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Macro and Micro News

DBSA expects strong demand for $200m embedded-generation scheme amid regulatory reform tail wind 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is optimistic that there will be a significant uptake of its $200-million Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP) in light of recent regulatory changes exempting sub-100 MW facilities from licensing and enabling distributed plants to both... 

Aveng says growth platform in place as it reports first positive earnings since 2014 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 Infrastructure and contract mining group Aveng reported headline earnings of R751-million for the year to June 30, 2021, the company’s first positive headline earnings performance since June 2014. The JSE-listed group, which has undergone far-reaching restructuring since 2017, has two remaining... 

Photo of Sean Flanagan
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Aveng CEO Sean Flanagan

Busa elects Mohale president, Gore VP

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has, during its annual general meeting, elected Bonang Mohale as its new president and Adrian Gore as its new VP. Mohale is the University of the Free State chancellor, JSE-listed diversified services firm Bidvest Group chairperson and has... 

A photo of Bonang Mohale, who has been elected president of Business Unity South Africa
Busa chairperson Bonang Mohale

South Africa detects new coronavirus variant, still studying its mutations

By: Reuters     30th August 2021 South African scientists have detected a new coronavirus variant with multiple mutations but are yet to establish whether it is more contagious or able to overcome the immunity provided by vaccines or prior infection. The new variant, known as C.1.2, was first detected in May and has now spread... 

Coronavirus

BLSA expects businesses to become more strident in requiring vaccination

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th August 2021 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso has lauded the efforts of the Department of Health (DoH) and other stakeholders in administering 240 000 Covid-19 vaccinations last week. She deems a 70% vaccination rate critical to not only reduce death rates but also to rebuild the... 

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

President engages constructively with German business leaders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended German business leaders on their continued engagement with South Africa. Following a CEO roundtable in Berlin, on August 26, the President pledged that the South African government would sustain economic reforms aimed at facilitating greater investment as a... 

A photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Massmart says operations stabilised, to divest of 14 Game stores in East, West Africa

By: Schalk Burger     27th August 2021 The interim results of JSE-listed retail group Massmart, owned by retail multinational Walmart, demonstrates that the company has stabilised its operations and is delivering on its turnaround plan, CEO Mitchell Slape said on August 27. The group's turnaround plan is delivering expected outcomes... 

DEL welcomes arrest of bookkeeper for allegedly stealing R11.1m in TERS funds

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th August 2021 The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has welcomed the arrest of a 39-year-old bookkeeper who is accused of allegedly swindling the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) of R11.1-million. The suspect is scheduled to appear in the Palm... 

As Mpumalanga towns plot future beyond coal, workers express pain over mine closures 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 The Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, which is at the epicentre of South Africa’s coal industry, is revising its Local Economic Development (LED) strategy to take account of the anticipated closure of coal mines and power stations and create the framework for a more diversified... 

The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022
The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022

Important link between South Africa’s mining industry and its public capital markets is broken 

By: Martin Creamer     27th August 2021 With South Africa needing more listings on its stock exchanges, what can be done to encourage companies in general and junior mining companies in particular to go public? A lot of the building blocks are in place. South Africa has a stock exchange that punches way above its weight relative to the... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine cover

South Africa must strive to more effectively balance lives and livelihoods with Covid-19 regulations, says CGCSA

By: Schalk Burger     26th August 2021 South Africa should strive to more effectively balance protecting lives, while ensuring businesses can continue to operate to support people's livelihoods when setting policies and regulations, such as those aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19 infections, says fast-moving consumer goods... 

Persisting pandemic risks and unrest could result in third-quarter GDP contraction

By: Schalk Burger     26th August 2021 Economic pressure arising from the third wave of Covid-19 infections in South Africa, combined with the disruptions caused by the civil unrest and looting in early July, could result in a gross domestic product (GDP) contraction for the third quarter, says financial services firm Absa... 

