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Construction News

Nersa aiming to grant concurrence on Ministerial determinations within three months 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa will release a consultation paper, possibly next week, which will formally initiate the public-participation process required to secure the regulator’s concurrence on two Section 34 Ministerial determinations that have been drafted by Mineral... 

Lesedi keen to retain nuclear skills built up over years in South Africa

By: Kim Cloete     5th March 2020 South African engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance company Lesedi is keen to use its nuclear expertise and skills in South Africa and other African countries and is also looking to expand its focus to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Lesedi has diversified its business and is active... 

Lesedi keen to retain nuclear skills built up over years in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Koeberg power station

M&R’s order book rises to R50.8bn on back of oil and gas platform recovery

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2020 Specialised engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) reported on Wednesday that its order book had increased to R50.8-billion during the interim period to the end of December, up 60% on the R31.7-billion level reported for the corresponding period in the previous year. The... 

M&R’s order book rises to R50.8bn on back of oil and gas platform recovery

Deloitte’s new consolidated headquarters to be operational from April

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2020 The new African head office of professional services firm Deloitte is set to formally start operating in April, says property development, asset management and real estate investment trust Atterbury. The 44 000 m2 building, in Waterfall, Midrand, will initially accommodate 3 500 staff members,... 

Deloitte’s new consolidated headquarters to be operational from April
Deloitte Africa's new head office, in Midrand

Zambia awards China Railway $825m deal for line upgrades

By: , Bloomberg     4th March 2020 Zambia signed an $825-million contract with a China Railway Construction Corporation unit to upgrade tracks in the south of the country, the company said. The project will last eight years and will cover nearly 650 km of lines, China Railway said a statement, without saying how it will be... 

Solar PV brings hope for eSwatini

By: Kim Cloete     4th March 2020 The Kingdom of eSwatini, previously called Swaziland, is confident it is on the right track by developing its renewable energy sector to help reduce its reliance on its neighbours for power. eSwatini Energy Minister Peter Bhembe on Tuesday said his country had developed a comprehensive, long-term... 

Solar PV brings hope for eSwatini

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it has started with its work to implement the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) 2019 from a policy and regulatory point of view. A Section 34 determination is needed to operationalise the IRP 2019, which supports a diverse energy mix. 

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

Attacq lifts interim dividend despite ‘extremely negative’ environment

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2020 Real estate investment trust (Reit) Attacq on Tuesday announced an 11.1% increase to its interim dividend to 45c a share, which positions the group to deliver at the upper end of its full-year guidance of between 8% and 10% growth in dividends. Building on this positive performance within an... 

Sephaku expects cement market to remain subdued as it reports fall in 2019 sales

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2020 JSE-listed building and construction materials group Sephaku Holdings expects the South African building materials market to remain subdued in 2020, following a difficult 2019 financial year, characterised by increased competition from blenders and cement imports. The company, which holds a 36%... 

Sephaku expects cement market to remain subdued as it reports fall in 2019 sales

WBHO (almost) shakes off nightmare Aussie roads project 

By: Irma Venter     3rd March 2020 Wilson Bayley Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) saw a strong recovery in the six months ended December 31, as it turned a R2-million profit for the comparative period in 2018 into a R264-million profit. It seems the construction group is shaking off the effect of a botched roads project in Melbourne,... 

WBHO (almost) shakes off nightmare Aussie roads project

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4% 

By: Reuters     3rd March 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a revised 0.8% contraction in the third quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a contraction of 0.1% in quarter-on-quarter and... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4%

Companies urged to gear up for gas revolution in Mozambique

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Key players in the gas industry have urged the South African government and companies to gear up for the tremendous opportunities that the gas resources uncovered in Mozambique will offer.  A final investment decision (FID) has been taken for two projects, while the FID for a third project is... 

