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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

What is prudent?

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2016 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has the unenviable task of assessing the ‘prudency’ of Eskom’s application to recoup what it has calculated to be a R22.8-billion cost and revenue variance between its actual performance in 2013/14 and that allowed for in the first year of the... 

Can we change the SA narrative?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2016 So it’s going to be another difficult year economically and socially. Sadly, we have also started 2016 on the wrong foot. The rand has come under intense pressure, owing to a combination of internal (read political and policy) crosswinds and external headwinds. Some South Africans have also... 

Hopes versus expectations

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2016 As 2016 begins, a perceptibly large divide has emerged between hopes and expectations, with perceptions and forecasts about the coming 12 months having been shaped chiefly by South Africa’s dismal performance in 2015. On the political front, there was little to cheer about. In fact, some actions... 

A year of missed opportunities

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2015 On a number of fronts, 2015 has been a year of own goals and missed opportunities for South Africa. No economic own goal was more high profile than the visa debacle, where the road to tourism hell was paved by seemingly good child-protection intentions. Maddeningly, the misalignment between... 

Hikes & clawbacks 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2015 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has offered some fresh insight into the new approach it plans to adopt in its relentless efforts to migrate South Africa’s already steeply rising electricity tariffs towards what it calls cost reflectivity. The utility made a failed attempt for a partial... 

Going gas?

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2015 Despite the absence of the long awaited Gas Utilisation Master Plan, or Gump, South Africans are nevertheless starting to seriously weigh the future gas options, with a strategic environmental assessment for shale gas development under way and with strong interest having reportedly been recorded... 

Agoa storylines

By: Terence Creamer     20th November 2015 Two overarching narratives emerged in the wake of President Barack Obama’s announcement that South Africa’s agricultural exports would lose Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) eligibility from January 5, 2016, unless South Africa took urgent steps to resolve outstanding issues relating to... 

Lacking consciousness

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2015 Much has been said and written about former President Kgalama Motlanthe’s recent interview with the Business Day, in which he criticised the current African National Congress (ANC) leadership, warned about rising public debt and declared the Tripartite Alliance nonexistent. There is arguably... 

Unexploited potential?

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2015 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has listed South Africa among a group of sub-Saharan African countries with a “sizeable” unexploited tax potential, which could be drawn upon to strengthen its fiscal position. The other countries listed by the IMF in its October 2015 Regional Economic... 

Held hostage?

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2015 South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago argued forcefully last week that the current adverse global economic climate should not be used as an excuse for ignoring the ongoing domestic constraints to economic expansion. He acknowledged that Africa’s most advanced economy faced a... 

The future ain’t what it used to be

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2015 South Africans are arguably fairly accustomed to change as a result of the far-reaching political transformation and economic developments that have taken placed in this country over the past 21 years. In the business milieu, too, change has been constant: the mineral and energy complex remains... 

Tougher times ahead

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2015 Most South Africans have accepted that the country is on a low-growth trajectory, with few opportunities for a significant boost in the performance of the economy in the coming three years. However, this view has been forcefully reinforced by two new reports by the World Bank and the... 

Reality biting

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2015 Three international reports released over the past couple of weeks have a material bearing on the South African economy and are, thus, worth highlighting. First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a study that assessed the implications of the current weak outlook for commodity prices... 

Sharpen your arguments 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2015 The head of the African National Congress’ Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana has urged organised black business to sharpen its arguments with regard to how the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) could be made more supportive of economic transformation. Speaking... 

Is there a plan? 

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2015 There has been scant information flow out of South Africa’s electricity war room, which was set up in December to deal with the country’s power crisis. It was interesting, therefore, to hear a recent report back from Professor Anton Eberhard, who has access to the war room by virtue of his... 

Mending relations?

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2015 There is still a strong public perception of a trust deficit between government and business. But in recent weeks there seems to have been quiet, almost imperceptible, progress in mending relations between these two crucial social partners. Government’s charm offensive was on public display in... 

Time to persist

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2015 Despite the consistent message from government that manufacturing is a priority growth sector, the industry continues to struggle and there is also rising pessimism about whether South Africa can truly revive the fortunes of manufacturing. The August Barclays purchasing managers index fell 2.5... 

Prevent own goals

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2015 The unexpected 1.3% contraction of the South African economy in the second quarter of 2015 surely serves as a wake-up call to all the social partners, especially government, that efforts need to be intensified to deal with home-grown constraints to growth and investor confidence. Government,... 

Window still open, but . . .

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2015 Few would argue that South Africa has failed to take advantage, since 1994, of what should have been a demographic tailwind, as its working-age population grew at a far faster rate than those who should, theoretically, have been dependent on them. Over the period, 11-million people entered the... 

Red tape and trust

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2015 The Presidential Business Working Group, which took place in Pretoria earlier this month, agreed that steps should be taken to address regulatory impediments to economic growth and investment, including processes to deal with “unintended consequences” associated with South Africa’s new visa rules... 

