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Economy News

Report finds World Heritage sites threatened by climate change

By: David Oliveira     26th May 2016 Climate change is fast becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage sites, according to a report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the United Nations Environment Programme and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).... 

Metals sector forfeiting billions as imports capture 55% domestic market share 

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2016 The share held by South African metals and engineering producers of the domestic market fell to just 45% last year as imports continued to rise, representing a material decline from a peak of over 65% in 2002. In fact, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa chief economist... 

Metals sector forfeiting billions as imports capture 55% domestic market share
See Kgalema Motlanthe, Dean Macpherson, Dr Martyn Davies, Henk Langenhoven, Philippa Rodseth and Garth Strachan speaking about the performance of manufacturing at the Metals & Engineering Indaba. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 26.5.2016

Cabinet optimistic about ratings prospects

By: African News Agency      26th May 2016 Government was optimistic about South Africa’s prospects ahead of a review by ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P) being published next week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Briefing journalists on cabinet’s fortnightly meeting, Radebe said government was confident it had... 

Cabinet optimistic about ratings prospects
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe

Democratic Alliance wants AG to probe fuel stock sale 

By: African News Agency      26th May 2016 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask the Auditor-General to investigate the Strategic Fuel Fund’s sale of most of the country’s crude oil stock pile without permission from National Treasury. DA MP Pieter van Dalen said the sale of 10-million barrels of crude breached section 54 (2d) of the... 

Democratic Alliance wants AG to probe fuel stock sale

Ministers stall on banks intervention over Gupta blacklisting

By: News24Wire      26th May 2016 The ministers tasked with intervening in the ongoing stand-off between South Africa’s big four banks and the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments have missed their deadline. Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told Parliament via a written reply to the Democratic Alliance on Wednesday that the... 

Ministers stall on banks intervention over Gupta blacklisting

Political uncertainty, corruption drive financial distress – survey

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2016 Political uncertainty, high unemployment rates, slow economic growth and severe drought have created a perfect storm of economic and political events for South Africa, according to advisory firm Deloitte, which published its South African Restructuring Outlook Survey 2016 on Wednesday.... 

Political uncertainty, corruption drive financial distress – survey

AMSA insists fair pricing does not equate to no price increases

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) dismissed suggestions again on Wednesday that its deal with government to raise steel import protection in return for fairer pricing – as well as jobs and investment guarantees – precluded it from increasing prices. The JSE-listed company was... 

AMSA insists fair pricing does not equate to no price increases
AMSA chairperson Mpho Makwana

South African companies urged to up the ante on anticorruption programmes’ transparency

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2016 A new report by Corruption Watch has revealed that, while South African companies are fairly transparent when it comes to certain anticorruption reporting practices when compared with their global counterparts, much could be done to improve disclosure and accountability in other areas where... 

South African companies urged to up the ante on anticorruption programmes’ transparency

Adcorp reports FY earnings up 17%, despite labour law changes

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2016 Despite changes made to South African labour laws in the past financial year, diversified workforce management and business process outsourcing company Adcorp saw a 17% increase in group revenues increased by 17% to R15.6-billion for the year ended February 29. The group also saw a slight... 

Adcorp reports FY earnings up 17%, despite labour law changes

DA urges IDC to give Guptas 'a wide berth'

By: News24Wire      25th May 2016 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) should “follow the lead of the commercial banks and give the president’s pals (the Guptas) a wide berth in future”, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Wednesday. DA MP Michael Cardo was officially responding to Economic Development Minister Ebrahim... 

DA urges IDC to give Guptas 'a wide berth'
Photo by Duane Daws
IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

Pneumatics company launches locally 

     25th May 2016 Japan-headquartered pneumatics company SMC Pneumatics launched its South African office in Midrand last month, cementing its presence in 84 countries and creating a distribution and manufacturing centre to extend its service offering for other African clients.  

Pneumatics company launches locally
Pneumatics company launches locally

Half a million construction workers could be at risk

By: News24Wire      25th May 2016 About 500 000 workers are risking their lives on construction sites that do not comply with health and safety laws, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Tuesday. As much as 40% of the industry did not comply with these laws, which translated to about 5 000 construction sites across the country. 

Half a million construction workers could be at risk
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant

Fitch downgrades Mozambique amid hidden debt concerns 

By: Anine Kilian     24th May 2016 Ratings agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded Mozambique's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings to CC from CCC, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The disclosure of hidden public debt revealed significant short-term repayment obligations, which could precipitate a near-term... 

