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Archive for the ‘SOUTH AFRICA’ Category

STATE GUNNING FOR GREEDY CARTELS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 25, 2009

January 24 2009 at 03:16PM

by Melanie Peters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, SOUTH AFRICA | Leave a Comment »

TATA INCREASES SHAREHOLDING IN NEOTEL (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

19 January 2009

Sapa

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FALSE ECONOMY (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

19 January 2009

Business Day

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in AEOLIC, BANKING SYSTEMS, COAL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GLOBAL WARMING, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, MINING INDUSTRIES, POLLUTION, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ECONOMIC BLUES HIT SABMILLER (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 17, 2009

16 January 2009

by Thabang Mokopanele

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

NEW PROPERTY GIANT ON THE WAY (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 17, 2009

16 January 2009

by Loyiso Sibali

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, REAL ESTATE INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

GLAXO EYES AFRICAN MEDICAL FIRM ASPEN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 16, 2009

16.01.09

by Lucy Tobin

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHARMACAL INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

UBS CONFIDENT BANKING SECTOR WILL SOON RECOVER (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

15 January 2009

Renée Bonorchis – Financial Services Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

DEREGULATED FUEL NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

15 January 2009

by Siseko Njobeni – Energy Affairs Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

MARKETS ON BACK FOOT AS BANKING GIANTS TEETER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

15 January 2009

by Stephen Gunnion – Markets Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BANKING FRAUDS FOCUS ON ATMs (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

14 January 2009

by Renée Bonorchis – Financial Services Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

VILLAGE MAIN PONDERS COAL INVESTMENT (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

14 January 2009

by Charlotte Mathews – Resources Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COAL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, GLOBAL WARMING, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, POLLUTION, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | 1 Comment »

BONDS HOLD ON TO GAINS; EYE RAND (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

14 January 2009

I-Net Bridge

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

IMPLATS ENDS TALKS TO BUY NORTHAM, MVELA – “NEGOTIATIONS HAVE THEREFORE BEEN TERMINATED” (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

14 January 2009

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, PLATINUM, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BLOODY ASSAULT AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA’S RHINOS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 11, 2009

January 10 2009 at 01:11PM

by Sheree Bega

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, TOURISM INDUSTRIES | 1 Comment »

WIND POWER COSTS ‘WORTHWHILE’ (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 5, 2009

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in AEOLIC, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ZONE CHANGES AFFECT FUEL PRICE (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009

Sapa

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA | Leave a Comment »

GOLD FIELDS ‘TO MEET SECOND-QUARTER TARGET’ AS PRODUCTION INCREASES (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

24 December 2008

by Nicola Mawson

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

CO-GENERATION POWERS AHEAD (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

24 December 2008

by Mathabo le Roux – Trade and Industry Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

INTERNATIONAL MARKETS REPORT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

24 December 2008

Business Day (South Africa)

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

SA LAUNCHES URGENT AID FOR ZIMBABWE (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

17 December 2008

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in ECONOMY, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, SOUTH AFRICA, ZIMBABWE | Leave a Comment »

POWERSTAR IS ASCENDING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

12 Dec 2008

by Grainne Gilmore – Times Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CAPE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CAPE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

STILL KEEN DEMAND FOR CUTTING AND WELDING (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

15 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CAPE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CAPE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS INDUSTRY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

ENDANGERED ANIMALS PUBLICLY CUT UP FOR MUTHI (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

December 14 2008 at 01:48PM

by Mike Cadman

This article was originally published on page 1 of the Sunday Independent on December 14, 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘IOL’ (South Africa)

Illegal trading in protected and threatened animals, including leopards and cheetahs, is openly taking place at CAPE PANGOLINthe Mai Mai traditional medicines market in central Johannesburg – but the authorities are doing nothing to stop it.

This week at least seven full leopard skins and three cheetah pelts were on display, but traders said they were not aware that they were required to have permits to possess and sell the skins.

Smaller sections of leopard, cheetah and serval skin, for use in capes, headbands and other adornments, were available at the market.

Skins and body parts of at least 40 other species of mammals, birds, reptiles and marine life, some of them endangered, including Cape pangolin, African rock python, honey badger, crocodile, hippo, giraffe and spotted eagle owl are also available. Vulture body parts and feathers, and vervet monkey skins and hands, are also often sold at the market.

The Mai Mai market is a traditional medicines market and many of the traders are traditional healers. Some animal parts are used as medicine to cure physical ailments and others to enhance spiritual wellbeing or for supernatural purposes. Leopard and cheetah skins are widely worn in South Africa by traditionalists and by royal families and other people of status.

“This leopard skin comes from Zambia and its price is R7 500,” a trader who did not want to give her name, working in shop 141 at the market, said. “This one is R6 000; it comes from Botswana.”

She said the cheetah skin displayed in the shop came from KwaZulu-Natal and was for sale for R6 500.

Another trader, working at shop 131, said the several leopard skins and a cheetah skin CHEETAHhanging from the eaves outside came from KwaZulu-Natal.

Both leopards and cheetahs are listed in appendix 1 of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (Cites), which is intended to impose strict regulations on trade in these species. Permits are required to hunt these animals or sell their skins.

Many of the other species on sale at the market are protected by environmental legislation.

Though the market is administered by the Metropolitan Trading Company, which is owned by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, the company does not monitor the legality of the trade at the market.

“We look to [the] council to deal with issues around wildlife to determine whether or not people are complying with regulations and whether they are authorised to be in possession of particular skins and other animal products,” said Nhlanhla Makgoba, the communications and marketing manager for the Metropolitan Trading Company.

Makgoba said she believed that the council’s environmental health division monitored the trade, but Nkosinathi Nkabinda, a spokesperson for the city’s department of health, said this was not the case, but claimed that the Gauteng department of agriculture, conservation and the environment was the responsible authority.

A spokesperson for the department said it was attempting to deal with illegal trading in wildlife at Mai Mai but the matter was “very sensitive”.

“The use of animals in traditional medicine is a very sensitive issue among certain communities and we have an ongoing programme aimed at educating people about environmental laws,” said Sizwe Matshikiza. “We will not be able to change attitudes overnight.”

Animal Rights Africa said nothing had been done to enforce environmental SLAIN LEOPARDregulations.

“It’s clear that government conservation agencies are not acting in the interests of conservation and wildlife. It’s ironic that South Africa has chosen the leopard as a logo to promote the 2010 soccer World Cup but we do little to offer the species protection.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘IOL’ (South Africa)

Posted in ANIMIST RELIGIONS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GARMENT INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MEAT, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA | Leave a Comment »

CONCRETE MASONERS PUT THEIR CASE (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

THE claims regarding environmental issues relating to products and services are often misleading because the subject is a complex matter that is fraught with misinformation and half truths. The claims often only select snippets of information, and the attributes often have no real impact on the environmental issues at large, says Bob Low of Inca, talking on behalf of concrete masoners.

It is therefore key to any discussion relating to environmental issues, to ask the right questions, namely:

– What environmental issues are being addressed? (e.g. global warming, energy, biodiversity, water scarcity etc).

– Are the claims material to environmental issues at large?

– Is the entire ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle (i.e. manufacturing, operational life and end of life) taken into account?

The main concern with environmental issues today relate to global warming, which is directly proportional to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Over 90% of CO2emissions in South Africa are produced in the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy. It is therefore safe to assume that the energy employed during the entire life cycle of the product has a direct impact on global warming issues.

