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Economy News

Top 100 companies' value dropped by 15% by March, report shows

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2020 The Global Top 100 companies performed strongly from March to December 2019, increasing their market capitalisation (cap) by 20%. However, their market cap decreased by 15% from December 2019 to March 2020, a report compiled by professional services multinational PwC shows. These top 100... 

Construction Index tracks down, hopes for recovery pinned in infrastructure build

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2020 While JSE-listed industrial and construction materials company Afrimat's Construction Index (ACI) was down by 12 points year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, there is some hope of a recovery for the construction sector in government’s infrastructure-led economic growth recovery plan... 

CDC Group, Finnfund make $70m commitment to foster growth across Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd July 2020 The CDC Group and Finnfund have made a $70-million commitment to AfricInvest Fund IV, a generalist Pan-African fund aiming to foster the growth of African enterprises across the continent. Fund IV will invest in mid-cap and growth-oriented companies in sectors including financial services,... 

TFR implementing new online truck scheduling system at City Deep Terminal

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd July 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will implement the Navis Truck Appointment System at its City Deep Terminal in Johannesburg from July 6. The online truck scheduling system will not only regulate the flow of trucks to the terminal, but will also enable physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Global efforts needed to fast-track clean energy innovation

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd July 2020 A significant and concerted global push to accelerate innovation will be needed to pave the way to the energy sector reaching net-zero emissions, according to International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) Special Report on Clean Energy Innovation. The report discusses... 

Local medical radioisotope producer continues exports despite lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2020 South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) subsidiary company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) has reported that, since the imposition of South Africa’s national lockdown in late March, it had been able to dispatch more than 120 shipments of medical radioisotopes to customers around the world. Both... 

Sasol confirms Rompco pipeline sale ‘well advanced’ as asset disposal process kicks into gear 

By: Terence Creamer     1st July 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol confirmed on July 1 that the sale of its equity interest in the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company (Rompco) and the Central Termica de Ressano Garcia gas-fired power plant, also in Mozambique, were well advanced, along with partnering discussions... 

 Sasol confirms Rompco pipeline sale ‘well advanced’ as asset disposal process kicks into gear

RBPlat opens 200-bed field hospital to support govt in fight against Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 Platinum group metals miner Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), together with the North West Department of Health, has officially opened the 200-bed Royal Bafokeng Platinum Field Hospital, in Rustenburg, at a cost of about R10-million, to support government’s already overburdened resources in the... 

RBPlat opens 200-bed field hospital to support govt in fight against Covid-19

Easing lockdown lifts South Africa's Absa PMI in June

By: Reuters     1st July 2020 South Africa's seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) expanded in June as an easing of coronavirus restrictions lifted business activity and sales. The index, which gauges manufacturing activity in Africa's most industrialised economy, rose to 53.9 points in June from 50.2... 

Covid-19 had ‘significant impact’ on Long4Life’s businesses

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and subsequent government prescribed lockdown has had a significant impact on JSE-listed lifestyle investment company Long4Life’s various businesses, CEO Brian Joffe told shareholders during an annual general meeting (AGM) on July 1. The requirement to close all... 

2018/19 audit of local governments paints ‘undesirable picture’, says AG

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu released the audit outcomes for local government for the 2018/19 financial year, wherein 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities were audited. This report is Makwetu’s last as his fixed seven-year term as AG comes to an end on November 30. 

Policy uncertainty in South Africa remains high, implementation risks remain

By: Schalk Burger     1st July 2020 The North West University (NWU) Business School's quarterly Policy Uncertainty Index (PUI) remained high at 57.4% in the second quarter of the year, an improvement on the 59.8% during the first quarter of the year. It remains at the highest levels since the PUI was launched in early 2016,  notes... 

Economic opportunity of South Africa’s energy transition akin to new ‘gold rush’

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2020 South Africa’s energy transition from coal to cleaner energy carries an economic opportunity equivalent to the discovery of gold in the country more than a century ago, a new South African National Energy Association (Sanea) report argues. Published on June 30, the ‘South African Energy Risk... 

