From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
State freight logistics group Transnet announced on Wednesday that it had awarded a 2,5-billion rand construction contract for the urgently needed 11,2-billion rand multiproduct fuel pipeline from Durban to southern Johannesburg, to a consortium comprising Group Five Civils and international pipeline and facilities contractor Spiecapag.
Transnet had also contracted with a joint venture, comprising Arup and WorleyParsons, to execute the engineering, procurement and construction management, while the purchase of the coated-line pipe had been secured from South Africa, through Impumelelo Pipeline.
The pipeline development is seen by many in the liquid-fuels sector as key to improving security of supply to South Africa's economic heartland of Gauteng as demand expands, and as the existing pipeline network reaches the limits of its capacity.
As China and South Africa celebrated ten years of diplomatic ties, trade cooperation was discussed and a focus on addressing bilateral trade imbalances was emphasised.
South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies noted that total trade between South Africa and China was up from 5,2-billion rand in 1998, to 72,9-billion rand in 2007. He also noted that imports from China into South Africa totalled about 49,1-billion rand, and exports from South Africa to China were about 23,7-billion rand.
Some of the potential products identified for export to China included motor vehicles and components, steel products, platinum products, various agro-industrial products as well as services such as financial services.
Gold producer DRDGold has suffered production setbacks at its ERPM operation near Primrose, in Johannesburg, because of the recent violent attacks on foreigners, and one employee's death has been confirmed, CFO Craig Barnes said on Wednesday.
He said that there were also unconfirmed reports of other fatalities related to the violent outbreaks amongst the mine's workforce, and the JSE-listed company was working to assist those workers that had been affected.
One quarter of ERPM's workforce failed to arrive for work on Sunday, and on Wednesday 14% of its workers were absent.
Also making headlines:
Oil races above 135 dollars while stocks and bonds shudder
South African industrial drive hit by high steel prices
Moves are afoot to formalise electricity advisory council
Gold Fields cuts output view
Lonmin is hit by a number of small smelter explosions, but the miner says it is not serious
And, Mexico's biggest new gold mine may get even bigger
In political news:
Thabo Mbeki approves the army's help to end South Africa violence
South Africans loot burnt-out immigrant homes
China denies that weapons were shipped to Zimbabwe
And, France to sign Angola deals on fence-mending trip
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za