Transformation in construction materials sector requires closer scrutiny

Large stakeholders in the construction materials sector need to be more closely scrutinised to determine their true transformation, especially in terms of the empowerment of women, Human Settlements director general Mbulelo Tshangana said on September 30.

He spoke during the Social Housing Regulatory Authority’s virtual investment summit on September 30, during which he pointed out that, in terms of social housing project development, a significant cost driver was that of procuring construction materials.

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SHRA plans to debottleneck project pipeline, increase housing unit delivery

The Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) is planning to collaborate and develop mechanisms to remove bottleneck in its pipeline of projects in an effort to roll-out a greater number of affordable housing units, says SHRA CEO Rory Gallocher.

He spoke during the SHRA’s virtual investment summit on September 30, during which he pointed out that, for the past five years, the SHRA project pipeline had been limited to introducing only between 3 000 and 3 500 units a year.

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Koeberg’s 20-year life extension marks steam-generator milestone

The steam generator replacement project, which is central to Eskom’s R20-billion programme to extend the 40-year design life of the Koeberg nuclear power station by a further 20 years, marked a major milestone this week with the arrival of the first units in Cape Town. The project, which was sanctioned by the Eskom board in 2010 and approved by the National Nuclear Regulator, involves the replacement of all six steam generators at Koeberg’s two units.

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Gautrain extension will improve Gauteng’s competitiveness, says GMA

Even if the next phase of the Gautrain rail system were to get the green light from National Treasury today, it would take three to four years before construction could start on the project, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO William Dachs. “This is a very ambitious, long-term plan,” he notes. “This is why we need to move on this, because we have such long lead times. This is a massive build programme that will take 20 and 30 years.”

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Concor Buildings’ Oxford Parks development nears full occupancy

On completion of the Oxford Parks development, the site, situated along Oxford road in Rosebank, will house five buildings on a master basement structure.

Oxford Parks Phase 2 is testimony to coordination on the part of Concor Buildings to ensure the concurrent construction of three different buildings would run smoothly.

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PPC given dispensation to delay results as it finalises restructuring and refinancing

Cement producer PPC, which was expected to report 2020 financial results by September 30, reported on Wednesday that it has received dispensation from the JSE to delay the announcement to the week of October 5. The extension was granted in light of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on the business and the complexities of finalising the year-end audit, as well as the impact of the restructuring and refinancing project under way.

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Solar retains top jobs spot as renewables employment climbs to 11.5m

Renewable-energy jobs rose to 11.5-million globally last year, from 11-million in 2018, with the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry retaining its leading position with 3.8-million jobs, a new study shows. The ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2020’, published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), estimates that 3.1-million of these solar PV jobs are in Asia, which added 55 GW of the 97 GW of new solar PV installed globally last year.

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EPP expects profit recovery in second half of this year

JSE-listed real estate investment trust EPP has reported a loss of €24-million, or €0.027 a share, for the six months ended June 30, owing to lower tenant activities during the lockdown in Poland, where the company owns a portfolio of 25 retail centres and three office developments.

This compares with a profit of €34-million and basic earnings a share of €0.04 apiece posted for the six months ended June 30, 2019.

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NUM supports Cosatu strike against corruption

The National Union of Mineworkers said on Tuesday that it would take part in the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ October 7 strike against corruption. NUM said while it noted efforts from President Cyril Ramaphosa to fight corruption, workers were losing confidence in government’s ability to do so. “As trade unions, we can no longer keep quiet, or be reduced to voting fodders. We should guard against corruption in all sectors of the government and the economy. It is so bad that millions of rands allocated to address the country’s challenges are arrogantly misdirected by certain individuals for self-enrichment,” the union said in a statement.

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AMSA brings blast furnace back on line in Vanderbijlpark

Primary steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has decided to restart Blast Furnace C at its Vanderbijlpark Works operations since steel demand has progressively recovered in the last two months.

This follows after the company had put the furnace on idle in July amid low demand.

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