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Latest News

Globeleq acquires private power generation company in Nigeria

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th January 2021 Independent power generation company Globeleq will take a 74% majority equity stake in an existing Nigerian power business CPGNL, which will be rebranded as Globeleq Power Solutions Nigeria. The current owner of the business, the Clean Energy Group, will retain the remaining 26% stake in CPGNL. 

Three-way talks on Ethiopian dam reach new impasse

By: Reuters     11th January 2021 Negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, in a long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, have reached a new impasse, the three countries said on Sunday. "We cannot continue this vicious cycle of circular talks indefinitely," Sudanese irrigation... 

MTN named best mobile network for 2020

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has secured the title of the best mobile network in South Africa for 2020. This is according to the MyBroadband Insights 2020 Mobile Network Quality Report, released on January 11, which is based on 1.2-million speed tests performed by 41 099 MyBroadband Speed Test... 

Biggest obstacle for residential property market this year will be unemployment, expert predicts

By: News24Wire      11th January 2021 The biggest obstacle for South Africa's residential property market in 2021 will be a predicted increase in the country's already very high unemployment rate in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group. He expects the... 

Desperate SAA pilots who left locked out union to get money still haven't been paid

By: News24Wire      11th January 2021 The SAA Pilots' Association wants to know why – unlike other employees at the state-owned airline – their thirteenth cheques for 2019 have not yet been paid from the R1.5-billion in funding the Department of Public Enterprises made available to the rescue practitioners in December. Saapa is... 

Desperate SAA pilots who left locked out union to get money still haven't been paid

Boosts for policy certainty lie in SoNA, Budget and access to vaccines

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th January 2021 The North West University (NWU) Business School's Policy Uncertainty Index (PUI) remains in deep negative territory, measuring 56.7 in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with 58 in the third quarter. The PUI is published in January, April, July and October each year. An increase beyond 50... 

First application made for power-tariff relief under new DMRE frameworks 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2021 The first application for tariff relief provided for under the Negotiated Pricing Agreement (NPA) frameworks published late last year by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has been submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for authorisation. Nersa tells... 

First application made for power-tariff relief under new DMRE frameworks

Appian Capital Advisory’s second fund reaches $775m cap

By: Simone Liedtke     10th January 2021 Investment advisor Appian Capital Advisory’s second fund was oversubscribed and reached its hard cap of $775-million following strong support from both new and existing Tier 1 investors globally. Called Fund II, the fund will pursue the same proven strategy as Appian’s first fund (Fund I),... 

Appian Capital Advisory’s second fund reaches $775m cap
Atlantic Nickel pit at night

Global air passenger demand recovery stalled in November

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th January 2021 The recovery in global air passenger demand during last year came to a halt in November, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on Thursday. The recovery had already been slowing since the end of the northern hemisphere summer travel period. Total passenger demand in November... 

Eskom suspends rolling blackouts as demand ebbs  

By: African News Agency      8th January 2021 South African electricity company Eskom said on Friday it was suspending rolling power cuts implemented this week as demand had dropped ahead of the weekend. Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of the country’s electricity mainly through coal, however urged consumers to continue using the... 

 Eskom suspends rolling blackouts as demand ebbs

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely effective against SA, UK mutation 

By: News24Wire      8th January 2021 Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine appeared to work against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the US drugmaker. The study, yet to be peer-reviewed by... 

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely effective against SA, UK mutation

Absa PMI slumps to 50.3 in December 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2021 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 50.3 index points in December, from 52.6 points in November. The reading just above 50 index points suggests that growth is levelling off in the manufacturing sector after solid month-on-month gains were recorded in the... 

Absa PMI slumps to 50.3 in December

The little-known laws that could galvanise South Africa's fight against corruption

By: News24Wire      8th January 2021 After more than 300 days and 2 000 hours of testimony, one of the clearest takeaways from the ongoing state capture inquiry is a repeated failure to report corruption. But according to lawyer Nick Alp of Webber Wentzel, South Africa's laws are clear and strict. Not reporting knowledge of, or even... 

