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ARM, Motsepe family play key roles in R1bn coronavirus pledge

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2020 South Africa’s diversified black-controlled mining and minerals company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and the Motsepe family on Saturday formed the key part of the partnership of companies and organisations that have pledged R1 billion to assist with the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic... 

ARM, Motsepe family play key roles in R1bn coronavirus pledge
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Patrice Motsepe and Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe at Saturday's remote media conference using the Internet to ensure social distance.

Oil, Covid-19 to take heavy toll on Africa’s new-vehicle market  

By: Irma Venter     27th March 2020 Some of West Africa’s major economies are going to face “significant headwinds” in the time ahead, says Deloitte emerging markets and Africa MD Dr Martyn Davies. “There is some real economic pain coming.” 

Oil, Covid-19 to take heavy toll on Africa’s new-vehicle market 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

26th March 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

Mantashe sustains 1 MW licence-exemption cap despite calls for higher threshold 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe Gazetted an amended version of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act on March 26, which the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) said further clarified the requirements for generation for own use for facilities of under 1... 

Mantashe sustains 1 MW licence-exemption cap despite calls for higher threshold
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Eskom postpones ‘philosophy maintenance’ as it shuts units in response to drop in demand 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has reported that demand dropped by more than 6 000 MW on the afternoon of March 26 as businesses shut in anticipation of the start of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. The utility also indicated that a further reduction in demand was anticipated for the... 

Eskom postpones ‘philosophy maintenance’ as it shuts units in response to drop in demand

New-vehicle sales could recover by up to 7% in 2021

By: Irma Venter     27th March 2020 S&P Global Ratings believes global new light-vehicle sales could recover by between 10% and 12% in the US in 2021, following a 15% to 20% decline in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sales in China could grow by between 2% and 4% next year, after seeing an 8% to 10% decline this year. 

New-vehicle sales could recover by up to 7% in 2021

Transnet scales back to only essential services, operations

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 In line with government’s implementation of a three-week lockdown of the country to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, State-owned entity Transnet will be scaling down its transportation services and operations of non-essential cargo during this period. After consultation with various... 

Covid-19 reveals the dangers of South Africa’s lacking water infrastructure

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th March 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic is highlighting South Africa’s lacking water infrastructure and the dangers it poses to the country’s most vulnerable citizens, the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (Sappma) has said. While frequent hand washing with soap and clean water is one of the... 

Food research group warns on precarious nutrition situation of 50% of South Africans

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The independent research Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned that poorer households in South Africa would be put at risk, in terms of both their nutrition and health, if they suffer from a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, because  measures to counter, or... 

Opinion: Transport sector expected to play a key role during lockdown

27th March 2020 As we wake up to a country in lockdown, the rules are still being written and the full impact of the coronavirus for South Africa is yet ahead. Making sense of our new circumstances and adapting to the fast-changing new reality is overwhelming. At the same time it requires exceptional leadership... 

Opinion: Transport sector expected to play a key role during lockdown

Vodacom chair retires

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th March 2020 JSE-listed Vodacom has appointed current lead independent nonexecutive director Saki Macozoma as chairperson, effective July 22, following the retirement of Jabu Moleketi. Moleketi will retire and step down from the board at the forthcoming yearly general meeting to be held July 21. 

5G poised to aid coronavirus fight

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th March 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) technology will have a critical role to play in the world’s battle against Covid-19. A new white paper produced by advisory firm Deloitte and information and communications technology giant Huawei shows how the effectiveness of communication and data exchange has been... 

UIF to process Covid-19 TERs to assist employers, workers during lockdown

27th March 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has recently announced measures that the Department will put in place under the current special circumstance relating to the Corona virus (COVID-19) and its impact on UIF contributors. Therefore, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner,... 

Franchises ready to weather lockdown storm but challenges remain

By: Donna Slater     27th March 2020 The franchise sector, while being able to stay financially afloat during 2019, but which has increasingly and rapidly come under a lot of strain resulting from the 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, requires government intervention as all small business and franchise owners. Their... 

