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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Virtue of necessity

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2020 This 21-day lockdown is quite obviously a solution that has been cooked up for a very different context to the one prevailing in South Africa. It is surely best suited to a setting where all citizens have access to decent houses or apartments that are constantly supplied with water, sanitation,... 

New ways of thinking and acting

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 Planning, coordination and cooperation have to become our watchwords as we seek to respond to the Covid-19 health emergency and the economic impacts thereof. Acting decisively is vitally important, but so is acting, as far as feasibly possible, in unison and with purpose. More than ever before,... 

Be prepared

By: Terence Creamer     20th March 2020 There was much excitement at the start of 2018 about the prospect of a growth tailwind, following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as African National Congress (ANC) president, and later Head of State. It soon became clear, however, that ‘Ramaphoria’ was more psychological relief than physical cure.... 

Worrying developments

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2020 It is almost impossible to overstate the scale of the gas discoveries that have been made in the Rovuma basin of northern Mozambique since 2010. With yet more exploration planned, some 150-trillion cubic feet of gas has already been discovered. The finds have attracted leading international... 

Implementation risks

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2020 It is difficult to remember a time when economists and commentators were so off the mark when making forecasts about what a Finance Minister would announce in his Budget as they were for Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s February 26 address. The discrepancy between those predictions and reality... 

Energy B-HAG

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2020 In light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that measures will be taken in the coming months to fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation and procurement, it is surely opportune to consider using the intervention for setting a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’, or B-HAG, for the... 

Out of step

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 There were indications already at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that South Africa was out of step with the main themes occupying the minds of most global government and business leaders. The overwhelming thrust of the 2020 gathering was about dealing with the existential threat... 

Walter Mitty Syndrome

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2020 The South African government would not be able to build an emergency hospital in ten days, let alone an emergency power station. For evidence, look no further than the horribly overpriced and disastrously delayed Medupi and Kusile coal projects. Even in the face of an obvious emergency, which the... 

In need of a quick win

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2020 Any rational observer of the South African condition, will probably have grudgingly come to accept that it’s going to take a significant amount of time to turn around the performance not only of the economy, but also those public entities that still play an over-sized role in shaping the... 

The stuff of nightmares

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2020 For those who have resolved to make 2020 the year they start prioritising a good night’s sleep, it would not be advisable to make bedtime reading of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) new report on South Africa’s electricity crisis. Released as a 63-page slide deck, the... 

End of the beginning

By: Terence Creamer     24th January 2020 South Africans may be divided on many issues, but on the fact that inadequate electricity supply represents the main risk to the country’s economy, there is undeniable unity. Ongoing disagreement remains, however, on the solution. This in itself is flabbergasting for two reasons. Firstly, because... 

Time to act

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2020 The return of load-shedding, together with what is a truly dire prognosis for system stability, should surely have been the wake-up call government required to finally begin implementing its very own Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019). Instead, the only indication that the Department of... 

Road trip to the ʼ20s

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2019 As we approach the onramp to the 2020’s, the car-wreck of South Africa’s ‘lost decade’ looms large in the rear-view mirror. The confidence boost provided by the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 is a faded road sign thousands of kilometres in the distant past. Even though the... 

Huge risk, no urgency

By: Terence Creamer     6th December 2019 The risk posed by Eskom to the fiscus is surpassed only by the risk posed by ongoing electricity shortages to the economy and South Africa’s growth prospects. The South African Reserve Bank has already downgraded the country’s growth potential to a miserable 1% – a rate wholly insufficient to... 

Time to get real about Eskom coal fleet

By: Terence Creamer     29th November 2019 Opinion may be divided on the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as Eskom’s new CEO, but on one point it’s overwhelmingly united: there will be no honeymoon period. The attitude of citizens towards State-owned companies generally and Eskom in particular has hardened. Nobody wants to hear any more... 

Mobilise private finance 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2019 One of the key messages in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Africa Energy Outlook 2019 report is that neither State budgets nor development finance will be sufficient to fund the investments required to meet Africa’s growing power demands to 2040. The report states that cumulative... 

Crunch time

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2019 South Africans are painfully aware of the negative consequences of power shortages. The menace of load-shedding has hung over the country’s economy like a pall for more than ten years. Notwithstanding flat demand, an expensive Eskom build programme and the introduction of some private generation,... 

Backsliding 

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2019 The problems with the way the World Bank’s yearly ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking’ is compiled are well documented. Nevertheless, the ranking has become something of a touchstone for those seeking to make a quick assessment of a country’s business environment. In recognition of this, President... 

Urgent Concurrence

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2019 The very last column in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) table is certain to attract much attention, for the immediate future anyway. The column bears the unglamorous heading of ‘Other’, followed by the words ‘Distributed Generation, CoGen, Biomass, Landfill’ in brackets. Under the... 

