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Transport News

Alstom Southern Africa appoints new MD

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Rail transport company Alstom has appointed Bernard Peille the new MD of Alstom Southern Africa, effective July 15.  Peille joined Alstom in 1989. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the railway industry, with particular expertise in design, industrial site development, management of rolling... 

Trac sees volumes improving after more than 70% drop in traffic  

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Trans African Concessions (Trac) says traffic volumes are steadily increasing on the N4 between South Africa and Mozambique after South Africa moved from Alert Level 5 to Alert Level 4 and then on to Level 3 in its programme to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Trac manages the N4 toll route starting... 

Sanral says it is ready to implement R30bn in projects 

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2020 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) says it is ready to implement R30-billion worth of construction projects. Sanral engineering executive Louw Kannemeyer says the road agency has a portfolio of projects that will be implemented during the course of the 2020/21 financial year... 

Sanral says it is ready to implement R30bn in projects

World airlines expect next 12 months to be tough

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th August 2020 No less than 68% of the world’s airline Chief Financial Officers and Heads of Cargo expect profits not to improve or even to decline further over the next 12 months. This is one of the results reported in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) “Airline Business Confidence Index... 

Transnet signs deal to supply 300 freight rail wagons to Mozambican rail operator

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2020 State-owned rail engineering company Transnet Engineering (TE) and Mozambican State-owned railway operator Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique (CFM) have signed a rolling stock supply agreement valued at more than R400-million. Under the terms of the agreement, TE will supply 300 freight wagons to... 

Transnet signs deal to supply 300 freight rail wagons to Mozambican rail operator
Representatives from Transnet Engineering and Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique sign the 300 wagon deal

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Federal Aviation Administration, America’s civil aviation regulatory body, released a document on Monday detailing changes it wants made to Boeing’s 737 MAX single-aisle airliner before it will allow it to resume commercial operations. The aircraft has been grounded since March 2019, as a... 

US regulator publishes proposed design and software changes for Boeing 737 MAX
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 in flight

Western Cape government welcomes decongestion efforts at the Port of Cape Town

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Following urgent action and interventions to decrease congestion and improve operations at the Port of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government has welcomed action taken through its ongoing engagements with Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) management. The Western Cape government states that... 

Employees come up with a plan to save regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2020 A group of employees of State-owned regional airline SA Express (SAX), which is currently under provisional liquidation, have employed equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa to help them raise capital to save the airline. They believe that, with the right strategy, the airline could be viable... 

Durban Container Terminal takes delivery of more straddle carriers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd August 2020 The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 has taken delivery of a further 13 electric straddle carriers, improving the availability and reliability of equipment across waterside, landside and rail operations. In total, DCT Pier 2 now has 15 new electric straddle carriers that are planned for... 

Durban Container Terminal takes delivery of more straddle carriers
BBC Orion arrives in DBN from Poland carrying 13 new generation straddle carriers

Results show Boeing hit hard by both Covid-19 and continued 737 MAX grounding

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 Giant US aerospace group Boeing has reported that its revenues for the first half of this year (1H20) were 26% down on those for the same period last year (1H19). In numbers, 1H20 revenues came to $28.72-billion as against $38.67-billion in 1H19. It suffered a net loss of $3.04-billion in 1H20... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

Airbus reports big impact on first-half results from Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus on Thursday published its results for the first half of calendar 2020 (1H20). The group reported that its consolidated revenues for this period came to €18.9-billion, in comparison with €30.9-billion in the same period last year (1H19). 

V&A Waterfront to launch food incubator

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 The V&A Waterfront will develop the Makers Landing, a local food incubator for South African flavours and culture, as part of the Cape Town Cruise Terminal. This is expected to be completed by September and open to the public by December. 

Ctrack Transport & Freight Index shows some positives

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st July 2020 Vehicle tracking, fleet management and insurance telematics solutions provider Ctrack’s Transport & Freight Index for June shows that South Africa’s transport and freight volumes increased by 20.6% month-on-month across all sectors. The Ctrack headline change, however, declined by 23.2% for the... 

