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Macro and Micro News

Ramaphosa renews calls for increased local procurement

By: Donna Slater     9th March 2021 Well established companies have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, a situation only worsened by effects of several years of difficult economic conditions, preferences for cheaper, imported goods and, in some cases, with changing consumer patterns, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.... 

Data suggests economy to recover this year but work needed to move to sustainable growth path

By: Schalk Burger     9th March 2021 High-frequency data suggestS that a strong recovery is under way this year, in tandem with South Africa’s lockdown having been scaled down to Level 1. South Africa must capitalise on the economic rebound to move its economy onto a more sustainable, job-rich growth path, says North-West University... 

Coca-Cola to contribute R240m to Buy Local campaign, govt looks to slash import bill

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th March 2021 To support the local economy, beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola has committed to make R240-million available over the next three years to drive the Buy Local campaign. This forms part of an agreement concluded with the competition authorities last year. 

National strategy seen as key first step for countries keen to tap green-hydrogen potential 

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2021 The publication of a national hydrogen strategy has been identified by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) as the crucial first pillar in an evolving four-pillar policymaking toolbox for countries that are either planning to export or import green hydrogen as part of their... 

National strategy seen as key first step for countries keen to tap green-hydrogen potential

The SA economy shrank by 7% in 2020 

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 The South African economy contracted by 7% during 2020, as expected given the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economies worldwide. Statistics South Africa on Tuesday released the 2020 fourth quarter and full year GDP results. The fourth quarter reported growth of 6.3% on a... 

The SA economy shrank by 7% in 2020

How Africa can save the world from a never-ending pandemic

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2021 As the rest of the world prepares for a vaccine-driven return to normal over the next few months, at her community health center in a poor, working class neighborhood of Cape Town, Andrea Mendelsohn is dreading the arrival of April and May—that’s when the weather will get cooler in the southern... 

Brian Molefe: I have no regrets that I knew the Guptas

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 Former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe insisted before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday that he was not betrayed by the Guptas, and challenged those who felt that his relationship with the controversial family was wrong to present evidence of wrongdoing. Molefe was on... 

Brian Molefe: I have no regrets that I knew the Guptas
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe

Massmart stabilises business, strengthens e-commerce focus

By: Schalk Burger     8th March 2021 Mass retailer and wholesaler Massmart's performance has stabilised over the past 18 months and the company has shifted focus to the Southern African Development Community region and e-commerce, CEO Mitch Slape noted during a presentation of the company's results on March 8. Slape said the company... 

South Africa's court halts spectrum auction

By: Reuters     8th March 2021  South Africa's high court on Monday ordered telecoms regulator Icasa to halt the auction of radio frequency spectrum licences pending another related court matter, further delaying the process which was expected to begin this month. As part of the order, the Independent Communications Authority... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 A decade into the creation of South Africa’s renewable energy sector, it has become apparent that it is still lagging in gender diversity, which is why South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli says the industry is actively giving attention to adjust and improve the... 

Renewable energy sector striving to increase gender representation at all levels
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

IMF says will continue talks with Zambia, progress made

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that headway had been made in three weeks of talks over a programme for Zambia and discussions would continue, though a number of challenges remained. The southern African copper producer became the continent's first pandemic-era sovereign... 

Resilience, natural resources become key as global food security deteriorates slightly

By: Schalk Burger     5th March 2021 The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) showed a deterioration for the second year in a row in 2020, with the affordability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience categories deteriorating, with only the availability category showing marginal improvement, says economic research... 

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon 

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2021 A list confirming which South Africans will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination when the ‘Phase 2’ roll-out begins in late April or early May will be published in the “next week or two”, Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay reported on Friday. Phase 2 will focus on the... 

List outlining eligibility for ‘Phase 2’ vaccination roll-out to be released soon

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department 

By: News24Wire      5th March 2021 Eskom CEO André de Ruyter told Parliament on Friday morning that the suspension of the power utility's chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, will not compromise Eskom's ability to stay on top of its procurement deviations and expansions. Tshitangano was suspended for poor performance. On... 

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Mpact delivers strong performance in 2020, despite challenges  

By: Simone Liedtke     5th March 2021 By delivering its proven strategy of securing leading market positions and focusing on customers and performance, paper, packaging and recycling company Mpact delivered a strong financial performance with record cash flows from operations of R1.9-billion and a reduction in net debt to... 

Mpact delivers strong performance in 2020, despite challenges
Mpact CEO Bruce Strong speaks to Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke about the company's latest set of results. Video & Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Germany charges former Steinhoff managers with balance sheet fraud

By: Reuters     5th March 2021 German prosecutors have filed charges against three former managers at South African retailer Steinhoff for balance sheet fraud, three years after the company first revealed holes in its accounts. The Oldenburg prosecutor's office said on Thursday it had filed charges against the trio for... 

Renewables procurement to resume  

5th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's plans to resume the procurement of renewable energy after a six-year stall, what commitments have been made by government and the potential for industrialisation around the programme?   

Renewables procurement to resume
Renewables procurement to resume

Gender inclusivity to create sustainable work environment and world, says SAICE

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2021 Civil engineering organisation the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has called for collaboration and working towards gender diversity and inclusivity to create a more sustainable working environment and world. SAICE president Vishal Krishandutt highlights the need for a... 

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2021 South Africa added 515 MW of new wind capacity in 2020 cementing its wind leadership on the African continent, a new Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) analysis shows. By the end of last year, South Africa had 2 500 MW of cumulative wind capacity installed, representing about 34% of the 7 300 MW... 