Power struggle 

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom confirmed earlier this month that it would be taking the Energy Regulator’s most recent tariff determination on legal review and would also be applying for urgent interim relief to “avoid financial disaster”. The action was not unexpected. The utility had... 

Necessary, but insufficient

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2019 “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a game-changer, both for South Africa and the rest of the continent,” President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in his October 7 letter to the nation. African integration, he added, is “overwhelmingly and undeniably in our national interest”,... 

Necessary, but insufficient

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2019 “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a game-changer, both for South Africa and the rest of the continent,” President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in his October 7 letter to the nation. African integration, he added, is “overwhelmingly and undeniably in our national interest”,... 

Best of bad choices

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2019 When asked by CNN host Fareed Zakaria about America’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, former British Prime Minister David Cameron replied: “It’s certainly right to say that the deal had its imperfections, but all deals have their imperfections  . . . often in politics and international... 

Tail wagging dog

By: Terence Creamer     4th October 2019 During a recent energy event, Andy Calitz, who has bravely put up his hand for the vacant post of Eskom CEO, indicated that one of his major impressions since returning to South Africa, following an absence of over two decades, is that domestic executives and policymakers have not yet fully... 

Saved by democracy?

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2019 The reactions of Julius Malema and Gwede Mantashe respectively to recent negative media reports show up stark differences in both style and substance. True, the allegations published about Malema’s illicit windfall following the unconscionable plunder of VBS Mutual Bank are vastly more serious... 

Growth engine

By: Terence Creamer     20th September 2019 For those still in search of evidence of just how beneficial a relationship South Africa enjoys with the rest of the continent – and Southern Africa in particular – a visit to any regional border post would immediately dispel any doubts. Even more than a thousand kilometres north of Johannesburg,... 

Food for thought

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Next week is the deadline for the submission of comments on the economic policy paper released by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in late August. The paper’s distribution came as something of a surprise – possibly as surprising as the Minister’s penchant for cooking with Lucky Star pilchards.... 

VAR and the IRP

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2019 If you watch international football, you will be acutely aware that one of the hottest topics of conversations these days is ‘VAR’ or the video assistant referee. Never does a weekend go by without enough cyber and real ink being spilled over VAR-related decision to fill a pint-sized glass to... 

Political gamesmanship?

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe left many scratching their heads again last week after a briefing of mostly foreign correspondents in Johannesburg. It came as little surprise when the Minister reiterated government’s hackneyed argument that South Africa would be remiss if it... 

What not to do

By: Terence Creamer     23rd August 2019 Given South Africa’s current economic predicament, it is not only natural but also important for government, along with its business and labour partners, to begin looking outside of the country’s prevailing frameworks for solutions. There are already some promising signs of this happening, with... 

All hands to the pump

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2019 There is a growing tendency among hitherto committed and well-intentioned South Africans to simply throw up their hands in despair when considering the state of the economy and the slow pace of reforms needed to liberate it from its current low-growth trap. There is also a rising emotional... 

Grasping the nettle

By: Terence Creamer     9th August 2019 South Africans are most certainly weary of commissions of inquiry and it’s, thus, entirely inopportune to be talking about the possibility of convening yet another one. It’s far from clear, however, whether the usual channels can be relied upon to deliver a sustainable solution to South Africa’s... 

People matter

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2019 A key take away from the dreadful ‘State capture era’ it is that institutions matter and so do the people that lead them. If it had not been for the resilience of key individuals in the judiciary, the National Treasury and the Office of the Public Protector during the ‘peak capture years’, it is... 

Stale and uninspiring

By: Terence Creamer     26th July 2019 There was little sign of the promised ‘reform agenda’ in the recent Budget Vote speeches delivered by South Africa’s newly appointed Cabinet Ministers. In far too many instances, the speeches showed little or no evidence of deviation from past stale scripts. In the worst cases, there was even... 

Missed opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2019 In light of the intensifying global efforts to tackle climate change, as well as South Africa’s ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, it would be irresponsible for government to do nothing to address domestic greenhouse-gas emissions. A failure to act would result in the costs being both... 

High impact

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2019 Britain’s got Brexit, America has Trump and South Africa’s got corruption. When such powerful single-issue themes permeate just about every political and economic development, a country can easily be distracted from giving attention to some even more pressing problems. In the case of South... 

Can we dream big again?

By: Terence Creamer     5th July 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa was heavily criticised for using the closing section of his June 20 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to outline an aspirational vision for South Africa. As part of his ‘dream’, the President envisioned a new smart city “with skyscrapers, schools, universities,... 

Future certain

By: Terence Creamer     28th June 2019 Four important energy-related reports were released during the course of June, all of which contain important messages and signals for South Africa and its future energy, industrial and environmental policy choices. The sixty-eighth edition of the ‘BP Statistical Review of World Energy’ points to... 

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