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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Building bridges to future

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2018 By circumstance rather than design, the end states of several of South Africa’s largest – and most troubled – State-owned companies (SoCs) are becoming increasingly discernible. National carrier South African Airways (SAA) is unlikely to be closed, but it will eventually have a strategic equity... 

Powering a jobs compact

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2018 The recent comment period on the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) proved useful in bringing to the fore a number of important issues relating to the future of electricity generation in South Africa. The process also represented a refreshing departure from previous failed attempts at... 

Industry at a crossroads

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2018 South Africa’s electricity sector, from generation to distribution, is at a crossroads. The traditional business model is being disrupted and not merely by the introduction of utility-scale independent power producers. Globally, the disruption of the industry is no longer driven only, or even... 

IRP decision time

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 The comment period for the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 has closed and it’s now up to the Department of Energy (DoE) to sift through the responses and assess whether or not any adjustments should be made before asking Cabinet to approve the final version. The draft has been generally... 

Supportive climate

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2018 South Africans were naturally preoccupied on October 8 with whether or not Nhlanhla Nene’s offer to resign as Finance Minister would be accepted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who subsequently appointed Tito Mboweni to the post. On that same day, however, representatives from 195 countries... 

Electrically mobile 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2018 Following a somewhat questionable hiatus in September, petrol and diesel prices resumed their sheer climbs in October, leaving motorist with the financial equivalent of altitude sickness. The decision to freeze prices last month (apart from a 4.9c/l increase to cater for a wage settlement) was... 

Recovery is the key word

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2018 “It’s still in the morning, it’s not a midnight special,” President Cyril Ramaphosa jested ahead of his speech at the Union Building last month to unveil the contents of government’s economic stimulus and recovery plan. While obviously light-hearted, the quirky introduction is important for two... 

On the mend?

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2018 Business confidence is at debilitating low levels and trust between government and business remains fragile after the abusive Zuma years. Nevertheless, there are some encouraging signs that the relationship is on the mend, albeit at such a high level that it will take time to filter through to... 

Promise amid the gloom

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2018 Analogies between the state of South Africa and Bafana Bafana were easy to make after the team’s disappointing draw with Libya in Durban earlier this month. As with the national team, the atmosphere surrounding the country is far from supportive, despite a decidedly improved global economic... 

‘We can’t do expensive’

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2018 During a recent panel discussion on the ‘electricity utility of the future’ the Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa’s Piet van Staden made the point that industry could deal with complexity, but “we can’t do expensive”. He was speaking the day after Energy Minister Jeff Radebe... 

Join the least-cost highway

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2018 The release of a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) for public comment, is an extremely positive development. Likewise, the document’s acknowledgement that the least-cost new build option for South Africa to 2030 is a combination of solar, wind and gas represents major progress. This... 

Power Shifts

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2018 Electricity nerds such as myself are bracing themselves for a breathless few months, with significant developments on the horizon. Much of the focus will be on the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which has finally been released for public comment. This is a critical document and it is... 

Milestones & Opportunities

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2018 Fresh analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), showing that the combined installed base of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators breached the one-terawatt mark at the end of June, offered statistical confirmation of an energy transition that is now in full swing. Of this total, wind... 

Wood for the trees

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2018 Asset manager Stanlib is currently flighting a fascinating series of radio adverts, which pose the question: Was your money ready for this week? The fast-paced spots, which air on Fridays, pull together the key political, economic and corporate developments of a given week. These range from... 

Tipping point?

By: Terence Creamer     10th August 2018 The dust has well and truly settled on of the tenth Brics summit, hosted in Johannesburg last month. While the event was generally viewed as positive from a South African perspective, it failed to capture the popular imagination. Most public interest centred on whether Russia’s strongman... 

Has anything changed?

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2018 It would arguably be easier for a novice cyclist to take on Tour de France’s fabled Alpe d'Huez ascent than for the new leadership at Eskom to restore credibility. Besides load-shedding and extreme tariff hikes, the State-owned utility’s reputation has been all but decimated by allegations... 

Tight & Loose?

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2018 The national security veto included in the Competition Amendment Bill, tabled before Parliament last week, has attracted much attention and criticism. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel argues that the veto is so tightly framed that it should pose no deterrent to potential foreign... 

Time to embrace a Wild Boars spirit

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2018 The evacuation of the 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand serves as a powerful reminder of just what is possible when people unite behind a common project. Success was far from guaranteed, but the mission would have failed at the very... 

Rediscovering Mandela

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2018 The great leadership challenge of our times is to make the correct decisions, and implement them, in a world that is increasingly failing to recognise that the destiny of all humanity is as tightly interwoven as a seamless cloth. One of the extreme ironies of the so-called connected generation is... 

