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Macro and Micro News

Affordability of energy must be prioritised – Radebe 

By: African News Agency      5th September 2018 South Africa's Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has urged the prioritisation of energy affordability in order to attract investment. During his keynote address at the Africa oil and power conference held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre he said it was imperative in order to create jobs. 

South Africa’s rating under threat as economy enters recession

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th September 2018 South Africa’s slide into a technical recession in the second quarter is a timely warning and reminder for the country to get its economy in order, failing which it will lose its only investment grade rating, says Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen. Moody’s Investors Service said in... 

South Africa’s rating under threat as economy enters recession

Standard Bank PMI falls to 29-month low in August

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th September 2018 Operating conditions in South Africa’s private sector economy deteriorated for the second straight month in August, as business activity and input purchasing decreased in line with an accelerated drop in new orders, says Standard Bank in its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for August.... 

Standard Bank PMI falls to 29-month low in August

R1bn 'lost' to cash-in-transit robbers in 8 years – Hawks

By: News24Wire      5th September 2018 More than R1-billion has been "lost" as a result of cash-in-transit robberies in the eight years between 2008 and 2016, according to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). The DPCI, or the Hawks as they are more commonly known, granted a Public Access to Information Application... 

At China-Africa summit, officials dismiss debt criticism

By: News24Wire      5th September 2018 Chinese and African officials have rejected criticism of Beijing's development projects on the continent as they ended a summit that included a $60-billion pledge for more aid to the continent. President Xi Jinping hosted leaders from across Africa  amid questions whether his country's Belt and... 

At China-Africa summit, officials dismiss debt criticism
Chinese President Xi Jinping

Metals, engineering collective agreement to be submitted for gazetting

By: Simone Liedtke     4th September 2018 Parties to the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) have voted in favour of the extension of the three-year agreement reached in the metals and engineering sector in 2017. Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) operations director Lucio... 

Serious questions being asked about decision to cap fuel price increase 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2018 Questions are being asked about Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s decision to approve an “urgent temporary fuel price intervention” leaving prices unchanged for September, apart from a 4.9c/l increase in the retail margin for petrol to accommodate wage increases for forecourt staff. Ahead of the... 

Serious questions being asked about decision to cap fuel price increase

Mantashe pleased with mining contribution to GDP

By: African News Agency      4th September 2018 The mining and quarrying sector contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) bode well for the sector and indicated a commodity boom may be imminent, Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, said on Tuesday. Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday that mining and quarrying industry... 

Mantashe pleased with mining contribution to GDP
Photo by Creamer Media
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe

South Africa in recession for first time since 2009; rand slumps

By: Reuters     4th September 2018 South Africa entered recession in the second quarter for the first time since 2009, data showed on Tuesday, in a stinging blow to President Cyril Ramaphosa's efforts to revive the economy after a decade of stagnation. Statistics South Africa said the economy contracted by 0.7% quarter-on-quarter,... 

South Africa in recession for first time since 2009; rand slumps

Fairvest maintains solid results for FY18

By: Simone Liedtke     4th September 2018 South African real estate investment trust Fairvest Property on Tuesday announced solid results for the year ended June 30, with annual distributions increasing by just over 9.9% to 20.15c a share. Fairvest continues to deliver sector-beating growth in distributions, while advancing the portfolio... 

South Africa in technical recession as second quarter GDP falls 

By: News24Wire      4th September 2018 South Africa has officially entered a technical recession, after Stats SA announced on Tuesday that the country's real gross domestic product (GDP) had decreased by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year. This follows a GDP contraction of 2.2% in the first quarter. A technical recession is two... 

South Africa in technical recession as second quarter GDP falls

Exclusion of new nuclear power capacity not deliberate – Radebe

By: African News Agency      4th September 2018 The decision to shelve plans to build new nuclear power plants was not based on principle but price and reduced electricity demand, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday.  "We have not deliberately left nuclear out but it is not in the plan due to lower demand and lower cost of other... 

 Exclusion of new nuclear power capacity not deliberate – Radebe
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

SABS gears up to restart partial testing in response to industry frustration

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2018 The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which was placed under administration by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies earlier this year, intends lifting its two-year moratorium on the partial testing of product conformance, also referred to as customer specific requirement testing. The... 

