributed materially to a slump in its interim results for the period to March 31. The outlook for the business was also uncertain, with the Covid-19 pandemic... 

Nampak CEO Erik Smuts in conversation with Engineering News editor Terence Creamer on the group's interim results and its future strategy and prospects. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

New Sansa/Nasa project hopefully to start operations in late 2024 

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 The project for a new deep space network ground station in South Africa, which is a collaborative venture between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and its American counterpart, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), is still in its study phase, Sansa Space... 

New Sansa/Nasa project hopefully to start operations in late 2024
Photo by SANSA
The rising sun silhouettes three of the dish antennas at SANSA Space Operations Hartebeesthoek complex

MBA North calls on all stakeholders to reach force majeure consensus

By: Irma Venter     29th May 2020 As the construction industry gears up to return to work when the national Covid-19 lockdown moves to Alert Level 3, industry stakeholders need to come together to reach consensus on a number of contentious issues, says MBA North president and Gothic Construction director Wayne Albertyn.   “A key... 

MBA North calls on all stakeholders to reach force majeure consensus

South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 South Africa’s emission levels are as high as those of the eight-times-larger UK economy, EDS Systems business development head Eckart Zollner pointed out on Friday, when he also drew attention to the mounting pressure on South Africa’s biggest polluters to curb their greenhouse-gas (GHG)... 

South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny
Eskom's coal-fired Duvha power station.

Airline industry – global, regional, national – being decimated by Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken by most governments to contain it, including national lockdowns, severe travel restrictions and even total flight bans, have had an incredibly severe impact of the commercial aviation industry worldwide. At the end of last month, the... 

Airline industry – global, regional, national – being decimated by Covid-19

OR Tambo International Airport reports surge in air cargo operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 State-owned Airports Company South Africa’s OR Tambo International Airport, east of Johannesburg, has reported that, over the period from March 26 to May 22, it handled 1 400 arriving and departing air cargo flights. This amounted to a 62% increase over the same period last year. For April – the... 

DHL makes acquisition to grow e-commerce footprint in Africa

By: Irma Venter     29th May 2020 DHL Express has acquired a minority stake in Link Commerce, the UK-based e-commerce firm that helped the logistics company develop its DHL Africa eShop platform. The acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing e-commerce in Africa, says DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa CEO Hennie... 

DHL makes acquisition to grow e-commerce footprint in Africa

Parliamentary committee concerned at failure of Denel to deliver on key army project

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence has revealed that the South African Army’s R9-billion Hoefyster (‘Horseshoe’) project, to acquire 264 Badger infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) from Denel Land Systems (DLS), is now running three years and nine months late. The Badger is intended to... 

PRASA administrator announces new permanent executive appointments

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo on May 29 announced new permanent executive appointments to the State-owned rail entity. The appointments are the culmination of a rigorous process, overseen by external recruitment agencies, as well as experts in... 

Paediatric experts say kids are at low risk of contracting, spreading Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 Paediatric experts, who serve on an advisory subcommittee to the Department of Basic Education, on May 29 discussed the risks for schoolgoing children to contract and spread Covid-19. A virtual seminar hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) provided evidence-based information about... 

Paediatric experts say kids are at low risk of contracting, spreading Covid-19

Different scenarios possible for country’s energy sector in face of pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 With the uncertainty and ever-changing environment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to predict what the impact will be on South Africa's energy sector; however, there are different scenarios that could play out and industry role-players will need to navigate these new energy... 

Raubex divisions see return to profitability

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Infrastructure development and construction materials supply group Raubex managed to maintain sufficient capacity to participate in any improvement in the sector, while simultaneously undertaking rightsizing initiatives has seen the company’s roads and earthworks division return to profitability.... 

Futuristic thinking required for manufacturing sector in light of pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 Amid the uncertainty created by Covid-19, manufacturing businesses should pursue futurist thinking to create strategies for their businesses to ensure they remain resilient, Futureworld business strategist Craig Wing said during the first of the Manufacturing Indaba’s ‘Preparing for a progressive... 

Stefanutti starts implementing restructuring plan, expects 610c loss

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 JSE-listed construction and engineering group Stefanutti Stocks has announced that a restructuring plan for the company has been completed and approved by its board, including having regard to the potential impact of Covid-19. The company appointed a strategic restructuring team in November to... 

Bell's full-year earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Local original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bell Equipment achieved headline earnings a share of 80c a share for the year ended December 31, while earnings a share were 79c. This compares with headline earnings a share of 278c and earnings a share of 283c reported for the prior financial year. 