Economic opportunity of South Africa’s energy transition akin to new ‘gold rush’

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

30th June 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. In the past week, the contagion continued to spread rapidly in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. The daily... 

Local productive capacity protection, demand stimulation will rejig economy, says Seifsa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th June 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says the 2% contraction in South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of the year is disconcerting, as beleaguered businesses continue to face headwinds. The federation explains that businesses... 

Vukile bullish about financial position amid Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     30th June 2020 Vukile Property Fund has reported 3.2% growth in its distributable earnings a share for the financial year ended March 31,. CEO Laurence Rapp says Vukile had a “very strong year and has delivered a stand-out set of results” where operationally, the company’s portfolios in South Africa and Spain... 

Vukile bullish about financial position amid Covid-19
Vukile Property Fund CEO Laurence Rapp gives some insight into the company's South African portfolio's results, as well as the company's Covid-19 response. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Tariff implications not yet clear as Nersa loses another court battle with Eskom 

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2020 Power utility Eskom has welcomed the June 29 ruling of the North Gauteng High Court to review and set aside three regulatory clearing account determinations made by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. In his judgment, Judge Jody... 

Tariff implications not yet clear as Nersa loses another court battle with Eskom
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
The Nersa panel at the MYPD4 hearing in 2019

Transnet boosts capacity at Port of Cape Town to ease Covid-19 backlogs

By: African News Agency      30th June 2020 South Africa's state-owned rail, port and pipeline company Transnet said on Tuesday it had introduced a number of solutions for the operational backlogs at the Port of Cape Town due to Covid-19, including staff redeployment. In a statement, Transnet said to alleviate pressure at the terminals, 20... 

South Africa's recession deepens in first quarter as mining plummets 

By: Reuters     30th June 2020  South Africa's recession deepened in the first quarter of 2020, with official data on Tuesday showing that gross domestic product contracted 2% from the previous three months, led by declines in mining and manufacturing. The economy was already frail before the coronavirus pandemic hit South... 

CFOs concerned about global economy, PwC survey shows

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2020 As Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift in some countries while others remain in lockdown, professional services company PwC’s latest 'Covid-19 CFO Pulse Survey' reveals that CFOs are most concerned about the effects of a global economic downturn (Africa: 51%; Global: 60%), the possibility of a... 

First quarter GDP falls by 2% as recession continues  

By: News24Wire      30th June 2020 South Africa's economy decreased by 2.0% in the first quarter of 2020, Statistics South Africa reported on Tuesday morning.  This extends the technical recession that the country found itself in in the last quarter of 2019. The release of Stats SA's latest quarterly GDP figures comes a week after... 

First quarter GDP falls by 2% as recession continues

Western Cape government calls on Gordhan to rescue Cape Town Port from Covid carnage

By: News24Wire      30th June 2020 The Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, has called for Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to urgently provide resources to resolve the current operational challenges at the port of Cape Town. Maynier said in a statement that in recent... 

Western Cape government calls on Gordhan to rescue Cape Town Port from Covid carnage
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

ArcelorMittal SA seeks IPP bids for roll-out of solar PV plants across operations 

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2020 JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has become the latest South African company to release a request for information (RFI) to independent power producers (IPPs) to build, own and operate solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants across its six operational sites. The group has... 

ArcelorMittal SA seeks IPP bids for roll-out of solar PV plants across operations

South African court sides with Eskom in clawback dispute

By: Reuters     30th June 2020 South Africa’s High Court on Monday sided with Eskom in a dispute over the amounts energy regulator Nersa allowed the state utility to claw back from customers for electricity supplied in the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. Nersa’s 2018 decisions to allow Eskom to recoup... 

Eskom widens its funding search to sukuk market

By: Bloomberg     29th June 2020 South Africa’s indebted power utility Eskom Holdings plans to issue a R1-billion sukuk bond as it tries to diversify funding sources to reduce borrowing costs. Eskom has appointed a lead arranger “to work towards establishing time lines for the issue,” spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in... 

