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Vodacom’s R7,5bn BEE deal gets government’s stamp of approval 

By: Matthew Hill     29th July 2008 Vodacom, South Africa’s biggest cellular services provider, on Tuesday announced its R7,5-billion black economic-empowerment (BEE) deal, which involved employees, the black public, and two black-owned companies – empowerment heavyweight Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Thebe Investments. The... 

SA, Nigeria must lead the way in Africa’s economic revitalisation 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     28th July 2008 South Africa and Nigeria, as the two leading economies on the African continent, had the responsibility to pull Africa out of poverty and political instability by forging broader economic cooperation, commented the governor of Nigeria's Imo state Chief Ikedi Ohakim during the Nigeria-South Africa... 

France affirms EU-AU partnership, defends EPAs 

By: Keith Campbell     25th July 2008 FRANCE is committed to the strategic partnership between the EU and Africa. So assures French Ambassador to South Africa Denis Pietton. Pietton firmly rejected claims that some Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries were forced to sign economic partnership agreements (EPAs) by the... 

Digital information system partnership launched 

By: Keith Campbell     25th July 2008 GLOBAL agribusiness Syngenta has become the first private sector partner in the Digital Doorway programme. Digital Doorway is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, and the Meraka Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is intended to... 

Intellectual property venture capital fund launched  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd July 2008 Investment holding company VenFin on Wednesday officially launched its early stage intellectual property (IP) venture capital fund, InVenFin, to which it committed R50-million seed capital. The fund would offer early stage venture capital and supporting skills aimed at commercialising small and... 

Cement demand still strong despite building decline – Afrisam 

By: Matthew Hill     18th July 2008 After having shown five years of double-digit growth, South African cement consumption would continue at about the same levels as this year for at least five years, said a senior official of South Africa's second-biggest maker of the building material. AfriSam MD Karl Meissner-Roloff said that... 

Black-control imperative led us to PIC, says Afrisam 

By: Matthew Hill     18th July 2008 Southern Africa's biggest building material's supplier, AfriSam, formerly Holcim South Africa, said at the weekend that it had selected the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) as its second-biggest shareholder, because the State-owned financing institution was the most supportive of its... 

Neotel rolls out WiMAX to enterprise customers  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th July 2008 South Africa's second telecommunications network operator, Neotel, on Friday launched its enterprise wireless product offering, which would use last mile technologies to provide the operator's enterprise services to corporate customers. "Our wireless offering is a solution that allows us to... 

Sub-Saharan Africa is endowed with huge energy resources, says World Bank official  

By: Dennis Ndaba     18th July 2008 The most severe infrastructure challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are in the energy sector, and include low access to electricity, insufficient capacity and high supply cost, says World Bank lead energy specialist Reynold Duncan. 

Maroga describes 29 employee deaths as a leadership failure 

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2008 State power utility Eskom reported on Thursday that 29 people - 17 direct employees and 12 contractors - had died in work-related incidents during its 2007/8 financial year, with CEO Jacob Maroga describing the fatalities as a failure of leadership for which he took personal responsibility.... 

Erwin confirms Godsell as Moosa’s replacement 

17th July 2008 Business and mining personality Bobby Godsell has been appointed as Eskom chairperson, succeeding politician-turned-businessman Valli Moosa, Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin confirmed on Thursday. In addition to Godsell’s appointment, three other new board members were appointed to fill... 

Sanyati now counted among main board construction firms  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th July 2008 Black-empowered civil engineering and construction firm Sanyati Holdings on Thursday moved from the AltX to the main board of the JSE, a move, which CEO Rick Jackson said would raise its profile by another notch and ensure that it was recognised as a serious player in the construction sector.... 

Eskom mulls coal-supply risks as it gets set to burn up to 140mt in 2009 

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2008 Demand for primary energy at Eskom rose massively in 2007/8 with the utility’s coal burn rising to 125,3-million tons from 119,1-million tons, and its diesel consumption spiking to 346-million litres from just 11,3-million litres in the previous year. This trend is also unlikely to be reversed... 

Vodacom’s outgoing chief Knott-Craig sees room for internet growth 

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th July 2008 Telephone penetration in South Africa was over 90%, however, internet penetration, lagging far behind at 10,6%, was where South Africa, and Africa in general, had not been successful, said Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig on Wednesday. “I think that it is incumbent upon us, to press to get an... 

Manuel ‘regrets’ not imposing windfall tax on synfuels industry 

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2008 The spectre of the possible imposition of windfall taxes on South African resources companies has been raised again in a new economic assessment of the country by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The 140-page study, which was released jointly by OECD... 

Manuel denies being opposed to industrial policy, as OECD slates the plan 

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2008 Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has moved to strongly deny the persistent suggestion that he does not support South Africa's National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF), but he stressed on Tuesday that all government programmes had to be "costed and viable" before the National Treasury would agree... 

OECD report warns on SA's unemployment figures 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th July 2008 South Africa would have to move about two-million unskilled workers off its unemployment roll, in order to reach its goals of halving unemployment by 2014, through its Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (Asgisa), a report stated on Tuesday. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and... 

Tax incentive to boost Joburg inner city investment extended to 2014 

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th July 2008 The Johannesburg inner city’s urban development zone (UDZ) tax incentive would be extended for another five years, after it had stimulated almost R5-billion in investment being pumped into the city over the last four years. The extension of the UDZ tax incentives ‘sunset’ from 2009 to 2014 would... 

PENSION BACKSLIDE 

By: Darlene Creamer     11th July 2008 Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has described as a ‘calamity’ the decision of some workers to withdraw their money from pension and provident funds under the misguided belief that these funds would be ‘nationalised’ through proposed reforms to the pension and social security system  

Steel industry performance to sustain and grow steel price 

By: Jonathan Faurie     11th July 2008 The current performance of the steel industry, locally and internationally, is expected to sustain the price of steel and may even grow steel prices, should steel demand increase, reports the continent’s biggest steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa. 

