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Economy News

South Africa misses Covax deadline to secure vaccines  

By: News24Wire      17th December 2020 South Africa, the country hardest hit in Africa by the coronavirus, missed a December 15 deadline to make a deposit to secure vaccines to fight the pathogen, and hasn’t arranged a guarantee to make the full payment. The payment to the Covax program will be made in coming days, according to Tandi... 

Rand hits ten-month high as risk appetite nudges up

By: Reuters     17th December 2020 South Africa's rand hit a fresh 10-month high on Thursday as progress on a US fiscal stimulus deal and a pledge by the Federal Reserve to keep rates low until an economic recovery is secure boosted risk appetite. At 0600 GMT, the rand traded at 14.7950 against the U.S. dollar, 0.15% firmer than... 

South Africa's economy will expand 3.9% next year - poll

By: Reuters     17th December 2020 The South African economy will expand 3.9% next year after contracting nearly twice that rate in 2020, a Reuters poll found on Thursday, after a strong third quarter performance likely ease this year's estimates. The country's performance rebounded strongly last quarter as coronavirus... 

Vaccinating billions means finding ways around a patent impasse

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 Covid-19 vaccines look set to protect millions of citizens of the world’s richest countries in the coming months. But inoculating the rest of the planet’s population may mean finding a way around an impasse over intellectual property. Representatives from all 164 member states of the World Trade... 

Vaccinating billions means finding ways around a patent impasse

Eskom’s bailout emerging as equity swap by biggest bondholder 

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 South Africa’s biggest pot of available cash – R1.91-trillion of civil-servant pensions and unemployment funds managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) – is emerging as the key to rescuing the debt-stricken national power monopoly. The money manager has approached its parent agency, the... 

Eskom’s bailout emerging as equity swap by biggest bondholder

Zuma files challenge against Zondo 

By: Reuters     16th December 2020 Former President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday filed a legal challenge against the judge who refused to recuse himself from an inquiry into State corruption, his lawyer confirmed. "The review challenge was filed today," Eric Mabuza, Zuma's attorney, said in an emailed reply to Reuters. The country's... 

Zuma files challenge against Zondo
Jacob Zuma chats with a member of his legal team ahead of the commission of inquiry probing State capture, in Johannesburg, in November.

Public sector unions lose court bid to force government to implement wage deal  

By: News24Wire      15th December 2020 The Labour Appeal Court has dismissed an application from public sector unions challenging government's decision to renege on paying salary increases for the final year of a three-year wage deal. The hearing was held earlier this month and Judges Dennis Davis, Violet Phatshoane and Philip Coppin... 

South Africa gains 75 000 non-farm jobs in the third quarter

By: News24Wire      15th December 2020 Non-agriculture related jobs increased by 75 000 during the third quarter, data from Stats SA shows. Stats SA on Tuesday released the quarterly employment survey (QES) for the quarter ending in September – surveying private, non-agricultural businesses such as factories, firms, offices and stores... 

Consortium launches dashboard to give public insight into Covid-19 spread  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th December 2020 The South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) has unveiled its new SACMC Epidemic Explorer dashboard to enable the public to explore the Covid-19 epidemic data in South Africa. The open-source platform, which will be updated regularly, analyses the resurgence risk, presents metrics to... 

Consortium launches dashboard to give public insight into Covid-19 spread

Ethos secures advisory contract for Ninety One's Africa private equity funds

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th December 2020 Alternative asset manager Ethos Private Equity has entered into an agreement with JSE- and LSE-listed investment manager Ninety One to take on an advisory contract for Ninety One's Africa Private Equity funds. Ninety One's two Africa Private Equity funds hold seven assets with a broad pan-African... 

Economic reality dictates trade conditions, says Sacci as TAI falls to 47

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th December 2020 After having increased to 51 in October, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci's) Trade Activity Index (TAI) decrease to 47 in November – back in negative territory. Sixty-seven per cent of respondents had indicated that trade conditions in November were worse than in... 

