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SA is Making Progress In Its Nine Point Plan - The Presidency

 June 20  2016  22:50 l   

Cape Town - The South African Government is making steady progress in the implementation of its Nine Point Plan to reignite growth and create jobs, the Presidency said on Monday.

The plan, which forms part of of the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2015 State of the Nation Address.

Energy, tourism, agriculture, boosting small, medium and micro businesses (SMMEs), science and technology, industrialisation and transport are some of the areas addressed in the Nine Point Plan.

In its feedback on progress with the plan, the Presidency said work is being done in all segments of the Nine Point Plan.

Energy

The drafting of the Integrated Energy Plan is continuing. This policy has been under development since 2012.

"Once completed, it will provide answers to various questions our country has been grappling with regarding our energy future," the Presidency said in a statement.
 
In its view, the Department of Energy (DoE) is marking the great strides with the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme towards the development and empowerment of the youth. About 52% of total job opportunities in this programme have gone to the youth so far.
 
The energy contribution of independent power producers is expected to grow to about 7 000MW in 2016, while private investment in the programme currently exceeds R194bn.

The DoE will announce the preferred bidders from the first bid submission for domestic coal projects in July 2016. The bids will have a combined capacity of 900MW at an investment of R45bn, rolled over the next four years.

The Biofuels Regulatory Framework will be submitted to Cabinet during this financial year and the nuclear energy expansion programme remains part of the future energy mix in terms of the Nine Point Plan.

The Presidency emphasised that the procurement plan for a 9 600MW nuclear build programme will be implemented at a pace determined by what the country can afford.
 
The DoE has also worked on facilitating the gas-to-power programme.

"The exploitation of our country’s indigenous gas - coal bed methane and shale gas - as well as the regional natural gas resources must be seen in the broader context of regional integration," the Presidency said.

Contracts for the supply of the first 9 000 baseline solar water heating systems have been placed. The next step would be to start training local communities - especially the youth, women and other designated groups - in the installation of the systems.

"The electrification programme has made remarkable progress in increasing access to electricity in SA by connecting over 6.7 million households between 1994 and March 2016. As of February 2016, access to electricity stands at 88% since 1994," the Presidency pointed out.

Tourism

The travel and tourism sector in general attracted capital investment of R63bn in 2015 and contributed R118.6bn directly. The industry generated 703 000 jobs directly in 2015 - 4.5% of total employment.

"The total contribution of Travel and Tourism to employment, including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was 1.5 million jobs in 2015, which is 9.9% of total employment," the Presidency said.

Agriculture

The Land Bank is making progress with regards to financing for agriculture, according to the Presidency. In its view, internal governance and control processes at the Land Bank have improved considerably as reflected in unqualified audit opinions since the 2012 financial year.

"Reduced non-performing loans now represent about 5.5% of the now significantly larger loan book, down from 22.5% in 2009," the Presidency said.

The loan book has expanded from R16bn in 2008 to approaching R40bn to date. About R2.5bn (6.5%) of the loan book is devoted to development loans compared to no investment eight years ago.

The cost to income ratio has dropped from 82% in 2011 to around 58% currently, and the Land Bank Group posted a profit of R352m for the financial year ended March 31 2015.

"The process of transforming the Land Bank into a strong development finance institution that plays an even bigger and more effective role in rural and agricultural development will be accelerated and deepened," the Presidency said.

"The Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as Rural Development and Land Reform will work closely with the Minister of Finance to ensure better alignment between the policy objectives of their departments and the activities of the Land Bank, whose executive authority is the Minister of Finance."

Science and technology

The Department of Science and Technology recently launched the SA's first Bio-Manufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) in Pretoria. The centre supports SMMEs involved in bio-manufacturing by enabling them to exploit market opportunities.

Currently the BIDC is supporting 19 enterprises of which 16 are owned by black entrepreneurs - of which 10 are black women-owned enterprises. About 55 permanent and 171 temporary jobs have already been created, with 54 interns trained. The initial phase will result in the creation of permanent and temporary jobs with the economic impact projected at R250m per annum in the next five years.

