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Cover Story

Hard-hit construction sector pins recovery hopes on infrastructure plan

By: Natasha OdendaalSouth Africa’s construction industry ground to a halt on March 27, as the nation entered a hard lockdown that would last weeks, in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic which spurred governments worldwide to impose emergency restrictions. Six months later, the industry is starting to get back... 

Hard-hit construction sector pins recovery hopes on infrastructure plan

First Word

At last, the Witwatersrand Gold Basin is being targeted once more

By: Martin CreamerWhen it comes to gold, additional exploration in South Africa’s Witwatersrand Gold Basin is not as needed as with other metals and minerals. The Wits Gold Basin has been so thoroughly explored that it’s more a question of going through bottom drawers to find shallow gold prospects. It’s good that... 

At last, the Witwatersrand Gold Basin is being targeted once more

News & Insight

$40m invested in Africa’s connectivity, data centres

By: Simone LiedtkeUK development finance institution and impact investor CDC Group has invested an additional $40-million of equity into African independent fibre, data centre and cloud technology provider Liquid Telecom. This marks the CDC’s second investment into the company, after an initial equity investment... 

Africa new-vehicle sales to be 28% lower this year as pandemic bites

By: Irma VenterThe Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on new-vehicle sales in Africa, which are expected to drop from 1.16-million units in 2019, to a current forecast of 830 000 units this year, says African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) CEO Dave Coffey. “This is a 28% reduction, which is... 

Altron adopts ‘continuity and change’ stance as five-year strategy unfolds

By: Natasha OdendaalAs telecommunications and technology company Altron nears the close of Year 3 of its successful five-year One Altron growth strategy, CEO Mteto Nyati reflects on the company’s achievements and the ambitions for the next five-year strategy to deliver Altron 2.0. The evolution of the One Altron... 

Cape Town’s largest bus company now a net exporter of green energy 

By: Irma VenterCape Town’s largest bus company, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), has become a net exporter of electricity. This achievement is the culmination of a multiyear collaborative effort between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town. 

Covid-19 taking heavy toll on dealerships, says NADA

By: Irma VenterThe Covid-19 pandemic has seen six amalgamations between dealerships from April 1 to September 30, as well as the sale of 19 others and the closure of a further 38 – all members of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) – the association’s national director, Gary McCraw, tells... 

Covid-19 wastewater surveillance programme moves to next stage

By: Natasha OdendaalThe Water Research Commission’s (WRC’s) emerging national wastewater surveillance programme has reached a milestone as it moves from the first-phase proof-of-concept into a ‘catalysing’ pilot phase. The WRC launched the first stage towards the development of a national wastewater surveillance... 

Despite slump, FDI ‘still most important source of external finance’

By: Simone LiedtkeGlobal foreign direct investment (FDI) flows decreased by 49% year-on-year in the first half of this year as Covid-19-induced lockdowns around the world slowed existing investment projects and the prospects of a deep recession led multinational enterprises (MNEs) to reassess new projects. In a... 

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite

By: Terence CreamerThe Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – which reported a R3.8-billion loss for the 2019/20 financial year, driven by a surge in impairments from R4.8-billion to R9.6-billion – has revised its investment strategy with the aim of “catalysing” government’s Reconstruction and Recovery Plan... 

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite

International Space Station marks 20 years of operations

By: Rebecca CampbellNovember 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the first crew on board the International Space Station (ISS). More than 15 countries have worked together to build it, and, since the first three-man crew (Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, and American William Shepherd) boarded... 

Logistics index shows ‘strong growth’ in third quarter, following decline in prior three months

By: Irma VenterThe South African logistics sector has just recorded its strongest ever quarter of growth, according to the newest Ctrack Freight & Transport Index (CFTI). In June, at the end of the second quarter, the CFTI showed that the domestic logistics sector recorded a decline of 17.6% compared with the... 

Municipal power procurement trickier than simply securing Ministerial nod

By: Marleny ArnoldiAlthough national government has opened the door for municipalities to procure electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), a lot of "regulatory ironing out" still needs to happen before power purchase agreements (PPAs) can be signed. In May last year, the Energy Minister gave... 

