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Economy News

Nene extends deadline for VAT panel to submit report to him

By: African News Agency      1st August 2018 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has extended the deadline for a panel of experts appointed to review the current list of items exempt from value-added tax (VAT) to submit its final report to him, the National Treasury said on Tuesday. "The Chair of the Independent Panel of Experts for the review... 

Trade surplus jumps to R12bn in June

By: Reuters     31st July 2018 South Africa's trade surplus widened to R12-billion ($917-million) in June from a revised R3.84-billion surplus in May, data from the revenue agency showed on Tuesday. Exports rose by 7.1% on a month-on-month basis to R110-billion in June, while imports dipped 0.9% to R98-billion, the South... 

IDC open to ‘all options’ for turning around Foskor as impairments surge  

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2018 The State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) reported a sharp rise in impairments during its 2018 financial year, which surged 178% to R2.7-billion, from R954-million in 2017. Impairments as a percentage of total financing also increased to R4.9-billion (R2.1-billion), or 17.4%, only... 

IDC open to ‘all options’ for turning around Foskor as impairments surge
IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini and CEO Geoffrey Qhena discuss the rise in impairments in the 2018 financial year, while IDC chairperson Busisiwe Mabuza outlines the need for policy certainty. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Q2 unemployment rate rises to 27.2%

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2018 The official unemployment rate increased to 27.2% during the second quarter, compared with 26.7% in the first quarter. This translates to 6.1-milllion unemployed people in South Africa. There are 37.8-million people that are of working age (between 15 and 64 years) in South Africa, of which... 

Q2 unemployment rate rises to 27.2%

South Africa's economic growth faces risks from public debt, State firm bailouts – IMF

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 The International Monetary Fund on Monday kept South Africa's economic growth forecast for 2018 unchanged at 1.5% but warned that the economy faced several headwinds, mainly the rapid rise in public debt and potential bailouts to state firms. "The IMF's concerns on fiscal policy relates to the... 

South Africa's economic growth faces risks from public debt, State firm bailouts – IMF

Petrol price to rise 1c/ℓ in August

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2018 The petrol price will increase by 1c/ℓ on August 1, while the diesel price will decrease by 4c/ℓ, the Central Energy Fund (CEF) has revealed. Illuminating paraffin will increase by 4c/ℓ and liquefied petroleum gas by 17c/kg. 

Petrol price to rise 1c/ℓ in August

Thulani Mavuso appointed as acting Home Affairs DG

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th July 2018 Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has appointed Thulani Mavuso acting director-general (DG) of the department, effective August 1. Mavuso will succeed outgoing DG Mkuseli Apleni.  

Eskom faces risk of loadshedding as coal delivery disruption hits power stations

By: African News Agency      30th July 2018 Eskom has reported that coal delivery at some of its power stations was disrupted due to a workers' protest in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving the South African power utility at risk of yet more load-shedding.  Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe tweeted that coal trucking at Majuba and... 

Eskom faces risk of loadshedding as coal delivery disruption hits power stations

Bombela sets Gautrain contingency plan in motion as strike goes ahead

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2018 Wage negotiations between Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and trade union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) have reached a deadlock and, owing to this, UNTU-affiliated workers have embarked on a “no work, no pay” strike from Monday. BOC offered an 8.5% increase in... 

Bombela sets Gautrain contingency plan in motion as strike goes ahead

State capture inquiry to start on August 20

By: News24Wire      27th July 2018 Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of State Capture will officially begin on August 20. Zondo made the announcement at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Friday. Earlier this week, Zondo welcomed a decision by the North... 

SARB does not see Q2 economic contraction

By: Reuters     27th July 2018 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Friday he does not expect economic growth to contract in the second quarter, after a 2.2% contraction in the first quarter of this year. Africa's most industrialised economy grew by 3.1% in the final quarter of 2017, but... 

SARB does not see Q2 economic contraction
Photo by Reuters
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago

UNTU, Bombela to continue weekend talks to avoid planned Gautrain strike

By: Simone Liedtke     27th July 2018 Following the meeting held on Thursday between Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and trade union, the United National Transport Union, negotiations to find a settlement in the current wage dispute have resumed on Friday and will continue over the course of the weekend. If no... 

