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Covid-19

Ramaphosa says infrastructure to be placed at heart of South Africa’s postpandemic stimulus  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd June 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that infrastructure should be the “flywheel” of South Africa’s economic recovery from the growth- and job-destroying Covid-19 crisis and announced on Tuesday that infrastructure would, thus, be placed at the centre of South Africa’s postpandemic stimulus... 

South Africa’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against Covid-19 gets underway

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd June 2020 The first participants in South Africa’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against Covid-19 will be vaccinated this week. The first clinical trial in South Africa and on the continent for a Covid-19 vaccine was announced on June 23, at a virtual press conference hosted by the University of the... 

Unemployment rate hit record high of 30.1% before virus 

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020  South Africa's unemployment rate hit a record high in the first quarter of this year as key sectors including agriculture shed jobs, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting weakness in the economy even before it was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Africa's most advanced economy was already in... 

Bushveld retains vanadium production guidance 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2020 While Vametco and Vanchem’s production were disrupted by the 35-day nationwide Covid lockdown, London Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals is retaining the previously announced guidance, provided there are no more pandemic stoppages. Bushveld Minerals is a vertically integrated primary vanadium producer... 

Bushveld retains vanadium production guidance
Fortune Mojapelo and Tanya Chikanza

B4SA receives R13m worth of PPE donations from public, private sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2020 In heeding Business for South Africa’s (B4SA’s) call for help, individuals and companies have donated more than 1.4-million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), valued at R13.2-million. B4SA in March launched a national donations drive called “Business Mzansi, we need you” that called... 

B4SA publishes guide to assist informal sector return to work

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd June 2020 Industry organisation Business for South Africa (B4SA), working with partners, is providing businesses in the informal sector a set of easy-to-use return to work resources to help guide them on how to operate within the new requirements for health and safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic. B4SA has... 

Global steel output falls 8.7% in May, but China lifts production

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020 Global crude steel output slipped 8.7% in May to 148.8-million tonnes as many steelmakers shut operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as top producer China was resilient and pumped out more of the metal. Data from the World Steel Association on Monday showed a sharp contrast between steel... 

Caprichem agrees to pay R600 000 for alleged excessive pricing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2020 The Competition Commission has applied to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order a settlement agreement with Cape Town-based company Caprichem, which has agreed to pay a settlement amount, comprising of an administrative penalty and contribution to the Solidarity Fund totalling... 

Solidarity Fund includes support for gender-based violence victims

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd June 2020 The Solidarity Fund has, to date, approved about R1.4-billion to fund initiatives to prevent, support, detect and care for those affected by Covid-19 in South Africa. Of this amount, 75% has been allocated towards the health-related aspects, including Covid-19 testing kits and ventilators, while... 

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd June 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. Transmission in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape continued on the accelerated path that kicked off with the... 

FMCSA supplies 50 000 face shields for frontline health workers

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has assembled and supplied 50 000 face shields for the US Department of Defence to shore up its response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Southern African region. The face shields are being produced in a specially prepared and sanitised facility at... 

Omnia expects to swing to full-year earnings

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2020 Chemicals manufacturer Omnia expects to report earnings a share of between 65c and 130c for the financial year ended March 31. This represents an improvement of 111% to 121% on the loss a share of 609c reported for the prior financial year.  

Safepod commissions demo unit to showcase Covid-19 medical facility

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2020 Prefabricated modular medical facility manufacturer and equipper Safepod has built and outfitted a five-bed isolation unit at the company’s offices in Saxonwold to showcase how quickly it can be set up, as well as its footprint and usability. Safepod was established as a partnership between... 

Safepod commissions demo unit to showcase Covid-19 medical facility
The 5-bed Safepod demonstration unit

Basil Read Limited's business rescue progressing

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2020 The implementation of the business rescue plan of embattled construction company Basil Read Limited (BRL), a subsidiary of Basil Read Holdings, continues, even as its effect at a group level remains uncertain until its completion. According to monthly reports published by the business rescue... 

