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Manufacturing News

Eskom seeks transition from rebates to contracts to bolster solar-geyser roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom has indicated that it favours a transition to a competitive bidding, or contractual, model for the large-scale procurement of low-pressure solar water heaters (SWH) ahead of a continuation of the current rebate scheme, or the deployment of a so-called ‘standard... 

Altron eyes top-line growth despite economic turbulence 

By: Terence Creamer     4th October 2011 Despite the prevailing economic uncertainties, electrical, electronics and information technology group Altron says it plans to shift its focus from efficiency improvements and cost control to restoring top-line growth, which it aims to achieve through the acquisition of new customers and... 

Africa should target Asian-type intraregional trade levels – Gigaba

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2011 Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has called for a new “ethic of international collaboration” to tackle Africa’s material infrastructure backlogs, which remain an impediment to intra-African trade and investment. Addressing the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Mazimbu, Tanzania, on... 

Benchmarking study highlights the competitiveness of SA PET facility

By: Schalk Burger     30th September 2011 South African manufacturers can be globally competitive, the CEO of diversified industrial company KAP International, Paul Schouten, has argued, highlighting results from a recent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production benchmarking exercise, which compared the performacne of its facility... 

Noshcon celebrates 50 years

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th September 2011 NOSA's fiftieth international occupational safety, health and environmental risk management conference and exhibition (Noshcon) attracted close to 700 visiting delegates. 

Bank cuts SA growth outlook, says stimulus may be needed to preserve growth

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2011 Banking group Absa Capital, which has typically maintained a more optimistic view of South Africa's growth prospects than many other commentators, has not only lowered it growth forecast for 2011 and 2012, but is also now cautioning that the downside risks to it's current 'baseline' have... 

GE committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th September 2011 US industrial group General Electric (GE) chairperson John Krenicki, also president and CEO of GE Energy, said on Wednesday the company remained committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking at the launch of its expanded manufacturing facility in Midrand, he said the energy division... 

GE says further expansions on the cards as it opens switchgear plant 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th September 2011 The energy division of US industrial group General Electric (GE) has invested some R10-million into expanding its technology manufacturing center in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, and future expansions were in the pipeline, GM for its Industrial Solutions business in sub-Saharan Africa Ross Boyd... 

Manufacturing jobs vulnerable to yet more power price increases 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2011 South Africa’s increasingly influential Manufacturing Circle, which has increased its membership to over 50 firms, plans to make representations to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to urge it to prevent Eskom from receiving yet more double-digit tariff increases beyond the... 

Bank ‘missed opportunity’ to consolidate rand competitiveness 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2011 The recent weakening of the South African rand would offer some short-term relief to embattled manufacturers and exporters. But the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) “squandered” an opportunity last week to consolidate currency competitiveness by holding interest rates unchanged, the economist... 

Local innovation key to international competence

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th September 2011 To retain their relevancy as international manufacturers and service providers, South African aerospace companies must continuously invest in innovation and explore new product spheres, says privately owned aerospace company Aerosud programme director Rob Jonkers. 

Manufacturing confidence falls, employment under pressure

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2011 Manufacturing business confidence fell sharply from 51 to 36 index points in the third quarter of 2011, with employment in the sector under significant pressure, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said in its latest manufacturing survey, released on Monday. The deteriorating confidence... 

Sustainability key for 125-year-old global heavyweight

By: Tracy Hancock     9th September 2011 As megatrends, such as climate change, renewable energies, demographic change, environment-friendly vehicles and increasing interconnection owing to the Internet, become increasingly important, the Bosch group has become focused on the development of green technologies. 

R500m Vereeniging tile plant on hold, says Ceramic

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     8th September 2011 Plans to develop a R500-million large format floor tile plant in Vereeniging have been halted owing to a lack of progress in acquiring prospecting and mining licences, tile and sanitary ware manufacturer Ceramic Industries said on Thursday. The Department of Trade and Industry already approved... 

Transnet buys Chinese cranes to revive floundering Durban terminal

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2011 Freight logistics group Transnet confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed an agreement with the Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC), of China, for the supply of seven tandem lift ship-to-shore cranes for the Durban Container Terminal’s underperforming Pier 2. However, the State-owned... 

DiviTech starts trials on locally developed set-top boxes for digital TV

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd September 2011 Set-top box (STB) manufacturer DiviTech − a partnership between Reunert and Nozala Investments − has started trials on its locally developed second-generation digital video broadcasting terrestrial (DVB-T2) STB for the African market. DiviTech is also designing a high-definition (HD) model STB... 

Completion of multiple petrochemicals projects

2nd September 2011 Engineering firm Vital Engineering recently completed multiple contracts to supply gratings and stair treads for various applications for petrochemicals companies. 

Sustained demand for rail equipment in Africa, but strong rand weighs

By: Schalk Burger     2nd September 2011 There is sustained and increasing demand for both freight and passenger rail development in Africa, but the strength of the rand is hampering South African manufacturers, who have to compete with Chinese and Indian imports of products, says rail manufacturer and refurbishing specialist Dominex... 

