Credit: Call to rein in festive buying

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Credit

Call to rein in festive buying

South Africans needed to be cautious about their spending over the festive season, the National Credit Regulator said yesterday. In the quarter to September, the number of consumers with impaired records increased by 71 000 from the previous quarter to 9.7 million, the regulator’s chief executive, Nomsa Motshegare, said. Consumers in good standing increased by 9 000 to 10.5 million, representing 51.9 percent of credit-active consumers, down from 53 percent a year earlier. – Sapa

Resources

Manage water better – OECD

South Africa should empower agencies to start managing water catchment areas and to curb losses because water was in increasingly short supply, the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) said yesterday. Leakage from the ageing infrastructure was adding to scarcity woes, it said in its first South African environmental performance review, published on its website. “Water resources management, a national responsibility…, isn’t adequately integrated with the provision of water services, which is a municipal responsibility,” it said. Establishing agencies would “ensure they better integrate water resources management, the provision of water services and land use.” – Bloomberg

Transport

45 700 freed from e-tolls

So far 45 700 public transport operators had been exempted from paying e-tolls in Gauteng, the provincial Department of Transport said yesterday. “Those who qualify for this exemption are public transport operators in possession of valid permits and operating licences and whose vehicles are registered on the eNatis system,” spokeswoman Octavia Mamabolo said. “Those exempted constitute the vast majority of taxis operating in the province.” – Sapa

Agriculture

Minister wants credible alerts

The government wants to make emergency weather warning systems more credible among farmers after drought reduced the white maize harvest. “Our first priority is to have early warning systems for farmers and to get them to respect [them],” Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday. “We warned farmers the drought was imminent but if they doubt the credibility of the information then they’re not going to do anything.” Grain SA, which represents commercial farmers, said maize prices might surge as much as 27 percent if the North West did not get more rain to enable farmers to plant by December 15. – Bloomberg

Manufacturing

New orders nudge up PMI

The seasonally adjusted HSBC purchasing managers’ index (PMI) nudged up to 51.6 last month from 51.5 in October, partly as new orders increased. “Further improvements in domestic demand, employment and export orders, which expanded for the first time in six months, are welcome positives and indicate potential upsides for economic activity and South Africa’s external balance going into 2014,” HSBC economist David Faulkner said yesterday. But the improvement was likely to be gradual, with a weak rand putting pressure on companies’ costs. – Reuters


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