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Economy News

Manufacturing sector struggling to recover to pre-pandemic output levels

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 Manufacturing production increased by 1.8% year-on-year in August, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reports. The largest positive contributions were made by food and beverages (9.7% and contributing 2.3 percentage points); motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment... 

Steel strike could lead to job cuts 

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2021 South Africa’s ongoing steelworker strike is likely to lead to job cuts, further hammering an industry that’s been in decline for several years, according to the country’s main employer body. The week-long walkout by as many as 300,000 members and allies of the National Union of Metalworkers of... 

A photo of Numsa members on strike

DBSA, Pimco conclude R3bn issuance under UNECA green energy programme 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 As part of its Sustainable Development Goal Seven (SDG7) Programme, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) announces that the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Pimco have reached terms on their issuance of R3-billion of debt securities, which signals the first... 

An image of solar PV panels and wind turbines

IMF revises SA's growth outlook up to 5%  

By: News24Wire      12th October 2021 The International Monetary Fund has upwardly revised South Africa's growth outlook from 4% to 5%. The multilateral institution on Tuesday released its World Economic Outlook report for October 2021. Economic counsellor and director of research at the IMF, Gita Gopinath, noted that global recovery... 

South African Rand

Low-income country debt reached a record $860bn in 2020, says World Bank

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2021 The debt burden of the world’s low-income countries increased by 12% to a record $860-billion in 2020 owing to fiscal, monetary and financial stimulus packages issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank reports. It notes that debt reduction, restructuring and transparency are... 

Sacci business confidence lower in September, but remains above pre-Covid levels

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2021 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci's) business confidence index (BCI) declined to 91 in September after having registered its highest level this year to date of 97 in May. The level of 91 in September, nevertheless, reflects a better business confidence level than the... 

Vandalism attempt causes R1m damage to rail infrastructure in Cape Town, service affected for a week

By: News24Wire      11th October 2021 Vandalism to Metrorail infrastructure in Cape Town has resulted in more than R1-million worth of damage and has shut down the False Bay section of the rail service for a week. On Sunday, Metrorail's Protection Services prevented the theft of an 11 kV line but, in the process, the suspects threw... 

Ramaphosa lends his weight to plans for raising concessional funding for ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has doubled down on his argument that South Africa needs to act with “urgency and ambition” in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but stressed that such increased ambition could not be achieved without financial support from developed economies. In his latest weekly... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Progress in tourism, infrastructure must be fast-tracked, BLSA says

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th October 2021 Business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says in her weekly newsletter that there were two positive moves last week for two important economic themes that the organisation has long been championing – tourism and infrastructure investment. She notes that there... 

Sars targets 52 noncompliant PPE companies

By: Schalk Burger     8th October 2021 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on October 8 said it has been focusing on 52 noncompliant companies that had been awarded R1-billion in contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other Covid-19-related services. To date, 11 companies have been convicted, seven... 

Companies within their legal right to effect mandatory vaccination

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2021 Several of the country’s leading companies, including Discovery and Sanlam, have announced their intention to introduce mandatory vaccination policies within their organisations, but the debate continues about whether this is the right strategy . Business for South Africa (B4SA) on October 8... 

Covid-19 vaccine being administered
Jab in progress

Feasibility study finds hydrogen corridor could add up to $8.8bn to South Africa's GDP by 2050 

By: Schalk Burger     8th October 2021 A study of the characteristics, current commercial activity and potential benefits of transitioning various economic activities along the Limpopo to Johannesburg to Durban corridor to use green hydrogen has concluded that domestic demand is critical to accelerate the development and impact of the... 

An image depicting the green hydrogen sector

Eskom denies Joburg ANC claim that city will take over power supply  

By: News24Wire      8th October 2021 Eskom has refuted a statement issued by the African National Congress’s Greater Johannesburg Region branch over an apparent power-purchase agreement between the city and the state-owned power utility. In Friday's statement, the ANC said Mayor Mpho Moerane had signed an agreement that will allow... 

Eskom logo

Wind industry to approach DMRE with pitch for unlocking domestic value-chains from $8bn roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2021 The domestic wind industry plans to approach the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) with a series of recommendations for boosting local content and direct South African involvement in the deployment of 4 300 MW of new wind capacity over the coming three years. The proposals focus... 

Photo of a blade being attached to a wind rotor
Domestic supply chain to be stretched as some 800 turbines are manufactured, transported, and installed over the coming three years

Alarming chunk of Eskom capacity is down as load-shedding hits again

By: News24Wire      8th October 2021 Load-shedding is back, and with a large chunk of Eskom's capacity down, the country's power supply is under a severe strain. On Thursday, after 77 days without load-shedding, Eskom announced that it would resume stage 2, as breakdowns amounted to 14 982 MW, while planned maintenance is 5 334 MW... 

Candle

Numsa considers new offer to end engineering strike

By: Reuters     8th October 2021 South Africa's biggest metalworkers union said on Friday its members were considering a new proposal to end a strike in the engineering sector, now in it's fourth day. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), with around 155 000 members organised in the sector, have been on... 

An image of the Numsa logo

Asata, Sun International welcome removal of South Africa from UK travel red list

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th October 2021 With the removal of South Africa from the UK’s travel red list – which will take effect on October 11 – the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) says its first priority has been to provide clarity on the requirements the UK will impose to prove a travellers’ vaccination status.... 

Potential growth for S African shipping sector

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     8th October 2021 The harbour and offshore services industry should consider ramping up their services to ships passing the South African coast, to about 10% of the total passing traffic, where every ship serviced has a minimum spend of about $10 000, says independent tug and offshore vessel operator Offshore... 