SABS gears up to restart partial testing in response to industry frustration
Photo by Creamer Media
SABS acting CEO Garth Strachan

Sasol launches contingency plan in light of Solidarity strike over share scheme

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2018 Petrochemicals company Sasol on Monday said it had activated contingency measures to minimise potential disruption to its operations, in light of trade union Solidarity’s plans to strike. Currently, parts of Sasol’s Secunda and Sasolburg operations are undergoing planned maintenance shutdowns,... 

Gordhan: Fuel prices will rock SOEs 

By: News24Wire      3rd September 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has told Parliament that most of the companies in his portfolio will be rocked by the latest fuel price hikes, with exposure to these hikes racking up millions in extra costs.  In a reply sent to Members of Parliament last week, Gordhan said an increase... 

 Gordhan: Fuel prices will rock SOEs
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

China not Africa's new colonial power – Ramaphosa 

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2018 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa used his address at the opening ceremony of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing on Monday to rebut claims that China was becoming Africa's new colonial power. "In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it operates and in the... 

 China not Africa's new colonial power – Ramaphosa
Chinese President Xi Jinping & President Cyril Ramaphosa

Bidvest lifts FY18 HEPS despite volatile market

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2018 JSE-listed services, trading and distribution company Bidvest on Monday declared a final dividend of 301c a share, bringing the total dividend for the financial year ended June 30 to 556c, amid a volatile market, which the company said was characterised by weak economic growth and consumer spend,... 

Absa PMI falls to 13-month low in August

By: Reuters     3rd September 2018 South Africa's seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a 13-month low in August driven by large declines in new sales and business activity, a survey showed on Monday. The index, which is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research and gauges manufacturing activity in... 

Absa PMI falls to 13-month low in August

China's Xi says no strings attached to funds for Africa

By: Reuters     3rd September 2018 Chinese funds are not for "vanity projects" in Africa but are to build infrastructure that can remove development bottlenecks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday, telling Chinese firms they also had to respect local people and the environment. Xi said at a business forum before the start... 

China's Xi says no strings attached to funds for Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa & Chinese President Xi Jinping

New tech, automation to change but also create jobs

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2018 New technologies, including advanced computing systems and the automation of various job activities, will change about 30% of activities in about 60% of occupations, and will require new skills across most industries, management consulting multinational McKinsey Global Institute global economic... 

NBF appoints acting CEO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2018 New Partnership for Africa’s Development Business Foundation (NBF) Africa infrastructure desk programme manager Peter Varndell will assume the role of acting CEO of the organisation, following Lynette Chen’s resignation in June. NBF rail project manager Kudzanayi Bangure has assumed the role of... 

South Africa's trade balance swings to deficit in July

By: Reuters     31st August 2018 South Africa's trade balance swung to a deficit of R4.66-billion ($317-million) in July from a revised R11.89-billion surplus in June, data from the revenue agency showed on Friday. Exports fell by 2.7% on a month-on-month basis to R107.07-billion in July, while imports increased by 13.8% to... 

Long-serving Qhena to step down as IDC CEO on Dec 31

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2018 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has started the search for a new CEO, following Geoffrey Qhena’s resignation. Qhena has agreed to stay on until December 31, to ensure a smooth transition.  

Long-serving Qhena to step down as IDC CEO on Dec 31
Photo by Dylan Slater
IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

More than 2 000 leaders to attend WEF's summer meeting in Tianjin

By: African News Agency      31st August 2018 More than 2 000 leaders from government, business, science and civil society from around the world will join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF's) annual meeting of the new champions in Tianjin, China, in September.  The meeting, taking place on September 18 to 20, will see 111 countries represented... 

More than 2 000 leaders to attend WEF's summer meeting in Tianjin

Emerging markets including SA feel the pressure as Turkish lira, Argentina's peso tumble

By: African News Agency      31st August 2018 The crisis in Turkey, which saw the lira currency tumble over five percent on Thursday, and a similar fall in Argentina's peso are having a negative knock-on impact on emerging markets, an economist said on Friday. The lira's sharp retreat followed a report that Turkey's central bank's deputy... 

