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SA remains an attractive investment destination

South Africa remains an attractive and lucrative investment destination, where the return on investments is high and opportunities abound for both foreign and domestic investors, says International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Alvin Botes. The Deputy Minister made the remarks during a trade and investment seminar in Porto, Portugal, on Monday. Addressing delegates, Botes applauded the significant investments that Portugal has made in South Africa over the years. We would like to mention, in particular, the R200 million investment by Sonae Auraco in the forestry sector in the province of Mpumalanga, and the partnership between CR Moulds Portugal and MCR Plastics in the Eastern Cape (Gqeberha) and Gauteng (Silverton), a black-owned company in South Africa [that] services the automotive sector. The latter project is significant because it aligns with our governments priority to transform the automotive industry and to make it more inclusive, he said. Currently, South Africas trade with Portugal is governed through the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA makes it easier for people and businesses to invest in and trade with each other, and to encourage development across Southern Africa. The Deputy Minister said the flow of goods and services between South Africa and Portugal has grown steadily over the last few years, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2012 to 2021, total trade between South Africa and Portugal increased from approximately R2 billion in 2012 to approximately R7.5 billion in 2021. The trade balance is currently skewed in favour of Portugal. The Deputy Minister is hopeful that such events will assist in addressing this imbalance. Confidence in SA Botes said the growth in the Portuguese business community in South Africa is a great demonstration of confidence in the South african economy, and in the country as an attractive destination for significant investment. South Africa is a thriving democracy with an advanced and diverse economy, a sophisticated and well-regulated financial sector, and extensive transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure. As government, we are working hard to create a dynamic and enabling business environment that will promote greater productive investment in our economy, he said. He welcomed rating agency Standard & Poor Globals recent decision to upgrade South Africas economic outlook to positive from stable, due to improvement in the countrys fiscal position (boosted by an increase in the prices of commodity exports, which, in turn, improved tax revenues). This came on the back of S&P Globals peer, Moodys, making a similar move in April when it upgraded South Africas outlook from negative to stable. The Deputy Minister said the upward revision is attributed to the decisive steps taken by government towards more predictable and transparent policies. This signals that South Africas macroeconomic and political fundamentals are in place, reinforcing our position as a credible investment destination. Botes said it is within this context that SA had embarked on the visit to Portugal to convey the message that South Africa is open for investment. We invite our Portuguese friends to follow the lead of the many EU companies that have already invested in the country, understanding that the key to economic growth and job creation lies in much greater levels of investment. South Africa has embarked on an ambitious investment drive, which aims to raise $100 billion in new investment over five years. We have already achieved 95% of this target in investment commitments over the last four years. Next year will be the last instalment of the Presidential Investment Conference, and we hope to see more announcements from Portugal at the event, he said. Improving the business environment As part of the investment drive, the country is intensifying efforts to improve the business environment. Botes said government has put in place a very attractive package of incentives administered by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition. Access to these incentives is facilitated by Invest South Africa. This institution has been established to assist potential investors in identifying opportunities and facilitating a seamless investment process, he said. The Deputy Minister said he was encouraged by the enthusiasm of Portuguese and South african businesses. I sincerely believe that the strong ties of goodwill between our countries will indeed translate into economic gains for all our people. As the South african government, we remain committed to creating a business environment that is conducive towards supporting trade and investment.