It is estimated that South Africa produces 3.5 billion bricks per annum which equates to 1.6 million tons of CO2 per annum. To put this into context, brick production has the equivalent global warming contribution as the annual emissions from 360 000 average sized sedan cars.

Bricks also constitute approximately 30-60% of a buildings total embodied energy. The global warming effect from masonry products is therefore substantial and material to the environmental issues at large.

One has to analyse the carbon footprint of masonry holistically. The energy employed in the manufacturing of the product (i.e. embodied energy), the energy efficiency of a building built with different masonry materials (i.e. operational energy), and the energy savings resulting from recycling all have be taken into account, before a fair judgment can be made about a products complete environmental impact, Low says.

Embodied energy refers to the amount of energy required to produce the product. Clay and concrete bricks (also called cement bricks in the industry) both employ energy intensive processes. The main contributor of the carbon footprint in clay bricks is in the firing process. Clay is fired in kilns at 1000°C for 2 – 3 days.

The main contributor of embodied energy in concrete is cement. Cement only comprises 10% of a concrete brick. Cement is produced by heating limestone and other materials at 1450°C for 30 minutes. It therefore stands to reason that concrete bricks employ substantially less energy to produce than clay bricks. International and local research concur that the embodied energy of clay products are 2.5MJ / kg whilst concrete bricks are 0.95MJ / kg, according to Low.

The operational life refers to the energy utilized in the life time of the building to heat and cool the ambient temperatures. Clay and concrete have marginally different thermal properties. Concrete generally has a higher thermal capacity (i.e. ability to store heat), which enables the product to store heat at night and release this stored heat during the day. Clay has however better thermal resistance properties making it a better insulating material. Clay and concrete therefore effect the energy utilization of a building differently in different climatic conditions.

“This is however a nebulous comparison as studies show that the choice of masonry has a marginal effect of a buildings energy utilization as more than 80% of heat is transferred via windows, doors and ceilings,” says Low.

He points out that all concrete is 100% recyclable and makes an excellent aggregate to produce other concrete bricks. Clay bricks can be recycled to form sub-base materials in the construction industry. The recycling process ultimately reduces the total embodied energy by only 0.08 MJ / kg (i.e. 8%) which has a marginal effect on the cradle to grave total carbon footprint of clay and concrete masonry.

Low says the correct choice of masonry products will have a massive impact on green house emissions and energy consumption. Embodied energy, the only differential between masonry products, is the most critical and important factor in the entire life cycle of masonry in a building and can account for up to 60% of a buildings embodied energy. Masonry has little impact on the energy utilization during the life of a building and all masonry materials can be recycled effectively.

Concrete has a carbon footprint 2.5 times less than an equivalent clay brick, and the choice of concrete can therefore reduce the carbon emissions of a mid size residential dwelling by 30 tons, which is equivalent to a cars emissions for 7 years. The choice of masonry material is the easiest and most cost effective manner to substantially reduce a buildings carbon footprint, says Low.

FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE EDITORIAL BOARD – We would like to highlight the fact that the author of the above text simply did not mention all the mining procedures as to what concerns cement production.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in CEMENT, CHEMICALS (processed components), COAL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RECYCLING INDUSTRIES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | Leave a Comment »

INNOVATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

THIS year has been exceptional in that the export markets started on an unbelievably high level and thanks to a combination of factors, Capespan realised on average 43% higher payments to growers of deciduous fruit in the first couple of months this year, compared to the same period last year, while citrus was up 70%, according to group managing director Neil Oosthuizen.

But in an interview with CBN he sounded caution, indicating that recent developments on the world’s economic scene have brought their own uncertainties.

“It’s clear that consumers in most countries are taking financial strain and although we aim to keep prices low on the retailers’ shelves, sales may be strained as fruit products, especially grapes, are often viewed as a luxury”, Oosthuizen says.

Consumers will have less money to spend on expensive fruit. And because supermarkets will be fighting to retain shoppers and because fruit is often regarded a high profile item, they’ll want to show that they’re offering the lowest possible fruit prices.

It is for this reason that Capespan will continue to be innovative particularly so in specialised packaging and value added products. So for example Capespan has launched its new fresh-cut products.

In partnership with UK processors Orchard County Foods and Superior Foods, Capespan is meeting the need for convenient fruit snacks with a range of products under the CAPE label. These are Snack Bags (apple and grape) and Fruit Pots, a fruit medley and pineapple and grape.

Another innovation is individually sleeved CAPE fresh pineapple sticks, which were launched earlier this year as part of the British Airways long haul menu. So far feedback has been extremely positive, Oosthuizen says, with the demand currently 80 000 sticks a week, but this is forecast to increase to 100 000 sticks a week. It is now looking at increasing the range in the future with additional fruit products.

Capespan also launched its new Capespan Gold brand in the UK market to meet demand from its top-end global customers for fruit of exceptional quality. Customers range from independent retailers to catering and food service organisations supplying the UK’s boardrooms and airport business lounges.

It’s anticipated that once Capespan Gold grapes are established in the market, the brand will be extended to other fruit kinds. A simple, stylish livery has been developed for the brand.

He also notes the continuing trend for retailers to get closer and better understand producers. “As the middleman, we the exporters, acknowledge the growing importance of supply chain management services in supporting the marketing process. Continual pressure to cut costs and find the most effective routes will beef up supply chain management challenges further. Therefore we’ve examined ways to elevate our service delivery and offering to the highest levels”.

“This is essential in guaranteeing Cape-span’s exceptional services, featuring quality and innovation – factors which distinguish us from our competitors”, he says.

Of strategic importance is also securing Capespan’s fruit supply. To this end it has, through its associate company Rapiprop, purchased the 490 ha Applethwaite farm in the Grabouw area. “The purchase of this large apple, pear and plum production unit underscores Capespan’s continued focus on growth and development”, says Oosthuizen.

“Because the farm has been a Capespan supplier for more then 60 years, we know the business intimately”, he says.

With orchards covering 300 ha, Applethwaite annually exports 260 000 cartons of apples, 50 000 cartons of pears and 100 000 trays of plums. Apart from having its own pack house and cold stores, the farm was one of the first in the country to offer a creche, pre-school, clinic and church facilities to staff members. The company’s infrastructure is a producer’s dream. Plus, it was one of the pioneers in computerised quality control, according to Oosthuizen.

Rapiprop, a joint venture between Capespan, Total Produce plc and the Cape Empowerment Trust, owns and operates farms in South Africa. The organisation buys farms that are good investments, secures a strategic fruit supply and will plan an important empowerment role in future.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PAPER INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORK MARKET, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

RUBBLE TOO HAS ITS USES (South Africa)_

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

10 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Black empowered construction materials supplier, Afrimat Limited, is actively involved in the promotion and manufacturing of crushed rubble. Through its subsidiaries, Malans Quarries and Melani Materials, Afrimat has been involved in marketing crushed rubble since the early nineties.

On one of the company’s initial projects – the demolition of the Paarden Island Power Station – material was crushed and sold commercially instead of being carted and dumped at the municipal landfill sites which would have wasted vital air space.

It has not always been plain sailing for the material due to the reluctance from some quarters to use crushed rubble because of concerns about durability and its lacking track record. Divisional manager for Afrimat Cape Town Hylton Hale emphasises that this is definitely not the case as in the nearly 20 years that Afrimat has supplied crushed rubble there have been only two recorded minor failures, which were easily resolved using replacement recycled material.

