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Macro and Micro News

M&R pursuing open-pit services acquisition as it seeks ‘step-change’ growth in mining 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2020 Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) is considering acquisition targets in the open-pit mining services sector, where it is aiming to expand the presence of its mining platform, which has hitherto had an underground mining focus. CEO Henry Laas says that, although the... 

Ford donates 240 engines to support skills development, training in technical schools

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has launched a far-reaching engine donation programme to support skills development and training at technical high schools across the country. As part of the programme, the vehicle manufacturer is donating 240 engines, valued at R7.8-million, as part... 

Ford donates 240 engines to support skills development, training in technical schools

Minerals Council says morality must be put at forefront of recovery, growth

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2020 The Minerals Council South Africa has implored President Cyril Ramaphosa and law enforcement authorities to act urgently against those within government, business and other citizens who have looted public funds, incluing those intended to alleviate the impact of Covid-19. This plea by the... 

Minerals Council says morality must be put at forefront of recovery, growth
Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter

Opinion: Small businesses need a miracle rescue

27th August 2020 In this opinion piece, Sukuma Relief Fund adviser Dr Thami Mazwai writes about the need to rescue South Africa's small businesses. Small businesses, the backbone of the South African economy, need a miracle if they are to survive and keep hundreds of thousands of people in employment. Hammered by... 

Opinion: Small businesses need a miracle rescue
Dr Thami Mazwai

Nzimande condemns students who submit false information to obtain NSFAS funding

By: Yvonne Silaule     26th August 2020 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has removed 5 000 students from its list of beneficiaries. Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande on August 26 said the 5 000 students were provided with funding support, but had provided inaccurate information for the... 

Fuel price feeds inflation spike as SA consumers take another hit

By: African News Agency      26th August 2020 Statistics South Africa, a governmental organisation, reported on Wednesday a spike of 3.2% in the consumer price index, which was higher than June’s 2.2%.  The increase in CPI, a financial instrument used to measure inflation, was reportedly driven by a hike in fuel prices which came as the... 

 Fuel price feeds inflation spike as SA consumers take another hit

DTIC, Wesgro to host virtual wine mission to South Korea

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th August 2020 To enhance bilateral trade and investment ties, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) will, in collaboration with trade promotion agency Wesgro, host a virtual wine mission to South Korea. The event, to be held on August 27, will showcase ten wineries from the Western Cape region. 

South African business, labour leaders hammer out recovery plan

By: Bloomberg     26th August 2020 South African business, labour union and government leaders have given themselves ten days to agree on a recovery plan before presenting it to President Cyril Ramaphosa, people familiar with the situation said. A select group of leaders met under the auspices of the National Economic Development... 

South African business, labour leaders hammer out recovery plan

Initiative launched to stimulate adoption of fast-growing energy management standard by South African firms  

By: Terence Creamer     25th August 2020 An initiative is under way to accelerate the adoption by South African industrial firms of the international energy management standard ISO 50001, which is designed to help improve the performance of a company’s energy-intensive assets to support cost savings and emission reductions. Although ISO... 

Initiative launched to stimulate adoption of fast-growing energy management standard by South African firms
The NCPC-SA’s Alf Hartzenburg, who heads up the IEE Project in South Africa, on the benefits of the international energy management standard ISO 50001. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms Covid-19 antibody tests are now legal 

By: News24Wire      25th August 2020 The National Department of Health has confirmed that antibody testing is now legal in South Africa. On Monday evening, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced: "Today I am pleased to announce that the director-general for health has issued guidelines for the use of SARS CoV 2 antibody tests and... 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms Covid-19 antibody tests are now legal
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

24th August 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. The number of reported new cases fell to an average of 3 350 a day in the week to 23 August, from a peak... 

Insimbi ‘cautiously optimistic’ as earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Germiston-based foundry Insimbi Industrial Holdings remains cautiously optimistic for the year ahead as its headline earnings a share for the financial year ended February 29, was 25% lower year-on-year at 10c a share. Earnings a share also decreased, but by 32% year-on-year, to 8c a share. 

Redefine lays foundations for future growth as property fundamentals continue to be challenged 

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Managing risk through a streamlined, more focused offshore asset platform and zoning in resolutely on high-quality, well-located domestic assets have helped real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties lay the foundations for future growth once Covid-19-related uncertainty and... 

