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Economy News

December CPI slows to 3,5% y/y

By: Reuters     19th January 2011 South Africa's targeted consumer inflation slowed to 3,5% year-on-year in December from 3,6% in November, official data showed on Wednesday. Statistics South Africa said headline CPI was at 0,2% month-on-month, unchanged from November. Annual inflation averaged 4,3% in 2010. 

DoE denies receiving Sapref proposal, says new capacity urgent 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2011 South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) has denied that it has received a proposal from oil groups BP Africa and Shell for government to take up a position in the Sapref refinery, in Durban, in preference to proceeding with a proposed investment into a new greenfield refinery at Coega, in the... 

FDI flows to SA slumped in 2010, despite emerging market resilience

By: Loni Prinsloo     17th January 2011 Despite foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing economies having risen by an estimated 10% in 2010 when compared with 2009 figures, a new report estimates that FDI inflows into South Africa fell by a material 77,9% over the same period. The latest United Nations Conference on Trade... 

Stiglitz urges SA to take action to weaken rand  

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2011 Nobel Memorial Prize winning economist professor Joseph Stiglitz has once again encouraged South Africa to take a more interventionist stance to weaken its exchange rate, saying that commodity-rich countries are correct to actively respond to the threat posed by over-valued currencies. Stiglitz... 

Carbon mispricing delaying investment, crimping recovery  

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2011 The current "mispricing" of carbon is a serious disincentive to investors with projects designed to “retrofit” economies for a lower carbon future and to investments that would help stimulate still flagging global aggregate demand and job creation, Nobel award-winning economist Professor Joseph... 

Mantashe says five-million new jobs possible 

By: Sapa     17th January 2011 The ANC is confident that five million jobs can be created in the next decade, with rural development contributing an expected half a million jobs and manufacturing 350 000, ruling party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday. A big increase in public sector employment would help South... 

Government moves to open BEE verification to auditors

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th January 2011 Government has called for public comment on a proposed amendment to South Africa’s broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) codes of good practice, allowing registered auditors to conduct BBBEE verifications and issue verification certificates as from April 1, 2011. Hitherto, only... 

Survey shows growing environmental awareness among SA small businesses

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     14th January 2011 A 2010 survey of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) shows that 78% of SMEs feel that environmental awareness is important to doing business. Principal researcher Arthur Goldstuck says that, although environmental awareness is everyone's responsibility, small businesses are showing... 

Research significant in strengthening engineering education

By: Dimakatso Motau     14th January 2011 Research undertaken by the Centre for Research in Engineering Education (Cree), during 2009/10, points out that the pressures faced by engineering students are overwhelming and have contributed to the low success rate for first-year students.  

Chemical incubator receives fresh support

14th January 2011 The South African Chemical Technology Incubator, Chemin, has been awarded two significant grants that will be used to enhance training and upgrade its facilities. 

Private sector’s IP law fears mostly unfounded, says attorney

14th January 2011 Private sector scepticism over South Africa’s new intellectual property rights law for universities may prove unfounded, says Werksmans Attorneys director Roux de Villiers.  

Industrial theatre still making a workplace safety impression 

By: Dennis Ndaba     14th January 2011 Industrial theatre company the Learning Theatre Organisation (LTO) is continuing to to find success in using drama as a training aid. A new workplace safety play, entitled ‘Superman goes Nowhere’, which was originally created for Sasol Oil, has subsequently been performed for a variety of... 

New skills strategy puts emphasis on occupational-directed training 

By: Loni Prinsloo     13th January 2011 The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on Thursday launched the third National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS3) geared towards wiping out the skills deadlock that constrains the country’s economy. Speaking at the strategy launch in Midrand, DHET Minister Blade Nzimande said... 

Business confidence improved in December

By: Petronel Smit     12th January 2011 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday that the Business Confidence Index (BCI) had improved by 0,6 points to 87,6 points in December, after measuring 87 points in November. The lack of significant movement in the BCI between November and December was... 

JSE invites comments on changes to listings requirements

By: Petronel Smit     7th January 2011 The JSE will make amendments to certain listings requirements in light of the Companies Act of 2008, it said in an announcement on Friday. The JSE invited the public to submit comments on the amendments, which can be found on the JSE website, by February 7. 

Eskom casts wide power buy-back net to deal with two years of acute tightness  

By: Terence Creamer     6th January 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom is casting a wide power buy-back net as part of efforts to close a possible supply/demand shortfall of 6 TWh this year and 9 TWh in 2012/13, without having to resort to rotational load-shedding– 9 TWh is equivalent to the electricity consumed by a large city such... 

CPI unlikely to breach target range in 2011

By: Loni Prinsloo     5th January 2011 Interest rates would likely remain unchanged in 2011, with a slight possibility of one more cut in rates at best, Investec analyst Annabel Bishop said on Wednesday. South Africa's repo rate is at a historical low of 5,5%, while the consumer price index (CPI) sits at around 3,6%. Bishop said... 

JSE expects more mining listings in 2011

By: Petronel Smit     4th January 2011 The JSE is expecting an increase in listings this year, particularly in the mining sector, after ending a rather slow 2010 with 14 new listings. JSE director of issuer services John Burke told Engineering News Online on Tuesday that increased corporate activity and the improved economic climate... 

