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New initiative aims to help support black commercial farmers 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 Starch, glucose and related products company, Tongaat Hulett Starch (THS), and the Buhle Farming Academy (BFA), an educational trust, have established the Ithuba farming project, aimed at increasing the number of black commercial maize farmers in the country. 

Listed property firm launches entrepreneur programme  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     22nd May 2008 JSE-listed property company Growthpoint Properties on Thursday launched a business enterprise development programme, The Property Point, to assist small entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. "We have carved out a niche entrepreneurship programme for development in the property space that... 

Climate change risks tend to be underestimated - survey 

By: Christy van der Merwe     22nd May 2008 Professional services organisation KPMG identified the six most prevalent sectors in danger of risks from climate change, and these were transport, tourism, aviation, healthcare, the financial sector, and the oil and gas sector. These sectors scored high on the risks facing the sector (either... 

Best years still to come, says Esor chief  

By: Matthew Hill     21st May 2008 In all of Esor CEO Bernie Krone's 32 years in the construction industry, the past financial year was the best one, and the way things are headed, the current year one will probably be even better, he said on Wednesday. This after the AltX-listed company beat the R1-billion revenue mark,... 

China adresses imbalances as trade with SA soars 

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st May 2008 As China and South Africa celebrated ten years of diplomatic ties, trade cooperation was discussed, and a focus on addressing bilateral trade imbalances was emphasised. South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies noted that total trade between South Africa and China was up... 

Companies urged to invest in fraud prevention 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th May 2008 South African Fraud Prevention Services CE Pat Cunningham on Tuesday urged companies to spend more time on preventing fraud and corruption. Speaking at the second day of a fraud conference, in Johannesburg, he said that that society would never be able to get rid of fraud and that companies... 

Sanyati confident about future growth as earnings surge 

By: Christy van der Merwe     20th May 2008 AltX-listed civil engineering and construction group Sanyati Holdings realised an almost threefold increase in turnover, to R1-billion for the year ended February 2008, and headline earnings a share increased 89,4% to 22,31c a share, up from 11,78c a share in 2007. The results exceeded the... 

Corruption hurting developing world – Fraser-Moleketi  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th May 2008 South Africa's Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, on Monday said that corruption was especially corrosive for the developing world with funds to be used for the development and upliftment of the people being misspent. "Some resources are lining... 

IMF outlines growth projections for sub-Saharan Africa 

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th May 2008 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) set an expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6,5% for sub Saharan Africa for 2008, at its regional economic outlook presentation on Friday. It also said that advanced economies would be most affected by the current economic turbulence, while... 

Altron still believes single listed entry point is the way to go 

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2008 Electrical engineering, electronics and technology group Altron – which reported record revenues of R20-billion and a record after-tax profit of R1-billion for its financial year ended February 2008 – would continue to pursue its stated ambition of setting itself up as the single... 

Aluminium extrusion company tackles the skills challenge 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     16th May 2008 In an effort to alleviate the massive skills shortage in the aluminium fabrication sector, aluminium extrusion company Wispeco Aluminium has invested over R1, 2-million in a project called the SpazaAL, aimed at developing young black entrepreneurs. 

Eskom seeks regulator approval to double DSM budget 

By: Matthew Hill     15th May 2008 Capacity constrained power utility Eskom has asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to more-than-double the amount of money it can claim back from government for its demand-side management (DSM) programme for this financial year to R2,5-billion, an official said this week.... 

Winter power cuts unlikely, but Eskom warns risk remains  

By: Matthew Hill     14th May 2008 Struggling State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday remained "cautiously optimistic" that it would squeeze through the winter months without serious load shedding, but warned that its power supply remained in a precarious position. Demand-side manager Andrew Etzinger said that... 

Afrimat keen to build capacity as SA's infrastructure roll-out takes off 

By: Matthew Hill     13th May 2008 JSE-listed building materials supplier Afrimat is not nervous about negative sentiment surrounding South Africa's economy, and is eyeing further acquisitive growth to take advantage of government's "massive" planned spending on infrastructure, CEO Andries van Heerden said on... 

SAA in early stage talks with Airbus, Boeing on new fuel-efficient fleet 

By: Terence Creamer     13th 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... 

Mandatory close-out reports for construction contractors in the pipeline  

By: Matthew Hill     13th May 2008 Construction contractors could soon have to complete mandatory close-out reports for projects, which would give an advantage to those companies that perform better, and help them to understand where they could improve, statutory body, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) said on... 

R600bn infrastructure roll-out to provide growth impetus 

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2008 South Africa could still attain its target of 6% growth from 2010, despite the “serious power emergency”, The Presidency’s deputy policy head Alan Hirsch said at the released of the 2007 annual report for the Accelerated and Share Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa) last... 

Programme to deliver first 1 000 trained call-centre learners 

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th May 2008 The Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) expected that by July this year, the first 1 000 learners would have completed the Monyetla work readiness inception programme, aimed at boosting the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. 

South Africa in need of project managers 

By: Fatima Gabru     9th May 2008 Amid a worldwide project managers’ shortage, South Africa is in need of of between 3 000 and 5 000 project managers in the short-term, says Da Vinci Institute of Technology chairman and Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) technical committee member professor Roy Marcus. 

