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Economy News

Govt gives SAA R1.5bn, but administrators say they can't use it

By: Reuters     3rd December 2020 Administrators for South African Airways, which has been under a form of bankruptcy protection for a year, said on Thursday that they had received R1.5-billion from the government but that they could not use it yet. The administrators said in a statement that conditions on how the R1.5-billion... 

South African economy should recover strongly next year, predicts economist

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd December 2020 The South African economy is already on course for a strong recovery and significant growth next year, economic adviser to the Optimum Investment group Dr Roelof Botha told the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa’s virtual 2020 symposium on Thursday. “The V-shaped economic recovery... 

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd December 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand has teamed up with York University, in Canada to undertake an artificial intelligence project that will be used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in Africa. The project will be carried out by the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Public Health Data... 

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

South Africa missed first payment window to join Covax, a global vaccine access initiative

By: News24Wire      3rd December 2020 South Africa is yet to make an estimated R500-million payment to an international initiative designed to secure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for middle- and low-income countries. Head of health regulation and compliance as well as former acting director-general for the Department of... 

South Africa missed first payment window to join Covax, a global vaccine access initiative

Land Bank creditor urges South Africa to speed up rescue efforts

By: Bloomberg     3rd December 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury and the state-owned Land and Agricultural Development Bank are being accused of dragging their heels in negotiating a rescue package for the stricken lender, leaving creditors in the dark as debt repayments loom. Asset managers and other lenders are yet to receive... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol is keeping its rights-issue powder dry, indicating on Wednesday that a final decision on any possible issuance, including its scale, will depend on various factors, including whether or not it is successful in completing yet more asset disposals. CEO... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Court reserves judgment on public sector wage dispute

By: Reuters     2nd December 2020 South Africa's Labour Appeal Court reserved judgment on Wednesday on a public sector wage dispute that has big implications for the government's efforts to arrest soaring debt levels. The dispute centres on whether the government should pay civil servants' salary increases that were due to come... 

Lack of anticorruption reporting evident in South African private sector  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd December 2020 The National Business Initiative, together with Corruption Watch (CW) and independent London-based global think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI), have launched the 'Transparency in Corporate Reporting 2020' report. The report evaluates the transparency of corporate reporting by 100... 

Lack of anticorruption reporting evident in South African private sector
Corruption Watch director David Lewis and ODI fellow Stephen Gelp discuss the state of corruption disclosures in private sector

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 The main environmental and social impacts of the propose 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi river, including serious negative impacts on adventure tourism and on the habitat of a rare bird species, were highlighted during a virtual stakeholder engagement on... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism
Batoka Gorge site

Mbalula says truck protesters will face economic sabotage charges 

By: African News Agency      2nd December 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday said those who burnt trucks in protests on South Africa’s roads would be arrested and charged with economic sabotage. “We remain seriously concerned about the escalation of attacks on our roads,” he told a debate in Parliament about road safety during... 

Over 400 000 job opportunities already supported through employment stimulus

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2020 More than 400 000 job opportunities have already been supported through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, with several programmes in the recruitment or beneficiary identification phase, the Presidency confirmed on December 1. The remaining programmes are all on track to meet their targets,... 

UK announces emergency aid to help families in Southern Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st December 2020 Although the British government recently announced that it was cutting its aid budget (because of financial stress imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic), the UK announced on Tuesday that the country would provide £7-million (more than R140-million) to support essential services and food assistance to... 

Absa PMI decreases again to 52.6  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2020 The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has declined to 52.6 index points in November, from 60.9 points recorded in October. Financial services provider Absa explains that the decline comes after three consecutive upward moves and brings the index to its lowest level since July.  

SA Supreme Court dismisses Airlink’s claim against national carrier SAA   

By: African News Agency      1st December 2020 Privately owned airline Airlink said on Tuesday it was disappointed, but respected the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss its claim against South African Airways. Airlink, which services the southern Africa region, applied to the Johannesburg High Court in January for a declaratory... 

 SA Supreme Court dismisses Airlink’s claim against national carrier SAA

Eskom to be charged with misleading regulator over pollution

By: Bloomberg     30th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s State power utility, said it will be charged with supplying misleading information to the national air quality officer as well exceeding emissions limits at the Kendal coal-fired power plant and breaching its Atmospheric Emission License. “Eskom can confirm it has... 

Invicta’s strategy paying off, says CEO

By: Simone Liedtke     30th November 2020 Investment holding and management company Invicta Holdings is starting to see its strategy, which focuses on lowering debt levels, optimising return on equity, simplifying structures and focusing on key operational areas, pay off. This is despite the negative impact of Covid-19 and related... 

Aveng may ‘upsize’ R300m recapitalisation should shareholders show appetite 

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2020 Infrastructure and contract mining group Aveng has expressed confidence that its recently unveiled debt restructure and recapitalisation plan will provide the “reset” required for its two  remaining core businesses, McConnell Dowell and Moolmans, to begin growing again, with the Australasian... 

Aveng may ‘upsize’ R300m recapitalisation should shareholders show appetite
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
CEO Sean Flanagan

BLSA CEO urges South Africans to ‘face the realities’ of Covid-19 pandemic 

By: Simone Liedtke     30th November 2020 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso is urging South Africans to “face the realities of the pandemic” or risk facing a worse spike in infections that will ultimately do more damage to the economy and public health. In her weekly newsletter, she laments that the Covid-19 pandemic... 

BLSA CEO urges South Africans to ‘face the realities’ of Covid-19 pandemic
Photo by Creamer Media
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Investments of R7.7bn heading directly to the City of Cape Town

By: African News Agency      30th November 2020 Investments totalling R7.7-billion are heading directly to the City of Cape Town, mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said on Sunday. Of the investments announced at last week’s Presidential Investment Summit, R7.7-billion would be invested directly... 

