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Latest News

BlueNova launches production facility as lithium battery bug bites in South Africa  

By: Kim Cloete     24th April 2017 Energy storage solutions company Blue Nova has launched a new production facility in Somerset West, near Cape Town, to keep up with rising demand for lithium-iron-yttrium-phosphate (LiFeYPO4) batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, of which LiFeYPO4 batteries are a type, are seen as an excellent... 

AfDB welcomes Zambia, Ghana to bond index

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th April 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has added Zambia and Ghana to its African Bond Index (ABI), expanding the index to the eight most liquid sovereign bond markets in Africa. The ABI provides investors with a tool with which to measure and track the performance of Africa’s bond markets. 

LafargeHolcim CEO to depart in wake of Syria controversy

By: Reuters     24th April 2017 LafargeHolcim CE Eric Olsen will leave the company in July, the world's largest cement maker said on Monday, in the wake of an investigation into allegations the company paid armed groups in Syria to keep a plant operating. The company admitted in March that its plant in Jallabiya probably paid... 

More than 2 million tertiary students get NSFAS funding – Nzimande 

By: African News Agency      24th April 2017 More than two million students studying at South Africa’s public Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges have been funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) since 2013, the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande said... 

More than 2 million tertiary students get NSFAS funding – Nzimande
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande

Aspen welcomes DA-initiated price-fixing probe

By: African News Agency      24th April 2017 Aspen Pharmacare on Monday issued a statement welcoming reports that South Africa’s Competition Commission had agreed to take up a request from the country’s official opposition to investigate alleged anti-competitive conduct by the company. The South African pharmaceutical company said it... 

Nigerian minister asks builders to construct better after spate of collapsing buildings

By: African News Agency      24th April 2017 Nigeria is concerned after a spate of collapsing buildings, which a government minister blamed on a lack of commitment to quality by some builders. In 2014, some 84 South Africans were killed during one of these collapses, at a church in Lagos run by prominent pastor TB Joshua. The pastor denied... 

Acquisitions add value to Rebosis’s interim results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th April 2017 Despite the tough domestic economic environment, JSE-listed property company Rebosis declared a dividend of 60.80c apiece for the six months to February 28. This amounted to a 7.1% year-on-year growth, within the company’s 7% to 9% guidance for the full year. 

Japan steel industry head says concerned at Trump 'protectionism'

By: Reuters     24th April 2017 Japanese steelmakers are concerned at "protectionism" by US President Donald Trump, Japan Iron and Steel Federation chairperson Kosei Shindo said on Monday, following Trump's first shot across China's bows over steel exports. Japan is the world's second-largest steel producer, although Shindo... 

Syrah awards logistics contract to Grindrod

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th April 2017 Graphite developer Syrah Resources has awarded the graphite distribution and logistics services supply contract at its Balama project, in Mozambique, to JSE-listed Grindrod Mauritius. The contract includes the provision of long haul trucking services for graphite concentrate from the Balama site... 

Outa welcomes Brown’s decision to refuse Molefe’s R30m pension payout 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th April 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Monday welcomed Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s decision to decline State-owned electricity provider Eskom’s proposal to pay its former CEO Brian Molefe a R30-million pension payout, noting that it was setting a precedent by placing an end to... 

Outa welcomes Brown’s decision to refuse Molefe’s R30m pension payout
Photo by Duane Daws
Brian Molefe

Ramaphosa backs graft probe of Zuma's government

By: Reuters     24th April 2017 South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he wants allegations of influence-peddling in government investigated, lending his support to a probe called for by the anti-graft watchdog but which President Jacob Zuma has so far ignored. Ramaphosa is considered a likely candidate... 

Ramaphosa backs graft probe of Zuma's government
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Tegeta coal prepayment not a loan, says Eskom 

By: News24Wire      22nd April 2017 The over R600-million Eskom paid to Tegeta, a company in which the Gupta family has interests, was not a loan, but a prepayment, the state-owned power utility said on Saturday. Eskom also wanted it made clear that Tegeta honoured its side of the agreement by delivering all the pre-paid coal,... 

