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Latest News

ECIC expands offering for South African exports to Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st June 2021 South African manufacturers exporting to countries elsewhere in Africa will have access to additional insurance products that underwrite risk outside the control of the exporting entity. This follows a new mandate signed by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel that is slated to... 

Mondi completes acquisition of Turkish corrugated packaging company

By: Simone Liedtke     1st June 2021 Paper and packaging company Mondi on June 1 confirmed that it had completed the acquisition of 90.38% of the outstanding shares in Olmuksan International Paper for €66-million. The implied enterprise value on a 100% basis would amount to about €88-million. 

Petrol price to decrease, but diesel price to rise

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on May 31 announced a 10 c/ℓ decrease in the petrol price for June. The price of 0.005% sulphur diesel will, however, increase by 21 c/ℓ and that of 0.05% sulphur diesel by 20 c/ℓ. 

Mercedes-Benz to introduce green steel in vehicles in 2025

By: Irma Venter     1st June 2021 German car maker Mercedes-Benz has taken an equity stake in Swedish start-up H2 Green Steel (H2GS) as a method to introduce carbon-dioxide-free (CO2-free) steel into series production.  H2GS was founded in 2020 and aims to build a large-scale fossil-free steel production facility in northern... 

Mercedes-Benz to introduce green steel in vehicles in 2025

South African adviser urges shift to renewables to spur growth

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2021 Replacing South Africa’s aging and inadequate electricity generation capacity with renewable energy plants is an opportunity to spur economic growth and cut emissions, the effective head of a presidential climate change commission said. While many countries face the problem of having to idle... 

South African adviser urges shift to renewables to spur growth

Another South African trade surplus surprise – thanks to continuing commodity boom

By: News24Wire      1st June 2021 The trade balance for April recorded a surplus of R51-billion, higher than the market consensus expectation of R37.5-billion. The South African Revenue Service on Monday released the trade data, which was only slightly lower than the R52.5-billion recorded in March. 

Mozambique launches construction of $1bn power plant, transmission line

By: Reuters     1st June 2021 Mozambique on Monday began construction of gas-to-power plant and transmission line projects worth $1 billion in the southern province of Inhambane as the government aims to boost energy supply. The World Bank is one of the financing partners of the infrastructure projects, alongside the United... 

Seriti assumes management of SAEC assets

By: Donna Slater     1st June 2021 Miner Seriti Resources has completed all of the conditions precedent in respect of its acquisition of South32’s South African Coal Holdings (SAEC), with the transaction now closed and Seriti assuming management of these operations from June 1. SAEC has been renamed Seriti Power, and comprises... 

Municipalities cautioned to pay Water Boards for services

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st June 2021 Billions of rands are being lost through nonpayment by municipalities to Water Boards for water supply and services, triggering a stern warning from Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for municipalities to pay for services. “Monies that are lost through nonpayment to... 

Free State MEC launches Industrialisation Support Incentives Programme

By: Yvonne Silaule     31st May 2021 Free State Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Makalo Mohale has launched the Industrialisation Support Incentives Programme. The objectives of the programme are to stimulate local domestic manufacturing and production; to ensure job retention and job... 

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve, with conditions, industrial gases company Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of the business owning and operating 16 of petrochemicals group Sasol’s air separation units (ASUs). The target assets are 16 ASUs based... 

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs
Air separation units at Sasol Secunda

Battery material value-add consolidation in South Africa under consideration by Mick Davis-linked NextSource  

By: Martin Creamer     31st May 2021 South Africa, which has the wherewithal to provide the value-add consolidation advantage to battery materials that the world’s electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want, is being seriously considered for the role, NextSource president and CEO Craig Scherba said on Monday.... 

Battery material value-add consolidation in South Africa under consideration by Mick Davis-linked NextSource
NextSource President and CEO Craig Scherba interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Steel backlog won’t be solved by eliminating safeguard duties, AMSA avers 

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2021 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has rebuffed increasingly vociferous calls for the elimination of safeguard duties to ease ongoing supply constraints and price increases in the domestic market. CEO Kobus Verster acknowledges that some backlogs, which began to emerge in late 2019... 

