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Latest News

Metals summit likely to have a job focus

By: Terence Creamer     10th March 2003 The long-awaited metals-sector summit is likely to take place in the second half of this year, with preparations beginning to pick up pace following some initial delays. 

Kenya plans to privatise power utility

10th March 2003 Kenya's Energy Minister said last week he would lay off hundreds of staff at the loss-making utility Kenya Power and Lighting (KPLC) to reduce tariffs, and privatise the firm within two years. 

Private equity fund for ‘missing middle’ launched

10th March 2003 A recent Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) survey of the venture capital market in South Africa, shows that although micro-finance is widely available in South Africa, very few financiers service the SME segment, which typically requires financing in the R100 000 to R5-million range. 

Gem miner builds R4,2m sports complex

10th March 2003 The first sod has been turned to mark the construction of a R4,2-million indoor sports centre at Cullinan, just north of Pretoria. 

WTO could admit Algeria in early 2004

10th March 2003 Algeria may be able to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the first half of 2004 as it has requested, a top WTO official said Saturday according to news reports. 

SFF recovers $2,9m from irregular contract

10th March 2003 The Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) has successfully recovered US2,9-million paid to a company in terms of an "irregular" contract for the sale of the SFF's strategic stock, Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Monday. 

Peer review praises SA’s competition authorities

By: Martin Czernowalow     7th March 2003 South Africa’s competition authorities were found to be ‘notably competent and serious’ during an evaluation by a global peer review panel, a conference, hosted by the Competition Commission and Competition Tribunal in Johannesburg, heard yesterday. 

SA business confidence declines slightly in Feb – Sacob

By: Martin Czernowalow     7th March 2003 The South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) said yesterday its business confidence index (BCI) for February was lower than in January, dropping from 105,7 to 105,2. 

SAA raises $260m for Airbus deal

7th March 2003 State-owned South African Airways (SAA) said yesterday it had raised $260-million from financial institutions to fund the acquisition of three of the 41 new Airbus aircraft ordered last year. 

Quantity surveyors criticise engineering firms

7th March 2003 Engineering firms compiling bills of quantities for public service contracts have been rapped over the knuckles by Des Linder, president of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), for undertaking work they were not trained or qualified to perform. 

Telkom to minimise lay-offs

7th March 2003 South Africa has no plans to cut 10 000 jobs at Telkom soon, a senior official said yesterday, responding to reports the phone group would have to slash jobs to bring its ratios in line with global peers. 

Sasol expected to report strong results

7th March 2003 South African synthetic fuel producer Sasol is expected to post a small rise in half year earnings when it reports results next week, fuelled by a stronger crude oil price and a weaker rand. 

Tough year forecast by Aussie construction firm

7th March 2003 Australian-listed construction company and 63%-owned subsidiary of Aveng, McConnell Dowell Corporation, it expected a reduced level of activity going forward, mainly due to uncertain market and global conditions. 

DTI appoints new industry-development DDG

7th March 2003 The Department of Trade and Industry has announced the appointment of Mr Lionel October as Deputy Director-General of its Enterprise and Industry Development division (EID). 

Coke enlarges Ethiopian bottling plant

7th March 2003 The company that makes Coca-Cola bottles in Ethiopia has enlarged its plant, which will enable the US soft drink giant to triple production in the eastern African country, officials said Friday. 

End farm subsidies to help feed Africa – Annan

7th March 2003 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the world's wealthiest nations to stop subsidising their farmers as a first step toward dealing with famine in Africa. 

East Africa seeks energy-exploration investors

7th March 2003 The three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania said this week they would step up efforts to woo oil prospecting companies into the region to find oil so they can cut down on their import bill. 

Rand, Zim, RGA puncture tyre firm’s earnings

6th March 2003 South African tyre company Bridgestone, Firestone, Maxiprest Limited yesterday reported a sharp fall in headline earnings on the back of a strengthening rand, difficulties in Zimbabwe and a loss incurred at an associate company. 

New initiative to boost women in science

By: Martin Czernowalow     6th March 2003 In an effort to increase the participation of women in research and science-related careers, the South African Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Buyelwa Sonjica, this week launched the South African Reference Group on Women in Science and Technology (Sarg). 

