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Macro and Micro News

Eskom, NamPower sign five-year supply deal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     Updated 2 hours 12 minutes ago Eskom on Thursday signed a five-year firm electricity sales agreement with Namibia’s national electricity utility NamPower, providing energy security to the neighbouring country and facilitating economic development and growth. Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko noted at the signing, held alongside... 

Higher Education Minister extends skills strategy to reach goals

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     Updated 2 hours 27 minutes ago Four years after its 2013 conference, the National Skills Authority is still implementing recommendations aimed at improving the mandate it is tasked with, enhancing national skills development, including the systemic study of the implementation of the third National Skills Development Strategy,... 

Higher Education Minister extends skills strategy to reach goals
Photo by Duane Daws
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande

Agriculture department prefers 'measured approach' to poultry industry crisis

By: African News Agency      23rd March 2017 The department of agriculture preferred a more measured approach to dealing with the crisis in the South African poultry industry as opposed to the “trade war” with the European Union proposed by the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), MPs were told on Wednesday. “As a department our view that... 

Eskom announces executive committee changes

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Power provider Eskom has seconded group capital executive Abram Masango to the office of the group CE, to further strengthen the implementation of Eskom’s corporate plan. Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko said the move was part of the company’s design-to-cost five-year strategic corporate plan,... 

Seifsa welcomes easing inflation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed the easing in consumer price inflation to 6.3% in February, down from 6.6% in January. Contributors to easing inflation included food and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as household contents and... 

Outa threatens DWS with court over water issues 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Seventy-one per cent of wastewater treatment facilities in South Africa are noncompliant and discharge more than four-billion litres of toxic wastewater into South Africa’s water resources every day, an investigation by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has revealed. The organisation on... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 The Energy Intensive User Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) believes there is policy, legislative and regulatory space to introduce new electricity pricing arrangements to help restart of idle mining and process-industry activities, as well as encourage new investments to absorb Eskom’s surplus,... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

Current account deficit narrows to near 6-year low; inflation slows

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 South Africa's current account deficit narrowed more than expected in the fourth quarter of last year to its lowest in nearly six years, helped by a surge in mining exports after a rise in global commodity prices, the central bank said on Wednesday. The rand extended gains against the dollar in... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2017 The South African government has officially launched a new investment facilitation service, dubbed InvestSA, which it claims will dramatically reduce red tape for foreign and domestic businesses seeking to pursue greenfield or brownfield projects in the country. The service, which has both... 

 South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies (centre), with Lionel October (left) and Yunus Hoosen at the launch of the InvestSA one-stop shop in Pretoria

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 To further support its investment in the extension and reinforcement of its power transmission grid, State-owned Eskom has signed a R6-billion multi-tranche framework agreement with the French Agency for Development (AFD). “This multi-tranche loan facility will contribute towards Eskom plans to... 

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal

Cova Advisory partners with UK business to broaden horizons

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 South African investment consultancy Cova Advisory is partnering with European business performance consultant Ayming’s UK office to expand its global footprint. “Cova services our clients in South Africa, and Ayming services [clients in] the UK, European and North American markets. The objective... 

Rand hits near 19-month high as Fed signals gradual tightening

By: Reuters     16th March 2017 South Africa's rand hovered near a 19-month high against the dollar early on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, but signalled a gradual pace of rate hikes for the rest of the year. At 0646 GMT, the rand traded at 12.8125 per dollar, flat from its New York... 

Business Leadership South Africa disputes proposed customs functions transfer

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Wednesday said it opposes the proposed transfer of the South African Revenue Services’ (Sars’) customs functions to a new border management agency, which is what the Border Management Agency Bill, currently before Parliament, proposes. “Sars must remain... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko

Air Liquide opposes Evraz Highveld court proceedings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Embattled Evraz Highveld Steel’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have instituted court proceedings against Air Liquide in the High Court seeking to cancel certain obligations under a supply agreement between the two companies. The application also seeks declaratory relief from Air Liquide’s... 

4AX to hold first listing in April

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Although the Financial Services Board has agreed to South African stock exchange, 4 Africa Exchange (4AX), becoming operational and ready for trade at the end of February, the bourse will only see its first listing in April. “Given all the holidays that are coming up and the fact that we cannot... 

4AX to hold first listing in April

Jonas unpacks vision for ‘radically’ changed South African economy  

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2017 The existing structure of the South African economy is not yielding the growth and employment returns required and a “new consensus” on the necessary trade-offs for igniting inclusive growth is, therefore, urgently required, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas argues. Speaking at the Gordon... 

Jonas unpacks vision for ‘radically’ changed South African economy
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas

S&P Global sees higher use of guarantees by Eskom as ratings ‘pressure point’

By: Terence Creamer     14th March 2017 S&P Global warns that contingent liabilities associated with guarantees to State-owned companies (SoCs) such as Eskom have emerged as a “pressure point” for South Africa’s sovereign rating, which the agency currently has at one notch above junk, but with a negative outlook. The negative outlook... 

S&P Global sees higher use of guarantees by Eskom as ratings ‘pressure point’

Growth, policy and politics remain concern to South Africa rating – S&P's

By: Reuters     14th March 2017 S&P's Global Ratings reiterated its concerns on Tuesday about weak economic growth, political tensions and policy reform in South Africa, which faces the prospect of downgrades to its sovereign credit ratings which would raise the cost of borrowing. "If we see a lot increasing political tensions,... 

