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Macro and Micro News

Adcock Ingram reports ‘resilient’ interim trading performance

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 2 hours 56 minutes ago South African pharmaceutical manufacturer Adcock Ingram on February 24 reported a 4% increase in turnover, to R3.8-billion, for the six months ended December 31, 2020, during which the group experienced challenging trading conditions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as a depressed... 

Master plans are paying off, says DTIC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 3 hours ago The implementation of master plans has already started bearing fruit in four sectors of the South African economy – sugar, automotive, poultry and retail (clothing), textile, footwear and leather (R-CTFL). Close to R70-billion has been invested toward reigniting major key sectors that drive... 

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 4 hours ago The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

Committee recommends expanding Covid-19 loan scheme controls

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 4 hours ago The Standing and Select Committee on Finance on the 2020 second Revised Fiscal Framework has recommended that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni consider extending the R200-billion Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme enable development finance institutions to provide liquidity to projects that they are... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 4 hours ago The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), which defaulted on its debt obligations on April 1, 2020, and is renegotiating it repayment terms, will receive R7-billion in recapitalisation over the medium term to put it on a stable and sustainable development path, the... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

Mboweni withdraws R40bn tax proposal amid smaller-than-projected revenue shortfall 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 5 hours ago As was widely anticipated, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni refrained from announcing any new tax measures in his 2021 Budget, citing the need to support the pandemic-afflicted economy’s recovery. In addition, he announced a surprise withdrawal of previously announced hikes worth R40-billion, which... 

Mboweni withdraws R40bn tax proposal amid smaller-than-projected revenue shortfall

Vaccination roll-out a vital growth stimulus, but decisive action on reforms remains key to recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 5 hours ago Finance Minister Tito Mboweni made a direct link to a successful roll-out of South Africa’s free Covid-19 vaccination programme and the country’s economic recovery, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that a successful roll-out would support a full reopening of the economy, boost growth and facilitate... 

Vaccination roll-out a vital growth stimulus, but decisive action on reforms remains key to recovery
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Africa has lost a great thinker – Ramaphosa pays tribute to Benno Ndulu

By: Thabi Madiba     24th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness, on Wednesday, at the passing of respected Tanzanian economist Professor Benno Ndulu, saying Africa had lost a great thinker and visionary in the infancy of continental free trade.  Ndulu, aged 71, passed away in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, in... 

Africa has lost a great thinker – Ramaphosa pays tribute to Benno Ndulu
Tanzanian economist Professor Benno Ndulu

Two South African airports just got official new names

By: News24Wire      24th February 2021 Two secondary airports – and one fairly big city – have official new names from Tuesday. Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa recognised the new names by publication in the Government Gazette, alongside a handful of registrations of existing geographic names, and some spelling corrections. 

SBI calls on Mboweni to maintain SME and household support until pandemic contained

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lobby organisation the Small Business Institute (SBI) has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to speed up economic reforms, invest in infrastructure and not abruptly cut off support for SMEs. “As the pandemic has yet to be overcome through a rigorous... 

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2021 Infrastructure and contract mining group Aveng, which is at the tail-end of a far-reaching restructuring exercise that has been under way since 2017, has reported its first positive earnings since 2014, recording headline earnings of R109-million for the six months to December 31. The recovery... 

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Aveng CEO Sean Flanagan

Unemployment rate rises to 32.5% 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd February 2021 South Africa's official unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the highest since Statistics South Africa started publishing its Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008. Stats SA reports that the number of employed persons increased by 333 000... 

Unemployment rate rises to 32.5%

SAIW seeks to alleviate key skills shortages

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2021 The South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) is gearing up to present its internationally recognised nondestructive testing (NDT) Level 3 Workshop in March. The workshop builds on pre-existing Level 1 and 2 NDT qualifications to enable attendees to take on a more senior managerial role within an... 

SAIW seeks to alleviate key skills shortages

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2021 JSE-listed Sasol announced on Monday that it would pursue a 900 MW renewable-energy roll-out at its Secunda and Sasolburg complexes by 2030, raising its initial deployment target of 600 MW by 50%. President and CEO Fleetwood Grobler said that the upscaled plan would be pursued in partnership with... 

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role
The Secunda complex, in Mpumalanga

BLSA calls for budget prioritisation amid fiscal constraints

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2021 In her weekly newsletter, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso has called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to demonstrate that government is focused on the composition of spending; not just about restraining it, but spending it on the right things. The message delivered in the... 

African impact investment solution launched

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2021 Sub-Saharan Africa fund manager African Alliance Asset Management and social investment manager Tshikululu Social Investments have launched an impact investment offering for Africa called Thrive Africa for global investors. Impact investments are defined as investments that are designed to... 

Greater localisation of OEM supply needed

By: Darren Parker     19th February 2021 Despite the pandemic being a strong motivator for original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to localise procurement, rubber products manufacturer Hudson Rubber MD Stoney Steenkamp believes that too many local OEMs still lack the drive to do so. “Although many customers made huge efforts to localise... 

Greater localisation of OEM supply needed
STONEY STEENKAMP Why should we require a pandemic for customers to localise?

Rubber manufacturer buoyed in tough economy

By: Darren Parker     19th February 2021 Rubber manufacturer Rubber Products and Mouldings (RPM) is “very bullish” about the year ahead, with the company poised for growth despite the difficult economic circumstances because of ongoing lockdowns. “The economy is not strong, so it certainly won’t be easy for any business. However, RPM... 

Rubber manufacturer buoyed in tough economy
WAYNE TOZER AND SUE SUPASAR RPM has performed well after the 2019 takeover, following a series of strategic adjustments to operating costs.

