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Article by: Shannon de Ryhove
Published: 28 Jul 2008
|Daily podcast – July 28, 2008|
| This podcast is brought to you by Den Braven Sealants, worldwide leader in professional sealants.Monday, July twenty-eight, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
South Africa has reviewed and removed import duties on key inputs for manufacturers, as it seeks to boost the industry's competitiveness by reducing production costs, President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday.
Addressing the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet Lekgotla meeting, Mbeki said import duties on carbon steel and stainless steel had been scrapped, and that a review of import duties in aluminium products would be completed by the end of the year.
The import duty on upstream chemical products has also been finalised and was ready to be implemented. An announcement would be made by year-end, he said.
The review of duties formed part of a drive to improve the local manufacturing industry's competitiveness, which was key to the rebuild of the country's value-added export capacity, which has fallen in recent years.
Despite delays to the start of construction, privately owned Petroline was still hoping to deliver its crucial petroleum products pipeline from Maputo to Nelspruit around the time of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, MD Johan de Vos said.
By this time, a recent report showed that there would be one 40 000 litre petrol truck leaving South Africa's ports for inland areas every 5,2 minutes, owing to the shortage of piping infrastructure.
The company was still working to secure environmental approval, with which it had made "very good progress", and was putting in effort to prepare for a swift start to construction once it had final the authorisations.
Gem miner De Beers officially opened its first mines outside of the Southern Hemisphere, at the Snap Lake mine, located 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories and the Victor mine, in Ontario.
Snap Lake is the country's first fully underground diamond mine and will produce 1,4-million carats a year for 20 years, while Victor is the first diamond mine in Ontario and is expected to deliver 600 000 carats for a mine life of 12 years.
De Beers has agreed with the respective provincial governments to sell 10% of the diamonds produced at both Snap Lake and Victor to government-selected manufacturers, on the condition that they meet the client selection criteria of De Beers' marketing arm, the Diamond Trading Company.
Also making headlines:
MTN says 1,5-billion rand fibre roll-out is being driven by growing Telkom unreliability
China to use interest rates to steer economy
Oil and commodities key to landscape shift
Rio Tinto seeks presence in high-demand potash
Wits Gold says 40% of resources are relatively shallow
And, Cameroon targets 10-billion dollar mines investment
In political news:
Nigeria court annuls 11th state governor election
Guinea- Bissau opposition pulls out of unity government
Banana exporters under pressure at World Trade Organisation rescue talks
And, Barack Obama says Iran should take the US seriously
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