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Economy News

Ireland homes in on SA as it uses trade as key recovery tool

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2011 Ireland’s official trade and investment promotion agency, Enterprise Ireland, will open offices in Johannesburg early next year in line with the European Union country’s prioritisation of South Africa as a key export market, as well as a “gateway” to the fast-growing Southern African region.... 

SA 'unlikely to meet development goals'

By: Sapa     7th November 2011 South Africa is unlikely to meet its development goals on its current path, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) said on Monday. 

Property fund Rebosis reports profit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th November 2011 JSE-listed black-managed Rebosis Property Fund has reported a profit for the period from its May 17 listing to the end of August. 

Evaluation of first renewable-energy project bids begins as first deadline closes

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2011 The evaluation of the first bids received under South Africa’s tender for the procurement of 3 725 MW of renewable energy capacity from independent power producers (IPP) would begin during the “coming week”, the Department of Energy (DoE) revealed at the weekend, after the first bid window closed... 

More consultation promised as final touches are put to new carbon tax paper

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2011 The National Treasury will release a revised carbon tax discussion paper in early December, deputy director-general of economic policy and international financial relations Ismail Momoniat has confirmed. Addressing a recent carbon tax debate in Gauteng, Momoniat said the new document would take... 

Gauteng, partners launch youth, graduate entrepreneurship initiative

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th November 2011 South Africa is faced with an increasingly challenging employment environment, as the latest labour statistics have shown that the rate of unemployment in the below-34 age group, which makes up two-thrids of the population, continues to grow.  

Korean energy companies ready to meet SA’s localisation, skills requirements

By: Schalk Burger     4th November 2011 Korean energy and transmission companies aim to transfer skills to South Africa and to boost local companies by using localisation programmes, says Korean electrical constructions company LPJ SA Engineering & Construction marketing manager Danny Lee. 

Open up to poor countries – Zuma  

By: Sapa     3rd November 2011 World markets must open up to the least developed countries that had become "innocent bystanders" of the global financial crisis, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday. "We feel strongly about the need to open up the world markets in order to stimulate the recovery of the global economy," he... 

Business confidence falls to 17-month low

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd November 2011 Business confidence in South Africa last month declined to its lowest level in 17 months, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reported on Thursday. The Sacci Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell to 97.5 points, from 98.4 points in September. This is the lowest level since... 

SA 15th most likely to bribe abroad - survey 

3rd November 2011 Companies from South Africa are seen as the fifteenth most likely to use bribery to secure foreign contracts, a new report released by Transparency International says. 

Municipalities slow to take up EPWP incentive grants  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     2nd November 2011 There was a slow uptake from municipalities for the incentive-based Phase 2 of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Public Works Portfolio Committee chairperson Manana Mabuza said on Wednesday. An incentive grant was introduced in the second phase to encourage entities not only to make... 

Underspending may compromise EPWP jobs target

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     2nd November 2011 The target of creating 868 000 work opportunities under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) may be compromised because of underspending, Public Works officials warned on Wednesday. Given South Africa’s unemployment rate of 25%, new Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said it would be... 

Lafarge, NPC-Cimpor still face cartel penalties as AfriSam is fined R124.9m 

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2011 South African cement producer AfriSam has reached a R124.9-million settlement agreement with the Competition Commission for its part in a cement cartel involving three other cement producers. The agreement followed on from a commission investigation, initiated in June 2008, of price fixing and... 

Gauteng economy expected to grow 

By: Sapa     1st November 2011 The economic output of Gauteng was expected to grow significantly in the next three years, the provincial department of finance said on Tuesday. "The provincial economy has transformed into a sophisticated structure, with the tertiary [service industry] sector and the manufacturing sub-sector... 

Social dimension to this year's G20 summit

By: Keith Campbell     31st October 2011 For the first time, the summit meeting of the Group of 20 countries (G20) will have a "social dimension" on its agenda. "[One] of our objectives is to have a real social agenda," explained French Ambassador Jacque Lapouge to South African journalists in Pretoria on Monday. "We think this is a bit... 

G20 summit to be dominated by global crisis and reform

By: Keith Campbell     31st October 2011 The upcoming Group of 20 countries (G20) summit, which will take place in Cannes, France, on Thursday and Friday, will be focusing on solutions for the global economic crisis. South Africa is a member of the G20 and, collectively, the countries of the group represent about 85% of the world's... 

Govt, business, labour unveil 75% buy-local aspiration   

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2011 Government, business, labour and community groupings signed a milestone agreement in Pretoria on Monday under which an “aspirational” target of 75% was set for the level of goods and services that should be procured locally by both government and the private sector. The 'Local Procurement... 

Eskom secures yet more development finance for wind, solar projects 

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2011 The additional $250-million in World Bank funding approved this week for Eskom’s 100 MW Sere wind farm, to be located 300 km north of Cape Town, and the 100 MW Upington concentrating solar power (CSP) project, has materially increased the amount of development finance available to the utility to... 

Nzimande sees collaborative research key to shift to knowledge-based economy

By: Schalk Burger     28th October 2011 Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says funding for collaborative research and development programmes will take precedence over single-body project funding because universities and research bodies must help to broaden and develop the skills of students and people in other... 

