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Economy News

WTO trade facilitation agreement comes into force

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     Updated 2 minutes ago After having received four more ratifications for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has obtained the two-thirds of acceptances needed from its 164 members to bring the TFA into force, which could boost global trade by up to $1-trillion each year, with the... 

Quality offering in a competitive market key

By: Sascha Solomons     24th February 2017 Now is the right time to focus on supplying a high-quality offering while remaining relatively competitive, says South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors' Association (Saracca) director Barney Richardson. He highlights that it is not worth the profit, if anything, to work on... 

Quality offering in a competitive market key
REMAINING POPULAR Businesses that offer a good service, reliability and value are often in high demand at significant cost

Busa welcomes Budget, commits to playing a role in country’s economic transformation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Thursday welcomed the prioritisation of education and social spending, as well as the reforms in public procurement outlined by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget speech on Wednesday. Busa believes these measures will generate improved efficiencies... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Poultry meat imported into South Africa during 2016 displaced around 1.5-million tonnes of broiler feed, worth an estimated R8.2-billion or the equivalent of 15 medium-sized feed mills, which could have been locally manufactured, Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA) said... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

Barclays Africa CEO 'deeply regrets' role in FX rigging

By: Reuters     23rd February 2017 South African lender Barclays Africa asked for forgiveness on Thursday for its role in rigging the local currency, a scandal that has raised questions over the dominance of four big local banks. "We deeply regret that this conduct took place within our organisation," Chief Executive Maria Ramos... 

Manufacturing sector to benefit from nuclear new build programme – Lesedi

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Government and the broader public should realise that nuclear is “the right way to go” to meet South Africa’s future energy needs, says Lesedi Nuclear Services CEO Francis Carruthers, adding that the nuclear new build programme will hold significant downstream benefits in terms of local... 

Frankfurt Airport aims to increase its business with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     23rd February 2017 Germany’s number one international airport, Frankfurt, is seeking to increase its two-way air cargo trade with South Africa. This was highlighted at a media briefing at the 2017 Air Cargo Africa conference in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, by Fraport AG chief operating officer Anke Giesen.... 

Frankfurt Airport aims to increase its business with South Africa
Photo by Fraport
Anke Giesen

Standard Bank in talks with Competition Commission in rand-rigging probe

By: Reuters     23rd February 2017 South Africa's Standard Bank said on Thursday it was engaging with the Competition Commission about an investigation into alleged rigging of rand currency trading and had not suspended any employees to date. "Pending the outcome of these engagements and in the light of these historic allegations... 

South Africa's govt drawdowns rising, pose risks to fiscal position – Moody's

By: Reuters     23rd February 2017 Moody's has warned that South African government drawdowns are rising and represent increasing risks to its fiscal position, a day after Treasury targeted the wealthy with tax hikes in a bid to rein in the budget deficit. Zuzana Brixiova, a lead analyst for South Africa, said the budget aimed to... 

South Africa's govt drawdowns rising, pose risks to fiscal position – Moody's

Brian Molefe sworn in as ANC MP

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has been sworn in as African National Congress member of Parliament. Two sources from Parliament confirmed to News24 that the swearing in took place in the Speaker's office on Thursday morning. 

Brian Molefe sworn in as ANC MP
Photo by Duane Daws
ANC MP Brian Molefe

Treasury seeks to establish budgeting facility for large infrastructure projects

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd February 2017 As South Africa’s government moves to strengthen its budget execution and improve in-year monitoring, while also bolstering infrastructure development, the National Treasury has proposed the establishment of a new facility to optimise large multiyear infrastructure project roll-outs that require... 

Treasury seeks to establish budgeting facility for large infrastructure projects

Continued support for renewables IPPs an economic boost – Sarec 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the confirmation by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that the continuation of South Africa’s independent power producer (IPP) programme was imperative, given the need to boost investment in the short term. In a statement following... 

2017 Budget 

     22nd February 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the highlights of the 2017 Budget that was presented by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday. 

2017 Budget
2017 Budget. Camera and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Seifsa welcomes R95m steel development fund

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s R95-million allocation towards the establishment of a Steel Development Fund in the 2017 National Budget. The fund will be controlled by the Industrial Development... 

Electrifying rural areas offers opportunity for skills development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 African governments’ growing implementation of minigrids to electrify rural areas creates the opportunity for innovation and skills development to operate these grids, Emergent Energy renewable-energy consultant Adele Boadzo says. In a panel discussion on skills development in the energy sector... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more  

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more than anticipated in 2016, National Treasury revealed in its 2017 Budget Review on Wednesday. Even as Eskom’s financial performance improved in 2015/16 as a result of a 12.7% tariff hike and a revenue increase by R10.5-billion to R161-billion, it... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 As the National Treasury allocates a further R5-billion to support financially-strapped students, new ways are being examined to develop a clear roadmap to mitigate the magnitude of the student funding challenge faced by young South Africans. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said... 

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax 

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 South African consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks are set to feel the impact of the proposed sugar tax later this year as the relevant legislation is finalised for Parliamentary approval. The National Treasury on Wednesday confirmed a proposed tax rate of 2.1c/g of sugar content in excess of 4... 

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax

Treasury agrees, in principle, to substantial capital injection for SAA

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 The National Treasury on Wednesday announced it had agreed, in principle, to a substantial capital injection into troubled South African Airways (SAA); however, it could not confirm the amount or timeline for the capital injection. Treasury confirmed in the National Budget that, during 2017/18,... 