R1bn Richards Bay mounded LPG storage facility commissioned

By: Creamer Media Reporter The R1-billion mounded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility, in Richards Bay, owned by South African independent bulk liquid and gas storage operator Bidvest Tank Terminals and independent LPG specialist and trader Petredec, has been commissioned. The 22 600 t storage facility is the... 

Royal Bafokeng backs Distributed Power Africa’s energy agenda

By: Marleny ArnoldiRenewable energy company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has announced that Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) will invest $20-million in a newly formed asset company to expand on DPA’s solar energy portfolio in four key markets. RBH is a long-term African community investment holding company with a... 

Smart mobility plan launched to improve Gauteng transport by 2030

By: Donna SlaterThe Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo on October 27 launched the province’s Smart Mobility 2030 Plan, which is a roadmap aimed at addressing the province’s transport challenges. He pointed out that the two biggest challenges in the province are congestion... 

Smartphone market starts to recover

By: Natasha OdendaalThe global smartphone market is showing signs of improvement, bolstered by a faster-than-expected rebound in some key emerging markets during the third quarter of the year, market intelligence and advisory services firm International Data Corporation (IDC) highlights. Preliminary data from the... 

South African pharmaceuticals company approved to produce medicine active ingredients

By: Rebecca CampbellSouth African startup pharmaceuticals company CPT Pharma, a subsidiary of Chemical Process Technologies (CPT), has received Good Manufacturing Practice approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for the manufacture of four active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). (CPT... 

Toyota replaces popular Etios with new Starlet

By: Irma VenterIn August last year, Toyota and Suzuki announced a formal alliance between the two carmakers in order “to leverage each other’s strengths and compete in the evolving global vehicle market”.  Toyota’s expertise in hybrid technology and autonomous driving would be of benefit to Suzuki, while Toyota... 

Trade Minister stresses Britain’s commitment to values-based free trade

By: Rebecca CampbellUK Secretary of State (Cabinet Minister) for International Trade Liz Truss has highlighted the “evangelical” commitment of the British government to free trade and reaffirmed the importance of free trade in increasing prosperity in the UK and around the world. In a recent speech at Chatham House... 

Transnet revamping concessions model to speed up private involvement in rail and ports

By: Terence CreamerState-owned freight logistics group Transnet is in the process of overhauling its approach to opening up its port and rail networks, including 8 000-km of branch lines, to private participants, acknowledging that its previous models have been far to slow and cumbersome. CEO Portia Derby said the... 

Transnet revamping concessions model to speed  up private involvement in rail and ports

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition

By: Terence CreamerThe extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s  grid capacity for just transition

Editorial Insight

Debt compact?

By: Terence CreamerFor some time now, Eskom has been arguing that its debt load, which stood at R484-billion at the end of March, could only be considered sustainable if it were reduced to less than half that level, or to around R200-billion. Until then, the State-owned utility’s going-concern status could be... 

Debt compact?

Mining Weekly News

Coal miners urged to consider embracing circular economy concepts

By: Martin CreamerCoal mining companies need to start looking at creating their own profitable circular economies around existing coal assets because it is possible, says African Source Markets CEO Bevan Jones. While still responsibly mining coal, coal-mining companies have an opportunity to look at creating a... 

Coal miners urged to consider embracing circular economy concepts

Richards Bay Alloys backs chrome export tax as interim measure

By: Martin CreamerThe struggling electricity-intensive South African ferrochrome industry, which has taken significant strides to increase its efficiency and reduce its electricity consumption, needs urgent steps to be taken to enable it to restore its competitiveness. The most far-reaching of these is the... 

Richards Bay Alloys backs chrome  export tax as interim measure

South Australia hyped for hydrogen

By: Esmarie IannucciThe South Australian government this week launched its hydrogen prospectus, detailing three hydrogen hubs that is hoped would position the state at the forefront of hydrogen production and export. Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said on Thursday that the prospectus showed... 

Vivo Energy, Robex to set up a solar plant at Mali mine

By: Tasneem BulbuliaCanadian mining company Robex Resources and Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, have reached an agreement for Vivo Energy to supply solar energy to the Nampala gold mine, in Mali, for a period of five to fifteen years. The project will... 

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