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Economy News

Business confidence at three-year low

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     3rd May 2012 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) for April fell by a further 1.4 index points to 94.3 – the lowest in three years. The new low point followed the 3.8 index points decline to 95.7 in March and was 8.2 points below the April 2011 level.  

One-stop Beitbridge border ‘imperative’ to unlocking further trade, investment

By: Terence Creamer     3rd May 2012 Implementation of a one-stop border post at Beitbridge, the congested crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe, is “imperative” to reducing trade-restricting transactions costs that are currently estimated to be as high at $35-million a year, African Development Bank chief economist Professor... 

Transnet chief warns that 2015/16 will be crunch year for group

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2012 The head of State-owned freight logistics utility Transnet – which recently unveiled a R300-billion, seven-year investment programme – is expecting the group’s 2015/16 financial year to prove the most difficult to navigate, as in that year the group’s capital expenditure (capex) peaks, along with... 

Global steel consumption growth to slow in 2012

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     30th April 2012 The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is forecasting global steel consumption growth to slow to 3.6% in 2012, from 5.6% in 2011, as China enters a less steel-intensive growth phase and eurozone debt crisis uncertainties continue to persist. Steel consumption is expected to reach 1.42-billion... 

South African property recovery failed to take off in 2011

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th April 2012 South Africa’s commercial real estate market maintained modest growth over 2011, producing a 10.4% total return according to the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) and performance analysis company Investment Property Databank’s (IPD’s) yearly South Africa Property Index report.... 

Academy supports applications for international science fellowships

27th April 2012 The Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) reports it will once again be facilitating applications by South African scholars for postgraduate training and postdoctoral fellowships advertised in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan and Malaysia. 

Service provider focuses on development of maritime professionals

By: Yolandi Booyens     27th April 2012 Specialist maritime services provider Smit Amandla Marine reports that there is a lot of interest in the company’s cadet training scheme, particularly from learners at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT). 

Engineering employers encouraged to seek out Red Seal artisans

By: Dimakatso Motau     27th April 2012 Skilled, well-trained artisans are worth their weight in gold in the industry and employers operating in the engineering sector should do everything in their power to attract and retain these skills, states recruitment agency Network Recruitment. 

CIDB moves to have all public tenders, awards registered

By: Terence Creamer     27th April 2012 The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is intensifying its efforts to ensure that public sector departments, agencies and State-owned companies (SoCs) begin complying with the requirement to record all tender notices and awards in its national projects register. The drive to improve... 

Artisan training on strong growth path - Nzimande 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th April 2012 Artisan training in South Africa has grown rapidly during the 2011/12 financial year, with data from Sector Education Training Authorities in South Africa (SETAs) showing that 24 378 artisan learners entered the system, 861 more than in the previous year. Higher Education and Training Minister... 

Ban Ki-moon appoints PIC’s Masilela to UNGC board

23rd April 2012 United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has appointed the CEO of South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) board. Elias Masilela would be expected, besides others, to serve as a champion of the UNGC and its missions for a period of three... 

Construction body moves to have all public tenders registered

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2012 The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is intensifying its efforts to ensure that public sector departments, agencies and State-owned companies (SoCs) begin complying with the requirement to record all tender notices and awards in its national projects register. The drive to improve... 

SA backs ‘developmental integration’, but still keen on African gateway role  

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2012 One of the few novel themes explored in the latest version of South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) is the concept of ‘developmental integration’ – an emerging idea that seeks to align South Africa’s industrial policy aspirations with the even more challenging goal of regional... 

Offering global prospects bolsters African talent pool, says consultancy

By: Schalk Burger     20th April 2012 Multidisciplinary engineering, management and specialist technical services group Aurecon reports significant success in its young professionals exchange programme geared at retaining professional engineers and specialists within its business by enabling them to travel to, and work in, Aurecon... 

Better driver behaviour improves business efficiencies

By: Schalk Burger     20th April 2012 Driver behaviour systems, which measure a host of metrics as a person drives, improve drivers’ behaviour, leading to reduced maintenance costs, fuel use and risk to companies, says fleet management and vehicle tracking company Ctrack strategic projects director Deon du Rand. 

Skills training a success

By: Chantelle Kotze     20th April 2012 Nuclear energy research and development company the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has seen an almost twofold increase in the number of people enrolled in its skills development programme over the past three years. 

Margins, fuel, food, wages headaches for services group

By: Schalk Burger     20th April 2012 Pressure on margins across empowered services company Mvelaserve’s group of companies has led to a renewed focus on wage control, fuel efficiency measures and hedging, and ensuring its businesses are well run, says Mvelaserve CEO Jorge Ferreira. 

SA backs ‘developmental integration’, but still keen on African gateway role

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2012 One of the few novel themes explored in the latest version of South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) is the concept of “developmental integration” – a emerging idea that seeks to align South Africa’s industrial policy aspirations with the even more challenging goal of regional... 

CEO confidence index surprises on the upside

By: Dimakatso Motau     20th April 2012 The independent corporate finance and research company Merchantec CEO Confidence Index has attained its highest score since its inception in the second quarter of 2009, indicating a renewed optimism among South Africa’s CEOs towards the overall economic environment for 2012.  

