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Macro and Micro News

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... 

Strikes, high-profile murders don’t bode well for investor perception – Sacci

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th April 2010 Not only did the recent local taxi and labour strikes, high-profile murders and “ill-conceived utterances” from political figures risk potentially deterring visitors from attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but this also did not bode well for investor perception, the South African Chamber of... 

CEO confidence improved in Q1, survey shows

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th April 2010 The level of confidence among South African CEOs has again improved in the first quarter of this year, indicating that the local economic recovery was indeed under way. The latest Merchantec CEO Confidence Index recorded its third consecutive quarterly improvement in the first quarter of this... 

SA would ‘cope' should World Bank fail to grant Eskom loan  

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2010 South Africa remained "optimistic" that the World Bank would approve a $3,75-billion loan for State-owned power utility Eskom on April 8, 2010, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. However, he said that the country, which had hitherto refrained from accepting loans from the bank,... 

Revenue performance was phenomenal – Gordhan 

By: Sapa     1st April 2010 South Africa's revenue performance for the 2009/10 fiscal year was "phenomenal", Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. "By midnight last night [Wednesday] Sars had collected R598,5-billion in revenue for the financial year 2009/10 - R8,1-billion more than the revised estimate... 

Fixing the exchange rate will be hard – Kganyago

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd March 2010 A fixed exchange rate regime would not be a solution for South Africa, National Treasury director general Letsetja Kganyago said on Tuesday, pointing out that it would be hard to implement and that it would carry a range of economic costs. "Such a regime would require South Africa to give up its... 

State should seize iron-ore initiative and move debate into developmental realm

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2010 Without question, there is very little sympathy out there for ArcelorMittal South Africa in its fight to hold on to a favourable 25-year iron-ore arrangement with Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC). The main reason is that the benefits of the 2001 Iscor unbundling agreement - engineered primarily to... 

Business confidence returns to precrisis level

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th March 2010 While the 15-point climb in the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) quarterly Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the first quarter of 2010 was “heartening”, RMB chief economist Ettienne le Roux warned that the improvement remained patchy and “heavily leveraged” towards... 

IMF working on $100bn ‘green fund’ – Strauss-Kahn 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th March 2010 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “working on the idea of a green fund” to raise $100-billion a year by 2020 to mitigate the impacts of climate change on developing economies, IMF MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a conference in Kenya on Monday. He noted that climate change could “well be... 

SA is an attractive investment destination − Zuma 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th March 2010 The prospects for South Africa’s economic recovery was promising, while the country remained an “excellent destination” for investment in all sectors, including the manufacturing and mining sectors, President Jacob Zuma told the British Parliament on Thursday. Zuma had undertaken his first State... 

Stringent conditions placed on SA bail-out beneficiaries

By: Jade Davenport     2nd March 2010 Those financially distressed companies that have received or are seeking State support have to comply with stringent conditions, covering everything from executive bonuses to limiting job cuts, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. 

Cabinet to consider new growth plan by midyear

By: Jade Davenport     2nd March 2010 Government's economic sectors and employment cluster, which has been mandated to grow the economy and create jobs, is in the process of developing a ‘Growth Plan' for consideration during the mid-year Cabinet lekgotla. Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Science and Technology... 

Minister Davies to seek urgent meetings with Kumba, ArcelorMittal and Anglo

By: Terence Creamer     27th February 2010 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will seek urgent meetings with Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), Anglo American (KIO's majority shareholder) and ArcelorMittal South Africa to discuss the reasons for, as well as the implications of, KIO's announcement that it would cancel the cost plus 3% iron-ore... 

Surprises, even some unhappy ones, in the so-called Budget of no surprises 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2010 The conventional wisdom surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s inaugural Budget is that it was a sound “business as usual” Budget, with few surprises. But closer analysis reveals a number of surprises, some of which could be considered unhappy ones. The first surprise (happy for some, but... 

SA big business wants growth-driven 2040 vision to be new national goal 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2010 Big business in South Africa has initiated a campaign, loosely dubbed 'Vision 2040', which sets out as its overall goal the transformation of the country from a developing to developed one over 30 years. To achieve that, a target of doubling gross domestic product (GDP) per person over the period... 

SA economy grows 3,2% as manufacturing picks up

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd February 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 1,4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2009, while GDP growth for the year was down 1,8% on that of 2008, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. However, the country's GDP expanded by 3,2% in the final three months of the... 

Africa's economic growth may reach 7% in 2011

By: Jade Davenport     22nd February 2010 Economic growth in Africa was expected to rise to 5% this year and could reach 7% in 2011, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka said on Sunday. Kaberuka was addressing a panel of finance ministry and bank officials at the AfDB's Committee of Ten (C10) meeting in Cape Town at... 

Industrial policy success hinges on job creation, Davies says

By: Jade Davenport     18th February 2010 An estimated 825 706 direct and 2,5-million indirect jobs could be created over the next ten years through the successful implementation of South Africa's now much-vaunted Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), the second round of which would run from 2010/11 to 2012/13, Trade and Industry... 

R3,6bn more for industry incentives, but big industrial plan will need off-Budget fillip

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African government has set aside an additional R3,6-billion for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to partly support the second version of its Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap2, which will run from April 1, 2010, through to March 31, 2013 - details on the much discussed... 

Gordhan provides details on R846bn infrastructure plan

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th February 2010 While the public sector continued with plans to spend R845,6-billion on infrastructure over the next three years, government had also started with extensive planning and consultation on the required infrastructure programmes for the coming ten to 20 years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on... 

Gordhan holds steady on inflation target, but hints to broader SARB mandate

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will continue to target inflation within a range of 3% to 6%, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed in his inaugural Budget address to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday. He also stressed that government was committed to the Constitutional stipulation... 

Gordhan likely to take small steps in first Budget

By: Sapa     16th February 2010 Economists expect little real intervention from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan when he pronounces on the thorny issues of inflation targeting and the exchange rate in his first annual Budget on Wednesday amid sustained public debate on both. Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine said calls... 

 

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