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Trade News

Fasa calls for franchise industry to respond to proposed Franchise Code

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th June 2020 From negotiating rental relief with landlords and royalty fees with franchisors to asking for relaxed loan repayments with banks, franchise operators continue their battle to survive the Covid-19 lockdown as trade restarts under Level 3 for some franchise sectors but crippling restrictions remain... 

Investment summit to go virtual

By: Donna Slater     10th June 2020 In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the forced cancelation of mass gatherings, the South African Innovation Summit (SAIS) will be presented in a new and virtual way this year, with the first ever digital SA Innovation Summit due to be held from September 30 to October 1. The SAIS is a major... 

Coega SEZ faces juggling act amid Covid-19-impacted business environment

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2020 Special economic zone (SEZ) operator, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), like many other SEZs, is facing an unprecedented operating environment with some of its zone’s investors being operational , while others are only partially operational and others not operating at all. Operator of the... 

Entrepreneurs facing significant challenges amid Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     8th June 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified South Africa’s economic challenges, with entrepreneurial businesses being more susceptible to succumb to a depressed trading environment, a new report published on June 8 has found. 'Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa (GEM SA) 2019/20 – Igniting... 

New report shows African economic integration still has long way to go

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th June 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have jointly called for African countries to strengthen their economic integration. They made this call at the recent launch of the Africa Regional Integration Index... 

WHO reiterates importance of lockdowns to ‘slow the spread’ of Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 Lockdowns, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been “a challenging balance” to maintain, says World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti. She notes, however, that while the economic impacts thereof have been severe, “an out of control spread of the... 

Survey confirms smokers buying more black market cigarettes amid ban

By: Donna Slater     4th June 2020 A survey conducted by gig technology company M4Jam has found that half of all South African smokers have been able to source new cigarette supplies during lockdown, and 95% are paying elevated prices for what are mostly black-market products. M4Jam states that a demographically representative... 

Unctad sees green shoots for developing countries’ exports

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 Global exports of commodities to China could plunge by between $15-billion and $33-billion this year, which is 46% lower than annual growth projections before Covid-19 hit, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The intergovernmental body adds that this finding raises... 

Swiss institute advances technology to trace pearl origins

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) has introduced a new service to support the documentation of the origin and provenance of pearls, assisting the pearl trade in documenting origins and improving the traceability of pearls. The service is supported by the SSEF’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)... 

Bidvest warns of lower earnings amid Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     1st June 2020 Services, trading and distribution group, the Bidvest Group, expects its headline earnings a share and earnings a share for the financial year to June 30 to be more than 20% lower year-on-year, as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on some of its businesses. While trading profit has been... 

Production capacity rises in May but to remain subdued until demand grows

By: Donna Slater     1st June 2020 Having plunged to an all-time low of 5.1 index points in April, financial services provider Absa’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) survey rose sharply to 43.2 index points in May, propelled by many factories returning to production in May when South Africa went into Alert Level 4, the bank... 

Sector’s GDP contribution not what it should be

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 For South Africa’s stage of economic development, manufacturing should be contributing at least double what it currently does to gross domestic product (GDP), states industry body Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth. Manufacturing has declined from 26% of South Africa’s GDP... 

Sector’s GDP contribution not what it should be
MANUFACTURING SLOWDOWN Employment figures in the manufacturing sector are unlikely to turn around without a sustained improvement in demand to bolster industry activity

Reindustrialisation of manufacturing critical for growth

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 Measures to stimulate economic growth in South Africa after Covid-19 should include policies and interventions that will result in the reindustrialisation of the manufacturing sector, says industry body Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth. She tells Engineering News that... 

Reindustrialisation of manufacturing critical for growth
SPARKING SECTOR GROWTH It is critical to implement measures to stimulate the reindustrialisation of the manufacturing sector

Commission refers another case of excessive pricing to the tribunal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 The Competition Commission has referred, to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, a case against an industrial chemicals company, Caprichem, for alleged excessive pricing during the State of National Disaster. This follows an investigation by the commission, which found that Caprichem... 

Africa's debt burden to rise from Covid-19 capital disinvestments

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2020 As a result of the economic impact of Covid-19, there have been significant outflows of capital from emerging markets, many in Africa, thus far this year, as risk appetite weakens significantly and capital is redirected into safe haven assets, like gold, reports insurance company Alexander Forbes... 

Supplier launches 450 new products 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th May 2020 Electrical switchgear supplier ElectroMechanica (EM) launched the latest edition of its product catalogue this year. A new catalogue is launched on average every two years. 

Supplier launches  450 new products
ElectroMechanica director Richard Nobbs tells Engineering News about the company’s 2020 catalogue. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 27.02.2020

Distell welcomes opening up of sector, but calls for clarity on key concerns

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th May 2020 South African drinks company Distell Holdings has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country’s move to Level 3 of lockdown would include the sale of alcohol for home consumption under strict conditions. Ramaphosa confirmed that these conditions had not been finalised... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) represents the only realistic stimulus option available to resource-constrained African governments for reigniting growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene avers. The global response to the virus had... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever
AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene on the impact of Covid-19 on the trade agreement and its role in reigniting growth across the continent. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

African economic integration still has a long way to go, reveals new report

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have jointly called for African countries to strengthen their economic integration. They made this call at the recent launch of the Africa Regional Integration Index... 

