Africa Economy News Updates 2020

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Minister Tito Mboweni participates in Bloomberg Capital Markets Focus: South africa, 24 Nov

Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni will participate in the Capital Markets Focus: South africa session organised by Bloomberg taking place on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 at 15h00. The session will be followed by a panel discussion on the outlook for the South african economy.This session will be moderated by Mr Manus Cranny, the anchor of Bloomberg TV.The full details of the session are:Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2020Time: 15h00 - 16h00 (CAT)Capital Markets Focus: South africa is part of the Bloomberg Invest africa agenda taking place as follows:Overall agenda for the dayBloomberg Invest africaTime : 1h00 pm - 3h00 pm Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, africa CDCH.E. Vera Daves de Souza, Minister of Finance, AngolaH.E. Amadou Hott, Minister of economy, Planning and International Cooperation, Republic of SenegalH.E. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Republic of GhanaKevin Daly, Investment Director, Emerging Market Debt, Aberdeen Standard InvestmentsNitin Gajria, Director - Sub Saharan africa, Google Capital Markets Focus: South africa Time : 3h00 pm - 4h00 pmKeynote Address: H.E. Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance, Republic of South africa Panel members: Dr. Leila Fourie, Chief Executive Officer, Johannesburg Stock ExchangeMr James Formby, Chief Executive Officer, Rand Merchant BankMr John Copelyn, Chief Executive Officer, Hosken Consolidated Investments To participate, please log-on the link below: The deadline for registration is Tuesday, 24 November at 12h00.

nov 24 2020 6:02pm
event News : Govt
Informal traders urged to apply for grant

The Department of Small Business Development and Nedbank have called on informal fruit and vegetable traders, who were negatively affected by the pandemic, to apply for funding. The two entities have collaborated to empower 40 000 informal traders by helping them to restart their businesses. In a total contribution of R40 million, qualifying traders will receive grants of R1 000 each. The money will be used to buy stock, the department said. The initiative falls within the Department of Small Business Developments Township and Rural Enterprises Programme (TREP) launched earlier this year. Since March 2020, the department launched support schemes for small businesses to help alleviate the negative impact of the pandemic including the Township and Rural Entrepreneurship programme (TREP). The focus of the TREP is to support enterprises based in townships and rural areas, and alsomicro and informal businesses, to restart, rebuild and improve their businesses as part of the reconstruction and recovery of the South african economy, the Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said. The TREP seeks to stimulate the economy through focused financial and business development support geared towards informal traders and micro businesses based in the villages, townships and peri-urban areas (also known as small dorpies). While most conversations around the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis focus on the formal economy, the devastation on the informal sector has been enormous. The informal sector, while often operating on a subsistence level, is just as vital to the economic recovery that needs to take place in the wake of the pandemic. Financial service providers in both the public and private sector have the ability to jumpstart this important job creator, Nedbank Group Managing Executive, Retail and Business Banking, Ciko Thomas, said. The department has worked together with Nedbank to find a simple, easy and cost effective mechanism to disburse the grant money, using mobile wallets. Traders seeking support can apply for the grant by following two key steps: - Traders can register on the National Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) website for small business funding and complete the online form. - Key requirements are a South african ID and valid municipal trading permit. Upon successful registration, each trader will be directed to apply for the grant by dialling 120001# and select option 6 Apply from their mobile phones and follow the easy prompts to finish the application. Successful applicants will receive R1 000, which will be deposited into their mobile wallet, aNedbank MobiMoneyaccount, which is automatically generated as part of the account application process. MobiMoney is a mobile-based account that anyone with a valid South african identity number can open from anywhere, within seconds, using a mobile phone From these wallets, traders will be able to pay fresh produce suppliers directly from their wallet, without needing to withdraw money. Fresh produce suppliers will be enabled to accept mobile wallet payments through Masterpass. Nedbank has demonstrated a sustained commitment to supporting government in assisting vulnerable communities in the wake of the pandemic, through its robust and flexible financial tools. In April, shortly after the start of the national lockdown, the bank announced that it would help the South african Social Security Agency (SASSA) with the implementation of the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grants announced by the President. Getting relief to people on the ground can be a challenging task. We therefore remain committed to providing the most relevant entry-level banking tools to offer consumers the benefits of formal banking at a minimal cost to them, even saving them time and resources, Thomas said

