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Economy News

Gauteng promotes trade potential, investment attractiveness

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th September 2016 The Gauteng City Region (GCR) is continuing its efforts to grow trade and investment in South Africa’s most populous province and stimulate national economic growth. “The GCR is strategically located on the African continent, this makes it a key investment destination for the rest of the world... 

SA Express won’t table results after failing auditor’s test

By: News24Wire      30th September 2016 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she won’t table the SA Express annual report for the 2015/16 financial year by the deadline on Friday as the airline failed to satisfy the auditor general's solvency and liquidity test. In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete on Thursday,... 

South Africa's trade balance swings to a R8.6bn deficit in August

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 South Africa's trade balance unexpectedly swung to R8.56-billion deficit in August from a revised R5.04-billion surplus in July, data from the national revenue agency showed on Friday. Exports decreased 5.5% to R90.235-billion on a month-on-month basis, while imports rose 9.2% to R98.736-billion,... 

Eskom’s role and outstanding generation plan key to nuclear RFP delay

By: Terence Creamer     30th September 2016 The issue of Eskom’s role in the procurement process for South Africa’s nuclear new build programme is said to lie at the heart of Cabinet’s surprise decision to delay the release of the controversial nuclear request for proposals (RFP), which was due for dissemination on September 30. However,... 

 Eskom’s role and outstanding generation plan key to nuclear RFP delay
Photo by Duane Daws
Statue at Eskom's head office in Johannesburg

Debt set to remain on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa – Fitch

By: African News Agency      30th September 2016 Sovereign debt levels and debt servicing costs would continue to rise steadily in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2016 and 2017, Fitch Ratings agency warned on Friday. It said the median general government debt-to-GDP ratio for the region rose from 30.2% in 2011 to 49.7% last year. 

South African growth 'woefully inadequate' – Mminele

By: Reuters     30th September 2016 South Africa's flat-lining growth won't deal with problems facing Africa's most industrialised economy and government needs to stabilise policies to reassure investors, deputy central bank governor Daniel Mminele said on Friday. The reserve bank is close to ending its monetary policy tightening... 

South African growth 'woefully inadequate' – Mminele
Photo by Bloomberg
Reserve Bank governor Daniel Mminele

Sanral appoints new CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2016 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has appointed Skhumbuzo Macozoma as CEO, to succeed Nazir Alli, who has been in the position since 1998. Alli, who is retiring, has been asked by the Sanral board to extend his retirement numerous times while it was seeking a suitable... 

AfDB highlights importance of water security in supporting African growth

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th September 2016 Water is central to achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states senior adviser on inclusive and green growth to the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Professor Kevin Urama. Speaking at the beginning of this month at World Water Week, in Stockholm, Sweden, the... 

AfDB highlights importance of water security in supporting  African growth
Photo by Duane Daws
TACKLING ISSUES The African Development Bank provided perspectives on how to accelerate delivery of water services to all Africans by 2030 at the World Water Week

Airbus to assist with Rooivalk upgrade, as it reaffirms Africa commitment

By: Keith Campbell     30th September 2016 The Airbus Group (parent of Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters) is committed to help develop aeronautical industries in Africa, because it believes that this makes good business sense. For the Group, Africa is defined as sub-Saharan Africa plus Moroco (with Egypt, Libya,... 

Components supply remains stable despite unstable industry

By: Aarifah Nosarka     30th September 2016 The availability and supply of imported automotive equipment components during the first quarter of 2016 remained stable despite continually being affected by exchange rate movements, says financial services provider Investec Import Solutions head Adam Orlin. In its May 2016 quarterly review of... 

Components supply remains stable despite unstable industry
ADAM ORLIN Belt tightening is a trend likely to continue

Healthy components industry needed to drive local content

By: Aarifah Nosarka     30th September 2016 The drive toward local content in respect of South Africa’s automotive industry production could support the components industry, says National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) president and Nissan South Africa MD Mike Whitfield. “We have committed to support the... 

UK committed to increasing defence and wider business with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     30th September 2016 Trade in the defence and security sector between the UK and South Africa is increasingly significant, British High Commissioner to South Africa Dame Judith Macgregor told Engineering News at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence 2016 exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion, just... 

