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Audio Articles

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

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 

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

Motshekga says no date set yet for schools reopening 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2020 Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on March 26 assured South Africans that pupils would catch up on all lost work once schools reopen. Learners had not been in school since the President declared an emergency shutdown of schools, effective March 18.  

Motshekga says no date set yet for schools reopening
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

WHO urges rigorous implementation of key public health interventions amid Covid-19 crisis 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th March 2020 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged that “rigorous implementation” of key public health interventions accompany measures attempting to curb the spread of the coronavirus, also referred to as Covid-19. In a webinar on March 26, the eve of South Africa’s three-week lockdown, the WHO... 

Bakwena Corridor in R582m upgrade  

By: Irma Venter     26th March 2020 Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Bakwena) is adding 32 km of a second carriageway on the N4 between the M17 and R512 (Brits Interchange).  The project costs R58-million with a 36-month construction period, and is scheduled to be completed in June next year. 

Bakwena Corridor in R582m upgrade 

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’ during 21-day lockdown 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2020 Mining operations in South Africa are to be “scaled down significantly” during the 21-day lockdown period, particularly labour-intensive, deep-level mining activities, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on March 25. However, mines supplying coal to Eskom would remain in... 

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’ during 21-day lockdown

Covid-19 impact will be “massive”, says S&P Global Ratings 

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2020 It has become clear that the hit to global economic activity from the measures to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic will be massive, says S&P Global Ratings. “Indeed, analysts in the financial and official sectors are revising their estimates of global gross domestic product (GDP) growth... 

Department enacting labour support measures for Covid-19 lockdown  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th March 2020 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa would enter a 21-day lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19, the Department of Employment and Labour is enacting several support measures for affected employers and employees. In a briefing on March 24, Minister Thulas... 

Department enacting labour support measures for Covid-19 lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Thulas Nxesi

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th March 2020 Amid government’s strategy to “flatten the curve” of Coronavirus infections, government departments have shared more details on the measures that would be implemented to support businesses during the national declared lockdown time and afterwards. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered an... 

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency 

By: Terence Creamer     24th March 2020 Project finance and energy specialists from a leading domestic law firm have questioned whether the timetable outlined by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for providing its concurrence with two Ministerial determinations for new power generation “truly reflects the urgency of... 

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency

Covid-19 ‘disastrous’ for component sector; part makers gear up for ventilator manufacture 

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2020 The temporary closure of the BMW and Ford vehicle assembly plants in South Africa, with a third vehicle manufacturer advising that it is expecting significant volume cuts in the future, has had an “immediate and disastrous impact” on the component supplier base, National Association of Automotive... 

Covid-19 ‘disastrous’ for component sector; part makers gear up for ventilator manufacture

Ford suspends production in South Africa as Covid-19 takes its toll 

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2020 Ford Motor Company (FMC) is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its international markets group (IMG) manufacturing sites, including South Africa, in response to the growing impact of Covid-19. IMG production suspensions began Saturday, March 21, and will continue for several... 

Ford suspends production in South Africa as Covid-19 takes its toll

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2020 The stimulus plans being developed by governments to counter the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic “offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities”, International... 

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages

ACSA has started implementing air travel restrictions at its airports 

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th March 2020 The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) announced on Friday that it had, in conjunction with the other appropriate authorities, implemented the air travel restrictions decreed by the government, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. These restrictions apply to air travellers from designated high... 

SAA gives reasons for its suspension of all its international flights  

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th March 2020 State-owned South African Airways (SAA) has explained why it has suspended all its international flights until May 31. (The suspension was announced on Friday and took immediate effect.) “In support of efforts by Government to deal with this [Covid-19] pandemic, and in the best interests of our... 

SAA gives reasons for its suspension of all its international flights
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An Airbus A330 widebody airliner of SAA

MTN slashes data bundles by up to 50%  

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2020 Telecommunications group MTN on Friday said it would, from April 15, reduce the prices of its 30-day data bundles and offer up to 600 MB of data a month. In response to the outcomes of the Competition Commission’s data services market inquiry, following on the heels of rival Vodacom, MTN plans to... 

MTN slashes data bundles by up to 50%

South Africa gazettes regulations around Covid-19 management  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 The South African government has gazetted regulations related to the current state of disaster that was announced on Sunday. The regulations are effective immediately.  

South Africa gazettes regulations around Covid-19 management

SARB cuts interest rate to six-year low to tackle virus fallout 

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2020 The South African Reserve Bank cut its benchmark interest rate by the biggest margin in more than ten years as it seeks to support an already fragile economy that’s expected be hit hard by the novel coronavirus. The monetary policy committee voted to lower the repurchase rate to 5.25% from 6.25%,... 

SARB cuts interest rate to six-year low to tackle virus fallout
Photo by Bloomberg
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago

Public Works building Beitbridge fence, securing quarantine facilities 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th March 2020 The Department Of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has undertaken several measures within its mandate, in response to the spread of Covid-19. As part of an ongoing process, the department has identified 37 State-owned properties in various provinces which could possibly be used as... 

Nersa finally initiates public process for concurring with Mantashe’s power determinations  

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) published two consultation papers on Wednesday for two separate Ministerial determinations submitted by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe for the regulator’s concurrence as required by the National Energy Regulator Act. By... 