Fitch downgrades Mozambique amid hidden debt concerns

Gauteng Transport Authority a step closer – Vadi

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2016 The Gauteng government has made strides in advancing its ambitions of establishing an integrated transport authority and narrowing the fragmentation of the public transport system of South Africa’s most populous province. Addressing media prior to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s Budget Vote for... 

Gauteng Transport Authority a step closer – Vadi
Photo by Duane Daws
Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi

IDC met with Atul Gupta, but never at Saxonwold – CEO

By: News24Wire      24th May 2016 Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) officials met with Atul Gupta and members of his business ahead of providing financial assistance to Oakbay Resources & Energy, it was revealed on Tuesday. IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena confirmed the meetings took place in a written reply provided by Economic... 

IDC met with Atul Gupta, but never at Saxonwold – CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Atul Gupta

Zuma signs law to appease provident fund members 

By: News24Wire      24th May 2016 President Jacob Zuma has signed the Revenue Laws Amendment Act into law to postpone annuitisation for provident funds, the National Treasury said on Tuesday. The new act affects provident fund members only, by delaying both the requirement for them to purchase an annuity at retirement and the... 

Zuma signs law to appease provident fund members
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

Eskom, CSIR sign strategic partnership agreement

     24th May 2016 Power utility Eskom and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed a partnership agreement aimed at synergising the research capabilities of the two State-owned organisations in support of Eskom’s strategic and operational needs.   The five-year agreement was aimed at... 

Transnet appoints chief information officer

     24th May 2016 Transnet has appointed Makano Mosidi chief information officer (CIO), effective June 1. Mosidi will report to group CE Siyabonga Gama in line with the group’s objective of ensuring that digitalisation is central to driving innovation efficiency and cost effectiveness across all operations. She is... 

DTI moving to iron out local-content frustrations around Transnet contracts

By: Terence Creamer     24th May 2016 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has confirmed that it is “concerned” about whether all four of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that have been awarded parts of a R50-billion contract to supply 1 064 electricity and diesel locomotives to Transnet will meet the minimum... 

DTI moving to iron out local-content frustrations around Transnet contracts

S&P's downgrade will tip South Africa into job-shedding recession, bank economist warns  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2016 A downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating to junk was currently only partially priced in, a leading bank economist warned on Monday, arguing that a negative assessment by Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) on June 3 would most probably trigger a recession and precipitate the shedding on around 200 000... 

S&P's downgrade will tip South Africa into job-shedding recession, bank economist warns
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim on the risks of a downgrade to the real economy. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 23.5.2016

BCCEI calls for engagement with small struggling contractors

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd May 2016 The Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) on Monday urged smaller contractors unable to comply with all the provisions of the civil engineering sectors’ collective agreements under the statutory body to check if they were eligible for exemption. Five collective agreements,... 

CEOs, govt work on initiatives to stave off downgrade

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th May 2016 Around 90 CEOs were working in conjunction with government to protect South Africa’s investment grade credit rating, the Banking Association South Africa said in a statement on Friday. Led by Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, the National Business Initiative, along with the Department of Finance... 

To regain FDI ranking, South Africa must ‘rebuild trust’ with investors 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2016 South Africa’s absence – for the second year running – from the top 25 countries listed in AT Kearney’s annual foreign direct investment (FDI) confidence index is suggestive of heightened investor concern about perceived political, policy and regulatory instability. Africa region head Wim... 

To regain FDI ranking, South Africa must ‘rebuild trust’ with investors

Transnet appoints group executive for R&D

     20th May 2016 State-owned Transnet has appointed Khomotso Phihlela group executive for research and development to spearhead and monetise the company’s intellectual property drive. The group has identified innovation as one of the key drivers of revenue and profitability, operational efficiency and a way of... 

Finance Minister Gordhan 'not the criminal type' – ANC chief whip 

By: African News Agency      20th May 2016 African National Congress (ANC) chief whip in Parliament Jackson Mthembu on Thursday backed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, saying he was not the criminal type and called on those who were “peddling lies” about him to be caught. Addressing journalists in Parliament, Mthembu condemned weekend... 

Finance Minister Gordhan 'not the criminal type' – ANC chief whip
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Report outlines transformation framework for construction globally

By: David Oliveira     20th May 2016 Thirty measures that form part of a construction industry transformation framework are detailed in a new report called ‘Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology’, which was compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEC), in collaboration with The Boston Consulting... 

