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Covid-19

Cabinet encourages more S Africans to vaccinate as it ends mask mandate 

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd June 2022 Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said on Thursday that while Cabinet welcomed a significant drop in Covid-19 cases in the country, it is urging more South Africans to vaccinate against the virus, as South Africa joins the many countries that have done away with mask-wearing.  Joining... 

Government, producers and labour welcome WTO vaccine decision

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th June 2022 The South African government, local vaccine manufacturers and organised labour have welcomed the agreement secured at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week to support the production of Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries. The agreement allows governments to authorise local... 

Ramaphosa sees more to gain from Brics as he gears up for Leaders’ Summit 

By: Thabi Madiba     20th June 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa will join the virtual fourteenth Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ) Leaders’ Summit, on Thursday, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ramaphosa hopes to strengthen South Africa’s ties with the Brics countries, particularly for job creation. He... 

Image of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

World Bank approves R7.6bn loan to boost vaccination drive

By: Donna Slater     14th June 2022 Following a request by the South African government for assistance in financing vaccine procurement contracts, the World Bank Group, on June 13, approved a R7.6-billion ($480-million) loan for South Africa’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Project. The project will retroactively finance the... 

An image of a vaccine scientist
The R7.6-billion loan will help accelerate vaccine deployment in South Africa

De Lille welcomes European Investment Bank cash injection into Biovac

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th June 2022 Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille has welcomed the European Investment Bank’s (EIB’s) injection of €175-million to South Africa’s specialist human vaccine manufacturer Biovac. The pledge is in close cooperation with the European Union’s (EU’s) injection of €175-million... 

Image of Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille

Africa’s economic recovery will be costly – AfDB

By: Thabi Madiba     26th May 2022 Africa will need at least $432-billion to address the effects of Covid-19 on its economies and on the lives of Africans — resources it does not have. This was according to African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina who spoke during the release of the 2022 African Economic Outlook... 

Image of AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina

When Africans asked for Covid shots, they didn't get them. Now they don't want them

By: Reuters     18th May 2022 It's noisy inside the Mamprobi clinic in Accra as kids clamber over their mothers while they wait to get their measles vaccines. Outside, an area reserved for Covid-19 shots is empty. A health worker leans back in his chair and scrolls on a tablet. One woman, waiting to get her daughter... 

Aspen’s Covid flop bodes ill for Africa’s vaccine making drive

By: Bloomberg     18th May 2022 Africa’s drive to set up a vaccine industry after being left at the back of the queue in the global scramble for Covid-19 shots has stumbled at the first hurdle. As the omicron variant was spreading through South Africa late last year, the continent’s biggest pharmaceutical company was... 

Covid-19 vaccine vials at Aspen's manufacturing plant in South Africa

Pfizer’s African Covid shots plan threatened by low demand

By: Bloomberg     12th May 2022 Plans to produce Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Cape Town may be scaled back because of waning demand for the shots, according to the head of the company’s South African manufacturing partner. About 100 million doses a year are slated to be packaged and filled at a plant controlled by the BioVac... 

World Coal Association favours just energy transition to net zero future  

By: Martin Creamer     5th May 2022 The World Coal Association, and its member companies, are in favour of a just transition to a net zero future, World Coal Association chairperson July Ndlovu said on Thursday. In his keynote address to the Southern African Coal Conference, Ndlovu emphasised the sincerity of the association’s... 

Creamer Media photograph
Photo by Creamer Media
World Coal Association chairperson July Ndlovu

Tourism, travel industry has mixed feelings about new Covid regulations

By: Schalk Burger     5th May 2022 South African travel and tourism organisations have welcomed the removal of the newly gazetted Covid-19 regulations requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for children under the age of 12 years, but questioned the regulations that continue to restrict the size of gatherings,... 

Aspen to slash Covid vaccine capacity within 6 weeks if no orders - CEO

By: Reuters     5th May 2022 Aspen Pharmacare will switch about half of its Covid-19 vaccine production capacity onto other products if demand doesn't pick up within six weeks, its CEO warned, as South Africa's president and health officials urged more Africans to take up the shots. Aspen completed a deal in March to... 