Standard Bank ‘ready to serve’ during Covid-19 lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 Financial institution Standard Bank on March 27 said it “strongly supports” the measures to preserve people’s health and lives, adding that the strong public health measures adopted by governments against the spread of Covid-19 were “urgently necessary”. In his weekly newsletter, Standard Bank CE... 

Standard Bank ‘ready to serve’ during Covid-19 lockdown

HSRC starts public survey to assess awareness of Covid-19 among South Africans

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th March 2020 Statutory research agency, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), has launched a public survey to better understand what the South African public knows about Covid-19, the state of readiness to deal with this global pandemic and how the public feels about it. The survey comes within the... 

Covid-19 will not be stopped without the provision of safe water to the vulnerable – UN experts

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th March 2020 The United Nations (UN) Information Centre warned that without the provision of continuous access to sufficient water to populations living in the most vulnerable conditions, the global fight against the pandemic has little chance of success. About 2.2-billion people worldwide have no access to... 

Covid-19 pandemic to heavily impact on FDIs, says Unctad

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th March 2020 The outbreak and spread of Covid-19 will cause a dramatic drop in global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, says intergovernmental body, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). Since the organisation’s first Special Issue on the impact of the pandemic, updated... 

Botswana’s challenges contribute to overvalued exchange rate, IMF finds

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 Persistently lower mineral revenues and Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) proceeds and delays in the needed fiscal adjustment, including the large increase in the wage bill, have contributed to a moderately overvalued exchange rate and “eroded buffers and savings for future generations", the... 

International air transport body urges global economic group to act to save aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 On March 26 the International Air Transport Association (Iata) addressed an appeal, on behalf of the global airline industry, to the leaders of the Group of 20 leading economic powers (G20). The G20 members together accounted for some 85% of the world’s gross domestic product, more than 75% of... 

UK and Unilever public-private partnership to fight Covid-19 in developing countries

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The UK government and the Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation Unilever are jointly funding a programme to help counter the spread of Covid-19 in poor countries. The programme will receive up to £50-million from each (for a total of up to £100-million). The intent is to make hygiene products... 

Mining could be enormous post-virus stabiliser – Minerals Council

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2020 The mining industry could be an enormous asset in stabilising and growing the economy post the coronavirus crisis  – but the right economic and regulatory circumstances would have to prevail, Minerals Council South Africa stated in a weekend media release. Post the coronavirus, South Africa would... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 KwaZulu-Natal economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says her department  is in communication with the management of Spar KZN with the view of terminating contracts of franchise owners who are involved in price hiking. This follows consumer complaints that... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown
KZN MEC for EDTEA Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Covid-19 a wake-up call on import over-dependency – Madala

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 internationally should be a wake-up call on the impact of South Africa’s dependency on imported products, Madala & Associates CEO Dilley Naidoo said on Friday. He urged that policies parallel to what was being implemented in the automotive sector should be prioritised in... 

Covid-19 a wake-up call on import over-dependency – Madala
Madala & Associates CEO Dilley Naidoo

Moody's to cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating to junk – economists

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 Moody's will cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating later on Friday as a recession deepened by the impact of coronavirus frustrates economic reform efforts aimed at reducing government debt, a Reuters poll of economists found. Taken in the last three days, the survey showed 12 of 18... 

Ramaphosa writes to Parliament, reveals 2 820 soldiers could be on SA's streets until June 

By: News24Wire      27th March 2020 Members of the South African National Defence Force could be patrolling the country’s streets well beyond the 21-day lockdown period. This is contained in a letter President Cyril Ramaphosa sent to the speaker of the National Assembly on Wednesday, informing members of Parliament of the... 

Ramaphosa writes to Parliament, reveals 2 820 soldiers could be on SA's streets until June

Caterpillar says pandemic hits supply chain, demand

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th March 2020 The continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is beginning to impact on construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar's supply chain, a possibility the company previously disclosed in February. The US-based company indicated on Thursday that it was monitoring the situation closely... 

LafargeHolcim warns on profit as coronavirus hits building sector

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 LafargeHolcim ditched its profit forecast for 2020 and announced spending cuts to counter the downturn in construction caused by the coronavirus, the world's biggest cement maker said on Friday, adding it was not planning job cuts for now. The Swiss company said it was trimming capital... 

