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Construction News

Energy projects in Africa remain challenging, but signs of hope emerging

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 Renewable energy projects in Africa will be significantly affected by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in construction site disruptions, delays and difficulties in getting equipment and components across borders which have different levels of restriction on the movement of people and... 

Ethiopia starts filling Grand Renaissance dam, minister says

By: Reuters     15th July 2020 Ethiopia has started filling the Grand Renaissance dam, a giant hydroelectric project it is building on the Blue Nile, its water minister said on Wednesday, a day after talks with Sudan and Egypt on the issue became deadlocked. "The construction of the dam and the filling of the water go hand in... 

Fairvest finalises Tokai Junction sale

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2020 The due diligence for the disposal of JSE-listed real estate investment trust Fairvest Property's Tokai Junction property to FPG Holdings for R180-million, has been completed. Tokai Junction is a 7 618 m2 retail centre in Constantia, in the Western Cape.  

Evaluation of short-term power bids being hamstrung by Covid-19, Eskom confirms 

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2020 Progress on Eskom’s proposed Short-Term Power Purchase Programme, initiated to help limit load-shedding while the State-owned utility implements a so-called reliability maintenance programme across its coal fleet over the coming 18 months, is being seriously retarded by South Africa’s Covid-19... 

Evaluation of short-term power bids being hamstrung by Covid-19, Eskom confirms

New Transnet Port Terminals chief on his ‘baptism of fire’

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2020 Newly appointed Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) CEO Velile Dube, who officially assumed the role on July 1, acknowledges that his first few weeks were nothing short of a “baptism of fire”. The experience proved challenging not because Dube was new to TPT, or the broader Transnet group for that... 

New Transnet Port Terminals chief on his ‘baptism of fire’
Transnet Port Terminals CEO Velile Dube

Ian McRae, who oversaw Eskom’s ‘electricity for all’ policy, dies 

12th July 2020 The much respected former CEO of Eskom, Ian McRae, died in the early hours of Sunday morning July 12, 2020. He was 90 years old. Born in Germiston on September 24, 1929, Ian Campbell McRae started his career as an apprentice fitter and turner at Eskom. After qualifying he went on to obtain a... 

Ian McRae, who oversaw Eskom’s ‘electricity for all’ policy, dies
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter pays tribute to Dr Ian McRae, who died on July 12.

Talks over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam remain deadlocked

By: African News Agency      10th July 2020 Negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have produced no results after seven straight days of talks, reported Daily News Egypt. According to the report, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and... 

Infrastructure at core of business’ R3.4-trillion economic recovery proposal  

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2020 Business for South Africa released an economic recovery strategy paper on July 10 that includes a list of 12 priority initiatives, many infrastructure-related, which the formation argues could bolster gross domestic product by R1-trillion, create up to 1.5-million jobs and increase yearly tax... 

Infrastructure at core of business’ R3.4-trillion economic recovery proposal
B4SA paper says green-economy investments should be accelerated as part of infrastructure-led recovery

Home automation add-on launched

10th July 2020 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand has launched its Arteor-with-Netatmo which is a simple home automation solution that uses traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi. The company explains that it expanded on its Arteor range of wiring devices,... 

Home automation add-on launched
PLUGGED IN Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi

New piezometer boosts existing safety standards 

By: Halima Frost     10th July 2020 The installation of South Africa’s first Slimline vibrating wire piezometer, which is distributed by geotechnical service provider GeoGroup, is set to take place when the current Covid-19 lockdown regulations allow. The company says the piezometer will be instrumental in ensuring accurate... 

New piezometer boosts existing safety standards
GeoGroup director Grant Rijsmus discusses the company’s Slimline Vibrating Wire Piezometer. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 10.06.2020

MBA North welcomes infrastructure strategy, but warns implementation is key

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 The Master Builders Association (MBA) North has broadly welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision of infrastructure spending as the flywheel of South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.  Speaking at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa, held on... 