Germany moves into hydrogen with lessons from Opec, Russia 

By: , Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 Germany is taking its first steps to build an economy based on hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, seeking to deliver both green growth and to avoid being trapped by a small cartel of suppliers. Ministers have been quietly lining up deals with nations including Nigeria that might produce hydrogen... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2020 Eskom's megapower station Medupi is suffocating South Africa in more ways than one: It is not just a financial black hole; it is also a health and environmental catastrophe. And the installation of crucial technology to make it less poisonous has once again been delayed. For years, Eskom has... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers

Fund helps to bring 8 major African projects to fruition

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Finance organisation, the Private Infrastructure Development Group’s Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), last year garnered $242-million worth of new loan commitments towards projects in Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. The EAIF’s loan portfolio grew by... 

Trac’s N4 upgrades progressing well

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Toll route manager Trans African Concessions (Trac) says the upgrade of the N4 highway between Belfast and Machadodorp is progressing well and is 26% complete. It is expected that the main contractor WBHO Construction will complete the R400-million project in three years’ time.  

Fairvest weathers headwinds to record solid results

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd March 2020 Fairvest Property Holdings recorded solid results for the six months to December 31, with above-market distribution growth of 5.1%, net property income growth of 2.2%, five-year lows in vacancy rates and consistently low arrears. “Fairvest’s focus on a differentiated sector of the market and its... 

Fairvest weathers headwinds to record solid results
Darren Wilder

Not all is lost for the construction industry, says AfriSam 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th February 2020 The 2020 Budget, as outlined by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni earlier this week, “didn’t give much hope to the construction industry”, construction materials company AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes told Engineering News on Friday. Growth in this sector was expected to remain... 

Not all is lost for the construction industry, says AfriSam
AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes speaks to Engineering News about the 2020 Budget and how it could influence the future of the country's infrastructure and construction sectors, and the businesses - like AfriSam - that operate within this space. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Hyprop forges ahead with its strategy despite tough trading conditions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th February 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Hyprop’s interim results demonstrate progress in implementing its new strategy, with the trading density of its South African portfolio having increased by 0.6% for the six months ended December 31 and by 1.4% over the past 12 months. The trading... 

Association battles to attain curriculum accreditation

By: Halima Frost     28th February 2020 In its efforts to generate a full curriculum for the broader spectrum of flooring installation over the last seven years, Flooring Industry Training Association (Fita) has had difficulties with the Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO), as the qualifications process seemed to take much... 

Association battles to attain curriculum accreditation
FLOORED Training and accreditation in the flooring industry has taken a knock because of delays in the accreditation process

Construction changes affect flooring quality

By: Halima Frost     28th February 2020 Changes in materials and construction methods in the built environment have led to an increase in problematic subfloors, which lead to poor end-results, says flooring distributor Polyflor SA CEO Tandy Coleman. These changes include the addition of chemical additives in concrete manufacturing, the... 

Construction changes affect flooring quality
PICTURE PERFECT The recipe for a perfectly fitted vinyl floor starts with a well laid self-leveling screed

Flooring company to start green project

By: Halima Frost     28th February 2020 Flooring contractor KBAC Flooring will handle a 1 400 m2   external raised paving installation project in Centurion for M&T Development, set to start in April 2020. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa using a unique locally manufactured product. KBAC Flooring will... 

Flooring company to start green project
UPLIFTING Raised flooring allows for increased aesthetic appeal and accesses to hidden building services

Local steel industry still holds much potential 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF). 

Local steel industry  still holds much potential
International Steel Fabricators CEO Neels van Niekerk discusses the South African steel sector. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 30.01.2020

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London  

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2020 After twenty years of first finding ways to kickstart the Gautrain project, then building and running the urban rapid-rail system, Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe has retired. His skills are not lost to Gauteng, however, as he is set to lead the newly established Transport... 

