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Audio Articles

Eskom to seek special procurement dispensation to help it address ‘crisis’  

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2019 Crisis-ridden power utility Eskom is approaching the Auditor-General and the National Treasury to seek approval for a special procurement dispensation that will allow it to accelerate the purchase of critical goods and services required to address ongoing breakdowns of its coal fleet. The... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Hulamin reviews extrusions business, rolled products reaches record volumes 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2019 JSE-listed aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin’s rolled products division reported a “superb” manufacturing performance for the year ended December 31, 2018, increasing its sales by 6% to 228 000 t. This third consecutive year of record sales volumes from rolled products helped to offset... 

Hulamin reviews extrusions business, rolled products reaches record volumes

No escaping the move to electric, says Jaguar as it launches new I-Pace 

By: Irma Venter     19th March 2019 A third fully electric vehicle has made its debut in South Africa. The new Jaguar I-Pace adds to the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 already available in the local market. 

The Jaguar I-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace

Public-Private Growth Initiative identifies 18 ‘priority projects’ to unlock growth  

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2019 The Public-Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), an evolving sector-based collaboration between government and business, has earmarked 18 projects across various sectors of the South African economy for priority implementation in the coming months. Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma... 

Minister in The Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks, while Dr Johan van Zyl, Mpumi Mpofu and Roelf Meyer listen
Minister in The Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks, while Dr Johan van Zyl, Mpumi Mpofu and Roelf Meyer listen

The BioCycle aims to turn human waste into lubricants, biodiesel 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2019 The BioCycle plans to have completed the design of its first South African commercial scale facility by the end of 2020, to be followed by a global rollout of the technology, says MultiCycle director Marc Lewis. The BioCycle aims to develop commercially viable and scalable processes for the... 

The BioCycle aims to turn human waste into lubricants, biodiesel

Zimbabwe currency crisis robs Bell of record year 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2019 A new currency regime in Zimbabwe robbed Bell Equipment of a record financial year, giving the company a R87.4-million “ankle-tap that went straight to the bottom line”, said CEO Leon Goosen on Monday. “It happened right at the end of the year. It’s incredibly sad.” 

Zimbabwe currency crisis robs Bell of record year

WRC, DWS launch new satellite earth observation project 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th March 2019 The Water Research Commission (WRC), the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Department of Science and Technology on Friday released a report showing the potential of a new project to monitor cyanobacteria blooms and eutrophication in South Africa's fresh waterbodies. The... 

WRC, DWS launch new satellite earth observation project

PRASA places four execs on special leave 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2019 The State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has put company secretary Lindikaya Zide, chief information officer Chris Mbatha, corporate real estate solutions CEO Tara Ngubane and suspended enterprise risk GM Tumi Mohube, on special leave, in light of continued allegations of... 

PRASA places four execs on special leave

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner 

By: Irma Venter     15th March 2019 Port Elizabeth-based e-coating specialist, Electrocoat, wishes to sell at least 51% of the business to a black investor. Businesses that are successful in implementing major transformational changes will secure a sustained competitive advantage under the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035,... 

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner

Manufacturing output up 0.3% y/y in January 

By: Reuters     14th March 2019 South Africa's manufacturing output barely grew in January, rising by 0.3% year-on-year after a flat reading of 0% in December, the statistics agency said on Thursday. Economist polled by Reuters had forecast a rise of 1.2% year-on-year in January. 

Eskom technical review team to deliver preliminary report in four weeks 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2019 The Eskom technical review team, appointed by the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board on March 4, will produce a preliminary report within four weeks, Cabinet said in a statement released on the same day, March 14, that Eskom resumed load-shedding. Cabinet said the team... 

Eskom technical review team to deliver preliminary report in four weeks

Turkey, Romania operations bolster Metair’s operating profit growth in FY18 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th March 2019 JSE-listed energy storage solutions and automotive components manufacturer Metair saw a strong contribution from its overseas acquisitions in the energy storage vertical, while also being supported by good volume throughput from the automotive components vertical in the year ended December 31,... 

Metair MD Theo Loock
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Metair MD Theo Loock

Business confidence falls to almost two-year low  

By: Bloomberg     13th March 2019 South African business confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years in the first quarter, with more than two thirds of respondents dissatisfied with current conditions. A gauge measuring sentiment declined to 28 in the first quarter from 31 in the final three months of 2018,... 

