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Economy News

Eskom announces executive committee changes

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Power provider Eskom has seconded group capital executive Abram Masango to the office of the group CE, to further strengthen the implementation of Eskom’s corporate plan. Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko said the move was part of the company’s design-to-cost five-year strategic corporate plan,... 

Seifsa welcomes easing inflation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed the easing in consumer price inflation to 6.3% in February, down from 6.6% in January. Contributors to easing inflation included food and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as household contents and... 

Outa threatens DWS with court over water issues 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Seventy-one per cent of wastewater treatment facilities in South Africa are noncompliant and discharge more than four-billion litres of toxic wastewater into South Africa’s water resources every day, an investigation by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has revealed. The organisation on... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 The Energy Intensive User Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) believes there is policy, legislative and regulatory space to introduce new electricity pricing arrangements to help restart of idle mining and process-industry activities, as well as encourage new investments to absorb Eskom’s surplus,... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

The African way of Western leadership practices can lead to business success, study finds

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd March 2017 A hybrid approach to leadership, merging Western and African styles, may be key to business success in African markets, a new Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School study has found. Despite the significant differences, a combination of Western pragmatism and African... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

G20’s Compact with Africa launched with widespread support

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2017 Clear support emerged last week from Group of 20 (G20) members’ Finance Ministers and central bank governors for the broadening of international economic and financial cooperation with African countries to “foster sustainable and inclusive growth” in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063. At... 

G20’s Compact with Africa launched with widespread support
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan attended the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Germany last week

South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2017 The South African government has officially launched a new investment facilitation service, dubbed InvestSA, which it claims will dramatically reduce red tape for foreign and domestic businesses seeking to pursue greenfield or brownfield projects in the country. The service, which has both... 

 South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies (centre), with Lionel October (left) and Yunus Hoosen at the launch of the InvestSA one-stop shop in Pretoria

Evowood’s Estcourt mill dismisses 434 workers, remains closed after protracted strike action

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 Some 434 Estcourt mill workers have been dismissed by hardboard manufacturer Evowood following protracted illegal strike action and a subsequent production stoppage costing the company more than R2-million a day. The workers were dismissed following a disciplinary process and a February 27 Labour... 

Commission welcomes Tribunal’s settlement agreement confirmation for Blinkwater

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R10.1-million price-fixing settlement agreement between Mpumalanga-based maize milling firm Blinkwater Mills and the Competition Commission, to be paid in three instalments within a year. Blinkwater has agreed to pay the fine, representing 5% of its 2007... 

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 To further support its investment in the extension and reinforcement of its power transmission grid, State-owned Eskom has signed a R6-billion multi-tranche framework agreement with the French Agency for Development (AFD). “This multi-tranche loan facility will contribute towards Eskom plans to... 

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal

Commission gets go-ahead to review evidence in margarine manufacturers cartel case

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Commission on Friday welcomed a High Court ruling in its favour to review evidence seized during an investigation into alleged cartel activity by five manufacturers of refined edible cooking oils, baking fats and margarine in South Africa. Early in March, DH Brothers Industries,... 

Cova Advisory partners with UK business to broaden horizons

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 South African investment consultancy Cova Advisory is partnering with European business performance consultant Ayming’s UK office to expand its global footprint. “Cova services our clients in South Africa, and Ayming services [clients in] the UK, European and North American markets. The objective... 

Fishing company to join JSE to enhance its global expansion

     17th March 2017 Fishing and food company Sea Harvest Group confirmed that it plans to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) by the end of March. According to the group, its success in recent years has led it to consider itself well positioned for “organic and acquisitive growth.” 

Inflation, competition and rand volatility challenges for industry

By: Johane Turkstra     17th March 2017 Unstable inflation and rand volatility, coupled with global competition, have been the biggest challenges for the food and beverage industry in South Africa in recent times, says derivatives brokerage Intrepid Capital derivative dealer head Tarryn Wright. 

PPI lower than expected this year

     17th March 2017 Growth in agricultural and manufactured food prices continues to lose momentum, which is reflected in South African headline producer price inflation (PPI) slowing to 5.9% year-on-year in January from an upwardly revised 7.1% in December, says multinational bank BNP Paribas. The January figure... 

Saice in High Court bid to have ECSA council suspended

By: David Oliveira     17th March 2017 Civil engineering voluntary association (VA), the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice), on March 3 submitted to the High Court an application to have the current council members of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) suspended. Saice CEO Manglin Pillay has told... 

UK Minister forecasts major nuclear expansion over next 20 years

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 It is estimated that, over the next 20 years, more than £930-billion will be invested in expanding civil nuclear energy capacity worldwide. This was affirmed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox in his keynote address at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017 in London, at the... 

Domestic tourism declines between 2013 and 2015, but expenditure increases

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th March 2017 Domestic tourism declined from 54.4-million day trips in 2013 to 44-million in 2015, Statistics South Africa’s Domestic Tourism 2015 report, published on Thursday, reveals. However, while there was a downward trend in the number of day trips, the total expenditure on day trips increased from... 