South Africa to be removed from UK travel red list from Oct 11

By: Bloomberg     7th October 2021 The UK eased entry rules for 47 countries that were subject to the tightest Covid-19 restrictions, in the government’s latest step to shed travel curbs and revive tourism-dependent businesses. South Africa is among the countries that will be removed from the UK's travel red list from October 11. 

New study urges education in Africa that increases climate change literacy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th October 2021 A new study by researchers from the University of Cape Town and the University of Connecticut found that education is crucial to increase climate change literacy across Africa. The study across 33 African countries found varying levels of national climate change literacy but that the average... 

PCC’s Olver sees updating IRP to exclude new coal as key policy priority

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) executive director Dr Crispian Olver says updating South Africa’s energy policy to exclude any new coal capacity to 2030 and beyond, while increasing the allocation for renewable energy to at least 30 GW by the end of the decade should be key priorities for... 

Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver
Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver

Transnet building pipeline of transactions for private sector participation 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 Transnet CEO Portia Derby says the State-owned group received a “fantastic” response to its two recent requests for information (RFIs) for private participation at the ports of Durban and Ngqura and that several other private sector participation (PSP) transactions are under development. The... 

Transnet CEO Portia Derby
Transnet CEO Portia Derby

Ramaphosa moots possible hydrogen partnership with Namibia as he punts Boegoebaai export hub 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa stands ready to be a major exporter of green hydrogen and has described the special economic zone (SEZ) proposed for development at Boegoebaai, in the Northern Cape, as a major step towards realising the country’s potential to be a global leader in... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SCA's dismissal of Santam appeal gives certainty for outstanding insurance claims – ICA

By: Schalk Burger     7th October 2021 The dismissal by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) of insurer Santam's appeal against the Western Cape High Court ruling in favour of hospitality businesses Ma-Afrika Hotels (MAH) and Stellenbosch Kitchen (SBK) to settle Covid-19 business interruption claims in the tourism and hospitality... 

Nxesi calls for 'cool heads' to prevail amid labour strikes

By: Schalk Burger     7th October 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on October 7 called for calm as employer organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) and union the National Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) remain in a deadlock over wage increases. Additionally, one of the... 

Infrastructure Fund says its first R5.4bn will ‘catalyse’ projects worth R21bn  

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2021 The Infrastructure Fund has submitted four projects, collectively valued at R21-billion, for National Treasury approval and is finalising four more, valued at nearly R85-billion, for submission in 2022. Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate reports that the fund itself will contribute... 

Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate
Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate

City launches e-Joburg portal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th October 2021 City of Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Moerane on October 6 launched e-Joburg, a municipal bill presentation and payment portal. The e-Joburg platform is a self-service portal that enables ratepayers, homeowners, companies, property managing agents and tenants to view and download their... 

Liquor industry to start paying deferred excise tax - Salba

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 Industry organisation the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says its member companies have started paying their deferred excise tax obligations to the South African Revenue Service (Sars). After the implementation of the fourth total ban on alcohol sales in June, Salba had... 

Rail infrastructure vandalism causes safety risk, train delays in Cape Town

By: Reuters     6th October 2021 Vandalism to fibre optic cables in Cape Town has resulted in delays across several main railway corridors. Commuters have been advised to use alternative transport as the vandalism has resulted in a telecommunications outage that poses a safety risk to train services. 

World Bank ups South Africa’s 2021 growth forecast to 4.6% 

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2021 The World Bank expects South Africa to grow by 4.6% in 2021, an upward revision from its 3% April forecast and also a significant improvement on the bank’s 2.6% growth projection published in October last year. “Growth in South Africa is projected to rebound from -6.4% in 2020 to 4.6% in 2021,... 

Fair and broad access to effective and safe Covid vaccines would be key to strengthening Africa’s economic recovery – World Bank
Fair and broad access to effective and safe Covid vaccines would be key to strengthening Africa’s economic recovery – World Bank

Neasa appoints service provider to create entrepreneurship learnerships for youth

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has partnered with a specialist service provider to create entrepreneurship opportunities for the unemployed youth in South Africa in the form of learnerships. The initiative is expected to benefit employers and the unemployed youth, as... 

NUM gets behind Cosatu strike on October 7

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2021 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has decided to join the October 7 national strike launched by Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu). The NUM has, therefore, issued a call to its members in the mining, energy construction and metals sectors to join planned activities across the... 

Cosatu calls for national stayaway on Thursday over SA's 'economic mess'

By: News24Wire      6th October 2021 The Congress of South African Trade Unions called for organised labour to join in a strike by staying away from work in an effort to apply pressure on government and the private sector to "fix the economic mess that the country finds itself in". The action coincides with the Global Day for Decent... 

Congress of South African Trade Unions logo

South African CEO business confidence back to pre-pandemic levels, KPMG survey shows

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2021 CEOs of the world’s largest businesses are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for their own business and, despite the Covid-19 Delta-variant slowing down the return to normal, their confidence in the global and local economies over the next three years has returned to levels not seen since... 

State confiscates R11.5m from bank account of suspended senior Eskom manager

By: News24Wire      5th October 2021 A tribunal set up to recover looted funds has ruled that R11.5-million held in a bank account linked to a suspended senior Eskom manager be forfeited to the state. In a judgment handed down on Monday, Special Tribunal Judge Thina Siwendu ruled that Petrus Mazibuko, a suspended senior manager in... 

Eskom logo

Busa maintains support for Mdwaba as ILO DG nominee

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2021 Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) notes with concern the decision by the South African government to withdraw its support for the candidature of Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba as director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). "This is a shocking turn of events... 

Numsa members begin metals, engineering sector strike

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2021 Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) embarked on a national strike on Tuesday following a deadlock in negotiations for a new wage deal. Union members didn’t report for duty in five of the country’s nine provinces and will begin picketing and marching during the... 

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