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Macro and Micro News

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 As South Africa prepares to restart its electricity procurement programmes, following a five-year hiatus, the global popularity of competitive auctions as the preferred instrument for procuring renewable energy has again been highlighted in a newly released report. Published by the International... 

South African economy is benefitting from a 'Ramaphosa effect'

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 Independent economist Dr Roelof Botha on Friday highlighted the existence of a very real "Ramaphosa Effect", not to be confused with the superficial "Ramaphoria" which followed directly after President Cyril Ramaphosa's election, which is already benefitting the South African economy. Botha was... 

South African economy is benefitting from a 'Ramaphosa effect'
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

By: News24Wire      21st February 2020 Eskom says that stage 2 load-shedding will continue until 6 am on Sunday morning due to a loss of additional units. "While we expect three generation units to return to service [on Friday], we lost a further two units last night to unplanned breakdowns," the utility said in an power update.... 

 Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday as breakdowns increase

Invest SA says business registration portal is working well

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Invest South Africa (Invest SA) on Thursday lauded the Department of Trade and Industry’s Biz Portal application. Invest SA head Yunus Hoosen said the application had ensured that a business can be registered in South Africa in less than one day, where it previously took more than a month’s... 

Electricity sector developments 

21st February 2020 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest developments in South Africa’s electricity sector, with Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe having announced this week that the Section 34 Ministerial Determinations required to... 

Electricity sector developments
Electricity sector developments

Patel highlights areas of progress in South African industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 In response to the State of the Nation Address debate this week, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has highlighted in a letter to the President where South African industry has progressed in the last year. He started by pointing out that, last year, the Investment Conference had brought... 

PwC unpacks the extent to which coronavirus may dampen the local economy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 In light of the coronavirus impacting downstream on South Africa’s trade with China and causing business disruptions, professional services firm PwC has published a report on the potential impact of trade disruptions on South Africa’s sectors. The interconnectedness and complexity of global... 

PwC unpacks the extent to which coronavirus may dampen the local economy

Inconsistencies between fiscal and other policies resulting in ‘austerity without consolidation’ 

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2020 Prevailing inconsistencies between fiscal policy and the rest of government policy lay at the heart of the South African government’s current financial crisis and was resulting in “austerity without fiscal consolidation”, University of the Witwatersrand adjunct professor of public economics... 

Inconsistencies between fiscal and other policies resulting in ‘austerity without consolidation’
University of the Witwatersrand adjunct professor of public economics Michael Sachs

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel 

By: Irma Venter     20th February 2020 South Africa had to put in place a 50- to 100-year food security plan, and then walk backwards to see what it can do to make that happen, says former Afrgri CEO Chris Venter. “However, this is not happening. We are not looking at the areas becoming increasingly drier in our country to see what we... 

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel

'They stole most of the ANC's ideas.' Mboweni attacks EFF leaders

By: News24Wire      20th February 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took on the Economic Freedom Fighters, tweeting that he championed the concept of a State-owned bank long before "they" did. EFF leader Julius Malema dared President Cyril Ramaphosa to establish a State-owned bank during a State of the Nation debate this week and... 

 'They stole most of the ANC's ideas.' Mboweni attacks EFF leaders
Photo by World Economic Forum/Greg Beadle
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

'We'll make it happen' : Mantashe says plan for new power utility a 'reality'

By: News24Wire      20th February 2020 Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa not bringing up the establishment of a new power generating entity in his economics-heavy State of the Nation Address, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the plan is a "reality". Mantashe on Thursday briefed the media on the energy-related... 

 'We'll make it happen' : Mantashe says plan for new power utility a 'reality'
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Eskom to resume rolling blackouts after few days reprieve

By: News24Wire      20th February 2020 South Africa's electricity utility Eskom said on Thursday it would resume rotational power cuts from 9 am after a few days' reprieve and this would likely continue over the weekend. Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of the country's electricity, has been forced to intermittently apply... 

 Eskom to resume rolling blackouts after few days reprieve

Massmart CEO says not ready to let Game department chain fail

By: Reuters     20th February 2020 Massmart's new chief executive Mitch Slape said on Wednesday he was not ready to let the firm's Game department chain fail as the South African retailer undergoes a turnaround plan aimed at cutting costs and boosting profit and margins. Slape, a Walmart veteran who took over the top job in... 

