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Economy News

Omicron may throw wrench in companies' plans to return to office

By: Reuters     Updated 10 minutes ago Company executives are beginning to consider different permanent work models for their employees as the coronavirus pandemic, and the spread of the Omicron variant, destabilise their latest return-to-office plans. With Omicron so new, companies are struggling to understand how the variant might... 

Virus-battered South Africa readies mandatory vaccine policy

By: Bloomberg     Updated 22 minutes ago South Africa, which is contending with a massive upsurge in coronavirus infections following the onset of the omicron variant, is readying a mandatory vaccine policy and is set to implement it early next year, a senior labour union official said. Broad agreement has been reached on the policy in... 

Virus-battered South Africa readies mandatory vaccine policy

More growth expected for diesel generators

By: Darren Parker     3rd December 2021 South Africa’s diesel generator market is expected to grow at a compound yearly growth rate of more than 2% from 2020 to 2025, according to a report released this year by research organisation Mordor Intelligence.   Factors such as an increase in throughput of peaking plants and demand for... 

A photo of a generic diesel generator
Photo by Adobe
DIESEL GENERATOR Diesel generators in South Africa are not generally used as a primary source of energy, but rather as a backup during power cuts or blackouts from the utility grid.

Sugar master plan to help ailing industry

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 With the South African sugar industry having experienced various challenges in the past few years, the Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 aims to address some challenges and assist with the industry’s growth. Over the past 20 years, local yearly sugar production has declined by nearly 25%,... 

An image of SASA executive director Trix Trikam
TRIX TRIKAM Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 to set to address industry challenges

South Africa sees rise in Covid reinfections from Omicron, mild symptoms – scientist

By: Reuters     2nd December 2021 South Africa is seeing an increase in Covid-19 reinfections due to the Omicron variant but symptoms for reinfected patients and those infected after vaccination appear to be mild, a scientist studying the outbreak of the new strain said. The new variant, which has caused global fears of a surge... 

A Covid vaccine

South African food security linked to innovation, improving productivity in agriculture 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2021 South Africa's food security is linked to the competitiveness of its agricultural production. Therefore, improving productivity through innovation and global best practices will support food security amid challenges, including climate change, local electricity and water supply constraints, as... 

A farm in the Eastern Cape

If more people don't vaccinate, mandatory vaccinations could be the only option - David Makhura  

By: News24Wire      2nd December 2021 Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that if more people don't have themselves vaccinated voluntarily, mandatory orders could be implemented. Speaking during an update on the province's Covid-19 situation, the premier lamented the low vaccination turnout. So far, more than seven-million... 

Gauteng Premier David Makhura
Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Households’ ability to incur, manage debt improving 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd December 2021 The Altron Fintech Household Financial Resilience Index (Afhri) for the second quarter has confirmed that the average household in South Africa enjoys a more advantageous disposition towards incurring and managing debt than before the Covid-19-pandemic. The results of the Afhri index released... 

Opinion: What does AfCFTA mean for South Africa’s importers and exporters?

2nd December 2021 In this opinion article, Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo and head of product Nompilo Mtshali write about the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for South Africa's importers and exporters. 

Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo
Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo

South Africans focussing on wellbeing, balancing purpose with earning more – Deloitte

By: Donna Slater     1st December 2021 Compared with 12 months ago, South Africans show a strong shift to introspection and their wellbeing, while also seeking to better balance purpose with earning more money, professional services firm Deloitte’s 'State of the South African Consumer Tracker' report states. The study obtained... 

PwC describes economic outlook for 2022 as ‘uncertain at best’

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2021 Professional services firm PwC maintains in its latest economic outlook that the main factors influencing South Africa’s economy in 2022 are likely to be load-shedding, lockdown restrictions, municipal coalitions and fiscal spending, global economic growth and supply chain challenges. The firm... 

Judge to rule next week on latest Eskom-Nersa legal wrangle 

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2021 Judge Jody Kollapen has reserved judgment in Eskom’s application to have the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) rejection of its latest revenue application set aside as irrational and unlawful. Following a virtual hearing on December 1, Kollapen indicated that he expected to... 

