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Economy News

SA's CPI at 4-year low on food inflation

By: Reuters     26th May 2010 South African consumer price inflation slowed more than expected to a four-year low in April as food price pressure eased, possibly boosting chances of another interest rate cut. Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday annual inflation slowed to 4,8% in April, compared with March's 5,1% and... 

Striking SA workers call sympathy stoppages 

By: Reuters     25th May 2010 Striking South African transport workers have called for possible sympathy stoppages, including at the national airline, and electricity workers also threatened to strike less than three weeks before the World Cup. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), which represents... 

SA economy picks up speed with 4,6% first-quarter growth 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th May 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4,6% in the first quarter of this year, exceeding market expectations, which had forecast growth of about 4%. The first-quarter expansion compares with a 3,2% rise in the final quarter of 2009, and was the highest quarter-on-quarter increase... 

Good case for inclusion of SA into Bric-nation club, Dlamini argues 

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th May 2010 South Africa has much to offer and gain from emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, and China, dubbed the Bric countries, that currently make up around 42% of the world's economy, said Old Mutual CEO Kuseni Dlamini on Monday. Speaking at a Swiss Chamber lunch in Johannesburg,... 

New induction programme seeks to help 
student-to-professional transition

By: Jacqueline Holman     21st May 2010 Petrochemicals giant Sasol bridges the gap between university and the working world for its engineering bursary graduates and other recently qualified individuals with its Young Professionals Induction programme. Their professional development is governed by the Graduate Development Programme (GDP). 

New apprenticeship curriculum planned for
struggling South African tooling industry

By: Petronel Smit     21st May 2010 Industry association the National Tooling Initiative (NTI) plans to implement a re-orientation programme and an apprenticeship curriculum within the next four years in its aim to localise qualifications and standards in the struggling local tooling industry. 

Downgrading Sacu could have political, economic costs

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2010 There could be material consequences for both business and political relations within Southern Africa should there be any move by the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) to "downgrade" the relationship, which some believe has become an impediment to true regional... 

SA mulls the costs, benefits of transition to green economy

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th May 2010 Industrial competitiveness emerged as a key topic for debate on the second day of the Green Economy summit, in Johannesburg, as delegates started to grapple with the issues involved with the transition to a so-called green economy. Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) head of research and... 

SA economy may grow faster than forecast – IMF

By: Loni Prinsloo     19th May 2010 Sub-Saharan Africa could see economic growth of close to 5% in 2010, compared with a mere 2% in 2009, while South Africa's economy might grow faster than initial predictions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday. Speaking at the Johannesburg Media Club breakfast, IMF African... 

Green energy sector could create 300 000 jobs – Patel 

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th May 2010 South Africa's green economy role players must move with speed, as there were many other countries competing to get a slice of the global green economy, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. The green economy played a key role in South Africa's shift to a "new growth... 

Eskom at ‘severe' regulatory risk from climate change – study 

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2010 South Africa's State-owned power utility Eskom, which produces about one-half of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, is at "severe regulatory risk", nationally and internationally, from climate change, a newly released study asserts. The 105-page report, entitled ‘Climate Change: Risks and... 

KZN earmarks R11,09-billion capex

By: Henry Lazenby     14th May 2010 The treasury of KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN’s) provincial government has set aside a total of R11,09-billion for capital expenditure for infrastructure development in the 2010/11 financial year, 49% being earmarked for maintenance. 

Budget deals with challenges in eThekwini

By: Henry Lazenby     14th May 2010 The eThekwini municipality’s Council reportedly welcomed the 2010/11 draft budget totalling R26-billion, in March. 

Logistics company builds R1m training centre

By: Jacqueline Holman     14th May 2010 Logistics company Cargo Carriers has spent over R1-million on opening a training centre at its Sasolburg branch, which is expected to see about 17 students a year go through two training processes. 

Reunert's Pretorius opposes intervention to weaken the rand

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2010 The nearly 30% appreciation in the value of the rand against the US dollar in 2009, exacted a toll on JSE-listed Reunert during the six months to March 31, 2010. But the head of the company, which manufactures electrical, electronics and defence equipment, is not convinced by the arguments of... 

Sasol distances itself from calls for intervention to weaken rand

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol reiterated on Tuesday an earlier statement made by its CEO Pat Davies in March that it did not believe it would be wise for the South African authorities to intervene to influence the level of the rand. The company, which has described itself as... 

Nzimande wants workplaces to be sites of training

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande appealed to business on Tuesday to provide artisans and learners with access to their facilities to gain "structured workplace experience", the lack of which he described as the main constraint to meeting South Africa's skills development... 

Planning commission should not pander to govt – Zuma

By: Sapa     11th May 2010 The National Planning Commission should not pander to government or be afraid to challenge it, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. "At times you may want to face Cabinet and tell them off," Zuma said during the official appointment of the 26 commissioners at the Union Buildings.  

Manufacturing lobby teams up with labour to call for weaker rand  

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2010 A powerful, albeit beleaguered, section of South African business has teamed up with three of the countries largest trade unions in a bid to force government to intervene to weaken the buoyant South Africa currency, which rose 30% against US dollar in 2009 and has held on to many of those gains... 