ARV project’s third attempt to supply affordable medicine

     20th May 2016 Government driven initiative the Ketlaphela project, which is aimed at establishing a fully backward integrated pharmaceutical company that bridges the gap between research and development capabilities in South Africa, is going through its third attempt at being implemented. 

Big potential for SA to use ICT investments to stimulate growth

By: Schalk Burger     20th May 2016 South Africa is among the top three developing countries that have the most potential to use information and communication technology (ICT) to boost their economic growth, along with China and Chile, according to the 2015 Global Connectivity Index, says information technology firm In2IT... 

Big potential for SA to use ICT investments  to stimulate growth
SAURABH KUMAR Better ICT infrastructure and connectivity enable South Africa to use ICTs to enable the SME sector to create 70% of new jobs

Five-year funding plan to overcome challenges

     20th May 2016 Independent global charitable foundation, the Wellcome Trust has committed £21-million to the Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (Deltas) Africa initiative, which aims to improve health in Africa through research driven by the most urgent regional challenges. 

Five-year funding plan to overcome challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
WOMAN RESEARCHERS Female students are being encouraged to join the medical research field

Funding for South African pharmaceuticals research increasing

     20th May 2016 Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca through its research trust has awarded seven South Africans grants totalling R1.5-million for the 2015/2016 year. This increases the total number of research grants conferred locally by the trust to 18 since its inception in 2014. 

New antibacterial gel can save thousands in developing countries

     20th May 2016 A new antiseptic chlorhexidine gel – antibacterial gel – that can prevent umbilical cord infections (omphalitis) in newborn infants in developing countries has been granted an encouraging scientific judgement from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines... 

New antibacterial gel can save  thousands in developing countries
NEW GEL TECHNOLOGY GSK has created a new antibacterial gel that is cost effective and is easy to distribute to developing countries

Regulations expected to be gazetted later this year

By: Nadine James     20th May 2016 Industry stakeholders are hopeful that the final amendments to the regulations to the Construction Industry Development Board Act will be gazetted by August, says international law firm Clyde & Co’s Johannesburg branch partner Robert Scott. He explains that the proposed amendments – published in... 

Regulations expected to be gazetted later this year
ROBERT SCOTT The Clyde & CO partner believes the success of the amended regulations will rest on the quality of the adjudicators

South Africa’s economy at a crossroads, Sunter warns  

By: David Oliveira     20th May 2016 The Swiss-based International Institute of Management Development’s 2015 ‘World Competitiveness Report’ (WCR) ranked South Africa’s economy 53 out of 63, highlighting that the country’s economy remains a significant player in the global economy, said futurologist Clem Sunter during the 95-year... 

South Africa’s economy at a crossroads, Sunter warns
Futurologist Clem Sunter discusses the challenges faced by South Africa’s economy. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

South African, Indian electronics associations ink skills transfer agreement

By: Kim Cloete     19th May 2016 The South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) on Thursday signed an agreement with the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) to boost business opportunities and transfer skills between India and Africa. The two organisations would work together to boost... 

South African, Indian electronics associations ink skills transfer agreement

MPC wise to leave interest rates unchanged – Parsons

By: Anine Kilian     19th May 2016 The Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC’s) decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 7% was the right one in present economic circumstances, said North West University School of Business and Governance Professor Raymond Parsons. He noted that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) had yet again... 

MPC wise to leave interest rates unchanged – Parsons

Transnet Engineering targets big rise in third-party orders as OEM strategy evolves

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2016 The engineering unit of State-owned Transnet has set a target of securing 40% of its revenue from third-party orders by 2021, which would represent a material increase from current levels of around 12%. The bulk of Transnet Engineering’s R10-billion in yearly revenues is currently derived from... 

Transnet Engineering targets big rise in third-party orders as OEM strategy evolves
Photo by Duane Daws
Transnet chief advanced manufacturing officer Thamsanqa Jiyane

EU eases black-spot rules on South African citrus destined for juicing

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2016 The European Union (EU) has announced plans to partially relax citrus black spot (CBS) regulations on fruit exported from South Africa from June 1. The European Commission decided earlier this month that South African citrus exports destined exclusively for industrial processing into juice would... 

EU eases black-spot rules on South African citrus destined for juicing

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