• Africa CAN contribute to World Economy

    10 May 2013
    Pravin Gordhan at WEF

    Africa’s potential to contribute more significantly to the global economy is increasingly being recognised around the world, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday in Cape Town. “There’s a great deal of excitement around the world… about South Africa as the new place, where you going to see exciting things happening over the next 10 to 20 years,” Gordhan told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa. Gordhan said his visits to Washington and London in recent weeks proved to be both insightful and positive.

    The WEF offered an opportunity to convince more people about Africa’s potential. "It’s about saying to people who have money and want to make a profit out of their money that you can invest in…

  • USD 97m for Job Creation in Digital Fields

    09 May 2013
    Rockefeller Foundation

    The Rockefeller Foundation will pledge about R900m to create digital field jobs in Africa, it was announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa today. “There is no better place to announce the official launch of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa initiative, a $97m investment,” said the philanthropic organisation’s president Judith Rodin in Cape Town. The initiative hoped to reach one million people in the next seven years. The money would be pumped into training work seekers and getting them jobs in the digital fields such as data entry, service centre support, online research and web design. The initiative would be rolled out in six countries – South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco and Egypt. "We will leverage th…

  • World Economic Forum on Africa 2013

    05 May 2013
    World Economic Forum 2013

    SOUTH AFRICA is preparing to promote itself as an attractive investment destination as leaders worldwide descend on Cape Town for the twenty-third World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa next week. The WEF on Africa, themed ‘Delivering on Africa’s Promise’, will be held from May 8 to 10, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. South Africa, which hosts the event every second year, aimed to direct the theme around three anchor topics, namely accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking Africa’s talent, said Finance Deputy Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Last year, Ethiopia hosted the twenty-second forum, in Addis Ababa, with a focus on leadership, innovation and shared opportunities, as well as on …

  • Zuma urges BRICS Partner to invest in SA

    01 May 2013
    Jacob Zuma

    President Jacob Zuma has urged Russia and Brazil to invest in South Africa, the presidency reported. Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Zuma held bilateral meetings with Presidents Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, at the fourth summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA (Brics) in India.He said Zuma expressed interest in cooperating with Russia in engineering, especially with the training of South Africans in Russia. “The president also raised interest in cooperation in mining, especially the operation of the ore line from Sishen iron ore deposits to Saldanha harbour.” Maharaj said Russia had expressed interest in cooperating with South Africa in the construction of nuclear power plants.

    South Africa’s integrated …

  • CIDB hunts Construction Cartels

    23 Apr 2013
    Construction Greenpoint

    Construction cartels could learn their fate as early as June, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) told MPs on today. Briefing Parliament’s public works committee, CIDB chairperson Bafana Ndendwa said he was updated by the Competition Commission last week on a probe into the major construction industry companies which had admitted being guilty of collusive practices. “There are 21 companies that came in with disclosures and those companies, they [the Competition Commission] are processing it,” said Ndendwa. He could not satisfy MPs’ calls for the companies to be named and shamed, as commission rules prohibited him from doing so until an order had been made against the firms.

    According to a report tabled in the committee,…

  • More SA Visas for Africa

    21 Apr 2013 | Daniel Anvari-Brown
    Visa Stamp

    For as long as global commerce has been a financial reality, Europe and the rest of the first world have wittered on about the lack of transparency and opaque business practices of what they termed the dark continent. Meanwhile, Africa has soldiered on as the world tries to recover from the economic turmoil of the 2008 credit crunch, which resulted from its own dabbling in the opaque. Certainly the mindset of corporate South Africa increasingly seems to turn to exploiting trade and relationships across Africa, rather than the single-minded focus towards Europe and the USA prevalent less than a decade ago.

    The visa business in South Africa has seen a dramatic change from the almost exclusive focus on Schengen countries for the South Af…

  • Infrastructure Projects in Need of speedier Administration

    21 Apr 2013
    Infrastructure Projects

    South Africa’s National Treasury has finally set up a task team with the financial services industry to find new ways to improve the funding and efficiencies of government’s ambitious fiscal and state-enterprise three-year R827bn infrastructure rollout. Many major government projects have been hamstrung by bottlenecks and delays‚ with Eskom’s continuously moving Medupi power station completion date resulting in a near tripling of costs.

    “We want to create a framework that lays out new options for how everyone in the financial sector can participate,” said Nicky Prins‚ director of capital projects at Treasury yesterday. "We need to firstly understand the requirements of the different tasks in the industry and for them to understand gov…

  • SARB Governor calls for German Model to tackle Unemployment

    19 Apr 2013
    Gill Marcus

    The recent strikes – not only in the mining industry – have shown again the high vulnerability of South African business and the detrimental influence on economy and trade balance deficit. South Africa must find ways to resolve labour disputes before they undermine the economy, SA Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus stated today at a luncheon held by the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Johannesburg. “In South Africa we need to find models that enable earlier dispute resolution in the workplace before labour disputes affect the broader economy,” Marcus said. "We also need to find ways that enable the workforce to have greater knowledge of the financial affairs of the company and sector, while management needs to …

  • Proposed Debt Amnesty a Reality?

    10 Apr 2013 | Ralph M Ertner
    Debt Rating

    Almost 90% of all low income earners have an adverse credit record with such “esteemed” credit information bureaus like TPN or ITC. This owed to defaults, mostly on credit cards and shop cards, but prevents them mostly from going on with their lives, to rent a flat, get a job or simply to qualify for average contracts like cell phone or internet.

    The proposal by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Credit Regulator is to remove adverse credit information on debt under R10 000. The DTI stated that the intention of the amnesty is not to encourage consumers to make more debt by simply wiping their credit record, but rather to create a clean slate for consumers to improve access to jobs and housing. Consumers would …

  • Reserve Bank leaves Interest Rate unchanged

    28 Mar 2013 | Ralph M Ertner
    South African Reserve Bank

    SOUTH AFRICA has yet again left its interest rates unchanged. It did not come as a surprise but still prompts our compliments to the continued stance the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has to take. The inflationary risks are more prominent than ever ogling the ever rising petrol price but also smirking about the slap on ESKOM’s wrists, who now have to raise their money somewhere else but on the back of drained consumers. We wonder, what that will do to the Renewable Energy Procurement Programme (REIPPPP)….?

    Anyway, back to the interest rate, which – as far as the Repo Rate is concerned – remains at 5.0%, translating to 8,5% prime lending rate. (Ever wondered why you pay more than 20% for your credit card? Just count the floors of…