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Covid-19

Mining industry's 5 000 tests detect 320 Covid cases – Minerals Council 

By: Martin Creamer     27th May 2020 Just under 5 000 Covid tests carried out by the South African mining industry have detected 320 Covid positive cases, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Speaking during a virtual media conference following the council’s annual general meeting, Baxter said the number... 

UIF apologises for delay in capturing May claims

By: Simone Liedtke     27th May 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has apologised for the break in its network which has affected plans to capture the May Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) online applications. The system, which has been undergoing test runs since last week, was scheduled to go live on... 

More than one in six youth out of work owing to Covid-19 − ILO

By: Simone Liedtke     27th May 2020 More than one in six young people have stopped working since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, while those who remain employed have seen their working hours cut by, on average, 23%, says the International Labour Organisation (ILO). According to a report, titled 'ILO Monitor: Covid-19 and the... 

More than one in six youth out of work owing to Covid-19 − ILO

Wind energy market set new installation record in 2019 with 63 GW added

By: Donna Slater     27th May 2020 According to its second edition of its annual 'Supply Side Analysis 2019' report, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reports that in 2019 a new supply side record, in terms of capacity for the wind energy industry, was set, with 22 893 wind turbines being installed internationally. These wind... 

Denel divisions finalise ventilator projects

By: Donna Slater     27th May 2020 Two divisions within State-owned defence company Denel have reached critical stages in the design and manufacture of medical ventilators needed to assist critically ill patients diagnosed with Covid-19. The projects both fall under Project Sabela, which is being coordinated by Denel, in... 

Global Business Services sector's prominence offers advantage for South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th May 2020 The South African Global Business Services (GBS) sector is gaining prominence across the global outsourcing landscape for offshore locations, with the country in May named the second-most preferred offshore customer experience location globally, says not-for-profit company BPeSA CEO Andy Searle.... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

By: News24Wire      27th May 2020 In the times in which we currently find ourselves, adequate healthcare and accompanying screening are of the utmost importance to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils will be able to return to schools... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

Pandemic-induced slump in global energy investment risks locking in obsolete technologies 

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has set in motion the largest drop in global energy investment in history, with spending expected to plunge by $400-billion in 2020, a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report shows. Describing the slump as “unparalleled” and “staggering” in both scale and swiftness, the... 

Pandemic-induced slump in global energy investment risks locking in obsolete technologies
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

South Africa's central bank says lenders can handle coronavirus crisis 

By: Reuters     27th May 2020 South Africa's central bank said on Wednesday the coronavirus had resulted in far reaching risks to financial stability and banks' profitability would suffer, but lenders were in a good position to weather the storm. The country's banks, some of the largest on the continent including Standard... 

South Africa's central bank says lenders can handle coronavirus crisis
Photo by Reuters
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago

Minerals Council president reflects on urgency of restoring economy 

By: Martin Creamer     27th May 2020 Re-elected Minerals Council South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo on Wednesday called on all the leaders of the mining industry to commit to continuing to address the Covid-19 health threat with uncompromising vigour and emphasised that the introduction of measures to restructure the economy was... 

Minerals Council president reflects on urgency of restoring economy
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council president Mxolisi Mgojo

International and national air transport bodies appeal to South Africa to support its airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th May 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) and the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (Barsa) have jointly appealed to the South African government to provide direct financial relief to the country’s airline sector. This... 

Arrowhead performs above expectations in tough interim period

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th May 2020 Diversified real estate investment trust Arrowhead recorded a solid performance ahead of expectations for the six months ended March 31, despite having to contend with a tough economic environment. Speaking to Engineering News on May 27, Arrowhead CEO Mark Kaplan highlighted some of the... 

SAA will not be resuming flights just yet, say BRPs

By: Simone Liedtke     27th May 2020 A press statement issued this week, which suggests that South African Airways (SAA) will resume domestic services by mid-June, is “incorrect” and in violation of SAA’s business rescue practitioners’ (BRP’s) communications protocol. The protocol was put in place to ensure that unvetted releases... 

SAA will not be resuming flights just yet, say BRPs

Iata reports that global airline debt as ballooned as a result of Covid-19 measures

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th May 2020 In its latest briefing regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (and the near total halt in commercial air passenger traffic to help try and contain it) on the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported that it expected global airline debt to... 

Reports of CEF acquiring Sasol’s fuel retail network dismissed

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has dismissed reports that it plans to sell its fuel retail business as part of an ongoing asset disposal process, while the State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) has described as “malicious” reports that it is in talks to acquire Sasol’s petrol stations. Sasol... 

Reports of CEF acquiring Sasol’s fuel retail network dismissed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CFO Paul Victor

Bid documents for 2 000-MW emergency power being finalised after Nersa concurrence ‘milestone’ 

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) confirmed on Tuesday that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had concurred with a Ministerial determination submitted to the regulator in February for the procurement of 2 000 MW of emergency electricity from independent... 

Bid documents for 2 000-MW emergency power being finalised after Nersa concurrence ‘milestone’
IPP Office working on scheme to procure 128 MW of additional energy from existing wind and solar farms

SAA getting ready to restart domestic flying

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is making preparations for the resumption of domestic air flights, between Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is seeking to be operationally ready for the the restart of this route in the middle of next month, should this be authorised.... 

IT professionals report increased cybersecurity threats related to remote working

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2020 A survey has found that 71% of information technology (IT) and security professionals have reported an increase in security threats related to remote working, while Interpol and Europol have warned of a huge spike in Covid-19-related fraud, says cybersecurity multinational Check Point Africa... 

