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Economy News

State should seize iron-ore initiative and move debate into developmental realm

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2010 Without question, there is very little sympathy out there for ArcelorMittal South Africa in its fight to hold on to a favourable 25-year iron-ore arrangement with Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC). The main reason is that the benefits of the 2001 Iscor unbundling agreement - engineered primarily to... 

Trade activity back in positive territory

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th March 2010 The Trade Activity Index (TAI) returned to positive territory in February, improving to 54 points, mainly as a result of improvements in the sales and new orders subindices, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reported on Wednesday. After measuring 51 points in November,... 

Business confidence returns to precrisis level

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th March 2010 While the 15-point climb in the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) quarterly Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the first quarter of 2010 was “heartening”, RMB chief economist Ettienne le Roux warned that the improvement remained patchy and “heavily leveraged” towards... 

IMF working on $100bn ‘green fund’ – Strauss-Kahn 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th March 2010 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “working on the idea of a green fund” to raise $100-billion a year by 2020 to mitigate the impacts of climate change on developing economies, IMF MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a conference in Kenya on Monday. He noted that climate change could “well be... 

Patel’s development plan ‘workable’ – economist  

By: Loni Prinsloo     5th March 2010 Investec economist Annabel Bishop has described Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel's proposal to use pension funds to promote development as "workable". This comes as Patel revealed that he was exploring ways of investing private and public retirement funds in development projects by... 

Tourism remains biggest potential for growth beyond 2010

By: Petronel Smit     5th March 2010 The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism reports that the biggest potential for economic growth in the province resides in the tourism industry, particularly through its Beyond the 90 Minutes campaign - which aims to get FIFA World Cup fans out into the region, but also... 

New framework for skills development

By: Eleanor Seggie     5th March 2010 The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) is tackling the skills shortage in the paper industry through the implementation of its newly developed national research framework. 

Consumer Protection Act in sync with requirements of modern economy – National Consumer Forum

By: Dennis Ndaba     5th March 2010 This year is going to be a memorable year for most citizens of this country, National Consumer Forum chairperson Thamsanqa Bolani told the Swiss Chamber Southern Africa luncheon, last month. 

SA is an attractive investment destination − Zuma 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th March 2010 The prospects for South Africa’s economic recovery was promising, while the country remained an “excellent destination” for investment in all sectors, including the manufacturing and mining sectors, President Jacob Zuma told the British Parliament on Thursday. Zuma had undertaken his first State... 

Unions may bring forward power strikes 

By: Reuters     4th March 2010 South Africa's powerful trade union federation on Thursday threatened strikes before October over big electricity price rises and declined to say whether action could start before the soccer World Cup in June. "The last thing we want to do is disrupt the World Cup but our interest is bigger than... 

SA’s business confidence rises on positive economic developments

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd March 2010 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) responded to positive medium-term economic developments and rose to 83 points in February, rebounding by 1,8 points on the 81,2 recorded in January. The BCI had lost some momentum over the festive... 

Stringent conditions placed on SA bail-out beneficiaries

By: Jade Davenport     2nd March 2010 Those financially distressed companies that have received or are seeking State support have to comply with stringent conditions, covering everything from executive bonuses to limiting job cuts, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. 

Cabinet to consider new growth plan by midyear

By: Jade Davenport     2nd March 2010 Government's economic sectors and employment cluster, which has been mandated to grow the economy and create jobs, is in the process of developing a ‘Growth Plan' for consideration during the mid-year Cabinet lekgotla. Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Science and Technology... 

Tribunal conditionally approves Chlor Alkali/Botash merger

By: Loni Prinsloo     1st March 2010 South Africa's Competition Tribunal, further to the recommendation of the Competition Commission, conditionally approved the merger between Chlor Alkali Holdings (CAH) and Botswana Ash (Botash) on Friday. Initially, the Competition Commission recommended that the Tribunal prohibit the merger,... 

Minister Davies to seek urgent meetings with Kumba, ArcelorMittal and Anglo

By: Terence Creamer     27th February 2010 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will seek urgent meetings with Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), Anglo American (KIO's majority shareholder) and ArcelorMittal South Africa to discuss the reasons for, as well as the implications of, KIO's announcement that it would cancel the cost plus 3% iron-ore... 

Young Sessa initiative launched

By: Lindsey Berry     26th February 2010 The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (Sessa) launched its Young Sessa initiative with a presentation and workshop at Northcliff High School, in northern Johannesburg, on Thursday. 

Quality, skills key to tackling international competition

By: Schalk Burger     26th February 2010 Hard, dedicated work, quality consciousness and the employment of well-trained and qualified food scientists and technologists are the ingredients needed to ensure that the South African food industry can withstand the fierce competition from other countries. A dedicated, disciplined attitude and... 

Steel industry lags behind in skills development

By: Eleanor Seggie     26th February 2010 The South African steel industry lacks technical and engineering skills and training given that, from 1998 to 2007, only 12,9% of the students enrolled across all engineering courses at universities and technikons achieved a degree or diploma (41 480 of the almost 321 460 enrolments). 

