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Economy News

Reserve Bank again cuts repo rate as SA's economic outlook worsens 

By: News24Wire      21st May 2020 The Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee has voted to reduce the repo rate for the fourth time this year, from 4.25% to 3.75%.  As a result of the cut, the prime lending rate will fall to from 7.75% to 7.25%. Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said at a briefing on Thursday afternoon that... 

Controversial plan to renegotiate IPP tariffs is proceeding, De Ruyter confirms 

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has confirmed that the State-owned electricity utility is pushing ahead with a controversial move to renegotiate power purchase agreements with renewable independent power producers. Speaking during a briefing on May 21, De Ruyter said that the renegotiation of IPP... 

Controversial plan to renegotiate IPP tariffs is proceeding, De Ruyter confirms
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank 

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Electricity utility Eskom is rolling-out design modifications made recently to Medupi Unit 3 to Medupi Unit 6, rather than waiting for the results of an evaluation of the fixes, which is proceeding in parallel. The unit was shut for 75 days on January 26 to address defects that emerged, mostly in... 

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank
COO Jan Oberholzer on the rolling-out of design modifications at Medupi. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services

By: Simone Liedtke     21st May 2020 While difficult to predict what the South African economy will look like post-Covid-19, Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo has warned that citizens can expect a 6% contraction in economic growth this year, alongside an increased demand on health services and infrastructure. Speaking during... 

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services
Photo by Screenshot taken during webinar by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo

NUM concerned about high numbers of Covid-19 in mines, at Eskom operations

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is concerned about the rising number of Covid-19-positive cases in the mining industry, especially in Limpopo, and at State-owned power utility Eskom's operations. The union states that some mines in Limpopo have become hotspots, where the virus is... 

Online payment gateway sees 226% rise in new food industry business registrations

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 Online payment gateway PayFast has registered more than 7 000 new merchant accounts over the lockdown period, so far, and the company reports a 226% year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since Covid-19 restrictions were put in place in March. The surge... 

Inflation risks, lack of banking infrastructure to drive cryptocurrency adoption in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 High inflation rates, volatile currencies and underdeveloped banking infrastructure are likely to result in an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa, a report by cryptocurrency multinational Luno and digital asset company Arcane Research shows. Cryptocurrencies also offer... 

Industroclean offers tips for employers to enhance hygiene, health

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2020 As South Africa eases lockdown regulations, some businesses have been allowed to operate but under strict hygiene conditions, while others are preparing and strategising on reopening slowly. While employers are under pressure to adhere to strict occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations in... 

Labour Court came to wrong conclusion in SAA business rescue case, says law firm

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2020 On May 8, the Labour Court handed down what could be considered a seminal judgment on the issue of retrenchment in the context of business rescue proceedings, says law firm Werksmans Attorneys. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association brought... 

CBE says it needs to recapacitate to overcome industry challenges

By: Donna Slater     20th May 2020 The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) noted during a May 20 joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure and the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration that it had amended its vision and mission to overcome challenges being faced by... 

CIDB plans realignment with original mandate

By: Donna Slater     20th May 2020 The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is undertaking measures to redirect its focus toward meeting the criteria of its original mandate, which was drafted in 2000, after being tasked by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) to realign itself. The CIDB discussed... 

8.1% of survey respondents lost jobs, close businesses

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Statistics South Africa's (Stats SA's) Wave 2 survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment and income in South Africa shows that 8.1% of respondents reported that they had lost their jobs or had to close their businesse. The survey was implemented between April 29 and May 6 using a... 

Stagnating economy sees poor ‘running out of options’ in residential rental market

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Economic growth never recovered to the rates prior to the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008/9, the stagnation of which appears to have been exacting a bigger toll on the poor over the last five years, says financial services provider First National Bank (FNB). In its property insights brief... 

Economists propose R100bn social bond to fund South Africa’s Covid fight 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2020 A group of economists is proposing that the South African government consider the issuance of an innovative ‘social bond’ to raise up to R100-billion for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to close what is likely to be a sizeable funding gap as the economy contracts and tax collections... 

Economists propose R100bn social bond to fund South Africa’s Covid fight
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will deliver a special adjustment Budget on June 24

L2D says pandemic impacting on occupancy rates

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Rental income for real estate investment trust (Reit) Liberty 2 Degrees (L2D) for the quarter ended March 31 has been largely in line with expectations, but Covid-19-related restrictions started to impact on the hotel operations’ occupancy rates in March. In addition, there were also some delays... 

Nuclear corporation briefs Parliamentarians on its 12-month, 5- and 10-year objectives

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th May 2020 In a briefing to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy on May 20, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) stated that it would achieve a turnover of more than R2-billion during the 2021 financial year (FY), but nevertheless expected a net loss of... 

Ramaphosa to meet with party leaders over lockdown measures

By: Thabi Madiba     20th May 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday convene his third meeting with leaders of South Africa’s political parties represented in Parliament to discuss the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to be inclusive, Ramaphosa has held meetings and consultations with leaders... 

Ramaphosa to meet with party leaders over lockdown measures
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Concor Infrastructure secures contract at Eskom’s Kendal power station

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 Construction contractor Concor Infrastructure has secured the contract for the extension of the ash disposal facility (ADF) at Eskom's Kendal power station, in Mpumalanga. This comes just a few months after securing another Eskom contract for the ADF at the Majuba power station, near Amersfoort. 

