Business Watch

EAST COAST RADIO  |  Podcast , ±1 min episodes every 2 days  | 
Business Watch is a daily feature on East Coast Radio - on-air at 06:30 and 18:30, respectively. It covers local and international innovations, market movements and business related events. The feature is hosted by economist and award-winning radio producer, WR Van Der Merwe. To have your industry or business featured , send an e-mail to

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Husqvarna's demolition robot from the future

Husqvarna Construction Products is a market-leading brand in the light construction equipment business. For more information on their range of machines, diamond tools, and services for concrete sawing & drilling, concrete surfaces & floors, and remote demolition.

The new unit also enables an improved overview of machine status that contributes to increased uptime and productivity. With various multi-tools and factory-installed packages available, productivity and areas of application can be quickly enhanced. The new range has also been engineered to facilitate easier troubleshooting, thus reducing downtime even further.

According to Lionel Zietsman, National Sales Manager at Husqvarna Construction, the new DXR models are third-party certified in terms of safety. An all-new remote-control unit makes precision operation easier than ever and enables the user to work in challenging areas with a remote-control range of up to 100 metres.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Image: Provided

FFS Refiners' R350M job creation and Bitumen supply investment

There is a massive demand for bitumen in road construction projects in South Africa, especially related to the strategic infrastructure programmes outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa that need to be addressed for South Africa’s economy to be put back on track. FFS Tank Terminals’ facilities will provide the industry with the security of a bulk supply of bitumen following the untimely demise of the local refining industry.

In addition, the Vala Zonke programme, announced by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, aims to address the scourge of potholes nationally. The availability of bitumen will enable this critical infrastructure programme to meet its goals and keep the economy of South Africa moving forward.

The expansion consists of the construction of storage tanks with a total capacity of 26 500 cubic meters (26 500 000 litres) and will be implemented in two phases. Phase 1 will be constructed for rental and will include three storage tanks with a capacity of 7 500 cubic meters (7 500 000 litres), including product heating facilities, an import pipeline, two loading gantries, and two weighbridge facilities – phase 1 is already underway with all engineering design work completed and expected to operate by September 2023. Furthermore, South African civil and tank fabrication contractors have been appointed, ensuring job creation is prioritised during the expansion.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Astron Energy starts roll-out its new look for of over 850 stations

Astron Energy Head of Marketing, Cambridge Mokanyane, said the rebrand provides Astron Energy with the opportunity to build out the customer experience even further, with a strong emphasis on non-fuel retail offerings.
According to Mokanyane, global research has shown that “ultimate convenience” is where all forecourts will eventually migrate to, offering everything from fuel to food options, banking facilities, online and e-commerce services, and drop-boxes for collecting deliveries.

In addition, the change to the new brand will see all Astron Energy service stations place careful emphasis and excellence on the basics, including bathroom facilities and lighting, as part of rejuvenating the overall customer experience.

In customer engagement surveys, clean, fresh, and safe bathroom facilities were right at the top of what consumers expect when pulling into a forecourt. This was followed by proper lighting and the associated security benefits.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Wheels of the McDonald's computer school bus start rolling

The Nathoo family has been involved with Mcdonald's in KZN for 24 years. The late Mr. Dhiroo Nathoo, father to Prakash and Sanjay opened the first Restaurant in Durban in 1998. 

Prakash and Sanjay have been involved over the last 12 years, operating restaurants in and around Durban. 

At McDonald's they believe in the importance of being good neighbours and contributing to the communities they serve, by providing employment and giving back to charity.

They have over the years been involved in many community projects in Durban and the surrounding areas.
''In 2019 we aspired to start a journey of their own. To create something that is needed with the hope that it will evolve and become a long-lasting legacy.

Despite being put on hold we continued in the background to work on the curriculum and refining it. Working together with SETA and the Department of Education. Finally, 2 years later we are on the road. Our computer school bus is finally visiting schools and engaging with excited young learners.

The computer course has 8 theory sections, with an assessment at the end of each. The assessments that are completed by the learners are then compiled into a portfolio of evidence, which is then audited by an external moderator.''

The computer course outline is as follows;

Section 1 – History and Importance of Computers
Section 2 – Computer Ethics
Section 3 – Basic Computer Components
Section 4 – Basic Computer Skills and Navigation
Section 5 – Basic Word Processing
Section 6 – Basic Excel Processing
Section 7 – Basic PowerPoint Processing
Section 8 – Internet and Browser

''With this initiative, we aim to reach as many students within the Durban and greater surrounding area, who do not have access to technological infrastructures such as Computers, iPads, and the internet. We aim to connect the youth to the world and broaden their horizon, to all the opportunities that are available to them.

All of this could not have been possible without the blessing from McDonald’s SA, the Department of Education, Our Partners, MyMobile ZA and Newburn Shopfitters, and our DHANS Group Team…. All of whom supported and contributed to bringing this project to life.

