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Economy News

Firms team up in maths, science and engineering drive

By: Jacqueline Holman     15th January 2010 Human capital investment company Infundo Consulting, engineering technology company Bentley Systems incorporated and the Royal Netherlands Embassy have partnered to enhance mathematics and science teaching skills in South Africa through an e-learning computer-aided design (Elcad) programme where... 

PetroSA awards bursaries to boost engineering, science skills 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     14th January 2010 In an effort to increase the skills availability in the engineering, science and commerce fields of South Africa, national oil company (NOC) PetroSA has awarded bursaries to 30 matriculants and university students to study commerce and science at higher learning institutions. The bursaries were... 

Steady trade activity recovery expected in 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th January 2010 Despite the Trade Activity Index (TAI) having slipped back into negative territory in December amid a normal seasonal decline in trade activity, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) expected the steady recovery of the index at the end of 2009 to be sustained into 2010, given... 

Contraction in SA manufacturing output slowed in Nov

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th January 2010 Local manufacturing output contracted by 4,7% year-on-year in November, the least negative growth rate recorded, to date, in 2009, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. Efficient Group economist Freddie Mitchell noted that this was “all in all a good figure” with a definite... 

Business confidence dropped to 7-yr low in ’09

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th January 2010 Business confidence, which had shown considerable volatility in 2009, would likely reach a higher average this year, after reaching a seven-year low in 2009, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday. Reporting on the results of its Business Confidence Index... 

IMF’s Lipsky cautious despite improved economic prospects for 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th January 2010 While economic data, financial market performance and improved economic forecasts pointed to improved economic prospects for 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) first deputy MD John Lipsky has warned that there was still reason to be cautious. In a note on the IMF’s website, he said that... 

New Act will require far-reaching changes 
at companies

By: Jacqueline Holman     11th December 2009 Companies need to start considering the practical effects the new Companies Act, of 2008, will have on them when implemented next year. 

Eskom tariff hike will dent growth and job creation, Busa warns  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th December 2009 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) warned on Wednesday that, should State-owned electricity producer Eskom’s push for a 35% tariff increase be approved by the regulator, it would have a detrimental effect on South Africa’s growth and employment outlook. Speaking to journalists at a function to... 

Court dismisses milk processors’ appeal in cartel case

8th December 2009 The Competition Appeal Court (CAC) has again dismissed an application by milk processors Milkwood Dairy and Woodlands Dairy to have the ongoing milk cartel case against a number of milk processors, including themselves, set aside. The CAC this week dismissed an application by Milkwood and... 

Vavi, Godsell urge workers to make use of training layoff scheme  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2009 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday that it was disappointed in the number of employees and employers that have taken up government’s training layoff scheme initiative. President Jacob Zuma said last week that the R2,4-billion scheme had saved around 4 482 jobs.... 

Merseta signs skills development deal with E Cape university

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th December 2009 The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) have signed a multi-million rand agreement to boost skills training in the Eastern Cape. The agreement would entail the promotion of women... 

German-backed SWH training facility launched in Soweto

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th December 2009 A solar water heater (SWH) installation and maintenance training centre was launched on Monday, in Soweto at the Builders Training Centre, with the ambition of increasing local capacity for solar energy installation. The project is part of a German public-private partnership. It is partially... 

SA’s R&D spend as percentage of GDP slowed – Pandor 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th December 2009 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Monday expressed concern about a decline in the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) spent by South Africa on research and development (R&D) in the 2007/8 financial year. She pointed out during a media briefing in Pretoria that investment on... 

MIC eyes telecoms, property investments in 2010

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th December 2009 Black economic empowered investment firm the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) would look to invest in telecommunications, property, and pharmaceutical businesses in 2010, CEO Paul Nkuna said on Friday. The telecoms and property markets were specifically being looked at as South Africa’s... 

Distance to market places Eastern Cape manufacturers at a disadvantage

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2009 A survey of 120 mostly small, non-automotive manufacturing companies in the Eastern Cape indicates that it is 30% more expensive to produce goods in this province compared with Gauteng and other provinces, says Eastern Cape Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas. 

Business confidence still under pressure, despite BCI improving

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd December 2009 Business confidence remained under pressure, despite the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) business confidence index (BCI) having improved by 1,9 index points to 84,1 points in November, Sacci economist Richard Downing pointed out on Thursday. He noted that while the... 

Zuma warns SA economy may shed more jobs

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd December 2009 President Jacob Zuma and the presidential joint working group on Thursday reported back on the status of the framework response to the economic crisis, and noted that R11-billion has been set aside into activities designed to address the impact of the recession. Despite the initiatives under the... 

Commission refers mesh wire cartel findings to Tribunal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2009 The Competition Commission on Thursday referred its findings of a price fixing and market allocation cartel in the manufacturing and supply of reinforcing mesh products market to the Tribunal for adjudication. The cartel involved companies such as Aveng, trading as Steeldale Mesh, Capital Africa... 

Dubai fallout a huge risk for emerging economies – Sacci

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd December 2009 The recent developments in Dubai held huge risk for emerging economies and could trigger a further collapse in growth for these countries, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) CEO Neren Rau said on Thursday. He noted that he was not convinced that the South African economy... 