Nigerian tribunal orders MultiChoice to pay 50% of disputed $4.4bn tax bill

By: Reuters     26th August 2021 A Nigerian tax tribunal ordered the local unit of South Africa's pay-TV company MultiChoice to pay 50% of a disputed 1.8-trillion naira ($4.38-billion) tax bill relating to previous years, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said on Wednesday. The deposit of 50% of the sum was a condition... 

Restaurant sector calls for curfew extension to allow dinner-time trade

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 The restaurant sector in South Africa, which has been damaged by changing regulations often rapidly implemented over the past 18 months, is calling for an extension of the national curfew by one hour to enable restaurants to trade during the crucial dinner time period, says Restaurant Association... 

Unemployment figures show structural problem, reports Busa, BLSA

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 Business organisations Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and Business Unity South Africa (Busa) in separate statements said the unemployment figures released on August 24 reflect a structural crisis. "South Africa's unemployment rates are among the highest in the world, if not the highest.... 

South Africa needs more entrepreneurship to tackle unemployment

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 South Africa should form a Presidential national entrepreneurship council, similar to the pandemic council, comprised of leading, successful entrepreneurs to develop a practical plan to create a wave of entrepreneurship to create a true people's economy, scenario planner Clem Sunter suggests.... 

Mogajane warns of Budget cuts as expenditure pressures mount to some R105bn  

By: Terence Creamer     25th August 2021 National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane is warning that major Budget cuts will be required to offset a range of expenditure pressures that had arisen as a result of recent government decisions, including the 2021/22 wage settlement, which would increase the public sector compensation... 

National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane
National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane

South Africa can normalise rates fairly slowly, says deputy central bank governor

By: Reuters     25th August 2021 South Africa's deputy central bank governor, Kuben Naidoo, said on Wednesday that he thought the bank could normalise interest rates fairly slowly given that inflation was likely to remain well-behaved. The South African Reserve Bank slashed its main lending rate by 300 basis points last year to... 

South Africa crafts strategy for R28bn cannabis industry

By: Bloomberg     25th August 2021 South Africa’s government unveiled a master plan aimed at harnessing a R28-billion cannabis industry that could potentially create as many of 25 000 jobs and help attract foreign investment. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development led a two-year process to craft a... 

Massmart in talks to buy grocery service OneCart

By: Reuters     25th August 2021 South Africa's Massmart is in advanced talks to buy a controlling stake in grocery delivery service OneCart Pty Ltd as part of a push to grow its e-commerce business, the Walmart-owned retailer said on Wednesday. Having long lagged behind much of the world in terms of e-commerce, South African... 

Stats SA methodology overhaul finds GDP is larger at R5.5tr for 2020  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th August 2021 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on August 25 reported a revised estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 of R5.52-trillion, which is an 11% increase on the previous estimate of R4.97-trillion, using 2015 as the base year, instead of 2010 that was used over the last decade. The... 

Stats SA economic statistics deputy director general Joe de Beer
Stats SA economic statistics deputy director general Joe de Beer

Agri SA concerned about skilled workforce decline despite employment gains in Q2

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th August 2021 The agricultural sector was one of few that observed employment gains over the second quarter of this year, adding 69 000 people to its combined workforce, but industry body Agri SA remains concerned about a decline in the skilled workforce in the sector. The employment gains were recorded across... 

UP creates city digital twin to improve metro management

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 The University of Pretoria (UP) has created the Hatfield Digital Twin City, which it plans to use to improve service delivery with the help of smart technology. To manage the expansion of cities and megacities in this era of technological disruption, rapid urbanisation and climate change, new... 

Policy implementation needed to reverse unemployment - Seifsa

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2021 Government needs to urgently focus on job creation efforts as it tries to revive the economy, and key to addressing this challenge, will be the speedy implementation of government's economic policies to address the bottlenecks in the economy, industry organisation the Steel and Engineering... 

Gauteng launches R100m fund to help uninsured SMMEs affected by riots 

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2021 The R100-million Gauteng Rebuilding Fund, which aims to support small firms that have been negatively impacted by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent unrest that ravaged many businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, was officially launched on Tuesday. The damage to the Gauteng... 