Infrasors lifts FY earnings, embarks on R81m capex programme 

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th May 2008 Gauteng-based industrial materials and mining group Infrasors on Thursday reported that headline earnings a share had more than doubled, as it increased production and sales. Headline earnings a share jumped 111% to 44,6c a share in the year ended February 29, compared with the pro forma Heps... 

GrainSA wants open discussion on biofuels policy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th May 2008 South African grain producers association GrainSA on Wednesday held a multi-stakeholder forum to discuss the future prospects for feedstock production in the first and second economy of South Africa. Although the forum was not a decision-making one, it hoped to deliberate and bring new... 

Altron sees big opportunities arising from power crisis 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     6th May 2008 The wholly-owned electrical-engineering subsidiary of the Altron group, Powertech, indicated on Tuesday that, while the prevailing South African power supply crisis was a risk to its operations, it was also creating many opportunities for the company. Altron CE Robert Venter commented that there... 

Altron still aspiring to take out Altech minorities 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2008 Electrical engineering, electronics and technology group Altron - which reported record revenues of R20-billion and a record after-tax profit of R1-billion for its financial year ended February 2008 - would continue to pursue its stated ambition of setting itself up as the single listed entry... 

Hyprop announces R180m Gauteng hotel development 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th May 2008 JSE-listed retail property fund, Hyprop Investments, on Monday announced the start of construction of a R180-million four-star hotel that is being built on top of the Hyde Park shopping centre. The Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel is being developed in cooperation with hotel group Southern Sun,... 

A sneak preview of what Soccer City will look and feel like as the World Cup closes in with unseemly haste 

By: Dennis Ndaba     25th April 2008 In about 780 days from today, the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s opening whistle will blast for the kick-off of the opening game of the tournament. South Africa will become the stage and the continent the theatre for what has to be a world-class event in its organisation and execution. 

Safety authority plans economic growth for maritime industry 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th April 2008 Newly appointed CEO of the national agency responsible for the environmental protection and safety of the maritime environment, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa), Tsietsi Mokhele, aims to enhance the services offered by the authority to ensure that it plays a greater role in... 

Six percent growth still attainable, says government 

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2008 South Africa could still attain its target of 6% growth from 2010, despite the "serious power emergency", The Presidency's deputy policy head Alan Hirsch said on Thursday. Speaking at a media briefing following the released of the 2007 annual report for the Accelerated and Share... 

SA could face another decade of power cuts, energy consultant warns 

By: Matthew Hill     24th April 2008 South Africa could be dogged by blackouts for "at least another ten years", an energy consultant warned on Thursday. This was the time that it would take for the country to build up the 15% reserve margin required for a stable power supply, based on modest economic growth forecasts,... 

SA must become foreign worker friendly  

By: Christy van der Merwe     23rd April 2008 Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka on Wednesday stated that the matter of foreign recruitment of priority skills had become important, as South Africa did “not have the luxury of time” to train highly skilled human resources needed in the short term. Speaking at the Joint... 

Vehicle sales confidence slows as rates and fuel hikes bite 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     23rd April 2008 The vehicle sales confidence indicator, compiled by WesBank, on Wednesday showed that confidence levels had decreased to 5,1 points in April, from 5,4 points in January. The majority of respondents cited increasing interest rates, climbing fuel prices and stuttering economic conditions as the... 

Construction of vital R11,2bn fuel pipeline to start in September 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2008 State freight logistics group Transnet would begin construction of the urgently needed R11,2-billion new multiproduct fuel pipeline from Durban to southern Johannesburg in August, and was confident of completing the project by September 2010. However, CEO Maria Ramos acknowledged that mitigation... 

Transnet will still raise R37bn for R80bn capex plan, despite world-market jitters 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2008 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet still planned to raise about R13,7-billion on the local and international capital markets during its 2008/9 financial year, as part of a bigger R37-billion, five-year capital-raising exercise, despite the considerable tightening in credit associated... 

Now business calls on Nersa to delay Eskom tariff hearing 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2008 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has written to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) calling for it to abandon its current accelerated review of Eskom's request for a 60% tariff increase so as to give stakeholders sufficient time to compile comprehensive responses.... 

Group Five launches construction skills academy  

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th April 2008 South African construction firm Group Five, in a joint initiative with the Development Bank of South Africa, on Friday launched the Woodmead construction skills training academy. Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition, or Jipsa, chairperson Gwede Mantashe officially opened the academy,... 

Balancing national versus rating-agency interests 

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2008 Probably the key issue for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to navigate before making a determination as to the reasonableness, or otherwise, of Eskom’s request for a real 53% tariff increase, is that fine line between national interest (including the potential impact... 

Built-environment professionals make strong objections to draft framework 

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2008 The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), which says its very existence as an autonomous body is under threat by proposed revisions to the statutory framework for the built environment, delivered a detailed response to the Department of Public Works (DPW) last week, in which it appealed for... 

SA must put pressure on Zim to release poll results – Phosa  

By: Matthew Hill     15th April 2008 South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday again came under criticism over his perceived denialist stance on the Zimbabwean crisis, with African National Congress (ANC) treasurer general Matthews Phosa saying he "must listen to" the ruling party's new leadership. Phosa... 

ANC asks Erwin to halt Eskom’s big tariff increase 

By: Matthew Hill     15th April 2008 The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday wrote to Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin requesting that the brakes be put on State-owned Eskom’s proposed 60% power tariff hike until “proper consultations” had taken place. ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa... 

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