Derisking Eskom

By: Terence Creamer     6th July 2018 The term ‘too big to fail’ came to the fore during the so-called Great Recession, which arose after America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis triggered the collapse of Lehman Brothers in late 2008. The concept was attached to those businesses in the financial sector that had become so large as to make... 

Think demand

By: Terence Creamer     29th June 2018 At any gathering where South Africans convene to deliberate on the country’s economic predicament, one well-worn narrative will inevitably arise. It begins with the statement that South Africa is endowed with natural resources that are second to none. What follows is a lamentation about the fact... 

Conflicting strategies?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2018 Eskom may have a technical case for reviewing the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) tariff determination for 2018/19. However, it’s not fully clear how the move gels with its intention to claw back energy-intensive customers lost over the past decade and a bit largely as a... 

Power shift

By: Terence Creamer     15th June 2018 One of the more interesting exchanges during the recent gathering of energy stakeholders in Johannesburg arose as a result of a question posed to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe by Wits Business School Energy Leadership Centre director Dr Rod Crompton. Crompton, who is a former full-time regulator at... 

Policy posers 

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2018 South African energy policymakers would be well advised to take note a few recent reports as they move to finalise the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, as well as the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP). The first of these is titled ‘Status of Power System... 

Liquid fuels in focus

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2018 With so much attention having been paid, correctly, to electricity in South Africa over the past ten-and-a-bit years other energy subsectors, such a liquid fuels, have been left to evolve in relative anonymity. That’s not to say they haven’t faced serious policy and existential challenges. The... 

‘Essential foundation’

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2018 In a new book published by the World Bank and UCT Press, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan for crafting a new social compact with business, labour and civil society is described as an “essential foundation” for overcoming the country’s legacy of racial exclusion, which remained the main cause of... 

Promise and perils

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2018 While President Cyril Ramaphosa was having a breakfast meeting with his Economic Cluster Ministers at Genadendal last week, to deliberate on ways to deliver on the $100-billion-investment goal, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report highlighting just how important investment is... 

No deal without trade-offs

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2018 Over the past couple of months megaphone, or more accurately, Twitter, diplomacy seems to have borne a degree of fruit. Images of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shaking hands over the concrete line dividing the two countries in the heavily-fortified... 

Refusing to accept defeat

By: Terence Creamer     4th May 2018 A new academic study, titled ‘Structural Transformation in South Africa: moving towards a smart, open economy for all’, offers a brutal, and somewhat depressing, assessment of the state of manufacturing in Africa’s most industrialised economy. Produced by the Industrial Development Think Tank,... 

Fighting chance

By: Terence Creamer     27th April 2018 The new, credible boards appointed at South Africa’s largest and most troubled State-owned companies (SoCs) – Denel, Eskom, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and South African Airways – must be given every opportunity to succeed. If they fail, the consequences for the country’s fiscal... 

Why business should care about inequality

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 South African business needs to sit up and take note of new analysis that not only confirms South Africa as the world’s most unequal country, but that extreme inequality is now a major constraint to future growth. The analysis is contained in the World Bank’s latest South Africa Economic Update,... 

‘Sunlight the best disinfectant’

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2018 Asset manager Futuregrowth attracted praise and criticism, possibly in equal measure, when it announced in August 2016 that it was suspending lending to six large State-owned enterprises (SoEs), owing to concerns over the state of their governance. The list included the Development Bank of... 

Long way to go

By: Terence Creamer     6th April 2018 The signing, by 44 African countries, of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is encouraging, albeit that the development is at odds with the current global backlash against freer trade. It should be noted that South Africa did not sign the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda. However,... 

Oversight opportunity not to be missed

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2018 One of the few positives arising from the disastrous period during which President Jacob Zuma occupied the Union Buildings is the fact that it appears to have woken up Parliament, albeit belatedly, to the oversight role envisaged for it in the Constitution. As Institute for Security Studies... 

Decisive shift in energy debate

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2018 South Africans should be in no doubt that the content and tone of the conversation about electricity has shifted decisively, notwithstanding the unexpected decision by the Department of Energy to refrain, last week, from signing long-awaited agreements for 27 renewable-energy projects. Prior to... 

Is there a plan?

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 The change to South Africa’s electricity balance over the past few years has been well documented. Nevertheless it is still quite remarkable. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) now estimates that excess capacity will be about 3 912 MW in 2018/19. In fact, in its reasons for... 

Radebe’s inbox

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2018 Having initially exercised some restraint in his retention of Dipuo Peters as Energy Minister from May 2009 to July 2013, former President Jacob Zuma grew increasingly agitated by the lack of nuclear progress and made several changes in relatively quick succession. Ben Martins, Tina... 

Reality bites

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2018 Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. However, in the case of South Africa’s embattled State-owned companies (SOCs), necessity is undoubtedly also the mother of pragmatism. In his response to the debate on his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa struck a pragmatic... 

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