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February new-vehicle sales down 13.3%; semiconductor shortage set to dent supply

By: Irma Venter     Updated 2 hours 18 minutes ago New-vehicle sales fell by 13.3% in February, to 37 521 units, compared with the same month last year, reports Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council. An estimated 31 635 units, or 84.3%, were dealer sales, with 10% going to the vehicle rental industry, 3.4% to government, and 2.3% of total... 

February new-vehicle sales down 13.3%; semiconductor shortage set to dent supply

WBHO posts interim profit despite losses in Australia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago JSE-listed construction group Wilson Bayley Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) has posted an interim profit attributable to shareholders of R43-million for the six months ended December 31, 2020. This compares with a loss attributable to shareholders of R508-million posted for the financial year ended June... 

WBHO posts interim profit despite losses in Australia

Denel finance chief quits

By: News24Wire      Updated 5 hours ago South African State-owned defence company Denel said on Monday that CFO Carmen le Grange had resigned, extending a recent string of resignations that have deepened a crisis at the struggling firm. Last week, Fin24 reported that the company's chief operating officer William Hlakoane was appointed... 

Ramaphosa halts hunt for reserve South African finance chief

By: Bloomberg     Updated 5 hours ago President Cyril Ramaphosa sought to identify a backup option in case Finance Minister Tito Mboweni left his post, but abandoned the search because he couldn’t find a suitable alternative, according to four people familiar with the situation. While some of the nation’s most prominent policymakers... 

Opinion: Regulation 28 can proffer the flywheel effect to the infrastructure roll-out plan

Updated 3 hours ago Without adequate mobilisation of financing, infrastructure roll-out is unattainable, writes Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development & Engagement Unit associate Bongani Mankewu. Critical to the development of the African continent is the paucity of financing models reified to achieve... 

Opinion: Regulation 28 can proffer the flywheel effect to the infrastructure roll-out plan

Zirk Botha completes transatlantic row in record 72 days

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago The 59-year-old rower Zirk Botha on March 1 completed his transatlantic ocean row from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro. He completed the 7 200 km, or 4 000 nautical miles (nm), journey in a record 72 days, against his initial target of 90 days.  

Zirk Botha completes transatlantic row in record 72 days
Rower Zirk Botha

South African company to investigate after Amnesty says it shot at civilians in Mozambique

By: Reuters     Updated 3 hours ago South African private military firm will hire outside lawyers to look into its activities in Mozambique, it said, after Amnesty International accused it of firing indiscriminately on civilians while helping the government fight an insurgency. In a report issued on Tuesday, Amnesty accused both... 

PGMs project will ensure Marikana’s sustainability for 50 years-plus – Sibanye

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 3 hours ago The unrivalled and tier-one K4 platinum group metals (PGMs) project in North West province will ensure sustainability of Marikana for over 50 years, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman told the BMO conference on Monday. Speaking on a YouTube presentation covered by Mining Weekly, the head of the... 

PGMs project will ensure Marikana’s sustainability for 50 years-plus – Sibanye
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman

New Italy Visa Application Centre in SA prioritises safety

By: Thabi Madiba     Updated 3 hours ago Outsourcing and technology services company Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Global on Monday launched the new Italy Visa Application Centre in Cape Town, to offer customers a safe and secure application process. VFS Global regional group COO Jiten Vyas said the new centre was part of the... 

Super-cycling PGMs being shielded from demand-hit repeat of 2000s – Froneman

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 6 hours ago Platinum group metals (PGMs) are moving into a super cycle and producers are working with end-users to prevent the metals going through a demand-destruction phase as took place in the early 2000s, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman told the BMO conference on Monday. Speaking on a YouTube... 

Super-cycling PGMs being shielded from demand-hit repeat of 2000s – Froneman
Outlook for platinum group metals positive as they enter super cycle, says Sibanye-Stillwater.

CIPC wins award, registers almost 12 000 new companies a month

By: Yvonne Silaule     1st March 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has congratulated South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for winning awards from the Centre for Public Service Innovation. The CIPC won the Most Innovative Public Service Entity of the Year award for 2020, as... 