Steel backlog won’t be solved by eliminating safeguard duties, AMSA avers
Photo by Creamer Media
AMSA CEO Kobus Verster

Brikor grows profits despite revenue decline

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 Building materials manufacturer and supplier Brikor increased its profit after tax to R12-million for the financial year ended February 28. That compares with the profit after tax of R1.5-million reported for the prior financial year. 

UK Space Agency places contracts to examine options for satellite navigation services

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2021 The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has awarded contracts worth more £2-million to six UK companies and UK-based subsidiary companies of international groups to develop options for the UKSA’s Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing programme (Space-Based PNT programme). The companies are Airbus,... 

Invicta to dispose of majority share of Kian Ann

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 Investment management group Invicta Holdings will sell 51.19% of its Singapore-based machinery parts distribution company Kian Ann Group to entities controlled by Zou Jian Liang and associates and Loy Soo Chew. The transaction will simultaneously allow for share subscriptions in Kian Ann by... 

Sakeliga starts court proceedings to realign municipal administration

By: Donna Slater     31st May 2021 Independent business community Sakeliga has instituted court proceedings to reverse municipal decline throughout South Africa, proposing a new form of municipal administration, with independent control over electricity and other service charges. In court papers currently being served on two... 

R419m student housing development for University of Fort Hare's Alice campus now complete

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 With the completion of the 12-block, 1 440-bed Alice Student Village Phase 2 built over two years, the University of Fort Hare (UFH) has 6 049 available beds in Alice, in the Eastern Cape, which are enough to accommodate 70% of students on its Alice campus. The R419-million greenfield student... 

Institutions partner to expand diagnostic capacity in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2021 To strengthen diagnostic capacity and the health response to Covid-19 in Africa, global development institution IFC, private sector financer Proparco and pathology services company Cerba Lancet Africa have announced a partnership to increase patient access to a range of laboratory tests. The... 

Tourism dept to defend equity fund in court

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2021 Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on May 31 provided an update on the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF), saying the department intends to defend the matter in court. The R1.2-billion fund was launched in January as part of the implementation of the commitments made during the State of the Nation... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Multinational specialty pharmaceutical company Aspen has committed to making sterile manufacturing capacity available for equitable Covid-19 vaccine access to Africa, as part of the continent’s efforts to determine how it can expand its manufacturing capacity to establish supply across the... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

NamPower calls for bids for Anixas II power station’s construction

By: Donna Slater     31st May 2021 Namibian power utility Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) has called for bids for the engineering, procurement and construction of the 50 MW Anixas II power station. The power station will make use of dual-fuel technologies to be used in an internal combustion reciprocating engine plant.  

European Space Agency contracts start development of next generation navigation satellites

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it has awarded contracts, totalling €1.47-billion, for the design and construction of the initial group of the second-generation Galileo navigation satellites. The contracts, awarded after an open competition, went to Germany’s Airbus Defence and... 

Obituary: Mario Pietromartire, a Southern African tunnelling pioneer

31st May 2021 Mario Pietromartire, founder, and MD of Bomar Projects, passed away on 11th May 2021, aged 88. Born in Italy, he trained in the Italian military flying school before coming to South Africa to attend the State School of Mines. After a period in the gold mines, aged 36, he was appointed by... 

Obituary: Mario Pietromartire, a Southern African tunnelling pioneer
Mario Pietromartire (centre) with the team that worked on the Maguga Dam Diversion and Transfer Tunnels and an inset showing a more recent photo of Pietromartire

Eskom warns of high probability of load-shedding for the rest of this week 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st May 2021 Power utility Eskom will implement Stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 on Monday afternoon until 05:00 on Tuesday morning. It has also warned that there is a possibility that load-shedding would continue throughout the week. The utility noted that it has had to resort to load-shedding as a result of... 

Eskom warns of high probability of load-shedding for the rest of this week

French funding to assist in better biodiversity management at Table Mountain

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2021 South African National Parks (SANParks) has signed a bipartite agreement with French development agency Agence Française de Dévéloppement (AFD) for funding to preserve biodiversity in South Africa. The AFD is providing €1.85-million biodiversity efforts in South Africa and Reunion Island.... 