UNTU, Bombela to continue weekend talks to avoid planned Gautrain strike

Strong growth in smaller airliner segment predicted by Brazilian aerospace group

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s top two regional jet manufacturers, has forecast a global demand for 10 550 new airliners with capacities of 150 seats or less, over the next 20 years. This prediction was released at Farnborough in the UK on the day before the start of the... 

African countries are rapidly expanding their use of UAVs, but South Africa lags

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 The number of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs/unmanned aerial systems (UASes) in Africa was increasing rapidly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) principal aeronautical engineer John Monk told the aviation session of the recent Southern African Transport... 

Brics leaders commit to strengthen multilateral trading system amid ‘unprecedented challenges’

By: Terence Creamer     26th July 2018 Heads of State from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa highlighted the benefits of multilateralism and cooperation for unlocking economic growth and development during the tenth Brics Summit, which took place in Johannesburg on Thursday. In the open session chaired by South Africa’s... 

Brics leaders commit to strengthen multilateral trading system amid ‘unprecedented challenges’
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian PM Narendra Modi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Michel Temer and Russian President Vladimir Putin

PPC launches new, extended product range despite economic headwinds

By: Simone Liedtke     26th July 2018 PPC Cement South Africa on Thursday launched its fit-for-purpose ‘Sure’ product range, with each of the six products in the range carefully designed for a specific application. Dubbing it the company’s “most significant rebranding and refocusing in over 100 years,” PPC Cement South Africa MD... 

PPC launches new, extended product range despite economic headwinds

Private equity investment more than doubles in Southern Africa – Savca

By: Anine Kilian     26th July 2018 The Southern African private equity industry invested R31.3-billion in 2017, which represents an increase of 102% on the R15.5-billion invested in the previous year and well above the yearly average of R14.7-billion a year invested over the preceding ten years. Further, South Africa’s private... 

Workers win against labour brokers  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2018 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Thursday welcomed the Constitutional Court judgment which strengthened the rights of temporary workers. The amendment to Section 198A(3)(b) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) was under scrutiny in this case relating to whether this... 

Workers win against labour brokers

Xi Jinping, Ramaphosa say Brics should uphold multilateralism, reject trade war

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2018 The Presidents of China and South Africa, Xi Jinping and Cyril Ramaphosa, offered an unequivocal rebuke of US President Donald Trump’s trade war on Wednesday and called on the Brics countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to act to uphold multilateralism and defend the... 

Xi Jinping, Ramaphosa say Brics should uphold multilateralism, reject trade war
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa

Eskom’s financial position 

25th July 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom’s latest financial results, the utility’s need to raise more debt and what can be expected from Eskom in terms of the publication of a new long-term corporate plan. 

Eskom’s financial position
Eskom’s financial position

Development agenda key to achieving African vision

By: Simone Liedtke     25th July 2018 Africa’s biggest challenge, according to Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACC) CEO Johnny Muteba, is the continent’s lack of an agenda that is solely focussed on its development. Instead of focusing on sustainable development agendas, such as the 2063 Agenda, he suggested during a pre-Africa... 

Enabling environment needed for private sector to contribute to Africa’s development

By: Simone Liedtke     25th July 2018 To attract the financing needed to meet Africa’s investment needs, the public sector must create an enabling environment for the private sector to play its role, African Development Bank (AfDB) Southern African deputy director general Josephine Ngure says. Speaking at a pre-African Investment... 

Nene announces independent inquiry into PIC's affairs

By: African News Agency      25th July 2018 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene met with the board of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Wednesday and informed them of an independent inquiry into the affairs of the institution which manages pension funds on behalf of South African government employees, a statement from Treasury said.... 

Nene announces independent inquiry into PIC's affairs
Photo by Creamer Media
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene

South Africa 'collateral damage' in US-led global trading war – Davies

By: African News Agency      25th July 2018 South Africa has become "collateral damage" in the trading war involving mainly the United States, China, Canada and the European Union, with tariffs imports on its steel exports, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Wednesday. Global tensions have flared up as other countries hit... 

South Africa 'collateral damage' in US-led global trading war – Davies

HSRC to investigate role of services in boosting growth within Southern Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th July 2018 The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has been awarded a grant by the United Nations University (UNU) to investigate the catalytic role of tradable services in Southern Africa’s growth and development. The study will be led by Professor Ivan Turok and Dr Justin Visagie, and will look at how... 

