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Economy News

Massmart stabilises business, strengthens e-commerce focus

By: Schalk Burger     8th March 2021 Mass retailer and wholesaler Massmart's performance has stabilised over the past 18 months and the company has shifted focus to the Southern African Development Community region and e-commerce, CEO Mitch Slape noted during a presentation of the company's results on March 8. Slape said the company... 

South Africa's court halts spectrum auction

By: Reuters     8th March 2021  South Africa's high court on Monday ordered telecoms regulator Icasa to halt the auction of radio frequency spectrum licences pending another related court matter, further delaying the process which was expected to begin this month. As part of the order, the Independent Communications Authority... 

Covid-19 impacting females more, notwithstanding Rwanda being a beacon on gender equality

By: Donna Slater     8th March 2021 Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented challenges, its initial consequences have had a ripple effect on all socioeconomic sectors and has threatened to bring nations and communities to a standstill, as well as negatively impact women and girls more than men and boys,... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 A decade into the creation of South Africa’s renewable energy sector, it has become apparent that it is still lagging in gender diversity, which is why South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli says the industry is actively giving attention to adjust and improve the... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

Saldanha Terminal invests R1.2m in additional dust suppressing canons

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The Saldanha Bulk Terminal, in South Africa, has invested R1.2-million in two additional dust-suppressing cannons that will be used on ship loaders as cargo flows from the chutes to the vessel hatch. The investment is said to be a continued commitment to ensuring a clean operation on the West... 

Saldanha Terminal invests R1.2m in additional dust suppressing canons
Dust Suppresor 1

NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is facing a shortfall on its funding for this year and it has, therefore, been unable to confirm funding eligibility for first-time university students. This does not apply to returning NSFAS beneficiary students who meet the academic and other relevant... 

NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students

Mavuso lauds reform implementation progress on public service

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 The last week has brought about a boost in confidence for Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso in government’s ability to start delivering on reforms. She says in the organisation’s latest newsletter that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s weekly letter had fostered optimism, since... 

Mavuso lauds reform implementation progress on public service
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

IMF says will continue talks with Zambia, progress made

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that headway had been made in three weeks of talks over a programme for Zambia and discussions would continue, though a number of challenges remained. The southern African copper producer became the continent's first pandemic-era sovereign... 

Resilience, natural resources become key as global food security deteriorates slightly

By: Schalk Burger     5th March 2021 The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) showed a deterioration for the second year in a row in 2020, with the affordability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience categories deteriorating, with only the availability category showing marginal improvement, says economic research... 

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2021 A list confirming which South Africans will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination when the ‘Phase 2’ roll-out begins in late April or early May will be published in the “next week or two”, Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay reported on Friday. Phase 2 will focus on the... 

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department 

By: News24Wire      5th March 2021 Eskom CEO André de Ruyter told Parliament on Friday morning that the suspension of the power utility's chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, will not compromise Eskom's ability to stay on top of its procurement deviations and expansions. Tshitangano was suspended for poor performance. On... 

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Mpact delivers strong performance in 2020, despite challenges  

By: Simone Liedtke     5th March 2021 By delivering its proven strategy of securing leading market positions and focusing on customers and performance, paper, packaging and recycling company Mpact delivered a strong financial performance with record cash flows from operations of R1.9-billion and a reduction in net debt to... 

Mpact delivers strong performance in 2020, despite challenges
Mpact CEO Bruce Strong speaks to Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke about the company's latest set of results. Video & Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Germany charges former Steinhoff managers with balance sheet fraud

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 German prosecutors have filed charges against three former managers at South African retailer Steinhoff for balance sheet fraud, three years after the company first revealed holes in its accounts. The Oldenburg prosecutor's office said on Thursday it had filed charges against the trio for... 

UIF opens applications for Covid-19 TERS benefit extension

By: Donna Slater     5th March 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has signed an updated Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Directive, which was gazetted on March 4, laying the foundation for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to process claims for the new TERS extension. The new Directive is... 

Renewables procurement to resume  

5th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's plans to resume the procurement of renewable energy after a six-year stall, what commitments have been made by government and the potential for industrialisation around the programme?   

Renewables procurement to resume
Renewables procurement to resume

Gender inclusivity to create sustainable work environment and world, says SAICE

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2021 Civil engineering organisation the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has called for collaboration and working towards gender diversity and inclusivity to create a more sustainable working environment and world. SAICE president Vishal Krishandutt highlights the need for a... 

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2021 South Africa added 515 MW of new wind capacity in 2020 cementing its wind leadership on the African continent, a new Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) analysis shows. By the end of last year, South Africa had 2 500 MW of cumulative wind capacity installed, representing about 34% of the 7 300 MW... 

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout 

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Labour Court has on Thursday dismissed an application by the SAA Pilots Association for leave to appeal a prior judgment in December 2020 which held that the lock-out of the pilots was lawful and protected in terms of the Labour Relations Act. SAAPA members have been locked out since 18... 

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout

Labour Court dismisses SAAPA's application for leave to appeal lawfulness of pilots lockout

By: Donna Slater     4th March 2021 Labour Court judge Andre van Niekerk on March 3 dismissed the South African Airways Pilot’s Association’s (SAAPA’s) application for leave to appeal the Labour Court’s December 2020 judgment, with a costs order in favour of South African Airways (SAA) and the business rescue practitioners (BRPs).... 

