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Economy News

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) represents the only realistic stimulus option available to resource-constrained African governments for reigniting growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene avers. The global response to the virus had... 

WEF launches blockchain principles to protect users

By: Schalk Burger     25th May 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 22 launched 16 user rights for building blockchain applications that respect participant rights, safeguard data and protect users, and to serve as the foundational values for a decentralised future. "For blockchain technology to scale in its next phase,... 

African countries must strengthen their agricultural, especially food, production

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 A recent two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute, a unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw delegates call on African countries to put in place, and carry out, policies to strengthen their agricultural sectors. This would include agricultural processing, trade and... 

AMSA welcomes move to Level 3 in nationwide lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     25th May 2020 Steel company ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country will be moving to Level 3 in the risk-adjusted approach to the easing of the nationwide lockdown.  At Level 3, AMSA will be able to operate with 100% of its workforce, but... 

Lockdown Level 3: Squabble over 'tender' disrupts delivery of PPEs to some Gauteng schools

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 Two districts in Gauteng have experienced disruptions in the delivery of personal protective equipment to schools, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says. Lesufi visited Bryanston High School on Monday, where he conducted a visit to monitor its readiness and to give an update on the progress of... 

OneAfrica launches food voucher campaign, calls on S Africans to help

By: Thabi Madiba     25th May 2020 South African public benefit organisation OneAfrica has kicked off its Food Essentials Platform as part of its relief effort during the coronavirus pandemic and has further donated 1 000 food vouchers to support vulnerable households. Details of OneAfrica’s initiative can be found on its website... 

OneAfrica launches food voucher campaign, calls on S Africans to help

Alcohol industry submits safety protocol proposals to govt

By: Simone Liedtke     25th May 2020 The South African alcohol industry, which employes more than one-million people across the value chain, has submitted various proposals, including safety protocols for the manufacturing, distribution and trading of alcohol, to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). South... 

Reserve Bank running out of space to keep lowering interest rates – Kganyago 

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 The South African Reserve Bank has slashed the repo rate by 275 basis points this year to provide relief to indebted consumers and businesses as they navigate the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. But the central bank is slowly running out of space to further lower interest rates in... 

 Reserve Bank running out of space to keep lowering interest rates – Kganyago
SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago

Household wealth takes R830bn knock quarter-on-quarter

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2020 A new study by insurance provider Momentum and the University of South Africa has found that households’ real net wealth had decreased by about R828-billion from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. Momentum economist Johann van Tonder says this estimated real... 

Household wealth takes R830bn knock quarter-on-quarter

AMCU calls for testing of all employees at affiliated workplaces 

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has again called on employers to test all employees for Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to spread across South Africa. AMCU notes that while it has consistently called for the testing of all workers, the official stance of... 

African economic integration still has a long way to go, reveals new report

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have jointly called for African countries to strengthen their economic integration. They made this call at the recent launch of the Africa Regional Integration Index... 

Africa proactive in implementing measures to flatten Covid-19 curve – Ramaphosa

By: Thabi Madiba     25th May 2020 As the African continent celebrates Africa Day on Monday amid the global coronavirus pandemic, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that despite the resource challenges facing the continent, governments have been swift and proactive in implementing measures in the fight against... 

Africa proactive in implementing measures to flatten Covid-19 curve – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Covid-19 workplace protocols must become ‘second nature’ for any further lockdown easing 

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 Organised business has called for domestic firms to take steps to ensure that their workplaces are Covid-19-ready in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s May 24 announcement that the country would transition from lockdown Level 4 to Level 3 from June 1, a move that will result in many more South... 

Covid-19 workplace protocols must become ‘second nature’ for any further lockdown easing
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Busa president Sipho Pityana

The science behind Level 3 - Ramaphosa lauds 'diverse and sometimes challenging views'

By: News24Wire      25th May 2020 As President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the downgrade to Level 3 of the national Covid-19 lockdown, he thanked scientists for challenging and pushing the government's response to the global pandemic. "We appreciate the diverse and sometimes challenging views of the scientists and health... 

The science behind Level 3 - Ramaphosa lauds 'diverse and sometimes challenging views'
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa to move to Level 3, but risk of infections now even greater – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      24th May 2020 After nearly 60 days of tough Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a drop to Level 3, bringing a significant easing of measures to combat the deadly pandemic. 

South Africa to move to Level 3, but risk of infections now even greater – Ramaphosa
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

First window of SMME debt relief financing scheme closing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2020 The first window of the Department of Small Business Development's (DSBD's) Small, Medium-sized and Microenterprise (SMME) Debt Relief Financing Scheme will close soon. The scheme was initially allocated an amount of R200-million, which was later increased to R500-million, when the department... 

Trade and Industry Committee briefed on plans to reopen economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2020 The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry was on May 22 briefed by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition about measures taken by the department in response to Covid-19’s impact on various industries. The department told the committee that the national lockdown has served its... 

UK's Blair: Patchy data means Africa could use antibody tests to track Covid-19

By: Reuters     22nd May 2020 African nations should use antibody tests to find out whether the slower spread and lower mortality rate of the new coronavirus on the continent is due to patchy data or a more resilient population, former British prime minister Tony Blair said on Friday. That information would guide leaders in... 

Easing of South Africa lockdown may bring no respite for smokers

By: , Bloomberg     22nd May 2020 The imminent easing of lockdown rules in South Africa may bring no respite for smokers who’ve been contending with a tobacco sales ban for almost two months. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose department plays a key role in determining the... 

