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Economy News

SA cannot only rely on consumer to drive economic recovery

By: Petronel Smit     6th April 2011 A healthy economic recovery in South Africa requires more than the consumer and business investment will be needed to create some symmetry, Absa Capital head of research Jeff Gable said on Wednesday. Speaking at Absa Capital’s economic forum, Gable pointed out that household consumers were the... 

Updated Ipap adds impetus to big local-content push

By: Terence Creamer     6th April 2011 The South African government is pursuing legislative and regulatory processes that will seek to ensure that the R800-billion-plus infrastructure investment programme, as well as other public procurement initiatives, more fully integrated the objective of local industrial development and job... 

Business confidence at two-and-a-half year high – Sacci

By: Petronel Smit     5th April 2011 Business confidence rose to a two-and-a-half year high in March, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) showed. The BCI strengthed to 88,3 after contracting to 86,4 in February. Sacci on Tuesday reported that the BCI was 5,1 index points... 

Potential political clout of BRICS emphasised ahead of summit

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2011 The upcoming summit of the nascent Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) bloc, which will take place on China’s island province of Hainan on April 14 and 15, could add political and diplomatic meat to the bones of what has hitherto been a loose economic concept, first coined by an... 

Youth subsidy clarity needed to ensure take up by business − PMI

By: Loni Prinsloo     4th April 2011 The Production Management Institute (PMI), a subsidiary of JSE-listed Adcorp, said on Monday that government needed to unpack, in simple terms, what it wanted to achieve through its youth employment initiative and to clarify the benefits to labour, business and their consituencies. PMI sales and... 

Gauteng Tooling Initiative forges alliances in bid to stimulate artisan training 

By: Eleanor Seggie     1st April 2011 The Gauteng Tooling Initiative (GTI) is partnering with a number of institutions and organisations, in a bid to stimulate toolmaking artisan training in the province and support the toolmaking industry in general. 

R52,5m injection for Western Cape abalone farm

1st April 2011 Local private equity firm Inspired Evolution’s environmental and new energy technology fund has invested R52,5-million in Western Cape-based abalone farm Abagold. 

Record cash hoarding by SA firms creates growth imbalance

By: Terence Creamer     31st March 2011 South African corporate savings are currently at all-time highs, but the businesses are still not investing, despite early signs of improved confidence and growth, as well as recent moves to rebuild inventories to levels last seen ahead of the global economic crisis. Absa Capital's lead... 

DTI says Japanese takeover of Freeworld to weaken competition 

By: Loni Prinsloo     31st March 2011 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked the Competition Commission to oppose the hostile takeover of South African company Freeworld Coatings by Japanese multinational Kansai Paint. Kansai has been locked in a public dispute with Freeworld's management since announcing its... 

Coal projects brought forward in SA’s approved power plan 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2011 Details have started to emerge about the contents of the Cabinet-approved version of the integrated resource plan (IRP) for electricity, which outlines the proposed power generation mix for South Africa for the period 2010 to 2030. The Department of Energy (DoE) placed a pre-promulgated version... 

US agency aims to expand lending to green African projects

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2011 The US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), which supports US project sponsors in emerging markets and has a current portfolio worth $13-billion in more than 150 countries, wants to materially expand its support for renewable energy and clean-tech projects in South Africa,... 

Kumba dismisses ‘developmental’ steel price thesis, government unmoved 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2011 South African miner Kumba Iron Ore states that 14 000 new jobs could be created through the doubling of current output of the steelmaking material and the further development of three mining hubs to supply the domestic and export markets – the miner, which is 74% held by Anglo American currently... 

High wage demands hampering job-creation drive – Nene

By: Petronel Smit     28th March 2011 High wage demands from unions are a notable setback for government’s drive to create five-million jobs in the next ten years, Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Monday. Speaking at the South Africa Summit, hosted by The Economist, Nene said only 40% of the population has regular work,... 

Treasury DG Kganyago named SARB deputy governor

By: Petronel Smit     25th March 2011 President Jacob Zuma on Friday named Lesetja Kganyago as the new deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), with effect from May 16. Kganyago has been with the National Treasury since 1996, serving as director-general since 2004.  

Green economy business briefing set for Joburg in April

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     25th March 2011 Sustainable living nongovernmental organisation MamaEarth will host a green economy business breakfast in Johannesburg on April 11, 2011, where the link between government’s industrial policy plans and South Africa’s sustainable development commitments will be explored. 

New artisan training academy opens in East London

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     25th March 2011 The Master Artisan Academy South Africa (Maasa) located in East London, was officially opened last month with the aim of positively contributing towards increasing the general standard of artisanship in South Africa. 

SA’s jobs push is putting biofuels back on the radar

By: Eleanor Seggie     25th March 2011 Despite rising food prices and the ongoing food-versus-fuel debate, biofuels are back on the South African agenda - revived by their inclusion in an emerging economic policy framework and their perceived potential for rural job creation. 

SA economy added 101 000 jobs in fourth quarter – Stats SA report 

By: Loni Prinsloo     22nd March 2011 The number of people employed in South Africa’s formal sector rose for the second consecutive quarter in the three months to December, with the economy adding 101 000 jobs in the fourth quarter. The Quarterly Employment Statistics report, published by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday, showed... 