Diesel engine firm in big SA skills development push

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th August 2011 Global manufacturer of diesel engines Cummins is making a significant contribution to engineering skills development, besides other corporate responsibility initiatives. 

Investment enhances component maker’s pipe-bending capacity

By: Schalk Burger     19th August 2011 Manufacturer Smiths Manufacturing has enhanced the capacity of its Durban production facility by installing a high-performance tube-bending machine manufactured by Italy-based bending specialist Crippa, said Smiths Manufacturing project engineering manager Alain Lamusse. 

Silicon Smelters fined R3m for contravening environmental laws

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     17th August 2011 Local silicon and silicon metals producer Silicon Smelters was fined R3-million by the Pretoria Regional Court after it pleaded guilty to contravening the provisions of the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said on Wednesday. The DEA... 

Steel processor warns of consequences of engineering sector strike

By: Tracy Hancock     12th August 2011 JSE-listed steel processor and supplier BSi Steel has been negatively affected by July’s two-week pay strike in the South African steel and engineering sector; however, the company believes recovery will be quick, owing to customers having healthy order books. BSi Steel CE of South African... 

Burn-off oven boosts company’s service offering

5th August 2011 Manufacturer and repairer of electric motors and components Marthinusen & Coutts (M&C) has commissioned a new burn-off oven at its 9 500 m² facility in Cleveland, Johannesburg. This is one of several significant recent investments, which M&C MD Richard Botton says has established the company as... 

Acsa, Transnet negotiating sale of portion of old Durban International Airport site

By: Eleanor Seggie     5th August 2011 Negotiations between the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Transnet on the sale of a portion of the old Durban International Airport site are continuing, says ACSA group communications manager Solomon Makgale. 

R1.9bn glass factory commissioning on track 

By: Tracy Hancock     5th August 2011 Glass producer Consol Glass has completed about 85% of the construction and installation work of phase one of its R1.9-billion greenfield glass factory, in Nigel, Gauteng. 

IDC seeks to replicate old economy successes in ‘green’ industries

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2011 Established in 1940, the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) provides something of a mirror image of South Africa’s recent economic and industrial past, as well as the prominent role played by the minerals and energy complex within that history. 

Sappi to close paper mill in Port Elizabeth

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     3rd August 2011 South African paper manufacturer Sappi said on Wednesday it would shut down its 47-year old Adamas mill, in Port Elizabeth, citing severe cost pressures and the uncompetitive nature of the mill. The closure would affect some 213 workers, the JSE-listed company said. 

South Africa’s PMI declines to two-year low

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st August 2011 The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which serves as a gauge of the health of the manufacturing sector, declined for the fourth consecutive month in July, hitting a two-year low. The seasonally adjusted PMI fell by 9.7 points to 44.2 points last month, which is “significantly below” the global... 

Zuma to lead big new infrastructure push 

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2011 South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will personally head a new ‘Infrastructure Commission’, which will be set up to improve visibility and coordination around South Africa’s R860-billion public investment drive, which has so far failed to live up to its growth and development promises. Speaking... 

Tube fabricator continues switch to all-electric machinery

29th July 2011 Continuing investment in versatile all-electric bending machinery is helping US tube and pipe fabrication specialist, Sharpe Products, to meet the evolving business challenges in its sector of the metal working industry.  

Engineering specialist opens two new workshops

29th July 2011 Vanderbijlpark-based engineering company Turnmill Proquip Engineering has opened two new workshops, one in Vereeniging and the other in Naledi, Sasolburg. 

New dishing press improves vessel manufacturer’s capabilities

By: Sinette Goosen     29th July 2011 Newly established dished end manufacturer The Dished End Company reports it has imported the country’s only dishing press with a manipulator. 

Local consulting firm North Road merges with Monitor Group

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     27th July 2011 Multinational companies are recognising the growth and potential for development of the African continent, particularly South Africa, the springboard to the continent, international consulting firm Monitor Group managing partner Stephen Jennings said on Wednesday. “There is a wider realisation... 

Rand clouds Hulamin’s outlook after H1 turnaround

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2011 An improved operational performance underpinned a 167% rise in Hulamin’s interim headline earnings to R71-million for the period to June 30, 2011. But the aluminium re-roller warned that the turnaround had been achieved off a “low base” and expressed caution about the outlook, owing to the... 

Waste offenders face stiff penalties, but enforcement capacity questioned

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd July 2011 While the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008 brings with it abundant opportunities and regulatory tools, it also introduces severe criminal liability for directors and companies.  

SA failing to attract investment despite high returns - World Bank 

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2011 Economic recovery in South Africa was gathering strength, with economic growth expected to pick up to 3.5% in 2011, the World Bank’s country director for South Africa Ruth Kagia said at the release of the inaugural ‘South Africa Economic Update’ on Wednesday – the report was the first of a series... 

Seifsa inks wage deal, while Neasa refuses to sign industry agreement  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     18th July 2011 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) signed a three-year wage agreement with six trade unions on Monday, but said that the National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) did not endorse the settlement agreement. According to Seifsa, Neasa did not sign... 

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