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Economy News

February trade conditions improve – Sacci

By: Henry Lazenby     14th March 2012 Trade conditions had a slow start in January, but gained momentum during February, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday. The chamber’s nonseasonally adjusted Trade Activity Index (TAI) increased by nine points to 57 in February, while the seasonally adjusted TAI... 

Aveng set to participate in Franco-Chinese nuclear bid consortium  

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2012 South African construction group Aveng is mobilising internally for a possible nuclear energy bidding process, indicating on Wednesday that it was likely to participate in a consortium involving French and Chinese partners. In an interview with Engineering News Online CE Roger Jardine confirmed... 

Aveng positive on SA infrastructure push, but expects market to remain ‘soft’ 18 months 

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2012 Construction group Aveng does not expect the South African government’s strong policy focus on infrastructure to decisively alter the “soft” market conditions for the coming 18 months. But CE Roger Jardine says the attention being given to infrastructure is positive and should eventually begin... 

Manuel calls on South Africans to embrace key drivers 

By: SA News     14th March 2012 South Africans have been urged to embrace the five key factors that have become crucial to the changing world we live in. Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel on Wednesday addressed MPs at a workshop in Parliament on the National Development Plan, which details... 

Building confidence rises in first quarter

By: Henry Lazenby     13th March 2012 Building confidence in the first quarter of the year jumped to its highest level since the final months of 2010, boosted by higher confidence among contractors, building material manufacturers and quantity surveyors. The First National Bank (FNB) and the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) on... 

South African businesses urged to assess water supply risk  

By: Henry Lazenby     12th March 2012 About 85% of water-intensive users among the JSE’s Top 100 companies are exposed to water-related risk, with 70% believing that their operations could be directly affected in the near term, a report revealed on Monday. However, most companies still needed to identify water risk in their supply... 

Sasol moves ahead with 140 MW gas-fired Moz power plant study 

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2012 JSE-listed energy group Sasol says it is well advanced with a feasibility investigation into a 140 MW gas-fired power plant, which could be developed near Ressano Garcia, in Mozambique. The project, which had not yet been board sanctioned, could be pursued in joint venture between Sasol and... 

Nersa lowers 2012 power price increase from 25.9% to 16% 

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2012 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has revised lower Eskom's power tariff increases for the period April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, from the 25.9% approved previously to 16%. In addition, Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) indicated at the weekend that they... 

South African business leaders lag developed country peers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2012 South Africa’s business leadership potential is ahead of that in other countries in the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) grouping but lags leadership levels in the developed G8 nations and is slightly below the global average, states talent assessment company SHL. 

Partnership to promote youth entrepreneurship in SA, Canada, Mexico and the US

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2012 Steel mining giant ArcelorMittal’s nonprofit organisation arm ArcelorMittal Foundation and entrepreneurial development organisation Ashoka report that they have signed a partnership to support youth entrepreneurship in areas where ArcelorMittal has operations.  

Training scheme integrated into residential resort roll-out

By: Dimakatso Motau     9th March 2012 The development of Steyn City along the Jukskei river, in Johannesburg, provides an opportunity for residents of Diepsloot to acquire valuable skills and work oppotunities.  

Municipality empowers apprentices through college tie-up

By: Dimakatso Motau     9th March 2012 Tuition has been offered to 73 apprentices by the City of Cape Town to further their education and develop their skills at Northlink College’s Bellville and Belhar campuses. 

Absa launches small-business funding, support programme 

By: Schalk Burger     9th March 2012 Commercial bank Absa has launched a small, medium- and micro-sized enterprise (SMME) funding and support programme, including commercial skills development and support, to create thousands of SMMEs in South Africa in a reasonably short time frame, says Absa Business Markets head Marcel de Klerk. 

Skills shortage a weak link in the paper chain

By: Yolandi Booyens     9th March 2012 The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) is recruiting young postgraduate chemical engineering students into the paper and pulp industry and will, going forward, start its recruitment drive earlier in the year to ensure it meets its targets. 

Seta endorses TWP’s new drawing office training centre 

By: Schalk Burger     9th March 2012 Engineering company TWP’s recently accredited drawing office training centre went through a rigorous assessment to receive its official recognition and has a number of tips to share with new schools aiming for this endorsement by the industry Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta), says... 

Cement sales rose again in February

By: Henry Lazenby     8th March 2012 Cement sales increased to 884 700 t in February, statistics released by the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) showed on Thursday. This was a 7.4% year-on-year increase and a 13.6% increase on the 779 003 t sold in January. 

Lafarge pays R149m fine to settle cement cartel case

By: Henry Lazenby     8th March 2012 The Competition Commission on Thursday reached a settlement with Lafarge Industries South Africa in which the cement producer admitted that it took part in the cement cartel. Lafarge agreed to pay a penalty of R148.72-million, which represented 6% of its 2010 turnover in the Southern African... 

17 strategic projects prioritised by President’s infrastructure body 

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2012 Cabinet has approved the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission's (PICC’s) second ‘Infrastructure Implementation Plan’ report, which includes a framework outlining an integrated management and delivery system for 17 strategic infrastructure projects (Sips) across all three spheres of... 

