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Economy News

Rhodes' interim performance buoyed by strong sales ahead of lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 JSE-listed Rhodes Food Group’s headline earnings a share for the six months ended March 29, 2020, decreased by 2.8% year-on-year to 31.2c, while its earnings a share decreased by 2.3% to 30.2c. Diluted headline earnings a share were down 3.1% at 31.1c. 

‘All hands-on deck’ includes women in energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 There will need to be an urgent focus on the energy transition beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and the world will need “all hands-on deck”, including women, to achieve success in this regard, says Cape Town-based wind farm developer G7 Renewable Energies project manager Veronique Fyfe. Fyfe is also... 

‘All hands-on deck’ includes women in energy transition
Veronique Fyfe

Massmart reports lower sales owing to Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown had a significant impact on normal trading patterns for wholesale and retail group Massmart, with total sales for the 19 weeks ended May 10, amounting to R28.2-billion, or 11.9% lower than the same period last year. Comparable store sales for this period were... 

Eskom describes Nersa’s treatment of coal costs in latest RCA claim as ‘significant shift’ 

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2020 State-owned electricity group Eskom says the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) latest regulatory clearing account (RCA) determination for the 2018/19 financial year contains “some encouraging decisions”, highlighting its treatment of coal costs as representing a particularly... 

Eskom describes Nersa’s treatment of coal costs in latest RCA claim as ‘significant shift’

ACSA warns of Covid-19 impacts and that it might need government guarantees

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 The State-owned Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has warned the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the efforts to counter it would significantly affect it. The company’s Corporate Plan for the 2020/2021 to 2022/2023 financial years had... 

Competition Commission issues Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 The Competition Commission has issued the Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines, which are aimed at achieving more fairness for emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses. The objective of the buyer power provisions is to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises... 

Renewables critical to reducing South Africa’s economic, energy constraints

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s energy demand “will grow exponentially” as South Africa further eases Covid-19-related restrictions and the strain on electricity supply experienced prior to the pandemic will likely return. This “will have massive implications” and likely have a compounding effect as the country... 

Renewables critical to reducing South Africa’s economic, energy constraints

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed

By: Donna Slater     18th May 2020 The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) reports that its constituencies are working sectorally and collectively to migrate South Africa to Level 3 of the national lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on May 13, stating that lockdown regulations would be... 

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Unions attack SAA business rescue practitioners, management 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2020 Three unions representing employees of financially embattled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) have attacked the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) and its senior management. They are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the SAA... 

International students in Germany offered interest-free loans

By: Sane Dhlamini     18th May 2020 The German government has offered almost 400 000 international students, who are enrolled in German universities, an interest-free education loan programme, to ensure the continuity of their studies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Due to Covid-19, many students have lost their jobs which allowed... 

International students in Germany offered interest-free loans

South Africans have a right to approach courts during lockdown – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     18th May 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday stated that while government would prefer to avoid the need for any legal action against it, South Africans who are unhappy with government regulations guiding the national lockdown have a right to approach the courts for any form of relief they seek. He said... 

South Africans have a right to approach courts during lockdown – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Minister, MECs commit to post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the tourism sector

By: Yvonne Silaule     18th May 2020 Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and tourism sector MECs on Friday committed to creating a post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the sector, which has been severely impacted by restrictions implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Minister and MECs discussed this during an emergency... 

Minister, MECs commit to post-Covid-19 recovery plan for the tourism sector
Tourism Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Gordhan and SAA business rescue practitioners trade barbs over rescue plan

By: African News Agency      15th May 2020  MPs on Friday heard from South African Airways's business rescue practitioners that a lack of funding severely hampered their work, while Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan questioned their spending decisions and their future objectives for the stricken national carrier. Siviwe Dongwana,... 

Solidarity Fund delivers food relief to 300 000 families, to pilot more interventions

By: Thabi Madiba     15th May 2020 Government’s pro bono organisation the Solidarity Fund on Friday announced that it had exceeded its target of providing food relief to 250 000 families across the country and had reached 300 000 families. Owing to the success of the relief efforts, it will be piloting a number of more sustainable... 

Solidarity Fund delivers food relief to 300 000 families, to pilot more interventions

Tribunal approves four more consent agreements

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed four more consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints, that were concluded between the Competition Commission and various companies. Consent agreements offer parties to alleged anti-competitive conduct the opportunity to settle the... 

Intelligent automation can enable services, commerce without physical contact

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 The use of intelligent automation can allow for business processes to operate more effectively, while also reducing physical contact, such as at healthcare facilities, by reducing or removing manual and physical processes, says consultancy firm EY Africa intelligent automation lead Paul St... 

Tips launches Covid-19 weekly monitor

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 To assist individuals, economic stakeholders and policy makers in managing the Covid-19-related risks of re-opening the South African economy, the Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (Tips) is launching a weekly monitor to track the spread of Covid-19 and its impact on the economy. To be... 

PRASA appoints new CFO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has appointed Krishna Govender CFO, effective immediately. Govender is a chartered accountant and has almost 25 years’ experience in accounting and financial management, which he gained from various entities in both the public and private... 

PRASA appoints new CFO
PRASA CFO Krishna Govender

UIF now pays TERS funds directly to employees, ups call centre capacity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2020 On May 14 alone, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) paid out R836-million in Covid-19 Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) claims. This benefited 195 521 workers, which are represented by 8 495 employers.  

UIF now pays TERS funds directly to employees, ups call centre capacity
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

BBC raises small business concerns with department

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2020 The Black Business Council (BBC) and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) on May 8 held a virtual meeting to discuss the relief measures implemented by the department in response to Covid-19 and the Small Business Master Plan. The discussion was led by Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni... 