South Africa its own biggest enemy in infrastructure roll-out

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 South Africa keeps on tripping itself up when it comes to infrastructure project development and implementation, says New Development Bank (NDB) Africa regional office director-general Monale Ratsoma. The NDB is a multilateral development bank established by the Brics States, namely Brazil,... 

S Africa crucial for centre’s growth into SADC

By: Cameron Mackay     10th July 2020 South Africa is vital for inter-country trade organisation the Competence Centre for Mineral Resources’ (CCMR’s) goal of expanding its network into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, according to CCMR head René Zarske. “South Africa is an important gateway for this, and the... 

S Africa crucial for centre’s  growth into SADC
VITAL ECONOMIC PARTNERS Last November the CCMR invited eight South African companies to Germany to liaise with equipment suppliers, with follow-up delegations planned once travel restrictions are lifted

Pandemic encourages larger project scope

By: Cameron Mackay     10th July 2020 The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have encouraged inter-country trade organisation the Competence Centre for Mineral Resources (CCMR) to increase the scope of its Health & Safety on South African Mines project. “It’s important to remember that if you are running a project over three years, you... 

Pandemic encourages larger project scope
RENÉ ZARSKE It is a win-win situation. We have many German companies that want to invest into South Africa, while local mining operations are looking for investors

Growthpoint expects at least 15% y/y decrease in distributions a share

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th July 2020 Owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on it business, the rental relief that has been provided to tenants, arrear rentals and the ongoing uncertainty of the future impact of this crisis on the global economy, and its business in particular, JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties expects... 

L2D says interim financial results ‘severely impacted’

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 Trading improvement has been slow since the Level 3 lockdown restrictions were implement and JSE-listed real estate investment trust Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) says there has been “a severe impact on the second quarter and consequently the first half of the 2020 financial year". As a result, the... 

Hyprop expands national solar project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th July 2020 Real estate investment trust Hyprop is set to decrease its carbon footprint further, with the landlord expanding its solar project across 66% of its South African shopping mall portfolio. “As part of Hyprop’s drive to continually minimise the impact on the environment, one of our key focus areas... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 to stress that South Africa’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon path needed to be both systematic and just.... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 United Nations secretary-general António Guterres appealed to governments on Thursday to place the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy at the “core” of their Covid-19 economic recovery spending. Guterres also used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy... 

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres
United Nations secretary-general António Guterres

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy 

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2020 African countries should aim to invest 25% of their Covid-19 stimulus budgets in renewable energy, Sustainable Energy for All CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi said on Wednesday, noting that renewable energy had emerged as the cheapest source of new electricity for most countries on the continent. Speaking... 

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects 

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2020 The four major rehabilitation and expansion projects on the South African side of the N4 Toll Route are back on track, says toll road manager Trans African Concessions (Trac). All sites were officially opened in the second week of May and are fully operational. 

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’

ECSA chief says ‘new normal’ involves putting expertise together for greater good

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) CEO Sipho Madonsela says the manner in which business operates has shifted and the need to heed the call for a “new normal” is now. His statement comes amid the continuing spread of Covid-19 throughout South Africa and while the measures taken to try... 

Stenprop makes further acquisitions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 UK multi-let industrial (MLI) property company Stenprop has acquired a further 43 500 ft2 of MLI property across four adjoining warehouse units in Stretton Business Park, in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. The £3.75-million acquisition reflects a net initial yield of 6.9% and a capital value of... 

Construction resumes on Atterbury’s Richmond Park development

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 Property investor and developer Atterbury has restarted construction on the Richmond Park mixed-use development in Milnerton, Cape Town. Development work at Richmond Park is proceeding in line with South Africa’s Alert Level 3 lockdown, which allows for construction projects. 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom aims, within the coming months, to seek authorisation from its board and government to initiate a formal bidding process for the repurposing and repowering of the Camden, Komati, Grootvlei and Hendrina coal-fired power stations using lower-carbon generation... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations

Industrial property seems to weather Covid-19 weakening best - FNB

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th July 2020 Brokers continue to perceive the industrial property market as the strongest of the three classes in commercial property – industrial, retail and office. However, there has been weakening demand-supply balances in all three property classes since Covid-19 hit South Africa, says FNB property... 