nov 23 2020 6:37pm
Business makes good on investment commitments

What started as an audacious drive to attract over R1.2 trillion in investment over five years into the South african economy is beginning to bear fruit 25 months into the journey. Over the past two years, investment pledges made at the first two instalments of the South africa Investment Conference are steadily coming to fruition. On the second day of the third annual investment conference, conglomerates Naspers, Amazon, AngloAmerican and Procter & Gamble illustrated how they made good on their commitments and continue to do so, despite the unravelling COVID-19 pandemic. Naspers chief executive, Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, on Wednesday, said the company had followed through on its R4.6 billion investment commitment. When the President was looking for investors, we said we would make capital available, Mahanyele-Dabengwa said. In 2019, when the commitments were made, Naspers had already invested in a stake in technological start-up, Sweep South. At the time, the company was hiring 15000 people. The number has now grown to 20000, Mahanyele-Dabengwa said. Naspers has invested R1.4 billion in Foundry, a South africa-focused start-up funding initiative that helps talented and ambitious South african technology entrepreneurs develop businesses. The reality is that throughout this pandemic, [Sweep South] had no revenue but continued to pay employees. And this is this commitment we found from founders, said Mahanyele-Dabengwa. Over the past year, the multinational has also invested in start-ups Aerobotics, FSM, as well as StudentHub. About R2.3 billion of the commitment was directed to extending Naspers operations in South africa. This, Mahanyele-Dabengwa said, shows the commitment to growing not just companies the size of Naspers but also small businesses that are looking to make a difference in the lives of South africans. Naspers, she said, financed companies started by founders who come from top global universities, who dont have to be here but chose to be here as South africans. "If you look at Aerobotics, 50% of their revenue is from the US, and Sweep South has expanded to Kenya. These are founders of businesses that are growing. Their businesses are growing beyond [SA borders], she said. Fulfilling commitments Also making good on its investment commitment is United States technology multinational, Amazon Web Services (AWS). During the 2019 leg of the conference, Amazon pledged to build its first cloud data centre in africa, in Cape Town. The commitment came to fruition when the centre was open earlier this year. Speaking at the conference, AWS South africas country manager, Rashika Ramlal, said: We are proud and honoured to be part of the transformation. "Tyme Bank is using our services to support customers. With small businesses seen as drivers of economic growth for South africa and africa, AWS is uniquely positioned to help them access infrastructure that was previously only accessible to enterprises globally. Theres no start-up cost. They are able to access information, experiment and innovate, said Ramlal. On the job creation front, the AWS investment in June came with 3 000 permanent jobs. Anglo American chairperson, Nolitha Fakude, said the company has made good on its R87 billion pledge because it still believes in South africa and what it has to offer. The company has already invested R57 billion of the committed total. Weve always seen mining as a catalyst for economic development in SA because the resources the country has are quite extensive. As a company that has been operating here for more than 100 years, we know of the huge opportunities that are here, should stakeholders work together to realise them. Anglo American, she said, also realises that some minerals are still in abundance in the country. About 70% of platinum globally comes from South africa, so for us as an organisation that has been working across various commodities, we know that the opportunities are quite huge because we have a portfolio of assets that range between 10 to 60 years, she said. Fakude said because Anglo American conceded that mineral resources are finite, the company was starting to consider its sustainability. Therefore technology innovation is part of the future. Our commitments going forward are based on the fact that we have a portfolio of solutions that we are putting in place to ensure mining operations are environmentally friendly for water and energy. Looking at the hydrogen economy and platinum, they form an important part. Vilo Trska, Procter and Gamble general manager for South africa, said the company had in the last year produced on the R300 million pledge made in 2018 for the production of Always sanitary pads. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Procter & Gamble was forging ahead with

