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Latest News

AU secures 270-million vaccine doses for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th January 2021 The African Union, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, has secured 270-million vaccine doses to supply African countries, with at least 50-million doses available for April to June 2021. Avatt, a 10-member team drawn from across the continent, was established in August 2020 by AU... 

Airlink has suspended flights to and from Maseru due to Lesotho passenger flight ban

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th January 2021 The Lesotho government has banned passenger flights to and from Maseru’s Moshoeshoe I International Airport with effect from Thursday (January 14). This was announced on Wednesday and, as a consequence, South African airline Airlink has had to suspend its daily service between Johannesburg and... 

Airlink has suspended flights to and from Maseru due to Lesotho passenger flight ban

Higher debt, lower growth to plague sub-Saharan Africa in 2021 - Moody's

By: News24Wire      14th January 2021 Sub-Saharan African sovereigns will be battling lower growth and revenue as well as higher debt levels and weaker debt affordability into 2021, according to Moody's. The ratings agency on Wednesday issued a 2021 outlook report. It noted that the region will be challenged by the aftermath of... 

Iata chief blasts governments over counterproductive Covid-19 policies 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th January 2021 International Air Transport Association (Iata) director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac has criticised a number of major countries, by name, for recently adopting policies that, although intended to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, are doing great damage to the travel and tourist sector around... 

SMS Group to buy Andritz Maerz's copper furnace business

By: Donna Slater     13th January 2021 Industrial furnace company Andritz Maerz and plant supplier SMS Group have entered into an agreement to transfer the global copper furnace business, including the related intellectual property and service activities, from Andritz Maerz to SMS. SMS states that the acquisition further strengthens... 

China buying South African coal ‘could be game-changer but we shouldn’t be complacent’ 

By: Martin Creamer     13th January 2021 Normally, China does not import coal from South Africa, but 2021 has seen a shift. Shipments to mainland China were reported on Monday by the African Source Markets’ Weekly Coal Index Report. 

China buying South African coal ‘could be game-changer but we shouldn’t be complacent’
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the port from which South African coal is exported

Committee welcomes measures to ease congestion at borders, suggests alternative

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is of the view that the implementation of a “one-stop border post” with neighboring countries and the establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) will be a solution to the challenges experienced at Beitbridge, between South Africa and Zimbabwe.... 

The UAE warns US shale companies against pumping more oil

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2021 Any attempt by US shale and other oil producers to boost output this year will backfire and lead to lower prices, according to the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates. Oil prices have surged in the past two months with the development of coronavirus vaccines. They jumped again last week... 

EU food watchdog approves bugs for human consumption

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2021 Insects just moved a step closer to European dinner plates. Dried yellow mealworm, the larval form of the mealworm beetle, is safe for human consumption in both its whole form and as a powder additive, the European Union’s food watchdog said Wednesday. 

Total, Engie seek aid for France’s biggest green hydrogen plant

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2021 Total and Engie plan to build France’s largest green hydrogen facility to feed the oil company’s biodiesel plant in the south of the country from 2024, provided they get subsidies to make the project viable. Steelmakers and gasoline and biofuel producers currently make the hydrogen they need from... 

Cell C starts migrating customers 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2021 Mobile operator Cell C has started migrating its customers onto partner networks. The migration of contract and broadband customers is expected to be completed within the next two months, while the phased transition of prepaid customers will be confirmed in due course. 

Steel inventories rise as coronavirus spike sees China's Hebei grind to a halt

By: Reuters     13th January 2021 Steel mills in northern China's Hebei province are having to find more space for inventories as transportation restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of a resurgent coronavirus prevent them from sending out products to clients. Hebei, which accounts for a quarter of China's steel capacity,... 

WorldFish, LVFO strengthen research partnership for Lake Victoria sustainability

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th January 2021 To foster new opportunities for nutritious food and local livelihoods, international nonprofit research and innovation institution WorldFish has strengthened its research partnership with specialised institution the Lake Victoria Fishing Organisation (LVFO) to guide the development of sustainable... 

