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Macro and Micro News

BLSA calls for lifting of all restrictions on economic activity 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th September 2020 The severe contraction in South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of the year was expected, but still "paints a horrific picture" of the damage done to the economy by the lockdown restrictions, says industry organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA). BLSA... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Describing data as the “new oil” or “new water” of the world, Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC) president Annemarie van Coller has emphasised the importance of changing data from “just data to insights”. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar hosted... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president
SAIMC president Annemarie van Coller gives viewers some insight into the data journey. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

South African economy contracts 51% q/q in Q2 

By: Reuters     8th September 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 51.0% quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2020, the fourth contraction in a row, data from the statistics agency showed on Tuesday. GDP shrank 17.1% year on year in the three months to the end of June, reflecting the impact of the... 

South African economy contracts 51% q/q in Q2

140 UK, KwaZulu-Natal companies to participate in online trade mission

By: Yvonne Silaule     8th September 2020 About 140 companies from the UK and KwaZulu-Natal will be participating in a virtual online trade mission, which will be led by Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube. “Following the onset of Covid-19 and the limitations on international travel, the department has embarked on an... 

Proper ventilation a key tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     7th September 2020 Indoor ventilation is an important tool to prevent the viral transmission of the Covid-19 virus when correctly applied. Conversely, poor ventilation promotes viral transmission, Engen industrial hygiene specialist Garth Hunter warned during the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and... 

Proper ventilation a key tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19
Two specialists discuss the importance of proper ventilation as a tool to prevent the viral transmission of Covid-19. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Lesotho aims to ‘go big’ on agriculture amid Agoa textiles uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro reports that the country aims to overhaul its underperforming agricultural sector with the objective of improving both food security and attracting export-oriented investment into the production of high-value crops, such as fruit, vegetables and... 

Lesotho aims to ‘go big’ on agriculture amid Agoa textiles uncertainty
Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has initiated a process through which it aims to identify potential partners for the development and demonstration of technologies that can utilise the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced at its South African operations as part of a broader strategy to lower its... 

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations

Long-term demand structure for petroleum unclear

By: Darren Parker     4th September 2020 It is expected that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to negatively affect liquid fuels demand in the short term, but whether this represents a long-term structural shift is not yet clear, says South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo. Before... 

Long-term demand structure for petroleum unclear
Photo by Adobe
NO NEED TO IMPORT Reduced demand will see South Africa becoming somewhat self-sufficient in terms of fuels production if all refineries are operational

How health dept's new app will assist the fight against Covid-19  

By: News24Wire      2nd September 2020 The national health department has launched the Covid Alert SA app, which informs people if they have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa called the app, which was launched on Wednesday, a "powerful tool to support our digital contact tracing efforts". 

How health dept's new app will assist the fight against Covid-19
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

South African stocks rise as vaccine news boosts risk appetite

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2020 South Africa’s main stock index gains for a second day, rising 0.4% by 10 am in Johannesburg, as reports that a Covid-19 vaccine may be available earlier than expected drives risk appetite higher. The biggest listed companies, Naspers Ltd., Richemont, and Anglo American Plc, led gains, with the... 

South African stocks rise as vaccine news boosts risk appetite

Clear signs of overpricing, unfair processes, potential fraud in PPE tenders - AG report reveals 

By: News24Wire      2nd September 2020 Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has released damning findings on Covid-19 relief funding which details the extent of the rot surrounding personal protective equipment tender procurement processes. Makwetu briefed the media on Wednesday and detailed how contracts in the R22.4-billion PPE budget has... 

Clear signs of overpricing, unfair processes, potential fraud in PPE tenders - AG report reveals
Auditor General Kimi Makwetu

Recovery plan advancing amid ‘unprecedented’ collaboration, Kingston reports 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd September 2020 Business for South Africa’s Martin Kingston has described the current level of cooperation and collaboration between labour, government, civil society and business as “unprecedented” and reports that the social partners are making good progress in their attempts to reach agreement on a... 

