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Latest News

Rolls-Royce-led consortium joins European nuclear industry group

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th March 2021 The UK Small Modular Reactor (UKSMR) consortium, which is led by industrial technology group Rolls-Royce, has joined European nuclear industry association Foratom. This is part of UKSMR’s objective of developing global connections and accessing export markets. UKSMR is designing an SMR nuclear... 

Maintenance progress alone insufficient to eliminate load-shedding risk amid 4 GW deficit   

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter insisted on Monday that, despite a recent return to load-shedding, progress was being made on the utility’s so-called reliability maintenance programme to improve the performance of the coal fleet to the point where the risk of rotational power cuts would be materially... 

Maintenance progress alone insufficient to eliminate load-shedding risk amid 4 GW deficit
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on the 4GW supply gap and what solutions could be used to help close it. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Wheat, mango peel biopolymers can replace petroleum-based food packaging, say researchers

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 Biocomposite films made from biopolymers and antioxidants extracted from wheat straw and mango peels can replace petroleum-based packaging materials, such as low-density polyethylene plastic film, for food packaging, says Stellenbosch University Department of Process Engineering postdoctoral... 

German physicist determines that Starships are indeed possible – at least in theory

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th March 2021 New calculations by a physicist at Germany’s Georg-August University in Göttingen (more generally known as the University of Göttingen) has indicated that superluminal (faster-then-light) space travel may indeed one day be possible. Theoretical considerations of superluminal travel are based on... 

Sugar Master Plan contributing to industry’s growth – Patel

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel last week told farmers, millers, retailers, food producers and trade unions that the implementation of the Sugar Master Plan is resulting in signs of growth during a virtual briefing. Detailing the progress in implementing the master plan,... 

Metallurgical laboratory to be built in KwaZulu-Natal

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 Diversified industrial corporation United Heavy Industries (UHI) plans to establish a metallurgical laboratory at its plant in Mandeni, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, as part of its efforts to take the study of properties of metal beyond theory.

This will also greatly assist in helping students of... 

30 MW solar plant to be commissioned in Burkina Faso

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 A new 30 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant is due for construction near the town of Pâ, in Burkina Faso and will supply all the electricity it produces to Burkina Faso’s national power utility – La Société National D’électricité Du Burkina Faso (Sonabel).
 Urbasolar was selected as the... 

Tata Africa launches e-commerce heavy commercial vehicle parts portal  

By: Irma Venter     15th March 2021 Tata International Africa has launched an e-commerce parts website and portal.  The online store – partskart.co.za ­­– will enable customers anywhere in South Africa to order Tata and Daewoo heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) parts with doorstep delivery, including the most remote parts of the... 

Tata Africa launches e-commerce heavy commercial vehicle parts portal 

Air charter operator reports dramatic increase in interest from mining companies 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th March 2021 UK-based international aviation charter broker Air Charter Service (ACS) has reported that the past year has seen dramatic increases in workforce logistics charter flight bookings by energy, hydrocarbon and mining companies. ACS has offices in 27 countries around the world (including South... 

Liquid Telecom overhauls strategy, rebrands

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th March 2021 Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has rebranded, recalibrated and repositioned as pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT), with ambitions of expanding its services offerings across the African continent. With several sub-brands, namely Liquid Cloud; Cyber... 

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

By: Yvonne Silaule     15th March 2021 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on March 15 joined Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane in Pretoria for the launch of the People’s Responsibility to Protect project. The project is aimed at creating partnerships between PRASA and local communities living near... 

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

Local battery material champions planning first-mover advances into new geographies 

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2021 South Africa’s team of local battery material champions are planning first-mover advances into new geographies. Mining Weekly can today report that Thakadu Battery Materials, which is producing high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate for export, has a pipeline of new projects in place that will... 

Local battery material champions planning first-mover advances into new geographies
Thakadu Battery Materials CEO Ruli Diseko

Decline in building activity pushes first-quarter Building Confidence Index lower

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 After having risen to 29 in the fourth quarter of 2020, the First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index shed two points to 27 in the first quarter of this year, showing that more than 70% of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business... 