'Unwarranted attacks' against Eskom could distract management from getting it back on track

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Eskom board has claimed that a number of allegations made in the public and media, including against its CEO Andre de Ruyter, are aiming to influence internal operations and good governance processes at the state power utility.   These allegations and what the board regards as accompanying... 

Opinion: South Africa’s path to the 4IR – the role of digital skills

4th March 2021 In this opinion piece, the Industrial Development Think Tank discusses the need to develop digital skills in the manufacturing knowledge base for South Africa. The world economy is undergoing a period of structural and technological transformation with the arrival of the Fourth Industrial... 

Opinion: South Africa’s path to the 4IR – the role of digital skills

Southern Africa has ‘huge potential’ to benefit from the shift to green hydrogen

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2021 While there is growing momentum across the world in investing in hydrogen and the related import and export value chains, management consulting company Kearney MD Romain Debarre warns that there is still a lack of supply and demand for the hydrogen economy. While there is a market for hydrogen... 

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2021 Industry body the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has partnered with funding consulting firm VennCap Business Solutions to assist metals and engineering sector companies to secure funding for their businesses and enable them to chart a course to... 

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding
Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba

South Africa has ‘all the right ingredients’ to transition to a gas economy – panel

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2021 As gas opportunities rise owing to recent discoveries and Africa’s ongoing energy deficit, management consulting company Kearney metals and mining global lead Igor Hulak says gas provides a “viable opportunity” to decrease dependency on coal. “Natural gas will remain a critical element of the... 

Gauteng govt calls for scrapping of e-tolls

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Gauteng government believes it can resolve the e-tolls matter "once and for all". The topic, which arises every election cycle, has been raised by Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo who on Wednesday restated the long-standing position of the province and its opposition over the operation of... 

Gauteng govt calls for scrapping of e-tolls

South African scientists find antibodies from variant may offer cross-protection

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 Research by South African scientists suggests that antibodies triggered by exposure to the country's dominant coronavirus variant can prevent infection by other variants, the scientists said on Wednesday. The findings in laboratory studies offer hope that COVID-19 vaccines based on the 501Y.V2... 

Africa’s industrialisation will require gas as additional energy source

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2021 Africa will require more energy sources than renewables to ensure the continent’s growth and its industrialisation, International Gas Union secretary general elect Andy Calitz told delegates attending the virtual Africa Gas Forum, on March 2. He said natural gas was already considered to be one... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 A newly released study of the potential for developing a lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa concludes that the country should prioritise minerals beneficiation and mining, as well as battery manufacturing as it seeks to carve out a niche for itself in what is a fast-growing, highly... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain

Suspended Eskom procurement chief raises allegations against De Ruyter in letter to MPs 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2021 The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has received a letter from Eskom's suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano which levels allegations against CEO André de Ruyter. As a result the committee decided not to proceed with a scheduled meeting on Wednesday, in which it was to be... 

Suspended Eskom procurement chief raises allegations against De Ruyter in letter to MPs
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Sovereign governments set to borrow $12.6tr this year – S&P Global Ratings

By: Donna Slater     3rd March 2021 Sovereign governments worldwide are set to borrow $12.6-trillion from commercial debt sources this year, a report by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&Ps) Global Ratings shows. S&P Global Ratings’ yearly survey of global sovereign debt and borrowing compiles data pertaining to all 135 rated... 

Denel board exits linked to lack of budget funds, official says

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 A series of recent resignations from the board of directors of South Africa's state-owned defence company Denel is linked to funding not being made available in the government's 2021 budget, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday. "There were expectations from the board that there will be... 

Mantashe sees new industries emerging from South Africa’s renewables-led drive to boost electricity supply 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 South Africa’s move to increase electricity generation capacity provided a “unique opportunity” for the development of new industries, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said this week. Addressing delegates virtually during Canada’s annual Prospectors and Developers Association... 

Mantashe sees new industries emerging from South Africa’s renewables-led drive to boost electricity supply
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

DRC, as a keystone in AfCFTA, can link regional value chains

By: Schalk Burger     3rd March 2021 Trade and development experts have detailed the key role the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can play in providing mineral resources for industrial and manufacturing value chains, supporting agricultural and agroprocessing value chains and serving as an epicentre for intra-African trade to... 

DRC, as a keystone in AfCFTA, can link regional value chains
Saceec CEO Eric Bruggeman

South Africa's factory activity slows in February - PMI

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 South African private sector activity expanded again in February but at a slightly slower pace than the previous month, with new orders remaining flat while optimism was lifted by Covid-19 vaccine rollouts, a survey showed on Wednesday. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped to... 

Seifsa puts SEZs at forefront of Brics Manufacturing Conference agenda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has explained why it has placed special economic zones (SEZs) at the heart of the inaugural Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Manufacturing Conference to be hosted on March 26. CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba... 

ECA report unpacks green recovery strategy for Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2021 The Economic Commission for Africa has launched the 'Building Forward for an African Green Recovery' report, which highlights the continent’s bold post-Covid-19 pandemic recovery strategy. The report seeks to bolster the continent’s quest for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals,... 

BLSA backs Ramaphosa’s commitment to fight corruption in public service

By: Sane Dhlamini     2nd March 2021 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a new policy document to ensure that the public service is free of corruption. She stated that the public sector had a pervasive skills shortage that, in turn, affects the efficient and... 

BLSA backs Ramaphosa’s commitment to fight corruption in public service
President Cyril Ramaphosa
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