• Investors' Confidence at Lowest Levels since Downgrade to Junk

    15 Dec 2018
    SA Investors' Confidence down

    South African business confidence fell to the lowest level since the country lost its investment-grade credit rating, as political and policy uncertainty continue to weigh on sentiment. An index tracking SA business confidence declined again in the fourth quarter of the year, according to the latest business confidence index by Rand Merchant Bank and Stellenbosch university’s Bureau for Economic Research. Confidence is now at the lowest level since the second quarter of 2017, when former president Jacob Zuma’s move to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister saw the country’s debt cut to junk by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

    The index declined from a revised 34 points in the third quarter to 31 points. Of the five sectors that…

  • Recession ends with quarterly Growth of 2.2%

    04 Dec 2018
    Recession over...?

    Expected only by a few, South Africa rose like Phoenix from the Ashes in the third quarter of 2018.

    The GDP rose – quarter-on-quarter – by 2.2%, which officially ends the recession in South Africa, StatsSA reported today and was well ahead of the predicted 1.9%.

    Growth was driven by the manufacturing sector, which expanded 7.5%, financial services, which expanded 2.3%, and the transport, storage and communication industry, which increased 5.7%. The trade, catering and accommodation industry increased by 3.2%.

    Mining weighed on growth, with a contraction of 8.8%. Revisions were made for the second quarter from a 0.7% contraction to one of 0.4%, based on more information from mining, manufacturing and trade.

    Stronger growth wil…

  • Patricia de Lille announces new political party: GOOD

    02 Dec 2018 | Ralph M Ertner / Daniel Silke
    GOOD Party

    Disgruntled and publicly shunned former major of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, this morning finally announced that the name of her new political party is “GOOD”. (no joke!)

    “The movement’s name and identity is here for all of you to see. It is a simple and authentic name that says quite boldly what we stand for and that we are here to disrupt politics as usual. “It is rallying call to GOOD South Africans to resuscitate the project of optimism and reconciliation,” De Lille said in a statement posted on her Facebook page. De Lille recently resigned from the Democratic Alliance, following 18 months of acrimony between her and that party she joined when it merged with the Independent Democratics which she founded and led, in 2010. She was…

  • Government does not give up killing Economy - Load Shedding is back

    30 Nov 2018 | R M Ertner
    Laod Shedding is back

    In a country, which was once the shining economic leader, a GDP-Growth Elephant, the lights are out again due to another phase of Load Shedding! We all remember the previous times and the scrambling for PV Solar Systems, generators and cheap Diesel. Yes, we are back! Thank you ESKOM!

    The crisis does not come unexpected as all foreign engineers have beens sent back and Medupi and Kusile are a playground for university graduates and ill-appointed protegees, who try to get an ultra-modern power station going. Meanwhile the units at both plants are mostly offline, the ash and dust silos are overfull and pollute the air the plants are supposed to breathe and ill-advised capacity increases and longer maintenance intervals lead now to unit f…

  • National Minimum Wage Act in Force from 2019

    27 Nov 2018
    Minimum Wages apply from January 2019

    After a long delay, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into law.

    The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa’s first National Minimum Wage at R20 an hour, equivalent to R3,500 per month, depending on the number of hours worked, and creates a phase-in period for farm workers, forestry workers, domestic workers, welfare sector and care workers, due to their vulnerability to disemployment.

    An exemption may only be granted if the employer cannot afford to pay the minimum wage and after meaningful consultation with every trade union representing affected employees or the affected employee him/herself in absence of a trade union.

    “The President’s signing of the new law comes four years, to …

  • Labour Law Amendment: Parental Leave

    27 Nov 2018
    Parental Leave in Force

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has also signed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law.

    The bill is notable as it was not introduced by ANC lawmakers but was instead tabled as a private member’s bill by the ACDP’s Cheryllyn Dudley. The Labour Laws Amendment Bill allows for parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave to employees as follows:

    1. An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;
    2. An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:
    3. Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or
    4. At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

    An employee, who is a commissioning parent in a surrogacy agreement, is entitled to…

  • The Country celebrates and Rand strengthens as Gigaba resigns

    14 Nov 2018 | R M Ertner
    Good Bye Gigaba

    What a relief when the news hit the internet last night that Malusi Gigaba, Chief Incompetent, and Minister of Home Affairs, finally resigned.

    His move was almost as eagerly awaited as once Jacob Zuma’s as he is one of the last ministers in cabinet that kept close ties to the Guptas and lied to the People as well as to the Courts.

    His testimonies around the citizenship he granted to the Gupta Brothers while receiving them also “privately”, his lies under oath in front of court (perjury), his sex-tape that circulates on Social Media and him showing the finger in Parliament ae just a tip of the iceberg, which describes Gigaba’s political failures. His agonising visa rules for travelling children and openly xenophobic policy towards s…

  • Mboweni calls for Closure of SAA

    03 Nov 2018
    Mboweni calls for Closure of SAA

    While finance minister, Tito Mboweni, had no room for maneuvers during his Mid-Term Speech, he now speaks up on his plan for saving the state coffers!

    Speaking at an investor conference in New York, Mboweni noted that decisions over the future of the state carrier SAA were ultimately not under his control, but that it was difficult to see a turnaround for the airline. “It’s loss-making, we are unlikely to sort out the situation, so my view would be close it down,” Mboweni said. “Why I say close it down is because it’s unlikely that you are going to find any private sector equity partner who will come join this asset,” Mboweni added.

    In May SAA reported losses of R5.7 billion over the financial year. During the Mid-Term Budget Mbowe…

  • No Sparks flying from Mid-Term Budget - only Concerns

    24 Oct 2018 | R M Ertner
    Mboweni presents Budget without Sparks

    It was Tito Mboweni’s first real appearance, not an easy feat to step in front of Parliament and Public with a Mid-Term Budget that was almost solely concocted by his corrupt predecessor, the Butcher of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. He and his team had ample time to prepare and when Mboweni took over only weeks ago there was hardly any time to establish his own course. But would that have really been so much different from what was presented yesterday?

    Any current Minister of Finance has very little to work with. The South African economy is treading water at one place with 0.7% anticipated GDP growth, a projection that we do not share. However, what we share are the facts: South Africa is in a recession and the inflation rate, officially qu…

  • What to expect from the upcoming Mid-Term Budget?

    18 Oct 2018 | Ralph M Ertner
    Mid-Term Budget ahead

    Spoiler Alert, the answer is “nothing”!

    The upcoming Medium-Term Budget on 24 October 2018 will not go down in history as to be remembered, you can be sure of that! Newly appointed Minister of Finance and former Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni, has not had enough time to develop his own fiscal policy and beside that he is tasked to administer funds within such high fiscal as well as political constraints that there is virtually no room for a “big one”. The budget to be presented had long been done by the team under Nhlanhla Nene and he will more or less read out his predecessor#s findings.

    But that does not mean we are not looking forward to Mboweni’s new office and especially him sharing his vision where the fiscal future of t…