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Economy News

Taxis allowed 100% of capacity only with masks – Mbalula  

By: Sane Dhlamini     Updated 15 minutes ago Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Wednesday that taxis could carry their full loads during the national lockdown, provided that all passengers wore masks. Mbalula was addressing the taxi operators and commuters at the MTN Taxi Rank in Johannesburg after he held discussions with the... 

Santam commits R200m to assist clients, suppliers and for the Solidarity Fund

By: Donna Slater     Updated 18 minutes ago Financial services provider and general insurer, Santam Group, has committed R200-million in Covid-19 relief to help clients and suppliers and to contribute to the government’s Solidarity Fund. Santam Group will also contribute to flattening the Covid-19 curve through additional corporate social... 

Cell C latest telco to conclude agreement with Competition Commission

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 1 hour 30 minutes ago Mobile operator Cell C has finalised an agreement with the Competition Commission over data cuts and digital inclusion. This followed the agreements made between the commission and telecommunication groups Vodacom, MTN and Telkom in March. 

Cell C latest telco to conclude agreement with Competition Commission

Putting Africa in back of queue for ventilators will be detrimental for humanity – Pandor

By: News24Wire      Updated 1 hour 58 minutes ago International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said the notion of Africa being at the back of the line for life-saving ventilators would be to the detriment of humanity. But, Pandor said, her impression from a recent virtual G20 leaders meeting, was that other countries have... 

Putting Africa in back of queue for ventilators will be detrimental for humanity – Pandor
Dirco Minister Naledi Pandor

South African ports open for cargo, mineral exports, govt says

By: Reuters     Updated 2 hours 8 minutes ago South African ports remain open to all types of cargo, although essential goods should be prioritised where possible, the Department of Transport said in a notice shared by the South African Maritime Safety Authority on its website. The notice, dated March 31, contradicts communications from port... 

South African ports open for cargo, mineral exports, govt says

Vodacom e-School registration reaches one-million users

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 3 hours ago User registration on telecommunications group Vodacom’s e-School platform is nearing one-million as South Africa’s schools remained closed. With the outbreak of Covid-19, all schools, universities and other educational institutions suspended operations from March 18 with no indication of when... 

Vodacom e-School registration reaches one-million users

Researcher unpacks the demise of South Africa’s investment-grade status

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago It is up to South Africa, and not the credit ratings agencies, to decide which direction to take to regain investment-grade status, says Absa research head Jeff Gable. “In this difficult time, credit rating agencies do not exist to lecture governments, to try to diminish the democratic process,... 

Researcher unpacks the demise of South Africa’s investment-grade status

Wind IPPs given some clawback relief as Eskom issues surprise force majeure notices

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 4 hours ago In its force majeure notice to wind independent power producers (IPPs), Eskom has indicated that, should the system operator issue an instruction to a wind farm to reduce energy output during the period of the Covid-19 lockdown, the IPP would be granted an extension equivalent to the period of... 

Wind IPPs given some clawback relief as Eskom issues surprise force majeure notices

Basa expresses confidence in newly appointed MD amid pandemic

By: Thabi Madiba     Updated 6 hours ago The Banking Association South Africa (Basa) has announced the appointment of Bongiwe Kunene as its new MD, saying her skills and experience will serve the association well, while building on the strengths of the financial services sector amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Kunene replaces... 

Basa expresses confidence in newly appointed MD amid pandemic
Photo by Creamer Media
Outgoing Basa MD Cas Coovadia

South Africa should seek IMF funding to deal with pandemic - IIF

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago  South Africa should seek funding from the International Monetary Fund given its high debt levels, large capital outflows and a potentially deep recession triggered by the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, a financial industry trade group said. The Institute of International Finance said it... 

A grim economic forecast for South Africa from JP Morgan

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 6 hours ago US-based investment bank and financial services company JP Morgan Chase & Company (JP Morgan) has, in its latest weekly economic forecast for more than 40 countries and regions around the world, identified South Africa as one of the five countries likely to be the most severely hit by the... 

A grim economic forecast for South Africa from JP Morgan

Eskom gearing up to run philosophy maintenance ‘as a project’ following Covid-19 hiatus

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 6 hours ago State-owned electricity producer Eskom is gearing up to implement philosophy maintenance as a centralised project across its unreliable coal fleet, where ongoing breakdowns have increased the risk of growth- and confidence-sapping load-shedding. The utility’s board has given its approval for the... 

Eskom gearing up to run philosophy maintenance ‘as a project’ following Covid-19 hiatus

Cleanliness routines can help to keep SA safe, productive once back at work

By: Schalk Burger     1st April 2020 Personal and public cleanliness practices, as well as thorough cleaning of work places before workers return from the 21-day lockdown and continuing afterwards, will help to reduce incidents of illness, absenteeism and support productivity, says industrial cleaning company Industroclean MD Emma... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on March 31 that applications for the National Disaster Covid-19 benefit, which had been put in place to mitigate the effects of lay-offs during the lockdown, would not be handled on an individual basis and would instead need to be submitted... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Since the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa would embark on a 21-day national lockdown, the majority of aviation activities have slowed dramatically, with all domestic airlines having halted passenger flights effective from the start of the lockdown. South Africa’s... 

