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Economy News

Control Risks sees no major SA policy changes this year

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     13th February 2012 Major policy changes in South Africa are unlikely this year ahead of the December national conference of the governing African National Congress (ANC) in Mangaung, Control Risks said on Monday. In its latest version of the yearly ‘RiskMap’, it stated that a measured evaluation of government... 

Survey shows trade conditions slowly recovering

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th February 2012 Trade conditions recovered slowly in January, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Monday, when it published its latest trade conditions survey. The monthly survey showed that the nonseasonally adjusted trade activity index (TAI) recovered to 48 in January 2012,... 

SA to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, Saudi Arabia 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th February 2012 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will travel to Turkey this week to cochair the second session of the Turkey – South Africa Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, which is aimed at promoting trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries. The Department of Trade... 

Government planning, infrastructure key growth drivers - Leipziger 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2012 In the prevailing context where economic growth will be harder to generate and global competition will intensify as nationalism grows, governments will have to play more strident roles in planning for and supporting economic expansion initiatives, a leading international economist told a South... 

Transnet Ports continuing talks with UAL on Saldanha lease

By: Henry Lazenby     10th February 2012 State-owned Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) this week continued negotiations with shipping company Universal African Lines (UAL) to save an investment deal at the Saldanha port. Last week it was announced the Dutch-headquartered group would withdraw from the Saldanha Oil and Gas Service... 

Zuma praised but oversights questioned

By: Sapa     10th February 2012 Observers have welcomed President Jacob Zuma's focus on economic development in his state-of-the-nation address, but said he neglected other areas of concern, notably mining regulation. 

Business welcomes Zuma’s power price stance, Eskom prepares options 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2012 The focus in President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address on moderating the rate of increase in South Africa’s electricity tariffs has received strong support from business groupings. Zuma said that he had asked Eskom “to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced... 

Mercedes, Merseta cofund technical learnership to help reduce skills dearth  

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th February 2012 The scarcity of appropriately skilled technicians in the automotive sector has spurred Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) to extend their involvement in the training of technicians by initiating a technical learnership at St Anthony’s Education Centre (SAEC), in Boksburg. 

ICT skills development push gains private boost

10th February 2012 Information and communications technology (ICT) skills development in South Africa received a boost after business systems software giant SAP and the Media, Advertising and ICT Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta) partnered to place PhD and Masters candidates into research... 

Connectivity, mobility affecting youth employment choices – study

10th February 2012 The desire of young professionals and college students to use social media, mobile devices and the Internet more freely in the workplace is strong enough to influence their future job choice, sometimes more than salary, according to an international study published by information technology... 

Sustainability, growth tension to come to the fore in 2012 Budget

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2012 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who will present South Africa’s 2012 Budget on February 22, will need to strike a difficult balance between finding the resources required to implement growth-supporting policy objectives and debt sustainability, Deloitte economist Kay Walsh argues in her Budget... 

Zuma declares 2012 the year of public infrastructure delivery 

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2012 South Africa’s multibillion-rand public infrastructure programme, including those projects that would unlock key mineral resources and exports, were given strong emphasis by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address, delivered in Parliament on Thursday evening. Effectively... 

Skills projects could be better aligned with workplace demand

By: Henry Lazenby     9th February 2012 South Africa is in need of increased high-level integration of the country’s multiple programmes, policies and strategies to better align skills development initiatives with workplace demand, Production Management Institute (PMI) executive director for strategy John Botha said on Thursday.... 

Return to era when State contributed 50c in every rand invested - economist 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2012 In light of serious external and domestic economic headwinds, concerted efforts were required to raise public sector investment to levels where South Africa once again began sustaining a minimum yearly investment rate of 25% of gross domestic product (GDP), Standard Bank’s chief economist Goolam... 

BCI dips to lowest level since May 2010

By: Henry Lazenby     8th February 2012 The Business Confidence Index (BCI) of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) dipped to 97.1 in January, the lowest level since May 2010, when the BCI registered 96.7. The BCI briefly increased by 1.7 points in December, to 99.1. The January 2012 BCI is six index points below... 

Acsa consortium awarded R70bn Brazil airport contract

By: Henry Lazenby     8th February 2012 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), together with Brazilian joint venture partner Invepar, won a R70-billion ($9.2-billion) concession to overhaul and operate the busiest and most valuable of three Brazilian airports, Guarulhos, in São Paulo. “Acsa is pleased with the outcome of the... 

Zuma speech should boost investor confidence, support SMEs

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th February 2012 Enterprise support, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SME's), could be a key theme of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in Parliament tomorrow, organised business said on Wednesday. Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said it hoped the President would seek to... 

Transnet unit raises price, supply concerns at Actom-Savcio hearings

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2012 The Competition Commission told a Competition Tribunal hearing on Tuesday that it stood by its initial conditions on the proposed merger of electrical equipment manufacturer Actom and electrical service, repair and import company Savcio. The hearings were postponed last month to allow Transnet... 

IFC partners with ABC Holdings to support SMEs

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th February 2012 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Monday launched an advisory services programme to complement a $13.5-million investment in three banks under Botswana-listed ABC Holdings. The Africa Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (AMSME) programme, along with the investment, would help banks... 