This prompted the company to approach the University of Cape Town’s Civil Engineering Department in 2002 to embark on a research programme on the use of recycled aggregates in concrete and road layer works. A detailed report was compiled, outlining the use and capabilities of crushed rubble. The report demonstrated that the material is a viable option provided certain criteria such as initial raw material sorting and the exclusion of organic, plastic and other waste, is met.

Since the company has entered the recycling world, Afrimat, through Malans Quarries, has sold over 2.5 million tonnes of recycled road building material.

The company has supplied this material to some prestigious projects including the parking areas and minor roads in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Grand West Casino, Somerset Mall, Westlake Office Park, Noordhoek Shopping Mall, Cape Town Convention Centre, Century City, amongst others. Afrimat has also supplied recycled material to a number of urban minor roads in townships throughout the Cape Metropolis.

Notably, the City of Cape Town has now recognised the use of recycled material in construction as evidenced in their recent tender for contractors to crush waste rubble at their landfill sites.

Afrimat Cape Town was awarded the contract and distributes and manufactures crushed concrete base and sub base from the Bellville South, Coastal Park and Gordons Bay sites.

“Crushed rubble is here to stay as it not only provides a more economical solution to road building but also plays a vital role in combating minimisation of the ever-expanding and valuable air space at our municipal landfill sites,” says Hale.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RECYCLING INDUSTRIES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | 1 Comment »

RESOURCE COUNTERS HELP SEND STOCKS TO FIVE-WEEK HIGH (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008

Reuters and Bloomberg

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Johannesburg – Stocks climbed to a five-week high yesterday buoyed by firmer mining shares.

The Top40 index rose 5.28 percent to 19 986.66 points on Wednesday, while the broader all share index climbed 4.67 percent to 21 930.94 points, levels last seen on November 5.

Gideon Muller, a trader at Thebe Securities said: “Commodity prices are picking up our market [such as] your mining houses and platinum shares.”

BHP Billiton rose 11.48 percent to R188.95 and rival Anglo American gained 7.71 percent to R230.50.

AngloGold Ashanti rose 11.08 percent to R271.

Anglo Platinum increased 8.92 percent to R455 and Impala Platinum advanced 2.5 percent to R121 after platinum prices firmed.

Pallinghurst Resources fell 2.25 percent to R4.35. The company and the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe would invest $175 million (R1.8 billion) in Platmin to allow the company to fund the construction of its Pilanesberg platinum mine in the North West.

Sasol climbed 7.01 percent to close at R299.63.

Kumba Iron Ore slipped 3.7 percent to R157, the biggest decline since November 28. The iron ore producer plans to proceed with an R8.5 billion expansion as its competitors slash output.

Banking stocks, which are sensitive to interest rate moves started to march higher after a report showed retail sales slumped for a sixth month, raising speculation the central bank will cut rates today.

African Bank Investments Limited rose 6.11 percent to R28.12 and Standard Bank ticked up 1.09 percent to R83.49.

Garth Mackenzie, the head of derivatives trading at BoE Stockbrokers, said:

“The stimulus packages continue to boost growth expectations. “We are also seeing quite big gains in the local retailers ahead of the interest rate announcement.”

MTN surged 7.7 percent to R102.99. JD Group increased 8.7 percent to R33.95.

Tiger Brands rallied 3.5 percent, to R147.

Simeka Business Solutions added 7.7 percent to 42c, rising for the first time in six days. The information technology company said first-half earnings a share advanced as much as 40 percent.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COPPER, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, METALS, MINING INDUSTRIES, PLATINUM, PRECIOUS METALS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

UNIONS SEEK ALTERNATIVES TO MASSIVE MINING RETRENCHMENTS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

December 4, 2008

by Justin Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Johannesburg – Trade unions in the mining sector are fighting to avert the devastating impact of retrenchments across the industry, which could swell to include more than 12 932 permanent and contract positions.

Lesiba Seshoka, a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson, said the union did not yet have specific alternative measures to stop the retrenchments, but it was part of a task team that would look at ways to avert the job losses.

The task team was established earlier this week by representatives of mining trade unions, the Chamber of Mines and the department of minerals and energy to find solutions that would avoid the lay-offs or mitigate their effects.

Jaco Kleynhans, a Solidarity spokesperson, said: “Solidarity is extremely concerned about the effect that the retrenchments of several thousand mine workers will have on social welfare conditions in the mining communities in particular.

“According to our calculations, about eight people live on one mine worker’s salary. Solidarity is tremendously concerned about the survival of the towns whose lifeblood will be cut off if the retrenchments are implemented.”

Kleynhans said that what the unions had available during the restructurings was the 60-day consultation process required by the law.

During this period the union would seek to provide companies with alternatives to the restructurings they had announced, to prevent or minimise retrenchments, he said.

Solidarity was in the process of compiling documents on companies’ financial status and other information.

Seshoka said it was possible that the NUM would seek the intervention of the state.

However, he said, it was difficult to justify using taxpayers’ money to help private companies keep jobs.

Seshoka said the NUM had ended its strike at Lonmin’s Limpopo platinum mine following the issuing of a section 189 notice of restructuring at the operation.

“We are talking to the company about the retrenchments,” he added.

Lonmin said on Monday that 1 500 permanent jobs were likely to be lost at the Limpopo operation. This followed Friday’s announcement that 4 000 jobs were at risk at its Marikana mine.

Regarding DRDGold’s East Rand Propriety Mines (ERPM), the NUM has hired geologist Peter Camden-Smith as a consultant in an effort to avert the loss of 1 700 jobs at the mine on Gauteng’s East Rand.

James Duncan, a DRDGold spokesperson, said the firm had started the restructuring process at ERPM and a facilitator from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had been appointed to the process and accepted by all parties.

The first session of the CCMA procedure had started, Duncan added.

He said that DRDGold had decided last month that the R115 million cost of pumping at the mine, which would take 12 months to complete, was “not affordable”. During that time the total workforce could not be kept on full pay, especially in light of the losses that ERPM had been sustaining over the past year.

ERPM contributed almost 80 000 ounces of gold, or a quarter of DRDGold’s production, in the year to June.

Duncan said DRDGold had received no expressions of interest from parties that might want to acquire the mine.

“This was not surprising, given the state of the markets,” he added.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

LIPSTICK ON A PIG (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

28 November 2008

by Lance Greyling, MP ID chief whip

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

The letter by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Donald Lee, “Voting on racial lines” (November 21), attempts to portray the Independent Democrats (ID) as a “coloured party”. This is an old tactic by the DA to dismiss the ID, play the race card and sow division – so much for the rebranding of the DA and a supposed change of style.

Research conducted by Markinor shows the ID has the most diverse support base of any party in SA and that the DA has far more white voters than the ID has coloured voters. The research, conducted earlier this year, shows the ID’s support among coloureds is about 40%, but for the DA nearly 60% of its support comes from whites. Twenty-six percent of the ID’s support is black, while for the DA only 11% of its support is black. About 29% of the ID’s support comes from white South Africans.

What makes the DA’s recent attempt to trick the SA public still more laughable and disgraceful is a brief look at how Helen Zille and the white leaders of the DA have systematically sidelined coloureds and blacks when it comes to appointing anyone into a position of power in the DA.

About 75% of their MPs are white, their leader is white, their parliamentary leader is white, their CEO is white and eight of their nine provincial leaders are white. Perhaps someone needs to remind them that we, white South Africans, only constitute 9% of the population and that we need to deal with the issues of transformation and diversity.

