Irregular expenditure albatross weighs as heavily on Transnet as R8.4bn loss

State-owned freight logistics group Transnet reported a loss of R8.4-billion for the year to March 31, 2021, and also received an audit qualification for the period relating to its ongoing irregular-expenditure problem. The loss, which is the first to be reported by the group for more than a decade, was attributed largely to the lockdowns introduced by the South African government at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely knocked business activity.

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CoJ launches Web-based construction permit system

The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ’s) Department of Development Planning on October 28 launched its Web-based construction permit system that is designed specifically for building permit purposes. The Construction Permit Management System will be piloted until November 8 and is intended to modernise and streamline the current Site Development and Building Plan permit system, the city said.

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Growthpoint, Rubicon stress the environmental advantages of renewables in green buildings

US automotive manufacturer Tesla’s South African partner Rubicon Group and JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties have joined forces to highlight the environmental advantages of making use of renewable energy to provide some of the power requirements of buildings, such as Growthpoint’s 144 Oxford, in Rosebank. Sustainable technology company Rubicon Group brought the first Tesla Model X Performance Edition all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) into the country to raise renewable energy’s profile in the country, a move which the companies believe to be indicative that the combination of a high-performance car and highly-efficient green buildings “is powering greater awareness of positive ecological change”.

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Waste material used in roads construction

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been involved in several new research initiatives geared towards providing alternative waste material products for use by the road pavement industry in South Africa.

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Company prepared to meet increased localisation demand

Demand for logistics storage space remains high, as the e-commerce consumer base continues to grow year-on-year, amid the challenges caused by Covid-19, says design business Paragon Architects director Estelle Meiring. She stresses that the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of extended and complex import value chains. As a result, companies may look to shorten or diversify those supply chains through sourcing more local products. This local focus can lead to growth in the local economy, resulting in higher demand for warehousing and storage space.

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Supplier hedge against volatile market

A significant portion of steel supplier Tradecore Steel’s business stems from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, although the company does business in Kenya and Ghana as well. Tradecore Steel director Anthony Hoare says this has been the strategy pursued since the inception of the company as a hedge against local market challenges.  

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More than 30 developments in the pipeline in Cape Town CBD

The economy of the Cape Town central business district (CBD) remained stable in 2020, despite Covid-19, with the official nominal value of all property set at R43.8-billion by the City of Cape Town, and with 31 new developments worth more than R6.9-billion in the pipeline. This is the key finding of the special Covid edition of the annual ‘State of Cape Town Central City Report 2020 – A year in review’, published by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID).

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Storage flexibility shown during turbulent time

Logistics company Unitrans has shown flexibility in meeting the warehousing and storage needs of customers – particularly amid the effects of Covid-19, and the looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, on the local market – says Unitrans specialised warehousing and freight GM Ryan Brooke. “We’ve become flexible as to what we could do. We’ve been constantly looking at what kind of warehouses were strategically available in which to store products, and we are also flexible in the leases we offer. This means that we have been able to open up warehouses when needed and open up a facility at short notice,” explains Brooke.

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South Africa, Lesotho agree to fast-track LHWP Phase 2

South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation on October 28 reported that the South African and Lesotho water Ministries had agreed to fast-track Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) to ensure security of supply to the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS). This follows a meeting between Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi and Lesotho Water Minister Kemiso Mosenene to discuss matters relating to challenges hindering the completion of the project.

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Courtyard Hotel reinvents itself for competitive edge following pandemic

City Lodge Hotel Group’s (CLHG’s) new Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City, in Midrand, which opened on March 1, offers a full dining experience, a move away from a breakfast-only offering. This represents the vision for the group moving forward.

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