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Economy News

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. 

Cost-recovery mechanism flagged, as SA unveils cleaner fuels vision

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2011 The Department on Energy (DoE) unveiled its much-anticipated draft position paper on fuel specifications and standards on Tuesday, which, if implemented, would see the phased introduction of Euro V-type fuel in South Africa as from 2013, as well as the upgrade of South Africa’s refinery fleet by... 

South African business confidence rises to 3-year high

By: Petronel Smit     8th March 2011 Business confidence in South Africa increased sharply in the first three months of 2011 to a three-year high, with more companies optimistic than pessimistic about prevailing business conditions. The latest Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Bureau of Economic Research (BER) Business Confidence Index... 

Sasol's capex flows again as crisis ebbs  

By: Terence Creamer     7th March 2011 JSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol, which is South Africa’s largest fixed investor, has materially ramped up its capital expenditure (capex) outlook for the coming two years, having pulled back on some investment programmes during the global economic crisis. However, the pipeline has been... 

Stronger rand is helping to curb inflation – Finance Minister

By: Loni Prinsloo     7th March 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday agreed with a panel of market experts that the stronger rand had protected the South African economy from rising inflationary pressures. “The stronger rand, or less weak rand, however you would like to refer to it has helped contain oil and food prices... 

South Africa secures 200 international conferences for next five years

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     4th March 2011 South Africa had already secured 200 international conferences for the coming five years, which would attract 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost worth R1,6-billion, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk reported on Monday. 

Global spotlight on the importance of chemistry in society

4th March 2011 The International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011 is well under way, with activities including a global water experiment taking place at schools around the world. 

Steelmaking giant takes delivery of 12 articulated dump trucks

By: Eleanor Seggie     4th March 2011 Africa’s largest steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa has acquired a fleet of 12 articulated dump trucks (ADTs) from local heavy equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment. 

Eastern Cape university installs renewable-energy harvesting system

4th March 2011 The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) School of Engineering has installed a renewable energy harvesting system on the roof of its North Campus building.  

South Africa and India seek to build economic edifice on strong political foundations

By: Keith Campbell     4th March 2011 When South African and Indian government ministers meet, the language is always warm and often effusive. At a function in Johannesburg in January, marking the opening of a South African office by a major Indian State-owned company (MMTC), South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies... 

Labour law changes could stifle BPO and offshore job growth – association  

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd March 2011 South Africa’s business process outsourcing and offshoring industry had significant potential to boost employment numbers in line with the country’s New Growth Path, but could be paralysed by the proposed amendments to labour laws, said industry body BPeSA on Wednesday. Speaking to Engineering... 

Business confidence slips but upward momentum not lost – Sacci

By: Petronel Smit     3rd March 2011 Business confidence fell last month, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reported on Thursday, but stressed that the upward momentum was not considered to have been lost. The business confidence index (BCI) for February contracted to 86,4 points from 87,4 points in... 

Growth-supportive infrastructure core to World Bank's new Africa strategy

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2011 The World Bank unveiled its new Africa strategy on Thursday, which, among other things, would seek to close an infrastructure backlog estimated at $93-billion, which is seen as a major constraint to investment, growth and employment. The Bank currently calculates that the gap between... 

Molefe promises new rail turnaround strategy, wants to leverage private finance 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2011 The new CEO of State-owned freight logistics group Transnet has promised to deliver a turnaround strategy for the underperforming rail business within the next three months and has also indicated that he will “aggressively” pursue partnerships with the private sector in a bid to boost capacity on... 

SA tourist arrivals jumped 15% in 2010 – Van Schalkwyk

By: Petronel Smit     1st March 2011 South Africa recorded a 15,1% increase in tourist arrivals last year, with more than eight-million tourists visiting South Africa in 2010, compared with about seven-million in 2009, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Tuesday. This compared well in global terms, with global tourism... 

Bidvest to focus on acquisitions in 2011

By: Loni Prinsloo     28th February 2011 Diversified industrial group Bidvest said on Monday that it would look for strategic acquisitions to expand its business during 2011. Speaking at the company’s results presentation, CEO Brian Joffe said that Bidvest had a substantial balance sheet and capital raising capacity that would be... 

Bidvest boosts H1 profit to R1,8bn, expects ‘step-up’ in growth rates

By: Loni Prinsloo     28th February 2011 Diversified industrial group Bidvest increased its half-year profit by 15% to R1,8-billion, despite a strong South African exchange rate and weak economic activity in a number of geographic regions in which it operated, the JSE-listed reported said on Monday. Headline earning a share rose by... 

M&R has made no specific provision for bid-rigging fines

By: Terence Creamer     25th February 2011 Construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R), which has been named along with South Africa’s four other major contractors as having participated in bid rigging, believes that the level of penalty that could arise from the current Competition Commission settlement process to be “well within current... 

Business must come to the party – Gordhan

By: Sapa     25th February 2011 Business needs to come to the party in making South Africa's economy work, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Friday. “Unless South Africans can get their act together, including labour, business and civil society... if we can't have a single vision of where we want to be in ten to 20 years... 

GE Healthcare in big South African skills development push

By: Eleanor Seggie     25th February 2011 Medical technology and service provider General Electric (GE) Healthcare is embarking on a local healthcare professionals training campaign, specifically targeting clinical and mechanical engineers.  

Davies says discounted iron-ore prices should benefit downstream customers

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th February 2011 Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Thursday that companies that benefited from discounted iron-ore prices would have to pass on the discount to customers. He said that at least 21,4% of iron-ore output from Kumba Iron Ore’s (Kumba) Sishen mine should be made available at cost plus 3%... 

Employment cluster to present job-strategies to Parliament on March 9 

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th February 2011 Government departments, forming part of the Economic Sectors and Employment Cluster, would present their employment strategies to Parliament on March 9, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, who chairs the cluster, said on Thursday. With only 41% of South Africa’s... 

SA plans ‘shovel-ready’ projects register to improve delivery 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2011 The South African government intends creating a register of ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects, that would be fully planned and life-cycle costed, to help improve the management of public sector capital spending, which is currently weak. Initially, the focus would be on public–private... 

Carbon tax design and schedule to be outlined in 2012 Budget

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2011 The design features of a proposed carbon tax, as well as a schedule for its possible introduction, would be unveiled in the 2012 Budget, the National Treasury said in its 2011 Budget review. However, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan did confirm that the existing levy on electricity generated from... 

Gordhan warns on rapid rand retreat, confirms R53bn in 2010 reserve accumulation

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2011 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) spent R53-billion, or 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), during 2010 on foreign exchange reserve accumulation in a bid to moderate the effect of capital flows on the rand, which appreciated strongly last year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed in his... 

R66m for new energy-efficiency R&D institute, R800m for green economy 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2011 Government set aside R66,5-million in its 2011 Budget for the establishment of the ‘South African Energy Development Institute’, which will conduct research and development (R&D) into energy-efficiency technologies and solutions. The initiative is designed to reduce “wasteful” electricity... 

R5bn youth employment subsidy to be implemented next year 

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd February 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has set aside R5-billion over the next three years for the youth employment subsidy, which will be implemented next year. The subsidy, which unions criticised when it was announced in last year’s Budget, would be available for workers between 18 years and 29 years... 

 

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