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Economy News

Combining electrician training with workplace experience seen as critical

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2012 Learnership programmes, where artisans in training work under a qualified and registered electrician, must effectively supplement formal artisan training by providing practical experience underpinned by the official quality and safety standards, says accredited electrician training centre P & T... 

Facts of business transfer determine labour law applicability

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2012 The facts around the transfer of a business, specifically whether the business and services continue after the transfer, will determine whether Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act, No 66 of 1995 (LRA) is applicable, in which case the employees must continue to be employed by the new employer... 

No intention to intervene on rand – Gordhan

By: Reuters     14th June 2012 South Africa's government has no intention of intervening in the foreign exchange market to influence the level of the rand, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a written reponse to questions in Parliament dated last month but released on Thursday. Both the government and the Reserve Bank... 

Power tariff application to be submitted to Nersa in July 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2012 State-owned power utility Eskom will submit its third multiyear price determination period (MYPD3) application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) during July, CE Brian Dames has confirmed. He says Eskom is taking its cue from President Jacob Zuma’s State of the National... 

NWU opens new engineering faculty

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th June 2012 South Africa needs at least 25 000 engineering graduates each year, for the country to be truly economically competitive, the North-West University said this week, as it opened a new 18 000 m² engineering faculty, at its Potchefstroom campus. Acting dean Professor Jan de Kock said the faculty... 

Positive hiring expectations in most industrial sectors – survey 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     13th June 2012 The strong hiring prospects reported in nine of the ten measured industry sectors for the third quarter of 2012, augured well for job seekers, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey showed. In the wholesale and retail trade sector employers recorded a net employment outlook of +12%, while... 

Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth remains robust – World Bank 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th June 2012 Despite weak growth and increasing uncertainty in high-income countries, medium-term growth prospects for sub-Saharan Africa were looking promising. The region was expected to record 5% growth during 2012, up from 4.7% in 2011, and 5.3% was predicted in 2013, as global demand firms and domestic... 

Second-quarter building confidence falls

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2012 Building confidence in the second quarter of the 2012 fell to 27 points after increasing to 34 points in the first quarter, as perception of the industry falters, First National Bank (FNB) and the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) reported on Tuesday. However, despite the fall in confidence,... 

Gordhan warns of tougher times

By: Sapa     12th June 2012 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday warned of tougher times ahead for the South African economy, particularly in view of the European crisis. Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on the main budget, he said the European crisis, and the fact that there were lower growth patterns... 

Govt, IDC launch single point for incentives information  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2012 Government and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Tuesday launched an online portal to provide local businesses access to information and assistance on government incentives. The portal would supply businesses “all the information they need on what is out there to help them sharpen... 

Advanced economies holding back global growth  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2012 Advanced economies were holding back the global economic recovery with slow, staggered growth, a loss of momentum and a possible fall back into recession in Europe, said Nedbank Group economic unit senior economist Nicky Weimar on Tuesday. Since the financial recession in 2008, global economic... 

Eurozone crisis dents CEO confidence – survey

12th June 2012 The top business executives of South Africa are less confident about prospects, amid concerns over market conditions and a general lack of confidence in the heath of the global economy, the Merchantec CEO Confidence Index showed on Tuesday. The survey, which collates views from CEOs of top South... 

R20bn SA/Saudi Arabia venture targets mining, petrochemicals investments

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     11th June 2012 A new strategic economic partnership between South Africa and Saudi Arabia would potentially create business opportunities worth R20-billion, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said Monday. The establishment of the new joint holding company, Saudi Arabia South Africa Holding (Sasah), would... 

Wage subsidy talks to be sped up – Minister 

By: Sapa     11th June 2012 The process of adopting a youth wage subsidy is being speeded up, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Monday. Replying to a written parliamentary question from Democratic Alliance MP Kenneth Mubu, Patel said moves were underway to accelerate discussions at the National Economic... 

DoE preparing nuclear skills strategy as Necsa retrenchments loom 

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th June 2012 The Department of Energy (DoE), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), was investigating possible plans for the retention of skills critical to South Africa’s nuclear build programme, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters said on Monday. Responding to a Parliamentary... 

Black-owned property loan stock company lists on JSE 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th June 2012 Black-owned property loan stock company Ascension Properties made its debut on the JSE on Monday. The company listed its A-linked and B-linked units at R3.80 and R1.90 for each linked unit.  

Mpact says headline earnings to rise

8th June 2012 Paper and plastic packaging group Mpact said on Friday its basic and headline earnings a share for the six months to the end of June were expected to increase by more than 20%. The company is forecasting lower estimated finance costs for the six months, compared with the previous year, as a... 

Report outlines SA industrial growth opportunities 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th June 2012 South Africa offers significant and serious long-term growth and development potential for foreign direct investment, despite the challenges that confronts the country at present. Speaking at the launch of consulting firm Oxford Business Group’s (OBG’s) ‘The Report: South Africa 2012’, Trade and... 

