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

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2021 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     25th January 2021 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

FDI flows likely to remain weak in 2021 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) reports that global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, decreasing by 42% to an estimated $859-billion, compared with about $1.5-trillion in 2019. FDI finished the year more than 30% below the trough after the global... 

Opinion: District Development Model must embrace science to achieve inclusivity

25th January 2021 In this opinion article, Bongani Mankewu explores the factors that could improve District Development Model outcomes. Policy is a product of science and politics. This structural definition borrows from the fundamental work of Francis Bacon (1974) and appreciates that while the utilization of... 

Opinion: District Development Model must embrace science to achieve inclusivity

Mavuso stresses importance of implementing structural reform

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 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... 

Huge Group aims for secondary listing on Aim

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th January 2021 JSE-listed Huge Group is planning a secondary listing on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) of the London Stock Exchange. In an update to shareholders on January 25, the group said that the board of directors have resolved to make application for admission as a secondary listing. 

TNPA to consolidate offices at Ngqura port

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has announced plan to consolidate its various corporate offices into one at the eMendi administration building, Port of Ngqura, in Port Elizabeth, by the end of March. The State-owned entity currently has corporate offices split between Johannesburg and... 

Salba calls for alternate measures as alcohol sales ban continues

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 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. 

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

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 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... 

University of Johannesburg scientist’s work boosted by astronomical observation data

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2021 A model to predict gamma ray burst (GRB) behaviour, developed by a team headed by University of Johannesburg Centre for Astro-Particle Physics director Prof. Soebur Razzaque, has been strongly supported by observational data. The data came from observations of a GRB detected on April 15 last year... 

University of Johannesburg scientist’s work boosted by astronomical observation data
Photo by European Southern Observatory
NGC 253, the Sculpture Galaxy, whose central region was the source of the GRB 200415A burst

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

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 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

Kia unveils new corporate name, strategy 

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 Kia has revealed a strategy it says will see the Korean car maker reach beyond vehicle manufacturing to “sustainable mobility solutions”. Signalling this break-away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has also announced a new corporate name and slogan. 

Kia unveils new corporate name, strategy 
Kia CEO Ho Sung Song

Eskom confirms tropical storm has ‘not had any major negative impact’ on operations

By: Simone Liedtke     25th January 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has confirmed that tropical storm Eloise has, at this stage, not had any major negative impact on its operations. The utility, however, says power lines in some parts of the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal provinces did experience localised outages... 

MMC condemns rampant cable theft in Joburg

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 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. 

Investment firms offer help to recapitalise Ascendis

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 JSE-listed pharmaceuticals company Ascendis Health has advised of Blantyre Capital and L1 Health's interest to have the company be recapitalised, instead of it continuing to pursue a divestment strategy. The divestment strategy was effected to reduce the highly-leveraged position of Ascendis... 

100 MW Kipeto wind power project connected to Kenyan grid

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 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

Moody’s upgrades Enel’s long-term credit rating

By: Donna Slater     25th January 2021 Credit rating company Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term rating of energy company Enel to Baa1, from the previous level of Baa2, with a stable outlook. The ratings agency has also affirmed the Prime-2 short-term ratings of the subsidiaries Enel Finance International and Enel... 

Zirk Botha halfway in rowing voyage

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 The 59-year-old rower Zirk Botha on January 22 reached the halfway mark in his transatlantic ocean journey from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro. The transatlantic crossing requires him to row completely unassisted for about 90 to 100 days, over about 7 000 km, or 3 800 nautical miles, in often... 

Zirk Botha halfway in rowing voyage
Zirk Botha on his Row2Rio voyage

Boeing airliners to be able to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel within a decade

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2021 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... 

Climate change is melting ice in every continent, new study shows

By: Bloomberg     25th January 2021 Melting on the ice sheets has accelerated so much over the past three decades that it’s now in line with the worst-case climate warming scenarios outlined by scientists. A total of 28 trillion metric tons of ice was lost between 1994 and 2017, according to a research paper published in The... 

US plans entry ban for most non-citizens from South Africa

By: Bloomberg     Updated 1 hour 34 minutes ago The US will ban entry to most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa in response to the new Covid-19 strain there, according to a White House official familiar with the plan. It’s unclear how long the restrictions will continue. The Biden administration will also continue... 

Biden signs 'Buy American' order, pledges to renew US manufacturing

By: Reuters     Updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago President Joe Biden vowed on Monday to leverage the purchasing power of the US government, the world's biggest single buyer of goods and services, to strengthen domestic manufacturing and create markets for new technologies. The Democratic president signed an executive order aimed at closing... 

Biden signs 'Buy American' order, pledges to renew US manufacturing
US President Joe Biden

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2021 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

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... 

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