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Latest News

Eskom, Sasol gear up for energy storage and renewables roll-outs 

6th August 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom's battery energy storage plans and Sasol's renewables roll-out. 

Glencore holds back on dividend, accelerates net debt reduction 

By: Martin Creamer     6th August 2020 Notwithstanding its cash-generative business and secure liquidity positions, the board of Glencore has concluded that it would be inappropriate to make a distribution to shareholders in 2020, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Thursday. Instead the London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified... 

Glencore holds back on dividend, accelerates net debt reduction
Ivan Glasengerg

South African stakeholders to bring together partners for AI development discussions

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Academia, private sector and civil society have signed an Expression of Interest (EoI) aimed at bringing together experts to lead the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in South Africa and establish an internationally aligned AI institute. Inked during the virtual AI Dialogue South... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury 

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 The National Treasury has halted the emergency procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reverted to open procurement processes amid a normalisation of supply and growing allegations of corruption, which Finance Minister Tito Mboweni acknowledged on Wednesday had led to a breakdown... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Covid-19 relief should reach all SMEs, says SAVCA

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) relief was short-lived after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R200-billion government Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme in April. The scheme was intended to support businesses with a yearly turnover of less than R300-million, as part of efforts intended... 

Covid-19 relief should reach all SMEs, says SAVCA
SAVCA CEO Tanya van Lill

BBBEE report shows worrying ownership trends

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission's 'BBBEE Transactions Analysis Report for 2018/19' shows that, of the 95 ownership deals filed for registration, 70 were subsequently registered but 25 were rejected owing to their failure to comply with the registration requirements.... 

Italtile appoints new CFO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 JSE-listed Italtile has appointed Brandon Wood CFO with effect from August 3. He succeeds Tsundzukani Mhlanga, who resigned with effect from June 30. 

Creecy extends public comment on compulsory proposed manufacturer recycling regulations

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy, on August 5, granted a 30-day extension for public comment on proposed regulations regarding extended producer responsibility with regard to the management of waste post the consumer stage of a product’s lifecycle. Members of the... 

Tourism department releases list of SMEs that benefited from R200m fund

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2020 Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, on August 5, made public a list of small, medium-sized and microenterprises that benefited from the tourism relief funding programme during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has forced the vast majority of the sector to close its doors in line with... 

Mpact ensures business continuity as electricity, Covid-19 challenges persist 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Paper and plastic packaging manufacturer Mpact managed to ensure business continuity, alongside the safety and health of employees, over the past six months, especially as the period, which ended on June 30, began with persistent external electricity supply interruptions across South Africa,... 

Mpact ensures business continuity as electricity, Covid-19 challenges persist
Mpact CEO Bruce Strong speaks to Engineering News following the release of the company's results on August 5. Camerawork: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Platinum continuing to attract strong investor interest – WPIC  

By: Martin Creamer     5th August 2020 The interest in platinum group metals (PGMs) is high at the moment, World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) research director Trevor Raymond said on Wednesday. Speaking to Mining Weekly from London in a Zoom interview, Raymond said: “As you know, the WPIC doesn’t forecast price but one of our... 

Platinum continuing to attract strong investor interest – WPIC
World Platinum Investment Council research director Trevor Raymond talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. (Video: Darlene Creamer)

Local vehicle production to decline by 31% in 2020, says Naamsa 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2020 Following record new-vehicle production of 631 983 units in 2019, supported by record vehicle exports, 2020 vehicle production is expected to decline by about 31%, to 435 500 units, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business... 

Local vehicle production to decline by 31% in 2020, says Naamsa

Climate change must be considered when granting water use licences, says Water Tribunal

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 A landmark decision by the Water Tribunal confirms that water licensing authorities must consider the impacts of climate change when deciding whether or not to grant water use licences for new coal-fired power stations. In a decision handed down on July 21, the tribunal upheld an appeal to set... 

Gauteng High Court rules in favour of government on localisation matter

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 The Gauteng High Court recently ruled in favour of government in a matter involving procurement conditions applicable to electrical transformers. The challenge arises from a government decision to refuse an exemption from a localisation condition to enable imports of electrical transformers on... 

Seed companies join forces to form Limagrain Zaad South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 Three of South Africa’s agricultural seed companies, Link Seed, Klein Karoo Seed Marketing (K2) and Seed Co South Africa, have joined forces to create a joint venture (JV) company − Limagrain Zaad South Africa − to provide multi crop alternatives for farmers in Southern Africa. K2 offers an... 

Covid-19 trends in Africa informed by various factors

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has not been as significant a public health issue in some parts of Africa as it has been in other parts of the world, University of Birmingham International Development Department head Dr Jonathan Fisher said during  an Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group webinar on... 

Opinion: Highlights of upcoming code for embedded generation

5th August 2020 In this article, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association board member Frank Spencer offers insight on the upcoming SANS 10142-1 standards for embedded generation installations 

Opinion: Highlights of upcoming code for embedded generation

Penguin guano seen from space leads to discovery of new colonies

By: Bloomberg     5th August 2020 Satellite-mapping technology that detects stains on the ice from penguin droppings has revealed there are nearly 20% more Emperor colonies than previously identified in fast-warming Antarctica. Eleven new colonies of the species were found, taking the census to 61 across the polar continent,... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 Shareholder activism organisation Just Share has described the ‘Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ report published by Investec in May as having set a new benchmark for South African banks in climate-risk disclosure. The Just Share analysis has been released ahead of Investec’s August 8... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

Astral Foods says chair, CEO have recovered from Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2020 Poultry producer Astral Foods reports that its chairperson Dr Theuns Eloff and CEO Chris Schutte have both recovered from Covid-19. The company announced on July 16 that Eloff and Schutte had contracted the disease, following which Eloff self-isolated and received medical treatment. 