TNPA appoints new port managers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has appointed the Port of Cape Town’s first female port manager Mpumi Dweba, who most recently served as port manager at the Port of Ngqura. She succeeds Sipho Nzuza, who recently resigned to take up the role of eThekwini municipality city manager. 

DMR to brief Western Cape communities on shale gas development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant will on Tuesday host an information-sharing session with interested and affected communities and organisations in the Western Cape on the potential of shale gas development through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Deputy Minister will... 

AfriForum seeks access to work permits of Cuban engineers employed by DWS

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 Civil rights organisation AfriForum has brought an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act against the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), seeking access to the work permits of 31 Cuban engineers employed by the DWS. AfriForum reports that Water and Sanitation... 

Steel demand to grow in 2017/18 as recession risk decreases

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 Global steel demand will increase by 1.3% to 1.53-billion tonnes this year, and by a further 0.9% to 1.55-billion tonnes in 2018, following growth of 1% in 2016, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said in its latest short-range outlook (SRO), published on Friday. Worldsteel economics... 

E-toll compliance low, can distance-based charging be a solution? 

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2017 The compliance rate on Gauteng’s urban toll network is between 30% and 40%, says South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) northern region toll and traffic manager Alex van Niekerk. E-toll collection on Gauteng’s freeways has been problematic since the implementation of tolling in 2013. 

E-toll compliance low, can distance-based charging be a solution?

Sacu makes formal request to initiate post-Brexit trade talks with UK 

By: Terence Creamer     21st April 2017 South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies reports that the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) has written a letter to the UK government formally requesting the initiation of talks on the terms of the bilateral trade relationship that will be put in place when Britain exits the... 

Sacu makes formal request to initiate post-Brexit trade talks with UK
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Wits academics featured in Time magazine

By: Sane Dhlamini     21st April 2017 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academics professors Glenda Gray and Achille Mbembe have been recognised by TIME magazine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gray, an HIV medical researcher, has made TIME magazine’s Top 100 list as one of the most influential people in the... 

Wits academics featured in Time magazine

AfDB to review development of Senegalese power plant after complaints 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) will review compliance eligibility at the €206-million, 125 MW Sendou coal-fired power plant project, in Senegal, following several community complaints. Two groups raised eight similar issues with the bank, including an unviable government policy option to use... 

Eskom confirms it wants exemption from ‘areas’ of national procurement regulations for nuclear

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 State-owned power Eskom on Friday confirmed in a statement that it had raised concerns with National Treasury about “areas” of the current procurement regulations, specifically mentioning waivers of certain evaluation criteria that would be required to facilitate the “proposed nuclear new build... 

Eskom confirms it wants exemption from ‘areas’ of national procurement regulations for nuclear

Easter road death toll increases by 51%

By: News24Wire      21st April 2017 Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi announced on Friday that 235 people died on South African roads over the 2017 Easter holidays. He said this was a 51% increase over last year's figure of 156. 

Nigerian finance minister says country needs to tap its non-oil revenues

By: Reuters     21st April 2017 Nigeria plans to get out of recession by boosting government revenues and cracking down on corruption, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said on Thursday, and will also issue more international debt to pay for infrastructure projects. The country is in its second year of recession, brought on by... 

Trump administration, world financial officials clash over trade

By: Reuters     21st April 2017 The Trump administration had a simple but stark message for world financial leaders who gathered in Washington on Thursday amid worries about rising US protectionism: fair trade means tit-for-tat tariffs. Speaking to bankers just hours after the formal start of the International Monetary Fund and... 

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa 

By: Keith Campbell     21st April 2017 There is more interest in nuclear energy in sub-Saharan Africa than is generally realised. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), countries in the region which are individually planning or considering nuclear power are Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and... 