No quick fixes for economy – Ramaphosa   

By: Sane Dhlamini     22nd June 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa warned on Monday that there would be no quick fixes for the economy as government gears up to launch its Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium on Tuesday. The Sidssa is organised by the Investment and Infrastructure Office within The Presidency and it is... 

No quick fixes for economy – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa rand weaker as budget risk raises second wave Covid-19 fears

By: Reuters     22nd June 2020 South Africa's rand weakened early on Monday, reflecting the gloom in global markets as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections around the world increased investor jitters ahead of a local emergency budget later this week. At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.49% weaker at 17.4050 per dollar from... 

South Africa rand weaker as budget risk raises second wave Covid-19 fears

Covid-19 is an important catalyst for hydrogen economy’s take-off – AP Ventures  

By: Martin Creamer     22nd June 2020 Despite being a global pandemic with hugely negative health consequences, Covid-19  is an important catalyst for the take-off of the hydrogen economy, in which platinum plays a fundamental role. “There’s an opportunity now to capitalise on a new wave on interest in hydrogen,” says AP Ventures LLP... 

Covid-19 is an important catalyst for hydrogen economy’s take-off – AP Ventures
AP Ventures founding partner Kevin Eggers speaks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Wits webinar exploring the impact of Covid-19

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th June 2020 The Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine and Wits University Press hosted a webinar to investigate the important question: ARE WE COPING WITH COVID-19 IN SOUTH AFRICA AND AFRICA? A panel of medical experts discussed current management protocols and the impact of Covid-19 in South Africa and other... 

Small business invited to apply for funding to make face masks

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th June 2020 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has invited eligible small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa to apply for funding to manufacture fabric face masks. This initiative by the UNDP, in partnership with the South African Local Government Association, aims to... 

Coca-Cola supports Africa during pandemic

By: Simone Liedtke     19th June 2020 Beverage company Coca-Cola and its bottling partners (the Coca-Cola System) has committed $13-million to support the African continent through the various phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) has granted just under $4-million to international and local... 

Coca-Cola supports Africa during pandemic
Hand washing stations in Tanzania, supplied by Coca-Cola.

Visa launches new initiative to support small businesses in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 Digital payments service provider Visa has launched a new initiative that aims to champion and enable entrepreneurs in South Africa, while encouraging consumers to support small businesses. Having launched on June 17, Visa’s initiative is aimed at supporting small businesses through the Visa... 

UIF pays close to R6bn relief payments in May

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 The Department of Employment and Labour continues to support workers with payments through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), as well as working on processing Covid-19 claims that have come in through the Compensation Fund (CF), it says. For May, the UIF had disbursed close to R6-billion to... 

Glencore, Merafe begin Section 189 consultation process 

By: Martin Creamer     19th June 2020 The alloys division of Glencore Operations South Africa and Merafe have commenced a consultation process in terms of sections 189 and 189A of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) with employee representatives and recognised trade unions, the JSE-listed Merafe Resources stated on Friday. Mining Weekly... 

Glencore, Merafe begin Section 189 consultation process
Photo by Creamer Media
The Lion Ferrochrome Smelter

R19m in funding approved through Operation Vula for small businesses  

By: African News Agency      19th June 2020 The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said in a statement on Friday that she will be presenting a report to the Parliament portfolio committee on her department's progress.  According to Ncube, the report confirms that more than... 

R19m in funding approved through Operation Vula for small businesses
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube

More than R1bn allocated for taxi industry relief – Mbalula 

By: News24Wire      19th June 2020 More than a billion rand in relief has been allocated to the taxi industry to aid thousands of taxis and their operators during the Covid-19 pandemic, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has said. "Government has offered the taxi industry a relief package of R1.135 billion. Reaching agreement... 

Local heroes celebrated as Africa Medical Supplies Platform is launched 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th June 2020 The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), to which local company Invicta Holdings is a key supplier, is now officially live as part of a continent-wide effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In a virtual briefing on June 18, South African President and African Union (AU) chairperson Cyril... 

