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Macro and Micro News

Basa expresses confidence in newly appointed MD amid pandemic

By: Thabi Madiba     Updated 16 minutes ago The Banking Association South Africa (Basa) has announced the appointment of Bongiwe Kunene as its new MD, saying her skills and experience will serve the association well, while building on the strengths of the financial services sector amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Kunene replaces... 

South Africa should seek IMF funding to deal with pandemic - IIF

By: Reuters     Updated 31 minutes ago  South Africa should seek funding from the International Monetary Fund given its high debt levels, large capital outflows and a potentially deep recession triggered by the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, a financial industry trade group said. The Institute of International Finance said it... 

A grim economic forecast for South Africa from JP Morgan

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 46 minutes ago US-based investment bank and financial services company JP Morgan Chase & Company (JP Morgan) has, in its latest weekly economic forecast for more than 40 countries and regions around the world, identified South Africa as one of the five countries likely to be the most severely hit by the... 

A grim economic forecast for South Africa from JP Morgan

Cleanliness routines can help to keep SA safe, productive once back at work

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 2 hours 28 minutes ago Personal and public cleanliness practices, as well as thorough cleaning of work places before workers return from the 21-day lockdown and continuing afterwards, will help to reduce incidents of illness, absenteeism and support productivity, says industrial cleaning company Industroclean MD Emma... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on March 31 that applications for the National Disaster Covid-19 benefit, which had been put in place to mitigate the effects of lay-offs during the lockdown, would not be handled on an individual basis and would instead need to be submitted... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Since the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa would embark on a 21-day national lockdown, the majority of aviation activities have slowed dramatically, with all domestic airlines having halted passenger flights effective from the start of the lockdown. South Africa’s... 

Mbalula provides clarity on aviation directives
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally 

By: Irma Venter     31st March 2020 A project is underway to produce a homegrown mask for use by all South Africans, close to the standard of the FFP2 and N95 facemasks. FF2 and N95 masks are medical standard masks, often provided to hospital staff working on the frontline of infection control. They offer between 94% and 95%... 

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally

Two unions jointly attack the government over regional airline SA Express

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2020 In a joint statement on March 31, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have blasted the government over its handling of the crisis in State-owned regional airline SA Express. Their response was to a statement on the... 

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom 

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 Zimbabwe has paid off all its debts to Eskom and is now in a position to negotiate for a new deal, the country’s Minister of Energy, Fortune Chasi, tweeted on Monday evening. Eskom in the past threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Zimbabwe after its debt reached $33-million. In August... 

Zimbabwe at last pays off debt to Eskom

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 The South African Revenue Services (Sars) has acknowledged the impact the spread of Covid-19 could have on businesses and people within an already struggling economy. Consequently, it has pledged its commitment to maintaining the essential services that it provides in efforts to mitigate the... 

Taxpayers urged to remain compliant during Covid-19 lockdown

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 South African tax incentive fund manager Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to fast-track emergency amendments to the Section 12J legislation so that R6-billion of investor capital can be more speedily invested in small, medium and micro... 

Call for R6bn to be fast-tracked for small business
Photo by Westbrooke
Westbrooke principal and chairperson of the Section 12J Industry Association Dino Zuccollo

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Engineering company Fluor Corporation has announced that Bill Langenbach has been named as the company’s new GM for South Africa. Langenbach has more than three decades of experience with Fluor, and has held various positions within the company and worked on a variety of projects. 

Fluor names Bill Langenbach as new GM
Bill Langenbach

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 In less than a month, South Africa has ramped up its ability to test people for the novel coronavirus from a few hundred, to a few thousand every day. And, thanks to new equipment delivered in the past few days, with more expected by mid-April, testing numbers are expected to increase dramatically. 

The numbers game: SA dramatically ramps up testing, but trends remain unclear

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'

By: African News Agency      31st March 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is hopeful the country will overcome the coronavirus outbreak despite the country recording its third Covid-19 death and confirmed cases increasing to 1,326. In a televised speech on Monday, Ramaphosa called on residents to adhere to the lockdown regulation... 

Ramaphosa says screening for Covid-19 to be rolled out at 'huge scale'
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Nampak expects Covid-19 to further hinder already burdened economies

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 As economies shift their focus towards containing the spread of and the eradication of the Covid-19 virus, packaging products manufacturer Nampak on March 30 lamented that the pandemic was expected to further hinder an already burdened economy, and that it would put further pressure on consumers’... 

Department publishes guidelines for Debt Relief Finance Scheme, Business Growth Facility

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 The Department of Small Business Development has published, on its websites, the Guidelines for Application for the Debt Relief Finance Scheme and Business Growth/Resilience Facility. The online application form will be available from April 2; however, only small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs)... 

Small businesses are already suffering from less cash flow, laying off workers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) in a pre-lockdown Covid-19 survey found that about 82% of small businesses, out of thousands asked, were urgently in need of a business continuity plan. The respondents to the survey indicated that businesses needed low-interest disaster recovery... 

Small businesses are already suffering from less cash flow, laying off workers
NSBC founder and CEO Mike Anderson

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2020 The Solidarity Fund announced on March 30 that it would be using a portion of the R500-million raised during its first week of operations to facilitate the emergency procurement of the personal protective equipment – including five-million face masks – that was urgently required by public and... 

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

By: News24Wire      30th March 2020 Allegations by the business rescue practitioners of SA Express that the government deliberately withheld financial support from them, and that the state's approach to the business rescue process was unconstructive are baseless, the Department of Public Enterprises has said.  The department on... 

