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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

The process to fill the director-general position at National Treasury, which was recently relinquished by Lungisa Fuzile, is well under way, the National Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday. More than 30 applications, including applications from internal candidates, have been received for the position, which comes with a remuneration package starting at R1.6-million, increasing to R1.9-million a year. The closing date for applications was April 28. The National Treasury said it had finalised a shortlist and that it would now start interviewing candidates. Fuzile resigned as director-general in April, a year before his contract was due to end. His resignation followed shortly after the axing of Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister and Mcebisi Jonas as Deputy Finance Minister, although the Treasury said at the time that Fuzile had expressed his desire to leave “for some time". Fuzile will leave the department next month.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

The newly black-owned construction company conceived from a R314-million sale agreement between engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) and black-empowered Southern Palace Group aims to build on its 115-year heritage to become a “leading, Tier 1, infrastructure player in South Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa” by tapping into key opportunities on the continent. Firefly Investments represents the consortium that is acquiring the 115-year-old Murray & Roberts Infrastructure & Buildings’ new businesses, which is led by the Southern Palace Group of Companies. “Murray & Roberts Infrastructure & Buildings (MRIB) will provide an aggressive nimbleness to not only Southern Palace’s portfolio but also the new developments and infrastructure services sector,” enthuses Southern Palace Group of Companies CEO Lucas Tseki. He suggests that MRIB, which will be rebranded in due course to represent its new ownership and portfolio, can create significant opportunity to play a conse- quential role in the public-sector spend that is planned for the further expansion of South Africa. “Government constantly speaks about South Africa’s close to R1-trillion infrastructure programme – we hope to participate meaningfully in that,” Tseki says. South Africa’s public-sector infrastructure spending over the medium-term expenditure framework period (from 2018 to 2020) is estimated to total R947.2-billion, according to Annexure D to the National Budget review. State-owned companies continue to account for the bulk of capital investment, spending a projected R432.8-billion over the next three years, while provinces are expected to spend R198.2-billion on infrastructure over this period. Municipalities are forecast to spend R179.6-billion over this period. Meanwhile, trends in public infrastructure spending indicate that between 1998/99 and 2015/16, the public sector spent more than R2.5-trillion on infrastructure. The amount spent increased from R48-billion in 1998/99 to R261-billion in 2015/16, resulting in an average yearly increase of 6.8% after discounting inflation, according to the annexure. Tseki highlights that the construction infrastructure spend by the private and public sectors has been increasing, particularly public-sector spend over the past five years. MODERNISING AFRICA The company’s Africa-specific strategy includes its focus on being a prospective, but significant, participant in the development of infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. There is significant potential for collaboration with various governments to unlock the infrastructure backlog, which spans the education, transport and healthcare, as well as the water and sanitation, sectors, says Tseki. “As Africa has to modernise, someone has to build the infrastructure. There is no reason why MRIB cannot be a leader in these spaces,” he avers. Tseki suggests that the group could follow several projects of the developmental finance institutions in South Africa, such as those of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The DBSA recorded disbursements of R13-billion during the 2014/15 financial year, according to the National Treasury’s 2014/15 annual report. The report also noted that the bank “continued actively to seek infrastructure development opportunities in the region beyond South Africa, with total disbursements of R618-million during the 2014/15 year. “The DBSA, in this year alone, is spending more than R12-billion in funding infrastructure programmes outside South Africa. This [spend] should be followed by [the services of] a South African infrastructure services company,” Tseki says, arguing that, if an airport is built in Tanzania with South African funds, for example, that airport must be built by South African infrastructure players. MRIB Platform CEO Jerome Govender, who will lead the new construction group, agrees, noting that, as a Southern Africa business, the company aims to consolidate and grow its local position and footprint to use as a platform from which to launch its Africa strategy. Tseki avers that, if a company is to attract the best talent and the most innovative youngsters, it has to demonstrate the ability to attract and acquire leading projects on the continent. He believes that competitive advantages stemming from the new business’s strong financial and operational capacity include the possibility to provide better pricing for projects, maintain a high-margin business and maintain and/or improve cash flow. An additional, significant value proposition from the acquisition will be the company’s ability to assist clients in achieving good black economic-empowerment score cards in the construction industry, Tseki