Govt pension fund: It would be wrong to dismiss Eskom bailout proposal without all the facts 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 It would be "untoward" of the Government Employees Pension Fund to dismiss a proposal to bailout debt-laden power utility Eskom without knowing all the facts, MPs heard on Wednesday. The GEPF's Principal Executive Officer, Abel Sithole, and its Head of Corporate Services, Musa Mabesa, briefed... 

Govt pension fund: It would be wrong to dismiss Eskom bailout proposal without all the facts

CPI up 4.5% for January

By: African News Agency      19th February 2020 Annual consumer price inflation increased at a faster rate of 4.5% in January, compared to 4% in December, according to data released on Wednesday. The rate was buoyed by increases in the price of fuel, food and utilities. Housing and utilities notably contributed 1.2 percentage points, and... 

 CPI up 4.5% for January

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan 

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has said that the R3.5-billion in emergency funding that South African Airways received from the State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa earlier in the year may be depleted by early March. Gordhan was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament's... 

Development Bank's R3.5bn bailout of SAA may be depleted by early March – Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

South Africa’s plan to seize land would be a disaster for the economy, Pompeo says

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2020 The South African government’s plans to expropriate land without compensation would be disastrous for the economy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The policy proposal is an example of centralized planning that has failed in other African states like Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia, Pompeo... 

Eskom asks customers to reduce demand as likelihood of power cuts grows

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 Eskom has warned of an increased possibility of power cuts later on Wednesday after it lost additional generation capacity due to unplanned breakdowns at some of its power plants.  While the utility is not currently implementing load-shedding, it urged customers to keep reducing demand and use... 

 Eskom asks customers to reduce demand as likelihood of power cuts grows

Another VAT hike unlikely, says Citibank economist

By: Simone Liedtke     18th February 2020 Financial services company Citibank South Africa economist Gina Schoeman says the National Treasury is unlikely to increase the value-added tax (VAT) rate again this year and that government is unlikely to reopen wage negotiations with government employees before 2021, despite the high government... 

Eskom CEO says it wants hand in negotiating IPP pricing 

By: African News Agency      18th February 2020 Eskom wants to play a role in negotiating the price at which new and existing independent power producers sell electricity to the embattled utility, CEO Andre de Ruyter told MPs on Tuesday, "It is very important that [with] the roll-out of the new IPP programme that Eskom, as the ultimate buyer... 

 Eskom CEO says it wants hand in negotiating IPP pricing
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

SA Mint appoints new MD

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th February 2020 The South African (SA) Mint, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank, has appointed Honey Mamabolo MD, effective February 1. She has 20 years’ experience across various industry sectors, including mining, retail banking, energy, development finance and manufacturing. 

SA Mint appoints new MD
SA Mint MD Honey Mamabolo

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2020 The nonprofit Agricultural Development Agency, launched on Tuesday, in Pretoria, is a cross-sector, government-supported and private-sector led initiative to develop farmers by providing technical skills and private-sector financial support and linking the farmers into supply chains to ensure... 

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

Govt allocates R143m for drought relief in Limpopo

By: African News Agency      18th February 2020 South Africa's department of human settlements, water and sanitation has allocated R143-million for drought relief in Moutse in Limpopo province. The funds will be administered by water board Lepelle Northern Water within Sekhukhune district municipality towards drilling new boreholes and... 

Govt allocates R143m for drought relief in Limpopo
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu

No power cuts planned for Tuesday, says Eskom

By: News24Wire      18th February 2020 Eskom says it is not planning to implement power cuts on Tuesday.  In a power update on Tuesday morning, the power utility said that additional generating units had returned to service and its emergency reserves were at adequate levels.  

 No power cuts planned for Tuesday, says Eskom

Ahead of Budget speech, Deloitte says Mboweni faces ‘mammoth task’

By: Simone Liedtke     18th February 2020 Taking South Africa’s weak fiscal position and the scrutiny of ratings agencies into account, along with the country’s deteriorating economic outlook and the negative impact thereof on revenue collections, multinational auditing firm Deloitte says that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni “has a mammoth... 

Poultry association looking forward to tariff confirmation soon

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) last week that the new tariffs on imported chicken to curb the unfair component of international trade, will be set within two weeks. Sapa GM Izaak... 

