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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

Medupi Malaise

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2013 All South Africans should be concerned about the developments at the Medupi power station project site. For one, South Africa cannot afford first production to be delayed much beyond the current December schedule, notwithstanding a subdued demand growth outlook. As a diligent tracker of Eskom’s... 

Food for thought

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2013 It is worth pausing to digest some of the findings of a recent report released by the World Bank, entitled ‘Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness’. In summary, the document argues that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could become key catalysts for ending poverty and that... 

Cold Comfort

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2013 During his recent visit to South Africa, World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu offered some light-hearted insight into how cultural realities and experiences continued to play a significant role, despite the fact that the world is more interconnected than it has ever been. On returning to... 

Relief, but some anxiety

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2013 There was widespread relief last week when the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) bared its teeth and announced that Eskom would only be allowed to increase electricity tariffs at an average yearly rate of 8% between 2013 and 2018 – an increase that was half the 16% sought by the... 

First priority

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2013 It is correct that priority attention, both inside and outside of government, is being paid to the implementation of chapter 13 of the 15-chapter, 484-page National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. Entitled ‘Building a capable and developmental State’, the section focuses on the development of a... 

Corruption Fight-Back

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2013 It was pleasing to learn that Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) is establishing an initial R1-million anticorruption “war chest”, which its plans to dip into to take legal action against municipalities and private companies that it suspects of having acted illegally in the award, or... 

Power(ful) Tales

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2013 Over the past few weeks, leading South African companies have gone to great lengths to offer practical case studies into just how damaging South Africa’s recent power price rises have already been, while warning that further double-digit increases could be catastrophic. JSE-listed steel producer... 

Cold Spot

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2013 The International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) January World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update once again makes it sorely apparent that South Africa is simply not keeping pace with the rest of Africa when it comes to growth. The IMF has lowered its 2013 growth forecast for the country to 2.8%, having... 

Wrong forum, right questions

By: Terence Creamer     1st February 2013 As has become the norm with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) public hearings into Eskom prices, policy rather than regulatory considerations tend to dominate proceedings. Very few presenters actually address matters over which Nersa has any direct authority. 

Weather Warnings

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2013 News concerning extreme weather events flowed in torrents during 2012 and the tide is unlikely to abate in 2013, with Australia’s bush-fire-generating heat wave, the worst winter storm in two decades in Syria and confirmation that 2012 was the hottest year ever for the US. But it was Hurricane... 

Good economics, effective politics

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2013 The influence that a country’s political climate has on its economic performance, and visa versa, is an ever-changing dynamic. At times, an economy is able to ride out domestic political tensions. In other instances, the politics of the moment can have a disproportionately strong influence on a... 

Signs of Life?

By: Terence Creamer     14th December 2012 Two significant announcements made last week have the optimists among us wondering whether there are signs that South Africa’s infrastructure promises are, finally, becoming tangible. Firstly, the State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) confirmed that the Gibela Rail... 

Obama and Africa

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2012 US President Barack Obama has been criticised for having had too little engagement with Africa during his first term. Arguably because of his African heritage, there was much excitement when he was first elected in 2008. However, many Africans have felt let down and left out and the celebrations... 

A bold resetting of SA’s values and direction

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2012 Writing about the challenges confronting the new Chinese leadership in a recent opinion-editorial, Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics and professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, made a number of observations that are arguably as relevant to South... 

Thirsty resource 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2012 The assessment that the US could emerge as the world’s largest oil producer before 2020 and even transition to full self-sufficiency by 2035 was the undoubted highlight of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘World Energy Outlook 2012’ report, released last week. The world’s largest economy... 

Resources rethink

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2012 Much has been said and written over the past few months about the need for a major revision in relations between government, business and labour in South Africa’s economically vital mining industry. The need for soul-searching and an overhaul in relations became plain after the tragic events that... 

Private promise? 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2012 Not for the first time, Transnet chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi has stressed a desire for greater private sector participation in the group’s R300-billion market demand strategy, and beyond. He reported last week that board had mandated the executive to deliberate on ways to “optimise” the Transnet... 

Worrying Slide

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2012 South Africa’s current account deficit widened sharply over the past year and is expected to average 5.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, up from 3.3% in 2011. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan indicated that, over the medium term to 2015/16, the... 

New template, new tension? 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2012 There is little question that most South Africans have grown intolerant of black economic–empowerment (BEE) transactions that enrich a few “usual suspects” but do little to transform the still highly racially skewed business environment. South African Communist Party general–secretary Blade... 

Poverty rate a worry despite Africa’s middle-income transition

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2012 As many as 38 of sub-Saharan Africa's 48 countries could be regarded as ‘middle income’ by 2025, but World Bank chief economist for Africa Shantayanan Devarajan has warned that such an advancement would not necessarily translate into a reduction in poverty. Currently, 21 countries, collectively... 

