20bn investment shows “SA has a lot to offer”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his massive investment drive for the country, at least US$20 billion has been amassed.

Last year, the President announced an ambitious plan to attract investment to the country of $100 billion in the next five years. And, in the past few months, this drive has already seen investments pour in to the amount of $20 billion. The President said this when he addressed day two of the Investing in African Mining Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday. The conference is being attended by Heads of State, investors and deal makers from around the world.

“We have recently returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos and a State visit to India, where we engaged with the investment community on, among other things, South Africa’s ambitious programme to mobilise far greater levels of investment.

“Our message to international investors is that we are taking practical measures to build an economy that is underpinned by inclusive growth, competitiveness and transformation.

“This message found practical expression in the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference, which we hosted in October last year.

“Several companies at the conference made announcements of investments, which amounted to around $20 billion in total,” the President said.

The investments, President Ramaphosa said, are a clear indication that the South African economy has a lot to offer, and that opportunities for growth are abundant if the country harnesses its areas of comparative advantage and creates an environment conducive to investment.

“The fact that three of these major investment announcements came from the mining sector gives credence to our view that mining in South Africa is a sunrise industry.

“We expect that they will make a valuable contribution to accelerated economic growth and greater job creation,” he said.

With South Africa’s mining industry having a long history that spans over 150 years, the President said the country’s mineral wealth has attracted large capital investments over the decades, resulting in the development of integrated industrial value chains that generate significant value for the economy.

“South Africa hosts the world’s largest reserves of platinum group metals and manganese, and some of the largest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore and vanadium. 

“As government, we regard the mining industry as a key player in the future growth and development of our economy, with huge potential for exploration, production and beneficiation. “It is for this reason that we have prioritised the restoration of a policy and regulatory environment that is stable and predictable.

“Significant work has been done to remove the uncertainty that held back the development of the industry,” he said.

Steps being taken to address investor concerns.The President said, meanwhile, that the country has emerged from a period of strained relations where the courts became the main platform of engagement between the industry and government.

He said government undertook to hold engagements with the industry because it recognised the critically important role that mining can and must still play in shaping the future of the country.

“To this end, we moved to speed up the finalisation of the Mining Charter and to provide greater clarity on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill.

“Because of their importance, these actions formed a critical component of the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan we announced in September 2018 after our economy went into a technical recession.

“As part of the package, government is reprioritising spending -- within the existing fiscal framework -- towards initiatives that are aimed at driving economic activity, including financial and non-financial measures to turn around the economy.”

The President said government further recognised the challenges raised by investors, including administered prices for ports, rail and electricity, as well as infrastructure bottlenecks.

“We welcome the interactions we have had with the private sector, representing both local and international, on a number of issues that are of concern to them and some matters of concern to us.

“We are working in earnest to address the constraints that were raised with us, as we implement the Stimulus and Economic Recovery Plan. We are addressing issues that are of concern to companies such as Visa Regulations, reducing the cost of doing business, eliminating many bureaucratic constrains and making it a lot easier to conduct business,” he said.

Government to unveil Eskom recovery plan

The President assured that work is being done to address energy concerns in relation to Eskom.

He said investors had raised a concern over an important infrastructure challenge - the security and affordability of energy supply.

“We have been giving detailed attention to the crisis at Eskom. Eskom is currently facing significant operational, financial and structural challenges.

“Eskom’s contribution to the health of our economy is too great for it to be allowed to fail. It is too important and is too big to fail, and we will not allow it to fail. Restoring and securing energy security for the country is an absolute imperative.

“In the coming days, we will be announcing a package of measures to stabilise and improve Eskom’s financial, operational and structural position and to ensure security of energy supply for the country,” he said. Land expropriation to promote economic activity President Ramaphosa said government has used its engagements with investors to outline South Africa’s approach to land reform.

He said investors raised a concern about the proposal for the expropriation without compensation to be among the mechanisms used to promote land reform.

“We must emphasise that our approach will enhance, rather than undermine, property rights as we seek to address what we have termed the original sin that was committed against black South Africans during colonial and apartheid days.

“The measure we are proposing will apply to land for the purposes of land reform only, and within a clearly defined set of circumstances.

“This measure will be undertaken in a way that promotes economic development and agricultural output, and that does not undermine the principles of our Constitution or the rule of law.

“Investors need not fear that their investments and assets will be taken away from them,” President Ramaphosa said. – SAnews.gov.za

President commits to push development agenda in 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised his forebears that he and his party, the African National Congress (ANC), will make every effort to deliver the promises of a progressive South Africa.

“We shall not rest until the sunshine that Langalibalele Dube spoke about, the sunshine of the new civilization rises and shines upon our people.

“We shall not rest until we have built the national democratic society that the people of South Africa yearn for,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President made the commitment at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, as he delivered the party’s annual January 8 statement to mark the African National Congress’s 107th birthday on Tuesday.

The January 8 statement outlines the ANC’s priorities for 2019 and serves as the lodestar for the work of government.

Inanda was strategically chosen by the ANC to commemorate the day as it is the birthplace of the party’s founding father, John Langalibalele Dube.

President Ramaphosa said his party had returned to Inanda to visit Dube’s gravesite and report back to him on the progress made by the party.

The President was accompanied by several ANC bigwigs, among them former President Jacob Zuma.

“I am one of the luckiest ANC Presidents because I have two former Presidents that are still alive, whom whenever I need anything to be said or to be done, I go to them,” said the President.

Reflecting on the progress and achievements of the ruling party, President Ramaphosa highlighted that since the ANC came into power, more homes have electricity, running water, access to health care and three million houses have been built.

