The outlook is still very challenging as businesses returned only in mid-January from the holiday period. Load shedding on a daily basis for between 10 and 12 hours (Stage 4-Stage 6) is still affecting the economy, especially manufacturing industries, while electricity public utility Eskom is continuing to struggle with maintenance and breakdowns at its power stations.
The six-month export ban on copper, brass, gunmetal and ferrous scrap is in place.
Aluminium and stainless steel scrap can still be exported through the International Trade Administration Commission and permits will be granted, although the export tax must be paid before shipping the material. Local works can object to export applications and offer a local price under the price preference system, especially for aluminium scrap.
The Central Bank is expected to continue to increase interest rates by between 50 and 75 basis points. Inflation is currently at 7.2% and the outlook for this year is for between 5.5% and 6.5%. At the time of writing, the rand is trading at 17.20 to the US dollar.