Trade and Industry Committee briefed on plans to reopen economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2020 The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry was on May 22 briefed by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition about measures taken by the department in response to Covid-19’s impact on various industries. The department told the committee that the national lockdown has served its... 

Tribunal confirms another excessive pricing consent agreement

By: Donna Slater     22nd May 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement relating to the alleged excessive pricing of face masks in the context of Covid-19, with two related companies to jointly pay an administrative penalty of R1.5-million.

The companies, Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies, have also... 

Council accelerates online services amid lockdown

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has forced home building industry regulator the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to review its business operations by fast-tracking its online service offering following the national lockdown. 

Council accelerates online services  amid lockdown
OTSILE MASENG Covid-19 and subsequent economic downgrades by rating agencies will result in a sharp decline in domestic demand for residential properties

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has its sights set on accelerating growth in and strengthening its partnerships with the construction sector. 

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator
TOWING THE LINE The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications’ National Building Regulations division assists with the upkeep of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Challenges in the construction sector will continue to prevail if construction sites remain closed, owing to South Africa’s national lockdown, says Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) president Christelle Bown. 

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes
CHRISTELLE BOWN It is important to address the difficulties caused by the onerous conditions prescribed when tendering for professional services

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Technology provider ABB Southern Africa believes that digitalisation can address the production challenges of the sugar industry. 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation
JOHN MANUELL The full potential of sugar production processes lies in leveraging available data to drive the seamless interoperability among people, assets and production processes

Lifting of cigarette sale prohibition will improve tobacco farming economics

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 If the ban on cigarette sales is lifted, tobacco farmers supported by the Emerging Farmer Initiative will benefit enormously, enabling them to sell and duly process crops that have already been harvested, says agricultural services company Afgri. The organisation notes that permitting cigarettes... 

Hudaco unlikely to pay dividend as Covid-19 impacts businesses

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 Branded automotive, industrial and electronic consumable product importer and distributor Hudaco reports, that despite business disruptions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, its business remains in a sound financial position, with payments still being made to its creditors on negotiated... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 As governments in Africa ease lockdown restrictions and reopen local economies, CFOs are focusing on plans to provide a safe working environment for their employees and ensure that this safety can be sustained throughout the Covid-19 crisis and recovery. This deduction comes from the latest 'the... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services

By: Simone Liedtke     21st May 2020 While difficult to predict what the South African economy will look like post-Covid-19, Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo has warned that citizens can expect a 6% contraction in economic growth this year, alongside an increased demand on health services and infrastructure. Speaking during... 

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services
Photo by Screenshot taken during webinar by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo

Itac aligns its permitting services with lockdown level regulations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2020 Following the easing of the national lockdown to Level 4 since May 1, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) has scaled up its operations accordingly. With the gradual opening of some sectors, Itac will, as far as possible, provide import and export control,... 

Massmart reports lower sales owing to Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown had a significant impact on normal trading patterns for wholesale and retail group Massmart, with total sales for the 19 weeks ended May 10, amounting to R28.2-billion, or 11.9% lower than the same period last year. Comparable store sales for this period were... 

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed

By: Donna Slater     18th May 2020 The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) reports that its constituencies are working sectorally and collectively to migrate South Africa to Level 3 of the national lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on May 13, stating that lockdown regulations would be... 

Planned move to Level 3 lockdown positive, but longer-term foresight urgently needed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Online platforms should adapt to ensure post-Covid-19 survival

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 With people around the world increasingly using Web-based platforms to communicate, buy, sell and otherwise inform themselves about current affairs, Accenture technology practice MD Kirtan Sita says such platforms need to prioritise and implement essential functions that come with this vital... 

Digital solutions can assist agricultural export sector during Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 Technology that can be used by the agricultural industry plays an increasingly important role as has recently become evident in the efficiencies it can drive in the food industry as Covid-19 disrupts various businesses, says start-up tech business Agrigate One CEO Greg Whitaker. He says the... 

Covid-19 to result in contraction, increased instability and regionalism

By: Nadine James     15th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to result in increased geopolitical instability, recessions and a shift away from globalisation, speakers said during a May 14 webinar, titled 'Covid-19: Political And Geopolitical Risks', hosted by risk and industry research company Fitch Solutions. The speakers... 

As firms reopen and pandemic lingers, health and safety obligations rise

By: Nadine James     15th May 2020 By now, most people are aware of measures prescribed by the World Health Organisation to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, given the phased reopening of the South African economy, it is prudent to consider the health and safety protections afforded employees through existing... 

As firms reopen and pandemic lingers, health and safety obligations rise
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