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Covid-19

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

Alcohol industry submits safety protocol proposals to govt

By: Simone Liedtke     25th May 2020 The South African alcohol industry, which employes more than one-million people across the value chain, has submitted various proposals, including safety protocols for the manufacturing, distribution and trading of alcohol, to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). South... 

Alert Level 3 to bring relief for construction industry

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 KwaZulu-Natal-based construction industry representative organisation Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal (MBA-KZN) reports that the move to Alert Level 3 of the national Covid-19 lockdown on June 1, will bring much-needed relief for the construction industry. The move will result in the... 

NHBRC submits Covid-19 guidelines for public comment

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 Housing regulator, the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), has issued guidelines to deal with the management of Covid-19 in residential construction sites, for public comment. This is part of the regulator’s efforts to ensure the spread of the virus is contained and to protect... 

Reserve Bank running out of space to keep lowering interest rates – Kganyago 

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 The South African Reserve Bank has slashed the repo rate by 275 basis points this year to provide relief to indebted consumers and businesses as they navigate the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. But the central bank is slowly running out of space to further lower interest rates in... 

 Reserve Bank running out of space to keep lowering interest rates – Kganyago
SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago

Household wealth takes R830bn knock quarter-on-quarter

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2020 A new study by insurance provider Momentum and the University of South Africa has found that households’ real net wealth had decreased by about R828-billion from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. Momentum economist Johann van Tonder says this estimated real... 

Household wealth takes R830bn knock quarter-on-quarter

Tiger Brands expects at least R500m profitability knock owing to Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2020 Consumer packaged goods company Tiger Brands says it experienced challenges within its Grains, Groceries, Value Added Meat Products (Vamp) and Exports divisions in the six months ended March 31. So much so that its earnings per share (EPS) were down 75% year-on-year to 221c apiece, and its... 

Tiger Brands expects at least R500m profitability knock owing to Covid-19

AMCU calls for testing of all employees at affiliated workplaces 

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has again called on employers to test all employees for Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to spread across South Africa. AMCU notes that while it has consistently called for the testing of all workers, the official stance of... 

Africa proactive in implementing measures to flatten Covid-19 curve – Ramaphosa

By: Thabi Madiba     25th May 2020 As the African continent celebrates Africa Day on Monday amid the global coronavirus pandemic, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that despite the resource challenges facing the continent, governments have been swift and proactive in implementing measures in the fight against... 

Africa proactive in implementing measures to flatten Covid-19 curve – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Covid-19 workplace protocols must become ‘second nature’ for any further lockdown easing 

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 Organised business has called for domestic firms to take steps to ensure that their workplaces are Covid-19-ready in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s May 24 announcement that the country would transition from lockdown Level 4 to Level 3 from June 1, a move that will result in many more South... 

Covid-19 workplace protocols must become ‘second nature’ for any further lockdown easing
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Busa president Sipho Pityana

Northam Platinum strengthens liquidity, attracts R411m new funding 

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2020 Platinum group metals mining company Northam Platinum has strengthened its liquidity position in response to Covid-19 by attracting R411-million of additional new long-term funding during the lockdown period as part of the completion of its R2.65-billion restructuring of its domestic medium-term... 

Northam Platinum strengthens liquidity, attracts R411m new funding
Photo by Cre
Northam CEO Paul Dunne

The science behind Level 3 - Ramaphosa lauds 'diverse and sometimes challenging views'

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 As President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the downgrade to Level 3 of the national Covid-19 lockdown, he thanked scientists for challenging and pushing the government's response to the global pandemic. "We appreciate the diverse and sometimes challenging views of the scientists and health... 

The science behind Level 3 - Ramaphosa lauds 'diverse and sometimes challenging views'
President Cyril Ramaphosa
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