asserts. “We will certainly do very well. It is that benefit that we hope to pass on to customers, such as real estate developers,” he explains. HOLISTIC TRANSFORMATION With MRIB achieving 100% black-ownership transformation through a full-price acquisition, Govender and Tseki argue that the transaction “is not some quasi-partial deal that may happen in the future for a small percentage”. In terms of the agreement, M&R will sell 100% of eight of its infrastructure and building divisions – M&R Buildings Gauteng, M&R Western Cape, M&R Infrastructure, M&R Botswana, M&R Plant, M&R Developments, Concor Opencast Mining and Dynamic Concrete Solutions (Namibia) – as well as its share in the Medupi Civils Joint Venture, to the Southern Palace-led consortium. The consortium includes certain members of current MRIB management and the Government Employees Pension Fund, which is administered by the Public Investment Corporation. All management and staff employed at the MRIB divisions will remain part of MRIB under the new shareholding structure. The new entity is expected to have an immediate order book of about R6-billion, and employ about 4 000 people. Govender, however, stresses that transformation in the construction industry not only fundamentally starts with ownership transformation but also encompasses a broader agenda. Key components of a “holistic” transformation include the aim to ensure operational excellence and delivery, and a commitment to clients and key stakeholders, as well as a commitment to the training and development of personnel and the upgrading of their skills, Govender avers. Tseki adds that part of Southern Palace’s philosophy is that the best way to achieve transformation is through the cultivation of prosperity and through growth. Through this growth, prosperity and transformation, Tseki sees further oppor- tunity to attract black executives to the construction industry. Govender, nevertheless, cautions that the transaction alone cannot transform the construction industry. “We can ensure that we are transformed and we hope that, by the company becoming transformed, others will see the opportunity and potential for the wider level of transformation that is required in the industry,” he says. Rebuilding Trust While the conditions present for the transaction were met, Tseki claims that the acquisition’s approval without conditions by the Competition Tribunal was a key milestone. The group had also proposed a five-year restraint of trade against former parent company M&R. Tseki had argued at the Competition Tribunal that MRIB had the right to use the Murray & Roberts name for only one year after transaction close. “That was a significant risk . . . we do not want M&R to acquire another construction company . . . or M&R to be acquired by another company that is involved in the infrastructure services space and start to compete with us,” Tseki states. Despite this restraint of trade, he stresses the importance of retaining and commercially maximising on the remaining industry goodwill towards M&R. The reputation of the construction industry was tainted after findings of widespread collusion culminated in 15 construction groups, including M&R, paying fines totalling R1.46-billion in 2013. Southern Palace and MRIB’s transaction follows M&R’s participation in an agreement with government, announced in October 2016, when the construction groups made various commitments, including a promise to ensure “meaningful” transformation, in return for a settlement of potential claims arising from previous transgressions of South Africa’s competition laws, Engineering News reported last year. “The truth is that, because of these transgressions, the construction industry has lost the trust of public-sector clients. Part of the Southern Palace value proposition to MRIB, through this transaction, is to rebuild that trust,” Govender concludes.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday appointed Dondo Mogajane as acting director-general, effective May 16, after Lungisa Fuzile completed his notice period. Mogajane would act in the position “until the process of appointing a new director-general is completed”. Gigaba has indicated previously that he intends appointing a permanent replacement for Fuzile, who confirmed that he would be leaving the department within days of President Jacob Zuma’s March 31 Cabinet reshuffle, by the end of May. Mogajane's name has emerged as a possible candidate. Mogajane has worked in various areas at the National Treasury since 1999, most recently serving as deputy director-general responsible for the Public Finance division. Between 2007 and 2010, he represented South Africa at the Executive Board of the World Bank as senior adviser for Africa Group 1 countries. Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appointed Mogajane as the chief of staff in the Ministry of Finance between 2010 and 2014 and he subsequently acted as Chief Operating Officer of the National Treasury from 2014 until June 2015. “Mr Mogajane’s appointment is with effect from 16 May 2017 until the process of appointing a new director-general is completed,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Gigaba expressed gratitude to Fuzile for his service to the National Treasury and the country saying that, in the past month, he had “facilitated a successful and smooth handover” to Gigaba and Deputy Minister Sfiso Buthelezi. “Director-general Fuzile is a model public servant who has devoted 19 years to the service of our country. He leaves behind a legacy of a strong National Treasury that has a formidable team as well as a strong institutional framework that will carry forward the mandate of the department. As he departs today, we wish him all success in his future endeavours,” Gigaba said.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

