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Macro and Micro News

A 'more conducive business environment’ needed for South Africa to recover – report

By: Simone Liedtke     18th February 2021 With the largest number of jobs created in 2021’s economic recovery expected to come from the private sector, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that government will need to continue working with the private sector to create “a more conducive business environment” as an enabler of job creation.... 

Is South Africa entering the age of business rescue?

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Even before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, arguably the most prominent business rescue in the country had already made headlines: that of South African Airways (SAA), which after more than a year is still not finalised. More recently, Ster-Kinekor became the latest high-profile company to... 

DMRE says emergency-power deviation notice will not trigger legal challenge 

18th February 2021 On February 12, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel published a Gazette notice granting the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) permission to deviate from the relevant Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment code of good practice for the Risk Mitigation Independent... 

DMRE says emergency-power deviation notice will not trigger legal challenge

Crime and (no) punishment: Why Africa's ports are vulnerable to counterfeit Covid vaccines

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Black-green tears of moss streak the facades of once-white buildings. The city is a maze of narrow streets, some cobbled with sea-stones, calcified by the centuries that have passed since they were laid. The air, always humid, is aromatic with sweet spices and fish, salt-washed from the nearby... 

Budget to focus on tax enforcement, improved collections, and wealth tax unlikely, says EY  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th February 2021 South Africa’s budget, which is to be presented in parliament on February 24, is unlikely to result in the introduction of a wealth tax or any other significant tax increases. Rather, it is more likely that the National Treasury will take steps to ensure tax enforcement and collection, says... 

Volatility continues to impact Africa’s capital markets activity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th February 2021 African equity capital market (ECM) activity had been the lowest in the last decade in 2020, recording a significant decline in both volume and value, PwC notes in its latest edition of the 'Africa Capital Markets Watch' publication. African ECM recorded a value decline of 2% and a volume decline... 

‘Solid’ results bolster Emira's financials

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2021 Diversified real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira’s headline earnings a share decreased by 6.1% to 80.12c for the six months ended December 31, 2020. Earnings a share decreased by 100.6% to 0.46c for the period. 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha  

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have received two of the country’s first ever Covid-19 vaccine shots from the Johnson & Johnson consignment, which arrived in the country on Tuesday evening. Ramaphosa and Mkhize were vaccinated alongside health workers at the Khayelitsha... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

SAHRC recommends Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration amid ongoing Vaal river pollution  

By: Schalk Burger     17th February 2021 The South African Human Rights Commission warns that the Vaal river, "Gauteng's most vital water resource", may have been irreparably damaged and recommends that the Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration and that public servants, municipal administrators and staff who failed to... 

SAHRC recommends Emfuleni municipality be placed under administration amid ongoing Vaal river pollution

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be vaccinated at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, in the Western Cape, on Wednesday, following the late-night arrival of 800 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Tuesday. Ramaphosa said in statement that he and Mkhize will join health... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

PwC global survey highlights risks that family businesses will not meet ESG targets

By: Schalk Burger     16th February 2021 A global survey of 2 801 family business-owners by advisory multinational PwC found that 55% of respondents saw the potential for their business to lead on sustainability, but only 37% have a defined environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy in place. Furthermore, European and American... 

MTN, MasterCard partnership enables mobile e-commerce payments

By: Schalk Burger     16th February 2021 Payment technology multinational MasterCard and telecommunications services multinational MTN on February 16 announced that MTN customers in 16 African countries will be able to make e-commerce payments safely and securely using a MasterCard virtual payment solution linked to MTN's mobile money... 

Upheaval is coming to South Africa over the shift away from coal

By: Bloomberg     16th February 2021 A photograph in the entrance hall at Komati Power Station shows the plant in better times, its nine generating units belching steam and smoke into the night sky. Those days are never coming back: Komati’s sole remaining working unit is facing closure within two years under plans by state power... 

‘Vaccine nationalism’ will hurt all countries: New WTO chief

By: News24Wire      16th February 2021 The World Trade Organization’s incoming chief has warned against “vaccine nationalism” that would slow progress in ending the Covid-19 pandemic and could erode economic growth for all countries – rich and poor. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the Reuters news agency that her top priority is to ensure... 