Public Enterprises to study liquidation application by SA Express business rescue practitioners

Economy faces harder recovery path following Moody’s downgrade, says business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 Business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says Moody’s downgrade of South Africa’s debt rating to junk status will significantly impact the way the economy is defended through the Covid-19 crisis. The ratings agency on March 27 downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit... 

Economy faces harder recovery path following Moody’s downgrade, says business

Satellite technology can unlock South Africa’s development and economic potential

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th March 2020 As South Africa experiences a renewed wave of slow Internet connectivity, satellite broadband technology presents a more stable connectivity link that is not influenced by factors such as breakage or other terrestrial impacts, said MzansiSat COO Victor Stephanopoli. Connectivity disruptions... 

SA Treasury introduces tax subsidies among measures to mitigate impact of Covid-19

By: African News Agency      30th March 2020 South Africa's Treasury announced a tax subsidy for some employers, among measures to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. In a statement on Sunday, the Treasury said the measures, effective from April 1, were over and above the tax proposals made in the 2020 budget review... 

SA Treasury introduces tax subsidies among measures to mitigate impact of Covid-19
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Nel Hydrogen’s Wallingford plant resumes operations

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 Hydrogen company Nel Hydrogen US has been defined as “essential manufacturing business” by the Connecticut state and the plant in Wallingford has, therefore, been allowed to resume operations amid the outbreak of Covid-19. However, revenues and operations will still be negatively impacted by... 

South Africa announces tax relief for business hit by coronavirus

By: Reuters     30th March 2020 The National Treasury said on Sunday it was introducing a new tax subsidy of R500 a month for each worker to employers for the next four months to cushion financial losses suffered by firms due to the coronavirus. In a statement, the treasury said it would also permit businesses with revenue of... 

South Africa announces tax relief for business hit by coronavirus
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Moody's downgrade to 'junk' adds to South Africa pain

By: Reuters     27th March 2020  Moody's downgraded South Africa's sovereign credit rating to "junk" status on Friday, heaping more pain on an economy already in recession and now staring down the barrel of a steep contraction over the global coronavirus pandemic. The ratings firm downgraded the rating one notch to 'Ba1' from... 

UIF to process Covid-19 TERs to assist employers, workers during lockdown

27th March 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has recently announced measures that the Department will put in place under the current special circumstance relating to the Corona virus (COVID-19) and its impact on UIF contributors. Therefore, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner,... 

Franchises ready to weather lockdown storm but challenges remain

By: Donna Slater     27th March 2020 The franchise sector, while being able to stay financially afloat during 2019, but which has increasingly and rapidly come under a lot of strain resulting from the 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, requires government intervention as all small business and franchise owners. Their... 

UK and Unilever public-private partnership to fight Covid-19 in developing countries

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The UK government and the Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation Unilever are jointly funding a programme to help counter the spread of Covid-19 in poor countries. The programme will receive up to £50-million from each (for a total of up to £100-million). The intent is to make hygiene products... 

Moody's to cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating to junk – economists

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 Moody's will cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating later on Friday as a recession deepened by the impact of coronavirus frustrates economic reform efforts aimed at reducing government debt, a Reuters poll of economists found. Taken in the last three days, the survey showed 12 of 18... 

International air transport body urges global economic group to act to save aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 On March 26 the International Air Transport Association (Iata) addressed an appeal, on behalf of the global airline industry, to the leaders of the Group of 20 leading economic powers (G20). The G20 members together accounted for some 85% of the world’s gross domestic product, more than 75% of... 

Standard Bank ‘ready to serve’ during Covid-19 lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 Financial institution Standard Bank on March 27 said it “strongly supports” the measures to preserve people’s health and lives, adding that the strong public health measures adopted by governments against the spread of Covid-19 were “urgently necessary”. In his weekly newsletter, Standard Bank CE... 

Standard Bank ‘ready to serve’ during Covid-19 lockdown

Zimbabwe cuts rates, miners send coronavirus distress signals

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 Zimbabwe's central bank cut its main lending rate to 25% on Thursday and set a fixed exchange rate as part of measures to support the economy against the coronavirus pandemic. The Chamber of Mines, which represents major mining companies in the country, said mineral production could fall 60% in... 

South Africa’s first two coronavirus deaths in Western Cape, cases over 1 000

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 South Africa has recorded its first two deaths due to coronavirus, on Friday and the cases have now surpassed 1 000. In a statement from Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, both deaths took place in the Western Cape. One patient in a private hospital and the other in a public hospital. He said the... 

South Africa’s first two coronavirus deaths in Western Cape, cases over 1 000
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Food research group warns on precarious nutrition situation of 50% of South Africans

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The independent research Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned that poorer households in South Africa would be put at risk, in terms of both their nutrition and health, if they suffer from a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, because  measures to counter, or... 

South Africa Coronavirus cases exceed 900, Ramaphosa urges G20 aid

By: Reuters     27th March 2020 South Africa's number of coronavirus cases jumped to more than 900 on Thursday and President Cyril Ramaphosa called for richer countries to help African nations deal with the economic fallout, hours before the start of a countrywide lockdown. The president underwent a test on Tuesday on the... 

South Africa Coronavirus cases exceed 900, Ramaphosa urges G20 aid
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 With export and original equipment demand in the automotive industry in Africa growing year on year, it is critical for companies to expand their reach into high-growth markets in Africa to secure long-term growth, says Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) CEO and National Association... 

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth
NEW TYRES The performance standards, wear characteristics and manufacturing requirements of tyres used on electric vehicles are different to those used on internal combustion engine vehicles

SA automotive manufacturing long-term planning, growth supported by policy

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has been part of the fabric of the South African automotive manufacturing landscape for over 40 years. In that time the sector has evolved from a highly protected, inward-focused production base that exclusively... 

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