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Macro and Micro News

Job creation should supplant wage increases in SA's income inequality battle 

By: Terence Creamer     25th June 2010 The current emphasis on wage increases to address South Africa's income inequality crisis is inappropriate and should urgently shift to a focus on economic inclusion for those six-million-plus citizens who are currently unemployed, a group of leading international economists argues. Speaking at... 

Zuma declares Africa ‘open for business’

By: Sapa     25th June 2010 South African President Jacob Zuma declared Africa "open for business" in an address to business leaders before the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday. Speaking at a lunch-time meeting, attended by Stephen Hayes, president and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa and... 

CPI slows further, door open for rate cut

By: Reuters     23rd June 2010 South Africa's consumer inflation slowed further to a new four-year low in May, leaving the door open for another interest rate cut in July. Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday headline inflation slowed to 4,6% year-on-year in May, bang in line with Reuters forecasts and the lowest reading... 

SA to continue creating jobs after World Cup – Zuma

By: Chanel de Bruyn     22nd June 2010 South Africa has “serious plans” to create new jobs after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with government’s R800-billion infrastructure plans expected to assist in this, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. Speaking at a Reuters newsmaker event in Sandton, he noted that the 2010 FIFA World Cup was a... 

China emerging as key African trade partner, report shows  

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2010 Africa's total merchandise trade with non-African developing countries surged from $34-billion in 1995 to a material $283-billion in 2008, making this category of trading partner the continent's fastest growing, a new United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) study shows. It... 

Minister has no authority to dismiss SoE employees, DPE avers

By: Terence Creamer     15th June 2010 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) felt compelled on Tuesday to "to provide clarity" on Minister Barbara Hogan's statement to Parliament regarding the future of Siyabonga Gama at State-owned freight logistics group, Transnet. In a Parliamentary response, Hogan indicated that Transnet... 

Hopes that World Cup could kickstart SA economy  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th June 2010 Hopes were riding high that the 2010 FIFA World Cup could boost business confidence and kickstart the local economy, said debt counseling firm Consumer Assist. Economic indicators were not looking good, CEO Andre Snyman said, adding that new growth was necessary to stem a tide of jobless young... 

World Bank expects Africa's recovery to continue, but debt crisis blurs outlook

By: Terence Creamer     9th June 2010 Economic growth in the sub-Saharan Africa region is expected to continue its gradual postcrisis recovery between 2010 and 2012, driven by rising commodity prices and stronger external demand, the World Bank's ‘Global Economic Prospects 2010' report, released on Thursday, states. But the report... 

African economies should boost tax collection, cut reliance on aid 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th June 2010 African economies could, and had to, boost tax collections and reduce their reliance on aid, Jean-Philippe Stijns, an economist at the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Tuesday. Speaking on findings of the ‘African Economic Outlook 2010’... 

Southern African economies likely to underperform relative to African peers 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th June 2010 African economies are rebounding strongly from the global economic crisis, with the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) expected to expand by 4,5% this year and by 5,2% in 2011. However, some regions would expand at a slower rate, African Development Bank research divisional head Peter... 

Fall in Q2 business confidence reflects return to realism

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2010 The RMB/BER Business Confidence index (BCI) fell by seven points to a level of 36 in the second quarter, having surged to 43 points during the first quarter of 2010. However, the compilers stressed that it would be wrong to interpret the decline in confidence as indicative of a prospective slump... 

Business confidence falls, labour demands threaten recovery

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd June 2010 A 2,2 point decline in the May Business Confidence Index (BCI) had neutralised earlier gains, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday, while warning that the recent spate of labour demands would likely prolong the country’s path to economic recovery. The BCI... 

SA's growth to return to 4% by 2011

By: Sapa     2nd June 2010 The present positive outlook should see growth trends return to four percent by 2011, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday. Acting deputy director general of the DTI, Sipho Zikode, told the four-day Competitiveness Week Summit held in Boksburg that in order to achieve... 

Cachalia announces overhaul of Gauteng's underperforming agencies

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2010 The Gauteng government has approved a far-reaching consolidation of its existing suite of provincial agencies, many of which are either underperforming, or have overlapping mandates, into three streamlined units - a move that could generate yearly savings of R100-million. In a frank Budget... 

JP Morgan, Credit Suisse on track to meet May deadline - Eskom

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2010 State-owned power utility Eskom reiterated on Thursday that JP Morgan and Credit Suisse - which have been appointed to advise the group on its funding options and the possible sale of an equity stake in Kusile, respectively - remained on schedule to submit their final recommendations by the end... 

Local debt levels remain too high – SARB economist

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th May 2010 Local debt levels were still too high for South Africa to be able to “proudly confirm” that it was out of the woods in terms of the global economic recovery, South African Reserve Bank chief economist Dr Monde Mnyande said on Wednesday. In a copy of speech he delivered to a convention of the... 

SA's CPI at 4-year low on food inflation

By: Reuters     26th May 2010 South African consumer price inflation slowed more than expected to a four-year low in April as food price pressure eased, possibly boosting chances of another interest rate cut. Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday annual inflation slowed to 4,8% in April, compared with March's 5,1% and... 

SA economy picks up speed with 4,6% first-quarter growth 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th May 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4,6% in the first quarter of this year, exceeding market expectations, which had forecast growth of about 4%. The first-quarter expansion compares with a 3,2% rise in the final quarter of 2009, and was the highest quarter-on-quarter increase... 