Rate cut expectations rise as SA economy struggles

By: Reuters     8th June 2012 South Africa's manufacturing output was weaker than expected in April as export demand remained sluggish, adding to signs that economic recovery is hesitant and supporting the case for an interest rate cut later this year. 

Group’s elearning programme showing positive results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th June 2012 Information technology and communications company Dimension Data reports that its nationwide e-Learning Centre initiative continues to give students access to premium technology applications to support the school curriculum.  

Chinese, African investors should strive to understand host countries’ business culture

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2012 Increasing Chinese or African businesses’ understanding of its host country’s business culture, work ethics and society will lead to improved business relationships and trust between China and African countries, says market analysis firm Frontier Advisory China Africa analyst Jinghao Lu. 

New law to place strict curbs on disclosure of personal information

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2012 The Protection of Personal Information Bill, when it passes into legislation, will have significant ramifications for how personal information is handled by companies and employers, specifically with regard to the right of individuals to access, correct and limit access to and use of their... 

KZN economy to grow by 3.5% this year

By: Chantelle Kotze     8th June 2012 The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province is cautiously optimistic that the provincial economy will grow by 3.5% this year, largely supported by the manufacturing sector and fixed capital investment by the government, KZN member of the executive council for finance Ina Cronjé has said. 

Domestic, global uncertainties weigh on business sentiment

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     7th June 2012 Domestic and global uncertainties weighed on sentiment in the second quarter of 2012, with South Africa’s political climate and a looming European crisis flagged as noteworthy constraints on business. This is according to the Rand Merchant Bank and Bureau of Economic Research’s (RMB/BER)... 

Govt should create conducive environment for private sector growth – FMF

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     5th June 2012 The government’s primary economic role is to create an environment in which the private sector can flourish, Free Market Foundation (FMF) director Eustace Davie said Tuesday. At the FMF’s policy briefing on its submission to the National Planning Commission (NPC) on the National Development Plan... 

SADC infrastructure master plan to focus on deepening integration

5th June 2012 The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is looking at ways to implement trans-boundary infrastructure in order to facilitate trade and deepen the process of regional integration and cooperation. The SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan is a strategic framework, which... 

Committee to develop higher education strategy for SADC 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th June 2012 The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has established a technical committee, comprising of senior officials in the region, to focus on revival strategies for higher education and training. The technical committee would develop a higher education and training plan for the region,... 

Regional power projects likely to feature in World Bank's new SA plan 

By: Terence Creamer     5th June 2012 The World Bank has started consultations with the South African government on a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for when the current version, which has been operational since 2007, expires at the end of 2012. Newly appointed VP for the Africa region Makhar Diop visited South Africa this... 

AfDB launches African Guarantee Fund to support SMEs

4th June 2012 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a scheme aimed at improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. Known as the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the scheme will provide financial guarantees to financial institutions to stimulate financing to SMEs... 

Western Cape tourism shows strong growth

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     4th June 2012 The Cape Town International Airport received over 215 000 international travellers in the fourth quarter of 2011, which is a year-on-year increase of 14.5%, with regional and domestic arrivals also improving. This was reported in the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency’s... 

Job creation still a problem – govt report 

By: Sapa     1st June 2012 Job creation initiatives across government departments remain a challenge, according to a mid-term report tabled on Friday. While "possibly over 350,000 jobs" were created last year, employment levels are still below those of 2008, before the recession, according to the 'Mid-Term Review of the... 

SA’s Competition Commission downgraded in global survey

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     1st June 2012 South Africa’s Competition Commission has fallen to three stars in the Global Competition Review’s 11th yearly survey from three-and-a-half last year, owing to a number of defeats in the courts and concerns about its independence. The survey, which was made public on Friday, tracked the... 

Figures highlight those sectors SA had hoped would benefit from offset

By: Keith Campbell     1st June 2012 Details of the investment credits awarded to the various international companies which supplied major systems to South Africa under the strategic defence re-equipment programme started in the late 1990s have recently been made public. These details are contained in a written reply by the Minister... 

Property fund to add to portfolio through acquisitions, new development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st June 2012 South African registered property loan stock company Dipula Income Fund has reported that it is on track to achieve its forecast results for the year ending August 31, 2012, with distributions for each A-linked unit of 39.685c and 27.741c for each B-linked unit, strengthening its investment... 

Association aims to improve training programme accessibility

By: Yolandi Booyens     1st June 2012 The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) plans to introduce e-learning courses to make its training and skills development programmes more accessible to industry, the association’s skills development manager, Mankabe More, tells Engineering News. 

Grassroots leadership key to successful education 

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2012 The leadership of primary school and high school teachers and principals in the development of excellent schools in rural communities is of over-riding importance in motivating and stimulating school children to achieve well, says North West Department of Basic Education deputy director SM Semwase. 

Sanral support won’t result in deficit slippages, Gordhan avers 

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2012 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has insisted that any additional financial support extended to stabilise the financial position of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) will have no impact on South Africa’s Budget deficit position. It was confirmed on Thursday that government... 

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