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Economy News

PPC makes ‘positive progress’ on restructuring, finance project 

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2020 JSE-listed cement manufacturer PPC Cement has made positive progress on its restructuring and finance programme, with the objective of implementing a sustainable capital structure. PPC has received funding confirmation from South African lenders, who the company says will provide various short-... 

Bidvest delivers solid results in tough climate

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th September 2020 JSE-listed Bidvest Group delivered a credible financial performance for the financial year ended June 30, despite the headwinds presented by an already constrained South African economy pre-Covid-19 and the pandemic’s severe impact on the final quarter of the financial year. Group revenue from... 

IDC approves R746m for Covid-19 economic relief

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th September 2020 Development finance institution, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has approved R746-million and disbursed R440.8-million as part of government’s Covid-19 economic relief measures. Following the onset of Covid-19 in South Africa, the IDC established three interventions in March. 

Pandemic has influenced due diligence priorities for M&A activity, says law firm

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th September 2020 International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills says levels of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity are increasing around the world, having dropped off significantly when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit. “While we are seeing some distressed M&A as activity picks up, government support packages,... 

DMRE targeting December for initiation of fifth renewables bid window 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has clarified that it is aiming to release bid documentation for the so-called fifth bid window (BW5) of South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme in December, following receipt of the regulator’s concurrence with a Ministerial... 

DMRE targeting December for initiation of fifth renewables bid window

Astral Foods ‘cautiously satisfied’ with earnings for the year

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Poultry producer Astral Foods has indicated that its earnings a share and headline earnings a share for the year ending September 30, are expected to be down by no more than 25% on the comparative period’s reported results. Astral CEO Chris Schutte on September 14 said Astral was “cautiously... 

BLSA’s Mavuso encourages accountability, delivery to improve business outlook

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso on September 14 emphasised the importance of accountability and delivery thereafter, particularly as the country continues to work towards driving the economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. While encouraged by President Cyril... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni

By: Reuters     14th September 2020 South Africa's economy will likely contract this year by more than the 7% previously forecast by the Treasury, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in an opinion piece published on Sunday. Gross domestic product shrunk by a record 51% in the second quarter, its fourth quarterly contraction in a... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

UIF delays Covid-19 TERS payments to address AGSA audit findings

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th September 2020 The payments for the new and outstanding applications for the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) relief benefits has been halted while the Department of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) improve controls as urged by the Auditor General of South... 

TIPS says GDP has recovered greatly since April

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th September 2020 In a latest Real Economy Bulletin, Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) finds that gross domestic product (GDP) has bounced back significantly since May, following the hard lockdown imposed in April. While GDP shrank by 16% in the second quarter of the year, seasonally adjusted but not... 

Maynier urges urgent Gazetting of determination for new power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2020 The Western Cape government has urged Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to urgently Gazette the final Section 34 Ministerial determination that would open the way for the procurement of 11 813 MW of new electricity capacity. The call came as government's Political Task Team on... 

Maynier urges urgent Gazetting of determination for new power projects
Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier

Tourism sector appealing to govt to reopen borders

By: Simone Liedtke     11th September 2020 Adding its weight to the call for urgently lifting restrictions to save South Africa’s economy is the tourism sector, which was among the first and hardest hit by the lockdown measures instituted in the State of Disaster. The second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) contraction indicates the... 

Tourism sector appealing to govt to reopen borders

Dube-Ncube to inspect Margate Airport renovations

By: Sane Dhlamini     11th September 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube will visit Margate on Saturday to inspect R10-million worth of renovations at the Margate Airport as the country observes Tourism Month. Dube-Ncube will be accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community... 

Dube-Ncube to inspect Margate Airport renovations
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

11th September 2020 In this opinion piece, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) director-general QU Dongyu writes about a comprehensive response and recovery programme to overcome the impacts of Covid-19 through up-scaled and robust international collaboration. As the impacts of Covid-19 take their... 

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

Real-time data essential in FMCG market

By: Cameron Mackay     11th September 2020 With the Covid-19 pandemic having led to a change in buying patterns, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) value chain solutions provider MACmobile MD Andrew Dawson suggests that the FMCG industry will have to use intelligent digital technology data to curb the negative impact this could have on the... 

Real-time data essential in FMCG market
ANDREW DAWSON We still need clarity on disposeable incomes across different consumer brands, it’s unclear if we’re going to see see a shift to more basic staples

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 South Africa’s economy is hanging by a thread and this has presented massive challenges for the local aerospace industry, says aircraft design organisation Aerodesigns Africa director Murray Spoelstra. 

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped
GLOBAL SIGHTS SET Similar to the local automotive industry that is manufacturing for European countries, so must there be opportunities to manufacture aircraft under licence for foreign companies

Level playing field key to moving industry forward

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 Transformation should be a top priority among the issues that need to be addressed in manufacturing for the aviation industry, says maintenance solutions provider Dynamic Aerotech technical operation and research director Mulalo Neluheni. 

Level playing field key to moving industry forward
OPEN UP THE INDUSTRY While there is scope for black people with potential to thrive in this space, this needs to take into account the whole value chain in the aerospace industry

Association laments sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 The aerospace manufacturing sector is in a “freefall” and there does not appear to be any parachute in sight, says industry body Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa (Camasa) co-chairperson Themba September. 

Association laments sector decline
AIRING IT OUT In its efforts to ensure that the sector returns to its former glory, Camasa has participated in the process of drafting a sector masterplan

Company helps industry meet extra staff demand

By: Cameron Mackay     11th September 2020 Staffing solutions provider Workforce Staffing’s country manager for Botswana Jimmy Samuels says the freight, logistics and warehousing industry is vital to South Africa’s economy, as many other sectors depend on it to operate. Constantly advancing technologies in this industry create a... 

