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Macro and Micro News

Mpact ensures business continuity as electricity, Covid-19 challenges persist 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Paper and plastic packaging manufacturer Mpact managed to ensure business continuity, alongside the safety and health of employees, over the past six months, especially as the period, which ended on June 30, began with persistent external electricity supply interruptions across South Africa,... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 Shareholder activism organisation Just Share has described the ‘Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ report published by Investec in May as having set a new benchmark for South African banks in climate-risk disclosure. The Just Share analysis has been released ahead of Investec’s August 8... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

Nmisa establishes expert platform as forehead thermometer accuracy is questioned

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 Businesses are questioning the reliability of the measurement results obtained from forehead infrared thermometers being used in South Africa, owing to several factors influencing the accuracy of the measurement results, says the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (Nmisa). Nmisa says... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th August 2020 The World Health Organization has deployed 43 global senior experts to South Africa to assist the country with its Covid-19 response, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday. Seventeen experts will touch down in South Africa on Wednesday and will complete a period of quarantine... 

WHO experts expected in S Africa to assist with Covid-19 response
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 If the world economy fails to recover rapidly from the Covid-19 crisis and if efforts to curb emissions are moderately accelerated, it is possible that global fossil-fuel demand peaked in 2019, a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis shows. The analysis models the future demand for coal, oil... 

Covid-19 may have accelerated peak fossil fuel demand ‘by more than a decade’

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains 

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2020 Despite positive indications, such as seen in various recent Purchasing Manager’s Indices, Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth is urging South Africa to take hold of the opportunity presented by Covid-19 in becoming less reliant on global value chains and single-source... 

Manufacturers need to embrace Covid-19 opportunity, be ‘less reliant’ on global value chains
Photo by Creamer Media
Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth

Absa revises GDP forecast on better-than-expected data

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Based on better-than-expected data arising from the first and second quarters of the year, financial services company Absa has revised down its forecast for the gross domestic product (GDP) contraction this year from 9.7% previously, to 8.3%. However, Absa notes that taking into account the... 

SACP calls for arrests and recovery of Eskom funds  

By: Sane Dhlamini     4th August 2020 The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Tuesday said while it welcomed the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) move to recover funds from former Eskom executives, former board members, members of the Gupta family and their associates, it called for the arrests of all those implicated in... 

SACP calls for arrests and recovery of Eskom funds

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects  

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol intends issuing, during its current financial year, a request for proposals (RFP) for wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW having received a strong response to a market-testing request for information (RFI) issued in May.... 

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol's Secunda complex stands in the background with power lines in the foreground

TIPS: Towards a reconstruction programme

3rd August 2020 In this policy brief, research organisation Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) South Africa's post-Covid-19 recovery. The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a body blow to the global economy, and South Africa is no exception. Recovery will not succeed, however, unless it addresses the... 

SAB reconsidering capex projects worth billions amid alcohol sales ban

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 South African Breweries (SAB) has cancelled R2.5-billion of scheduled investments that were earmarked as part of its yearly capital and infrastructure upgrade programme. These funds were previously scheduled as part of its capital allocation programme for this financial year, while an additional... 

SAB reconsidering capex projects worth billions amid alcohol sales ban

Air Envirotech launched to assist mining industry in creating ‘cleaner air’

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 Air pollution, dust control and pneumatic product handling specialists Air Envirotech has started operating, providing a comprehensive range of air environmental and pneumatic conveying services, systems and technologies. The company mainly focuses on the mining, metallurgical processing and... 

SA alcohol ban costs economy R15.4bn in taxes – Distell

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2020 Multinational brewing and beverage company Distell said on Monday the alcohol industry had already lost 118 000 jobs while nearly 800 small and medium sized liquor manufacturers faced bankruptcy as a result of the South African government's ban on sales to try and contain Covid-19. In a... 

SA alcohol ban costs economy R15.4bn in taxes – Distell

Corruption during a national disaster is heinous – Ramaphosa  

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd August 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday addressed the corrupt activities that have recently made headlines, labelling corruption during a national disaster as a heinous crime and revealed that he would be receiving interim progress reports every six weeks, on various cases. He promised that... 

Corruption during a national disaster is heinous – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

More German expertise to reactivate South African industry on its way

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd 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... 

Renergen spuds first well as expected

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 The drill rig at emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s Virginia gas project production hub, in the Free State, is preparing to spud the first well in the programme. The upcoming programme of inclined wells target the gas productive fracture systems at the project. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

South Africa trade surplus swells to record on weak imports

By: Bloomberg     31st July 2020 South Africa’s trade surplus swelled to a record after eased lockdown restrictions allowed more exports, while demand for imports weakened. The positive trade balance widened to R46.6-billion last month from a revised R19.7-billion in May, the South African Revenue Services said Friday in a... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      31st July 2020 Strategic partnerships in science, technology and innovation will play an essential role in economic recovery, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said. Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande delivered the president's speech on his behalf during the National Summit on Science... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Non-pharmaceutical interventions to be intensified in fight against Covid-19

By: Yvonne Silaule     31st July 2020 Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that government would strengthen non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce new Covid-19 infections. Speaking during the national Covid-19 virtual conference hosted by the Department of Education on Friday, Mkhize said interventions would require... 

Non-pharmaceutical interventions to be intensified in fight against Covid-19
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

Rand recovers from three-week low, remains vulnerable

By: Reuters     31st July 2020 South Africa's rand halted its slide against the dollar early on Friday, as worries a recovery in the US economy would be hampered by the country's struggle to stem the coronavirus epidemic weakened the US currency. At 07:05 GMT, the rand traded at 16.7425 a dollar, near is close of 16.7500 on... 

