District Development Model to improve planning, implementation as South Africa embarks on …

The Covid-19 pandemic is providing a good socioeconomic testing ground for the newly rolled-out District Development Model (DDM), with its One Plan, One Budget strategy expected to alleviate disjointed planning, budgeting and implementation across the different spheres and entities of government.

The model seeks to programmatically address the persistent socioeconomic challenges of poverty, inequality, under-development and unemployment.

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Stellenbosch municipality to consider alternate energy sources

Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier and Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Anton Bredell have welcomed a decision by the Stellenbosch municipal council to consider generating and using alternate electricity energy supplies to beat load-shedding and become more energy resilient. “Through the Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Project, the Western Cape government will be supporting the Stellenbosch Municipality in its aim to become energy resilient. The MER project is spearheaded by our Green Economy unit at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which is working in collaboration with the Department of Local Government and Provincial Treasury to assist municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations, which may include purchasing of energy directly from independent power producers (IPPs),” they say in a joint statement.

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ArcelorMittal SA ramps up Vaal Meltshop to full production to ease steel shortages

Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) reported on Thursday that it would increase output at its Vaal Meltshop electric arc furnace (EAF), in Vereeniging, to help address prevailing steel shortages, which have been negatively affecting downstream fabricators and manufacturers for several months. The JSE-listed group indicated the decision to ramp up the Vereeniging operation from half to full capacity was a direct response to an “unexpected and sudden increase in demand in South Africa and Africa overland markets”.

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AfCFTA improves Africa’s trade profile, investment attractiveness

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) helps to improve the attractiveness of Africa for investors, as the potential markets companies can tap have become much larger. This also places the continent in a stronger position to negotiate fair trade terms with other countries and blocs, African Union Commission (AUC) Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga said during a seminar on January 27.

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Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial …

A new global partnership has been formally launched in an effort to accelerate the decarbonisation of seven heavy industrial and transport sectors that together represent 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and where carbon-abatement pathways have yet to be defined. Known as the ‘Mission Possible Partnership’ it will focus specifically on the transportation sectors of aviation, shipping and trucking, as well as the aluminium, cement, chemicals and steel industries.

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Afrimat disposes of restructured UCP, but retains ownership of Nkomati

Industrial minerals and construction materials company Afrimat will sell the restructured Unicorn Capital Parents (UCP), which no longer holds a direct interest in the Nkomati anthracite mine. Afrimat last year acquired embattled UCP in order to take full ownership of the Nkomati mine, in which it, at that stage, already held a stake.

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Survey points to partial recovery in commercial property sectors

The 2020 fourth-quarter First National Bank (FNB) Commercial Property Broker Survey saw all three major commercial property sectors, that is, office, industrial and retail, showing slight increases in perceived market activity levels, with the office property market’s activity remaining the weakest and industrial the strongest. The survey includes input from a sample of commercial property brokers in and around the six major metros of South Africa, namely the City of Joburg and Ekurhuleni (Greater Johannesburg), Tshwane, eThekwini, the City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay.

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Tjeka Training Centre poised for upskilling as infrastructure greenshoots appear

Construction academy Tjeka Training Centre, based in Randfontein, is poised for the training and upskilling of future construction industry artisans, according to the centre. While the anticipated infrastructure boom is yet to happen, Creamer Media journalist Simone Liedtke finds out what the centre is all about.

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Aveng to raise R300m to restructure balance sheet, pay debt

Construction company Aveng intends to raise R300-million by way of a fully co-underwritten renounceable rights offer so that it may restructure its balance sheet, which will allow the group to reset its capital structure. The rights offer comprises up to 20-billion ordinary no par value shares in Aveng and as many class A shares that may be required to be issued to the underwriters to ensure the minima of the rights offer as required by the underwriters is attained.

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Opinion: District Development Model must embrace science to achieve inclusivity

In this opinion article, Bongani Mankewu explores the factors that could improve District Development Model outcomes. Policy is a product of science and politics. This structural definition borrows from the fundamental work of Francis Bacon (1974) and appreciates that while the utilization of science will be undermined by politics, a policy ought to regardless be driven mainly by science. Consequently, for the District Development Model (DDM) to be significant, it should fundamentally be driven by science.

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