jun 28 2022 4:16pm
Progress made towards Just Energy Transition

The COP President Alok Sharma and a delegation of Ministers from the South african government has welcomed the progress made thus far in advancing the long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). Following an engagement between the Conference of the Parties (COP26)President and the Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team, Daniel Mminele, a meeting was held on Tuesday in Pretoria between Sharma and a delegation of seven cabinet members. Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele; the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana; the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy; the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan; the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe; and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel met with Sharma. In a joint statement, Sharma and the Ministers said the meeting reflected on the progress made since COP26 in advancing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) as a groundbreaking initiative to enable South Africas transition to a low carbon economy and a climate resilient society. Through the Political Declaration issued in November 2021 to establish this partnership, the United Kingdom together with the European Union, France, Germany, and the United States undertook to mobilise an initial amount of $8.5 billion over the next 3-5 years to support the achievement of South Africas ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The COP President and Ministers welcomed the progress made thus far in advancing this long-term partnership. They continued discussions on the financing instruments to be provided, with a view to ensuring that the partnership meets the countrys investment needs and aligns with its fiscal framework. They discussed ongoing work on a South african-led Investment Plan, which will guide the use of funds. In this context, they noted that as momentum grows and enabling conditions are created, there will be considerable interest from wider sources of finance, the statement read. The meeting also underlined their shared commitment to a just transition that protects affected workers and communities as a key priority of the partnership, and to supporting opportunities for innovation and quality jobs including in the green hydrogen and electric vehicle sectors. Progress has been made towards the creation of an enabling policy environment to support South Africas NDC, including the tabling of a Climate Change Bill in Parliament; reforms underway in the electricity sector; the finalisation of the Hydrogen Economy Roadmap and the Renewable Energy Masterplan; and the development of a just transition framework through the Presidential Climate Commission. It further details the steps that have been taken to establish governance and implementation structures for the partnership, including the appointment of an independent technical secretariat led by Joanne Yawitch and the imminent establishment of working groups focusing on the electricity, green hydrogen and transport sectors as well as finance and implementation modalities. Finally, it confirms the commitment of the partners to finalise a comprehensive Investment Plan as well as to continue discussions regarding the financing package to enable meaningful progress by COP27, the statement said. As committed to in the Political Declaration, the South african Presidential Climate Finance Task Team (PCFTT) and the International Partners Group (IPG) on Tuesday released a detailed six-month update to leaders on the advancement of the Partnership. The progress update provides an overview of the work currently underway to take forward the partnership as well as key interim milestones leading to COP27 in November 2022

jun 23 2022 11:05am
Respect, protect rights of older persons

Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, has called upon South africans to respect, defend and uphold the dignity, integrityand safety of older persons. The Minister said this in commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day which occurs annually on 15 June. The day seeks to prioritise the protection of the lives and the wellbeing of the countrys older persons. It is also about raising awareness about the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital space for senior citizens. This years commemoration is held under the theme: Digital Equity for All Ages. South Africa has confirmed that it has an ageing population with estimates indicating that the proportion of older persons aged 60 years and older, has grown from 7.6% in 2002 to 9.1% in 2020. It was projected that by 2015 the proportion of older persons in South Africa will have increased to 9.5% of the population, that is, 4.24 million older persons. In July 2020, about 5.43 million people in South Africa were aged 60 and above. This older persons population increase heightens the concern about elder abuse and neglect. Historically, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was initiated by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) in 2006 and recognised as a United Nations Day by the General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/66/127 adopted in 2011. In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Social Development (DSD) said that this day is intended to raise public awareness of elder abuse and remembrance of those who have died as a result of elder abuse. Elder abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of older persons. Its commemoration therefore provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographical processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. Older persons face various kinds of mistreatments and discrimination. Elder abuse is a global public health, human rights, and criminal justice problem. It goes beyond socio-economic classes, regions, languages and ethnicities, but remains an understudied and under reported phenomenon, the department said. Bridging the digital divide The DSD said that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how technologies can help fight the spread of the virus, sustain daily life, support business continuity and keep people socially connected. It has also shown that those who are excluded from the digital transformation were older persons who are at an increased risk of being permanently left behind. Digital equity for all ages is, therefore, more important than ever. In response to these challenges, Minister Zulu, emphasises that digital technology is a key component to fully participate in society through their independence which can be realised as they access information easily, and stay connected with their families and friends. Mentorship Zulu has also encouraged older persons to participate in intergenerational programmes and provide mentoring and coaching of new and emerging professionals and younger generations. The department added that as the older persons are recovering from the impact of COVID-19, the devastating floods in KZN and Eastern Cape also remain a blow to the recovery plan in South Africa, especially, the impact it had on the lives and wellbeing of older persons. Ageing well This years commemoration coincides with two important events, namely, commencement of the United Nations Decades of Healthy Ageing (2022-2030) which marks the beginning of ten years of concerted collaboration with diverse stakeholders on improving the lives of older people, their families and communities in which they live. The second event is the 20th milestone of the Second World Assembly on Ageing and the fourth review and appraisal of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA). In support of these international occasions, the South african government recently finalised the Older Persons Amendment Bill and Chapter five of this legislation focusses on strengthening intersectoral collaboration for the effective protection of older persons and management of abuse of the elderly, the department said. Older Persons Amendment Bill In addition, through the DSD, government facilitated the establishment of the Older Persons Abuse Register, an initiative managed in partnership with the Department of Justice, through the Integrated Justice System. The training of the system users and key stakeholders is currently underway across provinces since the year 2021 and training continues during this financial year to ensure the capturing and processing of all reported cases of abuse of older persons.</

