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.

Independent Media launches Group Ombud

Published 9 May 2017 by Carlo Petersen, IOL
Independent Media launched its Group Ombudsman’s Office today, introducing a prestigious panel of former journalists and editors which will form part of the company’s new division.Group executive editor for the Western Cape, Gasant Abarder, introduced staffers and guests to the panel at the Table Bay Hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

Abarder said the ombudsman’s office would use “tough love” to ensure Independent Media’s editors and journalists are kept on their toes.

This sentiment was echoed by Group Ombudsman Jovial Rantao.

 “It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrated editor or not, tough love is coming your way,” he said.

The Adjudication Panel includes chairperson Rantao, Moleboheng Mosia, Brijilal Ramguthee, Michael Buthelezi, Prof William Gumede, Advocate Nthabiseng Mokoena, Ryland Fisher, Paul Esselaar, Dennis Pather, Rich Mkhondo, Lloyd Mogotsi, Mansoor Jaffer and Ronald Bernickow.

Independent Media Executive Chairman Iqbal Survé thanked Rantao for doing an “excellent job” so far, and wished the panel well for the future.

Watch the launch here:

Independent Media announce senior editorial appointments

Published 08 May 2017, by IOL

 Independent Media is proud to announce two new editorial appointments as part of its ongoing revitalisation and transformation of its newsrooms.

Veteran journalist Steve Motale, 52, has returned to Independent Media, to take over the editorship of The Sunday Independent. Motale is a former executive editor of the Pretoria News, which is part of the Independent Media stable. Motale left Independent just prior to Sekunjalo’s acquisition of Independent Media was consolidated, as he was headhunted by The Citizen to become its editor. He went on to edit The Citizen for three years.

Executive Chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé said that Motale has come back home to Independent.

“His appointment is aligned with our approach to transformation at senior editorial and executive level and supports our objective of pursuing black excellence in the media space. Mr Motale brings great diversity to our Gauteng publications where our readers can find contested views and opinions in our various titles including The Star, Sunday Independent, Saturday Star, Pretoria News and Isolezwe (Gauteng), as well as African Independent.

We are proud that our group emphasises a diversity of opinions, accuracy in reporting and fairness and has taken a non-partisan approach to political issues in the country. Independent’s titles as a whole are showing an increase in circulation and this can be attributed to readers increasingly trusting our balanced and diversified editorial viewpoints. Mr Motale’s appointment strengthens that diversity in our editorial appointments with our 24 titles and over 10 million daily readers online and in print.

I am pleased to welcome Steve back home.  I have every confidence in his ability to grow Sunday Independent’s niche readership base – both in print and online.  I wish him success with this exciting new challenge.”

Born and bred in the Free State, Motale matriculated in Kroonstad and qualified as a high school teacher, spending 16 years in the classroom before moving to journalism on a local community paper in Klerksdorp. Over and above qualifications in teaching and communication, Motale is a graduate of Wits University’s Management Advancement Programme. He is married with two children.

“It feels like a homecoming,” he said, “I’m very excited about the opportunity. The Sunday Independent is an iconic brand with huge potential and I look forward to taking it to where it belongs.”

Read the full article here.


Solid earnings for Premier Food & Fishing

Published 5 May 2017, by Sandile Mchunu, Business Report

Black-owned and managed fishing company Premier Food and Fishing (PFF) delivered a solid growth in earnings for the six months to end February.The company reported headline earnings per share rose 33 percent to 12.70 cents a share, from 9.52c a share from the same period last year, while revenue increased by 7 percent to R182 million. The group attributed the growth mainly to increased sales volumes in the lobster and squid segments.

PFF chief executive Samir Saban said: “Premier Fishing achieved solid performance and positive growth for the six months to end February as per our expectations.”

The group’s operating profit also increased by 12 percent to R18 million, from R16 million. PFF also holds medium to long-term fishing rights in west coast rock lobster, south coast rock lobster, small pelagics, hake deep sea trawl, hake long-line swordfish and tuna as well as squid. The group owns an abalone farm and invests in organic agriculture through the “Seagro” range of products.

“The group experienced increased lobster landings due to good catch rates as well as a good size mix for the period under review.