International air transport body reports air cargo demand continues recovery

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th January 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported on Thursday that air cargo volumes increased in November last year in comparison to October. However, they were still down on the figures for November 2019. The continued parking of many passenger aircraft meant that global air cargo... 

International air transport body reports air cargo demand continues recovery
Photo by Iata
Alexandre de Juniac

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’, says Naamsa 

By: Irma Venter     8th January 2021 An “extraordinary year” that has brought “unprecedented challenges” to South Africa’s economy has seen new-vehicle sales decline by 29.1%, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). This follows a 2.8% drop in sales in 2019. 

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’, says Naamsa

Earth’s margin for error narrows after another year of record heat

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Another year of record-high heat punctuated a decade-long increase in global temperatures that has placed the Earth’s economies dangerously close to climate tipping points. Those are the conclusions published Friday by European Union scientists. Despite pandemic-induced lockdowns of the global... 

Agri SA bemoans Land Bank incompetence, as revealed by Auditor-General

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2021 Industry organisation Agri SA has expressed concern about the status of the Land Bank’s financial sustainability, following a damning report published by the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa Tsakani Maluleke. “Whoever was responsible for the financial loss of R2.8-billion must be held... 

Dept urges health, safety of employees as second wave continues

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2021 The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) is urging all businesses to prioritise the health and safety of their employees and to take all necessary steps to ensure they are not exposed to the Covid-19 virus. “It is crucial that industries, businesses and entities, both private and in the... 

SA's two biggest pharmacies plan to offer Covid-19 vaccines

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 South Africa's two biggest pharmacy chains Clicks Group and Dis-Chem Pharmacies said they plan to offer Covid-19 shots at their stores and provide storage and distribution facilities in the vaccine rollout programme once the government provides more details. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday... 

SA's two biggest pharmacies plan to offer Covid-19 vaccines

UK extends England entry ban to travellers from 11 African countries for Covid variant

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 The United Kingdom will extend a ban on travellers entering England to southern African countries in a measure to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa. The restriction will take effect on Saturday and remain in place for two weeks, the government said in a... 

UK extends England entry ban to travellers from 11 African countries for Covid variant

Enel teams up with Qatar wealth fund on Africa green energy projects

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 Italy's biggest utility Enel has signed a deal with the Qatar Investment Authority to develop renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, the two groups said. Under the deal, the Qatar sovereign wealth fund will, as a first step, buy half of Enel's stake in 800 MW of its existing renewable... 

Two Chinese firms to build $1.32bn Tanzanian rail line

By: Reuters     8th January 2021  Two Chinese companies have won the contract to build a 3.0617-trillion shillings ($1.32-billion) modern rail line in Tanzania, the East African nation's foreign minister said, extending more than a decade of Chinese involvement in the country. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and... 

Vodacom and MTN telecommunications towers burnt in South Africa by 5G protesters

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 About three telecommunications towers belonging to Vodacom and MTN were burnt this week following a resurgence in conspiracy theories which link the emergence of Covid-19 to 5G technology, South Africa's communication minister said on Thursday. The towers were burnt and destroyed between Tuesday... 

AMSA says steel shortage will be ‘quickly’ resolved after early restart of blast furnace 

By: Terence Creamer     8th January 2021 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says the earlier-than-planned restart of its second blast furnace at the Vanderbijlpark Works will position the company to “quickly resolve” the current shortage of steel, which has been negatively affecting downstream fabricators and manufacturers... 

AMSA says steel shortage will be ‘quickly’ resolved after early restart of blast furnace
Photo by Creamer Media
The Vanderbijlpark Works

Boeing settles 737 Max fraud charge with $2.5bn agreement

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Boeing reached a $2.5-billion agreement to settle a criminal charge that it defrauded the US government by concealing information about the 737 Max, the ill-fated jet model involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The planemaker entered into a deferred prosecution agreement Thursday... 

Exporting the US shale boom has changed oil markets forever

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Five years ago on New Year’s Eve, the Theo T left the Texas Gulf Coast with the first US shale crude shipment overseas. The oil, gathered from nearby ConocoPhillips wells and sold to trading giant Vitol Group, set sail for Italy just two weeks after lawmakers lifted a long-standing ban on... 

