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Cover Story

2021 poised to be significant year of transition for SA’s energy and minerals sectors

By: Terence CreamerThis year could prove to be game changing for the long-term prospects and resilience of South Africa’s energy and minerals sectors. The electricity sector, which together with Eskom has sapped confidence and growth from the South African economy for more than a decade, should begin its slow... 

2021 poised to be significant year of transition for SA’s energy and minerals sectors

First Word

Australia’s loss becomes South Africa’s gain

By: Martin CreamerChina’s refusal to buy Australian coal has resulted in the Asian country taking the unprecedented step of turning to South Africa for its supply of combustible black rock – a very welcome fillip in our hour of need. Coupled to ongoing traditional demand for South African coal from the likes of... 

Australia’s loss becomes South Africa’s gain

News & Insight

AfCFTA’s success hinges on private-public cooperation, says ECA

By: Tasneem BulbuliaFor the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to deliver on its promises, the private and public sectors on the continent must work together, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) executive secretary Vera Songwe has said. At the virtual launch of trading on the AfCFTA on January 1, Songwe... 

AMSA says steel shortage will be ‘quickly’ resolved, consumers remain wary

By: Terence CreamerSteel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says the earlier-than-planned restart of its second blast furnace at the Vanderbijlpark Works will position the company to “quickly resolve” the current shortage of steel, which has been negatively affecting downstream fabricators and manufacturers... 

AMSA says steel shortage will be ‘quickly’  resolved, consumers remain wary

Application made for incentivised power tariff under newly approved framework

By: Terence CreamerThe first application for tariff relief provided for under the Negotiated Pricing Agreement (NPA) frameworks published late last year by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has been submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for authorisation. Nersa tells... 

Application made for incentivised power  tariff under newly approved framework

Assessment tool helps developers minimise wind turbine risk to eagles

By: Marleny ArnoldiResearchers from the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Fitztitute) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), HawkWatch International and the University of Amsterdam have developed a new tool that offers developers more accurate guidance on where to safely build wind farms to prevent birds... 

Assessment tool helps developers minimise  wind turbine risk to eagles

European consortium lays groundwork for 6G as deployment of 5G advances

By: Natasha OdendaalAs fifth-generation (5G) technologies are deployed worldwide, information and communication technology (ICT) giants Ericsson and Nokia are leading a new European Commission flagship research project to lay the groundwork for sixth-generation (6G) technology and set the direction for future... 

Floating pedestrian bridge links Mombasa Island to Kenyan mainland

By: John MuchiraKenya has opened a $17-million floating bridge in the Indian Ocean that links Mombasa Island to the mainland south for use by the public. The 1.2-km-long Liwatoni pedestrian floating bridge was opened on January 1 and is intended to reduce congestion at the Likoni crossing channel, where ferries... 

Green energy a macroeconomic imperative, says VW’s Kamuhinda

By: Irma VenterGreen technology, electric cars included, are coming to Africa not just because of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, but because Africa has a problem of energy supply, says Volkswagen Africa business development director Serge Kamuhinda. “For a country like Rwanda, fuel imports account for 12%... 

Insurer trying to limit Covid-19 business interruption payout indemnity to just three months

By: Rebecca CampbellSpecialist public loss adjustment company Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) has expressed disappointment, but no surprise, at major insurance company Santam’s latest manoeuvre in the seven-month-long legal struggle regarding the paying out of the business interruption insurance claims of small and... 

Liquid Telecom accelerating cross-border connectivity in Botswana

By: Natasha OdendaalPan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom is increasing connectivity and network capacity in Botswana by expanding fibre access through the Lobatse border and connecting to Gaborone. Some 82 km of fibre is being activated in the cross-border network into Botswana, providing more people and... 

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’ – Naamsa

By: Irma VenterAn “extraordinary year” that brought “unprecedented challenges” to South Africa’s economy has seen new-vehicle sales decline by 29.1%, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). This follows a 2.8% drop in sales in 2019. 

Rabotho to lead Nissan SA as Izumi departs, Whitfield named Africa boss

By: Irma VenterJapanese carmaker Nissan has announced that it will unite its operations on the continent under one region, namely Africa. Several leadership changes have been made as part of this restructuring, effective December, last year.  

Siemens Gamesa wins big Ethiopia wind farm contract

By: John MuchiraSpanish renewable-energy company Siemens Gamesa has won a contract to implement a 100 MW wind power project in Ethiopia, a development that will increase its footprint in Africa. This will be Siemens Gamesa’s first wind power project in the Horn of Africa nation.   