Business confidence falls to almost two-year low

Mpact says rising power prices will place pressure on margins 

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2019 South African paper and plastics packaging group Mpact is forecasting further improvements in the operating performance of its paper business in 2019 as recent capital projects are optimised and fruit volumes improve following the recent Western Cape drought. In the short term, however, the group... 

Mpact says rising power prices will place pressure on margins

Growthpoint warns of ‘little to no growth’ in its South African portfolio 

By: Simone Liedtke     13th March 2019 South African real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties expects its international investments to contribute most of its growth in the 2019 financial year. Reporting on its results for the six months ended December 31, 2018, the company on Wednesday said property fundamentals in... 

CEF's challenges exposed in Parliament 

By: Kim Cloete     12th March 2019 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy has accused the Central Energy Fund (CEF) of moving far too slowly to transform, following a litany of problems in the beleaguered group. Committee chairperson Fikile Majola on Tuessday accused the CEF management and board of directors of merely "marking... 

AMSA says contingency plans in place as Numsa strikes over ‘labour brokers’ 

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it has introduced contingency plans at its various plants to minimise the potential impact on production of a National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) strike. The union indicated on Tuesday that a strike had been declared, owing... 

AMSA's Vanderbijlpark steel mill
Photo by Creamer Media
AMSA's Vanderbijlpark steel mill

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2019 The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business. Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder. 

South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.
Photo by Merafe
South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.

Group Five shares suspended as it enters business rescue 

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2019 Trade in the shares of embattled construction group Group Five has been suspended after the company’s board resolved to place the group, as well as Group Five Construction Proprietary Limited (G5 Construction), into business rescue. Group Five announced in a note to shareholders that it would... 

Group Five shares suspended as it enters business rescue

Petrochemicals and jet fuel to underpin oil growth as gasoline slows 

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2019 Petrochemicals and jet fuel have emerged as key drivers of oil growth, with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest market forecast indicating that the two sectors will account for more that 30% of global growth in the coming five years, as gasoline demand slows as a result of efficiency... 

Petrochemicals and jet fuel to underpin oil growth as gasoline slows

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market 

By: Irma Venter     11th March 2019 By his own admission Desmond Soekoe is not a traditional business man. Rather heavily tattooed and not fond of a suit and tie, he runs Soekoe Bicycle Company, a fledgling bicycle manufacturer based in Germiston. Soekoe is perhaps better known as the former MD of materials-handling company Deebar... 

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market

Construction index improves in Q4, but 2018 average is below year before 

By: Simone Liedtke     11th March 2019 A recovery in the 2018 fourth-quarter Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) has failed to lift the index to a higher level than the year before, but economist Dr Roelof Botha is optimistic that construction sector activity could improve in 2019. The ACI, which Botha compiles on behalf of JSE-listed... 

Construction index improves in Q4, but 2018 average is below year before

Novo Energy launches R130m gas compression facility in eMalahleni  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2019 Energy solutions company Novo Energy on Friday launched a R130-million large-scale natural gas compression facility at the Highveld industrial park, in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. The facility provides cleaner, more reliable and cost-effective energy, compared with coal and other petroleum products. 

Novo Energy launches R130m gas compression facility in eMalahleni

New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2019 New-vehicle exports from South Africa to the rest of Africa have improved by 9.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, “following a number of years of sharp decline”, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business review. Export sales to... 

 New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018

By midyear, R3bn Leonardo will eclipse Carlton as SA’s tallest skyscraper 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2019 The view from the top of the Leonardo is quite spectacular, says Legacy Group development director Jamie Hendry. “It really is a 360-degree experience. On a clear day you can see the Magaliesburg mountains and the Voortrekker Monument, in Pretoria, from the north side of the building, and OR... 

By midyear, R3bn Leonardo will eclipse Carlton as SA’s tallest skyscraper

MTN posts significantly higher FY18 earnings 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th March 2019 JSE-listed telecommunications giant MTN on Thursday posted a 85.2% increase in its reported headline earnings per share (HEPS), from 182c in 2017 to 337c during the year ended December 31, 2018. While a significant jump on the prior year, HEPS could have reached 565c apiece; however MTN had to... 

Energy Regulator sanctions 13.82% Eskom tariff hike for 2019 

By: Terence Creamer     7th March 2019 South Africa’s Energy Regulator has granted Eskom allowable revenue of R206.38-billion for 2019/20, which will translate into a tariff increase of 9.41% from April 1, exclusive of the 4.41% hike sanctioned following an adjudication, in 2018, of three Eskom regulatory clearing account (RCA)... 

