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Trade News

DRC, as a keystone in AfCFTA, can link regional value chains

By: Schalk Burger     3rd March 2021 Trade and development experts have detailed the key role the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can play in providing mineral resources for industrial and manufacturing value chains, supporting agricultural and agroprocessing value chains and serving as an epicentre for intra-African trade to... 

Africa's M&A activity to recover in next 18 to 24 months

By: Donna Slater     2nd March 2021 Africa should be considered a promising component of merger and acquisition (M&A) strategies, in spite of the relatively small M&A market size and the impact of Covid-19 on economies, a new report published by business strategy consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states. Making up only 2%... 

Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala says 'ready to go' on day 1 as WTO boss

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 The World Trade Organization's first female and first African director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala began work on Monday, ending a six-month leadership void at the global trade watchdog. After a long campaign that was derailed in the late stages by a Trump administration veto, the 66-year-old... 

Poultry Master Plan benefiting industry, says Sapa

By: Donna Slater     26th February 2021 The Poultry Master Plan, as implemented by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), is propelling new entrants and emerging role-players in the industry to build their businesses and expand markets, according to South African Poultry Association broiler organisation GM Isaak... 

Manufacturing recovery’s slow pace a concern, Seifsa

26th February 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is concerned about the slow pace of recovery in the manufacturing sector, as depicted by the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) number of 50.9 last month – lower than the 2020 fourth quarter average. 

Manufacturing recovery’s slow pace a concern, Seifsa
MULTIPLIER EFFECT The manufacturing sector remains key to the growth and development of South Africa owing to its multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy

Safe and reliable steel production even more crucial

26th February 2021 High temperatures, molten metals and heavy loads are some of the challenges faced during steel production, says industrial instrumentation and automation multinational Endress+Hauser. 

Safe and reliable steel production even more crucial
ZOOMING INTO SAFETY Over the years, the importance of safety has grown substantially, whereby laws and regulations governing the smelter and metals sector have become stricter

Companies committed to transformation honoured

26th February 2021 Entries are open for the seventh annual Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) Awards for Excellence and the federation is calling on all companies within the metals and engineering (M&E) industry to send in their submissions for the Most Transformed Company of... 

Companies committed to transformation honoured
TRANSFORMATION GOALS The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award honours and celebrates companies that have been able to transform their workplaces meaningfully

Some of Kruger’s ‘lost hoard’ up for sale through SA Mint

By: Donna Slater     25th February 2021 The South African Mint has released what it says is a rare, intriguing trove of century-old South African gold coins – Kruger ponde – that were discovered in a Swiss vault. The Mint is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank.   

Some of Kruger’s ‘lost hoard’ up for sale through SA Mint
The Kruger half-pond

Massmart says Covid-19 restrictions cost it R6bn in sales during 2020

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th February 2021 JSE-listed Massmart has recorded a 7.7% decrease in sales to R86.5-billion for 2020. Sales in the fourth quarter had contracted by 4.1% year-on-year, as a result of softer sales over the Black Friday period, in addition to lower foot traffic, especially in regional malls. 

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... 

Second Covid-19 wave and stricter lockdown impact on trade conditions

By: Donna Slater     17th February 2021 The second wave of Covid-19 infections and the return to a more stringent lockdown in December 2020 caused a setback in trade conditions during the holiday period, which spilled over into January, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci's) Trade Activity Index (TAI) shows.... 

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)

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... 

Third quarter exports grow as economies recover – TIPS

By: Donna Slater     8th February 2021 South Africa’s exports have benefitted from the recovery of the Chinese economy and rising global demand for commodities, such as precious stones, which has led to growth exceeding pre-Covid-19 lockdown levels during the third quarter of 2020, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's)... 

US, Western Cape launch trade investment partnership

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th February 2021 The US Consulate General in Cape Town and the Western Cape government have jointly launched a Trade and Investment Promotion Partnership which will build on the momentum of an existing economic relationship to promote shared prosperity and economic development. In a statement released on Friday,... 

South Africa joins policy initiative aimed at increasing trade opportunities

By: Simone Liedtke     4th February 2021 The World Logistics Passport (WLP) has welcomed India, Indonesia and South Africa as members. They join Colombia, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates in a club of trading nations sharing expertise to smooth trade flows around the world. 

South Africa joins policy initiative aimed at increasing trade opportunities

Illicit market booms during alcohol, cigarette sales bans  

By: Donna Slater     3rd February 2021 To overcome the challenge of a seemingly booming illicit market for cigarettes and alcohol, and to stem the tide of such illicit products in the local economy, requires enforcement of existing laws and adaptation of new ones, says South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) CEO Kurt... 

Illicit market booms during alcohol, cigarette sales bans
South African Liquor Brandowners Association CEO Kurt Moore talks about the challenges the legal alcohol industry is facing from the illicit market and several prohibitions

M&A activity drops in 2020 with late recovery

By: Donna Slater     3rd February 2021 Law firm Baker McKenzie reports that deal-making activity in sub-Saharan Africa dropped in the second half of 2020, when compared to the second half of 2019.  Deal-making for the full year were also down in terms of both volume and value compared with 2019.  