Africa CDC urges Covid-19 vaccine buyers to order from S Africa's Aspen

By: Reuters     5th May 2022 Africa's top public health body urged all those purchasing Covid-19 vaccines for the continent to place orders with South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare, saying the market was key to developing vaccine manufacturing on the continent. The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it was... 

Covid-19 vaccine

Mavuso warns State’s potential new powers could be abused

By: Darren Parker     3rd May 2022 The State’s potential new powers that could arise from a permanent ratification into law of various Covid-19 regulations beyond the state of national disaster can be abused, warned Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso on May 3. In her latest weekly newsletter, she added that... 

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Implats reports 6% lower refined production amid challenging operating landscape 

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2022 The gross refined production of platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Implats declined by 6% to 2.35-million ounces in the nine months to March 31, when sales volumes of 2.38-million ounces were 4% lower than the prior comparable period. “The operating landscape continues to be challenging,”... 

Picture supplied.
Implats CEO Nico Muller

Ramaphosa stresses urgency of African countries cooperating to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines

By: Thabi Madiba     28th April 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday explained that it was urgent that African countries cooperate to manufacture their own vaccines, and strengthen their own health systems so that these vaccines reach the people who need them most. Ramaphosa was speaking during the official talks on the... 

Image of President Cyril Ramaphosa
Photo by GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Glencore guides higher full-year ferrochrome output with coal marking time 

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2022 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is guiding 3% higher ferrochrome performance for the whole of this year, with no change to its coal production guidance. Full-year guidance for nickel is also up by the same three percentage points but full-year 2022 zinc guidance has been reduced... 

Picture supplied.
Gary Nagle

President Ramaphosa to deliver keynote address at Mining Indaba 2022

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a keynote address at the 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which takes place in Cape Town from May 9 to 12. The attendance of Ramaphosa, who will speak on Tuesday, May 10, signals the continued importance of mining to the South African economy as a... 

Picture supplied.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

End of National State of Disaster welcomed  

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th April 2022 Democratic Alliance spokesperson Cilliers Brink has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that Cabinet has decided to end the National State of Disaster but cautions against allowing the Health Act amendments to replace it. Meanwhile, Business Unity South Africa said the lifting of... 

Covid-19 lockdown

Govt ends National State of Disaster

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th April 2022 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night Cabinet’s decision to terminate the National State of Disaster from April 5 since the terms of the Disaster Management Act are no longer met. Addressing the nation in what has been dubbed the family meeting, Ramaphosa reminded South Africans... 

Image of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Minerals Council ending century-long relationship with Johannesburg CBD

By: Martin Creamer     4th April 2022 Minerals Council South Africa has begun a new era by moving into modern premises in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and closing a century-long chapter in Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD). The historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street– which was constructed in 1921 – will be sold. 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street.

Growth outcomes inform approach to dividends ­as Northam digs in on RBPlat deal

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2022 Growth outcomes will inform Northam Platinum’s approach to dividends, the platinum group metals (PGMs) company stated in reporting 60%-higher half-year headline earnings a share. Northam highlighted that it still had an option to acquire a further 3.29% in Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), which... 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne

Green hydrogen energy supply to local communities envisaged by Anglo 

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2022 The green hydrogen footprint being developed by Anglo American could be extended to provide low-cost and efficient energy to local communities. Anglo, which is advancing towards using green hydrogen to replace diesel in the huge haul truck it is building at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena... 

Creamer Media picture taken at South Africa Investment Conference
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani.

Travel industry welcomes removal of PCR test requirements at South Africa’s borders 

By: Darren Parker     23rd March 2022 Several travel industry associations have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on March 22 that lifts the requirement for vaccinated inbound travellers to South Africa to show a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Ramaphosa stipulated that travellers could now present... 

Covid-19 test in front of RSA flag

Renewable-energy projects Merafe’s 2022 focus, says CEO Zanele Matlala   

By: Martin Creamer     22nd March 2022 The focus of ferrochrome company Merafe Resources in 2022 will be on renewable energy projects, along with efficient operations, cash management and well-ordered capital allocations, CEO Zanele Matlala said on Tuesday. The year 2021 has been one of spectacular recovery for the Glencore Merafe... 

