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Audio Articles

Survey still points to stifled trade environment in 2019 – Sacci  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th February 2019 Seventy per cent of respondents to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) trade conditions survey for January were negative about trade conditions. The Trade Activity Index (TAI), at 30 in January, was at its lowest level since inception of the survey in 2000. The prior... 

OR Tambo Western Precinct construction to start before end-Feb  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th February 2019 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) on Tuesday announced the first phase of its Western Precinct development at the OR Tambo International Airport, east of Johannesburg, would start this month and would be complete by the end of 2020. The R4.5-billion mixed-use Phase 1 development would... 

OR Tambo's Western Precinct Phase 1
OR Tambo's Western Precinct Phase 1

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan  

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 The future structure of South Africa’s debt-laden electricity producer Eskom emerged as the central topic during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s February 7 State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which he announced that the utility would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three... 

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation  

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2019 Newly released statistics on the performance of South Africa’s small, but expanding, renewable-energy fleet point to a positive contribution from the country’s wind and solar plants during those hours towards the end of 2018 when Eskom resorted to load-shedding. Compiled by the Council for... 

CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Moody's says split plan does little to solve South Africa's Eskom financial woes 

By: Reuters     11th February 2019 The South African government's plan to split struggling state power company Eskom into three entities does little to address the company's financial difficulties, credit ratings agency Moody's said in a research report. "The move paves the way for a more transparent group with more clearly... 

Ford’s Silverton plant starts production of refreshed Ranger 

By: Irma Venter     11th February 2019 Ford’s Silverton vehicle assembly plant in Pretoria has started production of the refreshed 2019 Ford Ranger. “Following the investment of over R3-billion in our local operations and extensive upgrades to our plants over the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the first of the new Ford Ranger... 

The refreshed Ford Ranger
The refreshed Ford Ranger

Metals, engineering sector set for third consecutive year of growth – Seifsa  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th February 2019 The metals and engineering sector is set to grow for the third consecutive year in 2019, despite the past year having been generally challenging for both the global and domestic economies. This is according to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), which... 

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa chief economist Dr Michael Ade
Photo by Dylan Slater
Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa chief economist Dr Michael Ade

Business, industry comment on positives, negatives of SoNA 2019 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2019 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) and many other industry bodies and companies have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA), which was delivered on Thursday evening. His war on corruption and focus on economic growth,... 

Industry shares sentiments on Eskom, energy landscape following SoNA 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2019 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday evening, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said it concurred on the urgent need to implement an effective turnaround strategy at Eskom.  The organisation also welcomed the general thrust of policies mapped out... 

Industry shares sentiments on Eskom, energy landscape following SoNA

Ramaphosa promises ‘meaningful consultation’ as he confirms split of Eskom into three units 

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday that South Africa’s embattled State-owned electricity producer would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution – in an effort to bring credibility to the turnaround of the utility and to... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
Photo by Reuters
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Steel group to approach Nersa for power-tariff relief  

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it will submit site-specific applications to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to secure tariff relief from Eskom for its operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The submissions will be made in line with... 

AMSA CEO Kobus Verster
AMSA CEO Kobus Verster on the threat posed by power hikes and on the group's plan to approach the regulator for relief. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 7.2.2019

AMSA reports first profit since 2010 on back of higher steel prices  

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 Following years of sustained losses, steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) reported a full-year profit in 2018, on the back of a 12% rise in average realised prices and a 5% increase in sales volumes, supported by a 21% rise in export sales. The company last reported a full-year profit... 

AMSA reports first profit since 2010 on back of higher steel prices
New AMSA CFO Desmond Maharaj on the contribution made by the sale of Macsteel International Holdings to AMSA's net borrowings. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 7.2.2019

Transnet promises to ramp up efficiency 

By: Kim Cloete     6th February 2019 Transnet has promised to deal with corruption and step up efficiency around its operations, which have taken a heavy knock over the past few years. “Over the past ten years, we have injected capital of R42-billion into the network side. Yet the scale of the network is worse today than it was ten... 

Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe
Photo by Creamer Media
Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe

Sappi delivers strong Q1 performance despite difficult operating environment 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th February 2019 Despite a difficult operating environment, diversified woodfibre company Sappi’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by 15% year-on-year and its profit by 29% year-on-year in the quarter ended December 31. Profitability for the first quarter of the... 