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

Africa50 appoints CEO

By: Anine Kilian     20th April 2017 The Pan-African infrastructure investment platform Africa50, which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has appointed Kenyan-born Carole Wamuyu Wainaina as CEO. She will lead a multidisciplinary team on the noninvestment side of the organisation, including investor relations,... 

South Africa punching below its weight despite available opportunities – Frost & Sullivan

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 Despite the political turmoil and fiscal downgrades facing the country, South Africa’s economy is set to grow by 0.8% this year, research firm Frost & Sullivan said on Thursday. In a webinar on its Global Economic Outlook 2017, Frost & Sullivan senior economist Craig Parker noted that economic... 

Political decisions, downgrades push policy uncertainty into negative territory 

By: Anine Kilian     20th April 2017 The North-West University (NWU) School of Business and Governance’s Policy Uncertainty Index (PUI) increased to 51 in the first quarter of this year, putting it in negative territory. The PUI was at 38.8 in the fourth quarter of 2016. An increase to above 50 reflects heightened policy... 

Political decisions, downgrades push policy uncertainty into negative territory
Professor Raymond Parsons speaks to Engineering News Online about the reasons for the PUI spike in the first quarter of 2017

South African R&D spending on the rise 

     20th April 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Keith Campbell about the results of the country’s latest research and development survey and the highlights of the first South African National Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at publicly... 

South African R&D spending on the rise
South African R&D spending on the rise

Sapoa says comments were ignored in new property Bill

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) says that while it supports the aims of the Property Practitioners Draft Bill, published for comment on March 31, the current version of the draft Bill does not take any of Sapoa’s previous recommendations into account. The Bill, which will... 

South Africa accounts for 59% of outbound M&A activity in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 The value of announced merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, with any sub-Saharan African involvement, reached $10.1-billion during the first quarter of 2017, the highest opening quarter total in six years, research firm Thomson Reuters Africa has found. In its sub-Saharan African deals... 

EDF's Hinkley Point project could be hit by construction worker strike

By: Reuters     20th April 2017 Workers on EDF's £18-billion ($23-billion) Hinkley Point C nuclear project in southwest England could go on strike over bonus payments, two labour unions said on Thursday. The GMB and Unite trade unions will hold a vote among 700 workers employed by the Bouygues-Laing O'Rourke (BYLOR)... 

Asset manager launches latest logistics and warehousing facility 

     20th April 2017 Asset management Fortress Income Fund has launched its Westlake View logistics park, further increasing the companies warehousing and logistics development pipeline, which currently has a gross leasable area of about 1-million m2 that spans Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.  

Asset manager launches latest logistics and warehousing facility
Asset manager launches latest logistics and warehousing facility

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017  

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2017 South Africa’s Land Bank has set a target of disbursing “at least” R1-billion in 2017/18 to support investments by black entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and to begin transforming a loan book that is still overwhelmingly composed of funding to established commercial farmers. Should the... 

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho on plans to increase the pace and scale of support for black farmers. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.04.2014

Mastercard tests new biometric cards in South Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 South Africa is the first market to test payment technology provider Mastercard’s next-generation biometric card, which combines chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely store a cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. Two separate trials with retailer Pick ‘n Pay and... 

More than half a million rand worth of copper recovered in Tshwane

By: African News Agency      20th April 2017 The newly established anti-cable theft unit arrested 12 suspected cable thieves and recovered several tons of copper valued at more than half a million rand over the Easter weekend, Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga said on Thursday. He said the weekend arrests were in addition to 67 other... 

Eskom pumps R4m into renewable-energy research at Stellenbosch 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 To further fund research in the renewable-energy space, Eskom will, through its Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI), donate a further R4-million to the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), based at Stellenbosch University. It donated R2.6-million to CRSES last year. 

New study ranks South Africa fourth most attractive investment destination in Africa

By: African News Agency      20th April 2017 South Africa has been ranked as the fourth most attractive economy for investments flowing into Africa. This is according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab published on Wednesday. 

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