jun 16 2022 12:27pm
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni celebrates Youth Day at the launch of Capenexis ICT Hub, 15 June

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Hon.Khumbudzo Ntshavheni celebrates Youth Day at the launch of Capenexis ICT HubThe Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will observe the 2022 Youth Day celebrations at Makotopong, outside Polokwane (Limpopo) by launching of the CapeNexis ICT Hub on 15June 2022.The ICT Hub initiative is part of the long term Makotopong Rural Development Project which aims at developing young people in rural areas and bridge the digital divide that exists in our society ultimately contribute into socio-economic development by creating jobs and poverty reduction. The projects ultimate objective is to develop and document a model for rural socio-economic development and establish a smart village.The Minister pledged to have the South african government contributing in closing the digital gap that exists and significantly deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality in our country and most importantly, in the digital world.Details of the launch are are follows:Date: 15 June 2022Time: 11h00 amVenue:Olive Branch Lodge and Conference Center (Makotopong)Enquiries:Tlangelani ManganyiCell:060-886-4670Email: [email protected]

jun 11 2022 11:07pm
event News : Govt
Cable theft perpetrators nabbed, convicted

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola says just over 250 people have been prosecuted and convicted of crimes related to tempering with essential infrastructure, like cable theft. He said this when he participated in a debate on the Presidency Budget Vote on Thursday. This President is focused on building capable institutions. He has appointed the ID head, head of SAPS, the head of the defence force and the head of State Security. In this sixth administration, prosecutions on matters which relate to the theft or tampering with essential infrastructures, like copper cables, have been prioritised. This crime has often had the effect of plunging our communities into darkness, train stoppages and lack of network connectivity, he said. Lamola said to date, 172 cases were prosecuted and 251 accused were convicted. He said in the matter of State vs David Jenkins, the Cape Town Regional Court sentenced Jenkins to an effective term of 13 years imprisonment after convicting him of 25 counts of theft. In the past week, the Newcastle Magistrate Court sentenced five accused to 10 years imprisonment for theft of essential public infrastructure. The Bronkhospruit Regional Court sentenced two accused in the same period to 15 years of direct imprisonment. These are issues that should occupy public discourse as they affect the well-functioning of rail, electricity and telecommunications infrastructure, he said. Lamola said the Investigative Directorate has brought seminal corruption cases within a period of three years before court. We welcome the arrests of the two Gupta brothers by authorities in the UAE [United Arab Emirates]. As the South african government, we will continue to cooperate with our UAE counterparts to ensure that the fugitives from justice are brought to book, they will account in our courts. We know that extradition by its nature can be a protracted legal process but we want to assure South africans that the Guptas will definitely return to our shores to face trial. He said the same goes for Chipiliro Gama, known by the name Shepherd Bushiri, whose matter will soon be heard in the courts of Malawi.