Nersa Public Hearings Poster

E2 crime fighting initiative extends to eight provinces

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st December 2021 Industry organisation Business Leadership South Africa and its subdivision Business Against Crime South Africa (Bacsa) have announced the national roll out of the Eyes and Ears (E2) initiative to eight of the country’s provinces as efforts to combat increased crime during the festive season... 

Solidarity launches SOE corruption whistleblower platform

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2021 Trade union Solidarity has launched a new protected whistleblower portal to empower employees to expose corruption at Eskom and other State-owned enterprises (SOEs). Although this platform is launched with a specific focus on Eskom, it is also a platform where anyone can blow the whistle on... 

Absa PMI rises to 57.2 in November

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2021 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded a solid increase in November, gaining 3.6 points to 57.2, making it the highest level for the headline PMI since before the third wave of Covid-19 infections and the social unrest shock in July. At 55.4, the average headline... 

Petrol price increase was wrong, energy dept admits  

By: News24Wire      1st December 2021 While the petrol price still went up on Wednesday, it was by 75c per litre, and not 81c as the department of mineral resources and energy incorrectly stated this week.  "The 6 cents difference is due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service station workers had already been implemented... 

Petrol pump

Eskom CEO sees end to crisis in shift from coal

By: Reuters     1st December 2021 South African state power utility Eskom sees an opportunity to emerge from years of crisis by shifting from coal-fired power generation towards natural gas and renewables, its chief executive told Reuters. Eskom has implemented power cuts for more than a decade in Africa's most industrialised... 

Global trade to increase 23% from 2020 levels – Unctad

By: Donna Slater     30th November 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) forecasts that global trade will reach about $28-trillion this year – an increase of 23% on 2020 levels, after stabilising in the second half of the year. It notes, however, that the outlook for 2022 is “very uncertain”. 

Altron index shows short-term credit improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th November 2021 The latest Altron Fintech Short-term Credit Impact (AFSCI) Index has revealed an increase in short-term credit during the second quarter of 2021. The second-quarter 2021 AFSCI Index, which tracks the economic impact of short-term lending in South Africa, shows a year-on-year increase of 8.6% and... 

Institute of Risk Management welcomes vaccination drive, mandatory vaccination task team

By: Schalk Burger     30th November 2021 The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) has welcomed a renewed call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to accelerate the administration of Covid-19 vaccines and the establishment of a task team to consider mandatory vaccinations. “The laudable discovery by South African scientists of a... 

Unemployment rate hits new record high at 34.9%

By: Reuters     30th November 2021 South Africa's unemployment rate hit a new record high of 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021 from 34.4% in the second quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday. Statistics South Africa said the number of unemployed totalled 7.643-million people in the three months to the end of September,... 

Unemployment rate hits new record high at 34.9%

Cabinet to make a final decision on e-tolls soon, says Mbalula

By: News24Wire      30th November 2021 A decision on the future of e-tolls will be announced by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana during the budget speech in February 2022, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. The Department of Transport on Monday issued a statement refuting reports that Cabinet had already made a final... 

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

No cruise ship cheer for Cape Town tourism amid Omicron alarm

By: Reuters     30th November 2021 The docking of the Europa passenger liner in Cape Town on Tuesday was meant to be a ribbon-cutting celebration marking the official start of the cruise ship season in South Africa's top tourist hub, the first since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. But international travel curbs on southern Africa,... 

Drone regulations stifling use of modern technology

By: Donna Slater     30th November 2021 Regulations governing the use of drones in South Africa and an inability by the Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) to grant access to airspace were limiting service providers who want to use drones for short, but beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, such as so-called “last mile”... 

Nedlac to hold emergency meetings on vaccine mandates, access restrictions for unvaccinated

By: Terence Creamer     29th November 2021 The social partners participating in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) will hold emergency meetings this week about the institution of workplace vaccine mandates and the imposition of public access restrictions for the unvaccinated amid low vaccine uptake levels, the... 

