Business Briefs 08/02/13


The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Onkokame Kitso Mokaila leaves for Maseru, Lesotho on the 9th February 2013 on an official business at the invitation of his counterpart, Timothy Thahane, Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs.

The visit is expected to enable the two ministers to discuss bilateral relations in possible areas of collaboration in the water and energy sectors.

While in Lesotho, Hon Mokaila is expected to visit the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The minister will be accompanied by senior officials from the ministry and is expected back home on the 11th February 2013.


The public has been warned to stop using a product called Best Share Green Coffee: Brazilian slimming coffee with immediate effect.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, the slimming coffee contains a hidden drug ingredient called sibrutramine.

Sibrutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market by the Food and Drugs Administration of the USA in October 2010 for safety reasons, the release states.

“The substance, sibrutramine, is known to substantially increase high blood pressure and pulse rate in some patients and presents a significant health risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

This product may also interact in life-threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking.”

The release further states that consumers are advised to seek medical attention immediately if they have experienced any negative side effects.


 The current coal supplies to Eskom is expected to decline rapidly after 2015, when existing large-scale mines’ suppliers reach the end of their lives and require recapitalisation, says South African Coal Roadmap steering committee chairperson Ian Hall.

“There’s a serious, serious supply shortage in South Africa to supply Eskom,” says Hall, who was addressing the IHS McCloskey coal export conference in Cape Town.

From 2013 to 2019, 120-million tons of new capacity need to come on stream.

“South Africa’s biggest challenge right now remains supply to Eskom over the next six years,” says Hall.

Of the four-billion tons of coal that Eskom will need over the next 40 years, two-billion tons will have to come from new sources.

“So there’s a huge challenge but also potentially a huge opportunity,” he adds.

Three-quarters of South African coal is used domestically.

The roadmap, which attempts to chart the best way forward, will be completed by the end of February after two years of work.

The cost of electricity changes under each of the scenarios that it puts forward.

Its goals of helping to secure coal contracts for Eskom’s new and existing power stations and building 120-million new tons of capacity in the next six years are seen as a very tall order.

While Eskom is under enormous pressure to reduce its costs, coal prices are poised to rise by between 9% and 10% a year. (Creamer media)


 JSE-listed Lonrho on Monday said it believed the strategic action taken by it in the third and fourth quarters of 2012, to focus on increasing margins through operational efficiencies and to build long-term sustainable customer relationships, coupled with its decision to withdraw from less profitable lines of business, had positioned it well for 2013.

Throughout 2012, the group which also owns the Lansmore Masa Centre in Gaborone continued to develop its operational businesses and Lonrho remained confident that these were aligned with the strongest growth opportunities in Africa.

CEO Geoffery White highlighted that the group’s strategic decision to focus on improving margins across the group had not had a demonstrable impact on the latter part of 2012 but had positioned the group to approach 2013 from a stronger and more reliable base with much improved budgeting.

“Each business division has, during the year, transitioned to become cash generative for the group and the balance sheet is satisfactory to support the group and the board’s plans,” he stated.

Lonrho noted, however, that progress in certain areas had been slower than expected in the fourth quarter of the year, impacting on revenue and profitability for the full year.

The board expected to report a net operating loss of between £3-million and £5-million for the full year.

“Quarter four has been demanding in several areas of the business where the lead times on delivering new product lines have proven longer than previously expected.

While the reporting of a net operating loss in 2012 is disappointing, the shortfalls have largely reflected delays in the timing of delivery of major contracts or project implementationand not any weakness in the underlying business models, which remain very positive,” said White.

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