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June new-vehicle sales decline by 31%, exports down 39%

By: Irma Venter     Updated 1 hour 31 minutes ago The South African new-vehicle market returned to its first full month of sales in June since the Covid-19 lockdown started.  However, this did not mean a return to the level of sales seen before the pandemic, as the domestic market remains under pressure. 

June new-vehicle sales decline by 31%, exports down 39%

Local medical radioisotope producer continues exports despite lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 2 hours 36 minutes ago South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) subsidiary company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) has reported that, since the imposition of South Africa’s national lockdown in late March, it had been able to dispatch more than 120 shipments of medical radioisotopes to customers around the world. Both... 

Astron reports incident at Milnerton refinery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 51 minutes ago Petrochemicals company Astron Energy has confirmed that an incident occurred at its Milnerton refinery, in the Western Cape, in the early hours of July 2, but says the resultant fire has been contained and the plant stabilised. The company immediately activated its emergency response procedures... 

Sasol confirms Rompco pipeline sale ‘well advanced’ as asset disposal process kicks into gear 

By: Terence Creamer     1st July 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol confirmed on July 1 that the sale of its equity interest in the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company (Rompco) and the Central Termica de Ressano Garcia gas-fired power plant, also in Mozambique, were well advanced, along with partnering discussions... 

 Sasol confirms Rompco pipeline sale ‘well advanced’ as asset disposal process kicks into gear

Global efforts needed to fast-track clean energy innovation

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 39 minutes ago A significant and concerted global push to accelerate innovation will be needed to pave the way to the energy sector reaching net-zero emissions, according to International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) Special Report on Clean Energy Innovation. The report discusses... 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

Updated 4 hours ago 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

New study pushes for safer used vehicles to be imported into Africa 

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2020 A new study by the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), funded by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Region I, shows that the unregulated importation of cars into many African countries has had a negative effect on the continent’s environment, health, society and economy.... 

New study pushes for safer used vehicles to be imported into Africa

Tongaat concludes sale of Namibian assets

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 30 minutes ago JSE-listed sugar manufacturer Tongaat Hulett has announced that all conditions precedent related to the sale of its entire sugar packaging and distribution business in Namibia have been fulfilled. The company sold these assets, effective July 1, to breakfast cereal company Bokomo Namibia for... 

TFR implementing new online truck scheduling system at City Deep Terminal

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 36 minutes ago Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will implement the Navis Truck Appointment System at its City Deep Terminal in Johannesburg from July 6. The online truck scheduling system will not only regulate the flow of trucks to the terminal, but will also enable physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Platinum group metals in pole position to benefit from global decarbonisation thrust  

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 Platinum group metals are in pole position to benefit from the fast-growing global decarbonisation momentum, Mining Weekly can today report. A multiplicity of global announcements are emerging daily that inextricably link platinum-catalysed hydrogen fuel cells as well as platinum-catalysed... 

AP Ventures founding partner Kevin Eggers interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Easing lockdown lifts South Africa's Absa PMI in June

By: Reuters     1st July 2020 South Africa's seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) expanded in June as an easing of coronavirus restrictions lifted business activity and sales. The index, which gauges manufacturing activity in Africa's most industrialised economy, rose to 53.9 points in June from 50.2... 

Policy uncertainty in South Africa remains high, implementation risks remain

By: Schalk Burger     1st July 2020 The North West University (NWU) Business School's quarterly Policy Uncertainty Index (PUI) remained high at 57.4% in the second quarter of the year, an improvement on the 59.8% during the first quarter of the year. It remains at the highest levels since the PUI was launched in early 2016,  notes... 

2018/19 audit of local governments paints ‘undesirable picture’, says AG

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu released the audit outcomes for local government for the 2018/19 financial year, wherein 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities were audited. This report is Makwetu’s last as his fixed seven-year term as AG comes to an end on November 30. 

