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Archive for November 2013

South Africa unlikely to achieve 2% growth

THAT dreadful statistic of gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.7% for the third quarter means growth over the nine months was just 1.9%. Macroeconomic consultancy Econometrix says the fourth quarter will need to deliver 3.3% growth if the economy is to have grown of 2% this year.

Given the clearly visible slowdown in the economy, that’s unlikely. Most economists I spoke to concur that the GDP number for this year is likely to be about 1.7% or 1.8%.

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South Africa: apples and pears bear brunt of flood damage

An estimated 7.8 million cartons of fruit are expected to be lost from South Africa’s Ceres area following extensive flooding that hit the region Nov. 15 to 17, according to Hortgro.

“Some farms in the Witzenberg valley area of Ceres have lost 90% of their crop while less damages are estimated in other areas such as Warm Bokkeveld and parts of the Little Karoo,” Hortgro reported.

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New minimum wage for domestics

Cape Town – The minimum wage of domestic workers will rise from next month, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on Friday.

From December 1, the minimum wage of those working more than 27 hours a week in metropolitan areas will be R9.63 an hour, while that of their rural and small-town counterparts will be R8.30, her department said in a statement.

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Strike action – Violence and damage to property

The Labour Court granted an interim order interdicting and restraining the union and its members from continuing with an unprotected strike. The union and employees failed to comply with the order, and the strike continued, marred by violence, damage to property, intimidation and assault. The employer was compelled to approach the Labour Court again, and was granted a further interim order calling on the union and employees to show cause why they should not be held in contempt, committing the employees to prison, and fining the union R500,000. On the return day, the employer only pursued its claim for a penalty against the union.

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WWF South Africa assesses fruit industry impact

Starting from the ground up, the South African fruit industry is undertaking an environmental assessment directed at improving farm management and guiding national standards.

The Sustainable Fruit Initiative, directed by WWF South Africa, is now working through its first regional phase of individualized discussions and grower study groups.

The consultations aim to give an environmental touch to the ethical standards established by Fruit South Africa and the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), explained Martin Albertus, operational manager of WWF South Africa.

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