China says US facing ‘internal collapse’ after pro-Trump riot

By: News24Wire      8th January 2021 The assault on the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump reflects a failure of leadership, as well as the deep divide running through American society, editorials in China’s state media said on Friday. Hundreds of supporters of President Trump besieged the Capitol on Wednesday in... 

China says US facing ‘internal collapse’ after pro-Trump riot

LafargeHolcim to buy Firestone Building Products in $3.4bn deal

By: Reuters     7th January 2021 LafargeHolcim, the world's biggest cement maker, on Thursday announced a $3.4-billion deal to buy Firestone Building Products from Japan's Bridgestone Corporation in its biggest acquisition in more than a decade. The purchase of the roofing products business is the biggest under CEO Jan Jenisch,... 

Salba says not part of legal action on alcohol sales ban, but still mourns revenue loss 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th January 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has confirmed that it is not party to the litigation process related to the alcohol sales ban, which was lodged against the government by South African Breweries on January 7. While Salba is concerned about the current prohibition of all... 

Aspen could produce J&J Covid shots by end-March 

By: Reuters     7th January 2021  Aspen Pharmacare could start production of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa by late March or early April if all approvals are in place, a senior company executive said. All the vaccines produced will be exported to J&J and will be a part of its global supply inventory, Stavros... 

Ghana’s floating regasification unit arrives in Tema port

By: Donna Slater     7th January 2021 A floating regasification unit (FRU) for the Tema port’s liquid natural gas (LNG) facility, in Ghana, arrived on January 7. This will enable Tema LNG Terminal Company (TLTC) to start delivering LNG to customers in the first quarter of the year.  

Ghana’s floating regasification unit arrives in Tema port

Global food prices at six-year high are set to keep on climbing

By: Bloomberg     7th January 2021 Global food prices reached a six-year high in December and are likely to keep rising into 2021, adding to pressure on household budgets while hunger surges around the world. A United Nations gauge of food prices has jumped 18% since May, as adverse weather, government measures to safeguard... 

PSA union to challenge public sector wage ruling

By: Reuters     7th January 2021  South Africa's Public Servants Association said on Thursday it would go to the constitutional court to challenge last month's ruling in favour of the government over public sector wage increases. The inflation-linked increases were agreed as part of a three-year wage deal struck in 2018 and were... 

Africa CEO Forum, IFC to host pioneer financial industry summit

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th January 2021 To help address the unprecedented challenges facing African economies, the inaugural Financial Industry Summit will convene 500 decision-makers representing the entire spectrum of the financial industry, including bankers, insurers, fintech executives, mobile money operators and microfinance... 

FSCA publishes crypto asset draft declaration

By: Donna Slater     7th January 2021 The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has published for comment a draft declaration on crypto assets as a financial product in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 (FAIS). The FSCA also published a statement in support of the draft declaration, with the... 

Steel supply squeeze continues for downstream firms 

By: Terence Creamer     7th January 2021 South Africa’s downstream fabricators and manufacturers are continuing to experience difficulties in securing steel and are also confronting rising prices, which could be partly attributed to the throttling of supply over the past few months. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition... 

Steel supply squeeze continues for downstream firms

US company planning at least 500 hydrogen fuelling stations in next 3 to 5 years  

By: Martin Creamer     7th January 2021 The creation of a minimum of 500 fuelling stations to provide hydrogen to mainly trucks powered by platinum-catalysed hydrogen fuel cells is planned by a US company in the next three to five years. “We believe that everyone will be within a couple of miles of a hydrogen fuelling station in the... 

US company planning at least 500 hydrogen fuelling stations in next 3 to 5 years
Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly interviews RAGHU KILAMBI, the CEO of PowerTap, a company that provides crucial hydrogen fuelling infrastructure for fuel cell electric vehicles.

BioTherm's Excelsior Wind Energy Facility has started commercial operations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th January 2021 Pan-African renewable power producer company BioTherm Energy, backed by emerging market investor Actis, has announced the official start of operations at its Excelsior Wind Energy Facility at the end of 2020. This marks the completion of its third Independent Power Producer (IPP) project in South... 

BioTherm's Excelsior Wind Energy Facility has started commercial operations
Excelsior Wind farm
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