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VAT rate rise ‘not desirable’, but ‘unavoidable’ to rebuild public finance integrity

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba confirmed the much-anticipated increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate from 14% to 15% in his maiden Budget speech to Parliament on Wednesday, describing the increase as “unavoidable if we are to maintain the integrity of our public finances”. The hike was... 

VAT rate rise ‘not desirable’, but ‘unavoidable’ to rebuild public finance integrity
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Land and asset sales on cards as government seeks revenue-neutral support for State firms

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba used his maiden Budget to reinforce President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement that stakes in cash-strapped State-owned companies (SoCs) could be sold to reduce their reliance on bail-outs and debt. Ramaphosa made the announcement in his response to the debate... 

Land and asset sales on cards as government seeks revenue-neutral support for State firms

Spatial transformation key to unlocking infrastructure, industrialisation – Gigaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 South African township businesses needed to work “imaginatively” and think beyond car washes and spaza shops to foster productive, high-value economic activity in townships, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday. In his Budget speech, he noted that factories, workshops, tech hubs and... 

Spatial transformation key to unlocking infrastructure, industrialisation – Gigaba

Treasury allocates R57bn to fund fee-free higher education

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said R57-billion would be allocated over the coming three years to fund the fee-free higher education and training policy announced to by former President Jacob Zuma in December 2017 and reaffirmed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February. Noting that this was the... 

Treasury allocates R57bn to fund fee-free higher education
Rhodes University

Social grants set to increase faster than inflation as taxes rise

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 The South African government has committed R259.4-billion towards social development in the 2018 Budget, with social grant payments set to increase faster than inflation to offset the effect of higher taxes on poor households. During the tabling of the Budget on Wednesday, Finance Minister Malusi... 

Social grants set to increase faster than inflation as taxes rise

National Treasury makes budget cuts to assure more frugal spending

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 Departmental budgets have been reduced by R85.7-billion over the medium term, the National Treasury said on Wednesday, noting that cuts at the provincial level would affect conditional infrastructure grants.  The announcement of the expenditure cuts had been highlighted as a priority prior to the... 

National Treasury makes budget cuts to assure more frugal spending

Public Procurement aligned to more stringent regulations as Bill goes to Cabinet

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 The Public Procurement Bill, which will be presented to Cabinet next month for gazetting for public comments, will be slightly delayed owing to the recent changes in government, an Office of the Chief Procurement Officer representative told Engineering News Online on Wednesday. The Bill was aimed... 

Public Procurement aligned to more stringent regulations as Bill goes to Cabinet

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 Citizens of towns in the Western Cape, particularly Cape Town, on Wednesday could give a sigh of relief as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba outlined that a provisional allocation of R6-billion has been set aside in 2018/19 for drought relief measures and to augment public infrastructure investment.... 

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

South African radioisotope producer restarts production

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary company, NTP Radioisotopes, had resumed production. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in late November due to non-compliance with safety protocols at the radioisotope producer, a step with which the... 

South African radioisotope producer restarts production
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
The Necsa complex at Pelindaba

CSIR publishes latest Atlas to guide response to climate change 

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has published the second edition of the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (Sarva), alongside the relaunch of the newly revamped online portal, to help business navigate current research on the risk and vulnerability of key social... 

CSIR Natural Resources and Environment executive director May Hermanus discusses the climate change impact on Africa and the need for accessible information to aid decision-making. 21/02/2018. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

JSE reports revenue, earnings drops, but declares dividend

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) reported a 5% drop in its revenue to R2.2-billion for the 2017 financial year and an earnings decline of 99% to R836-million, but a strong balance sheet and good cash generation led it to declare a dividend of 605c a share, which was an increase of 8%.... 

Bidcorp interim results in line with company expectations

By: Simone Liedtke     21st February 2018 JSE-listed Bidcorp has delivered "pleasing results" with the foodservice group's half-year performance in line with management expectations, CEO Bernard Berson said on Wednesday. Headline earnings a share increased by 8.6% to 640c a share in the six months ended December 31, from 589.3c a share a... 

Climate change driving energy innovation

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2018 Climate change is a major driver of global energy innovation, says Clinton Foundation climate initiative senior regional manager Fiona Wilson. Speaking at the Africa Energy Indaba, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday, she said climate change has not just become an environmental concern, but also an... 

