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Macro and Micro News

Busa welcomes Budget, commits to playing a role in country’s economic transformation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Thursday welcomed the prioritisation of education and social spending, as well as the reforms in public procurement outlined by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget speech on Wednesday. Busa believes these measures will generate improved efficiencies... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Poultry meat imported into South Africa during 2016 displaced around 1.5-million tonnes of broiler feed, worth an estimated R8.2-billion or the equivalent of 15 medium-sized feed mills, which could have been locally manufactured, Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA) said... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

Manufacturing sector to benefit from nuclear new build programme – Lesedi

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Government and the broader public should realise that nuclear is “the right way to go” to meet South Africa’s future energy needs, says Lesedi Nuclear Services CEO Francis Carruthers, adding that the nuclear new build programme will hold significant downstream benefits in terms of local... 

South Africa's govt drawdowns rising, pose risks to fiscal position – Moody's

By: Reuters     23rd February 2017 Moody's has warned that South African government drawdowns are rising and represent increasing risks to its fiscal position, a day after Treasury targeted the wealthy with tax hikes in a bid to rein in the budget deficit. Zuzana Brixiova, a lead analyst for South Africa, said the budget aimed to... 

South Africa's govt drawdowns rising, pose risks to fiscal position – Moody's

Brian Molefe sworn in as ANC MP

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has been sworn in as African National Congress member of Parliament. Two sources from Parliament confirmed to News24 that the swearing in took place in the Speaker's office on Thursday morning. 

Brian Molefe sworn in as ANC MP
Photo by Duane Daws
ANC MP Brian Molefe

Continued support for renewables IPPs an economic boost – Sarec 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the confirmation by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that the continuation of South Africa’s independent power producer (IPP) programme was imperative, given the need to boost investment in the short term. In a statement following... 

Seifsa welcomes R95m steel development fund

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s R95-million allocation towards the establishment of a Steel Development Fund in the 2017 National Budget. The fund will be controlled by the Industrial Development... 

Electrifying rural areas offers opportunity for skills development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd February 2017 African governments’ growing implementation of minigrids to electrify rural areas creates the opportunity for innovation and skills development to operate these grids, Emergent Energy renewable-energy consultant Adele Boadzo says. In a panel discussion on skills development in the energy sector... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more  

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more than anticipated in 2016, National Treasury revealed in its 2017 Budget Review on Wednesday. Even as Eskom’s financial performance improved in 2015/16 as a result of a 12.7% tariff hike and a revenue increase by R10.5-billion to R161-billion, it... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 As the National Treasury allocates a further R5-billion to support financially-strapped students, new ways are being examined to develop a clear roadmap to mitigate the magnitude of the student funding challenge faced by young South Africans. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said... 

Higher education secures a further R5bn in funding

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax 

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 South African consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks are set to feel the impact of the proposed sugar tax later this year as the relevant legislation is finalised for Parliamentary approval. The National Treasury on Wednesday confirmed a proposed tax rate of 2.1c/g of sugar content in excess of 4... 

Government to proceed with the introduction of a sugar tax

Revised Carbon Tax Bill to be tabled by mid-2017

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 The National Treasury on Wednesday said it expects to provide further clarity on the Carbon Tax after Parliament considers the proposed environmental tax on the emission of carbon dioxide, and its date of implementation, this year. A revised Carbon Tax Bill, which has been in the pipeline for a... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding fee collection for the much-contested e-tolling of certain Gauteng freeways by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury believes investor confidence in the agency has returned following the conclusion of two successful... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 A growing economy makes more rapid transformation possible, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan argued in a 2017 Budget address set against the backdrop of sluggish economic performance, ongoing rumours about his dismissal and President Jacob Zuma’s call for “radical socioeconomic transformation”.... 

Gordhan weaves growth into radical economic transformation vision
Photo by Reuters
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top personal income bracket of 45% for taxable incomes above R1.5-million in his 2017 Budget address as part of tax proposals designed to raise the additional R28-billion required to sustain the fiscal consolidation framework promised in previous... 

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance

Aveng to seek shareholder backing for sale of Grinaker-LTA stake to Kutana in March  

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2017 Construction and engineering group Aveng will seek shareholder approval before the end of March for the sale of a 51% beneficial interest in Aveng Grinaker-LTA to Kutana Construction, a black economic empowerment company. Aveng has also decided to include Aveng Water in the transaction, along... 

Aveng to seek shareholder backing for sale of Grinaker-LTA stake to Kutana in March
Aveng CEO Kobus Verster in conversation with Terence Creamer on group's performance and outlook, as well as the impending sale of 51% of Grinaker-LTA to Kutana. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.2.17

Gordhan sees difficult political year for ruling ANC

By: Reuters     21st February 2017 South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday he sees a "difficult political year" for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) but that he saw "green shoots" of growth in an economy that is barely growing. The ANC has a major policy conference at the end of June and late this... 

Competition Commission settles with Citi over currency rigging

By: Reuters     20th February 2017 South Africa's Competition Commission has reached an agreement with Citibank for its role in a forex trading cartel, the antitrust watchdog said on Monday. The commission said in a statement Citi would pay a fine of R69.5-million rand ($5-million), less than the 10% of South African annual... 

DAFF nears end of drought relief funding programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Monday said delivery and distribution of feed, which forms part of its R212-million drought relief programme, is almost complete in the provinces, excluding Gauteng, that were declared as drought disaster regions. The department last... 