Ramaphosa unveils black-owned business directory 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th May 2010 A new directory of 100% black-owned South African businesses, dubbed the ‘Black Pages', was unveiled on Friday by Shanduka Group executive chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa. The publication was an initiative undertaken by Shanduka Black Umbrellas, an incubation and mentoring initiative for black-owned... 

Growing appetite for project financing of SA infrastructure

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The pipeline of South African infrastructure projects that could be funded through project finance-type mechanisms has grown to unprecedented levels, Nedbank Capital’s head of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications Mike Peo argues. He tells Engineering News that Nedbank Capital alone,... 

SA studies Brazil’s model for leveraging industry through procurement

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2010 The decision by the Brazilian government to set a 65% to 75% local-content condition on companies seeking to secure concessional funding from the country’s influential development bank, BNDES, has been key to boosting manufacturing investment and industrial production in the South American... 

Jobs to come first as SA mulls its low-carbon options - government 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2010 There were some congruencies, but also some obvious tensions in attempting to transition South Africa to a "low-carbon, high-growth" path, the acting head of The Presidency's National Planning Commission secretariat, Kuben Naidoo, cautioned Thursday. Speaking at a seminar in Johannesburg,... 

Competition body raids cable firms suspected of collusion

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission confirmed on Thursday that it had raided the premises of four Gauteng electric-cable manufacturers, which it suspected of engaging in price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering. The search-and-seizure operation followed a complaint initiated by... 

Business confidence continues on recovery path

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th May 2010 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) business confidence index (BCI) continued its steady recovery in April, rising by one point month-on-month to 84,2 points. April’s figure was 2,8 points higher than in April 2009, with the BCI recording only its second year-on-year... 

SA unemployment rate back above 25% 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th May 2010 South Africa’s unemployment rate rose by 0,9 percentage points quarter-on-quarter to 25,2%, or 4,31-million people, in the first quarter of this year, and while this could, in part, be ascribed to seasonal impacts, seasonality could not entirely be blamed for the job losses, Statistics South... 

April PMI drops, but still above neutral point – Kagiso

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd May 2010 The Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell by 0,4 points month-on-month to 55,2 points in April, staying in line with the long-term average of the PMI of 52,3 points. While this figure was slightly lower than the 55,6 points recorded in March and a high of 60,4 points recorded in February,... 

Public works programme could ‘easily’ exceed jobs target – Doidge

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd May 2010 The second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP II) had seen the creation of just under 604 000 work opportunities in the first year of the programme’s implementation, Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge said on Monday. At a media briefing in Cape Town, he noted that this exceeded... 

Business seeks outcomes-based engagement on SA energy crisis

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2010 South African business' official energy champion, Jayendra Naidoo, said at the weekend that he is prioritising the creation of an outcomes-oriented partnership with government that could, among other issues, provide impetus to a plan to deliver 5 000-MW worth of short-term power relief for the... 

Spearheading the use of wireless sensors

By: Eleanor Seggie     30th April 2010 Global building efficiency company Johnson Controls is spearheading the use of wireless sensors, to ensure that sensors are easier and faster to install and more reliable. 

Equipment supplier joins forces with college 
to help ease skills crisis

By: Jonathan Faurie     30th April 2010 In an attempt to ease the effects of the current skills crisis, capital equipment supplier Toolquip & Allied has joined forces with a private further education and training (FET) college Ikhaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy (Ifta) to provide a training academy for aspiring artisans. 

CPI slows as expected, rates on hold

By: Reuters     28th April 2010 South Africa's consumer inflation rate slowed as expected to a near four-year low of 5,1% in March, data showed on Wednesday, confirming price pressures are easing in Africa's biggest economy. Statistics South Africa said CPI braked from 5,7% year-on-year in February, when the gauge returned to... 

SA mulls Brazilian development finance model for IDC 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2010 The South African government has confirmed that it is considering ways to secure a regular flow of external funding into the State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to enable it to provide more favourable funding terms for investments into the country’s beleaguered manufacturing... 

Sub-Saharan Africa unlikely to halve poverty by 2015

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd April 2010 While the developing world as a whole was still on track to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving extreme income poverty from its 1990 level of 42% by 2015, sub-Saharan African countries would likely fall short of reaching this goal, the World Bank and the International... 

Inflation targeting cannot be blamed for massive job losses – Marcus   

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd April 2010 South Africa will continue to implement inflation targeting and the policy could not be blamed for the 900 000 jobs that were lost during the recession South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Gill Marcus said on Thursday. She said that the number of jobs lost in South Africa during the... 

Courses aim to enhance skills, improve industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd April 2010 The South African hydraulics and pneumatics industry will always have room for improvement as technology advances, increasing the need for skills in maintenance and advanced engineering, says Garnett Cross Hydraulic Courses president, Garnett Cross. 

University takes on the skills challenge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd April 2010 Industries, such as pneumatics and hydraulics, have experienced a significant slump, owing to the global recession, but there appears to be an upswing in the economy and the sentiment is that companies are willing to invest in automation, says Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)... 

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