Sep 30, 2008
Daily podcast – September 30, 2008Back
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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
General Motors South Africa confirmed on Monday that some 300 workers were recently offered voluntary severance packages and that more were to follow.
Vice president of human resources Chris Thexton said the move was in line with the decline in vehicle sales in South Africa.
He said this had directly impacted on General Motors SA's employment levels in manufacturing and related support areas.
Thexton said the company was also developing a leaner organisation structure to improve its overall competitiveness.
Paper producer Sappi on Monday announced its €750-million acquisition of the European coated graphic paper business of M-real. Sappi CEO Ralph Boëttger said this would "return the European business to acceptable levels of profitability and returns".
The deal would increase Sappi's European graphic paper capacity from 2,6-million tons a year to 4,5-million tons a year. It would also expand the company's wood-free coated product offering and customer base. This would make Sappi the number three player in the coated paper market in Europe.
The transaction included the acquisition of M-real's coated graphic paper business including brands and know-how, as well as four coated graphic paper mills - two in Finland, one in Germany, and one in Switzerland.
Minerals and Energy Ministry spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said on Monday that there was no plan "at the moment" for the creation of a State-owned mining company as the National Union of Mineworkers proposed at South Africa's mining summit.
Ratau said that a plan to create a State-owned mine had not yet been proposed to the Ministry.
He said that "more concrete" comment might be forthcoming from the Ministry should discussion on the issue take place. "But at the moment it's not government policy" to establish and control mines.
NUM president Senzeni Zokwana at the mining summit:
Also making headlines:
Oil falls below $96 on financial turmoil
In political news:
The Gauteng Premier resigns
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Intellectual Property Law News
Pharmaceutical companies typically invest substantial amounts of money into research and development. Their research, however, is not only aimed at discovering new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Instead, some companies make small modifications to existing...
A controversial patent process known as ‘ever-greening’ is being carried out by many pharmaceutical brands, and is preventing medications from being made available as generics, affecting many South Africans who are struggling to keep up with the cost of medication....
It has been over six years since the government began developing the draft policy on intellectual property (IP) that has been the focus of major public controversy following the PharmaGate scandal, which involved a leaked pharmaceutical industry email by Knowledge...
Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago Protech Khuthele Holdings on Wednesday said, in a cautionary note to shareholders, that, as the failed company unwound, investigations were ongoing into its affairs. The company provided no indication of the completion date.
Updated 1 hour 23 minutes ago Private equity investors are increasingly becoming more active in Africa’s bid to narrow the $90-billion a year infrastructure funding gap constraining the continent’s growth. This was according to a survey by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity...
Updated 1 hour 58 minutes ago The shortlist of innovations in the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation was announced on Wednesday, comprising 12 new innovations from seven African countries. The shortlist announced by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) included innovations in...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.