Coal, the backbone of South Africa’s electricity

  Seen as the backbone of South Africa’s electricity supply, coal plays a vital part in the country’s energy production.The inaugural Coal Industry Day discussion panel saw corporates coming together in Joburg last week for an in-depth look into ways to resolve power generation challenges currently plaguing the country. Mining investment company Menar’s managing director Vuslat Bayoglu highlighted ways in which the sector could address some of its difficulties. “Coal suppliers need to deal fairly with Eskom by seeking reasonable returns and not excessive profits. High input costs to power…

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Car market struggling along in low gear despite attractive pricing

  JOHANNESBURG – The South African car market continues to struggle, with the best performance seen in the used car sector, as financially stretched consumers increasingly opt for older cars at lower price points, according to the TransUnion SA Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) for the second quarter of 2019.The numbers of new and used vehicles financed have fallen 7percent and 2percent quarter-on-quarter respectively, in spite of the VPI for new and used vehicle pricing remaining below inflation, with used vehicle pricing increases at their lowest since the same quarter 2014.…

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Mines print money as metals boom

  Power shortages, slow growth, policy uncertainty, a tense labour environment. These are the problems typically cited for holding back a mining company’s performance. But, judging by the interim results reported by the likes of Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore this week, these usual suspects have not been enough to dampen their fortunes. The boom is in no small part thanks to the high prices for the underlying metals that both Kumba and Anglo Platinum produce, analysts said this week, namely iron ore and platinum group metals (PGMs).…

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Durban demolishes derelict buildings to unlock new development

Malaysian-based UEM Sunrise is pumping new energy into the multi-billion-rand development at the entrance to SA’s busiest port. Suren Naidoo  /  30 July 2019 13:31 Construction underway on the R300m extension of Durban’s beachfront promenade to the Point Waterfront development near the harbour entrance. Picture: Supplied Durban’s multi-billion rand Point Waterfront urban regeneration development, which stalled until a few years back, is set to benefit from the eThekwini Municipality’s moves to demolish derelict buildings around Mahatma Gandhi Road (old Point Road) – the main thoroughfare to the waterfront and harbour entrance. The…

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Global scientists root for digital tools to transform Africa’s farming

  INTERNATIONAL – African governments should enact policies that facilitate adoption of technologies and innovations required to transform small-holder farming, international scientists said on Monday. Athula Ginige, professor of information technology at Western Sydney University, said that a digital revolution holds key to enhanced productivity of African agriculture amid rising demand for food.  “We need to connect African farmers with technologies that can improve how they produce food at a time when population growth and climate change have escalated hunger and nutrition deficiencies in the continent,” Ginige said at a…

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OPINION: Putting more home-grown products on retailer shelves

OHANNESBURG – Last week, together with the Consumer Goods Council of SA, the Manufacturing Circle and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), we convened a retailer consultative workshop to look at ways in which our major stores can increase the levels of locally grown, produced and manufactured goods on their shelves.Chatham House rules preclude me from divulging too much, and the session was really an exploratory discussion on how to move forward, but it was very informative and we saw that the commitment to increasing levels of localisation –…

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AB InBev empowers farmers across Africa through blockchain technology

  JOHANNESBURG – The world’s largest brewer AB InBev said on Wednesday a partnership with US fintech company BanQu was giving smallholder African farmers in its supply chain the resources they needed to grow and prosper. AB InBev Africa is rolling out a blockchain solution developed by BanQu which enables farmers in the company’s value chain to have line of sight of their barley, sorghum and cassava sales and receive cash through a mobile money solution. “Since the second implementation was unveiled earlier this year in Uganda, through Nile Breweries Limited,…

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A look at SA’s auto manufacturing industry

  Approximately one-third of value addition within South Africa’s domestic manufacturing sector is derived either directly or indirectly from vehicle assembly and automotive component manufacturing activity, according to Michael Mabasa, CEO of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa . This positions the industry and its broader value chain as a key player within SA’s industrialisation landscape.   Naamsa represents, promotes and protects the automobile industry’s collective and non-competitive interests. It has more than 41 members, many of whom are vehicle manufacturers, importers and distributors, and truck and…

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