Concor Infrastructure secures contract at Eskom’s Kendal power station
Concor Infrastructure MD Eric Wisse

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2020 A new International Energy Agency report forecasts that the world will add 167 GW of new renewables capacity in 2020, a 13% decline when compared with record 2019 renewable-power connections of 192 GW. Besides being the first fall in new additions in 20 years, the Covid-19-induced downward... 

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA

Wind body calls for privately funded renewables to be key component of recovery plan 

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is urging government to include renewable-energy as one of the main components of any post-Covid-19 economic stimulus package, arguing that such infrastructure is particularly well positioned to support a much-needed economic recovery, as it would... 

Wind body calls for privately funded renewables to be key component of recovery plan
Ntombifuthi Ntuli

Whole of Gauteng to move to Level 3 in June – Premier Makhura 

By: News24Wire      19th May 2020 Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the entire province will move to Level 3 of the lockdown at the beginning of June. Makhura, who was answering questions during a virtual session of the Gauteng provincial legislature said the province and its districts were highly integrated. "We can't go to... 

Whole of Gauteng to move to Level 3 in June – Premier Makhura
Premier David Makhura

KZN to boost testing, screening capability with Phelophepa train

By: Thabi Madiba     19th May 2020 Between May 18 and July 24 State-owned Transnet’s ‘clinic on wheels’ will roll out across KwaZulu-Natal to increase the screening and testing capabilities in the province. Transnet’s Phelophepa II train arrived in the Phoenix township on Monday and will visit communities in Empangeni, Ulundi,... 

KZN to boost testing, screening capability with Phelophepa train

Jubilee relocates chrome plant to maximise earnings 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 Aim- and AltX-listed metals processing company Jubilee Metals will relocate its fine chrome operation from the Dilokong chrome mine (DCM) to the group’s larger Inyoni or Windsor operations in South Africa. Jubilee on May 19 said the move would optimise group earnings. 

Small businesses have to rethink funding approach now

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th May 2020 Traditional models of business funding will require a re-think if South Africa’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are to emerge from the financially crippling “winter of coronavirus” into a spring of growth and rejuvenation, says University of Stellenbosch Business School senior extraordinary... 

Airports Company concerned about state of airline sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2020 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) was concerned about the sustainability of the world’s airlines. The global commercial aviation sector was being hit very hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures being taken to counter it, which had seen massive decreases in commercial air traffic... 

Rhodes' interim performance buoyed by strong sales ahead of lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 JSE-listed Rhodes Food Group’s headline earnings a share for the six months ended March 29, 2020, decreased by 2.8% year-on-year to 31.2c, while its earnings a share decreased by 2.3% to 30.2c. Diluted headline earnings a share were down 3.1% at 31.1c. 

‘All hands-on deck’ includes women in energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 There will need to be an urgent focus on the energy transition beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and the world will need “all hands-on deck”, including women, to achieve success in this regard, says Cape Town-based wind farm developer G7 Renewable Energies project manager Veronique Fyfe. Fyfe is also... 

‘All hands-on deck’ includes women in energy transition
Veronique Fyfe

Massmart reports lower sales owing to Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown had a significant impact on normal trading patterns for wholesale and retail group Massmart, with total sales for the 19 weeks ended May 10, amounting to R28.2-billion, or 11.9% lower than the same period last year. Comparable store sales for this period were... 

Eskom describes Nersa’s treatment of coal costs in latest RCA claim as ‘significant shift’ 

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2020 State-owned electricity group Eskom says the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) latest regulatory clearing account (RCA) determination for the 2018/19 financial year contains “some encouraging decisions”, highlighting its treatment of coal costs as representing a particularly... 

Eskom describes Nersa’s treatment of coal costs in latest RCA claim as ‘significant shift’

ACSA warns of Covid-19 impacts and that it might need government guarantees

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 The State-owned Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has warned the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the efforts to counter it would significantly affect it. The company’s Corporate Plan for the 2020/2021 to 2022/2023 financial years had... 

Competition Commission issues Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 The Competition Commission has issued the Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines, which are aimed at achieving more fairness for emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses. The objective of the buyer power provisions is to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises... 

Renewables critical to reducing South Africa’s economic, energy constraints

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s energy demand “will grow exponentially” as South Africa further eases Covid-19-related restrictions and the strain on electricity supply experienced prior to the pandemic will likely return. This “will have massive implications” and likely have a compounding effect as the country... 

Renewables critical to reducing South Africa’s economic, energy constraints

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed

By: Donna Slater     18th May 2020 The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) reports that its constituencies are working sectorally and collectively to migrate South Africa to Level 3 of the national lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on May 13, stating that lockdown regulations would be... 

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Unions attack SAA business rescue practitioners, management 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 Three unions representing employees of financially embattled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) have attacked the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) and its senior management. They are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the SAA... 

International students in Germany offered interest-free loans

By: Sane Dhlamini     18th May 2020 The German government has offered almost 400 000 international students, who are enrolled in German universities, an interest-free education loan programme, to ensure the continuity of their studies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Due to Covid-19, many students have lost their jobs which allowed... 

International students in Germany offered interest-free loans

South Africans have a right to approach courts during lockdown – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     18th May 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday stated that while government would prefer to avoid the need for any legal action against it, South Africans who are unhappy with government regulations guiding the national lockdown have a right to approach the courts for any form of relief they seek. He said... 

South Africans have a right to approach courts during lockdown – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Minister, MECs commit to post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the tourism sector

By: Yvonne Silaule     18th May 2020 Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and tourism sector MECs on Friday committed to creating a post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the sector, which has been severely impacted by restrictions implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Minister and MECs discussed this during an emergency... 

Minister, MECs commit to post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the tourism sector
Tourism Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane
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