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Economy News

S Africa must put into effect revenue collection – Haroon Bhorat

By: Sane Dhlamini     16th October 2020 University of Cape Town Professor Haroon Bhorat said on Friday that for South Africa to manage its deficit going forward, apart from hoping that growth gets kickstarted in the remaining part of the year, it has to move quickly in effecting revenue collection. Bhorat, who is also a member of... 

Scatec Solar advances growth strategy through hydropower developer acquisition

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2020 European photovoltaic (PV) company Scatec Solar will be acquiring 100% of the shares in hydropower developer and independent power producer (IPP) SN Power from Norwegian investment fund Norfund for just over $1.17-billion. The acquisition forms an important part of Scatec’s broadened growth... 

Hundreds of trucks parked at borders stall African trade pact

By: Bloomberg     16th October 2020 Hundreds of trucks have been parked at Benin’s border for more than a year since its eastern neighbor Nigeria abruptly curbed imports. To the west of Benin, officials in Ghana’s capital have shut Nigerian-owned stores to comply with a law that curbs foreign participation in its retail trade. Such... 

Electricity regulations amended to allow municipalities to develop or buy power 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has gazetted amendments to the electricity regulations for new electricity generation capacity, opening the way for “municipalities in good financial standing to develop their own power generation projects”.  The Gazette notice amends the... 

Electricity regulations amended to allow municipalities to develop or buy power
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan 

16th October 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the unveiling of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the role of electricity and renewable energy in that plan and whether South Africa will be able to solve its power crisis within the next two years.   

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan
Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan

Bleak outlook for packaging, reports research company

16th October 2020 According to the 2019/20 Packaging Overview report released by full-service research company BMi Research in August, South Africa’s packaging industry could decline by more than 9% in 2020 as a result of severely impaired disposable income following the national lockdown enforced as a response to... 

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 Energy solutions company GE expects gas power to play an increasingly important role in the medium- to long-term future of the country’s energy mix as government continues to pursue decarbonisation through balancing the demands between a coal-fired past and a renewables future. GE Gas Power... 

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future
GAS FOR GROWTH The industrialisation ambitions of African nations depend on cleaner energy sources such as renewables and gas

Gap analysis needed to guide gas-to-power industry growth

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 With the potential of gas as an alternative energy source in South Africa an encouraging prospect, South African Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga) CEO Adrian Strydom says the gas-to-power industry needs to conduct an accurate gap analysis, and engage in upskilling and capacity building to ensure that... 

Gap analysis needed to guide  gas-to-power industry growth
Photo by Adobe
FLOATING GAS South Africa will need to import liquid natural gas for the short-term future, which will serve to stimulate the market

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 In a capital-constrained Covid-19-affected market, gas-fired generators offer the advantage of a relatively low upfront capital cost, compared with coal- or diesel-fired alternatives, says energy solutions company GE Gas Power Sub-Saharan Africa  executive Nosizwe Dlengezele. She adds that it is... 

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost
NOSIZWE DLENGEZELE Gas plays an important role in bridging the energy gap to help create a lower-carbon energy future

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has drawn a direct link between securing the investment required to address South Africa’s growth-sapping electricity supply gaps – including some R100-billion to further develop the grid in ways to unlock what will be mostly private generation investment ­– and the... 

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa listed the rapid expansion of South Africa’s electricity generation, primarily through the building of additional renewable-energy capacity, as a key priority in government’s long-waited ‘Reconstruction and Recovery Plan’, which he unveiled in Parliament on Thursday. The... 

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Infrastructure, industrial growth central to Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan 

By: Simone Liedtke     15th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has earmarked infrastructure development as one of the first and most important parts of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. Considering that infrastructure has the immense potential to stimulate investment and growth to develop other economic... 

Index shows improved resilience in Africa’s financial markets 

By: Simone Liedtke     15th October 2020 Despite disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic, financial markets in Africa are proving to be robust, with countries like South Africa and Mauritius leading the way, newly released data out of the 2020 edition of the Absa Financial Markets Index shows. The index, which was launched in 2017, has... 

