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Local ventilator production could start within a month, says Naacam  

By: Irma Venter     3rd April 2020 Much of the reverse engineering on the Penlon Nuffield 200 ventilator is complete, with prototype production imminent, says National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers executive director Renai Moothilal. “If things go according to plan, full-scale volume production can... 

Local ventilator production could start within a month, says Naacam 
The Penlon Nuffield 200

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

2nd April 2020 For the duration of South Africa’s 21-day 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

Eskom wants Medupi Unit 3 defect repairs completed on schedule despite Covid-19 restrictions 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has not shifted its April 9 deadline for returning Medupi Unit 3 to service, despite work restrictions imposed at the Lephalale site, in Limpopo, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The unit was shut for 75 days on January 26 to address defects that... 

Eskom wants Medupi Unit 3 defect repairs completed on schedule despite Covid-19 restrictions
Photo by Bloomberg
All work has been stopped on Kusile units 4, 5 and 6 for the duration of the lockdown

March used-car sales provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     3rd April 2020 There is little positive news at the moment, but used-car sales in South Africa during March do provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader CEO George Minnie. He says March began well, and used-car sales were on track to sustain this year’s positive performance. 

March used-car sales provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader

Hulamin finalises acquisition of rolling slab business from Isizinda venture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 JSE-listed aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin says all conditions have been fulfilled around the transaction between its subsidiary Hulamin Operations (Hulamin Opco) and Bingelela Capital to acquire the rolling slab business from Isizinda Aluminium company. The Isizinda company owns the... 

Hulamin finalises acquisition of rolling slab business from Isizinda venture

Airlink working with SAA to solve re-ticketing problem for post-lockdown flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 South African private sector airline Airlink has announced that it is working with State-owned flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) to ensure a smooth process for the revalidation and re-accommodation of tickets and vouchers issued by SAA for future Airlink flights. When scheduled air... 

Comair deal to acquire two businesses mutually terminated

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 In an announcement on the (Johannesburg) Stock Exchange News Service on April 3, South African private sector airline group Comair announced that an agreement for it to purchase Star Air Maintenance (SAM) and Star Air Cargo (SAC) had been terminated “by mutual consent”, with effect from March 31.... 

M&R outlines evolving impact of Covid-19 disruptions to its projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) has noted the evolving impact of Covid-19 on its active projects in Australasia, the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa. The Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia, which the company’s Oil & Gas and Underground Mining platforms run in joint venture with a third partner,... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

National Treasury highlights PFMA extensions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 Following the declaration of a state of disaster and a national lockdown in the country, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), has issued an exemption notice to institutions to which that Act applies to ensure effective financial management and to... 

Two new cranes delivered to Port Elizabeth terminal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal (PECT) has taken delivery of two new mobile harbour cranes from equipment manufacture Liebherr. “The arrival of these two modern cranes will ensure that our promise to industry is realised,” says Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) acting CE Michelle Phillips. 

Two new cranes delivered to Port Elizabeth terminal
Solutions delivered

South Africa’s dam levels rise marginally

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2020 South Africa’s dam water levels increased marginally from 66.8% to 67% week-on-week, the average boosted by rising dam levels in the Free State. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) weekly report shows Gauteng has the highest dam levels in the country, with its water storage full,... 

DWS steps up deployment of water tanks and tankers

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2020 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has delivered 852 water tanks and 20 tankers to water-stressed communities across Gauteng. The department, along with Rand Water and municipalities, are working to provide water to desperate communities in the most densely populated informal... 

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 South Africa’s 2020 wine grape crop will still yield exceptional wines despite uncertainty at first considering South Africa’s lockdown practices, says industry body Vinpro. The industry is harvesting the last few thousand tonnes of crops across ten wine regions in the country, owing to a... 

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

Broadband Infraco, ItakaneICT partner to enable cashless platforms

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2020 Broadband Infraco and ItakaneICT have partnered to deploy cashless payment platforms to rural and disadvantaged communities. The move will help in dispensing and transacting financially without using physical cash amid the Covid-19 outbreak. 

South African tech community throngs to help government fight Covid-19 threat

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Hundreds of volunteer information and communication technology (ICT) professionals have contributed data, tools and skills to develop a vulnerability map that illustrate the communities most at risk from the Covid-19 pandemic. This map has been presented to a Presidential planning meeting,... 

Wits researchers propose a simple solution to a geological conundrum

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Geosciences have proposed an explanation for a phenomenon that has long puzzled geologists. The researchers are Professor Rais Latypov and Dr Sofya Chistyakova and their research has been published in the journal Geology. The puzzle... 

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

By: Donna Slater     3rd April 2020 Nature conservation organisation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), reports that the world population of black rhino has risen from about 2 500 in the 1990s to 5 600. Independent conservation organisation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) attributes some of that... 

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

JDA appoints new CEO

By: Donna Slater     3rd April 2020 Infrastructure development project administrator for the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), has appointed Anthony Ngcezula as CEO, effective April 1. His appointment is for a term of five years.  

JDA appoints new CEO
Anthony Ngcezula

Standard Chartered to launch $50m global fund for Covid-19 relief

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 International banking group Standard Chartered has launched a $50-million global fund to provide assistance to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Half of the funding will immediately be deployed for relief in the group’s most affected markets, while the balance will help communities over... 