Unpacking opportunities in Africa’s gas sector

19th February 2021 Africa’s oil and gas potential will grow significantly over the next two decades, driven by population growth, urbanisation and the emergence of a wealthier middle class in Africa, according to the Africa Energy Indaba, which will take place virtually from March 1 to 5. 

Unpacking opportunities in Africa’s gas sector
OPPORTUNITIES GALORE There is no doubt that Africa remains open for exploration by oil and gas companies

Home Affairs publishes draft new critical skills list, aimed at attracting foreigners

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 On Thursday, South Africa finally released a proposed new list of critical skills that can make it easier for foreigners in certain jobs to work here. Those who meet the requirements on the list can get easier access to a visa to work and live in South Africa. 

Spectrum licensing may be slower than hoped - Webber Wentzel 

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2021 The release of radio frequency spectrum for various telecommunications, industrial and commercial uses may take longer than hoped for, given the challenges to ensure equitable access and to enable digital transformation and growth in the economy, says law firm Webber Wentzel senior associate Karl... 

Spectrum licensing may be slower than hoped - Webber Wentzel
Webber Wentzel senior associate Karl Blom briefly summarises key aspects of radio frequency spectrum licensing in South Africa. Video editing: Darlene Creamer.

A 'more conducive business environment’ needed for South Africa to recover – report

By: Simone Liedtke     18th February 2021 With the largest number of jobs created in 2021’s economic recovery expected to come from the private sector, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that government will need to continue working with the private sector to create “a more conducive business environment” as an enabler of job creation.... 

Is South Africa entering the age of business rescue?

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Even before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, arguably the most prominent business rescue in the country had already made headlines: that of South African Airways (SAA), which after more than a year is still not finalised. More recently, Ster-Kinekor became the latest high-profile company to... 

DMRE says emergency-power deviation notice will not trigger legal challenge 

18th February 2021 On February 12, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel published a Gazette notice granting the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) permission to deviate from the relevant Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment code of good practice for the Risk Mitigation Independent... 

DMRE says emergency-power deviation notice will not trigger legal challenge

Crime and (no) punishment: Why Africa's ports are vulnerable to counterfeit Covid vaccines

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Black-green tears of moss streak the facades of once-white buildings. The city is a maze of narrow streets, some cobbled with sea-stones, calcified by the centuries that have passed since they were laid. The air, always humid, is aromatic with sweet spices and fish, salt-washed from the nearby... 

Budget to focus on tax enforcement, improved collections, and wealth tax unlikely, says EY 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th February 2021 South Africa’s budget, which is to be presented in parliament on February 24, is unlikely to result in the introduction of a wealth tax or any other significant tax increases. Rather, it is more likely that the National Treasury will take steps to ensure tax enforcement and collection, says... 

Volatility continues to impact Africa’s capital markets activity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th February 2021 African equity capital market (ECM) activity had been the lowest in the last decade in 2020, recording a significant decline in both volume and value, PwC notes in its latest edition of the 'Africa Capital Markets Watch' publication. African ECM recorded a value decline of 2% and a volume decline... 

‘Solid’ results bolster Emira's financials

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2021 Diversified real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira’s headline earnings a share decreased by 6.1% to 80.12c for the six months ended December 31, 2020. Earnings a share decreased by 100.6% to 0.46c for the period. 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha 

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have received two of the country’s first ever Covid-19 vaccine shots from the Johnson & Johnson consignment, which arrived in the country on Tuesday evening. Ramaphosa and Mkhize were vaccinated alongside health workers at the Khayelitsha... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SAHRC recommends Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration amid ongoing Vaal river pollution 

By: Schalk Burger     17th February 2021 The South African Human Rights Commission warns that the Vaal river, "Gauteng's most vital water resource", may have been irreparably damaged and recommends that the Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration and that public servants, municipal administrators and staff who failed to... 

SAHRC recommends Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration amid ongoing Vaal river pollution

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be vaccinated at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, in the Western Cape, on Wednesday, following the late-night arrival of 800 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Tuesday. Ramaphosa said in statement that he and Mkhize will join health... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

PwC global survey highlights risks that family businesses will not meet ESG targets

By: Schalk Burger     16th February 2021 A global survey of 2 801 family business-owners by advisory multinational PwC found that 55% of respondents saw the potential for their business to lead on sustainability, but only 37% have a defined environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy in place. Furthermore, European and American... 

MTN, MasterCard partnership enables mobile e-commerce payments

By: Schalk Burger     16th February 2021 Payment technology multinational MasterCard and telecommunications services multinational MTN on February 16 announced that MTN customers in 16 African countries will be able to make e-commerce payments safely and securely using a MasterCard virtual payment solution linked to MTN's mobile money... 

Upheaval is coming to South Africa over the shift away from coal

By: Bloomberg     16th February 2021 A photograph in the entrance hall at Komati Power Station shows the plant in better times, its nine generating units belching steam and smoke into the night sky. Those days are never coming back: Komati’s sole remaining working unit is facing closure within two years under plans by state power... 

‘Vaccine nationalism’ will hurt all countries: New WTO chief

By: News24Wire      16th February 2021 The World Trade Organization’s incoming chief has warned against “vaccine nationalism” that would slow progress in ending the Covid-19 pandemic and could erode economic growth for all countries – rich and poor. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the Reuters news agency that her top priority is to ensure... 

‘Vaccine nationalism’ will hurt all countries: New WTO chief
Photo by Reuters
Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO 

By: Reuters     16th February 2021 Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing on Monday to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A self-declared "doer" with a track record of... 

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO
Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO (Video: WTO)

South Africa risks more inequality if it does not digitalise, says the WEF

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th February 2021 The World Economic Forum (WEF) in its latest 'Global Risks Report 2021' finds that Covid-19 has not only claimed millions of lives, but also risks widened long-standing health, economic and digital disparities. The WEF, together with report collaborators professional services firms Marsh... 

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