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Economy News

Exxaro pursuing coal-fired project independently of Cennergi 

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2012 Mining group Exxaro has confirmed that its coal-based Thabametsi independent power producer (IPP) project has been excluded from its new energy joint venture (JV) with Tata Power, dubbed Cennergi, but that it remains keen to move ahead with the development. In fact, Exxaro executive GM business... 

Zuma announces R2.5bn for FET colleges  

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2012 The National Skills Fund and the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) are to allocate R2.5-billion towards the refurbishment and construction of new college campuses over the next three years, President Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday. The money will be used for expanding and... 

DTI defends steel exclusion from preferential procurement plans

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2012 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday defended its decision to exclude certain steel products from the government’s preferential procurement regulations, which came into effect in December. Government designated sectors such as rolling stock and power pylons for local... 

Lonrho to open ‘easyHotel’ in Joburg

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd April 2012 Investment company Lonrho on Tuesday announced, in conjunction with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, that it would open the first in Africa in Johannesburg’s central business district at the end of the year. London- and Johannesburg-listed Lonrho entered into an exclusive... 

Business confidence drops to 3-year low 

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2012 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) for March 2012 dropped 3.8 index points to 95.7, the chamber reported on Tuesday. Following an increase of 2.4 points in February, the monthly index fell to its lowest comparable level since March... 

Mittal lowers some prices as govt seeks ‘breakthrough’ in dispute

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2012 JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (Mittal) confirmed on Monday that it had lowered the prices of some long-steel products from April 1, while leaving flat-product prices unchanged from the previous month. Spokesperson Themba Hlengani said wire products decreased by an average... 

Davies sets May launch date for new R5.8bn manufacturing incentive  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2012 South Africa’s newest R5.8-billion incentive scheme, which has been established to support the embattled domestic manufacturing sector, should become operational during the course of May, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Monday. The rules governing access to the so-called... 

Water Affairs wants suppliers to register 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2012 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) said on Monday that it was in the process of updating its supplier database to allow potential suppliers equal opportunities. To this end, the DWA requested all suppliers of goods and services to register on the department’s database by April 20 to ensure... 

Mittal, Highveld face collusion charges

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd April 2012 The Competition Commission on Monday said it had referred a case of collusion against steel producers ArcelorMittal South Africa (Mittal) and Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium (Highveld) to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The charges related to price fixing and market allocation with... 

Zuma to meet FET college principals

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2012 President Jacob Zuma will meet with the principals of 50 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges on Wednesday to examine the role FETs play in the country's skills development strategy. The meeting in Pretoria, which would also look at the current level of skills in South Africa, aimed to... 

PMI pulls back but still pointing to ‘robust’ manufacturing sector

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd April 2012 South Africa’s seasonally adjusted South Africa’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) lost some of its gains in March, but at 55.1, sponsor Kagiso Asset Management said it remained at a level consistent with “robust” manufacturing sector production growth. Just as the seasonally adjusted business... 

SA revenue above target, budget deficit lower

By: Reuters     2nd April 2012 South Africa's revenue collection for the just ended 2011/12 financial year beat targets, leading to a narrower budget deficit and contributing to a more optimistic economic outlook, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Sunday. The revenue service collected R742.7-billion in the fiscal year... 

Second Jobs Fund bidding window officially opens 

By: Terence Creamer     31st March 2012 South Africa’s Jobs Fund, which has been allocated R9-billion to support job creation initiatives over three years, has issued its second call for proposals, having approved 26 projects and grant funding worth R1.5-billion during the first window, which closed on July 31, 2011. For 2012/13,... 

PPS returns R1.7bn to members, strong 2011 performance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th March 2012 Financial services provider to graduate professionals PPS said this week that its ‘PPS Provider’ policyholders received an accumulative total of R1.7-billion in allocations to their surplus rebate accounts (SRA) in 2011. “The R1.7-billion returned to our members is in addition to the... 

Minister reports on Public Works turnaround strategy progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th March 2012 Public Works Minister Thembelani Nxesi said on Friday that a fundamental review for a turnaround strategy for the department was under way. The Department of Public Works was embarking on a transformation process to streamline activities, root out corruption, promote efficient labour relations... 

Big fuel price hike announced as global demand rises 

By: Henry Lazenby     30th March 2012 Motorists will have to fork more for petrol and diesel from Wednesday, when the fuel price goes up on the back of increased global demand. Department of Energy (DoE) deputy director general of hydrocarbons and energy planning Tseliso Maqubela announced the fuel price hike, which will take effect... 

Law firm appoints new chair to lead African push

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th March 2012 South African and global law firm Eversheds reports it has appointed Lavery Modise as chairperson of Eversheds South Africa. Modise, a former acting Labour Court judge, has served as deputy chairperson of the company since July 2009. 

Metrofile acquires business continuity management firm

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th March 2012 Information and records management business Metrofile has acquired Global Continuity South Africa, a business providing innovative business continuity management (BCM) and information technology service continuity (ITSC) solutions. 

Tractor technician training scheme launched 

By: Dimakatso Motau     30th March 2012 Global manufacturer of farm equipment John Deere has extended its artisan training programme with black-owned artisan training academy Ikaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy (IFTA), in Roodepoort, by signing a contract worth R8,5-million. 

