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Macro and Micro News

Ramaphosa announces ban on sale of alcohol, nationwide curfew returns

By: African News Agency      12th July 2020 As South Africa heads towards a peak in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the sale of alcohol across the country will be suspended and a nationwide curfew will be re-instituted.  “As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not... 

Infrastructure at core of business’ R3.4-trillion economic recovery proposal 

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2020 Business for South Africa released an economic recovery strategy paper on July 10 that includes a list of 12 priority initiatives, many infrastructure-related, which the formation argues could bolster gross domestic product by R1-trillion, create up to 1.5-million jobs and increase yearly tax... 

Infrastructure at core of business’ R3.4-trillion economic recovery proposal
B4SA paper says green-economy investments should be accelerated as part of infrastructure-led recovery

Tribunal confirms three more consent agreements related to excessive pricing

By: Simone Liedtke     10th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed three more consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints. The Competition Commission had concluded the consent agreements with the three firms after receiving and investigating complaints from the public. 

DTIC establishes industrial parks association as part of revitalisation efforts

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has invested more than R760-million in its Industrial Parks Revitalisation programme since its inception in 2015. The department, together with stakeholders, are in the process of establishing digital hubs in a number of industrial parks... 

L2D says interim financial results ‘severely impacted’

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 Trading improvement has been slow since the Level 3 lockdown restrictions were implement and JSE-listed real estate investment trust Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) says there has been “a severe impact on the second quarter and consequently the first half of the 2020 financial year". As a result, the... 

South Africa's manufacturing output down 49.4% on Covid-19 impact 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 South Africa's manufacturing production decreased by 49.4% year-on-year in April. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reports that the largest contributors to this decline was the motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment sector, where output decreased by 98%... 

Renergen CEO discusses company, project investment case

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 JSE- and ASX-listed Renergen is aiming to supply between 12% and 15% of the world's helium with Phase 2 of its Virginia gas project, in the Free State. The project is owned by Renergen subsidiary, Tetra4. 

Renergen CEO discusses company, project investment case
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 to stress that South Africa’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon path needed to be both systematic and just.... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

SA mid-year population increases to estimated 59.62m 

By: African News Agency      9th July 2020 South Africa's mid-year population is estimated to have increased to 59.62-million in 2020, according to a report released on Thursday by Statistics South Africa. "Gauteng continues to record the largest share of South Africa’s population, with approximately 15.5-million people (26,0%) living in... 

 SA mid-year population increases to estimated 59.62m

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 United Nations secretary-general António Guterres appealed to governments on Thursday to place the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy at the “core” of their Covid-19 economic recovery spending. Guterres also used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy... 

Clean energy should be at ‘core’ of Covid-19 stimulus plans – Guterres
United Nations secretary-general António Guterres

First inclined well at Renergen’s Virginia gas project to spud later this month

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 The first inclined well at emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s Virginia gas project, in the Free State, is expected to spud late in July, and reach the primary target at the base of the Karoo sequence/top Wits formation late in August. This is the company’s first inclined... 

South Africa's just transition 

9th July 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's efforts to ensure a just transition and how the proposed repurposing of Eskom's power stations fits into that. 

South Africa's just transition
South Africa's just transition

Covid-19-impacted brands could lose as much as 15% of value – Brand Finance

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and domestic economies, South Africa’s top 50 most valuable brands could lose up to 15% of brand value cumulatively, a drop of more than R65-billion compared with the original valuation date of January 1, according to the latest 'South Africa... 

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy 

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2020 African countries should aim to invest 25% of their Covid-19 stimulus budgets in renewable energy, Sustainable Energy for All CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi said on Wednesday, noting that renewable energy had emerged as the cheapest source of new electricity for most countries on the continent. Speaking... 

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy

South African companies say economic growth will reduce racial inequality

By: Bloomberg     8th July 2020 South Africa’s biggest companies believe they have the solution to the racial inequality that has riven the country since the end of apartheid a quarter-century ago: Grow the economy. The debate about integrating more Black South Africans into one of the world’s most-unequal societies is being... 

South African companies say economic growth will reduce racial inequality

PSV business rescue plan presentation delayed

By: Simone Liedtke     8th July 2020 The business rescue practitioners handling industrial holding company PSV Holdings’ business rescue process have extended the date for presentation of the business rescue plan to July 13. More than 50% of PSV’s creditors had agreed to the extention. 

Activists highlight Santam’s refusal to pay out Covid-19 business interruption claims

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2020 South African non-profit shareholder activist organisation Just Share has highlighted local insurance group Santam’s refusal to pay out business interruption claims from policy holders in the hospitality and tourism sector resulting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This followed Just... 

Eskom issues power alert due to 'constrained system' 

By: African News Agency      8th July 2020 South African power utility, Eskom on Wednesday issued an alert level one urging users to reduce electricity supply due to a constrained system. "Eskom requests the public to reduce electricity usage as the power generation system is still severely constrained. This morning one generation unit... 

