Honour for adults who fight for children’s rights

Published 29 May, by Nicola Daniels, IOL

The World’s Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF) and The Survé Family Foundation brought the Swedish award ceremony honouring adults who fight for the rights of children to South Africa.

In an evening of music, dance and poetry at the Artscape Theatre, the Abatsha Children’s Band, who were trained through the South African WCPF programme, delivered a moving performance last night.

The band had performed at the award ceremony in Sweden in April and last night was an opportunity for them to share their talent with their families and honoured guests.

Since its launch in the year 2000, WCPF has worked with more than 40 million children across the world, educating them about their rights. More than five million South African children have also been learning through their programme.

This year’s award winners voted for by the children, included Molly Melching for the work she does in Senegal to stop female genital cutting, and Rosi Gollmann, who works to stop child labour and prevent girls from becoming sex slaves in India and Bangladesh.

The overall prize went to Manuel Rodriguez, who runs a school for disabled children in Guinea Bissau.

Mayor Patricia de Lille, who was an honorary guest for the evening, said: “What a heart-warming display of talent. The Bill of Rights, Section 28, says every child has the right to be cared for and protected. All children must be loved.”

Read the full article here.

LOOK: Independent photographer shortlisted for global award

Published 25 May, by a staff writer, IOL. 
A top Independent Media photographer is a finalist in an international prize for young photojournalists organised by Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya.Phando Jikelo, 31, who worked for the Cape Times when he took the picture up for the award, which was used on page

one, has been shortlisted for the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, selected by a jury and includes photographers from 14 countries. The winners will be announced on August 7 in Moscow.

He has since been transferred to Independent’s African News Agency.

Executive chairman of Independent Media Dr Iqbal Survé said: “Phando’s ability as a young photographer goes without saying.

“He has captured moments that convey stories and his heart-wrenching pictures have brought change to the lives of many people. To be shortlisted in one of the most prestigious international photographic competitions for young photojournalists is a testament to his skill and bravery for always getting the shot. I am immensely proud of Phando for being the first South African photojournalist to be shortlisted in this contest.”

As previously, the winning photos will be displayed not only in Russia but abroad until the end of the year.

This year, the number of countries taking part has increased, securing the contest’s status as a prestigious international platform that discovers new names in world photography.

Read the full article here.


Musical joyride for Edujazz Concert

Published 24 May, by a staff reporter, IOL. 

Over the past seventeen years, the Sekunjalo Development Foundation has hosted the annual Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert, where young music students share the stage with established artists. This year, the concert will take place on Saturday 1 July at the Artscape Theatre.

The exciting line-up for the 17th rendition of this annual favourite, includes the Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band, The Foster Kids and The Dynamic Voices featuring The Voice SA finalist Robin Pieters, Idols contestant Elwira Standili, internationally acclaimed crooner Jarrad Ricketts, and singer, songwriter and music producer Lana Crowster, who also appeared on The Voice SA and won the inaugural espYoungLegends competition in 2016.

They will be accompanied by legendary bass guitarist Sammy Webber who will bring his special blend of bass slaps, funk flair and authenticity to this star-studded event.

In 2001, music teacher Donovan Witten had the vision to bring jazz music back into Cape Flats schools after the education department made the decision that art and music no longer had a place in our children’s education.

He shared his vision with Dr Iqbal Survé who was instantly on board and soon saw the establishment of the Sekunjalo Edujazz Project.

 The core of Sekunjalo Edujazz is to fund bursaries at disadvantaged schools while promoting music development. Since its launch, the project has sparked a great following – not only from members of the public who enjoy witnessing South Africa’s musical future but from the artists themselves who recognise the importance of sharing their knowledge and expertise with aspiring entertainers.

The Edujazz Big Band for 2017 will be under the direction of Andrew Ford. Andrew has achieved international acclaim and received awards for music and post production from Cannes Lions, London International Advertising Awards, the New York Festivals and of course our own, South African Loerie Awards. As an arranger, he is constantly in demand by Big Bands and has conducted various orchestras including The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Edujazz Big Band performed at the recent Cape Town International Jazz Festival and will now be showcasing their flair with audiences in July.

