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No real growth without fixing structural impediments first – Econometrix 

By: Irma Venter     Updated 6 hours ago “The only way out of our economic dilemma is to get this economy to grow faster,” says Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine. “And, in order to achieve that, we need to address the key structural impediments that have been holding back our economic growth performance.” 

No real growth without fixing structural impediments first – Econometrix

M&E sector output to recover this year after 15% decrease recorded for 2020 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 5 hours ago The Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector was no doubt under pressure in 2020 owing to lower steel production and general trading restrictions, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says in its latest 'State of the M&E Sector' report. Seifsa chief economist and... 

M&E sector output to recover this year after 15% decrease recorded for 2020

Planning commission wants new climate-change commission to drive ‘just transition’ social compact 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2021 The outgoing National Planning Commission (NPC) is preparing to hand over the extensive work it has done to build consensus on South Africa’s ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society to the newly formed Presidential Coordinating Commission on Climate Change (PCCCC). When... 

Planning commission wants new climate-change commission to drive ‘just transition’ social compact

Gas Amendment Bill heads to Parliament for processing

By: Creamer Media Reporter      Updated 5 hours ago Cabinet approved the submission of the Gas Amendment Bill of 2020 to Parliament at its virtual meeting on February 24. A post-Cabinet statement released on Friday said the proposed Bill sought to align the gas industry to, amongst others, new transportation technologies of natural and... 

Eskom suspends chief procurement officer over 'non-performance in procurement savings' 

By: News24Wire      26th February 2021 Eskom has suspended its chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, and will be instituting disciplinary action against him, following allegations of poor performance over the last year. Andre de Ruyter, Eskom's group chief executive officer, confirmed to News24 that Tshitangano had been... 

Eskom suspends chief procurement officer over 'non-performance in procurement savings'
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Agriculture has potential to ignite SA’s recovery, but finance and policy constraints weigh

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th February 2021 The South African agriculture sector is one of a few sectors that have proven to be resilient throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and has been earmarked by government as a cornerstone of the country’s economic reconstruction and recovery. The sector, together with State departments and other... 

Agriculture has potential to ignite SA’s recovery, but finance and policy constraints weigh

Cabinet approves new National Transport Policy

By: Irma Venter     Updated 5 hours ago Cabinet announced on Friday that it had approved the revised White Paper on National Transport Policy. The policy replaces the 1996 National Transport Policy. 

Cell C claws back subscribers, earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th February 2021 Cell C has clawed back some of its customers, increasing its subscriber base to 12.5-million as at the end of November 2020, after recording a decline to 11.8-million by June last year. While revenue for the six months to November 30, 2020, declined 8% to R7.12-billion, from R7.72-billion in... 

Blue Label posts 43% higher H1 earnings a share

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th February 2021 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms posted a 43% surge in earnings per share to 49.92c apiece during the six months ended November 30, 2020. The increase was attributed to the disposal of the group's 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico and a partial recoupment of losses by the retail division of the... 

Poultry Master Plan benefiting industry, says Sapa

By: Donna Slater     Updated 4 hours ago The Poultry Master Plan, as implemented by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), is propelling new entrants and emerging role-players in the industry to build their businesses and expand markets, according to South African Poultry Association broiler organisation GM Isaak... 

Leasing, investment at Saldanha Bay IDZ are going well

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 5 hours ago The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) says the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) has attracted more than R21-billion of private investment to date. These investments are at different stages of development; two of them, with private investment valued at... 

Leasing, investment at Saldanha Bay IDZ are going well
Artist impression of Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone

Tribunal gives go-ahead for eSwatini-based forestry merger

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 5 hours ago The Competition Tribunal has approved a merger between Shiselweni Forestry Company and Peak Timber and Peak Forest Products (PFP). The tribunal did, however, stipulate conditions related to the sawn and untreated mining timber, final product mining timber, untreated transmission poles, building... 