Water crisis to deepen as supplies dry out – UN

6th March 2003 World water reserves are drying up fast and booming populations, pollution and global warming will combine to cut the average person's water supply by a third in the next 20 years, a United Nations report said yesterday. 

SA-Czech sign trade agreement

6th March 2003 South African Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Lindiwe Hendricks and her Czech Republic counterpart, Miroslav Somol, have signed a trade agreement to forge partnerships in trade-related issues. 

First environmental court to be launched in Hermanus today

6th March 2003 The South African Ministers of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Valli Moosa, and of Justice and Constitutional Development, Dr Penuall Maduna, are to officially open the country's first Environmental Court in Hermanus, in the Western Cape, today. 

Norwegian firm in Sao Tome oil deal

6th March 2003 Norway's Petroleum Geo-Services (PSG) has signed a revised offshore oil exploration pact with the African island nation of Sao Tome e Principe, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported. 

Zimbabwe unveils plan to revive economy

6th March 2003 The Zimbabwean government unveiled a new economic plan that it hoped would moderate a four-year recession that has mired the country's economy in its worst crisis in decades. 

Rand hits Grintek, but order book grows to R1,8bn

6th March 2003 The results of JSE Securities Exchange-listed Grintek for the six months to 31 December 2002 were hurt by appreciation in the value of the rand, the group reported yesterday. 

WTO chief sees gridlock in trade talks

6th March 2003 World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief Supachai Panitchpakdi warned the body's 145 member countries on Tuesday the year-old Doha Round of free trade talks was running into gridlock, reports Reuters. 

127 000 South Africans participate in Telkom IPO

By: Martin Czernowalow     5th March 2003 Shares in South Africa’s phone utility started trading at R29,10 yesterday morning, as dignitaries gathered at the JSE Securities Exchange to celebrate Telkom’s listing in Johannesburg, as well as on the New York Stock Exchange – the first listing of a State-owned enterprise in... 

Unions condemn possible job losses as Telkom lists

5th March 2003 Trade unions greeted the listing of Telkom yesterday with disquiet, amid reports of another round of large-scale jobs cuts at the fixed-line telephone operator. 

Eskom sees partial privatisation by 2006

5th March 2003 South Africa's Eskom Holdings said it would sell 30% of its generation capacity by 2006, contradicting earlier government announcements which put the time frame around 2003/04. 

SA oil sector worried about future profitability

5th March 2003 The South African oil industry earned operating profits of R5,687-billion in 2001, says the latest South African Petroleum Association (Sapia) report published yesterday. 

IST contract with Kuwait oil-company extended

5th March 2003 Pretoria-based asset management solutions provider MST, which was acquired by the IST Group in December 2002, has had its contract to assist the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) with the rollout of a new integrated asset management system initiative extended, to provide KNPC with data... 

War will force Kuwait to cut back oil output

5th March 2003 Kuwait said it would close as much as a third of its oil output if war erupts in Iraq, underlining concerns that more than just Iraqi supplies will be stopped during a conflict. 

Disappointing vehicle sales figures for Feb

5th March 2003 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said yesterday that new vehicle sales for February, 2003, had been disappointing, coming in at the lower end of industry expectations. 

KZN’s Budget rises to R32,8bn

5th March 2003 KwaZulu-Natal Premier Lionel Mtshali has announced that the province’s Budget will increase from R27,1-billion to R32,8-billion, this year. 

Southern Africa faces food crisis - US ambassador

5th March 2003 Southern Africa was facing an unprecedented humanitarian emergency and devastating food shortages, caused in large part by economic mismanagement and restrictions on commercial markets, American ambassador to South African Cameron Hume said on Wednesday. 

Quality leaves boost East African tea auction

5th March 2003 Superior leaf quality pushed up demand at the east African tea auction this week, but prices remained fairly stable, brokers said today. 

Van Vught appointed to Altron board

5th March 2003 Outgoing AECI CE Lex van Vught has been appointed non-executive director of engineering and electronics holding company Altron. 

Gauteng budgets R5bn for capex

By: Martin Czernowalow     4th March 2003 The Gauteng Provincial Government will today announce a Budget of more than R27-billion for the 2003/4 financial year, slightly higher than the R24-billion Budget for last year. 

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