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Macro and Micro News

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

21st September 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. Since August 18, when the country moved to Level 2 of the lockdown, the number of cases has plateaued at... 

Astral Foods CEO hospitalised after motorcycle accident

By: Simone Liedtke     21st September 2020 Poultry producer Astral Foods CEO Chris Schutte has been hospitalised following a motorcycle accident in celebration of his upcoming sixtieth birthday. Schutte was airlifted to a medical facility, in George, where he is being stabilised and treated for multiple fractures after the accident on... 

BLSA’s Mavuso calls for urgency in implementation of economic recovery plan 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st September 2020 South Africa’s move to Alert Level 1 in the Covid-19-induced lockdown is “the right one”, as this means that more of the economy can function, and “more people can get back to work”, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. In her weekly newsletter on September 21, Mavuso... 

Busa’s Pityana stresses need for approval, implementation of Economic Recovery Action Plan 

By: Simone Liedtke     18th September 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) President Sipho Pityana has called for a “more empathetic approach” with South Africa recently passing two important milestones on the road to salvaging its battered economy. These milestones comprise the Covid-19 lockdown having been scaled down to Alert Level... 

Nersa to learn next week if tariff-raising Eskom judgment can be appealed 

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2020 High Court Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane will decide next week whether to grant the National Energy Regulator of South Africa leave to appeal her July 28 judgment, which found the regulator’s decision to deduct a R69-billion equity injection into Eskom from its allowable revenue for the period... 

Nersa to learn next week if tariff-raising Eskom judgment can be appealed

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

By: Simone Liedtke     18th September 2020 As the world becomes more connected through information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), ABB local division manager for mining solutions John Manuell warns that cybersecurity will need “to remain front of mind”. With the advent and increasing use of digital technologies,... 

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

Economists lament ‘missed opportunity’ of another repo rate cut

By: Simone Liedtke     17th September 2020 While the decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 3.5% is “disappointing”, North West University Business School economist Professor Raymond Parsons says South Africa’s basic policy priorities should now focus on “urgently implementing overdue economic reforms and ensuring security of... 

Infrastructure South Africa drafting 25-year National Infrastructure Plan 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th September 2020 Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has confirmed that a single entry point for all the projects in the country's Infrastructure Investment Plan will be created, through an entity called Infrastructure South Africa (ISA). ISA will be at arm’s length from the Department of... 

Infrastructure South Africa drafting 25-year National Infrastructure Plan
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille

SA must now face corruption and second wave threat, warns business lobby 

By: News24Wire      17th September 2020 Business 4 South Africa’s co-chair Martin Kingston joined President Cyril Ramaphosa's calls for the country to remain vigilant against Covid-19, as well as corruption within state procurement aimed at responding to the pandemic, as South Africa further lifts restrictions. Ramaphosa announced on... 

SA must now face corruption and second wave threat, warns business lobby
Photo by Creamer Media
B4SA co-chair Martin Kingston

Numsa union accuses Comair business rescuers of bullying employees 

By: African News Agency      17th September 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa on Thursday accused the business rescue practitioners at Comair of attempting to blackmail employees into signing away their rights ahead of a crucial creditors meeting tomorrow. In a statement, Numsa said the practitioners had not consulted... 

Numsa union accuses Comair business rescuers of bullying employees

Some positive movement on the electricity front 

17th September 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's concurrence with a Ministerial determination that paves the way for the resumption of regular procurement and the significance of Eskom having signalled its support... 

Some positive movement on the electricity front
Some positive movement on the electricity front

Ramaphosa announces move to Level 1: 'Prepare for the new normal'

By: News24Wire      16th September 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown at midnight on Sunday. This will see larger gatherings being permitted, along with international travel, the sale of alcohol allowed from Monday to Friday, and the curfew shifted to midnight. 

Ramaphosa announces move to Level 1: 'Prepare for the new normal'
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Renewables body optimistic next bidding round can be ‘expedited’

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2020 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) expressed optimism on Wednesday that the long-awaited fifth bid window (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme could be fast-tracked in light of the energy regulator’s recent concurrence with a Ministerial... 

Renewables body optimistic next bidding round can be ‘expedited’

Sansa awarded an additional R4.47bn to develop the Space Infrastructure Hub

By: Yvonne Silaule     16th September 2020 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has been awarded R4.47-billion in additional funding for the next three years to develop the Space Infrastructure Hub (SIH). The SIH is part of government’s Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (Sidsa) initiative. 

Sansa awarded an additional R4.47bn to develop the Space Infrastructure Hub
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande

Papillon makes ‘good progress’ in making board changes for Mayflower transaction

By: Simone Liedtke     16th September 2020 London-listed investment company Papillon Holdings nonexecutive director Lord Monson has been appointed nonexecutive chairperson. He succeeds James Longley, who remains CFO and nonexecutive director. 

Mpact declares force majeure at Springs mill amid municipal power outage

By: Simone Liedtke     16th September 2020 Paper and packaging producer Mpact has declared force majeure at its Springs paper mill in relation to a near-month-long power interruption, and as a consequence, not being able to produce. The mill has been without electricity supply from 18:00 on August 19, when an explosion and fire at the... 

Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan gets the green light from business, labour

By: News24Wire      16th September 2020 The National Economic Development and Labour Council has agreed to an economic recovery plan for South Africa. According to a statement issued by the Presidency on Tuesday, following a meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nedlac - a body comprised of representatives of government,... 

Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan gets the green light from business, labour

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2020 With many things having changed, never to be the same, Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel says of the power of technology: “It will always help people and organisations to adapt, re-invent and transform”. South Africa’s mining industry contributed R360-billion to the country's... 

