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Transport News

Air transport body calls for start to planning for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body of the global airline industry – has urged governments to start planning now for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, when they become available. This planning should include the air transport sector as well as other... 

Transnet mulls lifting Chinese engine contract suspension

By: Reuters     10th September 2020 South Africa's Transnet may be forced to lift a suspension on China's CRRC Corp so that the firm can repair its locomotives, according to a document from state-owned Transnet, despite pending legal action against the Chinese giant. The world's biggest train maker CRRC - formed by the merger of... 

United Airlines announces nonstop Johannesburg-New York service

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 US carrier United Airlines has announced that it will initiate a new, nonstop, service between Newark Liberty International Airport in the US state of New Jersey and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. Newark is one of the three airports that serve New York City and is a hub for... 

United Airlines announces nonstop Johannesburg-New York service
Photo by United Airlines
A Boeing 787-10 of United Airlines

Transnet says railway line refurbishment in PE bodes well for business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th September 2020 State-owned freight utility Transnet says a R10-million refurbishment on a second railway line into the Port of Port Elizabeth’s (PE’s) container terminal is unlocking substantial business potential for the Eastern Cape. “One of the celebrated successes of the port in the past financial year... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen 

By: Terence Creamer     9th September 2020 International cooperation will be key to unlocking the competitive production of green hydrogen as global trade will be required to link those countries, such as South Africa, that are best suited to producing the energy carrier, using a combination of low-cost renewable energy, water and... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen

Two unions demand investigations into senior SAA Technical officials

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th September 2020 In a joint statement, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have demanded urgent investigations into two high-ranking individuals at South African Airways Technical (SAAT). SAAT is the specialist maintenance, repair and... 

Bell sees recovery following Covid-19, parts ways with John Deere 

By: Irma Venter     8th September 2020 Bell Equipment’s plants are currently operating at roughly 70% of pre-Covid-19 levels, says Bell Equipment CEO Leon Goosen. The South African operation at Richards Bay is running a little bit below this average, however, as it had stocked up on inventory prior to the pandemic in anticipation of a... 

Bell sees recovery following Covid-19, parts ways with John Deere
Leon Goosen

Truck booking systems paying off as congestion around Durban port eases

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2020 A newly introduced truck booking system near the Port of Durban has helped to alleviate truck congestion in the Bayhead Precinct and surrounding roads. Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) explains in a statement that a private bulk terminal in the Island View Precinct introduced the... 

Truck booking systems paying off as congestion around Durban port eases
Truck booking system

Port of PE weathers Covid-19 to support bumper fruit season

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th September 2020 In the midst of the record citrus export season, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA's) Nelson Mandela Bay ports have successfully complemented the Port of Cape Town, which was negatively affected by Covid-19, TNPA says. Apart from handling the citrus fruit at the Port of Port Elizabeth’s... 

Port of PE weathers Covid-19 to support bumper fruit season
Sujit Bhagattjee

Transnet suspends Durban berth deepening project while investigation continues

By: Donna Slater     8th September 2020 Following concerns about procurement and governance processes for the berth-deepening project at the Port of Durban, State-owned Transnet has suspended the main marine contract for the project while an investigation gets under way. Transnet says the concerns have the potential to impact the... 

New Seychelles airline to launch as cargo carrier, due to pandemic

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th September 2020 Private-sector start-up airline Seychelles International Airways (SIA) has announced that it will commence operations on September 10 as a cargo-only carrier, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will initiate its services with a four-engined Airbus A340-600, it announced in a press conference,... 

Union reports Comair agrees to start paying medical aid contributions again

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced on Monday that the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) overseeing South African private-sector airline group Comair had agreed to immediately reinstate medical aid for the airline’s workforce. This followed Numsa’s threat to... 

Security function now top priority at PRASA, says CEO 

By: Irma Venter     7th September 2020 While Covid-19 has given the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) the opportunity to “stop and think” about its service offering and the way forward for the rail entity, it also left the door open for severe vandalism of its assets during the national lockdown, says CEO Nosipho Damasane.... 