Ramaphosa lauds progress at Tshwane Automotive SEZ

By: Donna Slater     2nd February 2021 Despite the “massive challenges” posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, in visiting the newly established Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on February 2, said it was “great to see the progress” that had been made since construction started in August... 

Ramaphosa lauds progress at Tshwane Automotive SEZ
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa attends a sod-turning ceremony at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone in November 2019

It’s now easier for South African farmers to export citrus to Britain

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th January 2021 With the UK’s departure from the European Union’s (EU’s) single market and customs union at the start of this year, London has deregulated, among other commodities, citrus fruit and leaf imports. The UK is a major market for South Africa’s citrus sector, reportedly taking 9.5% of the country’s... 

Progress at Durban terminals commended

29th January 2021 State-owned freight logistics company Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) and network organisation Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) recently took stock of progress made to date at TPT’s terminals. An announcement to that effect – made in October – followed an industry outcry eight months... 

Progress at Durban terminals commended
ATTENTION GIVEN Port users and cargo owners commended developments made to the Transnet Port Terminals during the course of the year

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

AfCFTA holds ‘immense potential’ for Africa, says WEF report

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds “immense potential” for the social and economic development of Africa, as renewing the rules of trade will facilitate better cooperation to boost growth, reduce poverty and broaden economic inclusion, says the World Economic Forum (WEF) .... 

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... 

Craft Craze app to boost craft beverage manufacturers’ reach

By: Donna Slater     22nd January 2021 A mobile application (app) – Craft Craze – has been developed to further the market reach and ease of access to South African-made craft beverages, including the growing craft beer market. Prototype app development started in March 2019, after which Craft Craze presented the concept to breweries... 

Craft Craze app to boost craft beverage manufacturers’ reach
A selection of craft beers typically found on the Craft Craze app

Lockdown has heightened risk of counterfeit components

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd January 2021 The national lockdown last year has significantly impacted on the circulation of original, as well as counterfeit, automotive components, says law firm Spoor & Fisher partner Paul Ramara. This can largely be attributed to the restrictions in place during the various levels of lockdown,... 

Lockdown has heightened risk of counterfeit components
SELLING LIKE HOT BRAKES Counterfeit automotive parts poses a number of risks, including safety risks as well as having a negative impact on the economy

Massmart’s sales decrease year-on-year

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 JSE-listed Massmart’s sales for the 52 weeks ended December 27 amounted to R86.5-billion, representing a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2019, while comparable store sales decreased by 7.5% year-on-year. Sales in the group’s South African stores decreased by 7.9% (comparable stores... 

Unctad updates principles to promote biodiversity-friendly trade

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 Intergovernmental body the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has launched its updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria, a set of guidelines for governments and companies to conduct biodiversity-friendly trade. The term “BioTrade” refers to the supply and... 

Chrome market could change with new export tax regime, dissuading Chinese offtake  

By: Donna Slater     20th January 2021 A “delicate” balancing act between chrome ore mining and stainless steel production may be under threat as South Africa changes its export tax regime to boost the commodity’s “welfare benefits” and to favour local chrome buyers instead of foreign buyers, Simon le Roux, a student at Rhodes... 

The UK has deregulated citrus imports, including from South Africa 

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th January 2021 With the UK’s departure from the European Union’s (EU’s) single market and customs union at the start of this year, London has deregulated, among other commodities, citrus fruit and leaf imports. The UK is a major market for South Africa’s citrus sector, reportedly taking 9.5% of the country’s... 

The UK has deregulated citrus imports, including from South Africa
Photo by Sappi
Oranges packed for export 

AMSP opens Covid-19 vaccines pre-orders for AU member States 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th January 2021 Following the announcement by African Union (AU) chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 14 that the AU has secured a provisional 270-million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its Covid-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP)... 

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

By: Nadine James     15th January 2021 The advent of duty-free trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has come at a “critical time for the global economy” and will ultimately boost sustainable post-Covid-19 economic recovery for the African continent, AfCFTA Secretariat SG Wamkele Mene said during his address at... 

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

Awareness grows for atmospheric bottled water

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     15th January 2021 Consumers being more cautious about the purification of drinking water has resulted in growing awareness of atmospheric water generation technology company Aqua Air Africa’s atmospheric bottled water, says Aqua Air CEO Keamogetswe Matsho. The company’s atmospheric water generating technology... 

USTDA partners with TDB to strengthen infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 The US Trade and Development Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) to bring infrastructure solutions to sub-Saharan Africa. The MoU outlines areas of mutual cooperation in the agribusiness, energy, healthcare,... 

Committee welcomes measures to ease congestion at borders, suggests alternative

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is of the view that the implementation of a “one-stop border post” with neighboring countries and the establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) will be a solution to the challenges experienced at Beitbridge, between South Africa and Zimbabwe.... 

Extended alcohol ban detrimental for small craft brewers

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa), in rejecting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 11 announcement on the extension of a blanket alcohol ban, says such a move will be a “death knell” for many small craft brewers as they will “simply not survive” the extended prohibition. Basa reports... 

African free trade tariff rules should be completed by July - official

By: Reuters     11th January 2021 Members of Africa's new free trade area should complete their tariff reduction schedules and finalise essential rules of origin by July, a senior official with the bloc's secretariat said on Monday. African countries began officially trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)... 

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