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Macro and Micro News

S Africa’s turning point dependent on Budget implementation, policy certainty

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2019 Despite Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s delivery of the Budget earlier this week having been “fair from a numbers perspective”, the difficulty remains in the implementation of the Budget, Sigma Capital executive chairperson Phuti Mahanyele said during a panel discussion on Friday. According to... 

EU is said to expect May to request three-month delay to Brexit

By: Bloomberg     22nd February 2019 The European Union expects UK Prime Minister Theresa May to be forced to request a three-month delay to Brexit, two EU officials said. Discussions between the two sides suggest May will ask for an extension to the two-year negotiating period if the British Parliament backs the Brexit deal but it... 

South African central bank sees CPI target staying as range 

By: Bloomberg     22nd February 2019 South Africa’s central bank is unlikely to officially pursue a single point-inflation target soon even though it prefers to anchor price growth close to the 4.5% mid-point of its goal range, an adviser to Governor Lesetja Kganyago said. The target range of 3% to 6% allows for flexibility in... 

Rand firms after Moody's hints at ratings reprieve

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 The rand strengthened against the dollar on Friday, putting it on track to end a week marked by the annual budget higher, after Moody's signalled the nation's spending plans didn't weaken its policy credibility. The rand rose 0.36 percent to 13.9700 to the dollar by 0651 GMT compared with the... 

Eskom support will weigh on South Africa's finances – S&P Global

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 South Africa's support plan for struggling state-owned electricity firm Eskom will put further strain on the country's finances, rating agency S&P Global said on Thursday, although it should be offset to a degree by easing external pressures. In his maiden budget speech on Wednesday Finance... 

Higher South African spending limit will not weaken policy credibility – Moody's

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 Ratings agency Moody's said on Thursday that it did not believe that South Africa's decision in its 2019 budget to raise the expenditure ceiling by around R16-billion over three years would weaken fiscal policy credibility. Moody's, the last of the big three ratings agencies to rate South Africa... 

AfriSam expects ‘tough 2019’ amid continuing political, policy uncertainty  

By: Simone Liedtke     21st February 2019 Construction materials company AfriSam CEO Rob Wessels expects “a tough 2019”, especially amid ongoing political and policy uncertainty. Wessels was, on Thursday, joined by political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi and AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes at a briefing post Finance... 

AfriSam expects ‘tough 2019’ amid continuing political, policy uncertainty
AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes discusses AfriSam and its expectations for 2019. Video: Perfect Directions. Editing: Creamer Media's Christo Greyling

Treasury support for Eskom will come to R230bn over a decade – Mboweni 

By: African News Agency      21st February 2019 National Treasury's cash injections to Eskom to the tune of R23-billion a year to help it cover its debt are likely to continue for a decade, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told MPs on Thursday. "It will be for ten years, so R230-billion. I think in the book we put R69-billion," Mboweni said in a... 

Treasury support for Eskom will come to R230bn over a decade – Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Numsa wants Gordhan fired over Eskom's power stations cost overruns 

By: African News Agency      21st February 2019 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Thursday called for minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan to be dismissed immediately for his alleged role in the cost overruns at struggling power utility Eskom. Last week, Gordhan said the two new multi-billion rand... 

Numsa wants Gordhan fired over Eskom's power stations cost overruns
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

There is no 'endless supply of cash' Mboweni tells Parliament

By: News24Wire      21st February 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told MPs on Thursday there is "no endless supply of cash" in government, and the state has no printing press to magic new funds.  Following on from his maiden Budget speech on Wednesday, Mboweni told a joint sitting of various oversight committees that the biggest... 

There is no 'endless supply of cash' Mboweni tells Parliament
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Shareholders petition Amsterdam court to launch inquiry into Steinhoff

By: African News Agency      21st February 2019 Embattled retail giant Steinhoff International said on Thursday that it has received a petition by a group of shareholders for inquiry proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. "The petition includes a request to appoint an investigator as well as an additional... 

Business Unity SA says Mboweni's budget is not bold enough

By: African News Agency      21st February 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said on Wednesday that it was disappointed at the lack of bold steps to contain government debt in the budget, saying that the budget lacked reforms to turn the tide on low economic growth. Busa president Sipho Pityana, in a statement, said finance minister Tito... 

