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South African Business 2019 edition

  • Text
  • Infrastructure
  • Africa
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  • Engineering
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The 2019 edition of South African Business is the seventh edition of this annual guide to business and investment in South Africa. Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provincial economies. Feature articles on topical issues such as Special Economic Zones and African trade provide unique insights, together with comprehensive overviews of critical economic sectors. Other special features focus on the exciting new possibilities in renewable energy, airports as engines of regional growth and the maritime sector as an entirely new prospect for South African entrepreneurs and businesses. South African Business is complemented by nine regional publications covering the business and investment environment in each of South Africa’s provinces. The e-book editions can be viewed at

OVERVIEW Engineering

OVERVIEW Engineering Major restructuring is under way. For many years leading up to the Soccer World Cup hosted by South Africa in 2010, the bigger engineering companies developed into conglomerates with several divisions and international operations. But the latest trend is for these large companies to unbundle and narrow their focus. Some firms have kept their focus on niche areas such as electrical engineering, construction, fluids control and project management. These firms continue to build on their expertise. The reason normally given for the move to restructure is the fact that the expected infrastructure spending boom after the World Cup has not materialised. This has led to many companies aiming to become more flexible and better able to pursue projects in other countries in Africa and overseas. With slow growth, national freight and logistics company Transnet has not been able to pursue its R300-billion infrastructure programme at the speed that it wanted to. SECTOR INSIGHT Renewable energy projects are creating opportunities for engineers. Aspects of the programme, such as the acquisition of locomotives, are going ahead (despite some of the projects being the subject of corruption investigations) and the expansion programmes of the Gautrain and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) are providing work for engineers. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2019 90

OVERVIEW Infrastructure spending has only slowed, not dried up entirely. One province alone, Gauteng, spent R30-billion on infrastructure between 2013 and 2016. A further R46-billion has been pledged for the years to 2019. In addition, Gauteng municipalities will spend R94-billion over the next five years using their city budgets. Some 31 major housing developments have been approved for the various development corridors around Johannesburg. These projects will attract public and private money. A study carried out by KMPG found that spending on infrastructure resulted in additional economic activity worth R26-billion and created 92 000 direct jobs. A major provincial infrastructure project was the technically demanding Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which involved many companies and several joint ventures. GOBA Consulting Engineers and Project Managers supervised the design and construction of the project, as it did the even bigger Vaal River Eastern Subsystem Augmentation Project (VRESAP). This water project entailed redirecting water flows from one system to another to feed the petrochemical and mining industries of Mpumalanga. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has created an entirely new industry in less than seven years, with investment of about R200- billion in solar parks and wind farms. This has created huge opportunities for engineers of every sort. Two of the world’s largest coal-fired power stations are still under construction in Limpopo (Medupi) and Mpumalanga (Kusile) and there are several coal and platinum projects in both of those provinces that are also sources of work for engineering companies. The Northern Cape and North West are attracting new mines (zinc, copper) or investments in new smelters and processing facilities (platinum, manganese). South Africa has one engineer to every 3 166 citizens, compared to Malaysia where the figure is 543 citizens per engineer. The Skills Development Amendment Act is intended to improve the situation. Universities, universities of technology and TAKING THE INITIATIVE IS FAR BETTER Maitazwifoma Engineering and Consulting takes its name from the Tshivenda proverb “Maitazwitoma hafani na madzulafhedzi”, which means that an innovative person who takes initiative is far better than one who is idle. Scanning the list of services offered by Maitazwifoma, it is easy to see that this is a group of committed contractors, engineers and plumbers who really want to work. Services range from electrical, construction and civil construction, to plumbing, road construction, concrete coring and waterproofing. The company is also available to provide cleaning services, staff transport and general tasks such as painting, paving, partitioning and rubble removal. With more than seven years of experience in building expertise in a range of construction and engineering disciplines, the leadership and staff of Maitazwifoma are enthusiastic and hard-working. Clients include Attaq and Broll, WBHO (Maitazwifoma were subcontractors on the Newtown Junction Project), Jozi@Work, on behalf of the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Development Agency. 91 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2019

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