SA will meet 500 000-jobs target – Doidge

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd December 2009 The government is on track to meet its target of creating 500 000 job opportunities by the end of the year, Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge said on Thursday. “We will meet the 500 000 jobs target. No doubt,” he told journalists at a press briefing in Pretoria, where the presidential joint... 

SA manufacturing back in expansionary territory, PMI shows

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st December 2009 The Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which is a key measure of manufacturing activity, has finally risen back above the neutral 50-index point level in November, but the rebound in South Africa’s manufacturing sector could be muted compared with historic experience, especially given the... 

New approach needed to improve SA’s labour-absorption potential 

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 There is no disputing that chronically high unemployment and deteriorating income inequality are South Africa’s two most pressing challenges. There is also no disputing that government’s expanded public works programme (EPWP), while an important stop gap, is simply insufficient to deal with these... 

New centre aims to stimulate interest in science, engineering and technology 

By: Jacqueline Holman     27th November 2009 Career doors have been opened for young people with the establishment of a laboratory at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Newton, Johannesburg, to encourage their interest in science, maths, engineering and technology. 

Transnet mulling ‘equalisation’ incentive to attract shippers to Ngqura

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 State-owned transport utility Transnet is considering an “equalisation” incentive for shippers using its new deep-water harbour at Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape, to make it cost competitive relative to its container facility in Durban, especially for goods being transported into the hinterland... 

Recovery won't be a fast one - Minister

By: Sapa     26th November 2009 South Africa's economic recovery will not be a fast process, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Johannesburg on Thursday. "Job creation is going to be slower than what we'd like it to be," he told a media briefing following his meeting with the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) in... 

South African business confidence improves

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th November 2009 The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Bureau of Economic Research (BER) business confidence index rose to 28 points during the fourth quarter of this year, its first increase since “sharp and persistent” declines saw the index drop from 85 points in the third quarter of 2006 to a low of 23 points in the... 

Big business group to work on strategies to promote ‘nonracialism'

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2009 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), an organisation comprising the largest South African and multinational corporations operating in the country, has highlighted the need for continued transformation, as well as "effective strategies for the creation of a truly nonracial South Africa". CEO... 

Toolmaker training programme to be launched in January 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd November 2009 The first tool, die and mould (TDM) pre-apprentice orientation programme, which formed part of measures to deal with the “drastic” skills shortage in the TDM sector – a key support sector for South Africa’s manufacturing industry – would be launched at seven pilot sites across the country in... 

French development financier to sign SA deals worth R3,5bn

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2009 The head of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Jean-Michel Severino, would sign new deals worth R3,5-billion during his visit to South Africa this week, including financing arrangements with freight logistics group Transnet, as well as with the Central Energy Fund (CEF). Severino's visit... 

Varsity studies whether maths is still a good indicator of academic ability 

By: Jacqueline Holman     20th November 2009 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is researching students’ underperformance at university, especially in economics. The research aims to discover whether admissions requirements have been set at the correct level and to what extent the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric... 

Eskom holds back on new Kusile contracts as its mulls new tariff request

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2009 Chief officer generation at State-owned power utility Eskom, Brian Dames, confirmed on Thursday that the award of some "smaller contracts" for the group's R111-billion Kusile power plant, being built in Mpumalanga, had been delayed, which would affect the project's overall delivery schedule.... 

Recovery in SA economy lagging global economy — SARB

By: Sapa     19th November 2009 The recovery in the South African economy appears to be lagging behind that of the global economy, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in its November Monetary Policy Review. Nevertheless, it added that there were convincing signs that the low point of the current growth cycle had been... 

SA’s trade activity remains in positive territory, survey shows

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th November 2009 Despite dropping two points to 51 in October, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Trade Activity Index (TAI) remained in positive territory, a trend that was expected to continue in the short term. Sacci on Wednesday reported that the TAI had declined from the... 

Land Bank teams up with Masisizane to grow agriculture sector 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th November 2009 Old Mutual’s Masisizane development finance fund and the Land Bank on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate their efforts to ensure growth in the agricultural sector and to create sustainable jobs, particularly in South Africa’s rural areas. Land Bank CEO Phakamani... 

Eskom makes top appointments as leadership crisis abates 

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2009 State-owned electricity utility Eskom, which has undergone some high-profile leadership ructions in recent weeks, leading to the resignations of both CEO Jacob Maroga and chairperson Bobby Godsell, confirmed some highly anticipated senior appointments on Wednesday. In a statement, the group's... 

Gauteng increases FY2010 expenditure by R3,3bn

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th November 2009 The Gauteng provincial government’s (GPG’s) expenditure for the 2010 financial year, has been revised upwards by R3,3-billion, to R58,5-billion, compared with the previously estimated expenditure of R55,3-billion, Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe said on Tuesday. The adjustment to the budget included... 

Eskom mulling over new, lower tariff request 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2009 South Africa's African National Congress- (ANC-) led tripartite alliance, which met over the weekend, came out in opposition to Eskom's proposed electricity tariff increases of 45% a year for the three year period between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2013. This is a material departure from the... 

 

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