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Latest News

Wits opens R6m isotope geoscience laboratory

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th April 2017 A new R6-million ultraclean isotope geoscience laboratory has been launched at the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory (WIGL), working closely with the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Geology Department, aims to deliver a... 

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture says that, based on questionnaires distributed to farmers in the region, around R192.3-million in fire damage has been reported in the Hessequa and George regions. “We received feedback from 79 farms. The data shows that infrastructure, crops, livestock,... 

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

Royal HaskoningDHV develops digital EIS

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2017 International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV Group has launched a digital and interactive environmental-impact statement (EIS) to replace the traditional, outdated, paper-based reporting approach of interpreting data surrounding the environmental impact of a... 

Royal HaskoningDHV develops digital EIS

South Africa's credit downgrades rule out repo rate cuts

By: Reuters     12th April 2017 South Africa's debt downgrade to junk status and the finance minister's recent dismissal mean interest rates will be on hold until 2020 at least, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday. Economists in the poll, taken just a week after Fitch Ratings Agency and Standard & Poor's downgraded South Africa... 

Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects 

     12th April 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest delay in the signing of power purchase agreements for new renewables projects. 

Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects
Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects

Recycling problem not just confined to plastics – Sapro 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The recyclability of many products in the South African market is “just not being considered anymore”, with very few product designers considering end-of-life during the design stage of the product, South African Plastics Recycling Organisation’s (Sapro's) Annabé Pretorius tells Engineering News... 

Recycling problem not just confined to plastics – Sapro

Pan African outlines funding package for gold project

By: Martin Creamer     12th April 2017 The announcement by midtier gold mining company Pan African Resources of a mixed placement-and-debt funding package for its R1.7-billion Elikhulu gold tailings project was followed by a surprising fall in the company's share price. The funding package is aimed at fast-tracking the development of... 

Pan African outlines funding package for gold project
Photo by Duane Daws
Pan African CEO Cobus Loots

Fitch next to downgrade Eskom, Transnet to align with sovereign ratings

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2017 South African State-owned Eskom and Transnet have also been downgraded by ratings agency Fitch to align with the recent downgrade of South Africa’s sovereign rating. Eskom’s long-term local currency issuer default rating (IDR) and the senior unsecured local currency rating have been downgraded... 

SMEs, entrepreneurs called to enter clean technology innovation competition

By: Dylan Slater     12th April 2017 The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme of South Africa (GCIP-SA) has opened entries for its yearly competition, which is focused on highlighting the latest clean technology innovations and solutions, to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  

SMEs, entrepreneurs called to enter clean technology innovation competition
GCIP-SA top performers for 2016, Yolandi Schoeman and Martin Ackermann, with Gerswynn McKuur (left) and Paul deGive at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Francisco

Gigaba committed to fiscal consolidation after downgrades

By: Reuters     12th April 2017 South Africa's new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday treasury is committed to fiscal consolidation plans outlined in the 2017 Budget after Standard & Poor's (S&P's) and Fitch downgraded the country to sub-investment grade. Speaking to local investors at the Development Bank of... 

Gigaba committed to fiscal consolidation after downgrades
Photo by Bloomberg
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Sasol finalises currency hedges worth $4bn

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2017 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reported on Tuesday that it had finalised currency hedges with a total notional amount of $4-billion for its 2018 financial year. The hedges represent about 70% of its expected net rand/US dollar exposure for the period, which runs until June 30, 2018. The... 

Sasol finalises currency hedges worth $4bn

Union sees 4 000 job cuts in Thyssenkrupp steel restructuring

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 Thyssenkrupp could cut about 4 000 of the 27 000 jobs at its European steel unit in a coming restructuring of the business, a representative of trade union IG Metall told Reuters on Tuesday. The German industrial group had said on Friday it planned to cut costs by 500-million euros ($530-million)... 

Shell says it knew some payments for Nigeria oilfield would go to Malabu

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 Royal Dutch Shell has said it knew that some of the payments it made to Nigeria for the rights to an oilfield would go to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company associated with a former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer. Shell spokesperson Andy Norman said the group had known the... 

