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Macro and Micro News

Cameron promises practical support for Cape-to-Cairo trade bloc vision 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron has committed his government to providing practical support to the new African tripartite free trade area (T-FTA), which, once concluded, could span from Cape to Cairo and include 27 countries, should Africa’s newest country, South Sudan, decide to join one of... 

Busa sets up transformation task team following BMF walkout 

By: Sapa     15th July 2011 Business Unity SA (Busa) will set up a task team on transformation after the Black Management Forum (BMF) quit the lobby group over its lack of a black voice. "... a task team would be constituted to consider the Busa structure, capacitation of black organisations, participation of smaller... 

Urgent interventions needed to rebuild collapsing manufacturing confidence  

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2011 Manufacturing sector confidence deteriorated in the first quarter of 2011 despite a strong recovery in production, a survey of 18 CEOs representing South African enterprises with revenues of between R300-million and R10-billion shows. These business leaders also warned on Friday that, unless... 

Report expects agricultural commodity prices to remain firm until 2020

By: Eleanor Seggie     15th July 2011 Agricultural commodity prices are likely to remain at a higher level during the next ten years, compared with the previous decade, states the Agricultural Outlook for 2011-2020 report.  

Economic freedom: from slogans to analysis

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2011 In a recent presentation on the latest ‘African Economic Outlook’ report, African Development Bank chief economist Professor Mthuli Ncube displayed a slide showing what he believed provided the underlying rationale for the recent revolution in Tunisia, which in turn set in motion the so-called... 

Ramaphosa draws parallels between Constitution-making and Planning Commission   

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2011 National Planning Commission (NPC) deputy chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa has attempted to draw parallels between South Africa’s successful Constitution-making process, in which he was intimately involved, and the current process to draft a 2030 vision and implementation plan for the country.... 

Industry failures sow ‘terrible’ nationalisation seeds – Ramaphosa  

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2011 Businessman and National Planning Commission (NPC) deputy chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa laid much of the blame for the current “ferment” around mine nationalisation at the door of the industry, which he said had failed to live up to its transformation promises. Speaking at the Gordon Institute for... 

Commodities vulnerable to China’s efforts to cool economy – IHS

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2011 Commodity prices are likely to remain on an upward trajectory for the foreseeable future, underpinned by growing demand from China and emerging Asia. But international economic research group IHS Global Insight warns that price volatility will also increase, particularly as markets react to... 

Africa must sustain room for industrial-policy manoeuvre in all trade talks  

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2011 African countries should invest in trade-negotiating capacity to defend the policy space they will require to pursue industrialisation programmes that could support the expansion of competitive manufacturing industries, a new United Nations study argues. Policymakers should also apply their... 

Creating space for entrepreneurs a key African success theme – World Bank

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2011 A new World Bank report narrating 26 so-called African success stories highlights the catalytic role that some governments have played in stimulating these achievements by intervening in a manner designed to allow the private sector to flourish, rather than seeking to control the enterprise or... 

Engineering strike only the start in Cosatu's living wage push - president

By: Sapa     6th July 2011 The engineering sector strike was only the beginning of workers' fight for a living wage, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said on Wednesday. "All sectors ultimately will be affected," Dlamini said on the sidelines of the International Metalworkers' Federation regional conference in Newtown,... 

Conflicts, youth unemployment exact toll on Africa’s otherwise solid growth outlook  

By: Terence Creamer     5th July 2011 African countries have materially divergent economic outlooks for 2011, despite an overall lower gross domestic product (GDP) growth expectation for the continent of 3.7%, mainly as a result of political uprisings and conflicts in North Africa. The ‘Africa Economic Outlook 2011’ report shows... 

Business confidence ticks up but driving force ‘doubtful’

By: Mariaan Webb     5th July 2011 Business confidence improved slightly in June on the back of higher consumer spending, but the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) warned on Tuesday that the driving force behind the performance was “doubtful and fragile”, as the current household spending levels could not be... 

Conflicting nationalisation signals confusing investors, Sacci warns 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st July 2011 Conflicting policy signals about mine nationalisation are dampening investor enthusiasm, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) warned on Friday, appealing for leadership from the governing African National Congress (ANC). CEO Neren Rau said that judging from engagements with... 

€50m IFC investment to support SMEs, energy efficiency projects

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st July 2011 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has arranged €50-million financing to promote the small and medium-sized (SME) business sector in South Africa, IFC VP for sub-Saharan Africa Thierry Tanoh announced this week. The funding would allow Mercantile Bank to increase lending to smaller... 

Eskom warns it will pass on full carbon tax effect to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2011 South African power utility Eskom has warned that it will not be able to absorb the carbon tax proposed by the National Treasury in a recent discussion document, and that it will be forced to pass on the full cost to the consumer in the form of higher prices. The utility, which burnt... 

Molefe open, but vigilant, as Transnet weighs private partnerships   

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2011 Transnet CEO Brian Molefe has reiterated that the State freight logistics group is ready to enter into partnerships with the private sector on a case-by-case basis. But he also promises "vigilance" so that some of the "spectacular" deal reversals that have afflicted other such partnerships, in... 

Tariffs underpin Eskom’s profit surge, as demand growth remains modest  

By: Terence Creamer     27th June 2011 Steep tariff increases underpinned a R20-billion increase in Eskom’s revenue to R91.4-billion during its financial year to March 31, 2011, with sales growing at a lower-than-expected rate of 2.7% during the period, to 224 446 GWh – the State utility had been anticipating growth of 4.2% as South... 

