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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

Re-establishing confidence

By: Terence Creamer     17th October 2014 In his concluding remarks during the release the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Olivier Blanchard argued that the challenge for national policymakers was to “re-establish confidence, through a clear plan to deal with both the legacies of the... 

Eastern Inspiration

By: Terence Creamer     10th October 2014 If South Africa is going to attain the twin goals of reindustrialising while transforming the racially skewed composition of its economy, it is common cause that black economic-empowerment policy will need to be more closely aligned with industrial policy. This means that empowerment will... 

Behind the curve

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2014 Electricity producer Eskom offered a frank, albeit disheartening, assessment of the state of its existing coal-fired fleet during a recent briefing of lawmakers, warning that it would take some time for it to arrest the current high levels of unplanned outages at the power stations. The utility... 

‘Nonstrategic assets’?

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2014 The energy community is likely to pay even more attention than usual to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, which is due for release on October 22. On that date, he is planning to release details relating to the size of an approved equity injection for Eskom, as... 

Economic Alternative

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2014 A new United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report offers a decidedly different approach to how the world and developing countries, in particular, could escape the current low-growth reality. The Trade and Development Report 2014 argues that, given the insufficiency of... 

Fail better

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2014 With the problems associated with the giant Medupi and Kusile power station projects capturing headlines again in early September, it was somewhat strange, even refreshing, to listen to and economist espousing the virtues of large, complex megaprojects. But political economy of development... 

Reality check

By: Terence Creamer     5th September 2014 The shift in the conversation about Africa’s prospects – form utter desperation to breathless exuberance – has been at once dramatic and generally appreciated across the continent. However, unless expectations are properly managed, this exaggerated swing in sentiment has the potential to cause as... 

Integration architecture

By: Terence Creamer     29th August 2014 Could an Airbus-like template revive Africa’s stalled economic integration? Mandela Institute for Development Studies founder and director Dr Nkosana Moyo believes so, and recently urged African governments and the private sector to embrace a different “architecture” for economic integration.... 

Big Picture 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2014 There is nothing strikingly new in the latest Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 to 2019, outlining government’s priorities for the coming five years and providing an implementation road map for the National Development Plan (NDP). However, it is still worthwhile internalising some of... 

Not a real option

By: Terence Creamer     15th August 2014 There would naturally be a menu of options under consideration for dealing with Eskom’s current financial problems – the State-owned electricity producer expects to become cash-flow negative by June next year and has indicated that its faces a R225-billion revenue shortfall over the five years... 

Important Development

By: Terence Creamer     8th August 2014 The emphasis being given by State-owned electricity producer Eskom to the turnaround in the performance of its fleet of coal-fired power stations is not only appropriate, but also encouraging. Last week the utility outlined a five-point recovery plan, while cautioning that an additional 7 400 MW... 

Six c’s of radical transformation

By: Terence Creamer     1st August 2014 Delivering his Budget Vote in Parliament last week, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said government would be prioritising six ‘i’s’ as part of a “radical economic transformation” agenda. The components included infrastructure, industrialisation, investment, innovation, inclusion and... 

Decision Time 

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2014 Cabinet will soon be called upon to make one of its most important decisions of the year now that State-owned electricity producer Eskom has handed over its ‘comprehensive sustainability plan’ to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Eskom claims to be facing a R225-billion revenue shortfall... 

New economic balance

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2014 A new report urges African policymakers to pay closer attention to improving the balance between consumption- and investment-led growth, while suggesting that countries should target minimum investment levels of 25% of gross domestic product to sustain economic growth and to improve prospects for... 

Triple Deficit

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2014 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has warned that South Africa is struggling with a triple deficit: its stubbornly high current-account deficit, a fiscal deficit and a trust deficit. But he has also given an assurance that government is planning to do what it can to deal with all three, mostly under... 

Collaboration the theme

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2014 The aspiration to forge a closer and more constructive collaboration between government, business and labour has emerged as the predominant theme of the post-election administration. In his recent State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma revealed that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had... 

Light & Heat 

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2014 The attention given by President Jacob Zuma to the issue of electricity security in his post-election State of the Nation address can only be welcomed, as should his acknowledgement that the prevailing shortage of power is a major contributor to weak economic growth. It is equally heartening that... 

Gas expectations

By: Terence Creamer     20th June 2014 With South Africa moving to materially raise the profile of gas in its energy mix – probably initially through the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest ‘World Energy Investment Outlook’ makes for interesting and sobering reading. The agency... 

Infrastructure, institutions, people

By: Terence Creamer     13th June 2014 International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Christine Lagarde has reaffirmed that sub-Saharan Africa should grow by about 5.5% this year and attract a record $80-billion in investment. However, she warned in a recent speech delivered in Maputo, Mozambique, that there was an urgent need to “build... 