Photo of the Johannesburg skyline

Failure to heed warnings about a disease like Covid-19 a bigger risk than the disease itself – Whitfield

By: Donna Slater     24th August 2021 The major risk posed by Covid-19 is not the disease itself, but instead humankind’s inaction to heed calls that such an event could lead to the crippling of global economies and other systems, independent broadcaster, journalist and writer Bruce Whitfield said on August 24. He gave the keynote... 

Biodiversity can serve as nucleus for enabling sustainable development at peace with nature

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2021 A focus on biodiversity can serve as the nucleus to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as biodiversity looks at people, prosperity and a healthy planet through effective partnerships, says United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) South Africa resident... 

DMRE outlines timetable for electricity procurement programmes  

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has provided an updated timetable for the implementation of its long-term electricity procurement programmes, which are being pursued in line with a Section 34 Ministerial determination, published in September 2020, and catering for the... 

Photo of workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa

State insurer to raise cover for unrest following riots

By: Reuters     24th August 2021 South Africa's only insurer covering political violence will increase its premiums to cover a rise in reinsurance costs following some of the worst unrest in decades, the head of the state-owned company told Reuters. More than 300 people died and around 3 000 stores were looted when protests and... 

SA's unemployment rate hits record 34.4%  

By: News24Wire      24th August 2021 Unemployment has hit a record high of 34.4%, or 7.8-million jobless people. Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter on Tuesday. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since the survey started in 2008. The unemployment rate was previously 32.6%. The... 

Unemployed people standing in line

Remote working practices, culture important for businesses

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2021 The practices and approach to remote working environments, which have become prevalent in many sectors owing to the need to protect people during the global Covid-19 pandemic, are important not only to derive the expected productivity from employees but also to focus their efforts on the core... 

City of Cape Town plans, implements Covid-19 recovery programmes 

By: Donna Slater     23rd August 2021 Through strong partnerships within the City of Cape Town (CoCT), its strategic business partners (SBPs) and the business ecosystem in the city, the municipality has come up with a range of plans and programmes, through its Economic Action Plan, to address issues brought about by the Covid-19... 

Inclusive property development necessary to address South Africa's socioeconomic issues - ASAQS

By: Schalk Burger     23rd August 2021 In the wake of the July incidences of looting and destruction, South Africa needs to rethink the role property development can play in addressing a variety of socioeconomic issues, says Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) VP Mosha Senyolo. “We should have conversations about... 

Phoenix Contact opens expanded value-added centre for customers

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd August 2021 The South African business of Germany-based Phoenix Contact has expanded its value-added centre (VAC), in Randburg, as part of its continued efforts to provide its customers with manufacturing product solutions. Phoenix Contact – which is an industrial automation, interconnection and interface... 

Pic/Image of Phoenix Contact's National sales and marketing manager Dereck Styane (Middle) and GM Carl Kleynhans (far right)
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
National sales and marketing manager Dereck Styane (Middle) and GM Carl Kleynhans (far right) at the ribbon cutting of the expanded VAC.

Sahpra launches microsite with information on vaccine safety, adverse events

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2021 The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) on August 20 demonstrated a micro-website, detailing information about the safety of the two Covid-19 vaccines used in South Africa, as well as the reported adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), to the media. The microsite... 

Massmart sells non-core food assets to Shoprite for R1.36bn

By: Reuters     20th August 2021 South African retailer Massmart said on Friday it is selling its noncore food assets to peer Shoprite Holdings for R1.36-billion as it focuses on high-returning businesses. The retailer, majority-owned by Walmart, is in the middle of a turnaround plan that has moved beyond just shutting... 

Development, governance key to resolving Mozambique insurgency

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2021 The insurgency in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado is rooted in poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment, poor government and governance, and porous borders contributing to human trafficking, drug smuggling and poaching. While a regional multinational force has been deployed, the... 

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