To our loyal guests who visit our restaurants - WE thank you - you have made this possible.

We are humbled by what we have achieved thus far, and we remain committed to empowering as many young learners as we can on this journey of providing access young learners to computers and information technology.

This is just the start of our journey.


WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

The Sharks and SA Harvest partner to increase hunger relief in KZN

In terms of the agreement, The Sharks will provide SA Harvest with 500m² of dedicated warehouse space at Hollywoodbets Kings Park, a space that SA Harvest can be proud of and call their home.

This significant support of SA Harvest’s efforts to relieve hunger by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste enables SA Harvest to double its storage capacity. “This means we have the potential to house sufficient stock to deliver a million meals at any point in time. SA Harvest’s model is based on the premise that if we can redirect some of the 13 million tonnes of perfectly edible, nutritious food that goes to waste every year in South Africa, we can significantly alleviate hunger while at the same time reduce the impact of food waste on the environment.

The problem in this country is not a lack of food. The problem is a system which deprives millions of people access to affordable nutritious food and while our strategy is to reduce hunger, we are also involved in systemic initiatives that will ultimately help end hunger in our country,” says Alan Browde, CEO of SA Harvest.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Court sets aside decision for Shell to conduct seismic blasting on Wild Coast

Ntsindiso Nongcavu from Coastal Links Port St. Johns says, “We are against oil and gas drilling in the ocean. This ruling, in our favour, means that our lives will carry on, as our livelihoods depend on fishing. We are happy that our plans have been fulfilled and our livelihoods have been secured, not just for us but for future generations. This outcome motivates us because our government pays no mind to its people, but instead seems to want to make foreign companies richer. This is why we, as small-scale fishers, oppose oil and gas. Because if the onslaught of offshore oil and gas continues then future generations will have no interest in the sea as a means of life. We are glad that Shell did not win this case because it would mean that thousands of fishers will not be able to use the ocean as before because it will be zoned off and turned into a no-go area. People will have to be evicted to make space for these operations. That would mean that people's rights will be taken away from them.”

A spokesperson for the Amadiba Crisis Committee in Xolobeni Nonhle Mbuthuma says, “We have decided not to go to the Makhanda High Court to listen to the court ruling. We have decided to gather as the seven (7) villages to listen to the ruling at The Great Place. We are very happy that the judgment is in favour of our community. This means that the planet wins because it has been saved. If the judgment had been in favour of Shell, then that means that the whole planet loses everything, because this case is not just about livelihoods. It is about saving the planet and humanity.”

Sinegugu Zukulu from Sustaining the Wild Coast says, “Unlike other coastal stretches in South Africa, indigenous communities have maintained continuous possession of this land, despite waves of colonial and apartheid dispossession. This is no accident. Our ancestors' blood was spilt protecting our land and sea. We now feel a sense of duty to protect our land and sea for future generations, as well as for the benefit of the planet.”

A key issue in the case of Shell’s seismic survey off the East Coast is that the company relied on an old Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) from 2013. However, even in 2013, many affected communities were not consulted about what a seismic survey might mean for them, since many did not know about the exploration right application and were not even listed as interested and affected parties. Another issue is that media channels and languages selected, further served to exclude many traditional communities. Indigenous languages, commonly spoken in the region, were ignored (only English and Afrikaans were selected), and no radio or community publications – which are popular in these communities – were used.

Furthermore, according to The Green Connection, it appears that Shell did not consider (or chose to ignore) the migration season for hump-backed whales, in addition to the juvenile turtles that would come down the coast in the Agulhas current, into the survey area during December. Yet, it's own 2013 EMPr stated that they should try to “avoid surveying during December”. Why did Shell choose to go commence its seismic survey in December 2021, when it should have known about the risk to these animals?

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Who Stole Our Oceans campaign

Ensure Security first in eThekwini to offer advanced Vumacam SafeCity technology

CEO of Ensure Group, Kyle Connolly says: “The ever-changing security landscape has seen the group shift focus to embrace technology. Following the riots experienced in KwaZulu-Natal last year, we made a serious investment in a state-of-the-art control room and monitoring centre that has become the heartbeat of our company.

“Our next generation overwatch network - NEON - has positioned us perfectly to partner with Vumacam, offering a smarter, more efficient approach, and the ability to offer our clients a level of security unprecedented in the security Industry. People and businesses in South Africa face an ever-increasing security risk that requires dynamic and innovative security solutions. By enabling SafeCity operations in eThekwini, we ensure that our clients are protected and benefit from tried and tested, proven security practices that are supported by best-in-class technology solutions.”

The company launched the SafeCity initiative this year, which will see a significant additional investment into operations and infrastructure to tackle increasing levels of crime. Through the use of its technology, Vumacam supports private security companies and public law enforcement - a powerful tool when combined with on-the-ground response teams.

