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‘Slipping’ South Africa contributes to Africa’s big 2016 growth downgrade to 1.6%

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 3 hours ago The World Bank has lowered its 2016 growth forecast for Africa to only 1.6%, a dramatic downward revision from the 3% figure projected in April. The new forecast represents the lowest level of growth for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in over two decades and is also below expected regional population... 

Firestone Diamonds one step away from completing Lesotho diamond mine

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th September 2016 Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds has “one more item” left before its one-million-carat-a-year Liqhobong project, in Lesotho, enters production in the fourth quarter. During a media briefing, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday, CEO Stuart Brown said the company had around 90 000 t of ore stockpiled and... 

Property sector contributes significantly to South Africa’s economy

By: Anine Kilian     27th September 2016 Recent figures show the South African property sector contributes as much as R191-billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and R46-billion to the fiscus, Property Sector Charter Council CEO Portia Tau-Sekati said on Tuesday. Addressing an audience at the sixteenth Rode-REIM Property... 

Greater investment needed in inner city development

By: Anine Kilian     27th September 2016 Inner cities are important nodes for local economic development and investing in them is necessary for future growth, inner city property financier TUHF CEO Paul Jackson said at the Rode-REIM Property Conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday. He noted that urban living was often associated with... 

Ferrochrome price in sharp rise

By: Martin Creamer     26th September 2016 The European benchmark ferrochrome price for the fourth quarter of 2016 has been settled at 110c a pound, 12.2% up on the 98c-a-pound price of the third quarter. Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Merafe Resources said last month that it expected to benefit from renewed positive ferrochrome... 

Hearings into mining community problems resume

By: News24Wire      26th September 2016 The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) hearings into the socioeconomic conditions in mining communities are expected to resume in Johannesburg on Monday. "Significant levels of poverty, inequality and poor service delivery persist in mining-affected communities," SAHRC spokesperson... 

Namibia's fiscal deficit to narrow on rising mining production, spending cutbacks – BMI

By: Anine Kilian     23rd September 2016 Rising mining production and cutbacks on nonessential spending will see Namibia's fiscal deficit narrow in the coming months, says BMI Research, which is part of Fitch Group. BMI points out in a new report that Namibia's fiscal balance will begin to narrow over 2017, after widening substantially... 

Auto industry, unions conclude wage deal to 2019

By: Irma Venter     23rd September 2016 South Africa’s automotive manufacturing sector and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have concluded their negotiations in Port Elizabeth for a new three-year wage agreement. The agreement will be in force until 2019. 

Weakness in economy becoming more broad-based

By: Anine Kilian     22nd September 2016 The weakness in South Africa’s economy is coming from all sectors and increasingly becoming more broad-based, says Nedbank economist Nicky Weimar. Speaking at the eighth Integrated Housing Solutions Affordable Housing Summit, in Johannesburg, on Thursday, she pointed out that the 3.3%... 

Small business can only thrive if Minister has more say – FMF

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd September 2016 The Free Market Foundation (FMF) has called on government to give Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu more power to screen legislation that could possibly negatively impact small businesses in future, as well as intervene where other departments are failing to pay, or delaying... 

Emerging economies to drive global speciality chemicals growth

By: Anine Kilian     21st September 2016 The consumption of speciality chemicals globally is expected to increase by 5% between 2015 and 2019, driven primarily by emerging markets, says Frost & Sullivan Chemicals Materials and Food Industry analyst Constance Nyambayo. Countries that have traditionally been at the forefront of the... 

MCA defends Australia’s coal industry as TAI calls for moratorium

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th September 2016 The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has labelled analysis by The Australia Institute (TAI), which claims that the economic impacts of a moratorium on new coal mines and expansions will be “small”, as “nonsense”. Responding to a TAI report on a coal moratorium to allow for a “gradual phase... 