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London
Jack van der Merwe

Dangote Cement to start exports from Congo after Nigerian export woes

By: Reuters     27th February 2020 Dangote Cement said on Wednesday it planned to start exports from its Congo Republic plants to neighbouring States after its Nigerian exports fell 41% in 2019 when Nigeria's government closed its borders. Nigeria shut its land border in August to curb the smuggling of rice to neighbouring states... 

LafargeHolcim sees 3% to 5% sales growth in 2020 despite China slowdown

By: Reuters     27th February 2020 LafargeHolcim reported slightly better-than-expected net profit during 2019, the world's largest cement maker said on Thursday, saying it expected solid market conditions in most countries this year except China. The building materials maker said net income rose by nearly 50% to 2.25-billion... 

Cranes, construction equipment to become everyday sight across South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 Over the next three years, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) will package blended finance megaprojects of at least R200-billion, while government has committed R10-billion for such projects over the same period. Capital spending is the fastest-growing component of non-interest... 

Cranes, construction equipment to become everyday sight across South Africa

Cities to receive grant funding in efforts to boost infrastructure development

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 Cities will receive grant funding through the integrated city development grant to institutionalise an effective system for preparing programmes and projects. This is in an effort to continue expanding the tools available for South African provinces and municipalities to improve spending, after... 

Cities to receive grant funding in efforts to boost infrastructure development

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 With a weak economic outlook characterised by a real gross domestic product that is expected to grow at 0.9% in 2020, 1.3% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022, South Africa is in dire need of far-reaching structural reforms to achieve faster economic growth. In contrast, global economic growth is expected... 

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth

Ethiopia asks US to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Ethiopia has asked the United States to postpone what was expected to be the final round of talks on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam, it said on Wednesday, delaying the potential resolution of a dispute that sparked a years-long diplomatic crisis. "We have asked that we need more time for... 

Gauteng to build 100 schools, six hospitals in ten years – Makhura 

By: News24Wire      26th February 2020 Gauteng Premier David Makhura has promised to build 100 schools and six hospitals in the next ten years, reopening 70 township schools which were not attracting enrollment numbers. Makhura made the announcement during his State of the Province Address (SoPA) in Tshwane on Tuesday. 

Record stash of steel in China as demand slammed

By: , Bloomberg     25th February 2020 The world’s largest steel industry just sent out another warning flare as producers grapple with the coronavirus outbreak: nationwide stockpiles of reinforcement bar have swelled to the most on record. The surge is a reflection of the dislocation caused by the disease and efforts to fight it.... 

Streamlined Aveng says core units are poised to grow as disposals taper 

By: Terence Creamer     25th February 2020 Infrastructure and resources group Aveng, which is at the tail-end of a far-reaching restructuring exercise that has already resulted in disposals collectively valued at R1-billion, reports that its two remaining core businesses – Moolmans and McConnell Dowell – are both operating profitably and... 

Streamlined Aveng says core units are poised to grow as disposals taper
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Aveng CEO Sean Flanagan

Shoprite forms JV with Equites

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 South Africa's Shoprite Holdings will transfer its distribution centres and undeveloped land valued at R2-billion to a new joint venture (JV) it is creating with Equites Property Fund, the supermarket chain said on Tuesday. Shoprite has more than 2 800 stores across Africa and has said it wants... 

Amatola Water Board to lead drought intervention in Eastern Cape

By: News24Wire      25th February 2020 Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has commissioned the Amatola Water Board to lead the drought intervention plan in the Eastern Cape, the board said on Monday. In a statement, it added it was assigned to solve water shortage and infrastructure challenges in various municipalities to... 

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI   

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler confirmed on Monday that the energy and chemicals group made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with its request for information (RFI) on possible emergency electricity solutions that could be “grid-connected in the shortest time at... 

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler on the need for a culture change at the company following major cost overruns at its US project. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

EIB commits to continue supporting African investment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2020 Lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB) expects to significantly increase engagement in both sub-Saharan and North Africa and to provide €4-billion to support public and private investment across the continent this year. This will include increased support for infrastructure that... 

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