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally 

By: Irma Venter     31st March 2020 A project is underway to produce a homegrown mask for use by all South Africans, close to the standard of the FFP2 and N95 facemasks. FF2 and N95 masks are medical standard masks, often provided to hospital staff working on the frontline of infection control. They offer between 94% and 95%... 

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Since Cyril Ramaphosa declared a State of National Disaster on March 15, the Competition Commission has been flooded with complaints of retailers charging excessive prices for certain goods. This is despite regulations having been put in place by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel to... 

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

Two unions jointly attack the government over regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2020 In a joint statement on March 31, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have blasted the government over its handling of the crisis in State-owned regional airline SA Express. Their response was to a statement on the... 

SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 Total employment in South Africa's non-agricultural formal sector grew by 16 000 between September and December 2019, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics bulletin. This is below the increase of 87 000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. While full-time... 

 SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom 

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 Zimbabwe has paid off all its debts to Eskom and is now in a position to negotiate for a new deal, the country’s Minister of Energy, Fortune Chasi, tweeted on Monday evening. Eskom in the past threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Zimbabwe after its debt reached $33-million. In August... 

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 The South African Revenue Services (Sars) has acknowledged the impact the spread of Covid-19 could have on businesses and people within an already struggling economy. Consequently, it has pledged its commitment to maintaining the essential services that it provides in efforts to mitigate the... 

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 South African tax incentive fund manager Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to fast-track emergency amendments to the Section 12J legislation so that R6-billion of investor capital can be more speedily invested in small, medium and micro... 

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business
Photo by Westbrooke
Westbrooke principal and chairperson of the Section 12J Industry Association Dino Zuccollo

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Engineering company Fluor Corporation has announced that Bill Langenbach has been named as the company’s new GM for South Africa. Langenbach has more than three decades of experience with Fluor, and has held various positions within the company and worked on a variety of projects. 

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM
Bill Langenbach

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 In less than a month, South Africa has ramped up its ability to test people for the novel coronavirus from a few hundred, to a few thousand every day. And, thanks to new equipment delivered in the past few days, with more expected by mid-April, testing numbers are expected to increase dramatically. 

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'

By: African News Agency      31st March 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is hopeful the country will overcome the coronavirus outbreak despite the country recording its third Covid-19 death and confirmed cases increasing to 1,326. In a televised speech on Monday, Ramaphosa called on residents to adhere to the lockdown regulation... 

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Law firm offers free legal advice for Covid-19 queries

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2020 South African law firm LNP Attorneys is offering to assist companies and individuals in understanding and managing Covid-19. It has established a "hotline" that is being used to advise companies and members of the community on any legal queries they may have regarding the impact of the virus on... 

Law firm offers free legal advice for Covid-19 queries
Nikita Lalla

Nampak expects Covid-19 to further hinder already burdened economies

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 As economies shift their focus towards containing the spread of and the eradication of the Covid-19 virus, packaging products manufacturer Nampak on March 30 lamented that the pandemic was expected to further hinder an already burdened economy, and that it would put further pressure on consumers’... 

Department publishes guidelines for Debt Relief Finance Scheme, Business Growth Facility

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 The Department of Small Business Development has published, on its websites, the Guidelines for Application for the Debt Relief Finance Scheme and Business Growth/Resilience Facility. The online application form will be available from April 2; however, only small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs)... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has acknowledged the decision of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to reopen the iron ore rail line operated by State-owned Transnet. This will require Transnet employees from various divisions to be ready to report for duty from March... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens
Transnet

Small businesses are already suffering from less cash flow, laying off workers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) in a pre-lockdown Covid-19 survey found that about 82% of small businesses, out of thousands asked, were urgently in need of a business continuity plan. The respondents to the survey indicated that businesses needed low-interest disaster recovery... 

Small businesses are already suffering from less cash flow, laying off workers
NSBC founder and CEO Mike Anderson

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2020 The Solidarity Fund announced on March 30 that it would be using a portion of the R500-million raised during its first week of operations to facilitate the emergency procurement of the personal protective equipment – including five-million face masks – that was urgently required by public and... 

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

By: News24Wire      30th March 2020 Allegations by the business rescue practitioners of SA Express that the government deliberately withheld financial support from them, and that the state's approach to the business rescue process was unconstructive are baseless, the Department of Public Enterprises has said.  The department on... 

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

Draft Public Procurement Bill comment period extended

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The National Treasury has extended the deadline for public comment on the Draft Public Procurement Bill by a month to June 30, as a result of the 21-day lockdown implemented in South Africa. One of the main objectives of the Bill is to do away with the current fragmentation of public procurement... 

Transnet avails designated properties to be used as quarantine sites, shelters

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 State-owned Transnet has designated properties across three provinces to be used as quarantine sites and shelters for the homeless during South Africa's 21-day lockdown period. Transnet, in partnership with local government authorities in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, will support... 

Economy faces harder recovery path following Moody’s downgrade, says business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 Business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says Moody’s downgrade of South Africa’s debt rating to junk status will significantly impact the way the economy is defended through the Covid-19 crisis. The ratings agency on March 27 downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit... 

Economy faces harder recovery path following Moody’s downgrade, says business

No more taxpayers’ money for regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) issued a press release on March 29 regarding the business rescue process for State-owned regional airline SA Express. In it, the DPE stated it “noted” that the airline’s Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) had made a court application to liquidate SA... 

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