Redefine lays foundations for future growth as property fundamentals continue to be challenged
CEO Andrew Konig speaks to investors and media during a pre-close briefing on August 24. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

BLSA’s Mavuso says fight against corruption is ‘real and growing’

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 The fight against corruption is “real and growing”, says Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso, who adds that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s swift action on the Covid-19-related corruption with the appointment of a multidisciplinary centre to tackle the matter is “an important and... 

BLSA’s Mavuso says fight against corruption is ‘real and growing’
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

SA business owners reluctant to incur more debt under current economic conditions – Basa

By: African News Agency      24th August 2020 Business owners are reluctant to incur more debt while uncertain business conditions and a weak economic outlook hampers their ability to generate sustainable income from which they can repay the loans, the Banking Association of South Africa (Basa) said on Sunday. Despite uncertain business... 

City of Cape Town gets ready to roll out business retention and expansion visitation programme

By: African News Agency      24th August 2020 The City of Cape Town is preparing to implement its business retention and expansion (BR&E) visitation programme which will be rolled out in Cape Town industrial areas progressively over the next 18 months, the city said on Sunday.    In a bid to help businesses recover from the severe negative... 

City of Cape Town gets ready to roll out business retention and expansion visitation programme

DMRE launches procurement process for 2 000 MW of ‘dispatchable’ power

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has formally initiated the much-anticipated procurement process for 2 000 MW of emergency power under its so-called Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP). The request for proposals (RFP) bid documentation... 

DMRE launches procurement process for 2 000 MW of ‘dispatchable’ power
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

More interns to join South Africa's healthcare workforce

By: Yvonne Silaule     21st August 2020 Forty-one medical interns who studied abroad have passed their exams and are being sent to various provinces in South Africa. This adds to the 2 369 interns who have joined the Department of Health (DoH) from the beginning of this year. 

ARB says financial year ‘will be well remembered’ for Covid-19, other challenges 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st August 2020 JSE-listed investment and property holding company ARB Holdings says sluggish economic growth and the collapse in business confidence became a “secondary concern” this year, as regulations and national lockdown restrictions were implemented to halt the spread of Covid-19. ARB owns investments in... 

ARB says financial year ‘will be well remembered’ for Covid-19, other challenges
ARB CEO Billy Neasham gives Engineering News some further detail and insight on the company's financial results. Video: Recorded via Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Government still scratching its head over Gauteng e-tolls system 

By: News24Wire      21st August 2020 Director General of Transport Alec Moemi has hinted at a gruelling tussle between the Department of Transport and National Treasury over the controversial Gauteng e-tolls system. This comes as the department re-prioritises billions to pay for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, also known as... 

Government still scratching its head over Gauteng e-tolls system

Africa’s most-industrialised economy will probably shrink by 8%

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2020 Slow reforms and the return of rolling power cuts in South Africa could threaten the recovery of an economy that probably bottomed in the second quarter. Africa’s most-industrialized economy will probably shrink by 8% in 2020, according to the median estimate of 29 economists in a Bloomberg... 

Africa’s most-industrialised economy will probably shrink by 8%

Banks have provided voluntary relief on loans worth more than R500bn

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st August 2020 As at August 9, banks in South Africa have provided voluntary relief on loans with a book value at risk of R537-billion, in efforts to support the South African economy during Covid-19. The Banking Association of South Africa (Basa), which represents all the registered banks and a board... 

Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential 

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says that, while South Africa has strong onshore wind potential, it would nevertheless encourage domestic policymakers to begin creating the framework for an offshore wind industry given the country’s “excellent” offshore wind-energy potential. The World Bank... 

 Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential
South Africa's offshore wind resource

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal energy mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 In about 2060, the ideal energy mix would be one with only non-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, pumped hydro and hydrogen, says global energy advisory UL. 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal  energy mix
JAMES TRUDEAU It is “very critical” that Eskom increases its energy storage capacities to support a more diversified energy portfolio

Lufthansa announces expansion of its repatriation flight programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th August 2020 Germany’s Lufthansa Group announced on Thursday that it was expanding its repatriation flight programme between Germany and South Africa and between Switzerland and South Africa. The Germany flights will be operated by Lufthansa itself and will be between Frankfurt and both Johannesburg and Cape... 