Treasury agrees, in principle, to substantial capital injection for SAA

Revised Carbon Tax Bill to be tabled by mid-2017

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 The National Treasury on Wednesday said it expects to provide further clarity on the Carbon Tax after Parliament considers the proposed environmental tax on the emission of carbon dioxide, and its date of implementation, this year. A revised Carbon Tax Bill, which has been in the pipeline for a... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding fee collection for the much-contested e-tolling of certain Gauteng freeways by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury believes investor confidence in the agency has returned following the conclusion of two successful... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 A growing economy makes more rapid transformation possible, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan argued in a 2017 Budget address set against the backdrop of sluggish economic performance, ongoing rumours about his dismissal and President Jacob Zuma’s call for “radical socioeconomic transformation”.... 

Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top personal income bracket of 45% for taxable incomes above R1.5-million in his 2017 Budget address as part of tax proposals designed to raise the additional R28-billion required to sustain the fiscal consolidation framework promised in previous... 

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

Sacci outlines Budget expectations

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st February 2017 With Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan preparing to deliver his 2017 National Budget speech on Wednesday, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) weighed in on its expectations at a time when South Africa is experiencing subdued economic growth. Amid the Reserve Bank having... 

Aveng to seek shareholder backing for sale of Grinaker-LTA stake to Kutana in March  

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2017 Construction and engineering group Aveng will seek shareholder approval before the end of March for the sale of a 51% beneficial interest in Aveng Grinaker-LTA to Kutana Construction, a black economic empowerment company. Aveng has also decided to include Aveng Water in the transaction, along... 

Aveng to seek shareholder backing for sale of Grinaker-LTA stake to Kutana in March
Aveng CEO Kobus Verster in conversation with Terence Creamer on group's performance and outlook, as well as the impending sale of 51% of Grinaker-LTA to Kutana. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.2.17

Commission grants Barclays Africa some immunity in FX rigging probe

By: Reuters     21st February 2017 South Africa's competition watchdog has granted Barclays Africa conditional immunity from prosecution in return for its continuing cooperation in the rand currency rigging probe, the head of Competition Commission said on Tuesday. The Commission said last week it had found more than a dozen local... 

Gordhan sees difficult political year for ruling ANC

By: Reuters     21st February 2017 South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday he sees a "difficult political year" for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) but that he saw "green shoots" of growth in an economy that is barely growing. The ANC has a major policy conference at the end of June and late this... 

Competition Commission settles with Citi over currency rigging

By: Reuters     20th February 2017 South Africa's Competition Commission has reached an agreement with Citibank for its role in a forex trading cartel, the antitrust watchdog said on Monday. The commission said in a statement Citi would pay a fine of R69.5-million rand ($5-million), less than the 10% of South African annual... 

DAFF nears end of drought relief funding programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Monday said delivery and distribution of feed, which forms part of its R212-million drought relief programme, is almost complete in the provinces, excluding Gauteng, that were declared as drought disaster regions. The department last... 

New panel established to guide Gauteng on infrastructure projects 

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th February 2017 The Gauteng provincial government (GPG) has established an economic advisory panel to advise it on the roll-out of social and economic infrastructure projects planned for the next two years. GPG aims to leverage the various infrastructure projects planned for the next two years to promote the... 

New panel established to guide Gauteng on infrastructure projects
Gauteng Premier David Makhura delivers his State of the Province Address. Date recorded: 20.02.17. Camerawork and video editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Rolfes posts strong interim results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 Chemicals group Rolfes on Monday reported a R37-million increase in operating profit to R97-million for the six months to December 31, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation also increased by 58% to R103-million. The strong performance came on the back of its... 

Index points to manufacturing investment recovery despite ‘fragile’ economy

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2017 The Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker, a quarterly index that tracks investment trends in the manufacturing sector, fell to 58 points in the fourth quarter of 2016 from above 70 points in the prior quarter. Nevertheless, chairman André de Ruyter said the index was still suggestive of an... 

Index points to manufacturing investment recovery despite ‘fragile’ economy
Photo by Duane Daws
André de Ruyter

Fiscal consolidation, tax increases, SoE cost containment critical for pro-poor Budget - Busa

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th February 2017 Fiscal consolidation, considered and careful tax increases and parastatal cost containment will be critical elements for a pro-poor, pro-inclusive-growth Budget for South Africa for the year ahead. While there is a limit to what can be achieved through an effective Budget, Business Unity South... 

Certainty on Carbon Tax needed from this year’s Budget – Cova

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th February 2017 With expectations of the long-awaited Carbon Tax being implemented in 2018, much more clarity and certainty will be needed from the 2017 Budget, which will be delivered by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday. Currently, much uncertainty exists, with industry questioning policy certainty,... 

NSFAS to fund over 400 000 students for 2017

By: News24Wire      20th February 2017 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has approved over 400 000 applications for funding for the 2017 academic year. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana said they had approved a total of 309 788 students for universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), but... 

NSFAS to fund over 400 000 students for 2017

Fedusa 'dismayed' at Molefe's MP nomination

By: News24Wire      20th February 2017 The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has joined in the public outcry over the appointment of former Eskom Chief Brian Molefe to Parliament. In statement released on Sunday, the union said it was "dismayed’" that Molefe, who was linked to the controversial Gupta family in former... 

Fedusa 'dismayed' at Molefe's MP nomination
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom Chief Brian Molefe

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) claims that Eskom has yet to issue any updated budget quotes for projects that President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address (Sona) would proceed, following a protracted impasse that arose as a result of the State-owned utility’s... 

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’
Mark Pickering
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