ANA raises R1bn foreign stake

Published, 17 February 2017 by ANA Reporter, Independent Media at 07:35am.

Johannesburg – African News Agency (ANA), the continent’s first content syndication service and social media platform for text, pictures, and videos, has raised $80 million (R1.04 billion) from China, the US and the Middle East.

With this investment, ANA has in total raised $165 million since its inception.

In 2015, the entity raised $30 million and, last year, $55 million.

The total placing has resulted in 15 percent of the shareholding now held by international investors, and 85 percent of shares belonging to the Sekunjalo Group.

ANA president Professor Arthur Mutambara said he was delighted at the third tranche of investment.

Confidence

Mutambara said the investment was a sign of confidence, firstly in an African company, but mostly in the technology platforms which led to ANA exceeding its first milestone three months ago of reaching one billion users.

He said he would use the capital to further the technology platforms and to integrate both business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer.

“Technology is the great equaliser. The ANA multimedia technology platform will revolutionise the way Africans communicate among themselves, rebrand the continent, and ignite economic development,” Mutambara said, adding that the capital would also enhance engagement in social media platforms such as Facebook and to ensure it became the global primary provider for the African content by 2020.

ANA is headquartered in South Africa with ownership structures in Mauritius and Switzerland for global expansion. It is also planning to set up commercial media bureaus in New York, London, Shanghai and Dubai, allowing it to continue penetrating global audiences, and furthering its strategy to becoming the go-to source for news, information and data about Africa.

Mutambara said ANA would make an announcement about a platform developed in Africa at the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban in May.

ANA chief executive Grant Fredericks said the agency had achieved its second strategic milestone, enabling technology-driven social media platforms for text, pictures and videos.

“This is an exciting future for ANA and technology in Africa as social media platforms are currently dominated by Facebook and others,” Fredericks said.

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It’s all systems go for Premier’s JSE listing

Published, 17 February 2017 by Joesph Booysen, Business Report at 08:03am

Cape Town – Premier Food and Fishing (PFF) is all set for its listing on the JSE following successful investor roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town this week.

The company is set to be listed next month with an estimated 117 million shares, representing 45 percent of PFF’s equity post listing valued at R526.5 million.

Group chief executive Khalid Abdulla said the company controlled 60 percent of the local rock lobster exports to the US and held 12 percent of the total west coast of supplies to the Far East.

He said the company was also home to the third-­largest pilchard allocated quota of 7percent.

“Our products are of very high quality and are highly regarded in America,” he said.

“As AEEI, the major shareholder, we have been very happy with our returns in this the food and fishing business.”

Integrated

Premier Fishing is the vertically integrated food and fishing division of the JSE-listed AEEI – African Equity Empowerment Investments – and is the largest black-owned and controlled fishing company in the South Africa.

It also owns an abalone aquaculture farm in Gansbaai, which Abdulla described as a high-margin, low-risk business with a 70 percent gross profit margin.

He said the farm produced 120 tons of cultured abalone a year and was running at 100 percent capacity.

He said over the past two years the company had invested millions of rand in the alternative energy sector at the farm.

Read also: Premier Foods and Fishing to list in March

Abdulla said the company was set to increase the supply of its much-sought-after abalone product to its overseas client base.

Samier Saban, the chief executive of Premier Fishing, said in an earlier interview this month that the abalone operation employed more than 100 people and, with further expansion, it would increase its workforce.

“The planned expansion, once completed, would also have alternative energy (solar) installed to support the additional energy required and place less pressure on the electricity grid, which would be enough to benefit the community of Gansbaai,” said Saban.

“We also support small-scale subsistence fishermen and run a corporate social investment (CSI) programme to develop communities within which we work.”

Saban said once the expansion was completed, the farm would be able to produce up to 320 tons of abalone over the next three years.

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Sharing a noble cause

Published, 26 January 2017, by Adri Senekal, Business Report at 08:21am

“Dignity is the right of every person, including prisoners. Today’s prisoner could be tomorrow’s president or scientist or leader. Let’s come together to make the world a better place.” – Dr Iqbal Survé

The Geneva-based International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), one of the most prestigious global NGOs, announced the appointment of Sekunjalo Group chairman Dr Iqbal Survé to its global advisory board in Switzerland last week.

Karen Tse, the chief executive and founder of IBJ, expressed her excitement “to have finally convinced Survé, after eight years of trying, to serve on the global advisory board of IBJ”.

“Dr Survé is an influential African entrepreneur, a global business leader and a recognised philanthropist; he is the most influential business leader in Africa with the vision to shape the future of the African continent,” Tse said.

