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State still studying viability of new steel plant - Mpahlwa 

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th April 2008 Feasibility studies to determine the viability of building a State-initiated carbon-steel plant to rival ArcelorMittal South Africa and Highveld Steel, were still under way, Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa told journalists at a briefing on Monday. "I do know that there are... 

New partnership to grow SA's metals and engineering sector 

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th April 2008 Representatives of the South African government, business and organised labour on Monday attended the ceremonial signing of the metals and engineering sector summit agreement, which seeks to put the sector on a sustainable growth path. After years of discussion and debate, the three... 

Joburg suburb installs solar streetlights as part of regeneration plans 

By: Christy van der Merwe     11th April 2008 Solar power was playing an illuminating role in Johannesburg inner city regeneration efforts, as solar streetlights have been installed on Kenmare street, in Yeoville as a part of the Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville upgrade being carried out by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA). Broadwing... 

Power giant puts nation on notice that projects could be halted if tariffs don’t rise 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2008 State-owned electricity producer Eskom issued a shocking warning last week that it could be forced to cut back or even halt certain of its projects if it was unable secure adequate revenues, which could only be achieved through a substantial increase in electricity tariffs, or material... 

Two centres of power on power 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2008 South Africa’s two centres of political power are increasingly at odds with one another over the handling of the prevailing South African power crisis. In a joint statement issued by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), following a... 

Truck sales adding revenue sparkle to luxury brand 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2008 Revenue attributable to truck sales, which currently make up about a third of Mercedes-Benz South Africa's (MBSA's) yearly sales of R37-billion, are likely to rise to around 50% in the coming years, given strong market demand for commercial vehicles in both South and Southern Africa. 

Strict regulations slowing GM crop adoption - AfricaBio 

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th April 2008 Despite the genetically modified (GM) crop debate that continues to rage, the AfricaBio association on Thursday celebrated five years of successful white maize demonstration trials, which recorded average yield increases of over 20%, and went some way to secure a sustainable food supply for... 

Built-environment professionals object strongly to draft framework 

By: Terence Creamer     10th 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, would deliver a detailed response to the Department of Public Works (DPW) on Friday, in which it would... 

Radebe insists World Cup transport infrastructure will be in place 

By: Matthew Hill     9th April 2008 Transport Minister Jeff Radebe on Wednesday asserted that the first phase of the Gautrain rapid-rail project would be completed before South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup, as well as on budget. This came after a significant shareholder in the consortium building the project said last month... 

Captive power plants, IPPs to give Eskom a breather – Group Five 

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th April 2008 Decentralised power, built closer to the demand rather than the power source, could help “bridge the gap” at a time of a power crisis, Group Five Energy MD Willie Zeelie said. Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, he said that, although decentralised power was built at a higher... 

Tariff hike could yield Eskom profit of R12,7bn, says Nersa 

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2008 Should power utility Eskom succeed in convincing the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to approve its request for a 60% tariff increase, backdated to April 1, 2008, the State-owned group could be poised to earn a whopping profit after tax of R12,7-billion, Nersa claimed on... 

‘Fundamental shifts' on the cards for SA's e-government strategy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th April 2008 The South African government's concept of an ‘e-government strategy', aimed at increasing the back-office administration capacity and data integration systems of government departments in order to offer improved service delivery to citizens, was only at stage one of service... 

MTN raises capex to R30bn to close capacity, quality gaps 

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th April 2008 Following a solid set of results for the 2007 financial year, the MTN group board approved a capital expenditure (capex) of over R30-billion for 2008, as it hoped to boost infrastructure roll out, which would go some way to alleviate network congestion, particularly in the South African and... 

Sawlog group plans 9-MW cogen plant as South Africa’s electricity crisis bites 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     4th April 2008 Forestry products group York is currently investigating the potential for one or more cogeneration projects using a combination of its waste products and steam to generate power as a solution to the electricity crisis in the medium term, its CEO said last week. “In the medium term we are looking... 

Eskom still factoring in AES power plant, despite some ‘issues' 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd April 2008 State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday said that it welcomed independent power producer (IPP) participation, as these could be important in improving security of supply. However, the utility could offer no clarity on what appears to be a delay in the development of the AES Khanya... 

Loss of public confidence likely to be bonus consideration, says Eskom chief 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd April 2008 For the first time since the issue of Eskom executives' salary bonuses was brought to the fore, Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga commented on the process that would lead to the determination of the bonuses, but he stressed that responsibility for the outcome lay with the board. Maroga was speaking at... 

Eskom issues shock warning that projects could be halted if tariffs don’t rise 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2008 State-owned electricity producer Eskom issued a shocking warning on Wednesday that it could be forced to cut back or even halt certain of its projects if it was unable secure adequate revenues, which could only be achieved through a substantial increase in electricity tariffs, or material... 

Poor will be cushioned from any Eskom hike, Sonjica promises 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st April 2008 Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica stressed on Tuesday that Eskom's requested 53% electricity tariff hike was "not finalised yet", and gave an assurance that South Africa's poorest citizens would be cushioned in the event of a material hike. Addressing the public... 

WBHO calls for the clearing of final charter hurdles 

By: Matthew Hill     1st April 2008 Building and civil engineering contractor Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) on Tuesday appealed that government leaders helped ensure that the final hurdles in the way of the long-awaited construction industry transformation charter,be cleared. It is understood that, the charter needed to be... 