South Africa records FDI outflows of $1.1bn in third quarter

By: Reuters     15th December 2020  South Africa recorded foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows of R16.5-billion in the third quarter, as local subsidiaries repaid loans to foreign parent companies, the central bank said on Tuesday. That compares to FDI inflows of R17.4-billion in the second quarter, the South African Reserve... 

Ramaphosa limits alcohol sales, reinstates longer curfew for festive season 

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 South Africans will have to change the way they celebrate over the festive period, as government has reinstated longer curfews to limit alcohol consumption in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday, where he unpacked a "differentiated"... 

Ramaphosa limits alcohol sales, reinstates longer curfew for festive season
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Consumer confidence levels hit five-year low 

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 Consumer confidence levels for the fourth quarter have registered their lowest reading since the 2015 festive season, data shows. The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index, released on Monday, reflected a reading of -12. It is an improvement from the 35-year low of -33 recorded in the second quarter,... 

South Africa has 300m litres of unsold wine

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 Ahead of the start of the new harvest next month, South African wine producers are still stuck with a massive glut of unsold wine in the country. The lengthy freeze on sales at home and ban on exporting during the first phase of lockdown, have left South African wine producers with surplus stock... 

Eskom outlines streamlined restructuring model to deliver independent grid company by end-2021  

By: Terence Creamer     14th December 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter outlined a streamlined approach on Monday to the vertical separation of the State-owned utility into three businesses of generation, distribution and transmission, which he said could accelerate the process of establishing an Eskom-owned independent transmission system... 

Eskom outlines streamlined restructuring model to deliver independent grid company by end-2021
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 South Africa's pharmaceutical regulator SAHPRA said on Monday it has received its first application to register a Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. "As of today we have received one application, this was received on Thursday evening from J&J, and we started the review process," said... 

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

Lockdown claims are capped and won't cripple insurers, say claimants 

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 Hotel and other hospitality establishment owners, whose lockdown claims remain in limbo as insurers await a Supreme Court of Appeal decision, say many of them may not live to see the end of the biggest case in SA's short-term insurance's recent history. Robert More, founder of More Family... 

Tourism dept, TIA embark on implementation of incubation programme

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th December 2020 The Department of Tourism and the Technology Innovation Agency have embarked on the joint implementation of the Tourism Technology Grassroots Innovation Incubation Programme (TTGIIP). The department has extended an invitation for South Africans aged 18 to 35 to apply for the course before January 8. 

Sars' Kieswetter appointed vice-chairperson of Africa Initiative

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2020 The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has appointed South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter  vice-chairperson of the Africa Initiative. Kenya Revenue Administration Githii Mburu has been appointed chairperson of the Africa... 

Rand firms as virus vaccine rollout progress lifts risk appetite

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 South Africa's rand firmed against a weaker dollar early on Monday, as progress regarding the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine lifted riskier assets globally. At 0600 GMT, the rand traded at 15.0950 against the dollar, 0.31% firmer than its New York close on Friday. 

Hunt on for ‘tens of billions’ more, as ABB agrees to repay R1.56bn to settle corrupt Kusile contract

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 Eskom and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) announced on Friday that an agreement had been reached with ABB South Africa in terms of which the multinational technology group would repay R1.56-billion to the State-owned utility to settle an overpayment dispute relating to a corrupt Kusile... 

Hunt on for ‘tens of billions’ more, as ABB agrees to repay R1.56bn to settle corrupt Kusile contract

Solidarity Fund reports on progress made

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2020 The Solidarity Fund has issued an interim impact report, explaining how the R3.1-billion of donations it has received have been allocated and disbursed since the inception of the fund in March. The fund comments in a statement that it was a daunting task to build a new institution from scratch,... 

Competition Commission publishes final automotive aftermarket guidelines

By: Donna Slater     11th December 2020 The Competition Commission has issued its final Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket, which are now available on the commission’s website and which will take effect from July 1, 2021. The guidelines were prepared in terms of Section 77 of the Competition Act (89... 

