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Photo of the Week

RED PLANET RACE

7th August 2020 The Long March 5 Y-4 rocket, carrying an unmanned Mars probe of the Tianwen-1 mission, taking off from Wenchang Space Launch Centre in Wenchang, Hainan Province, China, late last month. The rocket is carrying a six-wheeled rover robot and should arrive in orbit around the Red Planet in February.... 

RED PLANET RACE

HISTORIC ELBOW BUMP

31st July 2020 European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel do an elbow bump at the end of a news conference on July 21, which followed a four-day European summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium. European Union leaders reached a landmark... 

HISTORIC ELBOW BUMP

MONTH OF STORMS

24th July 2020 As if the onset, in July, of the Covid-19 pandemic storm were not enough, South Africans have also been buffeted by several others. In Cape Town, people were literally drenched by sea spray thrown up by huge swells as a cold front moved into the region. Nationally, the dreaded load-shedding storm... 

MONTH OF STORMS
Photo by Reuters
MONTH OF STORMS: As if the onset, in July, of the Covid-19 pandemic storm were not enough, South Africans have also been buffeted by several others. In Cape Town, people were literally drenched by sea spray thrown up by huge swells as a cold front moved into the region. Nationally, the dreaded load-shedding storm struck, owing to a combination of unplanned power station outages and a rise in demand, triggered partly by the cold weather. All the while, the ongoing lockdown continued to trigger stormy debate, with opinions strongly divided on whether schools should have remained open, the effectiveness of the alcohol and cigarette bans and whether taxi precautions are appropriate.

ART OF REOPENING

17th July 2020 The Louvre museum, in Paris, has reopened its doors to the public after an almost four-month closure, owing to the coronavirus outbreak in France. There is something of an art to the reopening of the world’s busiest museum during a pandemic, though. All visitors are now expected to wear... 

ART OF REOPENING
Photo by Charles Platiau for Reuters
ART OF REOPENING: The Louvre museum, in Paris, has reopened its doors to the public after an almost four-month closure, owing to the coronavirus outbreak in France. There is something of an art to the reopening of the world’s busiest museum during a pandemic, though. All visitors are now expected to wear protective face masks and an online reservation system is being use to limit crowds to well below the typical 50000-a-day pre-pandemic visitor numbers. The upside is that visitors, such as those pictured here, are now able to have a less congested experience when viewing the museum’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci. Photograph: Charles Platiau for Reuters

WING & PRAYER

10th July 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni used his Supplementary Budget on June 24 to signal that dramatic action will have to be taken in the coming few years if government is to get its burgeoning debt under control and avoid a scenario whereby debt to gross domestic product surges well past the 100%... 

WING & PRAYER

TOWER TALKS

3rd July 2020 Telecommunications group Telkom is exploring possible deals for its portfolio of about 6 500 towers as it moves to strengthen its balance sheet and preserve cash to weather a deep recession brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for towers could rise as South Africa starts to roll-out a... 

TOWER TALKS
Photo by Bloomberg
TOWER TALKS: Telecommunications group Telkom is exploring possible deals for its portfolio of about 6 500 towers as it moves to strengthen its balance sheet and preserve cash to weather a deep recession brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for towers could rise as South Africa starts to roll out a 5G network. Pictured here is the iconic Telkom Tower, in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, which was developed during a very different era and when Telkom’s predecessor, the Department of Post and Telecommunications, was the only game in town.

CRITICAL MINERAL

26th June 2020 Automotive manufacturers globally are seeking to reduce the use of cobalt in the production of their electric vehicles, owing to concerns that its extraction has been associated with human rights abuses. Nevertheless, with big global expansion plans, electric-car pioneer Tesla will need to secure... 

CRITICAL MINERAL

LOST EXPORTS

19th June 2020 Agriculture is one of Africa’s most important economic sectors, making up 23% of the continent’s gross domestic product. Africa’s exports of food and agricultural products are worth between $35-billion and $40-billion a year and, in sub-Saharan Africa, farming provides work for nearly 60% of the... 

LOST EXPORTS

NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE

12th June 2020 Protests erupted across the US this month following the agonising and filmed death of George Floyd. Floyd succumbed to asphyxiation when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held him down during an arrest by using his knee on Floyd’s neck and back for nearly nine minutes. Some of the protests... 

NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE

STIMULUS WHILE DISTANCING

5th June 2020 European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, centre, has proposed a fiscal stimulus package of €750-billion for Europe to help overcome what is being described as the deepest recession in living memory. Von der Leyen made the proposal during a meeting in the hemicycle of the European... 