Index shows improved resilience in Africa’s financial markets
OMFIF chief economist and research head Danae Kyriakopoulou gives a quick overview of the report. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit 

By: Reuters     15th October 2020 South Africa will roll out a big infrastructure spending programme and large-scale employment stimulus to revive an economy that was ailing even before the coronavirus crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. Unveiling a Covid-19 economic recovery plan in parliament, Ramaphosa said the... 

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Africa’s economic recovery lies in agriculture – minister 

By: African News Agency      15th October 2020 South African Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said on Thursday that the agricultural sector should be at the centre of the country’s and Africa’s economic recovery post-Covid-19. Didiza was speaking during a virtual address, commemorating rural women in... 

Africa’s economic recovery lies in agriculture – minister
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza

Uber launches medicines delivery service in South Africa

By: Reuters     15th October 2020 Uber Eats' South African unit on Thursday expanded delivery offerings, launching an app-based over-the-counter medicines service as it seeks to claw market share in the fast-growing online shopping sector in Africa's most industrialised economy. Uber Eats, a unit of US ride-hailing service Uber... 

Gautrain, Numsa settle wage dispute

By: Simone Liedtke     15th October 2020 Gautrain and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have signed a wage proposal made by the Bombela Operating Company (BOC), who manages the Gautrain, effectively ending the strike that started on October 5. The standard Gautrain train service will resume on October 16, while... 

Gautrain, Numsa settle wage dispute

World Bank avails more funding for global Covid response

By: Simone Liedtke     15th October 2020 Some of the latest economic and poverty data from international institution, the World Bank, shows that “desperate inequality” is being caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic shutdowns, which have led to recessions in various countries. While the recessions in advanced... 

Civil engineering council now has over 1 500 members

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2020 Another 373 firms have registered for membership of the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), meaning that “companies in the civil engineering sector continue to recognise the value” of the council, says BCCEI general secretary Kevin Moodley. This brought the total number... 

Civil engineering council now has over 1 500 members
BCCEI general secretary Kevin Moodley

Landmark court judgment enhances Eskom's collection efforts

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 The South Gauteng High Court has affirmed Eskom’s right to interrupt, or terminate, electricity supply to nonpaying customers. The case was brought against Eskom by Pioneer Foods, in which the packaged goods company sought to review and set aside Eskom’s decision in 2018 to interrupt... 

Landmark court judgment enhances Eskom's collection efforts

Sacci says trade activity improving

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2020 Trade activity has improved in South Africa, with the seasonally adjusted Trade Activity Index having measured 50 index points in September, implying that half of the respondents experienced better conditions than in August. Trade activity previously improved to 37 index points in July, and then... 

Sacci says trade activity improving

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2020 Another large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project procured under the fourth bid window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has entered into commercial operation. The fourth bid window eventually closed in 2018, following a four-year... 

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations
The 78 MW Bokamoso Solar Park

Mboweni requests to move MTBPS to October 28 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has asked for an extended timeframe to table the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. The Speaker of the National Assembly acceded to the request for the Minister to table the budget on October 28, instead of October 21, pending approval of the Parliamentary... 

Mboweni requests to move MTBPS to October 28
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

IMF sees slower rebound in South Africa's economy next year

By: Reuters     13th October 2020 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday maintained its forecast of an 8% contraction in South Africa's economy in 2020, but trimmed its outlook for next year, citing the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The IMF's 2020 forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) was unchanged... 

SA scientists test efficacy of childhood vaccines against Covid-19 for frontline worker safety

By: Thabi Madiba     13th October 2020 Focus on frontline worker safety is being put in the spotlight in a new clinical trial, run by scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), to test whether childhood vaccines can protect healthcare workers from Covid-19 or the subsequent... 

