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Economy News

Covid-related risks dominate Allianz Risk Barometer 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th January 2021 A trio of Covid-19-related risks heads up the tenth Allianz Risk Barometer 2021, reflecting potential disruption and loss scenarios companies are facing in the wake of the pandemic. Business interruption and pandemic outbreak are this year’s top business risks with cyber incidents ranking a close... 

Concerns about future viability drove M&A activity in last months of 2020

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th January 2021 In its latest 'Global Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Industry Trends' analysis, PwC finds that deal volumes went up 18% in the second half of 2020, while deal values increased by 94%, compared with the first half of the year. Deal activity in the second half of last year experienced a surge... 

Unions want Labour Court to order SAA to sort out backpay within 7 days

By: News24Wire      19th January 2021 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) intend to make an urgent application to the Labour Court in Johannesburg on 28 January to have a deal regarding backpay of members of South African Airways (SAA) declared unlawful or unfair. The... 

After baptism of fire, empowered valves manufacturer on road to recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2021 After fulfilling, in November 2019, all the conditions precedent to finally consummate the R165-million acquisition of valve manufacturer Dynamic Fluid Control (DFC) from Aveng the new black owners faced a true baptism of fire. CEO and co-shareholder Tumi Tsehlo, who previously headed the South... 

After baptism of fire, empowered valves manufacturer on road to recovery
Tumi Tsehlo

African central bankers out of policy space to fight recessions

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2021 African central bankers meeting in the next two weeks amid a resurgent coronavirus may find they’ve used up most of their interest-rate ammunition to lift their economies out of recessions that still affect much of the continent. Monetary policy committees have limited scope to provide stimulus... 

Land Bank posts a R172m interim loss for 2020

By: News24Wire      19th January 2021 The Land Bank has posted a R172-million loss from its continuing operations for the six months ended on 30 September as its interest income continued to decline while provision for bad debts grew. The state-owned lender, which finances approximately 27% of agricultural debt in SA and is the only... 

R68 766 000 invested in Covid-19 research – Nzimande 

By: Sane Dhlamini     18th January 2021 The Higher Education, Science and Innovation Ministry on Monday announced that it has invested R68 766 000 towards coronavirus (Covid-19) research and development. Addressing the media, Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said the funds were approved to support Covid-19 research and development in... 

R68 766 000 invested in Covid-19 research – Nzimande
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande

S Africans have the ability to stimulate economic activity – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     18th January 2021 With public finances under extreme strain because of the cost of the country’s health response to Coronavirus and the social and economic relief measures put in place to assist businesses and poor households, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on citizens to be innovative and focused in their... 

S Africans have the ability to stimulate economic activity – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

DEFF issues yellow alert for harmful West Coast red tide, partners prepare for red alert

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2021 Following the build-up of harmful algal blooms - called red tides - on the West Coast over the past few weeks, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has issued a Situation Yellow alert under the West Coast Rock Lobster Contingency Plan and placed all government role-players... 

Glass packagers face R1.5bn hit from alcohol ban - Consol

By: Reuters     18th January 2021 South Africa's glass packaging industry could lose a further R1.5-billion in sales if the latest ban on alcohol sales continues for long, the CEO of glass bottle maker Consol said on Monday. South Africa has recently banned alcohol sales for the third time as part of efforts to free up space for... 

Mavuso bemoans govt exacerbating uncertainty

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th January 2021 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso has expressed her view on government spending an increasing amount of time in court defending its regulations to control the spread of Covid-19. She refers to the South African Breweries (SAB) having gone to court to challenge the alcohol ban,... 

Mavuso bemoans govt exacerbating uncertainty
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Eskom to resume power cuts in South Africa on Monday

By: Reuters     18th January 2021 South Africa's state power utility Eskom said on Sunday that a nationwide phased power cut due to end on Sunday would resume from Monday morning because some generating units were not yet operational. "As the return to service of some generation units has been delayed ... Stage 2 loadshedding... 