Siemens shares hit fresh record after report of Bombardier rail talks

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 Shares in Siemens spiked higher to hit a fresh record high after a Bloomberg report said the German industrial giant and Bombardier are in talks to combine their train operations. People familiar with the matter cited by the news agency said the possible venture would merge their train-making and... 

Atterbury secures new R1bn-plus Deloitte office development tender

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th April 2017 Property investment and development business Atterbury has been awarded the tender to develop a new office for Deloitte in Waterfall City, in Midrand, Gauteng, as the audit firm consolidates its Johannesburg and Pretoria offices. The total estimated R1-billion-plus development cost is expected to... 

Atterbury secures new R1bn-plus Deloitte office development tender

Manufacturing output contracts 3.6% y/y in Feb

By: Anine Kilian     11th April 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing output contracted by 3.6% year-on-year in February. The largest contributors to the decline were the petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastics and food and beverages sectors. 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project 

By: Keith Campbell     11th April 2017 Two South African-designed and built nanosatellites, designated nSight1 and ZA-Aerosat, are set to be launched into space next week, as part of a consignment of 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries. The entire shipment of nanosatellites will, according to current plans, be lifted into space by a... 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project
Photo by SCS Aerospace Group
SCS Space’s nSight1 nanosatellite

Mondi, Constantia Afripack reach one-billion sack-kraft-paper-made cement bag milestone

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th April 2017 In a partnership spanning decades, more than one-billion cement bags have been made from packaging and paper group Mondi’s sack kraft paper by South African packaging and bags producer Constantia Afripack. Mondi Sack Kraft Paper, Constantia Afripack’s principal supplier, supplies strong, quality... 

Unions back Seriti's purchase of Anglo coal mines

By: Martin Creamer     11th April 2017 Two labour unions on Tuesday publicly backed the sale by Anglo American of coal assets to Seriti, the new black-owned start-up with aspirations to be South Africa’s next mining champion. Both the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Solidarity union put out statements welcoming the... 

Unions back Seriti's purchase of Anglo coal mines
Photo by Duane Daws
Seriti CEO Mike Teke

Diesel tax refund system should be simplified – KPMG

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th April 2017 As the National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) work to streamline the current diesel refund system, KPMG believes the development of a more simplified and concise refund framework is needed, particularly in reference to mining sector beneficiaries. The current Sars diesel... 

BAIC introduces D20 range, second model to follow later this year 

By: Irma Venter     11th April 2017 Beijing Automotive Industry Group Company (BAIC) has unveiled the passenger car that it hopes will secure its first customers in the South African market. The D20 compact hatchback and sedan range “is a boutique small car for the South African market”, said BAIC International VP Li Xiaofan on... 

BAIC introduces D20 range, second model to follow later this year
Photo by Irma Venter
The D20 at the launch in Johannesburg

New online system allows transporters to bid directly on loads

By: Irma Venter     11th April 2017 Linebooker wants to do for the truck transport industry what Uber’s introduction did within the metered taxi industry – disrupt the traditional business model, cut costs and improve competitiveness and convenience. A spinoff from the innovation arm of CCS Logistics (part of the Oceana Group),... 

New online system allows transporters to bid directly on loads
Linebooker online

Merafe’s Q1 ferrochrome production up 10%

By: Martin Creamer     11th April 2017 The attributable production of ferrochrome company, Merafe Resources, increased by 10% in the first quarter of this year. Attributable production was 113 000 t, up from last year’s first quarter output of 103 000 t. 

Merafe’s Q1 ferrochrome production up 10%
Photo by Duane Daws
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

Richards Bay plant to make pearly whites from industrial slag

By: African News Agency      11th April 2017 It’s hard to avoid references to a phoenix while thinking about a deal being inked on Tuesday that will turn industrial waste into a pearly white pigment … and put hundreds of people to work. A technology partnership between Johannesburg-based Nyanza Light Metals and Avertana of New Zealand will... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2017 The South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) expressed confidence on Tuesday that the latest delay in signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 would be “short-term” in nature. However, it urged newly appointed Energy... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date

Koeberg Unit 2 sets new record  

By: Anine Kilian     11th April 2017 Unit 2 of Koeberg power station on Monday achieved 485 days of continuous operation since its last outage.   “This is a new record and it further proves how reliable Africa’s only nuclear power station is,” State-owned Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko said.   He added that Eskom takes pride in the... 

