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Economy News

Fall in Q2 business confidence reflects return to realism

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2010 The RMB/BER Business Confidence index (BCI) fell by seven points to a level of 36 in the second quarter, having surged to 43 points during the first quarter of 2010. However, the compilers stressed that it would be wrong to interpret the decline in confidence as indicative of a prospective slump... 

New body aims to bridge divide between cost engineers, quantity surveyors

By: Jacqueline Holman     4th June 2010 Midrand-based cost management company Planning and Cost Engineering Services (PaCE) and quantity surveyors Bingelela Consulting Professionals have joined forces to open the first Southern African Project Controls Institute (SAPCI) chapter in Durban. 

Company seeks to offer soft landing for aspirant entrepreneurs

By: Petronel Smit     4th June 2010 New and existing entrepreneurs are being given the opportunity to improve and grow their businesses through a training and empowerment programme, launched this year. 

Business confidence falls, labour demands threaten recovery

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd June 2010 A 2,2 point decline in the May Business Confidence Index (BCI) had neutralised earlier gains, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday, while warning that the recent spate of labour demands would likely prolong the country’s path to economic recovery. The BCI... 

SA's growth to return to 4% by 2011

By: Sapa     2nd June 2010 The present positive outlook should see growth trends return to four percent by 2011, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday. Acting deputy director general of the DTI, Sipho Zikode, told the four-day Competitiveness Week Summit held in Boksburg that in order to achieve... 

Steel surcharge receiving ‘priority attention', says commission

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission says it is giving "priority attention" to a letter written to it by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies regarding the implementation, by ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), of an "iron-ore" surcharge of R600-plus on every ton of steel sold domestically... 

Cachalia announces overhaul of Gauteng's underperforming agencies

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2010 The Gauteng government has approved a far-reaching consolidation of its existing suite of provincial agencies, many of which are either underperforming, or have overlapping mandates, into three streamlined units - a move that could generate yearly savings of R100-million. In a frank Budget... 

Bridging the skills divide

By: Karishma Thakurdin     28th May 2010 The current global skills shortage, which is also a challenge for the project management industry, could have detrimental long-term consequences for this industry if a greater effort is not made to bridge the skills gap 

Training institute receives accreditation

28th May 2010 Business analysis and project management training organisation Faculty Training Institute (FTI) has been accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a registered education provider (REP) for its exam preparation workshop, diploma in Internet solution project management and a short... 

Esteq, Siemens install CAD software at KwaZulu-Natal college

By: Jacqueline Holman     28th May 2010 Local technology partner Esteq, with support from technology group Siemens, has formed a strategic partnership with the Coastal KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) College to install 50 Solid Edge and 50 NX core computer-aided design (CAD) software licences at the college this year, as well as provide training... 

Govt wants Merseta to be involved in push to scale up artisan training

By: Jacqueline Holman     28th May 2010 The South African government aims to combat the current artisan shortage by scaling up artisan training, with the assistance of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta), Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said at... 

Ekurhuleni mayor confirms above-inflation tariffs hikes in 2010/11 budget 

By: Loni Prinsloo     27th May 2010 The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality announced tariff increases across the board when releasing its 2010/11 budget on Thursday. Electricity tariffs were set to increase by 28,9%, water by 15,5%, sewer rates by 18,8%, refuse removal by 15% and assessment rates by 8,5%. During a colourful... 

JP Morgan, Credit Suisse on track to meet May deadline - Eskom

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2010 State-owned power utility Eskom reiterated on Thursday that JP Morgan and Credit Suisse - which have been appointed to advise the group on its funding options and the possible sale of an equity stake in Kusile, respectively - remained on schedule to submit their final recommendations by the end... 

Local debt levels remain too high – SARB economist

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th May 2010 Local debt levels were still too high for South Africa to be able to “proudly confirm” that it was out of the woods in terms of the global economic recovery, South African Reserve Bank chief economist Dr Monde Mnyande said on Wednesday. In a copy of speech he delivered to a convention of the... 

SA's CPI at 4-year low on food inflation

By: Reuters     26th May 2010 South African consumer price inflation slowed more than expected to a four-year low in April as food price pressure eased, possibly boosting chances of another interest rate cut. Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday annual inflation slowed to 4,8% in April, compared with March's 5,1% and... 

Striking SA workers call sympathy stoppages 

By: Reuters     25th May 2010 Striking South African transport workers have called for possible sympathy stoppages, including at the national airline, and electricity workers also threatened to strike less than three weeks before the World Cup. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), which represents... 

SA economy picks up speed with 4,6% first-quarter growth 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th May 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4,6% in the first quarter of this year, exceeding market expectations, which had forecast growth of about 4%. The first-quarter expansion compares with a 3,2% rise in the final quarter of 2009, and was the highest quarter-on-quarter increase... 

Good case for inclusion of SA into Bric-nation club, Dlamini argues 

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th May 2010 South Africa has much to offer and gain from emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, and China, dubbed the Bric countries, that currently make up around 42% of the world's economy, said Old Mutual CEO Kuseni Dlamini on Monday. Speaking at a Swiss Chamber lunch in Johannesburg,... 

