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Eskom issues shock warning that projects could be halted if tariffs don’t rise 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2008 State-owned electricity producer Eskom issued a shocking warning on Wednesday that it could be forced to cut back or even halt certain of its projects if it was unable secure adequate revenues, which could only be achieved through a substantial increase in electricity tariffs, or material... 

Poor will be cushioned from any Eskom hike, Sonjica promises 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st April 2008 Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica stressed on Tuesday that Eskom's requested 53% electricity tariff hike was "not finalised yet", and gave an assurance that South Africa's poorest citizens would be cushioned in the event of a material hike. Addressing the public... 

WBHO calls for the clearing of final charter hurdles 

By: Matthew Hill     1st April 2008 Building and civil engineering contractor Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) on Tuesday appealed that government leaders helped ensure that the final hurdles in the way of the long-awaited construction industry transformation charter,be cleared. It is understood that, the charter needed to be... 

SA's two centres of political power at odds over handling of power crisis 

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2008 South Africa's two centres of political power are increasingly at odds with one another over the handling of the prevailing South African power crisis. In a joint statement issued by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), following a... 

Eskom sets July target for conservation incentives, makes plant-availability commitment 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2008 The head of embattled power utility Eskom, Jacob Maroga, has set a July 1 deadline for the introduction of a system of incentives to support power conservation nationally, which would move the country beyond the damaging and blunt instrument of load shedding. 

Sasol weighs up more power generation schemes, but says it must prioritise fuel security 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2008 South African energy group Sasol is considering an array of power-generation options over and above an already approved plan to introduce 280 MW of new electricity capacity at Secunda by 2011, through a capital programme involving of R2,5-billion. 

Access to potable water and decent sanitation remains a big challenge 

By: Dennis Ndaba     28th March 2008 The problem of access to potable water and sanitation remains a big challenge for South Africa, and affects the poor, particularly women, the most, Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Lindiwe Hendricks, said at the launch of Masibabane III programme at the National Water Summit, in Midrand, last... 

High-voltage, direct-current transmission holds great promise 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th March 2008 Switching from high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) electricity transmission to high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity transmission has "great potential" to achieve more reliable power transfer in South Africa. 

Skills scarcity is a consistent challenge, logistics survey highlights 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th March 2008 South Africa is experiencing a "serious" skills shortage in the supply-chain industry, according to a study commissioned by supply-chain management company Barloworld Logistics.  

Philips to manufacture energy-efficient bulbs in Lesotho 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     27th March 2008 Diversified products group Royal Philips Electronics has entered into a joint venture (JV) with demand-side management (DSM) initiatives company Karebo Systems and the State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) to establish a compact fluorescent lamp integrated (CFLi) light bulb manufacturing facility... 

Mercedes-Benz remains upbeat despite car sales slowing  

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     26th March 2008 The Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) group has no intention of slowing down production of its top-seller this year, despite the challenges posed by the sharp downward turn in passenger car sales, and other factors such as inflation, crime and political instability. Chairperson Dr Hansgeorg... 

New R1,25bn housing development for Free State 

By: Matthew Hill     26th March 2008 JSE-quoted construction firm Basil Read on Wednesday signed a partnership agreement with State-owned financier National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) to develop low- to middle-income housing, with construction on the first project the two will collaborate set to start soon. The R1,25-billion... 

Mercedes says truck sales could soon make up 50% of its SA revenue 

By: Terence Creamer     26th March 2008 Revenue attributable to truck sales, which currently made up about a third of Mercedes-Benz South Africa's (MBSA's) yearly sales of R37-billion, was likely to rise to around 50% in the coming years, given strong market demand for commercial vehicles in both South and Southern Africa.... 

York plans 9-MW cogen plant as South Africa's electricity crisis bites 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     25th March 2008 Forestry products group York was currently investigating the potential for one or more cogeneration projects using a combination of its waste products and steam to generate power as a solution to the electricity crisis in the medium term, its CEO said on Tuesday. "In the medium term we are... 

Eskom urges residential, commercial customers to also cut demand 

By: Matthew Hill     25th March 2008 Struggling State-owned power producer Eskom on Tuesday again bemoaned the lack of commitment from the residential and commercial sectors to curbing their power use, while its biggest users had all come to the table. Spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said that the utility's key customers had all... 

Aveng promises sensible growth as its order book swells to R22bn 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     21st March 2008 South African construction group Aveng, which last week reported improved interim results, said that its order book had reached R22-billion.  

Inside South Africa’s electricity-saving drive 

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st March 2008 In February this year, the Minister of Public Enterprise Alec Erwin, and the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica acknowledged that South Africa’s current power supply situation had to be treated as a national electricity emergency. 

Environmental scientist lauds SA’s PBMR technology 

By: Keith Campbell     21st March 2008 South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has been hailed as revolutionary by Canadian scientist and environmentalist Dr Patrick Moore. “The PBMR is one of the most exciting developments in technology today, not just in energy, but in the history of technology,” he asserts. 

International company targets Africa’s booming construction market 

By: Sylvester Haskins     21st March 2008 International capital equipment manufacturer New Holland Construction has placed an express focus on the Southern African market, with the view that it is a growth market and holding much promise in the future, states New Holland Construction East Europe, African and the Middle East senior... 