Despite this progress, the President said more needs to be done on education, land, gender equality, job creation and the economy.

Education 

President Ramaphosa called for increased focus on early childhood development.

“We want the young ones from the ages of two to three years to enter into early childhood development because the learning of a child starts while they are still young. If we focus on the first 1 000 days, that is where we will be able to have a population that is moving with the times,” said the President.

Still in line with education, President Ramaphosa noted that the recently announced 78.2% matric pass rate shows that progress is being made in education.

He said while there is still room for improvement, township and rural schools are slowly turning the corner and improving their pass rates.

Gender equality 

The President said while strides are being made to address gender inequality, more needs to be done to ensure a safe society for women.

"We must hang our heads in shame that even as we make progress in forging a non-sexist society, women in our country continue to be confronted with unprecedented levels of abuse, violence and murder, often by those who are closest to them.

"This is a national crisis that we are determined to bring to an end so that all South African women can live in peace, safety, and dignity."

Land 

Addressing the issue of land, President Ramaphosa said the country will implement the policy of land expropriation without compensation. 

"We are now embarking on a new phase of accelerated land reform, which will contribute significantly to building economies and agriculture. The land will return to the hands of our people."

Job creation 

Despite the achievements he noted, President Ramaphosa said many people are still living in poverty, without basic necessities with millions unemployed.

“It is our task as the sons and daughters of John Langalibalele Dube to place the needs of these people at the centre of our every effort. We still have to create more jobs,” he said.

“We want to call on all South Africans to work together to ensure that all South Africans share in prosperity and [can] grow our economy,” he said.

With the annual January 8 statement behind it, the ruling party will now shift focus to its election manifesto launch, which will take place at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

The launch will kick-off the party’s election campaign for the 2019 national elections. - SAnews.gov.za

Finance Ministry warns the public against scams

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Ministry of Finance has warned the public about scams which purport to be communication from the Ministry.

In the latest of these scams, a person claiming to be the Deputy Minister of Finance has been asking people on Facebook for money in return for funding their projects or business plans.

“This person also asks for people’s full names, ID numbers, as well as home addresses. Neither the Ministry nor National Treasury assists individuals or businesses with the funding of their projects or business plans,” said the Ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

In cautioning the public, the Ministry compiled a checklist to assist the public in determining a scam:

  • The e-mail requestor asks for bank account information, credit card numbers, driver’s licence number, passport number, information about members of your family, and other personal information.  
  • The e-mail or SMS advises that you have won a prize – even though you are not aware of having entered any competition run by the prize promoters.  
  • The e-mail may be personally addressed to you but it has been posted using bulk mail sending facilities to many others locally and internationally. 
  • Check the wording of letter; you may notice spelling errors and exaggerations, which should alert you to the offer being too good to be true.  
  • Logos of the organisations mentioned in the letter (such as the prize-givers) may not seem correct or professionally drafted.
  • The names of persons used as senders of the e-mails are common. 

The Ministry reiterated that such scams can only succeed to the extent that members of the public have an “unquenchable thirst for easy wealth”.

“Fellow South Africans who are forever looking for opportunities for making easy money become easy prey for such scams,” said the department. – SAnews.gov.za

Break in at Lenasia South Clinic the latest attack on City’s health facilities

Health facilities in the City of Johannesburg are under attack from brazen criminals as more and more clinics continue to fall victim to break-ins.

In the latest incident, Lenasia South Civic Centre Clinic was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday, 08 January 2019. According to the Ward Councillor, Vinay Choonie, the armed unit responded to an alarm that was triggered around 2 am. When they arrived at the scene, one of the three guards who were on duty told them that it was a false alarm and that everything was fine. As a result, the armed response unit left the scene without inspecting the entire perimeter of the facility.

The burglars gained entry to the building by removing glass from the window frames. They then proceeded to dig a hole in one of the walls and broke the burglar doors. Among the stolen items are ten computers- five from the clinic, two from the sports and recreation office and three from the library, as well as a microwave from the ward councillors’ office. 

Cllr Choonie said that the number of break-ins at this centre are concerning. 

The councillor said the break-in at the civic centre, would greatly impact service delivery. For now, patients have been directed to the Lenasia South Community Health Centre, a provincial clinic.

The incident has been reported to police and is under investigation.

MMC for Health and Social Development, Councillor Mpho Phalatse has strongly condemned the incident.

She said that while some fight for the rights of all South Africans to have access to healthcare, including reproductive health as enshrined in Section 27 of the Constitution, others work just as hard to undo any gains realized.

“Every act of vandalism in our healthcare facilities is a direct attack on our freedom to exercise these rights. We will be partnering with the city’s Group Forensic Investigation Services Unit to ensure perpetrators are apprehended, and that an example is made of them that such acts will not go unpunished,” said MMC Phalatse

Last week, the Claremont Clinic that is being refurbished was burgled by a group of men whose intention was to strip the clinic of valuable items.  The group of burglars only managed to get away with two fire extinguishers, before they were chased away by security guard.  The burglary was foiled and the matter was reported to the police.

A week before,  the City of Joburg Health Department was forced to destroy vaccines following yet another criminal act  where electrical cables were stolen at Westbury Clinic that resulted in power failure.

Just two weeks ago, the same clinic was plunged into darkness when thieves’ attempted to tamper with the main cable failed to cut the main power supply to the clinic

Lesego Mathibela

Stakeholder Manager, Office of the MMC for Health and Social Development

Tel: (011) 4076725

Mobile: 061 497 8286

E-mail: LesegoMat@joburg.org.za 

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