Measure of Success?

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2014 University of Cape Town’s professor David Kaplan has made a strong case for using export growth, rather than job creation, as the primary measure of South Africa’s industrial-policy success. He argues that, while increasing manufacturing jobs should still be an objective, industry is unlikely to... 

Beyond law-making 

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2014 It was interesting to hear a senior Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official acknowledge recently that many government departments are still flouting procurement rules on local content, despite specific regulations having been introduced compelling all spheres of government and State... 

Call for radical change 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2014 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report raises some interesting and serious issues around future energy-use patterns and the outlook for electricity investments. For one, Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 (ETP 2014) states that electricity is set to rival oil as the world’s dominant... 

Top Priority 

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2014 With memories of the election fast fading, attention is now turning to the far more prosaic, yet vastly more important, matter of governance. For the new administration a critical success factor for the coming five years lies in finding credible and implementable strategies for dealing with South... 

Ability & Credibility

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2014 Not long after the May 24 inauguration of South Africa’s next President – who will be chosen during the first sitting of the country’s fifth democratically elected Parliament, probably on May 21 – citizens will receive a good sense of the priorities of the next administration when the composition... 

Multiple considerations

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2014 Recent interactions with some of the South African contributors to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working-group reports highlighted the increasing complexity of future investment choices, particularly in the energy milieu. For one, adaptation is likely to emerge as a... 

Movement at last

By: Terence Creamer     25th April 2014 There has, at last, been some movement on the long awaited cogeneration and coal independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes. Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins confirmed last week that a procurement programme for 800 MW of cogeneration capacity would be initiated in April and that... 

Sensible reaction

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2014 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies took the high road when responding to news that Nigeria had officially surpassed South Africa as the continent’s largest economy. Following a rebasing of its gross domestic product (GDP), Nigeria’s statistician-general announced on April 6 that the West... 

Risk Hot Spots 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2014 Besides frighteningly frank warnings (which some have disparaged as being apocalyptical) about the threat posed by climate change to everything from food security to human health and ecosystems, one of the stand-out themes from the latest Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report... 

Not without risks

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2014 With South Africa poised to open the way for shale gas exploration, it was interesting the gain insight into the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from UK special representative on climate change Sir David King. King, who was born in Durban in 1939 and educated in Johannesburg at the... 

Crisis Committee

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2014 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) is mobilising a high-level team to pursue a “strategic national response” to the problems associated with South Africa’s electricity shortages, which came into sharp focus again on March 6, when Eskom resorted to 14 hours of load shedding to stabilise the... 

Pain, but also change

By: Terence Creamer     21st March 2014 There has been much commentary about whether anything has in fact changed at Eskom over the past six years after the country descended into its first national load-shedding episode since 2008 – an event which felt like much like Yogi Berra’s proverbial “déjà vu all over again”. The arguments... 

Growth not enough 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2014 The inaugural Africa Transformation Report has one key and unequivocal message: the resumption of growth in many African countries is a necessary yet insufficient ingredient to sustainable development. Six of the world’s fastest growing economies are currently in Africa, including Angola,... 

Next Finance Minister

By: Terence Creamer     7th March 2014 No matter who is appointed South Africa’s next Finance Minister – I personally hope Pravin Gordhan is willing to stay on – it will be important that the current momentum is sustained in three of critical areas: reducing the fiscal deficit; pressing ahead with procurement reforms; and galvanising... 

Complex debate 

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2014 There is no question that the issue of shale energy has emerged as a major topic of discussion for government, economic and energy leaders. It was, therefore, interesting to be offered a perspective into the role that unconventional oil and gas could play in future from an individual who keeps a... 

Municipal Remedy? 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2014 There is no question that the deterioration, even collapse, of municipal infrastructure lies at the heart of the recent surge in service delivery protests, which have, sadly, been characterised by loss of life, destruction of property and violence. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs... 

Seeing is believing

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2014 In the dying decades of apartheid, the anti-democracy scaremongers continually pointed to the “rest of Africa” as a cautionary tale of what South Africa could become in the event of majority rule. Fast-forward a few decades and the neighbourhood, which still has many serious problems, appears far... 

Financial stability the ‘first’ priority

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2014 In recent conversations with both the outgoing CEO of Eskom, Brian Dames, and the State-owned utility’s chairperson, Zola Tsotsi, it became clear that, more than anything else, next CEO will be expected to have the capacity to wrap his or her arms around the financial difficulties currently... 

Beyond ability

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2014 Without question, the job of Eskom CEO is a difficult one. The organisation is large and complex. It has real operational challenges, associated partly with the age of its plant, partly with the age of its primary-input sources and partly with the material maintenance backlog that prevails. Its... 

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