Rolfes posts strong interim results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 Chemicals group Rolfes on Monday reported a R37-million increase in operating profit to R97-million for the six months to December 31, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation also increased by 58% to R103-million. The strong performance came on the back of its... 

Index points to manufacturing investment recovery despite ‘fragile’ economy

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2017 The Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker, a quarterly index that tracks investment trends in the manufacturing sector, fell to 58 points in the fourth quarter of 2016 from above 70 points in the prior quarter. Nevertheless, chairman André de Ruyter said the index was still suggestive of an... 

Index points to manufacturing investment recovery despite ‘fragile’ economy
Photo by Duane Daws
André de Ruyter

NSFAS to fund over 400 000 students for 2017

By: News24Wire      20th February 2017 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has approved over 400 000 applications for funding for the 2017 academic year. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana said they had approved a total of 309 788 students for universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), but... 

NSFAS to fund over 400 000 students for 2017

Fedusa 'dismayed' at Molefe's MP nomination

By: News24Wire      20th February 2017 The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has joined in the public outcry over the appointment of former Eskom Chief Brian Molefe to Parliament. In statement released on Sunday, the union said it was "dismayed’" that Molefe, who was linked to the controversial Gupta family in former... 

Fedusa 'dismayed' at Molefe's MP nomination
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom Chief Brian Molefe

Zuma sends Expropriation Bill back to Parliament

By: African News Agency      17th February 2017 President Jacob Zuma has sent the Expropriation Bill back to the National Assembly for review, some 10 months after Members of Parliament approved it, his office said on Friday. Zuma confirmed last week in his state of the nation address that he would send the bill back to Parliament to allow for... 

Zuma sends Expropriation Bill back to Parliament
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

DTI promises fast-tracked support for downstream steel industry

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) insists that measures to support the downstream steel industry in South Africa are a priority for government and are being fast-tracked. In a statement outlining the various interventions undertaken since 2015 to support a primary steel sector wracked by... 

DTI promises fast-tracked support for downstream steel industry

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 0.5% this year and by 1.2% in 2018, according to data from economic analysis and forecast provider FocusEconomics. Financial institution Barclays’ latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released earlier this month indicates that the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

South Africa to learn from Germany’s experience in roll-out of fuel cell buses

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the German government will host a fuel cell bus workshop at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre, in Bellville, Cape Town, next week. The workshop will be held under the theme ‘Fuel Cell Bus – Unleashing Industrial... 

Standard Bank appoints new vehicle and asset finance head

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2017 Standard Bank has appointed Simphiwe Nghona as its Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) head, effective March 1. He will also join the bank’s Personal and Business Banking (PBB) group executive committee. Having worked most recently as CEO of WesBank’s motor division, Nghona brings 18 years of... 

Basa calls for collusion case against banks to run its course

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2017 The Banking Association South Africa (Basa) on Thursday implored the public to not make harsh comments or brash decisions following the Competition Commission’s decision to refer a case of alleged collusion against 17 banks to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. The commission on Wednesday... 

Commission asks tribunal to fine banks over alleged collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 The Competition Commission on Wednesday referred a case of collusion against a number of international banks for alleged price fixing to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. This follows an investigation into a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency... 

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2017 South Africa will be “resolute” in using tariffs to defend domestic industry and support industrial development, particularly in light of moves towards greater protectionism in other countries, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said in his contribution to the State of the Nation debate on... 

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

M&R warns of lower FY earnings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 Owing to persistently low commodity and energy prices, which significantly impacted on its oil and gas platform, JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) expects to report a decline in operational earnings for the 2017 financial year. The company on Wednesday said its earnings would further be impacted... 

KPMG hopeful of bold steps in Budget 2017

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th February 2017 As the 2017 Budget draws near, there is growing anticipation that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is possibly facing his toughest Budget yet, will take some bold steps to direct the country’s economy along a  sustainable path. Speaking at a pre-Budget roundtable on Tuesday, professional... 

NEF merges with IDC to advance development of black industrialists 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in a move designed to better meet the considerable demand for funding by black entrepreneurs. The two entities were identified by government as central in implementing radical... 

NEF merges with IDC to advance development of black industrialists

South Africa remains on junk ‘knife-edge’ as ANC succession takes centre stage  

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2017 South Africa will remain on a downgrade “knife-edge” in 2017, Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim warns, despite the bank’s view that the country’s growth will recover to 1.4% from only 0.4% last year. Both Fitch Ratings and S&P Global currently have South African on ‘negative watch’,... 

South Africa remains on junk ‘knife-edge’ as ANC succession takes centre stage
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim on how Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan may adjust tax policy to sustain consolidation path, while limiting negative growth impacts. Camera Work: Duane Daws. Editing: Lionel da Silva. 14.2.2017

Rand hits 15-month best against dollar

By: Reuters     14th February 2017 South Africa's rand raced to its firmest in more than 15 months against the dollar on Tuesday, helped by improved risk appetite and jobs data suggesting the economy is improving. Stocks were weaker, with the main bourse dragged lower by miner Kumba Iron Ore after the company said it was still not... 

PwC expects Treasury to increase income tax, raises possibility of VAT hike

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th February 2017 South Africans must prepare to tighten their belts, as the National Treasury is likely to increase taxes to raise the additional R28-billion it needs; but, it might not be enough, advisory firm PwC said on Tuesday. Noting that the struggling economy has created a lower base off which the tax... 

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