Trans-Gambia bridge a boon for trade, but a blow for local traders

A gleaming new bridge in West Africa is transforming transport between Gambia and Senegal, but spells disaster for traders making a living off travellers making the agonising wait to catch a ferry across the Gambia River. Gambia is a sliver of land on either side of the river cutting through the middle of the much larger Senegal, the product of a colonial-era deal between Britain and France staking a claim to each.

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Edcon, SA Corporate Real Estate set to refurbish CBD property

Edcon has announced that the property on the corner of Pritchard and Joubert streets in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD) would be renovated by landlord SA Corporate Real Estate, with the renovated building set to become a new mall that will include a renovated Edgars store and other retailers. The announcement was made at a media briefing held at the current Edgars store on 55 Pritchard street, on Monday.

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Stellenbosch University starts construction on R1bn research institute

Stellenbosch University (SU) has started construction on a Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), to be based at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). The university believes the R1-billion facility, which will be completed in 2022, will be “one of the most innovative and advanced biomedical research centres in Africa”.   “The BMRI is set to significantly advance our capacity to undertake world-class research on the leading health problems affecting our people. It will also …

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KfW, IDC sign $80m loan facility for green economy development

German development bank KfW and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) on Thursday signed a “milestone agreement” for an $80-million loan facility. KfW executive board member Dr Stefan Peiß and newly appointed IDC CEO TP Nchocho were in attendance to sign the document on behalf of their respective organisations.

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Cesa president calls for increased transparency

Presenting his 2019 presidential address on Wednesday, Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) president Naresh Pather called for increased transparency for the betterment of the sector and its future. With the intention of establishing trust, Pather averred that 2019 would see Cesa increase its focus on engaging and supporting government, for instance increasing collaboration with the National Treasury on procurement, as well as the Auditor-General’s office on compliance support.

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Group Five says pursues counter claims in aborted Kpone power project

Construction engineering company Group Five said on Wednesday its legal team was still pursuing its contractual rights and entitlements for payment, including the recovery of damages and other claims, against Cenpower Generation Company over what it called the unlawful termination of the Kpone project in Ghana. In November, Cenpower terminated Group Five’s contract to construct the $410-million Kpone independent oil and gas-fired power plant after more than a year’s delay. Cenpower imposed a $60.5-million fine for the costs to be incurred to complete the works and the recoupment of estimated losses and damages.

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Aveng Strabag JV halts work at Mtentu bridge site, declares force majeure

The Aveng Strabag joint venture (JV), responsible for building the R1.65-billion Mtentu bridge, in the Eastern Cape, has not returned to site following a three-month break as a result of violent community protests against the project. The bridge forms part of the South African National Roads Agency’s (Sanral’s) N2 Wild Coast road project.

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Operation Phakisa for water expected by March

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is preparing to launch its own series of mini-Phakisa’s to attempt to resolve the most pressing matters facing South Africa’s water infrastructure sector. Over the next eight weeks, the department will mobilise provincial level Phasika’s prior to driving the outcomes into a major national level Phasika by March.

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Hearings into alleged cement industry cartel continues, judgment expected by June

The Competition Tribunal turned its focus back to the case of alleged cartel conduct in the cement industry on Thursday, with a judgment in the case against KwaZulu-Natal-based Natal Portland Cement (NPC) Cimpor expected to be announced by June. The Competition Commission in 2008 launched an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices in the cement industry, alleging that AfriSam, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), NPC and Lafarge had engaged in cartel conduct between 1995 and 2009.

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Province grants R300m for housing after long dispute, says Mashaba

Johannesburg metro mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday that the Gauteng provincial human settlements department had committed about R300-million for housing developments in the city for the current financial year.  This comes against the backdrop of an ongoing dispute about the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) between the City and Gauteng Cogta and human settlements department.

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