Tribunal gives go-ahead for eSwatini-based forestry merger

JCB appoints Bell to distribute its equipment in South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 4 hours ago Construction equipment manufacturer JCB has appointed materials handling subsidiary and distributor Bell Equipment South Africa as the distributor for the full range of JCB construction equipment from May 1. Bell Equipment Sales South Africa (Bessa) will be JCB's distributor in the key South... 

Successful marine mining vessel repair leads to two more ship repair projects

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 3 hours ago The successful repair of the Gariep mining vessel, operated by  De Beers Marine, in November has led to two further ship repair projects being booked for 2021 at the Port of Cape Town, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) said on February 25. The Gariep mining... 

Stellenbosch University building achievest A-rating energy efficiency certificate

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 3 hours ago Stellenbosch University (SU) received the very first Electrical Performance Certificate (EPC) for any building in South Africa, with its Admin B building receiving an A-rating for electrical consumption of 48 kWh per square metre. This is in adherence to the amendment to the National Energy Act... 

Stellenbosch University building achievest A-rating energy efficiency certificate

Hyprop warns of up to 46% decrease in distributable income

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 3 hours ago Specialised shopping centre real estate investment trust (Reit) Hyprop expects its distributable income a share for the six months ended December 31, 2020, to be between 43% and 46% lower year-on-year at between 181c and 191c. The company attributes the decline mainly to the negative impact of... 

Rolls-Royce marine AI technology project receives UK funding

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 5 hours ago The British Ministry of Defence (MOD) has granted funding to UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce to further develop the company’s Artificial Chief Engineer technology. This is an autonomous ship machinery control system, intended to permit naval vessels to carry out... 

Global crude steel production up 4.8% y/y in January

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 3 hours ago Crude steel production for the 64 countries that provide data to the global industry body the World Steel Association (worldsteel) increased by 4.8% year-on-year to 162.9-million tonnes in January. Production in Africa, the US, Japan and the European Union (EU) had, however, decreased, worldsteel... 

DPE defends SAA vaccine flight to Brussels

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th February 2021 The Department of Public Enterprises has defended the recent flight by a South African Airways aircraft to Brussels, in Belgium, to collect anti-Covid-19 vaccines. State-owned SAA is currently undergoing a controversial business rescue process. The flight was funded by the South African... 

Expect steep fuel prices in March, AA warns

By: News24Wire      26th February 2021 Fuel users need to prepare for steep hikes across the boards with petrol prices expected to climb by 66 cents per litre, while diesel and illuminated paraffin will be up 57c/l and 49c/l respectively, according to the Automobile Association. The AA on Friday issued a statement outlining its fuel... 

Expect steep fuel prices in March, AA warns

African swine fever detected in Western Cape

By: Reuters     26th February 2021 The Western Cape region has reported its first cases of African swine fever at two small farms, after outbreaks in other parts of the country, the provincial head of agriculture said. Recent outbreaks have also been reported in the Free State, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces, agricultural... 

African swine fever detected in Western Cape

Denel says two more board members resign

By: Reuters     26th February 2021 State-owned defence company Denel said on Thursday that two board members, including chairwoman Monhla Hlahla, had resigned, days after it said several other board members had resigned. "The recruitment process of the chairperson is underway and the appointment will be communicated to all... 

New technologies can reinvigorate traditional production in developing countries

By: Schalk Burger     26th February 2021 New technologies can reinvigorate traditional production sectors and speed up industrialisation and economic structural transformation, says United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) technology and logistics division director Shamika Sirimanne. She adds that developing countries... 

Magazine round up 

26th February 2021 A video round up of this week’s magazine, highlighting our cover story, features and Business Leader. 

Magazine round up

Energy Regulator approves 40 MW solar licence for Gold Fields' South Deep 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th February 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced on Thursday that the Energy Regulator, at its meeting held on February 25, approved the issuance of a generation licence for a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to be developed at the South Deep gold mine, in Gauteng. The licence... 

