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Macro and Micro News

Minister Davies to seek urgent meetings with Kumba, ArcelorMittal and Anglo

By: Terence Creamer     27th February 2010 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will seek urgent meetings with Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), Anglo American (KIO's majority shareholder) and ArcelorMittal South Africa to discuss the reasons for, as well as the implications of, KIO's announcement that it would cancel the cost plus 3% iron-ore... 

Surprises, even some unhappy ones, in the so-called Budget of no surprises 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2010 The conventional wisdom surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s inaugural Budget is that it was a sound “business as usual” Budget, with few surprises. But closer analysis reveals a number of surprises, some of which could be considered unhappy ones. The first surprise (happy for some, but... 

SA big business wants growth-driven 2040 vision to be new national goal 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2010 Big business in South Africa has initiated a campaign, loosely dubbed 'Vision 2040', which sets out as its overall goal the transformation of the country from a developing to developed one over 30 years. To achieve that, a target of doubling gross domestic product (GDP) per person over the period... 

SA economy grows 3,2% as manufacturing picks up

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd February 2010 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 1,4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2009, while GDP growth for the year was down 1,8% on that of 2008, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. However, the country's GDP expanded by 3,2% in the final three months of the... 

Africa's economic growth may reach 7% in 2011

By: Jade Davenport     22nd February 2010 Economic growth in Africa was expected to rise to 5% this year and could reach 7% in 2011, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka said on Sunday. Kaberuka was addressing a panel of finance ministry and bank officials at the AfDB's Committee of Ten (C10) meeting in Cape Town at... 

Industrial policy success hinges on job creation, Davies says

By: Jade Davenport     18th February 2010 An estimated 825 706 direct and 2,5-million indirect jobs could be created over the next ten years through the successful implementation of South Africa's now much-vaunted Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), the second round of which would run from 2010/11 to 2012/13, Trade and Industry... 

R3,6bn more for industry incentives, but big industrial plan will need off-Budget fillip

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African government has set aside an additional R3,6-billion for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to partly support the second version of its Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap2, which will run from April 1, 2010, through to March 31, 2013 - details on the much discussed... 

Gordhan provides details on R846bn infrastructure plan

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th February 2010 While the public sector continued with plans to spend R845,6-billion on infrastructure over the next three years, government had also started with extensive planning and consultation on the required infrastructure programmes for the coming ten to 20 years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on... 

Gordhan holds steady on inflation target, but hints to broader SARB mandate

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2010 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will continue to target inflation within a range of 3% to 6%, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed in his inaugural Budget address to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday. He also stressed that government was committed to the Constitutional stipulation... 

Gordhan likely to take small steps in first Budget

By: Sapa     16th February 2010 Economists expect little real intervention from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan when he pronounces on the thorny issues of inflation targeting and the exchange rate in his first annual Budget on Wednesday amid sustained public debate on both. Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine said calls... 

New industrial plan to outline sector job targets and timeframes 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2010 The second version of South Africa's much-debated Industrial Policy Action Plan, or Ipap2, will include specific timeframes for the achievement of sectoral job-creation targets and will seek to kick-start so-called "green industries", Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies told Parliament on... 

SA economy seen growing in 2010, CPI to fall below 6% 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th February 2010 While South Africa was likely to see gross domestic product (GDP) growth of about 2,7% this year and 3,5% in 2011, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) on Monday warned that the global economy could suffer a growth relapse at the end of this year or early in 2011. In a quarterly economic... 

Chabane moots regulator for the regulators

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th February 2010 A single regulatory coordinator, under the Competition Commission, was being considered by the South African government to enhance consistency and quality of regulation, Minister in The Presidency Collins Chabane said on Friday. The announcement was met with enthusiasm and surprise among the... 

Davies to unveil expanded industrial policy plan next week

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2010 South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will provide insight into the newly approved Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap), for the period 2010 to 2013, at a briefing on Thursday. The briefing will take place in Cape Town the day after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is scheduled... 

Chabane outlines plan to improve govt performance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th February 2010 Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane on Friday outlined some of the 12 performance outcomes that government has set itself. He noted that Cabinet had already approved nine of the 12 outcomes last year, with the remaining three to be discussed in... 

Zuma's speech unlikely to have big Budget implications

By: Sapa     12th February 2010 Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane on Friday rejected notions that policy initiatives announced in President Jacob Zuma's sState of the nation address would have a major impact on the Budget tabled next week. Chabane said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's first budget would be informed... 

SA’s growth likely to exceed Treasury’s forecast – economist

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th February 2010 While this year’s budget would be a “challenging” one for the National Treasury, it could be pleasantly surprised in terms of the country’s growth, Deloitte economist Kay Walsh said on Thursday. She noted during a pre-budget media briefing that the National Treasury had initially expected South... 

Zuma to leave economic details to Ministers

By: Sapa     10th February 2010 President Jacob Zuma will indicate a change in industrial policy in his state of the nation address, but leave an expected announcement on monetary policy to the National Treasury, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday, Chabane said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was best... 

Nationalisation debate less about policy than internal ANC tussles

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2010 Mine nationalisation in South Africa was not an imminent policy threat, nor even a fully fledged policy consideration. But the debate could be important in helping to shape the future leadership dynamics within the governing African National Congress (ANC), Control Risks senior Southern Africa... 