High-level Nedlac working group on economic recovery begins meeting  

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2020 The first formal meeting of the small multi-stakeholder working group set up to finalise South Africa’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan is expected to take place next week, with a preliminary planning meeting having taken place on Thursday afternoon. The working group includes representatives of... 

 High-level Nedlac working group on economic recovery begins meeting
Photo by Creamer Media
Business Unity South Africa CEO Cas Coovadia

Mpumalanga Premier to appoint independent investigators to uncover PPE corruption

By: Yvonne Silaule     20th August 2020 Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane will be appointing an independent team of investigators to urgently lay bare Covid-19-related personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption.  The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency, Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury; Department of Culture, Sports and... 

Mpumalanga Premier to appoint independent investigators to uncover PPE corruption

Changes on the cards at CEF, Necsa 

20th August 2020  Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the restructuring and rationalisation plans for the Central Energy Fund group of companies and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. 

Changes on the cards at CEF, Necsa
Changes on the cards at CEF, Necsa (Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

Govt ‘in contact’ with companies that have shelved investment pledges  

By: Terence Creamer     19th August 2020 Department of Trade, Industry and Competition director-general Lionel October reported on Wednesday that government would continue to engage with those companies that had withdrawn investment pledges made in 2019 with the intention of reviving the projects should conditions change. Earlier this... 

 Govt ‘in contact’ with companies that have shelved investment pledges
Photo by Creamer Media
DTIC director-general Lionel October

Covid-19, other factors create ‘perfect storm’ for Murray & Roberts

By: Simone Liedtke     19th August 2020 Engineering company Murray & Roberts' (M&R’s) global portfolio of projects experienced a significant Covid-19 profit impact during the 2020 financial year and is, as a result, the company expects to report a headline loss a share of between 74c and 86c. Its basic loss a share is anticipated to be... 

Group Five’s Everite business potentially sold, G5 Construction business rescue ongoing

By: Simone Liedtke     19th August 2020 The sale process for embattled construction company Group Five’s Everite business is on track, with the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) on August 19 confirming receipt of a “credible and funded offer” that is being pursued. This follows as the sale process was temporarily suspended during... 

South African smokers empty shops of cigarettes after ban lifted

By: Reuters     19th August 2020 In the latest wave of panic-buying triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, South African smokers on Tuesday snapped up all the cigarettes they could lay their hands on after the lifting of a five-month ban designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As part of a broader easing of restrictions,... 

New charcoal production facility launched in Western Cape 

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2020 Western Cape-based Toronto Group on August 18 launched its charcoal production facility, in the Swartland municipality of the province. The combined virtual and limited attendance sod-turning ceremony was hosted by information bureau Wesgro. 

New charcoal production facility launched in Western Cape
An artist's rendering of the Toronto Group's Charcoal Production Facility once completed.

Eskom to implement rolling power cuts as generation units break down  

By: African News Agency      18th August 2020 South African utility Eskom said on Tuesday it would implement rolling blackouts from 4pm until 10pm, and again the following day, after breakdowns in some generation units left the electricity system severely constrained. In a statement, Eskom said six generators had been returned to service at... 

Eskom to implement rolling power cuts as generation units break down

From Africa to America, businesses and insurers face survival showdowns

By: Reuters     18th August 2020 Wynand du Toit's safari camp in South Africa's Pilanesberg National Park lies abandoned, its tents ripped open by baboons and its survival in the balance after his insurer rejected his Covid-19 claim. In the United States, Miami restaurant owner Luis Debayle has laid off two-thirds of his staff... 

Most insurers still reluctant to pay tourist business interruption claims, despite some relief

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th August 2020 Public loss adjustment company Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) has reported that, while more major insurance companies are now offering interim relief payments to smaller businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, larger such businesses were still excluded from the payments. These interim... 

Brexit talks resume with just seven weeks left to reach a deal

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2020 UK and European Union officials have the next seven weeks to find something that has eluded them since March: an agreement over their future relationship. After a brief summer hiatus, face-to-face discussions will resume in Brussels on Tuesday. Over dinner, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top... 

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