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DB and Siemens launch world’s first automatic train in Germany

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Deutsche Bahn (DB), in partnership with Siemens Mobility, has developed the world’s first fully automated driverless train in Germany.

This train made its debut under the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project, which is part of DB’s Digital Rail Germany project.

It made its premiere run at the launch of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress (ITS) in Hamburg.

Controlled by digital technology, the S-Bahn train has the ability to carry out operations, such as shunting, in the absence of on-board personnel.

However, a driver will be present to manage the journey with commuters on board.

During the congress, four digital S-Bahn trains will run automatically on the 23km segment of the S-Bahn Line 21 between the Bergedorf/Aumühle and Berliner Tor stations.

The train’s digital operations are in line with the future European Automatic Train Operation (ATO) standard and supported by the European Train Control System (ETCS).

Siemens CEO Dr Roland Busch said: “We are making rail transport more intelligent. Trains drive the perfect timetable automatically, accurate to the second and energy-optimised. This way, we are supporting our partner Deutsche Bahn in its goal of making train travel more attractive and protecting the climate.

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New CIPS Southern Africa General Manager focusses on more educational opportunities for all as she takes on new challenges for the procurement and supply profession

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Pretoria, 2 December 2021  – The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has appointed Dr Sara Bux as General Manager of Southern Africa. This is a critical appointment as the procurement profession continues to grow in the region and more individuals and organisations are seeking training and qualifications in procurement and supply.

Dr Bux, who most recently served as Director —Southern Africa at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector.

Dr Bux possesses a high level of understanding of the regulatory education environment and networks across Southern Africa, with board-level experience. She has a passion for educational transformation, particularly within Southern Africa and support for the procurement and supply profession. Her qualifications include a Master of Arts (MA) in South African Literature, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Management Entrepreneurship.

Group Chief Executive Officer of CIPS, Malcolm Harrison commented, “I am delighted Sara is joining the CIPS team with her background in education, her high level of understanding of the regulatory frameworks and her strong networks in Southern Africa; she will be a real asset.

“Her energy and enthusiasm will build on the ongoing success of CIPS and I’m looking forward to working with her to create more opportunities for members and aspiring professionals to develop their skills and qualifications allowing them to create the resilient supply chains of the future.”Dr Sara Bux said of her appointment: “I am a firm believer in dignity, equality, freedom, diversity and inclusion for all, and I hope to bring these qualities into my role for CIPS.“I have a strong passion for education and especially, access to the right kind of education that will enable individuals to constructively participate in and contribute to the local and global economy and to society as a whole.”

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Winners of the 4th Annual Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards announced.

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19 November 2021: The winners of the 4th Annual Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards, in partnership with Arena Holdings, Fetola and Cold Press Media, were announced at a hybrid event held at The Empire Conference and Events Venue in Johannesburg on Thursday, 18 November 2021.

This awards programme recognises companies who are making significant strides in terms of their supplier development initiatives by acknowledging those who go beyond the scorecard, fostering learning, showcasing best practice and encouraging intersectoral collaboration to create scale and impact.

“At Absa we are particularly pleased that since their launch in 2018, the Supplier Development Awards have grown significantly – in their importance, number of participants and, more importantly, their impact. The Awards have truly come of age and continue to mature each and every year. It is critical now more than ever for corporates in both the public and private sectors to use their supply chains to help develop and grow small suppliers, who are the real drivers of economic growth and job creation” says Vusi Fele, Chief Procurement Officer at Absa Group. 

“The increased interest from companies wanting to be part of the learning ecosystem and the high quality of this year’s finalists, indicates that supplier development is becoming recognised as a valuable strategic lever to drive inclusive growth”, says Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola, founding partner and technical lead of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards.