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout 

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Labour Court has on Thursday dismissed an application by the SAA Pilots Association for leave to appeal a prior judgment in December 2020 which held that the lock-out of the pilots was lawful and protected in terms of the Labour Relations Act. SAAPA members have been locked out since 18... 

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout

Opinion: South Africa’s path to the 4IR – the role of digital skills

4th March 2021 In this opinion piece, the Industrial Development Think Tank discusses the need to develop digital skills in the manufacturing knowledge base for South Africa. The world economy is undergoing a period of structural and technological transformation with the arrival of the Fourth Industrial... 

Opinion: South Africa’s path to the 4IR – the role of digital skills

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2021 Industry body the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has partnered with funding consulting firm VennCap Business Solutions to assist metals and engineering sector companies to secure funding for their businesses and enable them to chart a course to... 

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding
Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba

Gauteng govt calls for scrapping of e-tolls

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Gauteng government believes it can resolve the e-tolls matter "once and for all". The topic, which arises every election cycle, has been raised by Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo who on Wednesday restated the long-standing position of the province and its opposition over the operation of... 

Gauteng govt calls for scrapping of e-tolls

South African scientists find antibodies from variant may offer cross-protection

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 Research by South African scientists suggests that antibodies triggered by exposure to the country's dominant coronavirus variant can prevent infection by other variants, the scientists said on Wednesday. The findings in laboratory studies offer hope that COVID-19 vaccines based on the 501Y.V2... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 A newly released study of the potential for developing a lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa concludes that the country should prioritise minerals beneficiation and mining, as well as battery manufacturing as it seeks to carve out a niche for itself in what is a fast-growing, highly... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain

Suspended Eskom procurement chief raises allegations against De Ruyter in letter to MPs 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2021 The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has received a letter from Eskom's suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano which levels allegations against CEO André de Ruyter. As a result the committee decided not to proceed with a scheduled meeting on Wednesday, in which it was to be... 

Suspended Eskom procurement chief raises allegations against De Ruyter in letter to MPs
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

DRC, as a keystone in AfCFTA, can link regional value chains

By: Schalk Burger     3rd March 2021 Trade and development experts have detailed the key role the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can play in providing mineral resources for industrial and manufacturing value chains, supporting agricultural and agroprocessing value chains and serving as an epicentre for intra-African trade to... 

DRC, as a keystone in AfCFTA, can link regional value chains
Saceec CEO Eric Bruggeman

South Africa's factory activity slows in February - PMI

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 South African private sector activity expanded again in February but at a slightly slower pace than the previous month, with new orders remaining flat while optimism was lifted by Covid-19 vaccine rollouts, a survey showed on Wednesday. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped to... 

Seifsa puts SEZs at forefront of Brics Manufacturing Conference agenda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has explained why it has placed special economic zones (SEZs) at the heart of the inaugural Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Manufacturing Conference to be hosted on March 26. CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba... 

ECA report unpacks green recovery strategy for Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd March 2021 The Economic Commission for Africa has launched the 'Building Forward for an African Green Recovery' report, which highlights the continent’s bold post-Covid-19 pandemic recovery strategy. The report seeks to bolster the continent’s quest for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals,... 

Glencore 'used relationship' with Ramaphosa to 'extort' Eskom, former CEO Brian Molefe claims 

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2021 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has told the State Capture Inquiry that Glencore used its relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who used to be the chairperson of its Optimum coal mine, to try to extort money from the power utility as it renegotiated the terms of its contract. Optimum, which... 

Glencore 'used relationship' with Ramaphosa to 'extort' Eskom, former CEO Brian Molefe claims
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Labour Court rules dismissal of top Prasa executives was unlawful

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2021 The Labour Court in Johannesburg handed judgment on Tuesday declaring the termination of employment of three Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's executives unlawful. They are former chief operating officer Nkosinathi Khena, former executive for risk and legal compliance Onica Ngoye and former... 

Labour Court rules dismissal of top Prasa executives was unlawful

New Italy Visa Application Centre in SA prioritises safety

By: Thabi Madiba     2nd March 2021 Outsourcing and technology services company Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Global on Monday launched the new Italy Visa Application Centre in Cape Town, to offer customers a safe and secure application process. VFS Global regional group COO Jiten Vyas said the new centre was part of the... 

Ramaphosa halts hunt for reserve South African finance chief 

By: Bloomberg     2nd March 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa sought to identify a backup option in case Finance Minister Tito Mboweni left his post, but abandoned the search because he couldn’t find a suitable alternative, according to four people familiar with the situation. While some of the nation’s most prominent policymakers... 

CIPC wins award, registers almost 12 000 new companies a month

By: Yvonne Silaule     1st March 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has congratulated South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for winning awards from the Centre for Public Service Innovation. The CIPC won the Most Innovative Public Service Entity of the Year award for 2020, as... 

Public sector unions table inflation-linked wage demands

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 South Africa's public sector unions want a general salary rise of consumer inflation plus 4% for all workers, according to a labour document presented on Monday, as talks began over a new wage deal. The list of 16 demands, which includes better housing payments and a risk allowance of 12% of... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn  

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2021 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) is urging African policymakers to use their limited public resources strategically, and alongside policy and regulatory instruments, to unlock the $105-billion required yearly to install the 1 026 GW of renewable energy needed by 2050 to meet the... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn
Irena director-general Francesco La Camera
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