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President Cyril Ramaphosa to lay out state agenda at the SONA 2019

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will address parliament and the country by laying out the plans, policy, and challenges for 2019. The country’s political leaders will meet on Thursday, at the Parliament buildings in Cape Town for the State of the Nation Adress (SONA).

The national address will mark the opening of parliament for the year and is also expected to be met with disruptions as opposition parties.

It is hoped that the 2019 State of the Nation Adress will outline impactful objectives that the government will achieve. According to the thesouthafrican.com, the economy, high levels of unemployment, challenges facing the health system, land reform, service delivery, and foreign investment are some of the key issues many will be looking at the President to address.

The SONA will be broadcasted on SABC, ENCA, as well live streamed on Parliament YouTube Channels. This 2019 address is important as SA will be having Presidential elections.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

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

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 into 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 dealmakers 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 mobilize 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 the 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 prioritized the restoration of 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.

 

– SA gov news

President Ramaphosa to visit Switzerland, India

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa will use his international working visits this week to position South Africa favorably on the global map and solidify bilateral relations.

The Switzerland visit will encompass global discussions on the future of work, global governance and partnership in an age of rapid technological change, while the State visit will reinforce South Africa’s relations with India.

President Ramaphosa begins his drive in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday in his capacity as co-chair of the International Labour Organisation’s Global Commission on the Future of Work.
The commission, co-chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, will launch its highly anticipated Report on The Future of Work at the ILO headquarters in Geneva today.

The report lays the foundation for global action on the challenges that governments, business and labor face amid the convergence of developments in the digital economy, climate change, and cyclic economic trends.

Following his address to the ILO, President Ramaphosa will travel to Davos Klosters, where he will lead Team South Africa’s participation in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled from 22 to 25 January.

The 2019 gathering is themed ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. It brings together heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1 000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations, and cultural, societal and thought leaders, among others.

The Davos discussions will explore how technological advances are impacting on or giving rise to new systems of health, transportation, communication, production, distribution and energy, and the changes required in education and other programmes to prepare workers for this economic revolution and accompanying social changes.

It will be a platform for Team South Africa to engage and update the international community, including investors, on the path of renewal and growth on which the country has embarked.
Team South Africa will showcase investment and trade opportunities while contributing to the global dialogue on key issues facing humanity and emerging key opportunities.

India State visit

Following the conclusion of the WEF programme, President Ramaphosa is set to travel to New Delhi, India, for a State visit scheduled for Friday.

The President, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will use the visit to further enhance trade relations between the two nations. The President will be honored as Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Celebrations.

South Africa and India share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges.
Many of the common foreign policy objectives that both countries share are pursued multilaterally, especially through South-South initiatives and close cooperation existing within the G20, BRICS, IBSA, and IORA.

The two nations will further solidify relations with agreements on higher education and training, arts and culture, home affairs, defense, and energy, among others.

The two enjoy a strategic partnership and bilateral relations anchored in a deep and shared history of friendship and solidarity.

India is currently South Africa’s second largest trading partner in Asia and ranks among South Africa’s top 10 trade partners.

In 2017, bilateral trade reached R107 billion (approximately $8 billion). Trade for the period January to November 2018 totaled R101 billion. Indian investments in South Africa currently stand at US$8 billion and have created an estimated 18 000 jobs.

There are 130 Indian companies that have invested in South Africa, including TATA (automobiles and hotels), Mahindra (automobiles), Cipla (pharmaceuticals) and the Bank of India. South Africa’s total investment in India increased to R10.3 billion (approximately $800 million) in 2017.
South African companies that have invested in India, include Sasol, FirstRand, Old Mutual, ACSA, Shoprite and Nandos.

 

– SA Gov News

South African Minister invites investments from India businesses

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Regina Mhaule invited Indian business to invest in SA. Mhaule who was speaking at the Raisana Dialogue which concluded yesterday, at India’s capital, New Delhi. The Minister acknowledged the contribution of Indian companies in the economic development of South Africa. “India has richly contributed to the nations economic development for generations,” said Mhaule.

“ As the people of South Africa sought to overthrow the shackles of oppression brought to bear upon us, India.. was one of the most principled supporters of the struggle against apartheid and racial discrimination,” she said.

Mhaule further reflected on South Africa-India relations – the arrival of the first Indians 150 years ago “richly contributed to the nation’s diversity and economic development for generations”. The relations have grown from strength to strength, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s invitation to be a chief guest India’s Republic Day celebrations later this month, further strengthened the relations.

 

 

Source: Times of India

President Ramaphosa leads delegation to G20 Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation to the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 30 November to 1 December 2018.

Chaired by President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, the Buenos Aires gathering is the first G20 Summit in which President Ramaphosa will participate since being elected President in February 2018. The Leaders’ Summit will be complemented by meetings of finance ministers from G20 member states.

Argentina assumed the G20 Presidency in November 2017, with a focus throughout this year-long term on “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development” – a theme that resonates well with President Ramaphosa’s own emphasis on the importance of consensus and collaboration in South Africa’s efforts to build an inclusive and sustainable economy and advance social cohesion.

The G20 was formed in 1999 to bring stability to the global financial system, promote long-term sustainable growth and strengthen global financial governance. However, it has since expanded its agenda beyond economic and financial issues to encompass geopolitical matters and issues of peace and security, global governance, environment and international terrorism.

The G20, which consists of the leading developed and developing economies, accounts for 85% of global Gross Domestic Product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

South Africa views the Summit as a platform from which to promote and strengthen interests of the African continent and of the South.

South Africa further views the G20 as providing meaningful opportunities for advancing global governance reforms and reorienting the international developmental agenda.