Business Unity SA says Mboweni's budget is not bold enough
Busa President Sipho Pityana

South Africa to increase spending on health insurance to R3bn by 2021/22

By: African News Agency      20th February 2019 South Africa will increase spending on its National Health Insurance programme at an average annual rate of 36.6 percent, from R1.2-billion in 2018/19 to R3-billion in 2021/22, the National Treasury said on Wednesday. In its 2019 budget review, the Treasury said the allocations for national... 

South Africa to increase spending on health insurance to R3bn by 2021/22
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Eskom bailout a dominant theme in 2019 Budget 

20th February 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s announcement of a R69-billion bailout for Eskom over three years, how this has impacted on the country’s fiscal framework and how it is likely to affect South Africa’s credit... 

Eskom bailout a dominant theme in 2019 Budget
Eskom bailout a dominant theme in 2019 Budget. Camerawork and Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Budget frees up R1.8bn for urgent land reform projects

By: African News Agency      20th February 2019 The national budget allocates R1.8-billion for 262 priority land reform projects over the next three years, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday. A further R3.7-billion will go to emerging farmers seeking to acquire land. 

Budget frees up R1.8bn for urgent land reform projects

Govt encourages early retirement for up to 30 000 public servants

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2019 Given an “unsustainable” wage bill, the National Treasury has shifted expenditure to investment, meaning that national and provincial compensation budgets will be reduced by R27-billion over the next three years. According to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who delivered his maiden Budget speech... 

R567bn allocated for social grants to mitigate poverty, inequality

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2019 In the fight against poverty and inequality, government has allocated R567-billion for social grant payments. In 2019, grants for old age, disability, war veterans and care dependency grants will increase by R80. 

Govt allocates R19.8bn to support business incentives

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2019 Government has made a three-year allocation of R19.8-billion to support industrial business incentives, 48% of which goes to manufacturing development, the National Treasury announced on Wednesday. The medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) allocation includes a reprioritised amount of... 

R100bn to be injected into infrastructure fund over ten years 

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2019 National Treasury will be reprioritising resources towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s infrastructure fund and away from the wage bill, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday, with government committing R100-billion over the next decade towards the building and operation of key... 

R100bn to be injected into infrastructure fund over ten years

Another fuel levy increase lies ahead, carbon tax to be implemented 

By: Simone Liedtke     20th February 2019 A carbon tax on fuel of 9c/l on petrol and 10c/l on diesel will become effective from June 5, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday. Further, the general fuel levy will increase by 15c/l for petrol and diesel from April 3, while the Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy will be increased by... 

‘No quick fixes’, Mboweni warns as Eskom bailout widens deficit 

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni used his inaugural Budget address on Wednesday to outline the “tough steps” required to fix South Africa’s deteriorating fiscal position and the country’s failing State-owned enterprises (SoEs). He told lawmakers there were “no quick fixes”, while confirming a... 

‘No quick fixes’, Mboweni warns as Eskom bailout widens deficit
Photo by Bloomberg
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Power pools could benefit Africa’s regions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2019 Power pooling is an effective means of mitigating electricity supply risk over a large area served by numerous utilities, information technology services company EOH divisional manager Rob Surtees said during the second day of the Africa Energy Indaba. During a panel discussion on energy trading... 

MoU with Mozambique a milestone, says Davies

By: African News Agency      20th February 2019 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies says the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Mozambique and South Africa on economic cooperation is a milestone.  Davies was speaking at a signing ceremony in Cape Town with his Mozambican counterpart, Dr Ragendra Berta de Sousa, who signed on... 

MoU with Mozambique a milestone, says Davies
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Comair continues to perform well, despite setbacks in Q1 of FY19

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2019 Despite the technical recession in the first quarter of its financial year, South African aviation group Comair performed well to deliver a record 12% increase in revenue for the interim period ended December 31, 2018. However, the company said on Tuesday that the revenue growth was offset by... 

Parliament approves long-delayed Carbon Tax Bill

By: Reuters     19th February 2019 Parliament on Tuesday approved the long-delayed Carbon Tax Bill as it seeks to reduce harmful carbon emissions in Africa's most industrialised and polluting country. Big energy users including Sibanye-Stillwater and ArcelorMittal's local unit have opposed plans by South Africa to enact carbon tax... 