Zimbabwe cuts rates, miners send coronavirus distress signals

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 Zimbabwe's central bank cut its main lending rate to 25% on Thursday and set a fixed exchange rate as part of measures to support the economy against the coronavirus pandemic. The Chamber of Mines, which represents major mining companies in the country, said mineral production could fall 60% in... 

South Africa’s first two coronavirus deaths in Western Cape, cases over 1 000

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 South Africa has recorded its first two deaths due to coronavirus, on Friday and the cases have now surpassed 1 000. In a statement from Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, both deaths took place in the Western Cape. One patient in a private hospital and the other in a public hospital. He said the... 

South Africa’s first two coronavirus deaths in Western Cape, cases over 1 000
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

South Africa Coronavirus cases exceed 900, Ramaphosa urges G20 aid

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 South Africa's number of coronavirus cases jumped to more than 900 on Thursday and President Cyril Ramaphosa called for richer countries to help African nations deal with the economic fallout, hours before the start of a countrywide lockdown. The president underwent a test on Tuesday on the... 

South Africa Coronavirus cases exceed 900, Ramaphosa urges G20 aid
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South32 cuts expenditure as operations are adjusted 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th March 2020 Diversified miner South32 has announced a $160-million cut to capital expenditure over the next 15 months, with the miner also announcing a number of operational changes in response to COVID-19. In response to a 21-day lockdown in South Africa, Soutnh32’s manganese assets in that country, along... 

South32 cuts expenditure as operations are adjusted
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Dual-purpose building solution benefits mines

By: Halima Frost     27th March 2020 Formwork solution provider Moladi not only offers a fast and effective housing solution to African and South African mines but also uses mining slag as construction material sustainably. The solution entails a reusable, patented, recyclable, lightweight plastic injection moulded formwork system.... 

Dual-purpose building solution benefits mines
TOP FORM The formwork system from Moladi allows for a full structure to be completed in under 24 hours

R2.8bn staff housing project continues apace

By: Halima Frost     27th March 2020 Platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) has to date invested almost R1-billion, of a projected R2.8-billion, in the housing project devised for its staff, in line with its aspirational creed to engage in “More than Mining”. The intention with the housing project is... 

R2.8bn staff housing project continues apace
MORE THAN A HOUSE Royal Bafokeng Platinum continues to uplift its workers by affording them the opportunity to own their own homes

Various trends shaping Africa’s port infrastructure

By: Tracy Hancock     27th March 2020 The development of inland container terminals, or dry ports, to decongest port traffic is a trend that is gaining significant traction in Africa, says WSP Africa maritime technical director Marthinus Retief. In landlocked Ethiopia, the development of inland dry ports to store containers... 

Various trends shaping  Africa’s port infrastructure
MARTHINUS RETIEF Africa’s ports need to be larger and deeper to accommodate larger vessels to improve their connectivity to global maritime trade

Lack of port development a concern

By: Tracy Hancock     27th March 2020 While there is some movement in the development of South Africa’s port infrastructure by the private sector, the overall stagnation of its development is concerning, law firm Bowmans ports, transport and logistics head Andrew Pike tells Engineering News. He says this lack of activity may largely... 

Lack of port development a concern
ANDREW PIKE The Port of Durban is often congested with trucks that should be transporting up to five or more containers a day but only manage one, if lucky

Iron-ore miner awards contract to group

27th March 2020 Australian ​integrated property and construction group Pindan announced in October that it had been awarded a contract, valued at about A$90-million, to progress construction of an operations village for Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron-ore project. The operations village contract comprises the design... 

Iron-ore miner awards contract to group
THE BUILD UP Pindan has progressively been selected for more and more projects in the Pilbara region

SAA business rescue plan to be published in May, acting CEO steps down

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2020 The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for South African Airways (SAA) have been given an extension to May 29 to publish the business rescue plan for the airline. The business plan was previously set to be published on March 31, amid a national lockdown to try to prevent the further spread of... 

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