“The industrial fish landings were up by 20 percent compared to the prior period, while hake sales volumes and the profitability of the hake segment increased during the current period, ” PFF said.

PFF is a member of diversified listed entity African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) and operates a vertically integrated fishing business specialising in the harvesting, processing and marketing of fish and fish-related products, as well as general food products.

PFF was listed on the main board of the JSE at the beginning of March and the group raised capital in the amount of R526 million on the listing date through the issue of 117 million new shares.

During the listing Saban said that the capital raised would be used for the expansion of the company’s abalone farm as well as for acquisitions of other fishing companies.

PFF shares remained flat on the JSE  and closed at R4.60.

Read the full article here.

#WEF a great opportunity to enter into new businesses – Survé

Published 03 May 2017 by Andrea Chotia, IOL 

As the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA ) 2017 starts on Wednesday, the founder and executive chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, Dr Iqbal Survé, provided insight by explaining what it means for Africa and how, if taken advantage of, it could greatly benefit the continent.

Taking place in the port city of Durban until Friday, how to achieve inclusive growth in Africa will be thrashed out by 1 000 global leaders in business, government and civil society. They will deliberate on and agree to priorities that will help Africa achieve this.

Survé declared that the WEFA 2017, will be what one makes of it.

“Sekunjalo is a member of the WEFA, so it’s important for our company to engage with business leaders, government officials, public sector organisations and civil society groupings that principally operate in Africa, as we are invested in at least 40 countries on the continent,” said Survé.

Sekunjalo is deeply rooted across various economic sectors including telecoms, resources, media, technology, manufacturing, food processing, healthcare pharmaceuticals, civil security, network solutions businesses, financial investments, fishing, mining, reclamation, aquaculture and many more.

“It’s a great opportunity to engage with partners, to enter into new businesses and hear first-hand from the private sector and government officials their strategy for economic growth, diversity and development,” said Survé.

Survé’s involvement in the World Economic Forum (WEF) includes being part of the forum member advisers and in Davos this year, being appointed to the stewardship board of the WEF’s Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment initiative.

He is also the former chairman of the WEF Global Growth Companies advisory board (GGC) and vice-chairman of the Global Agenda Council for Emerging Multinationals.

His international role was further deepened by his most recent appointment as chairman of the Brics Business Council, SA Chapter.

Having participated for almost 10 years on many panel discussions at the WEF meetings including Davos, Summer Davos and Africa, Survé maintained that the forum was useful to Sekunjalo in a number of ways.

Firstly, for identifying investment opportunities for the Sekunjalo Group and being able to promote its strategy for Africa, to engage, collaborate and continue to work with existing multinational partners. (Sekunjalo is the shareholder partner to multinationals such as Siemens AG, Nokia, Saab AB, BT, Coriant and others in their African subsidiaries.)

“Secondly, being represented at the WEF is about being an ambassador for my country, to showcase it, to invite people to invest in South Africa and our continent, and to find value-creation partnerships that could help both our businesses and other businesses that want to operate on the continent in the most sustainable way,” he said.

Thirdly, Survé (who is also a qualified medical doctor) will participate on a number of panels to discuss science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and responsible leadership.

He added that the WEFA is also about identifying young talent on the continent, particularly in the areas of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs) and tech pioneers. “It’s a great opportunity to identify young talent, to recruit and support the young talent in our various businesses.”

Survé explained that the WEFA companies, which Sekunjalo forms part of, along with the tech pioneers, social entrepreneurs and YGLs, make a positive impact on humanity through their research, development and initiatives.

With direct relevance to WEFA, Sekunjalo, as an investment holding company, roughly employing 115 000 people across its 200 sizeable investments on the continent, will continue to fly the flag for investment into Africa, said Survé.

He explained the importance of getting the decision-makers on the continent together in one place.

“If the various economic sectors with the highest growth in Africa are clearly identified at the WEFA, then investment entities and partners would be able to capitalise on those opportunities.

“It provides an opportunity to hear from governments on the continent about what their macro-economic strategies are and how we can help and partner with them to achieve their economic-growth objectives.”

Read the full article here.