SA definitely moving to Level 3 lockdown 'soon', the question is how - deputy minister 

By: News24Wire      22nd May 2020 Government is in the advanced stages of consultation with health and economic experts which will result in the country 'soon' shifting to Level 3 lockdown, according to Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic development, Fikile Majola. "The big issue facing government and the country now... 

  SA definitely moving to Level 3 lockdown 'soon', the question is how - deputy minister
Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development Fikile Majola

Ramaphosa to hear from the tourism industry ahead of move to Level 3

By: News24Wire      22nd May 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will continue his consultative tour on Friday, ahead of the country moving down to Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown. His office announced that the president would hold virtual engagements with stakeholders in the tourism sector who had asked to meet him. Ramaphosa has... 

Ramaphosa to hear from the tourism industry ahead of move to Level 3
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Tribunal confirms another excessive pricing consent agreement

By: Donna Slater     22nd May 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement relating to the alleged excessive pricing of face masks in the context of Covid-19, with two related companies to jointly pay an administrative penalty of R1.5-million.

The companies, Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies, have also... 

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The survival of the construction industry will depend on the willingness and ability of individuals and organisations to adapt to a new way of working, as well government’s commitment to address the threats highlighted by the sector, University of Pretoria (UP) Graduate School of Technology... 

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach
DECISIVE ACTION For the construction industry to thrive, opportunism will need to be dealt with immediately and decisively

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Challenges in the construction sector will continue to prevail if construction sites remain closed, owing to South Africa’s national lockdown, says Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) president Christelle Bown. 

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes
CHRISTELLE BOWN It is important to address the difficulties caused by the onerous conditions prescribed when tendering for professional services

Council accelerates online services amid lockdown

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has forced home building industry regulator the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to review its business operations by fast-tracking its online service offering following the national lockdown. 

Council accelerates online services  amid lockdown
OTSILE MASENG Covid-19 and subsequent economic downgrades by rating agencies will result in a sharp decline in domestic demand for residential properties

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has its sights set on accelerating growth in and strengthening its partnerships with the construction sector. 

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator
TOWING THE LINE The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications’ National Building Regulations division assists with the upkeep of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act

Expert enhances skills

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Demolition expert Jet Demolition has made a significant investment in developing and retaining an exclusive skills base through the retention of full-time, long-term employees. 

Expert enhances skills
KIND OF A BIG DEAL The Bank of Lisbon building implosion on November 24 2019 is the tallest reinforced concrete-frame building ever imploded by Jet Demolition

More to concrete parking lots than meets the eye

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Concrete offers several major advantages when building parking areas, says industry body The Concrete Institute (TCI) MD Bryan Perrie. 

More to concrete parking lots than meets the eye
DIG A LITTLE DEEPER The environmental aspects of concrete parking lots, should not be overlooked

System gaining traction in building conversion projects

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Alternative building technology solutions provider SanteQ Liteweight Building Technology’s bespoke Plaswall building technology provides for simple and rapid installation using unsophisticated skills. 

System gaining traction in building conversion projects
BACK TO THE WALL SanteQ's walling systems use between 80% and 90% recycled and waste materials

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Technology provider ABB Southern Africa believes that digitalisation can address the production challenges of the sugar industry. 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation
JOHN MANUELL The full potential of sugar production processes lies in leveraging available data to drive the seamless interoperability among people, assets and production processes

Lifting of cigarette sale prohibition will improve tobacco farming economics

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 If the ban on cigarette sales is lifted, tobacco farmers supported by the Emerging Farmer Initiative will benefit enormously, enabling them to sell and duly process crops that have already been harvested, says agricultural services company Afgri. The organisation notes that permitting cigarettes... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 As governments in Africa ease lockdown restrictions and reopen local economies, CFOs are focusing on plans to provide a safe working environment for their employees and ensure that this safety can be sustained throughout the Covid-19 crisis and recovery. This deduction comes from the latest 'the... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango

Eskom committed to ‘aggressive’ end-2021 unbundling timeline  

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter describes as “aggressive” the end-of-2021 deadline for completing the unbundling of the vertically integrated power utility but insisted on Thursday that he was fully committed to adhering to the timeline contained in government’s restructuring roadmap. During a virtual... 

Eskom committed to ‘aggressive’ end-2021 unbundling timeline
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on how Eskom plan to recover from its current downward trajectory. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Union blasts Denel for last-minute unilateral three-month salary cut

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2020 Trade union UASA announced on May 21 that it was “rejecting” the letter sent out by South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel’s CEO Danie du Toit in which he announced that the company would not be paying its employees for the next three months (May, June and July). The union... 

Eskom CEO sees sustainable future if R450bn debt pile can be slashed

By: Reuters     21st May 2020 The chief executive of South Africa's Eskom said on Thursday the State power utility could become financially viable and do without government bailouts if it could more than halve its debt to R200-billion. Eskom has about R450-billion of debt and is mired in financial crisis as it does not... 

Covid-19 highlights massive structural inequality – Bonang Mohale

By: Thabi Madiba     21st May 2020 Bidvest chairperson Bonang Mohale noted on Thursday that the coronavirus has shown that there is indeed huge and deep structural inequality in South Africa. “What Covid-19 has simply done is to demonstrate the huge and deep structural inequality, now laid bare for all to witness. Grotesque and... 

Covid-19 highlights massive structural inequality – Bonang Mohale
Bidvest chairperson Bonang Mohale
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