 Recovery plan advancing amid ‘unprecedented’ collaboration, Kingston reports
Photo by Creamer Media
Business for South Africa’s Martin Kingston

Head of largest women-owned engineering firm troubled by lack of work amid talk of infrastructure-led recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd September 2020 The chief executive officer of South Africa’s largest black- and women-owned consulting engineering company is concerned about the current dearth of infrastructure-related workflow within the profession, which is typically at the forefront of preparing projects for implementation. In fact, Malani... 

Head of largest women-owned engineering firm troubled by lack of work amid talk of infrastructure-led recovery
Malani Padayachee-Saman and Ipeleng Mkhari

Thebe Investment Corp welcomes new group FD

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2020 Grathel Motau has been appointed Thebe Investment Corporation’s group FD, effective September 1. She will also serve as an executive director on the Thebe board. 

Thebe Investment Corp welcomes new group FD
Grathel Motau

IFC confirms $225m green-economy loan to FirstRand

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2020 The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has extended a $225-million loan to South Africa’s FirstRand Bank, which will deploy the finance in support of “energy-efficient and water-smart projects” in South Africa. The loan includes a $75-million contribution from the Dutch... 

IFC confirms $225m green-economy loan to FirstRand

Opinion: Can the private sector deliver government’s proposed infrastructure plan?

1st September 2020 In this opinion article, Vantage GreenX MD Alastair Campbell, who spent 25 years as an investment banker and who manages the R5-billion GreenX Debt Funds, says the renewables programme has proved that the private sector will invest in South African infrastructure once policy certainty is... 

Opinion: Can the private sector deliver government’s proposed infrastructure plan?
Alastair Campbell

Ninth yearly Small Business Day happening this week

By: Simone Liedtke     31st August 2020 September 4 will mark the ninth yearly Small Business Friday − the biggest small business day of the year in South Africa. Small Business Friday is dedicated to supporting the diverse range of local businesses that create jobs, help boost the economy, and enhance communities around the country. 

Key court case in tourist business interruption claims against insurers on Tuesday

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st August 2020 A case of the greatest importance for the hospitality and tourism sector, on the one hand, and the insurance sector, on the other, is to be heard by a full bench of the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday. The case is Ma-Afrika Hotels and the Stellenbosch Kitchen restaurant versus insurance group... 

New ‘single channel’ service created to help resolve barriers to South African exports 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has launched a new ‘single channel’ online service through which South African exporters are able to register any problems they are experiencing in their trade interactions and secure dedicated support from government to resolve concerns.... 

 New ‘single channel’ service created to help resolve barriers to South African exports

RCL Foods leverages diverse portfolio for resilience amid ‘unprecedented hardship’ in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     31st August 2020 JSE-listed consumer goods company RCL Foods leveraged the resilience of its diverse portfolio to finish the 12 months to June 30 in a strong cash position, delivering revenue growth of 7.4% in a period of “unprecedented hardship for South African consumers and the local economy”. Underlying... 

RCL Foods leverages diverse portfolio for resilience amid ‘unprecedented hardship’ in South Africa
RCL CEO Miles Dally

Ethiopia seeks US clarification on reports of planned aid cut

By: Bloomberg     31st August 2020 Ethiopia asked the US government to clarify reports it may withhold about $130-million of aid in a bid to pressure the Horn of Africa nation to review its plans to fill a new dam that have affronted its neighbors. “We have asked for clarification on reports of the United States’ decision not to... 

Ramaphosa strengthens hold over South Africa’s ruling party

By: Bloomberg     31st August 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa gained the upper hand in a power struggle in the nation’s deeply divided ruling party after surviving a bid to force him out of office, clearing the way for him to overhaul his cabinet. The ouster attempt was made during a three-day meeting of the African National... 

Ramaphosa strengthens hold over South Africa’s ruling party
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Mavuso stresses need to clamp down on indebtedness, corruption once and for all

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2020 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says corruption is accelerating South Africa’s indebtedness and will continue to counter any economic revival efforts if it is not stopped. She points out in her latest weekly newsletter that the in-your-face nature of personal protective... 

Mavuso stresses need to clamp down on indebtedness, corruption once and for all
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi

More transparency needed in SOE appointments – IoDSA

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st August 2020 The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa has called for more public transparency around board appointments in State-owned enterprises following the recent appointment of African National Congress Youth League leader Magasela Mzobe as Umgeni Water interim board chairperson. Minister of Human... 

