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Macro and Micro News

Govt speeding up plans to designate Sedibeng as SEZ

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th October 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola says government is working "with great speed" towards designating the whole of Sedibeng into a special economic zone (SEZ) to be named the Vaal SEZ. Majola was speaking at the Sedibeng Investment Conference, hosted in Vanderbijlpark,... 

IEA warns of energy market turbulence, underinvestment  

15th October 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the release of the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) latest World Energy Report and warnings of more energy market turbulence unless higher levels of investment are made to both meet demand and decarbonise... 

Image of Terence Creamer
IEA warns of energy market turbulence, underinvestment

Tshwane Automotive SEZ setting a precedent for speedy development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition deputy Minister Fikile Majola this week said the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) represents a turning point in how special economic zones (SEZs) must be owned and operated, adding that Gauteng’s economic development was being led by these... 

Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress
Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi
Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress

Initiative aims to double industry supply in five years 

By: Halima Frost     15th October 2021 The ‘Doubling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Market’ initiative, driven by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association of South Africa (LPGSA), initiated in December 2019, is slowly gaining momentum after the inevitable impact of Covid-19 on... 

A stainless steel stove top with gas burners burning blue flame from an LPG gas supply, used for cooking
LPGSA MD Gadibolae Dihlabi discusses the plan to double the LPG sector over the next five years

CoJ signs agreement to possibly take over Soweto, Sandton supply from Eskom

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2021 The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with State-owned power utility Eskom with a view for City Power to potentially take over electricity supply for 14 areas in Soweto and Sandton. The affected areas include parts of Soweto, Sandton, Orange Farm, Ivory... 

R11bn Phase 2 of employment stimulus programme to focus on pathways to sustainable employment 

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2021 The second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) will include the establishment of a new Social Employment Fund, which aims to support 50 000 work opportunities for common good in communities provided by organisations outside of the State. It will also include the... 

Joffe to step down as CEO, take over as chairperson of Long4Life

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th October 2021 JSE-listed Long4Life, which has reported a pleasing operating and financial performance for the six months ended August 31, has announced that Brian Joffe will relinquish his position as CEO at the end of the 2022 financial year, at which time he will take over as chairperson. Current chairperson... 

Numsa rejects new wage offer, engineering strike continues

By: Reuters     14th October 2021 South Africa's biggest engineering union, Numsa, has rejected a new wage offer as a national strike that has already hit output at car maker BMW enters its second week on Thursday, employer body Seifsa said. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), with around 155,000 members... 

A photo of striking Numsa members

Hybrid model ideal for future world of work  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th October 2021 The majority of South Africans prefer working from home, even it is only some of time, and a hybrid work model presents an ideal option for the future of work, speakers participating in the second yearly Future of Work conference said. The virtual event, held on October 13, was hosted by CNBC... 

South Africa needs to ramp up critical minerals exploration as world decarbonises - study 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2021 The South African mining sector can remain internationally competitive and support socioeconomic development only if it drives decarbonisation and adapts to the global shift in commodity demand towards minerals used in green sectors such as renewable electricity and electric vehicles (EVs), a new... 

A photo of an iron-ore stockpile

Billionaire-backed South African stock exchange expects 2023 breakeven

By: Bloomberg     13th October 2021 Four-year-old South African stock exchange A2X, backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital Investments, expects to break even by 2023 as trading in the secondary listings it offers takes off. The value of stocks and funds on the Johannesburg-based platform more than doubled... 

De Ruyter: Eskom working to avoid load-shedding during elections  

By: News24Wire      13th October 2021 Eskom is working to avoid load-shedding for the election season, says the power utility's CEO André de Ruyter. he power utility last week Thursday introduced stage 2 load-shedding. He affirmed that Eskom was working on repairs. "Our current planning is that we will lift load-shedding by tomorrow... 

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

IEA warns of more energy market volatility as transition investment lags 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2021 There is a looming risk of more turbulence ahead for energy markets, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns in its latest World Energy Outlook publication. “The world is not investing enough to meet its future energy needs, and uncertainties over policies and demand trajectories create a... 

IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

South Africa has potential to unlock decarbonised chemicals sector, new study shows 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2021 If South Africa can unlock disruptive technology, in particular green hydrogen, it could decarbonise its petrochemicals and chemicals sectors and become a leading global producer of green fuels and chemicals for both domestic use and export. The outlook for South Africa’s crude refineries,... 

Sasol is studying the production of sustainable aviation fuels using green hydrogen at Secunda (pictured) instead of hydrogen from coal
Sasol is studying the production of sustainable aviation fuels using green hydrogen at Secunda (pictured) instead of hydrogen from coal

Manufacturing sector struggling to recover to pre-pandemic output levels

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 Manufacturing production increased by 1.8% year-on-year in August, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reports. The largest positive contributions were made by food and beverages (9.7% and contributing 2.3 percentage points); motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment... 

Steel strike could lead to job cuts 

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2021 South Africa’s ongoing steelworker strike is likely to lead to job cuts, further hammering an industry that’s been in decline for several years, according to the country’s main employer body. The week-long walkout by as many as 300,000 members and allies of the National Union of Metalworkers of... 

A photo of Numsa members on strike

DBSA, Pimco conclude R3bn issuance under UNECA green energy programme 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 As part of its Sustainable Development Goal Seven (SDG7) Programme, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) announces that the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Pimco have reached terms on their issuance of R3-billion of debt securities, which signals the first... 

An image of solar PV panels and wind turbines

IMF revises SA's growth outlook up to 5%  

By: News24Wire      12th October 2021 The International Monetary Fund has upwardly revised South Africa's growth outlook from 4% to 5%. The multilateral institution on Tuesday released its World Economic Outlook report for October 2021. Economic counsellor and director of research at the IMF, Gita Gopinath, noted that global recovery... 

South African Rand

Low-income country debt reached a record $860bn in 2020, says World Bank

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2021 The debt burden of the world’s low-income countries increased by 12% to a record $860-billion in 2020 owing to fiscal, monetary and financial stimulus packages issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank reports. It notes that debt reduction, restructuring and transparency are... 

Sacci business confidence lower in September, but remains above pre-Covid levels

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2021 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci's) business confidence index (BCI) declined to 91 in September after having registered its highest level this year to date of 97 in May. The level of 91 in September, nevertheless, reflects a better business confidence level than the... 

Sars targets 52 noncompliant PPE companies

By: Schalk Burger     8th October 2021 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on October 8 said it has been focusing on 52 noncompliant companies that had been awarded R1-billion in contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other Covid-19-related services. To date, 11 companies have been convicted, seven... 

Companies within their legal right to effect mandatory vaccination

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2021 Several of the country’s leading companies, including Discovery and Sanlam, have announced their intention to introduce mandatory vaccination policies within their organisations, but the debate continues about whether this is the right strategy . Business for South Africa (B4SA) on October 8... 

Covid-19 vaccine being administered
Jab in progress

Feasibility study finds hydrogen corridor could add up to $8.8bn to South Africa's GDP by 2050 

By: Schalk Burger     8th October 2021 A study of the characteristics, current commercial activity and potential benefits of transitioning various economic activities along the Limpopo to Johannesburg to Durban corridor to use green hydrogen has concluded that domestic demand is critical to accelerate the development and impact of the... 

An image depicting the green hydrogen sector

Wind industry to approach DMRE with pitch for unlocking domestic value-chains from $8bn roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2021 The domestic wind industry plans to approach the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) with a series of recommendations for boosting local content and direct South African involvement in the deployment of 4 300 MW of new wind capacity over the coming three years. The proposals focus... 

Photo of a blade being attached to a wind rotor
Domestic supply chain to be stretched as some 800 turbines are manufactured, transported, and installed over the coming three years

Numsa considers new offer to end engineering strike

By: Reuters     8th October 2021 South Africa's biggest metalworkers union said on Friday its members were considering a new proposal to end a strike in the engineering sector, now in it's fourth day. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), with around 155 000 members organised in the sector, have been on... 

