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Economy News

Study launched into economic impact of possible EV transition in South Africa

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 A macroeconomic study into the impact of a possible transition in the South African transport market from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) has been launched. Initially proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the study is backed by the South... 

Green shoots seen in construction industry, despite tight conditions 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2018 The South African construction sector is still facing "very tough and difficult" conditions, with the 2.5% inflation rate creating an even tighter environment, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jamine said on Friday. Speaking to industry representatives during an Afrisam-hosted post-Budget... 

Green shoots seen in construction industry, despite tight conditions
Econometrix economist Dr Azar Jamine and AfriSam CEO Rob Wessels. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 23.2.2018

VAT increase shouldn't have major impact on business-to-business transactions

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd February 2018 The one percentage point increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate, from 14% to 15%, should not have a major impact on business-to-business transactions, says auditing firm KPMG COO Andrew Cranston. During a post-Budget discussion on Friday, he explained that the so-called “regressive effects”... 

Big ticket items in Budget were more miss than hit - Jamine 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2018 The Budget tabled on Wednesday had a number of misses, with one of the biggest being the failure to cut government's public servant remuneration, which was set to grow by 7% a year over the medium term, economist Dr Azar Jamine said on Friday. "It is earmarked to carry on growing as fast as it... 

Big ticket items in Budget were more miss than hit - Jamine
Econometrix economist Dr Azar Jamine speaks on the Budget. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 23.2.2018

New Joburg–Musina passenger train service launched

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 South African transport minister Joe Maswanganyi on Friday launched a new passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina for long distance-travelers to commute directly between Gauteng and Limpopo. At the official launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Maswanganyi said that the intention... 

More Gupta-owned companies apply for business rescue

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 More Gupta-linked companies have filed for business rescue, company documents show. This comes shortly after the family's Optimum mines filed for business rescue earlier this month. This leaves their creditors holding a particularly busy bag of cats. 

More Gupta-owned companies apply for business rescue
Atul Gupta

Fitch says South Africa's budget partly reverses fiscal deterioration

By: Reuters     23rd February 2018 South Africa's budget reverses some of last year's fiscal deterioration but poor finances of state-owned companies remain a major risk to fiscal targets, ratings agency Fitch said on Friday. In a budget announced on Wednesday, the Treasury said value-added tax would be raised for the first time... 

Competition Commission prohibits Airlink-Safair merger, companies to challenge ruling

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 The Competition Commission on Friday said that it prohibited the proposed merger between SA Airlink and Safair Operations because the transaction was likely to result in a substantial prevention of competition. SA Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in southern Africa and operates... 

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 Trade union Solidarity warned on Friday that its members at State-owned defence industrial group Denel were ready to start protesting at the company. This follows the response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to a recent urgent letter to her from Solidarity about, in the union’s words,... 

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel
Photo by Keith Campbell/Creamer Media
Various Denel products on display at the Group’s Head Office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. From front to rear, a portable launcher for the Ingwe missile, an Ingwe missile, a Badger infantry fighting vehicle, a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle (largely obscured), and a Casspir mine protected vehicle.

Planning commission outlines case for Eskom split in new energy document

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 The National Planning Commission (NPC) has released a new discussion document on the energy sector, which reinforces the National Development Plan’s (NDP’s) “explicit” requirement for the system operations, planning, power procurement, purchasing and contracting functions within Eskom to be... 

Planning commission outlines case for Eskom split in new energy document

Public Protector finds Brown 'inadvertently' misled Parliament about Eskom-Trillian

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 The Public Protector has found that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown misled the National Assembly when she denied there were engagements between power utility Eskom and the Gupta-linked company Trillian Capital Partners. This is according to a report issued by the Public Protector Busisiwe... 

 Public Protector finds Brown 'inadvertently' misled Parliament about Eskom-Trillian
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Portfolio Committee asks DMR to intervene at Optimum mine

By: Anine Kilian     23rd February 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has called on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to intervene at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine and “establish with certainty” the future of the mine. Power utility Eskom late on Thursday confirmed that the mine, which supplies coal to its... 