Survé currently serves as a patron or board member of a number of NGO’s across the globe, and Survé philanthropies through its seven affiliated foundations, which support initiatives in childrens’, women and human rights; climate change; healthcare solutions for the poor; education and science; arts and culture; social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Tse said she was delighted that after eight years she convinced Survé to share his outstanding leadership skills and philanthropic experience with IBJ.

Read also: Top 8 #WEF2017 issues as SA heads to Davos

“We respect Dr Survé for his medical work with victims of apartheid and provision of medical care to a number of prominent South Africans during and after their release from Robben Island.

 

 

 

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#CTIJF2017 reveals epic line-up

Published, 24 January 2017 by IOL Reporter, Independent Media at 11:35am

EspAfrika, the organiser of the country’s longest running jazz festival, has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) exceeds all expectations.

The line-up highlights festival director Billy Domingo’s insights into the current musical renaissance around the world, where collaborations are producing unique sounds that are gaining new audiences.

Jazz fans are likely to make a beeline for these exciting acts announced in the second half of the CTJIF line-up: Saxophonist, producer and composer Kamasi Washington (US) and his release The Epic shook up the jazz critics’ pick lists in 2015 and won the 2016 American Music prize, earning new fans across the world in the process; Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day (US) whose song Rise Up has been adopted as an anthem for change throughout the world; vocalist, pianist, composer and music educator, and two-time Metro Music Award winner Nomfundo Xaluva (SA); and, the multi-award winning saxophonist, composer and arranger Buddy Wells, who will lead his own band in a sensitive yet blistering set as the Buddy Wells Sextet (SA).

For those who favour urban sounds and hip hop there is alternative hip hop trio Digable Planets (USA); dance/electronic music producer Jameszoo (NL); STTA (SA) – a live concept band and City Festival Battle of the Bands 2016 winner, comprising of drummer Jstar, turntablists DJ Raiko and DJ P–Kuttah, three live beat machine samplers, versatile vocalist/ Nasty J aka Joniq; and singer/composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Misch (UK), who leaves his London bedroom studio to head to Cape Town for the first time in March.

 

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Unit trust firms gun for Raging Bull Awards

Published, 26 January 2017 by Staff Writer, Business Report at 07:59am

The Oscars of the unit trust industry, the Raging Bull Awards, celebrated its 21st anniversary last night, and to mark the occasion there were two special awards made in addition to the 10 coveted awards. The event was hosted by Personal Finance, a publication of Independent Media, in conjunction with partners ProfileData and PlexCrown Fund Ratings.

The special awards were for the firm with the top-performing South African equity general fund over 21 years and top multi-asset equity fund on a risk-­adjusted basis over 21 years.

Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Independent Media, addressed this year’s event, which was held at the Summer Palace Ballroom in Johannesburg.

More than 300 representatives of leading unit trust firms, boutique managers, financial services regulators and investment industry bodies attend the event. Each year, 10 Raging Bull Awards are awarded.

The most coveted award, for the South African Management Company of the Year, is made on the basis of an average PlexCrown fund rating that measures risk-adjusted returns and consistency of performance across all of a manager’s qualifying funds for periods up to five years.

Last year, Nedgroup Investments was the first management company to scoop the Raging Bull Awards for South African Management Company and for Offshore Management Company.

 

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Taking pride in finding solutions

Published 05 January 2017 by Siyabonga Kalipa, Independent Online at 06:45am

The Cape Argus has evolved over its 160-year history, according to Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé, who says the newspaper, which celebrates its birthday this week, is more “solutions-driven” than in the past.

“In many ways, the Argus is the same but not the same. It’s the same in that the news is still great, the content is superb, but it’s more solutions-driven. These days you are reading more and more articles about various things that help people.”

He is looking forward to the Cape Argus fulfilling Independent Media’s vision of being “part of your past, shaping your future”. He said the newspaper, especially its sports pages, helped drive transformation.

“In the past, even though there might have been very outstanding sportsmen and women that were black, they were always hidden away in terms of exposure. So, it is nice to see that kind of change.”

There were also more letters and comments being sent in from townships and on the Cape Flats, he said.

“I love what the editors in Cape Town in general are doing in terms of bringing the newspapers to the communities.”

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Gugs race celebrates 16 years

Published 14 December by Staff Writer, Cape Times at 09:27pm

Tomorrow approximately 2 000 enthusiastic runners and athletes will take to the streets for the annual RCS Gugs Reconciliation Race.