Industrial property seems to weather Covid-19 weakening best - FNB

Capacity development, training continues with virtual meetings

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 Professional development nonprofit organisation The South Africa Road Federation (SARF) is delivering ten accredited courses using Microsoft Teams during July and August, with planning for courses later in the year also under way, SARF operations director Basil Jonsson says. South Africa’s road... 

CIDB urges companies to mentor, empower women

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd July 2020 The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) continues to encourage established construction professionals to contribute to transformation in the industry through personal commitment to the mentorship of women. While women-owned entities have been on the rise, most of these fall within... 

Interface increases recycled content in its flooring products

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Modular flooring producer Interface will, going forward, produce its luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products with an exceptionally high (39%) content of recycled material, without compromising any quality. According to the company, this achievement represents a “breakthrough” in sustainable flooring,... 

Interface increases recycled content in its flooring products

Get going with galvanizing: new book for engineers from IZA

By: Shannon de Ryhove     3rd July 2020 The International Zinc Association (IZA) will launch its new publication, The Essentials of Galvanizing, during a webinar hosted by Creamer Media Contract Publishing on July 15, 2020. The publication offers the civil engineering and construction industry valuable insights into the importance of... 

Get going with galvanizing: new book for engineers from IZA

Mapasa says BRL business rescue proceeding well despite some challenges 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd July 2020 Progress is being made with the implementation of the business rescue plan of embattled construction company Basil Read Limited (BRL), a subsidiary of Basil Read Holdings Limited (BRHL), “despite challenges”, Basil Read CEO Khathutshelo (K2) Mapasa tells Engineering News.. BRL operates in the... 

Mapasa says BRL business rescue proceeding well despite some challenges
CEO Khathutshelo (K2) Mapasa

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Steel merchant Macsteel has been re-evaluating its business strategy, owing to a steady decline in steel consumption over the past five years, with 2019 being a “new low” and the start of 2020 faring just as poorly – a situation that has been exacerbated by the lockdown because of Covid-19.... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market
BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers

New digital technologies improve manufacturing capabilities

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group has developed digital technology called the X-Pact MES 4.0, along with the Safety Locator Suite system, which both aid in the digital transformation of organisations and help to gain faster insights and more informed management decision-making, with the... 

New spillway increases dam capacity

3rd July 2020 The installation of a newly developed spillway on the Garden Route dam in George, Western Cape, has successfully increased the potential capacity of the dam to 12.5-million cubic metres, says consulting engineering company Aurecon dam engineer Frank Denys. The company was tasked to raise the... 

New spillway increases  dam capacity
LONG WAY The newly developed elongated spillway, aptly named the duckbill allows for 25% more capacity on the Garden Route Dam

Tech solution enhances water security in S Africa

By: Halima Frost     3rd July 2020 The self-automated scour gate is a technology which has been developed and refined by local water engineering contractors Amanziflow Projects to promote water security. Amanziflow Projects MD Peter Townshend says many projects have been conducted by the company in the Southern African Development... 

Tech solution enhances water security in S Africa
WATER GATE The scour gate developed by Amanziflow allows for the effective flushing of sediment from a dam increasing its storage capacity

Long-term solutions overlooked – Sappma

By: Halima Frost     3rd July 2020 Government’s present efforts to address the lack of potable water in remote areas are resulting in industries that could offer long-term solutions being overlooked, says Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (Sappma). “Understandably, the need to supply to areas that are without... 

Long-term solutions overlooked – Sappma
IN THE PIPELINE The laying of permanent pipelines using high-quality, plastic water pipes can offer a guaranteed water supply as opposed to current quick-fixes
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