India-SA move to bolster technology partnerships

By: Schalk Burger     30th March 2012 The High Commission of India in South Africa is committed to expanding the ties between the two countries in the vital information technology (IT) sector, while the South Africa government is committed to expanding the application of IT to various sectors, says High Commissioner of India to South... 

Eskom launches welding school as Gigaba commits SoEs to training  

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th March 2012 State-owned power utility Eskom on Thursday launched the Welding School of Excellence, its latest addition to the Eskom Academy of Learning (EAL). The Midrand-based welding school, which falls under the EAL’s Artisan, Operating and Maintenance Centre of Excellence, would train over 700 potential... 

City of Johannesburg tables development plan

By: Henry Lazenby     29th March 2012 The City of Johannesburg on Thursday tabled its Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Flagship Programmes for the next five years to the city council, highlighting green projects and infrastructure upgrades as being critical to achieve the Joburg 2040 Strategy outcomes. Executive mayor Parks Tau... 

Inclusive-growth thrust to guide new W Cape development plan

By: Jean McKenzie     29th March 2012 The Western Cape administration will released its Economic Development Partnership (EDP), which will have a strong focus on “inclusive growth”, at the end of April, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde reported in his Budget Vote speech this week. Resources of R3.5-million had been... 

‘Controlled' shale gas exploitation may yield energy, economic benefits - Manuel 

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2012 Gas, including the "controlled" extraction of the Karoo's shale gas resources, needs to play a more significant role in South Africa's future energy mix, Minister in The Presidency Responsible for the National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel said on Thursday. Speaking at the Integrated Energy... 

SARB leaves repo rate unchanged

By: Sapa     29th March 2012 The SA Reserve Bank has left the repo rate unchanged at 5.5 percent, governor Gill Marcus said on Thursday. The prime rate would stay at nine percent. 

SA’s power market test yields some 61 000 MW of interest 

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2012 The South African government has received an extremely strong response to a recently released request for information (RFI) for the development, or importation, of conventional power generation capacity. Department of Energy (DoE) director-general Nelisiwe Magubane confirmed on Thursday that... 

SA’s second renewables bid window heavily oversubscribed 

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2012 The South African government confirmed on Thursday that it had received a total of 79 tenders, representing 3 233 MW of potential power generation capacity, during the second bidding round under its renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) purchase programme, which closed on March 5.... 

Copper theft up 4.1% to R22.8m

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th March 2012 The South African Chamber of Commerce’s (Sacci’s) Copper Theft Barometer registered a R22.8-million loss in February, up 4.1% from R21.9-million in January. This was the fifth consecutive month a loss of more than R20-million was recorded, Sacci commented on Wednesday. 

Gap between Africa’s perceived, actual risks spells opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2012 The prevailing gap between Africa’s actual risk and its perceived risk was offering material opportunities for those willing to invest in the continent, which was home to six of the ten fastest-growing economies over the last ten years. In fact, Frost & Sullivan director of operations for Africa... 

SA aims for one-stop borders as delays exact economic toll 

By: Henry Lazenby     27th March 2012 The South African government is “seriously concerned” about delays and congestion at the country’s key border posts, citing inefficiencies threatening to reverse the gains in infrastructure investment, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday at the 2012 Freight-Intra Africa... 

SA power constraint an ‘underappreciated’ growth threat 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2012 South Africa’s power supply constraint has the potential to act as a “hand brake” on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth outlook and is an “underappreciated” downside risk, a domestic banking group has warned. In fact, Absa Capital economist Jeffrey Schultz describes that power... 

SAA, Singapore Airlines fined for price fixing  

By: Henry Lazenby     26th March 2012 The Competition Commission has fined South African Airways (SAA) R18.8-million and Singapore Airlines R25.1-million for fixing prices of certain flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong. The Competition Commission initiated the investigation on January 16, 2008, following Cathay Pacific’s... 

Sephaku names new CEO, financial director

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th March 2012 JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings said on Monday Dr Lelau Mohuba will become as CEO at the end of March 31. Mohuba, who is currently the chairperson, will replace current CEO Neil Crafford-Lazarus, who has been appointed as financial director. 

Labour bills could stifle job growth, business organisations warn 

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th March 2012 Business organisations have voiced concern over amendments to South Africa’s labour legislation, approved by Cabinet last week, but welcomed a decision not to ban labour broking. The Steel and Engineering Industries’ Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) said that the Basic Conditions of... 

Study into R20bn Umzimvubu dam, power project under way 

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd March 2012 A detailed feasibility study for the Umzimvubu water project, in the Eastern Cape, was started in January, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in a written response to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s Gareth Morgan. The dam is intended to supply... 

Western Cape tourism shows healthy growth

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     23rd March 2012 February arrivals at the Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and George Airport, as well as visitor numbers at popular attractions throughout the Western Cape showed healthy growth compared to February last year, Cape Town Tourism said Thursday. International arrivals at CTIA grew by 12.3%... 

Infrastructure needed, but keeping tenders clean will be a challenge

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2012 Reducing regulatory hurdles for all sizes of companies, as well as reducing corruption and maladministration in governmental departments will be key to ensuring delivery on Budget 2012's stated goal of improving the environment for job creation, two commentators have argued. 


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