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining
Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel

PPC makes ‘positive progress’ on restructuring, finance project 

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2020 JSE-listed cement manufacturer PPC Cement has made positive progress on its restructuring and finance programme, with the objective of implementing a sustainable capital structure. PPC has received funding confirmation from South African lenders, who the company says will provide various short-... 

Pandemic has influenced due diligence priorities for M&A activity, says law firm

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th September 2020 International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills says levels of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity are increasing around the world, having dropped off significantly when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit. “While we are seeing some distressed M&A as activity picks up, government support packages,... 

Astral Foods ‘cautiously satisfied’ with earnings for the year

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Poultry producer Astral Foods has indicated that its earnings a share and headline earnings a share for the year ending September 30, are expected to be down by no more than 25% on the comparative period’s reported results. Astral CEO Chris Schutte on September 14 said Astral was “cautiously... 

BLSA’s Mavuso encourages accountability, delivery to improve business outlook

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso on September 14 emphasised the importance of accountability and delivery thereafter, particularly as the country continues to work towards driving the economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. While encouraged by President Cyril... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni

By: Reuters     14th September 2020 South Africa's economy will likely contract this year by more than the 7% previously forecast by the Treasury, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in an opinion piece published on Sunday. Gross domestic product shrunk by a record 51% in the second quarter, its fourth quarterly contraction in a... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

TIPS says GDP has recovered greatly since April

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th September 2020 In a latest Real Economy Bulletin, Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) finds that gross domestic product (GDP) has bounced back significantly since May, following the hard lockdown imposed in April. While GDP shrank by 16% in the second quarter of the year, seasonally adjusted but not... 

Maynier urges urgent Gazetting of determination for new power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2020 The Western Cape government has urged Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to urgently Gazette the final Section 34 Ministerial determination that would open the way for the procurement of 11 813 MW of new electricity capacity. The call came as government's Political Task Team on... 

Maynier urges urgent Gazetting of determination for new power projects
Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

11th September 2020 In this opinion piece, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) director-general QU Dongyu writes about a comprehensive response and recovery programme to overcome the impacts of Covid-19 through up-scaled and robust international collaboration. As the impacts of Covid-19 take their... 

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

Association laments sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 The aerospace manufacturing sector is in a “freefall” and there does not appear to be any parachute in sight, says industry body Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa (Camasa) co-chairperson Themba September. 

Association laments sector decline
AIRING IT OUT In its efforts to ensure that the sector returns to its former glory, Camasa has participated in the process of drafting a sector masterplan

Mantashe says Nersa’s concurrence with determination opens way for procurement of 11 813 MW of new power 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on Thursday the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had provided its concurrence to a Section 34 Ministerial Determination, issued in February, which opened the way for the procurement of  11 813 MW of new electricity... 

Mantashe says Nersa’s concurrence with determination opens way for procurement of 11 813 MW of new power
Photo by Creamer Media
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

IEA says green hydrogen is ‘ready for big time’ and lists Africa as key production site 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2020 Africa has been listed, in a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report, as one of the locations that could emerge as dominant in the production of green hydrogen, which the agency says is required to extend the decarbonisation reach of renewable electricity to industries where the direct use... 

IEA says green hydrogen is ‘ready for big time’ and lists Africa as key production site
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Honour Bizos with inclusive, ethical economy – Busa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th September 2020 Following the passing of acclaimed human rights lawyer George Bizos on Wednesday evening, Business Unity South Africa has called on South Africans to honour the anti-apartheid activist’s life by following his example of honesty, humility and dedication, and by repositioning the economy to be more... 

Honour Bizos with inclusive, ethical economy – Busa
Human rights lawyer George Bizos

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen 

By: Terence Creamer     9th September 2020 International cooperation will be key to unlocking the competitive production of green hydrogen as global trade will be required to link those countries, such as South Africa, that are best suited to producing the energy carrier, using a combination of low-cost renewable energy, water and... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen

Investors see South Africa cutting rates again after GDP plunge 

By: Reuters     9th September 2020 Investors have upped bets on more interest rate cuts by South Africa's central bank after a historic contraction in the economy during the second quarter, when coronavirus lockdown measures curtailed activity. The South African Reserve Bank has slashed rates by 300 basis points over the course of... 

Investors see South Africa cutting rates again after GDP plunge

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Implementing a digital transformation strategy is a “must”, rather than an option, and is driven by both external and internal forces, petrochemicals company Sasol Chemicals digital lead Oratile Sematle said on September 8. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar as part of this year’s... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

BLSA calls for lifting of all restrictions on economic activity 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th September 2020 The severe contraction in South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of the year was expected, but still "paints a horrific picture" of the damage done to the economy by the lockdown restrictions, says industry organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA). BLSA... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Describing data as the “new oil” or “new water” of the world, Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC) president Annemarie van Coller has emphasised the importance of changing data from “just data to insights”. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar hosted... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president
SAIMC president Annemarie van Coller gives viewers some insight into the data journey. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

South African economy contracts 51% q/q in Q2 

By: Reuters     8th September 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 51.0% quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2020, the fourth contraction in a row, data from the statistics agency showed on Tuesday. GDP shrank 17.1% year on year in the three months to the end of June, reflecting the impact of the... 

South African economy contracts 51% q/q in Q2

140 UK, KwaZulu-Natal companies to participate in online trade mission

By: Yvonne Silaule     8th September 2020 About 140 companies from the UK and KwaZulu-Natal will be participating in a virtual online trade mission, which will be led by Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube. “Following the onset of Covid-19 and the limitations on international travel, the department has embarked on an... 

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