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POOR PAPER TRAIL:

Auditor-general Terence Nombembe’s report on the state of municipal accounts makes for dismal reading. It shows that there was R11-billion in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2010/11. The report highlights a lack of consequences for...
Aug 03, 2012

NEXT ROUND:

South Africa is all set for another arduous round of power tariff deliberations as Eskom puts the final touches to its submission to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). The utility is in mandatory consultations with the National Treasury and the...
Jul 27, 2012

WATER WARNING:

Last week’s intervention by the Gauteng North High Court – giving the Gert Sibande municipality 72 hours to provide 17 000 citizens of Carolina, in Mpumalanga, with potable water – is a timely reminder of the downside risks associated with failing to move assertively...
Jul 20, 2012

HEAT, DUST & . . . :

The mining investment community is none the wiser about the African National Congress’s preferred approach to the mining sector following the party’s policy conference in late June. Yes, nationalisation is off. But what exactly is on? The longer the uncertainty...
Jul 13, 2012

POLICY & POLITICS:

The African National Congress’s (ANC’s) policy conference threw up the usual contradictory mix of messages over the state of the governing party. For the cameras, it was all smiles and comradely backslapping. But the undercurrents of division, suspicion and position...
Jul 06, 2012

GROWING CASH PILE:

It was reported earlier this month that corporate South Africa’s deposits have swelled again and that they currently stand at more than R530-billion. Owing to the prevailing economic and policy uncertainty, firms are hoarding cash instead of investing. For a country...
Jun 29, 2012

COLD SHOULDER:

The Walmart-Massmart merger aside, a number of Western diplomats, as well as some potential investors, are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with some of the rhetoric flowing from the African National Congress regarding future economic ties. Secretary-general Gwede...
Jun 22, 2012

FISCAL CLIFFHANGER:

Concerns over the potential for a sharp fiscal contraction in the US from January 2013 – also dubbed the ‘fiscal cliff’ – are beginning to be raised more vociferously. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others, is urging the US...
Jun 15, 2012

ARRAY OF HOPE:

There was much argy-bargy between South Africa and Australia ahead of the big Square Kilometre Array (SKA) siting decision. But now that a dual-siting choice has been made, it’s time to make science, and scientific collaboration, the real winner. We wish the teams on...
Jun 08, 2012

HUE & CRY:

From afar, the war surrounding Brett Murray’s display of political satire at the Goodman Gallery must appear more than bizarre. The context, however, is a country with a vicious history of racial repression and one where opinions are often still divided on racial...
Jun 01, 2012

DEAD WRONG:

JPMorgan Chase CE Jamie Dimon admitted last week that he had been “dead wrong” to dismiss concerns about the US bank’s trading a month before posting a $2-billion loss. Stories began circulating in April of material credit derivatives market losses. Dimon initially...
May 25, 2012

AUSTERITY SMACK

Voters across Europe made it plain this month that they are more than unhappy with the austerity programmes currently being implemented by their governments to deal with the sovereign debt crisis. In France, a new ‘growth first’ President has been elected, while in...
May 18, 2012

STILL HOARDING

It emerged last month that corporate deposits in South Africa exceeded R520-billion in January, as companies decided to hoard cash rather than invest, owing to weak domestic confidence and ongoing global economic uncertainty. The figure is below its peak of about...
May 11, 2012

DOSING DESIGNATIONS:

The Department of Trade and Industry has identified a list of more than 70 pharmaceutical products that could be designated for supply from local drug manufacturers for a two-year R2.5-billion oral solid-dosage tender. The pharmaceutical designations for local...
May 04, 2012

STATISTICAL BLINDFOLDS:

All of us agree that the competition authorities have done a tremendous job in clamping down on anticompetitive behaviour. Their high-profile actions against the steel, construction, airline, automotive, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, petrochemicals and food sectors have...
Apr 27, 2012

MIND SHIFT:

Until a few weeks ago, all things economic seemed to be going in the right direction – despite ongoing dire warnings from certain economists. Global markets had a great first quarter, the US seemed to be growing and creating jobs, and fears about a Chinese slowdown...
Apr 20, 2012

PUNCH DRUNK:

When hearing that a litre of petrol was poised to rise to close to R12 from April 4, some Gauteng motorists initially thought it was a cruel April Fool’s Day joke. But it wasn’t. Some are also still hoping against hope that the e-toll project will be abandoned later...
Apr 13, 2012

BOOK BUILDING:

The immediate outlook remains horrible. But one of the highlights of the recent reporting season among South Africa’s listed construction firms was the steady growth reported in orders. Much of this increase also predates some of the workflow that could arise from...
Apr 06, 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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