Efficient wagon handling lowers operational costs

31st July 2020 The safe and efficient offloading of materials from both rail wagons and road trucks improves efficiencies, lowers operating costs and protects product integrity during bulk handling, says materials handling company Specialised Container Agencies (SCA). “SCA focuses on the design of containerised... 

Efficient wagon handling lowers operational costs
ON TRACK TIPPER The use of containerised bulk materials handling solutions ensures safe and efficient offloading in road and rail hauling

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Stainless steel manufacturer Columbus Stainless advocates that the much longer life span of ore wagons achieved using 3CR12, makes it clear why stainless steel is the cost-effective choice for equipment in ore-handling processes. “Owing to its excellent properties in wet sliding conditions, the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons
UP ORE DOWN Wagons manufactured by Columbus Stainless using 3CR12 transport ore for substantially longer with less degradation than those made of mild steel or other materials

Manufacturer obtains welding certification

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholdings (TMH) Africa, which acts as the centre of excellence for narrow-gauge rolling stock within the TMH Group, announced in March that it had been awarded the ISO 3834 welding certification. The certification was awarded to the company by the Southern... 

Manufacturer obtains welding certification
ACCREDITED FUSION Transmashholdings Africa have been awarded an International Standards Organisation 3843 welding certification which will help draw in new clients for the company

Workshop conversion back on track

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Although the conversion of railroad equipment supplier Gibela Rail Transport Consortium’s training centre into a traction motor manufacturing workshop has been delayed because of Covid-19, the project is again on track for completion by the end of the year.  The company says that the electrical... 

Workshop conversion  back on track
KEEP MOTORING Although setbacks have been faced Gibela is back on track to start manufacturing its traction motors by year end

Covid-19 compliance exacting huge costs on contracted bus sector

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 It costs about R1.3-million a day, or R34-million a month, for the contracted public transport bus sector to adhere to the hygiene and safety protocols implemented under the Covid-19 pandemic, says South African Bus Operators Association (Saboa) executive manager Bazil Govender. The sector... 

Covid lockdown pushes back completion dates for N4 projects

By: Irma Venter     31st 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. 

African airlines to lose $2bn this year; sector faces danger of collapse – Iata

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2020 The global airline industry’s representative body, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) on Wednesday released its latest analysis and forecast regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Africa’s airline sector. The continent’s airlines are expected to suffer total losses of... 

Transnet Group CE meets with community representatives in Saldanha Bay

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th July 2020 Transnet Group CE Portia Derby on July 27 met with the leadership of various community organisations in Saldanha Bay, to address challenges in the port town that have led to protests in the area. The meetings were part of her engagement with stakeholders on the west coast, including the Saldanha... 

Another and urgent request for Comair business rescue to be extended

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2020 On Tuesday afternoon the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for South African private-sector airline group Comair asked its creditors to extend the publication date for the airline’s business rescue plan by a month (until August 28). The creditors have until midday Wednesday to respond. The... 

SAA rescue plan ready bar the funding, say administrators

By: Reuters     28th July 2020 A rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) is ready and can be implemented once funding for the restructuring is found, the state-owned airline's administrators said on Tuesday. The administrators took over SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses and published their... 

Air transport body reports air cargo demand is recovering, but slowly

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th July 2020 The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the representative body of the global airline industry, reported on Tuesday that worldwide air cargo demand was recovering, but slowly. In June, air cargo demand, measured in cargo-metric ton-kilometres, was 17.6% lower than in June last year.... 

SA Express employees still pleading for govt help with airline in provisional liquidation

By: News24Wire      28th July 2020 A group of employees at state-owned regional airline SA Express are still desperately hoping that government will be able to assist them in getting their unpaid salaries - last paid in February - as well as retrenchment packages. Unlike South African Airways, which is still in business rescue, SA... 

