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Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally 

By: Irma Venter     Updated 5 hours ago A project is underway to produce a homegrown mask for use by all South Africans, close to the standard of the FFP2 and N95 facemasks. FF2 and N95 masks are medical standard masks, often provided to hospital staff working on the frontline of infection control. They offer between 94% and 95%... 

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally

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

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit 

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 4 hours ago Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on March 31 that applications for the National Disaster Covid-19 benefit, which had been put in place to mitigate the effects of lay-offs during the lockdown, would not be handled on an individual basis and would instead need to be submitted... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives 

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 4 hours ago Since the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa would embark on a 21-day national lockdown, the majority of aviation activities have slowed dramatically, with all domestic airlines having halted passenger flights effective from the start of the lockdown. South Africa’s... 

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 South African tax incentive fund manager Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to fast-track emergency amendments to the Section 12J legislation so that R6-billion of investor capital can be more speedily invested in small, medium and micro... 

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business
Photo by Westbrooke
Westbrooke principal and chairperson of the Section 12J Industry Association Dino Zuccollo

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Although JSE-listed chemicals company Sasol is permitted to operate during South Africa’s lockdown period, ending April 16, it has advised that some plants will be operated at lower capacity, or even shut down, owing to lower product offtake during this time. The company explains that some... 

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

By: News24Wire      Updated 6 hours ago Total employment in South Africa's non-agricultural formal sector grew by 16 000 between September and December 2019, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics bulletin. This is below the increase of 87 000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. While full-time... 

 SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

Two unions jointly attack the government over regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 6 hours ago In a joint statement on March 31, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have blasted the government over its handling of the crisis in State-owned regional airline SA Express. Their response was to a statement on the... 

MTN makes strides with its Bright strategy

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 5 hours ago Telecommunications group MTN has made strides in implementing its Bright strategy, with social and economic impact reported across its markets in Africa and the Middle East during the year ended December 31, 2019. The group on March 31 published its 2019 integrated, sustainability and tax... 

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 5 hours ago Since Cyril Ramaphosa declared a State of National Disaster on March 15, the Competition Commission has been flooded with complaints of retailers charging excessive prices for certain goods. This is despite regulations having been put in place by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel to... 

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

Barloworld keeps growth strategy in mind while reducing costs

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 6 hours ago JSE-listed industrial group Barloworld has implemented austerity measures to reduce costs and conserve cash to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 across the company’s operations, with help from a crisis committee that has been set up. While the company’s diversified portfolio has resulted in... 

Barloworld keeps growth strategy in mind while reducing costs
Barloworld CEO Dominic Sewala

Tribunal orders SAB to include former employees in BEE top-up scheme, pending investigation

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 The Competition Tribunal has issued an order, instructing South African Breweries (SAB) to set aside a portion of its black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme’s top-up benefits for former employees, pending the outcome of the final determination of a Competition Commission investigation.
 
This... 

Massmart warns of supply chain disruption outside of S Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 While JSE-listed Massmart’s consumer goods stores Makro, Cash & Carry, Game, Shield Buying Group and Cambridge Food will continue to operate during South Africa’s lockdown, the company did warn of disruption to its supply chain to stores outside of South Africa. “The closure of South Africa’s... 

Massmart warns of supply chain disruption outside of S Africa

Astral refutes that it has shut down facility owing to Covid-19 infections

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago Poultry producer Astral Foods has refuted fake news that has been doing the rounds on social media, claiming that some of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus and that the Health Minister has ordered a shutdown of an Astral's production facility. The company on March 31 said... 

Astral refutes that it has shut down facility owing to Covid-19 infections

Factory of the Year competition postponed

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 The Factory of the Year competition that culminates in an awards ceremony held at the Manufacturing Indaba every year has been postponed. Event organisers nationwide have, for the last month, had to postpone or cancel events to reduce the risk of further Covid-19 infections.  

Factory of the Year competition postponed

French company examining the best way of powering the SKA in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 6 hours ago French company Bertin Energie Environnement (also known, in English, as Bertin Energy & Environment), part of the CNIM group, has launched a study into options for the energy supply for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) core site in South Africa. This study is receiving financial support from the... 

Civil confidence rises further in first quarter, but remains below desired level

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 The First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research Civil Confidence Index gained two points to 24 in the first quarter of the year. This follows a seven-point rise to 22 in the fourth quarter of last year.  

Civil confidence rises further in first quarter, but remains below desired level

Sanedi says 12L tax incentive is paying off

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) says government’s 12L Tax Incentive has delivered more than 24 TWh in energy savings since November 2013. This equates to a total gross rebate of nearly R20-billion to South African taxpayers.  

Sanedi says 12L tax incentive is paying off

Wind farms under construction to declare force majeure

By: Donna Slater     Updated 5 hours ago Twelve wind farms that are still under construction have declared force majeure, as they are are not deemed to be essential service providers during the 21-day national lockdown. The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) says that, following consultation with the Department of Energy’s... 