In contrast, the ID’s leadership is far more inclusive and reflective of the demographics of our country. And the many white people in the ID, myself included, understand and are committed to transformation, as opposed to the DA which wants all those who suffered under apartheid to forget or “transcend” the past.

We cannot talk about equal opportunity without taking into account the hundreds of years of oppression and underdevelopment of the majority of our people.

The ID’s vision and message has always been one of bridging the divides in SA and we have specifically chosen not to mobilise people along the lines of racial divisions.

This is in stark contrast to the DA which specifically sought to fuel racial fears in the Cape Town local elections, where one radio station even refused to play its advertisement as it was deemed to be racially offensive.

The DA’s rebranding, to paraphrase US president-elect Barack Obama, amounts to nothing more than lipstick on a pig.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

Posted in BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, INTERNATIONAL, SOUTH AFRICA | Leave a Comment »

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES – Not a pretty site – Project reviews in the mining sector have raised uncertainty about growth and helped undermine building and construction share prices (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

28 November 2008

by Andrew McNulty

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

A few months ago, building & construction shares were priced at a large premium to the local stock market. After steep falls in recent weeks, that has changed markedly.

Murray & Roberts (M&R) and Aveng, the two biggest companies in the sector, have fallen by almost 60% in less than three months. They now trade on historical p:e ratios of less than eight, in line with – or below – the market average.

This may seem anomalous, as infrastructure and related investment is expected to be the healthiest area of the economy over the next year. Several companies have reported large order books and expressed confidence that the work will go ahead.

But the shares reflect dwindling investor confidence in the sector and increased uncertainty about the earnings outlook beyond next year.

WHAT IT MEANS
Earnings and order books remain strong

Uncertainty about the outlook has increased

The price weakness is linked partly to weakness in specific areas. After the collapse in commodity prices, mining companies are reviewing capital projects and some have announced project deferrals. The steel sector is cutting production and curbing prices. And activity in the residential sector is flat or declining.

These changes will directly affect some companies’ earnings. At Aveng’s AGM on October 24, chairman Angus Band said a lower steel price and lower vehicle sales will be bad for the group’s manufacturing and processing businesses, which include Trident Steel, a trading company.

However, Band also highlighted a broader change. His annual review, written in July, said the infrastructure landscape remained “very positive”, with opportunities extending well beyond 2010, especially in the power, roads and transport environment, while commodity prices were expected to fuel demand for infrastructure projects for mining houses.

At the AGM, Band said the global investment climate had since changed significantly because of the liquidity squeeze and economic slowdown.

He added that Aveng’s customers will “inevitably find it more difficult and more expensive” to fund projects and that’s likely to affect the group’s order books in the medium term.

Aveng’s share has fallen 33% since Band made that statement. For many investors, it confirms a more uncertain and possibly bearish outlook for a sector with a cyclical history.

“Nasty surprises are the norm in the international building & construction sector,” says independent analyst Mark Ingham, who has specialised in the sector for more than a decade. “A few companies, such as WBHO, have been consistent, but people did get carried away with the ‘dotcon’ theme.”

Ingham cites two areas of uncertainty. One is order books, and whether these companies will continue to secure new work in the medium term to replace existing projects. The other is margins, which are at historically high levels but may fall as competition increases.

“I’ve felt for a while that margins are topping out,” Ingham adds. “In the commercial & residential sector, margins are slipping as more firms are competing for work again. The smaller contractors are already under strain.”

Coronation Fund Managers analyst Quintin Ivan says construction has been one of the most cyclical sectors on the market, and there’s little reason to think that has changed. “They don’t have annuity income streams. It’s feast or famine,” he says.

Ivan adds order books have grown to high levels, which could make it difficult for these companies to maintain growth in a slowing economy.

Investec Asset Management portfolio manager Chris Freund says the recent price declines in the sector mostly reflect selling by foreign investors and are part of a global pattern.

A year ago, rising infrastructure spending in emerging markets was being cited as a reason to buy stocks that benefit directly. Slowing global growth, withdrawal of capital from emerging markets and currency weakness are now seen as reasons to question whether spending will continue as planned.

The selling reflects a broad approach but the prospects – and uncertainties – vary between companies.

In a trading statement this week, M&R says it maintains the market guidance published earlier for the year to June 2009, but cautions shareholders to be prudent with this as “the potential impact of current market volatility may manifest itself on the construction sector and group performance in the future”.

It says cash flow constraints in a few clients has resulted in suspension or delay of projects in each of the group’s markets. It adds its project order book provides a solid performance foundation for the period up to 2012 and beyond.

This includes public works and other strategic projects – local and international – that are likely to continue and will provide stability through the “difficult times” ahead.

Cautious investors say the large SA groups’ international activities are in areas that could become more competitive. Aveng and M&R have operations in Australia; M&R and Group Five have important contracts in the Middle East. Lower prices for oil and mining products could lead to less spending on infrastructure in these regions.

However, offshore operations have helped to diversify these groups’ order books and may help mitigate weakness in domestic markets.

For now, public sector spending in SA is expected mostly to go ahead as planned. Energy and transport remain key areas. Ingham says Basil Read is well placed to benefit from an expected upturn in local roadbuilding. Raubex could also do well in this sector.

Cement & and lime producer PPC’s cement volumes were flat in the year to September. CE John Gomersall says margins are under pressure because of surging costs such as energy and transport, and the group may add an energy surcharge to its prices.

However, Gomersall says the effect on the SA economy from global market volatility is likely to be less in the infrastructure sector than in the formal residential sector. He adds that cement demand for rural and affordable housing is expected to continue, as government plans to eliminate the backlog of almost 3m houses by 2014.

Freund believes shares in the sector have been oversold. They could rise sharply when private-sector projects have resumed and there is evidence that order books are growing again. The sector would also benefit from an upturn in commodity prices.

But the shares are unlikely to recover much while the uncertainty about the growth outlook continues.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CEMENT, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

WISE UP OR LOSE OUT, GM TELLS PARTS SUPPLIERS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

PORT ELIZABETH Thursday December 4, 2008

by Bob Kernohan – BUSINESS EDITOR

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

SMALL vehicle component suppliers need to smarten up or face the possibility of closing because they increasingly risk being uncompetitive, a motor company executive cautioned in Mandela Bay this week.

General Motors SA global purchasing and supply chain vice-president Evan Dold was speaking about the need for the vehicle manufacturing industry at all levels to become totally world competitive.

He said the cost of components in a vehicle made up 75% to 85% of the total.

Dold said studies carried out by GMSA in the second quarter had shown that there was an ex-factory “cost gap” of about 30% between a sample of parts sourced locally and the same parts sourced from the most competitive cost location in the Latin America, Africa, Middle East region, under which GM‘s SA operations fall.

He said further: “When sourced from the lowest cost sources globally, such as from emerging markets like Thailand, the gap increased to about 40%.”

Dold suggested that domestic manufacturers could capitalise on the weakness of the rand and narrow the competitiveness gap by increasing domestic content, so also providing a stronger hedge against future currency weakness.

“Growing local content while volumes are down will be a challenge. But it is not all doom and gloom, and the weak rand will work in our favour.

“We should also use the downturn to eliminate unnecessary costs so that when the rand strengthens, we are more competitive and profitable.”

Domestic component production volumes also needed to increase.

“This is a particularly difficult challenge right now, but the industry has always been cyclical and at some stage the markets will start turning.

