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Vaccine inequality holds back economic recovery

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on BRICS to support the drive of the African Union to ensure that vaccines destined for African countries are procured from African manufacturers. The President was delivering a pre-recorded message at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday ahead of the virtual 14th BRICS Leaders Summit on Thursday and Friday. Though the global economic recovery is underway, President Ramaphosa highlighted that the situation remains fragile and the recovery itself is uneven. He said that developing economies continue to face challenges of poverty and inequality, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. Lack of access to lifesaving vaccines and treatments is still holding back the recovery of millions across the world. We cannot have a swift and inclusive global economic recovery unless the issue of vaccine inequality is urgently addressed, the President said. President Ramaphosa said that the forum is taking place at a difficult time. As BRICS nations, he said, they have to do all within their means to mitigate the impact of poverty, food and energy insecurity on the people. We have to advance sustainable and inclusive development that safeguards us against future shocks. At the Moscow Summit in 2020, we adopted the revised Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership. Last year, we adopted its Implementation Plan, he said. Through this strategy, the President said that they want to expand market access for goods, products and services across the bloc. We want to promote mutual trade and investment, implement structural reforms and other measures to improve the business environment. In particular, we want to enhance trade and investment cooperation that supports value-addition among the BRICS countries, the President said. The President told the Business Forum that South Africa has recently implemented far-reaching structural reforms in areas such as energy, telecommunications, transportation, water and infrastructure. Despite the pandemic, he said that trade and investment cooperation within the BRICS has been steadily improving. This needs to be deepened even further if we are to withstand vulnerabilities in regional and global supply chains. We therefore endorse the BRICS Initiative on Enhancing Cooperation on Supply Chains, he said. He emphasised that this initiative affirms that openness, efficiency, stability, transparency, reliability and resilience of national, regional and global supply chains are necessary preconditions for international trade and investment. We are committed to strengthening dialogue, exchange and cooperation in areas such as industrial development, investment, trade in services, and micro, small and medium enterprises development. We recognise the dynamism of the digital economy as an enabler of the global economic recovery, the President said. Overcoming the digital divide between countries President Ramaphosa called for an urgent need to overcome the digital divides that exist within and between countries. He said that BRICS countries will continue their constructive engagement with the World trade Organisation (WTO) to foster inclusivity, industrialisation and development. We appreciate the contribution of the BRICS Women Business Alliance in promoting women's financial inclusion and the participation of women and women-owned and women led businesses in the mainstream economies of BRICS countries. We must oppose attempts to shape global economic policies through unilateral sanctions and other coercive measures, he said. At the same time, President Ramaphosa emphasised the need to preserve the pre-eminent role of the WTO in setting global trade rules and governance, in supporting inclusive development and in promoting the rights and interests of its members. The President further wished the BRICS Business Forum well in the critical task of expanding and diversifying trade and investments between its countries. Our task is to forge new pathways for cooperation that bring higher levels of development for our respective peoples. We extend our appreciation to the BRICS Business Council for its ongoing work of deepening collaboration among the BRICS business communities, he said. President Ramaphosa added that this years BRICS Business Forum is an opportunity to move beyond solidarity to real action. As BRICS leaders and as the BRICS business community, let us deepen our collaboration and partnership in pursuit of global development that benefits all and that leaves no-one behind, he said.

jun 23 2022 11:05am
Minister Ronald Lamola meets South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 3 Jun

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, will address a South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Business Lunch on Friday, 03 June 2022 at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton.SACCI remains the most broadly based representative national business body, not only in South Africa, but in Southern Africa, focussing primarily on national and international issues. It effectively protects and promotes the interest of business.SACCI assists its members by preparing and submitting policy positions on business related issues to government. i.e. international trade, Taxation, Economic Affairs, Labour and Company Wellness, Education Training, Information Technology, SADC, NEPAD, Small Business, Transport and Regulatory Affairs.SACCI also interacts with many other agencies on business issues. During the year, SACCI holds various informative seminars and presentations using top Government and noteworthy speakers.Governments immediate task is to grow the economy and enable creation of the much needed jobs. Government leaders regularly interact with various organisations including business to unleash the dynamism of the economy.The Business Lunch Address is scheduled as follows:Date: Friday, 03 June 2022Venue: Hilton Hotel, SandtonTime: 14h00Media ConfirmationsSechaba Mphahlele - 083 290 9959Media EnquiriesChrispin Phiri - 081 781-2261

jun 3 2022 5:45pm
event News : Govt
Zimbabwe seeks allies to allow international ivory trade

Zimbabwe, home to a quarter of Africa's elephants and one of the few growing populations of the large land mammal in the world, is trying to find allies to legalise the international trade in ivory, which has been banned for more than 30 years.

may 26 2022 7:30pm
business News : Markets
Children, policy makers to discuss solutions to eliminate child labour