As the Vumacam smart camera network expands into new regions, criminal patterns and activity will be able to be mapped more efficiently which will benefit national collaborative crime-fighting initiatives.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Image: Supplied

Hello Mr Price Baby: Your new store for everything baby and kids!

“Since launching baby clothing in November 2020, we saw the need to give parents even more of the unbelievable value we are known for. After two years of thorough market research, and talking to parents and soon-to-be moms, we have designed a store experience to make parenting affordable and convenient for all South Africans. As you would expect from Mr. Price, the new concept will differentiate it from competitors through its famous fashion-value formula. Further differentiators include an in-store shopping experience that is tailored to the baby and toddler shopper as a one-stop destination, and a digital platform with the same features that have made Mr. Price the most visited South African fashion retailer.” – Donovan Baney, Managing Director of Mr. Price.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch.

Image: Supplied

GTH Junior riders make horse riding accessible to anyone

Global Team Horse Racing recently trialed GTH Junior Riders at a fun event held at the Equidome Indoor Equestrian Arena in Beaulieu, Midrand on the 22nd of May 2022.

As this was the first time for the concept, access was limited and the event was used to gather feedback and to establish if this was something that would get the support of parents.

In the lead-up to the event, some of the participants had the opportunity to meet some of South Africa’s best jockeys, ride a simulator and visit the starting gates to experience what it is like on a big race day.

“This was such a positive experience for my son,” enthused Heather Miller, mother of Finley, “He is an experienced rider, but there is no doubt that the program improved his riding and even though there is a competitive element to the event, the day finished with Finley having established many new friendships.”

The team format makes it a lot more fun for kids of all ages and skill levels. Sunday’s event had two teams competing, over six races, with four ponies per race and all the participants had three or four opportunities to race. Adding to the atmosphere, was the live commentary during the races by Alistair Cohen.
GTH Junior Riders will follow a similar format as the GTH live series, meaning that the kids can relate to the race day with their “lived” experience. Experiencing the challenges, albeit on a smaller scale, is sure to breed respect for the jockeys, who are often the unsung heroes of horse racing.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Google Wallet brings secure payments to South Africa

Adding digital items to Google Wallet (like boarding passes) is equally simple and can often be done with a few clicks. For example, after completing the purchase of a flight on an airline website, users will see a button labelled “Add to Google Wallet” that will create the digital version of that item in their Wallet. 

“Most importantly, security and privacy are built into every part of Google Wallet, making payments safer and allowing people to transact seamlessly and with confidence throughout the day. This will allow users to make transactions using a virtual card number (a token),” continues Mokoena.  

“We are very excited about the launch of Google Wallet in South Africa. We hope that people not only enjoy how easy it is to use, but also how secure it is for them to transact their business confidently,” concludes Mokoena.

If users don’t have a card saved and would like to add a new card to Wallet, they can select the “Add a card” prompt in the carousel at the top of the wallet app page and they will be prompted to review and accept the Issuer terms and conditions before use. Once they have accepted and verified their card information, their cards will be tokenised and ready for use in Google Wallet. They will then be able to use them to tap and pay in stores and pay online wherever the Google Pay or contactless symbol is visible.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Airlink’s Richards Bay flights resume next month

With the resumption of flights on the route, Airlink is re-connecting Richards Bay with the world with a choice of convenient connections to Airlink’s expansive network of domestic and regional destinations as well as those around the world through Airlink’s global airline partners.

Travel on Airlink flights can be planned, booked and managed on, on the FlyAirlink smartphone app and through travel agents.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch

Boxer breaks new ground with flame grilled chicken specialists Galito’s

Galito’s at Boxer KwaMashu officially opened for trade within the Superstore on the 15th of August, ushering in a new era of collaboration and convenience in the supermarket and takeaway restaurant industry.

Chris Theron, Boxer’s Group Executive: Operations said the opening within Boxer was an obvious move that will add even more convenience and value to the Boxer shopper experience. “Galito’s is a wonderful and proudly South African brand that offers world-class meals at affordable prices. It makes complete sense as South Africa’s favourite Discounter to work with them and offer our many shoppers an even easier way to access their products.”

Shoppers at the flagship Boxer store in KwaMashu now have the capability to complete their shopping and grab a fresh Galito’s meal, in-store. “Boxer KwaMashu is the perfect place to launch this unique collaboration. Whether a guest is coming to Galito’s and then to Boxer or vice versa, they benefit from the convenience, well-priced value, and friendly service offered at both Galito’s and Boxer. It’s a win-win for our shopper, and that’s the main goal for both brands, said Galito’s Managing Director Francois Rousseau.

Curious KwaMashu residents flocked to the opening on Monday morning with many noting that it was a pleasant surprise to see their favourite discounter and flame-grilled chicken take away under one roof. “Boxer already provides the best deals for me, now I get to grab a Galito’s on the way out too! That is exactly what I want!” said shopper Godfrey Mhkize, at the opening.

WR Van Der Merwe has more in Business Watch.

Image: Facebook

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