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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

Decoupling needed

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2015 South Africa’s prevailing electricity shortages, conventional wisdom holds, are not only undermining the country’s actual economic performance, but also its future growth outlook. South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago summarised this view following the March meeting of the Monetary... 

Power priority

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2015 The unhealthy developments at the very top of Eskom are quite obviously destructive and destablising. But they are also diverting attention from the very real operational and financial problems that should by all rights be the full-time preoccupation of all involved. South Africa’s current... 

Probing Performance 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2015 One of the main reasons given for the recent suspension of Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona and three other senior executives related to a “lack of credible information” surrounding the poor performance of the existing coal-fired power plants. In response, the Eskom board established an independent... 

Growth speed limits

By: Terence Creamer     20th March 2015 In a recent speech delivered at the University of Cape Town, International Monetary Fund (IMF) first deputy MD David Lipton noted that several institutions, including the IMF, had downgraded South Africa’s “potential growth” from around 3.5% to 4% previously to between 2% and 2.5%. Besides weak... 

Private promise?

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2015 There is a definite move by the Gauteng provincial administration, led by Premier David Makhura, to more fully integrate the capital, ingenuity and skill of the private sector into its programme to “transform, modernise and re-industrialise” the country’s smallest, yet richest, province. Over and... 

Tax, tolls and more 

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2015 While some may view Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s maiden Budget as little more than a ‘tax-and-toll’ document, there are a number of other key thrusts that also deserve attention. Without question, the decision to raise personal income tax rates by a percentage point for all but the lowest... 

Execute the plan!

By: Terence Creamer     27th February 2015 The quote attributed to General George Patton, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”, came to mind  during a recent media interaction with acting South African Airways (SAA) CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Admittedly, so did Yogi Berra’s oft-repeated remark: “It's... 

What are the priorities? 

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2015 There are two key priorities for South Africa as the electricity crisis, which first reared its head all the way back in November 2005, deepens and looks poised to endure for some time as a result of major delays at the Medupi, Kusile and Ingula projects. The most urgent, and the most painful,... 

Mixed Picture

By: Terence Creamer     13th February 2015 While it is acknowledged there is no direct, or proportional, link between foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and development, it is nevertheless still an important indicator of a country’s prospects. FDI flows also offer insight into the changing investor appetites and patterns, with global... 

More to come?

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2015 There are growing indications that State-owned power utility Eskom is starting to look beyond the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) for solutions to its financial problems. Through the RCA mechanism, Eskom has already clawed back R7.8-billion relating... 

Future imperfect

By: Terence Creamer     30th January 2015 Aside from the horrific terror attacks in Nigeria and France, the precipitous fall in the oil price has been the main news story of 2015 so far. The weakening has not only been steep, it’s been fast, with the rapidness of the change illustrated neatly in an article appearing in Bloomberg... 

Big risk factor

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2015 The jury is still out on what effect the collapsing oil price will have on Africa’s 2015 growth prospects, with the answer depending materially on whether a country is an oil importer or exporter. However, the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report is less equivocal when it... 

Beyond planning

By: Terence Creamer     16th January 2015 In his book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or how to Build the Future, serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel (best known as one of the cofounders of PayPal, along with Elon Musk and Max Levchin) has a chapter titled ‘You are Not a Lottery Ticket’. In it, he criticises the... 

New energy needed

By: Terence Creamer     12th December 2014 There is a sense of fatigue across South Africa as 2014 draws to a close. The year has been a difficult one for business and for citizens. The external environment remains problematic, with South Africa’s key trading partners performing unevenly and with commodity prices falling. South Africa’s... 

Plan Emerging?

By: Terence Creamer     5th December 2014 Some visibility may, at last, be emerging around South Africa's approach to the highly complex issue of beneficiation. It is understood that the Mineral Beneficiation Action Plan (MBAP), which is currently in draft form, should be finalised by the end of March. Engineering News has confirmed that... 

Growth, but no renaissance 

By: Terence Creamer     28th November 2014 Given the attention, disproportionate or not, being given to nuclear energy in South Africa, it was interesting to see what the International Energy Agency (IEA) had to say about the future of technology in its World Energy Outlook 2014 (WEO-2014), released earlier this month. The IEA’s base case... 

Important Progress 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2014 Given the prevailing uncertainty about Eskom's ability to keep the lights, it came as something of a relief to hear that the bidding process for the long awaited ‘baseload coal’ independent power producer (IPP) procurement programme is set to begin shortly and that it will be followed by a... 

Sustaining Momentum

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2014 South Africa has been ranked third, after China and Brazil, in a new country-by-country assessment of 55 renewable-energy markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Climatescope 2014 report and index, which has been compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance on behalf of American... 