Stiglitz says SA toll debate highlights urgent need for public transport investment  

By: Terence Creamer     19th April 2012 The ongoing debate about the tolling of Gauteng’s intra-provincial highways has highlighted the urgent need for South Africa to invest in its public transportation system, Nobel-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz argues. The Columbia University professor, who is in South Africa to... 

Late payment of consulting fees rears ugly head again

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2012 A new survey by Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) shows that the late payment of fees has returned as a significant threat to the industry. The organisation’s latest ‘Economic and Capacity Survey’, which covered the period from July to December last year, showed that 24% of fee earnings... 

Transnet follows up Durban airport acquisition with initial dig-out tenders

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2012 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet has followed up its recent R1.8-billion purchase of the old Durban International Airport site, in KwaZulu-Natal, with the release of a number of separate tenders in support of its proposal to develop, in phases, a new dig-out port on the property. The... 

African growth robust as South Africa sputters – IMF 

By: Reuters     17th April 2012 High commodity prices will buoy much of sub-Saharan Africa in 2012, but South Africa will continue to stumble due to its deep ties to crisis-ridden Europe, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa will pick up to 5.4% this year thanks to new mineral and oil... 

Consumers still underpinning SA’s growth, bank shows

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th April 2012 Consumption was continuing trumping production in South Africa, Absa Investments GM Craig Pheiffer said on Monday. Real retail sales grew by 3.9% year-on-year (y/y) in January and manufacturing grew 4.1% y/y in February, while mining production fell by 14% y/y, following a series of safety... 

Any new French bid will push local content above Nuclear 1 levels, Areva chief says

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2012 The levels of local content in the French-led bid to build proposed new nuclear energy capacity in South Africa will be superior to those outlined in an earlier Nuclear 1 bid submitted to Eskom in 2008, Areva CE Luc Oursel has confirmed. Speaking to Engineering News Online during a recent visit... 

Unregistered motorists to pay more for tolls 

By: Sapa     16th April 2012 Motorists who do not register for e-tags will pay a three times higher punitive rate for using Gauteng's new toll roads, Sanrail said on Monday. "Users who do not register, or who do not have valid and operational e-tags and who do not pay within seven days will ultimately pay a significantly... 

Outlook for SA economy more positive – Gordhan 

By: Reuters     16th April 2012 The outlook for South Africa's economy was looking slightly better, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday. "But like many other parts of the world, (the economy) is still subject to the vagaries of the global economy," Gordhan told journalists at a breakfast briefing in Johannesburg. 

SA immigration rules may be eased to attract engineers for infrastructure push 

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2012 The prevailing shortage of engineers has been identified by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) as a major potential impediment to the effective implementation of South Africa’s ambitious infrastructure investment programme, which currently comprises 17 Strategic... 

EPWP non-State programme could be expanded - Nxesi  

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     13th April 2012 The success of the Non-State Sector Programme (NSS), a component of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), indicated that the programme could be expanded, Public Works Minister Thulasi Nxesi said on Friday. The NSS was introduced as a division of the EPWP in 2009. Since then, more than 35... 

Professional supply-chain body hosts first SA forum

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th April 2012 The newly formed Professional Body Forum aimed at dealing with issues in the supply chain management and purchasing training landscape, held its inaugural meeting in March, in Centurion and 26 professional bodies participated at the event. 

Digital media being deployed as a learning tool 

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th April 2012 In the digital age we live in, a project, which started off as a pilot during the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, is bringing twenty-first century learning to South African youth, teaching them about the use of multimedia tools as a learning tool and communication platform. 

Real wage growth outpaces productivity, stifles job creation 

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2012 The finding of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper that the rapid growth of real wages in South Africa, which outpaced labour productivity growth in most sectors, was suppressing employment creation was concerning, said the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) on... 

World Bank cuts Chinese growth forecast

By: Henry Lazenby     12th April 2012 The World Bank on Thursday cut China’s expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2012 to 8.2%, from 9.4% last year, on the back of uncertainty in the global economy and the ongoing correction in its domestic property market. The China Quarterly Update, a regular World Bank assessment... 

M&A the dominant feature of 2011 FDI outflows recovery

By: Terence Creamer     12th April 2012 Foreign domestic investment (FDI) outflows continued to recover in 2011 and prospects for FDI outflows in 2012 continue to improve. But multinationals remained guarded, owing to the fragility of the current phase of the global economic recovery, a new United Nations report shows. The latest... 

Van Schalkwyk unveils rural tourism strategy  

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th April 2012 A new tourism strategy, released by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) on Wednesday, emphasised the development of rural tourism in stimulating job creation and economic benefits. Speaking at the release of the National Rural Tourism Strategy, Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the... 

Govt expert appointed to Walmart study

By: SA News     11th April 2012 Nobel laureate and economist, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, has been appointed as the government’s expert to serve on the Walmart study. This follows the judgement by the Competition Appeal Court in March that a study be commissioned to “determine the most appropriate means together with the... 

Bids to be sought this year for 1 000 new locomotives 

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2012 State-owned transport utility Transnet will issue an open tender later this financial year, which ends on March 31, 2013, for the purchase of 1 000 new diesel and electric locomotives, valued at around R30-billion. Speaking at the launch of the group’s R300-billion, seven-year Market Demand... 


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