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Covid-19

Covid-19 highlights massive structural inequality – Bonang Mohale

By: Thabi Madiba     21st May 2020 Bidvest chairperson Bonang Mohale noted on Thursday that the coronavirus has shown that there is indeed huge and deep structural inequality in South Africa. “What Covid-19 has simply done is to demonstrate the huge and deep structural inequality, now laid bare for all to witness. Grotesque and... 

Reserve Bank again cuts repo rate as SA's economic outlook worsens 

By: News24Wire      21st May 2020 The Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee has voted to reduce the repo rate for the fourth time this year, from 4.25% to 3.75%.  As a result of the cut, the prime lending rate will fall to from 7.75% to 7.25%. Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said at a briefing on Thursday afternoon that... 

Reserve Bank again cuts repo rate as SA's economic outlook worsens

Company calls for households to instil recycling habits during lockdown

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2020 With many South Africans working from home, the lockdown is an opportune time for households to set up recycling systems and; for those with children, to involve them, especially from a young age, comments plastic rotational moulding solutions provider Pioneer Plastics. Recycling services for the... 

Company calls for households to instil recycling habits during lockdown
130 L Wheelie Bin Double Hood

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank 

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Electricity utility Eskom is rolling-out design modifications made recently to Medupi Unit 3 to Medupi Unit 6, rather than waiting for the results of an evaluation of the fixes, which is proceeding in parallel. The unit was shut for 75 days on January 26 to address defects that emerged, mostly in... 

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank
COO Jan Oberholzer on the rolling-out of design modifications at Medupi. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Global airlines body welcomes European proposals for safe re-starting of air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2020 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Travel Association (Iata), has welcomed the issuing, in Europe, of the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol. This has been jointly drawn up by the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) and the European Centre for... 

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services

By: Simone Liedtke     21st May 2020 While difficult to predict what the South African economy will look like post-Covid-19, Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo has warned that citizens can expect a 6% contraction in economic growth this year, alongside an increased demand on health services and infrastructure. Speaking during... 

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services
Photo by Screenshot taken during webinar by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo

Covid-19-induced civil aviation crisis forces Rolls-Royce to restructure, cut jobs

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced a major restructuring of its civil aerospace business, which will involve the loss of thousands of jobs. This restructuring will also affect the group’s central support functions. At least 9 000 jobs would be cut from... 

Engineers at SA's North West University develop kit to help schools screen for Covid-19

By: African News Agency      21st May 2020 Engineers at South Africa's North West University have developed a testing kit they hope will help resolve the congestion likely to occur during screening for Covid-19 when schools resume classes next month, the institution said on Thursday. South African schools and universities have been closed... 

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2020 The mining industry has started to become a significant corporate buyer of renewable energy in regions where these technologies have become reliable and cost-competitive compared with fossil fuel-based electricity, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). These regions include... 

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM
Wind turbines at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Western Australia.

AECI provides water infrastructure for Hammanskraal communities 

21st May 2020 From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. AECI has established a ‘filling station’ for the City of Tshwane to supply 40 000 ℓ of safe drinking water to the water-stressed Hammanskraal community amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

AECI provides water infrastructure for Hammanskraal communities
AECI provides water infrastructure for Hammanskraal communities

NUM concerned about high numbers of Covid-19 in mines, at Eskom operations

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is concerned about the rising number of Covid-19-positive cases in the mining industry, especially in Limpopo, and at State-owned power utility Eskom's operations. The union states that some mines in Limpopo have become hotspots, where the virus is... 

SA faces 'significant constraints' with Covid-19 test kits

By: News24Wire      21st May 2020 South Africa faces significant constraints with testing kits for Covid-19, Parliament's health committees heard on Wednesday evening. The Department of Health's deputy director-general for communicable and non-communicable diseases, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, Yogan Pillay, said... 

SA faces 'significant constraints' with Covid-19 test kits

Kaspersky announces cyber capacity training programme to bolster IT resilience

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 Cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky on May 19 announced that, as part of the Global Transparency Initiative, it had developed a cybersecurity skills development programme. The Cyber Capacity Building Programme will be available during the latter part of the year, says Kaspersky public affairs... 

Online payment gateway sees 226% rise in new food industry business registrations

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 Online payment gateway PayFast has registered more than 7 000 new merchant accounts over the lockdown period, so far, and the company reports a 226% year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since Covid-19 restrictions were put in place in March. The surge... 

Industroclean offers tips for employers to enhance hygiene, health

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2020 As South Africa eases lockdown regulations, some businesses have been allowed to operate but under strict hygiene conditions, while others are preparing and strategising on reopening slowly. While employers are under pressure to adhere to strict occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations in... 

CBE says it needs to recapacitate to overcome industry challenges

By: Donna Slater     20th May 2020 The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) noted during a May 20 joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure and the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration that it had amended its vision and mission to overcome challenges being faced by... 

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 The newly gazetted guideline to prevent, mitigate and manage the Covid-19 pandemic on mines is largely a restatement of what has already been adopted by the mining industry. Most of the requirements of the code of practice (COP) mandated in the gazette already form part of the standard operating... 

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted
ENSafrica executive consultant Willem le Roux

Port construction work to remain shuttered during Alert Level 4 restrictions

By: Donna Slater     20th May 2020 State-owned Transnet National Ports Authority reports that construction work on current infrastructure projects within South Africa’s ports will not resume under Alert Level 4. It says that, while there has been no indication of when the prohibition on general construction will be lifted, it will... 

WRC kicks off wastewater surveillance programme for Covid-19 spread 

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th May 2020 The Water Research Commission (WRC) has launched a National Programme on Monitoring Covid-19 Spread in Communities to track the prevalence of the virus in communities through wastewater surveillance and monitoring. The WRC aims to work with local and international partners to research and measure... 

