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Macro and Micro News

Trial data important to prove vaccine safety – Discovery Health CEO   

By: Thabi Madiba     28th January 2021 Medical Aid scheme Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach has emphasised the importance of phase three clinical trial data on Covid-19 vaccines, urging manufacturers to produce trial evidence alongside assurance to the general public. Speaking during a virtual webinar on Thursday, he explained that the... 

ArcelorMittal SA ramps up Vaal Meltshop to full production to ease steel shortages  

By: Terence Creamer     28th January 2021 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) reported on Thursday that it would increase output at its Vaal Meltshop electric arc furnace (EAF), in Vereeniging, to help address prevailing steel shortages, which have been negatively affecting downstream fabricators and manufacturers for... 

ArcelorMittal SA ramps up Vaal Meltshop to full production to ease steel shortages
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Kobus Verster

AfCFTA improves Africa's trade profile, investment attractiveness 

By: Schalk Burger     28th January 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) helps to improve the attractiveness of Africa for investors, as the potential markets companies can tap have become much larger. This also places the continent in a stronger position to negotiate fair trade terms with other countries and blocs,... 

AfCFTA improves Africa's trade profile, investment attractiveness

South Africa's rand falls as risk-off sentiment lifts dollar

By: Reuters     28th January 2021 South Africa's rand fell in early trade on Thursday, as investors flocked to the safety of the dollar following an overnight Wall Street sell-off, after the US Federal Reserve flagged a slowdown in the pace of economic recovery. At 0625 GMT, the rand traded at 15.3200 against the dollar, 0.29%... 

South Africa's rand falls as risk-off sentiment lifts dollar

MTN donates $25m to the AU vaccine programme for health workers

By: Yvonne Silaule     28th January 2021 Telecoms group MTN has donated $25-million to the African Union's vaccine programme to immunise health workers. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also chairperson of the AU, made the announcement on Wednesday during the African Covid-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2021 A new global partnership has been formally launched in an effort to accelerate the decarbonisation of seven heavy industrial and transport sectors that together represent 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and where carbon-abatement pathways have yet to be defined. Known as the ‘Mission... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors

Renergen appoints contractors for Virginia gas project's Phase 2 studies 

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2021 Emerging helium and natural gas company Renergen has appointed three companies for the engineering studies for Phase 2 of its Virginia gas project, in South Africa’s Free State province. The three companies are Saipem South Africa, EPCM Holdings and Sproule. 

Renergen appoints contractors for Virginia gas project's Phase 2 studies

Aveng to raise R300m to restructure balance sheet, pay debt

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2021 Construction company Aveng intends to raise R300-million by way of a fully co-underwritten renounceable rights offer so that it may restructure its balance sheet, which will allow the group to reset its capital structure. The rights offer comprises up to 20-billion ordinary no par value shares in... 

Release excess vaccines you have hoarded – Ramaphosa to rich countries   

By: Thabi Madiba     26th January 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa pleaded with richer countries, on Tuesday, to release their excess Covid-19 vaccines to countries that have yet to receive doses, voicing his concern about “vaccine nationalism”. Virtually, addressing the World Economic Forum, he noted that richer countries have acquired... 

Release excess vaccines you have hoarded – Ramaphosa to rich countries
President Cyril Ramaphosa

FDI flows likely to remain weak in 2021  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) reports that global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, decreasing by 42% to an estimated $859-billion, compared with about $1.5-trillion in 2019. FDI finished the year more than 30% below the trough after the global... 

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa  

By: Thabi Madiba     25th January 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa reinforced, on Monday, the importance of keeping South Africans informed of vaccine acquisition developments, adding that government must be held to account for all decisions made around the vaccine. Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly column to the nation that South Africa... 

Govt has been open, transparent throughout pandemic – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Mavuso stresses importance of implementing structural reform  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 Everyone, from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to organised labour can see what must be done to get the country back on a growth trajectory, but little seems to change, CEO Busi Mavuso says in the latest newsletter from Business Leadership South Africa. She welcomes SARB governor Lesetja... 