Climate change driving energy innovation
Photo by Duane Daws
Clinton Foundation climate initiative senior regional manager Fiona Wilson

Utilities should embrace technology and innovation – Eskom’s Govender

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2018 The fourth industrial revolution presents an opportunity to embrace technology and innovation in the energy sector, State-owned Eskom transmission and sustainability group executive Thava Govender said on Wednesday.   Addressing delegates at the Africa Energy Indaba in Johannesburg, he said that... 

Utilities should embrace technology and innovation – Eskom’s Govender
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom transmission and sustainability group executive Thava Govender

Energy policy certainty needed to bolster manufacturing growth in Africa

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2018 More policy certainty is required to support energy projects and to build a strong manufacturing sector in Africa, says engineering and infrastructure advisory group Aurecon African market energy director Elekanyani Ndlovu. Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Africa Energy Indaba on... 

Reliable energy needed for a stable economy – Rosatom

By: Anine Kilian     21st February 2018 Reliable and affordable energy is key to stimulating any economy, says Rosatom sub-Saharan African regional VP Viktor Polikarpov. Speaking during a panel discussion at the African Energy Indaba, on Wednesday, he noted that the lack of electricity in various parts of the continent was a major... 

Reliable energy needed for a stable economy – Rosatom
Photo by Duane Daws
Rosatom sub-Saharan African VP Viktor Polikarpov

SUVs push global new-car sales up by 2.4%, EV sales up 78%

By: Irma Venter     21st February 2018 The global new-car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by 2.4% in 2017, to 86.05-million units, compared with 2016, according to data released by UK automotive business intelligence group JATO Dynamics. “The automotive market performed well in 2017, with established economies... 

 SUVs push global new-car sales up by 2.4%, EV sales up 78%

SNC-Lavalin awarded Engen refinery shutdown contract

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a $12.4-million contract for the February 2018 refinery turnaround at the Engen crude refinery, in Durban, for Engen Petroleum. The scope of work on this project involves the planning, preparation and execution of all mechanical activities on the North Complex and... 

Illovo’s economic value-add in Africa reported at R23.8bn

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa has estimated its positive economic impact across the six countries in which it operates at R23.8-billion, which includes a R5-billion direct positive economic impact. This is a 29% increase in the company’s total contribution to the economies over a period of... 

Slow start to year to impact on Tiger Brands’ FY18 performance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st February 2018 JSE-listed Tiger Brands’ shares fell by 9% on Wednesday morning after the company announced that its revenue for the four months to January 31 had decreased by 5% year-on-year, driven by price deflation of 1% and volume declines of 4%. In a voluntary trading update to the market, the company... 

South Africa retains dubious corruption rating

By: News24Wire      Updated 13 minutes ago Corruption Watch has expressed concern over South Africa dropping down the rankings of the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International. Corruption Watch's Phemelo Khaas said South Africa's score dropped from 45 in 2017 to 43 this year, and although it seems "a... 

South Africa retains dubious corruption rating

Volumes, dollar prices keep rand at bay for divi-hoisting Assore

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2018 Improved volumes and better dollar prices proved sufficient for mining holding company Assore to keep rand strength at bay in posting strong headline earnings growth and a sharp interim dividend increase. The company's half-year results were highlighted by a 12% rise in headline earnings, a... 

Volumes, dollar prices keep rand at bay for divi-hoisting Assore
Photo by Duane Daws
Assore CEO Charles Walters

Glencore shoots lights out, mulls divi top-up, reaffirms South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2018 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore shot the lights out with a superlative set of 2017 results that coincided with a leap in its share price in Johannesburg, the reaffirmation of South Africa as an even more positive investment destination, and the mulling of a dividend "top up"... 

Glencore shoots lights out, mulls divi top-up, reaffirms South Africa
Photo by Duane Daws
Flashback to Ivan Glasenberg opening Glencore-funded school in South Africa's coalfields.

Nigerian State oil firm spent $5.8bn on fuel imports since late 2017

By: Reuters     21st February 2018 Nigeria's State oil firm said on Tuesday it had spent $5.8-billion on fuel imports since late 2017, as it combats a fuel shortage that has left people queuing for hours at filling stations and hobbled an already-struggling economy. "The corporation's intervention became necessary following the... 

Tribunal conditionally approves Timrite’s acquisition of mining support bag manufacturer

     21st February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved, with conditions, mining support product supplier Timrite’s acquisition of Tufbag’s Mining Bag division. Tufbag’s Mining Bag division and Timrite design and manufacture polypropylene-based mining support (PBMS) bags.   Concerns were raised by the Competition... 

