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Economy News

Steel group may face new excessive-pricing battle as tin-plate complaint is lodged

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2009 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa may face its fifth separate competition case in less than a decade, and its second excessive-pricing matter, after the South African government lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission earlier in the year on behalf of disgruntled tin-plate... 

US invests $6,7m in SA’s FET colleges 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2009 The United States Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has partnered with the Higher Education and Training department in a $6,7-million (about R50-million) programme to strengthen academic programmes, skills development training and student support services at 12 local Further Education and... 

Eskom plans global bond issuance for first half of 2010 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2009 South African power utility Eskom was making provision for an international bond issuance during the first half of 2010 as part of a planned programme to raise some R40-billion a year between 2010 and 2013, so as to partly cover funding shortfalls associated with its R400-billion build... 

Conference to provide 
platform for opportunities for growth

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th October 2009 The hospitality industry is showing healthy growth in spite of the current economic climate says financial services provider First National Bank tourism head Pieter de Bruin. 

SA climbs five places in productivity ranking

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2009 Although South Africa has experienced slight improvements over past few years in areas, such as the availability of qualified engineers and an uptick in skilled labour, more work is needed in support of efforts to build a highly competitive economy, said Productivity SA executive manager of... 

Eskom pins power-savings hopes on ‘high-impact’ advisory offerings, as budgets are cut

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2009 State power utility Eskom confirmed in early October that electricity demand was starting to return to levels last witnessed ahead of the economic recession. The supply/demand balance - which eased materially in late 2008 and in the first half of this year, as mines and smelters aligned their... 

$2,7bn smelter becomes power-crunch casualty  

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2009 Global aluminium giant Rio Tinto Alcan and South Africa's power utility Eskom confirmed on Thursday that plans for the proposed $2,7-billion Coega smelter project, which was destined for South Africa's Eastern Cape province, had been terminated, owing to Eskom's capacity constraints. In a joint... 

SA faces tough A400M decision as price-tag surges to R47bn 

By: Sapa     15th October 2009 Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has to cancel a deal to buy eight military transport aircraft after costs rocketed by R30-billion, a Democratic Alliance MP said on Wednesday. David Maynier said unless the programme to buy eight Airbus A400M transport planed was terminated, the taxpayer would... 

Kusile deferment canvassed in Eskom application

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2009 South African power utility Eskom played down the possibility of deferring the R100-billion-plus Kusile coal-fired power station project, being built in Mpumalanga province, when releasing its tariff application earlier this week. However, it has indicated to the regulator that it may be left... 

Residential building sector downward spiral close to a bottom

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2009 The downward spiral in the residential building sector was probably close to a bottom, First National Bank (FNB) chief economist Cees Bruggemans reported on Tuesday, adding that the normalisation of the destocking cycle of building merchants at the retail level had resulted in improved demand... 

SA trade activity moves into positive territory

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2009 The Trade Activity Index (TAI), which surged to 53 points in September, moved into positive territory for the first time since November 2007 and was expected to remain at this level in the short term as the trade environment came to terms with more favourable trade conditions, the South African... 

Eskom to face R30bn funding gap even after hikes of 45% yearly for three years 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2009 South Africa's financially stressed electricity utility Eskom argued on Tuesday that power prices should already be at a level of between 80 c/kWh and 88 c/kWh, rather than the prevailing 33 c/kWh, and that a rising price path was "painful, yet unavoidable" in order to migrate towards a more... 

IDC seeks ‘lead arranger' for domestic bond programme

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2009 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which last raised a bond some 20 years ago, is seeking proposals from South African-registered banks and financial institutions regarding its planned domestic bond programme. The development finance institution (DFI) expects to approve R70-billion in... 

Strong rand not competitive - Minister Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2009 The South African currency was currently not "competitive" and was also not conducive to industrial development, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Monday. He added that the South African government stood ready to "defend" what it saw as "strategic industrial capacity", as well as... 

SA’s short-term economic outlook positive – economist  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th October 2009 The local economy should start picking up a little, perhaps not as much as previously expected, but the outlook for South Africa’s economy remained positive in the short term, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine told members of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry on... 

BEE remains elusive for most historically disadvantaged South Africans – KPMG

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 After 15 years of democracy in South Africa, black economic empowerment remains elusive for the majority of black South Africans, auditing firm KPMG restructuring advisory MD Sandile Hlophe said this week, following the release of KPMG’s latest national black economic-empowerment (BEE) survey. 

Parliamentary committee exploring possibility of
building varsities in Limpopo, Northern Cape

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 Parliament is exploring the possibility of establishing new universities in the two provinces that lack such institutions, announced Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training chairperson Marius Fransman, last month. 

How one SA company mines SA’s satellite-imagery resource to make life easier while making a profit 

By: Leandi Kolver     9th October 2009 There’s more to geography than capitals, clouds and tornados, climate, countries, people, maps, and flags. Today, geography is a serious consumer-facing business, helping us to reach our destinations with the aid of global positioning systems (GPS) on our cell phones, or even the simple road map,... 

Even Eskom's ‘smoothed' scenario will feel like a spike to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would probably only publish power utility Eskom's tariff application in November, despite the fact that some of its contents have started to leak into the public domain. The leaks come amidst heightened interest about what is contained in the... 