An image of the Numsa logo

South Africa to be removed from UK travel red list from Oct 11

By: Bloomberg     7th October 2021 The UK eased entry rules for 47 countries that were subject to the tightest Covid-19 restrictions, in the government’s latest step to shed travel curbs and revive tourism-dependent businesses. South Africa is among the countries that will be removed from the UK's travel red list from October 11. 

New study urges education in Africa that increases climate change literacy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th October 2021 A new study by researchers from the University of Cape Town and the University of Connecticut found that education is crucial to increase climate change literacy across Africa. The study across 33 African countries found varying levels of national climate change literacy but that the average... 

Ramaphosa moots possible hydrogen partnership with Namibia as he punts Boegoebaai export hub 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa stands ready to be a major exporter of green hydrogen and has described the special economic zone (SEZ) proposed for development at Boegoebaai, in the Northern Cape, as a major step towards realising the country’s potential to be a global leader in... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Infrastructure Fund says its first R5.4bn will ‘catalyse’ projects worth R21bn  

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2021 The Infrastructure Fund has submitted four projects, collectively valued at R21-billion, for National Treasury approval and is finalising four more, valued at nearly R85-billion, for submission in 2022. Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate reports that the fund itself will contribute... 

Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate
Infrastructure Fund head Mohale Rakgate

Liquor industry to start paying deferred excise tax - Salba

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 Industry organisation the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says its member companies have started paying their deferred excise tax obligations to the South African Revenue Service (Sars). After the implementation of the fourth total ban on alcohol sales in June, Salba had... 

World Bank ups South Africa’s 2021 growth forecast to 4.6% 

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2021 The World Bank expects South Africa to grow by 4.6% in 2021, an upward revision from its 3% April forecast and also a significant improvement on the bank’s 2.6% growth projection published in October last year. “Growth in South Africa is projected to rebound from -6.4% in 2020 to 4.6% in 2021,... 

Fair and broad access to effective and safe Covid vaccines would be key to strengthening Africa’s economic recovery – World Bank
Fair and broad access to effective and safe Covid vaccines would be key to strengthening Africa’s economic recovery – World Bank

Neasa appoints service provider to create entrepreneurship learnerships for youth

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has partnered with a specialist service provider to create entrepreneurship opportunities for the unemployed youth in South Africa in the form of learnerships. The initiative is expected to benefit employers and the unemployed youth, as... 

Cosatu calls for national stayaway on Thursday over SA's 'economic mess'

By: News24Wire      6th October 2021 The Congress of South African Trade Unions called for organised labour to join in a strike by staying away from work in an effort to apply pressure on government and the private sector to "fix the economic mess that the country finds itself in". The action coincides with the Global Day for Decent... 

Congress of South African Trade Unions logo

South African CEO business confidence back to pre-pandemic levels, KPMG survey shows

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2021 CEOs of the world’s largest businesses are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for their own business and, despite the Covid-19 Delta-variant slowing down the return to normal, their confidence in the global and local economies over the next three years has returned to levels not seen since... 

State confiscates R11.5m from bank account of suspended senior Eskom manager

By: News24Wire      5th October 2021 A tribunal set up to recover looted funds has ruled that R11.5-million held in a bank account linked to a suspended senior Eskom manager be forfeited to the state. In a judgment handed down on Monday, Special Tribunal Judge Thina Siwendu ruled that Petrus Mazibuko, a suspended senior manager in... 

Eskom logo

Busa maintains support for Mdwaba as ILO DG nominee

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2021 Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) notes with concern the decision by the South African government to withdraw its support for the candidature of Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba as director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). "This is a shocking turn of events... 

Numsa members begin metals, engineering sector strike

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2021 Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) embarked on a national strike on Tuesday following a deadlock in negotiations for a new wage deal. Union members didn’t report for duty in five of the country’s nine provinces and will begin picketing and marching during the... 

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