Evaluation of emergency-power bids ‘by February’, with renewables bidding to open in ‘first quarter’ 

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2021 The evaluation of the 28 bids received under South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) is anticipated to be concluded by February 2021, the IPP Office has confirmed with Engineering News. The preferred bidders, it adds, will be announced as soon as... 

Evaluation of emergency-power bids ‘by February’, with renewables bidding to open in ‘first quarter’

‘Comply with Political Party Funding Act’ – Pityana urges business, politicians

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd January 2021 With the Political Party Funding Act expected to come into effect from April 1, Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana has called on political parties and business to urgently comply with the legislation. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the signing of the Act, on Friday, paving... 

‘Comply with Political Party Funding Act’ – Pityana urges business, politicians
Busa president Sipho Pityana

AfCTFA to help drive continent’s economic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd January 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can help drive the continent’s economic recovery from the deadly coronavirus pandemic and spur transformation, says Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) regional integration and trade division director Stephen Karingi. He says that, given that... 

Tito Mboweni asks for more time for Treasury report after missing first deadline

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise asking that the legislature grant National Treasury an extension for the submission of its annual report and financial statements, while it irons out differences with the office of the Auditor General. The letter... 

Tito Mboweni asks for more time for Treasury report after missing first deadline
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

South Africa’s widening budget gap may drive up tax targets

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2021 South Africa may be forced to revise its tax increase targets as its budget shortfall is set to breach wartime levels for a second consecutive year. The budget deficit will reach 11% of gross domestic product in the fiscal year through March 2022, according to the median estimate of 13 economists... 

France is enthusiastic about hosting upcoming summits focused on Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2021 The French Embassy in Pretoria has reported that France was looking forward, with much anticipation, to the Africa-France Summit and the International Financing Summit for Africa, which would both be held in the country during this year. The Africa-France Summit was scheduled to take place at... 

Spotlight on emerging markets a boon for South Africa's private equity to build another Rain or SweepSouth

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 Fund managers, who are backing startups, SMEs and other business ventures that banks don't ordinarily touch, are expecting a bumper year in 2021 after Covid-19 disrupted most of the fundraising initiatives last year. The private equity and venture capital industry, which in South Africa was given... 

Thales' challenge to racketeering charge it faces with Zuma dismissed - paving way for trial to start  

By: News24Wire      22nd January 2021 The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has dismissed with costs French arms company Thales' bid to challenge the racketeering charge it faces along with former president Jacob Zuma. The case brought by Thales, which is being represented by Oscar Pistorius' former defence advocate Barry... 

Regulatory, policy constraints continue to bedevil SA's distributed generation market 

22nd January 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the fact that South Africa is still experiencing load-shedding, but remains slow to open up the market to distributed energy projects, as well as about what could be done to realise this pent-up potential. 

Regulatory, policy constraints continue to bedevil SA's distributed generation market
Regulatory, policy constraints continue to bedevil SA's distributed generation market

Busa pays tribute to Mthembu

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st January 2021 Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) says organised business mourns the passing of Jackson Mthembu, who was "one of South Africa’s hardest-working Ministers and a reliable social partner to engage with". Mthembu passed away this week from Covid-19-related complications. 

Reserve Bank keeps rates on hold at 3.5%

By: News24Wire      21st January 2021 The Reserve Bank has decided to keep rates unchanged at 3.5%, in line with the expectations of economists. Governor Lesetja Kganyago made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, following the bank's Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) first meeting for the year this week. Two of the MPC's five... 

EPP appoints sales, acquisitions exec

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 JSE-listed EPP has appointed Agata Sekula as the company’s executive management team member responsible for sales and acquisitions. Sekula will join EPP from March 1 and will be responsible for executing EPP’s divestment and investment plans, with a particular focus on acquiring institutional... 

EPP appoints sales, acquisitions exec
Agata Sekula

Report finds educational attainment gaps limit success of women-owned businesses in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 A new report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on women entrepreneurship, has found that educational attainment gaps limit the success of women-owned businesses in Africa. The report also offers potential solutions to tackle the imbalance. 

Hulamin appoints new CFO

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 Aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin has appointed Meganathan (Mark) Gounder CFO and executive director, with effect from April 1. Gounder is an experienced finance professional with over 25 years’ experience, and he has held various senior finance roles within the Illovo Sugar Group, which... 