South Africa’s credit rating downgrade will also hit SADC region, says AgriSA

By: African News Agency      11th April 2017 AgriSA said on Tuesday that the impact of South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating downgrades was likely to be felt outside of the country’s borders and would have an impact in the Southern African region as a whole. South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating was downgraded to junk status... 

Golden Arrow, MyCiTi to suspend service after strike announced

By: News24Wire      11th April 2017 Golden Arrow Bus Services staff around the country will go on strike later this week after wage negotiations deadlocked, the company said in a statement on Monday. The MyCiTi bus service in Cape Town would be suspended for the same reason. 

Capetonians urged to keep up water-saving efforts despite rain

By: News24Wire      11th April 2017 The City of Cape Town on Monday urged consumers not to relax their water-saving efforts after two days of light rain in the city. The city's dam levels have declined to 25.2%. With the last 10% of a dam's water mostly unusable, dam levels are effectively at 15.2%, the city said in a statement. 

Capetonians urged to keep up water-saving efforts despite rain

SARB says downgrades, weakening rand pose risk

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 South Africa's central bank on Monday warned that the recent Cabinet reshuffle that saw the finance minister fired and the country's credit relegated to "junk" could pressure the rand and accelerate inflation as inventors sold off local assets. The rand has slipped nearly 12% since March 27 when... 

SARB says downgrades, weakening rand pose risk

Printed titanium parts expected to save millions in Boeing Dreamliner costs

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 Boeing Co hired Norsk Titanium to print the first structural titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner, a shift that the Norwegian three-dimensional (3-D) printing company said would eventually shave $2-million to $3-million off the cost of each plane. The contract announced on Monday is a major... 

Printed titanium parts expected to save millions in Boeing Dreamliner costs

Competition Commission adds ten charges against Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th April 2017 Less than a week after referring Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for collusive tendering, price fixing and market division, the Competition Commission has added ten more charges. The commission is also seeking administrative penalties of... 

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11 

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2017 The signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the projects procured under the fourth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will not take place on April 11 as initially envisaged. The date had been set by former Energy Minister Tina... 

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11

R2.3bn Anglo coal sale to Seriti may hit Eskom ownership snag 

By: Martin Creamer     10th April 2017 A new aspirant South African mining champion on Monday announced its intention to purchase Anglo American’s Eskom-tied domestic thermal coal operations in South Africa, which would position the majority black-owned start-up as the potential second-largest provider of coal to the State electricity... 

R2.3bn Anglo coal sale to Seriti may hit Eskom ownership snag
Photo by Duane Daws
Seriti CEO Mike Teke

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th April 2017 Former Constitutional Court judge Justice Richard Goldstone has joined antidumping organisation FairPlay, which was formed to oppose the illegal and job-destroying practice of selling goods below the cost of production, as its patron. FairPlay’s first project will be to focus on stopping the... 

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

Downgrade will have major consequences for economy, businesses and citizens, warns AHI

By: Anine Kilian     10th April 2017 Small business representative organisation AHI says ratings agency Fitch’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating to junk status, will lead to lower economic growth, with some expecting billions of rands in outflows and a doubling of the current account deficit for South Africa. In... 

Brown supports secondment of Victor Xaba as SA Express acting CEO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th April 2017 Denel Aerostructures deputy CEO Victor Xaba has been seconded to serve as acting CEO of South African Express (SA Express), effective April 10. This follows after extensive consultations between the boards of Denel and SA Express, as well as the Department of Public Enterprises, and has the... 

PV providers partner to form new solar rooftop company  

By: Anine Kilian     10th April 2017 Solar rooftop providers All Power Systems and Fusion Energy have formed a new company, Synthesis Power Holdings, to take advantage of the growth in South Africa’s solar rooftop energy market. “Synthesis was created to provide the ultimate solar rooftop proposition to its clients, one which sets... 

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