M&R appoints Boggenpoel as nonexec director

JSE-listed Murray & Roberts has appointed Jesmane Boggenpoel nonexecutive director and member of the risk and audit commitees, effective April 1.

She is a chartered accountant and has many years’ experience in investments, transactions and private equity funds.

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Civil confidence rises further in first quarter, but remains below desired level

The First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research Civil Confidence Index gained two points to 24 in the first quarter of the year.

This follows a seven-point rise to 22 in the fourth quarter of last year.

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EAIF becomes first third-party fund to sign cooperation agreement with IFC

Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), has signed a master cooperation agreement (MCA) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), joining 33 development finance institutions worldwide that have also signed the MCA.

The EAIF is the first third-party fund to have signed the MCA, and consequently, the MCA will come into operation when the IFC is the mandated lead arranger of the debt package for an infrastructure project involving the two parties.

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Mantashe sustains 1 MW licence-exemption cap despite calls for higher threshold

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe Gazetted an amended version of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act on March 26, which the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) said further clarified the requirements for generation for own use for facilities of under 1 MW. The schedule outlines the circumstances for exempting certain categories of generation facilities and resellers from the requirement of holding a generation licence.

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Dual-purpose building solution benefits mines

Formwork solution provider Moladi not only offers a fast and effective housing solution to African and South African mines but also uses mining slag as construction material sustainably. The solution entails a reusable, patented, recyclable, lightweight plastic injection moulded formwork system. The formwork consists of fully interlocking components with easy-to-handle panels that are configured into a full-scale mould of the desired structure.

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Various trends shaping Africa’s port infrastructure

The development of inland container terminals, or dry ports, to decongest port traffic is a trend that is gaining significant traction in Africa, says WSP Africa maritime technical director Marthinus Retief. In landlocked Ethiopia, the development of inland dry ports to store containers originating from the Port of Djibouti, in East Africa, are being considered to save storage costs which would normally need to be paid to Djibouti.

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Lack of port development a concern

While there is some movement in the development of South Africa’s port infrastructure by the private sector, the overall stagnation of its development is concerning, law firm Bowmans ports, transport and logistics head Andrew Pike tells Engineering News. He says this lack of activity may largely be owing to the perceived instability in State-owned rail, port and pipeline company Transnet at leadership level.

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Caterpillar says pandemic hits supply chain, demand

The continued spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is beginning to impact on construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar’s supply chain, a possibility the company previously disclosed in February. The US-based company indicated on Thursday that was monitoring the situation closely and said that supply chain teams had been executing business continuity plans, which included using alternative sources and/or air freight, redirecting orders to other distribution centres, and prioritising the redistribution of the most impactful parts.

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LafargeHolcim warns on profit as coronavirus hits building sector

LafargeHolcim ditched its profit forecast for 2020 and announced spending cuts to counter the downturn in construction caused by the coronavirus, the world’s biggest cement maker said on Friday, adding it was not planning job cuts for now. The Swiss company said it was trimming capital expenditure by at least 400 million Swiss francs ($416.5 million) compared to 2019 and reducing fixed costs by at least 300 million francs.

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Aveng says all operations in South Africa, some abroad, closed

Construction company Aveng has taken various measures aligned with restrictions amid the global Covid-19 outbreak at its operations in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

“These events are highly complex, present significant uncertainty and continue to evolve at a rapid rate. The executive team is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and has formulated contingency plans across the group.

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