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Economy News

Economist says yet more rand strength likely

By: Irma Venter     19th November 2010 Rand Merchant Bank chief economist Ettienne le Roux says he does not exclude the possibility that the rand may strengthen further against the dollar in the next months, “or even quarters”. 

Study calls for migration overhaul, govt says review under way 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2010 A fundamental shift in South Africa's migration policy is required to deal with the country's prevailing skills crisis, a newly published report argues, adding that even much-needed improvements to the domestic education and training environment will not be sufficient to deal with what is a... 

Financial sector makes advances in employment equity

By: Loni Prinsloo     16th November 2010 The face of the financial services sector in South Africa is changing, with black representation in top and senior management more than doubling over the past decade, but the country is facing a growing shortage of professional skills, said research firm Landelahni executive Sandra Burmeister.... 

SA to unveil 'multidimensional' growth recovery package in Feb 

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2010 South Africa is in the process of developing a "multidimensional package" to deal with its critical economic challenges of unemployment and poverty, as well as to help it cope with prevailing global economic imbalances, including destabilising capital inflows, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said... 

G20 leaders near agreement, if not progress 

By: Reuters     12th November 2010 G20 leaders will agree to set vague "indicative guidelines" measuring economic imbalances at Friday's summit but leave details to be hammered out in 2011, effectively calling a timeout after heated debate over currencies. Negotiators labored until the wee hours of the morning to thrash out an... 

SA’s wine industry struggles to recover – Wosa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th November 2010 The wine industry is under pressure, mainly owing to the strong rand and the ongoing effects of the recession, says industry organisation Wines of South Africa (Wosa) communications director André Morgenthal. “The South African wine industry, which is struggling to recover as it experiences the... 

SA receives €138-million for development projects

12th November 2010 The European Commission has approved €138-million to improve health care, official development assistance (ODA) management and high-level human resource development in South Africa, during October. 

New learnerships for freight forwarding

By: Jessica Hannah     12th November 2010 The Transport Education Training Authority (Teta) in partnership with the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff) has introduced new learnerships in the freight forwarding industry. 

R350m baby-care products manufacturing facility opens in Joburg

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     12th November 2010 Multinational firm Procter and Gamble (P&G) officially opened a manufacturing plant for its baby care brand Pampers, in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, and at the same time celebrated 15 years of the nappy brand in South Africa. 

Strong rand, weak G7 economies weigh on SA exports, but no easy answers

By: Irma Venter     12th November 2010 Exports from South Africa are less hampered by the strong rand than by the poor performance of the G7 economies, says Econometrix senior director Tony Twine.

He notes that the rand’s foreign exchange value is a matter of hot debate at the moment, as South African producers and exporters believe... 

Drivers of rand strength to persist for ‘some time’ – BER

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th November 2010 The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) on Thursday revised its average rand forecast for the fourth quarter from R8,45 to the dollar to R7,50 and added that the current drivers of rand strength could persist for “some time”. These drivers included large foreign capital flows into emerging... 

Manufacturing output growth slows to 1,4%

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th November 2010 Manufacturing production came in below expectation in September, expanding by only 1,4% year-on-year. Efficient Group economist Freddie Mitchell commented that the latest manufacturing data was “not good”, given that the sector had been the main driver of South Africa’s gross domestic product... 

Trade activity index edges up in October

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th November 2010 Current trade conditions remained in positive territory in October, with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Trade Activity Index (TAI) improving by one point month-on-month to 52 in October. All the components of the TAI changed marginally between September and... 

World too diverse for common investment approach – Zuma

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th November 2010 It would be risky to take the simplification or elimination of rules in terms of an international framework for investment to the extreme, President Jacob Zuma warned at the Group of Twenty (G20) business summit in Seoul. He said that while the G20 was hoping to agree on an international... 

New growth path imperatives form basis for Seta overhaul

By: Loni Prinsloo     9th November 2010 Three underperforming, or subeconomic, sector education and training authorities (Setas) have been axed as part of the long-awaited restructuring exercise, while others are to be realigned and restructured in line with South Africa's emerging growth imperatives. The three entities that have been... 

Over-valued rand could punish exporters some more, warns RMB chief economist 

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2010 Rand Merchant Bank chief economist Ettienne le Roux says that he cannot exclude the possibility that the rand may strengthen further against the dollar in the next months, “or even quarters”. Officially, Le Roux’s forecast is that the rand will average around R6,5 to R7 to the dollar in 2010,... 

Global solution needed to deal with capital inflows – Gordhan 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th November 2010 The Group of Twenty (G20) economies would have to find a formula to deal with both the source and the destination of the huge capital flows that were impacting on the currencies of a number of developing economies and the competitiveness of these economies, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on... 

SA will weigh currency options if G20 fails to deliver

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2010 South Africa will have to reassess its currency options, should the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Korea on November 11 and 12 fail to deliver a global solution to the current problem of emerging market currency strength, South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister warned on Monday.... 

Gordhan 'concerned' about US Fed move 

By: Sapa     5th November 2010 South Africa is "concerned" about the US Federal Reserve's decision to pump more money into the economy as it will negatively affect developing countries, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Friday. "Developing countries, including South Africa, will bear the brunt of the US decision to open... 