The 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour will for the first time in its history host a child participation session, which will seek solutions to eliminate child labour. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Department of Social Development said the childrens session at the conference, currently underway in Durban, will include an intergenerational dialogue where children and policy makers will discuss solutions to eliminate child labour. It is expected that in this session, children will be representing all the children of the world where they will share their experiences of child labour and outline their proposals and recommendations for governments and policymakers. The session will be attended by children from the five international Labour Organisation (ILO) Regions who will join in physically and virtually. The session will be addressed by the CEO of the Humans Rights commission of South Africa [Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane], the department said. Children will participate at the session to take place on Thursday. It is estimated that 164 million children around the world are affected by child labour, with 600 000 in South Africa. Financing elimination of child labour on spotlight Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, will this afternoon join global leaders in politics, finance and non-governmental organisations in a thematic discussion on how governments can finance the elimination of child labour. The thematic panel will explore how to mobilise financial resources to make the generational investment required. During discussions, speakers will address topics, including securing domestic public resources, how to leverage public spending in areas such as education and social protection for child labour elimination, international development cooperation, debt sustainability, domestic and international private business and finance, international trade as an engine for child labour elimination. Panellists will also discuss the critical question of how to improve access to credit and other financial services in affected communities, especially among women. Dube-Ncube said the objective of the panel is to discuss the required mechanisms and framework to mobilise sustainable financing, improve coordination and strengthen partnerships between governments, social partners, development partners, international financial institutions and the private sector. This is a very critical issue that needs all hands on deck. The public purse is powerful enough to enact a change to eliminate child labour through innovative policy formulation, Dube-Ncube said ahead of the panel discussion. The conference, which is hosted for the first time on African soil, started on 16 May and will end on 20 May 2022. The event will help to construct the path toward a world free from child labour.

may 18 2022 7:09pm
Minister Nathi Mthethwa releases creative industries economic Mapping Study report, 31 Mar

The Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa invites members of the media to the official release of the creative industries economic Mapping Study report on the contribution of the sector. The event will take place on Thursday, 31 March 2022 at AMPD Studios, Newtown, Johannesburg, in Gauteng.Hosted through the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela University, the 2022 Mapping Study explores the impact of Covid-19 on the sector with a view to understanding the extent of the impact of the pandemic. It is the first comprehensive study of the contribution of the cultural and creative sector to the economy since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.The report is also an update of the previous mapping studies published by SACO in 2018 and 2020. This Mapping Study also provides updated information on how the cultural and creative industries contribute to the economy of South Africa in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); GDP growth, employment, and transformation; and international trade.The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is a national research project of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) established in 2015. It conducts economics research and provide reliable policy and sector relevant information about the economic value of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs).The Observatory undertakes this research guided by UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics that defines the cultural and creative industries to include the following cultural domains: Cultural and Natural Heritage domainPerformance and Celebration domainVisual Arts and Crafts domainBooks and Press domainAudio-Visual and Interactive Media domainDesign and Creative Services domain Media are invited as follows:Date: Thursday, 31 March 2022Time: 10h00Venue: AMPD Studios, 100 Carr Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, Gauteng.For RSVPs:Madimetja MolebaCell:066301 4675E-mail: [email protected] Titus ChueneCell:066038 6890E-mail: [email protected] Enquiries:Masechaba KhumaloCell: 066 380 7408E-mail: [email protected] Mboneni MulaudziCell: 082889 2971E-mail: [email protected] Zimasa VelaphiCell: 072 172 8925E-mail: [email protected]