‘Vaccine nationalism’ will hurt all countries: New WTO chief
Photo by Reuters
Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO 

By: Reuters     16th February 2021 Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing on Monday to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A self-declared "doer" with a track record of... 

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO
Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO (Video: WTO)

South Africa risks more inequality if it does not digitalise, says the WEF

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th February 2021 The World Economic Forum (WEF) in its latest 'Global Risks Report 2021' finds that Covid-19 has not only claimed millions of lives, but also risks widened long-standing health, economic and digital disparities. The WEF, together with report collaborators professional services firms Marsh... 

Biden faces South African push to extend trade concessions

By: Bloomberg     15th February 2021 South Africa is apprehensive about striking a new trade deal with the US and would rather maintain existing relations with the world’s largest economy, the nation’s top trade official said. South Africa is currently party to the so-called Generalised System of Preferences and the African Growth... 

TIPS research initiative to identify stumbling blocks to local green entrepreneurship

By: Schalk Burger     15th February 2021 A research initiative launched by independent nonprofit economic research institution Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) aims to support sustainable finance reforms in favour of local green enterprises (LGEs) and identify and unlock barriers that green and social entrepreneurs face. The... 

Renergen unveils Covid-19 vaccine transport solution, the Cryo-Vacc  

By: Simone Liedtke     15th February 2021 South African emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen on February 15 unveiled its Covid-19 transportation solution, the Cryo-Vacc. The Cryo-Vacc has been designed to keep Covid-19 vaccines ultra-cold during transportation for up to 30 days, allowing for the vaccines to be... 

Renergen unveils Covid-19 vaccine transport solution, the Cryo-Vacc
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani gives more detail on the company’s logistics solution for Covid-19 vaccines, the Cryo-Vacc. Production of which is expected soon. Video: Creamer Media’s Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer.

South Africa to reopen 20 land border crossing points

By: Reuters     15th February 2021 South Africa will reopen 20 land border crossings to allow normal travel, lifting restrictions implemented last month to control rising coronavirus infections, the Home Affairs Ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said land border points, including those with Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana,... 

Energy, real infrastructure progress remain lacking in SoNA, says business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th February 2021 Most stakeholders agree with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s four overriding priorities of defeating Covid-19, accelerating economic recovery and reform to drive inclusive growth, and fighting corruption. However, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), for one, would have liked the President to... 

Energy, real infrastructure progress remain lacking in SoNA, says business
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Industry body seeks purposeful rebuilding

By: Darren Parker     12th February 2021 The Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) theme for this year is: Rebuilding with purpose. This is aimed at encouraging the engineering and construction sectors to pursue the rebuilding of the sector and the economy in a more conscious and mindful manner so that all South Africa’s... 

Industry body seeks purposeful rebuilding
Photo by Creamer Media
SUGEN PILLAY Cesa’s call to purposefully rebuild the economy and infrastructure will aim to foster an enhanced social compact between all industry partners and stakeholders

Strategic forethought hindered by crisis mindset

By: Darren Parker     12th February 2021 With South Africa’s fiscus placed under immense strain as government attempts to combat the effects of the pandemic, South African Institute of Civil Engineering (Saice) CEO Vishaal Lutchman fears that owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s leadership is in “head down crisis mode”, with... 

Strategic forethought  hindered by crisis mindset
VISHAAL LUTCHMAN Government has not prioritised infrastructure development for the past decade and it will likely not prioritise it in 2021 either

Electricity regulations to be amended to raise licence-exemption cap for distributed generation projects 

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act would be amended within the next three months to increase “the licensing threshold for embedded generation”. The current licence-exemption cap is set at 1 MW, with projects above that size required... 

Electricity regulations to be amended to raise licence-exemption cap for distributed generation projects
President Cyril Ramaphosa

City of Joburg invites smart city innovation proposals

By: Schalk Burger     11th February 2021 The City of Johannesburg’s Smart City Office, in collaboration with digital innovation hub Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, invites technology and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) start-up companies to submit proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.... 

