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Economy News

TERS payments reach R9.47bn 

By: Donna Slater     8th May 2020 The Department of Employment and Labour reports that, as at May 8, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), had disbursed about R9.47-billion through the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), benefitting 1.94-million workers. Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says... 

Commission warns retailers they'll have to substantiate reasons for cost increases 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th May 2020 Firms and retailers that are found to increase prices during the Covid-19 pandemic will need to substantiate why this is the case when approached by the Competition Commission, according to the commission’s chief economist James Hodge. While various factors are taken into account – such as... 

Commission warns retailers they'll have to substantiate reasons for cost increases
The Competition Commission’s James Hodge gives insight into how the organisation approaches the price regulation and excessive pricing situation in South Africa in its time of crisis. Video & Editing: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer.

Productivity SA, UWC sign research MoU for employment and growth

By: Schalk Burger     8th May 2020 Employment growth organisation Productivity SA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to further collaborate on multidisciplinary research that provides value and expertise in efforts to create decent employment, enhance productivity and grow... 

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 With the decommissioning of South Africa’s two nuclear facilities officially planned for this decade, consulting engineers WSP hydrology senior associate Karen King states that, with all the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) to be conducted, interested and affected party (IAP) engagement... 

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning
KAREN KING As with all EIAs undertaken locally, interested and affected party engagement will be essential. WSP is well-placed to undertake all of these studies

Mining industry faces a new reality amid and beyond Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th May 2020 The global mining industry is facing a new reality amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with measures to curb the spread of the virus impacting on economies, mining operations and their supply chains, manufacturing industries, the general public and, consequently, the demand for minerals and metals. As... 

Mining industry faces a new reality amid and beyond Covid-19

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors  

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) told lawmakers on May 7 that the development of a roadmap for a 2 500 MW nuclear new build programme would commence soon and that the market would be tested for “robust funding options”. A request for information would be issued to assess... 

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

WHO warns of prolonged Covid-19 outbreak in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th May 2020 A study by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) regional office for Africa finds that between 83 000 and 190 000 people could potentially die of Covid-19 this year, if containment measures fail. This while between 29-million and 44-million people could get infected in the first year of the... 

WHO warns of prolonged Covid-19 outbreak in Africa

FNB supports ProfitShare’s small business aid

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th May 2020 Financial technology business ProfitShare Partners has received R25-million in funding from First National Bank’s (FNB) Vumela Fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of capital to supply essentials to combat the spread of Covid-19. Since the start of the lockdown in... 

Enviro, digital factors increasingly influencing African tax regimes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th May 2020 Consultancy PwC says Africa, with its 54 countries, is a complex and challenging environment to administer in terms of tax legislation and rules. Businesses entering Africa’s markets are often faced with the difficulty of having to adapt to the various countries’ tax laws.  

Enviro, digital factors increasingly influencing African tax regimes

Sacci BCI reaches all-time low

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th May 2020 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci)’s Business Confidence Index (BCI), which is a composite index of economic and financial market indicators rated by business as critical indicators of the business climate, has decreased by 12.1 index points month-on-month in April This is... 

PRASA turnaround under way despite delays

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2020 The turnaround of State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is on track, albeit with delays, in part owing to the situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo has revealed. In a webinar on May 7, he lamented that the passenger rail agency had... 

PRASA turnaround under way despite delays

Nxesi urges employers to pay staff UIF funds

By: Donna Slater     7th May 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has urged employers to disburse Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) funds paid to them by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). This comes after the Minister received numerous complaints from workers who alleged that their... 

PRASA operations to resume under lockdown Level 3 

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) operations are set to resume under Lockdown Alert Level 3, administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo confirmed in a webinar on May 7. The passenger rail agency terminated all services during the initial lockdown period (Level 5), and has continued to do... 

PRASA operations to resume under lockdown Level 3

Airline and tourism bodies call for international support for African travel and tourism sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 International financial institutions, international donors and country development partners have been urged to act to support Africa’s travel and tourism industry. This appeal has been made jointly by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the World Travel and Tourism Council... 

