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South Africa has been on a steady path of deindustrialisation for a number of decades. The manufacturing sector was also disproportionately affected by the recent ‘Great Recession’ and has failed to recover to precrisis levels. However, Trade and Industry Minister Dr...
Apr 19, 2013


Eskom has become increasingly frank about the volatility of its plant performance. The utility is also warning that the high levels of unplanned outages, which typically leave about 5 000 MW inoperable at any point, will continue unless space is created for it to...
Apr 12, 2013


Eskom CEO Brian Dames has indicated that he is “concerned” about the utility’s ability to honour its current mandate of “keeping the lights on” during the winter of 2013. He says the utility will need to continue with maintenance during the high-demand period, as it...
Apr 05, 2013


What is going on at the South African Broadcasting Corporation? The infighting, which left the organisation without a board earlier this month, has moved from being a mere soap opera into a full-blown horror movie! Once thing is certain, viewers are not merely...
Mar 29, 2013


South Africa’s economy remains energy and carbon intensive. If fact, cheap electricity was, until recently, the country’s main industrial incentive. The power price is rising fast and the South African government has also made some material carbon reduction...
Mar 22, 2013


It was power utility Eskom rather than South African electricity consumers that seemingly received a price shock when the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) rejected the State-owned company’s application for five yearly increases of 16%. Instead, Nersa...
Mar 15, 2013


Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is being squeezed from all sides. Tax revenue growth is weak, the outlook for economic expansion is poor and major spending commitments remain. Some savings initiatives have been announced. However, in light of these difficult...
Mar 08, 2013


Many South Africans appreciated the bravery shown by Dr Mamphela Ramphele in indicating that she would, in future, launch a party to contest in the 2014 elections. But far fewer citizens truly believe that the initiative, currently fashioned as a platform, will...
Mar 01, 2013


There is little doubt that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will disappoint many next Wednesday when he unveils government’s 2013/14 Budget. There are many demands – some old, others new. But in the context of a weak recovery in revenue collections and the...
Feb 22, 2013


Speaker after speaker at the recently National Energy Regulator of South Africa hearings into Eskom’s latest tariff application called on government to play a more significant role in supporting the State-owned utility and shielding consumers and the economy from...
Feb 15, 2013


While President Jacob Zuma and his senior economic Ministers were bowling dollies to potential investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, domestic business was being treated to a far more brutal display. The all-out pace and aggression saw business...
Feb 08, 2013


Through his autobiography, ‘It’s Not About the Bike’, then-hero Lance Armstrong inspired millions and, more importantly, lifted the spirits of many individuals battling with cancer. We have since sadly learned just how true the title of his book was, as the disgraced...
Feb 01, 2013


South Africa’s labour market is complicated and contradictory. There is high unemployment, yet, in many sectors, skills shortages persist. It is also true that, in many industries, wages have risen well ahead of productivity gains and that businesses are finding this...
Jan 25, 2013


There was a good deal of excitement about the fact that the Matric Class of 2012 – the first cohort of the so-called ‘born frees’ – achieved a pass rate of 73.9%. Indeed, it was the best performance since the advent of democracy. However, questions remain about the...
Jan 18, 2013


All in all, 2012 was a pretty inauspicious year for South Africa. From the textbook saga in Limpopo to the tragic events of Marikana, there were simply too many problems and too little visible progress and leadership – not to mention a dismal economic performance....
Dec 14, 2012


The Bank of England (BoE) surprised many last week when it named Mark Carney, a Canadian national, as its replacement for governor Mervyn King when he retires in July. Carney will become the first non-British head of the central bank in its 300-year history. Perhaps...
Dec 07, 2012


Reports have emerged that the world could face a possible food crisis in 2013. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, or FAO, warns that not as much food has been produced in 2012 as has been consumed. World grain reserves are at their lowest levels...
Nov 30, 2012


The more South Africans talk about manufacturing and reindustrialisation, the worse it seems to get. Manufacturing output fell by 1.1% year-on-year in September. The decline followed on from an annual increase of 2.8% in August and was well below the expectation of a...
Nov 23, 2012
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