BBC, Treasury discuss how to enhance impact of R200bn loan guarantee scheme

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Black professional, business associations and chambers confederation, the Black Business Council (BBC), led by its president Sandile Zungu, and the National Treasury, led by the Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo, met recently to consider ways to enhance the R200-billion loan guarantee... 

Ramaphosa tables support for 2yr debt standstill for African countries

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Addressing members of the African Union (AU) on development financing for developing countries in the era of Covid-19, chairperson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Africa was encouraged by the collaboration of the Group of 20 economies, the Bretton Woods institutions and the... 

Jasco CEO steps down, company monitors Covid-19 impact

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 JSE-listed Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren has resigned, effective May 31, after a restructure. Deputy chairperson alternate Pete da Silva will serve as interim CEO as the board evaluates potential successors. 

Leasehold Programme can contribute to smallholder agricultural development after lockdown

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 The Leasehold Programme – a collaborative partnership between the Jobs Fund, communities and sugar miller Tongaat Hulett – is expected to be able to support agricultural development of smallholder farmers. The 2014 Sugarcane Development Initiative, which is a public-private partnership between... 

Zambia's CEC to discontinue power supply to Konkola Copper Mines

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago Zambia's Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC) will stop supplying power to Vedanta's local unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) from Monday, it said after talks on an extension to their supply agreement broke down over debt owed to CEC. Zambia's Energy Minister Mathew Nhkuwa told Reuters that KCM would now... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday urged mines to test for Covid-19 to the full extent without fearing mine closure. The Minister was responding to a media question on the steps the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was taking to end the backlog of... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Gwede Mantashe

Coronavirus: Employees can refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe – labour minister

By: News24Wire      29th May 2020 Employees have a right to refuse to return to work next month if they have a "reasonable belief" their employers have not put in place required precautions against the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace, according to Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Nxesi was one of several ministers... 

 Coronavirus: Employees can refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe – labour minister
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Department commends UIF's efforts

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is continuing to make a difference to the lives of many people in South Africa, with timely cash injections, despite the pandemic continuing to impact on many lives, the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) said in a statement on May 29. Since the... 

Huawei unveils P40 Pro in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 Information and communication technology giant Huawei has launched its new Huawei P40 series in South Africa. The new generation mobile phone series, powered by Kirin 990 fifth-generation (5G) and supporting high-speed 5G and WiFi 6 Plus, represents Huawei’s vision of the future of mobile imaging... 

Absa donates R5m to Universities South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 Banking group Absa has sponsored learning devices and mobile data valued at R5-million to Universities South Africa (USAf). USAf and Absa plan to distribute the devices to six identified universities to enable online or remote learning for students. 

Protocol to ensure safety on construction sites

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 The Construction Management Foundation (CMF) welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reopening of all construction and infrastructure works under Alert Level 3 on the Risk Adjusted Strategy that will commence on June 1 as a positive step in helping to reinvigorate the construction sector. The... 

Enviro association calls for admin, practitioners to be allowed to resume work

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 The Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (Eapasa) has called on government to allow environment-impact assessment (EIA) processes to continue, particularly for projects related to the provision of services and infrastructure with a public-interest focus. The... 

This year's Electra Mining cancelled

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Organisers of Southern Africa’s mining, manufacturing, automation, electrical and power trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions, reports that the 2020 edition of the trade fair has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s show had been scheduled to... 

Fuel price set to rise as economy gears up for Level 3 – AA

By: News24Wire      29th May 2020 The fall in the petrol price of recent months is set to come to an end in June, according to the latest projections released by the Automobile Association on Friday. The Association said in a statement that petrol is expected to increase by up to R1.18 a litre. The association also expects an... 

 Fuel price set to rise as economy gears up for Level 3 – AA

Global mining industry will need to operate, sustain itself under new normal post Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 The mining and metals industry will need to operate under a new normal post Covid-19, one in which it can operate and sustain itself under the new constraints and challenges that a post-pandemic world brings with it, says industry research company Fitch Solutions. The pandemic and its aftermath... 

Trade union takes Denel to court over nonpayment of salaries

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 Trade union UASA announced that it has started legal action against State-owned defence industrial group Denel. This is because the company has failed to pay its employees their salaries on the agreed date of May 25. Denel informed the union that it would also not be able to pay its staff in June... 

Cabinet approves new partnership between South African and US space agencies

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 During its latest meeting (on May 27) the South African Cabinet approved a partnership between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and its US counterpart, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). This partnership will see South Africa hosting one of the ground... 

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