 Emerging markets including SA feel the pressure as Turkish lira, Argentina's peso tumble

M&R upbeat on prospects for mining unit amid commodity cycle ‘upturn’

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2018 Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) is upbeat about prospects for its strong-performing underground mining unit, which was the biggest contributor to the group’s 2018 financial performance, as well as to the growth in the JSE-listed company’s R30-billion order book. The... 

M&R upbeat on prospects for mining unit amid commodity cycle ‘upturn’
M&R Cementation aiming to become leading mechanised mining operator in Africa

IMF supports South African land reform provided it's 'rules based'

By: Reuters     30th August 2018 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave its full backing to South Africa's land reform plan on Thursday, as long as the highly contentious process is transparent and based on the constitution. The Fund's senior resident representative in South Africa Montfort Mlachila told Reuters that the... 

IMF supports South African land reform provided it's 'rules based'

SABS business stable following Ministerial intervention

By: Simone Liedtke     29th August 2018 After having been placed under administration by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies in July, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has been stabilised. The co-administrators – SABS COO Jodi Scholtz, SABS technical infrastructure chief director Dr Tshenge Demana and acting CEO Garth... 

Busa calls for preservation of ‘yellow card’ regime in Competition Amendment Bill

By: Simone Liedtke     29th August 2018 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) economic and trade policy director Olivier Serrao has called for the preservation of the “yellow card” regime in the Competition Amendment Bill. The current version of the Bill does away with the “yellow card” regime, which is currently in place through the... 

Adcock Ingram’s HEPS rise 25.5%, despite economic, consumer headwinds

By: Simone Liedtke     29th August 2018 JSE-listed Adcock Ingram reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) from continuing operations of 387.7c for the year ended June 30, representing a year-on-year increase of 25.5%. Headline earnings for the period were R644.7-million, up from R513.7-million in the prior financial year. 

South Africa launches electronic trading platform for government bonds

By: Reuters     29th August 2018 The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the London Stock Exchange launched the country's first electronic government bond trading platform, offering an alternative to traditional fixed-income trading via telephone or chat services. The new system offers public price transparency equivalent to... 

Manufacturers continue to invest, despite tough market conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2018 With tough economic conditions continuing to impact on manufacturers, the Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker (MCIT) index for the second quarter of 2018 saw a marginal decrease from 59 index points to 58. Despite this marginal decrease, Manufacturing Circle (MC) executive Philippa Rodseth... 

De Beers, UN Women to support women micro-entrepreneurs in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2018 Diamond miner De Beers and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in South Africa have launched a capacity-building programme, which aims to support 500 women micro-entrepreneurs in the Blouberg and Musina communities, near De Beers’ Venetia diamond... 

Cashbuild expansion strategy places retailer in good position to reap rewards

By: Simone Liedtke     28th August 2018 Despite demanding trading conditions, South African retailer Cashbuild on Tuesday announced that it has, for the first time, exceeded the R10-billion group revenue mark. Cashbuild CE Werner de Jager attributed the 5% year-on-year growth in group revenue largely to the 42 new stores that were... 

Britain supports South African land reform – PM May 

By: Reuters     28th August 2018 Britain supports South Africa's land reform programme provided it is carried out legally, Prime Minister Theresa May said in Cape Town on Tuesday, adding that she would discuss the issue with President Cyril Ramaphosa. "The UK has for some time now supported land reform. Land reform that is... 

Britain supports South African land reform – PM May
Photo by Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May

Solar body raises concern over procurement gap, as lobby group slams inclusion of IPP coal

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2018 The South Africa Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has added its voice to concerns being expressed over the three-year gap outlined in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) during which no allocations have been made for new renewable-energy capacity additions. In a statement,... 

Solar body raises concern over procurement gap, as lobby group slams inclusion of IPP coal

Agricultural organisations commit to developing national strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2018 The presidents of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa), the National African Farmers Union of South Africa (Nafu SA), Agri SA and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (Tau-SA), as members of the Agri Sector Unity Forum (Asuf), on Monday declared their intent to work... 

Agricultural organisations commit to developing national strategy

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