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Macro and Micro News

Power-price shock would hamper already frail factory recovery 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     2nd February 2010 South Africa’s already struggling manufacturing sector did not need any other economic shocks, such as the large electricity tariff increases proposed by Eskom, Nedcor chief economist Dennis Dykes asserted on Tuesday. The country’s economy remained under pressure and conditions in many sectors... 

South Africa set to launch big corridor-based logistics efficiency study

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2010 The South African government is initiating a R17,2-million study into the state of operational efficiency along the country’s key transport corridors, which it hopes will provide the basis for material performance improvements to help guide infrastructure planning and future investment... 

Gordhan unlikely to announce major tax changes – E&Y

By: Chanel de Bruyn     28th January 2010 The National Treasury was unlikely to make major changes to the individual, corporate or indirect tax rates, but it was also unlikely to announce any new tax incentives when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tables the national budget next month, tax advisory firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) said on... 

SA's biggest constraint is lack of skilled workforce – survey  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th January 2010 South African business owners see a lack of skilled workforce as the biggest constraint impeding business growth, a survey found. Grant Thornton’s 2010 International Business Report (IBR) study, which related key constraints on company’s abilities to expand the business, found that 34% of... 

SA producer prices up for first time in 8 months

By: Reuters     28th January 2010 South Africa's producer prices increased by 0,7% year-on-year in November, compared with a 1,2% decrease in November, official data showed on Thursday. Statistics South Africa said on a monthly basis producer inflation, representing domestic output, was at 0,7% compared with 0,8% in November.  

Zuma errs on the side of economic-policy stability at Davos 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2010 President Jacob Zuma came out on the side of economic-policy stability at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, arguing that "judicious management" of the country's finances had enabled South Africa to respond to its first recession of the post-1994 "democratic era"... 

Emerging economies to grow by 6% in 2010, says IMF

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th January 2010 Emerging and developing economies, which grew by 2,1% in 2009, would likely see growth of about 6% in 2010, as well as accelerated economic growth in 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report. The report highlighted that stronger... 

Australia seeks to strengthen ties with South Africa

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th January 2010 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Australian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith, on Tuesday launched an Australian-South Africa Foreign Minister's dialogue to advance the countries' common interest and to regularly... 

Job creation promises faltering — Vavi

By: Sapa     25th January 2010 Government's promise to create 500 000 employment opportunities is faltering, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Monday. "Much more needs to be done to make sure we achieve and preferably surpass this target," he said in a speech prepared... 

SA's economic recovery vulnerable to ‘double-dip' threat

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2010 The World Bank expects the South African economy, which slumped into its first recession in 17 years during 2009, leading to an estimated 1,8% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP), to grow by 2% during 2010 and 2,7% in 2011 - however, a ‘double-dip' recession would severely undermine the... 

SA failed to evade global FDI slump in 2009, report shows

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2010 As with the global recession, South Africa failed to escape the effects of a sharp pullback in global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows during 2009, with a new report showing that FDI inflows to South Africa slumped by 24,6% to $6,8-billion last year, from $9-billion in 2008. The estimate,... 

Africa likely to see shift in politics after economic crisis – analyst   

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th January 2010 Although the most pressing signs of the global economic meltdown seems to be ebbing, the political impact of the downturn on Africa would only be seen at a later stage, said the Institute for Global Dialogue (IDG) on Tuesday. Speaking at an event hosted by research and strategy company Frontier... 

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... 

 

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