October steps in at DTI as Matona moves to Public Enterprises 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd January 2011 Minister Dr Rob Davies has appointed Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) veteran Lionel October as his acting director-general after it was confirmed that Tshediso Matona would take up the position of director-general at the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) as from January 2011. Matona,... 

Low capacity utilisation weighs on SA’s 2011 investment outlook - Absa Capital

By: Terence Creamer     14th December 2010 Capacity utilisation within South Africa’s productive sector remains below its long-term average, indicating that there is still no immediate sign of a strong return to job-generating, private sector-led investment in the country, a new quarterly report by Absa Capital shows. But the bank still... 

Nobel economist lauds SA’s integrated State-and-market vision

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2010 Former World Bank chief economist and Nobel laureate professor Joseph Stiglitz has described the policies outlined in South Africa’s ‘New Growth Path (NGP)’ economic policy discussion document as providing a “vision” for the better integration of “the market and the State”, which could lead... 

Gigaba outlines vision for private sector in infrastructure delivery  

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2010 South Africa's Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba who, since taking over the portfolio in November, has emphasised the centrality of State-owned enterprises (SoEs) in delivering critical infrastructure, has now also outlined his vision for the role of the private sector in the development... 

Database of retired professionals, artisans being developed by E Cape agency

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     10th December 2010 The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) will soon launch its database for retired professionals and artisans to support local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development. 

Mauritius bourse approves listing of global fund

By: Reuters     9th December 2010 The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) said on Thursday it had approved the listing of JPT Capital Agrifund, one of the Cells of JPT Capital PCC, which will be admitted on December 14. "The approval concerns the listing of up to 500 000 redeemable preference shares of JPT Capital PCC at a price... 

Mauritius' economy to grow 3,8% this year: survey

By: Reuters     9th December 2010 The Mauritius chamber of commerce said the Indian ocean island economy would expand by 3,8% this year, lower than the official forecast of 4,1%, an inaugural survey showed on Thursday. The macroeconomic model developed by the chamber showed that next year growth will rise to 4,2%. 

Business confidence up slightly in 2010

By: Loni Prinsloo     9th December 2010 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday that business confidence ticked up 3% in 2010, but a lot still needed to be done to significantly improve on current levels. Sacci economist Richard Downing said at a media briefing that South Africa still had a “battle... 

IMF says SA's monetary policy 'appropriate' 

By: Reuters     8th December 2010 South Africa's monetary policy stance has been appropriate and the banking system is fundamentally sound, said the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. "The South African Reserve Bank is aware of inflation risks and has indicated its intention to use monetary policy as needed to anchor... 

DHET to take a more ‘hands on’ approach in Seta governance 

By: Loni Prinsloo     7th December 2010 Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande on Tuesday said that his department would take a much more “hands-on” approach in the governance and management of Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas). Speaking at a Seta forum in Pretoria, Nzimande said that some drastic... 

Gigaba signals yet more taxpayer support for State firms 

By: Loni Prinsloo     6th December 2010 South Africa’s newly-appointed Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has signalled that government was likely to have to make further direct investments, loans and guarantees into State-owned enterprises (SoEs) in order to ensure that the infrastructure investments needed to double the rate... 

High wage demands possibly causing job losses – IMF 

By: Sapa     3rd December 2010 Inflexible wage demands by SA's workers are the likely reason for massive job losses since the start of the global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund's mission chief for Africa told MPs on Friday. Abebe Selassie said during a briefing to the standing committee on finance that job... 

Joburg expo offers SMEs market exposure, matchmaking opportunities

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     3rd December 2010 The Enterprise Development Expo, held in Johannesburg and the first of its kind, offered small businesses a platform to present their companies to market and find partners for development opportunities. 

Bank, conservation group have supported 170 projects over 20 years

By: Eleanor Seggie     3rd December 2010 Conservation organisation the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) and South Africa’s fourth largest banking group Nedbank have donated over R100-million in funds towards the Green Trust, over the course of their partnership.  

Competition gives learners glimpse into world of biomedical engineering

By: Petronel Smit     3rd December 2010 Gauteng school learners ventured into the biomedical engineering discipline when they robots to compete to complete a series of taxing tasks, in the regional finals of the SAP First Lego League Robotics Tournament, which took place at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, during November. 

Busa calls for a ‘delivery’ State, more jobs pragmatism  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2010 Organised business in South Africa has called for the country’s economic policies to prioritise the creation of a ‘delivery’ State ahead of a so-called ‘developmental’ State, asserting that, unless there is an increase in public sector capacity and skills, basic service delivery will suffer... 

SARB independence not undermined – Marcus

By: Reuters     1st December 2010 The independence of South Africa's Reserve Bank is not undermined by new economic growth proposals unveiled by the government last week, Governor Gill Marcus said on Tuesday. In a speech posted on the central bank's website, Marcus also said it was not always possible to achieve low, stable... 

Gordhan, Patel come to terms on Pioneer fine, open door to future earmarks

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2010 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel have resolved differences over the flow of the R500-million in fines arising from the so-called ‘Pioneer settlement’, while also opening the door for the Competition Commission to stipulate, or earmark, how penalties... 

New body launched to coordinate artisan training programmes 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th November 2010 Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande on Tuesday said that the country would move towards implementing a simple, single approach apprenticeship-based artisan development system, as opposed to the current Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) driven process, which has... 

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