It has just been announced in the Government Gazette that there will be a six-month ban on exports of copper, brass, gunmetal and ferrous scrap from South Africa. Aluminium and stainless steel scrap can be shipped abroad through the International Trade Administration Commission as export permits will be granted, but the export tax must be paid prior to shipping the material. Furthermore, local works can object to exports and offer a local price under the price preference system, especially on aluminium scrap.
Overall, the business outlook is still challenging. All companies will close by the middle of this month for the December/January holidays.
Ongoing load shedding over eight to 10 hours a day is continuing to affect the economy, especially manufacturing industries. Furthermore, electricity public utility Eskom is still struggling with maintenance and breakdowns at its power stations. Load shedding will continue for the next 18 to 24 months.
Inflation was at 7.6% at the end of October and the central bank will continue to increase interest rates by 50 to 75 basis points over the next few months. At the time of writing, the rand is trading at 17.00 to the US dollar.