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Economy News

SA may set up fund to boost jobs, industrial development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 The South African government is considering the creation of a fund to support industrial development and job creation, the National Treasury reported on Tuesday. The fund would be made up largely of existing spending programmes and tax breaks, with clear, measurable job-creation targets. 

Gordhan charts steady macro course, with tax warning

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2009 South Africa should maintain expansionary fiscal and monetary policies "only for as long as is necessary", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) address to Parliament on Tuesday, in which he provided few signs of a material leftward... 

Treasury eases exchange controls, prioritises jobs

By: Sapa     27th October 2009 With tax revenues for the current financial year expected to be more than R70-billion down on the February forecast, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday eased exchange controls in an effort to stimulate investment in South Africa's flagging economy. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy... 

Eskom's IPP cost claims may be misleading 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2009 The assertion by Eskom that the average nominal tariff would increase by 42,8% a year as opposed to 45% a year over the next three years should independent power producers (IPPs) be excluded from its revenue-requirement mix, is arguably somewhat misleading. In its application to the National... 

Cope, DA want Gordhan to show he's boss

By: Sapa     26th October 2009 The Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People on Monday called on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to show he is firmly in control of macro-economic policy when he tables his first budget on Tuesday. The parties said it was up to the former revenue service commissioner to show that "the... 

SA expected to exit recession by Q4 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd October 2009 South Africa is likely to be out of the recession by the fourth quarter of this year, while gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1,5% is expected in 2010, Investec economist Annabel Bishop said on Friday. South Africa’s recovery is lagging global recovery by one to two quarters, owing to the... 

State mulls disposals, partnerships to release value from property portfolio

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2009 The Department of Public Works (DPW) was working on a far-reaching initiative to extract greater economic and social value from its large property portfolio (reportedly the single largest property holding in the country), Minister Geoff Doidge has revealed. Addressing the Construction Industry... 

Competition-related fines dent 2009 profits

By: Lindsey Berry     23rd October 2009 One-off charges, most notably competition related fines, Inzalo share-based payment expenses and remeasurement items for the Escravos gas-to-liquids project, significantly affected South African petrochemicals giant Sasol’s operating profit figures for 2009. 

Group celebrates 
thirtieth anniversary 
of JSE listing

By: Lindsey Berry     23rd October 2009 South African petrochemicals giant Sasol will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of its listing on the JSE at the end of this month. 

Durban to host first world soya bean research conference on African soil in 2013

By: Darren Parker     23rd October 2009 The city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, has won the bid to host the 2013 World Soybean Research Conference (WSRC) to be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.  

Programme launches in bid to deepen SA’s nonexecutives pool

By: Darren Parker     23rd October 2009 In an effort to help widen the pool of South African skilled nonexecutives, a mentorship programme was launched in the country this month that will see some of the its top chairpersons and chief executives, as well as a number of international top executives, lending their expertise as mentors to... 

Economist warns that rand could retreat again

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd October 2009 The local economy should start picking up a little, perhaps not as much as previously expected, but the outlook for South Africa’s economy remained positive in the short term, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine told members of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry... 

SA is not exploiting the benefits of skilled migration - CDE  

22nd October 2009 South Africa's migration policy should focus on the interest of its citizens, rather than the interest of immigrants and refugees, a think tank said on Thursday. The country had to become more welcoming to skilled immigrants and had thus far neither managed the costs, nor exploited the benefits,... 

No retrenchments, no bonuses IDC bail-out beneficiaries told

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2009 Strict conditions had been placed on those firms that had, or would, receive bail-out money from the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), including restrictions on retrenchments, dividends and executive bonuses. Executive and chief economist Lumkile Mondi reported this week that... 

SA's GDP to shrink about 2% in '09 - Gordhan

By: Reuters     22nd October 2009 South Africa's economy will probably contract by around 2% this year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. "In South Africa we were doing quite well as a modest economy with an average growth of about 5% in the last five years. For this year, we'll probably be closer to minus 2%.... 

Rampant rand is decimating SA's real economy, IDC economist asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     21st October 2009 South Africa's real economy could be decimated "within months" unless urgent action was taken to weaken the rampant rand, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) executive and chief economist Lumkile Mondi said on Wednesday. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Metal and Engineering... 

M&R warns that rand strength, project hitches could hurt earnings

By: Terence Creamer     21st October 2009 South African engineering contractor Murray & Roberts (M&R) warned on Wednesday that its interim and full-year earnings could be affected by the prevailing strength of the South African currency, as well as by performance-related issues at some of its major projects in South Africa and in the... 

Nzimande calls on employers to provide training for FET students 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th October 2009 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, with the support of government, the Department of Higher Education and Training and the provincial education departments, had to make every effort to “mobilise employers” to provide work placement opportunities for FET students, Higher Education and... 

Steel group may face new excessive-pricing battle as tin-plate complaint is lodged

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2009 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa may face its fifth separate competition case in less than a decade, and its second excessive-pricing matter, after the South African government lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission earlier in the year on behalf of disgruntled tin-plate... 

