Africa Brief: Stats SA on jobs, mining industry, Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, and more
Stats SA records first fourth-quarter net decline in jobs
68 000 jobs were lost between October and December last year, this is the first fourth quarter fall in employment since the start of Statistics SA’s quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) five years ago. This is not likely to be the end of job losses. Standard Bank research strategist Shireen Dar-malingam said, if Anglo American Platinum went ahead with its plans to retrench 14 000 workers, total mining employment would be reduced by 3%.
For the full story, read Stats SA records first fourth-quarter net decline in jobs by Ethel Hazelhurst, published in The Star, Business Report on 06/02/2013.
Mining kingpins laud SA’s industry
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu and Cynthia Carroll (outgoing Anglo American Chief executive) put on a show of unity at the mining Indaba sending out signals to investors that South Africa’s mining industry was in reasonably good shape. Susan Shabangu believes that there will be a positive outcome to talks between the government and Anglo American Platinum.
“We need to find lasting solutions.” She said South Africa was an investment destination of choice because it had “a good mining regulatory framework, our financial systems are strong, there is stability“.
For the full story, read Mining kingpins laud SA’s industry by Donwald Pressly, published in The Star, Business Report on 06/02/2013.
Zimbabwe’s central banker warns about SA imports
The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, has warned that the country’s overreliance on imports from SA could undermine Zimbabwe’s economic recovery prospects. South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trade partner. The Zimbabwean manufacturing sector is in decline and unable to meet local demand.
For the full story, read Zimbabwe’s central banker warns about SA imports by Ray Ndlovu, published in Business Day on 06/02/2013.
Reassurance on gold output despite war
The war in Mali spared its gold mines operated by companies including Randgold Resources, because 98% of the operations were in the south away from any fighting, Mines Minister Amadou Baba Sy said yesterday. Mali has a plan to support smaller companies in production which is believed will increase output to 100 tons within two or three years. Gold production is currently 50 tons a year.
For the full story, read Reassurance on gold output despite war by SAPA-AFP, Bloomberg, published in Business Day on 06/02/2013.
Rio talks to Maputo on alternative coal plan
Rio Tinto Group is in discussions with the Mozambique government to formulate a plan to export coal from the country. The appropriate infrastructural solution needs to be determined and developed, which is suitable to both parties. Mozambique rejected London’s suggestion that the coal be exported through barge shipments. Rio Tinto initially wanted a privately owned and maintained railway, although this was rejected by Mozambique as they would like all infrastructures to remain state owned.
For the full story, read Rio talks to Maputo on alternative coal plan by Jesse Riseborough, published in Business Day on 06/02/2013.
African states seek greater share of mining profit
African countries are proposing changes to their tax codes to gain greater benefit from their mining industries. This is being done to help reduce fiscal and public sector debts which increased during the global recession in 2008. The principle is that a country’s resources should be used for the benefit of its people, although this initiates fears of nationalisation in potential investors.
This can be done through increasing the states equity stake or increasing taxes and royalties. The fiscal debt of the developed world can be repaid through its taxpayers, in developing countries taxpayers income is too low for this to be possible. The government needs to ensure the additional taxes does not inhibit the country’s growth.
For the full story, read African states seek greater share of mining profit by Ronak Gopaldas, published in The Star, Business Report on 06/02/2013.