Sappi CEO Steve Binnie
Sappi CEO Steve Binnie

Business confidence index ‘virtually unchanged’ from December 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th February 2019 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) remained “virtually unchanged” at 95.1 index points in January, compared with the 95.2 points recorded for December 2018. The BCI was, however, 4.6 index points lower than the 99.7 recorded in January... 

Nersa to make Eskom tariff decision before March 15  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says it will make a ruling on Eskom’s heavily contested revenue application before March 15, but has not committed to a firm date for the release of the determination. Full-time regulatory member Nomfundo Maseti, who chaired the marathon... 

Eskom CFO Calib Cassim pictured during the marathon Gauteng leg of nationwide public hearings, which started in Cape Town on January 14
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim pictured during the marathon Gauteng leg of nationwide public hearings, which started in Cape Town on January 14

Eskom’s own survival at risk should big hikes be permitted, EIUG warns  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) has added its voice to the overwhelming chorus of societal opposition to Eskom’s latest tariff submission, warning on Tuesday that above-inflation hikes would have “immediate, catastrophic and irreversible” consequences for South Africa’s mining and... 

Nersa panel members listen to submissions during the marathon Gauteng leg of the regulator's nationwide public hearings process
Photo by Dylan Slater
Nersa panel members listen to submissions during the marathon Gauteng leg of the regulator's nationwide public hearings process

Aveng Strabag JV terminates Mtentu contract, citing protests; Sanral unconvinced  

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2019 The Aveng Strabag joint venture (ASJV) has decided to terminate the Mtentu bridge contract, in the Eastern Cape. The 1.1 km, R1.6-billion bridge forms part of the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (Sanral’s) N2 Wild Coast road project. 

An artist's impression of the proposed Mtentu bridge
An artist's impression of the proposed Mtentu bridge

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to suspend its methodology for setting power tariffs and to grant Eskom only inflation-linked increases until the electricity supply industry has been restructured. In a presentation during Gauteng... 

BUSA’s Martin Kingston
Photo by Dylan Slater
BUSA’s Martin Kingston

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that its loss for 2018/19 will be worse, at R20-billion, than the R15-billion loss it had projected earlier and that it will be followed by another big loss in 2019/20 even if it receives hikes it is currently seeking from the regulator. CFO Calib... 

Eskom CFO Calib Cassim
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

Eight senior Transnet execs issued with precautionary suspension letters  

By: Simone Liedtke     4th February 2019 Eight senior executives at State-owned Transnet have been issued with letters of precautionary suspension resulting from past internal audit and forensic reports that were not implemented by management at Transnet. The decision to issue the precautionary suspensions was taken after no follow-ups... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has offered a sobering update on the difficulties it is having at its Medupi and Kusile coal projects, which are not only years behind schedule and significantly over budget, but are now also beset with technical defects that are resulting in a serious... 

Technical defects at Medupi and Kusile resulting in serious underperformance

2019 kicks off with 7.4% decline in new-vehicle sales 

By: Irma Venter     1st February 2019 New-vehicle sales in the domestic market declined by 7.4% in the first month of the year, to 42 374 units, compared with January last year. Sales numbers released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday showed that January new-passenger car sales dropped by 10.8%, to 29 040 units. 

2019 kicks off with 7.4% decline in new-vehicle sales

Eskom revises tariff upwards as it unveils shock changes to Nersa submission  

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2019 Embattled electricity utility Eskom has made shock adjustments to its revenue application currently before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), which, if approved, would translate into tariff increases that are even higher than the 15% a year hikes sought in its initial... 

Eskom CFO Calib Cassim
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim

Eskom laments poor quality of coal  

By: Kim Cloete     31st January 2019 Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer has called on coal mining companies to "play ball" and improve the quality of the coal they supply to the utility. He has also outlined the massive challenges facing the utility and said Eskom was holding out for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to... 

Eskom laments poor quality of coal

Stellenbosch University starts construction on R1bn research institute  

By: Irma Venter     31st January 2019 Stellenbosch University (SU) has started construction on a Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), to be based at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). The university believes the R1-billion facility, which will be completed in 2022, will be “one of the most innovative and advanced... 