“Even with the downturn in volumes globally, the weak rand should assist some of our more competitive local suppliers to grow volumes through new export contracts.

“In some cases we can also grow volumes with our most competitive local suppliers by rationalising our supply base and re-sourcing business from less competitive suppliers.”

On increased volumes, Dold said: “Our studies have shown that a doubling of volumes will on average lower the piece part cost by some 10% to 20%, depending on actual volumes.”

Asked about the possible implications for small domestic suppliers of changes worldwide, Dold said it had to be realised that manufacturers were now “globally integrated”.

“For instance, when we are told of a price increase by a local supplier, that information goes into the pot and it is discussed in a global context.

“It has to be realised 85% of GM‘s global business is done with its top 350 suppliers.”

If GMSA‘s local suppliers provided the required quality, service and world-competitive costing, the company would continue to do business with them, Dold said. Otherwise, it could look to its worldwide supply base.

He urged smaller suppliers to take advantage of opportunities in areas like joint ventures with similar enterprises or “selling out” to multinational companies.

Dold pointed to some steel component manufacturers and the catalytic convertor industry as being success stories.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

Posted in AFRICA, AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, LATIN AMERICA, METALS INDUSTRY, MIDDLE EAST, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THAILAND, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

SA FIRM TRAINS ITS EYES ON BAY‘S FUTURE (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

PORT ELIZABETH – Thursday December 4, 2008

THE HERALD BUSINESS STAFF

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

A NATIONAL company is expanding its training facilities and courses in Mandela Bay in a move to boost skills across a wide spectrum, from basic literacy to the building industry and management development.

Training Force branch manager Jaco van Rooyen said the operation – part of the major Workforce labour brokering and training group – was expanding to meet a forecast increased demand from various types of industries.

“Despite present conditions, we believe the Eastern Cape region will continue to grow at a swift rate and that there will be a high demand for training,” said Van Rooyen.

“This is the sixth permanent training facility we have set up in major centres throughout the country, and we also have two smaller operations,” he added.

Training would include on-site courses and training sessions as well as centralised training at the company‘s new premises in Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

Areas of speciality included transport, construction, management and adult basic education.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

Posted in CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EDUCATION, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

FINANCE WELL RUNS DRY FOR DIAMOND MINERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

December 1, 2008

by Melanie Lee PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Singapore – Ructions in financial markets and a slowdown in economies threaten to cut output of rough diamonds by up to 40 percent by top miners, as banks slow lending and demand weakens, an industry official said on Monday.

Freddy Hanard, chief executive of Antwerp World Diamond Centre, an organisation representing the Belgian diamond industry, said the cut in financing would lead to the world’s top miners, De Beers and Russia’s Alrosa, slashing production of rough diamonds by up to 40 percent.

“The diamond business is a very capital intensive business, that means they rely on a very high level on external funding,” Hanard told Reuters in an interview in Singapore.

“The banks usually finance two parts of a diamond business balance sheet, the receivables and purchases – in these present circumstances, it is extremely difficult for them to finance both,” he said.

Antwerp, the world’s diamond trading capital, handles around 80 percent of the world’s rough diamonds and half of all polished diamonds each year.

ABN Amro, the world’s biggest diamond financier, came under the Belgian government in October after its parent company Fortis Bank had to be bailed out.

Another big diamond financier Antwerp Diamond Bank said last month the company was already seeing a recessionary impact on consumer spending and the capacity to service debt could come under strain.

De Beers, which accounts for around 40 percent of global rough diamond supply and is 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American, said last month it will cut output at two of its new Canadian mines by 10 to 20 percent.

Hanard however said reduced supplies will not cause a big change in polished diamond prices because consumer demand from the United States, which accounts for nearly 50 percent of the world’s diamond consumption, was set to slow.

Polished diamond prices have fallen by almost 11 percent since August, according to Polishedprices.com . – Reuters

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in BELGIUM, CANADA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DIAMONDS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | 1 Comment »

AFRICA’S CHINESE CONNECTION AND THE DOWNTURN (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Posted to the web on: 27 November 2008

by Greg Mills – (*)

YOU know that it’s a globalised world when the man in front of you on the flight from Hong Kong THE GREAT WALLto Beijing starts a conversation, across several rows of seats, about the fast-bowling merits of Dale Steyn versus those of Morne Morkel — in Afrikaans.

Yet this very phenomenon — of an increasingly integrated world of trade, technology, skills and capital — is not only seen to be under threat due to the global economic crisis, but in the eyes of some is the cause of the crisis.

But that’s not how China sees things, in spite of some loss of export markets because of the credit crunch.

The formula for global economic growth has, over the past two decades , in simple terms, comprised western consumption of cheap Asian goods fuelled by access to cheap credit produced in turn by high Asian savings.

The cheapness of Asian goods relates to their productivity, which is related once again to the number of workers that are joining the global economy — 20-million annually from China’s rural to urban areas, at the last estimate.

Once in the cities they produce (up to three times) more and save more.

The downturn in demand for manufactured goods is likely to hit China hard — just as it has depressed commodity prices, the third leg of the western consumption-Asian thrift formula.

The supply of African oil and minerals has driven up continental growth rates, of course, and radically changed the level of external interest in African affairs.

China has been in part responsible for “globalising” Africa.

In doing so, it has certainly shown African prospects in a different light to the one shone by western firms and governments.

This relationship is represented in a plethora of statistics: In 1980, China’s share of world trade was less than 1%. By 2003 it had risen to 6%, where exports make up one-third of China’s gross domestic product. In 1980 China’s exports were worth less than $20bn. Last year, they exceeded $1-trillion. Such trade largely involves China’s processing of raw materials and the assembly of parts.

China’s trade with Africa has dramatically increased from $11bn in 2000 to $56bn in 2006 and $73bn last year, much of the increase due to oil.

Beijing has an African trade target of $100bn by 2010.

The second-largest global energy importer behind the US, China imported more than 6-million barrels of oil per day in 2006. This figure is expected to double in the next 15 years.

With only half of its energy needs now supplied by domestic sources, Angola has become China’s largest suppler of oil, while Sudan and Nigeria are important investment partners.

China today receives about one-third of its oil imports from Africa, comprising just less than 10% of the continent’s total oil exports. By comparison, the US purchased one-third of a percent of Africa’s total oil exports in 2006.

By 2006, more than 800 Chinese state-owned enterprises were active in Africa, with Chinese firms investing more than $6bn in 900 projects. The following year, China invested $4,5bn in African infrastructure projects alone.

Yet current figures put the downturn in manufacturing order books by more than 50% worldwide. China’s third-quarter growth has dipped to 9% from 12% last year. A loss of markets and growth, potentially compounded by rising labour costs depressing productivity, is a spectre that no Chinese politician fancies.

Beijing believes it will cope with the credit crisis by focusing on substituting its internal market for those lost overseas. Hence the announcement of a $586bn infrastructure stimulus package.

For example, the Chinese government has committed, in the short-term, an extra R1-trillion to railway infrastructure. That will buy a lot of steel, and much else, at current prices.

For this reason, for the moment, China aims to continue with its strategy to secure raw materials from Africa at source, in so doing managing the prospect of input price inflation.

This offers further prospects to African businesses with an appetite for partnership in exploiting the long-term trend of increasing global flows of capital to emerging markets.

But despite its strategy to beef up internal demand, China retains a big stake in globalisation.

