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Macro and Micro News

Experts unpack rising violent extremist attacks in Mozambique 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th August 2020 The presence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant- (ISIL-) affiliated violent extremists in the northern provinces of Mozambique has raised the threat levels for the lives of people in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Although the government of Mozambique only formally... 

DPE welcomes investigative unit’s seizure of assets from former Transnet exec

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th August 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has welcomed the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU’s) work, which has led to the seizure of assets belonging to one of State-owned Transnet's former executives. The order, made by the Special Tribunal established under the SIU and Tribunals Act, was for... 

Wits to lead Phase 2 Covid-19 vaccine trial, seeking 2 900 volunteers

By: Donna Slater     17th August 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand is undertaking a second Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial, led by Wits University Vaccinology Professor Shabir Madhi. Wits will begin screening participants for the NVX-CoV2373 trial from August 17. Madhi motivated vaccine producer US biotech company Novavax to... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol aims to officially unveil its new-look strategy, dubbed Future Sasol, later this year. It has already indicated, however, that the plan will seek to reposition the 70-year-old company, built around a highly carbon-intensive technology that converts coal... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world

Another MAC dispute further delays Tongaat’s disposal of its starch business

By: Simone Liedtke     17th August 2020 KLL Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barloworld, has issued a second material adverse change (MAC) notice with regard to Tongaat Hulett’s disposal of its starch business as a going concern. The first MAC was issued in May, wherein KLL stated that the global Covid-19 pandemic and the... 

South African stocks rise with boost from lockdown easing

By: Bloomberg     17th August 2020 South Africa’s main stock index was 0.2% higher as of 9:32 in Johannesburg, boosted by shares in some companies that are set to benefit from an easing in the country’s Covid-19 lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a weekend address, announced that starting Tuesday restaurants and bars will be... 

Covid-19 severely impacts business confidence, unemployment

By: Donna Slater     17th August 2020 Strategy and investment consulting firm Singular Group says the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted South Africa’s economy, to such an extent that business confidence is at an all-time low, 22% lower than during the 2008 global financial crisis and currently ranking in the 8% range. During... 

World’s biggest free-trade pact targets first deal in 2021

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2020 The first commercial deal under an Africa-wide free trade zone will take place on January 1 as outstanding talks are set to move online, the African Union said. While the African Continental Free Trade Area entered into force legally last year, transactions that were due to start on July 1 were... 

Ramaphosa moves SA to lockdown alert level 2, lifts alcohol and tobacco bans

By: African News Agency      15th August 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday evening announced the lifting of South Africa's much anticipated prohibition on alcohol and tobacco sales and inter-provincial travel as he confirmed that the country's almost five-month-old coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown would be eased to alert level two... 

Ramaphosa moves SA to lockdown alert level 2, lifts alcohol and tobacco bans
President Cyril Ramaphosa

CIG narrows interim loss, but remains under pressure

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 Construction company Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG) expects to report a headline loss a share of between 91c and 137c for the six months ended June 30. This will be an improvement of between 67% and 78% compared with the headline loss a share of 417c reported for the six months ended... 

Master Drilling expects to report lower earnings

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 Drilling contractor Master Drilling expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended June 30  to be between 49.5c and 57.2c a share, which will be between 25.5% and 35.5% lower year-on-year. Earnings per share (EPS) for the six months are expected to be between 46.2c and... 

Tongaat reports ‘improved results’ despite weak economic growth, financial mismanagement blow

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 Sugar manufacturer Tongaat Hulett on August 14 reported “improved results” for the financial year ended March 31, during which the group’s headline earnings per share (EPS) improved by 111% to 90c from a loss of 823c in the previous year. The company attributes the improvement to the steps taken... 

Tongaat reports ‘improved results’ despite weak economic growth, financial mismanagement blow

Commission welcomes tribunal's approval of settlement with panel beating company

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal's decision to confirm a settlement agreement between the commission and a Gauteng-based panel beating company, Eldan Auto Body, for fixing prices, dividing market and collusive tendering. The tribunal's decision was made on August 12. 

Globeleq appoints chief development officer

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 Independent power producer Globeleq has appointed Jonathan Hoffman chief development officer (CDO). The newly created CDO role is intended to unify the company’s growth strategy. 

UIF hits R40bn disbursement mark 

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund has hit the R40-billion mark in Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme disbursements in efforts to ease the financial difficulties faced by workers during the pandemic-induced lockdown. Dubbed the “magical figure” that government committed to,... 

UIF hits R40bn disbursement mark

Stage 2 load-shedding to continue, Eskom says

By: African News Agency      14th August 2020 Despite successfully returning four generation units to service, Eskom on Thursday has said this will not stave off load-shedding and has announced that it will continue to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until 10pm on Thursday and between 8am and 10pm on Friday. "This load-shedding has been... 

 Stage 2 load-shedding to continue, Eskom says

Risk of load-shedding could worsen 

14th August 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about new analysis published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research that shows that load-shedding in 2020 has surpassed that of 2019 and, if urgent action is not taken, South Africa is likely to face... 

Risk of load-shedding could worsen
Risk of load-shedding could worsen

More German experts coming to help reactivate South African industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2020 The German embassy in South Africa expects further technical experts from that country to arrive in South Africa, subject to the approval of the South African government. The first contingent of these experts, sent to help reactivate and upgrade German-owned factories and service companies in... 

Greater collaboration needed in steel supply chain

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 To ensure security of steel supply, the South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) is calling for greater collaboration among all players in the local steel supply chain, from upstream producers to downstream merchants. Local steel demand was low before the Covid-19 pandemic, which... 

