• Is there Good News these Days?

    29 Jun 2013 | Ralph M Ertner
    Happy SA Supporter

    Winter-solstice, the shortest day of the year was on 21 June and one must wonder, if short days shouldn’t be appreciated in light of the current news headlines: “Horror Hike in Petrol Price”, “Mandela on Life Support”, “Burning Barricades on Cape Town Highway” or “more than 100 Rhinos Poached so far in 2013”. Comes evening, breathing, another day over, …relived! – Really? Is there nothing positive which brightens dark and bitter cold winter evenings? I beg to differ, there is lots!

    Where to start? Maybe with the increased income of the government. Although on our shoulders, it has to be noted that the government revenue increased by more than 11% compared to 2012, while expenditure is down 2,2% and thus bringing the fiscal deficit d…

  • FDI into SA slumps

    26 Jun 2013
    Currency Globes

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into South Africa decreased by 24% between 2011 and 2012, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). The Unctad World Investment Report released on Wednesday shows that South Africa recorded a decline from $6bn (R60.6bn) in 2011 to $4.6bn (R46.46bn) in 2012. Unctad said this was largely due to net divestment in the third quarter of 2012 as a foreign mining company offloaded its stake in a local subsidiary. However, South Africa was Africa’s third-largest recipient of FDI inflows in 2012, after Nigeria and Mozambique. Although the decrease in FDI represented a 24% year-on-year reduction, it was above the pre-recession average of $3.9bn (R39.39bn) a year. Furthermore,…

  • Japan to increase Engagements in Southern Africa

    09 Jun 2013
    Rob Davies

    Japan has shown itself amenable to supporting beneficiation in South Africa and increasing its automotive parts production base here, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Davies said talks at the recent Tokyo international conference on African development in Yokohama, Japan, had confirmed that the Asian nation was increasingly interested in expanding into Africa and using South Africa as a springboard. A near-completed study on economic co-operation between Japan and South Africa had delivered proposals for projects that would improve skills and competitiveness in the local component production sector, the minister said. Preliminary findings prepared for the conference included deploying Japanese master trainers to South Africa …

  • IDC offering Investment Support to Hospitality Sector

    08 Jun 2013
    Tourism in South Africa

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is keen to partner with investors who want to diversify their tourism product offering, including adventure sport. In order to prepare the local tourism industry for growth and the creation of employment opportunities, a diversification of product offering is needed, said Christine Engelbrecht, head of the Tourism Strategic Business Unit (SBU) at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). This must include developing untapped tourism nodes such as sports and adventure tourism. She said following a turbulent run prompted mainly by the global economic crisis and ensuing recession, local tourism is slowly rediscovering its growth momentum. “We probably won’t be seeing an immediate return to th…

  • Car Sales up in a Surprise Move

    03 Jun 2013 | Ralph M Ertner
    Car Sales up In South Africa

    The car sales sector is not the only one that got hammered in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, but sales are generally also an indicator for increased disposable income and / or corporate spending. In South Africa sales of motor vehicles surprised positively last month by showing a 7.5% surprise move upwards. The figures compiled by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA) were released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) today. NAAMSA said in a statement: "Aggregate industry sales of 53 997 units for May reflected an increase of 7.5% or 3 750 vehicles from the 50 247 units sold in May last year.” The figures indicated that 9% of sales were to corporate fleets‚ the rental industry and the…

  • ZAR 1bn in Land Claims settled Last Year

    20 May 2013
    Minister Gugile Nkwinti

    Almost R1bn in financial compensation was paid to land claimants in the last financial year, the department of land reform said on Monday. The department paid more than R993m to people who lodged land claims between 1994 and 31 December 1998, spokesperson Mtobeli Mxotwa said in a statement. There were 602 restitution claims settled during the financial year, starting 1 April last year and ending 31 March this year. Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said land claimants had the options of seeking restoration of their own land, alternative land or financial compensation.

    The highest claim paid was R93m to a community in Siphaqeni, in Flagstaff, in the Eastern Cape. Individual claimants received an average of R54 000 in compensation. …

  • Rand weakens in light of Wildcat Strike

    14 May 2013
    Exchange Rates

    The Rand continued to weaken today after news that all of 13 shafts of Lonmin were closed following a wildcat strike‚ apparently as a result of tensions between rival unions. “The main driver is obviously the labour unrest although some of the banks have also lowered their GDP growth outlooks. The next resistance level would be up at R9.25‚ but I don’t think we’ll see that in the short term. We’ve basically run our course on the current move and could expect to close around R9.15/$‚” said Tony van Dyk‚ a currency dealer at the Iquad Group. Lonmin (LON) confirmed on Tuesday morning that miners arrived for work but did not go underground. Although spokeswoman Sue Vey said the reason for the workers not going underground was unclear‚ tensio…

  • Green Light for the third Renewable Energy Bidding Round

    10 May 2013
    Renewable Energy

    Local news is not yet dominated by reports of rolling black-outs, but instead by the rolling renewable energy procurement programme, which has gained further momentum with another 19 projects reaching financial close yesterday and with the tender documentation for the third bid window having also been released into the market. The projects of the second bidding round – identified as preferred bids in May last year under South Africa’s increasingly acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) – comprise wind, solar and mini-hydro projects collectively representing 1 044 MW of capacity. In fact, there are nine solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a combined allocation of 417.1 MW, seven wind proje…

  • 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…