NUM tackles De Ruyter over Eskom’s poor performance, load-shedding  

By: African News Agency      21st January 2021 The National Union of Mineworkers on Thursday said it is unhappy with the load-shedding being carried out in South Africa and “very disappointed” with the performance of Eskom under the leadership of chief executive André de Ruyter. “The current management team has taken the country to stage 6... 

 NUM tackles De Ruyter over Eskom’s poor performance, load-shedding
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

South African wealth tax could raise R160bn, study shows 

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2021 An annual wealth tax on the net worth of South Africa’s richest people could raise as much as R160-billion and would narrow inequality in a nation where the most affluent 1% of the population own 55% of personal wealth, a study showed. The study, carried out by groups including the World... 

More doors close in South Africa’s hospitality industry, owing to pandemic

By: Simone Liedtke     20th January 2021 The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) is concerned with the increasing losses of income being reported in the hospitality industry. The continued financial strain being placed upon the industry is further evidence of the need for an accelerated rollout of South Africa’s... 

More doors close in South Africa’s hospitality industry, owing to pandemic

Heineken South Africa to cut jobs, put investments on hold

By: Reuters     20th January 2021 The South African arm of Heineken will cut 70 jobs and put new investments on hold in the country due to the significant impact of bans on alcohol sales and Covid-19 trading restrictions, it said on Wednesday. South Africa has recently banned alcohol sales for the third time as part of efforts to... 

UN seeks $254m to respond to escalating humanitarian crisis in gas-rich Cabo Delgado  

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2021 The United Nations is warning that the humanitarian crisis in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province, of northern Mozambique, has escalated dramatically over the past 12 months with more than 500 000 people having been displaced as a result a religiously inspired conflict. The UN launched an appeal... 

UN seeks $254m to respond to escalating humanitarian crisis in gas-rich Cabo Delgado

Steel baron Eric Samson dies

By: News24Wire      20th January 2021 Steel magnate Eric Samson, best known for building Macsteel into one of South Africa's largest companies, has died aged 83.   The octogenarian billionaire – who shied away from the spotlight throughout his life – died in Newport, California. He had a career spanning more than five decades in the... 

Chocolate war leaves world’s top cocoa producer stuck with beans 

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2021 Nobody is suffering more from a global chocolate standoff than the Côte d'Ivoire cocoa farmer. Less than two years after the top cocoa producer teamed up with neighboring Ghana to force companies from Hershey Co. to Nestle SA to pay more for their beans, the attempt to exert control over prices... 

2 out of every 3 cigarettes sold in SA are illicit, report estimates

By: News24Wire      20th January 2021 The sale of illicit, tax-evading cigarettes has become "endemic" across South Africa in the wake last year’s 5-month Covid-19 lockdown blanket ban on tobacco trade, according to an undercover investigation and subsequent report by Tax Justice SA (TJSA). TJSA’s undercover team visited over 40... 

South Africa’s 2020 wine exports reach 319-million litres despite market challenges

By: Simone Liedtke     20th January 2021 South Africa’s wine export volumes of 2020, which amount to 319.2-million litres, echo that of a challenging 2019, despite a five-week long ban on exports and challenges at the Cape Town Port terminal owing to Covid-19. This follows on from a good 2020 harvest and vineyard recovery following the... 

South Africa’s 2020 wine exports reach 319-million litres despite market challenges

Govt chooses electronic vaccine roll-out system  

By: African News Agency      20th January 2021 The South African government is establishing an electronic vaccination data system to assist with the management and surveillance of the Covid-19 vaccine. The EVDS will help the government monitor vaccine effectiveness, planning and safety monitoring, as well as uptake and coverage, explained the... 

Govt chooses electronic vaccine roll-out system

Raising distributed-generation licensing threshold to 50 MW would unlock at least 5 000 MW in five years, survey shows  

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2021 Lifting the licensing threshold for distributed-generation projects to 50 MW or higher could unlock an estimated 5 000 MW of additional capacity in five years and go a long way to rapidly easing South Africa’s debilitating power supply constraints. This is the conclusion of a Meridian Economics... 

Raising distributed-generation licensing threshold to 50 MW would unlock at least 5 000 MW in five years, survey shows
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