Image of a Covid syringe

Scientists working around the clock to understand Omicron variant – Health Minister 

By: Thabi Madiba     29th November 2021 Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said citizens can be confident that in a matter of days and weeks health department’s scientists will have gotten to the bottom of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Phaahla reiterated President Cyril Rampahosa’s message on Sunday evening, when he said the best weapon to... 

Image of Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

Omicron poses "very high" global risk, world must prepare – WHO

By: Reuters     29th November 2021 The Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a "very high" global risk of infection surges that could have "severe consequences" some areas, the World Health Organisation said on Monday. The UN agency urged its 194 member states to accelerate vaccination of... 

WHO logo

BLSA warns of Omicron's impact on tourism industry, supports mandatory vaccination

By: Schalk Burger     29th November 2021 Business association Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has warned that the Covid-19 Omicron variant could have a significant impact on the South African tourism industry. President Cyril Ramaphosa in a November 28 address to the nation signalled the importance of vaccine mandates and... 

Alcohol industry joins call for South Africans to get vaccinated

By: Schalk Burger     29th November 2021 The alcohol industry has welcomed government's decision to keep South Africa at Alert Level 1 lockdown and supports calls for South Africans who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 to urgently get their vaccinations. “Economic recovery of the alcohol, tourism and hospitality sectors is... 

Opinion: Is green hydrogen the fuel to drive South Africa’s future?

26th November 2021 In this opinion article, Royal HaskoningDHV advisory group for energy transition director Gladys Nabagala writes that South Africa has significant potential to stimulate its economy by building a hydrogen export economy. 

Gladys Nabagala

CSIR's initial circular economy study shows potential to create economy-wide value

By: Schalk Burger     26th November 2021 The initial findings from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Science, Technology and Innovation for a Circular Economy (STI4CE) study shows that transitioning to a more circular economy has the potential to create value across all sectors of the economy. There are also... 

Sacci calls for better communication around new Covid-19 variant

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th November 2021 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) says the discovery of the new Covid-19 variant that has more mutations and is expected to be more transmissible has added to more anxiety, which will affect business confidence. “Of concern to us as business is the need for better... 

South Africa to convene coronavirus council after new variant found

By: Reuters     26th November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the National Coronavirus Command Council on Sunday, a government statement said, after scientists detected a new Covid-19 variant in the country. Decisions taken by the council inform the government's stance on the Covid-19 pandemic, including the level of... 

Cyril Ramaphosa

Tourism sector concerned as UK reinstates travel restrictions against South Africa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th November 2021 Various tourism entities have expressed their concern over the UK’s “knee-jerk” reaction to institute a temporary red list ban on six African countries, including South Africa. Following announcements on November 25 that a new Covid-19 variant called B1.1.529 has been identified in Botswana,... 

South Africa working at ‘lightning speed’ on new virus variant

By: Bloomberg     26th November 2021 South African scientists are working “at lightning speed” to ascertain how quickly the concerning new coronavirus variant can spread and whether it is resistant to Covid-19 vaccines. Results will still take at least two weeks, Tulio de Oliveira, a bio-informatics professor who runs... 

Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa

Nervy week for markets ends with wild swings on new Covid strain

By: Bloomberg     26th November 2021 Investors dumped risk assets and flocked to havens Friday as a new variant of the coronavirus made its presence known in global markets. Fears the variant first discovered in South Africa may spread internationally -- thwarting the global economic recovery -- pushed Treasuries and the yen higher... 

A Covid-19 vaccine

Increased presence for Italian business in S Africa next year

By: Darren Parker     26th November 2021 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industry (Italcham) aims to continue improving its presence in South Africa next year. “We intend to establish an antenna in Cape Town and, possibly, even in Durban and Gqeberha. This means managing multiple hubs with a higher number of events... 

A graphic of interlocking jigsaw puzzles depicting the South African and Italian flags on a backdrop of a map of the world
Photo by Adobe
POSITIVE OUTLOOK The trade situation between South Africa and Italy is looking far more positive for the year ahead
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