2021 Car of the Year finalists announced

By: Irma Venter     31st May 2021 The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced the 23 finalists for the 2021 South African Car of the Year award.  Besides the overall winner’s crown, the finalists can also win in one of nine categories: budget; compact; family compact; family; premium; performance; new... 

2021 Car of the Year finalists announced

Renergen on ‘much stronger footing’, despite Covid-19 headwinds

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 With the financial year, ended February 28, having been an “exciting” one for natural gas producer Renergen, the company believes it is on a “much stronger footing” towards becoming a significant helium and liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, despite headwinds presented by the Covid-19... 

NUM threatens legal action over nonpayment of Denel Land Systems employees' salaries

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 Trade union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it strongly condemns the ongoing failure by State-owned defence equipment manufacturer Denel Land Systems to pay the salaries of workers. It has sent a demand letter for Denel to pay the outstanding salaries within 14 days or face legal... 

Alcohol industry welcomes call not to ban sales as Covid-19 third wave takes hold

By: Donna Slater     31st May 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says it welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision not to ban alcohol sales with the current tightening of restrictions as Covid-19 infections surge in the third wave. Ramaphosa addressed the nation on May 30, announcing a move to Alert... 

Atlas Copco to acquire German vacuum solutions provider

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Swedish multinational manufacturing company Atlas Copco will be acquiring specialised vacuum systems and solutions provider Arpuma. The acquisition will enable Atlas to grow its systems and solutions business within the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. 

BLSA says property law changes threaten digital start-up investment

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2021 In a weekly Business Leadership South Africa newsletter, CEO Busi Mavuso has unpacked her apprehensions around the Expropriation Bill, as debates continue around amendments to the property rights legislation and the Constitution. She says that was is most disconcerting is the fact the Bill... 

Composer Hans Zimmer partners with BMW M to produce ‘sound portfolio’ for EVs  

By: Irma Venter     31st May 2021 The throaty roar of an eager engine is often one of the main selling points for those who love performance cars, such as the BMW M range. However, this becomes problematic in zero-emission battery electric vehicles that produce no engine noise. BMW is tackling this problem through a collaborative... 

Composer Hans Zimmer partners with BMW M to produce ‘sound portfolio’ for EVs
Renzo Vitale and Hans Zimmer discuss how they created driving sounds for the electric BMW M range

Sedibeng Water withdraws water services cut-off instruction in North West

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st May 2021 Business group Sakeliga is dropping its legal action against Sedibeng Water after the water agency agreed to withdraw its instruction for the cut-off of water supply services in several municipalities in the North West. On May 25, Sedibeng Water issued a suspension notice, effective June 1, for... 

R78m river project launched in the Western Cape

By: News24Wire      31st May 2021 The Western Cape government has launched a R78 million Holsloot weir river project which is set to benefit 150 farming households in the Rawsonville area. The weir is a river protection intervention aimed at ensuring functioning ecosystems. 

Three oil firms, Nigeria's NNPC in talks to buy stake in Dangote refinery

By: Reuters     31st May 2021 Four oil firms including Nigeria's state-oil company have approached Dangote Industries to acquire a stake in Africa's largest oil refinery, a senior executive told Reuters on Friday. Devakumar Edwin, group executive director, said the firms from Western and Middle East countries and involved in... 

Eskom should not probe CEO over racism allegation, advocate says

By: Bloomberg     31st May 2021 Eskom Holdings CEO Andre de Ruyter should not be subjected to an investigation over racism allegations leveled by the company’s now fired chief procurement officer, an advocate hired to make a ruling on the CPO’s conduct said. By setting up the probe in response to allegations leveled by the CPO,... 

Water dept provides Solidarity with information about Cuban engineers

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has provided trade union Solidarity with comprehensive information about the Cubans who will perform engineering work in South Africa. “The fact that this information has been provided is a first but important victory in the legal battle against the... 

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