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Davies endorses Itac’s recommendation of increase in sugar import duties

By: Simone Liedtke     15th August 2018 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has endorsed the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa’s (Itac’s) recommendation for an increase in import duties on sugar to $680/t. While the level is not at the maximum bound rate, as initially requested by the industry in the... 

Government changes shake up the sub-Saharan African construction sector

By: Anine Kilian     10th August 2018 International consultancy and construction company Mace has released its latest tender cost update for sub-Saharan Africa, showing mixed performances for the region’s two most prominent economies.    

Reform on education, gender and work critical to digital economy

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th August 2018 South Africa’s static and underinvested education and training systems need to be reformed to keep pace with the new needs of the ever-evolving digital economy. The current educational system is “largely inadequate” to cater for the significant shifts happening in the business models of all... 

Humiliated for years, women are fighting back in mines of Chile

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2018 he first time Karen Requena entered the cafeteria at BHP Billiton’s massive Escondida mining operation in northern Chile, she couldn’t help feeling countless eyes fixed on her body as she walked across the vast hall. “It can’t get worse than that,” she thought. Then as Requena looked for a place... 

South Africa falls to 37th on International Property Rights Index

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th August 2018 South Africa is now ranked thirty-seventh in the global property rights rankings of the International Property Rights Index, with its score having declined from seven in 2017, when the country ranked twenty-seventh, to 6.35 this year. This is the largest decline by any country measured, mostly... 

Energy access a catalyst for economic growth, says green energy company 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2018 Access to cheaper and reliable energy, through renewable energy technology, would be a catalyst for boosting the African continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) in a sustainable way, green energy technology provider New Southern Energy (NSE) CEO David Masureik told Engineering News Online in a... 

Funding for SA firms seeking to increase African trade and investment exposure

By: Schalk Burger     3rd August 2018 Increased trade and interdependence with the rest of Africa are set to bolster the anaemic economy of South Africa through the R13.4-billion Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) and African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) South African Trade and Investment Promotion... 

Redefining philanthropy

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     3rd August 2018 Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man – with a net worth of $12.4-billion – is redefining philanthropy in his native Nigeria. But the 61-year-old is doing this in a way that will make his bank account even fatter. Dangote Group, the 30 000-employee multinational industrial conglomerate he founded... 

Funding for SA firms seeking to increase African trade and investment exposure

By: Schalk Burger     3rd August 2018 Increased trade and interdependence with the rest of Africa are set to bolster the anaemic economy of South Africa through the R13.4-billion Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) and African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) South African Trade and Investment Promotion... 

Brazil mining reforms stalled by impasse over new agency

By: Reuters     29th July 2018 A new Brazilian mining regulator created last year to cut red tape and attract foreign investment has still not gotten out of the blocks, with experts warning that the agency will be stalled at least through the October election and perhaps until 2019. Miners say major investments are hanging in... 

Zambia remains a fast growing refined copper producer

By: Anine Kilian     27th July 2018 Zambia remains one of the fastest-growing refined copper producers in the world, backed by strong  domestic smelting capacity, rising mining output and ongoing government support, says BMI Research. Zambia will remain a regional leader and an important global player in refined copper production... 

Growth potential positive – Naamsa

By: Halima Frost     27th July 2018 Owing to the right policies, interventions and goodwill by all automotive industry stakeholders, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) director Nico Vermeulen says the industry’s growth potential remains positive. “Currently, the automotive industry is the... 

MeerKAT highlights importance of funding

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 The official inauguration of the 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope array in the middle of this month was a wonderful landmark in the history of both science and technology in South Africa. It marked the culmination of years of hard work and innovation by South African scientists and engineers, and,... 

Private equity investment more than doubles in Southern Africa – Savca

By: Anine Kilian     26th July 2018 The Southern African private equity industry invested R31.3-billion in 2017, which represents an increase of 102% on the R15.5-billion invested in the previous year and well above the yearly average of R14.7-billion a year invested over the preceding ten years. Further, South Africa’s private... 

Xi Jinping, Ramaphosa say Brics should uphold multilateralism, reject trade war

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2018 The Presidents of China and South Africa, Xi Jinping and Cyril Ramaphosa, offered an unequivocal rebuke of US President Donald Trump’s trade war on Wednesday and called on the Brics countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to act to uphold multilateralism and defend the... 

AECI achieves strong H1 performance

By: Anine Kilian     25th July 2018 JSE-listed AECI on Wednesday reported positive financial results for the six months ended June 30. Together with contributions from the acquisitions of Schirm and Much Asphalt in February and April respectively, AECI increased its revenue by 24% to R10.47-billion and profit from operations by 35%... 

Chile’s Finance Minister downplays copper’s decline, sees prices rebounding

By: Bloomberg     25th July 2018 Chile’s Finance Minister Felipe Larrain downplayed the recent slump in copper prices, forecasting that they would rebound, underpinning growth in the world’s largest producer of the red metal. "The fall in the price of copper is concerning but we are looking at a forecast in the long-term,"... 

Baseline study aims to start debate on the state of SMEs in South Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2018 The Small Business Institute (SBI) on Tuesday warned that the National Development Plan’s (NDP's) goal of having small businesses create 90% of jobs by 2030 may be unachievable unless small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are better understood. Early research shows that, while 98.5% of... 

Coal market puzzled as China flashes conflicting output data

By: Bloomberg     23rd July 2018 Investors looking to China’s official production data to help divine where coal prices are heading might need to be extra cautious. Coal mining figures from the National Bureau of Statistics are flashing mixed signals. The agency pegs first-half output up 3.9% from a year ago. 