WEF provides action plan principles to combat Covid-19 cybersecurity risks

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 26 launched its 'Cybersecurity Leadership Principles: Lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic to prepare for the new normal' report to support business leaders to reinforce the cyber resilience of their organisations. In a matter of weeks, the pandemic... 

Development resumes at Kibo’s UK power plant

By: Simone Liedtke     26th May 2020 Subject to certain ongoing Covid-19-related restrictions and safety measures, AB Impianti has resumed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) operations, which will increase over the coming months, for the 5 MW Bordersley gas-fuelled power generation plant in the UK. Bordersley is a... 

DMRE to fast-track mining rights, capital projects to help save jobs 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th May 2020 To help create jobs in what will remain a challenging macroeconomic environment for the foreseeable future, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it will fast-track its capital expenditure (capex) projects planned for the next five years. If an allocated R25-billion can be... 

SANEDI says clean energy could boost country’s Covid-19 economic stimulus plan

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th May 2020 Government organisation, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) says clean energy principles and technologies should form part of the country’s post Covid-19 economic stimulus plan. This will help to ensure the country stays on target to achieve national environmental... 

Transnet reports recovery in some units, but still expects big Covid-19 revenue hit 

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2020 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet reports that there has been a recovery in some of its operations since the easing of lockdown restrictions and is increasing tending towards an “optimistic” recovery scenario for many of its units – a scenario that assumes a ramp-up to full operations... 

Transnet reports recovery in some units, but still expects big Covid-19 revenue hit

SA's economic reopening while Covid-19 numbers rise is unique – Mkhize 

By: African News Agency      26th May 2020 South Africa found itself in the unique position of lifting lockdown restrictions as the national number of Covid-19 infections surged, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday. Mkhize said the government had no choice to lift confinement measures given the... 

SA's economic reopening while Covid-19 numbers rise is unique – Mkhize
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

South Africa’s virus fight pits government against scientists

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2020 The scientific community’s support for South Africa’s management of the coronavirus outbreak risks being undermined by the health ministry’s harsh response to criticism from a leading expert. Glenda Gray, president of the South African Medical Research Council and a member of a virus advisory... 

Distell welcomes opening up of sector, but calls for clarity on key concerns

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th May 2020 South African drinks company Distell Holdings has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country’s move to Level 3 of lockdown would include the sale of alcohol for home consumption under strict conditions. Ramaphosa confirmed that these conditions had not been finalised... 

Festival of Motoring postponed to August 2021

By: Chanel de Bruyn     26th May 2020 Event organiser Messe Frankfurt South Africa is postponing its Festival of Motoring event to August 2021. The Festival of Motoring, presented by WesBank, is the largest automotive show on the African continent and the only national industry-supported event endorsed by the National Association of... 

BRPs granted leave to appeal interdict against retrenchments at SAA

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 The Labour Court, sitting in Johannesburg, has granted the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for financially-beleaguered State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) leave to appeal against the whole of a Labour Court judgment handed down on May 8. In that judgment, the court... 

SA schools make progress in getting ready to reopen on June 1 - education department

By: African News Agency      26th May 2020 South African schools are making progress in preparations to reopen on June 1 after shutting down due to the Covid-19 outbreak, although some have not yet received their safety material, the department of education said on Tuesday. In a statement, the department said the council of education... 

 SA schools make progress in getting ready to reopen on June 1 - education department
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Rand climbs to eight-week high versus the dollar

By: Reuters     26th May 2020 South Africa's rand raced to its highest in more than eight weeks against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, as optimism about a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic boosted riskier assets, with investors looking past Sino-U.S. trade tensions. At 0605 GMT, the rand traded at 17.4700 per dollar,... 

South Africa’s potential to export green hydrogen boosted  

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2020 South Africa, which has been examining its competitiveness as a potential supplier of green hydrogen to Japan, is also being courted by Europe as a potential supplier in a world that is taking steps to decarbonise, Mining Weekly can report. Clean hydrogen is enjoying unprecedented political and... 

South Africa’s potential to export green hydrogen boosted
Japan, Europe, California creating demand for production of green hydrogen in South Africa.

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) represents the only realistic stimulus option available to resource-constrained African governments for reigniting growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene avers. The global response to the virus had... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever
AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene on the impact of Covid-19 on the trade agreement and its role in reigniting growth across the continent. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

African countries must strengthen their agricultural, especially food, production

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 A recent two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute, a unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw delegates call on African countries to put in place, and carry out, policies to strengthen their agricultural sectors. This would include agricultural processing, trade and... 

Alert Level 3 might save teetering construction companies

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 Construction companies that are on the verge of collapse after having shuttered operations during Alert Level 4 and 5 of the national Covid-19 lockdown might now be saved with a move to Alert Level 3 when construction is permitted to resume, says Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team... 

AMSA welcomes move to Level 3 in nationwide lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     25th May 2020 Steel company ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country will be moving to Level 3 in the risk-adjusted approach to the easing of the nationwide lockdown.  At Level 3, AMSA will be able to operate with 100% of its workforce, but... 

Lockdown Level 3: Squabble over 'tender' disrupts delivery of PPEs to some Gauteng schools

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 Two districts in Gauteng have experienced disruptions in the delivery of personal protective equipment to schools, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says. Lesufi visited Bryanston High School on Monday, where he conducted a visit to monitor its readiness and to give an update on the progress of... 

OneAfrica launches food voucher campaign, calls on S Africans to help

By: Thabi Madiba     25th May 2020 South African public benefit organisation OneAfrica has kicked off its Food Essentials Platform as part of its relief effort during the coronavirus pandemic and has further donated 1 000 food vouchers to support vulnerable households. Details of OneAfrica’s initiative can be found on its website... 

OneAfrica launches food voucher campaign, calls on S Africans to help
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