Engineers confirm nominee for Manuel's new planning body

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2010 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) would nominate its incumbent president, Zulch Lötter, for a position on the National Planning Commission (NPC), which the South African government planned to establish by March. Cesa CEO Graham Pirie indicated on Thursday that it was in the process of... 

Power-price shock would hamper already frail factory recovery 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     2nd February 2010 South Africa’s already struggling manufacturing sector did not need any other economic shocks, such as the large electricity tariff increases proposed by Eskom, Nedcor chief economist Dennis Dykes asserted on Tuesday. The country’s economy remained under pressure and conditions in many sectors... 

South Africa set to launch big corridor-based logistics efficiency study

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2010 The South African government is initiating a R17,2-million study into the state of operational efficiency along the country’s key transport corridors, which it hopes will provide the basis for material performance improvements to help guide infrastructure planning and future investment... 

Gordhan unlikely to announce major tax changes – E&Y

By: Chanel de Bruyn     28th January 2010 The National Treasury was unlikely to make major changes to the individual, corporate or indirect tax rates, but it was also unlikely to announce any new tax incentives when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tables the national budget next month, tax advisory firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) said on... 

SA's biggest constraint is lack of skilled workforce – survey  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th January 2010 South African business owners see a lack of skilled workforce as the biggest constraint impeding business growth, a survey found. Grant Thornton’s 2010 International Business Report (IBR) study, which related key constraints on company’s abilities to expand the business, found that 34% of... 

SA producer prices up for first time in 8 months

By: Reuters     28th January 2010 South Africa's producer prices increased by 0,7% year-on-year in November, compared with a 1,2% decrease in November, official data showed on Thursday. Statistics South Africa said on a monthly basis producer inflation, representing domestic output, was at 0,7% compared with 0,8% in November.  

Zuma errs on the side of economic-policy stability at Davos 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2010 President Jacob Zuma came out on the side of economic-policy stability at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, arguing that "judicious management" of the country's finances had enabled South Africa to respond to its first recession of the post-1994 "democratic era"... 

Emerging economies to grow by 6% in 2010, says IMF

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th January 2010 Emerging and developing economies, which grew by 2,1% in 2009, would likely see growth of about 6% in 2010, as well as accelerated economic growth in 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report. The report highlighted that stronger... 

Australia seeks to strengthen ties with South Africa

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th January 2010 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Australian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith, on Tuesday launched an Australian-South Africa Foreign Minister's dialogue to advance the countries' common interest and to regularly... 

Job creation promises faltering — Vavi

By: Sapa     25th January 2010 Government's promise to create 500 000 employment opportunities is faltering, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Monday. "Much more needs to be done to make sure we achieve and preferably surpass this target," he said in a speech prepared... 

SA's economic recovery vulnerable to ‘double-dip' threat

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2010 The World Bank expects the South African economy, which slumped into its first recession in 17 years during 2009, leading to an estimated 1,8% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP), to grow by 2% during 2010 and 2,7% in 2011 - however, a ‘double-dip' recession would severely undermine the... 

SA failed to evade global FDI slump in 2009, report shows

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2010 As with the global recession, South Africa failed to escape the effects of a sharp pullback in global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows during 2009, with a new report showing that FDI inflows to South Africa slumped by 24,6% to $6,8-billion last year, from $9-billion in 2008. The estimate,... 

Africa likely to see shift in politics after economic crisis – analyst   

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th January 2010 Although the most pressing signs of the global economic meltdown seems to be ebbing, the political impact of the downturn on Africa would only be seen at a later stage, said the Institute for Global Dialogue (IDG) on Tuesday. Speaking at an event hosted by research and strategy company Frontier... 

IMF’s Lipsky cautious despite improved economic prospects for 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th January 2010 While economic data, financial market performance and improved economic forecasts pointed to improved economic prospects for 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) first deputy MD John Lipsky has warned that there was still reason to be cautious. In a note on the IMF’s website, he said that... 

Distance to market places Eastern Cape manufacturers at a disadvantage

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2009 A survey of 120 mostly small, non-automotive manufacturing companies in the Eastern Cape indicates that it is 30% more expensive to produce goods in this province compared with Gauteng and other provinces, says Eastern Cape Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas. 

Dubai fallout a huge risk for emerging economies – Sacci

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd December 2009 The recent developments in Dubai held huge risk for emerging economies and could trigger a further collapse in growth for these countries, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) CEO Neren Rau said on Thursday. He noted that he was not convinced that the South African economy... 

New approach needed to improve SA’s labour-absorption potential 

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 There is no disputing that chronically high unemployment and deteriorating income inequality are South Africa’s two most pressing challenges. There is also no disputing that government’s expanded public works programme (EPWP), while an important stop gap, is simply insufficient to deal with these... 

Transnet mulling ‘equalisation’ incentive to attract shippers to Ngqura

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2009 State-owned transport utility Transnet is considering an “equalisation” incentive for shippers using its new deep-water harbour at Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape, to make it cost competitive relative to its container facility in Durban, especially for goods being transported into the hinterland... 

 

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