Organisations call on Standard Bank, others not to finance East African oil pipeline

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 In an open letter to financial services provider Standard Bank and 24 other banks, 263 community and nonprofit organisations from 49 countries have called on the banks not to fund the construction of the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline, namely the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop)... 

SAPVIA supports large and small IPP procurement for long-term capacity

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 Industry body the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) COO Niveshen Govender says the organisation supports the implementation of technology-specific, nuanced procurement programmes based on long-term capacity requirements to facilitate cheaper power. Energy security is a... 

Iata’s latest world airlines financial report remains gloomy

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st March 2021 The International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) Airlines Financial Monitor December 2020-January 2020 has warned that airlines would face rising cost pressures as the global economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. This was because of rising oil and jet fuel prices. Iata, which is the... 

Institutions share their energy investment perspective in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st March 2021 In an Africa Energy Indaba panel moderated by Standard Bank renewable energy head Rentia van Tonder, on March 1, she pointed out that a lack of financing remains a major prohibitor for power generation project development in Africa. She said political and credit risks remain prevalent for... 

Public sector unions table inflation-linked wage demands

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 South Africa's public sector unions want a general salary rise of consumer inflation plus 4% for all workers, according to a labour document presented on Monday, as talks began over a new wage deal. The list of 16 demands, which includes better housing payments and a risk allowance of 12% of... 

Naamsa announces name change

By: Irma Venter     1st March 2021 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced a change in its naming conventions, as it says it represents a wider community of stakeholders than only vehicle manufacturers.  “Traditionally, we were established to primarily represent the interests of... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn  

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2021 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) is urging African policymakers to use their limited public resources strategically, and alongside policy and regulatory instruments, to unlock the $105-billion required yearly to install the 1 026 GW of renewable energy needed by 2050 to meet the... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn
Irena director-general Francesco La Camera

Call for nominations to serve on third NPC now open

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 Nominations are now open for persons to be considered for appointment to the National Planning Commission (NPC) for the next five years. The next commission will serve during the challenging aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, a time during which economic and social recovery and reconstruction... 

Petredec expands South African operations through acquisition

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) trading and shipping company Petredec has completed the acquisition of Eastern Cape fuels distributor Quest Petroleum, which will now become part of the Petrefuel Business Division in South Africa. Quest will become part of the Petrefuel group of companies, along... 

South Africa has a long road ahead to economic recovery, says Saice

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st March 2021 South Africa has significant work to do in driving its economic recovery despite the forecasted 3.2% gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2021, and the encouraging R791.2-billion committed to infrastructure development, says industry organisation the South African Institution of Civil... 

Nersa approves Transnet petroleum tariff

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has set the Petroleum Pipelines System tariff, which will allow State-owned rail entity Transnet to realise an 11.15% decrease in allowable revenue (AR) compared with the 2020/21 tariff period. However, owing to a forecasted reduction in the... 

Rolls-Royce has announced its fast electric-powered aircraft has completed taxiing trials

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st March 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced its all-electric technology demonstrator aircraft, named ‘Spirit of Innovation’, has successfully carried out its taxiing tests. These tests are a most important practical demonstration of the integration of the... 

Rolls-Royce has announced its fast electric-powered aircraft has completed taxiing trials
Photo by Rolls-Royce
The Spirit of Innovation with its cowling removed, to show its electrical power plant

New cement and concrete industry body aims for growth, value, sustainability

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 A new industry organisation Cement and Concrete South Africa (CCSA) was launched on March 1 to create long-term shared value and industry growth in South Africa through collaboration, skills development, innovation and the highest standards in sustainable cement and concrete materials and... 

New cement and concrete industry body aims for growth, value, sustainability
CCSA CEO Bryan Perrie

Botswana seeks opportunities to integrate into S Africa auto value chain 

By: Irma Venter     1st March 2021 The Botswana government believes there is an opportunity for the country to participate in the South African automotive sector. “Around 60% of the components used in South African vehicles are still imported from outside Africa. Given Botswana’s proximity to South Africa, we see this as an... 