Both large, small markets suffering solar PV supply chain effects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 The disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on Chinese solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing companies has prompted a major jolt in the global solar PV supply chain, says analytics and consulting company GlobalData. “The resulting shortage of PV components is disrupting the industry at a... 

Energy storage demand remains high despite global slowdown

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 If Covid-19 mitigation measures continue to be extended, effectively curtailing the movement of goods and people, through the second quarter of this year, research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) says it will have to lower its global energy storage deployments forecast for the year... 

Energy storage demand remains high despite global slowdown

Worldwide, passenger air traffic fell sharply in February, Iata reports

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Global air passenger traffic in February, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, fell by 14.1% in comparison to February 2019, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on April 2. This was the sharpest fall since the notorious terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the... 

South Africans abroad are now allowed to return home - but the how is unclear 

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2020 South Africans who are abroad and want to return during the lockdown are allowed to do so, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has said. The how, however, remains unclear. Mthembu tweeted the update on Friday morning, elaborating on remarks made by National Command Council ministers on... 

South Africans abroad are now allowed to return home - but the how is unclear
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu

BMG gets go ahead to operate during lockdown

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 Engineering solutions company BMG has been authorised as an essential service to provide its components and support services during the remainder of South Africa’s lockdown period ending at midnight on April 16. The BMG team is on hand and its distribution centre in Johannesburg is stocked to... 

BMG gets go ahead to operate during lockdown

Steep drop in movement around SA cities during lockdown, Google data shows 

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2020 South Africa has seen a steep decline in the number of people moving around cities in the wake of the announcement of a 21-day lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa, according to new 'mobility report' data released by Google on Friday. The data – which Google released in a bid to help officials... 

 Steep drop in movement around SA cities during lockdown, Google data shows

Boeing temporarily closes its military helicopter manufacturing plants

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing announced on April 2 that it was, with effect from close of business on April 3, suspending production at its complex at Ridley Township (just south of Philadelphia International Airport in the US state of Pennsylvania) for two weeks, as a result of the... 

Boeing temporarily closes its military helicopter manufacturing plants
A Boeing CH-47 Chinook of the UK Royal Air Force firing flares (UK MOD)

Rand weakens to all-time low, as analysts warn it may breach R20/$

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2020 The rand hit a new all-time low on Friday morning, as it continued to battle the impact of last week's credit rating downgrade by Moody's and Covid-19 fears which have seen investors fleeing risky emerging market currencies. The local currency weakened 1.7% to R18.77/$, and it is now nearly 40%... 

 Rand weakens to all-time low, as analysts warn it may breach R20/$

South African private sector activity falls to record low in March -PMI

By: Reuters     3rd April 2020 South African private sector activity fell to a record low in March, a business survey showed on Friday, as the global coronavirus pandemic led to the sharpest drop in output and new orders the survey has ever recorded. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was at 44.5 in March from 48.4... 

Gold has a role to play in Covid-19 testing toolbox

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 Gold is being used in new Covid-19 rapid tests around the world, which identify the presence of biomarkers from the body’s immune response to Covid-19 instead of looking for the virus itself. The tests can also help detect if a person has been infected with Covid-19 even after the virus is no... 

Gold has a role to play in Covid-19 testing toolbox

Bowmans outlines tax impact of Covid-19 on mining companies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 During the 21-day lockdown period, mining operations in South Africa will scale down significantly, and the effect on deep-level mines will probably be the most significant, says specialist legal provider Bowmans tax executive Adéle de Jager. The majority of mines have been placed into care and... 

DRD consulting with govt, labour to restart Far West Rand gold recoveries 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2020 Surface gold mining company DRDGold is considering re-starting operations at its Far West Gold Recoveries surface retreatment operation at Carletonville, south-west of Johannesburg, in consultation with government and organised labour. DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius states on the company’s website... 

DRD consulting with govt, labour to restart Far West Rand gold recoveries
Photo by Creamer Media
Niël Pretorius

GBCSA to launch home green rating system next year

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has motivated South Africans to get a certified green rating for their homes. The council explains that the Green Home Rating System for existing buildings will look to shift South Africa’s homes to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable... 

GBCSA to launch home green rating system next year

Food security identified as great Covid-19 concern in Southern Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd April 2020 Food security has been identified as one of the biggest concerns in Southern Africa amid the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing lockdowns in countries across the continent. In a webinar on April 2, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that, as most countries have... 

Food security identified as great Covid-19 concern in Southern Africa

Averda, Gift of the Givers collaborate on medical waste management

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 International waste management company Averda has entered into a strategic partnership with African disaster response nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Gift of the Givers, to provide necessary medical waste management services to its mobile testing stations across the country free of charge for... 

Iata calls African countries to support their airlines during the Covid-19 crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 The global representative organisation for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), issued on April 2 a call for African and Middle Eastern governments to financially support their airlines, directly and/or indirectly. This was because of the havoc being wrought... 

Africa requires centrality in response strategy for Covid-19 – CDC speaker

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic on the African continent will require a collaborative, cooperative and effective communication approach, with the recognition that the situation will not be resolved in any single State if it is not resolved in each and every country. This was indicated by... 

Absa pledges financial support to SMMEs

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd April 2020 Financial institution Absa has partnered with the South African Future Trust (SAFT) to administer the disbursement of funds to small-, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) whose income will be impacted on in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a sign of support, Absa, alongside three other... 

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