Eskom to resume power cuts in South Africa on Monday

Land Bank reworking debt plan after State guarantee declined

By: Reuters     15th January 2021 South African State-owned Land Bank said on Thursday it was working on a new debt restructuring plan after the National Treasury declined to provide a partial government guarantee. The country's largest agriculture-focused lender defaulted on its debt in April and has been in talks with creditors... 

South African Breweries cancels R2.5bn investment after latest alcohol ban 

By: Reuters     15th January 2021 South African Breweries, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has cancelled a further R2.5-billion rand of investment earmarked for 2021 following a third local ban on alcohol sales in the country, it said on Friday. SAB's cancelled investments in South Africa in relation to the ban now total... 

South African Breweries cancels R2.5bn investment after latest alcohol ban

Department of Basic Education delays reopening of schools by two weeks 

By: Sane Dhlamini     15th January 2021 The Department of Basic Education and the National Coronavirus Command Council announced on Friday that the reopening of private and public schools will be delayed by two weeks. The new dates for the reopening of private schools will vary depending on the calendar that they follow. For public... 

Department of Basic Education delays reopening of schools by two weeks

Staying local pivotal for Mozambique LNG project

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     15th January 2021 Local content and employment are integral to one of the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects under way on the continent, says petroleum refining company Total Mozambique country chair Ronan Bescond. The Area 1 Mozambique project is one of three LNG projects that are under way along the... 

Staying local pivotal for Mozambique LNG project
RONAN BESCOND Foreign companies that want to work on the project must value local partnership

Big oil producers face 19% fall in production

15th January 2021 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PwC’s Africa Oil and Gas Review 2020, released in November, estimated a 19% fall in oil production for the top five African producers: Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya and Egypt. The report, titled ‘Energising a New Tomorrow’, focused on 20 African... 

Big oil producers face 19% fall in production
ENERGY TRANSITION The report noted that the pandemic had not only caused the biggest global oil demand slump in history, it had accelerated the global energy transition by as much as five years

Chamber motivates for local participation

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     15th January 2021 With the current liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects under way in Mozambique, Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber executive chairman Florival Mucave notes that government needs to ensure that there are rules and regulations in place to encourage local participation. Mozambique has a unique... 

Chamber motivates for local participation
FLORIVAL MUCAVE The chamber will foster relations between members and their counterparts as well as develop a platform of companies providing goods and services

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

By: Nadine James     15th January 2021 The advent of duty-free trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has come at a “critical time for the global economy” and will ultimately boost sustainable post-Covid-19 economic recovery for the African continent, AfCFTA Secretariat SG Wamkele Mene said during his address at... 

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

Low tax reduces solar incentive

By: Darren Parker     15th January 2021 The relatively low value of carbon tax in South Africa, and numerous allowances that government made available in year one of the Carbon Tax Act’s implementation, which took effect in June 2019, have resulted in there being little incentive currently for solar energy, technology company EDS... 

Low tax reduces solar incentive
OFFSET Solar energy is a “carbon positive” method of generating electricity, and those who implement it qualify for carbon credits

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2021 The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is warning that current levels of climate adaptation finance are woefully inadequate to support the planning and projects needed to limit the social and economic damage that will arise as a result of intensifying climate change. Distinct from... 

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation

JPMorgan Chase & Co now holds 25% shareholding in Aveng

By: Simone Liedtke     14th January 2021 Investment banking company JPMorgan Chase & Co now owns 25.52% of the total issued ordinary shares of international infrastructure and resources company Aveng. This includes the 19.07%, 3.87% and 2.58% holdings by various JPMorgan Chase & Co subsidiaries. 

Western Cape appoints advisory committee ahead of vaccine roll-out

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th January 2021 The Western Cape government has appointed a vaccine advisory committee to advise on matters including science and ethics throughout the vaccine roll-out process. Premier Alan Winde said the Western Cape government had developed a strategy to ensure that vaccines are rolled out safely, efficiently... 

Western Cape appoints advisory committee ahead of vaccine roll-out
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

BMO, Linklaters among the world's top mining M&A advisers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th January 2021 BMO Capital Markets has been named the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial adviser in the global mining sector for 2020 by value, while Linklaters and Black Cassels & Graydon were the top M&A legal advisers by value and volume, respectively. BMO advised on 13 deals worth $4.8-billion. 