Eskom is demanding R6.2-billion from Mpumalanga billionaire pastor and coal baron Ramesh Joe Singh after his firm Just Coal supplied the power utility’s Tutuka Power Station with sub-optimal coal worth R5.8-billion. The poor-quality coal put the operations of Tutuka Power Station at risk. Eskom has since cancelled the contract with Just Coal and has approached National Treasury “to jointly agree on suitable alternative mechanisms to source coal”, the power utility has said in a written reply to questions posed. “The contract has been cancelled as a result of breach of the said agreement by Just Coal . . . Eskom has reserved its right to claim damages arising from such breach.” Eskom said it is still waiting for the outcome of the assessment of the damage the coal Just Coal supplied caused. “The quantification of the damage is currently underway by the Eskom Research Institute,” the power utility said. Eskom has previously penalised Joe Singh Group – which comprises Just Coal, Ferret Coal Kendell, Fentonia Colliery – five times for similar transgressions in 2016. The group paid fines totalling R9.65-million to the power utility. “The transgressions were in relation to coal stockpiles of approximately 5,000 tons each which did not meet the contract coal quality specification,” Eskom said. “Consequently, (we) applied contractual remedies.” Joe Singh Group’s three subsidiaries allegedly all have contracts with Eskom, but the power utility has denied this: “Eskom had a contract with Just Coal,” it said. “Regarding the entities of Joe Singh Group of companies, that is a matter that can be directed to other state institutions such as the companies and intellectual property commission.” Eskom has also laid criminal charges against Singh and his CEO Peet Erasmus. “The (matter) is currently under investigation by the South African Police Service,” the power utility said. The commercial crimes unit of SAPS was handling the case, but the investigating officer responsible for the case could not be reached for comment. “The case is being (investigated by) Col Baartjies and a Capt Ngobeni,” Eskom said. Erasmus and Singh declined to comment on the matter. “Thank you for the enquiry, our comment is simply that both matters are sub-judice,” Just Coal said in response to an email enquiry. The Eskom contract with Just Coal has been in place since March 2014. Interim Eskom CEO Matshela Koko recently berated Just Coal for supplying the power utility with poor-quality coal. “This is in breach of its contractual obligations,” he said. “The result is that Eskom is burning an unknown combustion characteristic coal resource at its Tutuka power station, potentially resulting in load losses. “Coal has been diverted from other power stations to ensure that coal is available for Tutuka Power Station”, since the cancellation of the contract. This latest case adds to some of the controversial cases the billionaire pastor (Singh) has been linked to. The new charge against Singh, who has claimed to have “raised his son from the dead”, is the second fraud allegation made against him in less than six months. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission is investigating Singh for allegedly forging his former associate’s signature to resign him as a director in two multimillion-rand companies in which they held equal shares. The companies, Lahleni Lakes and Finishing Touch, are responsible for a stalled Ernie Els designed R485-million golf estate development in Mpumalanga. The golf estate development is at the centre of a court battle between directors Ralston Smith and Singh. The controversial pastor is being investigated under several case numbers in Witbank and Middleburg for alleged criminal matters. The two other cases, one relating to Middelburg, Finishing Touch, and the other Lahleni Lakes, were merged as the same suspects were involved in both cases.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