Moody's cuts South Africa's 2020 GDP growth forecast to 0.7% 

By: Reuters     17th February 2020 Ratings agency Moody's has cut its 2020 growth forecast for South Africa to 0.7% from a September forecast of 1.5%, saying the economy remains stuck in low gear due to lacklustre domestic private-sector demand. Moody's also attributed the revised forecast to "the detrimental impact of widespread... 

Moody's cuts South Africa's 2020 GDP growth forecast to 0.7%

SAB, AB InBev unveil new R5.4bn empowerment scheme  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 South African brewery company AB InBev on Monday announced details of its new black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme, where a new BEE ownership transaction will be implemented through a company called South African Breweries (SAB) Zenzele Kabili. The R5.4-billion SAB Zenzele Kabili transaction... 

SAB, AB InBev unveil new R5.4bn empowerment scheme
South African brewery company AB InBev on Monday announced details of its new black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme, where a new BEE ownership transaction will be implemented through a company called South African Breweries (SAB) Zenzele Kabili. The Ndlovu Youth Choir also performed for attending delegates and media. Camerawork: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Darlene Creamer.

Ramaphosa emphasises youth employment in weekly column

By: Thabi Madiba     17th February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated the launch of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention Programme in his weekly column to the nation on Monday, emphasising the need for government to ensure that South Africa’s youth participates in the country’s economy meaningfully, either formally or... 

Ramaphosa emphasises youth employment in weekly column
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Relief for former Sars officials as charges withdrawn in lengthy 'rogue unit' saga 

By: News24Wire      17th February 2020 "You are free to go." These were the words of Acting Judge Anthony Millar, as charges were officially withdrawn against three former senior South African Revenue Service officials in the so-called "rogue unit" saga. Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johann van Loggerenberg briefly... 

Relief for former Sars officials as charges withdrawn in lengthy 'rogue unit' saga

Citigroup expects debt sales to boost sub-Saharan African deals

By: Bloomberg     17th February 2020 Citigroup expects the value of deals from sub-Saharan Africa to exceed 2019 levels as governments, State-owned institutions and companies in the region raise more debt for much-needed infrastructure. “Countries like Ethiopia and Angola, for instance, are undergoing transformations that are... 

No load-shedding planned for Monday, says Eskom

By: News24Wire      17th February 2020 Eskom says it is not planning to implement power cuts on Monday, after it replenished its emergency reserves of water and diesel over the weekend.  This comes after the power utility halted stage 2 load-shedding ahead of schedule at 9 pm on Sunday. The prognosis for the week ahead is that the... 

 No load-shedding planned for Monday, says Eskom

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 While the energy transition is gaining a lot of traction, integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo laments that the battery storage narrative is “still dominated by electric vehicles (EVs)”. He tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly that there is still a lack of... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo chats to Engineering News & Mining Weekly about the energy transition, how vanadium plays a role in this as well as how this fits into the company's growth plans. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

SoNA came at ‘crucial time’ says panel 

By: Simone Liedtke     14th February 2020 The 2020 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) came at “a crucial time” for South Africa, which is faced with a stagnated economy defined by challenges such as lack of capacity in State-owned enterprises (SOEs), high unemployment and electricity supply constraints, a panel agreed on Friday morning... 

SoNA: Business bodies welcome certainty on energy but plead for urgency 

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 Organised business groups have cautiously welcomed some of the economic promises in President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Thursday, but called for a greater sense of urgency and the articulation of a clear long-term vision to boost South Africa's struggling economy. Business... 

SoNA: Business bodies welcome certainty on energy but plead for urgency
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa's speech underscores weak South Africa credit outlook – Fitch

By: Reuters     14th February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address offered only partial detail on key policy areas like the electricity sector and underscored a weak outlook for the country's creditworthiness, Fitch Ratings said on Friday. Ramaphosa said in the annual address on Thursday that South Africa... 

Ramaphosa's speech underscores weak South Africa credit outlook – Fitch

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'  

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The Johannesburg Labour Court has dismissed a joint urgent application by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association to halt job cuts at South African Airways, ruling the airline had not contemplated dismissals.  The unions lodged the interdict... 

Court dismisses bid to halt SAA job cuts as airline has not 'contemplated dismissals'
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