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Africa urged to engage and build stronger relationships with China 

By: Christy van der Merwe     27th June 2008 When it came to engaging with China, Africa was said to be ‘behind the curve' of its Australian, European, North American, and most certainly it's Asian business counterparts. "Directing our commercial emphasis, as an economy, toward the East, rather than the staid, recessionary, old markets of... 

Manuel looking for ‘balanced’ Eskom funding strategy and a swift return to self-reliance 

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2008 South African government was looking for a “balanced” medium-term funding strategy for cash strapped power utility Eskom, but Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said that the process to determine the most suitable approach was a complex one that could not be “churned out in a morning”. Speaking at a... 

IDC's Foskor will head to JSE in 2009 

By: Matthew Hill     26th June 2008 State-owned financing company the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) planned to list its majority owned phosphate and phosphuric acid producer Foskor on the JSE in 2009, after having transferred equity to employees and community groups. The IDC said on Thursday that its strategic partner... 

Africa lags far behind in CDM projects 

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th June 2008 Of the 1 090 registered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in emerging countries, only 11 of those were found in South Africa. Apart from needing more incentives for renewable energy and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction, more easy-to-access information, as well as strong... 

Fixed-line operator Neotel won't raise tariffs 

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th June 2008 Contrary to other South African telecoms operators, Neotel would not be increasing its prices, the company's head of Enterprise Group Stefano Mattielo confirmed on an explanatory tour of the company's Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Johannesburg, on Tuesday. The second national operator has... 

Booming city of Dubai seeks more African investors 

By: Matthew Hill     24th June 2008 African foreign direct investment in the airport region of of Dubai, a city which is trouncing even China's economic growth rate, at only 2% of the total, showed that business people on the continent had some catching up to do, but the numbers are increasing. At 40%, Europe was Dubai Airport... 

Renewable energy expected to take more prominent spot in SA’s power mix 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th June 2008 Energy would be the focus of financial services firm Investec's environmental campaign for this year, the company said on Friday, adding that it saw significant potential for renewable energy in South Africa. Investec Capital Markets head of project and infrastructure finance, Mike Meeser, said... 

Omnia invests R29m in Zambia jatropha research 

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th June 2008 Noting the importance of biofuels in the changing agricultural landscape, the Omnia group has made an investment of some R29-million into research on jatropha agronomics in Zambia. Jatropha has been widely regarded as the ‘next-best-thing' for biodiesel production as it is resistant... 

Nersa grants Eskom 27,5% tariff increase 

By: Matthew Hill     18th June 2008 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Wednesday granted Eskom an average tariff increase of 27,5% for the 2008/9 financial year, which included the 14,2% it had already granted the state-owned power utility in December last year. This would allow Eskom to recover primary... 

Aviation regulator sets up dedicated unit for unmanned aircraft 

By: Guy Copans     13th June 2008 The Civil Aviation authority (CAA) has established a committee regulating the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in South Africa. 

Army chief upbeat on future direction of force 

By: Keith Campbell     13th June 2008 The South African Army’s strategical, organisational, operational, technological, and logistical transformation, designated Vision 2020, is on track and slowly but surely gaining momentum, assures Lt-Gen Solly Shoke, Chief of the Army. 

Institutes join forces to grow African skills 

By: Jonathan Faurie     13th June 2008 A skills development programme running in partnership between the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) is making progress. 

OR Tambo sees positive passenger volume growth despite rising cost of travel 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th June 2008 Despite the escalating price of oil pushing up the cost of air travel, Africa's busiest airport, the OR Tambo International in Johannesburg, remained confident that it would see positive growth in its traffic volumes. OR Tambo GM Chris Hlekane told a media briefing, on Thursday, that... 

Barloworld unveils R2,4bn empowerment deal 

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th June 2008 Diversified industrial and logistics company Barloworld on Thursday announced the details of its black economic-empowerment (BEE) deal, to the value of R2,4-billion. The company would sell a 10% stake to black participants, including a strategic black partner, employees, an educational trust and... 

Shifting the load not good enough anymore, says Eskom’s Etzinger 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     11th June 2008 State-owned power utility Eskom has again urged South African consumers to reduce their electricity usage by 10%. Speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s mid-year seminar, Eskom demand side manager Andrew Etzinger said that a 10% reduction was required across the... 

Telkom boosts capex plan to R32bn 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th June 2008 Fixed-line operator Telkom would add an extra R2-billion to its R30-billion capital expenditure (capex) programme, that ran from the 2006 to 2010, the company said on Monday. Telkom would invest R1,7-billion over three years in its fixed wireless deployment - the first customers would be... 

Shareholding structure limits Vodacom's expansion, says outgoing CEO  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th June 2008 Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig, who on Monday made his resignation official, said that it was time to change the company's shareholding structure, arguing that the current structure was limiting its expansion possibilities. South Africa fixed-line operator Telkom and the UK's Vodafone... 

Explicit State support needed to secure Eskom rating if tariff hike is refused - Fitch 

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2008 Credit-ratings agency FitchRatings, which has State-owned power utility Eskom on an "negative outlook", would probably move to downgrade the utility immediately if it failed to secure a 60% tariff increase from the regulator later this month, unless the announcement was associated with... 

Eskom begins standing its ground, but regaining credibility will be tough 

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2008 A decidedly less apologetic tone has started to emerge at embattled State utility Eskom, with nonexecutive chairperson Valli Moosa leading what could be seen as something of a “fight back” in the corporation’s bid to regain a semblance of public credibility. 