Parliamentary committee welcomes new Secretary for Defence

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th August 2020 Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Defence and Military Veterans Chairperson Cyril Xaba has welcomes the appointment of Gladys Sonto Kudjoe as the new Secretary for Defence. She is the first woman to hold this post, which is the senior civilian public service position within the Department of... 

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2020 The number of safety features on entry-level vehicles remains low in South Africa, although there have been some positive developments. This is according to the 2020 Automobile Association (AA) Entry-Level Vehicle Safety (ELVS) report, which assesses available safety features on entry-level... 

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report

Nmisa establishes expert platform as forehead thermometer accuracy is questioned

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Businesses are questioning the reliability of the measurement results obtained from forehead infrared thermometers being used in South Africa, owing to several factors influencing the accuracy of the measurement results, says the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (Nmisa). Nmisa says... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th August 2020 The World Health Organization has deployed 43 global senior experts to South Africa to assist the country with its Covid-19 response, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday. Seventeen experts will touch down in South Africa on Wednesday and will complete a period of quarantine... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 If the world economy fails to recover rapidly from the Covid-19 crisis and if efforts to curb emissions are moderately accelerated, it is possible that global fossil-fuel demand peaked in 2019, a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis shows. The analysis models the future demand for coal, oil... 

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

Denel 'studying' Labour Court judgment, assures it will meet its staff obligations

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th August 2020 Financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel has confirmed that it has received the judgment against it by the Labour Court, handed down on Tuesday. The case had been instituted by two of the unions representing workers at Denel. The court ordered the group to pay its... 

Microsoft invests R40m into South Africa’s agricultural sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Microsoft South Africa plans to invest up to R40-million to bolster the use of technology as an enabler to tackle the challenges facing South Africa’s agriculture sector. The investment aims to drive sustainability in the agriculture sector for South Africa’s smallholder farmers, which have... 

Liquid Telecom revamps positioning, identity

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Communications solutions provider Liquid Telecom South Africa has rebranded to Liquid Intelligent Technologies in a strategic repositioning to advance South Africa’s digital future. In 2018, the group embarked on a journey to adapt its operating model as it started the transition towards becoming... 

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains 

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 Despite positive indications, such as seen in various recent Purchasing Manager’s Indices, Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth is urging South Africa to take hold of the opportunity presented by Covid-19 in becoming less reliant on global value chains and single-source... 

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains
Photo by Creamer Media
Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth

Absa revises GDP forecast on better-than-expected data

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Based on better-than-expected data arising from the first and second quarters of the year, financial services company Absa has revised down its forecast for the gross domestic product (GDP) contraction this year from 9.7% previously, to 8.3%. However, Absa notes that taking into account the... 

Alcohol industry welcomes positive response from Treasury on excise tax deferment

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 The alcohol industry has welcomed the positive response from the National Treasury to its request for a deferment of excise tax on alcoholic beverages. In response to the industry’s request, Treasury has proposed a 90-day deferral for the payment of excise taxes on alcohol to be made in August... 

Consol halts R1.5bn expansion project amid low demand

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th August 2020 Manufacturer Consol Glass has indefinitely suspended construction of a new R1.5-billion glass manufacturing plant in Nigel, Gauteng, owing to the reduction in demand for glass products. The company attributed this reduced demand to the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s actions to slow its... 

High-flying, dividend-talking RBPlat going into second half with tailwinds  

By: Martin Creamer     4th August 2020 High-flying platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) is going into the second half of this Covid-hit year well-positioned with stockpile, upper group two (UG2), lower capital and gold-streaming tailwinds. RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri told a half-year results... 

High-flying, dividend-talking RBPlat going into second half with tailwinds
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Trade union wins salary case against defence group Denel in court

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel has been ordered to pay its workers their salaries, the UASA trade union reported on Tuesday. This was the outcome of a virtual hearing by the Labour Court. “Presiding Judge Andre van Niekerk in his findings noted that Denel had... 

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has completed its involvement in the launch of the Mars 2020 spacecraft, which has now started its cruise through interplanetary space. It is the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (Nasa’s) latest probe to... 

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe
Photo by Nasa/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
A computer-generated image of the Mars 2020 spacecraft en route to Mars

PwC says pandemic forces a relook at remuneration policies  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2020 It has been a year that has exposed the vulnerabilities of lower-level workers and, coupled with the context of job insecurity and food insecurity in South Africa, there have been increasing calls for executive pay cuts. Consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in its latest 'Executive... 

PwC says pandemic forces a relook at remuneration policies
Two PwC executives discuss the changing landscape for remuneration amid Covid-19

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Federal Aviation Administration, America’s civil aviation regulatory body, released a document on Monday detailing changes it wants made to Boeing’s 737 MAX single-aisle airliner before it will allow it to resume commercial operations. The aircraft has been grounded since March 2019, as a... 

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 in flight

Cell C defaults on repayments on $184m bond

By: Reuters     4th August 2020 Blue Label Telecoms said on Tuesday that Cell C, in which it is the largest shareholder, had defaulted on the payment of capital on its $184-million note, which was due on Aug. 2. Cell C, a mobile carrier, also defaulted on interest and capital repayments related to the respective bilateral loan... 

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