Read the full article here.

Independent Media scoops 4 awards at INMA

Published 24 May, by IOL. 

Independent Media scooped four prizes at the prestigious International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in New York on Wednesday.

Independent Media scooped first prize in the category: Best Community Service Campaign for the Racism Stops With Me Campaign and was placed second in the Best New Print Product and Best Use of Video for the Independent Home magazine and the ‘Don’t Look Away’ video series for 16 Days of Activism. They also walked away with the Global Media Award for Best in Africa.

The awards were held at the prestigious Harvard Club and attended by leading media executives from around the globe.

Read more here.


New York Stock Exchange hosts Dr Iqbal Survé and Sekunjalo

Published 18 May 2017, by Business Report.


Sekunjalo at New York Stock Exchange

On May 17, 1792, twenty-four brokers met under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street and helped found the New York Stock Exchange. Today the New York Stock Exchange celebrated its 225th year. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) hosted Dr Iqbal Surve, Chairperson of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings and a delegation of his executives in New York on this important occasion of the exchange.

Dr Surve was hosted by the NYSE ahead of several potential listings on the exchange of Sekunjalo investments.

Sekunjalo companies partner with Saldanha Municipality and Lafarge for housing solution

Published 18 May 2017, by IOL.

Human Settlements Deputy Minister, Zou Kota-Fredericks has commended Premier Fishing SA (Pty) Limited (Premier Fishing) and Lafarge Mining South Africa for their commitment and hard work which ensured that ten destitute families, amongst them, the elderly, the disabled, women and child-headed households in White City, Saldanha Bay Municipality now have a roof over their heads.

At the handover on 15 May, Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks said, “As government we’re here today to support this positive initiative and thank all those who have contributed in the construction of these houses. This gesture of goodwill from Premier Fishing, Lafarge and their partners indicate that the call by government for partnerships between the public and private sector in the provision of houses is now bearing fruit.”

The land on which the houses are built was donated by Premier Fishing and serviced by the Municipality – this project created a total of eighty-eight jobs for members of the community.

Premier Fishing’s CEO Samir Saban added, “I am delighted that we are in the position to hand over the keys to these new houses to the Saldanha Bay community members. We have come a long way with this project and are proud to experience the joy that it brings to the deserving new homeowners.”

Premier Fishing, a subsidiary of AEEI and a Sekunjalo Group Company is the largest black-owned and managed fishing company in South Africa and supports numerous community initiatives to facilitate the upliftment of the community regarding social and economic challenges in areas in which its employees reside.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Lafarge General Manager for Aggregates, Noriko Solomon wished the new homeowners good health and happiness for many years in their surroundings.

She added that “While the challenge to house South Africa’s people is a daunting one, the stakeholders in Saldanha Bay can be proud of the positive milestone reached. More than anything, this occasion celebrates the importance of working together – partnerships where each one contributes what it is best able to provide”.

“This project started years ago and I am proud to say that we worked hard on this project to build on our CSI and give back to the community who has, over the years, supported Premier Fishing and the fishing sector,” said Khalid Abdulla, Group CEO of AEEI of which Premier Fishing is a subsidiary.

Read the full article here.

The WHO needs this man to guide its vital work

Published 16 May 2017, written Dr Iqbal Survé, Pretoria News. 

On May 23, health ministers from around the world will gather in Geneva to vote for a new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It’s a hugely important election for the whole of Africa and the wider world.

The WHO determines how the international community responds to the growing threat of deadly diseases and pandemics, and helps people everywhere get access to the health care they need.

There has been huge progress in making the world a healthier place.

Major killers like malaria and polio have been dramatically reduced. Last year, malaria deaths were halved in six high burden countries. But the WHO also needs an upgrade so it can respond to the challenges the world faces better and more quickly.

The election of a new Director-General is a real opportunity to see positive change.