Low dam levels, high number of fires a challenge for the Western Cape

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 The Western Cape government on Monday renewed its call for citizens to reduce their water consumption, as the average level of the province’s dams now stood at 28.4%. Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Anton Bredell said the continued drop in... 

Low dam levels, high number of fires a challenge for the Western Cape

Trade between South Africa, UK to remain unaffected by Brexit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies met with UK Trade Policy State Minister Lord Mark Price on the sidelines of the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, last week, and reiterated that there will be no interruption in the trade between South Africa and the UK as a result of the... 

Molewa publishes draft coastal waters discharge permit regulations for public input

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, on March 10, published the draft coastal waters discharge permit regulations in the Government Gazette for public comment. The regulations seek to provide an administrative framework to implement Section 69 of the National Environmental Management:... 

ANC proposes tax on unused land to force owners to sell to the State

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) has proposed more taxes for unused land to force owners to sell their land to the State in an attempt to fast-track its failed land redistribution programme. Head of Economic Transformation Enoch Godongwana said the party was looking at a raft of taxes for... 

ANC proposes tax on unused land to force owners to sell to the State

ANC wants Presidency to have more powers to allocate State resources

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 The frican National Congress (ANC) has proposed that the Presidency be strengthened to become a "strategic centre of power" in government, driving resource allocation within the state. This is one of the key proposals in the governing party’s policy document on legislature and governance released... 

ANC wants Presidency to have more powers to allocate State resources
Minister in The Presidency Jeff Radebe

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th March 2017 Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production is expected to increase significantly over the next two years, as the company recovers from the adverse conditions, including drought, in the past two years. Based on good rainfall, the agriculture and agroprocessing business’s South African division is expected... 

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

Sars to lay complaint with JSC against Judge Dennis Davis

By: African News Agency      10th March 2017 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Friday accused Judge Dennis Davis of “unashamedly” misleading the public by claiming that the revenue services was at a risk of imploding. This comes after Davis, chairperson of the Davis Tax Committee, addressed a conference on tax evasion and illicit... 

Metal casting technology station provides added value for industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 As a means to add value to the casting industry in South Africa, the Metal Casting Technology Station (MCTS) – located at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) – provides technical services such as testing, failure analyses, research and development (R&D) work in laboratories, as well as product... 

Metal casting technology  station provides added value for industry
Former MCTS station manager and MCC Core Committee member Farouk Varachia and current MCTS station manager Kulani Mageza discuss the skills gap and current technologies in industry. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Outgoing Barloworld CEO on surviving tough times and the group’s prospects 

By: David Oliveira     10th March 2017 JSE-listed Barloworld announced the appointment of new CEO Dominic Sewela, who replaced the outgoing Clive Thomson last month. Thomson was appointed in December 2006 and managed the South African industrial giant during some of the most challenging economic periods in recent history. 

Outgoing Barloworld CEO on surviving tough times  and the group’s prospects
Outgoing Barloworld CEO Clive Thomson discusses his tenure at the helm of the South African industrial conglomerate. Camerawork:Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Impact of Africa on South Africa’s economic performance ‘underestimated’ – IMF 

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2017 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently the main destination for South African exports and its influence on the economic performance of South Africa is being “underestimated by many commentators”, International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior resident representative in South Africa Dr Montfort Mlachila... 

Impact of Africa on South Africa’s economic performance ‘underestimated’ – IMF

Government says corruption hotline yielding results

By: African News Agency      9th March 2017 A total of 3 600 government officials were found guilty of misconduct through information received through the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH), resulting in the recovery of more than R400-million from guilty parties between 1 September 2004 and 31 January 2017, a statement from the... 

Aspen posts good interim results, despite headwinds

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2017 Pharmaceutical company Aspen expects to report an overall stronger underlying performance in the second half of the current financial year, after a tough six months to December 31. During the six months under review, normalised headline earnings a share increased by 6% to 692c. 

Trevor Manuel appointed Old Mutual Emerging Markets chair

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2017 Financial services provider Old Mutual has appointed former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel as Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) chairperson, as Old Mutual group CEO Bruce Hemphill will step down from the position, but remain on the OMEM board. Manuel will oversee the establishment of the... 

Trevor Manuel appointed Old Mutual Emerging Markets chair
Photo by Duane Daws
Trevor Manuel

Murray & Roberts appoints new FD

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2017 Murray & Roberts (M&R) has appointed Daniël Grobler as its new group FD, effective April 1, to succeed retiring Cobus Bester who was in the position for six years. A chartered accountant, Grobler has been employed in various financial and leadership functions within the group since 2010. Most... 

Murray & Roberts appoints new FD
Daniël Grobler new group FD

One month left for public to comment on OHASA regulations

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th March 2017 Companies that employ people in high-risk areas and the public in general, have one month left to comment on the draft ergonomic regulations set to be promulgated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHASA). In January, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant gazetted her intention to introduce... 

There will be no Brexit ‘cliff edge’ in UK-SA relations

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2017 Outgoing British High Commissioner to South Africa Dame Judith Macgregor says there will be no “cliff edge” in the trade and investment relationship between the UK and South Africa when Britain leaves the European Union (EU), arguing that there is even potential to strengthen the relationship... 

There will be no Brexit ‘cliff edge’ in UK-SA relations
Photo by Duane Daws
Dame Judith Macgregor

Ascendis notes growth through acquisitions, will remain acquisitive

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th March 2017 Health and care brands group Ascendis Health increased its revenue by 66% to R3.1-billion in the half year to December 31, as the business significantly increased international sales following two major acquisitions in Europe. This included the acquisitions of Cyprus-based pharmaceutical... 

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