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Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],

Following the unprecedented and volatile year of 2020, can we expect 2021 to see an improvement? In seeking answers to this question, Tutwa Consulting Group (TCG), reflects on the South African State of the Nation Address delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Mid-Term Budget speech delivered by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni. South Africa’s economic recovery depends on several factors, with the most important being the efficient delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. This is easier said than done and it is a logistics challenge that has not been encountered before.

While some merely assert that South Africa has not yet taken practical steps towards economic growth- we have delved deeper and identified several factors that will drive economic recovery this year and beyond.

Tutwa is working to understand South Africa’s gas industry as it offers an important part of the solution to keeping the lights on, and the Gas Forum at the Energy Indaba provided some insightful key take-aways, which our researcher Anna Ngarachu explores. It is indeed unfortunate that lights are going off when many business operations have moved to digital platforms and the use of ICT infrastructure is critical for economic activity to thrive.

As we reflect on the first quarter of 2021, we are also taking stock of one year of pandemic economics. Our economist, Heinrich Krogman, shares some insights on the state of South Africa’s economic output, labour market, and trade and investment landscape.

This newsletter edition also shines a spotlight on regional integration and trade in the era of COVID-19. Our researcher Thabelo Muleya shares insights into how the pandemic has disrupted global value chains and forced economies like South Africa to maximise opportunities brought by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as well as efforts towards localisation.

At Tutwa Consulting Group we have noted how the second wave of the Coronavirus has had detrimental effects on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA. There are indeed more reasons for this and we have been fortunate enough to have experts on regional integration like our Director, Catherine Grant Makokera, who has been offering current analysis on the matter through media engagements and participation in webinars to offer traders insights to better equip themselves to understand how the AfCFTA affects them – presenting both opportunities and challenges. The question for importers and exporters is how to maximise the potential provided by the creation of the world’s largest trading bloc.

At TCG we pride ourselves in sharing trade, investment, and policy insights that will support you in staying ahead of the curve. As we move into a different phase focused on rebuilding, TCG is here to guide you through unfamiliar terrain with policy insights to help you craft impactful strategies.

A natural transition to gas - reflections from the Africa Energy Indaba

Author: Anna Ngarachu
I attended the annual Africa Energy Indaba, two weeks back, which brought together key experts from the private and public sectors to talk about the next steps for Africa’s energy transition, as well as networking and exhibitor displays all packaged very well on a virtual platform. Luckily, there was no stage 2, 3 or 4 load-shedding that week …
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South Africa on Regional Integration and Trade in the Era of COVID-19: Localisation vs regional value chains

Author: Thabelo Muleya
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the most fundamental disruption to economic activity in a century, introducing huge challenges for the South African economy, regional value chains, and global trade. How is this affecting regional integration? To understand this, we first need to analyse the different types of trade and economic policy responses to Covid-19 and how they relate …
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Taking stock. One year of pandemic economics

Author: Heinrich Krogman
Before the virus arrived in South Africa the major concern was how Chinese restrictions would affect global markets; trying to figure out which value chains would be affected by the restrictions in Wuhan and how it might spread to Europe and beyond. Soon pandemic jokes turned into serious concern as people stormed grocery stores for toilet paper, non-perishables …
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TCG in the media

  • Our Director Catherine Grant expanding further on the new WTO’s head- what she brings to the table and the challenges faced by the organisation she is taking charge of. Catch the interview here
  • South Africa’s trade policy post-COVID-19 can be found here
  • Cova and Tutwa urge businesses to undertake detailed scrutiny of AfCFTA. Read more here
  • Catherine shares with us some important insights on the potential impacts of the AfCFTA on Africa’s external trade relations as well as on the future of the WTO. Listen here

Tutwa Consulting Group and Cova Advisory Webinar

#AfCFTA: What every trader should know

Caroline Rheeder, Associate Director at Cova Advisory, and Catherine Grant Makokera, Director at Tutwa Consulting Group, had a discussion that tackled both policy and a pragmatic approach to the AfCFTA. Watch the webinar here

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