Cabinet refuses to blink despite e-toll protests 

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2012 The South African government showed little sign on Thursday of changing its stance on the e-tolling of Gauteng’s upgraded motorways. In a statement issued the day after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) led a well-support national protest on the issue (as well as to call for a... 

State unable to ensure implementation of development plan alone 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     7th March 2012 The biggest challenge that could hinder the success of the National Planning Commission’s (NPC’s) National Development Plan (NDP) was implementation, NPC commissioner Bobby Godsell said on Wednesday. A draft version of the plan was currently under discussion, with the public and business sectors... 

Coface outlines SA GDP growth enablers, dampers

By: Henry Lazenby     7th March 2012 South African companies would remain risk and sales focused this year, as they sought to manage the international economic changes and additional domestic costs burdens, credit solutions provider Coface said on Wednesday, as it outlined the main gross domestic product (GDP) growth enablers and... 

Gordhan calls for labour law reforms

By: Sapa     7th March 2012 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has called for labour market reforms, according to a report on Wednesday. "Given the scale of the unemployment challenge, no single policy offers the solution…. What is needed is a comprehensive set of reforms that maximise job creation," Gordhan said in an... 

Gauteng moves to bolster capacity ahead of R30.6bn infrastructure roll-out

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2012 Gauteng Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe promised on Tuesday that the province would deal with the “twin evils” of incapacity and infrastructure underspending when unveiling a R30.6-billion infrastructure roll-out for the country’s economic powerhouse, as part of a three-year expenditure plan worth... 

BP economist questions economic logic of new SA refinery  

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2012 BP chief economist Christof Ruehl has questioned the economic logic of South Africa’s plan to build a new crude oil refinery. 

Strike action could damage SA economy 

By: SA News     6th March 2012 The planned Cosatu industrial action has the potential to damage the South African economy, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) has warned.  

Now SA tests IPP market appetite for conventional power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2012 South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Treasury have issued a request for information (RFI) from potential developers of cogeneration facilities, as well as those coal-fired power stations, natural gas facilities and imported hydropower opportunities that could be introduced... 

SA’s second renewables bid window closes 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2012 The second bid window for the procurement of 3 725 MW of renewable energy capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) closed at 18:00 on Monday, with 2 309 MW still available for allocation to developers. The Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Treasury told Engineering News Online... 

SA sets up project register as part of wider move to arrest underspending

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2012 The South African government is developing a comprehensive project register, which will be updated quarterly, to improve expenditure monitoring, as well as the management of infrastructure programmes. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says the ‘tool’, known as the Construction Industry... 

‘All systems go’ for Cosatu-led labour broking, toll protest action  

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th March 2012 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) and the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) have expressed concern over the Congress of South African Trade Unions- (Cosatu-) led national stayaway, which is planned on Wednesday. Seifsa said the protest action would result in a... 

No need for inflation target debate – ANC

By: Reuters     5th March 2012 South Africa's Reserve Bank is aware that inflation targeting must be pursued with economic growth in mind so there is no need for a discussion of the central bank's mandate, a senior official from the ruling ANC party said on Monday. A local paper reported on Sunday the ANC was mulling reforms... 

Strong economic case for lifting shale exploration ban, economist argues  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2012 The material macroeconomic, energy security and employment benefits that could potentially flow from developing the southern Karoo’s shale-gas resources offered a compelling case for government to consider lifting the current ban on exploration, a leading South African economist argues. Speaking... 

Sydney Mhlarhi appointed to PPC board

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd March 2012 JSE-listed Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) on Friday announced that it had appointed Sydney Mhlarhi as a nonexecutive director to its board with effect from March 1. Mhlarhi was appointed as a representative of the PPC consortium of strategic black partners and as a member the deal committee and... 

South Africa needs to relieve supply-chain constraints   

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd March 2012 Research undertaken by logistics group Barloworld Logistics on Friday revealed the possibility that South Africa may soon lose its role as the world’s ‘gateway to Africa’ if it does not respond to rising competition from other African countries. In its ninth publication of ‘supplychainforesight’... 

SA group to boost technical education and use air team to attract young to study

By: Keith Campbell     2nd March 2012 Industrial and mining group Eqstra is to invest some R36-million in supporting technical education in the country over the next five years. “We’ve adopted ten technical high schools around the country,” reports company CEO Walter Hill. “Most of these schools have got boarding facilities and... 

Black industrialists needed as South Africa shifts to investment-led growth path 

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2012 Black business in South Africa was encouraged on Thursday to align its future endeavours to the country's new 'investment-led' economic growth path, which would require the emergence of a new class of black industrialists. Speaking at the launch of the Black Business Council (BBC), Finance... 

Cabinet to consider labour amendments - Motlanthe

By: SA News     1st March 2012 Cabinet is to consider amendments to the Labour Relations Act in the coming months and is pursuing several measures to ensure more jobs are created, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told MPs on Wednesday. 

Hyprop reports 7.3% distribution growth 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th February 2012 Listed specialised shopping centre fund Hyprop on Wednesday reported 7.3% distribution growth to 383c/unit for the year ended December 31, 2011, with second half growth coming in at 10.4%. 


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