Without sizeable external markets it cannot provide for its citizens, with all the economic fallout and political instability that would denote.

For experience teaches that large numbers of job seekers cannot be absorbed by government, or to satisfy local demand. For China, as in Africa, if they cannot find a place for themselves in the global economy, many will not be able to find a place at all.

(*) – Dr Mills heads the Brenthurst Foundation and has been researching in China.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

FBI ESTÁ A DAR APOIO À ÁFRICA DO SUL NA LUTA CONTRA O CRIME

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Sábado, 15 de Novembro de 2008

Pretória (Canal de Moçambique) – O Federal Bureau od Investigation (FBI) está a dar apoio à polícia sul-africana para combater o crime com mais eficácia, revelou quarta-feira na Cidade do Cabo o embaixador norte-americano na África do Sul Eric Bost, citado pela LUSA.

O representante diplomático de Washington referiu que a nova era de cooperação entre as polícias dos dois países se iniciou com a recente visita do presidente do Congresso Nacional Africano (ANC), Jacob Zuma, aos EUA. Zuma teve encontros de trabalho com o Conselho de Relações Exteriores, em Washington DC, membros do governo e organizações diversas, durante os quais teria discutido a urgência de reduzir os níveis de criminalidade violenta no seu país, tendo a administração americana disponibilizado treino, equipamento e recursos para o efeito.

O embaixador Eric Bost salientou, refere a LUSA num despacho de Cape Town, que a criminalidade representa um enorme perigo para o futuro da África do Sul, particularmente quando se aproxima um Mundial de futebol, uma vez que prejudica várias indústrias, como o turismo e muitas outras. Bost O embaixador Eric Bostrevelou que o seu governo fez oferta semelhante ao ex-ministro da Segurança, Charles Nqakula (que serviu na administração do ex-presidente Thabo Mbeki), salientando que o treino de forças policiais e todas as suas necessidades não custariam um cêntimo ao país, mas que o governante nunca aceitou a oferta. O embaixador americano revelou também e estamos a LUSA, que o FBI já começou a treinar polícias sul-africanos nas áreas do combate ao terrorismo, lavagem de dinheiro e delitos financeiros, em preparação para o Mundial FIFA 2010.

“Os Estados Unidos vêem a África do Sul como um importante parceiro estratégico e o presidente do ANC tem a mesma perspectiva”, acrescentou Bost. Quarta-feira no parlamento sul-africano, na Cidade do Cabo, o recém-empossado ministro da Segurança, Nathi Mthethwa, reafirmou a disposição do novo executivo, liderado pelo presidente Kgalema Motlanthe, em combater energicamente e com novas estratégias a criminalidade. Admitindo que os sul-africanos e os agentes de segurança vivem num “campo da morte”, Mthethwa disse que o governo tem a obrigação de lidar de frente com o problema, reforçar e rearmar as forças policiais e “combater o fogo com o fogo”. Os serviços de polícia têm uma nova abordagem relativamente à criminalidade desde a remodelação governamental que provocou a demissão do presidente Mbeki, que passa, entre outras vertentes, pela cooperação com agências privadas, melhor formação profissional, colaboração com polícias europeias e o FBI e melhoria geral da eficácia das unidades no terreno. Confrontado com

uma situação em que mais de 18 mil pessoas são assassinadas por ano e as reduções dos níveis de criminalidade são, desde 1994, pequenas e a um ritmo lento, o ex-ministro Nqakula sempre optou pela negação da realidade e pelo confronto com a oposição e todos aqueles que, na sociedade, se manifestaram contra as suas políticas.

Há dois anos o antigo ministro provocou uma onda de indignação ao afirmar no Parlamento, em resposta a uma questão da oposição, “estar farto de ouvir os brancos choramingarem contra o crime” e aconselhando os que não estão satisfeitos “a emigrarem”. O novo ministro anunciou também a sua disposição de “remover rapidamente” do seu posto o suspenso comissário nacional dos serviços de polícia, Jackie Selebi, um aliado do ex-presidente Mbeki, que está a aguardar julgamento por corrupção e ligação a figuras do mundo do crime.

(Rdacção / LUSA)

2008-11-14 04:53:00

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Posted in CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, SOUTH AFRICA, USA | Leave a Comment »

ANGLOPLAT SET TO BUILD 20.000 HOUSES (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008

by Justin Brown

Johannesburg – Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) would build up to 20 000 houses for employees at its mines in the next five to 10 years, the company said yesterday.

The plan, estimated to cost R4 billion at current prices, is a response to the mining charter requirement that single-sex hostels be eradicated.

Papillon Motswenyane, Angloplat’s senior manager of housing, said the sum would be made up of R1.6 billion in state housing subsidies and Angloplat contributions, and R2.4 billion in employee contributions.

“Angloplat’s intention is to reduce its employees’ dependence on company accommodation and promote home ownership,” he said. “Angloplat wants to introduce employee assisted housing.”

Neville Nicolau, Angloplat’s chief executive, said the group wanted to provide its employees with a reasonable alternative to hostel accommodation. “A large number of employees do not have housing,” he added.

Nicolau said the housing plans would help reunite workers and their families and reduce squatter camps adjacent to Angloplat’s mines in North West and Limpopo.

The group would subsidise the cost of land and services provided to employees who took up the housing schemes.

Angloplat yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the department of housing. Kaba Kabagambe, the deputy director-general of housing, said the department viewed the memorandum as “a major milestone”.

A key constraint for the department had been the availability of suitable land, he said.

The first phase of the scheme would create 15 000 jobs, Kabagambe added.

Until now six to 10 workers have shared a hostel room. In the hostels the number of people sharing a room will decline to two and eventually to a single person per room within five years.

Angloplat has already built just over 1 000 houses, including 721 in Rustenburg and 86 in Thabazimbi, near its Amandelbult and Union mines.

Angloplat might need to build a further 10 000 houses as it transfers work done by contractors to its own employees.

Angloplat rose 0.36 percent to R414.50 yesterday. The platinum sector lost 2.92 percent

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Posted in CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, PLATINUM, PRECIOUS METALS, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

CITIGROUP BOSS BLAMES DEBT CRISIS ON BANK MISJUDGMENT – They ‘got the subprime market wrong, crises will happen again’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 13, 2008

Posted to the web on: 13 November 2008

by Renée Bonorchis

Financial Services Editor

THE chairman of the world’s most powerful bank, Winfried Bischoff of Citigroup, said this week the first rumblings of the global financial crisis were caused by the banks when they misjudged risk and got into the subprime market.

It was a bold statement from a banker in the light of the fact that investors have been looking for someone to blame, with regulators and ratings agencies also coming in for a beating.

But Bischoff was candid about the fact that when confidence was on the up, misjudgments were made by the managers of banks regarding the concentration of risk.

In an exclusive interview with Business Day, Bischoff said banks had to “admit they got it wrong”.

“It was the banks who did it,” he said.

There was no guarantee that crises could be avoided in the future, despite all manner of regulation.

“It will happen again. It may be something else next time. It is impossible to insulate a sector from all disasters,” Bischoff said.

This came just as Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, described the meltdown as the biggest banking crisis since the First World War.

King said the UK was already in a recession, which would continue next year.

He said Britain’s central bank had acted to cut rates so sharply “because the facts had changed”.

During his briefing yesterday, King was asked some tough questions, including whether or not he should keep his job, but he rejected criticism that the crisis had caught the bank unawares.