If all else failed, National Treasury might enlist the help of President Jacob Zuma to secure the repatriation of South African Airways funds from fellow African states, Deputy Finance Minister Sifiso Buthelezi told MPs on Wednesday. Buthelezi told Parliament’s standing committee on finance the efforts to get the funds back could “include going to talk to the president to see if he would make himself available should need” to talk to his counterparts in Angola, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe arise. More than R1-billion of SAA’s reserves are stuck in foreign currency in these four countries and it is exacerbating the company’s cash flow problems. “We would like to use diplomacy. If somebody is not paying your money, he is making you his bank.” Buthelezi and top SAA management was briefing the committee on SAA’s financial challenges and its turnaround plan, but drew criticism from committee chairman Yunus Carrim for speaking in what he termed “generalisations” and offering little detail. But SAA board chairpersonn Dudu Myeni countered by trying to answer repeated questions from MPs as to how the board had adapted its approach to ensure that the company, which is losing R250-million a month, returned to financial stability. “It is quite a big broad statement and it is not one area that you can focus on, we look at the whole business in terms of what can be done,” Myeni said. Myeni stressed that the cost of doing business as SAA remained too high and that those running the airline had a chance to analyse the reasons for this. This entailed reviewing the turnaround strategy and identifying the “gaps that we think is the reason why the full-blown implementation is not happening”. “You are right. We can’t rely on guarantees and also we can’t rely on lenders because lenders end up giving you conditions that if you own a household you end up no longer owning that particular house because the lenders instruct you to do certain things because of the conditions you find yourself in.” But the acting director general of finance Dondo Mogajane said recapitalisation of SAA has clearly been on the cards since then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tabled the national budget in February, though a figure has yet to be determined. He confirmed that the National Treasury would come to Parliament with a sum to be approved, and to be allocated in the adjusted appropriations in the medium-term budget in October. SAA’s long-term strategy is currently being reviewed by Seabury consulting group. This includes the company’s recapitalisation needs.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

The Western Cape was on Monday declared a disaster area, with local government implementing drastic interventions to relieve the distressing water shortage in the province. This includes the drilling of boreholes at hospitals, starting in the metro, and followed by schools in high-risk water scarce areas; expediting environmental impact-assessments (EIAs) for testing a mobile desalination plant using existing water inlet flows used for the reactors at the Koeberg nuclear power station site and drilling into the Table Mountain aquifer. “The disaster declaration will accelerate the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre’s 'Avoiding Day Zero' project, the province’s strategy to ensure that taps do not run dry,” Premier Helen Zille said in a statement. The province will also appoint groundwater specialists in each district to identify main ground water sources and coordinate the exploration and management of these resources going forward, while local government would assess water restriction severity in respective municipalities. While local councils remain responsible for making area-specific decisions, the disaster declaration enables the province to issue instructions for any changes to these restrictions that may be necessary in each locality. The declaration will be formally gazetted this week, and was signed by the Premier during a Cabinet meeting last week. As it stands, the disaster will be classified for a three-month period, which can be extended if the need arises. In the event of such a classification, the Disaster Management Act empowers the provincial government to protect key frontline service delivery points by reprioritising funding. The project, led by the Western Cape’s Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), will focus on three areas including demand management, winter conservation and groundwater management. Government will further prioritise interventions based on the provincial Drought Risk Register, while PDMC will focus on the most critical aspects of that list. Funding will be reprioritised provincially and, should further assistance be needed, the province will approach National Treasury and the National Department of Water and Sanitation. During the current declaration period, a provincial inter-Ministerial committee – chaired by Minister Anton Bredell – will meet regularly to assess immediate threats and recommend interventions. In the last year, at least R27-million had been reprioritised for interventions in areas which were declared local disasters. In January, parts of the West Coast and Central Karoo were declared agricultural drought disaster areas. Hydrological disasters were declared in Prince Albert, Witzenberg and Oudtshoorn, but through interventions, these localities are no longer deemed disaster areas.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

