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State Companies News

Eskom warns of ongoing injections unless solution is found to ‘unsustainable’ debt 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom’s debt burden remains “unsustainable” despite an R81.9-billion reduction in its gross debt to R401.8-billion in the year to March 31, 2021, during which the entity remained a going concern only because of a R56-billion government injection. The utility reported a... 

SIU, Transnet welcome judgment against former Transnet exec

By: Simone Liedtke     31st August 2021 The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and State-owned Transnet have welcomed the judgment handed down by Judge Lebogang Modiba at a special tribunal sitting on August 31, wherein former Transnet employee Herbert Msagala was instructed to pay back R26.4-million to Transnet. The special tribunal... 

Govt targets August next year, or sooner, for third-party rail access  

By: Irma Venter     30th August 2021 The current target date for enabling third-party operators in the rail-freight sector is August next year, says Dr Sean Phillips, head of National Treasury’s Operation Vulindlela unit. There are, however, ongoing efforts under way to speed up the time frame put on the table by Transnet, he adds. 

An image of a Transnet rail line

Grindrod targets port, rail projects in govt’s private sector participation drive  

By: Irma Venter     27th August 2021 Ports and logistics operator Grindrod is positioning itself to take part in the private sector participation (PSP) opportunities to be created by government in the rail and port sectors, says Grindrod Freight Services CEO Xolani Mbambo. “Government has called for international players to come and... 

Image of Grindrod CEO Andrew Waller
Andrew Waller

South African Airways to restart operations from Sept 23

By: Reuters     26th August 2021 South Africa's State-owned national carrier South African Airways (SAA) will restart flying between limited destinations from Sept. 23, it said on Twitter, a year after it halted operations as it failed to pay its debt. Last month the government had said that it was selling a 51% stake in the... 

Failure to heed warnings about a disease like Covid-19 a bigger risk than the disease itself – Whitfield

By: Donna Slater     24th August 2021 The major risk posed by Covid-19 is not the disease itself, but instead humankind’s inaction to heed calls that such an event could lead to the crippling of global economies and other systems, independent broadcaster, journalist and writer Bruce Whitfield said on August 24. He gave the keynote... 

Land Bank makes another loss, debt plan not yet finalised

By: Reuters     24th August 2021 South Africa's Land Bank made another loss in the year to the end of March and is yet to finalise a debt restructuring plan, the bank said on Tuesday. The state-owned agricultural bank, which defaulted on its debt in April 2020 and missed a restructuring deadline in March 2021, is one of a... 

Zimbabwe private power industry held up by currency dispute

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2021 Zimbabwe’s State electricity company is awaiting the outcome of international arbitration in a currency dispute with the country’s biggest private power producer that’s holding up other investments. Nyangani Renewable Energy, which operates solar and hydropower plants in Zimbabwe and Malawi, took... 

Economic recovery support interventions aim to mitigate unrest impact for businesses  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th August 2021 The R3.75-billion economic recovery support package announced by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, represents a united front from entities for the restoration of businesses that were adversely affected during the violent looting and unrests that took place in KwaZulu-Natal... 

An image of police officers walking past property damaged in the July 2021 unrest in South Africa

Sanral board's term extended beyond August 31

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th August 2021 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has extended the term of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) board beyond August 31, until a new board is appointed. The Department of Transport is recruiting a new board and says the process will be concluded soon. 

Private sector participation at SA ports  

20th August 2021   Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Transnet's plans to potentially introduce private sector participation at the ports of Durban and Ngqura and whether this may eventually extend to other ports and Transnet units. 

Image of Terence Creamer
Private sector participation at SA ports

Regional insurgency, internal unrest highlights importance of a strong, well-resourced defence industry

By: Schalk Burger     19th August 2021 The role the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has played and plays in ensuring the internal and external security of South Africa has again highlighted the importance and necessity of having a strong Department of Defence (DoD) and a strong defence industry, South African Aerospace,... 