Bischoff expected it would take at least a couple of quarters of positive performance from the banks for confidence to return and that any new regulation for the global banking sector would demand banks carried more capital as a buffer against risk.

“I think we will get back to banking where lending money and supporting the trading activities of your clients will be more of the focus,” Bischoff said.

By going back to basics, banks would be less profitable and return on capital would fall while the spotlight was put on executive remuneration, but it would “still be a good industry to work in”. King said that a new international agreement on regulating the world financial system was important for a long-term resolution of the crisis, and he was hopeful that the meeting of world leaders in Washington at the weekend would be a good start on a “process of reform” that would take some months.

The governor said the objective should be to ensure that countries with capital surpluses, such as China, also had an obligation to take action to correct financial imbalances.

Despite the global turmoil, Citigroup was paying attention to its African operations where profit was growing.

The US-based bank was keen to expand its work in Africa, but Zdenek Turek, CE of the Africa division, said that while the bank would keep on supporting its existing clients, it was not going to expand geographically, and was very selective about acquiring new clients.

“We’re all looking far harder at our costs,” Bischoff said. “Credit itself is not contracting very much, but it’s not expanding.”

He believed it was unlikely that there would be any more big banking failures now that governments around the world had stepped in.

Bischoff himself was involved in many of the weekend meetings with the US Federal Reserve when various banks across the US had to be “supported financially”, as he puts it.

At the height of the crisis in September, Bischoff made sure he was back in New York every Friday night when the emergency meetings and “frenetic weekends” inevitably began. On those weekends, solutions had to be found despite the varying agendas of the big banks in the meetings.

Given the difficulties faced by the financial system on the Sunday Lehman Brothers went under and the banks were sitting with Lehman’s lawyers trying to get its gross position down to a net position, Bischoff said he hoped that sometime soon there would be a clearing house for derivatives contracts.

Bischoff thought South African banks were solid and well capitalised but he was not in the market to purchase any of them.

SA’s participation in the G-20 was a great credit to the country.

“SA punches above its weight. It’s a serious player,” he said.

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, G20, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

QUALITY OF SERVICES REGULATION IN SA ‘HAS LARGELY SHIELDED THE COUNTRY FROM THE GLOBAL CREDIT CRUNCH’ (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 13, 2008

Posted to the web on: 13 November 2008

Trade and Industry Editor

SA SHOULD not allow trade negotiations in services to undermine the country’s regulatory capacity but Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies should insist on its right to regulate in the public interest, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies yesterday said.

The remarks appeared to be a veiled reference to the European Union’s (EU’s) demand for services liberalisation in negotiations on the economic partnership agreement (EPA). SA opted out of an interim EPA at the end of last year, in part because of an EU demand that services liberalisation form part of the agreement.

Davies yesterday said South African services industries had few interests in the EU, which meant the agreement would see SA making concessions without receiving much benefit in return.

Speaking at the opening of the annual conference on the Service Exporter Network conference, an initiative of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre, Davies said SA had largely been shielded from the global credit crunch exactly because of the “quality of domestic regulation” and measures such as the National Credit Act were now “the subject of considerable international interest”.

Services sectors account for 66% of global output, a third of global employment and almost 20% of global trade. In SA services’ contribution to the economy was even greater, with 72% of people employed in service-oriented sectors while these industries contribute almost 75% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Because of the huge contribution of services industries to the economy, the trade and industry department has started work on a comprehensive national services sector framework strategy document. Davies was coy on details, as the document was only in a first draft, but akin to the national industrial development policy framework, which has earmarked industrial sectors for development, the services strategy will earmark support measures to spur growth in services industries.

But he also called for a more ambitious approach among developing countries in multilateral trade negotiations.

The deputy minister said SA was interested in a multilateral services agreement in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because it could hold tremendous potential for developing countries, particularly in south-south trade relationships. Two years ago SA tabled a services offer in the WTO and Davies said there was recognition among other countries that SA’s services sectors were relatively open. But while SA was in favour of increased trade in services, the deputy minister insisted that this needed to be underpinned by “the right to regulate in the public interest and the right to deliver public services”.

The global financial meltdown is, however, expected to also spill into other services industries and stymie trade in services, and Davies called for greater ambition in multilateral services negotiations, citing the example of India, which has started formulating its strategic interests in services export markets.

“While developing countries will of necessity need to continue to take a strong defensive stance, particularly in respect of the right to regulate in the public interest, it is also necessary that developing countries be much more active in identifying offensive interests in trade in services,” he said.

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Posted in AFRICA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SOUTH AFRICAN SINGER MIRIAM MAKEBA DIES IN ITALY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 10, 2008

November 10th, 2008

by Celean Jacobson – Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 19 mins ago

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her AP – In a Nov. 16, 2006, file photo South African singer Miriam Makeba performs on stage at the Avo Session sultry voice but was banned from her own country for 30 years under apartheid, died early Monday after a concert in Italy. She was 76.

The Pineta Grande Clinic, a private clinic near the southern city of Naples, said the singer died after being brought there. The ANSA news agency reported that Makeba apparently suffered a heart attack after performing for 30 minutes at a concert against organized crime.

The death of “Mama Afrika,” as she was known, plunged South Africa into shock and mourning.

“One of the greatest songstresses of our time has ceased to sing,” Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement.

“Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of apartheid and colonialism through the art of song.”

Makeba wrote in her 1987 memoirs that friends and relatives who first encouraged her to perform compared her voice to that of a nightingale. With her distinctive style combining jazz with folk with South African township rhythms, she was often called “The Empress of African Song.”

She first started singing in Sophiatown, a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Johannesburg that was a cultural hotspot in the 1950s before its black residents were forcibly removed by the apartheid government.

She then teamed up with South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela — later her first husband — and her rise to international prominence started when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary “Come Back, Africa” in 1959.

When she tried to fly home for her mother’s funeral the following year, she discovered her passport had been revoked. It was 30 years before she was allowed to return.

In 1963, Makeba appeared before the U.N. Special Committee on Apartheid to call for an international boycott of South Africa. The South African government responded by banning her records, including hits like “Pata Pata,” “The Click Song” (“Qongqothwane” in Xhosa), and “Malaika.”

Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording in 1966 together with Harry Belafonte for “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba.” The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid.

Thanks to her close relationship with Belafonte, she received star status in the United States and performed for President John F. Kennedy at his birthday party in 1962. But she fell briefly out of favor when she married black power activist Stokely Carmichael and moved to Guinea in the late 1960s.

After three decades abroad, Makeba was invited back to South Africa by anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela shortly after his release from prison in 1990 as white racist rule crumbled.

“It was like a revival,” she said about going home. “My music having been banned for so long, that people still felt the same way about me was too much for me. I just went home and I cried.”

She insisted that her songs were not deliberately political.

“I’m not a political singer,” she insisted in an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper earlier this year. “I don’t know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us — especially the things that hurt us.”

Makeba announced her retirement three years ago, but despite a series of farewell concerts she never stopped performing. When she turned 75 last year, she said she would sing for as long as possible.

Graham Gilfillan, Makeba’s longtime business manager, said the family was holding a meeting in South Africa and would release a statement later Monday.

Arts and Culture Ministry spokesman Sandile Memela described Makeba as an international icon.

“It’s a monumental loss not only to South African society in general but for humanity,” he said.

Tributes poured in on morning radio talk shows, with many callers in tears as they recalled her humor and her unrelenting spirit.

“She had been part of my life for a long time. It is a great loss,” singer P.J. Powers told local radio station 702. “She had a huge soul.”