Ctrack Transport & Freight Index shows some positives

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st July 2020 Vehicle tracking, fleet management and insurance telematics solutions provider Ctrack’s Transport & Freight Index for June shows that South Africa’s transport and freight volumes increased by 20.6% month-on-month across all sectors. The Ctrack headline change, however, declined by 23.2% for the... 

Advocacy for women to ramp up going forward

By: Darren Parker     31st July 2020 Following the negative impact of Covid-19 on the commercial and industrial property sector, industry body Women’s Property Network (WPN) aims to ramp up its advocacy work going forward to further promote and support the interests of women working in the sector. WPN national chairperson Nonhlanhla... 

Advocacy for women to ramp up going forward
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER The WPN team is going to ramping up its advocacy work to support women in the commercial and industrial property sector

Difficult times ahead for property sector

By: Darren Parker     31st July 2020 Following the significant challenges because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the outlook for the South African commercial and industrial property sector for next year remains somewhat bleak, says South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) CEO Neil Gopal. Since the start of the national lockdown... 

Difficult times ahead for property sector
NEIL GOPAL There needs to be urgent intervention at local municipal level

Economic recovery interventions present hope

By: Darren Parker     31st July 2020 South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) CEO Vuyiswa Mutshekwane says it is encouraging to already see a number of the proposals being put into practice from the SAIBPP’s 10-point plan to catalyse economic development and drive the post-lockdown economic recovery. The... 

Economic recovery interventions present hope
VUYISWA MUTSHEKWANE It is not business as usual and things are unlikely to return to normal anytime soon

Curfew to move to 22:00 to accommodate restaurants

By: Yvonne Silaule     30th July 2020 Tourism Minister Mamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced that the national curfew will move to 22:00 to assist the restaurant industry. “In our recent discussions with the restaurant sector, two issues were raised with regard to current regulations. One was the crippling effect of the 21:00 curfew... 

Stefanutti Stocks laments ‘adverse’ market conditions as order books decrease

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2020 JSE-listed construction and engineering group Stefanutti Stocks a loss a share 640.35c and a headline loss a share of 622.48c for the financial year ended February 29. While the group’s order book stands at R8.5-billion (R4.2-billion of which arises from work beyond South Africa’s borders), CEO... 

Association confident private equity industry will weather the Covid-19 storm

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2020 Despite the economic headwinds facing the sub-Saharan Africa region, the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) 'Private Equity Industry Survey' shows that the private equity industry remained resilient in weak macroeconomic circumstances during 2019. This, the... 

Association confident private equity industry will weather the Covid-19 storm
Savca CEO Tanya van Lill

AMSA seeks import protection on hot-rolled coil and heavy beams 

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2020 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has submitted two separate applications to the International Trade and Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) requesting import protection on hot-rolled coil (HRC) and heavy structural beams respectively. The HRC application seeks to... 

AMSA seeks import protection on hot-rolled coil and heavy beams

CSIR makes breakthrough in developing local Covid-19 test 

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th July 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a faster way of testing for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes the Covid-19 disease. The CSIR’s achievement will replace a two-step testing process with a one-step test. The CSIR is working with... 

CSIR makes breakthrough in developing local Covid-19 test
Photo by CSIR
CSIR senior researcher Dr Lusisizwe Kwezi

AMSA implements large-scale, but ‘flexible’, labour reorganisation as Covid-19 bites  

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2020 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), which reported a loss of R2.6-billion for the interim period to June 30, warned on Thursday that it expected steel demand to remain subdued for the foreseeable future and indicated that it was pushing ahead with a large-scale labour... 

AMSA implements large-scale, but ‘flexible’, labour reorganisation as Covid-19 bites
ArcelorMittal South Africa CEO Kobus Verster presenting a slide on market conditions in South Africa during the group's interim results presentation. Video by: Nicholas Boyd & Kutlwano Matala.

Opinion: Countering corruption in the construction industry

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th July 2020 In this opinion piece, Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) CEO Cyril Gamede discusses the impact of corruption on the construction sector and what the cidb is doing to deal with the problem. Allegations of corruption, fraud, and bribery continue to cast shadows over the construction... 

Opinion: Countering corruption in the construction industry

RMB CEO implores South African leaders to heed Mboweni warnings

By: Bloomberg     30th July 2020 South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni could do with extra help from his cabinet colleagues in pushing the reforms needed to rejuvenate economic growth. That’s the view of James Formby, the chief executive officer of Rand Merchant Bank, the investment-banking unit of Johannesburg-based... 

RMB CEO implores South African leaders to heed Mboweni warnings
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

June private sector salaries drop more than 20%

By: Schalk Burger     29th July 2020 The number of monthly salaries paid in June decreased by 20.7% year-on-year, affecting a fifth of employees’ salaries, the monthly automated clearing and payment company BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index (BTPI) shows. “We have seen this massive slide in salaries processed by BankservAfrica and... 

R1bn Sukuma Fund tweaks strategy as it prepares to disburse remaining funds to Covid-hit small firms 

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2020 The R1-billion Sukuma Fund, formed in March to support small businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic with funds donated by the Rupert Family and Remgro, expects to have committed the outstanding R400-million not yet apportioned by late August, or early September. To date, the fund has committed... 

R1bn Sukuma Fund tweaks strategy as it prepares to disburse remaining funds to Covid-hit small firms
David Morobe

JSE fines EOH R7.5m for prior incorrect financial statements

By: Schalk Burger     29th July 2020 The JSE on July 29 imposed a R7.5-million fine on information technology services multinational EOH for the material errors and inaccuracies contained in its 2017 and 2018 financial statements, but has suspended R2.5-million of the fine for a period of five years. EOH, in a July 29 statement,... 

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