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Macro and Micro News

Tech startup legislation, incentives needed to drive Africa's digital economy

By: Schalk Burger     21st January 2022 Africa’s digital economy could contribute nearly $180-billion to the region’s growth by mid-decade, but, with only 39% of the population using the Internet, Africa is currently the world’s least connected continent. Governments should pass startup legislation, embed startup incentives in... 

SA to get $750-million World Bank loan to boost economic recovery  

By: News24Wire      21st January 2022 The World Bank announced on Friday morning that it had approved South Africa’s request for $750-million (about R11.4-billion) loan.  "This loan will support the government of South Africa’s efforts to accelerate its Covid-19 response aimed at protecting the poor and vulnerable from the adverse... 

The World Bank logo

South Africa bolsters genomics capability to hunt deadly disease

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2022 South Africa is enhancing its capacity to identify and respond to emerging pathogens and deadly diseases after leading global efforts to identify new strains of the coronavirus. The expansion will help “Africa to become a world leader in genomics surveillance and bring technologies to South... 

Medical lab

South African growth projected at 2% this year; inflation, employment to remain challenges

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2022 The research team of financial services firm Nedbank has predicted that South Africa's economy will grow by 2% this year, although the recovery will be uneven for industries. In addition, load-shedding more severe than Stages 1 and 2 could reduce growth by 20 basis points, it cautions. 

North West establishes committee to deal with national disaster bought on by recent floods

By: Yvonne Silaule     20th January 2022 The North West MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs Lenah Miga will lead a committee, established by North West Premier Bushy Maape, to develop a response plan to deal with the disaster brought on by the recent floods across the province. Miga made the... 

South Africa declares national disaster after rain, flood damage

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2022 South Africa has declared a national disaster after torrential rains in several parts of the country resulted in deaths, flooding and damage to property and infrastructure, according to a notice in the Government Gazette. Declaring a national disaster lays the basis for financial and humanitarian... 

Water drops on a window

Aarto still enforced until court judgment – Roads Agency 

By: Thabi Madiba     19th January 2022 The Road Traffic Infringement Agency informed road users on Wednesday that the provisions under the Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences Act are still enforceable until the Constitutional Court makes a judgment on the expected appeal. Last week, the Gauteng High Court in... 

South African inflation nears top of central bank target range

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2022 South Africa’s inflation rate moved closer to the top of the central bank’s target range in December, highlighting the difficult choice between taming price growth and supporting a sluggish economy policy makers will face when deciding on interest rates next week. The annual inflation rate rose... 

SARB to hike rates by 25 bps to 4% on January 27 

By: Reuters     19th January 2022 South Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) will raise interest rates to 4% on January 27 as it continues its hiking cycle amid a pick up in consumer price inflation, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday. Eighteen of 23 economists polled from January 12 to 18 said the central bank would add 25 basis points... 

South African Reserve Bank building

Global climate action accelerating, presenting commercial opportunities and risks - Boston Consulting

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2022 Many company leaders underestimate the pace and extent of the change ahead and, as such, climate change early-movers can attract more talent, play in higher-growth segments and save cash and carbon, as well as reduce risk exposure, access cheaper financing and achieve higher shareholder value,... 

Cyber-risks a major concern for South African, African businesses – Allianz

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2022 Cyber-risks are the biggest concern for companies globally, in South Africa, Africa, the Middle East and Nigeria in 2022, and the threat of ransomware attacks, data breaches or major information technology outages are of greater concern to companies than business and supply chain disruption,... 

Rothschild hired by Eskom’s creditors to help steer debt revamp

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2022 Eskom creditors started working with financial advisory firm Rothschild & Co. as South Africa’s struggling power utility prepares a long-awaited reorganization aimed at returning it to profit and lightening its debt load. Bondholders are forming a common front to protect their interests as the... 

Eskom logo

Govt to appeal high court ruling that AARTO Act is unconstitutional – Mbalula  

By: News24Wire      18th January 2022 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has vowed to appeal the court ruling that dismissed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act as invalid and unconstitutional. Last week, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of OUTA, which challenged the constitutional validity... 

