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Economy News

Weak public sector capex planning at the heart of SA’s service delivery dilemma 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2011 South African consulting engineers have expressed deep concern with the quality of capital-project planning within the public sector and have warned that the problem of budget overruns and poor service delivery could grow unless departments take active steps to recruit and retain a better cadre... 

Construction bid rigging probed, firms asked to come clean 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st February 2011 The Competition Commission on Tuesday invited construction companies to engage in a “fast track settlement” of Competition Act contraventions relating to bid-rigging for projects in the public and private sectors. The Commission is already investigating 65 bid-rigging cases in the construction... 

R32m artisan training programme launched 

By: Petronel Smit     31st January 2011 The Public Works Department has invested R32-million in the development of essential skills for young people, particularly in the built environment sector. A hundred learners from the Northern Cape attended their first day of the Northern Cape Artisan Development Programme at the Nuclear Energy... 

Service station doubles as a community information centre

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     28th January 2011 Petrochemicals giant Sasol and the Department of Energy (DoE) have opened a new Integrated Energy Centre (IEC) for the community of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. 

Austrian welding academy awarded local accreditation

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     28th January 2011 The Austrian Welding Academy Trust (AWA) has been awarded Authorised Training Board (ATB) status by the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and International Institute of Welding Programme (IIW). 

Global spending on retail banking technology expected to rise to $132bn

28th January 2011 Global spending on retail banking technology will increase by 24% over the next five years to hit $132 billion.  

The impact of higher food prices on South Africa’s inflation remains highly uncertain

By: Eleanor Seggie     28th January 2011 The food price index rose to 215 points in December 2010, statistics released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations show, with food commodity prices indices havaing risen for sugar to 398 points, for oils and fats to 263 points, and cereals to 238 points. In fact,... 

Additional tax revenue needed to kick-start NGP – E&Y 

By: Loni Prinsloo     27th January 2011 Some tax increases to fund the kick-start of South Africa’s New Growth Path (NGP) could be included in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s February 23 Budget speech, advisory firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) said on Thursday. E&Y director Charl Niemand said that it was, however, unlikely that corporate... 

Supermarkets cleared in Competition Commission probe

By: Petronel Smit     27th January 2011 The Competition Commission has cleared South Africa’s major supermarkets of price fixing, but it has flagged some “competition concerns”. The investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show contraventions of the Competition Act pertaining to abuse of buyer power, category... 

S&P’s realigns Eskom, Transnet ratings to SA adjustment

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th January 2011 International credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P’s) made adjustments on Wednesday to the ratings and outlooks of South Africa’s two most significant State-owned enterprises, Eskom and Transnet. The agency revised its outlook on Eskom to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ and affirmed the... 

Economists lay into SA's New Growth Path framework 

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th January 2011 Government’s New Growth Path (NGP), unveiled late last year, does not speak to the issues that would boost real economic growth, Rand Merchant Bank economist Rudolf Gouws said on Wednesday. Gouws, who was addressing a Gordon Institute of Business Science economic outlook conference in... 

IMF trims SA growth forecast, as it raises global estimate

By: Petronel Smit     25th January 2011 The South African economy is projected to grow with 3,5% in 2011 and by 3,9% in 2012, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, which is a downward revision from its October forecast. The IMF lowered its 2011 and 2012 forecasts for South Africa’s growth by 0,1 percentage points for both... 

US focus on Africa to rise, but Agoa extension may hit resistance

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2011 President Barack Obama’s Administration remained “profoundly committed to putting Africa back at the centre of US foreign policy” and there would be “a greater emphasis on Africa in 2011 and 2012”, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of African Affairs Bruce Wharton said... 

Enlarged Bric bloc to prioritise energy security, says India

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     21st January 2011 Fast-growing India has developed an intensive focus on dealing with its energy security challenge, which has emerged as a constraint on the Asian giant’s industrial competitiveness, India’s Ministry of External Affairs joint secretary and spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told Engineering News Online... 

New strings to be added to green building conference bow

21st January 2011 The Green Building Conference 2011, to be held on July 13 and 14, at the Sandton International Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, will incorporate new features for delegates and exhibitors. 

eThekwini expands enterprise development model

21st January 2011 A mentorship initiative has been introduced on eThekwini’s R400-million water and sanitation project, to supply potable water and toilet facilities to more than 300 informal settlements throughout the municipality. 

Building body to use training to boost on-site safety

By: Eleanor Seggie     21st January 2011 Statistics released by private assurance company Federated Employers Mutual (FEM) Assurance Company show that the average cost of a construction-related accident is R14 800.  

From vehicles to cables, microdot technology gains asset recovery traction

By: Eleanor Seggie     21st January 2011 Microdot technology, which is a process whereby valuable assets are given a ‘DNA’ invisible to the naked eye, appears to be gaining an increasing acceptance as a helpful asset recovery tool among crime-wary South Africans. 

R12bn to flow into Eskom next week after ‘competitive’ global bond issuance

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom described its oversubscribed ten-year, $1,75-billion (R12,25-billion) global bond issuance – the group’s first-ever dollar-denominated note, which is being supported by some of the world’s leading global institutions – as a “great deal” for the company and for... 

SA school system not producing the skills needed – PMI 

By: Loni Prinsloo     20th January 2011 South Africa’s national schooling system is not producing the range and kind of skills required for meaningful socio-economic development in the country, the Production Management Institute (PMI) said on Thursday. Strategic projects GM Johan Botha said that business throughout South Africa would... 

Eskom says first global bond, worth R12,25bn, oversubscribed

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom announced the pricing of a ten-year, $1,75-billion (about R12,25-billion) global bond that it is offering in the international markets until January 26, 2011 – the group’s first dollar bond since it embarked on its major expansion drive in 2004. The offer, Eskom... 

Quarterly audits for govt to improve performance – Auditor General  

By: Loni Prinsloo     19th January 2011 The Auditor-General’s office will start quarterly performance audits on national and provincial levels, in an effort to timeously detect red flags in the financial reporting and operational performance of State departments. “By conducting these audits on a quarterly basis, instead of annually,... 

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. 

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