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Vaccination roll-out a vital growth stimulus, but decisive action on reforms remains key to recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2021 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni made a direct link to a successful roll-out of South Africa’s free Covid-19 vaccination programme and the country’s economic recovery, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that a successful roll-out would support a full reopening of the economy, boost growth and facilitate... 

Vaccination roll-out a vital growth stimulus, but decisive action on reforms remains key to recovery
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Mboweni withdraws R40bn tax proposal amid smaller-than-projected revenue shortfall 

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2021 As was widely anticipated, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni refrained from announcing any new tax measures in his 2021 Budget, citing the need to support the pandemic-afflicted economy’s recovery. In addition, he announced a surprise withdrawal of previously announced hikes worth R40-billion, which... 

Mboweni withdraws R40bn tax proposal amid smaller-than-projected revenue shortfall

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), which defaulted on its debt obligations on April 1, 2020, and is renegotiating it repayment terms, will receive R7-billion in recapitalisation over the medium term to put it on a stable and sustainable development path, the... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

Govt needs to focus on securing reliable hydrological information to ensure water security

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th February 2021 The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) has urged government to focus on securing reliable hydrological information to manage South Africa’s scarce water resources. In an advisory note written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the association recommended that the Ministers responsible for... 

Strong used-car, aftermarket sales see Motus bounce back 

By: Irma Venter     24th February 2021 A buoyant used-car market and strong aftermarket parts sales have helped mobility group Motus bounce back from the significant decline the group experienced owing to the Covid-19 pandemic in the last half of the previous financial year. Reporting on the company’s results for the first six months... 

Strong used-car, aftermarket sales see Motus bounce back 

Mercedes-Benz unveils the new C-Class to be assembled in East London

By: Irma Venter     24th February 2021 Mercedes-Benz has lifted the veil on its new generation C-Class. Production of the model is set to start later this year – for the local and export markets – at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) plant, in East London, following a R10-billion investment by the German parent company. 

Mercedes-Benz unveils the new C-Class to be assembled in East London
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

AECI’s diversification strategy helped to deliver solid 2020 performance amid challenging year

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2021 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI has declared a final cash dividend of 470c apiece for the year ended December 31, 2020, despite a 55% year-on-year decrease in profit from operations to R917-million. The total ordinary dividend for 2020 was 570c apiece, unchanged from the total dividend for 2019.  

AECI’s diversification strategy helped to deliver solid 2020 performance amid challenging year
Photo by Creamer Media
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Committee recommends expanding Covid-19 loan scheme controls

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The Standing and Select Committee on Finance on the 2020 second Revised Fiscal Framework has recommended that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni consider extending the R200-billion Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme enable development finance institutions to provide liquidity to projects that they are... 

Adcock Ingram reports ‘resilient’ interim trading performance

By: Simone Liedtke     24th February 2021 South African pharmaceutical manufacturer Adcock Ingram on February 24 reported a 4% increase in turnover, to R3.8-billion, for the six months ended December 31, 2020, during which the group experienced challenging trading conditions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as a depressed... 

Master plans are paying off, says DTIC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2021 The implementation of master plans has already started bearing fruit in four sectors of the South African economy – sugar, automotive, poultry and retail (clothing), textile, footwear and leather (R-CTFL). Close to R70-billion has been invested toward reigniting major key sectors that drive... 

Investec-backed energy fund plans R1.5bn South Africa IPO

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2021 Revego Africa Energy Fund, an investor in South African renewable projects, is looking to raise as much as R1.5-billion by April with the industry poised to grow.The fund is backed by Investec, the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund and UK Climate Investment and is seeking to list on Johannesburg’s... 

Two South African airports just got official new names

By: News24Wire      24th February 2021 Two secondary airports – and one fairly big city – have official new names from Tuesday. Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa recognised the new names by publication in the Government Gazette, alongside a handful of registrations of existing geographic names, and some spelling corrections. 

Major client warns Boeing to fix problems with its 787s before designing a new type

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th February 2021 Global major commercial aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corporation has warned Boeing that the airframer must “get its house in order” regarding problems concerning the Boeing 787 production line. Until it does, the lessor would not be interested in buying any new type that manufacturer might... 