Two South African tax consultancies band together to offer advice on trade, customs and excise tax

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2020 Two South African tax consultancies have banded together to ensure they can offer the best possible service to businesses seeking advice on trade, customs, excise tax, data analytics and related issues.  Cova Advisory and Peak Advisory have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to offer... 

AfDB identifies agriculture as one that needs particular support

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has identified the agriculture sector as an area that needs particular support, and as an area of opportunity going forward to increase inter-regional integration and to increase resilience against external shocks. Speaking during a news conference on the... 

Numsa blasts DPE, SAA, over 'misleading' workers, warns against 'unlawful' actions

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has attacked the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) concerning its behaviour regarding maintenance and repair organisation South African Airways Technical (SAAT), a subsidiary of the State-owned national airline South African Airways... 

Demand for consumer credit falls as South Africans remain cautious

By: Irma Venter     11th December 2020 South African consumers remain under severe strain, says TransUnion’s third-quarter South Africa Industry Insights Report. Although the latest data relates primarily to a period when Covid-19 measures were less stringent than during the initial lockdowns earlier in the year, there was still a... 

Demand for consumer credit falls as South Africans remain cautious

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity 

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 The roll-out of renewable energy at the scale envisaged in South Africa’s official electricity plan to 2030 presents a “remarkable” industrialisation opportunity, the leader of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) project team, Francis Jackson, argues. Jackson, who is also a... 

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity
Completed tower sections manufactured by DCD Wind Towers, which subsequently closed down as a result of a protracted Eskom-induced procurement hiatus

Fitch Solutions forecasts strong recovery in 2021

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2020 Financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) forecasts a strong recovery in 2021, as economic activity is expected to pick up in a "broader and deeper fashion" than this year, both geographically and across... 

CSIR partners with BU to provide technological support to SMMEs

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and emerging black-owned small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) funding, training and support nonprofit organisation Black Umbrellas (BU) will identify companies for which new or existing technologies may be produced or... 

REIPPPP requires more traction to address challenges

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th December 2020 The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) continues to take years to move through the various phases – from initiating tenders to delivering energy to the end-user – which, considering the challenges that South Africa is facing, is a luxury the country cannot... 

REIPPPP requires  more traction to  address challenges
PROCUREMENT ROAD MAP The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will seek to procure 6 800 MW of solar photovoltaic and wind renewable energy from 2022 to 2024

Wind association lauds S Africa govt’s policy progress

11th December 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has applauded the South African government for the progress made in policy over the last 12 months, beginning with the gazetting of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) and all the hard work done, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure... 

Wind association lauds S Africa  govt’s policy progress
KANGAS WIND FARM The first bid window four wind farm, in the Northern Cape, to come on stream as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 Next year, 2021, is poised to be a pivotal one for South Africa’s renewable-energy sector – for real this time! The industry will have an opportunity, finally, to participate in the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid... 

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

Covid-19 vaccine essential to end economic devastation – Solidarity Fund CEO

By: Thabi Madiba     10th December 2020 Solidarity Fund CEO Tandi Nzimande said the speedy roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine was vital to end the devastation that the virus has caused, adding that the Solidarity Fund would ensure that the country receives its equitable share of the vaccine when it becomes available. On Thursday, the... 

Covid-19 vaccine essential to end economic devastation – Solidarity Fund CEO

Key lessons learned this year 

10th December 2020   Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the key lessons emerging from a traumatic 2020 and the prospects for a recovery in 2021. 

Key lessons learned this year
Key lessons learned this year

EPP reveals ‘encouraging recovery’ after second Covid-induced lockdown in Poland

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2020 JSE-listed EPP on December 10 revealed an “encouraging recovery” for retail and the continued strengthening of its operational resilience. Poland emerged from a second three-week Covid-19 lockdown on November 28, which marked the start of a robust return to shopping at EPP’s centres. Footfalls... 

EPP reveals ‘encouraging recovery’ after second Covid-induced lockdown in Poland
EPP shoppers adhering to Covid regulations
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