DHL Global Forwarding invests R127m in new Joburg facility 

By: Irma Venter     13th January 2021 DHL Global Forwarding is investing R127-million in a new facility in Johannesburg.  Aimed at cementing its position in South Africa, the new 13 000 m2 facility will be located within the bonded zone at Skyparks Business Estate, next to the OR Tambo International Airport. 

DHL Global Forwarding invests R127m in new Joburg facility
Clement Blanc

Home Affairs temporarily suspends smart ID, passport applications

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Department of Home Affairs has temporarily suspended certain activities and services until further notice, owing to the rising number of Covid-19 infections across South Africa. Services to be suspended until further notice include applications for smart identification (ID) cards, passports... 

There was no alternative to Eskom's R1.68bn prepayment to Tegeta, says Koko Matshela

By: News24Wire      13th January 2021 Matshela Koko, the former head of generation at Eskom, told the state capture commission of inquiry that there was nothing wrong with a controversial R1.68 billion pre-payment which the power utility made to Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources after the company clinched a coal supply... 

There was no alternative to Eskom's R1.68bn prepayment to Tegeta, says Koko Matshela
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko

Hesper Engineering acquires majority stake in Swift Engineering 

By: Irma Venter     13th January 2021 Novatech, trading as Hesper Engineering, a ship repair and general engineering company based in Cape Town, has purchased a 51% shareholding in Swift Engineering.  Swift Engineering, now trading as SwiftNova Engineering, is a specialised fabrication company servicing the marine, energy and oil and... 

Hesper Engineering acquires majority stake in Swift Engineering

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     13th January 2021 Round three of the University of Johannesburg/Human Sciences Research Council Covid-19 Democracy survey has revealed that 53% of adults think schools should not re-open until the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic improves. Schools are due to open on January 27 as infections continue... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

Emvelo refinances Karoshoek Solar One stake through TBI’s new fund

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th January 2021 Alternative investment and fund management group TBI has concluded its first deal in South Africa through its new Amandla Renewable Energy Fund. As part of the R440-million deal, TBI, along with Momentum Metropolitan Life and Absa, refinanced the existing funding of Emvelo’s 15% stake in the... 

Akani to develop R350m hotel, conference facility in Middelburg

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th January 2021 Property development, management and investment company Akani Properties has won a bid to develop a R350-million hotel and conference facility, in Middelburg, in Mpumalanga.  The facility will include a 150-room hotel and a 1 000-seater capacity conference centre. The hotel will boast standard... 

Appointment of senior researchers bolsters Brenthurst Foundation research capacity

By: Thabi Madiba     13th January 2021 Johannesburg-based think-tank Brenthurst Foundation director Dr Greg Mills has welcomed the appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere and Professor Lyal White to the Foundation, saying their appointments will bolster the Foundation’s growing research workload across Africa. The Brenthurst... 

Appointment of senior researchers bolsters Brenthurst Foundation research capacity

Opinion: Renewables in Africa must deliver more than just power

13th January 2021 Amid concerns over energy supply, the renewables sector enters a new decade with impetus to boost socioeconomic development, writes Chris Antonopoulos. South Africa has entered a new decade with much to occupy its business community. For Lekela Power, the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19... 

Opinion: Renewables in Africa must deliver more than just power
Chris Antonopoulos

Alcohol industry applies for deferment of payment of excise duties

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 The alcohol industry is applying for a deferment of the payment of excise duties until the alcohol ban is lifted, trade association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has said. It stated in a January 12 media release that the industry pays the South African Revenue Service... 

Former Eskom manager held 'secret' meetings with Tony Gupta over Tegeta contract

By: News24Wire      12th January 2021 Former Eskom manager, Ayanda Ntetha told the Zondo Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday that she had secret meetings with Tony Gupta at his Saxonwold home to discuss a coal supply contract between the power utility and Tegeta, a mining business owned by the politically connected family. Nteta, who... 

Santam trying to limit Covid-19 business interruption payout indemnity to just three months 

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 Specialist public loss adjustment company Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) has expressed disappointment, but no surprise, at major insurance company Santam’s latest manoeuvre in the seven-month-long legal struggle regarding the paying out of the business interruption insurance claims of small and... 