nov 19 2020 8:53am
Call for PRASA board to improve performance

The Portfolio Committee on Transport has called on the Passenger Rail Agency of South africa (PRASA) board to double efforts to ensure trains get back on the rail. Portfolio Committee on Transport Chairperson Mosebenzi Zwane said the committee will work closely with the board in resolving the disclaimer audit opinion, in which only 10% of performance was accounted for. On Tuesday, the PRASA board tabled the entitys 2019/2020 audit outcomes which revealed that the entity recorded 17 areas of qualification, matters which have all been referred to the Special Investigative Unit. The committee welcomes assurances by PRASAs new board, led by Leonard Ramatlakane, that it will get trains back on track. Affordable rail transport is a non-negotiable for people who for long have been without options when it comes to transportation. The role of PRASA will be even more important as government is trying to revive the economy following multiple lockdowns that were COVID-19 induced, Zwane said. He said the board should spare no effort in getting PRASA governance, security, and infrastructure right. PRASA needs to work for South africas economy to work. The plans that are going to be drawn going forward should be geared in such a way that they help address dilapidated rail infrastructure and vandalism, Zwane said

nov 18 2020 6:19pm
SA Investment Conference gets underway

The first leg of the two-day South africa Investment Conference will get underway this afternoon at the Sandton Convention Centre. The conference, which is in its third year, aims to attract R1.2 trillion in investments. Since 2018, the conference has secured over R650 billion of investment as leaders from business, government, and the investment community forged relationships and explored ways to reignite growth in South africa. The 2020 instalment of the Investment Conference comes as countries around the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with little funds to spare. The first day of the conference will kick off with sector panel discussions on building and implementing South africas energy plan, small business growth opportunities, land reform and unlocking agricultural value chains, infrastructure investment, mining and ICT and digital opportunities. In line with COVID-19 protocols, the annual conference will largely be a virtual conference with a limited number of delegates attending in person. The conference will prioritise the countrys recovery from the pandemic and punt the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan recently announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. South africa will use the conference to provide a platform to showcase growth, and investment prospects in an economy with vast potential and abundant resources. Investors will be afforded the unique opportunity to engage with government representatives on the progress toward political and economic renewal, strengthening the credibility of public institutions and unlocking the latent potential and innovative spirit of South africas economy. A key investment opportunity set to take centre stage at the conference is the africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries, with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at R7 trillion. With the opportunity that the AfCTA provides, investors have an opportunity to participate in the untapped potential of an integrated continent. AfCTA allows for african countries to work together in a trade tariff-free environment, making africa a dynamic force in the international arena. The three biggest economies on the continent have added their combined economic might to the AfCTA with the intention to stimulate africans to invest in africa and boost intra-continental trade.

nov 17 2020 6:30pm
Unemployment soars to 30.8%

Unemployment in South africa has soared to 30.8% in the last three months, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2020 revealed. The rise was a 7.5% increase from the second quarter. This comes after Stats SA in September reported that despite the South african economy shedding 2.2 million jobs due to the COVID-19 lockdown, unemployment in the country dropped to 23.3% in the second quarter of 2020. According to the report, released by Statistics South africa (Stats SA) on Thursday, The number of employed persons increased by 543 000 (3.8%) to 14.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2020. Unemployment increased substantially by 2.2 million (52.1%) to 6.5 million compared to quarter 2 of 2020 resulting in an increase of 2.8 million (15.1%) in the number of people in the labour force. The national statistics service in the report said the number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 225 000 (9.1%), while the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 2.9 million (15.8%) between the two quarters. This, Stats SA said, resulted in a net decrease of 2.6 million (12.8%) in the not economically active population. The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment increased by 1.1 percentage points to 43.1% in quarter 3 of 2020 compared to quarter 2 of 2020. However, the survey noted that employment increased in all sectors in the third quarter. In this regard, formal sector employment increased by 242 000 (2.4%) while informal sector employment increased by 176 000 (7.7%). Private households increased by 116 000 (11.5%), [while] employment in Agriculture increased by 9 000 (1.1%), reads the report. The document also notes that employment increased in all industries, except utilities and transport. The industries which gained the more jobs were finance (200 000), community and social services (137 000) and private households (116 000). Compared to quarter 3 of 2019, said the agency, employment contracted in all industries except mining where it remained unchanged in the quarter under review. Stats SA added that most job losses were observed in trade (400 000), manufacturing (300 000), community and social services (298 000) and construction (259 000). To capture changes brought about by the national lockdown, the additional questions that were included in Q2: 2020 questionnaire were also included in Q3: 2020. The results indicate that, of the 14.7 million persons who were employed in Q3: 2020, more than seven out of ten people (73.2%) were expected to work during the national lockdown by the companies/organisations they work for, reads the report. Stats SA said those who actually worked were predominately men in most industries, except in the community and social services sector and private households, where the majority were women. About nine out of ten people employed within the Construction industry who worked during the lockdown, were men, reads the report. Those who were expected to work in the reference week during the national lockdown but could not do any work during that period indicated the national lockdown as the main reason for not actually working (71.7%). Compared to the second quarter of 2020 where 17.0% indicated that they worked from home, this proportion declined to 10.9% in the third quarter of 2020. Working from home was more prevalent in Gauteng and Western Cape and among Professionals and Managers. The agency added that the majority of those in employment continued to receive pay during the lockdown. However, those with lower levels of education were more likely to receive reduced salaries than those with higher levels of education.

