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Economy News

Bidcorp reports mixed first-quarter performance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th November 2020 JSE-listed Bidcorp says that, in regions and countries where lockdown restrictions have been eased, it has seen demand in the discretionary spend sectors recover; however, any businesses associated with large crowds, such as entertainment, sports events, business travel, conventions and... 

French companies stand ready to help in South Africa’s investment, economic recovery goals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th November 2020 French companies are ready to participate in the third South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) and the country’s economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the French Embassy in South Africa has noted in a statement. President Cyril Ramaphosa is hosting the third SAIC on November 17 and 18. 

Govt, industry sign the sugar master plan

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2020 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza and sugar industry stakeholders have signed the Sugar Industry Master Plan. As part of the master plan, industrial users and retailers have agreed to minimum offtake of... 

Govt, industry sign the sugar master plan
A sugarcane plantation

Hedge funds increase assets under management by 12% y/y

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th November 2020 Against a backdrop of volatility in both the global and the domestic capital markets, the 2019 Novare Hedge Fund Survey has found that, after two successive years of steady decline, the industry assets under management (AUM) have increased to R52.8-billion during last year, constituting growth of... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2020 A total of 29 South African municipalities have already approved tariff frameworks for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG), with 282 MW of mostly rooftop solar capacity having be formally integrated into municipal networks, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) reports. The... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition

Government departments implement initiatives to create more jobs

By: Donna Slater     16th November 2020 Various government departments have commenced with the rollout of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to protect and create jobs as part of his emergency relief package that has been mobilised in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and to address the impacts thereof. To date, Public Works and... 

BLSA calls on govt to do more to improve investor, business confidence

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th November 2020 Although enabling more economic activity, as President Cyril Ramaphosa has done over the last week, is a good start, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says South Africa still needs investor and business confidence to close the unemployment gap at least to pre-Covid-levels.... 

Investor conference to underscore S Africa as attractive investment destination  

By: Sane Dhlamini     16th November 2020 This year’s South African Investment Conference, taking place on November 17 and 18, will build on momentum from the last two events to highlight to investors South Africa’s investment opportunities.  In his weekly letter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the third investment... 

Investor conference to underscore S Africa as attractive investment destination
President Cyril Ramaphosa

B4SA welcomes easing of lockdown restrictions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 Business for South Africa (B4SA), the alliance of volunteers formed to support the national response to Covid-19, has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement about the easing of certain restrictions, which it says bolsters the much-needed efforts to boost and stimulate economic... 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Mining dominates Sunday Times Top 100 Company of the Year awards

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 Gold miner DRDGold was announced as the Sunday Times Top 100 Company of the Year. This year, 13 of the top 20 places in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies list were held by companies operating in the mining sector. 

Structural integrity aids building life cycle

13th November 2020 Asset management company Collaborit has successfully started penetrating the mining and industrial sectors, providing expert solutions and services into the sustainable, proactive management of structural assets such as steel, concrete and masonry.  

Structural integrity aids building life cycle
THE END IS ALWAYS CERTAIN Every structure has a limited design life and adequate budgeting must be allowed for to ensure regular maintenance is done to ensure this design life is reached

Maintenance saves companies’ bottom line

13th November 2020 With economic uncertainty levels reaching an all-time high, it is necessary to find creative and resilient ways to reduce budgets while boosting the bottom line. Preventive maintenance is often one of the most tempting to trim, however, doing so could end up costing a business significantly more... 

Maintenance saves companies’ bottom line
PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE Companies can minimise the risk of costly reactive maintenance as reactive maintenance only addresses problems as it arises

Consultancy laments construction sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th November 2020 The construction sector experienced a significant contraction in terms of the change in value added to the gross domestic product year-on-year in quarter two of 2020, at -30.7%, compared to -2.2% in quarter one of 2020 and -0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Consultancy laments construction sector decline
CONTRADICTORY MUCH? There is a paradox in the South African construction sector of large construction firms collapsing amid a housing backlog of about 2.3-million units

Pandemic challenges exacerbated for industry

13th November 2020 While construction sites were able to reopen in early May for civil projects, ongoing delays in terms of both the public sector being slow to change gears and client’s additional regulations around health and safety, have exacerbated challenges for both property development and construction... 

Pandemic challenges exacerbated for industry
COVID-19 CONUNDRUM The Power Group’s construction arm has been hit with challenges no one could have foreseen with Covid-19

Economy to affect home builders more

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th November 2020 The effects of Covid-19 and the sluggish economy remain the biggest challenge for the civil engineering and construction sectors. 

Economy to affect  home builders more
SONGEZO BOOI After almost 12 years, the home-building industry is still struggling to reach its former peak

Infrastructure recovery roadmap mulled

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th November 2020 If South Africa is to have any hope of economic recovery, no sector can afford to do things the way it did before 2020, says the International Zinc Association (IZA). 

Infrastructure recovery roadmap mulled
REFINED STRUCTURES The construction of a new zinc refinery will reduce dependence on special high-grade zinc imports, and provide a much-needed boost for the construction industry

Cesa Aon Awards 2020 showcase ‘resilience, commitment’ of industry

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2020 With 2020 having been an unprecedented year of "uncertainty, trauma and market complexity", Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) CEO Chris Campbell says this year’s Cesa Aon Engineering Excellence Awards, which took place virtually, “showcased the resilience and commitment of the consulting... 

Gordhan: Private equity partners will not take on SAA's debt or restructuring costs 

By: News24Wire      12th November 2020 South African Airways has received interest from several private equity partners and a transaction advisor has been appointed to engage with parties in a process which could be wrapped up either in December this year or early 2021, said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The minister on... 

