MAIL & GUARDIAN: Business

Telkom WiFi spreads its wings

Telkom's T-Zone WiFi hotspot pilot launched in September with Southern Sun Hotels has now been extended to hotels and conference centres in major South African cities, as the company ramps up its drive to introduce a commercial WiFi service early next year.

JSE flat in lacklustre trade

The JSE Securities Exchange South Africa (JSE) was flat in noon trade on Thursday in a market that was quiet ahead of the decision on interest rates by the South African Reserve Bank monetary policy committee due just after 3pm. Gold stocks dominated the market's downside

Maize belt stuck in dry spell

The dry spell or drought that the South African maize belt has experienced for two weeks is set to extend to four weeks with very little rain forecast in the two weeks from now until Christmas. "The chances of rainfall in the next two weeks are very, very slim," a South African Weather Service forecaster said on Thursday.

Information summit opens in Geneva

The world's first information summit opened in Geneva on Wednesday, hoping to help bridge the technology gap between rich and poor countries and devise a new framework to govern the unruly internet. Delegates from 175 countries are attending -- including Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. <li><a class='standardtextsmall' href="http://www.mg.co.za/Content/l3_fl2.asp?o=38626">WSIS special report</a>

Aids casts shadow over SA business

Nine percent of companies included in a new survey showed that HIV/Aids has already had a significant adverse impact on their business, the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids announced on Wednesday. Forty-three percent envisaged a significant negative impact over the next five years.

Strength of rand warrants a rate cut

The strength of the rand warrants a further rate cut, Metropolitan Asset Manager's economist Rejane Woodroffe said in her latest economic overview. "The sustained strength of the rand has continued to surprise ... and paves the way for a further interest rate cut at this year's final monetary policy committee meeting," she said.

Kiwis are world’s biggest net geeks

New Zealanders access the internet more than computer users in 31 other countries, including the United States and Australia, a new international survey shows. Seventy-five percent of the 1&nbsp;000 New Zealanders surveyed in August had used the internet in the previous month.

Telkom takes internet into Africa

Following the successful introduction of TelkomInternet via satellite, Telkom is now taking its SpaceStream Express product into Africa. "We have started trials in several African countries and expect to introduce a full commercial service early in the new year," a Telkom spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Foreign demand for SA property grows

Foreign investors, particularly from the UK, Ireland and Germany, are increasingly looking to buy South African commercial property as a medium- to long-term investment option, despite the ongoing strength of the rand, according to Golding Commercial Properties, a subsidiary of the Pam Golding Properties group.

Imperial: BEE is not a risk factor

Black economic empowerment (BEE) is not a risk factor for South African transport group Imperial Holdings but an opportunity for transformation and development of the group, says chief executive Bill Lynch. Imperial has entered into an agreement with broad-based BEE group Ukhamba Holdings.

Bitter times for SA sugar producer

South African sugar producer Tongaat-Hulett Sugar on Monday announced that it is looking to cut costs by half as a result of the strong rand, chief executive of the Tongaat-Hulett group Peter Staude said in a statement. These cuts will require the downsizing of its head office at La Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal.

JSE weaker in quiet trade

The JSE Securities Exchange South Africa (JSE) was weaker, but near its intraday best level, at midday on Monday, helped by a weakening rand and a higher gold price, but hindered by softer world markets. Volumes were fairly light. The rand was trading at R6,33, little changed from when the JSE closed on Friday.

Sasol launches gas-to-liquid venture in Qatar

South African oil and chemicals group Sasol officially launched the world's first commercial gas-to-liquid venture outside South Africa at Ras Laffan in the State of Qatar on the weekend.

Capitalist pigs in Animal Farm

There is a capitalist pig in Ri Dok-sun's garden. There are also two capitalist dogs and a brood of capitalist chicks. But even though Ri, a 72-year-old North Korean, lives in the world's last Orwellian state, this is no animal farm. The beasts are the product of the growing free market pressure on a government that claims to be the world's last truly socialist country -- Korea.

Provincial tender boards to be phased out

South African provincial tender boards are to be phased out as part of a wide-ranging revamp of the government's supply-chain management, the National Treasury said on Friday. The National Treasury is in the process of issuing practice notes, which deal with specific issues relating to supply-chain management.

Big shift in engineering workforce

South Africa's metal and engineering industries account for about a third of all manufacturing in South Africa in terms of turnover and employment. The majority of the more than 8 000 companies in the sector are small -- less than 20 employees. A new survey shows growth of 'atypical' employment in this key sector.

Corporate SA calls for lighter hand

Business believes the economy will soon be ready for a relaxation of monetary policy and a cut in interest rates, according to its proposals for the Growth and Development Summit released this week.

Business Confidence Index at record level

The Business Confidence Index of the South African Chamber of Business increased further to 119,7 in November on the back of the strong rand and dropping inflation, after registering 116,5 in October. The index is now 14 points above last year's November level and is a fresh record high for the index.

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