mar 31 2022 8:38pm
event News : Govt
Investing in SA

Black industrialists, multinationals, government agencies and small businesses have all dipped into their pockets to contribute towards the countrys economic development. Contributing towards President Cyril Ramaphosas vision of attracting R1.2 trillion over five years, the businesses on Thursday at the 4th SA Investment Conference cumulatively pledged R332 billion in investments. The investments ranged from mining, manufacturing and ICT, among others. Wrapping up investment pledges on Thursday, first was Chinese company Hangda. It announced that the company would be investing R300 million on a steel manufacturing plant in Thaba Nchu, in the Free State. Next was Highveld Robusteel, a black industrialist, with an R800 million investment on a steel and magnesium manufacturing plant in Mpumalanga. Nyanza Light Metals, another black industrialist, announced it was investing R5 billion in titanium dioxide pigment manufacturing in the Richards Bay Industrial Zone in KZN. SA Steel Mills unveiled a R300 million steel production plant in Gauteng. Scaw Metals Group committed R2 billion toward their steel manufacturing plant in Gauteng. Alfeco & Veer Aluminium, Veer Steel Mills invested R3.5 billion in a steel manufacturing plant also in Gauteng. From the UAE, Velocity Ventures vowed to plough R470 million in an aluminium and steel plant in Gauteng. Other manufacturing Rayal, a Chinese company, committed R280 million in a porcelain tile manufacturing plant in Gauteng. LVSA group, a Black industrialist group, unveiled a R204 million investment on a valve manufacturing initiative in KZN. Defy, a Durban-based company of Turkish-based Arelik, made a R317 million pledge towards its goods manufacturing plant in KZN. Irish company Ardagh in partnership with Consol will invest R1.5 billion in a new glass container production facility in Gauteng. Huhtamaki, from Finland, pledged R150 million on the expansion of their manufacturing plant in KZN. Isanti glass, another black industrialist, will plough R496 million in a glass manufacturing plant in Gauteng. Swedens Tetra Pak committed R500 million towards the expansion of a manufacturing plant in KZN. US multinational Proctor & Gambles R450 million will see the company expand its diaper plant in Gauteng. Business process, ICT and digital services In this regard, United Kingdom-based Sigma Connected said it would inject R267 million in the global business services sector in the Western Cape. Teraco Data Environments committed a further R1.1 billion towards the construction of a data centre in Gauteng and power generation for its facilities across the country. Pakistani e-commerce service Airlift unveiled a R300 million investment in Gauteng and the Western Cape. New e-hailing service Didi is investing R1.2 billion in the South African market. With a R1.1 billion investment, TymeBank continuesits investment growth. Special Economic Zones The three Black industrialists based at the Dube trade Port in Durban - LM Diapers & Lil Masters, Smartway SA, and Synergy Blenders - will respectively invest R75 million, R139 million and R94 million. Also making significant investments were African Quartz with R1.5 billion, Anchora Enterprises - with R1.8 billion - and Cape Ocean Terminals - R2 billion. All three are based at the Saldana Bay SEZ. Based at the Atlantis SEZ, Marine and industrial refrigeration systems company, Everflo, will be investing R65 million on green energy and cooling microsystems. Swartland Experience Quality will invest R106 million on a polystyrene manufacturing plant. SME investment The Small Enterprise Finance Agency revealed a R2.3 billion funding budget for SMMEs. The National Empowerment Fund unveiled a R2.5 billion funding kitty. The Industrial Development Corporation said it has R20.1 billion finance to fund companies, black industrialists and SMMEs. Government said it has R6 billion in its coffers for incentive support programmes. The international trade Administration commission said it had set aside R427 million to unlock investment in manufacturing facilities and infrastructure.

mar 26 2022 4:10pm
SARS Customs scales up digital transformation

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs division will scale up digital transformation and increase data usage to improve the facilitation of trade, revenue collection and compliance by import and export traders across South Africas borders. The commitment was on Wednesday made by SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter at the annual international Customs Day. Kieswetter said digital transformation and the increased use of data is necessary to combat the increased sophistication of organised crime, and better manage the expanding volume and complexity of international trade. The commissioner reported that the Customs Modernisation Programme led to an improvement in the average case turnaround time on interventions by 22%, as at December 2021. The programme has also seen frontline interventions come down from an average of 109 hours in March 2020 to 38 hours as at December 2021. It also reduced the stop rate for Authorised Economic Operators by 86%, leading to savings in cost and time. We have improved our risk-based interventions to detect and deter illicit trade by an average success rate of 54% by the end of December 2021, which has raised an additional R2 billion in revenue. As at December 2021, SARS Customs more than doubled the value of seizures compared to the previous year, from R1.5 billion to R3.5 billion, including narcotics, clothing and textiles, Kieswetter said. The SARS commissioner said several other initiatives, built on increased use of data and expanding the data eco-system, had made significant progress as part of the SMART border concept. We are currently piloting the number plate recognition system at Beit Bridge, with the help of key stakeholders such as the Freight Association and Technical Services Providers Association. More than 99% of all cross-border truck manifests are now reported electronically to SARS prior to the arrival of the truck at the border, which includes the truck registration details. To extend further practical benefits to traders and increase compliance, the Single Window platform is being implemented, in partnership with Transnet. The platform will allow marine carriers to submit reports once to both entities to improve port efficiencies. The implementation of this platform will be followed by a National Single Window to enable traders to submit all cross-border documents through a single point of entry to government, and enable other border agencies to view, stop and detain goods for agricultural, health and safety concerns. Another project to combat illicit financial flows brings together data from SARS, commercial banks and the South African Reserve Bank, Kieswetter said. He commended SARS for starting its journey of modernisation and embracing a technology-enabled and insight-driven culture as part of its operations. However, SARS will need partnerships built on mutual respect, trust and a commitment to serve the greater public good, the commissioner said.

jan 27 2022 1:48pm
Two held for illegally trading reptiles

Two German nationals are expected to appear in court on Monday for the alleged illegal trade and possession of reptiles and controlled substances. The men were nabbed while illegally catching and trading in reptiles, including Armadillo Girdled lizards which are a threatened and protected species, geckos and tortoises in the Northern Cape with the intention to smuggle them out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade, the department said on Sunday. All South African tortoises and some of the lizards are listed by the Convention on the international trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the international trade in these species. Dagga and other drugs were also confiscated during the arrest. The men were arrested on Friday near Askam in the Northern Cape as a result of a multi-agency reptile undercover operation. The operation comprised of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environments Green Scorpions and the Hawks, assisted by the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre, the police, South African National Parks (SANParks) environmental crime inspectors, the Northern Cape Department of environmental affairs and the private sector. The collaboration by all members of the multi-disciplinary team is to be commended.Without the dedication of the Green Scorpions, members of the security establishment, provincial officials and the private sector, we will not be able to win the war against wildlife crime, the department said.

nov 22 2021 3:45pm