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Macro and Micro News

IMF’s Lipsky cautious despite improved economic prospects for 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th January 2010 While economic data, financial market performance and improved economic forecasts pointed to improved economic prospects for 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) first deputy MD John Lipsky has warned that there was still reason to be cautious. In a note on the IMF’s website, he said that... 

Distance to market places Eastern Cape manufacturers at a disadvantage

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2009 A survey of 120 mostly small, non-automotive manufacturing companies in the Eastern Cape indicates that it is 30% more expensive to produce goods in this province compared with Gauteng and other provinces, says Eastern Cape Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas. 

Dubai fallout a huge risk for emerging economies – Sacci

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd December 2009 The recent developments in Dubai held huge risk for emerging economies and could trigger a further collapse in growth for these countries, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) CEO Neren Rau said on Thursday. He noted that he was not convinced that the South African economy... 

New approach needed to improve SA’s labour-absorption potential 

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 There is no disputing that chronically high unemployment and deteriorating income inequality are South Africa’s two most pressing challenges. There is also no disputing that government’s expanded public works programme (EPWP), while an important stop gap, is simply insufficient to deal with these... 

Transnet mulling ‘equalisation’ incentive to attract shippers to Ngqura

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 State-owned transport utility Transnet is considering an “equalisation” incentive for shippers using its new deep-water harbour at Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape, to make it cost competitive relative to its container facility in Durban, especially for goods being transported into the hinterland... 

Recovery won't be a fast one - Minister

By: Sapa     26th November 2009 South Africa's economic recovery will not be a fast process, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Johannesburg on Thursday. "Job creation is going to be slower than what we'd like it to be," he told a media briefing following his meeting with the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) in... 

Big business group to work on strategies to promote ‘nonracialism'

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2009 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), an organisation comprising the largest South African and multinational corporations operating in the country, has highlighted the need for continued transformation, as well as "effective strategies for the creation of a truly nonracial South Africa". CEO... 

French development financier to sign SA deals worth R3,5bn

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2009 The head of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Jean-Michel Severino, would sign new deals worth R3,5-billion during his visit to South Africa this week, including financing arrangements with freight logistics group Transnet, as well as with the Central Energy Fund (CEF). Severino's visit... 

Eskom holds back on new Kusile contracts as its mulls new tariff request

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2009 Chief officer generation at State-owned power utility Eskom, Brian Dames, confirmed on Thursday that the award of some "smaller contracts" for the group's R111-billion Kusile power plant, being built in Mpumalanga, had been delayed, which would affect the project's overall delivery schedule.... 

Recovery in SA economy lagging global economy — SARB

By: Sapa     19th November 2009 The recovery in the South African economy appears to be lagging behind that of the global economy, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in its November Monetary Policy Review. Nevertheless, it added that there were convincing signs that the low point of the current growth cycle had been... 

Eskom makes top appointments as leadership crisis abates 

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2009 State-owned electricity utility Eskom, which has undergone some high-profile leadership ructions in recent weeks, leading to the resignations of both CEO Jacob Maroga and chairperson Bobby Godsell, confirmed some highly anticipated senior appointments on Wednesday. In a statement, the group's... 

Gauteng increases FY2010 expenditure by R3,3bn

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th November 2009 The Gauteng provincial government’s (GPG’s) expenditure for the 2010 financial year, has been revised upwards by R3,3-billion, to R58,5-billion, compared with the previously estimated expenditure of R55,3-billion, Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe said on Tuesday. The adjustment to the budget included... 

Eskom mulling over new, lower tariff request 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2009 South Africa's African National Congress- (ANC-) led tripartite alliance, which met over the weekend, came out in opposition to Eskom's proposed electricity tariff increases of 45% a year for the three year period between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2013. This is a material departure from the... 

New Eskom tariff application by the end of November 

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2009 Power utility Eskom would submit a new and "final" tariff application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) by November 30, following consultations with stakeholders, Engineering News Online has confirmed. It was unclear, however, whether this revised version would deviate... 

Hogan wants Godsell to reconsider his resignation  

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2009 Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan would approach former Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell over this weekend to ask him to "reconsider" his resignation, she told SAfm on Friday. Godsell stepped down on Monday November 9, 2009, citing a lack of support from the shareholder, both on the Eskom... 

Global economy likely to enter period of base-case growth – Caterpillar CEO

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2009 There exist two possible scenarios for the future of the global economy, says Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens. 

State, not Eskom, has authority over private power, CIC asserts

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2009 The South African government, and not Eskom, was the ultimate decision maker with respect to the Mmamabula energy project, in Botswana, CIC Energy president Greg Kinross said on Wednesday, adding that leadership situation at the South African utility would, therefore, not directly impact on the... 

Govt mulling option on Rand - Patel

By: Sapa     10th November 2009 Government will invite all stakeholders to have their say on how best to achieve a more competitive exchange rate, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. "We would like an open discussion," Patel told a media briefing by Cabinet's economic and employment cluster in Cape Town.  