Company helps industry meet extra staff demand
ESSENTIAL STAFFING SOLUTIONS Workforce Staffings has been providing suitable, trained staff for positions on short notice, ensuring that essential services have been operating under lockdown

SAA business rescue practitioners say progress on aircraft leases, but 'dire' financial state

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2020 The Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways issued, on Thursday, an update notice on the business rescue process. The business rescue plan for the airline was published on July 28. In their update, the BRPs stated that they were busy... 

Mantashe says Nersa’s concurrence with determination opens way for procurement of 11 813 MW of new power 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on Thursday the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had provided its concurrence to a Section 34 Ministerial Determination, issued in February, which opened the way for the procurement of  11 813 MW of new electricity... 

Mantashe says Nersa’s concurrence with determination opens way for procurement of 11 813 MW of new power
Photo by Creamer Media
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Manufacturing continues on downward slump

By: Simone Liedtke     10th September 2020 Manufacturing production decreased by 10.6% year-on-year in July, with the largest decline in furniture and other manufacturing, which declined by 39.1% and contributed -1.4 percentage points to the overall decline. The second highest decline was in motor vehicles, parts, accessories and other... 

BEE not at the expense of meritocracy should be part of recovery, says Zungu

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th September 2020 Black Business Council (BBC) president Sandile Zungu on September 10 said black economic empowerment (BEE) had a role to play in turning the economy around. During a webinar hosted by the Covid Business Rescue Assistance task team, Zungu discussed how the implementation of economic recovery... 

IEA says green hydrogen is ‘ready for big time’ and lists Africa as key production site  

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2020 Africa has been listed, in a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report, as one of the locations that could emerge as dominant in the production of green hydrogen, which the agency says is required to extend the decarbonisation reach of renewable electricity to industries where the direct use... 

IEA says green hydrogen is ‘ready for big time’ and lists Africa as key production site
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Transnet mulls lifting Chinese engine contract suspension

By: Reuters     10th September 2020 South Africa's Transnet may be forced to lift a suspension on China's CRRC Corp so that the firm can repair its locomotives, according to a document from state-owned Transnet, despite pending legal action against the Chinese giant. The world's biggest train maker CRRC - formed by the merger of... 

DUT, Ithala sign MoU to boost KZN economy

By: Sane Dhlamini     10th September 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has applauded the recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) between her department’s Ithala Development Finance Corporation and the Durban University of Technology (DUT). The signing, according to... 

DUT, Ithala sign MoU to boost KZN economy
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism And Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Medupi conveyor belt failure raises risk of load-shedding

By: Simone Liedtke     10th September 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom on September 10 warned of an increased risk of load-shedding following the failure of a conveyor belt feeding coal into the Medupi generation units on September 9. This means the four generation units in service are not able to take in the requisite amount of coal... 

Medupi conveyor belt failure raises risk of load-shedding

Honour Bizos with inclusive, ethical economy – Busa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th September 2020 Following the passing of acclaimed human rights lawyer George Bizos on Wednesday evening, Business Unity South Africa has called on South Africans to honour the anti-apartheid activist’s life by following his example of honesty, humility and dedication, and by repositioning the economy to be more... 

Honour Bizos with inclusive, ethical economy – Busa
Human rights lawyer George Bizos

Seifsa joins forces with Leon Viljoen to support SMEs

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th September 2020 Industry organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has partnered with manufacturing industry veteran Leon Viljoen to provide support, guidance and advice to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them run successful and sustainable... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen 

By: Terence Creamer     9th September 2020 International cooperation will be key to unlocking the competitive production of green hydrogen as global trade will be required to link those countries, such as South Africa, that are best suited to producing the energy carrier, using a combination of low-cost renewable energy, water and... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen

Innovation drives mining efficiency, but also accessibility for women

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th September 2020 Even though the mining industry has come a long way in providing more opportunities for women, women still only make up 12% of the industry’s workforce. The adoption of new innovations and technology can contribute to increasing the number of women working in the industry, says Women in Mining... 

Innovation drives mining efficiency, but also accessibility for women

Investors see South Africa cutting rates again after GDP plunge 

By: Reuters     9th September 2020 Investors have upped bets on more interest rate cuts by South Africa's central bank after a historic contraction in the economy during the second quarter, when coronavirus lockdown measures curtailed activity. The South African Reserve Bank has slashed rates by 300 basis points over the course of... 

Investors see South Africa cutting rates again after GDP plunge

B4SA welcomes TERS extension

By: Donna Slater     9th September 2020 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi’s decision to further extend the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), operated by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), to September 15. Earlier in September, Nxesi said that with the lockdown for some... 

RMB/BER business confidence index rebounds in line with eased Covid-19 restrictions

By: Donna Slater     9th September 2020 After falling from 18 to an all-time low of five in the second quarter, the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) business confidence index (BCI) rebounded to 24 in the third quarter. However, the BER states that, from such a low base, when the strictest of the Alert Level... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Implementing a digital transformation strategy is a “must”, rather than an option, and is driven by both external and internal forces, petrochemicals company Sasol Chemicals digital lead Oratile Sematle said on September 8. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar as part of this year’s... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

BLSA calls for lifting of all restrictions on economic activity 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th September 2020 The severe contraction in South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of the year was expected, but still "paints a horrific picture" of the damage done to the economy by the lockdown restrictions, says industry organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA). BLSA... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Describing data as the “new oil” or “new water” of the world, Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC) president Annemarie van Coller has emphasised the importance of changing data from “just data to insights”. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar hosted... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president
SAIMC president Annemarie van Coller gives viewers some insight into the data journey. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.
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