Africa poised to benefit from strong European backing in its recovery  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th November 2020 Despite this year having been the worst year of growth for the global economy in the past 40 years, and with sub-Saharan Africa facing its first recession in 25 years with a 3.1% gross domestic product (GDP) contraction expected, there remains a strong case for a rebound, as international... 

UK sets out its development aid priorities following announcement of funding cut

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has informed the House of Commons in London of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s plans to overhaul Britain’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). This followed the UK government’s decision to temporarily reduce its ODA from the current 0.7% of... 

Agri SA calls for govt aid as Land Bank is too important to fail

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th November 2020 Industry organisation Agri SA has warned that the action by Moody’s Investor Service to lower the Lank Bank and Eskom’s respective ratings pose a risk to food security and overall economic recovery in South Africa. It says Moody’s downgraded the State-owned Land Bank as a result of ongoing... 

SA's prospects for future coal projects 

27th November 2020 The role of new coal in South Africa’s electricity mix is coming under increasing scrutiny, with Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter the latest to question whether it can indeed be built. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the prospects for future coal projects. 

SA's prospects for future coal projects
SA's prospects for future coal projects

Plans to amend SA’s land tenure law another attack on private property rights, Cape chamber says  

By: African News Agency      27th November 2020 The proposed amendment to South Africa’s Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act is a clear attempt to “bamboozle” the homeless out of their ability to own property, the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry said on Friday. If passed, it will inevitably trigger a Constitutional Court challenge, Cape... 

 Plans to amend SA’s land tenure law another attack on private property rights, Cape chamber says

SA govt funding for SAA business rescue will not hurt other services, Mabuza says  

By: African News Agency      27th November 2020 South Africa’s government will do all it can to minimise any adverse impact that the re-prioritisation of budget allocations to free up R10.5-billion towards national carrier South African Airways’s business rescue might have on other services, Deputy President David Mabuza has said. The... 

 SA govt funding for SAA business rescue will not hurt other services, Mabuza says
Deputy President David Mabuza

Indaba aims to encourage sector growth

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 Revitalising and growing manufacturers is the theme of this year’s Manufacturing Indaba, which aims to get the South African manufacturing industry stakeholders together to unpack the way forward towards growing their businesses. This year’s event was originally slated to take place on June 9 and... 

Indaba aims to  encourage sector growth
THIS TIME IT’S VIRTUAL This year’s Manufacturing Indaba will be entirely virtual and, therefore, free to attend

Local valve manufacturer first to be marine-certified

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 Valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech), a subsidiary of holdings company Mokoena Holdings, has become the first South African valve manufacturer to become fully certified to supply valves to the marine industry. Paltech was one of the companies to benefit from the Marine Manufacturing,... 

Local valve manufacturer first to be marine-certified
OPEN AND SHUT Paltechnologies is the first South African valves manufacturer to become marine-certified

Panel on EIPs to feature at Indaba

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) will host a panel at this year’s Manufacturing Indaba on industrial parks, the potential to transform them into eco-industrial parks (EIPs) and leveraging them for accelerated development. This year, the NCPC-SA, United Nations... 

Panel on EIPs to  feature at Indaba
HENRY NUWARINDA The Global Eco-Industrial Park Programme will ensure an added level of quality control and cost-efficiency

African funds with dedicated ESG mandates could hold up to R500bn in JSE-listed equities

By: Simone Liedtke     26th November 2020 African funds with dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates could hold JSE-listed equities worth up to R500-billion over the medium term as the focus on sustainability intensifies, a research report by SBG Securities shows. This shows that corporates with strong ESG... 

AfCFTA to provide business opportunities for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     26th November 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) will provide business opportunities that will enable African countries to lift citizens of the continent out of poverty post Covid-19, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Trade and Invest Africa chief director John Rocha has... 

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance  

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2020 Six steps could be taken immediately by the South African government and the energy regulator to unlock more self-generation investment by residential, commercial, industrial, mining and agricultural consumers so as to minimise power shortages and reduce the threat of load-shedding, a newly... 

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance

Speed up SAA restructure so it can continue key role in Africa - aviation official 

By: News24Wire      26th November 2020 The regional representative of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the SA government to speed up its contribution to assist the airline in restructuring. He says South African Airways (SAA) and South Africa have played a major role in the growth of aviation in... 

Speed up SAA restructure so it can continue key role in Africa - aviation official

Ramaphosa to face motion of no confidence next week   

By: News24Wire      26th November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will face a motion of no confidence next Thursday. At Thursday’s meeting of the National Assembly Programming Committee, secretary to Parliament Masibulele Xaso said National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise had approved the African Transformation Movement’s motion of no... 

Ramaphosa to face motion of no confidence next week
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Only an uptick in building, manufacturing activity can sustain this quarter’s higher BCI  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Business Confidence Index (BCI) has notched up to 40 in the fourth quarter, from 24 in the third quarter. However, the BER questions the sustainability of maintaining business confidence at this level.  

CIDB acts on conviction that creation of construction jobs is at centre of economic recovery

By: Donna Slater     25th November 2020 In a sector hit hard by job losses and a general lack of work, initiatives in the construction industry designed to support the growth, and survival, of emerging contractors, should attract greater public attention and draw the support from established companies in the construction industry,... 

Greencape highlights importance of green SMMEs in economic recovery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 Green economy organisation Greencape is drafting policy recommendations around development and support for green small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), which is being informed by a support programme the company launched with help from the European Union (EU). Greencape had earmarked... 

Saice launches career growth platform for engineers

By: Donna Slater     25th November 2020 The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) has launched an innovative new platform – Saice Connect – that enables its members to network and engage with potential employers and like-minded individuals. The platform is designed to bridge the gap between skills shortages in many... 

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