AfDB approves $13.7m for Zim Covid-19 response

By: Sane Dhlamini     15th May 2020 Zimbabwe will receive a $13.7-million grant from the African Development Bank to bolster its health system in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The grant will strengthen support for frontline responders and health personnel and boost the country’s Global Health Security Index. The... 

AfDB approves $13.7m for Zim Covid-19 response

Covid-19 to result in contraction, increased instability and regionalism

By: Nadine James     15th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to result in increased geopolitical instability, recessions and a shift away from globalisation, speakers said during a May 14 webinar, titled 'Covid-19: Political And Geopolitical Risks', hosted by risk and industry research company Fitch Solutions. The speakers... 

Dr Sandile Buthelezi appointed as Health DG 

By: Thabi Madiba     15th May 2020 The Department of Health on Friday announced the appointment of South African National Aids Council CEO Dr Sandile Buthelezi as the department’s incoming director-general. The department noted Buthelezi’s 15-year experience in health governance, policy and programme management  and said he was... 

Dr Sandile Buthelezi appointed as Health DG

Covid-19 could exacerbate food insecurity, malnutrition in Africa – WHO

By: Sane Dhlamini     15th May 2020 The World Health Organization has expressed concern at the potential impact of the coronavirus on food security, which it says could worsen malnutrition in Africa. WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has warned that the virus is threatening livelihoods and household economies... 

Covid-19 could exacerbate food insecurity, malnutrition in Africa – WHO

Project launched to facilitate essential air cargo supplies to South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2020 A South African business development company, ‘tvg&associates’ (TVG), has launched a project to coordinate the air transport of essential medical supplies to the country, using charter operations. This initiative, dubbed Operation Warhorse, is supported by the South African Association of Freight... 

WHO urges African countries to prioritise malnutrition, food scarcity issues

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2020 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern about the potential impact of Covid-19 on food security, which will exacerbate the already significant burden of malnutrition in Africa. WHO Africa regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti says Covid-19 is unfolding in Africa against a... 

WHO urges African countries to prioritise malnutrition, food scarcity issues

Dept reaching out to domestic workers, farm labourers to apply for UIF lockdown benefits

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th May 2020 In its quest to ensure that no worker in need is left behind, the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) is making all efforts to reach domestic workers and farm labourers so that they can benefit from the Covid-19 relief scheme. The scheme, which is part of the basket of government-wide... 

South Africa to assign coronavirus restrictions by district – minister

By: Reuters     15th May 2020 South Africa will assign levels of lockdown restrictions for each of the country's roughly 50 districts, depending on the number of active coronavirus infections there, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday. The National Coronavirus Command Council, the government body overseeing efforts... 

South Africa to assign coronavirus restrictions by district – minister
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Majority of those working from home have not received cybersecurity training, guidance

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 Three-in-four (73%) employees working from home have not yet received any specific cybersecurity awareness guidance or training to keep themselves secure from risks, a report published by cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky shows. While it can be more difficult to control the security of... 

Amid pandemic, short-term business risks need to be managed

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 Upper-level management and executives will need to take the role of governance, risk and compliance teams very seriously during this time and in the months ahead, says legal and business information and analytics service multinational LexisNexis South Africa legal and compliance divisional... 

Local procurement lags in public, private sectors

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 A prevailing issue facing the valves sector is the “poor attitude” to local procurement in the public and private sectors, says valves manufacturer RGR Technologies commercial director Ross Hunter. 

Local procurement lags  in public, private sectors
MAPPING THE WAY FORWARD RGR Technologies looks forward to slowly introducing three-dimensional printing into its processes to assist with the manufacture of valve parts

Pandemic prompts supplier’s tech aspirations

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Industrial valves supplier Process and Allied Contracting Equipment (Pace Valves) plans to embrace the technological developments that will be prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa to sustain its supply growth. 

Pandemic prompts supplier’s tech aspirations
IN TOUCH WITH THE TRENDS Pace Valves is no stranger to developments in valve automation

Company supports essential service providers amid lockdown

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Industrial equipment supplier BMG encourages companies operating during South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown and beyond not to neglect the condition monitoring of process valves. 

Company supports  essential service  providers amid lockdown
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY The Desponia butterfly valves, manufactured in Spain, are available with different lining materials for reliability and extended service life in diverse sectors

Valves maintenance still a challenge

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Although demand for valves has increased over the past five years, maintenance costs, efficiency and valve service life are some of the challenges that companies face yearly, says coating technology specialist Thermaspray’s laser cladding manager Jordaan Lourens. 

Valves maintenance  still a challenge
IRREPLACEABLE SOLUTIONS The initial coating of new valves as well as their efficient repair results in fewer valve replacements

As firms reopen and pandemic lingers, health and safety obligations rise

By: Nadine James     15th May 2020 By now, most people are aware of measures prescribed by the World Health Organisation to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, given the phased reopening of the South African economy, it is prudent to consider the health and safety protections afforded employees through existing... 

As firms reopen and pandemic lingers, health and safety obligations rise

Business wants swift action on inappropriate level 4 regulations, as e-commerce opens 

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2020 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has called for swift amendments to those Covid-19 level 4 lockdown regulations that President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged to be unclear and contradictory and has again called for preparations to be accelerated for an orderly and rapid transition through... 

Business wants swift action on inappropriate level 4 regulations, as e-commerce opens
Photo by Creamer Media
Martin Kingston

GreenCape highlights green economy growth opportunities

By: Simone Liedtke     14th May 2020 In response to changing market demand, energy services providers are broadening their market offerings, opening up opportunities for equipment suppliers, project developers, technical advisers and investors, reports nonprofit organisation GreenCape. The organisation has published online versions... 

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