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Economy News

Alive to fiscal drag threat, Gordhan hints to prolonged public stimulus

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan indicated on Wednesday that he was alive to the threat posed by a too rapid move towards fiscal consolidation, particularly in an environment where the anticipated handover from public to private investment in spurring the economic recovery was not taking shape.... 

SA economy shed 395 000 jobs in 2010 – Stats SA  

By: Sapa     28th September 2011 About 395 000 jobs were lost in 2010, Statistics SA said on Wednesday. Around 13.1-million people were employed in 2010 compared to 13.5-million in 2009. "This indicates the country has not yet fully recovered from the economic downturn in 2009," Stats SA deputy director general for population... 

Trade unions can be liable for strike damage – court 

By: Sapa     28th September 2011 The Supreme Court of Appeal has found that trade unions can be held liable for damage caused by workers during strikes. In the judgment on Tuesday, which upheld an earlier ruling by the Western Cape High Court, Justice Mahomed Navsa wrote that the country "could not be subjected to the tyranny of... 

AfDB loan concludes 100-MW Eskom wind farm funding phase 

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2011 The $365-million African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to South African power utility Eskom, which was announced on Sunday, has effectively concluded the funding phase for the 100-MW Sere wind farm project and a process is already under way to now procure the key components for the development.... 

Company liquidations stats turned negative in August

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th September 2011 The number of South African businesses liquidated during August this year increased when compared with the same month in 2010, a new report released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on Monday shows. Year-on year liquidations rose 24.3% from 243 liquidations in August 2010 to 302 this year.... 

SMEs optimistic about growth prospects despite economic uncertainty

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th September 2011 While there is a general decline in confidence in global and local economies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the world were generally positive about their own growth prospects, the Sage business index has shown. The survey, which included more than 10 000 global respondents,... 

SA is open for business – Zuma 

By: SA News     26th September 2011 South Africa is open for business and is looking to explore opportunities in the small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in the US, says President Jacob Zuma. 

Can Zuma’s commission close SA’s infrastructure delivery gap?  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd September 2011 Despite the rhetoric in the New Growth Path about shifting South Africa’s future economic growth trajectory from the prevailing consumption-led bias to one based on productive activities, South Africa’s mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors remain in crisis. The sharp 6% decline in... 

Centre of maths, science excellence launched in Senegal

By: Dimakatso Motau     23rd September 2011 A second centre for excellence in maths and science in Africa has been opened under the auspices of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) this month. 

Can Zuma’s commission close SA’s infrastructure delivery gap?

By: Terence Creamer     23rd September 2011 Despite the rhetoric in the New Growth Path about shifting South Africa’s future economic growth trajectory from the prevailing consumption-led bias to one based on productive activities, South Africa’s mining, manufacturing and agricultural sectors remain in crisis.  

Maize milling acquisition approval expected this month

By: Tracy Hancock     23rd September 2011 Agricultural group Afgri expects Competition Commission approval for its acquisition of Pride Milling’s yellow maize milling business operating in Ermelo, Kinross and Bethal, in Mpumalanga, before the end of this month. Speaking at the groups financial results presentation for the year ending... 

Engineers called upon to bolster Zuma’s infrastructure commission 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2011 Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde has called on the engineering fraternity to put forward names of individuals that could participate in the secretariat that will be established to support the newly formed Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, which was convened for the... 

Brics to consider euro bonds plan – Gordhan

By: Reuters     22nd September 2011 A meeting of emerging economies on Thursday will consider a Brazilian proposal to buy European bonds to help crisis-hit euro zone countries, South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. But Gordhan said it was just one idea that would be examined during the meeting in... 

Infrastructure key to freeing SA from low-growth shackles – Roubini 

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2011 South Africa would need to accelerate its investment into physical and human capital to improve on its current “disappointing” growth performance and break free from the structural constraints that made it difficult for the country to expand at rates similar to those being achieved in... 

SA's reputation among G8 countries improving

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     21st September 2011 Perceptions of South Africa’s reputation among the Group of Eight (G8) countries were improving, the Reputation Institute revealed on Wednesday. South Africa is ranked 33 out of 50 countries measured in the latest study undertaken by the institute, and shows steady improvement from a score of... 

Business should be more involved in planning SA’s economic future

By: Jean McKenzie     21st September 2011 Business has to be more involved in mapping out South Africa’s economic future, scenario planner Dr Clem Sunter said this week, arguing that the approach of government’s National Planning Commission was too academic. Speaking at the Master Builders South Africa yearly congress in Cape Town,... 

Africa, Asia the economic future – Ramos 

By: Sapa     21st September 2011 Africa and Asia can be the future of the global economy, Maria Ramos, group CEO of Absa, said on Wednesday.  

Black representation in JSE-listed companies remains low – Busa  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     20th September 2011 The representation of black people in general, and black women in particular, in executive positions in companies listed on the JSE remains low, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said on Tuesday. An independent study showed that the percentages of black exective directors, CEOs and CFOs were... 

