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In South Africa’s dynamic and frequently volatile steel sector, succession planning and the creation of robust synergies are often the exception to the rule, but dynamic structural steel company Cousins Steel International (CSI) demonstrates that these can indeed be successful and enduring.

The company – which adeptly blends its decades-old legacy with modern steel technology and insights – is very proud of its roots and track record, and equally, of its current synergies which energise and drive the business forward.

Strong steel relationships

Cousins Steel CC, a 55-year-old fabrication company located in Pietermaritzburg was started by brothers Lynton and Craig Cousins. Highly experienced structural steel fabricators, and well- connected, savvy businesspeople, the brothers grew their business into a respected large-scale fabrication facility with a sound reputation.

Meanwhile in Durban, professional engineer Mike Oldfield had opened his own business on the Berea, specialising in residential, commercial and industrial projects – and building his own very successful civil and structural engineering practice, completing many successful projects.


Processing and transporting coal happens in harsh operating conditions. This is largely due to the presence of fine coal particles, called duff, and their corrosive impact on mechanical parts.

This means that it’s essential to use lubricants designed to repel duff and dirt to protect equipment at all stages across the coal-handling ecosystem. Gavin Ford, National Marketing Manager at Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa says that coal industry operators should take a two-pronged approach by using high-quality lubricants, applied in the right quantities and at the necessary intervals, in conjunction with key maintenance techniques.

“Along with fine particles, heavy loads, shocks and jars are typical of coal operations and lubricants designed to withstand these conditions are essential to ensure maximum efficiency; but these do need to be paired with making sure that key components are cleaned well before a lubricant is applied,” says Ford.

As duff is by nature extremely fine and pervasive, managing contamination in components like gear teeth surfaces, fill pipes, grease fittings and plugs need to get special attention in coal-processing environments. Correct storage of lubrication supplies is also important, so that foreign matter is not re-introduced when lubricants are applied.


In bulk materials handling applications, the uncontrolled discharge from conventional chutes can lead to increased maintenance and replacement costs, as well as decreased productivity.

Recognising these challenges, companies around the world, both large and small, have adopted Weba Chute Systems, a choice which represents a shift towards greater efficiency and less downtime. Mark Baller, CEO of Weba Chute Systems, explains that there is a growing consensus across the globe that incorporating custom-engineered transfer chutes is paramount.

“There are still some that overlook the significance of transfer points that are engineered for specific application requirements, ranking them below screens, crushers or feeders in the process hierarchy. Baller points out a critical misconception that undermines operational efficiency: the notion that initial savings from inexpensive inferior chutes outweigh long term costs.” This approach is flawed, “he argues,” “as it inevitably leads to higher operational expenditure due to frequent maintenance, and in some cases unscheduled downtime.”

Highlighting the benefits of custom-designed solutions, Baller notes, “Proper initial design significantly lowers maintenance needs, improves material transfer, extends conveyor belt lifespan and boosts throughput. Moreover, our chutes are engineered to minimise environmental impact, reducing airborne dust and enhancing workplace health and safety.”


With South Africa’s winter season on its way, many concrete users will know that slower curing times could derail their contract or production schedules, but accelerating admixtures – or accelerators – are available to solve this challenge.

With the country’s generally temperate climate, it is easy to forget that many provinces and neighbouring Lesotho regularly experience sub-zero temperatures, points out Hannes Engelbrecht, Concrete Business Unit Director for Domestic and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) at CHRYSO Southern Africa. Temperatures do not even need to reach freezing point; the concrete hydration process slows down steadily as temperature drops and actually stops when it goes below about 5 degrees Celsius.

A significant amount of current concrete construction – especially for wind turbine bases and foundations for solar photovoltaic infrastructure – is, in fact, taking place in provinces like the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape where temperatures fluctuate widely. Efficient stripping time of formwork is crucial in allowing these projects to meet their stringent deadlines to complete construction and start delivering renewable energy.

Precast products

“Low temperatures create a range of problems for contractors and concrete product manufacturers,” says Engelbrecht. “Most projects in today’s world need to be delivered on a fast track basis, so there is no room for slow concrete curing to hold up the schedule. Similar constraints apply in the manufacture of precast products, where production must simply keep up with customer orders and delivery deadlines.”


The January-March edition of Oil And Gas News Africa

(Johannesburg,  April 4, 2024) – PWL Global Network, the Africa’s fastest-growing publishing company, has published the latest edition of Oil And Gas News Africa. This publication is a highly regarded voice within the Oil And Gas Sector for its in-depth reports and interviews with prominent figures in the industry.

You can visit Oil And Gas News Africa for daily news and analysis of the ever-changing financial industry.


Discover How We’re Shaping the Future of Key Sectors in Africa

In the heart of Africa, where industries are flourishing, and innovation is at its peak, there’s a source of knowledge that has been instrumental in shaping the growth and progress of the continent’s most critical sectors. We are PWL Global Network, and we’re the proud publishers of seven influential print magazines, each dedicated to providing invaluable insights, trends, and expertise in key African industries.

