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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

Beyond tariffs

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2020 There are growing signals that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), trading under which stalled as a result of the lockdowns instituted across the continent to contain the coronavirus pandemic, is slowly coming back to life. Ahead of the pandemic, trading under the arrangement was... 

Voice of the vulnerable

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2020 In a helpful recent article, Bloomberg’s Akshat Rathi outlined how the term ‘carbon neutrality’ can have strikingly different meanings depending on who is using it. For California, Rathi writes, achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 involves cutting all greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, including... 

Transition sweet spot

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2020 There will naturally be some cynicism over BP’s strategy overhaul, designed to transition the oil major into an integrated energy company that is progressively made up of a portfolio of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, bioenergy, hydrogen and carbon capture utilisation and storage.... 

Powering up?

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2020 It has taken far too long, but there is finally some positive momentum building in the electricity sector. Cause for optimism has arisen as a result of confirmation by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa had, on September 2,... 

Vital lessons

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2020 With terms like ‘implementation’ and ‘infrastructure’ dominating South Africa’s current Covid-19 recovery narrative, timely insights on what distinguishes successful projects from unsuccessful ones are provided in a recent paper prepared for the National Planning Commission. Written by engineers... 

Build back better?

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2020 The ‘build back better’ refrain has taken hold globally as countries weigh up strategies for dealing with the social and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Implicit in the slogan is an acknowledgement that the pre-pandemic economic model is no longer fit for purpose and that a return to... 

Wrong instrument

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has finally initiated the process to procure 2 000 MW of electricity capacity aimed at closing the immediate supply gap identified in the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 (IRP 2019), published in October last year. The bid documentation is... 

Fit for the future?

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2020 Major changes are on the cards at the Central Energy Fund (CEF) and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa). In both cases, the organisational overhauls are being driven by the need to address deep financial and operational distress and serious governance problems. As has been widely... 

Time to act

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 If one scrutinises the actions taken, since 2014, to extricate South Africa from a power crisis that has sapped business and investor confidence and has undermined trust across society for over a decade one would be excused for questioning whether there is a crisis at all. Besides a short period... 

Mind the Gap

By: Terence Creamer     14th August 2020 A maddening mismatch between big infrastructure promises and small delivery has been a constant and trust-destroying feature of South Africa for decades. Apart from a short period in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the pipeline of shovel-ready projects has been insufficient to address both... 

Wake-up call

By: Terence Creamer     7th August 2020 Whether or not the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) appeals the recent adverse High Court judgment against it in relation to its mistreatment of a R69-billion equity injection into Eskom, the ruling serves as a wake-up call for energy policymakers and regulators. Judge Fayeeza... 

Investment milestone

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 The fact that Mozambique has been able to preside over Africa’s biggest-ever financing deal for a project located in what is the epicentre of an increasingly aggressive conflict, with international undertones, to produce a product, liquefied natural gas (LNG), that has been hit hard by the... 

The good, bad and ugly

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2020 First, some good news. The fact that the economic recovery plans presented this month by business and the governing party have strong areas of overlap should not be overlooked and should be welcomed. The consensus that has emerged on the need to pick up the pace and scale of infrastructure... 

Time for action

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2020 There is a growing sense that, unless key stakeholders, especially labour, begin to see some practical planning and action around South Africa’s so-called just transition to a low-carbon economy opposition to the transition could rise. The lack of action to date is frustrating, especially given... 

Maximising impact

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2020 As South Africa weighs an infrastructure-led economic recovery at a time when, owing to extreme fiscal pressures and warnings of a sovereign-debt crisis, government itself is likely to have to play a backseat funding role, new delivery, funding and business models will have to be considered. Key... 

Good, sobering and bad

By: Terence Creamer     3rd July 2020 News out for the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa  – held last week both physically at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, and virtually with hundreds of online participants – was a mixture of good, sobering and bad. The good news is that President Cyril... 

Big green recovery

By: Terence Creamer     26th June 2020 Over the past few months, several commentators have actively sought to join the dots between the current existential threat posed by the fast-moving Covid-19 pandemic and the even larger, yet far slower moving, threat posed by climate change. During the period, appeals have also been made to use... 

Grim picture

By: Terence Creamer     19th June 2020 The damage wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic on the South African economy is becoming  horrifyingly clearer by the day. The World Bank warns that South Africa will, in 2020, experience its deepest economic contraction in a century, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to slump... 

Transparent and rational stimulus choices

By: Terence Creamer     12th June 2020 Governments and economists around the world are currently considering how best to  respond to the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to do so in a way that resets their economies for greater sustainability and resilience. No economy will emerge unscathed and the impact on South... 

What emergency?

By: Terence Creamer     5th June 2020 News that bid documentation is finally being prepared for the so-called emergency procurement of 2 000 MW of electricity generation from independent power producers (IPPs) is incredibly ironic. For one, this ‘emergency’ was confirmed all the way back on October 18 last year at the release of the... 

A renewables stimulus

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 There are several stimulus levers that South Africa will consider pulling to extricate itself from what is far more likely to be a serious depression than a fleeting recession. One of these stands out more prominently than most of the others: an accelerated renewable-energy build programme. The... 

Disturbingly misguided

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2020 Being able to participate, virtually, in several of the parliamentary committee meetings that have taken place during May has been a combination of interesting, frustrating and downright scary. Without fail, these meetings yield one or two real gems of information, amid the irritation of failed... 

Department of wasted energy?

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2020 Many acerbic comments have been made about the folly of government pursuing a strategy to build a ‘new’ national carrier from the carcass of the old South African Airways (SAA). It did not take long, however, for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to make the ‘new SAA’ proposal... 

World in (green) union?

By: Terence Creamer     8th May 2020 In a speech to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, held by video conference this year owing to the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 virus, International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Kristalina Georgieva said that, for the post-pandemic recovery phase to be made sustainable, “we must do everything in our... 

Here to Stay

By: Terence Creamer     1st May 2020 During a recent interview with Stephen Sackur, the presenter of BBC HARDtalk, World Health Organisation special envoy for Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro made it painfully clear that humanity will be living with the Covid-19 pandemic for many months to come, if not years. In response to Sackur’s... 

Steepening the economic curve

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2020 Thanks to the chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, South Africans have some insight into the likely shape of the coronavirus pandemic curve. The exponential rise in the number of infections initially anticipated did not materialise. Instead, the... 

Clean energy as a post-Covid-19 stimulus 

By: Terence Creamer     17th April 2020 With Covid-19 and climate change arguably posing the greatest existential threats to this generation, as well as future generations, calls are strengthening for economic stimulus measures adopted by governments in response to the pandemic to embrace sustainability and climate goals. International... 

Working during a pandemic

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2020 Flattening the curve, as Harvard Kennedy School’s Ricardo Hausmann pointed out in a recent presentation, means that there will be fewer cases of Covid-19 at any point in time. This prevents the healthcare system from being overwhelmed and creates time and space for the development of a treatment... 

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... 

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