Press Releases

Vodacom says partner aims to block DRC stake sale


Vodacom's joint venture partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo has filed court papers to block Vodacom from selling its majority stake in the unit, a spokesman for the South African company said on Friday. Vodacom Group, a unit of Britian's Vodafone, said last year it had appointed investment bank Rothschild to "explore options" for the business in the DRC, where it has been involved in a dispute with its partner, Congolese Wireless Network.

China nuclear targets to be cut after Fukushima


China's 2020 nuclear capacity targets are likely to be scaled down after the country imposed a moratorium on new project approvals following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March, industry officials said on Friday. China was originally scheduled to release a revised blueprint for its nuclear sector this year, with many predicting a new 2020 target of 86 GW, up from the previous 40 GW.

Eni Mozambique find fuels East Africa gas buzz


Italian oil group Eni said on Thursday it had made a giant natural gas discovery off Mozambique, the biggest in its history, confirming expectations that East Africa is set to emerge as a major gas exporter after recent finds. Eni said the discovery of gas at a first exploration well in Mozambique's offshore Area 4 exceeded pre-drill expectations and would help it strengthen its position in Africa.

SA makes some progress in reducing red tape, rest of Africa surges


South Africa improved its global ease-of-doing-business ranking by one position, climbing from 36 to 35 in the latest International Finance Corporation-World Bank `Doing Business¿ report. For the fourth consecutive year, Mauritius was found to be the easiest place in sub-Saharan Africa to do business, with a global ranking of 23. The review entitled `Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World¿, assessed regulations affecting firms in 183 economies, covering such issues as starting a business, resolving insolvency, trading across borders and accessing electricity.

`Acute¿ LPG shortage affects manufacturing, automotive sectors ¿ Afrox


South Africa¿s hospitality, manufacturing and automotive sectors are being impacted by the ¿serious and acute¿ shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as unplanned shutdowns continue in the local oil refinery industry, industrial gas and welding products group African Oxygen (Afrox) said on Thursday. The Department of Energy and industry body, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) confirmed supply shortages of LPG and bitumen.

SA makes some progress in reducing red tap, rest of Africa surges


South Africa improved its global ease-of-doing-business ranking by one position, climbing from 36 to 35 in the latest International Finance Corporation-World Bank `Doing Business¿ report. For the fourth consecutive year, Mauritius was found to be the easiest place in sub-Saharan Africa to do business, with a global ranking of 23. The review entitled `Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World¿, assessed regulations affecting firms in 183 economies, covering such issues as starting a business, resolving insolvency, trading across borders and accessing electricity.

TFR to approve three branch line concessions by Dec


State-owned rail utility Transnet Freight Rail (TRF) has received 50 bids for concessions to operate about 3 350 km of disused branch lines in South Africa, CEO Siabonga Gama said on Thursday, adding that three would be approved by December. ¿I cannot say which branch lines would be concessioned at this stage, owing to the Transport Minister planning to make an official announcement closer to the time,¿ Gama told Engineering News Online at a media briefing ahead of the South African Railways Association (Sara) conference.

Rustenburg water, sanitation expansion project in the pipeline


A water and sanitation services expansion project, valued at between R400-million to R500-million, is in the pipeline for Rustenburg, multidisciplinary engineering group Bigen Africa director Tian Classens said on Thursday. Bigen Africa is a trustee of the Rustenburg Water Services Trust (RWST), which is currently working on a desktop study on the expansion, focused on portable water and effluent, for the municipality.

Water sector constrained by lack of local government capacity


The lack of sufficient capacity at local government level was identified as a significant constraint to the country¿s water sector, National Planning Commission member and former director-general at the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), Professor Mike Muller, said on Thursday. Speaking at an ABSA workshop focusing on the private sector¿s participation in water and sanitation services, he urged the private enterprises to consider innovations within this gap to help develop capacity and enable greater participation is the sector.

SA business must adapt to the new world being created by the rise of China


The rapid growth of the major emerging economies, and in particular China, is creating a new world and this, in turn, will have consequences for South African business. ¿The rise of China completely redefines international relationships between the different parts of the global economic system,¿ Beijing Axis group MD Kobus van der Wath told Engineering News Online on Thursday. ¿That means we have to think differently about our international engagements as well as how we act here domestically, as we are part of the global system,¿ he highlighted. ¿Everything local is in some respect global. And global effects reach into the local markets. The world is changing, and there are new winners and new losers. Our engagement must look different.¿ In this new world, South African CEOs must be globalists and bring their companies into line with global best practice, by integrating global thinking with local business and taking local business into global markets.

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