IFC appoints new East Africa manager

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 International financial institution the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has appointed economist Amena Arif IFC Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Malawi (East Africa) country manager. Arif will help the IFC strengthen the private sector, create jobs and opportunities... 

AfDB reprimands Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Egypt project misrepresentation

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has issued a letter of reprimand to industrial engineering multinational Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for misrepresentation – a sanctionable practice under AfDB procedures. The AfDB stated that the reprimand was issued in relation... 

African growth expected to reach 3.4% in 2021, but debt-to-GDP expected to worsen

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 Africa is expected to recover from its worst recession in half a century and reach 3.4% growth this year, development finance institution the African Development Bank notes in its '2021 African Economic Outlook' report. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 has taken a massive... 

African growth expected to reach 3.4% in 2021, but debt-to-GDP expected to worsen

New average GDP growth rates are abnormal and should not be accepted, says BLSA’s Mavuso 

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says that although the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020, particularly in the fourth quarter of the year, exceeded most forecasts, the figure “remains a disaster for the economy and very far from what we should consider... 

New average GDP growth rates are abnormal and should not be accepted, says BLSA’s Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso

Opinion: Is load-shedding here to stay? 

15th March 2021 In this opinion piece, South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) GM Barry Bredenkamp writes about steps electricity users can take to reduce demand as load-shedding continues. Since Eskom cannot meet the country’s demand for electricity, load-shedding is likely to be with us... 

Opinion: Is load-shedding here to stay?

Eskom to extend load-shedding to Wednesday

By: News24Wire      15th March 2021 Eskom announced on Sunday that stage 2 load shedding will be extended to 05:00 on Wednesday following the loss of further generation capacity and to replenish emergency generation reserves. The power utility said it regrets having to take this step, but it is due to generation capacity still... 

Motsepe Foundation's agricultural development project working towards sustainable land reform

By: Schalk Burger     12th March 2021 Sustainable agricultural development and land reform is hobbled because of the challenge to acquire and provide title deeds and other land security, which makes it difficult for banking and other financial institutions to partner, co-fund and finance agriculture and land reform projects, the... 

TATA International Africa sets up finance offering, uptime strategy supports growth

By: Schalk Burger     12th March 2021 Trading and distribution company TATA International Africa's uptime strategy has allowed it to improve turnover and profitability over the past year. It also supports the pursuit of its growth and expansion objectives, says TATA International Africa CEO Len Brand. 

South Africa can build manufacturing capacity; pandemic is proof of potential, says Rodseth 

By: Schalk Burger     12th March 2021 South Africa can halt is premature deindustrialisation trend and grow the value of the manufacturing sector and its beneficial impact on jobs if all stakeholders commit to its development, manufacturing industry advocacy body the Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said this... 

Survey shows notable increase in those willing to get Covid-19 vaccine

By: Donna Slater     12th March 2021 Just over one year since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, a new World Economic Forum (WEF)/Ipsos survey found notable increases in people’s intention to take a Covid-19 vaccination, with a majority wanting to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Adults who strongly or... 

Wits finds first-gen vaccine effective against original and variant Covid-19 strains

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th March 2021 Results of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine trial in the UK and South Africa have confirmed high levels of efficacy against the original and variant Covid-19, says the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). Wits Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics research unit executive director Professor... 

Food systems ‘integral’ to Covid-19 recovery, says AfDB

By: Simone Liedtke     12th March 2021 The strengthening of food systems must be an integral part of efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and to build resilience in Africa, said African Development Bank (AfDB) director general for Southern Africa Leila Mokaddem. In a statement on March 12, she lamented that “hunger is a... 

DWS lays out plan to minimise Vaal river pollution  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th March 2021 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has undertaken to expedite a strategic intervention to significantly minimise the impact of raw sewerage seeping into the Vaal river and its tributaries in the southern Gauteng region. DWS earlier in March appeared before the Portfolio Committee on... 

Regulator's approach to spectrum auction was unlawful, court says 

By: Reuters     12th March 2021 A South African judge said he had halted the radio frequency spectrum auction planned this month by regulator Icasa because he deemed the process unlawful and irrational. High Court Judge Selby Baqwa passed an order on Monday prohibiting the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa... 