JSE fines Tongaat R7.5m for prior incorrect financial statements

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 The JSE has imposed a public censure on sugar company Tongaat Hulett and imposed the maximum permissible fine of R7.5-million following the company’s breach of listing requirements. The breach relates to incorrect and misleading financial statements that Tongaat published between 2011 and 2018.  

M&R subsidiary awarded EPC contract for urea plant in Western Australia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 JSE-listed construction group Murray & Roberts’ (M&R’s) wholly-owned subsidiary Clough has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor (EPC) for the development of Perdaman Industries’ multibillion-dollar urea plant on the Burrup Peninsula, in Western Australia.... 

South Africa adopts new LPG pricing formula

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has switched to a new formula for calculating official domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices. The formula is linked to global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus’ calculations of freight and logistics costs.  

Insurers’ rejection of Covid-19 claims severely impacting tourism, hospitality sectors

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st July 2020 The South African tourism and hospitality sector has been “decimated” by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, and jobs and businesses are at risk owing to insurance companies continuing to reject claims related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was indicated by specialist public loss... 

VW’s Lionesses Den initiative seeks to reward female entrepreneurs

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2020 Volkswagen and the Lionesses of Africa are on the hunt for three exceptional business pitches to win a total of R175 000 cash. As part of its partnership with Lionesses of Africa, the one-million-plus-strong all-female business network in Africa, Volkswagen has introduced 'The Lionesses Den' and... 

VW’s Lionesses Den initiative seeks to reward female entrepreneurs

Transnet appoints new CFO

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2020 State-owned freight logistics company Transnet has appointed Nonkululeko Dlamini group CFO, with effect from July 1. Dlamini, who will also serve as an executive director on the Transnet board, is a seasoned executive, with almost 20 years’ experience in financial roles at State-owned companies,... 

Blue Drop trailer launched to monitor water quality in the Free State

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st July 2020 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has launched a mobile trailer to monitor water quality in different municipalities in the Free State. The Blue Drop trailer boasts a mini water testing laboratory comprising three panels that can monitor operational parameters such as PH, turbidity,... 

ELB’s delisting-linked offers send up share price

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 The board of directors of ELB on Wednesday made delisting-linked offer to its shareholders, which saw its share price rise. By late afternoon, the JSE-listed company’s price had risen by 54.17% to R1.85 a share. The capital equipment and engineering solutions group proposed a transaction to... 

ELB’s delisting-linked offers send up share price
Photo by Creamer Media
Gamsberg zinc mine project in the Northern Cape, where ELB Engineering Services was active.

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... 

South Africa’s defence electronics sector sees significant acquisition deal

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2020 Local defence company Hensoldt South Africa (Hensoldt SA) has agreed to buy the Defence and Security and Air Traffic Management (ATM) business units of another South African company, Tellumat. The agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony on June 26. It will come into force once all the... 

GIBS appoints new Dean

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has appointed Dr Morris Mthombeni as Dean. He took up the position on July 1, succeeding Professor Nicola Kleyn, who resigned from the position after having held it for the past five years. 

Covid-19 had ‘significant impact’ on Long4Life’s businesses

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and subsequent government prescribed lockdown has had a significant impact on JSE-listed lifestyle investment company Long4Life’s various businesses, CEO Brian Joffe told shareholders during an annual general meeting (AGM) on July 1. The requirement to close all... 

Famous Brands renews caution on GBK Restaurants funding

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2020 Branded franchised and food services business Famous Brands has renewed its cautionary statement in respect of GBK Restaurants and its ceasing of providing any further financial assistance to GBK. On May 20, the board of directors of Famous Brands took the decision to stop providing financial... 

Oando celebrates construction start of Nigerian gas pipeline project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st July 2020 JSE-listed Oando attended as a consortium partner at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the $2.8-billion, 40-inch and 614 km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (KKK) gas pipeline project, in Nigeria, by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 30. The AKK pipeline project, championed by two consortia... 

