PPC reports better financial, debt position

Cement, aggregates and building materials company PPC has reduced its South African debt to R1.64-billion from R1.92-billion for the eleven months to the end of February. It has also achieved 90% higher free cash flow compared with a year ago and says its restructuring will be completed by September 30.

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Global energy leaders say jobs must be at heart of people-centred energy transition

Employment creation for workers and communities at the highest risk of disruption as a result of the shift to greater climate-resiliency was identified during a gathering of global energy leaders on Wednesday as essential to ensuring that the transition was not only people-centred but also secured popular supported. This “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra was confirmed by all the participants in a virtual panel discussion convened under the theme of ‘Ensuring a people-centred transitions’, held as part of the larger IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit, hosted jointly by International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol and COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma.

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Bara500 ICU hospital handed over after six months of construction

With the surge in hospital admissions brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Gauteng departments of Health and Infrastructure Development embarked on a project to increase its ICU capacity through a national refurbishment and additional build programme. Enza Construction was commissioned to complete the design and construction of the new Bara500 Covid-19 facility. Creamer Media contributing editor Donna Slater tells us more.

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Absa, Amdec partner to develop first Harbour Arch tower

Finance institution Absa Bank has partnered with urban precincts developer Amdec Group to develop the first tower of the multibillion-rand Harbour Arch project, on the Foreshore, in Cape Town. A long-time partner to Amdec, Absa has provided a loan of R1.43-billion in addition to an existing facility of R210-million to bring the project into fruition.

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Balwin warns of lower full-year earnings

JSE-listed Balwin Properties expects its consolidated earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the year ended February 28, 2021, to be between 18% and 23% lower year-on-year. During the period, Mooikloof Mega City, Tshwane East and Greencreek were gazetted as strategic integrated projects (SIPs) by government for an initial combined total of about 20 000 apartments.

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South Africa’s draft climate pledge offers quicker emission cuts, but seeks steep rise in …

South Africa’s draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) unveiled by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy on March 30, proposes quicker emission cuts, but also outlines the need for a step change in international climate finance to support the country’s transition to a lower-carbon economy. Direct consultations will now be held with stakeholders until the end of May, including with all nine provinces, while written inputs can be submitted to the department up until April 30.

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New independent utility emerges to pursue private-to-private power niche

A new independent power utility has been established in South Africa to sell electricity directly to private and municipal customers rather than to Eskom. Branded Earth & Wire, the company aims to build a large-scale portfolio of renewable-energy assets and enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with its own customers.

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South Africa must scale up infrastructure spending, emphasises BLSA’s Mavuso

A report released by business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last week indicates that  the country is failing to get infrastructure investment to play a critical role in driving the economy, CEO Busi Mavuso says in her weekly newsletter. “The facts on the ground are sobering: for the past five years infrastructure investment has been shrinking, driven primarily by a decline in investment by the public sector.

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Big business to approach government with solutions for accelerating infrastructure spending

Big business in South Africa plans to approach government with a series of solutions aimed at narrowing the ever-widening gap between the country’s fixed-investment spending targets and the dismal reality of declining spending on both social and economic infrastructure. Through the National Development Plan, South Africa has set an official goal of increasing gross fixed capital formation to 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) with the aim of using such spending to create the platform for economic growth and improved service delivery.

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Deloitte Africa makes an impact with new green building

Deloitte has made strides in ensuring its new Waterfall headquarters is sustainable as a green building with a low impact on the environment. The building, which was designed and constructed with an emphasis on creating a sustainable, healthy, safe and productive environment, complies with a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Rating.

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