Ratification sought for next Lesotho Highlands phase, separate $15bn power scheme is unveiled 

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2011 The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 agreement, which would open the way for additional water and power to flow to South Africa from the mountain kingdom, would be submitted to Parliament for ratification following its approval this week by South Africa’s Cabinet. The agreement... 

Govt moves to consolidate support for small firms under IDC

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2011 South Africa’s Cabinet has approved the merger of Khula, South African Micro Enterprise Apex Fund and the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC’s) small business activities, spokesperson Jimmy Manyi confirmed on Thursday. The merged entity would fall under the auspices of the IDC and would... 

Gordhan wants more political accountability

By: Sapa     26th October 2011 Treasury is mulling changes to public finance legislation to enforce political accountability and tougher penalties for transgressions, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. 

Gordhan confirms R802bn infrastructure stimulus vision 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     25th October 2011 Infrastructure was again emphasised in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) as government seeks to shift its expenditure over the medium-term in the direction of growth-supporting capital expenditure and away from consumption. Public infrastructure spending in the current year was... 

R121.5bn earmarked for local government, human settlements  

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     25th October 2011 Government has set aside R121.5-billion for local government and human settlements for 2011/12, as it moves to eradicate its housing backlog and steps up efforts to improve service delivery. Spending on local government and human settlements increased from R68-billion in 2008/9 to R121.5-billion... 

SA allows deficit to widen as economic recovery loses momentum

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has responded to the loss of economic momentum in South Africa by allowing for a moderate rise in government expenditure, which will result in the deficit rising to 5.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011/12, as compared with an estimate of 5.3% announced in... 

Addressing capex planning key as municipal underspending rises 

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2011 Underspending by municipalities had risen from 14% in 2008/09 to 25% in 2010/11, while provincial underspending rose from 8.3% to 16% over the same period, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) revealed. The document said that underspending against capital budgets had emerged as a... 

FDI inflows to SA rose to R17.3bn in H1 2011

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2011 Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to South Africa rose to R17.3-billion in the first six months of 2011, which was nearly three times higher than the amount recorded in the first half of 2010. Ironically, though, the bulk of that FDI was likely to be attributed to Wal-Mart’s acquisition of... 

Gordhan unveils R25bn economic support package, with wage caveat  

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2011 The South African government would introduce a new R25-billion “economic support package” over the coming six years to improve the competitiveness of the country’s underperforming productive sectors, especially manufacturing, and to promote structural changes that could bolster internal demand... 

SA may designate Saldanha IDZ by September 2012

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2011 A feasibility study into the creation of South Africa’s fifth industrial development zone (IDZ), at Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, estimates that the development could yield between 4 240 and 8 930 direct jobs over a 25-year period and add between R11.2-billion and R31.6-billion in yearly... 

September 2013 set as ‘worst-case’ start date for first Medupi unit 

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom’s current “worst-case scenario” for delivering initial power to the grid from the first Medupi power station unit, or Unit 6, was currently September 2013, Engineering News Online has learned. The unit would be the first of six to begin producing at the... 

Formal apprenticeships programmes can yeild greater benefits

By: Dimakatso Motau     21st October 2011 An appropriate balance between theory and practice in apprenticeships programmes is required if South Africa is to produce artisans who are able cope with the practical demands of the workplace, while harnessing the theoretical knowledge behind the discipline.For this reason, mechanical... 

Ghana forum offers African business leaders platform to share ideas

By: Dimakatso Motau     21st October 2011 The Vodafone African Business Leaders Forum (ABLF) 2011 takes place in Accra, Ghana, from November 10 to 12. 

SA makes some progress in reducing red tape, rest of Africa surges 

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2011 South Africa improved its global ease-of-doing-business ranking by one position, climbing from 36 to 35 in the latest International Finance Corporation-World Bank ‘Doing Business’ report. For the fourth consecutive year, Mauritius was found to be the easiest place in sub-Saharan Africa to do... 

Global consultancy forecasts big SA oilfield services growth 

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2011 Global consultancy Deloitte says South Africa’s geographical proximity to the expanding West African oilfields, together with its deep-water harbours and its engineering expertise, offered favourable conditions for a material expansion of the country’s oilfield services sector over the coming... 

SA moves to begin reflecting the economic value of its ecosystems, biodiversity

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2011 Over the coming year, the Department of Environmental Affairs will study the contribution of South Africa’s ecosystems and biodiversity to the economy in a bid to correct for the current “depreciation” of the country’s natural capital in its national accounts. South African National Biodiversity... 

Seifsa expects fresh support for manufacturers in Gordhan’s mini-Buget

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2011 South Africa’s metals and engineering sectors signalled on Friday that they anticipated that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would unveil an “enhanced support package for the manufacturing sector” in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Framework, to be released on October 25. In an address to members... 

Department drives job creation through artisan training programme 

By: Tracy Hancock     14th October 2011 The Department of Public Works (DPW) has acknowledged the achievements of 98 learners who completed the theoretical training of its Artisan Development Programme at a graduation ceremony at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) nuclear research centre, Pelindaba, in the North... 

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