STIMULUS WHILE DISTANCING

BE PREPARED

29th May 2020 While South Africa’s grade 7 and 12 learners are set to return to some form of contact learning from June 1, it will most definitely not be teaching and learning as normal. To build the confidence needed to begin phasing in the other grades, schools are going to have to institute entirely new... 

BE PREPARED

NO MASKING HUNGER

22nd May 2020 South Africa’s R500-billion support package will help to reduce the economic distress precipitated by government’s entirely justifiable response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is wholly insufficient, however, to entirely alleviate the economic pain and close a gaping social-welfare gap that was... 

NO MASKING HUNGER

CONTACT TRACING

15th May 2020 There are genuine concerns about the privacy implications of mobile-phone contract tracing applications. As South Africa phases in more and more business activity, however, the use of contract-tracing Apps could prove valuable in highlighting areas of risk by detecting and keeping track of... 

CONTACT TRACING

BRIMMING OVER

8th May 2020 There are fears that fuel and oil storage capacity limits could be reached during May amid ongoing weak demand across the world, despite some easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Once there is nowhere left to put oil, drillers will have to shut enough supply to match the demand loss.... 

BRIMMING OVER

NEXT PHASE

1st May 2020 The next phase of South Africa’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to return to usual business, but not business as usual. Physical distancing – supported by ongoing hand-washing, sanitisation and face masks – is here to stay. Factories, mines, offices and retail stores are going to have to... 

NEXT PHASE

NO LOOKING BACK

24th April 2020 There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has its genesis in the Wuhan seafood market, has fundamentally changed the lives of all humanity. It’s also clear that, once the South African lockdown eventually ends, face masks are likely to be a common accessory, at least for a for the... 

NO LOOKING BACK

IN DEMAND

17th April 2020 Guidance on the use of face masks has evolved along with the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially, most authorities advised that masks be used only if you were a healthcare practitioner in close contact with patients, if you were coughing or sneezing, or if you were taking care of a person with a... 

IN DEMAND

THE CITY THAT NEVER . . .

10th April 2020 New York City is world-renowned as the city that never sleeps. As it emerged as the epicentre of the US Covid-19 pandemic, however, the city took on a decidedly less frenzied character. Pictured here is a person wearing a protective mask and riding a skateboard in the Times Square neighbourhood,... 

THE CITY THAT NEVER . . .

VIRUS UPHEAVAL

3rd April 2020 The spread of Covid-19 is playing havoc with global supply chains and is affecting everything from copper to foodstuffs, with some countries reporting shortages of containers. South Africa, which instituted a lockdown last week, is limiting the movement of people, but is seeking to keep products... 

VIRUS UPHEAVAL

RUSH HOUR

27th March 2020 Many cities around the world have swapped their normal 24/7 hustle and bustle for eerie silence as government’s impose restrictions on movement and citizens self-isolate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Pictured here is the post-lock-down morning rush-hour traffic as experienced on the normally... 

RUSH HOUR
Photo by Bloomberg
Many cities around the world have swapped their normal 24/7 hustle and bustle for eerie silence as government’s impose restrictions on movement and citizens self-isolate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Pictured here is the post-lock-down morning rush-hour traffic as experienced on the normally busy San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California, in the US. Last week, six of the biggest counties in the San Francisco Bay Area ordered people to stay home except for essential needs.

BARRIER TO ENTRY:

20th March 2020 While the full economic impacts of Covid-19 are far from clear, this novel coronavirus has already exacted a major toll on the global aviation and tourism industries. In some cases, formal travel restrictions have been imposed, but in many other cases business and leisure travellers are... 

BARRIER TO ENTRY:

ABNORMAL LOADS

13th March 2020 The transportation of the turbine components for two of the largest wind farms currently under construction in South Africa – Perdekraal East and Kangnas – was officially completed in late February. In all, more than 1 000 abnormal loads were undertaken, with the trucks moving components with a... 

ABNORMAL LOADS

OLDEST EXCHANGE, NEWEST INTERCHANGE:

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2020 Sibanye-Stillwater listed on Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on February 19 to the sound of the kudu horn and the singing of safety songs by mineworkers. Sibanye delivered a phenomenal return of 260% on the JSE in 2019, stated Dr Leila Fourie (centre), CEO of Africa’s oldest exchange, which is... 