Local IT company tackles skills challenge

By: Jacqueline Holman     26th February 2010 Business information technology (IT) solutions company iSolve is tackling the skills shortage in South Africa, by providing basic IT training to unemployed school leavers and graduates with no experience. 

Surprises, even some unhappy ones, in the so-called Budget of no surprises 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2010 The conventional wisdom surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s inaugural Budget is that it was a sound “business as usual” Budget, with few surprises. But closer analysis reveals a number of surprises, some of which could be considered unhappy ones. The first surprise (happy for some, but... 

SA big business wants growth-driven 2040 vision to be new national goal 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2010 Big business in South Africa has initiated a campaign, loosely dubbed 'Vision 2040', which sets out as its overall goal the transformation of the country from a developing to developed one over 30 years. To achieve that, a target of doubling gross domestic product (GDP) per person over the period... 

SA economy grows 3,2% as manufacturing picks up

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd February 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 1,4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2009, while GDP growth for the year was down 1,8% on that of 2008, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. However, the country's GDP expanded by 3,2% in the final three months of the... 

Africa's economic growth may reach 7% in 2011

By: Jade Davenport     22nd February 2010 Economic growth in Africa was expected to rise to 5% this year and could reach 7% in 2011, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka said on Sunday. Kaberuka was addressing a panel of finance ministry and bank officials at the AfDB's Committee of Ten (C10) meeting in Cape Town at... 

Bank’s small business unit offering support beyond banking

By: Jacqueline Holman     19th February 2010 In South Africa, small businesses account for about 40% of economic activity, yet provide 60% of employment creation, which is partly why Nedbank Small Business Services is offering a number of banking and nonbanking interventions to aid entrepreneurs and assist national social transformation. 

Fundamentals in place to make engineering the profession of choice

By: Lindsey Berry     19th February 2010 Africa has been pegged as one of the key hubs for development in the future and the availability of engineering skills will be critical in the implementation of much-needed new infrastructure on the continent. 

Industrial policy success hinges on job creation, Davies says

By: Jade Davenport     18th February 2010 An estimated 825 706 direct and 2,5-million indirect jobs could be created over the next ten years through the successful implementation of South Africa's now much-vaunted Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), the second round of which would run from 2010/11 to 2012/13, Trade and Industry... 

Tribunal ruling opens way for civil claims against SAA

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th February 2010 A new Competition Tribunal ruling in relation to incentive schemes implemented by South African Airway (SAA) between 2001 and 2005 has paved the way for Comair and Nationwide to claim damages from the State-owned airline, the Tribunal confirmed on Thursday. It had, on Wednesday, ruled that SAA’s... 

SA aims to raise youth employment with wage subsidy

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th February 2010 Given that job creation and high levels of youth unemployment were two of South Africa's biggest challenges, government would aim to raise the employment levels of young school leavers by an additional 500 000 by 2013, through a proposed youth wage-subsidy scheme. About 870 000 jobs were lost in... 

R3,6bn more for industry incentives, but big industrial plan will need off-Budget fillip

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African government has set aside an additional R3,6-billion for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to partly support the second version of its Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap2, which will run from April 1, 2010, through to March 31, 2013 - details on the much discussed... 

Gordhan provides details on R846bn infrastructure plan

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th February 2010 While the public sector continued with plans to spend R845,6-billion on infrastructure over the next three years, government had also started with extensive planning and consultation on the required infrastructure programmes for the coming ten to 20 years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on... 

Gordhan holds steady on inflation target, but hints to broader SARB mandate

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will continue to target inflation within a range of 3% to 6%, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed in his inaugural Budget address to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday. He also stressed that government was committed to the Constitutional stipulation... 

Gordhan likely to take small steps in first Budget

By: Sapa     16th February 2010 Economists expect little real intervention from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan when he pronounces on the thorny issues of inflation targeting and the exchange rate in his first annual Budget on Wednesday amid sustained public debate on both. Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine said calls... 

New industrial plan to outline sector job targets and timeframes 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2010 The second version of South Africa's much-debated Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap2, will include specific timeframes for the achievement of sectoral job-creation targets and will seek to kick-start so-called "green industries", Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies told Parliament on... 

SA economy seen growing in 2010, CPI to fall below 6% 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th February 2010 While South Africa was likely to see gross domestic product (GDP) growth of about 2,7% this year and 3,5% in 2011, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) on Monday warned that the global economy could suffer a growth relapse at the end of this year or early in 2011. In a quarterly economic... 

Chabane moots regulator for the regulators

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th February 2010 A single regulatory coordinator, under the Competition Commission, was being considered by the South African government to enhance consistency and quality of regulation, Minister in The Presidency Collins Chabane said on Friday. The announcement was met with enthusiasm and surprise among the... 

Davies to unveil expanded industrial policy plan next week

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2010 South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will provide insight into the newly approved Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), for the period 2010 to 2013, at a briefing on Thursday. The briefing will take place in Cape Town the day after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is scheduled... 

Chabane outlines plan to improve govt performance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th February 2010 Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane on Friday outlined some of the 12 performance outcomes that government has set itself. He noted that Cabinet had already approved nine of the 12 outcomes last year, with the remaining three to be discussed in... 


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