Major client warns Boeing to fix problems with its 787s before designing a new type
Photo by Kenya Airways
A Boeing 787 (for illustrative purposes: Kenya Airways is not an Air Lease client)

UK, Australia sign first-of-its-type space sector partnership agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th February 2021 In what has been described as the first such agreement in the world, the UK and Australia on Tuesday created a partnership to greatly strengthen space cooperation between the two countries in most, if not all, its dimensions. The agreement has been designated the Space Bridge. The two countries... 

Boeing announces start of production of new advanced trainer for US Air Force

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th February 2021 US major aerospace and defence group Boeing announced on Wednesday that it had started production of the eT-7A advanced jet trainer for the US Air Force (USAF). The eT-7A had been jointly developed by Boeing and Swedish aerospace and defence group Saab. The Swedish company was manufacturing the... 

Boeing announces start of production of new advanced trainer for US Air Force
Photo by Boeing
One of the prototype eT-7A trainers

Test mine study under way for Fourth Industrial Revolution try-outs  

By: Martin Creamer     24th February 2021 A feasibility study is under way on a mine selected for the testing of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies ahead of their implementation, Minerals Council South Africa senior executive modernisation and safety Sietse van der Woude said on Wednesday. Van der Woude was answering... 

Joburg Indaba Modernisation in Mining virtual event covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Nissan CEO who oversaw Ghosn’s downfall testifies in court

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2021 Former Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa told a Tokyo court that he agreed that former chairperson Carlos Ghosn should have been paid more to prevent him from going to a rival automaker. Greg Kelly, the former Nissan director who was arrested on the same day as Ghosn in November 2018, is standing... 

Africa has lost a great thinker – Ramaphosa pays tribute to Benno Ndulu

By: Thabi Madiba     24th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness, on Wednesday, at the passing of respected Tanzanian economist Professor Benno Ndulu, saying Africa had lost a great thinker and visionary in the infancy of continental free trade.  Ndulu, aged 71, passed away in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, in... 

Africa has lost a great thinker – Ramaphosa pays tribute to Benno Ndulu
Tanzanian economist Professor Benno Ndulu

New Swedish venture eyes fossil fuel-free steel production in 3 years

By: Reuters     24th February 2021 Swedish steel venture H2 Green Steel is planning to build a fossil fuel-free steel plant in the north of Sweden, including a sustainable hydrogen facility, with production starting in 2024, it said on Tuesday. The Lulea-based venture, which is in the process of closing 50 million euros ($60.7... 

M&R warns of interim loss as a result of Covid-19 restrictions

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd February 2021 JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) expects to report a loss a share of between 38c and 45c for the six months ended December 31, 2020, compared with earnings a share of 41c reported for the six months ended December 31, 2019. It further expects to report a headline loss a share of between 24c and... 

Class action lawsuit: 'Exploited' SA Uber drivers must be recognised as employees - lawyers

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2021 Two law firms announced on Tuesday that they would move ahead with plans to file a class action on behalf of South African Uber drivers against the ride hailing tech giant's operations in South Africa as well as in London for drivers to be recognised as employees. If successful, the legal bid... 

Harmony Gold’s hedging realises R902m net gain in six months  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2021 Gold mining company Harmony Gold realised a net gain of R902-million from its hedging in the six months to December 31, Harmony Gold FD Boipelo Lekubo said on Tuesday. In presenting Harmony’s superb set of dividend-yielding half-year results of profit soaring 336% to R5.8-billion in the six... 

Harmony Gold FD Boipelo Lekubo’s financial report covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Eskom Kusile R745m corruption matter postponed for more than 3 months

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2021 The case against two former Eskom executives who were allegedly involved in a R745-million corruption case at the Kusile power station has been postponed for more than three months.   Former Eskom Group Executive for the Group Capital Division Abram Masango and former contracts manager France... 