The debt owed to South African municipalities remained stagnant at R117-billion, with national government owing R2.3-billion and provincial departments owing R2.3-billion, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen said on Thursday. Briefing journalists ahead of tabling his budget vote in Parliament, Van Rooyen said the rest of the debt was owed by households and businesses. The municipalities finding it difficult to recover debt, mostly historic debt, and remain indebted to Eskom, with much work being done to reduce the debt. “Municipalities all in all owe Eskom R9.5-billlon, so it tells a story that if we give effect to appropriate credit control measures, I think more municipalities will be better positioned to take care of their creditors,” said Van Rooyen. “An inter-Ministerial committee is dealing with the issue of money owed to Eskom, but also the capacity of municipalities to pay their creditors,” he said. “In our last meeting, the indication was very clear that we are still on course with municipalities being up to date with their payments.” The minister warned that while the payment agreements between councils and Eskom, which threatened to cut power supply to indebted municipalities, were on target, it was not sustainable. He said more work needed to be done in collaboration with municipalities to ensure they generated their own revenue to become self-sustainable so they could pay their creditors. “We are also trying to see how, financially, we can help municipalities to replace ageing infrastructure which in most of the instances is the cause of the misalignment between what they pay for the services and what they owe for the services they are provided.” A National Treasury report released in March last year put the municipal debt at R117.9-billion. The report said most of this debt was older than 90 days (historic debt) making it difficult to recover. The report stated that realistically only R22.8-billion was recoverable.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

The construction of two megabridges, as part of the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (Sanral’s) N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR) project, is expected to begin between August and October this year, says Sanral’s bridge network manager Edwin Kruger. “The tenders for the two bridges – the Msikaba and Mtentu bridges – are in the adjudication phase, which means we cannot comment on the value of the bridges and to which tenderer they will be awarded. “With that said, the estimated construction cost of the bridges is in the range of R1.5-billion to R1.8-billion each.” “Local contractors have not built bridges such as the Msikaba and Mtentu structures before,” adds Kruger. “As such, their skills will be supplemented by international contractors with the requisite experience. All the tenders received have large South African contractors, who of their own accord, have created joint ventures with international contractors.” The last time a megabridge was constructed in South Africa was in the early 1980s, with the construction of the N2 Tsitsikamma toll road along the Garden Route. “This project included the Bloukrans arch bridge, which today would probably cost in excess of R1-billion,” says Kruger. The two new bridges will be funded from Sanral’s non-toll portfolio. “All funding for national roads – except for toll roads – comes from national government,” explains Kruger. “National Treasury allocates money towards this portfolio and has specifically allocated funds for the Msikaba and Mtentu bridges in the current three-year funding cycle. “In the case of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road greenfields section, as is the case for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, money for the bridges will come from a combination of national government funding and borrowing. Only the portion of the project funded from borrowing will be repaid through toll fees.”   The Msikaba and Mtentu bridges form the backbone of the greenfields portion of the N2WCTR. The toll road project is one of government’s 18 Strategic Integrated Projects, which were identified to support economic development and boost service delivery in the country’s poorest provinces. “The greenfields section of the Wild Coast highway project extends from Port Edward through Port St. Johns. This section is a brand new road and without the bridges we cannot complete the highway,” notes Kruger. The first phase of the project has already started with the construction of haul roads to the bridge sites, he adds. “The N2WCTR project has full environmental approval and has been given the green light by national government.” Location The first megabridge will cross the Mtentu river, just outside of Xolobeni, and the second will cross the Msikaba river, near Lusikisiki – hence the bridge names. As the first of its magnitude in South Africa, the Mtentu bridge will be one of the longest main span balanced cantilever bridges in the world, says Kruger. Reaching heights of around 220 m, it will take over the title as the highest bridge in Southern Africa from the Bloukrans Bridge, with its 217 m deck height.   The construction of the 1.13-km-long bridge in a remote location is a major undertaking that requires specialised engineering skills and building techniques.   “The 580-m-long Msikaba bridge will cross the spectacular and pristine Msikaba river gorge and will be the longest span cable-stayed suspension bridge in South Africa – and possibly Africa,” says Kruger. “Cable-stayed bridges are distinct in their use of towers and cables to support the bridge deck. This single span bridge will be anchored back into rock on either side of the gorge.”   One of the environmental requirements in building this bridge is that Sanral does not touch the unspoiled Msikaba gorge. The cable-stayed design will ensure that the construction of the bridge will have no direct impact on the environment in the gorge almost 200 m below, notes Kruger.   “Since both bridges have a large concrete component, labour will be needed for fixing steel and placing the concrete for the bridges. Semi-skilled and unskilled labour will be sourced locally,” he adds. Tourist Attractions Pedestrian sidewalks will be constructed on either side of both bridges and view sites off the bridges will provide special viewing points for tourists. These sidewalks will also serve to connect communities on either side of the gorges.    “The Msikaba and Mtentu bridges will become tourist attractions in their own right, and will offer opportunities for the associated tourism industry in the area,” says Kruger. He adds that the term ‘megabridge’ – coined by the media – refers to a single bridge that costs more than R800-million to build. “However, it should be noted that what we in South Africa call a mega structure, may be regarded as a medium structure internationally.” It will take around three to four years to build the two bridges.   As the new route will be substantially shorter and flatter than the current route, it is estimated the N2WCTR will improve heavy freight travel time between Durban and East London by up to three hours, significantly lowering transport costs and carbon emissions, says Sanral. The road will also increase mobility through an area that is currently isolated from the rest of South Africa.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