Associated Press Writer Frances D’Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.

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WORKER TRUSTS TAKE CONTROL OF FRUIT EXPORTER (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 3, 2008

Posted to the web on: 03 November 2008

by Chris van Gass

Cape Correspondent

CAPE TOWN — Nearly 200 workers and packers of a prominent apple and pear producer in the fertile Kashmiri Farmers pack Pear fruit in srinagar 01 August 2008Elgin Valley have taken a controlling interest in two farms in a R29m deal representing one of the largest land reform and agricultural black economic empowerment (BEE) projects in the Overberg region.

The project will see three worker trusts take a 52% share in the Vintage Group, a grower, packer and exporter of quality deciduous fruits, mainly apples, pears and grapes, which operates on the farms Arieskraal and Vyebosch.

The BEE partnership provided R8,5m to procure its interest with funding obtained through the land affairs department’s land redistribution for agricultural development programme and bank financing.

The project, which was conceptualised more than three years ago but began operations in earnest 18 months ago, had already realised its first dividend of R1,5m, which was “happy news” for the new shareholders, said farm manager and shareholder Peter Januarie.

Western Cape MEC for agriculture Cobus Dowry said on Friday the project was an example of how commercial farmers like Vintage CEO Barbara van den Bossche and MD Charl van den Berg could contribute to the government’s land reform programme. He said the extension of ownership was one way of combating poverty and eradicating the inequalities of the past.

Dowry said his department believed strongly in training, which the new partners of the farm would be able to tap into, and had budgeted more than R30m for structured agricultural training in the province to improve the living standards of farm workers.

Arieskraal and Vyebosch comprise nearly 300ha with 175ha planted under fruit trees. The Vintage group recently bought two additional farms, Kentucky and Twaalffontein, which has significantly extended its fruit farming operations to service its growing international customer base.

Januarie said Arieskraal produced 1500 tons of pears and 7500 tons of apples a year, with a turnover of R22m. The company exports to regions including Europe, the Middle East, Near East and Africa.

Januarie said he had been working on the farm for more than 30 years and, like all the new shareholders, he was excited about future prospects.

Van den Bossche, whose family started Vintage when they arrived from Belgium in SA in 1995, initially on holiday, said the partnership with Van den Berg had resulted in the establishment of a very competitive export business which already benefited a large community.

She said the group believed that the people who worked on the farms needed to be part of the land transformation process and Arieskraal was the first such initiative to accomplish this .

Van den Berg said the group had a clear vision on what was needed to keep farming profitable in the future, in view of a dramatic rise in input costs and especially the prices of fuel and fertiliser.

He said the group understood SA’s past and also the social responsibility it had as owners.

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Posted in AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INTERNATIONAL, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

MEASURES TO COMBAT MARKET CRISIS NOT WORKING: SHAPIRO (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

Johannesburg – The price of South African shares continued to drop on Monday. By mid-morning, the Professor of Economics and Co-director of Undergraduate StudiesJSE all-share index had lost 3.15 percent to 17 876.98.

“All of the measures taken are not working,” said Sasfin’s David Shapiro.

“You can’t apply logic anymore – it doesn’t work.

“When you think you’re close to the bottom, it keeps going lower,” he said.

Shapiro added that massive withdrawals were currently being made from hedge funds and unit trusts.

“No one understands the extent of how far this can go.”

Shapiro said that he expected markets to once again end lower on Monday.

“We’re not seeing any form of support. Someone has got to break rank and start buying.

“This current situation just has to burn itself out – there’s nothing you can do,” Shapiro concluded. – Sapa

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Posted in AFRICA, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

LOCAL STOCKS SUCKED INTO PIT OF DESPAIR (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 24, 2008


October 24, 2008

by Palesa Motloung

Johannesburg – The JSE opened deeply in the red on Friday, as panic gripped Asian and European markets, which went into free fall despite a firmer close on Wall Street overnight.

The JSE opened 4.08 percent lower in a continuation of Thursday’s trend when it ended down 3.4 percent. The local bourse continued to be weighed by heavy losses in mining and resources stocks as precious metals prices continued to tumble.

At 9.16am, the JSE’s all share index had fallen 4.25 percent, weighed down by platinum stocks which fell 7.77 percent, gold miners which were down 7.45 percent and resources which lost 6.39 percent. Banks gave up 4.49 percent, financials lost 2.50 percent and industrials gave up 2.86 percent.

The rand was bid at R11.37 to the dollar from R11.14 when the JSE closed on Thursday. Dealers said the currency would experience another volatile day of trade as the dollar continues to surge and equity markets remain weak.

Gold was last quoted at $704.57 per ounce from $726.15 at the JSE’s last close. Platinum was at $787.50 per ounce, down 1.87 percent from Thursday’s close of $802.50. Brent crude was at $65.15 from its previous close of $65.92.

A trader said that even though the Dow ended up 2 percent overnight, the local market was following events in Asia. The trader added that although the US managed to recover, this did not have much of an impact in the light of recent losses.

He said that the weak rand was not having an effect because metals and resources prices continued to come under pressure and were weighing on the market.

The Nikkei closed 9.60 percent and the Hang Seng was last down 7.75 percent. In London the FTSE was last down just over 4 percent.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that European stocks fell, tracking losses in Asian markets overnight on continued concerns over health of the global economy.

“The fall is led by a broad-based sell-off with miners leading the declines and a host of warnings from companies are weighing heavily,” says a trader.

On the JSE, Anglo American fell R19.70, or 8.61 percent, to R209.05 and BHP Billiton gave up R8.28, or 5.44 percent, to R143.97. ArcelorMittal shed R6, or 7.23 percent, to R77 while Highveld Steel added R1.49, or 2.18 percent, to R69.99.

Petrochemical giant Sasol was down R11.99, or 4.41 percent, to R260.01.

AngloGold fell R16.99, or 9.39 percent, to R164, Gold Fields gave up R4.25, or 6.72 percent, to R59 and Harmony shed R3.94, or 5.34 percent, to R69.81. Platinum miner Anglo Platinum plummeted R35, or 8.24 percent, to R390, Impala Platinum gave up R7.55, or 7.06 percent, to R99.45 and Lonmin came down R19.22, or 8.94 percent, to R195.78.

Brewer SABMiller was down R4.10, or 2.73 percent, to R146.11, Barloworld lost R2, or 4 percent, to R48 and Tiger Brands fell R4.68, or 3.72 percent, to R121.

Standard Bank shed R3.52, or 5.03 percent, to R66.47, Nedbank shed R2.81, or 3.53 percent, to R76.69, Absa fell R2.05, or 2.51 percent, to R79.75 and First Rand was down 58c, or 4.95 percent, to R11.14.

RMB Holdings was down 70c, or 3.78 percent, to R17.80, but Investec gained R3.60, or 8.91 percent, to R44.

In the retail sector, JD Group gave up R1.50, or 6.12 percent, to R23, Foschini was down R1.95, or 6.08 percent, to R30.10 and Shoprite was down R2.01, or 4.28 percent, to R44.99.

Packaging group Astrapak lost 40c, or 6.67 percent, to R5.60 and construction group Aveng gave up R2.79, or 6.52 percent, to R40.01 and Group Five lost R1.21, or 3.13 percent, to R37.40.

MTN Group fell R4.66, or 5.62 percent, to R78.33 and Telkom was down R4, or 4.14 percent, to R92.70.

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