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Economy News

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... 

Senwes loses Competition Tribunal appeal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th November 2009 The Competition Appeal Court has dismissed agricultural services company Senwes’ appeal against the Competition Tribunal’s February ruling that it had engaged in what was called a “margin squeeze”. It also rejected the Competition Commission’s cross-appeal against the finding made by the... 

New Eskom tariff application by the end of November 

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2009 Power utility Eskom would submit a new and "final" tariff application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) by November 30, following consultations with stakeholders, Engineering News Online has confirmed. It was unclear, however, whether this revised version would deviate... 

Hogan wants Godsell to reconsider his resignation  

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2009 Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan would approach former Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell over this weekend to ask him to "reconsider" his resignation, she told SAfm on Friday. Godsell stepped down on Monday November 9, 2009, citing a lack of support from the shareholder, both on the Eskom... 

Threefold increase in exports affirms healthy wine industry

By: Petronel Smit     13th November 2009 Industry research body the SA Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS) reports that the country’s wine exports have increased threefold in the last ten years. For the 12 months to August 2009, offshore sales volumes reached a total of 405,1-million litres, representing a 12% year-on-year... 

Passing of new bill concern 
for private companies

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     13th November 2009 Domestic and international courier company Aerospeed Couriers says that the logistics industry is an exciting and dynamic industry that is continuously growing and which enables all modern businesses to function, despite the challenges that it faces. 

Global economy likely to enter period of base-case growth – Caterpillar CEO

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2009 There exist two possible scenarios for the future of the global economy, says Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens. 

C&CI says it was not aware of anti-competitive behaviour

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th November 2009 The Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) on Thursday emphasised that it has never been involved in, or aware of, any anti-competitive behaviour, either in its professional capacity or on behalf of any of its cement producing members. This followed on an announcement made by Pretoria Portland... 

State, not Eskom, has authority over private power, CIC asserts

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2009 The South African government, and not Eskom, was the ultimate decision maker with respect to the Mmamabula energy project, in Botswana, CIC Energy president Greg Kinross said on Wednesday, adding that leadership situation at the South African utility would, therefore, not directly impact on the... 

Govt mulling option on Rand - Patel

By: Sapa     10th November 2009 Government will invite all stakeholders to have their say on how best to achieve a more competitive exchange rate, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. "We would like an open discussion," Patel told a media briefing by Cabinet's economic and employment cluster in Cape Town.  

Use of the race card at Eskom roundly condemned 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2009 South Africa's powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has defended the nonracial credentials of former Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell and has also raised concerns about seeming breaches of good governance principles at the State-owned enterprise (SoE). Speaking with Engineering News... 

Godsell calls it quits, Maroga stands firm, Makwana named acting chair 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2009 Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell handed a letter of resignation to Public Enterprise Minister Barbara Hogan on Monday, following more than a week of confusion over the fate of the group's CEO, Jacob Maroga. The Department of Public Enterprises reported on Thursday afternoon that Mpho Makwana had... 

500 000 jobs target to be met Doidge insists, as figures surge 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2009 A total of 223 568 work opportunities were created between April and August this year as part of the expanded public works programme (EPWP), Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge reported on Monday. The second-quarter figures were released as part of a report back on the progress of government's... 

High demand for infrastructure, health services enhances Africa’s appeal for investors

By: Darren Parker     6th November 2009 Africa’s high demand for infrastructure and better health services present a myriad of business opportunities throughout the continent, German-African business development association Afrika-Verein executive vice-president Hans Meier-Ewert tells Engineering News. 

SA's exports climbed to $74bn last year, but were outpaced by imports

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2009 South Africa's total merchandise trade grew at a nominal average yearly rate of 22% between 2003 and 2008, while the value of the country's merchandise exports more than doubled over the period to reach $74-billion by 2008, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said in its latest trade policy review... 

Higher Education to extend Seta licensing, to review systems

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th November 2009 The Department of Higher Education and Training on Wednesday reported that it would Gazette the one-year extension of the current sector education and training authority (Seta) licensing process, from March 2010 to March 2011, following a consultation period, while also conducting a review of the... 