SA Express employees still pleading for govt help with airline in provisional liquidation

SAA administrators seek creditor fund accord

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2020 The administrators of South African Airways, the state-owned airline that’s in bankruptcy protection, want the government to ring-fence R16.4-billion that it has guaranteed can be used to pay creditors if the airline fails, a person familiar with the situation said. The administrators want an... 

Approvals for Gazetted list of infrastructure projects valued at R360bn to be fast-tracked 

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2020 The Presidency’s Investment and Infrastructure Office head Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa  reported on Monday that the publication of an initial list of 50 Strategic Integrated Projects and 12 Special Projects in the Government Gazette is motivated by a desire to ensure that the approval processes... 

Approvals for Gazetted list of infrastructure projects valued at R360bn to be fast-tracked
Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Embraer highlights ways of carrying cargo in the passenger cabins of its airliners

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2020 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, the world’s top manufacturer of airliners with up to 150 seats, has announced that it has developed ways for airlines to carry cargo on the passenger decks of its aircraft. This is to help meet the great demand for more air cargo capacity, which has resulted... 

Embraer highlights ways of carrying cargo in the passenger cabins of its airliners
Photo by Embraer
A computer model of an Embraer E-Jet showing most of its seats removed to make space for cargo 

Synchronising operating hours one option to reduce port congestion

By: Irma Venter     27th July 2020 The Port of Durban Decongestion Task Team is looking at synchronising the operating hours of the back-of-port container depots with the port’s 24/7 operating hours.  The team also wants to introduce a holistic truck booking system that could provide an integrated view of expected truck volumes... 

Synchronising operating hours one option to reduce port congestion

PRASA, railway equipment company managers arrested for theft

By: Irma Venter     27th July 2020 The Organised Crime Unit of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) and the Protection Services of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on the weekend arrested two suspects in possession of stolen PRASA assets, worth almost R2-million. One of the suspects is a PRASA branch manager at... 

PRASA, railway equipment company managers arrested for theft

SAA business rescue plan amended at urgent meeting 

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2020 In a statement released on Friday, the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for South African Airways (SAA) announced that 95% of the airline’s creditors with a voting interest, and 95% of its independent creditors (defined by the Companies Act) with a voting interest, had voted to accept... 

Airbus acts to finally settle trade dispute with the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on Friday that it had taken the final step in ending a long-running trade dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) between the European Union and the US. The dispute had been running for 16 years. The issue was repayable launch... 

Metrorail recovers R1.3m in stolen feeder wire  

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 Metrorail’s Gauteng Protection Services this week recovered stolen feeder wire worth an estimated R1.3-million. Metrorail’s Rapid Response Unit intercepted a truck carrying four pallets of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa feeder wires.   

Metrorail recovers R1.3m in stolen feeder wire 

SAA BRPs call short-notice meeting of airline’s creditors 

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2020 The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for financially-beleaguered State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) have had to call for an urgent (virtual) meeting of the airline’s creditors, to consider amending the business rescue plan for SAA. The email notice announcing this... 

SAA BRPs call short-notice meeting of airline’s creditors 

Taxi assistance approved in principle, says TAG’s Van der Merwe

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 Government has taken the policy decision to financially assist minibus taxis, but the mechanism to do this has not yet been determined, says Transport Authority of Gauteng (TAG) head Jack van der Merwe. “The short answer is that government has made a decision that taxis are a very important... 

Airbus confident that its unequalled range of airliners is ideal for the post-Covid-19 market

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus reports that its smallest airliner family, the A220, is proving a most useful asset, particularly in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Airbus acquired the A220 programme from Canadian group Bombardier, which had designated it the C-Series. “We have... 

Airbus confident that its unequalled range of airliners is ideal for the post-Covid-19 market
Photo by Airbus
From front to rear: an Airbus A220-300, A319neo, A330neo, A350-1000, Beluga specialised freighter (used by Airbus itself) and an A380.
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