Botswana seeks opportunities to integrate into S Africa auto value chain
Diamonds currently make up 91% of Botswana's exports

RCL Foods ‘future proofs’ company with diverse portfolio

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 JSE-listed consumer goods company RCL Foods continued to leverage its diverse portfolio to remain resilient during the six months ended December 31, 2020, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to present hardships and challenges globally. The company recorded a 10.5% year-on-year increase... 

Absa PMI rises to 53 in February

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 53 index points in February from 50.9 in the month before. The further increase was supported by three of the five subcomponents gaining relative to January, while only the employment index moved lower. The supplier... 

De Ruyter urges greater industrial policy integration with renewables roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2021 South Africa would be foregoing an “extraordinary opportunity” should it fail to develop local manufacturing capacity around its large-scale and multidecade deployment of renewable energy, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter argued on Monday. Speaking during the opening session of the virtual Africa Energy... 

De Ruyter urges greater industrial policy integration with renewables roll-out

MTN Nigeria posts increases across the board during FY20

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st March 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has posted increases across the board during the year ended December 31, 2020. The West African operations achieved a 9.7% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) to N685.7-billion, however, the Ebitda margin declined... 

Bidvest delivers strong interim performance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st March 2021 JSE-listed Bidvest delivered a strong operating and financial performance for the six months ended December 31, 2020, with revenue up 3.4% year-on-year to R44.4-billion. Trading profit increased by 3.5% year-on-year to R4.1-billion, off a pre-pandemic base, which was enhanced by the consolidation... 

Probe finds Mpumalanga, Gauteng hydrogen sulphide levels above WHO recommendations

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 An ongoing probe by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to determine the cause of the high levels of air pollution reported in Mpumalanga and Gauteng during the week of February 11 to 17 has determined that sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels were in compliance with ambient... 

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala says 'ready to go' on day 1 as WTO boss

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 The World Trade Organization's first female and first African director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala began work on Monday, ending a six-month leadership void at the global trade watchdog. After a long campaign that was derailed in the late stages by a Trump administration veto, the 66-year-old... 

South Africa seeks to lift infrastructure investment with change to pension fund rules

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 South Africa's National Treasury is proposing changing rules governing pension funds to encourage investment in infrastructure projects. Africa's most industrialised nation - the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic on the continent - has put public works in sectors such as transport, energy... 

MTN says Nigeria operating licence renewal at advanced stage

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 MTN Nigeria is at an advanced stage in renewing its operating spectrum and licence in Nigeria for another ten years from September, the local unit of South Africa's MTN said on Sunday. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal of the 900 MHz and 1 800 MHz bands due to... 

MTN eyes $65m deal for Syrian business

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 MTN Group remains committed to negotiating a $65-million sale of its 75% stake in its Syrian unit, the South African mobile operator said on Sunday, despite the business being placed under judicial guardianship last week. MTN Syria was placed under guardianship by a court in Damascus over alleged... 

Lockdown Level 1, positive budget moves present potential for South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st March 2021 The country’s move to lockdown Level 1 will help more South Africans get back to work and will give a boost to the gradual recovery of the economy, writes business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso in her newsletter of March 1. She posits that the change to... 

Lockdown Level 1, positive budget moves present potential for South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Busi Mavuso

Anglo CEO talks hydrogen, recycling, Scope 3, material solutions provision  

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2021 The surge of the hydrogen economy, the need to recycle, halving Scope 3 emissions through iron-ore-linked green steelmaking, assisting South Africa to create new industries, and becoming a one-stop material solutions provider, were among the issues discussed by Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani in... 

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Eskom bondholders take comfort from guarantee amid rescue talks

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2021 Bondholders of South Africa’s state-owned electricity company are watching the latest round of rescue talks from a distance. Yields suggest they’re confident their money is safe, whether or not the discussions result in a sustainable solution for Eskom Holdings' $32-billion debt pile. Eskom’s... 

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