Anti-generics plan riles Novo

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk has quit the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of SA (Ipasa) amid differences over a proposed publicity campaign against new laws that favour cheaper generic drugs. Ipasa e-mailed members including global drug makers Merck and Pfizer to ask whether they supported a document prepared by Washington-based lobbying firm Public Affairs Engagement that said drug companies should support the campaign against South Africa’s overhaul of intellectual property laws. –Bloomberg


Motsepe gives to Bono charity

The Motsepe Foundation had donated R11 million to U2 singer and activist Bono’s (RED) campaign, which fights HIV/Aids, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday, it announced. “(RED) funds are fighting Aids in eight African countries – South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia,” said spokesman Joe Latakgomo. Funds were used for HIV/Aids grants that provided treatment, testing, prevention, and care services, focused on ending mother-to-child HIV transmission and achieving an Aids-free generation. – Sapa


Unilever staff on pay strike

Unilever employees in the food solutions and tea factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on a strike over wage increases and the implementation of a new job grade. The 220 workers are members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), which is rejecting the overall 6 percent offer from one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers in South Africa. Fawu demanded a 9 percent wage increase at the tea factory and 10 percent in the food solutions division. The union and Unilever have deadlocked over the application of a new grading structure at the food solutions site. Fawu said in a statement that it had objected to the introduction of a third layer of job grade, which is a lower pay grade. – Asha Speckman


Carlyle, Investec take Moz stake

US buyout firm Carlyle Group and the asset management unit of Investec had made a private equity investment in Mozambique-based transport firm J&J Africa, the companies said last week. They did not disclose the terms of the deal, the second for Carlyle’s Africa fund, which is targeting businesses that benefit from rising consumer spending on the continent. J&J Africa also provides warehouses for bulk and container cargo. – Reuters

Building material

Rayal to invest another R600m

Chinese-owned Rayal Porcelain Tile intended to invest a further R600 million in its business in Bronkhorstspruit over the next two years, the Department of Trade and Industry said. It would introduce three more production lines and increase its staff to 1 400 from 350. It has already invested R250m. Rayal supplies tiles to major brand names. Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said: “We welcome such investments as they assist us in realising our goal of creating employment and developing the skills of our people.” – Asha Speckman