Portfolio Committee asks DMR to intervene at Optimum mine

Ramaphosa must fire Brown 'immediately' – DA

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2018 The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday said it was vindicated by the Public Protector's finding that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was guilty of misleading Parliament after she failed to disclose business dealings between Gupta-linked Trillian and Eskom. Natasha Mazzone, DA public... 

Ramaphosa must fire Brown 'immediately' – DA
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

SA’s defence industry has potential to grow global market share

By: Donald Makhafola     23rd February 2018 Owing to its international competitiveness and high levels of innovation, the local defence industry has a global reach and an increasing export market despite the low national defence budget, says global defence and security company Saab Grintek Defence president and CEO Trevor Raman. "The... 

Energy efficiency hot topic in HVAC industry

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     23rd February 2018 The biggest potential for growth in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry lies in energy efficiency, as a great deal of research and development is going into variable-speed drives (VSDs) because they can cut a chiller’s yearly energy use by up to 30%, says HVAC company... 

Energy efficiency hot  topic in HVAC industry
TIME IS MONEY Johnson Controls’ products can get up and running within 30 seconds

Inferior imports likely to increase in refrigerant industry

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     23rd February 2018 Illegal inferior refrigerants imports will increase as the ongoing phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbon and the impending phase out of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases progresses, argues speciality chemical and gas supplier A-Gas South Africa national sales manager Michael Labacher. “These... 

Inferior imports  likely to increase in  refrigerant industry
Photo by Duane Daws
LAB INSPECTION A-Gas tests and inspects refrigerants to ensure that they are legitimate and meet global specifications prior to shipment to South Africa

A major local aerospace industry development initiative is coming back to life

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The Centurion Aerospace Village (CAV), an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is being revitalised after spending some years in the doldrums. The initiative dates back to 2006 and was formally opened in 2008, but to date has only had one tenant, local aeronautics enterprise... 

Leveraging neuroscience for business productivity

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2018 Companies can improve the productivity, cooperation and happiness of employees by leveraging natural human emotions, says applied neuroscience multinational Neuroleadership Institute South Africa research and solutions head Rob Jardine. The psychology of groups can facilitate cooperation and... 

Leveraging neuroscience for business productivity
ROB JARDINE Promoting inclusiveness and associations are effective at overcoming cultural differences in businesses

KAP gears up for growth, announces solid interim results

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2018 Diversified industrial group KAP Industrial Holdings has raised R2-billion through the issuance of three- to five-year bond tenures to fund its future growth, the firm stated in its six-month interim results for the period ended December 31. Its revenue from continuing operations increased by 29%... 

South Africa’s biggest private-sector airline reports record performance

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 South African private-sector airline group Comair, operator of the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands, has announced that it had achieved a record performance for the first half of the current financial year (July 1 to December 31, 2017). Earnings before interest,... 

Nuclear corporation, and country, hit hard by safety shut of radioisotope maker

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The safety compliance failures at NTP Radioisotopes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has created a crisis within the parastatal and for the country’s nuclear medicine community and its patients. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in... 

South African nuclear group in tight financial situation, but optimistic about recovery

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is currently facing financial pressures, confirms the State-owned group’s Chief Executive, Phumzile Tshelane to “Engineering News”. “At the moment, Necsa is under financial stress, because [subsidiary] Pelchem is loss-making and we need to... 

Tribunal confirms Plasser’s R8.43m settlement with Competition Commission

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an R8.43-million settlement agreement between railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa and the Competition Commission.    On February 2014, the commission initiated a complaint against Lennings DEC Rail, a subsidiary of Aveng Africa,... 

Tribunal approves sale of Genrec to Southern Palace

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved Southern Palace Group’s (SPG’s) acquisition of Genrec from Murray & Roberts (M&R). M&R in October last year agreed to sell Genrec to SPG for R185-million. 

