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Transport News

Focus on corridor solutions yields results for Grindrod 

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2020 It seems as if driving corridor solutions for specific customer requirements has yielded positive results for freight and logistics group Grindrod. Releasing its financial results for the year ended December 31 in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Grindrod reported a 12% growth in revenue, to... 

Zambia awards China Railway $825m deal for line upgrades

By: , Bloomberg     4th March 2020 Zambia signed an $825-million contract with a China Railway Construction Corporation unit to upgrade tracks in the south of the country, the company said. The project will last eight years and will cover nearly 650 km of lines, China Railway said a statement, without saying how it will be... 

Iata calls for regulators to help airlines meet “huge challenge” of Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd March 2020 The International Air Transport Association, which is the representative body for the global airline industry, has called on all aviation regulatory agencies to immediately suspend the rules controlling the use of “slots” at airports, and to maintain this suspension for the 2020 season. This is... 

Iata calls for regulators to help airlines meet “huge challenge” of Covid-19
Photo by Bloomberg
An airport control tower (at Manchester, UK)

Companies urged to gear up for gas revolution in Mozambique

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Key players in the gas industry have urged the South African government and companies to gear up for the tremendous opportunities that the gas resources uncovered in Mozambique will offer.  A final investment decision (FID) has been taken for two projects, while the FID for a third project is... 

Trac’s N4 upgrades progressing well

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2020 Toll route manager Trans African Concessions (Trac) says the upgrade of the N4 highway between Belfast and Machadodorp is progressing well and is 26% complete. It is expected that the main contractor WBHO Construction will complete the R400-million project in three years’ time.  

TPT invests R2bn to replace ageing equipment 

2nd March 2020 In response to industry calls for equipment that will improve performance across its operations, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has invested R2-billion to replace aging equipment this calendar year.   This includes two mobile harbour cranes for the Port Elizabeth Container Terminal, which will... 

Accelerator to help start-up drone companies launched in Gauteng

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 The first drone (unmanned air vehicle) startup accelerator programme in Africa was launched in Katlehong, south east of Johannesburg, on Friday. The programme is being hosted by the Ekurhuleni Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. The initial programme is a pilot of the... 

SAA rescuers get extra month to make plan

By: , Bloomberg     28th February 2020 Administrators for South Africa’s loss-making State airline South African Airways (SAA) have been given an extra month to complete a turnaround plan. The so-called business rescue practitioners can now file their report on SAA by the end of March, they said in a statement on Friday. A majority of... 

SAA rescuers get extra month to make plan

Comair experiencing strong business headwinds

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair recently had to issue a “Further Trading Statement” on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service. (Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier brands.) The latest release was a follow-up to a previous... 

Products reduce plastic waste, improve packaging

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 Packaging supplier Baypac Solutions’ innovative solutions have resulted in its  customers being able to reduce their use of disposable plastic by 50% on average. Using one or all of Baypac Solutions’ Lock n Pop adhesive, Anti-Slip sheets and 55-layer Nanotechnology stretch film can halve stretch... 

Eskom power cut derails Western Cape train service, Mbalula not impressed

By: African News Agency      27th February 2020 Commuter trains throughout the Western Cape came to a halt on Thursday as Eskom disconnected power to Metrorail due to unpaid bills, causing transport chaos in the province. Limited service was restored by late afternoon after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), which owns... 

Gordhan: SAA business rescue practitioners have final say on airline's restructure

By: News24Wire      27th February 2020 South African Airways business rescue practitioners have the final say on a plan to restructure the embattled airline and government will respect that authority, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said.  Gordhan was speaking at News24's Frontline post-Budget panel discussion on... 

Gordhan: SAA business rescue practitioners have final say on airline's restructure
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London  

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2020 After twenty years of first finding ways to kickstart the Gautrain project, then building and running the urban rapid-rail system, Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe has retired. His skills are not lost to Gauteng, however, as he is set to lead the newly established Transport... 

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London
Jack van der Merwe

Insufficient customer commitment stalls liquid bulk terminal project

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2020 The development of the liquid bulk terminal in the Port of Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape, has been halted, says Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC). OTGC is a joint venture (JV) between operating partner Oiltanking, a German multinational that is one of the largest independent operators of tank... 

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday that R16.4-billion would be allocated to South African Airways over the medium term to “repay the airline’s guaranteed debt and to cover debt-service costs”. Speaking to lawmakers, Mboweni said the “SAA Sword of Damocles has now fallen on us”,... 

R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 With a weak economic outlook characterised by a real gross domestic product that is expected to grow at 0.9% in 2020, 1.3% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022, South Africa is in dire need of far-reaching structural reforms to achieve faster economic growth. In contrast, global economic growth is expected... 

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth

Imperial’s gateway to Africa strategy taking shape 

By: Irma Venter     25th February 2020 Logistics group Imperial aims to strengthen its proposition as “the gateway to Africa” with a potential expansion into air/ocean freight management, says CEO Mohammed Akoojee. “We are strong in land-based freight management, but this will unlock a new level for us.” 

Imperial’s gateway to Africa strategy taking shape
Mohammed Akoojee

Lasting solution for e-tolls to be announced soon – Makhura 

By: News24Wire      25th February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon make an announcement on a lasting solution for Gauteng's e-toll system, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Tuesday. He said the executive council had made strong and persuasive arguments to national government on e-tolls. Last year, Makhura said the Gauteng... 