Security function now top priority at PRASA, says CEO

Mninawe Silinga leaves CDC for TNPA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th September 2020 Mninawe Silinga has resigned as CEO of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to join Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as CE. The CDC noted that this has been long coming, after numerous attempts by other State-owned entities (SoEs) to enlist Silinga's services in recent years. 

Numsa approaches Labour Court about Comair salaries, medical aid standstills

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) has approached the Johannesburg Labour Court for an urgent interdict to compel the management of airline Comair to pay outstanding salaries and continue making medical aid contributions on behalf of employees. A hearing has been scheduled... 

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 Brazilian-based major aerospace group Embraer announced on Thursday that it was cutting its worldwide workforce by 4.5%, in part due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also because of the effects of US company Boeing cancelling its partnership with the Brazilian enterprise. In Brazil,... 

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19
Photo by RKC
An Embraer E190-E2 airliner, pictured in South Africa on a demonstration tour

Heavy equipment demobilised after project completion

4th September 2020 Heavy equipment lifting and transporting company Mammoet recently began demobilising equipment it had deployed at the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Lekki Free Zone, in Nigeria. The demobilising of the equipment began in July. 

Heavy equipment demobilised after project completion
BIG DELIVERIES The components for the refinery project consisted of multiple shipments delivered to the purpose-built Dangote Quay Lekki in Lagos

Rolling ahead with railway wheel repairs

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Rail components manufacturer Bakara Engineering has completed repairs to railway wheels for a private rail operator and is working on a similar project for Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Bakara technical manager Reg Taylor tells Engineering News. Appointed by the private rail... 

Rolling ahead with railway wheel repairs
WHEELSHOP REDRESS Bakara was appointed by PRASA in November last year to repair railway wheels, but a technical assessment of its wheelshop was required before the company could start production

Localisation key to economic recovery

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Localisation should be the main driver of South Africa’s economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak, says diversified engineering company Pamodzi Unique Engineering CEO Sindi Dlamini. The Boksburg-based broad-based black economic-empowerment Level 1 company designs, manufactures and... 

Localisation key to economic recovery
INTERNATIONALLY ACTIVE Pamodzi Unique Engineering has supplied off-road pantographs to the US, Panama, Belgium, Zambia, Namibia and recently Russia

HVAC specialist launches new tech

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Three prototypes of a new modular mobile cool-air-drying system for agricultural use will be launched at the end of this year by Pretoria-headquartered multidisciplinary engineering company Specialist Mechanical Engineers (SME). The development of the system is in line with SME’s strategy to... 

HVAC specialist launches new tech
AGRICULTURAL ASSET The modular mobile cool-air-drying system optimised drying time and low energy costs among other advantages

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions 

By: Irma Venter     4th September 2020 Many South African industries, especially the fruit industry, could suffer major financial losses if they are not allowed to transport their goods in high-cube containers beyond June next year, a new master’s degree study indicates. This is when government’s seven-year moratorium (running from... 

Business rescue plan calls for Comair to be downsized and delisted

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2020 A business rescue plan for South African private-sector airline group Comair has been published and the group’s creditors have until September 18 to examine and decide whether or not to support the plan. Comair operated the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands and... 

Renergen completes LNG auction registration process

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd September 2020 Domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has completed the registration process for South Africa’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) auction, with the number of registrations significantly exceeding expectations. The number of registrations demonstrate the inherent demand of the domestic... 

Renergen completes LNG auction registration process
CEO Stefano Marani

Covid-19-backlogged JRA restarts maintenance operations after materials shortage

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2020 The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), impacted by Covid-19-related challenges, recently experienced a shortage in asphalt production, which has affected the company’s daily targets for maintenance work. The agency notes that the procurement process for raw materials is currently being accelerated... 

Covid-19-backlogged JRA restarts maintenance operations after materials shortage
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
The JRA's Ophirtin asphalt plant

PE port operations manager appointed chair of maritime cluster

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2020 Transnet National Ports Authority has announced that Port of Port Elizabeth senior operations manager Faisal Sultan has been appointed chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Bay Maritime Cluster. He will lead a team of seven members in providing strategic direction to achieve the cluster’s vision,... 

