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Macro and Micro News

USAID provides four investment funds with capital for SME, emerging farmer growth in Southern Africa

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded catalytic funding to four investment vehicles to drive inclusive economic growth in Southern Africa. As a result, R357-million ($24-million) in private sector investment will go towards supporting small and medium-sized enterprises... 

DMRE to host bidders conference in April as it restarts renewables procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) intends convening a virtual bidders conference in April to provide information on the qualifying criteria and bid submission expectations for the fifth bid window (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme... 

DMRE to host bidders conference in April as it restarts renewables procurement

Eskom: Load shedding halted from noon on Friday  

19th March 2021 Load shedding will be cancelled, for now, from noon on Friday as generation units return to service, Eskom has said in a statement.  Earlier in the week, generation capacity had been lost at Medupi, Arnot, Duvha and Kendal power stations. The shortfall was partly attributed to boiler tube leaks,... 

 Eskom: Load shedding halted from noon on Friday

RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes  

19th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about announcements by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe of the preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, as well as that Bid Window 5 of the... 

RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes
RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes

SAA rescue practitioners keen to exit the process at the end of March, creditors told  

By: News24Wire      19th March 2021 The business rescue practitioners of South African Airways plan to exit the process at the end of March. SAA has been in business rescue since 5 December 2019. The primary achievement of the business rescue process, according to the practitioners, was to transition SAA from being an insolvent... 

SAA rescue practitioners keen to exit the process at the end of March, creditors told

Mboweni warns third wave of Covid-19 could hurt country's ratings

By: Reuters     19th March 2021 South Africa's finance minister said on Thursday that a third wave of the coronavirus could destabilise the government's efforts to control its finances and avoid a further downgrade of the country's sovereign rating. Two of the top three rating agencies - Moody's and Fitch - downgraded South... 

Mboweni warns third wave of Covid-19 could hurt country's ratings
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Bidding for renewables finally opens as powership-heavy ‘emergency’ projects are unveiled  

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe released the names of the eight preferred bidders – including three powership projects – selected as part of government’s 2 000-MW ‘emergency’ procurement programme and also launched the much-anticipated fifth bid window (BW5) for the... 

Bidding for renewables finally opens as powership-heavy ‘emergency’ projects are unveiled
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

South Africa launches fund to boost Black farming

By: Reuters     18th March 2021 South Africa has set up a R5-billion fund to help Black farmers gain access to capital and boost their role in commercial agriculture, state-owned Industrial Development Corporation and the government said on Thursday. The joint Agri-Industrial Fund is aimed at easing the funding constraints and... 

South Africa launches fund to boost Black farming

Stats SA forced to overspend to keep the wheels turning, Statistician General Maluleke tells Parly

By: News24Wire      18th March 2021 The ongoing jostling between National Treasury and Statistics South Africa over much-needed financial resources made a pitstop at the legislature when the two institutions hashed out their grievances before members of Parliament. At issue has been a series of allocations to Stats SA from National... 

Western Cape names candidate municipalities to be primed for direct IPP procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2021 Six Western Cape municipalities, as well as the City of Cape Town, have been named by Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier as candidates to participate in the first phase of the province’s Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project. The MER initiative, which was... 

Western Cape names candidate municipalities to be primed for direct IPP procurement

PwC Survey finds CEOs are voicing ‘record levels’ of optimism

By: Simone Liedtke     17th March 2021 Nearly one year after Covid-19 reached South African shores, the country’s CEOs are voicing record levels of optimism in the global economic recovery, with 76% of global businesses predicting that economic growth will improve this year. Coming from a global recession, which saw a 3.5% decline in... 

UK recognises Africa’s dynamism and restates commitments to global issues

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th March 2021 In its 2021 integrated review, published on Tuesday, the UK reaffirmed its commitments to multilateralism, international cooperation, free and fair trade, development, countering the effects of climate change, global health, and development. Entitled Global Britain: The Integrated Review of... 

UK recognises Africa’s dynamism and restates commitments to global issues
Photo by Crown copyright
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Picket planned to urge DTIC to fix Patent Law 

By: Thabi Madiba     17th March 2021 The Fix the Patent Law campaign will take to the streets on Thursday to picket at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to pressure the department to fix South Africa’s patent law to accelerate access to medicines. The FTPL campaign is represented by the Cancer Alliance, Médecins Sans... 