Afrox rises above weak environment, achieves strong FY17 results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2018 JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) on Thursday reported yet another year of strong results, with revenue for the 12 months to December 31 up 6% to R5.69-billion. Headline earnings a share rose by 32.3% year-on-year to 201c and basic earnings a share by 30.7% to 203.6c. 

Afrox rises above weak environment, achieves strong FY17 results
Photo by Duane Daws
Afrox CEO Schalk Venter

Koko says he is 'moving on', despite Eskom court victory

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 The Labour Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of controversial former Eskom executive Matshela Koko, but he said it was too little too late and that he has already moved on. Judge Graham Moshoana ruled that Eskom’s attempt to fire Koko, based on a directive from then Deputy President Cyril... 

Koko says he is 'moving on', despite Eskom court victory
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko

Sars vows to collect on R2.6-billion additional revenue target

By: African News Agency      22nd February 2018 Tom Moyane, the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (Sars), on Thursday committed the revenue authority to achieving an increased revenue target for the 2017/18 financial year. This comes after finance minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday increased the anticipated revenue that has... 

Sars vows to collect on R2.6-billion additional revenue target
Photo by Duane Daws
Sars commissioner Tom Moyane

Ratings agencies applaud South Africa's budget – Treasury

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 Ratings agencies Fitch, Moody's and S&P's Global all applauded South Africa's budget where the National Treasury raised value added tax for the first time in over two decades and announced plans to dramatically reduce its debt, a senior official said on Thursday. "We engaged with Fitch and... 

Ratings agencies applaud South Africa's budget – Treasury

Industry, business welcomes tough Budget, but warns govt to implement promised changes

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2018 Although Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has faced sharp criticism following the tabling of the 2018 Budget on Wednesday, particularly from opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, industry bodies and business organisations have welcomed the... 

Nuclear industry group cautions against 'rushed decisions' on energy

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd February 2018 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has urged the government and energy sector to have a broad perspective in their energy planning and include nuclear in a balanced energy mix. The government should not be distracted by the fact that the country currently had an oversupply... 

Nuclear industry group cautions against 'rushed decisions' on energy
Photo by Niasa
Knox Msebenzi

SAWEA welcomes govt’s commitment to renewables

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) on Thursday appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as to the Finance, Energy and Public Enterprises Ministers to ensure the setting of a firm date for concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs) for duly procured renewable energy, by no... 

Transnet delivering on its Africa strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2018 State-owned Transnet's Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) Consortium on Wednesday delivered rolling stock to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to strengthen regional integration, trade and the recapitalisation of the Zimbabwean railway programme. This transaction between a... 

Russian group thinks nuclear power still has a future in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd February 2018 Russia’s State-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom still believes that nuclear energy has a place in the future development of South Africa. This follows comments made by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday (Budget Day), which suggested that the country’s planned programme to build a fleet... 

Russian group thinks nuclear power still has a future in South Africa
Photo by Rosatom
Viktor Polikarpov

Budget 2018 highlights 

     22nd February 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Malusi Gigaba’s 2018 Budget speech and what the implications are for the country. 

Budget 2018 highlights
Budget 2018 highlights

Inside Metrorail’s cable theft and commuter crisis

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 Brazen thieves, who have effectively brought a critical rail route in Cape Town to a standstill for nearly six weeks, leaving thousands of commuters in the lurch, have become the focus of intense and unprecedented operations to squeeze out criminals who target beleaguered Metrorail's... 

South Africa retains dubious corruption rating

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 Corruption Watch has expressed concern over South Africa dropping down the rankings of the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International. Corruption Watch's Phemelo Khaas said South Africa's score dropped from 45 in 2017 to 43 this year, and although it seems "a... 

South Africa retains dubious corruption rating

JSE reports revenue, earnings drops, but declares dividend

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) reported a 5% drop in its revenue to R2.2-billion for the 2017 financial year and an earnings decline of 9% to R836-million, but a strong balance sheet and good cash generation led it to declare a dividend of 605c a share, which was an increase of 8%.... 

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