Parliament to launch inquiry into Zwane

By: Reuters     21st February 2018 Parliament will launch an investigation into allegations of influence-peddling against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, its oversight committee on mineral resources department said on Wednesday. The committee did not give specific reasons on why it wanted to open an investigation into... 

Parliament to launch inquiry into Zwane
Photo by Duane Daws
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane

Ramaphosa lauds South African defence forces for 'peace we enjoy'

By: African News Agency      21st February 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday lauded the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) during the Armed Forces Day parade in Kimberley in the Northern Cape, "for the peace we enjoy". "We dare not fail to appreciate how the peace we enjoy lives alongside the constant vigilance and... 

Civil society calls on Gigaba to deliver a pro-poor budget

By: Sane Dhlamini     21st February 2018 South African civil society organisations have called for a pro-poor policy agenda ahead of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden Budget Speech on Wednesday, which some analysts expect will also be his last. Gigaba’s position is not certain amid talks of an imminent Cabinet reshuffle, which... 

Civil society calls on Gigaba to deliver a pro-poor budget
Photo by Bloomberg
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

AfriForum challenges Zuma rule on influence-peddling inquiry

By: Reuters     21st February 2018 Civil rights group AfriForum wants South Africa's highest court to quash a rule signed by former president Jacob Zuma that says evidence produced at a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling cannot be used in a criminal case. The clause is part of a list of regulations signed into... 

AfriForum challenges Zuma rule on influence-peddling inquiry
Former President Jacob Zuma

New helicopters ordered for TNPA's Durban, Richards Bay ports

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2018 Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has concluded negotiations and signed an agreement for the manufacture, supply and delivery of two new helicopters to service the Durban and Richards Bay ports, as part of its helicopter marine pilotage service - one of only three countries in the world to... 

New helicopters ordered for TNPA's Durban, Richards Bay ports

Minigrid solutions suitable for addressing Africa’s energy challenge

By: Anine Kilian     20th February 2018 Minigrids have the capability to operate in isolation from the national grid and have been shown to reduce the cost of, and dramatically increase the pace of, rural electrification, says Blue World Power Energy and Resources MD Gavin Carlson. “We view minigrids as a game changer for the rapid,... 

Minigrid solutions suitable for addressing Africa’s energy challenge
Photo by Duane Daws
Blue World Power Energy and Resources MD Gavin Carlson

South Africa falls to small percentage of AngloGold output 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2018 South African gold mines now represent around 13% of the AngloGold Ashanti portfolio, AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat) said on Tuesday. The fall in the contribution from AngloGold's South Africa region mines follows the sale of Moab and Kopanang and the closure of the Tau... 

AngloGold Ashanti 2017 results presentation covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Darlene Creamer. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Transnet board cannot revoke its responsibility – Brown

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday instructed State-owned Transnet to report alleged irregularities identified in an investigative report by law firm Werksmans Attorneys on the R54-billion procurement of 1 064 locomotives in 2014 to law enforcement authorities. The parastatal last... 

Ramaphosa's plan for SOEs

By: News24Wire      20th February 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed more details of how he plans to fix State-owned enterprises (SOEs), and he will be considering proposals by Members of Parliament (MPs). He was addressing the National Assembly on Tuesday, in a reply to the debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona). 

 Ramaphosa's plan for SOEs
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Sapoa continues to focus on transformation, advocacy

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2018 The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa), under the leadership of president Peter Levett, continues to focus on education, advocacy, transformation and research in the property sector. Sapoa plays a “pivotal role” in advocacy, providing targeted participation in legislative... 

Lifestyle audits on government politicians, public servants set to start - Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      20th February 2018 Tests on whether the lifestyles of politicians and public officials in South Africa match their incomes are set to become the norm, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, starting with himself and members of his cabinet. "If there ever has been anything that many South Africans would like to... 

 Lifestyle audits on government politicians, public servants set to start - Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa with MPs

There is relevance for nuclear power in South Africa, Niasa exec

By: Anine Kilian     20th February 2018 South Africa needs to be prepared for the nuclear build programme, which has been in the pipeline for a decade now, says Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa supply chain committee member Des Muller. Speaking at the Africa Energy Indaba, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, Muller stated that... 

Tough trading environment put Transpaco under pressure in H1

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2018 JSE-listed plastics and packaging group Transpaco reported a 4.7% fall in operating profit to R78.5-million in the six months to December 31. While in line with expectations, the company said its performance remained under pressure from a continued challenging economic environment, leading to a... 

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