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
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