Infrastructure market ‘can only get better’, Siemens South Africa CEO avers 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2021 Siemens South Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo expresses optimism that the country’s much promised infrastructure-led recovery will finally be implemented from late 2021 onwards, describing preparations for the roll-out as impressive. However, she warns that unless the Covid-19 pandemic is brought... 

Infrastructure market ‘can only get better’, Siemens South Africa CEO avers
Siemens South Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo

Information Regulator engaging with Facebook on WhatsApp privacy policy 

By: Thabi Madiba     14th January 2021 South Africa’s Information Regulator said on Thursday that it was committed to ensuring the protection of personal information of South African citizens, following WhatsApp’s revised privacy policy. WhatsApp users are concerned that by accepting the new policy their personal data will be shared... 

Information Regulator engaging with Facebook on WhatsApp privacy policy

Eskom says Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th January 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has advised that Stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from midday on January 14 through to the end of January 17. Eskom says the load-shedding is necessary owing two tripped generation units at the Kusile power station, as a result of failure of the main coal... 

Eskom says Stage 2 load-shedding to continue until Sunday

AU secures 270-million vaccine doses for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th January 2021 The African Union, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, has secured 270-million vaccine doses to supply African countries, with at least 50-million doses available for April to June 2021. Avatt, a 10-member team drawn from across the continent, was established in August 2020 by AU... 

AU secures 270-million vaccine doses for African countries
AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa

Higher debt, lower growth to plague sub-Saharan Africa in 2021 - Moody's

By: News24Wire      14th January 2021 Sub-Saharan African sovereigns will be battling lower growth and revenue as well as higher debt levels and weaker debt affordability into 2021, according to Moody's. The ratings agency on Wednesday issued a 2021 outlook report. It noted that the region will be challenged by the aftermath of... 

Committee welcomes measures to ease congestion at borders, suggests alternative

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is of the view that the implementation of a “one-stop border post” with neighboring countries and the establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) will be a solution to the challenges experienced at Beitbridge, between South Africa and Zimbabwe.... 

Home Affairs temporarily suspends smart ID, passport applications

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Department of Home Affairs has temporarily suspended certain activities and services until further notice, owing to the rising number of Covid-19 infections across South Africa. Services to be suspended until further notice include applications for smart identification (ID) cards, passports... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     13th January 2021 Round three of the University of Johannesburg/Human Sciences Research Council Covid-19 Democracy survey has revealed that 53% of adults think schools should not re-open until the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic improves. Schools are due to open on January 27 as infections continue... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

Appointment of senior researchers bolsters Brenthurst Foundation research capacity

By: Thabi Madiba     13th January 2021 Johannesburg-based think-tank Brenthurst Foundation director Dr Greg Mills has welcomed the appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere and Professor Lyal White to the Foundation, saying their appointments will bolster the Foundation’s growing research workload across Africa. The Brenthurst... 

Appointment of senior researchers bolsters Brenthurst Foundation research capacity

Alcohol industry applies for deferment of payment of excise duties

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 The alcohol industry is applying for a deferment of the payment of excise duties until the alcohol ban is lifted, trade association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has said. It stated in a January 12 media release that the industry pays the South African Revenue Service... 

Santam trying to limit Covid-19 business interruption payout indemnity to just three months 

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 Specialist public loss adjustment company Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) has expressed disappointment, but no surprise, at major insurance company Santam’s latest manoeuvre in the seven-month-long legal struggle regarding the paying out of the business interruption insurance claims of small and... 

Seifsa laments manufacturing production decline 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th January 2021 November 2020’s decline in the manufacturing production growth rate showed that the South African economy was in for a rough ride to recovery, especially under the current adjusted level 3 Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa)... 

M&A challenges remain, but so do lessons – law firm

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th January 2021 Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) says many of last year’s uncertainties that impacted merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will remain this year. HSF global M&A head Gavin Davies says the significant regional and global questions from 2020 have not gone away, although some have... 

M&A challenges remain, but so do lessons – law firm
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