Working as a team an ‘economic necessity’

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2012 In the context of South Africa’s prevailing industrial relations tensions, views expressed by leading US labour personality Andy Stern, who visited South Africa earlier this month, are worth airing and contemplating. Stern is the former president of the 2.2-million member Service Employees... 

A developmental State is a capable State 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2012 A couple of sentences in the recently released National Development Plan 2030 are worth pondering. A plan, the document reads, is only as credible as its delivery mechanism is viable. There is a real risk, it continues, that South Africa’s developmental agenda could fail because the State is... 

Obvious questions, no obvious answers

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2012 In the post-Marikana era, new questions are being asked about inequality, with a particular spotlight being thrown on to the issue of executive remuneration and the size of the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees within a company. It’s not a new theme and it is most definitely not... 

Reflection & Action

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2012 The tragic events at Marikana, in the North West province, have cast a long shadow across South Africa and it is incumbent upon government, business, labour and civil society to use the period of darkness for genuine soul searching and reflection. But there is also a need for the social partners... 

Jobs for Africa?

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2012 The research arm of international consulting group McKinsey & Company believes that Africa has the potential to create 72-million wage-paying jobs by 2020, primarily in agriculture, manufacturing, and retail and hospitality. To achieve such an acceleration, though, countries would need to address... 

Building champions

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2012 The image of corporate South African has taken a beating since the tragic events of Marikana. Equally, South Africa’s reputation as a beacon of hope and a potential investment destination, or gateway to Africa, has been knocked. Without question, South African companies, together with government... 

Use the plan 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2012 Ongoing service delivery protests, the Limpopo textbook saga and, far more graphically, the Marikana tragedy all serve to highlight the social distance that has emerged between South Africa’s poor and the governing political elite, as well as society’s business elite. It even appears that a... 

Reviewing relations

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2012 Given the current emphasis on fostering greater regional and African integration, it was interesting to note the call made in the ‘National Development Plan 2030’ for the urgent convening a “high-level, high-impact task team” to investigate South Africa's foreign relations. The 480-page-plus... 

Game changers?

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2012 It was interesting to learn recently that the Department of Public Enterprises is moving to collect and disseminate ‘best practices’ relating to the management of the complex procurement and implementation processes associated with mega-projects being pursued by the State-owned companies such as... 

Facing headwinds

By: Terence Creamer     10th August 2012 Africa’s 2012 economic growth outlook is facing headwinds from a range of sources, not least the current crisis in Europe, African Development Bank (AfDB) chief economist Professor Mthuli Ncube has warned. The bank currently expects continent-wide growth of 4.5% in 2012, underpinned by a... 

Reindustrialisation Recipe?

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2012 Few would disagree with Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies when he expresses the view that no developed economy has achieved its status without first going through a process of industrialisation. "We have taken a view that manufacturing is fundamental and integral to our economic growth.... 

Beyond leadership

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2012 The clamour for leadership in South Africa has become so loud as to be deafening. For that reason, I sat up and paid serious attention when Professor James Robinson – the Harvard academic who co-authored the acclaimed book ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty’ with... 

Maximum benefit

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2012 Much attention has been paid over the past few months to South Africa’s aspiration for greater value addition, or beneficiation, of its minerals ahead of export. However, there appears to be a growing realisation that greater developmental benefits could, in fact, flow from the exploitation of... 

Vital conversation

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2012 The importance of the mining industry to South Africa’s economic expansion cannot be disputed. There are also few who would discount the assessment that the country still houses a resources treasure trove worth trillions if it were to be extracted, processed and sold. There is less consensus,... 

Radical Shift?

By: Terence Creamer     6th July 2012 African National Congress (ANC) delegates to last week’s policy conference favoured the theme ‘radical shift’ to frame the their policy prescriptions for dealing with South Africa’s ‘triple challenge’ of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Deliberations focused on ways to foster a transition... 

Worse than it looks?

By: Terence Creamer     29th June 2012 Cambridge University faculty of economics professor Gabriel Palma offered a somewhat depressing reality check regarding the state of the South African economy during the inaugural ‘Economic Policy Dialogue’, which took place at the University of Witwatersrand Business School last week under the... 

Constructing Advantages

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2012 During the period immediately following South Africa’s democratic elections of 1994, the country’s competitive advantage was obvious for all to see: cheap and abundant electricity. This advantage had arisen primarily as a result of a material overinvestment by Eskom during the preceding decade,... 

The intriguing silence of business on user-pay principle

By: Terence Creamer     15th June 2012 It is interesting that business, which has expressed genuine concern about the dominant role being played by government and State-owned companies in the R845-billion infrastructure roll-out, has not joined government in vociferously defending the user-pay principle. Finance Minister Pravin... 

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