Derby optimistic port terminal operators will partner with Transnet at Durban and Ngqura  

By: Terence Creamer     18th August 2021 Transnet CEO Portia Derby says the State-owned freight logistics utility has had initial engagements with some international terminal operators and shipping companies regarding the potential to form partnerships to improve the performance of its container terminals at the ports of Durban and... 

Photo of Transnet CEO Portia Derby
Transnet CEO Portia Derby outlines the group's masterplan for the Port of Durban during a Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies webinar. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 18.8.2021

Richards Bay power outage affects TFR's services

By: Schalk Burger     13th August 2021 A power outage which occurred in the City of uMhlathuze, or Richards Bay, between the afternoon of August 12 and the early hours of August 13 has impacted on State-owned Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR's) services in the area. The outage meant that the Richards Bay Coal Terminal was unable to... 

Eskom's Just Energy Transition initiatives  

13th August 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about power utility Eskom's plans for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station as part of a larger just energy transition project and financing plan. 

 	Image of Terence Creamer
Eskom's Just Energy Transition initiatives

Denel releases radical restructuring plan to make the business sustainable  

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th August 2021 Financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Wednesday a radical reorganisation, in an attempt to turn the business around. The plan also implied a significant downsizing of the group. Even so, Denel management only expected the group to return to profitability... 

An image of Denel's logo

Joburg mayor announces new MMCs

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th August 2021 The new City of Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo on August 11 announced his ten Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMCs) – shortly after he was sworn-in. The appointment of the new MMCs is a result of consultations with the ongoing Government of Local Unity (GLU) partnership in the city. 

Solidarity welcomes investigation into Medupi Unit 4 explosion

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2021 Trade union Solidarity says it supports State-owned power utility Eskom's investigation following an explosion at Unit 4 of the Medupi coal-fired power station, in Lephalale, on August 8. Eskom had confirmed on August 9 that the unit generator had been severely damaged in the explosion, which... 

Explosion damages Medupi's Unit 4

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th August 2021 Power utility Eskom has confirmed that an explosion at the Medupi power station's Unit 4 generator on August 8 has resulted in extensive damage to the generator. Unit 4 had been on a short-term outage since August 6 and the explosion occurred during the displacement of hydrogen with carbon... 

Delaying emissions reduction will cost more down the line, climate commission director warns 

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2021 Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver says delaying South Africa’s transition away from coal will only add to the final adjustment costs and will also place the domestic business sector at a competitive disadvantage as other countries implement measures to restrict... 

Photo of coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background
Photo by Creamer Media
Coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background

From a coal-to-gas conversion to a microgrid factory, Eskom builds Komati’s just energy transaction case 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is hoping to transform the workshops at the Komati power station – identified as the flagship site for the piloting of a broader ‘just energy transition’ programme that couples decarbonisation with social upliftment – into a factory capable of manufacturing... 

Photograph of the Komati power station
A file photo of the Komati power station, which has generated electricity since 1961

Ongoing decline in Eskom’s coal performance drove another ‘intensive’ period of load-shedding in first half of 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2021 A continuing decline in the performance of the Eskom coal fleet drove yet another “intensive” period of load-shedding in South Africa during the first six months of 2021, when rotational power cuts were implemented for 650 hours, or 15% of the time. A new Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Photo of an Eskom substation
Eskom substation

Transnet to lift force majeure at ports from August 2

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2021 State-owned Transnet will, with effect from August 2, lift the force majeure which was declared by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) over the container terminals in the Ports of Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth. Transnet believes it is now in a position to service its customers and meet... 

Ramaphosa sees big green economy opportunity in ‘bold’ climate commitment  

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is time for South Africa to “grasp the nettle” and embark on a “transformative path” towards a climate-resilient society both to fulfil its moral obligations in the face of an intensifying crisis, but also to seize the economic and job opportunities that are... 

Photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

GEPF, Menlyn Maine merger gets Tribunal go-ahead

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th July 2021 The Competition Tribunal has approved the proposed merger between the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (MMIH). The transaction will see the GEPF gaining sole control over MMIH’s undivided share of Redevelopment Erf 3 and its share of the rental... 

Transnet expects to lift force majeure at port terminals ‘soon’ 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th July 2021 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet, whose operations have been seriously disrupted by recent unrest and a major cyberattack, confirmed on Tuesday that Transnet Port Terminals had communicated a force-majeure declaration with customers on Monday July 26, covering the period from July 22... 

Photo of the Durban Container Terminal
Photo by Creamer Media
The Durban Container Terminal

Transnet declares force majeure at its container terminals

By: Reuters     27th July 2021 South African State logistics firm Transnet declared force majeure at major container terminals in the country after a cyberattack last week disrupted operations, a notice seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday. The document sent to customers and dated on Monday said the force majeure would be... 

An image of the Durban Container Terminal

Trade union disappointed that Labour Court case against Denel postponed again

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2021 The Labour Court on Friday again postponed the case brought by trade union UASA against financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel. The case will now only be heard on December 2. The reason given for the postponement was to give Denel more time to fully comply with a court... 

Recovery from civil unrest will require ‘multipronged effort’ says BLSA

By: Simone Liedtke     26th July 2021 Recovering from the destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following recent civil unrest and protest action, will require a multipronged effort between the public and private sectors, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. However, for those who are insured,... 

Eskom enhances its digital platforms

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd July 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has embarked on a digital journey to increase its availability and accessibility to its customers. The enhanced MyEskom Customer app and the introduction of Alfred the chatbot are the first of many digital solutions to be launched to enhance Eskom’s customer... 

Transnet working ‘around the clock’ to fix IT disruption

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd July 2021 State-owned Transnet has identified and isolated the source of the disruption to its information technology (IT) systems and says technical teams continue to work “around the clock” to ensure the impact thereof remains minimal. Transnet on July 22 reported the disruption in some of its IT... 

Stage 2 load-shedding to hit SA on Thursday amid cold front  

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2021 Eskom will implement stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 to 21:00 on Thursday night due to generation issues, combined with the severe cold weather, the power utility announced.  "Unfortunately, a generation unit each at Tutuka and Medupi Power Stations were forced offline this afternoon, increasing... 

Electricity pylons

Transnet IT app outage affecting container terminal operations

By: Schalk Burger     22nd July 2021 State-owned freight logistics company Transnet says it is experiencing a disruption in some of its information technology (IT) applications, although only container terminals are affected. "Operations across the group are continuing, with the Freight Rail, Pipelines, Engineering and Property... 

Grid could be under pressure with succession of cold fronts, Eskom warns

By: Simone Liedtke     20th July 2021 Following a warning from the South African Weather Service that a succession of cold fronts is expected to sweep across the country this week and going into the weekend, State-owned Eskom is appealing to the public to reduce electricity use as the cold conditions “will put severe pressure on the... 

Opinion: The smart road to prosperity

16th July 2021 In this opinion article, South African National Roads Agency head of engineering Louw Kannemeyer argues that smart transport, cities and infrastructure are intertwined in road construction. 

An image of a national road under management of the South African National Roads Agency

Opinion: Inclusive process now vital to define a collective electricity industry vision

15th July 2021 In this opinion article, Energy Intensive User Group CEO Fanele Mondi says that, although reforms allowing for higher levels of own generation will make a significant difference, there is also an urgent need for South Africans to collectively shape the future of the electricity supply industry... 

An image of Fanele Mondi, the CEO of the Energy Intensive User Group

Second train derails on South Africa’s coal-export line 

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2021 State-owned rail company Transnet is investigating a second derailment in as many weeks on the nation’s main coal-export line. A locomotive traveling from Richards Bay, the site of Africa’s biggest coal terminal, derailed on July 11, shutting the route until the following day, the company said by... 

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