Our world is challenged by a changing climate, violent conflict, persistent poverty and poor nutrition. And of course none of us are immune to killer diseases.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa showed how diseases can devastate communities, and have a lasting impact on whole countries. Worryingly we have just seen this terrible illness re-emerge in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However swift and decisive action by the government of the DRC to ask for help will undoubtedly save lives.

Leading the global fight against Ebola in 20014/15 was UN special envoy Dr David Nabarro. He is now running in this election to become WHO Director-General. Through my work as a Trustee of the GISAID and as a Patron of the WCPRC, I have been exposed to the work Dr Nabarro has done in support of Africa.

Dr Nabarro’s experience is unrivalled – he has spent over 40 years in international public health as a medical doctor, educator, international public servant and diplomat.

Read the fill article here.


AEEI shows significant revenue and profit growth

Published 11 May 2017, by a Reporter, Business Report

JSE-listed African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (AEEI), a diversified investment and empowerment company

announced their interim results for the six months ended 28 February 2017 on Thursday, with revenue and profit growth from all its divisions which were garnered organically and from its acquisitions.

The group’s revenue increased by 47% from R305m to R449m.  This was mainly due to the significant revenue from its technology division through organic growth and its acquisition of two companies, and its fishing division’s organic growth despite the economic environment it operated in.Profit before tax for the period increased by 150% from R74m to R185m with improved positive returns from our Group’s diversified operations and investment portfolio.

Headline earnings per share increased by 111% from 14.02 cents to 29.53 cents, and earnings per share increased by 110% from 14.04 cents to 29.48 cents for the period under review.

AEEI’s strategic intent to grow its asset base was evident in the increase of the Group’s total asset base by 20% from R1 535m to R1 841m as a result of the success in its operational performance as well as its investments.

“The Group remains on a positive trajectory and I am delighted that we are able to continue improving our financial performance year on year, while driving sustainable returns for all stakeholders. We have been fortunate to meet, and in some instances, exceed, our targets for the half year results”, said Khalid Abdulla, Group Chief Executive Officer of AEEI.

Abdulla said it was pleasing to note that the Group Net Asset Value (NAV), which increased by 34% from R847m to R1 138m as a result operational performance of all AEEI’s underlying operations and investments.  NAV per share increased by 38% from 156.47 cents to 216.47 cents.

“Further, as a result of the solid financial performance from the underlying businesses, net cash generated from operating activities increased by 21% from R29m to R35m for the period under review. I am also extremely pleased to announce a maiden interim dividend of 2.00 cents per share. This adds to the 3.30 cents we paid for the August 2016 financial year-end,” he said.

The Food and Fishing division achieved a solid performance for the six months ended 28 February 2017. Increased sales volumes in the lobster and squid businesses have contributed significantly to the strong performance and growth.

Premier Food and Fishing’s Group Revenue increased by 7% to R170m to R182m compared to the prior period mainly as a result of increased sales volumes in the lobster and squid segments.

The operating profit for PFF increased by 13% from R22m to R25m mainly due to operational efficiencies across all segments.  Due to the seasonal nature of the fishing industry, the profits in this division have a stronger financial performance during the second half of the year. Based on its pre-listing information as previously released, this division is well positioned to achieve forecasted returns and sustainable growth.

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) division delivered strong organic growth, and through the acquisition of two IT companies, plus the incorporation of its investment in BT Communications Services (South Africa) under the IT division.

This growth also bolstered its product portfolio and supported increased revenues – 119% from R107m to R234m  – and an increase in operating profit of 17% from R169m to R197m. The economy of scale is in line with AEEI’s Vision 2020 Vision’s strategic preparation for the potential listing of the ICT division. This division is on track for its listing plan within the short to medium term.

The Health Care division focuses on the manufacturing, sales and marketing of an extensive range of natural products for the food, agriculture, hygiene and general health and beauty sectors.  The Health Care division achieved growth in revenue by increasing its footprint to new regions and promoting its product portfolio to other food and hygiene sectors.
Genius Biotherapeutics (Genius), Africa’s largest medical biotechnology company, continues with its research and development activities.