SA needs to produce more food to deal with rising prices – Xingwana 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th July 2008 Increased food production was the only strategy that would help mitigate the global food crisis, South Africa's Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister, Lulu Xingwana, said at a food summit on Thursday. "There is no other way to mitigate high food prices other than increasing food production. For... 

Road collapse won't impact Gautrain’s completion date – Van der Merwe 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     9th July 2008 Gautrain management agency CEO Jack van der Merwe said on Wednesday that the tunnel collapse on Oxford road in Rosebank, north of Johannesburg, would not have any significant impact on the project’s schedule. “The area that was affected by subsidence is not required for completion for the 2010... 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise funding for water projects, SADC official laments 

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2008 The head of the water-resources programme at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has cautioned that it is growing increasingly difficult to raise funds for water projects in the region and he has appealed for assistance to reverse this worrying trend. Speaking at the... 

Warning that Zim politics could hamper Kazungula-bridge progress 

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2008 Expressions of interests for the $70-million Kazungula Bridge, development of which would provide a much-needed alternative to ferry transport over the natural boundary between Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, could be issued by November or October. But the Nepad Business Foundation (NBF), which... 

Trade deal hinges on 'all blocs' feeling that they had gained some new market access 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2008 Despite being framed as a ‘development round’, in reality, progress would only be achieved at the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks if all “blocs felt that they had secured some new market access”, the UK’s Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Trade, Gareth Thomas, said in... 

Savings month to promote financial literacy 

By: Shannon de Ryhove     4th July 2008 The financial literacy skills of South Africa's youth will get a significant boost with the launch of ‘Savings Month 2008' and the pilot Teach Children to Save South Africa (TCTS SA) initiative in July. At the launch event on Friday, South African Savings Institute chairperson Elias Masilela... 

Accelerated SA delivery platform created for Google’s business tools 

By: Leandi Kolver     4th July 2008 JSE-listed information technology services and solutions company Faritec has made the first move towards securing Google Enterprise Solutions distribution in South Africa, a partnership Faritec expects to exceed sales of R20-million within the first year of trading. 

Weaker rand, strong demand offers sound start-up platform for chemicals-cellulose expansion 

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2008 The $460-million expansion of the Sappi Saiccor chemical-cellulose facility, in KwaZulu-Natal, was over 90% complete, and once ramped-up to its full nameplate production of 800 000 t/y would entrench the group's position as the world's pre-eminent manufacturer of dissolving pulp.  

Sappi mulls 90 MW of short-term power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     4th July 2008 Forest products group Sappi is in commercial discussions with State power producer Eskom about a 40-MW cogeneration facility currently being erected as part of its $460-million Saiccor expansion in KwaZulu-Natal.  

DTI launches R750m enterprise incentive scheme  

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd July 2008 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday unveiled the long awaited Enterprise Incentive Programme (EIP), which focuses on the sectors of manufacturing and tourism, and succeeds the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Programme (SMEDP) that came to an end in 2006. DTI Enterprise... 

Black business rejects ruling allowing Chinese to benefit from BEE 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd July 2008 Black business and professional organisations on Wednesday expressed their dissatisfaction with the Pretoria High Court judgement characterising Chinese South Africans as ‘coloured’ thus qualifying them as beneficiaries in terms of black economic empowerment, and called on the State “to appeal... 

SA says ready to make commitments at Doha meeting this month  

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd July 2008 South Africa would be represented at the July 21 ministerial meeting at the World Trade Organisation for the continuing Doha round, and was willing to make a contribution, willing to take commitments, and determined to achieve a developmental outcome, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi... 

Manufacturing on long-term recovery path, but still to reach full potential – Mpahlwa  

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd July 2008 South Africa should maximise the contribution of manufacturing into the economy, as “manufacturing has not yet reached its full potential”, Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said on Wednesday. “We shouldn’t lose focus in the current global economic circumstances,” he told business... 

SA mulls placing limits on scrap-metal exports 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st July 2008 South Africa was considering measures to limit the exportation of scrap metal to allow for sufficient supply to the domestic market, Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said on Tuesday. Speaking at a briefing of the Economic Cluster, held at the Union Building in Pretoria, Mpahlwa said... 

Public services sector struggles to fill senior positions  

By: Matthew Hill     1st July 2008 South Africa still had a problem filling senior positions in the public service sector, with gender equality being a particular hurdle, Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said on Tuesday. Over one quarter of the 131 deputy director-general posts nationally were... 

Transnet outlines how it plans to raise R37bn over three years 

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2008 State freight logistics group Transnet has outlined, in a level of detail hitherto absent, the approach it will take to raising the R36,6-billion it requires over the next three year to help fund its R80-billion, five-year capital programme. CFO Chris Wells said on Monday that, despite... 

Ramos unveils ambitious growth targets for rail, ports and pipelines 

By: Terence Creamer     30th June 2008 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet, which was emerging strongly from a far-reaching turnaround strategy initiated in 2004, was now poised to enter a ‘growth phase', despite a material slowdown in the domestic economy and in freight-volume growth, CEO Maria Ramos said on Monday. The... 

China has no need to fear hyperinflation in near term – economist  

By: Christy van der Merwe     27th June 2008 Unlike many other developing countries, China was not facing the risk of hyper, or runaway inflation, an economist said on Friday, at the launch of the China Frontier Advisory in Johannesburg. “In the near term, I think some of the inflation fears are definitely unwarranted,” affirmed Economist... 

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