8.1% of survey respondents lost jobs, close businesses

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Statistics South Africa's (Stats SA's) Wave 2 survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment and income in South Africa shows that 8.1% of respondents reported that they had lost their jobs or had to close their businesse. The survey was implemented between April 29 and May 6 using a... 

Stagnating economy sees poor ‘running out of options’ in residential rental market

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Economic growth never recovered to the rates prior to the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008/9, the stagnation of which appears to have been exacting a bigger toll on the poor over the last five years, says financial services provider First National Bank (FNB). In its property insights brief... 

Economists propose R100bn social bond to fund South Africa’s Covid fight 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2020 A group of economists is proposing that the South African government consider the issuance of an innovative ‘social bond’ to raise up to R100-billion for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to close what is likely to be a sizeable funding gap as the economy contracts and tax collections... 

Economists propose R100bn social bond to fund South Africa’s Covid fight
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will deliver a special adjustment Budget on June 24

Itac aligns its permitting services with lockdown level regulations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2020 Following the easing of the national lockdown to Level 4 since May 1, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) has scaled up its operations accordingly. With the gradual opening of some sectors, Itac will, as far as possible, provide import and export control,... 

L2D says pandemic impacting on occupancy rates

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Rental income for real estate investment trust (Reit) Liberty 2 Degrees (L2D) for the quarter ended March 31 has been largely in line with expectations, but Covid-19-related restrictions started to impact on the hotel operations’ occupancy rates in March. In addition, there were also some delays... 

Land Bank's liquidity position dire

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2020 The State-owned Land Bank, which provides about 29% of South Africa's agricultural debt, has briefed the Standing Committee on Appropriations about the magnitude of liquidity challenges it is facing, the total value of its defaulted loans, the reasons for its current liquidity challenges and... 

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 Covid-19 prevention, mitigation and management programmes must be established at mines using the guideline gazetted by Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza on Tuesday. The gazette notice states that this guideline provides minimum requirements for the compilation of a code of practice to prevent... 

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette
Photo by Creamer Media
Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza

Ramaphosa to meet with party leaders over lockdown measures

By: Thabi Madiba     20th May 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday convene his third meeting with leaders of South Africa’s political parties represented in Parliament to discuss the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to be inclusive, Ramaphosa has held meetings and consultations with leaders... 

Ramaphosa to meet with party leaders over lockdown measures
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Concor Infrastructure secures contract at Eskom’s Kendal power station

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Construction contractor Concor Infrastructure has secured the contract for the extension of the ash disposal facility (ADF) at Eskom's Kendal power station, in Mpumalanga. This comes just a few months after securing another Eskom contract for the ADF at the Majuba power station, near Amersfoort. 

Concor Infrastructure secures contract at Eskom’s Kendal power station
Concor Infrastructure MD Eric Wisse

Denel unable to pay salaries this month, union reports

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th May 2020 The Solidarity trade union has reported that, at a meeting with Denel management on May 18, the State-owned defence industrial group had confirmed that it could not pay its staff their salaries at the end of this month. Export orders worth R101-million could not be delivered because the necessary... 

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2020 A new International Energy Agency report forecasts that the world will add 167 GW of new renewables capacity in 2020, a 13% decline when compared with record 2019 renewable-power connections of 192 GW. Besides being the first fall in new additions in 20 years, the Covid-19-induced downward... 

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA

Lafarge Africa halts capex and warns of second-quarter sales drop

By: Reuters     19th May 2020 Lafarge Africa will freeze capital expenditure this year, Chief Executive Khaled El Dokani said on Tuesday after the cement company forecast a drop in second-quarter sales as the coronavirus pandemic hits demand. Major infrastructure projects have been put on hold, El Dokani said, citing... 

Timber suitable to help address Covid-19 housing requirement

By: Donna Slater     19th May 2020 In response to government investigating alternative housing solutions for densely populated informal settlements during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sawmilling South Africa (SSA) and the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) have approached government with a proposal that timber be... 

Mossel Bay continues to serve oil and gas, fishing sectors during lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 Since the start of South Africa’s national lockdown in March, the Port of Mossel Bay has been playing a critical role in the provision of essential services – with special emphasis on the fishing and oil and gas sectors, says Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). Despite the uncertain times,... 

Lab provides insight into energy systems of the future

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th May 2020 Technology groups Wärtsilä’s Energy Transition Lab, developed to provide analysis into the energy market in Europe, is showcasing insight into Europe’s evolving electricity market landscape and, with it being updated weekly, is also providing insight into what is happening in the market during... 

Containerised ICU can be deployed quickly where needed

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2020 EOH consulting engineering subsidiary Dihlase has designed a modular intensive-care unit (ICU) and isolation ward that contains all necessary heating, ventilation and airconditioning, medical gas, electricity, water, air, communication, technology and sanitation infrastructure systems. The... 

Mandatory code of Covid mining practice gazetted 

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2020 South Africa's guidelines for a mandatory Code of Practice (COP) to mitigate and manage the Covid-19 pandemic in the mining industry have been gazetted. Failure by employers to prepare and implement a mine's COP in line with the guidelines would constitute a criminal offence and a breach of the... 

Mandatory code of Covid mining practice gazetted
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Construction industry operating at 10%, 15% of capacity, says Metelerkamp 

By: Irma Venter     19th May 2020 Despite certain sections of the construction industry returning to work under Alert Level 4 of the national lockdown, the industry is currently only working at between 10% and 15% of its capacity, says Industry Insight senior economist David Metelerkamp. Construction on public projects, such as... 

Construction industry operating at 10%, 15% of capacity, says Metelerkamp
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