SMMEs, cooperatives and township development

A total of 117 black women-owned enterprises have been supported through the Co-operative Incentive Scheme to the value of R35.9 m, while 325 women-owned enterprises were supported through the Black Business Supplier Development Programme to the value of R45.2m.

The Department of Small Business Development has provided support to 992 informal retailers and 45 informal trader organisations in the past financial year. Of these, 559 were women-owned and 213 were young traders.

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) are now co-located in all nine provinces. This is to improve the ability of SMMEs and co-operatives to access services provided.
 
Industrial Policy Action Plan and Investment promotion

According to the Presidency, Zuma has welcomed recent investments in SA. These include the investment by Toyota for a new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban.

"This was made possible through the support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), which has attracted investments of over R25bn in the automotive industry in the past five years. This investment will support more than 4 000 jobs with total employment in the plant already exceeding 8 000 jobs," the Presidency said.

Toyota injected R6.1bn into SA's manufacturing industry and local vehicle production.

BMW has also announced the construction of a R6bn a new, state-of-the-art body shop. The expansion will enable BMW to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3.

"This demonstrates that the Rosslyn Plant is highly competitive within the global BMW production network, both in terms of cost of production and quality," the Presidency said.

Another investment is for a R100m Dursots & All Joy Tomato Processing Plant in Modjadjiskloof near Tzaneen. Dursots is using supplier development to encourage 15 black emerging famers into the value chain.

To support the upgrade and expansion of the rail locomotive programme, Gibela Rail Transport consortium has commenced the building of a R1bn factory at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni. The factory will be utilised to manufacture trains for Prasa.

Aberdare Cables launched its new production line in Pietermaritzburg. The production line will produce cables for Prasa and Transnet's locomotive build programme.  
 
According to the Presidency, the Investments Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is chaired by the president, continues its work - supported by business - to remove obstacles to doing business in SA.

Operation Phakisa

Within the oceans economy, Government says it continues to try and ensure that it creates an enabling environment to promote and attract investments. Over the last 18 months, about R17bn in investments had been attracted, creating approximately 4 500 jobs.

Within the Marine Transport and Manufacturing Focus Area investments in the port infrastructure had been committed through the Transnet National Ports Authority.
 
Within the aquaculture sector, ten aquaculture projects had been implemented. This secured investments totalling R444m from Government and industry, creating around 521 jobs (23% women and 66% youth) and a projected production of 2 901 tonnes.
 
Rural development

In May 2016 Zuma officially handed-over the state of the art Beaufort West Youth Hub to the Kwa-Madlankosi community in the Western Cape. The hub is part of the Department of Rural Development and Land reform's programme of revitalising rural towns.

An amount of R52m was invested in the project to enable young people to acquire skills training in various fields, as well as using it for sports and recreational activities, the Presidency said.

Also in May, Zuma handed over compensation for land as part of Phase 1 of the settlement of claims in the Kruger National Park. A total of R84m was awarded to six communities - three from Limpopo, and three from Mpumalanga.

In May the Women in Maize project was launched under the Department of Small Business Development in partnership with SA Breweries and the Agricultural Research Council. The programme seeks to empower 5 000 women.

-Fin24

 

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MTN Group And Nigeria Agree On Fine Settlement 

 June 13  2016  18:35 l   

MTN Group stood head and shoulders above its rivals in the top 40 index on Monday as a relief rally in the shares of Africa’s biggest mobile operator continued for a second session running.

MTN and the Nigerian authorities on Friday announced a deal to reduce the size of the fine that the South African-based company needed to pay for failing to disconnect unregistered cellphone users in Nigeria — its biggest market.

The group has agreed to pay $1.67bn over three years to settle its case with the Nigerian Communications Commission. The penalty is significantly lower than the $5.2bn originally levied.