World requires rebalanced growth model, top US Treasury official tells SA

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2009 The current global growth model that relied primarily on the debt-laden American consumer was imbalanced, undesirable and unsustainable, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said during his visit to South Africa on Wednesday. Speaking in Johannesburg on the anniversary of the historic election... 

Job cuts at Sappi’s Mandeni factory limited to 11 – Solidarity

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd November 2009 Trade union Solidarity on Monday reported that 92% of the planned retrenchments at paper and pulp producer Sappi’s Mandeni factory, in Richards Bay, had been saved during a Section 189 consultation process. In its initial retrenchment notice, Sappi planned to retrench 140 of its employees at... 

Public anger over cartel abuses underpins SA’s move towards criminalisation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2009 The Competition Amendment Bill, which was recently signed into law but was still awaiting promulgation, could change how companies regarded compliance regulation, the Competition Commission, Shan Ramburuth, told a gathering of business people on Friday. Speaking at Business Unity South Africa’s... 

US Treasury official to discuss economic recovery, regulatory reform during SA visit

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2009 US Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin will meet with senior South African government officials during his two-day visit to South Africa next week, during which he will discuss Group of 20 (G20) efforts to support the global economic recovery and international financial regulatory reform. South... 

Corruption not only a public sector problem – Vavi

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2009 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said it would be a “fatal mistake” for the business community to see corruption as a problem which only affected the public sector. “The private sector is deeply implicated as well, with millions of rands being... 

Industry challenged, but growth expected

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th October 2009 Specialists in the transport and storage of hazardous goods Stobel Warehousing & Distribution says that, while the warehousing and storage industry is taking strain as a result of the recession, it believes that the industry has started showing signs of improvement and will be healthy again. 

Rural sugar cane farmer development programme launched

By: Darren Parker     30th October 2009 The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) have made public their partnering in a project to help small-scale rural farmers in the Amatikulu catchment to improve their sugarcane yields while reducing the negative environmental impacts through the... 

Micro financiers must do more to assist rural areas – association

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th October 2009 Micro financiers in are not doing enough to alleviate poverty in the country’s rural areas, the Association for Pro-Poor Micro Finance Institutions for South Africa (Amfisa) said on Thursday. Speaking at a briefing hosted by the South African Micro Finance Apex Fund (Samaf), an initiative of the... 

ArcelorMittal SA says Zisco bid is on strategy, mulls Scaw options

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2009 Africa's largest steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa confirmed on Wednesday that it was one of two short-listed bidders for the debt-laden Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco), and that it had also not ruled out a bid for Scaw Metals, which Anglo American announced last week was no... 

Public enterprises’ fixed investment to grow over medium term

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 Fixed investment by public enterprises would grow by about 17% a year over the medium term, the National Treasury said on Tuesday in the 2009 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). It said that the low levels of public debt had enabled a “rapid increase” in infrastructure spending, much of... 

Treasury outlines plan to cut wasteful public expenditure

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 The South African government will, over the next three years, undertake a phased reprioritisation of public spending, the first phase of which would seek to reduce “unnecessary and wasteful expenditure”. The National Treasury said on Tuesday that the second phase would consider rationalising... 

Labour market to remain weak over medium term – Treasury

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 The South African labour market was likely to remain weak over the medium term owing to slow recovery in the economy and upward pressure on wages, the National Treasury said on Tuesday. In addition to job losses, the number of people who were no longer actively seeking employment grew by 409 000... 

SA may set up fund to boost jobs, industrial development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 The South African government is considering the creation of a fund to support industrial development and job creation, the National Treasury reported on Tuesday. The fund would be made up largely of existing spending programmes and tax breaks, with clear, measurable job-creation targets. 

Gordhan charts steady macro course, with tax warning

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2009 South Africa should maintain expansionary fiscal and monetary policies "only for as long as is necessary", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) address to Parliament on Tuesday, in which he provided few signs of a material leftward... 

Treasury eases exchange controls, prioritises jobs

By: Sapa     27th October 2009 With tax revenues for the current financial year expected to be more than R70-billion down on the February forecast, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday eased exchange controls in an effort to stimulate investment in South Africa's flagging economy. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy... 


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