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Economy News

South Africa's private-sector activity slows in November – Standard Bank PMI

By: Reuters     5th December 2017 South African private sector activity slowed in November as new orders and output fell, a survey showed on Tuesday. The Standard Bank Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 48.8 in November from 49.6 in October, staying below the 50 mark that separates expansion from... 

Municipal workers want minimum R10 000 salary, as municipal pay talks start

By: African News Agency      4th December 2017 The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) wants municipal workers to earn a minimum wage of R10 000 per month, the union said on Monday. Trade unions representing municipal workers tabled their initial demands at the wage negotiations with the South African Local Government Association... 

Tribunal approves mergers involving seed, wheat milling companies

By: Anine Kilian     4th December 2017 The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition of seed and wheat milling companies Progress Milling and Noordfed by holding company K2014202010, a joint venture between Louis Dreyfus Company Africa (LDCA) and DH Brothers Industries Willowton.     The tribunal approved the transactions... 

Sars denies paying Makwakwa a bonus while on suspension

     4th December 2017 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Monday dismissed as "inaccurate and untrue" media reports that its embattled chief officer of business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa, was paid a bonus while on suspension. "Sars finds it necessary to specifically clarify the deliberate... 

Sars denies paying Makwakwa a bonus while on suspension
Photo by Duane Daws
Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane

Petrol, diesel price to go up this week

By: African News Agency      4th December 2017 South Africa's energy department on Monday announced motorists will have to fork out 71 cents more per litre of petrol, while the wholesale price of diesel is set to increase between 57 cents and 60 cents a litre. The department, in a statement, attributed the price hikes to the international... 

Petrol, diesel price to go up this week

Black Business Council suspends president over missing donation

By: African News Agency      4th December 2017 South Africa's Black Business Council (BBC) said on Monday it had suspended its president Danisa Baloyi pending an investigation into a missing R5-million donation. The black business lobby group said last week that Airports Company South Africa had confirmed making the donation, but that the... 

Black Business Council suspends president over missing donation
BBC president Danisa Baloyi

Nersa shifts Eskom tariff decision to December 13

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2017 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirmed on Monday that it would announce its decision on Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application on December 13, instead of the December 7 date initially set for the determination. “The date has been changed due to more time being required to... 

Nersa shifts Eskom tariff decision to December 13

Seifsa welcomes improvement in PMI, despite it remaining below the 50 point mark

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st December 2017 While the Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) still trended below the neutral level of 50 for the sixth consecutive month during November, it has consistently shown improvement for four successive months from August to November. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel released the Competition Amendment Bill for public comment on Friday, indicating that he expects the proposed legislation to be placed before lawmakers during the first half of 2018. The amendments, which were drafted with the assistance of an expert... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy 

By: Schalk Burger     1st December 2017 The second Norway-South Africa Science Week will provide a platform for scientists, researchers, civil servants and business people from both countries to share best practices and policies to promote the sustainable use of ocean resources. Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, Botswana,... 

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy
Norway Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Nambiia Trine Skymoen discusses the upcoming Norway-South Africa science week. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Absa PMI rises to six-months high in November

By: Reuters     1st December 2017 South Africa's seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose in November to its highest level in six months as business activity improved further, a survey showed on Friday. The index, which is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research and gauges manufacturing activity in... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

Focus on environmental services boosts project sustainability

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Applying focused environmental services at every phase of any project ensures that opportunities to incorporate social and environmental aspects into the engineering design are flagged, which boosts the overall sustainability of the project, explains consulting engineering and project... 

Focus on environmental services  boosts project sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY REQUIREMENTS Sustainability requires the optimisation of environmental, social and economic outcomes

General public taking heed of environmental law

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 The general public is becoming more familiar with the tools that are available under the Constitution and environmental law to protect what is perceived as the unacceptable environmental or social impacts of businesses, says law firm Norton Rose Fulbright environment lawyer Matthew Thornton-Dibb. 