Downgrading Sacu could have political, economic costs

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2010 There could be material consequences for both business and political relations within Southern Africa should there be any move by the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) to "downgrade" the relationship, which some believe has become an impediment to true regional... 

Eskom at ‘severe' regulatory risk from climate change – study 

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2010 South Africa's State-owned power utility Eskom, which produces about one-half of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, is at "severe regulatory risk", nationally and internationally, from climate change, a newly released study asserts. The 105-page report, entitled ‘Climate Change: Risks and... 

Reunert's Pretorius opposes intervention to weaken the rand

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2010 The nearly 30% appreciation in the value of the rand against the US dollar in 2009, exacted a toll on JSE-listed Reunert during the six months to March 31, 2010. But the head of the company, which manufactures electrical, electronics and defence equipment, is not convinced by the arguments of... 

Sasol distances itself from calls for intervention to weaken rand

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol reiterated on Tuesday an earlier statement made by its CEO Pat Davies in March that it did not believe it would be wise for the South African authorities to intervene to influence the level of the rand. The company, which has described itself as... 

Planning commission should not pander to govt – Zuma

By: Sapa     11th May 2010 The National Planning Commission should not pander to government or be afraid to challenge it, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. "At times you may want to face Cabinet and tell them off," Zuma said during the official appointment of the 26 commissioners at the Union Buildings.  

Manufacturing lobby teams up with labour to call for weaker rand  

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2010 A powerful, albeit beleaguered, section of South African business has teamed up with three of the countries largest trade unions in a bid to force government to intervene to weaken the buoyant South Africa currency, which rose 30% against US dollar in 2009 and has held on to many of those gains... 

Growing appetite for project financing of SA infrastructure

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The pipeline of South African infrastructure projects that could be funded through project finance-type mechanisms has grown to unprecedented levels, Nedbank Capital’s head of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications Mike Peo argues. He tells Engineering News that Nedbank Capital alone,... 

SA studies Brazil’s model for leveraging industry through procurement

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The decision by the Brazilian government to set a 65% to 75% local-content condition on companies seeking to secure concessional funding from the country’s influential development bank, BNDES, has been key to boosting manufacturing investment and industrial production in the South American... 

Jobs to come first as SA mulls its low-carbon options - government 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2010 There were some congruencies, but also some obvious tensions in attempting to transition South Africa to a "low-carbon, high-growth" path, the acting head of The Presidency's National Planning Commission secretariat, Kuben Naidoo, cautioned Thursday. Speaking at a seminar in Johannesburg,... 

Business seeks outcomes-based engagement on SA energy crisis

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2010 South African business' official energy champion, Jayendra Naidoo, said at the weekend that he is prioritising the creation of an outcomes-oriented partnership with government that could, among other issues, provide impetus to a plan to deliver 5 000-MW worth of short-term power relief for the... 

SA mulls Brazilian development finance model for IDC 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2010 The South African government has confirmed that it is considering ways to secure a regular flow of external funding into the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to enable it to provide more favourable funding terms for investments into the country’s beleaguered manufacturing... 

Inflation targeting cannot be blamed for massive job losses – Marcus   

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd April 2010 South Africa will continue to implement inflation targeting and the policy could not be blamed for the 900 000 jobs that were lost during the recession South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Gill Marcus said on Thursday. She said that the number of jobs lost in South Africa during the... 

IMF expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow by 4,7% in 2010

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st April 2010 Sub-Saharan African countries would have to rebuild fiscal room and would have to move its focus away from the near-term objectives of stabilising output to medium-term considerations, such as increasing spending on growth-enhancing priorities, including infrastructure, health, and education, the... 

Marketing of SA’s built-environment expertise to be intensified in 2010 

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2010 South Africa’s Built Environment Export Professions Council (BEPEC) is looking to ramp up its activities for the promotion of South African professional services, primarily into the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South America, during 2010 and 2011, as recessionary conditions... 

Gordhan warns on taxes if recovery slow 

By: Reuters     14th April 2010 South Africa's government may consider raising taxes if the economy does not recover enough to boost tax revenue, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. "At that stage (February's budget) we didn't see any need to increase taxes, but if the economic and revenue position does not... 

Loan backed for poverty-easing, growth-stimulating effects - World Bank

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2010 The World Bank said that it could not comment on how each of its 24 executive directors, who deliberated on the $3,75-billion Eskom loan on Thursday, came to their decision. However, spokesperson Sarwat Hussain did not contradict a National Treasury assertion that the overwhelming majority of the... 

Manufacturing production grows less than expected

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th April 2010 South Africa’s manufacturing output rose by 2,7% year-on-year in February, and while below market expectations, this was still considered a positive move. Efficient Group economist Freddie Mitchell commented on Thursday that the figures were below the market expectations of 4,7%, but said this... 

Absa upgrades SA growth outlook, but warns on power

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2010 South African investment bank Absa Capital announced an upgrade to its 2010 growth forecast for the South African economy on Thursday, from 3,1% to 3,3%, but also warned that South Africa's electricity shortages could constrain future mining and industrial investment and undermine future growth... 

SA should step up participation in global trade

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th April 2010 With the global and local economy improving, South Africa had to ensure that it increased its participation in international trade, as this was critical for economic growth, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday. With the release of its business confidence... 

 

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