The settlement has helped lift the cloud that has hung over the company, and its share price, since October when the news of the penalty first came to light.

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SA Business Confidence Fell To New All-Time Low

 June 07  2016  14:35 l   

Johannesburg - South Africa's business confidence fell to a new all-time low in May hurt by poor performances in sectors such as manufacturing and retail, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (SACCI) Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell to 79.3 in May from 82.5 the previous month.This was 7.6 index points lower than a year before and the worst index level since June 1993, according to Bloomberg.

The index had slipped to 79.6 in December after President Jacob Zuma changed finance ministers twice within a week.

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S&P Global Does Not See South Africa  Slipping Into Recession Soon

 June 05  2016  15:40 l   

Johannesburg - Ratings firm S&P Global Ratings said on Monday it does not see South Africa's economy slipping into a recession soon, but warned that economic reforms had to be implemented to avoid a downgrade in December.

S&P affirmed the investment grade rating of Africa's most industrialised country on Friday, keeping at BBB- with a negative outlook, but lowered its economic growth estimate to 0.6% from 1.6%. South Africa expanded by only 1.3% in 2015 and has seen major industries contract as a weak currency, low consumer demand and rising inflation weigh.

 Full Story

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SA Recorded Trade Surplus For First Time In 2016

 May 31  2016  16:35 l   

SOUTH Africa recorded a trade surplus of R430m in April, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) reported on Tuesday.

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US No Longer World's Most Competitive Economy

 May 30  2016  22:00 l   

Cape Town - The US has surrendered its status as the world’s most competitive economy after being overtaken by China Hong Kong and Switzerland, according to the World Competitive Rankings released on Monday.

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Overlapping Trade Blocs Undermine Africa Regional Integration

 May 25  2016  10:20 l   

Regional integration is a key strategy for development and intra-regional trade. It is expected to produce huge economic gains for Africa such as creation of jobs, economic diversification, as well as reduction of poverty and inequality. However, overlapping memberships of competing groups is undermining regional integration on the continent.

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Toyota Injects R6.1bn Into SA Automobile Industry

 May 24  2016  12:20 l   

President Jacob Zuma is due to officially commission a new Toyota manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban, on Tuesday.

The plant, which will manufacture new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models, is part of Toyota's injection of R6.1bn investment into SA's automobile industry.

Full Story

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Stop Playing With Our Economy To Score Political Points- NPA Boss Appealed

 May 23  2016  15:22 l   

Pretoria – Reports of the imminent arrest of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were being used to score political points and had subsequently thrown the rand into turmoil, National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams said on Monday.

Full Story

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Coordination of Infrustructure In SA Has Paid Dividends- Ramaphosa

 May 11  2016  21:50 l   

Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has mooted investments in the infrastructure and ICT sectors in South Africa and Africa.
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Full Story

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Vodacom To Stop Offering  M-Pesa Mobile Banking

 May 09  2016  10:50 l   

Johannesburg - Vodafone Group’s South African unit Vodacom Group will stop offering its mobile-banking product M-Pesa in the country as the strength of the banking system means fewer customers are taking up the service than in other sub-Saharan African markets.


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VW To Give New Black Suppiers Business Opportunity

 May 05  2016  20:50 l   

Cape Town - Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) wants to work with new black- and women-owned manufacturing suppliers to help South Africa reach its economic transformation goals, it said in a statement on Thursday.

 Full Story

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The African Continent Is Losing More Than R1.16 trillion Through Illicit Outflow

 April 22  2016  22:30 l   

Johannesburg - The African continent was losing more than $80bn (R1.16trn) a year through illicit outflows, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Monday.

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There Are Ways SA Can Avoid Junk Status - Lesiba Mothata

 April 22  2016  22:30 l   

Cape Town - There are ways SA could avoid a ratings downgrade to junk status and turn the tide on the decline, according to Lesiba Mothata, chief economist at Investment Solutions.