General public taking heed of environmental law
MATURED LEGISLATION South Africa’s environment regulatory system has matured since the publication of the National Environmental Management Act

Growing eWaste could affect ecosystem

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Electronic Waste (eWaste), if not properly processed, will eventually leach hazardous material – mainly heavy metals – into the water table, states computer support and services provider Xperien CEO Wale Arewa. 

Growing eWaste could affect ecosystem
WALE AREWA The global estimate of eWaste is about 50-million tons

CIPC collaboration with banks to extend to BEE certification

By: Nadine James     1st December 2017 Company registration and business licensing organisation, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) reports that companies will soon be able to attain black economic empowerment (BEE) certificates from South Africa’s four main banking institutions. CIPC commissioner Advocate Rory... 

Necsa shuts down key unit because of compliance failure

By: Keith Campbell     1st December 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has executed an immediate shut down of its NTP Radiochemical Facility, because of non-compliance with licensing conditions. NTP produces radioisotopes for both industrial and an especially medical purposes, and many cancer and other patients in... 

Lynne Brown says she will not resign

By: African News Agency      30th November 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Thursday dismissed calls for her resignation, saying that South African State-owned companies were in a better position since she took over in 2014. Brown, who twice missed a session to answer questions in the National Assembly - once because she was... 

Lynne Brown says she will not resign
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minster Lynne Brown

Ramaphosa rules out IMF assistance for Eskom

By: African News Agency      30th November 2017 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday emphatically ruled out International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance for struggling State-owned power utility Eskom, saying it could cost the country in terms of sovereignty. "Eskom is a jewel of our democracy and we need to pay attention to it and we... 

 Ramaphosa rules out IMF assistance for Eskom
Photo by Reuters
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Zuma approves pay hikes for public office bearers

By: African News Agency      30th November 2017 President Jacob Zuma has approved recommendations for salary increases for public office bearers, his office announced on Thursday. "After considering, amongst others, the recommendations of the Commission [for the Remuneration of Public Office-Bearers] and the performance of the economy,... 

Zuma approves pay hikes for public office bearers
President Jacob Zuma

Gordhan joins Wits School of Governance

By: Sane Dhlamini     30th November 2017 The University of the Witswatersrand (Wits) announced on Thursday that it had appointed former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan as a visiting professor at the Wits School of Governance, as from Friday. “He has played an integral role in South Africa’s history and we believe that his strong... 

Gordhan joins Wits School of Governance
Photo by Duane Daws
Pravin Gordhan

Academy of engineers calls for nuclear procurement halt until IRP consensus is reached

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2017 The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) has called for a moratorium on the procurement of new electricity generation capacity, including nuclear power, until consensus has been reached on a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which should be the outcome of “proper consultation in an open... 

Academy of engineers calls for nuclear procurement halt until IRP consensus is reached
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Ansys boosts its IP, skills to capture future business

By: Schalk Burger     29th November 2017 AltX-listed digital technology solutions company Ansys has invested in developing its intellectual property (IP) and human capital to capture new business as a result of the digitalisation of operations in the sectors in which it operates, Ansys Group CEO Teddy Daka said during a presentation of... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Twenty-three South African civil rights and environmental activist groups have sent a letter to Energy Minister David Mahlobo seeking clarity on the nature and purpose of the upcoming Energy Indaba, scheduled for December 7 to 8 in Johannesburg. “It appears that the indaba will relate to the... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

National Treasury appoints new acting Budget Office DDG

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Following Michael Sachs’ request to be transferred to other areas of public service earlier this month, the National Treasury Budget Office has appointed Ian Stuart to succeed Sachs as deputy director-general. Stuart is currently the chief director for fiscal policy in the Budget Office within... 

