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Economy News

Strong rand not competitive - Minister Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2009 The South African currency was currently not "competitive" and was also not conducive to industrial development, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Monday. He added that the South African government stood ready to "defend" what it saw as "strategic industrial capacity", as well as... 

SA’s short-term economic outlook positive – economist  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th October 2009 The local economy should start picking up a little, perhaps not as much as previously expected, but the outlook for South Africa’s economy remained positive in the short term, Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine told members of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry on... 

BEE remains elusive for most historically disadvantaged South Africans – KPMG

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 After 15 years of democracy in South Africa, black economic empowerment remains elusive for the majority of black South Africans, auditing firm KPMG restructuring advisory MD Sandile Hlophe said this week, following the release of KPMG’s latest national black economic-empowerment (BEE) survey. 

Parliamentary committee exploring possibility of
building varsities in Limpopo, Northern Cape

By: Darren Parker     9th October 2009 Parliament is exploring the possibility of establishing new universities in the two provinces that lack such institutions, announced Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training chairperson Marius Fransman, last month. 

How one SA company mines SA’s satellite-imagery resource to make life easier while making a profit 

By: Leandi Kolver     9th October 2009 There’s more to geography than capitals, clouds and tornados, climate, countries, people, maps, and flags. Today, geography is a serious consumer-facing business, helping us to reach our destinations with the aid of global positioning systems (GPS) on our cell phones, or even the simple road map,... 

Even Eskom's ‘smoothed' scenario will feel like a spike to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would probably only publish power utility Eskom's tariff application in November, despite the fact that some of its contents have started to leak into the public domain. The leaks come amidst heightened interest about what is contained in the... 

Business leader lashes politicisation of Transnet CEO appointment 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2009 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Michael Spicer on Wednesday lambasted recent political interference surrounding the appointment of a new CEO at State transport utility Transnet, and even chastised President Jacob Zuma for having been too "late and mild" in his rebuke of those involved. His... 

SA executive-pay growth moderates as economy comes off the boil 

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2009 Difficult market conditions resulted in "reasonably low" executive-pay increases in 2009 relative to 2008, the Mabili ‘Directors Remuneration Report for 2009', which was released on Tuesday, shows. The median CEO package increased 11,6% from R4,7-million to R5,3-million, while increases enjoyed... 

SA business confidence hits 10-month high

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th October 2009 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) Business Confidence Index (BCI), in September, reached its highest level since November 2008, improving to 85,5 points, compared with 83 points in August. The BCI was 6,6 index points higher than the lows of 78,9 points measured in March... 

Migrant workers vital for economic recovery - UNDP

By: Reuters     5th October 2009 The global economic crisis has reduced the role of migrant workers, but that is likely to change dramatically as developed countries face a shortfall in workers over the next four decades, a UN report said on Monday. Demand for migrants will return when economic revival is underway, offering... 

SA must prioritise investor confidence in new policy – Sacci  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st October 2009 It is imperative that business and investor confidence be prioritised in new policy proposals and policy implementation in order for South Africa to “raise the tempo” of fixed investment and to “provoke a stronger path” to economic recovery, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci)... 

Eskom submits tariffs request, details to be published later 

By: Terence Creamer     1st October 2009 South Africa's financially stressed power utility Eskom met the energy regulator's September 30 deadline for submission of an application for tariff increases for its 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years, but the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) indicated on Thursday that it would... 

Signs of life in SA manufacturing sector as PMI posts big jump

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st October 2009 September’s Kagiso Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), which jumped to 48 points, had shown signs of life in the domestic manufacturing sector for the first time since September last year, Kagiso Securities head of fixed income André Coetzee said on Thursday. The seasonally adjusted PMI had made... 

Competition Commission uncovers mining cartel activity 

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2009 South Africa's Competition Commission on Wednesday announced the uncovering of an alleged mining-supply cartel. The findings of the commission have been referred to the Competition Tribunal, which has been asked to levy a penalty of 10% on the annual turnover of three of the four firms named.  

SA’s overall employment situation still negative – Adcorp

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th September 2009 The overall employment situation in South Africa was still negative, although there were some initial signs that the negative trend might be bottoming out, staffing solutions group Adcorp Holdings reported on Tuesday. Adcorp’s Employment Index (AEI) showed an overall third-quarter decline of... 

Recession response material, but SA still to contract by 2,1% in 2009 - Absa Capital

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2009 South Africa's fiscal and monetary policy response to the global recession had been relatively large, despite the fact that no formal stimulus or emergency response plan had ever been activated. Still, gross domestic product (GDP) was likely to contract by 2,1% in 2009, Absa Capital's head of... 

SA sees 6% budget deficit, says GFCF slowed ‘markedly’

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     25th September 2009 South Africa is expecting a 6% budget deficit in the 2009/10 financial year, as the global economic slowdown hits the local economy, Monitoring and Evaluation chief director Ronette Engela said on Friday at the release of the ‘Development Indicators’. She also said that the gross fixed capital... 

SA, Chinese groups mull ‘catalytic' Gauteng transformer investment

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2009 A R30-million import-substitution investment aimed at producing continuously transposed conductor (CTC) - a copper-based wire component used increasingly in the production of modern electricity transformers - is on the cards for Gauteng, following the signing of an agreement between a South... 

