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Macro and Micro News

New global costs report confirms new renewables are undercutting existing coal 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2021 The cost of electricity from new solar and wind plants is increasingly undercutting the operating costs alone of existing coal‑fired power plants and strengthening the case for their early retirement, a newly released International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) report confirms. Published on... 

South Africa to host vaccine technology transfer hub

By: Yvonne Silaule     22nd June 2021 South Africa has welcomed the opportunity to host a vaccine technology transfer hub and to build on the capacity and expertise that already exists on the continent as Africa struggles to obtain Covid-19 vaccine doses. President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the establishment of the first messenger RNA... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

PPC mulls several low-carbon opportunities as it shows signs of business stabilisation 

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2021 Cementitious products manufacturer PPC is considering several initiatives aimed at lowering the carbon footprint of its operations and products as its far-reaching organisational and financial restructuring begins yielding results and creates space for the JSE-listed group to start focusing on... 

PPC CEO Roland van Wijnen
PPC CEO Roland van Wijnen

BLSA CEO pays tribute to former chairperson Jabu Mabuza

21st June 2021 In her weekly newsletter, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso pays tribute to Jabu Mabuza. Today we will be bidding farewell to one of business’s giants and former BLSA chairperson Jabu Mabuza during his memorial service which will be held at 10:00. He helped business find its voice... 

Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Jabu Mabuza

Draft data, cloud policy not aimed at controlling data, says Ndabeni-Abrahams 

By: Schalk Burger     18th June 2021 Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on June 18 said the draft Data and Cloud Policy was not intended to control and direct how data should be used, but aims to serve as an enabler for socioeconomic development. She was speaking at a colloquium to discuss the... 

S Africa won’t budge on State wage bill, finance chief says 

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2021 South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told an investment conference the Treasury won’t back down on its insistence that any wage agreement for state workers mustn’t breach the government’s fiscal ceiling. Mboweni made the comments at a conference organized by JSE Ltd. and sponsored by... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Emergency power fiasco compounds South Africa’s energy crisis

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2021 The debacle surrounding South Africa’s bid to secure emergency power supplies has highlighted a dysfunctional energy policy that’s subjecting Africa’s most-industrialised nation to intermittent blackouts. Since March, the energy department has identified companies it wants to provide almost 2 000... 

Emergency power fiasco compounds South Africa’s energy crisis

South Africa will continue to remove barriers to growth and investment, Ramaphosa tells investors 

By: Terence Creamer     17th June 2021 Having already announced a key reform for the electricity sector, President Cyril Ramaphosa told international investors on Thursday that the country will continue to remove barriers to growth and investment through the Operation Vulindlela delivery mechanism. In an address to the SA Tomorrow... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Business sector mourns loss of Jabu Mabuza to Covid-19 complications

By: Schalk Burger     17th June 2021 The business sector, State-owned power utility Eskom and family members have paid tribute to Dr Jabu Mabuza, describing him as a man of integrity, courage and honesty. Mabuza passed away on June 16 from Covid-19-related complications. “Jabu was a role model for all South Africans who aspire to... 

Dr Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Dr Jabu Mabuza

IMF says Zimbabwe economy to grow 6%, deep reforms needed

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 The International Monetary Fund forecast that Zimbabwe's economy would grow 6% this year, almost double its initial projection, but said debt restructuring and other reforms were needed to create the conditions for a lasting recovery. The Fund said higher agriculture output and improved power... 

Ramaphosa announces move to Level 3 lockdown 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th June 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country will move to Level 3 lockdown from June 15. A curfew will be in place from 22:00 to 04:00 and gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa to address nation on Covid-19 response 

By: Sashnee Moodley     15th June 2021 As South Africa heads into the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation at 20:00 on Tuesday. According to a statement from the Presidency, he will provide updates on developments in government’s current response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Suppliers to lose contracts for failing to cut carbon emissions – study

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 A new study by financial services provider Standard Chartered reveals that multinational companies will cut suppliers for failing to curb carbon emissions, with 78% of multinational corporations (MNCs) planning to cut ties with suppliers that endanger their carbon transition plans by 2025. For... 

