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Economy News

Agricultural transformation a Presidential imperative, says Ramaphosa

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted access to agricultural land for subsistence farming and commercial production as a national priority, stating that the transformation of patterns of ownership “are fundamental in addressing not only food security, but also historical injustices”. In his... 

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 Energy expert Clyde Mallinson is calling on government to urgently overhaul its Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which he says not only fails to address the country’s immediate electricity needs, but will also lock in dirty and expensive energy for the... 

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power
Clyde Mallinson

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 The World Bank expects South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to be weak relative to most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, forecasting an economic expansion of only 2.6% in 2021 on the back of a massive 7.2% contraction this year. In its latest ‘Africa’s Pulse’ publication, the... 

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19
Photo by Creamer Media
World Bank highlights power reforms in South Africa to reduce dependence on Eskom

Unconventional Covid-19 treatment saves lives at Tygerberg Hospital

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors at Tygerberg Hospital implemented a daring, lesser-known treatment that not only bypassed the imminent ventilator shortage caused by the large number of critically ill patients, but potentially saved thousands of lives, while also providing a more... 

Unconventional Covid-19 treatment saves lives at Tygerberg Hospital

Pandemic provides opportunity for African countries to grow domestic tourism

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th October 2020 The pandemic and the lockdown measures implemented to mitigate its spread, have hit the tourism sector the hardest; however, there is an opportunity for African countries to better promote their tourism attractions and grow their tourism sectors. This was indicated by speakers at the Africa Brand... 

SA Mint pays homage to eye surgery invention in latest crown, tickey series

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th October 2020 The South African Mint (SA Mint) has again shined a light on the retinal cryoprobe, which is featured on its 2020 crown and tickey coin series. The South African Reserve Bank subsidiary has since 2016 celebrated the national genius of inventors and inventions, which have had global success, on... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2020 Bombardier Transportation, one of four companies to secure a contract to supply 1 064 electric and diesel  locomotives to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) in 2015, reports that it is continuing to execute on the contract, despite the fact that a dispute resolution process is ongoing. In 2019, Transnet... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues
The TRAXX AFRICA locomotives delivered to date have been deployed to support the export of manganese ore

South African business confidence ‘finding it difficult’ to regain rhythm

By: Simone Liedtke     7th October 2020 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci's) Business Confidence Index (BCI) dipped marginally to 85.7 index points in September, after having improved to 85.8 index points in August. After declining by 12.1 index points in April and a further 7.7 in May, the BCI had recovered... 

Nersa granted leave to appeal R69bn Eskom equity judgment 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa has been granted leave to appeal the July 28 High Court decision relating to the recovery of R69-billion of government equity, which the court judged had been illegally deducted by Nersa from Eskom’s allowable revenue for the period 2019/20 to... 

Nersa granted leave to appeal R69bn Eskom equity judgment
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim at Nersa hearings into Eskom's allowable revenue in 2019

GreenCape launches open source digital directory to help grow green business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th October 2020 Nonprofit green economy organisation GreenCape has launched an open source Green Business Support Services Directory. This interactive digital directory, which was developed in partnership with the Friedrich Neumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), is a public resource with information on... 

ARC Investments successfully raises R750m for new investment opportunities

By: Simone Liedtke     7th October 2020 Investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Investments has successfully raised R750-million from shareholders following a recent rights offer to the market. The company said in September that it was seeking to raise R750-million with the intention of deploying the capital in new... 

Inaugural public−private training programme for African infrastructure sector starts

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 The Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) and Meridian have announced the start of training for the first cohort of fellows of the Africa Infrastructure Fellowship Program (AIFP). The AIFP is a public−private initiative designed to upskill African government infrastructure specialists and enable... 

CESA touts technical expertise as route to economic growth

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 The absence of technical expertise in infrastructure procurement is starting to have an increasingly adverse effect on the quality and sustainability of South Africa’s infrastructure, laments industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA). The association says the country needs to be... 

CESA touts technical expertise as route to economic growth

South Africa unlikely to force specific investments on retirement funds

By: Bloomberg     6th October 2020 South Africa’s government is unlikely to force retirement funds to plow money into specific companies or projects, an industry body of fund managers and insurers said. Of the economic plans under discussion to revive South Africa’s economy, none are calling for prescribed assets to be used as a... 

South Africa’s exports to China were surprisingly better in the 'pandemic quarter'

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 While South Africa had seen on overall decline in exports during the lockdown, exports to China had grown by just more than 2% year-on-year during the second quarter, says research institute Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies. The result is that, during the quarter, China’s dominance as South... 

South Africa’s exports to China were surprisingly better in the 'pandemic quarter'

Small Business Institute undertakes research to understand SMMEs better

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 The Small Business Institute (SBI) says much more could have been done to coordinate a more considered, rapid, comprehensive and successful response to forestall the brutal effect of Covid-19 on small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa. SBI has undertaken a review of... 

SA corruption arrests a show of teeth and boost of confidence, BLSA says

By: African News Agency      6th October 2020 A recent slew of arrests linked to corruption are a much needed show of teeth by authorities and a boost of confidence, the chief executive of Business Leadership South Africa has said. In a column published on the website of the association of South Africa's largest corporations and major... 

 SA corruption arrests a show of teeth and boost of confidence, BLSA says
Photo by Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Tribunal confirms consent agreement between commission, sprinkler system installer

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and sprinkler system installer Eagle Fire Control, which admits that the company was involved in collusive tendering conduct. Eagle Fire has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R120 000, refrain... 