Domestic tourism declines between 2013 and 2015, but expenditure increases

Barloworld Logistics appoints new CEO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th March 2017 Industrial engineer Kamogelo Mmutlana has been appointed to take the helm at Barloworld Logistics. He will be responsible for driving further growth in the Logistics business, aligning with Barloworld Group-wide growth ambitions, and will seek to ensure that Barloworld Logistics remains agile,... 

Upcoming AHI conference to tackle SME ‘disenablement’

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th March 2017 Employers organisation AHI aims to highlight the “disenabling” environment currently faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa at its upcoming conference. The small business chamber’s day-long conference, described as the first it will be convening in a series of... 

Business Leadership South Africa disputes proposed customs functions transfer

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Wednesday said it opposes the proposed transfer of the South African Revenue Services’ (Sars’) customs functions to a new border management agency, which is what the Border Management Agency Bill, currently before Parliament, proposes. “Sars must remain... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko

Air Liquide opposes Evraz Highveld court proceedings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Embattled Evraz Highveld Steel’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have instituted court proceedings against Air Liquide in the High Court seeking to cancel certain obligations under a supply agreement between the two companies. The application also seeks declaratory relief from Air Liquide’s... 

4AX to hold first listing in April

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Although the Financial Services Board has agreed to South African stock exchange, 4 Africa Exchange (4AX), becoming operational and ready for trade at the end of February, the bourse will only see its first listing in April. “Given all the holidays that are coming up and the fact that we cannot... 

4AX to hold first listing in April

Jonas unpacks vision for ‘radically’ changed South African economy  

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2017 The existing structure of the South African economy is not yielding the growth and employment returns required and a “new consensus” on the necessary trade-offs for igniting inclusive growth is, therefore, urgently required, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas argues. Speaking at the Gordon... 

Jonas unpacks vision for ‘radically’ changed South African economy
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas

Outa, Untu speak out against appointment of interim PRASA board 

By: Anine Kilian     14th March 2017 The United National Transport Union (Untu) does not believe the newly appointed interim board of State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will be able to save the entity. Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Monday announced the appointment of the interim board, which will be... 

S&P Global sees higher use of guarantees by Eskom as ratings ‘pressure point’

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2017 S&P Global warns that contingent liabilities associated with guarantees to State-owned companies (SoCs) such as Eskom have emerged as a “pressure point” for South Africa’s sovereign rating, which the agency currently has at one notch above junk, but with a negative outlook. The negative outlook... 

S&P Global sees higher use of guarantees by Eskom as ratings ‘pressure point’

Low dam levels, high number of fires a challenge for the Western Cape

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 The Western Cape government on Monday renewed its call for citizens to reduce their water consumption, as the average level of the province’s dams now stood at 28.4%. Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Anton Bredell said the continued drop in... 

Low dam levels, high number of fires a challenge for the Western Cape

Trade between South Africa, UK to remain unaffected by Brexit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies met with UK Trade Policy State Minister Lord Mark Price on the sidelines of the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, last week, and reiterated that there will be no interruption in the trade between South Africa and the UK as a result of the... 

PRASA gets interim board in attempt to bring stability

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th March 2017 Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has appointed an interim board to stabilise the ailing Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and guide the parastatal until a new, permanent board is selected. Peters last week dissolved the entire PRASA board on the back of “declining performance, lack of... 

PRASA gets interim board in attempt to bring stability
Photo by Duane Daws
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters

Molewa publishes draft coastal waters discharge permit regulations for public input

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, on March 10, published the draft coastal waters discharge permit regulations in the Government Gazette for public comment. The regulations seek to provide an administrative framework to implement Section 69 of the National Environmental Management:... 

Denel signs agreement with German shipbuilding group

By: Keith Campbell     13th March 2017 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). This agreement will allow Denel’s Maritime division to take responsibility for the maintenance of, and upgrades to, the South... 

Denel signs agreement with German shipbuilding group
Photo by South African Navy
The Valour-class frigate SAS Amatola

Molefe files urgent application over PRASA board dissolution

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 Former PRASA chairperson Popo Molefe has filed an urgent application to the High Court in Johannesburg to have the decision to dissolve the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa by the Minister of Transport set aside. Molefe, along with the other fired directors of PRASA, have... 

Molefe files urgent application over PRASA board dissolution

ANC proposes tax on unused land to force owners to sell to the State

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) has proposed more taxes for unused land to force owners to sell their land to the State in an attempt to fast-track its failed land redistribution programme. Head of Economic Transformation Enoch Godongwana said the party was looking at a raft of taxes for... 

ANC proposes tax on unused land to force owners to sell to the State

ANC wants Presidency to have more powers to allocate State resources

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 The frican National Congress (ANC) has proposed that the Presidency be strengthened to become a "strategic centre of power" in government, driving resource allocation within the state. This is one of the key proposals in the governing party’s policy document on legislature and governance released... 

ANC wants Presidency to have more powers to allocate State resources
Minister in The Presidency Jeff Radebe

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th March 2017 Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production is expected to increase significantly over the next two years, as the company recovers from the adverse conditions, including drought, in the past two years. Based on good rainfall, the agriculture and agroprocessing business’s South African division is expected... 

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

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