DTI to launch latest industrial park revitalisation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 The first phase of the R49-million Isithebe Industrial Park revitalisation in Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal will be launched on October 4. Isithebe is one of ten industrial parks that has been prioritised by the Department of Trade and Industry for upgrading under its Industrial Parks Revitalisation... 

Twenty Home Affairs officials arrested for fraud, corruption

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Twenty Home Affairs officials, and six civilians, were arrested in Bloemfontein on Thursday on grounds of fraud and corruption, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced. The crackdown formed part of government’s Operation Bvisa Masina, launched in July last year. Prior to Thursday’s... 

Productivity SA suspends CFO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Productivity SA has suspended CFO Bheki Dlamini following alleged irregularities pertaining to the management of funds provided by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for employment growth. Since 2010, the UIF has provided the government entity, tasked with employment growth and productivity... 

Competition Commission extends LPG market inquiry completion date

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 The Competition Commission has amended the completion date for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market inquiry to December 20, to allow sufficient time for it to finalise its report outlining the findings. In August 2014, the commission issued the terms of reference for the market inquiry,... 

S Africa's political uncertainty, reform of State firms a concern – S&P

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 The slow reform of South Africa's state-owned firms and the upheaval swirling around the Finance Minister pose risks to the country's investment grade credit rating, an executive from Standard & Poor's said on Thursday. "We have said before that we take comfort from the targets set by the... 

‘Slipping’ South Africa contributes to Africa’s big 2016 growth downgrade to 1.6%

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2016 The World Bank has lowered its 2016 growth forecast for Africa to only 1.6%, a dramatic downward revision from the 3% figure projected in April. The new forecast represents the lowest level of growth for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in over two decades and is also below expected regional population... 

‘Slipping’ South Africa contributes to Africa’s big 2016 growth downgrade to 1.6%

National Treasury developing contingency plans for possible Brexit effects on S Africa 

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2016 The National Treasury is busy discussing the possible impact on the South African economy of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), known as “Brexit” for short. At the moment, it is not at all clear what the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU will look like. The UK is... 

National Treasury developing contingency plans for possible Brexit effects on S Africa

Astrapak strategy bears fruit as interim profit rises

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2016 Packaging company Astrapak on Thursday reported a 25.4% year-on-year increase in its profit of R27.6-million for the six months ended August 31, while its revenue rose 15.2% year-on-year to R734-million. The increases came on the back of the company having exited all noncore businesses and... 

Astrapak strategy bears fruit as interim profit rises
Photo by Duane Daws
Astrapak CEO Robin Moore

Construction confidence rises back above 50 in Q3

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th September 2016 Despite soft growth in the construction industry, the First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau of Economic Research Civil Confidence Index gained 11 points to 52 in the third quarter, 24 points higher than the first quarter of this year. This indicates that slightly more than half of respondents are... 

AMSA insists R2.27bn empowerment deal meets highest governance standards

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has unwrapped its long-awaited R2.27-billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) transaction, which chairperson Mpho Makwana insists meets the highest standards of probity and governance. An earlier 2010 attempt by the JSE-listed company... 

AMSA insists R2.27bn empowerment deal meets highest governance standards
AMSA's Wim de Klerk and Mpho Makwana with Likamva's Noluthando Gosa and Leslie Maasdorp

South Africa improves slightly in global competitiveness rankings

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th September 2016 South Africa has slightly improved its competitiveness score and ranking in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) latest Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), registering marginal improvements in almost all aspects of competitiveness. The 2016/17 GCI shows the African powerhouse moving up two rankings... 

South Africa improves slightly in global competitiveness rankings

PRASA owes suppliers and service providers R796m

By: African News Agency      28th September 2016 The Passenger Rail Service of South Africa (PRASA) owes Transnet and muncipalities some R796-million on accounts that have been outstanding for more than 30 days, and is not sure when it will be able to settle. This was according to a response from Transport Minister Dipuo Peters to Democratic... 

Brown: Unless economy in hands of majority, it's going nowhere

By: News24Wire      28th September 2016 The economy must be controlled by the black majority, said Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Brown spoke to media briefly following a closed meeting with the Black Business Council (BBC) in Sandton on Tuesday. 