Protection plea

By: Terence Creamer     14th August 2015 South Africa’s leading steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has made a strong case for increasing tariffs for an industry that is somewhat unique among its global peers in not enjoying import protection. Its argument, articulated forcefully by CEO Paul O’Flaherty, is that there is a... 

WATER SHEDDING

By: Darlene Creamer     7th August 2015 There are growing concerns about the state of South Africa’s water sector. There are already towns that are experiencing serious disruptions to water services, or where the quality of the water is not fit for human consumption. South Africa can simply ill afford to move for electricity... 

Under pressure

By: Terence Creamer     7th August 2015 The sharp decline in commodity prices is already exacting an economic and social toll across South Africa. Companies in the mining and steel sectors have announced restructuring plans that could result in thousands of jobs being cut, while suppliers to commodity-linked companies are reporting... 

Worrying disconnect 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2015 A genuine disconnect has arisen between government’s rhetoric on public infrastructure the perceptions of the infrastructure practitioners, particularly those in the construction sector. Outside of government there is palpable disappointment with the country’s infrastructure performance, as well... 

Fair trade-off?

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2015 The trade-off currently being considered in the steel industry is relatively straightforward. The country’s largest steel producer, supported by some smaller companies, is seeking greater protection from steel imports, as well as regulations stipulating that locally made steel be used in public... 

Taxing times

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2015 With tongue firmly in cheek, political commentator JP Landman empathised strongly recently with an audience of mostly male professionals for having to bear the infuriating insistence of their fathers-in-law that the entire country was being kept solvent by a small group of only five-million,... 

It’s not over 

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2015 So what did we learn from the recent rejection by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) of Eskom’s application for a further 2015/16 tariff hike over and above the 12.69% already granted for the year? Besides the obvious reprieve for cash-strapped South African consumers... 

South Africa’s outward FDI stock grows

By: Terence Creamer     3rd July 2015 Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to South Africa fell by over 31% last year to $5.72-billion, from $8.3-billion in 2013, the latest World Investment Report (WIR 2015) shows. The decline in what is known to be a volatile number, drawn from South African Reserve Bank (SARB) data, came amid a... 

Back to the future?

By: Terence Creamer     26th June 2015 The new operating philosophy outlined by acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe sounds very much like the much maligned ‘keeping the lights on’ policy pursued in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 crisis. The strategy is based on finding the theoretical ‘sweet spot’ that will enable the utility to... 

Some way to go yet

By: Terence Creamer     19th June 2015 The legal instrument governing the creation of the so-called Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) – encompassing 26 mostly Southern and East African countries – would be formally launched at the third Tripartite Summit being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this week. However, the actual tariff... 

Much more debt?

By: Terence Creamer     12th June 2015 Notwithstanding its recent downgrade to junk status, State-owned electricity utility Eskom is still planning to raise a whopping R66-billion in debt funding during 2015/16 to cover operational and capital expenditure (capex) shortfalls that will arise even after a government equity injection of... 

Shedding competitiveness

By: Terence Creamer     5th June 2015 South Africa slipped one position, from 52 to 53, in the latest world competitiveness ranking, which highlighted power and infrastructure shortfalls, high youth unemployment, as well as inadequate education and technical skills availability as key challenges to the country’s competitive position.... 

Renewables rigour

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2015 In an address dominated by the announcement that South Africa would indeed be moving ahead with a controversial procurement process for 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson offered some interesting feedback on the performance another electricity procurement... 

Weak Enforcement

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2015 The local manufacturing industry has generally been supportive of moves by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to designate specific products for local procurement by the public sector. However, industry has also repeatedly questioned whether the strategy is actually being implemented and... 

Urgency & Leadership

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2015 Headlines and statistics don’t always tell the entire story or the full truth about a situation. But the current news and statistical flow on the state of the South African economy is more than a little worrying – even for those who have hitherto lived by the adage that it’s never as bad in this... 

Reworked savings model

By: Terence Creamer     8th May 2015 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has overhauled its approach to demand-side management (DSM), narrowing its focus to two main areas: a small number of large-scale industrial projects; and the mass deployment of energy-efficient light bulbs. The utility halted its DSM expenditure in 2014/15,... 

Significant developments

By: Terence Creamer     1st May 2015 A number of interesting developments have taken place in the electricity sector over the past few weeks that could have major long-term implications. Undoubtedly the most high profile of these was the decision by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to lean on the high-regarded Brian Molefe... 

Terms of trade weaken

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2015 A sobering new World Bank report is forecasting that sub-Saharan Africa’s growth will slow to 4% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, owing to the weak commodity prices and the sharp fall in oil prices, which will exact a heavy toll on African oil exporters. Excluding South Africa, whose economic... 

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