A joint task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task team is made up of officials from the Department of Energy (DoE), supported by the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office, as well as those from the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), supported by executives from State-owned electricity utility Eskom. Since mid-2016, the State-owned utility has openly defied government policy regarding the procurement of the projects, citing a lack of visibility over the cost-recovery mechanism. The PPAs have also not been signed despite a commitment by President Jacob Zuma in his February State of the Nation address that all the contracts would be signed. Prior to Zuma’s March 31 Cabinet reshuffle, former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson set an April 11 deadline for the signing of the PPAs. However, following her appointment to the position, Kubayi postponed the signing to allow her time to consult with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Delivering her inaugural Budget Vote on Friday, Kubayi stressed that renewables remained key to achieving the DoE’s mandate of energy security, while acknowledging that there was currently uncertainty about the IPP programme as a result of the stand-off. The DoE-DPE task team, she revealed at a subsequent media briefing would seek to resolve the current “disagreement” with Eskom over the projects. The utility indicated previously that it would sign the PPAs only once it had been given certainty on the cost-recovery mechanism, in light of legal uncertainty surrounding the application of the Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA). The use of the RCA has been thrown into question by a Gauteng High Court ruling, which determined the most recent RCA adjustment to be “irrational, unfair and unlawful”. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa is appealing the judgment, but will not process further RCA applications until legal certainty had been established. Therefore, it has only granted Eskom a 2.2% tariff increase for 2017/18. The Supreme Court of Appeal is deliberating on the matter and is expected to return its judgment by the end of May. In the absence of the RCA, Eskom argues that it does not have a clear mechanism to secure the revenue required to pay for the electricity arising from the renewables power stations. The utility has written to the National Treasury regarding the possible use of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GFSA), which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy IPPs. However, there has been no triggering of the GSFA. Kubayi said the National Treasury had not been included in the task team, but that the DoE was in constant communication with it on the matter. The intention was for a resolution to be found and taken to the National Treasury for its “concurrence” should such be required. The South African Renewable Energy Council expressed ongoing concern about the postponements, noting recently that financial closure of the duly procured renewable power has already been delayed for almost two years. The impasse had endured despite Zuma’s confirmation that all outstanding PPAs would be signed and a 16-page legal opinion stating that the IPPs were entitled to approach a court to enforce the signature of the PPAs. Kubayi said the task team had been set up after her and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown agreed that the issues being raised by Eskom should be addressed. “We have asked them to verify the facts. Is what Eskom is raising valid?” The task team had been asked to find a solution that balances the ongoing success of the renewables programme with Eskom’s financial sustainability. “We are one government and we must be able to speak with one voice and not confusion in the public space.”


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

State-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate Denel on Tuesday said it was in ongoing talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown regarding its multibillion-rand joint venture (JV) deal with VR Laser Asia, which led to the creation of Denel Asia. Media reports earlier this month stated that Gigaba had approached Denel chairperson Daniel Mantsha to not continue with the deal. Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan also refused to approve the JV. The reports stated that Gigaba had concerns about the financial implications of the deal for the National Treasury, noting that the deal did not make “business sense”. “We will continue to engage with the National Treasury directly to ensure that any misunderstanding . . . is resolved amicably,” Denel said in a statement. The company maintained that the Asia-Pacific region was “an extremely important region” for Denel to expand its business and find new markets for its products, particularly in the fields of artillery, armoured vehicles, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

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