• 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…

  • 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…