Power shock therapy lambasted 

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2008 Business has agreed that South Africa’s power tariffs would probably need to double to be economic, but has argued strongly that the economy, which was having to deal with several “shocks” at present, did not have the absorptive capacity to deal with a 100% price hike over two... 

R10bn earmarked for improvements at SA's major ports 

By: Christy van der Merwe     5th June 2008 South Africa would spend R10,3-billion over the next five years to improve its equipment and infrastructure at its major ports, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) CEO Tau Morwe said on Thursday. Speaking at the Africa Ports and Harbours congress, in Sandton, he stated that the utility had invested... 

Transnet Freight Rail making ‘steady progress’ with punctuality 

By: Matthew Hill     4th June 2008 State-owed rail operator Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), formerly Spoornet, said on Wednesday that only 60% of its trains were departing and arriving on time, but that it was making "steady progress" in this regard. CE Siyabonga Gama said that the utility had come from a low service level... 

African ports lack capacity to meet growing demand 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th June 2008 African countries would have to develop world-class port infrastructure to keep up with future growth in demand, a top government official said on Wednesday. "We are definitely in a strong growth cycle, but from a capacity point of view we are struggling to cope, and it is difficult to keep... 

CAA launches committee to develop regulations for unmanned aircraft  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd June 2008 A new committee established by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would develop policies, airworthiness standards and regulations to ensure the management of the unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) sector in the civil aviation sphere by 2015. The CAA on Tuesday said that there would be continued... 

Municipalities meet to formulate climate change policies 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd June 2008 Local government delegates on Monday kicked-off a two-day climate change summit that would hopefully result in a number of practical steps and proposals for policy and regulation regarding climate change, to be implemented at the local level. The need to balance a growing economy with... 

Private sector must play greater role in African infrastructure provision 

By: Christy van der Merwe     30th May 2008 The establishment of a successful public-private partnership (PPP) is an intricate and demanding process, and one that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) feels it can play a key advisory role in. 

Prolonged pain chosen over power shock 

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2008 The principle of smoothing, over a five-year timeframe, the “necessary increases” in the power tariffs to Eskom, has been accepted by government, labour, business and community stakeholders, which have now presented this proposal to National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).  

R69m Dobsonville stadium facelift ahead of schedule 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th May 2008 The R69-million facelift of the Dobsonville stadium, in Soweto, is ahead of schedule and should be completed before the end of next month. 

Nanotechnology holds many socioeconomic challenges 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th May 2008 Significant investment and research is being applied to the science of nanotechnology and, last week, one more contribution was made- the launch of the La Villette nanotechnology exhibition, at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Newtown, Johannesburg.  

African countries urged to review mobile-specific taxes 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     29th May 2008 Sub-Saharan African countries' mobile-specific taxation strategies were deterring mobile investment and driving up costs for consumers, an international mobile trade organisation said on Thursday. GSM Association (GSMA) described the sub-Saharan Africa mobile-specific taxation strategies... 

Funding certainty ‘key' as Eskom spends R23m every working hour 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2008 South Africa's State power utility was spending R23-million "every working hour" and, thus, urgently required certainty on the composition of the funding mix for its R343-billion capital programme between tariff increases, an injection from its shareholder and borrowings, CEO Jacob... 

Maroga promises new electricity connection policy soon 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2008 The much-anticipated policy on new electricity connections should be out in the next few weeks, Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga said on Thursday. Speaking at a breakfast hosted by SAS Institute and the Mail & Guardian, Maroga acknowledged that the process of finalising the policy had taken longer... 

Eskom downgrade could impact SA's own credit rating 

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2008 Allowing Eskom's credit rating to slide or, alternatively, shifting the debt burden associated with the R343-billion build programme across to the Republic of South Africa could have negative consequences for the country's own credit rating and its cost of borrowing. This was the view... 

SA economy cannot absorb 60% power-price shock 

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2008 Business agreed on Tuesday that South Africa's power tariffs would probably need to double, but argued strongly that the economy, which was having to deal with several "shocks" at present, did not have the absorptive capacity to deal with a 100% price hike over two years as... 

Credit downgrade could limit Eskom's access to debt markets and suppliers 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2008 A single-notch downgrade by the international rating agencies of Eskom's credit worthiness could add between R3-million and R4-million to the cost of each R1-billion borrowed on the capital markets. But finance director Bongani Nqwababa warned at the weekend that the impact could be even... 

Beware leaning too heavily on fiscus for power support, Moosa warns 

By: Matthew Hill     23rd May 2008 Government's financial assistance of power producer Eskom "should not have the perverse and unintended consequences" of subsiding the rich, who remained South Africa's most inefficient electricity users, Eskom chairperson Valli Moosa said on Friday. Moosa was addressing the... 

Educational initiative focuses on much-needed construction industry skills 

By: Guy Copans     23rd May 2008 Go for Gold, a Western Cape educational initiative which trains and places youth from previously disadvantaged communities in key technical positions in the construction industry, has expanded to Gauteng. 

SAA mulls new energy-efficient fleet to fuel growth ambitions 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2008 National carrier South African Airways (SAA) - which is halfway through a far-reaching restructuring programme that has seen aircraft grounded and its headcount reduced by 1 900 people - believes a platform has now been created for growth, and has issued a request for information (RFI) to Airbus... 

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