Don't trample on workers, Cosatu pleads in march to Parliament 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2019 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) marched to Parliament on Tuesday – the day before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is set to deliver his maiden Budget – to call for job security and an end to retrenchments.  The trade union federation held marches in eight of South Africa's nine... 

 Don't trample on workers, Cosatu pleads in march to Parliament

Saldanha Bay IDZ concludes R3bn in investment deals

By: African News Agency      19th February 2019 The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone has concluded investment agreements, which bring the total of signed investors to eight and the investment value to just over R3-billion. This investment includes five international investors from the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and... 

Ramaphosa’s big growth plan threatened by power cuts

By: News24Wire      19th February 2019 A major 18-sector growth initiative is imperilled by power cuts now ripping up the economy, warns one of the architects of President Cyril Ramaphosa's signature growth strategy. At the State of the Nation Address (SoNA), Ramaphosa said the Public Private Growth Initiative, stewarded by Minister... 

 Ramaphosa’s big growth plan threatened by power cuts
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Nampak marks 50 years on JSE amid moves to streamline and reduce environmental footprint 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2019 Packaging group Nampak, which celebrated 50 years on the JSE on February 19, is a markedly different business from the one that has its roots in a cardboard box-making factory established by John Herzberg in Waterkant Street, Cape Town, in 1918. Rising levels of automation across a portfolio of... 

Nampak marks 50 years on JSE amid moves to streamline and reduce environmental footprint

Brian Dames: Why I stepped down from the Eskom task team

By: News24Wire      18th February 2019 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames said in order to maintain a high standard of ethics, he stepped down from the presidential task team on Eskom when a perceived conflict of interest arose. Dames was speaking alongside SA billionaire Patrice Motsepe at a briefing at the African Energy Indaba held in... 

 Brian Dames: Why I stepped down from the Eskom task team
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames

President Ramaphosa 'urgently' looking into e-tolls, says Makhura 

By: African News Agency      18th February 2019 Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday again assured residents in the province that the unwanted e-tolling system was receiving attention from national government. "While the user-pay principle is not in question, there is clear recognition that urban tolling increases the cost of living and is... 

 President Ramaphosa 'urgently' looking into e-tolls, says Makhura

Black farmers urge Mboweni not to hike excise taxes

By: African News Agency      18th February 2019 The recently launched Black Tobacco Farmers Association (BTFA) on Monday called for government to keep excise taxes at their current level as finance minister Tito Mboweni readies to table his maiden Budget this week.  BTFA said their call to action was inspired by the SA Revenue Service's (Sars)... 

Black farmers urge Mboweni not to hike excise taxes
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Bosasa files for voluntary liquidation 

By: African News Agency      18th February 2019 African Global Operations, formerly Bosasa Operations, on Monday announced that its group of companies were filing for voluntary liquidation following the closure of bank accounts and this would lead to 4 500 job losses. "It is with deep regret that the board of directors announces the closure of... 

 Bosasa files for voluntary liquidation
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2019 A report indicating that the South African government may seek to renegotiate power purchase agreements (PPAs) concluded with independent power producers (IPPs) in 2011 and 2012 is raising alarm bells within the industry, which is still recovering from a protracted period of uncertainty created... 

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings

Icasa boss sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraud, money laundering 

By: News24Wire      15th February 2019 Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraud and money laundering. Mohlalonga was sentenced - alongside former acting head of the Land Bank Philemon Mohlahlane and attorney Dinga Rammy Nkwashu - on... 

Icasa boss sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraud, money laundering
Icasa chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga

Sanral, Nafbi sign MoU to develop small contractors, accelerate BEE implementation

By: Simone Liedtke     14th February 2019 State-owned South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and nongovernmental organisation, the National African Federated Building Industry (Nafbi), on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at developing small contractors within the South African construction industry.... 

Sanral, Nafbi sign MoU to develop small contractors, accelerate BEE implementation
Photo by Simone Liedtke
Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma (left) and Nafbi president Aubrey Tshalata (right) during the signing of the MoU agreement on Thursday

Luxembourg Protocol can save South Africa billions – Rail Working Group

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2019 The adoption of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment is expected to be a game changer for South Africa, said Rail Working Group chairperson Howard Rosen on Thursday. The treaty, which is expected to enter into force late in 2019,... 

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