Tough Times for Retail Sales

Retail sales growth slowed further in August, deepening the disappointing slowdown reported for July.

Retail sales grew just 0.2% in August compared with a year earlier, Statistics SA said on Wednesday, after the 0.8% increase that was reported last month for July.

That was much slower than economists had expected. The Trading Economics forecast was for year-on-year growth of 1.4%, while the Bloomberg consensus was less optimistic, at 0.6% growth.

Slow Growth for SA Economy

One of the biggest challenges facing the South African economy was that it was not growing fast enough and a number of bodies‚ including labour‚ needed to work together to address this challenge‚ Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

Gordhan was addressing trade union UASA’s sixth national congress in Boksburg on the state of the economy and the collaborative role of the social partners in trying to avoid a ratings downgrade by international ratings agencies.

Rand Improves Following NPA Announcement

The rand has turned around after plunging on Tuesday in response to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's legal woes. 

The currency fell further this Wednesday but it changed course and jumped up by 2% against the dollar on Wednesday afternoon.

After a one month low of R14.50, the currency strengthened dramatically to around R14 to the dollar before moderating again.

Child Marriage on the Rise Amid Starvation

Godfrey Mutizwa in his article titled, ‘Zimbabwe’s child marriages on the rise as food runs short’, says food is becoming scarce in large parts of rural Zimbabwe after rains failed for a second season, compounding living conditions in an economy that’s contracting with just a fifth of workers in formal employment.

Mutizwa points out that the United Nations agencies and the government are warning more than one in three Zimbabweans may need food assistance by next March.

Africa Dominates G20 Developmental Agenda

G20 leaders have vowed to remove trade barriers and set the global economy on growth path.

Speaking though an interpreter, Chinese President and G20 President Xi JingPing says free trade will spur growth, adding that, "We agreed to improve the G20 trade and investment mechanism and endorse the G20 strategy for global trade growth and move towards inclusive and coordinated global value chains.”

SACBC Comments on Zuma’s Stance on Gordhan

The Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference (SACBC) says it is not convinced by President Jacob Zuma’s stated position that he cannot intervene in the standoff between Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and the Hawks.

SACBC’s Bishop Abel Gabuza insists that President Zuma can and should do more, adding that, “We ask the president to intervene in the current impasse in a manner that assures the country that the probe against the finance minister is not politically motivated.”

Rwanda Tops World Bank Governance Ratings for Africa

According to a new report by the World Bank, Rwanda, Cabo Verde, Kenya and Senegal lead the continent in the quality of their governance and institutions that support economic growth and reduce poverty.

According to the World Bank, Rwanda has made significant progress in transforming from a low-income agricultural economy to one that is service-based.

The report finds that Rwanda’s ‘Vision 2020’ plan seeks to speed growth and reduce poverty with a focus on economic transformation, youth employment productivity, rural development and government accountability.

SA GDP Growth too Slow to Improve Living Conditions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that economic growth in South Africa is too slow to improve living standards in a country where a third of the population is excluded from the economy.

IMF’s first deputy managing director, David Lipton, argues that the cost of insufficient action has reached the critical point, adding that, “What is needed is a fresh and energetic review of South Africa’s policies, followed by action.”

​Africa Experiences Sluggish Economic Growth

The African continent has continued experiencing sluggish economic growth despite having huge resources compared to European counties.
Africa's growth continued to increase from 3.7 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014, a performance that is underpinned by improved macro-economic management, diversified trade and investment ties with emerging economies, among other factors.
Africa's social development indicators, however, reveal the often observed economic performance which includes high unemployment and poverty co-existing with robust growth.

Call to Preserve Elephant Population

Victor Siamudaala, in his analysis, writes that it is only fitting that Zambia’s incredible wildlife is featured on all our banknotes.

Siamudaala if of the view that these animals, especially the African elephant, are the cornerstone of a tourism industry that contributes US$1.5 billion USD to the country’s economy every year.


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