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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Growth is a thirsty business

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2016 There are many issues currently confronting South Africa. However two of the biggest are, undoubtedly, the effects of the worst drought in decades and the country's weak growth performance. Both are deepening the so-called triple scourge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. A newly released... 

South Africa lags Africa’s other oil importers

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2016 While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects South Africa’s growth to halve to just 0.6% in 2016, growth in other oil-importing countries across sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain relatively resilient at 5.2%. The further anticipated slump in South Africa’s growth forecast is... 

Out of alignment 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2016 A preliminary analysis conducted by South Africa’s second National Planning Commission (NPC) of the current alignment between the country’s Budget and the National Development Plan (NDP) reportedly shows there to be only a 47% correlation. This is not all that surprising given the overwhelming... 

Under the microscope

By: Terence Creamer     29th April 2016 Much attention has been paid – appropriately so – to the circumstances that led to Optimum Coal Holdings becoming an asset of Tegeta Exploration and Resources; a company that is closely associated with the Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments. Glencore, the mine’s previous owner, placed the... 

Growth, diversification and Africa’s cities

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2016 Two recent reports leave little room for doubt about the importance of urbanisation across Africa, as well as the urgent need to improve the way cities are being planned and managed. The World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse publication notes that 472-million Africans already live in urban areas and... 

Ratings and politics

By: Terence Creamer     15th April 2016 Standard & Poor's (S&P’s) assessment of whether or not to downgrade the South Africa’s sovereign rating in the coming two months will centre on the country’s weak growth outlook as well as the its fiscal risks, including the possibility that government might need to step in to support State-owned... 

Growth problem 

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2016 The African Development Bank’s former chief economist Professor Mthuli Ncube is a close observer of the South African economic condition and he recently raised some serious questions about South Africa’s current monetary policy stance. Speaking at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg he... 

Critical ‘decoupling’

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2016 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions points to what it calls a “decoupling” of greenhouse-gas emissions from economic growth. The audit, which was released in March, shows that emissions remained flat in 2015, notwithstanding... 

Junk ‘breathing space’

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, following his return from an investor roadshow to the UK and the US, indicated that South Africa had been given “breathing space” until June to implement “concrete” actions that demonstrated its ability to both manage its fiscal constraints and improve its growth... 

‘New’ development bank

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2016 The New Development Bank (NDB), which is in the process of being established by the Brics bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is aspiring to begin approving its first batch of loans from next month. South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced during his Budget... 

Another hike. What next?

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2016 Besides the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa’s) decision to grant Eskom a partial clawback of revenue and cost variations arising during the first year of the third multiyear price determination (MYPD3), its decision to insist on an entirely new application is arguably just as... 

Prudence alone won’t cut it

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan stressed on Wednesday that tax hikes of R18-billion and expenditure cuts of R15-billion to restore fiscal credibility were but one element of improving the outlook for the South African economy. The other key element related to returning the economy to higher... 

Gridlocked

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2016 Much emphasis is rightly being given to Africa’s electricity generation backlogs, with the African Union estimating that a whopping 700 GW of new capacity will be required by 2040 to close the anticipated gap between demand and supply. However, for Africa to genuinely begin unlocking some of its... 

Uniting against junk

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2016 Staving off a downgrade to junk has emerged as the undisputed priority for government ahead of the 2016 Budget. There is, at last, an acute appreciation that the country’s serious loss of institutional credibility – following the calamitous events of December, together with a material slippage in... 

Avoiding junk

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2016 Avoiding South Africa’s downgrade to junk status is arguably the South Africa’s first priority for 2016. Achieving that goal, though, is going to be extremely difficult in a context of heightened uncertainty, a precarious fiscal balance and the rapid deterioration in South Africa’s growth... 

Bad news abounds

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2016 While South Africa has a relatively diversified economy, its mining industry remains an important source of export earnings and jobs. Therefore, the World Bank’s latest ‘Commodity Markets Outlook’ makes for sobering and uncomfortable reading. In the report, the bank lowers its 2016 price forecast... 

What is prudent?

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2016 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has the unenviable task of assessing the ‘prudency’ of Eskom’s application to recoup what it has calculated to be a R22.8-billion cost and revenue variance between its actual performance in 2013/14 and that allowed for in the first year of the... 

Can we change the SA narrative?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2016 So it’s going to be another difficult year economically and socially. Sadly, we have also started 2016 on the wrong foot. The rand has come under intense pressure, owing to a combination of internal (read political and policy) crosswinds and external headwinds. Some South Africans have also... 

Hopes versus expectations

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2016 As 2016 begins, a perceptibly large divide has emerged between hopes and expectations, with perceptions and forecasts about the coming 12 months having been shaped chiefly by South Africa’s dismal performance in 2015. On the political front, there was little to cheer about. In fact, some actions... 