jun 11 2022 11:07pm
Gupta brothers arrested in the UAE

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has confirmed the arrest of alleged State Capture masterminds Rajesh and Atul Gupta at Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Last year, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) had issued red notices for the two brothers. Now, discussions on the extradition of the brothers back to South Africa are expected to get underway. Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South african government will continue to co-operate with the UAE, the department said. According to an NPA statement released in July last year, the brothers are wanted in South Africa in relation to the R25 million Nulane Investment fraud and money laundering case. The case relates to procurement fraud involving R24.9 million, paid between November 2011 and April 2012 by the Free State Department of Agriculture (FSDoA) to Nulane Investment 204 (PTY) LTD, a company owned and controlled by Iqbal Sharma. From there, the funds were diverted to Islandsite Investments 180 (Pty) Ltd (Islandsite), a company owned and controlled by the Gupta family. The R24.9m was purportedly paid to Nulane to conduct a feasibility study for the Free State Provinces flagship Mohoma Mobung project, on the basis that Nulane had unique skills to perform the work. The group is charged together with three companies, Nulane Investment 204 (Pty) Ltd, Wone Management (PTY) LTD, Pragat Investment (Pty) LTD, Islandsite Investments Pty Ltd, the NPA said at the time. The other accused in the case are former government and state entity officials, former Transnet board member Iqbal Sharma, former Free State head of Department for Rural Development Peter Thabethe, former head of FSDoA Limakatso Moorosi, former FSDoA Chief Financial Officer, Seipati Dhlamini and Nulane Investment employee Dinesh Patel.

jun 7 2022 7:10pm
Lamola requests reopening of inquest into Abdullah Haron's death

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Ronald Lamola, has requested the Western Cape Division of the High Court to reopen the inquest into the death of anti-apartheid activist and Muslim cleric, Abdullah Haron. In a statement, the department said the decision to reopen the case was made in terms of Section 17 A of the Inquest Act No. 58 of 1959. Haron who was also known as Imam Haron died while in police custody following his detention by the then apartheid government. The courts original finding was that Haron died as a result of falling down a flight of stairs. Mr Imam Haron died whilst in police detention on 27 September 1969 after being held incommunicado for 122 days. He was detained by the security branch, in terms of section 6 of the Terrorism Act and died at Caledon Square police station, Cape Town. The apartheid regime held an inquest in 1970. The findings of the apartheid regime were primarily based on reports from medical experts and police witnesses, the statement read. The department explained that the reopening of the case follows an application by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the reopening of the inquests. The renewed investigation into the apartheid crime will consider expert reports from a State pathologist and an aeronautical engineer, and trajectory expert will provide a new perspective into the probable cause of the death of Imam Haron. An inquest must be so thorough that the public and interested parties are satisfied that there has been a full investigation into the circumstances of the death, the department said. In 2014, Haron was posthumously awarded the Order of Luthuli in Gold by the South african government for his work exceptional contribution to raising awareness of political injustices.

jun 2 2022 11:25am
SA's trade with Africa surpasses exports to EU block

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, has told a sitting of the National Assembly that South Africas exports to Africa have surpassed those to the European Union in 2021. Botes said this when he participated in a debate on Africa Day at the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament on Wednesday. We are committed as the South african government to work towards halving of poverty through agriculture by 2025, working amongst others, with countries such as Ghana and Morocco and in terms Malabo [Declaration] commitment five: the boosting of Intra-Africa Trade, we know that the trade figures in South Africa have increased remarkably, he said. The Malabo Declaration points to the commitment made by the Heads of State and government in 2014 when they met at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the african Union Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Among the commitments made at the meeting was Malabo Declaration Commitment five, which speaks to african states committing to boosting intra-african trade in agricultural commodities and services by tripling trade in this area and by fast-tracking the continental free trade area and transition to a continental common external tariff scheme. We have recorded that unlike in the past when the chief trading partner to South Africa was the regional block of the EU, what I can confirm to this house today, ladies and gentlemen, is that exports to Africa in 2021 stood at R385 billion, against exports to the EU, which stood at R355 billion, he said. Botes said this showed that the african Continental Free Trade Agreement is an important instrument in mobilizing the agricultural communities and the enhancement of food security. He said South Africa understood that inclusive prosperity will be accelerated through good governance, and that the role of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was commendable in this regard. We equally appreciate the foresight of AUDA-NEPAD, which shapes our developmental dividend and the economic prosperities to be made possible by the urgent implementation of the african Continental Free Trade Agreement, he said.