National Treasury appoints new acting Budget Office DDG

Molefe's R30m pension was unlawful, must pay back – DA

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 South Africa's official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday told the High Court in Pretoria that the R30.1-million pension granted to former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was unlawful. "He told the whole nation and the minister [Public Enterprises ... Minister Lynne Brown] that he was... 

 Molefe's R30m pension was unlawful, must pay back – DA
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

SAA's debt at R13.8bn, losses to widen – executives

By: Reuters     29th November 2017 Losses at South African Airways (SAA) are set to widen to R4-billion ($292.86 million) in 2017/18 from a previous estimate of R2.8-billion, the State airline's CFO said, piling further pressure on government finances. Last week, SAA said even with a government injection of R10-billion, the... 

Highveld agrees to Competition Commission-proposed R1m penalty

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th November 2017 Embattled steel producer Evraz Highveld Steel has agreed to pay a R1-million administrative penalty for conduct allegedly amounting to price fixing and market allocation with ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA). The Competition Commission on Wednesday said it had recommended the approval of the... 

Highveld agrees to Competition Commission-proposed R1m penalty

Pretoria court to hear application for Molefe to reimburse Eskom

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s court action to repay his R30.1-million pension, has been set down to be heard in Pretoria’s North Gauteng High Court for three days, starting on Wednesday. Molefe was taken to court by Solidarity, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, which... 

Koko disciplinary hearing 'fair and transparent' - Eskom

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 Stung by criticism, Eskom on Wednesday issued a statement declaring that it's disciplinary hearing of its suspended group executive, Matshela Koko, was being conducted in "a fair, professional, and transparent manner". The power utility said it "has noted with great concern" some media reports... 

Grid operators turning to batteries as costs fall and need for flexibility rises

By: Terence Creamer     28th November 2017 The standalone cost of battery energy storage remains above South Africa’s prevailing, albeit rising, electricity tariffs, but could already be commercially viable in some instances when the “stacked benefits” of the technology are taken into account. A levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) study... 

Grid operators turning to batteries as costs fall and need for flexibility rises
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom's battery energy storage test site at Rosherville, in Gauteng

DTI warns large-scale job creation not as simple as it seems

By: Dylan Slater     28th November 2017 The structure of the South African economy does not allow for the creation of large numbers of jobs, nor can it support a large number of new jobs at appropriate skills levels, the ‘State of Manufacturing 2017’ report has shown. One of the major reasons for the inability to create a large number... 

AfDB launches youth advisory group to tackle joblessness

By: African News Agency      28th November 2017 The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in Côte d'Ivoire, Akinwumi Adesina, has launched the Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) to provide insights and innovative solutions for job creation for Africa’s youth. In a statement on Tuesday, AfDB said the “Jobs for Youth in... 

MPs call for Parliamentary probe into Transnet–Gupta links

By: African News Agency      28th November 2017 Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political divide on Tuesday called for a probe into allegations of State capture at South African State-owned freight and logistics company, Transnet. Transnet group chief executive Siyabonga Gama and his team appeared before Parliament’s standing... 

Ramos hits back after Public Protector guns for ABSA

By: News24Wire      28th November 2017 ABSA CEO Maria Ramos said the bank will seek a punitive cost order if Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane continues to defend the Bankorp/CIEX report. This was revealed in ABSA’s responding affidavit in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday, which accused Mkhwebane of unlawful conduct in her... 

 Ramos hits back after Public Protector guns for ABSA
ABSA CEO Maria Ramos

Eskom links Medupi new coal-fired unit to national grid

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Eskom has linked unit four of its Medupi coal power station, which has been marred by delays, to the grid, the State-owned power utility said on Tuesday. The coal-fired unit in South Africa's Limpopo province is a rare example of a Medupi project that has been completed ahead of time. It was... 

South Africa's Q4 business confidence slips slightly

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 South African business confidence slipped deeper into negative territory in the fourth quarter, with an improvement in motor trade confidence offset by weakness in retail, building contractors and manufacturing, a survey showed. The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) business confidence index compiled by... 

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