nov 12 2020 6:25pm
Green industries to aid economic recovery

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has published the regulatory framework for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes as part of governments effort to contribute towards the economic recovery plan. These EPR schemes are part of the Reconstruction and Economic Recovery Plan recently announced by the President as key contributors towards green economy initiatives, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said on Thursday. The President presented the plan, aimed at helping the economy recoverfrom the effects of Coronavirus, in Parliament, last month. Its objectivesare job creation, primarily through aggressive infrastructure investment and mass employment programmes; reindustrialise the economy, focusing on growing small businesses, and accelerating economic reforms to unlock investment and growth. It is also aimed at fighting crime and corruption, and improving the capability of the State. The department also published the Plastics and Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility notice to provide for the post-consumer management of waste plastic products. The establishment of an EPR scheme is informed by collaborative arrangements between the industry; government; Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)and waste pickers. Annual targets for post-consumer waste management have been set and the producers will be accounting to the country each year on progress towards meeting these targets. We need to applaud the efforts of those producers who have committed these targets, even before the regulations were published. This EPR regulatory framework eliminates free riders in the system, the Minister said. She was addressing the Plastic Colloquium Feedback Session on Thursday, in a virtual engagement, aimed at taking stock of what has happened since the hosting of the inaugural colloquium last year. Plastics and the plastic products industry contributed around R70 billion to South africas economy in 2019. According to Plastics SA, an estimated 60 000 people are employed in the plastics industry. Steps are being taken to finalise the Plastic Sector Master Plan, together with other key stakeholders, as part of a social compact aimed at supporting the long-term growth, development and sustainability of the plastics sector, Creecy said. One of the themes identified as part the draft Plastics Master Plan revolves around plastic sustainability and circularity of the economy,where waste is neither landfilled nor leaks into the environment, but is recycled and recovered. This Plastics Master Plan acknowledges that the circular economy is central in order to reduce the negative impact of plastic waste on our country and its people. The Master Plan makes use of industrial policy to address plastic pollution as part of sustainable consumption and production, and supports the sustained growth of the secondary materials economy, the Minister said. The department will be using governments District Model to expand and strengthen municipal interventions on keeping South africa clean. The department is also presently assisting municipalities to apply for the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in order to procure compactor trucks that aid in waste collection and landfill compactors for operation of landfill sites, said Creecy

nov 12 2020 6:25pm
Minister Barbara Creecy addresses Plastic Colloquium feedback session, 12 Nov