US invests $6,7m in SA’s FET colleges 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2009 The United States Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has partnered with the Higher Education and Training department in a $6,7-million (about R50-million) programme to strengthen academic programmes, skills development training and student support services at 12 local Further Education and... 

Eskom plans global bond issuance for first half of 2010 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2009 South African power utility Eskom was making provision for an international bond issuance during the first half of 2010 as part of a planned programme to raise some R40-billion a year between 2010 and 2013, so as to partly cover funding shortfalls associated with its R400-billion build... 

Conference to provide 
platform for opportunities for growth

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th October 2009 The hospitality industry is showing healthy growth in spite of the current economic climate says financial services provider First National Bank tourism head Pieter de Bruin. 

SA climbs five places in productivity ranking

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2009 Although South Africa has experienced slight improvements over past few years in areas, such as the availability of qualified engineers and an uptick in skilled labour, more work is needed in support of efforts to build a highly competitive economy, said Productivity SA executive manager of... 

Eskom pins power-savings hopes on ‘high-impact’ advisory offerings, as budgets are cut

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2009 State power utility Eskom confirmed in early October that electricity demand was starting to return to levels last witnessed ahead of the economic recession. The supply/demand balance - which eased materially in late 2008 and in the first half of this year, as mines and smelters aligned their... 

$2,7bn smelter becomes power-crunch casualty  

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2009 Global aluminium giant Rio Tinto Alcan and South Africa's power utility Eskom confirmed on Thursday that plans for the proposed $2,7-billion Coega smelter project, which was destined for South Africa's Eastern Cape province, had been terminated, owing to Eskom's capacity constraints. In a joint... 

SA faces tough A400M decision as price-tag surges to R47bn 

By: Sapa     15th October 2009 Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has to cancel a deal to buy eight military transport aircraft after costs rocketed by R30-billion, a Democratic Alliance MP said on Wednesday. David Maynier said unless the programme to buy eight Airbus A400M transport planed was terminated, the taxpayer would... 

Kusile deferment canvassed in Eskom application

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2009 South African power utility Eskom played down the possibility of deferring the R100-billion-plus Kusile coal-fired power station project, being built in Mpumalanga province, when releasing its tariff application earlier this week. However, it has indicated to the regulator that it may be left... 

Residential building sector downward spiral close to a bottom

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2009 The downward spiral in the residential building sector was probably close to a bottom, First National Bank (FNB) chief economist Cees Bruggemans reported on Tuesday, adding that the normalisation of the destocking cycle of building merchants at the retail level had resulted in improved demand... 

SA trade activity moves into positive territory

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2009 The Trade Activity Index (TAI), which surged to 53 points in September, moved into positive territory for the first time since November 2007 and was expected to remain at this level in the short term as the trade environment came to terms with more favourable trade conditions, the South African... 

Eskom to face R30bn funding gap even after hikes of 45% yearly for three years 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2009 South Africa's financially stressed electricity utility Eskom argued on Tuesday that power prices should already be at a level of between 80 c/kWh and 88 c/kWh, rather than the prevailing 33 c/kWh, and that a rising price path was "painful, yet unavoidable" in order to migrate towards a more... 

IDC seeks ‘lead arranger' for domestic bond programme

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2009 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which last raised a bond some 20 years ago, is seeking proposals from South African-registered banks and financial institutions regarding its planned domestic bond programme. The development finance institution (DFI) expects to approve R70-billion in... 

Strong rand not competitive - Minister Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2009 The South African currency was currently not "competitive" and was also not conducive to industrial development, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Monday. He added that the South African government stood ready to "defend" what it saw as "strategic industrial capacity", as well as... 

SA’s short-term economic outlook positive – economist  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th October 2009 The local economy should start picking up a little, perhaps not as much as previously expected, but the outlook for South Africa’s economy remained positive in the short term, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine told members of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry on... 

BEE remains elusive for most historically disadvantaged South Africans – KPMG

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 After 15 years of democracy in South Africa, black economic empowerment remains elusive for the majority of black South Africans, auditing firm KPMG restructuring advisory MD Sandile Hlophe said this week, following the release of KPMG’s latest national black economic-empowerment (BEE) survey. 

Parliamentary committee exploring possibility of
building varsities in Limpopo, Northern Cape

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 Parliament is exploring the possibility of establishing new universities in the two provinces that lack such institutions, announced Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training chairperson Marius Fransman, last month. 

How one SA company mines SA’s satellite-imagery resource to make life easier while making a profit 

By: Leandi Kolver     9th October 2009 There’s more to geography than capitals, clouds and tornados, climate, countries, people, maps, and flags. Today, geography is a serious consumer-facing business, helping us to reach our destinations with the aid of global positioning systems (GPS) on our cell phones, or even the simple road map,... 

Even Eskom's ‘smoothed' scenario will feel like a spike to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would probably only publish power utility Eskom's tariff application in November, despite the fact that some of its contents have started to leak into the public domain. The leaks come amidst heightened interest about what is contained in the... 


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