Local heroes celebrated as Africa Medical Supplies Platform is launched
The Virgin Orbit Ventilators, which will be produced by Invicta Holdings.

Covid-19 to contribute to lower lithium prices, but higher cobalt prices

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 The lithium market is expected to experience a lower price environment, while cobalt prices are expected to be supported by sustained market deficits, research from financial information and analytics provider S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Commodity Briefing Service (CBS) series shows. The... 

Electric vehicle rally to maintain demand for battery metals despite Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     19th June 2020 Although subdued as a result of Covid-19, demand for battery metals, including cobalt, lithium and copper, will remain strong as a result of growth in the global electric vehicles (EV) market, business intelligence company CRU UK cobalt, lithium and battery markets senior analyst George Heppel... 

Electric vehicle rally to maintain demand for battery metals despite Covid-19

B4SA calls out UIF shortcomings in TERS payments

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 Industry organisation Business for South Africa (B4SA) has expressed surprise at the narrative being expounded by the Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and the leadership of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) attributing the delays and shortcomings in the disbursement of Temporary... 

Collaborative effort to unblock chronic congestion at SA’s busiest port 

By: Irma Venter     19th June 2020 New equipment, improved access roads, synchronised, longer operating hours and a truck booking system are all in the works for the heavily congested Port of Durban, says Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Port of Durban GM Moshe Motlohi. The country’s busiest port has long been criticised... 

Collaborative effort to unblock chronic congestion at SA’s busiest port

Deloitte discusses funding options ahead of Mboweni’s special adjustment budget

By: Simone Liedtke     18th June 2020 With the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic having forced every South African to “radically reassess any plans he or she may have had for 2020”, no one has had to do so more than Finance Minister Tito Mboweni with regard to the national budget. Originally tabled on February 26, Mboweni and his... 

Deloitte discusses funding options ahead of Mboweni’s special adjustment budget
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Aspen CEO working to ensure supply of promising Covid drug

By: Bloomberg     18th June 2020 Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is working to ensure it can manage demand for a generic anti-inflammatory drug that was shown to improve survival in Covid-19 patients. Africa’s biggest drugmaker has set up a team to assess how much of the 60-year-old drug dexamethasone it can supply and by when, Chief... 

AMSA considering large-scale restructuring, jobs to be lost

By: Simone Liedtke     18th June 2020 While the full extent of the Covid-19 pandemic still remains uncertain as the economy slowly reopens within government’s risk-adjusted approach to easing lockdown restrictions, JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has advised that it is considering a large-scale... 

AMSA considering large-scale restructuring, jobs to be lost

Midvaal municipality pursues pioneering electricity distribution PPP model  

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2020 The Midvaal municipality, in southern Gauteng, has issued a pioneering tender through which it is seeking to enter into a long-term concession agreement with a private entity to manage, operate and finance its electricity distribution service and to invest in new technologies. The municipality... 

Midvaal municipality pursues pioneering electricity distribution PPP model
DBSA specialist adviser Elliott Monama on the proposed Midvaal Electricity Distribution Services PPP. Camera Work & Editing: Kutlwano Matala and Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 18 June 2020.

S Africa's bad debts may hit highest ever level of 10% due to virus

By: Reuters     18th June 2020 South Africa's bad debts could hit 10% of bank lending this year, its banking association director said on Thursday, which would be the highest ever and well above the 6% seen during the 2008/9 financial crisis. South Africa had already slipped into recession before the coronavirus pandemic... 

S Africa's bad debts may hit highest ever level of 10% due to virus

Business for South Africa welcomes further opening up of economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th June 2020 Nonprofit organisation Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed the reopening of more sectors of the economy; and joined the President Cyril Ramaphosa in condemning violence against women and children, following his speech on June 17. Responding to the President’s speech, Martin Kingston of... 

Air transport bodies call on African countries to apply ICAO guidance to restart air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th June 2020 Three international air transport sector organisations have urged African governments to harmonise the safe restart of their air services, by swiftly implementing the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) global guidelines for the restoration of safe air transport, entitled... 

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