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Bain quits Business Leadership SA so as to not 'distract' from the group's work  

By: News24Wire      18th January 2022 The disgraced local unit of US management consultancy Bain and Company has voluntarily quit Business Leadership SA over the work it did for the SA Revenue Service at the height of State capture.  In a statement on Tuesday, Bain South Africa said its membership of the business lobby group should... 

FedEx says air freight an important part of AfCFTA, Africa's economic growth

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2022 The rapid change in retail and trade networks caused by the global pandemic has highlighted how logistics, and air logistics in particular, is crucial to the economy. Air express also has a role to play in helping drive economic growth in Africa, says logistics and courier services company FedEx... 

FedEx Express sub-Saharan Africa Operations MD Natasha Parmanand
FedEx Express sub-Saharan Africa Operations MD Natasha Parmanand

Industrial gas consumers ‘staring down barrel of gun’ as big July hike looms 

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2022 A court application to have the energy regulator’s 2021 approval of Sasol Gas’s maximum gas prices set aside as irrational is but the latest clash in what has been a long-running saga over the way domestic gas prices are set in a market bereft of competition. This time, however, the stakes for... 

IGUA-SA executive officer Jaco Human
IGUA-SA executive officer Jaco Human

Mantashe on State capture: An attack on deployment is an attack on transformation, democracy

By: News24Wire      14th January 2022 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has warned that the State capture report may launch heavy attacks on deployment - and by extension, transformation and democracy. The minister delivered a keynote address at the gala dinner of the Energy Summit, hosted by the South African... 

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

IEA sees South Africa’s 100 MW reform offering some short-term supply relief 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2022 South Africa’s new policy allowing power plants smaller than 100 MW to connect to the grid for self-consumption and sell power into the grid without applying for a generating licence may help address capacity issues in the short term, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states in a new report.... 

IEA says renewables are set to supply more than 60% of net demand growth in Africa between 2022 and 2024
Photo by Creamer Media
IEA says renewables are set to supply more than 60% of net demand growth in Africa between 2022 and 2024

Green public procurement can help cut 15% of global GHG emissions – report

By: Schalk Burger     13th January 2022 A report by the World Economic Forum and business strategy consultancy the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has found that about 40% of global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions related to public procurement can be abated for less than $15/t of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. According to the 'Green... 

Opinion: The ocean economy is integral to the revival of the Eastern Cape's habitability

12th January 2022 With its immense resource wealth and potential to boost economic growth, employment and innovation, the ocean in the Eastern Cape could become the new economic frontier, writes Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development & Engagement Unit associate Bongani Mankewu. 

Bongani Mankewu

Shopping experience to grow in importance this year, says Emira COO

By: Schalk Burger     12th January 2022 With South Africans almost exclusively shopping in-store, mall owners and retailers that continue to invest in the experiences they offer, as well as the technology to help them achieve this, will be leaders, says JSE-listed real estate investment trust Emira Property Fund COO Ulana van Biljon,... 

World Bank forecasts South African growth of only 2.1% in 2022 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2022 The World Bank is forecasting that growth in South Africa will slow to only 2.1% in 2022 amid decelerating global and regional growth, reflective of continued Covid-19 flare-ups, diminished fiscal support, and lingering supply bottlenecks. The bank’s latest ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report,... 

World Bank warns that low Covid-19 vaccination rates in Africa pose a threat of renewed and more severe outbreaks
World Bank warns that low Covid-19 vaccination rates in Africa pose a threat of renewed and more severe outbreaks

Climate concerns dominate ‘long-term risks’ – WEF  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th January 2022 The World Economic Forum (WEF) has highlighted climate action failure, growing social divides, heightened cyber-risks and uneven global recovery as the foremost risks the world will be facing in coming years. Launching the ‘Global Risks 2022’ report on January 11, which was compiled in... 

WEF president Børge Brende
WEF executives comment on the top global risks in the short, medium and long-term

Africa's debt burden 'hard to ignore' - Naledi Pandor

By: News24Wire      11th January 2022 International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor says the devastating impact of the debt burden to the economies and sovereignties of several African states is hard to ignore. Pandor was responding to a written parliamentary question from Economic Freedom Fighters MP Thembi Msane,... 