Targeted efforts have yielded FDI pipeline worth R115bn - Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2011 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies says that a three-year investment pipeline worth R115-billion has arisen as a result of government’s targeted efforts to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) from China, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, the UK, the US and the... 

Big business warns on investment costs of nationalisation debate 

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2011 Mine nationalisation was not only a “bad idea”, but big business in South African argued on Tuesday that the manner in which debate was currently being conducted was eroding policy certainty, business confidence and resulting in a deferment of investment not only in the mining sector, but across... 

Gigaba regrets ‘premature’ announcement of Eskom, Denel board changes

By: Terence Creamer     10th June 2011 Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba expressed regret on Friday over the fact he had not been able to inform incumbent board members at Eskom and Denel of Cabinet-approved changes to the composition of those governance structures, owing to the “premature publication” of the decision. The... 

SA’s resource-intensive economic trajectory unsustainable – NPC 

By: Terence Creamer     9th June 2011 Balancing the potential benefits from further development of South Africa’s mineral and agricultural endowments with a less resource- and energy-intensive development path has been highlighted as a key future challenge for future deliberations by the nascent National Planning Commission (NPC).... 

Local content integrated into SA's new preferential procurement rules

By: Terence Creamer     9th June 2011 South Africa’s National Treasury released revised preferential procurement regulations on Thursday, opening the way for the designation of sectors from which government departments and State-owned enterprises (SoEs) should buy only locally produced goods, services and works. The Department of... 

World Bank confirms SA recovery, but growth lagging the region

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2011 The World Bank expects South Africa’s growth rate to recover to 3.5% in 2011, on the back of continued consumer spending and a recovery in private investment spending, which contracted sharply during the recent period of global economic crisis. However, its June 2011 ‘Global Economic Prospects’... 

Integration virtues punted as officials mull Cape-to-Cairo free trade bloc 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2011 South Africa can no longer expect its economy to prosper over the long term, unless the region is taken more seriously, two South African economic Ministers have asserted ahead of a major trilateral summit that could precipitate the development of a free trade arrangement covering the eastern... 

Absence of regional production network stymies Southern African competitiveness

By: Terence Creamer     2nd June 2011 Southern Africa is not only lagging the rest of the world in its intraregional trade levels, which remain below 10%, but regional intra-industry trade in parts and components is also all but absent, lowering prospects for competitiveness-bolstering manufacturing synergies. A new Word Bank study,... 

State firms to spend R105bn this year, but new capital needed to accelerate delivery

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2011 Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated government’s intention to supplement the limited balance sheets of the country’s infrastructure-focused State-owned enterprises (SoEs) in partnering with large mining, industrial and financial services companies. South Africa’s power... 

Tighter tender rules issued in bid to combat fraud, boost transparency 

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2011 The National Treasury has taken new steps to improve the transparency of government procurement and tender processes through the issuance of an ‘instruction note’ to government accounting officers, which it says is designed to “combat fraud” and “improve accountability”. The directive arises... 

NGP’s macro package cannot be left on backburner forever – Davies

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2011 The macroeconomic package associated with South Africa’s New Growth Path (NGP), including a proposal to improve the competitiveness and stability of the rand, cannot be left on the backburner forever, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has argued. The social partners are currently... 

Patel calls for improvement to SA’s labour market stats  

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2011 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has called on researchers and academics to help government improve South Africa’s labour market statistics, which he believes remain distorted by the flawed information gathering processes of apartheid and possibly also by the increased deployment of... 

Put ideology aside to find jobs, growth solutions - Motlanthe  

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2011 Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe called on South Africa's social partners on Monday to set aside differences in interests and ideology to find solutions to the country's unemployment crisis and to support the stimulation of a "dynamic” and “inclusive" economy. South Africa has one of the... 

High wage increases put brakes on employment growth  

By: Loni Prinsloo     27th May 2011 South Africa was set for gross domestic product (GDP) growth of above 4% for the next three years, but the growth story did not support the necessary employment expansion, a senior economist said on Friday. Bureau for Economic Research (BER) economist Hugo Pienaar said that economic growth was... 

WTO warns on export restrictions, as G20 protectionism rises

By: Terence Creamer     24th May 2011 The number of restrictive trade measures taken by G20 economies increased over the past six months, a new monitoring report for the period from October 2010 to April 2011 has highlighted. New restrictions on imports introduced by the economies over the review period covered around 0,6% of total... 

Business says consensus being built around NGP goals

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2011 Organised business revealed on Wednesday that South Africa’s social partners were moving ahead with talks designed to secure sufficient consensus on ways to begin implementing government’s New Growth Path (NGP), which aims to raise growth levels and create five-million jobs by 2020. Addressing... 

Farming and mining have big jobs potential, says Gordhan

By: Sapa     3rd May 2011 Agriculture and mining have the potential of creating many jobs, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Durban on Monday. "We believe that the mining and agriculture sectors have a potential of creating jobs,” he said during a poorly attended May Day rally at Durban's King's Park Stadium,... 

SARB's leading business-cycle indicator rises

By: Reuters     28th April 2011 The South African Reserve Bank's composite leading business cycle indicator increased by 1% in February compared with the previous month, the bank said on Thursday. "The largest positive contribution to the movement in the leading indicator came from the Bureau of Economic Research's business... 

City of Joburg poured R31bn into capital projects in last five years – outgoing mayor

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd April 2011 The City of Johannesburg executive mayor councillor Amos Masondo has released his End of Term Report (2006 – 2011), entitled ‘Sharing the Legacy’ revealing the progress of the municipality during this period. 

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