Mobile science lab reaches 12 780 learners, 
thanks to donated van 

By: Petronel Smit     5th November 2010 The donation of a Nissan PrimaStar van from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in 2009 has enabled the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Newtown, Johannesburg, to extend the reach of the Emasondondo mobile science laboratory project to reach 23 schools and 12 780 learners in 2010. 

Economic prospects improving, but jobs still a concern

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th November 2010 While South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was expected to moderate in the second half of this year, after having accelerated to an annualised rate of 3,9% in the first six months, the economy was still expected to grow by 3% in 2010. Economic growth in the second half of the year... 

Generating praise and concern 

By: Eleanor Seggie     5th November 2010 Despite the concerns surrounding the new Companies Act, No 71 of 2008, and the lengthy period to finalise it, the aim of the Act is to make business proceedings easier, says global accounting and consulting firm Deloitte accounting and auditing senior manager Dr Johan Erasmus.  

SA slips in ease of business rankings – World Bank survey 

By: Loni Prinsloo     4th November 2010 South Africa ranks 34th out of 183 countries in the World Bank's ‘Doing Business 2011' report, which was released on Thursday, placing the country just below Taiwan and above Mexico. South Africa slipped two places from the 32nd position in the 2010 survey. 

SA business confidence falls in October

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd November 2010 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday that its business confidence index (BCI) retreated by 1,9 points from 87,8 points in September to 85,9 in October. This follows on an improvement of 5,8 points from May to September this year. "In times of economic... 

Pioneer agrees to anti-competitive reparations worth R1bn 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd November 2010 Food producer Pioneer Foods has agreed to pay reparations worth a combined R1-billion for anti-competitive behaviour, including fines totalling R445-million - the largest penalty ever imposed on a single company. In a settlement described as "groundbreaking" by Competition Commissioner Shan... 

Remove bottlenecks in skills pipeline — Nzimande

By: Sapa     2nd November 2010 Artificial bottlenecks in the skills development pipeline need to be removed and equity and access for all achieved, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday. Briefing the media on his delivery and performance agreements with President Jacob Zuma, Nzimande said... 

Deliberately weakened rand could 'bite us in the leg', warns Twine 

By: Irma Venter     2nd November 2010 Exports from South Africa were less hampered by the strong rand than by the poor performance of the G7 economies, said Econometrix senior director Tony Twine on Tuesday, speaking at a Ford media briefing. He noted that the rand’s foreign exchange value was a matter of hot debate at the moment,... 

PMI improves but remains below 50-point level

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st November 2010 The Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remained below the neutral 50-point level in October, but the major subcomponents of the index posted gains for the month. The PMI, which is a key measure of manufacturing activity, improved to 49,8 points in October, after having dropped below the... 

Productivity gains key to economic growth – Parsons 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th October 2010 Productivity gains had to be a core factor in driving economic growth in South Africa and not merely viewed as the result of economic activity, Business Unity South Africa deputy CEO Raymond Parsons said on Friday. In a keynote address at the Productivity SA annual dinner, he noted that as... 

New organisation set up to bolster public participation

By: Petronel Smit     29th October 2010 The significant need to promote the value of public participation and advance the practice in Southern Africa could be answered through the registration of a Southern Africa Affiliation of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). 

Mentoring seen as vital to bridging gap created by South Africa’s dearth of engineers

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     29th October 2010 The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) says that the country has about half the engineers it needs to meet its development potential.  

Public worker compensation set to grow to R367bn in 2013/14

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2010 Compensation for government employees is set to rise at an average yearly pace of 6,3% between 2010/11 and 2013/14, with the wage bill for 2010/11 fiscal period having been revised upwards by 9% to R305,6-billion, from R294,4-billion – a period that was characterised by a protracted public-sector... 

R811bn infrastructure promise tempered by delivery shortcomings

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2010 South Africa's spending on all public infrastructure – including power, transport, water, health and education – is forecast to be R811,2-billion between now and March 31, 2014, with expenditure by State-owned enterprises (SoEs), such as Eskom and Transnet, accounting for some R428-billion of... 

Economic outlook improving, but jobs still a concern

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th October 2010 While South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) growth was expected to moderate in the second half of this year, after having accelerated to an annualised rate of 3,9% in the first six months, the economy was still expected to grow by 3% in 2010. Economic growth in the second half of the year... 

SA to step up forex purchases to weaken rand, relaxes controls 

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2010 Fiscal and monetary measures will be used by the South African authorities to deal with the resurgent rand, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), released on Wednesday. Since the start of 2010, the National Treasury and that South African... 

SA seeks to cut unemployment to 15% with new growth plan 

By: Mariaan Webb     26th October 2010 South Africa's 'new growth path' will place employment at the centre of government economic policies, Cabinet said on Tuesday, announcing a target of creating five-million jobs in the next ten years. The target would aim to reduce the unemployment rate from 25% to 15% by 2020. 

Commission refers and settles polymers collusion

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd October 2010 The South African Competition Commission has referred, in August 2010, its complaints of excessive pricing of polypropylene and propylene in the domestic South African market against Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI) and of price fixing in respect of polypropylene, against SCI and polyethylene... 

 

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