SA, Cuba sign loan agreement 

By: Sapa     3rd February 2012 South Africa on Friday formalised a R350-million economic aid agreement with Cuba. At a ceremony in Pretoria, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Cuba's ambassador to South Africa, Angela Villa, signed a document that both said was aimed at stimulating trade between the two countries. 

Commission’s cement data restrictions questioned

3rd February 2012 Construction development company Business & Marketing Intelligence (BMI) Building Strategy Research Unit principal consultant Dr Llewellyn Lewis has called on the Competition Commission to reverse its decision to prohibit the centralised publication of cement use statistics. 

Shortage of materials engineers hobbling South Africa

3rd February 2012 The shortage of technical engineering and technology skills, specifically materials engineers and concrete technologists, is threatening the future economic growth of South Africa, says Cement and Concrete Institute (C&CI) MD Bryan Perrie. 

Expo seeks to tap Brics-Africa trade potential

By: Dimakatso Motau     3rd February 2012 The vast and largely untapped potential of trade between the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) bloc and the rest of Africa will be the focus of the newly-launched Brics Africa Export Import Forum (Baeif), which will run concurrently at the Southern African International Trade... 

Mobile commerce may make mobile operators, banks competitors

3rd February 2012 The growth of mobile payments, or mobile commerce, can lead to a situation where mobile operators, banks and credit providers compete with each other, says business research company Informa Telecoms & Media senior analyst Shailendra Pandey. 

Sasol teams up with BrightSource Energy on utility-scale SA solar study 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2012 The clean energy unit of JSE-listed Sasol, which is best known for the conversion of coal and gas into fuels and chemicals, is moving ahead with a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for a utility-scale solar power plant in South Africa using a solution provided by BrightSource Energy,... 

Gauteng to build 79 new schools, refurbish existing ones

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd February 2012 The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is seeking expressions of interest from building contractors for the construction of 79 new schools and the refurbishment of 12 Phase 1 schools and 285 existing schools in the province. The GDE admitted to having its “fair share” of the national schools... 

Suzlon chief confident of yet more SA success as first project gains momentum 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2012 The head of global wind turbine supplier Suzlon says he expects construction to begin in April on the 135-MW Cookhouse wind power project, in the Eastern Cape, where 68 of the group’s 2.1 MW S88 units are set to be deployed. In an interview with Engineering News Online, CEO Tulsi Tanti said the... 

2012 Budget needs to underpin business confidence – Busa  

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     1st February 2012 With limited room left in monetary and fiscal policy, South Africa needed to focus on structural factors to promote growth and employment, and strengthen investor confidence, Business Unity of South Africa (Busa) deputy chief executive officer Raymond Parsons said Wednesday. Speaking at a... 

Engineers apply for services to be designated for local procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2012 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa), which has nearly 500 member firms that together earn yearly fee income of R17-billion, has made an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for engineering consulting services to be given ‘designated’ status under government’s... 

KZN municipalities slated over spending

By: Sapa     31st January 2012 KwaZulu-Natal's 47 municipalities have incurred R2-billion in irregular spending, co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube said in Durban on Tuesday. "The amount of irregular expenditure is sitting at R2-billion. Surely this is a cold and concerning fact that our councillors must attend to," she... 

Gigaba says power price review geared to protecting SA from shocks  

By: Terence Creamer     30th January 2012 South Africa’s electricity pricing policy (EPP) review which has been initiated by the Department of Energy (DoE), will interrogate ways to “protect” the economy from “pricing shocks”, but was unlikely to entail a “complete revision” of the policy, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said... 

Unite behind efforts to stop corruption – Proudly South African 

30th January 2012 The Proudly South African “Buy Local” campaign has called on all its member companies, partners and supporters to rally behind Corruption Watch, the anti-corruption watchdog launched last week. “As proud South Africans, we have to unite to put an end to palm-greasing and theft. Corruption... 

Water Affairs confirms movement on long-term AMD study 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2012 South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has confirmed that a feasibility study has been initiated to assess longer-term solutions for South Africa’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem. The investigation began in December and should be completed over a maximum period of 18 months.... 

Study seeks to understand why engineering students fail to graduate

By: Dimakatso Motau     27th January 2012 The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has embarked on a research campaign, the results of which will aid in understanding the challenges regarding tertiary institutions achieving higher pass rates in engineering bachelor’s degrees. 

State not primary job creator – Zuma 

By: Sapa     26th January 2012 The State is not the primary job creator in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday. "The State prepares the environment for economic growth and provides support to the private sector by providing enablers and removing obstacles," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at the... 

Cosatu to intensify call for ban on business overlap in public service  

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2012 In the run-up to the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) June policy conference, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) plans to lobby aggressively for a change to the current public service framework allowing government officials to sustain their private business interests – a... 

SA growth to be below 3% in 2012 – Gordhan

By: Reuters     26th January 2012 South Africa's economic growth is "certainly going to be below three percent" this year due to the impact of a slowdown in the eurozone economies, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. "Europe is a factor. Europe as a whole is a major trading partner for South Africa, and for the... 

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