LIGHT OR TUNNEL

     16th September 2016 The 8.1% recovery in manufacturing, which accounts for about 13% of the economy, helped South Africa report a 3.3% rise in gross domestic product in the second quarter. However, there were immediate questions about whether the performance would be sustained, particularly after the Barclays... 

Q2 current account deficit narrows to 3.1% of GDP

By: Reuters     13th September 2016 South Africa's current account deficit narrowed to 3.1% of gross domestic product in the second quarter of this year from a revised deficit of 5.3% in the first quarter, the central bank said on Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 3.6% deficit for the second quarter. 

Auto industry, Numsa conclude new three-year wage deal

By: Irma Venter     9th September 2016 South Africa’s automotive manufacturing sector and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have concluded their negotiations in Port Elizabeth for a new three-year wage agreement. The agreement will be in force until 2019. 

India seeks to transform govt-owned companies into ‘resource majors’

By: Ajoy K Das     9th September 2016 India is preparing a blueprint for the transformation of government-owned and -operated companies into "resource majors" with each straddling the entire chain of mining operations. Government has identified power generation major NTPC, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Hindustan Copper... 

800-plus exhibitors to showcase their products, services at Electra Mining 2016

By: Ilan Solomons     9th September 2016 It has become increasingly important for mining equipment and service providers to attend trade shows to benefit from increased marketing opportunities amid the difficult operating conditions in the global mining industry, says Electra Mining Africa 2016 show organiser Specialised Exhibitions... 

Air pollution costing economies billions of dollars – World Bank

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th September 2016 Air pollution has emerged as the deadliest form of pollution and is costing the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars and hampering economic development, a new study by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has found. The ‘Cost of Air Pollution: Strengthening... 

The data obtained is key to leveraging IoT

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th September 2016 Common themes are being seen in the shift from traditional asset-heavy business models in the transition to the Internet of Things (IoT), and this includes comprehending the generated data and applying the insights gained  to add real value. The interconnection of billions of devices can... 

South Africa's economy avoids recession as manufacturing, mining grow

By: Reuters     6th September 2016 South Africa's economy grew by its most in six quarters as the mining and manufacturing sectors reversed sharp contractions due to an uptick in exports, the statistics agency said, ending fears of a recession. Growth beat market consensus, rising by 3.3% in the second quarter of 2016, its fastest... 

Phase 1 of refinery expansion project to be completed this year

     2nd September 2016 The Cameroonian government is planning to complete the first phase of the expansion and modernisation works at national refinery company Sonara’s refinery later this year, which will lead to an increase in production. According to local media, the refinery – the only one in the country – has been... 

'We are not interfering' – American chamber on Gordhan support

By: News24Wire      31st August 2016 Desperate times call for desperate measures and another sign of this is a call for action in support of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan by the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa. In an advert published in a local newspaper, the chamber called on all organisations to make their voices... 

Synthetic diamonds threaten Botswana’s mining-based economy, says former minister

By: African News Agency      30th August 2016 The expansion of the global synthetic diamond market poses a threat to the economy of Botswana which depends on the mining and sale of the natural mineral, a former government official has warned. Addressing a gala dinner of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants in Gaborone on Monday,... 

Eskom’s IPP pushback continues despite Cabinet endorsement 

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2016 Despite Cabinet having insisted at its recent lekgotla that South Africa has no intention of “changing course midstream” in its support of the independent power producer (IPP) programme and notwithstanding that all determinations are in terms of official Ministerial determinations, State-owned... 

Platinum industry not mining anywhere near forecast demand – Northam 

By: Martin Creamer     29th August 2016 The platinum mining industry is not mining anywhere near the forecast demand of nine-million ounces by 2025, the nominal global demand quantum based on a modest compound annual growth rate of only 1.5%. Nine-million ounces is a large number relative to primary mine production out of Southern... 

Northam investing R5.5bn in platinum growth projects 

By: Martin Creamer     26th August 2016 Platinum mining company Northam on Friday elaborated on the company’s suite of four growth projects timed to fill an expected future demand pull unmet by constrained future South African platinum supply. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange- (JSE-) listed company, headed by CEO Paul Dunne, expects the... 