The 2021 results are audited by BDO South Africa, and the winners are as follows: 

THE NEWCOMER AWARD

Winner: Uyandiswa Project Management Services

INNOVATION AWARD

Winner: V&A Waterfront

YOUTH FOCUS AWARD sponsored by Absa

Winner: Anglo American Zimele

WOMEN FOCUS AWARD sponsored by Cold Press Media

Winner: Empact Group

RURAL AND TOWNSHIP FOCUS AWARD

Winner: SPAR

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY AWARD

Winner: Exxaro Resources

LOCALISATION AWARD

Winner: Empact Group

COLLABORATION AWARD sponsored by Fetola

Winner: Tiger Brands

COVID-19 RECOVERY AWARD (SPECIAL 2021 AWARD)

Winner: Distell

IMPACT AWARD sponsored by Business Day

Winner: Anglo American Zimele

SMALL SUPPLIER AWARD sponsored by IDC

Winner: Stellar Agri nominated by Distell

OUTSTANDING GROWTH IN A SMALL SUPPLIER AWARD (SPECIAL AWARD)

Winner: MB Resources nominated by Exxaro Resources

For the first time since inception, the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards has been extended to include nominations from Sub-Saharan Africa.  We believe that this will inspire African companies to join the Supplier Development ecosystem and participate in the awards in future.

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Economic Empowerment across the Supply Chain

Winner: Debswana (Botswana)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Women Inclusion in the Supply Chain

Winner: Safaricom (Kenya)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Localisation of the Supply Chain

Winner: Tullow Oil (Ghana)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Pioneering Supplier Development

Winner: Vodacom (Mozambique)

OVERALL WINNER sponsored by Absa

Winner: Tiger Brands

Thank you to the main sponsor Absa, our category sponsors, as well as this year’s judges and advisory panel. Congratulations to all of the 2021 finalists and winners.

For more information visit www.sdawards.co.za  

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Precision delivery key to Unitrans Africa’s mining-sector success

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Unitrans Africa’s (UA) proven mining-sector material handling capability is laying the foundation for a bright future characterised by unique innovation in critical areas of the company’s operations.

Electric vehicles and real-time stockpile management and reporting are but two examples of Unitrans Africa’s bold, long-term vision. But none of these ideas would have even made it to the drawing board had it not been for the company’s trusted reputation when it comes to on-mine material handling and mine-to-port capabilities – painstakingly built across the continent over many decades.

“Unitrans Africa is truly demonstrating our purpose of Accelerating Africa’s Growth with the current mining projects and partnerships we currently have in place,” says Unitrans CEO, Rob Hayworth, who believes that the company now has the springboard to recreate, throughout Africa, the success of current operations, which are accredited according to the highest available safety standards, including the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), Occupational Health, Safety and Security (OHSAS), Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) and Road Transport Management System (RTMS).

“Our solutions have a positive impact on the regions we operate in and with the partners we are involved with, especially when it comes to utilising local labour and reducing the total project emissions via the use of road trains,” he adds.

Road trains have the unique ability to each handle up to 140 tons of payload, while at the same time increasing safety standards and decreasing environmental impact. The latter is achieved through reduced emissions on a net project basis due to a reduction in the required fleet size.

It’s for these reasons that road trains occupy pole position in Unitrans Africa’s bold take on the future – one that is possible thanks to the company’s proven end-to-end capabilities. “Our ‘mine-to-port’ capability is a major strength and this is where our immediate focus has been” says Hayworth. “We’ve been able to set a stake in the ground and are now looking to build on these strengths, as the largest operator of road trains in Africa.”

“We are in the final stages of research into a number of innovative offerings including electric mining vehicles, which will be revealed soon,” he adds.

Unitrans Africa’s extensive footprint in sub-Saharan Africa includes countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania and Madagascar. This presence already makes the company one of the largest material handling, distribution and logistics operations on the continent, which Hayworth ascribes to an unwavering focus on precision delivery.

“Our exacting standards, high quality, performance track records and continuous improvement all translate into a gold standard when it comes to service delivery,” he says. “When it comes to mining, this is reflected in Unitrans’s custom designed vehicles and engineered equipment, handling of dangerous goods, superb delivery, and cost efficiency, amongst other things.”

As an example of this precision delivery accelerating Africa’s growth, Hayworth points to the successful kickstarting of their Botswanan copper operations, which have demonstrated positive economic and environmental effects. Job growth has increased locally, GDP has grown across the SADC region as a whole, and copper has contributed to a reduction in carbon emissions due to its use in electric vehicles.

“We now have proven copper handling capabilities, which we can use as a launchpad into similar operations in the likes of DRC, Zambia and Namibia in the future,” says Hayworth.

A future which, if Unitrans Africa’s track record is anything to go by, looks bright indeed.

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