Just energy transition remains priority to ensure sustainable future

By: Donna Slater     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s energy sector needs to broadly embrace a just energy transition to ensure it improves energy security and stability, as well as meets its obligations towards mitigating climate change, says nonprofit economic research institution Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies senior... 

Averda welcomes two female directors

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2021 Waste management company Averda has appointed Mariam Ansari director of plastics recycling and Brindha Roberts group director of sustainability. The company says the appointments reflect its strategic focus on fostering the circular economy in the emerging world, as well as its commitment to... 

TIPS research confirms business case for developing hydrogen economy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2021 Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies says South Africa is well placed to build a new and sustainable export commodity – green hydrogen. TIPS believes the country can become a key supplier into the rapidly growing international hydrogen market, as the world faces growing pressure to move to... 

Bidcorp withholds dividend payment, but thanks staff for resilient performance despite market challenges

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 Food service multinational Bidcorp CEO Bernard Berson has lauded the company's more than 23 000 employees across 35 countries, as well as its diversity of clients and decentralised operations, for producing resilient results for the six months to December 31, 2020. Many of the sectors in which... 

NPC underscores importance of developmental State for South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality cannot be changed without a capable, professional, ethical and developmental State, speakers noted during a webinar hosted by government agency the National Planning Commission (NPC) on February 23. The NPC envisages a capable and... 

SBI calls on Mboweni to maintain SME and household support until pandemic contained

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lobby organisation the Small Business Institute (SBI) has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to speed up economic reforms, invest in infrastructure and not abruptly cut off support for SMEs. “As the pandemic has yet to be overcome through a rigorous... 

Eskom’s tariff restructure not all bad, says energy solutions provider  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2021 Eskom’s recently tabled tariff restructure programme, which proposes changes such as charging consumers a fixed connection fee, may indeed improve the landscape for renewable energy in South Africa, says Energy Partners Intelligence business development head Tygue Theron. He tells Engineering... 

Low cost carrier Kulula to resume Lanseria operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2021 Comair, the South African private sector airline group which operates the British Airways in Southern Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands, has announced that Kulula will resume operations at Lanseria International Airport on April 1. These flights will service the carrier’s routes to Cape... 

Greenfield exploration drilling restarts at Target North gold prospect  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2021 Greenfield exploration drilling has restarted at the Target North prospect in the Free State, which Covid-19 temporarily halted, Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp told Mining Weekly on Tuesday. Speaking during a Zoom interview after presenting an outstanding set of dividend-yielding  financial... 

Harmony gold CEO Peter Steenkamp interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Imperial to exit its Logistics International business, focus increasingly on Africa 

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2021 The JSE-listed Imperial group plans to exit its Logistics International business, says CEO Mohammed Akoojee. “We thoroughly assessed the strategic fit of our international portfolio [and] we have concluded that Logistics International is noncore to our Gateway-to-Africa strategy and we will... 

Imperial to exit its Logistics International business, focus increasingly on Africa

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2021 Infrastructure and contract mining group Aveng, which is at the tail-end of a far-reaching restructuring exercise that has been under way since 2017, has reported its first positive earnings since 2014, recording headline earnings of R109-million for the six months to December 31. The recovery... 

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Aveng CEO Sean Flanagan

TymeBank receives R1.6bn investment to expand products, grow lending portfolio

By: Donna Slater     23rd February 2021 Emerging South African digital bank TymeBank, which has on-boarded 2.8-million customers 24 months after launching, has secured an investment of R1.6-billion, attracting new investors from the UK and Philippines. The investment, which is one of the largest foreign investments any financial... 

Unemployment rate rises to 32.5% 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd February 2021 South Africa's official unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the highest since Statistics South Africa started publishing its Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008. Stats SA reports that the number of employed persons increased by 333 000... 

Unemployment rate rises to 32.5%

Port Elizabeth hotel being converted to 500-bed NMU student village

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 The Summerstrand Hotel, a Port Elizabeth landmark, is being converted into a 500-bed residence for students at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and is due to open in March. The Summerstrand Student Village is a 600 m walk from NMU’s main campus. The new village gives students an opportunity to... 

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