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Materials & Equipment News

PPC delays full-year results publication, restates FY19 earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th August 2020 JSE-listed cement manufacturer PPC has advised that the publication of its financial results for the year ended March 31 has been delayed to the end of September. It had initially been scheduled for release by the end of August, but the impact of Covid-19 on the year-end audit process has been... 

Women’s network growing steadily

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The Protea Network – for women working in the predominantly male-dominated steel and other market sectors – is growing steadily and organically since its launch in April, says steel fabrication company Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer. She launched the network to provide women in the industry... 

NICOLETTE SKJOLDHAMMER
The objective of the Protea Network for this year is to encourage and facilitate online forum membership, where members can engage on a daily basis
NICOLETTE SKJOLDHAMMER The objective of the Protea Network for this year is to encourage and facilitate online forum membership, where members can engage on a daily basis

Steel awards go virtual

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The South African Institute for Steel Construction’s (SAISC’s) yearly Steel Awards will be judged and hosted virtually through a dedicated application (app) this year. This comes on the back of efforts to mitigate restrictions on social gatherings and take advantage of the digital marketing... 

VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED
Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually
VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually

Greater collaboration needed in steel supply chain

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 To ensure security of steel supply, the South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) is calling for greater collaboration among all players in the local steel supply chain, from upstream producers to downstream merchants. Local steel demand was low before the Covid-19 pandemic, which... 

RELIABLE ROLLOUT? 
The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators
Photo by Adobe
RELIABLE ROLLOUT? The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The world will most likely never revert to pre-2020 norms, says steel grating and related products supplier Vital Engineering director Glen Pringle. He tells Engineering News that he expects continued market disruption and the rethinking of various elements of the market, including supply chains. 

GRATE CHANGE AHEAD
Vital Engineering needs to ensure that it is as agile as possible to take advantage of the ever-changing status quo
GRATE CHANGE AHEAD Vital Engineering needs to ensure that it is as agile as possible to take advantage of the ever-changing status quo

PPC progresses restructuring initiatives

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th August 2020 In reiterating the objective and current status of its restructuring and refinancing project, JSE-listed cement manufacturer PPC on August 13 said it remained on track to reach the necessary agreements for sustainable capitalisation of the company across the geographies that it operates in. The... 

PPC progresses restructuring initiatives

Chinese national killed at Zijin mining camp in Congo, company says

By: Reuters     13th August 2020 A Chinese national was killed during an attack on a mining camp run by Zijin Mining Group in the early hours of Tuesday in southern Democratic Republic of Congo, a report on the company's website said. The employee was shot at the Carrilu cement and limestone mine in Lualaba province as camp... 

New duties another dose of 'slow poison' to steel industry, says Neasa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has reiterated its dissatisfaction with government's approval of an extended 8% safeguard duty on hot rolled coil, bringing the total duty payable on this product to 18%. This follows after Neasa launched an urgent application in the... 

Bell Equipment dismisses takeover offer rumour

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Listed industrial group Bell Equipment on Friday dismissed rumours that it had received an offer for a shareholding in the company. Bell was responding to an article that appeared in financial daily Business Day, which reports that the group had received a takeover offer from Chinese firm... 

Sector looks forward to working with govt

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 Industry organisation, The Concrete Institute, is highly encouraged by the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (Sidssa) and looks forward to partnering with government to turn words and policies into actionable and investable projects as identified in Sidssa’s new... 

BRYAN PERRIE
The South African cement sector is ready, willing and able to meet the infrastructure and build requirements of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa
BRYAN PERRIE The South African cement sector is ready, willing and able to meet the infrastructure and build requirements of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa

Construction rubble is functional, says demolition expert 

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 While a large proportion of demolition and construction rubble is allocated to registered landfill sites, it is critical to note that this material is often used to rehabilitate the landfill sites, says demolition solutions provider Jet Demolition contracts manager Kate Bester.   She explains... 

GETTING IT SORTED 
The majority of construction materials can be sorted and cleaned mechanically either before or during demolition activities
GETTING IT SORTED The majority of construction materials can be sorted and cleaned mechanically either before or during demolition activities

Online courses upgrade skills in concrete technology

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 The School of Concrete Technology is offering ten online courses to assist those in the concrete industry, and concrete-related industries, in upgrading their skills. The courses are offered on the school’s online platform and are supplemented with online lectures that are used to explain... 