Nersa moves to cut Refit tariffs just as SA promises to boost renewables  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2011 Days after it was confirmed that the role of renewable energy in South Africa’s generation mix would be increased between 2011 and 2030, the energy regulator has issued a consultation paper that proposes a material decrease in the level of renewable energy feed-in tariffs (Refit) when compared... 

SA current account deficit at 7-yr low

By: Reuters     22nd March 2011 South Africa's current account gap narrowed to a seven-year-low in the fourth quarter of 2010, while expenditure slowed, partly due to a moderation in household spending, the Reserve Bank said on Tuesday. Monde Mnyande, Reserve bank Chief Economist and adviser to Governor Gill Marcus, said the... 

Business, government set up joint team to support job creation thrust 

By: Petronel Smit     18th March 2011 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Friday proposed the creation of a small implementation group to work towards improving the attractiveness of the local economy for foreign investors and to ensure that the policies, laws, regulations and incentives that impact on employment, become... 

SA’s power market structure to be scrutinised as ISMO Bill is sent to lawmakers 

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2011 The approval by Cabinet of the tabling of the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill to lawmakers will trigger what could be a robust stakeholder debate about the type of market structure required to encourage investment by independent power producers (IPPs). Cabinet described the... 

Japanese engineering scholarship enters third year

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     18th March 2011 The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Japanese high-technology equipment specialists Hitachi are running its third yearly scholarship-training programme for South African engineers, in Japan. 

SacOil to start trading on Aim next month

By: Eleanor Seggie     18th March 2011 South Africa-based SacOil will start trading on London’s Aim market next month, CEO Robin Vela has announced. 

Afgri bolsters food processing capacity with maize milling acquisition

By: Eleanor Seggie     18th March 2011 Listed South African agricultural services group Afgri has entered into an agreement with Pride Milling Company, to buy its entire yellow maize milling business.  

Focus on labour intensive industry, World Bank economist urges 

By: Sapa     16th March 2011 South Africa must use its unemployed to its advantage and develop labour intensive industries, the World Bank's chief economist said on Wednesday. "South Africa is a labour abundant country. You have so many new young people coming into the job market," Justin Yifu Lin said during a lecture at... 

Bedfordview shopping centre collusion referred to Competition Tribunal

By: Loni Prinsloo     16th March 2011 The Competition Commission said on Wednesday it had referred a collusion case in the Gauteng retail property market to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The referral followed a complaint and and subsequent leniency application from the HBW Group, which owns the Bedford Square shopping... 

Ecsa moves to support 2014 vision of 30 000 engineers a year 

By: Petronel Smit     16th March 2011 The Engineering Council of South Africa (Ecsa) has launched a national initiative to tackle the chronic shortage of engineering skills, in line with government’s plan to spend R215-billion on education and skills development and to develop 30 000 engineers by 2014. The initiative, called... 

SA moves to finalise carbon tax this year, despite global loose ends 

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2011 South Africa will seek to finalise its carbon tax policy by mid-year and may announce its implementation during the 2012 Budget, despite the absence of a global carbon price or a binding international agreement to deal with the climate change threat. However, National Treasury officials have... 

Busa-led forum seeks fair inclusion of women in new SA policies 

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th March 2011 Even though South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions as far as gender equality goes, it still had some way to go in closing the gap between policy statements and the actual implementation thereof, influential female speakers said on Tuesday. Speaking at a Business Unity South... 

30% of Eskom engineers near retirement 

By: Sapa     14th March 2011 Almost one third of artisans, technicians and engineers at Eskom are approaching retirement, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Durban on Monday. To avert the approaching skills crisis, the state utility had invested R780-million in training over the last financial year, Gigaba... 

New auto purchasing council set to fuel SA’s local content drive 

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2011 An original equipment manufacturers (OEM) ‘purchasing council’, which would seek to further bolster localisation efforts in South Africa’s automotive supply chain, is being finalised, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe revealed on Friday. Addressing a Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa)... 

Massmart staff, suppliers not at risk as Walmart enters, CEO avers

By: Eleanor Seggie     11th March 2011 Massmart CEO Grant Pattison does not believe that competitors and suppliers of Massmart will suffer as a consequence of the Walmart deal. 

Industrial group hunts for growth prospects

By: Eleanor Seggie     11th March 2011 Diversified industrial group Bidvest wants to reinforce its competitive position in South Africa and is looking for new openings and opportunities.  

Engineering student intake rises, but schooling pipeline remains a binding constraint

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     11th March 2011 The dean of the Faculty of Engineering at one of South Africa’s top universities says that the number of engineers per capita in South Africa has become so low that any foreseeable growth in numbers in the immediate future would not bring the country to a competitive level, especially seen... 

Now Joburg Roads Agency mulling toll options for M1/M2 

By: Loni Prinsloo     10th March 2011 Gauteng road users may be in for another toll-shock as the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) said on Thursday that it was in active discussions with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) about the possibility of tolling the M1 and M2 highways in the city. Gauteng motorists could... 

NGO to host Joburg green economy business briefing next month  

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     10th March 2011 Sustainable living nongovernmental organisation Mama Earth will host a green economy business breakfast in Johannesburg on April 11, 2011, where the link between government’s industrial policy plans and South Africa’s sustainable development commitments will be explored. 


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