From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Jonathan Faurie.
Making headlines today:
Mobile telecoms operator MTN has a "lot of catching up to do" on its capital expenditure and infrastructure roll out programme for the year. But financial director Rob Nisbet said it remains focused on getting the 25-billion rands worth of capex "in the ground" by the end of the year.
The group has committed 25-billion rand of capex for 2008, and has an approved capex of 30,5-billion rand for the year. To date, it has spent about 10-billion rand. But it expects the roll-out rate to increase in the second-half of the year.
The need to heavily invest in the operations throughout the regions where MTN operates is said to be vital. This is owing to continued pressure to boost capacity, as demand is exceeding supply, particularly in South Africa and Nigeria. Demand is also growing fast in Iran, where the group saw a 93% increase in subscribers in the last half ended June 2008.
Construction and engineering firm Murray & Roberts CEO Brian Bruce said on Thursday that energy was driving opportunities for the firm.
He said nuclear energy in particular would be a focus area for the group going forward. Nuclear energy is expected to become a primary source of power in South Africa and in the rest of the world.
Bruce noted that it was expected that a number of new nuclear plants would be constructed globally over the next 50 years. South Africa expects to be one of the largest users of nuclear energy in future.
Platinum producer Impala Platinum CEO David Brown said on Thursday that the company had probably over used power in the past. It is currently working towards cutting Eskom power consumption by a significant 40 MW to 45 MW.
Brown said that the company would simultaneously also be looking to conclude a power off-take agreement with an independent power producer.
With regard to self-generation, Implats had looked at different combinations, including building a power station itself. But, it is concerned about enlarging the company's carbon footprint and adding to global warming. These are aspects which the company has to be "very sensitive" about.
Also making headlines:
July's credit and money supply growth was slow
PPC announces a 2,7-billion rand BEE deal
Tito Mboweni intends stepping down next year
Eskom is still to decide on the fate of its Richards Bay coal export allocation
De Beers is to open its diamond-technology treasure chest to the world for the first time
And, Impala Platinum says now is the right time to go on the hunt for acquisitions.
In political news:
An independent World Health Organisation study backs universal health care
Russia and the US exchange sharp words over Iraq and Kosovo at the UN
The UN announces that a Western Sahara mediator has quit
And, Russia faces diplomatic isolation
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