Assembly approves FET colleges Bill 

By: Sapa     20th September 2011 The National Assembly approved the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges Amendment Bill on Tuesday. Introducing the debate, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said the bill would strengthen and make the FET sector the centre of skills development in South Africa.  

US concerned by localisation stipulations in SA’s renewables tender

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2011 US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camuñez, who is leading a trade delegation to South Africa that includes 14 American renewable energy firms, voiced some concern on Monday about the local content stipulations contained with the country’s recently released bidding documentation. The... 

NUM to march on Eskom over wage dispute

By: Sapa     16th September 2011 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will march to Eskom's Johannesburg office on Saturday over stalled wage talks. "Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a show of force. It will be an indication to Eskom that nothing about us without us is possible," NUM official Job Matsepe said in a statement on... 

Ports authority taking ‘activist’ stance to foster new private terminals 

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2011 The head of South Africa’s national ports authority has pledged to adopt a far more “activist” approach to the development of harbour infrastructure and terminal capacity “ahead of demand” and to do so in partnership with private sector investors. Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO Tau... 

Metrofile’s Nigerian facility to start trading in October

By: Tracy Hancock     16th September 2011 Information and records storage manager Metrofile says it expects its long-awaited Nigerian operation to start trading from October, with expansion into other African countries starting once the Nigerian business is fully operational. Metrofile CEO Graham Wackrill says Nigeria has been an on... 

Simplified tender for small-scale renewables by November

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2011 Simplified tender documentation for small-scale renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) projects of between 1 MW and 5 MW were currently being prepared and should be released by November, the South African government reported on Wednesday. Speaking at a media briefing held on the... 

Rate boycotts 'totally unacceptable' – Gordhan 

By: Sapa     14th September 2011 It is "totally unacceptable" for ratepayer groups to refuse to pay their rates and place their money in trust accounts, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. 

SA employers report positive hiring plans

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th September 2011 South Africans were likely to benefit from a positive, but conservative hiring pace in the fourth quarter of this year, with hiring intentions showing little change from the previous quarter, according to the ‘Manpower Employment Outlook Survey’ released on Tuesday. Manpower South Africa MD... 

SA signs agriculture MoU with Swaziland  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th September 2011 South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the government of Swaziland signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday, to collaborate on research, technology and capacity building. Deputy director-general for agriculture production and food security Kgabi Mogajane... 

Invest in agriculture to reduce poverty – World Bank  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th September 2011 Mitigation and adaptation, political smartness and smart policy were crucial to developing Africa’s agricultural industry, the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change Andrew Steer said on Tuesday. He said at an African Ministerial conference on climate-smart agriculture in Johannesburg... 

Infrastructure needed to help farmers cope with climate change  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th September 2011 Investments in rural infrastructure, both physical and institutional, were needed to enhance the resilience of agriculture in the face of the uncertainties of climate change, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Tuesday. Physical infrastructure... 

Sasol says gas-heavy growth pipeline ‘double-dip’ proof 

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2011 Energy and chemicals group Sasol expects to spend about R63-billion on capital investments during its 2012 and 2013 financial years and insists it has the financial muscle to press ahead with its gas-heavy growth projects, as well as further gas acquisitions, even if the world were to descend... 

Busa lowers 2011 growth forecast to 3.1%

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     9th September 2011 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Friday lowered its economic growth forecast for the country from 3.4% to 3.1% for 2011. Busa said that the new forecast was in line with what many business economists were now indicating in the light of new realities.  

SAA plays key role in SA’s international relations 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     9th September 2011 The aviation sector has an important role to play in supporting South Africa’s international relations and cooperation strategy, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of airline South African Airways’ (SAA’s) financial results... 

Broadcasting Bill being reviewed, says Padayachie

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     9th September 2011 Communications Minister Roy Padayachie said on Friday that it was necessary to “speedily” complete the review of the Public Service Broadcasting Bill, to enhance the technical rigour, credibility and sustainability of South Africa’s broadcasting policy environment. At the end of the 2010/11... 

Sacci says business confidence dropped last month

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th September 2011 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday it was growing increasingly concerned about the current and expected low levels of growth, stagnation of economic activity and job losses in the country. The announcement follows the results of the chamber’s business... 

SA placed second among Brics in global competiveness report

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     7th September 2011 South Africa moved up four places in the latest global competiveness ranking, and ranked second among the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. South Arica ranked 50th in the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012’, which was topped by... 

SA still attractive to IPP investors despite current poor growth

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2011 There remains significant scope for the introduction of renewable energy and conventional independent power producer (IPP) capacity in South Africa, despite lower-than-anticipated power demand growth, an electricity researcher said on Wednesday. In fact, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Gareth... 

DTI grants R157m to ten BPO projects to create more jobs 

By: Loni Prinsloo     7th September 2011 Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said that grants worth R157.76-million had been approved as part of the business process outsourcing incentive scheme. The grants would be disbursed to ten projects over the next three years and would create more than 11 000 jobs, the Minister said in... 

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