PwC embarks on new global strategy to tackle modern issues 

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PwC launched its new network strategy narrative – called The New Equation – on June 15, with the aim of focusing on two interconnected needs that clients are facing and will increasingly face in the coming years. PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango says The New... 

PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango

Global stock-taking report points to only modest renewables gains in total final energy consumption 

By: Terence Creamer     15th June 2021 A new international stock-take of the global transition to renewable energy highlights an “alarming gap between targets and actions” with the share of fossil fuels in energy consumption failing to decrease for the tenth consecutive year in 2020, despite a 4% Covid-linked fall in demand. Published... 

Global stock-taking report points to only modest renewables gains in total final energy consumption

Nigeria’s cratering economy may become Africa’s biggest threat

By: Bloomberg     15th June 2021 If there was ever a time Nigeria could have taken off, it was in 1999. Democracy had been restored, with its economy reopening after decades of mismanagement and plunder under military dictatorships. Tomi Davies, a systems analyst, was one of thousands of Nigerians who came home to help rebuild... 

G7 DFIs, partners to invest over $80bn in African businesses

By: Donna Slater     14th June 2021 Development finance institutions (DFIs) of the Group of Seven (G7) economies, together with several multilateral partners, have announced their commitment to investing $80-billion in the private sector over the next five years to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa. Among... 

BLSA applauds electricity, SAA decisions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th June 2021 The privatisation of South African Airways (SAA) and the increase of the embedded generation licencing threshold to 100 MW are the kind of dramatic interventions needed to get the economy going, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA). CEO Busi Mavuso believes these events have signalled... 

Fluor repositions South African unit to support energy transition drive 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2021 Global engineering and construction company Fluor, which has been closely associated with South Africa’s liquid fuels and chemicals industries since the 1960s, has restructured its South African operations to align with the unfolding transitions under way in the energy and mining sectors. Fluor... 

Fluor South Africa GM Bill Langenbach
Fluor South Africa GM Bill Langenbach

Infrastructure and import substitution at heart of new master plan’s vision for steel revival  

By: Terence Creamer     11th June 2021 A new master plan aimed at stabilising South Africa’s steel industry and creating a platform for the revival of the country’s embattled downstream steel fabricators was signed by representatives from business, labour and government on Friday. The ceremony, which took place amid the constant hum... 

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel signs the Steel Master Plan as Numsa's Irvin Jim prepares to do likewise
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel outlines the main pillars of the Steel Industry Master Plan at a signing ceremony held at Hall Longmore’s factory in Wadeville, in Gauteng. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

UK to donate 100-million Covid-19 vaccine doses to developing countries

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th June 2021 The UK will, over the next 12 months, donate a minimum of 100-million surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries all around the world. This was announced on Friday by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ahead of the start of the summit of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democratic... 

Nxesi reports on challenges, successes in labour market’s handling of pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2021 Government, working with social partners, was able to mitigate some of the effects of the pandemic and lockdowns, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said on June 11 during a media briefing on his department’s role in mitigating the worst effects of Covid-19 in the labour market. This, he... 

R3.2bn Arnot coal mine contract awarded to M&R and Amandla JV Boipelo

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2021 Boipelo Mining Contractors, a joint venture between engineering and construction multinational Murray & Roberts (M&R) and contact mining company AmandlaTM Group, has been awarded a R3.2-billion contract for the provision of underground mining services at the Arnot coal mine, in Mpumalanga.... 

South Africa on its way to decentralised power system – SAWEA

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2021 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the licensing-exemption threshold for companies to produce their own electricity will be increased from 1 MW to 100 MW. SAWEA says it views this as another indication the country is well... 

Nersa welcomes 100 MW embedded-generation licensing-exemption decision

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will be amended. The President on June 10 announced that embedded-generation facilities of up to 100 MW would be exempt from licensing... 

Eskom experiencing increase in electricity theft, illegal connections

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom says it is experiencing an increase in electricity theft, especially in high-density areas, which leads to the failure of its equipment. Eskom warns against illegal connections, meter tampering and buying electricity from illegal syndicates, stating that this leads... 

