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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

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... 

Leadership is key to social cohesion

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2012 ‘Leadership’ is the undoubted word of the moment. During the first five months of 2012, reams have been written about the what many perceive to be at the heart of many of the world’s current problems: a desperate lack of leadership. In Europe, the lamentations have taken on democratic momentum,... 

Tough Call

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2012 Eskom CE Brian Dames is making certain that he does not repeat the mistakes of his predecessors, who were accused of failing to kick up enough of a fuss when it became clear that South Africa was running out of generation capacity. Last week, he criticised the Department of Energy for a lack of... 

Uphill battle

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2012 As if one were needed, South Africans were given another reminder recently about the poor state of health of its manufacturing sector. Despite warnings that the output improvements of January and February might not be sustainable, it nevertheless came as something of a shock to learn that... 

Mend the Cracks

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2012 Who would be Koos Smit, the man selected acting CE at the embattled South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), following the ill-timed, yet understandable, resignation of Nazir Alli. Indeed, who would have liked to be Alli! There is no question that Smit, like Alli, is more than... 

Low-hanging fruit

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2012 Speaking at the recent United National Conference on Trade and Development Conference in Doha, Qatar, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies again emphasised the need to promote “development integration” across Africa by combining market integration with programmes for... 

Still vulnerable

By: Terence Creamer     4th May 2012 A section on global food markets contained within a special commodity markets feature in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) latest ‘World Economic Outlook’, published in April, caught my eye. The report notes that food prices declined during the second half of 2011, broadly in tandem with... 

Tender Rethink

By: Terence Creamer     27th April 2012 It is becoming increasingly clear that a number of additional changes are likely to be introduced to the way in which the public sector undertakes procurement. Already the regulations associated with the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, or PPPFA, have been amended to align the... 

Fuel for thought

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2012 Without question, one of the more maddening energy challenges currently confronting South African policymakers relates to the best timing for the introduction of new oil-refining capacity. In a recent address, Minister in the Presidency Responsible for the National Planning Commission Trevor... 

Third Pillar?

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2012 The somewhat lukewarm reception to the latest version of Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) is possibly unsurprising given that it is near impossible to add much radically new to a rolling plan dealing with industries and projects that take years, if not decades, to evolve. However, to dismiss... 

Shift the focus

By: Terence Creamer     6th April 2012 Besides the immediate period ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, much of the emphasis in the power sector in recent years has been on the surging prices rather than on the supply-side threats. This focus was only natural in the context of a lower-than-expected recovery in demand following the... 

Strong link

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2012 One of the more interesting linkages highlighted in the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s (Unido’s) latest biennial Industrial Development Report, is the strong association between energy efficiency and firm-level competitiveness. The 240-page report offers its usual global... 

Little consensus

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2012 It has been interesting to note some of the strongly contrasting opinions that have emerged this month over the future of nuclear energy – views expressed to coincide with the anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and which precipitated the worst... 

Shifting equation

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2012 Nobody the world over would argue with the notion that energy and politics are inextricably linked. Whether it's the issue of foreign oil and the role it plays in the US and in shaping its military interventions globally. The massive growth of coal-fired power generation in China in the context... 

Beneficiation benefits

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2012 South Africa, at long last, is moving beyond the chaotic mine nationalisation debate and is beginning instead to concentrate on how the country’s still substantial unexploited mineral resources should be turned to full socioeconomic account. The African National Congress’ ‘State Intervention in... 

Procurement promise

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2012 The dichotomy between South Africa’s healthier-than-expected government finances and its less-than-healthy growth outlook was the undoubted macro theme of Budget 2012. There was no sign of the much-feared ‘fiscal slippage’, with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan revising the country’s Budget... 

Vital vision

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2012 An anecdote shared recently by well-known international economist Danny Leipziger on the importance of having an economic vision and pursuing growth-supporting infrastructure development as part of the vision is instructive for South Africa. More so, I would argue, following President Jacob... 

‘The fierce urgency of now’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2012 What can government do to improve the outlook for growth and job creation in light of some serious external and domestic economic headwinds? Standard Bank’s chief economist Goolam Ballim has provided one quite helpful answer to this question: raise public sector investment to levels where South... 

New rules

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2012 It is interesting to note that Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) has made an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for engineering consulting services to be given ‘designated’ status under government’s preferential procurement rules. Under newly introduced regulations,... 

Good news, but . . .

By: Terence Creamer     3rd February 2012 Amid the prevailing economic gloom and doom, it came as welcome relief to learn that South Africa’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose 269% in 2011 – climbing to $4.5-billion last year from a revised 2010 figure of $1.2-billion. The South African recovery was underpinned by the... 

Make a Call!

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2012 As with every other Gauteng motorist, I am certainly not enamoured with the idea of having to pay toll fees. But as a citizen of South Africa I am even more troubled by the lack of leadership being shown on the e-tolling issue by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and his Deputy, Jeremy Cronin.... 

Entirely Avoidable

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2012 Given the amount of reputational damage done to South Africa as a result of the Sishen mineral rights dispute, Judge Raymond Zondo’s assessment that the “matter could have been handled better by all parties involved”, was arguably the understatement of 2011. In his 56-page judgement, released in... 

Prepare for the worst and innovate

By: Terence Creamer     16th December 2011 As we bid farewell to 2011, which seemed to pass at a more unseemly pace than usual, many of us will be looking towards the start of 2012 with a sense of unease. The macroeconomic and political outlook in many territories appears grave, if not depressing. At this stage, few would be arguing,... 

Public Paralysis

By: Terence Creamer     9th December 2011 The maddening gap between the South African government’s words and aspirations on infrastructure development and actual implementation persists. For years now, Ministers have been hammering on about the importance of addressing South Africa’s economic and social infrastructure backlogs in... 

The state we're in

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2011 The World Bank has lowered its baseline growth forecasts for South Africa for 2011, from 3.5%, in July, to 3.2%, and has warned that the downside risks to the country’s growth outlook for 2012 and 2013 have also increased. The revision was published in late November as part of the bank’s second... 

Thinking Green 

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2011 As maddening as it may be for those who believe the current emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions is misplaced (particularly in the context of South Africa’s massive poverty, unemployment and inequality problems), there is no question that South Africa is embracing green thinking. As host of... 

Potable progress

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2011 It was encouraging to see Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa recent reply to a Parliamentary question relating to the approach being taken by government to the appointment of Masupha Sole as a technical adviser to the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC). The appointment... 

Fresh Capital

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2011 It has emerged that South Africa is interrogating the possibility of establishing ‘special funding vehicles’ to channel private sector resources into programmes designed to revitalise and expand the country’s railway network, as well as other public infrastructure. 

Right Balance

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made a few crucial points regarding infrastructure delivery and the payment thereof in his recent address to Parliament. 

Landscape Thinking

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2011 The Department of Environmental Affairs has reportedly initiated a study of the “goods and values” derived from South Africa’s ecosystems and rich biodiversity to correct for the current depreciation of this natural capital in the country’s national accounts. These services range from the... 

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