Trade war could knock 3% off global GDP – Bank of France study

By: Reuters     20th July 2018 An international trade war with wide-ranging tariff hikes could cut global gross domestic product by as much as three percent, according to a study by the French central bank on Thursday. The direct impact of a generalised 10 percentage point increase in import tariffs could alone knock 1% off... 

Finding common ground in the energy mix

20th July 2018 South Africa’s energy sector has been mired in controversy of late, leaving citizens in the dark as to where the country’s energy future is headed and what it will take to keep the lights on. Be it the delays in signing power purchase agreements for the renewables projects, the National Union of... 

Finding common ground in the energy mix

20th July 2018 South Africa’s energy sector has been mired in controversy of late, leaving citizens in the dark as to where the country’s energy future is headed and what it will take to keep the lights on. Be it the delays in signing power purchase agreements for the renewables projects, the National Union of... 

Trudeau moves Sohi to Natural Resources, Carr to head up International Trade Diversification

By: Mariaan Webb     18th July 2018 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday announced significant changes to his Cabinet, moving around several current Ministers, appointing four new ones and creating three new portfolios. Amarjeet Sohi has been moved from the Infrastructure portfolio to Natural Resources, succeeding... 

Manufacturing SME’s need to Re-Imagine their IT

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th July 2018 By Hannes Botes, Chief Technology Officer, MANXiT. Studies indicate that the role of South Africa’s manufacturing industry, in terms of contribution to the economy, reflects a sad tale of decline.  The sector was at the height of its powers in the 1980’s contributing nearly a quarter of the... 

M&A advisory firm aims to use SA as gateway to African market

By: Nadine James     13th July 2018 Washington DC-headquartered mergers and acquisition advisory firm Taylor Advisory announced last week that it was entering the African market through South Africa with the appointment of Francois Baird as its Africa co-chairperson and Riaan Rademan as its South Africa co-chairperson. This is... 

Zambia says debt restructuring will not disrupt Chinese projects

By: Reuters     12th July 2018 Zambia will be careful to ensure its planned debt restructuring does not disrupt Chinese-financed projects, President Edgar Lungu said on Wednesday, after China's ambassador to the southern African nation sought clarification on the matter. China is a leading financier of infrastructure projects... 

Chilean miner Mantos Copper seeks buyer to help finance expansion

By: Reuters     6th July 2018 Private equity-backed Chilean miner Mantos Copper is looking to find a buyer to help finance the expansion of mines it bought from Anglo American in 2015, it said. The company's owner, a consortium led by British investment company Audley Capital Advisors and Orion Mine Finance Group, bought... 

Latest charter draft an improvement on previous iteration but discontent persists

By: Simone Liedtke     6th July 2018 The third iteration of the Mining Charter will have a significant effect on vendors of services and goods in the procurement space of South African mining, says legal services provider Strata Legal director Brandon Irsigler, noting that a great many suppliers to the mining industry are in the... 

Seifsa expects 1.7% expansion in local steel industry

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     6th July 2018 Following its initial forecast of a 1.1% expansion of the metals and engineering cluster at the beginning of the year, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says upon review, preliminary data now suggest a 1.6% expansion of the sector, with all sub-industries... 

Corruption’s heavy toll

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     6th July 2018 Picture this scene: you are driving along a road in suburban Johannesburg and a stern-looking cop pulls you over, informing you, as you wind down your window, that you have exceeded the speed limit or committed any of several traffic infractions. In a tone that can put the fear of God into any... 

Exxaro goes digital at new Mpumalanga coal mine

By: Anine Kilian     5th July 2018 Diversified resources company Exxaro Resources on Thursday broke ground on its R3.3-billion “smart” Belfast mine, in Mpumalanga. The mine is the first of its kind in South Africa and will have a digital twin – a complete digital replica of the mine that will allow management and the contracted... 

Shondoni to help sustain Sasol's Secunda Complex until 2050 

By: Nadine James     5th July 2018 The inauguration of Sasol's R5.5-billion Shondoni Colliery, on Thursday, was attended by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, Mpumalanga Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Eric Kholwane and Goven Mbeki municipality executive mayor Thandiwe Ngxonono. The Shondoni mine is part of a... 

South Africa funding to suffer from weak rand, high yields – Moody's

By: Reuters     3rd July 2018 South Africa will find it harder to raise funds and service its foreign debt after a worsening of external financing conditions in recent months due to a fall in the rand and rising bond yields, Moody's said on Tuesday. Moody's was the last of the top three major rating agencies to rate South... 

Q2 building, civil engineering business confidence weakest in six years – CIDB

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd July 2018 The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) says general building confidence fell by three points to 33 index points in the second quarter – its lowest level in six years.  

Will the SDGs help us rewire the economy?

By: Saliem Fakir     29th June 2018 The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the new mantra, and everybody is trying to figure out the best way to leverage them; the question is whether to follow the same old path or to beat a new one.   If the underlying premises of an economic system are the same, what can SDGs really solve?... 

Avoid being deceived by economists

By: Riaan de Lange     22nd June 2018 “The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”  How I wish these prophetic words were mine; this is Joan Robinson’s articulate indictment of economists, which she delivered in a... 

Asian giant supports African industrialisation – ambassador

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2018 Industrialisation is necessary for Africa to achieve sustainable development. "Only by realising sustainable development could Africa escape foreign interference." These points were made by Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian at the recent Africa Institute of South Africa-Human... 

Current account deficit widens in Q1 as exports slump

By: Reuters     21st June 2018 South Africa's current account deficit widened more than expected in the first quarter to register its largest shortfall in two years as the trade balance swung to a deficit after a steep decline in exports, the central bank said on Thursday. Investor sentiment in South Africa picked up after... 

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