Upgrade project at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has started a project to renovate and upgrade Terminals 1B and 1C of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The airport is Kenya’s largest aviation facility, the aviation gateway to the country and the busiest airport in East Africa. The project... 

Upgrade project at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport launched
Photo by Kenya Airports Authority
A passenger’s view of one of the terminals at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 

UK launches study into using nuclear power for space exploration

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has signed a contract with global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce to study future nuclear power options for space missions. This is the first such contract awarded by the UK and is also the first ever contract between the UKSA and Rolls-Royce.  The intent... 

Seifsa laments manufacturing production decline 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th January 2021 November 2020’s decline in the manufacturing production growth rate showed that the South African economy was in for a rough ride to recovery, especially under the current adjusted level 3 Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa)... 

The essential role of platinum group metals in ‘greening’ the world needs highlighting 

By: Martin Creamer     12th January 2021 The ‘greenness’ that South Africa can help bestow on the world needs hard sell now, Mining Weekly can today report. While South Africa’s amazing platinum group metals (PGMs) continue their decades-long task of cleaning the air of the world’s cities in the autocatalytic convertors of vehicle... 

The essential role of platinum group metals in ‘greening’ the world needs highlighting
Photo by Hyundai Truck & Bus
'Green' hydrogen and fuel cells named by Lux Research as two of top-five energy technologies.

MTN offers 1 GB incentive to download Covid-19 Alert app

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th January 2021 Telecommunications giant MTN is offering customers 1 GB of free data for an hour to incentivise the download and zero-rated use of the Covid-19 Alert application. The Covid Alert SA app, designed by Discovery for the National Department of Health, uses Bluetooth contact tracing technology,... 

Tribunal asked to restrain GovChat’s removal from WhatsApp

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th January 2021 Government’s WhatsApp-based citizen engagement platform GovChat has brought an urgent application to the Competition Tribunal to prevent Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook South Africa from removing it from the WhatsApp platform. The Tribunal will hear arguments on January 13 from the applicants,... 

UCT launches open-access, African-centric research platform

By: Sane Dhlamini     12th January 2021 University of Cape Town Libraries director of research and learning services Dr Reggie Raju revealed on Tuesday, the institute’s newly developed continental platform for open access publishing in Africa. The African research community can now create and share its own scholarly content – open... 

UCT launches open-access, African-centric research platform

EIB supports investment in Great Green Wall initiative

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 Long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB), announced on January 11 that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a... 

Economic turbulence, pandemic expected to lead to cybercrime increase in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     12th January 2021 Economic turbulence and the impact of Covid-19 is expected to contribute to an increase in cybercrime across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria this year, says cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky in Africa Enterprise cybersecurity adviser Lehan van den Heever. While every country globally has had... 

M&A challenges remain, but so do lessons – law firm

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th January 2021 Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) says many of last year’s uncertainties that impacted merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will remain this year. HSF global M&A head Gavin Davies says the significant regional and global questions from 2020 have not gone away, although some have... 

M&A challenges remain, but so do lessons – law firm

Mercedes-Benz integrates its front-of-car technology into one single AI screen  

By: Irma Venter     12th January 2021 From a manual radio, to a single in-car touch screen, to a large, easy to operate, curved 141-cm screen that reaches from one side of the car to the other. Also add to this the fact that the system is willing to learn through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).  This is the evolution of the... 

Mercedes-Benz integrates its front-of-car technology into one single AI screen 
Digital designer Vera Schmidt with the hyperscreen

Vaccine may be ready, but South Africans are mostly not

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th January 2021 Data from fintech company CompariSure found that a staggering 52% of South Africans do not want to take the Covid-19 vaccine, while President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 11 stressed the importance of the vaccine. He said the country’s vaccine strategy was “well under way”, with 20-million doses... 

Extended alcohol ban detrimental for small craft brewers

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa), in rejecting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 11 announcement on the extension of a blanket alcohol ban, says such a move will be a “death knell” for many small craft brewers as they will “simply not survive” the extended prohibition. Basa reports... 

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