Airline and tourism bodies call for international support for African travel and tourism sector
Photo by Umlani Bushcamp
Umlani Bushcamp game tracker Abed Ndlovu with elephant, Limpopo province, South Africa

Opinion: Innovation is vital to compete and grow in a digitally disrupted world 

7th May 2020 In this opinion article, Accenture in South Africa CEO Vukani Mngxati argues that South Africa needs to isolate the innovation gene and replicate it in all endeavours and in all sectors of society to create value. He also further unpacks the findings of Accenture’s latest Innovation Maturity... 

Opinion: Innovation is vital to compete and grow in a digitally disrupted world
Accenture in South Africa CEO Vukani Mngxati unpacks the findings of Accenture’s latest Innovation Maturity Index in this video interview with Engineering News & Mining Weekly editor and writer Terence Creamer.

SA statistics agency to collect labour data telephonically due to Covid-19

By: African News Agency      7th May 2020 Statistics South Africa said on Thursday it would collect second quarter data for its labour force survey over the phone, due to restrictions on face-to-face collections imposed by a nationwide lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement, statistician-general Risenga Maluleke said... 

 SA statistics agency to collect labour data telephonically due to Covid-19

Full legal separation of Eskom divisions still years off, lawmakers hear 

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter told lawmakers on May 6 that “good progress” had been made on the “divisionalisation”, under Eskom Holdings, of the utility’s generation, transmission and distribution businesses, with separate boards and MDs having been appointed for each unit. He also indicated,... 

Full legal separation of Eskom divisions still years off, lawmakers hear
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Gordhan voices criticism of SAA business rescue effort

By: African News Agency      7th May 2020 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday has told MPs every effort is being made to resolve the desperate situation surrounding South African Airways (SAA) and has suggested the carrier's business rescue practitioners have fallen short of government's expectations. Gordhan, in a... 

 Gordhan voices criticism of SAA business rescue effort
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Eskom reports lost income of R2.5bn in April

By: African News Agency      7th May 2020 Eskom's income has shrunk by about R2.5 billion in April as energy demand plummeted due to the country's national lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the power utility's CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Wednesday. "We have seen a reduction in cash-generation for April of some R2.5 billion.... 

Eskom reports lost income of R2.5bn in April
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Business calls for accelerated transition to lower lockdown levels amid looming ‘depression’ 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2020 South African business is calling for an accelerated transition from lockdown Level 4 to lower levels so that full economic activity is able to resume as quickly as possible, albeit with a full acknowledgement that the country’s Covid-19 infection peak is now anticipated only in either August or... 

Business calls for accelerated transition to lower lockdown levels amid looming ‘depression’

SA economy could shrink by up to 17% in 2020 despite stimulus, warns business alliance 

By: News24Wire      6th May 2020 South Africa's GDP could shrink by between 10% and 16.7% this year despite stimulus efforts due to a sharp plunge in economic activity, according to Business for South Africa. This plunge would be six to eleven times as severe as the economic contraction that followed the 2008 financial crisis,... 

 SA economy could shrink by up to 17% in 2020 despite stimulus, warns business alliance

Commission welcomes R11m agreement for face mask price inflation 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s decision to confirm, as an order, an R11-million consent agreement with a distributor of face masks and personal protection gear. The ruling follows after the commission referred the agreement to the tribunal after it found the... 

Armscor to break even in 2020, Castle of Good Hope requests relief

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th May 2020 The Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) and the Castle Control Board (CCB) on May 6 briefed the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on its strategic plans and budgets for the 2020/21 financial year. The parties outlined their expenditure and performance plans for... 

Armscor to break even in 2020, Castle of Good Hope requests relief
Castle of Good Hope, in the Western Cape

FNB, WesBank approves payment breaks on over 500 000 credit agreements

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2020 Finance services provider FNB and its subsidiary WesBank have approved payment breaks on more than 500 000 credit agreements for nearly 150 000 individual and business customers since April 1. The relief includes payment breaks and/or credit insurance assistance in excess of R4.3-billion to help... 

FNB, WesBank approves payment breaks on over 500 000 credit agreements
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers

Small business survey points to major relief only being likely at lockdown Level 2 or 1 

By: Donna Slater     6th May 2020 Findings from the Covid-19 National Small Business Survey, which was conducted after the Level 5 lockdown was eased to Level 4, point to continued stress experienced by small businesses coming out of Level 5 of the lockdown. The survey, which was released by the National Small Business Chamber... 