Airbus announces widespread job cuts to deal with effects of Covid-19 crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced at the end of June that it was going to have to cut 15 000 jobs over the next 12 months – from now until the northern summer of 2021 – and resize the operations of its commercial aircraft business. These steps were being taken to meet the... 

Airbus announces widespread job cuts to deal with effects of Covid-19 crisis
Photo by Airbus
Members of all Airbus’ current airliner families in flight – from front to rear: an A220-300, an A319neo, an A330neo, an A350-1000, a Beluga transport (developed for Airbus’ own use) and an A380

Hydrogen-powered aviation preparing for takeoff – study

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 11 minutes ago Hydrogen as an energy source will play a key role in transforming aviation into a zero-carbon/climate-neutral system over the next few decades, an independent study states in estimating that the first short-range hydrogen-powered demonstrator could be developed by 2028 if sufficient investments... 

Hydrogen-powered aviation preparing for takeoff – study
Strong steps being taken to clean up the skies by using hydrogen to power aircraft.

RBPlat opens 200-bed field hospital to support govt in fight against Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 Platinum group metals miner Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), together with the North West Department of Health has officially opened the 200-bed Royal Bafokeng Platinum Field Hospital, in Rustenburg, at a cost of about R10-million, to support government’s already overburdened resources in the... 

RBPlat opens 200-bed field hospital to support govt in fight against Covid-19

Swedish Stirling, Samancor sign MoU for clean energy tech at smelters

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st July 2020 Clean tech company Swedish Stirling and South African ferrochrome producer Samancor Chrome have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding the possible installation of up to 135 PWR BLOKs at Samancor Chrome’s TC Smelter, Ferrometals and Tubatse Alloys smelters. On December 13, 2019,... 

Hydrogen to fuel giant mining trucks in green shift by Anglo 

By: Bloomberg     1st July 2020 Anglo American is advancing plans to convert its fleet of giant diesel-fueled mine trucks to hydrogen power as the company seeks to burnish its green credentials. More than 400 mine-haul trucks could be rebuilt to use hydrogen fuel, with a pilot project starting next year at Anglo American... 

Metso Outotec can drive industries towards responsible use of natural resources

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 Metso Minerals, a subsidiary of global industrial company Metso, has officially merged with Finnish-listed technology company Outotec. The merger has formed a leading process technology, equipment and services company serving the minerals, metals and aggregates industries. The combined company... 

Arnot OpCo concludes Section 189 process affecting 1 100 employees

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 Coal mining company Arnot OpCo has completed a Section 189 process, affecting 1 100 of its employees. Exxaro Resources in February entered into a transfer-of-business agreement with Arnot OpCo, transferring all its assets and liabilities to Arnot OpCo as a going concern. 

Arnot OpCo concludes Section 189 process affecting 1 100 employees
Arnot OpCo CEO Bontle Aphane

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 De Beers Venetia Mine has unveiled a R10-million coronavirus testing laboratory that will be used to check the diamond mines’ employees and contractors for Covid-19. Discussion with the Department of Health is also under way on assisting with the government’s screening efforts in the mine’s... 

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine
Limpopo MEC of Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba (left) and De Beers Group Managed Operations MD Mpumi Zikalala (right).

Economic opportunity of South Africa’s energy transition akin to new ‘gold rush’

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2020 South Africa’s energy transition from coal to cleaner energy carries an economic opportunity equivalent to the discovery of gold in the country more than a century ago, a new South African National Energy Association (Sanea) report argues. Published on June 30, the ‘South African Energy Risk... 

Economic opportunity of South Africa’s energy transition akin to new ‘gold rush’

Attacq says liquidity position remains stable

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2020 JSE-listed Attacq, as at May 31, had available resources of R1.1-billion, comprising R741-million of cash and R310-million of committed liquidity facilities with banks. No group or portfolio covenant breaches are anticipated for the covenant reporting period ending June 30, to be measured in... 

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

30th June 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. In the past week, the contagion continued to spread rapidly in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. The daily... 

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