Nersa CEO Chris Forlee, Nersa regulatory member for electricity and piped gas Nomfundo Maseti, Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise and Nersa communications head Charles Hlebela
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Nersa CEO Chris Forlee, Nersa regulatory member for electricity and piped gas Nomfundo Maseti, Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise and Nersa communications head Charles Hlebela

SARB says unrealistic to target specific employment level 

By: Reuters     7th March 2019 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said on Wednesday that it is unrealistic for central banks to target specific employment levels, after the country's governing party said the bank should broaden its focus. The African National Congress (ANC), which is trying to woo... 

SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago
Photo by Reuters
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago

Denel aiming to access contingency fund, confident about future despite ratings cut 

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th March 2019 State-owned South African defence industrial group Denel is preparing an application for funding from the R13-billion contingency reserve announced by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his 2019/20 Budget speech. “We know that [the] government is cognisant of the fact that Denel is in need of... 

One of Denel’s signature products, the 6x6 G6 155 mm self-propelled gun, on display at the group’s head office
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
One of Denel’s signature products, the 6x6 G6 155 mm self-propelled gun, on display at the group’s head office

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 The government’s support for the national platinum strategy is encouraging, says Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri. In an interview with Mining Weekly Online after reporting before-tax profit of R316-million in a presentation of turned-around 2018 financial results, Phiri expressed... 

South Africa's platinum group metals mines
Photo by Minerals Council South Africa
South Africa's platinum group metals mines

SARB still sees 2019 growth at 1.7% 

By: Reuters     6th March 2019 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) still expects the economy to grow by 1.7% this year and 2% in 2020, governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Wednesday after the latest fourth-quarter data showed an annualised growth of 0.8%. Kganyago said rising fuel and electricity prices posed a domestic risk to... 

SABS to invest R300m in laboratory infrastructure as part of turnaround  

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2019 The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which is currently in administration, has initiated a process of renewing its laboratory infrastructure as part of a broader turnaround plan under way at the organisation. The SABS was placed in administration by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob... 

SABS Acting CEO Garth Strachan
Photo by Creamer Media
SABS Acting CEO Garth Strachan

Mining weighs as economic growth slows to 0.8% in 2018 

By: African News Agency      5th March 2019 South Africa's economy grew by a lesser 0.8% last year after expanding 1.4% in 2017, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday. Growth in gross domestic product also slowed to 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 2.6% in the third, dragged down by the mining, trade and general government... 

Gauteng preparing large projects to tap R100bn blended-finance infrastructure fund 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2019 Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy expressed optimism on Tuesday that the province’s experience in developing a pipeline of blended-finance projects would position it well to tap into the new infrastructure fund being developed by national government. Delivering a R132.4-billion budget for... 

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Terence Creamer
Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy

South Africa's private-sector activity expands in Feb – PMI 

By: Reuters     5th March 2019 Activity in South Africa's private sector expanded for the first time in eight months in February, as output stabilised and new orders fell at a slower pace, a survey showed on Tuesday. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.2 in February from 49.6 in January, breaching the 50... 

Rolfes H1 headline earnings rise by 33% y/y  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th March 2019 JSE-listed Rolfes Holdings’ revenue from continuing operations increased by 13.5% year-on-year to R833.1-million for the six months ended December 31, 2018, as a result of higher volumes in certain divisions. The group noted, however, that the higher volumes could only be achieved at a lower... 

Bidvest lifts H1 earnings, appoints CEO designate 

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2019 JSE-listed services, trading and distribution company Bidvest’s headline earnings for the six months ended December 31, 2018, increased by 10% year-on-year to R2.1-billion, while headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 9.6% to 629.1c. The group declared an interim dividend of 282c a... 

Bidvest CEO-designate Mpumi Madisa (left) and Bidvest CEO Lindsay Ralphs (right)
Bidvest CEO-designate Mpumi Madisa (left) and Bidvest CEO Lindsay Ralphs (right)

Sugar, chicken imports contribute to 26% y/y decrease in RCL’s H1 earnings  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2019 Food producer RCL Foods’ headline earnings decreased by 26.3% to R475-million for the six months ended December 31, 2018, compared with the R644-million reported for the six months ended December 31, 2017. This translated to headline earnings a share of 54.8c apiece, compared with 74.5c apiece... 

Sugar, chicken imports contribute to 26% y/y decrease in RCL’s H1 earnings
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