Wind farms under construction to declare force majeure
The Noupoort Wind Farm is one of the 22 wind farms that will continue generating power during the lockdown period as it was previously operational and not under construction

Jasco slides into the red in first half

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st March 2020 Information and communication technology (ICT) group Jasco posted a weaker year-on-year performance, impacted by a slowdown in infrastructure spend resulting in poor results from ICT-Carriers and continuing losses in Power and Renewables, during the half-year ended December 31, 2019. Despite the... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

Ford partners with GE Healthcare to produce 50 000 ventilators

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare have partnered to produce 50 000 ventilators within 100 days, at Ford’s Rawsonville components plant, in Michigan, in the US. This follows after the US government set a goal of providing 100 000 ventilators to Covid-19 patients in the country in 100 days.  

Ford partners with GE Healthcare to produce 50 000 ventilators

M&R appoints Boggenpoel as nonexec director

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago JSE-listed Murray & Roberts has appointed Jesmane Boggenpoel nonexecutive director and member of the risk and audit commitees, effective April 1. She is a chartered accountant and has many years’ experience in investments, transactions and private equity funds.  

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Engineering company Fluor Corporation has announced that Bill Langenbach has been named as the company’s new GM for South Africa. Langenbach has more than three decades of experience with Fluor, and has held various positions within the company and worked on a variety of projects. 

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM
Bill Langenbach

Fruit SA appoints acting CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2020 Nonprofit umbrella body Fruit South Africa (SA) has appointed Fhumulani Ratshitanga acting CEO with effect from April 1. This following the resignation of Dr Konanani Liphadzi, after a six-year tenure as the first CEO of Fruit SA. 

Covid-19 prompts Glencore to defer cash distribution, reinforce liquidity 

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 4 hours ago The coronavirus pandemic has prompted global diversified mining and marketing company Glencore to defer its proposed $2.6-billion distribution of cash and reinforce its $10.1- billion liquidity through the refinancing and extension of revolving credit facilities on the same commercial terms as... 

Covid-19 prompts Glencore to defer cash distribution, reinforce liquidity
Ivan Glasenberg

Air transport body warns that world airlines are burning up their cash at an alarming rate

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 4 hours ago International commercial aviation representative body the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published a new analysis on March 31 that indicated that the world’s airlines would, during the second quarter of this year, suffer a total net loss of $39-billion. They would also expend... 

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom 

By: News24Wire      Updated 6 hours ago Zimbabwe has paid off all its debts to Eskom and is now in a position to negotiate for a new deal, the country’s Minister of Energy, Fortune Chasi, tweeted on Monday evening. Eskom in the past threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Zimbabwe after its debt reached $33-million. In August... 

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom

Africa to face new challenges amid Covid-19 outbreak

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa will probably look different from what has been observed in other parts of the world, as the continent's demographic is unique and different to other countries, according to a new publication by management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group... 

Standard Chartered commits $1bn to companies at forefront of fighting Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 International banking group Standard Chartered will commit $1-billion in financing for companies that provide goods and services to help in the fight against Covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the worldwide pandemic, the bank announced on... 

African Rainbow Minerals financial director to step down

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 South Africa’s diversified black-controlled mining and minerals company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) on Tuesday announced that its FD Abigail Mukhuba would be stepping down with effect from the end of September to pursue a new career, and that ARM senior executive finance: corporate and tax... 

Telkom to appeal Tax Court judgement, takes matter to Constitutional Court

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st March 2020 JSE-listed Telkom said on March 31 that it plans to appeal the tax court judgement against it in a dispute with South African Revenue Services (SARS). The matter relates to the tax treatment of the loss that arose in the 2012 financial year on the sale of a foreign subsidiary, which was heard by... 

Assore halts mines and smelters, prioritises on-time supplier payment

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 Mining and marketing company Assore, which is delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange after 70 years, on Tuesday informed its shareholders that it had taken lockdown steps following the increased incidents of COVID-19 in South Africa. Assmang, which is half owned by Assore and jointly... 

Assore halts mines and smelters, prioritises on-time supplier payment
Photo by Creamer Media
Charles Walters

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 The South African Revenue Services (Sars) has acknowledged the impact the spread of Covid-19 could have on businesses and people within an already struggling economy. Consequently, it has pledged its commitment to maintaining the essential services that it provides in efforts to mitigate the... 

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

Harmony Gold’s nine underground mines cease operations 

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 Mining has ceased at all of the nine underground gold mines of Harmony Gold but the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company’s surface retreatment operations and opencast mine will continue to function, collectively producing between 650 kg and 700 kg in the 21-day lockdown period in response to... 

Harmony Gold’s nine underground mines cease operations
Photo by Creamer Media
Peter Steenkamp

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 In less than a month, South Africa has ramped up its ability to test people for the novel coronavirus from a few hundred, to a few thousand every day. And, thanks to new equipment delivered in the past few days, with more expected by mid-April, testing numbers are expected to increase dramatically. 

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'

By: African News Agency      31st March 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is hopeful the country will overcome the coronavirus outbreak despite the country recording its third Covid-19 death and confirmed cases increasing to 1,326. In a televised speech on Monday, Ramaphosa called on residents to adhere to the lockdown regulation... 

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Gold Fields places South Deep mine on care and maintenance 

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 Johannesburg- and New York-listed gold mining company Gold Fields has placed its South Deep gold mine in Gauteng on care-and-maintenance to coincide with South Africa’s lockdown until April 16. In publishing its integrated annual report for 2019 and a number of associated reports on its website,... 

Gold Fields places South Deep mine on care and maintenance
Photo by Creamer Media
Nick Holland

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