The race, which is hosted and sponsored by the Gugulethu Athletics Club, financial services provider, RCS and the Cape Times, has been held for the past 16 years on 
Reconciliation Day, December 16.

Gugulethu is one of the oldest townships in Cape Town and where many black people were forced to live when they were forcibly removed by the apartheid government.

Tomorrow’s race is important for the Cape Times, which this year celebrates its 
140th anniversary, as well as parent company, Independent Media.

Driving social change is integral to Independent Media’s transformation 
strategy.

This event underscores the company’s vision to bring together diverse readership communities and offer platforms where readers can communicate and share, as well as being informed and 
entertained.

 

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The Young Independents launch #Mzansi100Top2017

Published 09 December 2016 by Viwe Ndongeni, Independent Media at 04:19pm

The young, the trendy, the academics and the creatives gathered on 8th December, 2016 at The Young Independents (TYI) call for nominations launch in search of South Africa’s Top 100 inspiring and aspiring leaders for 2017.

In it’s second year, the call for nominations garnered much interest at the African Pride, 15 on Orange.

Esteemed leaders from various industries who came together, elevated the much respected initiative which spear-headed the launch to the next level.

One of them being, South Africa’s new Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane who took office from Thuli Madonsela.

As a key-note speaker, Adv. Mkhwebane encouraged young people to use their talent to better themselves and create employment.

“You have potential to think out-side the box, nothing is stopping you from achieving your goals.”

Adv. Mkhwebane made reference to Ludwick Marishane, founder and creator of DryBath Gel.

On the gravel roads of Limpopo, with an allowance of R50 a week, he came up with a way for his underprivileged community to bath without having to go through the struggle of not walking distances for water, so people could now use a dry soap to clean with.

“What is stopping you?”, Adv. Mkhwebane asked.

With the regards to ongoing struggle of young people, Adv. Mkhwebane

said, “we can step in to ensure the government creates the environment for you to become the young person that SA needs.”

Independent Media Executive Chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé, applauded the contribution of young women who are change agents that bring about transformation and innovation within the Independent Media stable. He went on to say that he wants young people to aspire not to be like him, but to go on and enjoy life, have fun and have a purpose in order to achieve their dreams.

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Khallid Abdulla officially opened stock exchange

Published 09 December 2016 by Staff Writer, Cape Times at 05:40pm

Khalid Abdulla officially opened the stock exchange markets on Wednesday using the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) mystical kudu horn.

Abdulla, who is group chief executive of African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), was treated by the JSE to the sound of its mystical kudu horn, as AEEI celebrates an “exceptional year of performance, empowerment and governance awards”.

The blowing of the horn (ringing of the bell) is a tradition usually reserved for companies that are being listed on the stock exchange.

However, Abdulla and AEEI were honoured after the company showed consistent financial growth over several years, with an impressive trading period in the past 12 months and recognised by its peers with several top awards and consistent financial performance.

AEEI Chief Officer Khalid Abdulla said: “As testament to its forward-thinking approach, its high standards and its ability to deliver results, AEEI was recently recognised by Empowerdex in its annual benchmark of JSE Listed companies as the Most Empowered Company, the Most Empowered Management Control, listed by the Financial Mail as a Top 10 Performer on the JSE for financial performance and was also ranked by IRAS as the Top Performer for the highest SDTI for governance in the Sector: Financial Services – Other.”

 

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AEEI tops in bumper year of awards

Published, 02 December 2016 by Joseph Booysen, Independent Online at 02:00am

African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) has landed its fifth performance award this year.

The diversified investment and empowerment firm received the award at an event held in Sandton this week.

The company was awarded Top in the Sector: Financial Services – Other, with a score of 83.52 percent.

The award is for the Highest Sustainability Data Transparency Index for reporting and governance by Integrated Reporting Assurance Services.

AEEI was also awarded third overall out of 311 companies, of which 297 are JSE-listed companies and 14 state-owned enterprises.

Cherie Hendricks, director of corporate affairs and sustainability at AEEI, said : “For many years we have worked tirelessly to provide our stakeholders with the information they require in order to make informed decisions.”

AEEI was rated 182nd overall in 2013, 16th overall and top in the Financial Services sector in 2014, and last year the firm was ranked 10th overall and second in the Financial Services sector.

AEEI’s CEO Khalid Abdulla said: “We are honoured to be receiving this award, which confirms that our business model is on a firm holistic and sustainable growth path as we continue to add value for our stakeholders, with a very high standard of financial performance and governance in a testing economic climate.”

 

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