PE port operations manager appointed chair of maritime cluster
Nelson Mandela Bay Maritime Cluster chairperson and PE port senior operations manager Faisal Sultan

Airline body calls for international borders to be reopened

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged governments around the world to work together to reopen borders and restore global connectivity. The association, which is the representative body for the global airline industry, also called on governments to continue to support... 

Makololo appointed to head up Bombardier in South Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2020 Global mobility technology leader Bombardier Transportation has appointed Makgola Makololo MD for the South African business. In this role, Makololo will be responsible for Bombardier Transportation’s strategy development and deployment in the country, with sustainable customer and partner... 

Makololo appointed to head up Bombardier in South Africa
Bombardier Transportation SA MD Makgola Makololo

Iata reports stabilisation in global air cargo demand, but at lower levels than in 2019

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st September 2020 In its latest report on air cargo, the representative body of the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), reported that the data showed that demand was stable but at a lower level than for last year. Because of the continued lack of belly hold cargo space on... 

Iata reports stabilisation in global air cargo demand, but at lower levels than in 2019
Iata CEo Alexandre de Juniac

Rig platform vessel arrives in Mossel Bay for gas drilling expedition

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st August 2020 Rig platform, the Deepsea Stavanger, arrived in Mossel Bay on August 21 ahead of its deployment to the Outeniqua Basin where it is scheduled to work on the next phase of the Luiperdpadda project. The basin is situated off the coast of Mossel Bay, where energy giant Total discovered gas condensate... 

Rig platform vessel arrives in Mossel Bay for gas drilling expedition
Deepsea Stavanger

New ‘single channel’ service created to help resolve barriers to South African exports 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has launched a new ‘single channel’ online service through which South African exporters are able to register any problems they are experiencing in their trade interactions and secure dedicated support from government to resolve concerns.... 

 New ‘single channel’ service created to help resolve barriers to South African exports

Imperial buys stake in local healthcare manufacturing business 

By: Irma Venter     31st August 2020 Imperial has acquired a 49% stake in Pharmafrique, trading as Kiara Health.  Kiara Health is an African pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare services company based in Johannesburg. 

E-commerce has finally arrived in South Africa, says Dawn Wing  

By: Irma Venter     31st August 2020 Despite going through a rough patch during the initial hard lockdown in South Africa, Dawn Wing couriers says it has since seen a significant surge in e-commerce.  “The lockdown period business was really tough as volumes were low, but we made a decision to stay open to support our healthcare... 

E-commerce has finally arrived in South Africa, says Dawn Wing

OR Tambo International Airport expects passenger numbers to significantly increase next month

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th August 2020 OR Tambo International Airport (OR Tambo) will probably handle more than 210 000 passengers next month. That is the estimate of the airport’s management. The currently operating airlines have booked more than 2 500 take-off and landing slots at the airport (which is owned and operated by the... 

Gibela has spent R6bn on local procurement since 2014 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2020 Train manufacturer Gibela has launched its first socioeconomic impact report, sharing the progress it has made in terms of economic, social and environmental initiatives from January 2014 to March this year. Gibela was formed in 2013 as a black economic empowerment consortium through French... 

Gibela has spent R6bn on local procurement since 2014
Gibela CEO Hector Danisa

More local laser R&D needed

By: Tracy Hancock     28th August 2020 South Africa is not placing enough focus on laser research and development (R&D), especially in the private sector, but there is hope, says the director of the Laser Research Institute (LRI) within the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University Dr Pieter Neethling. “Laser and photonics R&D is... 

More local laser R&D needed
PRIVATE PARTICIPATION Getting private-sector companies to fund laser research and development at local universities is expected to change the landscape dramatically

Freight, transport index declines again in July after June recovery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2020 The Ctrack Freight & Transport Index declined by 1.7% from June to July. This follows the biggest-ever monthly improvement from May to June.  

Freight, transport index declines again in July after June recovery

Ford donates 240 engines to support skills development, training in technical schools

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has launched a far-reaching engine donation programme to support skills development and training at technical high schools across the country. As part of the programme, the vehicle manufacturer is donating 240 engines, valued at R7.8-million, as part... 

Ford donates 240 engines to support skills development, training in technical schools
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