Arbitrary licence cancellation a thing of the past as Kenya establishes oversight board

By: John Muchira     26th August 2016 Investors in Kenya’s mining sector will no longer face the risk of arbitrary cancellation of their licences, as the country has established a body to oversee the licensing of prospecting and mining activities and the leasing of mining tenements. Moreover, companies planning to invest in the... 

UAVs lead way for smaller aerospace manufacturers

By: Sebastian Whyle     26th August 2016 Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly referred to as drones – have led the way in introducing smaller manufacturers to what has typically been a large-scale industry, says South African aerospace-focussed programme National Aerospace Centre (NAC) director Philip Haupt.  

Free-falling Mongolia won’t be saved by commodity revival

By: Bloomberg     25th August 2016 The commodity super-cycle that peaked in 2011 powered Mongolia to world-beating growth. Then came the bust and China’s recent economic slowdown that’s pushed the land of Genghis Khan into an unprecedented economic crisis this summer. Yet even though the commodity market finally has a pulse again... 

How sugar tax will create future taxpayers

By: News24Wire      25th August 2016 A sugar tax should be seen as part of the serious intervention needed to ensure the taxpayer of today is around to pay their taxes and boost the SA economy of tomorrow, Ettiene Retief of the SA Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa), told Fin24 on Tuesday. The decision to put a tax on... 

South Africa not surrendering its steel industry, says Davies

By: Kim Cloete     23rd August 2016 South Africa’s steel industry is facing some serious challenges, brought on by a global steel glut of 44-million tons a year, but it is vital for the country to do everything possible to maintain a sustainable, competitive steel industry as it is of strategic importance to the country, says Trade... 

Sugar tax ‘unfair and regressive’ – BevSA 

By: Anine Kilian     23rd August 2016 The Beverages Association of South Africa (BevSA) believes that the proposed 20% tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) could trigger between 62 000 and 72 000 job losses, hurting the South African economy and exacerbating the broader fiscal and societal costs associated with unemployment.... 

Cabinet sets up ‘Broadband War Room’ amid policy, spectrum uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2016 Amid extended delays in the finalisation of South Africa’s information and communications technology (ICT) policy and a legal dispute over the auctioning of broadband spectrum, Cabinet has announced the formation of a ‘Broadband War Room’ to address the uncertainty. Minister in The Presidency for... 

Joburg promises free WiFi for 'all residents'

By: News24Wire      22nd August 2016 Plans are afoot to have all four-million citizens in Johannesburg connected to free WiFi within five years. Zolani Matabese, Head of Broadband for the City of Johannesburg, told Fin24 that 1 000 hot-spots for access to the internet would be installed around the municipality by year-end. 

Congo slashes growth forecast after drop in copper production

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 The Democratic Republic of Congo cut its growth forecast for 2016 for the third time this year because of lower commodity prices and warned the economy could slow further if other industries don’t perform. The government “has duly noted the slowdown in economic growth in the DRC” in the first... 

A commodities rebound is accelerating right on China’s doorstep

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 China may be slowing, but a commodities rebound is under way and the world’s biggest miner knows where the next growth story is building – emerging economies in Southeast Asia. Combined gross domestic product in the ASEAN-5 nations – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam –... 

China’s Silk Road revival plan could touch 4.4m people

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 China's ambition to revive an ancient trading route stretching from Asia to Europe could leave an economic legacy bigger than the Marshall Plan or the European Union’s (EU’s) enlargement, according to a new analysis. Dubbed 'One Belt, One Road’, the plan to build rail, highways and ports will... 

The digital transformation driving change in Africa

By: Kim Cloete     18th August 2016 Digital transformation is sweeping the world and making big inroads in Africa, where 600-million people are expected to be Internet users by 2025, when there will be four-billion connected devices on the continent. This was outlined at the Growth, Innovation and Leadership Africa 2016 conference... 

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