SA scientists test efficacy of childhood vaccines against Covid-19 for frontline worker safety

South Africa won’t meet debt targets, President’s Council says 

By: Bloomberg     13th October 2020 South Africa won’t be able to meet its finance ministry’s debt targets and it may be undesirable for it to attempt to do so at a time when the economy is being battered by the fallout from the coronavirus, according to an advisory panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. In a more than... 

South Africa won’t meet debt targets, President’s Council says
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has declared solar the “new king” of electricity, arguing that, while renewables technologies as a whole are poised for rapid growth over the coming several decades, solar will be “at the centre of this new constellation of electricity generation... 

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’

Covid-19 has widened unemployment level disparities between cities, rural areas

By: Donna Slater     13th October 2020 A recent research report reveals that government’s Covid-19 response needs to be targeted more carefully to the distinctive challenges and opportunities of different places. The 'Visagie & Turok 2020' report, compiled by University of the Free State National Research Foundation research professor... 

Covid-19 has widened unemployment level disparities between cities, rural areas
University of the Free State National Research Foundation research professor Ivan Turok

Manufacturing sector’s recovery slows, says Stats SA

By: Simone Liedtke     12th October 2020 The recovery in manufacturing production slowed in August, with factory output falling by 10.8% year-on-year from a revised 10.2% (previously -10.6%) contraction in July. This is worse than Nedbank Group Economic Unit’s forecast of an 8.7% decline. 

Eskom yet to decide next steps after Nersa publishes reasons for 2019 RCA decision

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says it is reviewing the detailed reasons for decision published by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), in which it outlines why the utility was granted a R13-billion regulatory clearing account (RCA) balance for the 2019 financial year... 

Eskom yet to decide next steps after Nersa publishes reasons for 2019 RCA decision

Gauteng inland port developer takes legal steps to halt ‘irrational’ road realignments needed to unlock Tambo-Springs hub 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2020 The developer of a private inland port in southern Gauteng, known as Distribution Junxion Port of Gauteng, has initiated legal action against the provincial administration in a bid to prevent it from implementing road infrastructure developments required to facilitate the construction of a... 

Gauteng inland port developer takes legal steps to halt ‘irrational’ road realignments needed to unlock Tambo-Springs hub
Map showing the location of Distribution Junxion Port of Gauteng and Tambo-Springs Logistics Gateway in relation to the road and rail networks in the region.

Labour market stakeholders urged to comment on gender-based violence draft code

By: Donna Slater     12th October 2020 The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) urges stakeholders in workplaces to make submissions on the Draft Code of Good on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work before October 21. The code provides a framework for the interpretation and implementation... 

All eyes on MTBPS as South Africa on verge of ‘catastrophic collapse’ of finances

By: Simone Liedtke     12th October 2020 The upcoming Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) must show that public spending can be “restrained within [South Africa’s] means” so as to avoid a “catastrophic collapse of public finances”, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso warns. In her weekly newsletter, published... 

Violent crime a threat to community safety, food security – Ramaphosa 

By: Sashnee Moodley     12th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday called for greater coordination and better communication between the South African Police Service, business, farming organisations and communities, as well as integrated communications technologies to increase the success of the rural safety strategy.... 

Violent crime a threat to community safety, food security – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Tribunal confirms agreement between commission, industrial solvents distributor

By: Donna Slater     9th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement concluded between Durban-based distributor of industrial solvents Swift Chemicals and the Competition Commission in relation to an investigation into alleged excessive pricing in the context of Covid-19. In April, the... 

Antigen tests to be rolled out at points of entry into South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th October 2020 Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection will be rolled out to all ports of entry in South Africa with immediate effect, the South African government has announced. It noted in an October 9 statement that the purpose of this was to effect the provisions of the level one travel regulations, which... 

Infrastructure plan good news for battered metals industry – Seifsa chair

9th October 2020 In his address during the 2020 edition of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa's presidential breakfast on October 9, outgoing president and chairperson Elias Monage reflected on what has been another difficult year for the metals and engineering sector. He expressed... 

Infrastructure plan good news for battered metals industry – Seifsa chair
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Elias Monage
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