Interest rate on $4.2bn IMF loan to South Africa will be ‘very, very low’ 

By: Terence Creamer     29th June 2020 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported on Monday that its funding talks with South Africa had proceeded at a “measured pace” owing to the country’s favourable access to deep and liquid financial markets, which meant that the negotiations had focused primarily on the terms of the funding... 

Interest rate on $4.2bn IMF loan to South Africa will be ‘very, very low’

Mpumalanga province reprioritises funding for Covid-19 fight

By: Yvonne Silaule     29th June 2020 The Mpumalanga province has approved the reprioritisation of R287-million in funding towards the fight against Covid-19 Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tshipane says R32-million has been allocated to the provincial Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs to provide... 

Section 12J incentive creates value for SMMEs and jobs, calls for extension to 2027

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2020 The 2020 Section 12J industry report demonstrates that the tax incentive has not only managed to create jobs, but it has done so more economically than other government-backed job creation incentives, Section 12J Association of South Africa chairperson Dino Zuccollo said in a statement on June... 

Unions slam public enterprises department over exit from SAA consultative forum

By: African News Agency      29th June 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association have slammed the decision by the department of public enterprises to abandon the leadership consultative forum set up to deliberate on troubled national carrier SAA. In a statement on Sunday, the... 

Unions slam public enterprises department over exit from SAA consultative forum

Green hydrogen opportunity for South Africa to drive economic recovery

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2020 The opportunity for South Africa to couple its renewable energy economic stimulus to non-electricity prospects presents the possibility for a new power export market, which can be laid now. The economic and energy benefits of green hydrogen is one of the many prospects discussed during the recent... 

Green hydrogen opportunity for South Africa to drive economic recovery
Hulisani CEO Marubini Raphulu

Urgent intervention required at Cape Town port, says Maynier

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2020 The efficient and effective performance of the Port of Cape Town is critical to economic recovery and growth for the Western Cape, the province’s Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier has said. In a statement on June 29, he said the provincial ministry was “very concerned... 

BLSA’s Mavuso laments downgrades, state of SOEs

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2020 As South Africa gears up to drive an economic recovery, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busisiwe Mavuso has lamented the continuing downgrades of the country and some of its institutions, noting that these “make it more difficult” to fund investment to support the economy. The... 

We must be guided by facts, not rumours – Ramaphosa on Covid-19 

By: Sane Dhlamini     29th June 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday expressed concern for frontline health workers who have died owing to the coronavirus and has also warned against the stigmatisation of people who have tested positive for the novel virus. In his weekly column to the nation said the country must be guided by... 

We must be guided by facts, not rumours – Ramaphosa on Covid-19
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Acsa reacts to downgrade, assures on financing

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th June 2020 State-owned Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has stated that it “notes” the recent decision by ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service to down grade Acsa’s ratings and to change its outlook for the airports operator from “under review” to negative. Acsa, however, has also reported success in... 

Unions welcome adjournment of SAA business rescue vote

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 In a joint statement on Friday (June 26) the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have expressed their relief that 69% of the creditors of South African Airways (SAA) voted to adjourn (to July 14) the vote on the proposed... 

Caterpillar’s philanthropic arm commits over R1m to Solidarity Fund

By: Simone Liedtke     26th June 2020 As the events surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the philanthropic arm of NYSE-listed Caterpillar, the Caterpillar Foundation, is committing over R1-million to the South African Solidarity Fund to assist the country in its response to the unprecedented health crisis. The fund... 

Fuel prices projected to increase due to weak rand, rebound in global oil market – AA

By: News24Wire      26th June 2020 The Automobile Association is projecting that South African motorists will pay about R1.73 more for a litre petrol, and R1.74/l more for diesel, from next week when fuel prices for July come into effect.   It was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy... 

 Fuel prices projected to increase due to weak rand, rebound in global oil market – AA
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