Lasting solution for e-tolls to be announced soon – Makhura
Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Two trade unions demand that SAA business rescue respects workers’ rights

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th February 2020 Two trade unions – the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) – have jointly accused the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) currently overseeing the business rescue process for State-owned South African Airways (SAA) of... 

Mboweni’s budget unlikely to stop South Africa’s march to junk

By: , Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s budget this week is unlikely to convince Moody’s Investors Service that he has a credible plan to rein in government debt. Of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month, 14 expect Moody’s to downgrade the country to junk this year and nine of those say it’ll... 

Ethiopia plans to release interim jet crash report as probe continues

By: Reuters     24th February 2020 Ethiopia plans to release an interim report into a deadly Boeing 737 MAX crash, which killed 157 passengers and crew, ahead of the first anniversary of the accident next month, according to an official speaking on Saturday. "We are not ready to release the final report and so we are releasing an... 

Commercial aviation activity in South Africa seems to be recovering

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 The latest edition of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa's Commercial Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) shows an upward trend, reported the index's author, independent economist Dr Roelof Botha. But he warned that caution was still necessary. "Aviation activity is quite... 

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Between April 2019 and January 2020, 354 227 m of overhead cables on rail lines had been stolen. State-owned freight utility Transnet and its Transnet Freight Rail subsidiary say the theft of overhead cables on rail lines had reached unprecedented levels, with, on average, 21 trains being... 

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled

Rolls-Royce starts manufacture of the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will be unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a diameter of... 

State-owned airlines struggling in financial turbulence

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 Two of South Africa’s State-owned airlines continue to experience tough times as they try to recover from their current deep financial crises. They are national flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) and the completely separate regional operator SA Express. SAA is now in business rescue, and... 

Organisers aim high for defence and aerospace expo

By: Halima Frost     21st February 2020 Despite various challenges in South Africa, as well as in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) Expo organisers hope to host a successful event this year, says AAD exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys. These difficulties include... 

Organisers aim high for  defence and aerospace expo
AIMING HIGH The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year

Denel upgraded by Fitch Ratings as it closes aerostructures business

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group has Denel welcomed the recent decision by Fitch Ratings to affirm its long- and short-term ratings for the group, and to upgrade its outlook. Fitch affirmed Denel’s national short-term rating at “B(zaf)” and its national long-term rating also at... 

Palabora, Grindrod sign five-year magnetite handling contract

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 JSE-listed freight and logistics company Grindrod has entered into a five-year contract to transport five-million tonnes a year of magnetite by rail from copper miner Palabora Mining Company's operations, in Limpopo, to the Matola terminal, in Mozambique, where it will store the magnetite.... 

Commission recommends Autopax be separated from PRASA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th February 2020 The Competition Commission, in its Market Inquiry Into Land Based Public Passenger Transport report, has made a number of provisional recommendations to improve the functioning of public transport in South Africa. It has recommended that Autopax, a subsidiary of the Passenger rail Agency of South... 

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has said that the R3.5-billion in emergency funding that South African Airways received from the State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa earlier in the year may be depleted by early March. Gordhan was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament's... 

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

'Speeding' Shosholoza Meyl stopped in its tracks following fatal crash

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 The Shosholoza Meyl, a long-distance train service operated by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), has been ordered to stop operating with immediate effect. This follows a fatal train crash on February 12, which left one man dead and several others injured when a goods and... 

'Speeding' Shosholoza Meyl stopped in its tracks following fatal crash

Alstom in talks for $7bn buyout of Bombardier train unit

By: , Bloomberg     17th February 2020 French train maker Alstom has confirmed it is in talks to acquire the rail business of embattled Canadian train and plane maker Bombardier, in a fresh attempt to bulk up against Chinese competition. Discussions are ongoing and no final decision has been made, Alstom and Bombardier said Monday in... 

DP World to upgrade, maintain Eritrean ports

By: , Bloomberg     17th February 2020 The Red Sea state of Eritrea contracted DP World to upgrade its ports as regional peace brings increased business to its shores. Formerly isolated Eritrea is normalizing foreign relations after signing an historic peace deal in July 2018 with neighbouring Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous... 

Mboweni moots referendum on rescuing State-owned companies on Twitter

By: African News Agency      17th February 2020 After a short hiatus from Twitter, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is once again posting prolifically, using the platform at the weekend to call for a public debate, possibly a referendum, on the use of taxpayers' money to bail out failing State-owned enterprises. "We must develop a democratic... 

Mboweni moots referendum on rescuing State-owned companies on Twitter
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Flight Centre resumes sales of SAA tickets

By: , Bloomberg     14th February 2020 Flight Centre Travel Group, one of South Africa’s largest booking companies, said it will lift a moratorium on sales of the national airline’s tickets that it imposed in November because of concerns over its solvency. Travel Insurance Consultants, Flight Centre’s preferred insurer, reinstated... 

Latest Airbus airliner gains certification from both Europe and the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus has announced that its A330-800 widebody airliner has been jointly certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration. This joint Type Certification followed 132 flights totalling 370 test flying hours,... 

Latest Airbus airliner gains certification from both Europe and the US
Photo by Airbus
The Airbus A330-800

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'  

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The Johannesburg Labour Court has dismissed a joint urgent application by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association to halt job cuts at South African Airways, ruling the airline had not contemplated dismissals.  The unions lodged the interdict... 

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'
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