Gordhan: Private equity partners will not take on SAA's debt or restructuring costs
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations  

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2020 Mining group Glencore has issued a pre-qualifying tender for companies interested in supplying ‘alternative green’ electricity and storage solutions to its chrome and vanadium operations in South Africa. In the tender notice, Glencore Alloys states that the generation facilities should have a... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations

Unemployment rate jumps to 30.8% in Q3 

By: Reuters     12th November 2020 South Africa's unemployment rate jumped to 30.8% in the third quarter from 23.3% in the second quarter, the country's statistics agency said on Thursday. The unemployment rate was artificially low in the second quarter because the statistics agency only classifies people as unemployed if they are... 

Unemployment rate jumps to 30.8% in Q3

Makwetu hailed as gentle, unwavering giant in the fight against corruption

By: Sane Dhlamini     12th November 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) president Sipho Pityana has hailed outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu as a gentle and yet unwavering giant in the fight against corruption and maladministration, following the news of his death. Makwetu died on Wednesday, at a hospital in Johannesburg,... 

Makwetu hailed as gentle, unwavering giant in the fight against corruption
Kimi Makwetu

European firms say South Africa’s poor utilities deter investment

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2020 European businesses are delaying investment in South Africa because of poor power and water supply and the costs of complying with Black economic empowerment legislation, representatives of an industry body said. South Africa has suffered intermittent power outages since 2008 after the state... 

Tribunal confirms settlement agreement between PPC, commission

By: Simone Liedtke     11th November 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) and the Competition Commission which, in effect, grants PPC final immunity from prosecution in the cement cartel case. PPC has also been granted immunity from an administrative penalty. 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

WEF seeks to start a multistakeholder dialogue on deep-sea mining

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th November 2020 A new way to meet the growing demand for minerals critical to electric vehicle, electronics and battery manufacturers could become commercially available within this decade, says the World Economic Forum (WEF). It notes that significant public and private investment have gone into investigating... 

WEF seeks to start a multistakeholder dialogue on deep-sea mining

HIV prevention breakthrough 89% more effective than daily pill – Wits study

By: Thabi Madiba     11th November 2020 Researchers from the University of the Witswatersrand have announced that CAB LA injections, taken once every eight weeks, are more effective in preventing HIV in women in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with the daily TDF/FTC pill that is currently being used. These are the results of the NPTN... 

HIV prevention breakthrough 89% more effective than daily pill – Wits study

B4SA proposes alternatives to another hard lockdown in event of a second wave

By: Donna Slater     10th November 2020 To restore and boost investor and consumer confidence in South Africa, Business for South Africa (B4SA) is requesting certainty from government that there will not be another “hard economic lockdown” – such as those of Alert Levels 3 to 5 – in South Africa in the event of a second wave of... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 New additions of renewable-energy capacity worldwide will increase to a record level of almost 200 GW this year, shrugging off the demand slump that accompanied the Covid-19 crisis and which negatively affected the demand for fossil fuels. In addition, a new International Energy Agency (IEA)... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook

Nersa to consider nuclear-determination consultation request at upcoming meeting  

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee (ELS) will consider a request for consultation on concurrence with a Section 34 Ministerial determination for the procurement of 2 500 MW of nuclear capacity when it meets on Wednesday November 11. Fulltime member... 

Nersa to consider nuclear-determination consultation request at upcoming meeting
Fulltime member of the regulator for electricity regulation Nhlanhla Gumede

Business weighs in on public wage bill saying downward adjustments now urgent to avoid debt crisis  

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2020 Organised business has made an aggressive intervention into the highly sensitive debate on South Africa’s public sector wage bill, arguing that payroll costs are too high, rising too quickly and are not being supported by commensurate productivity gains. Business is, thus, calling for an urgent... 

Business weighs in on public wage bill saying downward adjustments now urgent to avoid debt crisis
Photo by Creamer Media
BUSA CEO Cas Coovadia

Eskom Political Task Team remains concerned about debt owed to the utility 

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th November 2020 The Eskom Political Task Team has agreed that all avenues should be explored to deal with the utility's debt challenge, including dealing with the underlying causes; for example inefficiencies, cost overruns, misappropriation of funds, cash losses due to unpaid debt by municipalities and other... 

South Africa aims to nail down R664bn in investment pledges at Nov gathering amid Covid-19 ‘shock’ 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2020 The third yearly South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC), which will take place on November 17 and 18, will focus primarily on ensuring the investment pledges of R664-billion made in 2018 and 2019 are not derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Government also intends using the platform to... 

South Africa aims to nail down R664bn in investment pledges at Nov gathering amid Covid-19 ‘shock’
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

KwaZulu-Natal automotive supplier park to be operational from 2021

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th November 2020 Durban’s R2.2-billion automotive supplier park special economic zone will be operational in 2021, with automotive manufacturer Toyota as one of the agreed tenants. It is projected that 1 339 jobs will be created as a result of the investment. 

Ramaphosa urges holiday vigilance to avoid second wave of virus  

By: Sane Dhlamini     9th November 2020 With the festive season fast approaching, President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked for vigilance from South Africans to avoid a possible second wave of the coronavirus. He is expected to address the nation this week with an update on government’s Covid-19 strategy. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has... 

Ramaphosa urges holiday vigilance to avoid second wave of virus
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Rand climbs to over 8-month peak as Biden wins US Presidency

By: Reuters     9th November 2020 The South African rand hit a more than eight-month high against the dollar on Monday, as markets cheered Joe Biden's election as the US president on hopes that a calmer White House could boost world commerce and that monetary policy would remain easy. At 0615 GMT, the rand traded at 15.5275... 

Next interim candidate appointed as FSCA commissioner

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th November 2020 National Treasury has appointed Olano Makhubela interim commissioner of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) for a period of three months starting November 6. He is currently the divisional executive for retirement funds supervision at the authority and will continue with these... 

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