Archive for December 22nd, 2009

source: Sunday Standard
21.12.2009 12:06:23 P

Government this week assured CIC Energy and investors that it is still behind the Mmamabula Energy Project that will eventually narrow trade deficit between South African and Botswana, despite stumbling blocks in Pretoria.

The Botswana and Canada-listed company this week, out of frustration and tedious regulatory process in South Africa, decided to shelf some of its plans with talk in the grapevine that the project ‘might be put on ice’.

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, told legislators this week that government has been given assurance by the Public Enterprises minister about South Africa’s continued interest in the project.

“The government of Botswana remains committed to [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Dec 21 2009 18:30

Johannesburg – The rand lost ground against a stronger dollar that dragged on gold prices on Monday, but the Johannesburg bourse closed up, boosted by resource and financial shares.

The JSE Top-40 index of blue chips gained 0.63 percent to 24 933.95 points notching a third day of gains, while the all-share index rose 0.55 percent to 27 495.42 points.

“The market was pretty good, but certainly some of the resource stocks were up quite nicely,” Michael Carlsson, a portfolio manager at Consilium Capital said.

“The rand weakens substantially, which I think supported the resources stocks a bit.”

The rand was trading at 7.6850 against the dollar at 1530 GMT, 1.5 percent softer than its previous New York close, and just off a six-week low of 7.69 touched earlier.

A softer rand boosts exporters and makes local shares more attractive to foreign investors. On the other hand, gains for the dollar worldwide also weaken prices of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
21.12.2009 12:30:30 P

The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) continues to face capacity challenges, which are unfavourably impacting on its ability to effectively deliver on its mandate to its clients. By nature of its statutory functions, tasks and obligations, PPADB plays a key role in Government operations in terms of project and service delivery from a procurement perspective, especially that approximately 70 % of Government budget is expended through procurement.

When briefing the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Charles Mbiganyi Tibone, during a familiarization visit last week, PPADB Executive Chairman Armando Vasco Lionjanga said that his corporation is faced with operational challenges, ranging from inadequate workforce capacity to lack of accommodation. Such impediments, he said, make it difficult for PPADB to carry out its statutory tasks and obligations to Government as spelt out in [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Dec 21 2009 15:25

Johannesburg – The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) on Monday expressed concern over the potentially negative impact that implementation of a 35% year-on-year tariff increase Eskom had applied for would have on the South African economy.

In its comments on the Multi-Year tariff increase that Eskom submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Sacci referred to the weighting of electricity in the consumer price index (CPI) of 1.87%.

“Assuming that municipalities pass on the full increase and adjust their own portion similarly there would be a pass through effect, where producers and retailers are forced to raise prices in response to higher cost bases.

“Sacci estimates that inflation is likely to be [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Correspondent
21.12.2009 12:02:49 P

Transport ministers of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa met last week to discuss the development of the highly anticipated Trans-Kalahari Railway Line Project, which will link all three southern African countries.

The Project will cost 1,4bn US dollars and a pre-feasibility study will be undertaken in the first half of next year. Bids for this pre-feasibility study have been called for by Ministers Sibusiso Ndebele of South Africa, Frank Ramsden of Botswana and Helmut Angula of Namibia.

Government and the private sector will be involved in the Project, with interested companies having presented to the ministers at the meeting, which was held in Windhoek.

The proposed line will be used to [continue reading]

source: IOL
Tony Carnie
December 21 2009 at 11:41AM

Foreign airlines may have to reduce their flights to South Africa because of the mounting cost of building the new international airport in Durban and massive airport tariff hikes by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa).

According to the International Air Transport Association (Iata), plans to hike local airport tariffs by 133 percent from next year would make South African airport charges among the highest in the world at a time when the international aviation industry faces one of its worst crises.

The association, which represents the world’s major airlines, warned that the fees would damage South Africa’s economy by discouraging foreign tourists and hamper business travellers from dealing with [continue reading]