Business leader lashes politicisation of Transnet CEO appointment 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2009 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Michael Spicer on Wednesday lambasted recent political interference surrounding the appointment of a new CEO at State transport utility Transnet, and even chastised President Jacob Zuma for having been too "late and mild" in his rebuke of those involved. His... 

SA executive-pay growth moderates as economy comes off the boil 

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2009 Difficult market conditions resulted in "reasonably low" executive-pay increases in 2009 relative to 2008, the Mabili ‘Directors Remuneration Report for 2009', which was released on Tuesday, shows. The median CEO package increased 11,6% from R4,7-million to R5,3-million, while increases enjoyed... 

SA business confidence hits 10-month high

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th October 2009 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) Business Confidence Index (BCI), in September, reached its highest level since November 2008, improving to 85,5 points, compared with 83 points in August. The BCI was 6,6 index points higher than the lows of 78,9 points measured in March... 

Migrant workers vital for economic recovery - UNDP

By: Reuters     5th October 2009 The global economic crisis has reduced the role of migrant workers, but that is likely to change dramatically as developed countries face a shortfall in workers over the next four decades, a UN report said on Monday. Demand for migrants will return when economic revival is underway, offering... 

SA must prioritise investor confidence in new policy – Sacci  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st October 2009 It is imperative that business and investor confidence be prioritised in new policy proposals and policy implementation in order for South Africa to “raise the tempo” of fixed investment and to “provoke a stronger path” to economic recovery, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci)... 

Eskom submits tariffs request, details to be published later 

By: Terence Creamer     1st October 2009 South Africa's financially stressed power utility Eskom met the energy regulator's September 30 deadline for submission of an application for tariff increases for its 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years, but the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) indicated on Thursday that it would... 

Signs of life in SA manufacturing sector as PMI posts big jump

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st October 2009 September’s Kagiso Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), which jumped to 48 points, had shown signs of life in the domestic manufacturing sector for the first time since September last year, Kagiso Securities head of fixed income André Coetzee said on Thursday. The seasonally adjusted PMI had made... 

Competition Commission uncovers mining cartel activity 

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2009 South Africa's Competition Commission on Wednesday announced the uncovering of an alleged mining-supply cartel. The findings of the commission have been referred to the Competition Tribunal, which has been asked to levy a penalty of 10% on the annual turnover of three of the four firms named.  

SA’s overall employment situation still negative – Adcorp

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th September 2009 The overall employment situation in South Africa was still negative, although there were some initial signs that the negative trend might be bottoming out, staffing solutions group Adcorp Holdings reported on Tuesday. Adcorp’s Employment Index (AEI) showed an overall third-quarter decline of... 

Recession response material, but SA still to contract by 2,1% in 2009 - Absa Capital

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2009 South Africa's fiscal and monetary policy response to the global recession had been relatively large, despite the fact that no formal stimulus or emergency response plan had ever been activated. Still, gross domestic product (GDP) was likely to contract by 2,1% in 2009, Absa Capital's head of... 

SA sees 6% budget deficit, says GFCF slowed ‘markedly’

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th September 2009 South Africa is expecting a 6% budget deficit in the 2009/10 financial year, as the global economic slowdown hits the local economy, Monitoring and Evaluation chief director Ronette Engela said on Friday at the release of the ‘Development Indicators’. She also said that the gross fixed capital... 

SA, Chinese groups mull ‘catalytic' Gauteng transformer investment

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2009 A R30-million import-substitution investment aimed at producing continuously transposed conductor (CTC) - a copper-based wire component used increasingly in the production of modern electricity transformers - is on the cards for Gauteng, following the signing of an agreement between a South... 

Life and short-term 
insurance companies 
feel the pinch

By: Jacqueline Holman     25th September 2009 Life and short-term insurance companies are taking strain as a result of the current economic environment, as the public are under financial pressure and are not readily spending their income on insurance, says audit firm KPMG financial services director Gerdus Dixon. 

Local financial services industry in a stronger position in the global arena

By: Jacqueline Holman     25th September 2009 The South African financial services industry is in better state than its peers elsewhere in the world, says Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) CEO Leon Campher.  

KZN company under way with R6m lifts contract

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th September 2009 Southern African consultants in the elevators industry KZN Elevator Consultants has been awarded a contract valued at R6-million to modernise eight lifts for a property owners and management company. 

Research should have an eye to commercialisation

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 The absence of innovation spells certain death for industry, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom said at the opening of the 2009 Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) annual symposium, in Midrand, last week. 

Still too few companies are dealing proactively with HIV/Aids

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 Only 45% of large South African businesses have an official HIV/Aids policy, said Swaziland sugar company Ubombo Sugar chief medical officer Dr Tim Nunn at Africa’s largest annual occupational risk management conference and exhibition, the Noshcon conference, at the end of August. 

Brewing giant seeks to tap new markets, ingredients, supply-chains with ‘home-brew’ alternative

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 For many Africans living outside of South Africa, buying a cold beer at the end of a long day is not a realistic option, owing to the fact that industrially produced, quality-assured beer is prohibitively expensive. 


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