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Macro and Micro News

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... 

Communication and planning needed to limit Covid-19 impact on supply chains

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The impact on supply chains owing to the Covid-19 outbreak and from the closure of ports of entry can be mitigated through identification of potential impacts and early communications among affected stakeholders, says advisory firm Deloitte Africa restructuring services leader Jo Mitchell-Marais.... 

Journalism an important national asset, necessity during pandemic – Mthembu

By: Thabi Madiba     26th March 2020 Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Thursday said government appreciated the role of the media during the coronavirus pandemic following government’s classification of the media as an essential service during the Covid-19 lockdown. The country will go into a national lockdown on... 

Journalism an important national asset, necessity during pandemic – Mthembu
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu

Businesses apply for approval to trade during lockdown 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th March 2020 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has announced that all businesses that will be allowed to provide essential services during the national lockdown are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). The approval will allow businesses to trade over... 

Businesses apply for approval to trade during lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Organisations call for support for South Africa’s informal workers

By: Simone Liedtke     26th March 2020 A network of organisations representing informal workers in South Africa – which number about five-million – have lamented the lack of recognition of the challenges the sector faces in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisations called on government, trade union federations and big business... 

Intellidex commends SARB move to 'cross the rubicon'

By: Simone Liedtke     25th March 2020 Financial consultant Intellidex has commended the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB’s) move to begin longer-term repo operations from March 25 and to buy South African Government Bonds (SAGBs) in the secondary market. According to the consultancy, “this is a major, very much necessary crossing... 

Covid-19 impact will be “massive”, says S&P Global Ratings 

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2020 It has become clear that the hit to global economic activity from the measures to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic will be massive, says S&P Global Ratings. “Indeed, analysts in the financial and official sectors are revising their estimates of global gross domestic product (GDP) growth... 

Risk of load-shedding will be low during lockdown - Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2020 Security of energy supply remains critical during the Covid-19 lockdown period, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reiterated on March 25. The supply of fuel to critical and essential services, as well as the supply of coal to Eskom for electricity supply and liquid fuels... 

Risk of load-shedding will be low during lockdown - Mantashe
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe r

Sappi declares force majeure on its Vulindlela project at Saiccor mill

By: Simone Liedtke     25th March 2020 JSE-listed paper and packaging company Sappi has declared force majeure on the Vulindlela dissolving pulp expansion and upgrade project at its Saiccor Mill in alignment with the government’s declaration of a nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19. Sappi on March 25 said the project... 

Stay where you are, says health minister as SA's cases rise to 709 

By: News24Wire      25th March 2020 South Africa now has 709 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in an interview on SABC News on Wednesday. This is a 28% increase in cases since Tuesday. At least 50 new positive coronavirus cases have been registered from a church in the Free State, Mkhize... 

Stay where you are, says health minister as SA's cases rise to 709
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

SA manufacturing sector has small window to safeguard itself against Covid-19

By: African News Agency      25th March 2020 While the containment of the coronavirus (Covid-19) remains the biggest priority of governments and health organisations, its effects on businesses are starting to take their toll, a South African based management consulting firm says. Principal at Kearney, Sujeet Morar, says as cities start to... 

SA manufacturing sector has small window to safeguard itself against Covid-19

South Africa starts preliminary work on a coronavirus vaccine

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 South Africa has started work on the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has said. The University of Cape Town, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the Biological and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa are working... 

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th March 2020 Amid government’s strategy to “flatten the curve” of Coronavirus infections, government departments have shared more details on the measures that would be implemented to support businesses during the national declared lockdown time and afterwards. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered an... 

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Govt sets aside R500m to import medical essentials for coronavirus

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 A special package of R500-million has been set aside for trade finance to import essential medical products to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel announced on Tuesday. The amount forms part of a package of more than R3-billion put together by the... 

 Govt sets aside R500m to import medical essentials for coronavirus
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Treasury mum on upcoming Moody's decision – but says SA is still within budget  

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 While National Treasury cannot yet comment on Moody's rating decision, expected this week, Director General Dondo Mogajane says that for now, Treasury is still acting within its means in addressing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Mogajane was on Tuesday speaking at a briefing in Pretoria,... 

Treasury mum on upcoming Moody's decision – but says SA is still within budget
Photo by Creamer Media
Treasury DG Dondo Mogajane

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and the Minerals Council South Africa on March 24 to consolidate plans to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The meeting follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the... 

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Local building sector confidence reaches 20-year low

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 South Africa’s building sector is expected to contract further in the second quarter. The First National Bank (FNB) and Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index, had already reached a two-decade low of 13 points in the first quarter of this year, down from 25 points in the... 

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency 

By: Terence Creamer     24th March 2020 Project finance and energy specialists from a leading domestic law firm have questioned whether the timetable outlined by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for providing its concurrence with two Ministerial determinations for new power generation “truly reflects the urgency of... 

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency

Ramaphosa spells relief for companies in Covid-19 distress

By: African News Agency      24th March 2020 As South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown to curtail the runaway spread of the Coronavirus in South Africa, he also revealed assistance packages for businesses in distress due to the crisis. “Using the tax system, we will provide a tax subsidy of up to R500 per... 

 Ramaphosa spells relief for companies in Covid-19 distress
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown for South Africa 

By: African News Agency      23rd March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a national lockdown in South Africa as the government announced measures to curtail the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).  "The National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on... 

 Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown for South Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Chemicals, oil projects under threat following coronavirus outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2020 In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and collapse in crude oil prices, midstream chemicals, oil and gas companies must cut capital expenditure (capex) for growth projects to preserve cash, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (Icis) said in a statement on Monday. The US and... 

Business bodies set up specialist task teams to help govt tackle coronavirus 

By: News24Wire      23rd March 2020 South African business bodies and lobby groups have set up specialised task teams to help government respond to the coronavirus. These include a health task team - focusing on healthcare interventions - as well as an economic task team and a labour task team, all of which will in turn be assisted... 

 Business bodies set up specialist task teams to help govt tackle coronavirus

Airbus, Boeing take steps to improve liquidity amid Covid-19 spread

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2020 Aviation company Airbus is continuing to assess the ongoing situation and the impact of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 disease, on its business, customers, suppliers and the industry. It has, in the interim, announced measures to bolster its liquidity and balance sheet in response to... 

Africa needs $100bn stimulus to combat virus

By: Bloomberg     23rd March 2020 Africa needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus of $100-billion to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and almost half of that could come from waiving interest payments for countries on the continent, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The waiver of... 

South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases jump by 128 to 402 

By: Reuters     23rd March 2020 South Africa's Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Monday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen to 402, a jump of 128 since Sunday's announcement that could worry public health experts concerned about the country's readiness to deal with the epidemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa... 

South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases jump by 128 to 402
Photo by Creamer Media
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2020 The stimulus plans being developed by governments to counter the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic “offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities”, International... 

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages
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