Creamer Media screenshot of pictures on Merafe website.
Merafe Resources presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Cash-flush ferrochrome producer Merafe declares dividend on record profit

By: Martin Creamer     22nd March 2022 The year 2021 was a year of recovery for the Glencore Merafe Pooling and Sharing Venture, both from a financial and operational perspective. JSE-listed Merafe, headed by CEO Zanele Matlala, reported on Tuesday that Improved economic activity had contributed to robust demand for ferrochrome,... 

Creamer Media picture
Photo by Creamer Media
Merafe Resources CEO Zanele Matlala

Economic recovery from Covid-19 threatened by geopolitical tension surrounding Ukraine

By: Darren Parker     18th March 2022 Signs of a slow recovery in manufacturing so far this year – which were in part being driven by improvements in production in Europe and Asia – may now be threatened by escalating geopolitical tension in Europe on the back of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and a simultaneous resurgence of the... 

Hyprop says trading performance back to pre-Covid-19 levels

By: Darren Parker     17th March 2022 Retail-focused real estate investment trust (Reit) Hyprop said on March 17 that trading performance had reverted back to pre-Covid-19 levels, or in some cases even higher. The Reit said the improved trading performance was driven by a repositioning strategy, which saw its sub-Saharan Africa... 

One of Hyprop's retail properties

Solidarity Fund to wind down its operations by September

By: Simone Liedtke     17th March 2022 The Solidarity Fund will be wrapping up its operations, with a complete closure coming into effect at the end of September. The fund, whose mandate was intently focused on a rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic, was established with a very specific and limited mandate and was never intended 

Pic of Solidarity Fund logo.

Growthpoint delivers encouraging results despite tough interim period

By: Darren Parker     16th March 2022 Despite a tough operating period, JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties delivered a 17.6% increase in South African real estate investment trust (Reit) funds from operations and a 5.2% increase in distributable income a share of 76.9c for the six months to December 31, 2021. It also declared an... 

Growthpoint group CEO Norbert Sasse
Growthpoint group CEO Norbert Sasse

Metals sector urged to seize South Africa’s beckoning Steel Master Plan opportunity  

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2022 South Africa’s historic metals sector employer organisation on Wednesday urged all the sector’s employer bodies to roll up their sleeves on May 19 and 20 and get their teeth into the Steel Master Plan, which is seen to have promising reindustrialisation elements. President Cyril Ramaphosa... 

Picture supplied
Seifsa CEO Lucio Trentini interviewed by Engineering News & Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

WTO chief welcomes Covid shot patent waiver plan, drugmakers balk

By: Reuters     16th March 2022 -The World Trade Organization praised a provisional deal to waive patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines after more than a year of deadlock, although drugmakers said the move risked undermining the industry's ability to respond to future health crises. The United States, the European Union, India... 

DPWI welcomes judgment on irregular Beitbridge border fence project

By: Darren Parker     9th March 2022 The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has welcomed the judgment handed down by Special Tribunal Judge Lebogang Modiba on March 8 in relation to the controversial Beitbridge border fence project, in which contractors Caledon River Properties and Profteam were paid R40-million to... 

Aspen signs deal to package and sell J&J COVID vaccine

By: Reuters     9th March 2022 South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare on Tuesday concluded an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to package, sell and distribute the American group's Covid-19 vaccines under its own brand in Africa. In November Aspen entered into talks with J&J for a licensing deal that would give it freedom to... 

Stellenbosch University's epidemic response centre receives MIT recognition

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2022 The Stellenbosch University (SU) Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) received international acclaim when its work on identifying and tracking Covid-19 variants was listed as one of the ten technological breakthroughs of 2022 by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology... 

Debt-free Implats generates R15bn free cash, declares dividend, advances projects

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2022 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining and marketing company Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) on Tuesday delivered robust earnings and free cash flow generation for its half year ended December 31, despite the retracement in rand PGM pricing from recent highs and a decline in sales volumes.... 

Picture supplied
Photo by Implats
Impala Refinery in Springs

Harmony Gold's profit plunges, interim dividend declared

By: Martin Creamer     28th February 2022 The net profit of gold mining company Harmony Gold plunged 69% to R1.4-billion from R4.6-billion in the six months to December 31, and an interim dividend has been declared out of income reserves. Revenue increased by 2% to R22-billion from R21.6-billion and  the operating free cash flow margin... 

Creamer Media picture
Photo by Creamer Media
Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp
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