Picket planned to urge DTIC to fix Patent Law

SA Oxford-AstraZeneca study urges development of second-generation vaccines  

By: Thabi Madiba     17th March 2021 Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand Director Professor Shabir Madhi has warned that despite early successes with Covid-19 vaccines, further research is needed for a next generation of Covid-19 vaccines. Second-generation vaccines are... 

SA Oxford-AstraZeneca study urges development of second-generation vaccines

Report flags possible fraud, corruption in tender systems within Gauteng municipalities – MEC 

By: News24Wire      17th March 2021 A committee probing the state of municipalities in Gauteng says it is concerned by procurement and weaknesses in supply chain management systems, with several warning indicators. "Resources within municipalities are scarce and dwindling. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation,"... 

Report flags possible fraud, corruption in tender systems within Gauteng municipalities – MEC

SEZs to play critical role in reconstruction and recovery plan – DTIC

By: Donna Slater     17th March 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola says the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme will play a critical role in the implementation of South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan. He was addressing members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to the Select... 

Load shedding to continue until Saturday - Eskom  

By: News24Wire      17th March 2021 Load shedding will be reduced to stage 1 early on Wednesday morning; however, it will continue until Saturday morning as the power system is still "severely constrained", Eskom said in a statement on Tuesday. The drop to stage 1 will occur at 05:00 on Wednesday. "Since Monday, Eskom teams... 

Load shedding to continue until Saturday - Eskom

'Not fit for purpose': Patricia de Lille explains why Beitbridge border fence won't be repaired

By: News24Wire      17th March 2021 South Africa's porous Beitbridge border fence won't be repaired or maintained. By June this year, a site clearance process should be finished, which will pave the way for a complete change to the fence. 

'Not fit for purpose': Patricia de Lille explains why Beitbridge border fence won't be repaired
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille

What countries will fight over when green energy dominates

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2021 The Rand Corporation’s been designing war games with the Pentagon since the 1950s, modelling such hard-nosed security scenarios as a two-front US war with China and Russia. Now the think tank is turning its realpolitik tool kit to a question more often associated with environmental dreamers: How... 

IFC appoints new East Africa manager

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 International financial institution the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has appointed economist Amena Arif IFC Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Malawi (East Africa) country manager. Arif will help the IFC strengthen the private sector, create jobs and opportunities... 

AfDB reprimands Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Egypt project misrepresentation

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has issued a letter of reprimand to industrial engineering multinational Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for misrepresentation – a sanctionable practice under AfDB procedures. The AfDB stated that the reprimand was issued in relation... 

African growth expected to reach 3.4% in 2021, but debt-to-GDP expected to worsen

By: Schalk Burger     15th March 2021 Africa is expected to recover from its worst recession in half a century and reach 3.4% growth this year, development finance institution the African Development Bank notes in its '2021 African Economic Outlook' report. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 has taken a massive... 

African growth expected to reach 3.4% in 2021, but debt-to-GDP expected to worsen

New average GDP growth rates are abnormal and should not be accepted, says BLSA’s Mavuso 

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says that although the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020, particularly in the fourth quarter of the year, exceeded most forecasts, the figure “remains a disaster for the economy and very far from what we should consider... 

New average GDP growth rates are abnormal and should not be accepted, says BLSA’s Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso

South Africa can build manufacturing capacity; pandemic is proof of potential, says Rodseth 

By: Schalk Burger     12th March 2021 South Africa can halt is premature deindustrialisation trend and grow the value of the manufacturing sector and its beneficial impact on jobs if all stakeholders commit to its development, manufacturing industry advocacy body the Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said this... 

Food systems ‘integral’ to Covid-19 recovery, says AfDB

By: Simone Liedtke     12th March 2021 The strengthening of food systems must be an integral part of efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and to build resilience in Africa, said African Development Bank (AfDB) director general for Southern Africa Leila Mokaddem. In a statement on March 12, she lamented that “hunger is a... 

No real growth without fixing structural impediments first – Econometrix

By: Irma Venter     12th March 2021 “The only way out of our economic dilemma is to get this economy to grow faster,” says Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine. “To achieve that, we need to address the key structural impediments that have been holding back our economic growth performance.” 

