SA investment climate is improving

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Foreign investment, if targeted and nurtured, can drive economic growth and in turn contribute to much-needed job creation and economic inclusion for all, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The Minister was addressing the South African Investment Seminar on the margins of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

The purpose of the investment seminar, which was organised jointly by the dti and China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, was to expand on the investment opportunities that exist in South Africa, with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector.

Davies told Chinese investors that South Africa’s investment pitch is based on “active improvement of the investment climate, active solving of any problem that investors may have, active presentation of the opportunities that exist, and building partnerships with investors”.

Davies indicated that the country’s investment climate is also improving.

“We have made inroads to improving our investment environment. We have been working diligently towards ensuring policy certainty and consistency, improving the performance of State-owned enterprises and consolidating fiscal debt.

“South Africa is energised and government, together with its social partners, business, labour and civil society, are moving towards an inclusive economic growth path. The work of government, business, labour and civil society is progressing well,” the Minister said.

Currently, there are 58 Chinese companies that have invested in South Africa, with a capital expenditure of R69.4 billion between January 2003 and January 2018. These investments are mainly in the automotive, electronics, metals, building and construction and financial services sector.

China’s first major investment took place in October 2007 when China's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), purchased a 20% stake in Standard Bank. The majority State-owned ICBC paid cash for the stake, estimated at R36.7 billion.

However, over the period, the trade surplus is in favour of China, the Davies said.

The trade deficit is due to the imbalances in the composition of trade between the two countries, where South Africa continues to export primary products and commodities to China, and import manufactured and high-tech products from China.

Davies said events such as the China International Import Expo will create opportunities to address the imbalance.

“Exhibitions like the China International Import Expo give us an advantage in that we can display products, goods and services that we can supply the Chinese market. We look forward and hope that our exhibitors will be able to find a way to enhance the relationship with procurers from China.”

The Minister is leading a delegation of 27 South African organisations, including provincial investment agencies, Special Economic Zones, export councils and private companies.

South Africa is participating in the three main platforms of the expo, namely the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, Enterprise and Business, as well as the International Fair Trade Forum.

The dti said these platforms will promote South Africa’s trade and investment capabilities. –


President: We must act against those who destroyed VBS

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the fraud and corruption that took place at VBS was a tragedy against the most vulnerable in society, and that action must be taken against those responsible for the crime.

The President said this when responding to oral questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“The real tragedy of VBS is that money was stolen from those in our society who could least afford it.

“It is a tragedy that has continued itself across several of our State-owned enterprises in municipalities and in respect to several private companies. For the sake of our people and our economy, I believe that we need to make a decisive break for those corrupt activities and build a new era of integrity and honesty in our public as well as private institutions.

“That is why we must act against those who are responsible for destroying VBS and for all those in private companies, in SOEs and other parts of the State who are trying to steal our country’s future,” he said.

The leader of the opposition, the Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane, had asked the President what he had done upon learning of the revelations that occurred at VBS Mutual Bank that led to it being placed under curatorship.

A few weeks ago, lead forensic investigator Advocate Terry Motau released a report titled the ‘Great Bank Heist’, which told a story of how several individuals colluded to loot the bank and also named the characters who were implicated in the saga.

Ramaphosa said shortly after becoming President, he received a briefing from National Treasury, where he was alerted to alleged corruption at VBS.

“I was informed that the SA Reserve Bank had initiated an investigation into this matter in response to my request for a comprehensive report on VBS.

“I received a briefing from National Treasury, as well as from the South African Reserve Bank, on the report that was submitted by Advocate Terry Motau just before its public release.

“The report presents a deeply disturbing picture of theft and corruption on a massive scale. It is essential that all those who are responsible for facilitating this fraud and this corruption and all those who have benefited from it must be held accountable.

“We call on all the relevant institutions, and in fact, we insist that all relevant institutions must act swiftly to prosecute those responsible, but also to move with greater speed to recover the funds that were stolen from the bank’s depositors because most of these depositors are pensioners, old men and women – who had put their life savings into VBS and there are also stokvels and burial societies, who are struggling as a result to bury their dead because their money is lost,” he said.

The President also called for action to be taken against those municipal officials, and in some cases “political officials”, who deposited municipal funds into the mutual bank knowing that it was not legal and that their actions could lead to significant financial losses to those individual municipalities.

“It is particularly disturbing that many of the people who have suffered losses (sic) as a result of these crimes are the poor rural residents of our country.

“It is critical that every effort is made to recover those monies to minimise losses suffered by the bank’s depositors. For much of its existence, VBS was a good bank for ordinary people and it gave loans and mortgages to people in rural areas and now through greed and deception and theft, that bank has been destroyed.

“We take a dim view of those who have been implicated in criminal activity rushing to court to try and hide their malfeasance and not make any effort to apologise to those who have lost money,” he said. –


Mixed feelings over Cosmo City’s taxi crisis

Resumption of taxi operations by RULLDTA in Cosmo City’s normal areas has been welcomed by some residents and taxi owners. But others have expressed their frustrations as they struggle to get taxis to town in the morning hours.

“Every morning I stand in a queue for more than one hour,” said Sinethemba Qukwana, a Cosmo City resident who works in Jorbug CBD. “We understand the local taxi crisis has been solved, but we still need to be sorted out with taxis to go to town. I always arrive late at work. I think there is lack of enough taxis from our area to Jozi.”

Qukwana said if more taxis are brought to the community there would be competition which can lead to good services.

On 28 October, ward 100 councilor’s office issued a statement that together with relevant stakeholders they are committed to finding solutions to the ward’s taxi crisis. This came after RULLDTA had announced that they would be shifting from operating at Multipurpose rank to Shoprite Taxi Rank.

“It is our view that the interest of our people must always be at the center of our developmental agenda,” reads part of the statement. “We say this in line with imperatives Batho Pele enshrined in Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.”



Nobody’s Fool

Tyler Perry presents his first R-rated movie. After serving five years in prison, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by-the-book sister Danica (Tika Sampter) to help her get back on her feet. The feisty ex-con becomes suspicious and concerned when Danica tells her that she's in a long-distance, online relationship with a mysterious man she's never seen. As the polar opposites start to collide, Tanya soon discovers that her sibling's picture-perfect life may not be what it seems. It is not suitable for persons under the age of 16.

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