Brown: Unless economy in hands of majority, it's going nowhere
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Govt departments spent whopping R35bn despite Gordhan's cost cut plans 

By: News24Wire      27th September 2016 Despite Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s stringent cost containment measures, government departments continue to spend vast amounts of money on consultants, travel, catering and entertainment. In a parliamentary question posed by the DA’s David Maynier, Gordhan said preliminary spending for... 

Govt departments spent whopping R35bn despite Gordhan's cost cut plans
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gauteng govt to sell 31 residential properties in online auction

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th September 2016 The Gauteng provincial government intends to sell all its residential properties, including Premier David Makhura’s official residence. Answering written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Tuesday, Makhura said the decision was made following the completion of an audit by the... 

Gauteng govt to sell 31 residential properties in online auction

Gordhan insisted Gigaba’s staff fly economy 

By: African News Agency      27th September 2016 National Treasury turned down a request from Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for staff travelling with him to fly business class, according to a response to parliamentary question. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan gave details of instances where treasury received requests for permission to... 

Gordhan insisted Gigaba’s staff fly economy
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Dramatic fall in trade growth should be ‘wake-up call’

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2016 World trade will expand by only 1.7% in 2017, the slowest pace since the financial crisis of 2009, a new World Trade Organisation (WTO) report warns. The WTO has also lowered its trade-growth forecast for 2017 to between 1.8% and 3.1%, down from 3.6% previously. Director-general Roberto Azevêdo... 

Dramatic fall in trade growth should be ‘wake-up call’
WTO director-general Roberto Azevêdo

Investors eye nuclear vs political power in South Africa

By: News24Wire      27th September 2016 Political power and nuclear power in South Africa are currently key topics of interest to investors, emerging markets economist Peter Attard Montalto of Nomura said on Monday. "We reiterate our existing views on political power not having shifted, though some risk of erosion of ‘foundations’ is... 

Investors eye nuclear vs political power in South Africa

Work under way to localise bimodal road-rail cargo technology 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2016 A domestic homologation process has been initiated for an innovative American bimodal transport solution, which integrates long-distance rail with ‘first- and last-mile’ road legs to provide a door-to-door cargo service. The process began following the recent announcement that South African... 

Work under way to localise bimodal road-rail cargo technology
The RailRunner units carry standard shipping containers

Manufacturing income increased to R2.2tr in 2014 – statistics

By: Anine Kilian     26th September 2016 Although the embattled manufacturing industry’s income grew by 9.4% a year from 2011 to 2014, employment in the sector decreased significantly over the same period, Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA’s) data shows. Its Manufacturing Industry 2014 report notes that the industry’s income increased... 

Tender may be issued this year for further development of Constitution Hill

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2016 The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) is hoping to release a request for proposals (RFP) before the end of 2016 for the further development of the Constitution Hill precinct, on the border of Hillbrow and Braamfontein, in Johannesburg. GGDA CEO Saki Zamxaka says various property... 

Tender may be issued this year for further development of Constitution Hill

Futuregrowth lifts Land Bank lending freeze

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2016 The Land Bank announced on Monday that Futuregrowth Asset Management had, with immediate effect, lifted a lending suspension controversially imposed on the bank, as well as five other State-owned companies (SoCs), on August 31. Besides the Land Bank, Futuregrowth also froze any new lending to the... 

Futuregrowth lifts Land Bank lending freeze
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho

Gauteng govt, JCCI sign MoU to promote SMMEs

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd September 2016 The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Lebogang Maile on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure that small, medium-sized and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in townships have... 

Gauteng govt, JCCI sign MoU to promote SMMEs
Photo by Duane Daws
MEC Lebogang Maile

ACSA starts with new strategy while reporting good results

By: Keith Campbell     23rd September 2016 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has started to implement elements of its new operational strategy, says chairperson Skhumbuzo Macozoma. "It's very important to have sound corporate governance in a company like ACSA," he said at a briefing on Friday. "I'm happy to announce we've finalised a... 

ACSA starts with new strategy while reporting good results
Photo by Duane Daws
ACSA CEO Bongani Maseko

China leads aluminium production

By: Sebastian Whyle     23rd September 2016 China is currently the biggest producer and consumer of aluminium in the world and has expanded its aluminium industry considerably over the past 11 years, says metals trading company Metal and Tool Trade (MTT) board chairperson Volker Schütte.  

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