Nersa finally initiates public process for concurring with Mantashe’s power determinations

BMW HQ shutters Rosslyn plant as Covid-19 cools demand 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2020 The BMW Group will shut down its European plants, as well as its Rosslyn plant, in Tshwane, South Africa, by the end of the week, owing to shrinking demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rosslyn plant produces the X3 sports-activity vehicle for the local and global markets. 

BMW HQ shutters Rosslyn plant as Covid-19 cools demand

Metair investing R650m in auto components business 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2020 International manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, is investing R650-million in a range of automotive component businesses, says MD Theo Loock. This comes as each of the businesses in the Automotive Components Vertical “successfully... 

Metair investing R650m in auto components business
Theo Loock

PPC says business is picking up, while intensive DRC restructure talks continue  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th March 2020 JSE-listed cement manufacturer PPC on Wednesday said its trading performance in Southern African is starting to stabilise.  In an operational update for the 11 months from April 1, 2019, to February 29, this year, PPC stated that the Southern African businesses had stabilised in terms of cement... 

PPC says business is picking up, while intensive DRC restructure talks continue

Local car plants to continue operating as many European operations shut down 

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2020 Despite automotive plants closing down in Europe owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, South African vehicle production sites are still operational. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) on Tuesday said that there were no production disruptions in the pipeline at... 

Local car plants to continue operating as many European operations shut down

Sasol includes $2bn rights-issue option in plan to reset capital structure 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol announced on Tuesday that it could pursue a $2-billion rights issue as a “supplemental initiative” in the event that cash-conservation initiatives and asset disposals proved insufficient to reset its capital structure. The JSE-listed group had set a... 

Sasol includes $2bn rights-issue option in plan to reset capital structure

Every effort must be made to ensure economy ‘does not grind to a halt’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni stressed on Monday that, before contemplating any possible stimulus package to address the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, all efforts should be geared towards ensuring that the already weak domestic economy “does not grind to a halt”. A failure... 

Every effort must be made to ensure economy ‘does not grind to a halt’
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Coronavirus inflicts more pain on battered South African economy 

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2020 The spread of the coronavirus dealt another body blow to a South African economy already in recession and reeling from power shortages, and there’s little the government can do to counter it. Covid-19 cases in Africa’s most-industrialized nation have doubled every two days since the first one was... 

Covid-19 presents ‘clear and present danger’ to South African economy  

By: Simone Liedtke     16th March 2020 Market trends and other economic data confirm that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic now poses “a clear and present danger” to the South African economy, North West University Business School Professor Raymond Parsons said in a statement. According to Parsons, the ripple effects from the... 

Covid-19 presents ‘clear and present danger’ to South African economy

No immediate power tariff impact, but first court ruling portends material future hikes 

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2020 The Eskom tariff increase for 2020/21 tabled before lawmakers this week provides no scope for any further hikes this year beyond those already sanctioned for April 1 by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in previous price determinations and regulatory clearing account (RCA)... 

No immediate power tariff impact, but first court ruling portends material future hikes

Telkom starts restructuring process 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th March 2020 Embattled telecommunications group Telkom on Friday announced the start of the first phase of its two-phase restructuring process. The group, starting its consultation processes, issued Section 189 notices, in addition to the offer of voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and voluntary early... 

FairPlay, Sapa welcome higher chicken import tariff 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th March 2020 Nonprofit trade movement FairPlay and the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) have welcomed the new, higher chicken import tariffs that was published in the Government Gazette on Friday. However, FairPlay said it remained to be seen whether or not the tariffs would stem the tide of... 

FairPlay, Sapa welcome higher chicken import tariff

Manufacturing contracts for eighth consecutive month 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th March 2020 Manufacturing production decreased by 2% year-on-year in January. International specialist banking and asset management group Investec commented that this was the eighth consecutive contraction in manufacturing activity and was reflective of the country’s “delicate” economic situation,... 

Informal operating rules prevail in corrupt water sector, says corruption watchdog 

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th March 2020 Watchdog Corruption Watch and the Water Integrity Network (WIN) on Thursday called for a turnaround in South Africa’s embattled water sector, with the need to make it an "island of integrity" imperative amid the significant socioeconomic impact of systemic corruption amounting to more than... 

Informal operating rules prevail in corrupt water sector, says corruption watchdog
Photo by Creamer Media
Mike Muller

South African business confidence sinks to 21-year low 

By: Bloomberg     11th March 2020 South African business sentiment plunged to the lowest level in more than two decades in the first quarter and could weaken even further as the coronavirus hits the domestic and global economy. A quarterly guage measuring business confidence fell to 18 from 26 in the three months ended December,... 

Construction sector sheds jobs as it faces late payments, community mafias  

By: Irma Venter     11th March 2020 Around 90 000 formal jobs have been lost in the South African construction industry from June 2018 to September 2019, says construction market intelligence firm Industry Insight. Employment in the sector now stands at around 600 000 people, says CEO Elsie Snyman. 

 Construction sector sheds jobs as it faces late payments, community mafias

Bank forecasting ‘exponential growth’ for South Africa’s small-scale power market 

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2020 A leading South African bank is forecasting “exponential growth” for the country’s small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) market in the coming few years, having already committed to funding project pipelines worth more than R1-billion,  mostly in the form of rooftop solar. Nedbank CIB energy... 

Bank forecasting ‘exponential growth’ for South Africa’s small-scale power market
Nedbank CIB energy finance principal Duncan Abel
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