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Trade News

Divisionalisation first step in vertical separation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom says divisionalisation is but the “first step” in the vertical separation of the utility into three businesses under Eskom Holdings and that it is aligned with the restructuring roadmap released by the Department of Public Enterprises. 

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 Coal is relatively cheap and widely available; therefore, if it is used cleanly and efficiently, it can be a vital part of the economic development of South Africa, says the IEA Clean Coal Centre (IEACCC). 

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
GROWTH POINT About 18 000 jobs were created during the peak of construction at Eskom’s Medupi power plant

CFBC boiler technology viable for S Africa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 The global success of circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) boiler technology, suggests that this should be the technology of choice for the future in State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations. 

CFBC boiler technology viable for S Africa
SMOKE STACKS The emissions of concern in coal-fired technology are carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates (usually fly ash of various sizes)

Country recovering slowly from distorted lockdown trade conditions, say Sacci

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th August 2020 The continuing lockdown has deepened the recessionary economic conditions and further distorted trade conditions, says the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci). It adds that the selected restrictive approach towards certain types of trade, especially during the hard lockdown... 

AfCFTA commissions Ghanaian secretariat

By: Donna Slater     18th August 2020 The first permanent secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was commissioned in Accra, Ghana, on August 18, with Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo and Africa Union (AU) Commission chairperson Moussa Mahamat reiterating the importance of the body to the continent’s economic... 

Competition Tribunal approves Senwesbel merger

By: Donna Slater     18th August 2020 The Competition Tribunal has issued an order approving the proposed merger between investment holdings company Senwesbel, its subsidiary agricultural business Senwes, and agricultural company Suidwes Holdings. This follows merger proceedings during which the tribunal heard evidence and arguments... 

Now is time for swift action to kickstart economy – B4SA

By: Donna Slater     17th August 2020 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to move the country to Covid-19 Alert Level 2, which will enable South African businesses and entrepreneurs to resume trading in virtually all sectors of the economy.   B4SA steering co-chairperson Martin... 

Alcohol industry welcomes lifting of alcohol sales ban, counts losses

By: Donna Slater     17th August 2020 Both stakeholders in the South African alcohol industry and wine industry representative organisation Vinpro have welcomed government’s decision to lift the ban on alcohol sales as part of the move to Alert Level 2, which comes into effect at midnight on Monday. Vinpro states that the wine... 

Covid-19 severely impacts business confidence, unemployment

By: Donna Slater     17th August 2020 Strategy and investment consulting firm Singular Group says the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted South Africa’s economy, to such an extent that business confidence is at an all-time low, 22% lower than during the 2008 global financial crisis and currently ranking in the 8% range. During... 

World’s biggest free-trade pact targets first deal in 2021

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2020 The first commercial deal under an Africa-wide free trade zone will take place on January 1 as outstanding talks are set to move online, the African Union said. While the African Continental Free Trade Area entered into force legally last year, transactions that were due to start on July 1 were... 

Greater collaboration needed in steel supply chain

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 To ensure security of steel supply, the South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) is calling for greater collaboration among all players in the local steel supply chain, from upstream producers to downstream merchants. Local steel demand was low before the Covid-19 pandemic, which... 

Greater collaboration needed  in steel supply chain
Photo by Adobe
RELIABLE ROLLOUT? The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators

Growthpoint completes Lakeside Mall redevelopment

By: Donna Slater     13th August 2020 Property developer Growthpoint Properties has introduced two new anchor tenants − Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem − to the Lakeside Mall, in Benoni, Gauteng. This follows the completion of the final phase of a three-year, R135-million upgrade. The reconfigured space represents 4 900 m2 of gross... 

Growthpoint completes Lakeside Mall redevelopment

Competition Tribunal confirms another settlement in maize cartel case

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th August 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and GWK Farm Foods, in which the company admits to its involvement in a maize milling cartel and agrees to pay an administrative penalty of R10-million. This is the fourteenth settlement agreement to... 

PIC appoint acting CIO

By: Donna Slater     7th August 2020 State-owned asset management firm the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has appointed Sholto Dolamo as acting chief investment officer (CIO) with effect from August 6. He is PIC research and projects development executive head and a member of the PIC executive committee.  

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... 

Australia views resources resilience as core to post-pandemic recovery

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... 

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