SU Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers and Professor Jimmy Volmink at the sod-turning ceremony
Photo by Terry February
SU Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers and Professor Jimmy Volmink at the sod-turning ceremony

KfW, IDC sign $80m loan facility for green economy development 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st January 2019 German development bank KfW and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) on Thursday signed a “milestone agreement” for an $80-million loan facility. KfW executive board member Dr Stefan Peiß and newly appointed IDC CEO TP Nchocho were in attendance to sign the document on... 

KfW executive board member Dr Stephan Peiß and IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini
KfW executive board member Dr Stephan Peiß and IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini

Strides made in S Africa’s IP landscape, but more substantial participation required  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th January 2019 The intellectual property (IP) system in South Africa has evolved since 1994, leaving the country with a much better, more inclusive system than before – barring a few constraints, former Innovation Hub CEO Dr McLean Sibanda said on Wednesday. Speaking at a public lecture on South Africa’s IP and... 

Dr McLean Sibanda
Dr McLean Sibanda

Gungubele denies corruption allegations at PIC 

By: Reuters     30th January 2019 South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister and chairperson of the State-owned Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Mondli Gungubele, said on Wednesday he had done nothing wrong after a whistleblower made new corruption allegations at the pension fund. "I am confident I have done nothing wrong," he... 

South Africa's largest labour union plans nationwide strike over mass layoffs  

By: Reuters     30th January 2019 South Africa's largest labour union group, with more than a million and a half members, said on Wednesday it would stage a nationwide strike on Feb. 13 over large-scale layoffs at ailing state-owned firms and at private companies. The decision by the Congress of South African Trade Unions... 

Opinion: Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?  

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     30th January 2019 That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is ‘too big to fail’. The real question is what form this restructuring should take. For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from... 

Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Gordhan says Eskom restructuring decision imminent  

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that Eskom’s financial and operational problems were unlikely to be solved without structural changes being made at the State-owned electiricity utility. Speaking as part of a panel discussion at Business Unity South Africa’s inaugural... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Business outlines five partnership priorities as it calls for new growth framework  

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) president Sipho Pityana has called for a “new framework for growth” that addresses, through public-private partnerships, the economic risk being posed by high levels of inequality. Speaking at Busa’s inaugural Business Economic Indaba in Johannesburg on Tuesday,... 

Busa president Sipho Pityana
Busa president Sipho Pityana addresses attendees at the Business Economic Indaba. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Aveng Strabag JV halts work at Mtentu bridge site, declares force majeure 

By: Irma Venter     29th January 2019 The Aveng Strabag joint venture (JV), responsible for building the R1.6-billion Mtentu bridge, in the Eastern Cape, has not returned to site following a three-month break as a result of violent community protests against the project. The bridge forms part of the South African National Roads... 

An artist's impression of the Mtentu bridge
An artist's impression of the Mtentu bridge

WesBank expects 1.5% dip in new-car sales, heavy truck market to drop by 4.4%  

By: Irma Venter     28th January 2019 A slump in the global economy, as well as a local economy offering “little in the way of economic stimulation”,  should result in a 1% decline in new-vehicle sales in South Africa in 2019, says vehicle finance group WesBank. “It is quite comforting to know that we were very close with our 2018... 

 WesBank expects 1.5% dip in new-car sales, heavy truck market to drop by 4.4%

SAA hopes to resume Blantyre flights by the weekend 

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2019 National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) hopes to reinstate flights between Johannesburg and Blantyre (Malawi) on this coming Saturday (February 2). The route has been suspended since January 18 due to Blantyre’s Chileka International Airport having being found to have serious safety... 

Government keen to see SAA debt restructured soon 

By: Reuters     28th January 2019 Government would like to see South African Airways' (SAA's) debt restructured as soon as possible, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande told Reuters on Monday. 

Government keen to see SAA debt restructured soon

Operation Phakisa for water expected by March 

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th January 2019 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is preparing to launch its own series of mini-Phakisa's to attempt to resolve the most pressing matters facing South Africa's water infrastructure sector. Over the next eight weeks, the department will mobilise provincial level Phakisa's prior to... 

Operation Phakisa for water expected by March
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