Current conditions ideal for exports, local production, says Jammine 

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2020 The weak rand has created a “marvelous situation for exporters”, if they can sell their product, says Econometrix director and chief economist Dr Azar Jammine. “The currency is as cheap as anything.” 

Current conditions ideal for exports, local production, says Jammine

3D printed glove remover improves hygiene in hospitals

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2020 Zurich-based creative agency Atoll has developed a nonprofit three-dimensional (3D) printed glove remover to assist with improving hygiene practices in hospitals. The glove remover comprises a piece of curved plastic that is placed over a waste bin and, thanks to a modular fastening system, it... 

3D printed glove remover improves hygiene in hospitals

Infrastructure at the heart of Africa’s economic growth, industrialisation

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2020 Overcoming the infrastructure bottleneck in South Africa will boost long-term economic growth that can drive industrialisation, Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development and Engagement Unit (ID&EU) associate Bongani Mankewu tells Engineering News. According to Mankewu, “there is a need... 

Infrastructure at the heart of Africa’s economic growth, industrialisation

Coronavirus lockdown pushes South African PMI to record low in April

By: Reuters     6th May 2020 South African private sector activity fell to a new record low in April, a business survey showed on Wednesday, as company closures due to a nationwide coronavirus lockdown led to a collapse in demand. Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) tumbled to 35.1 in April from 44.5 in March, its... 

Mantashe seeks comment on draft regulations enabling municipalities to buy own power  

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has released, for public comment, draft amendments to the Electricity Regulations on New Generation Capacity that would enable municipalities “in good financial standing” to develop or procure their own power generation. In a statement,... 

Mantashe seeks comment on draft regulations enabling municipalities to buy own power
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Mboweni says he remains committed to 2019 blueprint for reform and growth

By: African News Agency      6th May 2020 South Africa's finance minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday told members of parliament he remained committed to the structural reforms mooted in a blueprint for economic growth released by the National Treasury last year to a less-than-enthusiastic response from government's alliance partners.... 

 Mboweni says he remains committed to 2019 blueprint for reform and growth
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Sars raises alarm over economic capacity as it warns of R285bn under-recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     5th May 2020 South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter has warned of a possible revenue under-recovery of up to R285-billion for 2020/21, while also raising the alarm over potential negative revenue impacts that could arise as a result of a loss of economic capacity due to business... 

Sars raises alarm over economic capacity as it warns of R285bn under-recovery
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter

Report provides insight, makes recommendations for African Covid-19 response

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2020 Lack of information, access to food and water, and money running out were some of the issues identified in an Ipsos survey on potential Covid-19 stay-at-home measures, released on May 5. The 'Responding to Covid-19 in Africa: Using Data to Find a Balance' report includes first-of-its-kind data... 

Common Covid-19 framework being developed for clothing, textile industries

By: Simone Liedtke     5th May 2020 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and representatives from the retail - clothing, textile, footwear and leather (R-CTFL) sector will develop a common framework for the implementation of Covid-19-ready workplaces that can serve as a guide for the industry. The agreement follows as the... 

Steel production likely to stagnate or decline this year, says Roskill 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th May 2020 Steel production in developed economies is likely to either stagnate, or decline completely, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to influence and impact on the global economy, consultancy Roskill steel alloys principal consultant Erik Sardain said on May 5. Speaking in a webinar, he explained... 

Steel production likely to stagnate or decline this year, says Roskill
Roskill steel alloys principal consultant Erik Sardain discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the global steel industry. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Comair files for business rescue

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th May 2020 South African private-sector airline group Comair announced on May 5 that it was going into business rescue. This was to protect the company’s interests and those of its stakeholders. Comair operated the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands. This was a consequence of... 

Comair files for business rescue

Africa50 aids Covid-19 fight in three phases

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th May 2020 Infrastructure investment platform Africa50 has granted $300 000 to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) for it to buy test kits and other medical equipment, as well as to mobilise frontline responders. Africa50 also provided $500 000 to fund other targeted... 

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