UPSKILLED AND EDUCATED 
The courses are also designed to enable a student to advance in a staged approach to higher levels of education and knowledge in concrete technology
UPSKILLED AND EDUCATED The courses are also designed to enable a student to advance in a staged approach to higher levels of education and knowledge in concrete technology

Steely resolve, innovation continue despite lockdown

By: Darren Parker     31st July 2020 Although production came to a halt over the past two months, light-steel-frame building materials supplier Etex South Africa – formerly known as Marley Building Systems – continued planning and innovating throughout the Covid-19 lockdown so that it would be well positioned to take advantage of... 

MULTIPLE USES
Light-steel-frame buildings can be repurposed, modified or moved to a new location with relative ease
MULTIPLE USES Light-steel-frame buildings can be repurposed, modified or moved to a new location with relative ease

Hempcrete advantageous for construction

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 Hempcrete provides several advantages when used for the construction of a building, says Cape Town-based architecture firm Wolf and Wolf Architecture founder and principal Wolf Wolf. Hempcrete is a fully biodegradable material that comprises hemp hurds – the woody core removed during processing... 

SUPERIOR BENEFITS 
Hemp boasts several characteristics that make it superior from an ecological and economic perspective
Photo by Wolf
SUPERIOR BENEFITS Hemp boasts several characteristics that make it superior from an ecological and economic perspective

Lower demand drives decrease in Sephaku's full-year earnings

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2020 Building and construction materials company Sephaku Holdings expects its earnings a share for the financial year ended March 31 to be between 7.67c and 9.37c and its headline earnings a share to be between 6.72c and 8.41c. This compares with earnings a share and headline a share of 21.08c... 

Covid-19 forces changes to standard construction contracts, says MDA

By: Irma Venter     28th July 2020 Specialists in construction law MDA Attorneys say disruptions to business and operations owing to Covid-19 are no longer unanticipated, which means that all new contract negotiations have to take the possibility of this happening into account.  “Initially, force majeure notices were being issued... 

Barry Herholdt
Barry Herholdt

Use of integration platforms increases in sector

By: Halima Frost     24th July 2020 The role, development and deployment of collaboration tools and integration platforms in the project management sector have accelerated during the past six months, says University of Pretoria (UP) lecturer and Construction Industry Institute African Chapter director Dr Giel Bekker.  “The... 

TECH TAKE-UP
Lockdown regulations have forced organisations to take up collaborative tools and integrated platforms
TECH TAKE-UP Lockdown regulations have forced organisations to take up collaborative tools and integrated platforms

EPC firm suggests experienced team is key factor

By: Halima Frost     24th July 2020 Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Lesedi Nuclear Services says using an experienced project management team remains one of the key factors that needs to be applied when managing, identifying and accounting for project risks in South Africa. “Our environment is unique and... 

KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON
Having an experienced project management team allows Lesedi Nuclear Services to maintain clients such as State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi power station
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON Having an experienced project management team allows Lesedi Nuclear Services to maintain clients such as State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi power station

New technology offers effective communication  

By: Halima Frost     24th July 2020 Blockchain solution provider DoshEx’s newest offering, Sherlock blockchain, is adapted for project managers and engineers to effectively communicate within a communal ecosystem. DoshEx CEO Alex de Bruyn explains that the Sherlock network combines the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed document... 

ALEX DE BRUYN
Sherlock provides a smart contract management network using blockchain and distributed technology
DoshEx CEO Alex de Bruyn discusses the use of its Sherlock blockchain solution in the project management sector. Camerawork: Halima Frost. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 25.06.2020

Afrimat continues pursuit of UCP

By: Schalk Burger     23rd July 2020 Industrial minerals and construction materials company Afrimat on July 22 announced its firm intention to acquire Unicorn Capital Partners (UCP). UCP’s business comprises of mobile crane hire, exploration drilling services, drilling and blasting, opencast and underground mining and earthmoving... 

PPC warns of lower full-year earnings

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd July 2020 JSE-listed PPC expects its basic earnings a share and headline earnings a share for the year ended March 31 to have decreased by more than 20% compared with the basic earnings a share of 16c and the headline earnings a share of 20c reported for the prior financial year. These movements take into... 

Brick supplier completes Gauteng school project

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 Face brick supplier Corobrik has completed the supply of its bricks for the construction of Noordgesig Primary School’s administration block and hall. 

WINTER SEASON BENEFITS 
The Corobrik clay face brick offers enhanced thermal comfort by retaining warmth in winter
WINTER SEASON BENEFITS The Corobrik clay face brick offers enhanced thermal comfort by retaining warmth in winter

MBA North welcomes infrastructure strategy, but warns implementation is key

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 The Master Builders Association (MBA) North has broadly welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision of infrastructure spending as the flywheel of South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.  Speaking at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa, held on... 