More transparency needed in SOE appointments – IoDSA
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu

Ramaphosa considers Cabinet changes in bid to drive reforms

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering making changes to his cabinet after he meets the ruling party’s leadership this weekend, people familiar with the deliberations said. The meeting could be a showdown between the president and his rivals within the African National Congress, the people... 

Ramaphosa considers Cabinet changes in bid to drive reforms

Redefine bids farewell to long-time COO David Rice

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties will be bidding farewell to its long-time COO David Rice on August 31. Rice will be retiring from a career of more than 30 years in the property industry but will still remain on-hand on a month-to-month basis to assist in... 

Citizens can collect smart IDs, passports at participating banks

By: Yvonne Silaule     28th August 2020 Citizens who had applied for their smart identification (ID) cards or passports at certain banks before the lockdown was implemented in March, will now be able to collect those documents from the banks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced. During... 

SA small business turnover up 9 pct after govt eases Covid-19 restrictions

By: African News Agency      28th August 2020 The further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions by South Africa's government to allow more economic activity to resume after a nationwide lockdown has led to a nine percent improvement in turnover among small and medium enterprises, a survey released on Friday showed. small business financial... 

 SA small business turnover up 9 pct after govt eases Covid-19 restrictions

Technology company launches tailored Industrial IoT solution for TSF insights

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2020 Global Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud technology company sensemetrics Inc is transforming sensor data into real-time business intelligence by launching a tailored IIoT solution that gives mining companies and their insurers real-time, end-to-end tailings storage facilities (TSF)... 

South Africa says no extra money available for next three years 

By: Bloomberg     28th August 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury says there are no additional resources available for government departments in the next three years. Any additional allocations will have to be funded from reductions in other programs, either within the department’s budget, or from another department’s budget,... 

South Africa says no extra money available for next three years

DTIC to launch Export Barriers Monitoring Mechanism

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) will launch the Export Barriers Monitoring Mechanism (EBMM) on August 31. The EBMM will be a single channel for companies to report and receive assistance in resolving export barriers, the department said in a statement on August 28. 

Support, mentoring key in driving transformation 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2020 Women will need to support and mentor other women in the construction industry as part of reshaping the mindset that the industry is male-dominated, says building materials company AfriSam mineral resource manager Niraksha Singh. “This is necessary, considering that legacy issues and societal... 

Support, mentoring key  in driving transformation
AfriSam’s Niraksha Singh discusses how mentoring and support are key in driving transformation.

Massmart ups cost-saving target as loss widens

By: Reuters     27th August 2020 South African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd has raised its three-year cost saving target to R1.9-billion as it seeks to halt expense growth, improve margins and exit loss-making stores, its chief executive said on Thursday. A turnaround plan announced earlier this year by the company,... 

AfDB re-elects Akinwumi Adesina as president

By: Reuters     27th August 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday its board had re-elected Akinwumi Adesina for a second five-year term as AfDB president. The Abidjan-based bank conducted the vote to reappoint Adesina during its annual meeting on Thursday, which is being held via video link. 

M&R holds on to shrinking South African unit amid hopes of infrastructure-led recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2020 JSE-listed engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) is “holding on” to its South African-aligned business unit that focuses on power, industrial and water despite the fact that its contribution to the group’s R54.2-billion order book has slumped to less than one percent, or only... 

M&R holds on to shrinking South African unit amid hopes of infrastructure-led recovery
M&R CEO Henry Laas

Scania partners with Limpopo Economic Development Agency to develop R15m workshop

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2020 In line with Scania’s global purpose to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system for business and society at large, Scania South Africa has partnered with the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) and the Thulamela municipality to develop the R15-million Scania Thohoyandou... 

Sappi announces two new senior appointments

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2020 Paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi Southern Africa has announced two new senior appointments in the form of Duane Roothman as Sappi Forests VP and Mark Barnardo as Roothman’s successor as Sappi Forests GM. Roothman takes over the position from Dr Terry Stanger, who retires on August 31 after 27... 

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