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor

Mbalula launches one-off Covid-19 Taxi Relief Fund

By: Yvonne Silaule     11th January 2022 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has officially launched the R1.14-billion one-off ex gratia Covid-19 Taxi Relief Fund (TRF), with qualifying operators expected to receive about R5 000 each. The TRF is a financial support programme by the Department of Transport (DoT) in collaboration with the... 

Minibus taxis parked at the Roodepoort taxi rank

Studies suggest Omicron has higher 'asymptomatic carriage'

By: Reuters     11th January 2022 Preliminary findings from two South African clinical trials suggest the Omicron coronavirus variant has a much higher rate of "asymptomatic carriage" than earlier variants, which could explain why it has spread so rapidly across the globe. The studies - one of which was carried out when Omicron... 

Busa’s offer of resources to NPA may include private prosecutors 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2022 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has resolved to support the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with resources to enable it to “urgently prepare cases” against those identified in a recently released report arising from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture.... 

Busa CEO Cas Coovadia
Photo by Creamer Media
Busa CEO Cas Coovadia

Saita, IDC note success of joint Build Back Better campaign

By: Schalk Burger     10th January 2022 Industry organisation the South African Informal Traders Alliance (Saita), which represents more than two-million informal traders in South Africa, has reported on the success of a joint operation between itself and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) under the IDC's Build Back Better... 

Greater policy certainty needed to ensure reforms, fixed investment, business confidence in 2022 

By: Schalk Burger     10th January 2022 The challenge this year will be to reduce policy uncertainty further, as confidence-building is said to be the cheapest form of economic stimulation, and accelerated economic reforms, higher fixed investment and stronger business confidence need to be backed by policy certainty, the North-West... 

The South African flag and a R2 coin

With shots finally on hand, nations struggle to get them in arms

By: Bloomberg     9th January 2022 As shipments of Covid-19 shots ramp up for billions of people left behind last year, and new vaccines make their way to the public, dozens of countries are struggling to turn supplies into inoculations. A dearth of immunization sites in Cameroon, weak communication and Covid denial in the... 

ANC urges vaccine mandate to help restart economy

By: Bloomberg     9th January 2022 South Africa’s ruling party urged the government to finalize a policy on vaccine mandates for certain settings and activities as it seeks to fully reopen the coronavirus-battered economy. “The success of our economic recovery depends to a large measure on our ability to effectively manage... 

Covid vaccination

Nigerian manufacturers want tax on sugary drinks reversed

By: Bloomberg     7th January 2022 Nigerian manufacturing companies called on the government to halt a tax on sweetened beverages that’s due to come into effect this month, saying it’s unlikely to generate the desired income and could cause some businesses to collapse. The excise levy of 10 naira ($0.02) per liter on all... 

Absa PMI decreased by 3.1 points in Dec, remained in expansionary territory at 54.1

By: Schalk Burger     7th January 2022 The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined by 3.1 points to 54.1 in December, but remained in expansionary territory. All the major subcomponents of the PMI, excluding inventories, were lower in December, and the key 50-point level for the employment index in November proved short lived,... 

Rows of steel round bar

State capture report slams PWC for failing to identify corruption during SAA looting spree

By: News24Wire      7th January 2022 The State Capture Inquiry report has slammed South African Airways's former auditors PWC for failing in its duty as a watchdog institution when it audited the books of the flag carrier between 2012 and 2016. PWC and its joint audit partner, Nkonki Incorporated, gave the State-owned airline... 

South African Airways plane

Bain hits back at scathing Zondo report

By: News24Wire      7th January 2022 The US management consultancy Bain & Company said the first part of the State Capture Inquiry's recently released report mischaracterised the role it played at the South African Revenue Service. The first of three parts of the final report was handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union... 

Former SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane
Photo by Creamer Media
Former SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane

Net foreign reserves rise to $55.31bn in December

By: Reuters     7th January 2022 South Africa's net foreign reserves rose to $55.31-billion in December from $55.16-billion in November, the Reserve Bank said on Friday. Gross reserves edged lower to $57.59-billion in December from $57.62-billion in November. 

Busa calls for urgent but careful study of first part of the Zondo Commission's report

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2022 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has welcomed the publication of Part 1 of the Zondo Commission report into State capture, but says it must be studied carefully and urgently. “We will, as a country, only address the scourge of corruption and State capture, including dealing with it systemically... 

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