Energy Regulator approves 40 MW solar licence for Gold Fields' South Deep

Gate upgrade to improve truck turnaround at Ngqura

By: Schalk Burger     25th February 2021 A R20-million upgrade project of the Ngqura Container Terminal's automated gate system will reduce truck turnaround times and improve traffic flow, State-owned Transnet Port Terminals Cape Terminals managing executive Wandisa Vazi says. The automated gate system was introduced in 2009 when... 

Giant defence group BAE Systems reports good results for 2020

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th February 2021 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) has reported strong full-year results for 2020. The group is active in the aerospace, maritime (including shipbuilding), armoured vehicle, cyber and intelligence, and electronic systems domains of defence. Only a very small part... 

Giant defence group BAE Systems reports good results for 2020
Photo by BAE Systems
A mock-up of the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft

SABS amends hand sanitiser standard in line with global guidelines

By: Schalk Burger     25th February 2021 National standards body the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has published the amendments to the national standard SANS 490, which specifies the requirements for all alcohol-based liquid, gel, foam and aerosol hand sanitisers, driven by global guidelines such as the requirements specified... 

Some of Kruger’s ‘lost hoard’ up for sale through SA Mint

By: Donna Slater     25th February 2021 The South African Mint has released what it says is a rare, intriguing trove of century-old South African gold coins – Kruger ponde – that were discovered in a Swiss vault. The Mint is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank.   

Some of Kruger’s ‘lost hoard’ up for sale through SA Mint
The Kruger half-pond

Mixed response to Mboweni's Budget Speech

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th February 2021 Industries and business have responded with mixed reviews to the Budget Speech delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24. Industry organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) posits that it showed the fruits of a better-than-expected economic recovery and tax collection... 

Organisation bemoans Treasury’s decision to cancel S12J investments

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th February 2021 The 12J Association of South Africa has expressed disappointment at the decision by the National Treasury not to extend Section 12 J of the Income Tax Act beyond June 30. Association chairperson Dino Zuccollo points out that this was announced in the National Treasury's 2021 Budget Review, on... 

Alcohol, tobacco industries bemoan excise tax increase

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th February 2021 The South African alcohol industry, including the National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC), South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba), Vinpro, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), retailers and manufacturers, have noted their concern about Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s... 

Iata identifies key issues for airlines and governments for reopening air travel 

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th February 2021 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has appealed to the world’s governments to work with the global airline industry – for which Iata is the representative body – to prepare for the restart of international air travel, once it had been determined that national borders could be... 

PPC making positive progress with restructuring, refinancing 

By: Donna Slater     25th February 2021 JSE-listed building materials company PPC reports it is making positive progress against key milestones of its restructuring and refinancing project, which is centred on implementing a sustainable capital structure and improving the investment prospects of the group. In South Africa, to date,... 

Implats in final stages of approving R10bn worth of new platinum projects  

By: Martin Creamer     25th February 2021 Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining and marketing company Implats is in the final stages of approving two exciting new platinum projects that tick all the boxes of the company’s strategic intent, CEO Nico Muller said on Thursday. The one project is a Merensky reef expansion project at the Two... 

Implats presentation of results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Agreement between Mahindra SA, SsangYong comes to an end

By: Irma Venter     25th February 2021 Mahindra South Africa (MSA) says the multiyear agreement between itself and the SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC) has ended, which means that MSA will no longer act as the local distributor for SYMC, as from February 28. This marks the end of a multiyear agreement, during which MSA took over full... 

Education dept makes headway on national rollout of coding, robotics curriculum 

By: Yvonne Silaule     25th February 2021 The Department of Basic Education is making headway on the national rollout of coding and robotics, with Grade R to 3 pupils from 200 schools to participate in pilot programme using a draft curriculum this year. Grade 7 pupils from 1 000 schools will also be piloting the curriculum, President... 

IFC invests in Liquid Telecom bond

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th February 2021 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested into a Liquid Telecommunications subsidiary’s bond issue. IFC, playing an anchor role, subscribed to 16% of the bond, equivalent to $100-million, which was listed on Ireland's main stock exchange, Euronext Dublin on February 25. The... 

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