South Africa its own biggest enemy in infrastructure roll-out

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 South Africa keeps on tripping itself up when it comes to infrastructure project development and implementation, says New Development Bank (NDB) Africa regional office director-general Monale Ratsoma. The NDB is a multilateral development bank established by the Brics States, namely Brazil,... 

Home automation add-on launched

10th July 2020 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand has launched its Arteor-with-Netatmo which is a simple home automation solution that uses traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi. The company explains that it expanded on its Arteor range of wiring devices,... 

PLUGGED IN
Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi
PLUGGED IN Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi

S Africa crucial for centre’s growth into SADC

By: Cameron Mackay     10th July 2020 South Africa is vital for inter-country trade organisation the Competence Centre for Mineral Resources’ (CCMR’s) goal of expanding its network into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, according to CCMR head René Zarske. “South Africa is an important gateway for this, and the... 

VITAL ECONOMIC PARTNERS
Last November the CCMR invited eight South African companies to Germany to liaise with equipment suppliers, with follow-up delegations planned once travel restrictions are lifted
VITAL ECONOMIC PARTNERS Last November the CCMR invited eight South African companies to Germany to liaise with equipment suppliers, with follow-up delegations planned once travel restrictions are lifted

New piezometer boosts existing safety standards 

By: Halima Frost     10th July 2020 The installation of South Africa’s first Slimline vibrating wire piezometer, which is distributed by geotechnical service provider GeoGroup, is set to take place when the current Covid-19 lockdown regulations allow. The company says the piezometer will be instrumental in ensuring accurate... 

SLIM NE
The Slimline vibrating wire piezometer captures at least four different parameters  required to asses the stability of tailings dams
GeoGroup director Grant Rijsmus discusses the company’s Slimline Vibrating Wire Piezometer. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 10.06.2020

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects 

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2020 The four major rehabilitation and expansion projects on the South African side of the N4 Toll Route are back on track, says toll road manager Trans African Concessions (Trac). All sites were officially opened in the second week of May and are fully operational. 

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects

Interface increases recycled content in its flooring products

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Modular flooring producer Interface will, going forward, produce its luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products with an exceptionally high (39%) content of recycled material, without compromising any quality. According to the company, this achievement represents a “breakthrough” in sustainable flooring,... 

Interface increases recycled content in its flooring products

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Steel merchant Macsteel has been re-evaluating its business strategy, owing to a steady decline in steel consumption over the past five years, with 2019 being a “new low” and the start of 2020 faring just as poorly – a situation that has been exacerbated by the lockdown because of Covid-19.... 

BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY
Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers
BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers

New digital technologies improve manufacturing capabilities

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group has developed digital technology called the X-Pact MES 4.0, along with the Safety Locator Suite system, which both aid in the digital transformation of organisations and help to gain faster insights and more informed management decision-making, with the... 

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

ANDREW POOLE
Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

Plant productivity could be increased by virtual support

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group aims to increase the technical resources of its clients’ plants by using local service teams from SMS Group with virtual support from global experts around the world using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. The aim is to improve... 

New booster for industry 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Nitrogen generation equipment manufacturer and supplier NitraLife has introduced a booster for its NitraCut nitrogen generator product, which ‘bolts’ onto the company’s NitraCut nitrogen generator, to increase its nitrogen delivery pressure and therefore also increase the thickness of steel it... 

BOOSTING CAPABILITY 
The NitraCut booster will enable higher pressures and therefore enable the cutting of thicker steel
NitraLife MD Tom Sowry discusses the new NitraCut booster. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 11.06.2020

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Although the strategic decision to continue to pay employees full salaries during the Level 5 lockdown in April put pressure on its cashflow, steel fabricator and erector Betterect believes a healthy order book of projects for the next 18 months should ensure that the pressure will be relieved.... 

NICOLETTE SKJOLDHAMMER
The ‘Team Africa’ mindset has been embraced by several industry stakeholders since its inception
Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer discusses the company’s strategic decisions, facility upgrades and the concept of ‘Team Africa’. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 12.06.2020

PIC decreases interest in PPC to near 14%

By: Donna Slater     2nd July 2020 State-owned investment management company, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has disposed of a portion of its interest in the ordinary shares of building materials company PPC. The PIC now holds 13.98% of PPC's shares, compared with the 19.92% it previously held.  

Barloworld to exit logistics, shed 2 500 jobs in auto, logistics business

By: Irma Venter     30th June 2020 Barloworld will be exiting the logistics sector, says CEO Dominic Sewela. Announcing the company financial results for the six months ended March 31, he said that the business had been given a three-year period to turn around, with a decision on its future scheduled for September this year. 

Dominic Sewela
Dominic Sewela
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