Investment firm sets aside R20m for entrepreneurial development fund 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     21st March 2008 Investment firm Brimstone Investment Corporation has set aside some R20-million to its entrepreneurial development fund, which seeks to assist new entrepreneurs in getting their businesses off the ground.  

PAP election observation mission to Zimbabwe 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     20th March 2008 The Pan African Parliament (PAP) held a press briefing on Thursday on the issue of the PAP election observation mission to Zimbabwe. 

MTN raises capex to R30bn in bid to match capacity to surging demand 

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th March 2008 Following a solid set of results for the 2007 financial year, the MTN group board approved a capital expenditure (capex) of over R30-billion for 2008, as it hoped to boost infrastructure roll out, which would go some way to alleviate network congestion, particularly in the South African and... 

MTN mulling acquisition prospects in South East Asia 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2008 Africa's largest mobile-telecoms group MTN, which has more that 60-million subscribers in Africa and the Middle East and was expecting to grow that number to more than 80-million by the end of 2008, would seriously consider expansion opportunities in the emerging markets of South East Asia,... 

Coega IDZ investments reach R12bn, more in pipeline  

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     18th March 2008 Investments in the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) now amount to about R12-bilion, with about 14 investments signed on and a potential 28 in the pipeline. CEO Pepi Sillinga said on Tuesday that the R12-billion figure included the latest additions to Coega, such an Absa call centre which... 

Omnia, IFC announce €15m carbon-credit deal 

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th March 2008 Diversified chemical services provider, Omnia on Monday announced its €15-million agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), under which the IFC will buy up to a million carbon credits from Omnia, over the next five years. The IFC, a World Bank member, will purchase the... 

Hydraulics shortage now the ‘headache', says Bell CEO 

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2008 A shortage of hydraulic components was now causing the supply "headache" and no longer tyres and steel, Bell Equipment CEO Gary Bell said on Monday. Bell said that reputable supplying companies, which "had done great for us over the last 20 or 30 years", were no longer meeting... 

EU announces €107m support package for SA water sector 

By: Dennis Ndaba     17th March 2008 The third phase of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's (Dwaf's) Masibabane programme was officially launched on Monday, at the first day of the third National Water Summit at Gallagher Estate, in Midrand. South Africa’s Water Affairs and Forestry Minister, Lindiwe... 

Coca Cola opens international quality testing laboratory in Gauteng  

By: Matthew Hill     14th March 2008 World number-one beverage maker Coca Cola on Friday launched a new $6-million (nearly R50-million) quality testing laboratory in Midrand, which it lauded as its most technologically advanced globally. The facility would test Coca Cola products from 162 bottlers in 56 African countries and... 

Eskom sets July target for roll-out of power-conservation incentives 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2008 The head of embattled power utility Eskom, Jacob Maroga, has set a July 1 deadline for the introduction of a system of incentives to support power conservation nationally, which would move the country beyond the damaging and blunt instrument of load shedding. Speaking at a media briefing in... 

Upcoming US process heat tender to include PBMR 

By: Keith Campbell     14th March 2008 SOUTH Africa’s fourth-generation nuclear power technology, the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has a real chance that it could be demonstrated, in a process heat application, in the US. This would involve the construction of a PBMR plant in that country. 

Real income levels rise across the board, but inequality remains high 

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th March 2008 The income and expenditure of households statistics gathered by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) between September 2005 and August 2006 were released on Tuesday, and would serve as an important input into identifying the goods and services that should be included in the consumer price index, an... 

Eskom, Transnet put final touches to localisation plans 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2008 South Africa’s two largest State-owned enterprises (SoEs), Eskom and Transnet, have completed draft ‘supplier development plans’, or SDPs, for their respective multibillion-rand investment programmes, and their final local-content schemes should be in place by midyear. 

Eskom commits to limit unplanned outages to 2 500 MW 

By: Terence Creamer     13th March 2008 State-owned utility Eskom made a commitment on Thursday to limiting its unplanned outages to a maximum of 2 500 MW as South Africa enters a new phase of power rationing. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with key industrial users and municipalities, CEO Jacob Maroga said that the... 

SA govt to meet business on new Zim law 

By: Reuters     12th March 2008 The South African government would meet with business leaders to see how the country's interests in Zimbabwe could be protected in light of a new law giving locals a controlling share in businesses, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said on Wednesday. President Robert Mugabe... 

Aveng's order book climbs to R22bn 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     10th March 2008 South African construction group Aveng, which on Monday reported improved interim results, said that its order book had reached R22-billion. This was 16% higher than a year earlier, and in line with the group's target range, which seeks to optimally balance winning current contracts, while... 

Sasol to spend R300m on coal-to-liquids feasibility study  

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th March 2008 Showing its commitment to the proposed new 80 000 barrel a day coal-to-liquids plant, project Mafutha, the Sasol board has committed R300-million to the feasibility studies for the project. "I think this shows our commitment - we want to make this project work, and I think it will be great... 

Electricity sector has significant emission reduction potential, prof says 

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th March 2008 Climate change was no longer debatable at Eskom, and was receiving a significant amount of attention from the electricity utility’s Research and Innovation department. 

Key challenges ahead for SA as power shifts in global auto sector 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     7th March 2008 South Africa should position itself as a key location for growth in the global automotive industry, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa president and Toyota CEO Johan van Zyl said at the weekend. Speaking at the presentation to release the results of global automotive... 

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