Strong demand forecast for pilots, technicians and cabin crew in Africa and globally

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th July 2018 Africa will need 29 000 pilots over the next 20 years, US aerospace group Boeing has forecast. The continent will also need 28 000 technicians and 29 000 cabin crew. These predictions were made in the group’s 2018 “Pilot & Technician Outlook”, released on Tuesday. The report divides the world... 

Strong demand forecast for pilots, technicians and cabin crew in Africa and globally
Photo by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt/GNU
A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner of Ethiopian Airlines

Baseline study aims to start debate on the state of SMEs in South Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2018 The Small Business Institute (SBI) on Tuesday warned that the National Development Plan’s (NDP's) goal of having small businesses create 90% of jobs by 2030 may be unachievable unless small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are better understood. Early research shows that, while 98.5% of... 

Eskom leaders hint at need for independent system operator 

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2018 South Africa’s cash-strapped electricity utility Eskom is considering far-reaching changes to its business model as part of an in-depth review, being undertaken ahead of the finalisation of a new corporate plan. Chairperson Jabu Mabuza already flagged this week that the new corporate plan, which... 

Eskom leaders hint at need for independent system operator
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

IIoT-enabled businesses expected to boost revenues by 10% by 2023

By: Schalk Burger     24th July 2018 Companies across the global supply chain expect the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to increase their yearly revenues by 10% within five years, a global study by mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat, released on Tuesday, showed. IIoT is the application of networked sensors, which... 

Standard Bank, UnionPay partnership eases Chinese card payments

By: Schalk Burger     24th July 2018 Chinese card payment services provider UnionPay International and financial services firm Standard Bank have agreed to accelerate access to UnionPay’s cards across key markets in Africa, the companies said in a statement on Monday. The move will bring increased convenience to Chinese people... 

Solidarity unhappy with AMSA's wage offer

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2018 Trade union Solidarity has called ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) proposed wage offer for this year “nothing but a slap in the face of hard-working employees”. The union on Tuesday said AMSA had proposed an increase of 6.5% in its contribution to employees’ medical aids. 

SAA in talks with other airlines to strengthen its business

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2018 Troubled State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) has reported that it is in talks with other airlines on renewing or creating new commercial partnerships. SAA stressed, in its statement, that these discussions were only about “commercial agreements such as interline,... 

SAA in talks with other airlines to strengthen its business
Photo by Stock image
An SAA Airbus A340-300 at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport

Gautrain employees to embark on a strike from July 30

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2018 Gautrain employees who are members of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) will embark on a protected strike from July 30. The majority of UNTU members working for the Gautrain voted in favour of a strike at an UNTU mass meeting held in Midrand, on Monday. 

Gautrain employees to embark on a strike from July 30

LEIP MoU signed, 101 669 potential jobs created

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd July 2018 Up to 101 669 jobs could be created during the first five years of construction of the Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park (LEIP), which Eco-Industrial Solutions (EIS) CEO Deshika Kathawaroo on Monday said would “fundamentally change” the Limpopo province’s contribution to South Africa’s strategic... 

LEIP MoU signed, 101 669 potential jobs created
Photo by Simone Liedtke
(Left) Limpopo Economic Development Agency group CEO Ben Mphahlele and (right) Eco-Industrial Solutions CEO Deshika Kathawaroo (right) at the signing ceremony on Monday

Eskom confident of raising R72bn despite qualified audit  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd July 2018 Financially stressed electricity producer Eskom expressed confidence on Monday that it would be able raise the R72-billion it required for the 2019 financial year, despite having received a qualified audit opinion for the 2018 financial year, reporting a R2.3-billion loss and nearly 20-billion in... 

Eskom confident of raising R72bn despite qualified audit
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza explains why IPPs do not pose a financial risk to the utility. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 23.07.2018

China–South Africa investment continues to grow

By: Anine Kilian     23rd July 2018 Trade and investment between China and South Africa remains on a positive growth trajectory, Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala said on Monday. Addressing delegates at a media briefing marking the tenth anniversary of the strategic partnership between Standard Bank and the Industrial and Commercial... 

Brics nations must do away with restrictive barriers to trade

By: African News Agency      23rd July 2018 The Brics nations should look at innovative ways to remove barriers to trade, including decreasing barriers to new technology growth, while also considering a Brics visa card. This is according to Elena Myakotnikova of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, who delivered a presentation on a "road... 

Brics nations must do away with restrictive barriers to trade

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