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South African Business 2022

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Welcome to the 10th edition of the South African Business journal. First published in 2011, the publication has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to South Africa, supported by the website Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provinces. This issue has a focus on Special Economic Zones which are being rolled out across the country with specific economic areas of focus. The importance of the revival of minerals exploration and the significance of onshore and offshore gas discoveries is the subject of another special feature.

OVERVIEW Engineering

OVERVIEW Engineering Renewable energy projects are coming on stream. SECTOR INSIGHT Bosch Holdings celebrated an anniversary in 2021. Bosch Ulwazi has been certified by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a certified training academy. Credit: Bosch Holdings Bosch Holdings celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021. Having started with the design of the sugar terminal in the Port of Durban, the group now has eight companies and offices in Kenya, Brazil and the UK. Head office is in Durban. Bosch Projects does consulting engineering and project management in a range of sectors but has retained the company’s historic ties with the sugar industry, designing and supplying specialist production equipment. Other companies cover training, technology services and financial advisory. Aveng reported its first profit in seven years in 2021. One of South Africa’s biggest engineering companies, Aveng managed to turn the corner through the activities of its mining division in South Africa and its Australasian company, McConnell Dowell. Several of the country’s other big companies went into business rescue, including Group Five, Basil Read and Esor. These companies delisted from the JSE but although Covid-19 upset the plans for business rescue, that option continued to be preferred into 2021, rather than liquidation. Like Aveng, Murray & Roberts and WBHO rely heavily on offshore contracts for revenue. Murray & Roberts has completed its transition from being a South African company focussing on contracting to a multinational engineering and construction group with a focus on natural resources markets. The CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) has called for a united front to help the sector fight its corner. Chris Campbell noted in a Mail & Guardian article in 2021 that the country has “countless industry bodies” including, but not limited to, ECSA, SAICE, SABTACO, NSBE and SAIEE. Campbell referenced an earlier overarching body, the South African Forum for Engineering (SAFE) as a model. Such a body would be able to take an industry-wide position on issues such as Cuban engineers working on South Africa’s water system, a contentious issue that was in the spotlight in 2021. The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) regulates the industry through professional registration and the standardisation of tertiary qualifications. South Africa is the only African member of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA). An Investment and Infrastructure Office has been created in the Presidency. It is headed by the former Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa. In 2020, 51 infrastructure projects with a total investment value of more than R340-billion were gazetted and hopes are high that this initiative will provide a boost for engineering firms. 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. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has created an entirely SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2022 62

OVERVIEW new industry in less than seven years, with investment of about R200-billion in solar parks and wind farms. This has created many opportunities for engineers. Marine repair and engineering form a significant sector in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with established companies such as EBH South Africa offering comprehensive services. Both KwaZulu- Natal ports are expanding and will continue to attract engineers. Dormac, which is headquartered in the Bayhead area of the Port of Durban, is best known for its marine engineering but it offers specialised services to the sugar industry and provides machinery for industrial giants like Toyota and Defy. Training The Engineering Council of South Africa has a programme where trainees can earn certificates in specific disciplines from a range of institutions. The qualifications are in line with the council’s Exit Level outcomes. Six of South Africa’s biggest construction companies have established a R1.25-billion skills fund. Several partnerships between the public and private sectors are trying to address the skills deficit. One example is the partnership that Wits’ National Aerospace Centre has with Boeing and Airbus. The Skills Development Amendment Act is intended to improve the situation. Universities, universities of technology and companies are increasing their focus on the training of engineers. ■ ONLINE RESOURCES Consulting Engineers South Africa: Engineering Council of South Africa: South African Consulting Engineering Firms: Southern African Institution of Civil Engineering:

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