A Glimpse into Our Publications

  1. Logistics African Magazine: Our magazine dedicated to Transport and Logistics offers a comprehensive view of the networks that keep Africa moving. From supply chain optimization to cutting-edge technology, we bring you the latest updates and strategies driving the industry forward.
  2. Modern Energy And Mines Review: In the ever-evolving world of Mining and Energy, we’ve been the go-to source for industry professionals and decision-makers. Our magazine delves into mineral resources, sustainable energy solutions, and the economic impact of these sectors.
  3. Oil And Gas News Africa: Africa’s Oil and Gas industry holds tremendous potential. Our publication explores exploration, production, and the energy transition, delivering crucial information that drives the industry’s growth.
  4. Rail Management Review: The Railways magazine takes you on a journey through the rail systems that connect nations and fuel economic development in Africa. We provide the latest news and innovations within this vital transport sector.
  5. Pipes, Pumps and Valves: Keeping the heart of industries pumping is what we do best. Our magazine on Pumps and Valves covers the technologies and applications that drive efficiency and sustainability in African businesses.
  6. Fire and Security Journal: In an ever-changing world, staying ahead of security threats is paramount. Our publication is a beacon of information on fire safety and security systems, ensuring a safer Africa.
  7. Green Africa Magazine: Agriculture remains the backbone of Africa’s economy. We offer a comprehensive look at the latest trends, innovations, and sustainable practices in the agriculture industry.

Our Impact and Expertise

Over the years, we’ve earned the trust of industry experts, professionals, and readers alike. Our commitment to delivering accurate, timely, and relevant content has made us a reliable source of knowledge. Our magazines have not only informed but have also influenced decision-making, policy changes, and the overall development of these industries.

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We believe in the power of knowledge and its role in Africa’s growth. You can join us on this journey by subscribing to our magazines, engaging with us on social media, and exploring our website for more in-depth content.

In a world that’s constantly evolving, staying informed is your most potent weapon. With PWL Global Network, you have a trusted ally dedicated to keeping you updated on the trends, innovations, and opportunities that are driving Africa’s industries forward.

To advertise in our publications, get in touch with our sales team

Rosten Williams

+27 74 225 6659


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  1. Lube tip: hydraulic system


Low oil level is a serious cause of contamination in the hydraulic system. When the oil level is low, more air gets into the tank, and this often leads to destructive cavitation in the pump and to condensation on the tank walls, which generates sludge. Sludge decreases the lubricity of the oil, producing scoring and friction on surfaces with close tolerances. Visit for more condition monitoring information.

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  1. Lube tip: analysing an oil filter – three options


Q: ‘When analysing the debris found in an oil filter, is there a standard or generally accepted method for conducting the analysis?’


A: Used oil filters provide lots of clues about the oil condition. Inspecting a dissected filter reveals information about the filter itself – looking for collapsed media, bad seals or weak points that developed during use. The debris remaining in the used filter also indicates important facts about the machine’s health.

Here, we discuss three different options for analysing this filter debris. The first method is quick, easy and free, and can be conducted on site. The next two involve the use of laboratory instruments. You can choose which debris/ filter examination method you need depending on how much detail you require.


Canister filters

For a canister style filter, a cost-effective, easy technique is to simply cut the filter in half, and remove the media. Then, conduct a visual inspection of the media, for sludge, varnish or shiny particles. An additional step at this point would be to use a magnet – this is a good way to determine whether any of the shiny particles are metallic.

For a more scientific version of this method, the media can be extracted from the filter following the above technique, and then submitting it to a reliable laboratory, where it will be analysed by trained technicians. Several methods are used in the laboratories, including separating the debris from the filter media using ultrasonic agitation

Once the debris is separated, the size of the contaminants is assessed, counted and categorised, and many additional condition monitoring tests can be conducted to determine the machine’s health.

Thirdly, a different option is not to remove the filter media, but rather to drill a hold into the filter canister to extract the oil. This is then collected in a sample bottle, and visually inspected with a laser beam for particulate matter.

When inspecting with a laser, safety is of paramount importance.

Similarly to method one, a magnet can be employed to show whether any of the particles are metallic. Again, the sample can be submitted to a laboratory for more detailed, scientific testing.

ASTM D919-14 is the standard guide for filter debris analysis using manual or automated processes. This standard can be reviewed for a more detailed, step-by-step process. Visit for more condition monitoring information.

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  1. Lube tip: watch out for road dust

Sources of solid contaminants in crankcase oils might include dirt and airborne dust, engine wear debris, rust, fuel soot and manufacturing or rebuild debris.

Road dust particles are typically harder than metallic wear particles and can cause far more abrasive damage and contact fatigue to interior machine surfaces than most other contaminants. Visit for more condition monitoring information.

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  1. Lube tip: beware of blue engine smoke


Black diesel engine exhaust smoke can be a concern, as can white smoke. However, blue smoke is the worst. It is rarely a transient condition but rather a serious engine defect. It occurs when the engine is burning too much oil due to poor piston ring control (collapsed or worn rings), worn intake valve guides or other causes of high oil ingress into the combustion chamber. Blue smoke usually means the engine is heading for serious trouble. Don’t delay in getting the problem diagnosed and fixed to avoid excessive collateral damage. Visit for more condition monitoring information.

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  1. LUBE TIP: synthetic oils – what are the advantages?


Synthetic oils have many notable advantages, which are most distinct when used at extremely high or low temperatures. Among the benefits are good oxidation stability, and a higher viscosity index. Additionally, a lower coefficient of friction in some synthetic oils facilitates their use at higher operating temperatures.

Furthermore, the lower pour points, coupled with a higher viscosity index, enable operation at lower temperatures. Visit for more condition monitoring information.

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