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Barbara Creecy will on Thursday 12 November 2020, lead the Plastic Colloquium Feedback Session that is aimed at taking stock of what has happened since the hosting of the inaugural Colloquium last year.During the session, different working groups will reflect on the progress and challenges with regards to implementation of the priorities agreed at the Plastic Colloquium in 2019. The 2019 Colloquium brought together all key stakeholders from government, industry and civil society to come up with clear objectives that will influence action to reduce littering and the huge quantities of plastic waste that are entering the countrys river systems, wetlands and the ocean.Plastics and the plastic products industry contributed around R70 billion to South africas economy in 2019 and according to Plastics SA, an estimated 60,000 people are employed in the plastics industry. However, plastic pollution has a significant impact on our very important eco-system services: those crucial services nature provides free of charge. Plastic waste undermines the flood absorption and water storage capacity of our wetlands. Plastic pollution threatens our oceans, catchments, river systems and estuaries and the crucial services they provide for people and nature.The Plastic Colloquium Feedback Session is hosted jointly with the Consumer Goods Council of South africa (CGCSA) and Plastics SA, and will be convened as per the details below:Date:Thursday 12 November 2020Time: 9h00Link: To RSVP, contact:Peter MbelengwaCell:082611 8197E-mail: [email protected] Ernest MulibanaCell:082263 7372E-mail: [email protected] Enquiries:Albi ModiseCell:083490 2871

nov 9 2020 10:36pm
event News : Govt
Energy, economic recovery top CSIR conference agenda

South africas energy sector and industrialisation opportunities for economic recovery will take centre stage at the upcoming virtual Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) 7th Biennial Conference. The virtual two-day conference, which starts on 11 November 2020, will be attended by local and international experts in fields ranging from health, advanced agriculture and food, manufacturing, mining, defence, energy and many more. The conference will be held under the theme, "Touching lives through innovation". South africa is relatively energy secure but highly dependent on coal for much of its energy needs, and even more dependent on imported oil and liquid fuels for the transport sector. This discussion will be highlighted in a session on the acceleration of South africas energy transformation and economic recovery. Dr Clinton Carter Brown, Head: CSIR Energy Centre, will be joined in this panel discussion by Nhlanhla Ngidi, Head of Energy and Electricity: South african Local Government Association; Mandy Rambharos, Head: Eskom Just Energy Transition office; Aalia Cassim, Director: Microeconomic Policy, Division: Economic Policy Analysis and Forecasting, National Treasury; Dr Jarrad Wright, CSIR principal engineer and Dee Fischer, Chief Director: Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. The discussion will unpack efforts to decarbonise the South african energy mix. South african's economy has been directly impacted by the national load shedding, which results in disrupted electricity supply. The CSIR has performed an in-depth analysis of the South african power system to assess the extent to which load shedding is expected to continue, the magnitude thereof, and most importantly, the options and solutions that are available to reduce and mitigate load shedding. The webinar will provide a scientifically informed perspective on the likelihood and extent of load shedding over the next three to five years, and provide some practical options for mitigation. The second day of the conference will see various other sessions and technology demonstrations including sessions on small, medium and micro enterprises as drivers of South africas economic recovery; the creation of a smart, sustainable and circular plastics economy in South africa and the industrialisation of additive manufacturing towards the revival of the countrys manufacturing industry.

nov 6 2020 6:25pm
Trade, Industry and Competition hosts dialogue on Locally Produced Products, 5 Nov

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) in collaboration with Proudly South african will host a dialogue on Locally Produced Products: Compliance with The Industrial Technical Institutions.Date:Thursday, 5 November 2020Time: 11:00Link: According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, the objective of the dialogue is to highlight the economic benefits to the South african economy of buying local, and key sectors which can make a significant contribution to job creation and economic growth for the country.The dialogue also aims to educate consumers and manufacturers on the mandates of the dtics technical industrial institutions and to educate the public on the #BuyLocal campaign. We will also highlight the importance of buying products which comply with approved technical standards and regulations and create awareness on fake goods illegally bearing Proudly South africans logo and the South african Bureau of Standards stamp of approval, adds Gina.The dtic agencies participating in the dialogue are the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), South african National Accreditation System (SANAS), South african Bureau of Standards (SABS), and National Metrology Institute of South africa (NMISA). Together, they will unlock institutional capacity to drive industrial competitiveness and ensure quality assurance of all locally manufactured products.Enquiries:Sidwell Medupe-Departmental SpokespersonTel: 012394 1650Cell:079 492 1774E-mail: [email protected]

nov 2 2020 11:12pm
event News : Govt