Greater collaboration needed  in steel supply chain
Photo by Adobe
RELIABLE ROLLOUT? The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The world will most likely never revert to pre-2020 norms, says steel grating and related products supplier Vital Engineering director Glen Pringle. He tells Engineering News that he expects continued market disruption and the rethinking of various elements of the market, including supply chains. 

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19
GRATE CHANGE AHEAD Vital Engineering needs to ensure that it is as agile as possible to take advantage of the ever-changing status quo

Majola to officiate virtual sodturning ceremony of black industrialist firm

By: Simone Liedtke     13th August 2020 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola will officiate the Toronto Group’s virtual sodturning ceremony of the first-of-a-kind charcoal manufacturing plant that will use alien invasive species on August 18. Toronto Group is a beneficiary of the Department of Trade, Industry... 

Seven African countries to start testing for Covid-19 antibodies

By: Reuters     13th August 2020 Seven African countries will start administering coronavirus antibody tests from next week, a regional body said on Thursday, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent. "Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of... 

Seven African countries to start testing for Covid-19 antibodies

Eskom to resume rolling power cuts due to generation unit breakdowns

By: African News Agency      13th August 2020 South Africa's electricity utility Eskom said on Thursday it would implement rotational powercuts from 8am to 10pm  due to an increase in breakdowns of its generation units, warning that the blackouts could continue into the weekend. "The delay of the return to service of two units at Duvha and... 

 Eskom to resume rolling power cuts due to generation unit breakdowns

Ramaphosa prepares to ease lockdown restrictions

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is preparing to ease lockdown restrictions, including the possible scrapping of an alcohol sales ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The country will move to so-called alert level 2, although details of which curbs will be retained are still... 

Sephaku reports loss as demand dwindles

By: Simone Liedtke     12th August 2020 With the buildings materials industry having been impacted by the continued decline in demand, as both public and private infrastructure investments decrease, Sephaku Holdings (SepHold) reported a headline loss a share of 7.97c for the financial year ended March 31. It also posted a loss a share... 

South Africa nears the point of no return 

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 DCD Wind Towers should have been a South African success story. When DCD opened its doors in the Eastern Cape in 2013, it was the first factory set up to take advantage of the country’s abundant wind-power resources. Government policy was fueling a clean-energy bonanza, and DCD brought valuable... 

BLSA’s Mavuso laments lack of investment in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2020 While there are talks of mobilising more investment to kickstart the South African economy post-Covid-19, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso laments that current developments are showing the opposite, as projects and investments have either been cancelled or delayed. In her... 

NUM’s Paris Mashego dies

11th August 2020 The National Union of Mineworkers national energy sector coordinator Paris Mashego has died, the union said on Tuesday. He served as the union’s Highveld regional secretary, mentored younger shop stewards in NUM and was chief negotiator at State-owned power utility Eskom. 

NUM’s Paris Mashego dies

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

11th August 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. South Africa appears to have succeeded in cutting the transmission of COVID-19 sharply over the past... 

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

By: Terence Creamer     11th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol warned of a dramatic collapse in its 2020 financial performance on Tuesday, confirming that losses for the period would represent a deterioration of more than 100% when compared with results reported for the 2019 financial year. The decline, the company told... 

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

DBSA gears up to fill Covid-induced municipal funding gaps 

By: Terence Creamer     7th August 2020 Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which recently disbursed loans worth R4.5-billion to two Gauteng metropolitan councils to support ongoing infrastructure delivery amid coronavirus-induced liquidity constraints, reports that it is gearing up to support several other municipalities to... 

DBSA gears up to fill Covid-induced municipal funding gaps
Mohan Vivekanandan

Deputy President Mabuza blames struggling municipalities for Eskom woes

By: News24Wire      7th August 2020 Deputy President David Mabuza has blamed the failure of municipalities to pay their debt to Eskom for ongoing service delivery issues. In replies to written questions from the National Council of Provinces submitted on 5 August, Mabuza said municipalities experiencing severe electricity... 

Deputy President Mabuza blames struggling municipalities for Eskom woes
Deputy President David Mabuza

Minerals Council says new exploration strategy could help mining recover from Covid-19 hit 

By: Terence Creamer     6th August 2020 Minerals Council South Africa is calling for the urgent development of a comprehensive and competitive greenfield exploration strategy, arguing that a far higher level of exploration is required to help stimulate higher levels of mining investment and job creation and to support the country’s... 

Minerals Council says new exploration strategy could help mining recover from Covid-19 hit
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter

BLSA says foreign investment levels continue to be affected by crime levels

By: Sashnee Moodley     6th August 2020 Foreign investment will be difficult to attract as long as South Africa’s crime levels, particularly violent crime levels, remain high. This was the view of Business Leadership South Africa national project manager Fouche Burgers on Thursday, followings the release of the country’s crime... 

BLSA says foreign investment levels continue to be affected by crime levels

Seifsa says high court ruling in favour of the DTIC ‘gives hope’

By: Simone Liedtke     6th August 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the High Court ruling in favour of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) in a procurement matter, saying that it will boost struggling local businesses amid the pandemic-induced economic... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury  

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 The National Treasury has halted the emergency procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reverted to open procurement processes amid a normalisation of supply and growing allegations of corruption, which Finance Minister Tito Mboweni acknowledged on Wednesday had led to a breakdown... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Covid-19 relief should reach all SMEs, says SAVCA

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) relief was short-lived after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R200-billion government Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme in April. The scheme was intended to support businesses with a yearly turnover of less than R300-million, as part of efforts intended... 

Covid-19 relief should reach all SMEs, says SAVCA
SAVCA CEO Tanya van Lill
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