G7 Summit will allow SA to push for swift international response to Covid-19 – Presidency 

By: Thabi Madiba     11th June 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa is travelling to the UK, on Friday, to attend the Group of Seven Summit, at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. South Africa is invited as a guest country alongside South Korea, Australia and India. The Summit will see discussions on the Covid-19... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Questions persist about how best to fund poverty alleviation efforts  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2021 South Africa is grappling with unsustainable levels of poverty and inequality and it has not appropriately funded poverty alleviation programmes in the past. Therefore, the question remains how to fund the necessary interventions. This was indicated by some speakers during a webinar hosted by the... 

Mamokete Lijane
Absa Capital macro strategist Mamokete Lijane outlines her perspective of some of the options and challenges in funding poverty alleviation efforts.

South African agriculture did quite well during the first quarter of this year – report

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th June 2021 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported that the country’s agricultural sector performed “relatively well” during the first quarter of this year (1Q21), in comparison to the same period last year (1Q20). According to BFAP’s calculations, the agricultural sector of the... 

Projects, tariffs could boost sector demand 

By: Halima Frost     11th June 2021 Although the local cement and concrete sector is experiencing its lowest production and supply levels in years, industry body Cement and Concrete South Africa (CCSA) CEO Bryan Perrie says earmarked infrastructure projects and import tariffs, if implemented, will be instrumental in boosting the... 

The implementation of proposed infrastructure projects will uplift the much needed demand of cement and concrete in South Africa
Cement & Concrete South Africa CEO Bryan Perrie discusses the current state if the industry, as well as the formation of the CCSA.

Cabinet approves the extension of Covid-19 national state of disaster

By: Yvonne Silaule     10th June 2021 Cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster on Covid-19 until July 15. Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni said in a post-Cabinet media briefing on June 10 that the extension is in terms of Section 27(5)(c) of the Disaster Management Act and would enable... 

South Africa's industrial activity slows as electricity woes hurt recovery

By: Reuters     10th June 2021 South Africa's monthly manufacturing output contracted in April and mining production slowed, as electricity outages hit the strong recovery in economic activity seen earlier in the year. Factory production was down 1.2% month on month in April, with a majority of sectors contracting. Mining... 

Transnet reports increase in cable theft; 600 arrests made

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 State-owned logistics company Transnet on June 10 reported that there was an average of 650 incidents of cable theft a month in the first five months of this year, while more than 600 arrests have been made since the beginning of the year. Transnet loses about 120 km of overhead cables a month... 

Track S Africa’s economic recovery on Operation Vulindlela dashboard

By: Sashnee Moodley     10th June 2021 South Africans can now track government’s progress in economic and employment growth with up-to-date information on the new Operation Vulindlela dashboard, launched this week. The new dashboard presents an overview of the milestones in 19 focus areas identified by government as priority reforms,... 

Track S Africa’s economic recovery on Operation Vulindlela dashboard

Ramaphosa moves to tackle growth-sapping electricity crisis by increasing licence-exemption cap on distributed projects to 100 MW  

By: Terence Creamer     10th June 2021 In a surprise move, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that the licence-exemption cap on self- or distributed-generation plants would be raised from 1 MW to 100 MW to help address the country's electricity crisis, which has been weighing down economic growth and confidence for more... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

France remains top FDI destination in Europe

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 The Embassy of France in South Africa on June 9 said auditing firm EY's 2021 France Attractiveness Barometer had confirmed France's position as the top European country for foreign direct investment (FDI). Despite the health uncertainty weighing on the global economy, France announced 985 new... 

Hawks, Eskom investigators nab syndicate selling illegal prepaid electricity with 'ghost machines'

By: News24Wire      10th June 2021 The Hawks have uncovered a well-organised syndicate selling illicit prepaid electricity on a large scale, costing Eskom millions in revenue, and arrested seven suspects. The Hawks pounced on the suspects, aged 28 to 67, in the early hours of Wednesday in Gauteng. 

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