During this reporting period, Genius’ management team focused efforts on updating all regulatory requirements by employing the necessary human resources required to meet the stringent and necessary, Medicines Control Council compliance standards for production.

Within the Events and Tourism division, espAfrika hosted yet another successful staging of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, (it’s 18th edition), post the interim reporting period.

In 2016 espAfrika also launched a new and wholly owned annual event, called “The Royal Escape Experience” which took place at Sun City and which will be held again in July 2017 this year. The company’s performance for the six months is in line with expectations, as espAfrika delivers most of its performance and operational outputs during the second half of the financial year.

With less than 20 months in existence, radio station Magic 828, has increased its listenership by 43% in the Western Cape region to approximately 100 000 listeners.

Tripos Travel increased its market share since the previous period, with revenues increasing by 69% from R16m to R27m.

The Group’s strategic investments consist of Pioneer Food Group (Pioneer), Sygnia Limited (Sygnia) and Saab Grintek Defence Propriety Limited (SGD), as well as British Telecoms SA, now managed under AEEI’s Technology division.

Read the full article here.

Independent Media launches Ombud Office

Published 09 May 2017, by Carlo Petersen

Independent Media is “completely and utterly” opposed to a government-imposed, statutory media tribunal in South Africa, says its executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé.

“It is unnecessary and undemocratic and goes against our constitution,” he said yesterday, delivering the keynote address at the launch of the group’s Ombud Office at the Table Bay Hotel at the Waterfront.

He told staff and guests: “Our need for freedom is important and this must be cherished.”

The company’s withdrawal from the Press Council and the appointment of an internal Press Ombud should not be construed as support for a tribunal, said Survé. The group remained totally committed to self-regulation of the media and was vehemently opposed to any state regulation.

He said the media could regulate itself, provided it had the right calibre of people, such as those on Independent’s Press Ombud Office and Adjudication and Appeals panels.

Survé congratulated the company’s group ombudsman, Jovial Rantao, on putting together the office and panels.

The Appeals panels are to be chaired by retired Constitutional Court justice Zak Yacoob.

Western Cape executive editor Gasant Abarder, who chaired the launch, said the Ombud’s Office would use “tough love” to ensure Independent Media’s editors and journalists were kept on their toes.

This sentiment was echoed by Rantao, who said: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrated editor or not, tough love is coming your way.” The adjudication panels are chaired by Rantao and in KZN: Brijilal Ramguthee and Michael Buthelezi; Gauteng, Professor

William Gumede, advocate Nthabiseng Mokoena; Western Cape, Ryland Fisher, Paul Esselaar.

The appeals panels are, in KZN: Dennis Pather, Fortunate Ngongo; Gauteng: Rich Mkhondo, Lloyd Mogotsi; Western Cape: Mansoor Jaffer and Ronald Bernickow.

The formal launch of the Office of the Ombud follows the adoption of Independent Media’s Press Code, after months of robust engagement and development.

Rantao said the publication of the code was an important moment in the history of Independent, one of the major pillars of the media in South Africa.

“This is the editorial bible for all our journalists and is our pledge to our readers and the general public to uphold the highest standards of journalism. We will hold editors and journalists in all our titles accountable on behalf of the public. We will act without fear or favour,” said Rantao, who is also chairperson of the African Editors Forum and the Southern African Editors Forum.

Independent Media said: “The Press Code was developed after engagement with the Press Council on various matters and, in particular, the reintroduction of the waiver clause, ended in an impasse.

Read the full article here:

AEEI’s earnings per share skyrocket

Published 09 May 2017, by Sandile Mchunu

African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) released a trading update on Monday informing its shareholders that it expected basic earnings per share for the six months to end February 2017 to be between 28.08 cents and 30.88c a share.

This is up from the 14.04c reported in 2016.

This will represent an increase of between 100 percent and 120 percent.

The company also expects a better improvement in the headline earnings per share (Heps).

It said its Heps for the period was expected to fall in the range of between 28.13c a share and 30.93c a share as compared to the 14.02c reported in the last corresponding period.

The company will release the interim results on or about May 11.

Read the article here.