may 26 2022 7:30pm
Communicators urged to shift Africa's narrative to one of hope

Communicators around Africa have an important duty to take forward the message of a continent of hope, promise and vast potential. This is according to government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Director-General Phumla Williams, who opened the Africa Communications Week 2022 on Monday. Africa Communications Week is a week-long series of events in 20 countries across Africa. It kicked off today under the theme:Ahead of the Curve: Whats Next for Comms in Africa?. Addressing fellow communicators across the continent, Williams said in preaching the message of hope they can ensure that Africa regains its rightful place in the world. It begins by us working together as communication professionals to change the narrative of our continent. The coverage of disasters, famine, terrorism and corruption alone has created a distorted view of Africa. It has created the impression for many that the continent lurches from one crisis to another and this has a huge impact on the development of the continent and its people, Williams said. She emphasised that the role of communicators is to find ways to shift Africas narrative to one of hope. The Director-General added that there are exciting developments on the continent that need to be communicated to citizens and the world. More people need to know that Africa is working hard to improve its capabilities in vaccine and medical supplies manufacturing. Earlier this year, we saw NantAfrica, a division of global entrepreneur Dr Patrick Soon-Shiongs Nantworks, launch state-of-the-art medical infrastructure to accelerate domestic production of pharmaceuticals, biologics and vaccines that will reach users across the african continent, she said. It is the largest genomics facility on the african continent and an important milestone in the development of advanced healthcare on the continent. It places Africa at the forefront of genome research and bolsters the continents epidemic and pandemic public health response, she said. The Director-General urged communicators to shift their emphasis towards more proactive communication on african issues. She said this will result in claiming the communications space on key issues facing the continent and is an opportunity to re-frame how Africa moves forward in a post-COVID-19 environment. We have seen that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, african nations maintained their spending on infrastructure projects and it is these stories that we need to actively share. According to the Deloitte african Construction Trends 2021 Outlook report, there was an increase in the number of infrastructure projects by a fifth compared with 2020, she said. Williams further advocated for the communication of Africas changing landscape represented by the 462 infrastructure projects on the continent valued of $521 billion. Touching on a number of projects across the continent, Williams said the highest number of projects were in the transport sector with 197 projects, energy sector registered 88 projects while there were 85 real estate sector projects. african governments owned 73.8 percent of projects and they were top funders at 31.8 percent. South Africa recorded 37 projects valued at $54.7 billion. It includes the Kusile power plant, Waterfall City Development, Baywest City Precinct, Steyn City development and the Roggeveld wind power project, she said. Through communication, she said, they can support the continents recovery efforts through profiling interventions and providing regular updates that help shape the narrative for Africa. On the economic front, african nations have a chance to build back better as they leverage advances in green and low-carbon energy in pursuit of its growth objectives. Williams said the african Continental Free Trade Area presents enormous opportunities and the recent adoption of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin covering 87 percent of goods on the tariff lines of african Union member states is a historic breakthrough that demonstrates commitment to dramatically scaling up intra-african trade. We must put forward common front towards promoting Agenda 2063, which is Africas strategic roadmap to move us to a free, safe and fully developed continent. She said that Agenda 2063 is underpinned by the AUs vision to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa that is a dynamic force in the international arena. It reflects the aspirations of Africa as a continent with strong cultural identity, values, and ethics. In support of Agenda 2063, we can foster unity amongst all africans across the continent. Future growth will be spurred by the continents commitment to Agenda 2063 to drive the social, economic and political rejuvenation of Africa, she said. Key lessons from COVID-19 pandemic In the midst of the devastation caused by C

may 23 2022 8:00pm
Debt distress in Africa: biggest problems, and ways forward

Currently, 22 countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress, meaning african governments are struggling to pay the debts they incurred on behalf of their states.

may 18 2022 7:09pm
business News : Mixed