Use of the race card at Eskom roundly condemned 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2009 South Africa's powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has defended the nonracial credentials of former Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell and has also raised concerns about seeming breaches of good governance principles at the State-owned enterprise (SoE). Speaking with Engineering News... 

Godsell calls it quits, Maroga stands firm, Makwana named acting chair 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2009 Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell handed a letter of resignation to Public Enterprise Minister Barbara Hogan on Monday, following more than a week of confusion over the fate of the group's CEO, Jacob Maroga. The Department of Public Enterprises reported on Thursday afternoon that Mpho Makwana had... 

500 000 jobs target to be met Doidge insists, as figures surge 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2009 A total of 223 568 work opportunities were created between April and August this year as part of the expanded public works programme (EPWP), Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge reported on Monday. The second-quarter figures were released as part of a report back on the progress of government's... 

SA's exports climbed to $74bn last year, but were outpaced by imports

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2009 South Africa's total merchandise trade grew at a nominal average yearly rate of 22% between 2003 and 2008, while the value of the country's merchandise exports more than doubled over the period to reach $74-billion by 2008, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said in its latest trade policy review... 

World requires rebalanced growth model, top US Treasury official tells SA

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2009 The current global growth model that relied primarily on the debt-laden American consumer was imbalanced, undesirable and unsustainable, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said during his visit to South Africa on Wednesday. Speaking in Johannesburg on the anniversary of the historic election... 

US Treasury official to discuss economic recovery, regulatory reform during SA visit

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2009 US Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin will meet with senior South African government officials during his two-day visit to South Africa next week, during which he will discuss Group of 20 (G20) efforts to support the global economic recovery and international financial regulatory reform. South... 

Corruption not only a public sector problem – Vavi

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2009 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said it would be a “fatal mistake” for the business community to see corruption as a problem which only affected the public sector. “The private sector is deeply implicated as well, with millions of rands being... 

Micro financiers must do more to assist rural areas – association

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th October 2009 Micro financiers in are not doing enough to alleviate poverty in the country’s rural areas, the Association for Pro-Poor Micro Finance Institutions for South Africa (Amfisa) said on Thursday. Speaking at a briefing hosted by the South African Micro Finance Apex Fund (Samaf), an initiative of the... 

ArcelorMittal SA says Zisco bid is on strategy, mulls Scaw options

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2009 Africa's largest steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa confirmed on Wednesday that it was one of two short-listed bidders for the debt-laden Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco), and that it had also not ruled out a bid for Scaw Metals, which Anglo American announced last week was no... 

SA may set up fund to boost jobs, industrial development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2009 The South African government is considering the creation of a fund to support industrial development and job creation, the National Treasury reported on Tuesday. The fund would be made up largely of existing spending programmes and tax breaks, with clear, measurable job-creation targets. 

Gordhan charts steady macro course, with tax warning

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2009 South Africa should maintain expansionary fiscal and monetary policies "only for as long as is necessary", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) address to Parliament on Tuesday, in which he provided few signs of a material leftward... 

Treasury eases exchange controls, prioritises jobs

By: Sapa     27th October 2009 With tax revenues for the current financial year expected to be more than R70-billion down on the February forecast, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday eased exchange controls in an effort to stimulate investment in South Africa's flagging economy. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy... 

Eskom's IPP cost claims may be misleading 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2009 The assertion by Eskom that the average nominal tariff would increase by 42,8% a year as opposed to 45% a year over the next three years should independent power producers (IPPs) be excluded from its revenue-requirement mix, is arguably somewhat misleading. In its application to the National... 

Cope, DA want Gordhan to show he's boss

By: Sapa     26th October 2009 The Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People on Monday called on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to show he is firmly in control of macro-economic policy when he tables his first budget on Tuesday. The parties said it was up to the former revenue service commissioner to show that "the... 

State mulls disposals, partnerships to release value from property portfolio

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2009 The Department of Public Works (DPW) was working on a far-reaching initiative to extract greater economic and social value from its large property portfolio (reportedly the single largest property holding in the country), Minister Geoff Doidge has revealed. Addressing the Construction Industry... 

Economist warns that rand could retreat again

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd October 2009 The local economy should start picking up a little, perhaps not as much as previously expected, but the outlook for South Africa’s economy remained positive in the short term, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine told members of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry... 

No retrenchments, no bonuses IDC bail-out beneficiaries told

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2009 Strict conditions had been placed on those firms that had, or would, receive bail-out money from the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), including restrictions on retrenchments, dividends and executive bonuses. Executive and chief economist Lumkile Mondi reported this week that... 

SA's GDP to shrink about 2% in '09 - Gordhan

By: Reuters     22nd October 2009 South Africa's economy will probably contract by around 2% this year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. "In South Africa we were doing quite well as a modest economy with an average growth of about 5% in the last five years. For this year, we'll probably be closer to minus 2%.... 

Rampant rand is decimating SA's real economy, IDC economist asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     21st October 2009 South Africa's real economy could be decimated "within months" unless urgent action was taken to weaken the rampant rand, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) executive and chief economist Lumkile Mondi said on Wednesday. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Metal and Engineering... 

 

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