Nissan appoints new AMIEO chairperson

By: Donna Slater     12th March 2021 Nissan Motor has appointed Guillaume Cartier its new Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania (AMIEO) chairperson, replacing Gianluca De Ficchy who served for three years as Nissan Europe chairperson and then the expanded AMIEO region. Effective April 1, Cartier will lead all Nissan... 

Nissan appoints new AMIEO chairperson
Incoming Nissan Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania chairperson Guillaume Cartier

Global summit to boost clean energy momentum

By: Simone Liedtke     12th March 2021 International energy and climate leaders from the world’s largest economies will take part in the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26’s) Net Zero Summit later this month to accelerate the momentum behind clean energy and examine how countries could work... 

Sansa reports formal start of construction of new Space Weather Centre

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) reported on Friday that ground had officially been broken for its new R70.89-million Regional Space Weather Centre in Hermanus, Western Cape province, on Tuesday. The new centre falls under the Sansa Space Science programme, which is also based in... 

Sansa reports formal start of construction of new Space Weather Centre
Photo by ESA
The Sun, showing significant surface activity

Three-quarters of CEOs globally predict a return to growth this year 

By: Donna Slater     12th March 2021 A survey by professional services firm PwC of more than 5 000 CEOs globally reveals record levels of optimism, with more than 76% suggesting global economic growth will improve this year. The figures come from PwC's twenty-fourth 'Annual Global CEO Survey', which this year polled 5 050 CEOs in... 

Bulk dough manufacturer commissions solar plant to lower costs, drive sustainability

By: Donna Slater     12th March 2021 South African dough manufacturer Goosebumps, in a drive to improve its sustainability, has installed a 250 kW, 618-panel solar photovoltaic power plant at its Cape Town factory. The plant provides almost 25% of the site’s electricity requirement.  

Bulk dough manufacturer commissions solar plant to lower costs, drive sustainability

Load-shedding a major obstacle for small businesses

By: Donna Slater     12th March 2021 A mixture of Covid-19 restrictions and related subdued consumer behaviour and poor national grid electricity stability are impacting on small businesses chances of survival, states South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry (SAPVIA) COO Niveshen Govender. He notes that South Africa’s economic... 

Vesconite Bearings expanding into forklift part replacements

By: Simone Liedtke     12th March 2021 Polymer supplier Vesconite Bearings, which produces a proprietary brand of Vesconite bushings, wear plates and custom parts, has expanded its product portfolio to include replacement parts for forklifts. Said to be one of the company’s most successful new applications, Vesconite engineering and... 

Vesconite Bearings expanding into forklift part replacements

Comair to resume services between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 South African private-sector airline group Comair has announced that its British Airways (in Southern Africa) brand will restart scheduled operations between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on May 13. Bookings for these flights may now be made. (Comair also operates the... 

Just clearing exploration backlog would be huge leap forward – Miller  

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2021 Ahead of tackling policy issues, incremental ongoing effort must be prioritised to clear South Africa’s huge mineral exploration and mining rights backlog, says AmaranthCX director Paul Miller. The backlog currently stands at more than 5 000 unprocessed exploration applications and  235... 

Just clearing exploration backlog would be huge leap forward – Miller
AmaranthCX director Paul Miller talks exploration to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Aspen Pharmacare to supply J&J's Covid-19 vaccine by end-June 

By: Reuters     12th March 2021 Aspen Pharmacare plans to start supplying Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine doses from its facility in South Africa before the end of June, its chief executive said on Friday. Stephen Saad told Reuters in an interview that the technology transfer from J&J has "gone very well and we are now... 

Sasol says unit's dollar-denominated notes offering oversubscribed more than 3 times

By: Reuters     12th March 2021 South African petrochemical firm Sasol said on Friday an offering of dollar-denominated senior notes by its unit was oversubscribed more than three times for a total orderbook of $4.60-billion. The offering consisted of $650-million of senior notes due 2026 and $850-million of senior notes due... 

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