OLDEST EXCHANGE, NEWEST INTERCHANGE:

SINGING BEE PRAISES:

28th February 2020 The world-renowned Ndlovu Youth Choir performed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on February 17 to commemorate the announcement of a new black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme by AB InBev, which owns South African Breweries (SAB). The R5.4-billion SAB Zenzele Kabili transaction will be funded... 

SINGING BEE PRAISES:

END OF AN ERA:

21st February 2020 AngloGold Ashanti, the iconic gold mining company founded by the Oppenheimer family more than a century ago, confirmed last week that it had reached a R4.4-billion deal with Harmony Gold to sell its last remaining South African assets, including the the Mponeng mine pictured above. The... 

END OF AN ERA:

NO PAIN, NO GAIN

14th February 2020 Eskom’s new CEO Andre de Ruyter, pictured, has taken the unpopular decision to back a plan to shift away from the ‘keep the lights on’ strategy that has defined the operational stance at the State-owned utility for over ten years to one that prioritises so-called ‘philosophy maintenance’. From... 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN

TRANSITION PERIOD

7th February 2020 The UK formally left the European Union (EU) at 23:00 on Friday January 31, 2020, entering an 11-month so-called transition period. Many commentators are already warning, however, that the UK will probably need significantly longer than 11 months to strike a future trade deal with the EU. During... 

TRANSITION PERIOD

HOUSE DIVIDED:

31st January 2020 The historic impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump got under way earlier this month when Chief Justice John Roberts swore in the 100 US Senators who will oversee the trial. At the heart of the case is the allegation that Trump withheld military aid and a White House meeting to put... 

HOUSE DIVIDED:

PRESIDENTIAL PRESSURE:

24th January 2020 Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana (left) used the 2020 edition of the organisaiton’s Business Economic Indaba not only to reinforce business’ support for President Cyril Ramaphosa, but also to press him into accelerating business- and growth-friendly reforms. In his address,... 

PRESIDENTIAL PRESSURE:

GREEN HYDROGEN

17th January 2020 Danish company Orsted, which is one of the world’s biggest developers of offshore wind farms, is confident that it massive turbines could be key to the production of greener hydrogen. Currently, most hydrogen is derived from natural gas and causes greenhouse gas emissions. However, using a... 

GREEN HYDROGEN

OFF TRACK

13th December 2019 The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is warning that the world’s average temperature is headed toward a rise of between three degrees and five degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The organisation’s findings indicated the international community is well off track in honouring the... 

OFF TRACK

SIGNS OF THE TIME

6th December 2019 Be it Hong Kong, Bolivia, Chile, Iraq, Palestine or Lebanon mass, and often violent, demonstrations have become an almost daily occurrence. Each demonstration has been sparked by a particular localised issue, from the proposed extradition legislation in Hong Kong, to a hike in subway fares in... 

SIGNS OF THE TIME

EYE IN THE SKY

29th November 2019 A SZ DJI Technology Phantom 4 drone (top) and a and a Mavic Pro 2 drone fly over palm oil trees at the Genting Tanah Merah Estate, operated by Genting Plantations, in Malaysia. Genting owns about 20 drones, and uses the services of other providers to monitor and map about 160 000 ha of oil palms... 

EYE IN THE SKY

DRIVING INVESTMENT

22nd November 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa officially kickstarted construction of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) – a R3.5-billion development alongside the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) plant, in Silverton. The SEZ will act as an automotive component supplier industrial park.... 

DRIVING INVESTMENT

STRONGER TOGETHER

15th November 2019 It is obvious that South Africa’s 32-12 victory over England in the Rugby World Cup Final on November 2 will not and cannot erase South Africa’s many social and economic problems. Nevertheless, Siya Kolisi (pictured above holding aloft the Webb Ellis trophy) and his team have provided us with an... 

STRONGER TOGETHER

MISTRESS OF MULTI-TASKING

8th November 2019 Transnet Freight Rail launched the world’s longest production train, with 375 wagons, on October 24. The train carries about 24 000 t of manganese from Sishen, in the Northern Cape, to Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, a distance of about 860 km. This 4-km-long train pictured above was driven... 

MISTRESS OF MULTI-TASKING

GOING FOR GAS

1st November 2019 Emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen reports that drilling at its Virginia gas project, in the Free State, is on schedule and is making good progress. The project’s drilling contractor, Bohrmeister Technik, has completed a vertical section to a depth of 145 m and has started... 

GOING FOR GAS

PRIDE OF AFRICA

25th October 2019 A picture of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is displayed at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway. On October 11, Abiy was honoured for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve... 

PRIDE OF AFRICA
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