‘South Africa will weather the storm’

Published 13 April 2017 by Business Report.  

Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said South Africa will weather problems associated with the recent credit rating downgrade to junk status.Speaking at a business forum between South Africa and Qatar in Pretoria on Wednesday, Zulu moved to allay investor jitters over the downgrades, charging that the government was ready to deal with concerns raised by investors and rating agencies.

“It is not the first time that we are finding ourselves in this,” Zulu said.

Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, Qatar Minister of Economy and Trade HE Sheik Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, Dr Iqbal Survé, Sekunjalo chairperson, and South African Ambassador to Qatar, Shirish Soni, at the RSA-State of Qatar Business Forum in Pretoria. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

“The government has taken upon ourselves as government, the private sector and our communities to work together to weather the storms. It is going to be a very difficult period for us. We shall weather the storm working together.”

Ratings agencies S&P’s Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings last week downgraded the country’s credit rating to sub-investment grade. The South African Reserve Bank earlier this week said the downgrades could put pressure on the rand and accelerate inflation.

Zulu’s assurances came as President Jacob Zuma hosted the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, who was on a state visit to South Africa which was, among others, aimed at deepening economic relations between the two countries.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Presidency said that the total trade between South Africa and Qatar had increased from R4 billion in 2012 to R7 billion last year.

One of South Africa’s largest investments in the Middle East is Sasol’s joint venture gas-to-liquid facility located in Qatar.

Commitment

“[The] two heads of state have agreed to advance our relations to a strategic level in demonstration of our commitment towards strengthening our economic relations.

“In as much as fostering partnership among business communities is important, it is equally imperative that we emerge from these engagements with a structured programme of co-operation,” said Zulu.

Numerous opportunities of co-operation existed between South Africa and Qatar in agro-processing, financial services, mineral beneficiation, petrochemicals, aerospace and defence, infrastructure development and tourism.

She said South Africa’s focus on radical economic transformation opened up opportunities to all South Africans, with focus on black South Africans.

“In line with South Africa’s commitment to radical economic transformation, we must ensure adequate participation of black entrepreneurs.

“The bottom line is that and there is no compromise land was taken away from the majority of our people.

“That has to change if we are to make sure there is peace, security and stability in South Africa.

“This should not scare any of our investors. Your investment in South Africa will always be safe, because in South Africa we have very strong institutions, whether its institutions of governance or financial institutions. We make sure that anybody who comes to South Africa with their investment is protected,” she said. South Africa had prioritised the creation of black industrialists and the integration of small- and medium-sized enterprises, she said.

“The black industrialists are the people that you would need to have more engagement with.”

She said there were numerous investment opportunities in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

“The continent is on the move, with a whole lot of construction happening.

Al-Thani said South Africa could use Qatar’s location and logistics infrastructure to export to the Middle East, Asia and Europe. He said Qatar could also be a gateway for South African products to the Gulf Co-operation Council Common Market and the Greater Arab Free Trade Area.

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Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band kicks off #CTIJF

Published 01 April 2017, by IOL Mojo.

The Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band were the opening act for the 18th installment of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which officially kicked off at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday evening.

For the next two days the Convention Centre will play host to famous as well as up-and-coming musical acts and also a number of exhibitions linked to the event.

Jazz lovers from across South Africa, and in fact the world, gather annually for the festival which is a showcase for some of the best local and international music acts.
Earlier this week, Capetonians were entertained by top acts at the annual free concert held at Greenmarket Square. The concert is considered the opening event of the musical showcase which draws thousands of people to the Mother City every year.
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Indian magnate Iqbal Surve appointed head of South Africa’s BRICS Business Council

Published 31 March 2017 by PTI, The Economic Times.

Iindian-magnate-iqbal-surve-appointed-head-of-south-africas-brics-business-councilndian-origin South African billionaire Iqbal Surve has been appointed as chairperson of the country’s BRICS Business Council and has underlined the need for strengthening trade ties with countries like India and China.

Straight after his appointment by the South African government, Surve, headed to New Delhi for the mid-term meeting of the Brics Councils from other countries in the bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He highlighted importance to strengthen ties with China and India.

“In the age of Trump protectionism and Brexit, we have to strengthen our ties with business in the East, especially China and India, whose economies are expected to be number one and number three in the world by 2030, with a GDP of USD 35 trillion and USD 16 trillion respectively,” Surve said.

“This opens up many opportunities, not only for South Africa but for the continent,” Surve said, adding that it was of utmost importance that Africans benefit from the new BRICS Development Bank.

“It is an interesting development that China is flying the flag for globalisation at a time when US President Donald Trump is taking a more protectionist stance,” Surve was quoted as saying by the daily Business Report.
Surve, the chairperson of Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media, has interests in media, technology and healthcare.

The chief executive of the South African Public Investment Corporation, Daniel Matjila, lauded Surve’s appointment.

Surve said he sees his new role as one of being an enabler to ensure that Brics benefits the most marginalised South Africans and Africans, especially in the areas of financial services and sustainable development financing.

Surve said the Business Councils had a huge role to play in economic development.

“We want them to build dams, roads, power stations and railway lines in Africa. It is noteworthy that all five countries (in BRICS) have different ideals, economic policies and politics, yet we know that for economic growth we have to work together to ensure our people benefit economically.

“Included in the benefits must be skilling and reskilling in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution, where biological, physical and digital worlds merge,” Surve concluded.

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