A year of missed opportunities

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2015 On a number of fronts, 2015 has been a year of own goals and missed opportunities for South Africa. No economic own goal was more high profile than the visa debacle, where the road to tourism hell was paved by seemingly good child-protection intentions. Maddeningly, the misalignment between... 

Hikes & clawbacks 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2015 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has offered some fresh insight into the new approach it plans to adopt in its relentless efforts to migrate South Africa’s already steeply rising electricity tariffs towards what it calls cost reflectivity. The utility made a failed attempt for a partial... 

Going gas?

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2015 Despite the absence of the long awaited Gas Utilisation Master Plan, or Gump, South Africans are nevertheless starting to seriously weigh the future gas options, with a strategic environmental assessment for shale gas development under way and with strong interest having reportedly been recorded... 

Agoa storylines

By: Terence Creamer     20th November 2015 Two overarching narratives emerged in the wake of President Barack Obama’s announcement that South Africa’s agricultural exports would lose Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) eligibility from January 5, 2016, unless South Africa took urgent steps to resolve outstanding issues relating to... 

Lacking consciousness

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2015 Much has been said and written about former President Kgalama Motlanthe’s recent interview with the Business Day, in which he criticised the current African National Congress (ANC) leadership, warned about rising public debt and declared the Tripartite Alliance nonexistent. There is arguably... 

Unexploited potential?

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2015 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has listed South Africa among a group of sub-Saharan African countries with a “sizeable” unexploited tax potential, which could be drawn upon to strengthen its fiscal position. The other countries listed by the IMF in its October 2015 Regional Economic... 

Held hostage?

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2015 South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago argued forcefully last week that the current adverse global economic climate should not be used as an excuse for ignoring the ongoing domestic constraints to economic expansion. He acknowledged that Africa’s most advanced economy faced a... 

The future ain’t what it used to be

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2015 South Africans are arguably fairly accustomed to change as a result of the far-reaching political transformation and economic developments that have taken placed in this country over the past 21 years. In the business milieu, too, change has been constant: the mineral and energy complex remains... 

Tougher times ahead

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2015 Most South Africans have accepted that the country is on a low-growth trajectory, with few opportunities for a significant boost in the performance of the economy in the coming three years. However, this view has been forcefully reinforced by two new reports by the World Bank and the... 

Reality biting

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2015 Three international reports released over the past couple of weeks have a material bearing on the South African economy and are, thus, worth highlighting. First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a study that assessed the implications of the current weak outlook for commodity prices... 

Sharpen your arguments 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2015 The head of the African National Congress’ Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana has urged organised black business to sharpen its arguments with regard to how the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) could be made more supportive of economic transformation. Speaking... 

Is there a plan? 

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2015 There has been scant information flow out of South Africa’s electricity war room, which was set up in December to deal with the country’s power crisis. It was interesting, therefore, to hear a recent report back from Professor Anton Eberhard, who has access to the war room by virtue of his... 

Mending relations?

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2015 There is still a strong public perception of a trust deficit between government and business. But in recent weeks there seems to have been quiet, almost imperceptible, progress in mending relations between these two crucial social partners. Government’s charm offensive was on public display in... 

Time to persist

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2015 Despite the consistent message from government that manufacturing is a priority growth sector, the industry continues to struggle and there is also rising pessimism about whether South Africa can truly revive the fortunes of manufacturing. The August Barclays purchasing managers index fell 2.5... 

Prevent own goals

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2015 The unexpected 1.3% contraction of the South African economy in the second quarter of 2015 surely serves as a wake-up call to all the social partners, especially government, that efforts need to be intensified to deal with home-grown constraints to growth and investor confidence. Government,... 

Window still open, but . . .

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2015 Few would argue that South Africa has failed to take advantage, since 1994, of what should have been a demographic tailwind, as its working-age population grew at a far faster rate than those who should, theoretically, have been dependent on them. Over the period, 11-million people entered the... 

Red tape and trust

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2015 The Presidential Business Working Group, which took place in Pretoria earlier this month, agreed that steps should be taken to address regulatory impediments to economic growth and investment, including processes to deal with “unintended consequences” associated with South Africa’s new visa rules... 

Protection plea

By: Terence Creamer     14th August 2015 South Africa’s leading steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has made a strong case for increasing tariffs for an industry that is somewhat unique among its global peers in not enjoying import protection. Its argument, articulated forcefully by CEO Paul O’Flaherty, is that there is a... 

WATER SHEDDING

By: Darlene Creamer     7th August 2015 There are growing concerns about the state of South Africa’s water sector. There are already towns that are experiencing serious disruptions to water services, or where the quality of the water is not fit for human consumption. South Africa can simply ill afford to move for electricity... 

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