The emerging middle

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2014 There may be no consensus on the size of Africa’s middle class, but there is, nevertheless, broad-based agreement on two things: firstly, that the African middle class is growing and, secondly, that its rise is important to the continent’s future prospects. A new book entitled The Emerging Middle... 

Holding the line

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2014 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene held the fiscal-consolidation line in his sobering maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) address last week. The Minister said the country had reached a “turning point”, whereby revenue was insufficient to cover expenditure, while debt levels were... 

Grid(lock) risks

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2014 The relationship between economic growth and development and stable and affordable electricity supply is not only strong, but also indisputable. The link is reaffirmed in the Africa Energy Outlook publication, which was released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier this month. It... 

Re-establishing confidence

By: Terence Creamer     17th October 2014 In his concluding remarks during the release the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Olivier Blanchard argued that the challenge for national policymakers was to “re-establish confidence, through a clear plan to deal with both the legacies of the... 

Eastern Inspiration

By: Terence Creamer     10th October 2014 If South Africa is going to attain the twin goals of reindustrialising while transforming the racially skewed composition of its economy, it is common cause that black economic-empowerment policy will need to be more closely aligned with industrial policy. This means that empowerment will... 

Behind the curve

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2014 Electricity producer Eskom offered a frank, albeit disheartening, assessment of the state of its existing coal-fired fleet during a recent briefing of lawmakers, warning that it would take some time for it to arrest the current high levels of unplanned outages at the power stations. The utility... 

‘Nonstrategic assets’?

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2014 The energy community is likely to pay even more attention than usual to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, which is due for release on October 22. On that date, he is planning to release details relating to the size of an approved equity injection for Eskom, as... 

Economic Alternative

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2014 A new United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report offers a decidedly different approach to how the world and developing countries, in particular, could escape the current low-growth reality. The Trade and Development Report 2014 argues that, given the insufficiency of... 

Fail better

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2014 With the problems associated with the giant Medupi and Kusile power station projects capturing headlines again in early September, it was somewhat strange, even refreshing, to listen to and economist espousing the virtues of large, complex megaprojects. But political economy of development... 

Reality check

By: Terence Creamer     5th September 2014 The shift in the conversation about Africa’s prospects – form utter desperation to breathless exuberance – has been at once dramatic and generally appreciated across the continent. However, unless expectations are properly managed, this exaggerated swing in sentiment has the potential to cause as... 

Integration architecture

By: Terence Creamer     29th August 2014 Could an Airbus-like template revive Africa’s stalled economic integration? Mandela Institute for Development Studies founder and director Dr Nkosana Moyo believes so, and recently urged African governments and the private sector to embrace a different “architecture” for economic integration.... 

Big Picture 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2014 There is nothing strikingly new in the latest Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 to 2019, outlining government’s priorities for the coming five years and providing an implementation road map for the National Development Plan (NDP). However, it is still worthwhile internalising some of... 

Not a real option

By: Terence Creamer     15th August 2014 There would naturally be a menu of options under consideration for dealing with Eskom’s current financial problems – the State-owned electricity producer expects to become cash-flow negative by June next year and has indicated that its faces a R225-billion revenue shortfall over the five years... 

Important Development

By: Terence Creamer     8th August 2014 The emphasis being given by State-owned electricity producer Eskom to the turnaround in the performance of its fleet of coal-fired power stations is not only appropriate, but also encouraging. Last week the utility outlined a five-point recovery plan, while cautioning that an additional 7 400 MW... 

Six c’s of radical transformation

By: Terence Creamer     1st August 2014 Delivering his Budget Vote in Parliament last week, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said government would be prioritising six ‘i’s’ as part of a “radical economic transformation” agenda. The components included infrastructure, industrialisation, investment, innovation, inclusion and... 

Decision Time 

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2014 Cabinet will soon be called upon to make one of its most important decisions of the year now that State-owned electricity producer Eskom has handed over its ‘comprehensive sustainability plan’ to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Eskom claims to be facing a R225-billion revenue shortfall... 

New economic balance

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2014 A new report urges African policymakers to pay closer attention to improving the balance between consumption- and investment-led growth, while suggesting that countries should target minimum investment levels of 25% of gross domestic product to sustain economic growth and to improve prospects for... 

Triple Deficit

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2014 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has warned that South Africa is struggling with a triple deficit: its stubbornly high current-account deficit, a fiscal deficit and a trust deficit. But he has also given an assurance that government is planning to do what it can to deal with all three, mostly under... 

Collaboration the theme

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2014 The aspiration to forge a closer and more constructive collaboration between government, business and labour has emerged as the predominant theme of the post-election administration. In his recent State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma revealed that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had... 

Light & Heat 

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2014 The attention given by President Jacob Zuma to the issue of electricity security in his post-election State of the Nation address can only be welcomed, as should his acknowledgement that the prevailing shortage of power is a major contributor to weak economic growth. It is equally heartening that... 

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