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Trade News

Australia views resources resilience as core to post-pandemic recovery

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th August 2020 The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic early in 2020 completely changed the global social and economic landscape, causing travel restrictions and physical distancing precautions in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. Commodity prices, specifically that of oil and oil price-linked liquefied... 

EIB, Afreximbank direct €300m of support to Africa's Covid-19 response 

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2020 The European Investment Bank (EIB), an arm of the European Union, and multilateral trade finance institution, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), are directing €300-million of financing to support the resilience and recovery of African nations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The... 

Gauteng High Court rules in favour of government on localisation matter

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 The Gauteng High Court recently ruled in favour of government in a matter involving procurement conditions applicable to electrical transformers. The challenge arises from a government decision to refuse an exemption from a localisation condition to enable imports of electrical transformers on... 

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... 

Western Cape government welcomes decongestion efforts at the Port of Cape Town

By: Donna Slater     4th August 2020 Following urgent action and interventions to decrease congestion and improve operations at the Port of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government has welcomed action taken through its ongoing engagements with Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) management. The Western Cape government states that... 

Neasa approaches High Court to stop new steel import duties

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd August 2020 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has filed an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to stop the implementation by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) of a 10% import tariff and custom duties on coated flat-rolled products.... 

African Continental Free Trade Area could boost regional income by $450bn by 2035 

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Area could, a new World Bank report asserts, boost regional income by 7%, or $450-billion, by 2035 and help offset the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is expected to cause up to $79-billion in output losses in Africa this year. If fully... 

African Continental Free Trade Area could boost regional income by $450bn by 2035

Patel stresses need for local manufacturing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th July 2020 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has told Ministers from other countries of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) grouping that South Africa is considering further economic measures, including significant infrastructure investment and developing greater levels of... 

Airbus acts to finally settle trade dispute with the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on Friday that it had taken the final step in ending a long-running trade dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) between the European Union and the US. The dispute had been running for 16 years. The issue was repayable launch... 

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales

By: Tracy Hancock     24th July 2020 Every business is going to face the consequences of lower human activity and, thereby, commercial activity, as South Africans consume less or differently, owing to Covid-19, says automotive tyre manufacturer and supplier Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) CEO Riaz Haffejee. Tyre sales... 

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales
REBOUNDING DEMAND Demand for Sumitomo Dunlop’s tyres is increasing since the restrictions of lockdown have eased

AfDB approves R5bn loan for South Africa's Covid-19 fight

By: Donna Slater     23rd July 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) board has approved a loan of about R5-billion ($288-million) to the government of South Africa, as the country battles one of the largest Covid-19 caseloads in the world. The loan forms part of the AfDB’s $10-billion Covid-19 Response Facility and will finance... 

Business networking platform for South Africa launched

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2020 Founded by South African born businesswoman Jessica Whitcutt Fagan, a new virtual business networking community – Business Networking SA – was launched on July 12, offering South African businesses affected by Covid-19 a much-needed resource to help them continue trading. Business Networking SA... 

Alcohol industry requests research data informing renewed ban

By: Donna Slater     17th July 2020 Stakeholders in the South African alcohol industry are requesting a report of the findings submitted by the South African Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC's) alcohol, tobacco and other drug research unit to the Portfolio Committee on Health on the impact of alcohol on South Africa’s health... 

4IR skills map way forward  

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 With continuous improvements in technology, there is a need for concurrent upskilling across all sectors, especially as the reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has set in locally. 

4IR skills map  way forward
Polytech Africa MD ​Astrid Straussner​ tells ​Engineering News ​about the company’s Mechatronics Academy. Camerawork: ​Creamer Media’s​ Kutlwano Matlala​.​ Editing: ​Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd​.​ Recorded: 28.02.2020

TEC programme benefits local colleges, communities

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 As vocational students were graduating with skills that were not in demand by industry, engine manufacturer Cummins and multinational corporation Komatsu have partnered at eight Technical Education for Communities (TEC) sites globally, including the South African site launched in 2017. 

TEC programme benefits local colleges, communities
HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT The Technical Education for Communities programme at the Sedibeng Technical and Vocational Education and Training College, in Gauteng is supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training

Technology company adapts to signals of change

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 ABB University – which operates under the auspices of technology provider ABB – has adapted successfully to the different education and training environment ushered in by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Technology company adapts to signals of change
CULTURE SHIFT All prospective students are now urged to complete the online prerequisites at their own place of work or home, prior to attending the practical training at ABB

SA’s ferrochrome retreat points to steady erosion of competitiveness

By: Nadine James     17th July 2020 The local chromium industry is ostensibly being cut out of global ferrochrome production, owing to its eroding competitiveness and the comparatively ‘low-hanging fruit’ of supplying chromite. While it is seemingly economically expedient at present, the continued decline in local ferrochrome... 

SA’s ferrochrome retreat points to steady erosion of competitiveness

New Transnet Port Terminals chief on his ‘baptism of fire’

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2020 Newly appointed Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) CEO Velile Dube, who officially assumed the role on July 1, acknowledges that his first few weeks were nothing short of a “baptism of fire”. The experience proved challenging not because Dube was new to TPT, or the broader Transnet group for that... 

New Transnet Port Terminals chief on his ‘baptism of fire’
Transnet Port Terminals CEO Velile Dube

Rising imports could jeopardise local agricultural economy, says Agri SA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th July 2020 Industry organisation Agri SA has called on government to be vigilant around produce trade. Globally, the decline in demand for agricultural produce has resulted in stock surpluses and over-capacitated storage facilities, it says. 