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Consumers To Pay 7.64% More For Electricity From July 1st

 April 19  2016 17:30 l   

Cape Town – Consumers who receive their power from municipalities will see electricity prices jump by about 7.64% on July 1, after energy regulator Nersa approved the increase for municipalities this week.

Full Story

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SA Post Office Fails To Pay Leased Cars

 April 14  2016 15:50 l   

Pretoria - The beleaguered South African Post Office stands to lose a fleet of 4 000 cars after failing to pay the leasing company.

Full Story

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South Africans Can Now Apply For Smart ID Cards At Local Banks

 April 11  2016 18:50 l   

Cape Town - South Africans can finally apply for their smart ID cards at local banks following the launch of the eChannel programme.

Full Story

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SA Investors Plan To Make Offer For 10% Of Barclays Africa Group

 April 08  2016 16:50 l   

Johannesburg - A group of South African investors plan to make an offer for 10% of the shares in Barclays Africa Group, a person familiar with the matter said.

Full Story

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SA Trade Deficit Decreased To R1.07bn In February 2016

 March 31  2016 18:15 l   

Cape Town – South Africa’s trade deficit decreased to R1.07bn in February, falling significantly from its revised January deficit of R17.96bn, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) announced on Thursday.

Full Story

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Sanral Accused Of Blaming E-Toll Opponents For Its Financial Woes

 March 29  2016 14:40 l   

Cape Town – E-toll owner Sanral was on Monday accused of blaming its financial woes and credit rating pressures on opponents of the controversial Gauteng road payment system.

Full Story

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Cell C In A Legal Battle With BEE Partner

 March 24  2016 19:40 l   

A LARGE empowerment shareholder at debt-laden cellular services group Cell C is looking to disrupt a much-needed recapitalisation exercise initiated by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms.

Full Story

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Gauteng Tolling Equipment Is Unreliable -Outa

 March 22  2016 11:40 l   

Cape Town – Anti e-toll group Outa said on Monday that it has “plenty of evidence” indicating the Gauteng tolling equipment is unreliable.  Full Story

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Chicken War Is Over, US Delivers First Shipment

 March 03  2016 08:50 l   

Cape Town - The arrival of the first shipment of US chicken in South Africa on Monday marked the resolution of a long-standing stalemate between South Africa and the US over poultry imports.   Full Story

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Trevor Manuel Commends Pravin Gordhan For Budget Presentation

 February 25  2016 20:10 l   

Cape Town – Former finance minister Trevor Manuel praised Pravin Gordhan for taking up the challenge and delivering a budget two months after his reappointment. Full Story

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Tax Law Amendment On Retirement Postponed to 2018

 February 18  2016 11:10 l   

Cape Town - For the second year in a row President Jacob Zuma’s government has been forced to backpedal on provisions in the Tax Amendment Act that compel South Africans to put two-thirds of their provident fund savings in a retirement annuity. Full Story

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ANC Courting Business Leaders To Help Rescue SA Economy 

 February 16  2016 11:10 l   

Johannesburg - The ANC has jilted its long-standing labour union allies and is courting business leaders to help it rescue South Africa's economy, which is teetering on the brink of a recession and a downgrade of the nation's credit rating to junk. Full Story

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Gradual Rising House Price Growth In Some Segments 

 February 05  2016 16:00 l   
Cape Town - Nominal year-on-year growth in the average value of middle-segment homes in the South African residential property market remained in single digits in January 2016, according to Jacques du Toit, property analyst at Absa Home Loans.  Full Story 

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The Risk Of A Recession Mounting In SA 

 January 28  2016 11:50 l   
Johannesburg - The risk of a recession in South Africa this year is mounting, making policy decisions more difficult for a central bank battling to balance the need to contain inflation and support a stuttering economy. Full Story

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Portfolio Committee Corrects Its Statement About Outa And E-Toll 

 January 27  2016 12:30 l   
Cape Town - The Portfolio Committee on Transport said on Wednesday that it erroneously stated that the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) is not opposed to e-tolling. Full Story

 

 

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