New induction programme seeks to help 
student-to-professional transition

By: Jacqueline Holman     21st May 2010 Petrochemicals giant Sasol bridges the gap between university and the working world for its engineering bursary graduates and other recently qualified individuals with its Young Professionals Induction programme. Their professional development is governed by the Graduate Development Programme (GDP). 

New apprenticeship curriculum planned for
struggling South African tooling industry

By: Petronel Smit     21st May 2010 Industry association the National Tooling Initiative (NTI) plans to implement a re-orientation programme and an apprenticeship curriculum within the next four years in its aim to localise qualifications and standards in the struggling local tooling industry. 

Downgrading Sacu could have political, economic costs

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2010 There could be material consequences for both business and political relations within Southern Africa should there be any move by the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) to "downgrade" the relationship, which some believe has become an impediment to true regional... 

SA mulls the costs, benefits of transition to green economy

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th May 2010 Industrial competitiveness emerged as a key topic for debate on the second day of the Green Economy summit, in Johannesburg, as delegates started to grapple with the issues involved with the transition to a so-called green economy. Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) head of research and... 

SA economy may grow faster than forecast – IMF

By: Loni Prinsloo     19th May 2010 Sub-Saharan Africa could see economic growth of close to 5% in 2010, compared with a mere 2% in 2009, while South Africa's economy might grow faster than initial predictions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday. Speaking at the Johannesburg Media Club breakfast, IMF African... 

Green energy sector could create 300 000 jobs – Patel 

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th May 2010 South Africa's green economy role players must move with speed, as there were many other countries competing to get a slice of the global green economy, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. The green economy played a key role in South Africa's shift to a "new growth... 

Eskom at ‘severe' regulatory risk from climate change – study 

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2010 South Africa's State-owned power utility Eskom, which produces about one-half of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, is at "severe regulatory risk", nationally and internationally, from climate change, a newly released study asserts. The 105-page report, entitled ‘Climate Change: Risks and... 

KZN earmarks R11,09-billion capex

By: Henry Lazenby     14th May 2010 The treasury of KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN’s) provincial government has set aside a total of R11,09-billion for capital expenditure for infrastructure development in the 2010/11 financial year, 49% being earmarked for maintenance. 

Budget deals with challenges in eThekwini

By: Henry Lazenby     14th May 2010 The eThekwini municipality’s Council reportedly welcomed the 2010/11 draft budget totalling R26-billion, in March. 

Logistics company builds R1m training centre

By: Jacqueline Holman     14th May 2010 Logistics company Cargo Carriers has spent over R1-million on opening a training centre at its Sasolburg branch, which is expected to see about 17 students a year go through two training processes. 

Reunert's Pretorius opposes intervention to weaken the rand

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2010 The nearly 30% appreciation in the value of the rand against the US dollar in 2009, exacted a toll on JSE-listed Reunert during the six months to March 31, 2010. But the head of the company, which manufactures electrical, electronics and defence equipment, is not convinced by the arguments of... 

Sasol distances itself from calls for intervention to weaken rand

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol reiterated on Tuesday an earlier statement made by its CEO Pat Davies in March that it did not believe it would be wise for the South African authorities to intervene to influence the level of the rand. The company, which has described itself as... 

Nzimande wants workplaces to be sites of training

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande appealed to business on Tuesday to provide artisans and learners with access to their facilities to gain "structured workplace experience", the lack of which he described as the main constraint to meeting South Africa's skills development... 

Planning commission should not pander to govt – Zuma

By: Sapa     11th May 2010 The National Planning Commission should not pander to government or be afraid to challenge it, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. "At times you may want to face Cabinet and tell them off," Zuma said during the official appointment of the 26 commissioners at the Union Buildings.  

Manufacturing lobby teams up with labour to call for weaker rand  

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2010 A powerful, albeit beleaguered, section of South African business has teamed up with three of the countries largest trade unions in a bid to force government to intervene to weaken the buoyant South Africa currency, which rose 30% against US dollar in 2009 and has held on to many of those gains... 

Ramaphosa unveils black-owned business directory 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th May 2010 A new directory of 100% black-owned South African businesses, dubbed the ‘Black Pages', was unveiled on Friday by Shanduka Group executive chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa. The publication was an initiative undertaken by Shanduka Black Umbrellas, an incubation and mentoring initiative for black-owned... 

Growing appetite for project financing of SA infrastructure

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The pipeline of South African infrastructure projects that could be funded through project finance-type mechanisms has grown to unprecedented levels, Nedbank Capital’s head of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications Mike Peo argues. He tells Engineering News that Nedbank Capital alone,... 

SA studies Brazil’s model for leveraging industry through procurement

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The decision by the Brazilian government to set a 65% to 75% local-content condition on companies seeking to secure concessional funding from the country’s influential development bank, BNDES, has been key to boosting manufacturing investment and industrial production in the South American... 

Jobs to come first as SA mulls its low-carbon options - government 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2010 There were some congruencies, but also some obvious tensions in attempting to transition South Africa to a "low-carbon, high-growth" path, the acting head of The Presidency's National Planning Commission secretariat, Kuben Naidoo, cautioned Thursday. Speaking at a seminar in Johannesburg,... 


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