Compounder adds new plant capacity

By: Darren Parker     12th March 2021 Speciality compound producer Continental Engineering Compounds has invested R25-million in building a new specialised production line at its Westmead factory, in KwaZulu-Natal. The added capacity will help the company to increase supply of locally manufactured compounds used for packaging,... 

Compounder adds new plant capacity
EXTRA, EXTRA The capacity expansion will assist in terms of local supply to the industrial and automotive sectors

Local PVC industry taking strain despite high demand

By: Darren Parker     12th March 2021 There is very strong demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in South Africa and the rest of Africa, owing to major water, gas and telecommunication infrastructure projects planned across the continent, but low supply and high prices are hindering industry sustainability, says South African Vinyls... 

Local PVC industry taking strain despite high demand
PRECARIOUS PVC POSITION Sava calls for reduced import tariffs, more local procurement and more reliable service delivery from utilities

South Africa's current account surplus narrows in fourth quarter of 2020

By: Reuters     11th March 2021 South Africa's current account surplus narrowed to 3.7% of gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2020 from 5.9% in the prior quarter as the trade surplus fell and there was a larger shortfall on the income account, central bank data showed on Thursday. The rand value of the current... 

South Africa's current account surplus narrows in fourth quarter of 2020

Opinion: Making space for the concept of ‘executive sponsor’ in South Africa’s infrastructure development rollout

11th March 2021 In this opinion article, Dr Willem Louw makes the case for using ‘executive sponsors’ to improve the prospects for megaproject success as South Africa moves to ramp-up public infrastructure spending as part of its economic recovery effort. When, because it cannot be if, we embark on aggressive... 

Opinion: Making space for the concept of ‘executive sponsor’ in South Africa’s infrastructure development rollout

Startups ‘critical’ for Africa’s digital economy growth, IFC invest $3m

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2021 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on March 10 announced that it would be investing $3-million towards the $25-million goal of fundraising for Africa-focused technology seed fund, the Savannah Fund, to increase lending to startups across sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on supporting... 

Government sees new renewables zones helping to unlock low-carbon energy mix  

By: Terence Creamer     10th March 2021 Three additional geographic areas – Emalahleni, Klerksdorp and Beaufort West – have officially been declared as Renewable Energy Development Zones following the publication of a Government Gazette notice signed by Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy. The new zones increase... 

Government sees new renewables zones helping to unlock low-carbon energy mix

Business confidence slips back in Q1 as pandemic woes linger 

By: Reuters     10th March 2021 South Africa's business confidence slipped in the first quarter of this year after recovering in 2020 end, despite easing Covid-19 curbs, a survey showed on Wednesday, highlighting the fragility of the economic recovery process. The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) business confidence index, compiled by... 

Urgent commitment to digitalisation South Africa’s best hope for growth, says SBI

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th March 2021 After more than a year of Covid-19 and associated levels of lockdown, the Small Business Institute (SBI) has been studying more than 100 policy documents, research and media reports related to digital transformation to understand its role in the survival and future growth of small businesses, job... 

EPP ‘cautiously optimistic’ for 2021 as further Covid-19 restrictions loom 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2021 JSE-listed Polish retail landlord EPP reported earnings of €5.56 a share for the year ended December 31, 2020, exceeding the company’s guidance of between €4.75 and €5.25 a share. This, combined with a strong retail rebound in Poland and “promising” economic prospects, bodes well for EPP’s future... 

EPP ‘cautiously optimistic’ for 2021 as further Covid-19 restrictions loom
EPP CEO Tomasz Trzósło discusses the company's latest set of financial results, and the impact of Covid-19, with Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke. Video: Recorded on MS Teams. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

AfDB recognised as top multilateral finance institution

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been named as the Best Multilateral Financial Institution in the world for 2021 by US finance and investment magazine Global Finance. The award is a recognition of the AfDB as it transforms itself into a solutions bank for... 

Open data tool to help combat police violence, corruption

By: Schalk Burger     9th March 2021 Nonprofit organisation Corruption Watch has developed a new platform Veza to help improve transparency in policing in the country. It will place the power back in the hands of the public to hold the South African Police Service accountable, the organisation states. 

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