Skilled people needed for organisations to benefit fully from advanced technologies

By: Schalk BurgerThe level of information technology (IT) skills in organisations and the IT ecosystem must catch up with the level of development to ensure that technologies are effective and help people to perform their functions, says IT multinational IBM Southern Africa COO Ziaad Suleman. Advanced... 

Skilled people needed for organisations to benefit fully from advanced technologies

UK launches study into using nuclear power for space exploration

By: Rebecca CampbellThe UK Space Agency (UKSA) has signed a contract with global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce to study future nuclear power options for space missions. This is the first such contract awarded by the UK and is also the first-ever contract between the UKSA and Rolls-Royce. The intent... 

Unplanned shut of Koeberg unit delays installation of new steam generators

By: Terence CreamerElectricity utility Eskom reported on Monday that Koeberg Unit 1 would be taken offline for repairs one month ahead of scheduled maintenance after an increasing leak rate was detected from one of the unit’s three steam generators. Eskom said in a statement that the leak rate was “well within the... 

Unplanned shut of Koeberg unit delays installation  of new steam generators

Volvo Group and Daimler Truck sign agreement for new fuel cell JV

By: Irma VenterThe Volvo Group and Daimler Truck have signed a binding agreement for a joint venture (JV) to develop, produce and commercialise fuel cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks as the primary focus, as well as other applications.  Both partners say they hope to make the new company a leading... 

While air cargo demand continues recovery, air passenger demand stalls

By: Rebecca CampbellThe International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported that air cargo volumes increased in November last year, compared with October. However, they were still down on the figures for November 2019. The continued parking of many passenger aircraft meant that global air cargo capacity... 

World Net Logistics renamed Rhenus Logistics South Africa

By: Irma VenterWorld Net Logistics is now known as Rhenus Logistics South Africa, as from December 1. The company was acquired by the Rhenus Group in 2019, and the new name ushers in a new era after 18 years as an independent entity.  

Worrying Internet access gaps persist in rural areas, least-developed countries

By: Natasha OdendaalA new report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has revealed a concerning – and persistent – gap in connectivity and Internet access for citizens in rural areas, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries. The latest ‘Measuring Digital Development: Facts... 

Editorial Insight

Poverty setback

By: Terence CreamerThe Global Economic Prospects report, released by the World Bank earlier this month, makes for disturbing reading. The report states that the Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated a dramatic fall in per capita income, pushing millions more into extreme poverty and reversing the downward... 

Poverty setback

Mining Weekly News

60Moz Sedibelo platinum expansion, construction of Kell beneficiation plant given green light

By: Martin CreamerPlatinum group metals (PGMs) producer Sedibelo Platinum Mines Limited has announced the expansion of operations at Pilanesberg Platinum Mines into contiguous deposits of Sedibelo Central, Magazynskraal and Kruidfontein – known as the Triple Crown properties – with an estimated resource base in... 

60Moz Sedibelo platinum expansion, construction  of Kell beneficiation plant given green light

Central bank gold demand has become more variable

By: Donna SlaterGold outperformed many other traditional reserve assets in 2020, giving central banks additional firepower to stabilise markets and currencies, says World Gold Council market intelligence manager Krishan Gopaul. He adds, however, that central bank demand has become more variable in recent... 

Critical Metals closing in on potential investment opportunities in Africa

By: Marleny ArnoldiInvestment company Critical Metals says it stands ready to drive its strategy forward, despite the uncertainty around the supply of and demand for critical metals, as the need to invest in a stable supply becomes increasingly apparent. Despite 2020 being considered a difficult year by the... 

Hydrogen forecast to account for 10% of China’s energy mix by 2050 – WPIC

By: Simone LiedtkeBy 2050, hydrogen is forecast to account for 10% of China’s energy mix, with demand of 60-million tons, says the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC). In a January 6 newsletter, the council explains that platinum’s role in the hydrogen economy is crucial as it acts as a catalyst not only in... 

US company plans roll-out of at least 500 hydrogen fuelling stations

By: Martin CreamerThe creation of a minimum of 500 fuelling stations to provide hydrogen to mainly trucks powered by platinum-catalysed hydrogen fuel cells is planned by a US company in the next three to five years. “We believe that everyone will be within a couple of miles of a hydrogen fuelling station in the... 

US company plans roll-out of at least  500 hydrogen fuelling stations

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