South Africa told to look to Ethiopia to rescue its airline

By: Bloomberg     6th October 2020 South Africa should act to preserve its insolvent national airline and seek to partner the carrier with Ethiopian Airlines Group, according to a study commissioned for ruling-party lawmakers. The assessment, obtained by Bloomberg, was prepared by African Aviation Services and dated October 4. It... 

DBSA appoints Rakgate to head Infrastructure Fund

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 The State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has, from October 1, appointed Mohale Rakgate as its new group executive for the Infrastructure Fund, which has been established by government to support an accelerated roll-out of economic and social infrastructure. Infrastructure is... 

DBSA appoints Rakgate to head Infrastructure Fund
Mohale Rakgate

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

5th October 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. The rate of transmission of Covid-19 has continued on a secular upward trend, but the increase has been... 

IHS Markit PMI signals uptick in economic activity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th October 2020 The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data for September has signalled a notable softening in the economic decline across South Africa’s private sector as Covid-19 restrictions were eased to Level 1. British financial analyst company IHS Markit economist David Owen reports that the... 

South Africa lacks political might, original thinking required to tackle unemployment crisis, says BLSA CEO

By: Donna Slater     5th October 2020 Although the Covid-19 crisis was always going to cause an unemployment crisis, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says, to her mind, the problem is a lack of “original thinking and political courage” to make radical changes to how employment works in South Africa.
 She explains that... 

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 South Africa’s Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has been elected to chair the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT), says he will prioritise the finalisation of the outstanding work and negotiations required to enable the start of trading under the African Continent Free... 

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

SAA Technical reinstates aircraft maintenance to some customers

By: Simone Liedtke     5th October 2020 South African Airways Technical (SAAT) has reinstated aircraft maintenance services to some of its customers. The development follows a decision taken by SAAT to suspend maintenance services to four of its airline customers in September owing to outstanding payments on services already rendered. 

Spanish solar tracking group establishes formal presence in South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 Spanish solar tracker and structures specialist STI Norland has, since the start of October, established an active presence in South Africa, which it views as an attractive market for utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. An office and warehouse facility is being established in Port... 

Spanish solar tracking group establishes formal presence in South Africa
The 94.3 MWp Sishen PV Plant in the Northern Cape

BOC says contingency plans in place for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th October 2020 Operator of the Gautrain, the Bombela Operating Company (BOC), says it will implement a contingency plan to ensure it is able to still deliver a train service to its passengers after trade union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that its members would embark on... 

National Treasury launches Covid procurement spend dashboard

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th October 2020 Further to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s directive to organs of State in August to submit information around their Covid-19 procurement, the National Treasury has published an interactive Covid-19 procurement dashboard to show procurement activity. Treasury was tasked with creating a standard... 

Numsa serves notice for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Trade union the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on October 2 issued a notice to strike at the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) − the management and operating company for the Gautrain. The union said its members would, as of the morning of October 5, go on an indefinite... 

Treasury sees debt jump if wage deal implemented

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2020 South Africa’s government is opposing a bid by labour unions to compel the state to honor a public-service wage deal, warning the accord would lump the country with R37.8-billion of additional debt. The government in April reneged on an agreement to raise pay for more than 1.2 million servants as... 

Iata warns of massive job losses in African aviation sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Industry organisation the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has warned that the damage being done to the African aviation industry and on economies by the shutdown of air traffic owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened. According to new data published by the Air Transport Action... 

Gauteng, Western Cape leaders advocate for greater powers to grow their economies

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd October 2020 In discussing the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces’ efforts to recover their economies after experiencing massive job losses in the last few months, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Gauteng policy research head Duduzi Mbada have said provincial governments need more power. The two provinces... 

Gauteng, Western Cape leaders advocate for greater powers to grow their economies
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

City of Cape Town drafting ‘mini IRP’ as it prepares way for IPP procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2020 The City of Cape Town, which has been pushing for the right of municipalities to procure electricity directly from independent power producers for several years, is currently compiling what it describes as a “mini” integrated resource plan to guide its future procurement decisions and actions.... 

City of Cape Town drafting ‘mini IRP’ as it prepares way for IPP procurement

Windaba riding winds of digital change

By: Cameron Mackay     2nd October 2020 Owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and physical distancing regulations, the tenth yearly Windaba Conference and Exhibition will be hosted as a virtual event on October 26 and 27. The Windaba event brings together exhibitors, industry pioneers and leaders, investors, and power producers. 

Safety up but costs hamper industry uptake

By: Tracy Hancock     2nd October 2020 Safety is improving in the local metal fabrication sector as more companies realise the importance of having stricter safety protocols in place, says local blades and electrodes manufacturer, and cutting consumables and capital equipment supplier First Cut machine division GM Anthony Lezar. “Some... 

Safety up but costs hamper industry uptake
TICKING THE BOX Some companies are putting only the bare minimum in place to ensure safety within their manufacturing processes

Wake loss could create headwinds

By: Cameron Mackay     2nd October 2020 With wind energy set to contribute more to the national energy grid in the future, owing to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, wake loss will become more of a challenge as the wind energy sector grows, says local wind energy company Aurora Wind Power CEO Mmoledi Chisalokile. “The IRP 2019... 

Wind industry ready for surplus energy procurement

By: Cameron Mackay     2nd October 2020 The local wind energy industry is “eagerly anticipating a growth phase”, as the approved Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 allocates 14.4 GW of wind power that needs to be added to the local energy mix from 2022. “This requires government to move swiftly in announcing the next round of... 

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