President Ramaphosa will in the course of this Working Visit hold bilateral meetings with various Heads of States to strengthen and deepen relations with partner countries and present South Africa as an attractive investment destination and trade partner.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, as well as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu.

 

 

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

 

South Africa to host German President

President Cyril Ramaphosa will host the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on a state visit to South Africa on Tuesday. The visit will take place in Cape Town.        

The last official visit to South Africa by a German President was undertaken 20 years ago by then Federal President Roman Herzog.

This week’s state visit follows a bilateral meeting between President Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the margins of the G20 Africa Summit in Berlin in October.

This meeting re-energised relations between South Africa and Germany and provided the opportunity for the President to highlight the strategic importance of the relationship between the two countries.

During a business breakfast meeting in Berlin, President Ramaphosa encouraged German business leaders to continue investing in South Africa and expressed appreciation for the significant role German companies continue to play in developing skills and building capacity in South Africa.

Relations between South Africa and Germany are cordial, multifaceted and of a strategic nature.

The importance of Germany to South Africa’s national and international interests can be seen in Germany’s support of South Africa’s domestic objectives, such as fostering economic growth, overcoming poverty and social imbalances, increasing the skills base and supporting efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

Germany and South Africa also have a robust and growing trade relationship with Germany being South Africa’s third-largest global trading partner in 2017.

Germany is also one of the largest foreign investors in South Africa, with more than 600 German companies having subsidiaries or production in the country, sustaining approximately 100 000 jobs.

The state visit will afford both leaders an opportunity to discuss multilateral issues and to cooperate closely as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term from 2019 – 2020.

It is expected that the visit will lead to the signing of trade and investment agreements between South Africa and Germany.

 

– SAnews.gov.za

 

UN General Assembly 2018 – Updates

New York is currently hosting  the 2018 United Nations general assembly. The 73rd session opened on the 18 September and gathered leaders from around the world to engage and discuss global concerns and recommend possible solutions.

This was South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s first appearance at the UN general assembly.  Ramaphosa expressed that his government is actively working to clamp down on corruption both in the private and public sectors. This to attract foreign and domestic investment and create certainty in the country.

As reported by citizen.co.za Ramaphosa said during a question and answer session that his plan is to clean up the state-owned enterprises (SOEs), government departments and then reposition them to fulfill their intend purpose. He also hopes that an investment conference in October could result in $1 Billion investment for the next 5 years.

US President Donald Trump who also addressed the UN general assembly was laughed at, when he said that his administration had achieved more in the US in last 2 years and all previous administrations that have come before him. He also called for changes to the global trade system sighting the US-China trade war as an outcome of the deficiency in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Some of the other key issues under discussion at the UN general assembly as reported by aljazeera.com include how the countries of the world should respond to the Rohingya refugee crisis, Iranian-US relations, sanctions and the nuclear deal.

A new statue of South African struggle icon Nelson Mandela was also unveiled at the United Nations headquarters on Monday before the high-level general assembly took place. The statue is said to symbolize the fighting for justice and peace around the world.

 

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

South Africa’s stimulus package to include a set of economic reforms

South Africa proposed a stimulus package that will include a set of economic reforms including mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport says the Presidency.  

According to Bloomberg.com the economic stimulus package taken by the South African leaders is aimed at boosting economic activity and confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty.

“The stimulus package will re-prioritise government spending, within the existing fiscal framework, towards activities that will stimulate economic stability” Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said in an emailed statement.

The Presidency gave highlights of the measures to be taken. The measures will soon be made known to businesses and labour leaders, the measures were discussed during the meeting held in Pretoria on September the 14th.

South African finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene told Mail and Guardian that the country needs a stimulus package of about R48 billion as proposed by the African National Congress (ANC) to create jobs and increase investments.

 

 

Source: Bloomberg  

SA Government still committed to withdraw from the ICC

A conference on the future of international justice the Symposium in Cape Town, questioned South Africa’s membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its possible withdrawal.  South African Minister of Justice Michael Masutha took the opportunity to clarify the South African government’s position regarding the possible withdrawal from the ICC. The meeting organised by the Wayno Foundation, Minster Masutha and reputable legal experts was held on the 29th of August.

Minister Masutha said that the South African government and the justice department are still planning on withdrawing from the International Criminal Court.  The minister further said that South Africa will remain strongly committed to human rights, Justice for victims of atrocities and keep pursuing international criminals.

He also clarified why South Africa should leave the ICC, stating the conflict of interest between South Africa’s memberships in the African Union and the International Criminal Court. The decision to leave the ICC was not one taken without considering its possible impact on Human rights and having an accountable justice system.  

South Africa’s exit in the ICC has to do with how it can implement the ICC without causing international or regional conflict. The ICC failed in apprehending Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was charged with various war crimes. The South African government also had to respect that President al-Bashir was a sitting president of Sudan and member of the African Union which comes with certain levels of immunity. South Africa is not the only African country battling with this conflict which could hinder regional partnerships and unforeseen crises.

 

Source: mg.co.za

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa Announces stimulus package to boost recession South African economy

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa remain optimistic that South Africa will recover from a technical recession brought forward by StatSA on Tuesday.  Ramaphosa said that the government is working on a stimulus package to help the South Africa economy bounce back and ease the pain.

President Ramaphosa made this statement off the back of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in China, which he and Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired. South Africa’s second quarter GDP constricted by 0.7%, which could slow the investment that Ramaphosa was hoping to achieve this year.

Ramaphosa pointed out that the agricultural sector experienced late rains which is what contributed to the fall in domestic growth, and that his confident that reports on the next quarter will show growth again and that South Africa will not fall in to a full recession.

The Stimulus package still to be announced is expected to jump start the economy on different levels, lifting the mood and prospect on the economy.

 

Source: businesslive.co.za