Life and short-term 
insurance companies 
feel the pinch

By: Jacqueline Holman     25th September 2009 Life and short-term insurance companies are taking strain as a result of the current economic environment, as the public are under financial pressure and are not readily spending their income on insurance, says audit firm KPMG financial services director Gerdus Dixon. 

Local financial services industry in a stronger position in the global arena

By: Jacqueline Holman     25th September 2009 The South African financial services industry is in better state than its peers elsewhere in the world, says Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) CEO Leon Campher.  

KZN company under way with R6m lifts contract

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th September 2009 Southern African consultants in the elevators industry KZN Elevator Consultants has been awarded a contract valued at R6-million to modernise eight lifts for a property owners and management company. 

Research should have an eye to commercialisation

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 The absence of innovation spells certain death for industry, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom said at the opening of the 2009 Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) annual symposium, in Midrand, last week. 

Still too few companies are dealing proactively with HIV/Aids

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 Only 45% of large South African businesses have an official HIV/Aids policy, said Swaziland sugar company Ubombo Sugar chief medical officer Dr Tim Nunn at Africa’s largest annual occupational risk management conference and exhibition, the Noshcon conference, at the end of August. 

Brewing giant seeks to tap new markets, ingredients, supply-chains with ‘home-brew’ alternative

By: Darren Parker     25th September 2009 For many Africans living outside of South Africa, buying a cold beer at the end of a long day is not a realistic option, owing to the fact that industrially produced, quality-assured beer is prohibitively expensive. 

Mboweni failed to see global finance crisis coming — Mbeki 

By: Sapa     23rd September 2009 Outgoing South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni was among several world finance experts who did not provide adequate leadership to prevent the global finance crisis, former President Thabo Mbeki said on Wednesday. Mbeki was speaking on the "effective exercise of leadership" and the... 

‘Price-fixing killed the conscience of business’ – deputy Minister

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd September 2009 Economic Development Deputy Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde on Wednesday expressed concern over the “merciless” way price fixing “has killed the conscience” of businesses, as well as over fraud and the mismanagement of corporate funds. She said she had difficulty in comprehending why there were... 

Economic recession and crime worry SMEs – survey

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd September 2009 The economic recession has emerged as the most significant challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), results of survey showed on Wednesday. SME Survey 2009 principal researcher Arthur Goldstuck noted that a dramatic shift in the issues, which keep the SME owner awake at night, has... 

Gordhan, Hogan asked to prepare report card on State enterprises

By: Terence Creamer     23rd September 2009 Cabinet has tasked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan to prepare a report card on the state of State-owned enterprises (SoEs), government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Wednesday. The report, Cabinet decided, should focus on the existing shareholder... 

Zuma-led govt moving SA towards a ‘walk together’ scenario – Maphai  

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd September 2009 The current government, led by President Jacob Zuma, appears to be moving South Africa’s economic and development path towards a ‘walk together’ scenario, Dinokeng Scenarios convenor Dr Vincent Maphai said on Tuesday. The ‘walk together’ scenario, which is seen as the most sustainable and... 

SA second-quarter employment down 0,8% – Stats SA

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd September 2009 Employment in the formal nonagricultural sector declined by 0,8%, or 67 000 jobs, between the quarter ended March 31, 2009, and the quarter ended June 30, 2009, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. Stats SA’s quarterly employment survey (QES) had also shown that employment... 

World institutions fail in financial crisis – Manuel

By: Sapa     18th September 2009 Major world institutions, such as the G7 and the United Nations lack the credibility to deal with the global financial crisis, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said on Friday. "The UN has neither the credibility nor the institutional mechanisms to tackle the crisis," Manuel said at the... 

Scholarship programme to enable 
young SA engineers to be trained in Japan

By: Darren Parker     18th September 2009 The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), in association with Japanese technology corporation Hitachi, has launched a new scholarship training programme for South African engineers in Japan, beginning this month. 

SA may still surprise on the FDI upside in 2009 - Unctad 

By: Terence Creamer     17th September 2009 South Africa, which recorded a strong rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2008, might still show increased inflows for 2009, despite estimates that global flows would slump from $1,7-trillion in 2008 to $1,2-trillion this year on the back of the global economic crisis. The latest United... 

SA must focus on ‘critical’ elements of BEE to speed up implementation – KPMG  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th September 2009 The seven elements of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) Codes of Good Practice on broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) should be rationalised to four, audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG proposed on Thursday. With the release of the results of the advisory firm’s 2009 BEE... 

Quality not matching ‘massive’ investment put into services – Gordhan

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th September 2009 Finance Miniser Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday expressed his concern that the outputs and outcomes in terms of service delivery by provinces lagged the “massive investments” the country was making. The Minister, who had tabled the Provincial Budget and Expenditure Review in the National Council of... 

Parliament calls on Nzimande to advance long-term skills strategy  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th September 2009 The chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Marius Fransman, on Wednesday called on Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande to “advance” a long-term strategy for skills development among the youth. The committee wanted Nzimande to put plans for... 

US indicates its willingness to support PBMR research

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2009 The US government would support South African efforts to research the pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) nuclear technology as part of the multilateral "next generation nuclear plant and very high temperature gas reactor" programmes, following the signing of a bilateral nuclear agreement earlier... 

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