Alcohol industry laments renewed ban

By: Donna Slater     13th July 2020 Stakeholders in the alcohol industry are lamenting the prohibition on alcohol sales that was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on July 12 and which came into effect immediately. The South African government instated an initial ban on alcohol sales when the country went into Alert Level 5... 

Poultry industry requires threefold structural reforms

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th July 2020 The poultry industry in the country requires three structural changes to grow and contribute further to the country’s economy and overcome internal challenges, as well as the external challenge of cheap imports. This was indicated by National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) chief economic... 

Covid-19-impacted brands could lose as much as 15% of value – Brand Finance

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and domestic economies, South Africa’s top 50 most valuable brands could lose up to 15% of brand value cumulatively, a drop of more than R65-billion compared with the original valuation date of January 1, according to the latest 'South Africa... 

Africa's Covid-19 recovery lies in regional integration through AfCFTA − commission

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th July 2020 Africa does not need a “Marshall Plan” to ride out the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, instead it has a more powerful tool in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which can be used to accelerate regional and economic integration and prepare for uncertain times, says Economic Commission for... 

Kenyan sports minister Mohamed to bid for top WTO job

By: Reuters     8th July 2020 Kenya's sports and culture minister Amina Mohamed will run to be the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a spokesperson said on Wednesday and a WTO official confirmed. "For Amina Mohamed, yes we can confirm that we received her nomination from Kenya late yesterday," a WTO... 

Tribunal fines Dis-Chem R1.2m for excessive pricing of face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has ordered pharmacy group Dis-Chem Pharmacies to pay an administrative penalty of R1.2-million for allegedly charging excessive prices for surgical face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. The tribunal says Dis-Chem contravened Section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act in... 

Roles of govt, business in restarting economy need clearer definition, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     6th July 2020 In her weekly newsletter, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso says a clearer perspective of the roles and responsibilities of business and government needs to be established as the country grapples with restarting its economy. She notes that, on one level, there are common... 

Roles of govt, business in restarting economy need clearer definition, says BLSA
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

South African think tank joins overseas partners in condemning China over Hong Kong

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 South African think tank the Free Market Foundation (FMF) has joined 36 other such institutions, spread across 35 countries and territories, in releasing an open letter condemning the actions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government regarding Hong Kong. The think tanks form the Economic... 

Tribunal confirms two more consent agreements for excessive pricing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed two further consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints. This brings the total number of consent agreements, confirmed as orders of the tribunal since April to 20. 

Academy attains artisan training certification

By: Mamaili Mamaila     3rd July 2020 The Lesedi Skills Academy received its Trade Test Centre certification from the National Artisan Moderation Body, which enables the academy to perform trade testing of mechanical artisans. 

Academy attains artisan training certification
NICKY VAN DER POEL Skills development and practical experience are critical requirements that enable youth to enter the formal job market

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Although the strategic decision to continue to pay employees full salaries during the Level 5 lockdown in April put pressure on its cashflow, steel fabricator and erector Betterect believes a healthy order book of projects for the next 18 months should ensure that the pressure will be relieved.... 

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator
Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer discusses the company’s strategic decisions, facility upgrades and the concept of ‘Team Africa’. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 12.06.2020

South Africa records first current account surplus in 17 years 

By: Reuters     2nd July 2020 South Africa recorded its first current account surplus in 17 years in the first quarter of 2020 as the trade balance more than doubled, central bank data showed on Thursday. The current account swung to a surplus of 1.3% of gross domestic product, or 69.7 billion rand ($4.12 billion), in... 

AMSA clarifies details of safeguard application for structural steel products

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2020 ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) on July 1 said it had, in collaboration with Evraz Highveld Steel, applied for safeguards on structural steel products produced at the Highveld Structural Mill, being the only producer of these products in the country. AMSA emphasised that it haD not approached... 

Covid-19 had ‘significant impact’ on Long4Life’s businesses

By: Simone Liedtke     1st July 2020 The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and subsequent government prescribed lockdown has had a significant impact on JSE-listed lifestyle investment company Long4Life’s various businesses, CEO Brian Joffe told shareholders during an annual general meeting (AGM) on July 1. The requirement to close all... 

Hudaco decides against interim dividend to preserve liquidity

By: Donna Slater     26th June 2020 Automotive aftermarket, industrial and electronic consumables distributor Hudaco Industries has decided to not declare an interim dividend, to preserve liquidity, as a result of the overwhelming effect Covid-19 has had on its business. The group on June 26 reported headline earnings of... 

New date, adjusted agenda for Manufacturing Indaba

By: Darren Parker     26th June 2020 This year’s Manufacturing Indaba has been rescheduled to take place on December 9 and 10 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, as a result of the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown imposed on South Africa by government.  The event was originally slated to take place on June 9... 

New date, adjusted agenda  for Manufacturing Indaba
LIZ HART Job retention and business sustainability are critical aspects facing many manufacturers.

Welding institute championing training initiative

By: Mamaili Mamaila     19th June 2020 The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) is championing work-based apprenticeship learning for the welding industry through the SAIW Foundation, and the Quality Council for Trade and Occupation (QCTO). 

Welding institute championing training initiative
OPEN UP THE INDUSTRY The noticeable lack of apprenticeship opportunities is regarded as one of the main obstacles facing artisan learners in South Africa

Supplier offers tailor-made welding materials

By: Mamaili Mamaila     19th June 2020 Industrial equipment supplier INDUSTRI Tools & Equipment’s manufacturing division offers a range of custom-made industrial materials, including welding screens, strip curtains, fire blankets, spill mats, tarpaulins and dam liners. 

Supplier offers tailor-made welding materials
OVER-PROTECTIVE INDUSTRI Tools & Equipment’s locally manufactured welding safety curtain and screen products are used in conjunction with other protective measures
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