Macsteel commits to paying SME suppliers in 30 days

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2021 Steel merchant Macsteel has committed to its paying small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers within 30 days, in a bid to contribute to the growth of this critical sector of the South African economy. Macsteel is the latest company to join Business for South Africa’s (B4SA’s) #PayIn30... 

ArcelorMittal South Africa reports second-half profit as supply squeeze lifts prices 

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2021 Steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) return to profit in the second half of its 2020 financial year on the back of steel-shortage-induced price rises that negatively affected many domestic downstream consumers and have led to growing calls for a lifting of import protection. The... 

ArcelorMittal South Africa reports second-half profit as supply squeeze lifts prices

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2021 A leading bank economist expects fixed investment in South Africa to remain muted in 2021, weighed down by ongoing power shortages, political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim forecasts that investment levels will pick up in 2022, however, spurred... 

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim

South Africa weighs options for AstraZeneca shots ahead of J&J rollout 

By: Reuters     10th February 2021 South Africa's health minister said on Wednesday the government may sell or swap doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine it may not need, as it scrambles to start inoculating its citizens with an alternative US shot next week. The unusual move comes just days after South Africa paused the rollout... 

South Africa weighs options for AstraZeneca shots ahead of J&J rollout
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Tourism sector has lost billions of rands, shed more than 300 000 jobs - deputy minister

By: News24Wire      10th February 2021 South Africa's tourism industry has lost billions of rand and more than 300 000 jobs due to the hard lockdown since the outbreak of Covid-19. Deputy Tourism Minister Fish Mahlalela said the impact of Covid-19, accompanied by the hard lockdown, severely affected the tourism sector both locally and... 

Tourism sector has lost billions of rands, shed more than 300 000 jobs - deputy minister

Africa's miners and winemakers toast China's row with Australia

By: Reuters     10th February 2021 For South African winemaker Vergenoegd Löw, the pandemic could have been a disaster but a bitter trade war between China and Australia has thrown the 325-year-old estate a lifeline. Bottles of its reds, whites and roses piled up when South Africa banned alcohol sales under a strict lockdown and... 

Unctad provides productive capacity tool to transform economies amid crisis

By: Schalk Burger     8th February 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) on February 8 launched its new Productive Capacities Index (PCI), which measures countries’ capacity to achieve social and economic transformation and helps them track their ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).... 

Ramaphosa has stern warning for those involved in corruption 

By: Thabi Madiba     8th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that the net is closing in on those involved in corrupt acts, warning those found guilty that they will be dealt with harshly and appropriately. Last week the Special Investigating Unit released a report on public spending on coronavirus in... 

Ramaphosa has stern warning for those involved in corruption
President Cyril Ramaphosa

BLSA expects clarity on spectrum, energy, vaccine, partnerships from SoNA

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2021 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) expects a few vital aspects to be addressed this week during the President’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA), including the vaccine strategy, spectrum auctions and a fifth round of the renewable energy programme. Consulting Engineers South Africa... 

BLSA expects clarity on spectrum, energy, vaccine, partnerships from SoNA
Photo by Reuters
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

Rand falls as South Africa puts AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 South Africa's rand weakened early on Monday after the country's Covid-19 vaccination plan suffered a setback over the weekend as the government put on hold the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine in its programme. At 0635 GMT, the rand traded at 14.8850 against the dollar, 0.32% weaker than its close... 

Coca-Cola's South African bottler to increase black ownership stake to 20%

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) will increase the stake held by employees and black empowerment investors in the company to 20%, it said on Friday, in a bid to meet merger conditions laid out by competition authorities. In 2014, the Coca-Cola Company and SABMiller Plc reached an... 

Moody's expects sustainability trends to improve this year

By: Schalk Burger     5th February 2021 The impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in financial markets will accelerate this year as the effect of government stimulus, decarbonisation policies and greater disclosure requirements overlap, says ratings agency Moody Investors Service. "As the global economy recovers... 

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