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Tuesday, September 23, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
The resignation of President Thabo Mbeki at the weekend was a landmark political event for South Africa. But the ruling African National Congress gave an assurance on Monday that his departure would not translate into any major changes in macroeconomic policy. This is a proposition that appeared to be supported by market analysts and commentators.
Veronica Kalema, a director in the Africa and Middle East department of ratings agency Fitch, said the resignation of Mbeki had added "political uncertainty at a time when the economy faces a challenging global and domestic backdrop".
However, Fitch was not expecting a radical shift in economic policies. Most key personalities in the Cabinet and the South African Reserve Bank seemed likely to remain in place.
Construction product assessment agency Agrément South Africa kicked off the thirteenth annual general meeting and World Federation of Technical Assessment Organisations conference on Monday. It promotes entrepreneurs to develop innovative and locally appropriate construction materials, focusing on green buildings and sustainable products.
South Africa's emphasis on infrastructural delivery means that the choice of technology and products used in construction are important and must be locally appropriate.
Agrément SA serves the building and engineering communities by providing assurance to specifiers and users through technical approvals for the fitness of purpose of non-standardised or unconventional products. It also serves the construction communities by providing assurance to specifiers regulators, financial institutions, and users, thereby facilitating entry into the market by entrepreneurs.
World Federation of Technical Assessment Organisations general secretary Thomas Bruun:
South African Chamber of Mines economist Roger Baxter says that the South African government needs to consider holding back the imposition of the 2c/kWh environmental tax until the country has worked through the energy crisis.
He says that mining companies that were paying 17c/kWh in October last year are going to be paying 50% more from October 1st.
He says it's a huge increase, given the fact, for deep-level mines, the electricity accounts for as much as 10% of cash production costs.
Also making headlines:
Mozambique is to approve a $2,5-billion power line project
The Huge Group warns that State's Vans appeal threatens competition
Sasol's share buyback programme hits the 6% mark
African Diamonds shelves its plans to challenge De Beers in court over the AK6 mine
Probes into several recent mineworker deaths advancing
And, International Ferro Metals says its growth profile is robust despite the South African power concerns.
In political news:
The DA says Kgalema Motlanthe would offer South Africa hope
Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena resigns
Thabo Mbeki files constitutional court papers against the Nicholson ruling
And, Essop Pahad is to resign
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
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
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