 Eskom issues power alert due to 'constrained system'

Court orders insurer to pay business interruption claim for Covid-19 lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th July 2020 The Western Cape High Court has ordered insurance company Guardrisk to pay the business interruption claims of Cape restaurant Cafe Chameleon. The ruling has been welcomed by specialist public loss adjustment firm Insurance Claims Africa (ICA). “This is a significant win for the tourism and... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 A collaboration between the chicken industry and nonprofit organisations (NGOs) WeCan and Atterbury Trust has delivered hope to 222 vulnerable families in Pretoria in the form of food parcels. According to principal Erich Cloete, several of the families whose children attend Westerlig Primary... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

Cleaning company fined R250 000 following 2016 Sassa tender collusion

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has, after requesting and receiving further submissions from involved parties, confirmed a consent agreement whereby corporate cleaning company Quintax Cleaning Services has admitted to collusion in 2016 with regard to a South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’

Gauteng Covid-19 visualisation platform enables monitoring, prediction

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A visual analytics tool allows Gauteng Government users to visualise prediction models provided by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to see predicted active Covid-19 cases, as well as predicted bed availability over time. This can help determine where to focus resources ahead of when... 

ECSA chief says ‘new normal’ involves putting expertise together for greater good

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) CEO Sipho Madonsela says the manner in which business operates has shifted and the need to heed the call for a “new normal” is now. His statement comes amid the continuing spread of Covid-19 throughout South Africa and while the measures taken to try... 

South Africa's consumer confidence crashes to lowest level since 1985 

By: African News Agency      7th July 2020 Consumer confidence in South Africa plunged to its lowest in about 35 years during the second quarter of 2020, dragged down by the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent severe restrictions to almost all non-essential economic activity, a survey showed on Tuesday. The First National Bank/Bureau of... 

South Africa's consumer confidence crashes to lowest level since 1985

Debt sale may tell if investors can stomach South African glut

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 It could prove to be the bond auction that swamped the South African market. Demand at weekly sales of fixed-rate bonds has been well below average since the National Treasury raised issuance by 34% in May. Now it’s increasing the amount again, and the question is whether investors have the... 

Massmart warns up to 1 800 Game employees could be retrenched

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Retail firm Massmart has started consultations with organized labour and other relevant stakeholders, with respect to the possible retrenchment of up to 1 800 employees in its Game stores in South Africa. The consultation process forms part of the firm’s opportunities assessment to improve Game... 

South African banks approve more than R30.6bn in Covid-19 relief 

By: African News Agency      7th July 2020 Local banks have so far approved more than R30.6-billion in relief to individuals and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown imposed in response, the Banking Association South Africa said on Tuesday. In addition, over R10.6-billion has been extended to distressed... 

 South African banks approve more than R30.6bn in Covid-19 relief

Africa’s biggest investment takes shape under Islamist threat

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 Dozens of soldiers clutching AK-47s and grenade launchers watch over roaring bulldozers on the white sand beach that meets a tropical turquoise sea. They’re guarding Africa’s biggest investment: a $23 billion project to export Mozambique’s natural gas from an area increasingly besieged by an... 

Renergen believes Virginia project could relieve global helium shortage woes

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen says its Virginia project, in South Africa’s Free State province, has the potential to be the answer to the world’s helium shortage woes following a recent helium prospective resources report, which confirms that the project has undiscovered gross... 

Renergen believes Virginia project could relieve global helium shortage woes
The compression station at Renergen's Virginia gas project, in the Free State.

UFS expanding virtual student support services

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2020 The University of the Free State (UFS) on July 6 announced that it was adding tutoring and mentoring services to its student support initiatives. These would be funded by the youth education nonprofit organisation Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The projects the university will implement are... 

Nxesi welcomes arrest of five people who allegedly defrauded UIF of R5.7m in Covid-19 relief funds

By: African News Agency      5th July 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has welcomed the arrest this weekend of five suspects accused of being part of "the enterprise that scammed R5.7 million" from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) meant to provide relief for workers during the coronavirus (Covid-10) lockdown. The five... 

'You are ready and getting readier' – Ramaphosa is pleased with Mpumalanga's Covid-19 plans

By: News24Wire      3rd July 2020 Conducting an oversight visit in Mpumalanga on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was pleased with the plans the province has put in place to deal with Covid-19, especially as infections are expected to rise. As of 2 July, Mpumalanga had 1 478 confirmed cases of Covid-19, one of the... 

'You are ready and getting readier' – Ramaphosa is pleased with Mpumalanga's Covid-19 plans
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa says coronavirus forums will be rolled out countrywide

By: Yvonne Silaule     3rd July 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on July 3 said coronavirus forums would be rolled out nationwide and commended the Mpumalanga province for establishing the first such forums. “I commend the Mpumalanga province for establishing coronavirus forums. It is a new approach and it is fantastic coming from the... 

South African think tank joins overseas partners in condemning China over Hong Kong

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 South African think tank the Free Market Foundation (FMF) has joined 36 other such institutions, spread across 35 countries and territories, in releasing an open letter condemning the actions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government regarding Hong Kong. The think tanks form the Economic... 

Mpumalanga develops ‘pillared strategy’ to curb Covid-19 spread

By: Yvonne Silaule     3rd July 2020 With Mpumalanga coronavirus infections projected to peak in the latter part of July, the province has developed a pillared strategy to alleviate the spread of the virus. The number of Covid-19 infections in the province is currently at 1 478. Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tshipane said the... 

Mpumalanga develops ‘pillared strategy’ to curb Covid-19 spread

ECSA suspends four Satellite Centres in light of Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd July 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged and shifted the premise upon which the Engineering Council of South Africa’s (ECSA’s) Satellite Centres were introduced, leading to the suspension these four centres, says ECSA acting strategic services executive Millicent Kabwe. In email correspondence to... 

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