SA's two centres of political power at odds over handling of power crisis 

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2008 South Africa's two centres of political power are increasingly at odds with one another over the handling of the prevailing South African power crisis. In a joint statement issued by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), following a... 

Eskom sets July target for conservation incentives, makes plant-availability commitment 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2008 The head of embattled power utility Eskom, Jacob Maroga, has set a July 1 deadline for the introduction of a system of incentives to support power conservation nationally, which would move the country beyond the damaging and blunt instrument of load shedding. 

Sasol weighs up more power generation schemes, but says it must prioritise fuel security 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2008 South African energy group Sasol is considering an array of power-generation options over and above an already approved plan to introduce 280 MW of new electricity capacity at Secunda by 2011, through a capital programme involving of R2,5-billion. 

Access to potable water and decent sanitation remains a big challenge 

By: Dennis Ndaba     28th March 2008 The problem of access to potable water and sanitation remains a big challenge for South Africa, and affects the poor, particularly women, the most, Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Lindiwe Hendricks, said at the launch of Masibabane III programme at the National Water Summit, in Midrand, last... 

High-voltage, direct-current transmission holds great promise 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th March 2008 Switching from high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) electricity transmission to high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity transmission has "great potential" to achieve more reliable power transfer in South Africa. 

Skills scarcity is a consistent challenge, logistics survey highlights 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th March 2008 South Africa is experiencing a "serious" skills shortage in the supply-chain industry, according to a study commissioned by supply-chain management company Barloworld Logistics.  

Philips to manufacture energy-efficient bulbs in Lesotho 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     27th March 2008 Diversified products group Royal Philips Electronics has entered into a joint venture (JV) with demand-side management (DSM) initiatives company Karebo Systems and the State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) to establish a compact fluorescent lamp integrated (CFLi) light bulb manufacturing facility... 

Mercedes-Benz remains upbeat despite car sales slowing  

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     26th March 2008 The Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) group has no intention of slowing down production of its top-seller this year, despite the challenges posed by the sharp downward turn in passenger car sales, and other factors such as inflation, crime and political instability. Chairperson Dr Hansgeorg... 

New R1,25bn housing development for Free State 

By: Matthew Hill     26th March 2008 JSE-quoted construction firm Basil Read on Wednesday signed a partnership agreement with State-owned financier National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) to develop low- to middle-income housing, with construction on the first project the two will collaborate set to start soon. The R1,25-billion... 

Mercedes says truck sales could soon make up 50% of its SA revenue 

By: Terence Creamer     26th March 2008 Revenue attributable to truck sales, which currently made up about a third of Mercedes-Benz South Africa's (MBSA's) yearly sales of R37-billion, was likely to rise to around 50% in the coming years, given strong market demand for commercial vehicles in both South and Southern Africa.... 

York plans 9-MW cogen plant as South Africa's electricity crisis bites 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     25th March 2008 Forestry products group York was currently investigating the potential for one or more cogeneration projects using a combination of its waste products and steam to generate power as a solution to the electricity crisis in the medium term, its CEO said on Tuesday. "In the medium term we are... 

Eskom urges residential, commercial customers to also cut demand 

By: Matthew Hill     25th March 2008 Struggling State-owned power producer Eskom on Tuesday again bemoaned the lack of commitment from the residential and commercial sectors to curbing their power use, while its biggest users had all come to the table. Spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said that the utility's key customers had all... 

Aveng promises sensible growth as its order book swells to R22bn 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     21st March 2008 South African construction group Aveng, which last week reported improved interim results, said that its order book had reached R22-billion.  

Inside South Africa’s electricity-saving drive 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st March 2008 In February this year, the Minister of Public Enterprise Alec Erwin, and the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica acknowledged that South Africa’s current power supply situation had to be treated as a national electricity emergency. 

Environmental scientist lauds SA’s PBMR technology 

By: Keith Campbell     21st March 2008 South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has been hailed as revolutionary by Canadian scientist and environmentalist Dr Patrick Moore. “The PBMR is one of the most exciting developments in technology today, not just in energy, but in the history of technology,” he asserts. 

International company targets Africa’s booming construction market 

By: Sylvester Haskins     21st March 2008 International capital equipment manufacturer New Holland Construction has placed an express focus on the Southern African market, with the view that it is a growth market and holding much promise in the future, states New Holland Construction East Europe, African and the Middle East senior... 

Investment firm sets aside R20m for entrepreneurial development fund 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     21st March 2008 Investment firm Brimstone Investment Corporation has set aside some R20-million to its entrepreneurial development fund, which seeks to assist new entrepreneurs in getting their businesses off the ground.  

PAP election observation mission to Zimbabwe 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     20th March 2008 The Pan African Parliament (PAP) held a press briefing on Thursday on the issue of the PAP election observation mission to Zimbabwe. 

MTN raises capex to R30bn in bid to match capacity to surging demand 

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th March 2008 Following a solid set of results for the 2007 financial year, the MTN group board approved a capital expenditure (capex) of over R30-billion for 2008, as it hoped to boost infrastructure roll out, which would go some way to alleviate network congestion, particularly in the South African and... 

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